Having fun at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2017

I still can’t believe that it is September! The year has sped by and that just means that the holidays will be around the corner before we know it.

I love living here in Florida but I have to admit that I do miss the fall season in New England. The cool mornings are refreshing, the color changing leaves are stunningly beautiful, and the decor is spot on. At least we can enjoy the decor here.

 

In fact, one morning while I was watching the local news, I learned that Walt Disney World had just decorated for fall. They brought in trucks of decorations and decorated the area called Main Street, U.S.A in the Magic Kingdom over night. It’s like magical elves bring fall right into Florida for everyone to enjoy. I immediately texted Price saying “Disney has Mickey Pumpkins!!! EEEEEEEE!!!!” I was pretty excited. I’m sure he rolled his eyes at that one.

I was extra super excited when an invite to attend the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, a seasonal event at the Walt Disney World Resort, popped up in my inbox. OMG!

They close the park early for this after-hours ticketed event that takes place at Magic Kingdom Park from 7 p.m. to midnight. It’s a limited-ticketed event so the crowds are smaller than normal park hours for a more intimate feel. An added plus is that the lines for the rides are super short too!

We decided that we wouldn’t tell Autumn where we were going so that she would be surprised when we pulled up. Plus then we wouldn’t be subjected to her talking non-stop about going to Disney the whole car ride, only have to hear her ask when we would arrive 100x in the 90 minute car ride.

As soon as she saw the entrance into Magic Kingdom parking she understood where we were and got really excited. The excitement was even more elevated when we took out a new Elena of Avalor costume out for her to wear. ($19 at Costco!!)

Once we were cleared through security the fun started happening!

I was loving all the decorations and Autumn loved every bit of everything since there was so much to see and do. She wanted to run off immediately to check out rides, but we decided that taking our time and enjoying some dinner from Casey’s Corner would be best, so we could focus on rides without being hungry/hangry. Hot dogs for everyone!

Once we were done with dinner, we were ready for the real fun to begin!

Price and Autumn took a ride on Dumbo while I hung out with Hunter. I could have taken a ride with her next on Dumbo but we decided to move on to take a trip under the sea to visit Ariel. There were hardly any lines for either of these rides as the visitors to the park at this time were just people for the special event.

 

As well, we did a bit of trick or treating, which Autumn loved. She was so into her treats, especially the “fruit M&M’s”… skittles. ha!

 

It was coming up on 8pm at this time and we were thinking that a show would be fun to check out. We headed over to the castle to see the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular”. Knowing that it would probably be too loud for Hunter, I decided to head over to Adventureland so that we could meet at Aloha Isle for some Dole Whips.

A short time later, I started to see people scurrying around and I knew instantly that it was rain. I quickly packed up our stuff and Hunter from under our covered seating and started to head back towards the castle, hoping to meet Price and Autumn before it really started to rain. I made it about 150 feet before it was raining buckets!!

Thankfully, I found a spot under an awning in front of Frontierland’s Frontier Trading Post to camp out and wait for the rain to stop. And before I knew it, Price and Autumn were there as Price and Autumn took off running as the first drops fell and were able to hop from covered awning to covered awning in Frontierland. Unfortunately, they only got through 1 song of the performance before it was shut down from the rain.

While we waited out the rain, Price ran over to get us some Dole Whips. They certainly helped pass the time, as it poured and poured. After awhile, the rain lessened so we decided to head back towards Main Street USA to be able to get a spot for the “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade”. Ultimately, we decided that since we were all a bit wet already and it was still drizzling that we would heave home.

 

To make up for the fact that our night was cut short, we treated Autumn to a fun gift from a shop. While I browsed Halloween related gear, she picked out some Elena of Avalor figurines.

A boat ride back to the parking lot and we were all set for our travels back home.

While the night didn’t work out as planned, we all had a blast. I am looking forward to checking it out again next year. Then Hunter can join in with some trick-or-treating as well!

____________________

You can purchase tickets HERE. Event runs through November 10th.

Can’t make it? Then check out a live stream of the Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade

____________________

A big thanks to Disney World for the invite for us to experience the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party as a family. I was not compensated to write this post, all opinions are my own. 

Advertisements

Our Disney World Anniversary Trip: Epcot

making-the-most-out-of-a-day-at-epcot

It was Day Three of our Disney Adventure to celebrate our First Wedding Anniversary. We did Animal Kingdom, we did the Magic Kingdom, now it was time for Epcot.

epcot_vacation_01

Having got sucked into the heartbreaking news of the Orlando Night Club shooting, we arrived at Epcot later than we wanted.

It was 10:30am and we did not have anything besides a few cups of coffee. So the first thing we looked for was a restaurant that could provide us with a sturdy healthy warm breakfast.

Our eyes locked in on Sunshine Seasons for a quick service meal. It was less than a 5 minute walk from the entry and on the way we stopped at a FastPass+ kiosk and signed up for Spaceship Earth and Mission:SPACE.

epcot_vacation_02

Afterwards we made our way to breakfast. Sunshine Seasons, in The Land Pavilion, was a convenient quick service place that had plenty of options. An added plus was that our meals had surprisingly large portions, and included a drink.

epcot_vacation_03 epcot_vacation_04

epcot_vacation_05 epcot_vacation_06

With out bellies full we decided to stay in The Land building for our first ride, Living with the Land which is a slow ride and informative for the past present and future of food growth and production. So cool.

We the headed over to the Imagination! Pavilion. The Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival was about to air so we stuck around for that to begin since we love Pixar movies and the theater was air conditioned. The 3D movies, “For the Birds“,”La Luna“, “Get a Horse” were really cute and worth the short wait for them to begin. Outside we looked at the fountains and the geometric shapes.  Imagination! complete!

epcot_vacation_07

Around the World features different buildings featuring places around the world that wrap around a lake at Epcot. Price was super excited for the Around the World exhibit mainly for the beer drinking in each “country.” But in addition to that we would be taken to a new place as each country featured architecture and buildings in the style of their own country. It doesn’t have a strip mall feeling, it’s authentic! Just like the beers of course from their native countries.

Our first stop was in Canada. We spoke with a couple from a town near where Price grew up in NY and some of the people in Canada about how different life is in FL compared to NY. We perused the merchandise but passed, again it was the beginning of the day and we weren’t about to carry around something all day.

epcot_vacation_08

epcot_vacation_09 epcot_vacation_10

Then on to jolly ole England at the United Kingdom pavilion. We stopped by a cart for a pint of Magner’s and a cider. At one of the Crown and Crest chop, there was the opportunity to could locate your country of origin and shield by last name.

epcot_vacation_11

Of course Price’s English and Scottish background popped up, mine surprisingly popped up as well. Placed an order for a family shield that I gifted to my Dad for father’s day. Besides making a great gift, it was great that we could pick it up later in the day at a pick up location as we exited the park. With free hands and growling stomachs, we headed on.

epcot_vacation_12 epcot_vacation_13

Next up, France. Okay so we skipped the beer in lieu of a croissant at the pastry shop, Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie, and a venture into the wine and cheese shop. Not that Price and I have ever split a bottle of wine in the fly while walking the streets but we could have, but we had other countries to visit right now.

Mickey Meltdown Meter= 75%

epcot_vacation_14 epcot_vacation_15

Morocco was next, the architecture was beautiful. Plus, the scents from the restaurants were so enticing. Since we had a late breakfast we didn’t stop for lunch, but I look forward to during future visits.

epcot_vacation_16

Price had to stop by for a drink as I breezed by the stand. On we went in the Summer heat.

epcot_vacation_17

We we entered Japan we were greeted with a drumming performance called Matsuriza. It was fun to listen to and watch as they put on a show banging on each other’s Taiko drums and banging onto each other.

epcot_vacation_18

Being that it was so hot out, I couldn’t resist stopping at the shaved ice cart and I couldn’t resist the honeydew ice with condensed milk. Get the condensed milk on it. So good!

epcot_vacation_19

Then we ended up in… America.  Wait, are we State side again?  What number beer is this?  Since the majority of the buildings looked just like what we saw every day in Boston, we breezed through this area.

Mickey Meltdown Meter= 85%

epcot_vacation_20

Back on the trail to Italy. We browsed the shops and even watched a street performance with a juggling mime that got the crowd involved and cheering.  It was all so much fun!

epcot_vacation_21

There was a perfect spot to stop and check out the gondoliers, as well as the views. We took a bit of a break here and watching the crews setting up for the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show.

epcot_vacation_24

Again we skipped the beer but then hit Germany, so… beer.  Price ended up getting a Leinenkugel Grapefruit Shandy which we both got hooked on and enjoyed buying throughout the rest of the summer at out local grocery store. When you think grapefruit, it’s bitter, it’s biting, but not this beer, the beer is light and smooth and taste like Summer in a bottle.

epcot_vacation_22 epcot_vacation_23

I skipped drinking here and instead stopped into Karamell-Kuche for some caramel popcorn. I swear it is the best caramel popcorn I’ve ever had. I quickly regretted getting a small bag.

Mickey Meltdown Meter= 90%

epcot_vacation_25 epcot_vacation_26

Next up China.  It was now 2pm and we were hungry so we wandered into Nine Dragons Restaurant. Since we felt that we could get good Chinese at home we skipped it. This was a bad move on our part, but more on that later…

Noway was next! We checked out some shops (hello Anna and Elsa gear!) and put our names on the list for an early dinner at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.

We hit up Mexico next for another beer, what type I don’t know but who’s counting at this point?!?

epcot_vacation_27

At this point we finished up the World Showcase just in time to make it over to Mission: SPACE for our FastPass+ reservation.

I was so excited to finally get on a ride! I love rides! I love roller coasters! It’s all so much fun. Price, on the other hand, is not a big fan of rollercoasters or fast rides. But being a good husband he humored me and agreed to the ride. Poor poor man.

There are 2 intensity options for the ride… green and orange. Green is the less intense version, orange is the more intense version. There were young kids heading into the Orange Team side so I was thinking that we could handle it. Sadly, I was wrong.

epcot_vacation_28

This is the time when you say ‘didn’t you pay attention to the warnings alerting people who suffer with motion sickness, people with heart monitors, or other illnesses to turn back and did we… no! We got in, we did the tutorial, and we skipped all warnings then got into the capsule. Price was seated next to a kid (8 or younger) with his father so he wasn’t about to bail. The “ride” wasn’t a roller coaster and you didn’t go upside down or in a corkscrew so Pricer would be fine, oh boy! The Orange Team ride puts you into what feels like a space shuttle. The shoulder bar comes down and the screen is in your face so you cannot look away. How you feel like you’re laying down when your standing we don’t know. The launch occurs and you feel like you’re being pulled back in your seat at 1000 MPH!  The clouds wiz past and the dark sky gets closer.  You slam some buttons which is the only interactive part of the trip and then.. you float. It’s weird but you go from launch to a feeling of weightlessness in less than a minute.  Price was about to freak, the beer, the food, the heat! Of course the Mission:SPACE ride has to take you all the way to Mars so you hit “hyper-sleep” then wake in a meteor shower and crash on Mars.  Suddenly it ended.  Mickey Melt don in 3, 2, 1, go!

epcot_vacation_29

For those following along, the Mickey Meltdown Meter and a very real thing no matter the age. We did Disney for three days, we went hard for each park, and we attempted to do as much as possible in those few days but at what cost. Price had a 45 minute meltdown that centered around his fierce hatred of everything. We walked out of Mission:SPACE and right into Innoventions just to get into some AC and sit down. At one point I lost him for about 30 minutes but found him pacing the walkways trying to cool down. The only available seats were next to an entrance (so Summer heat pouring in when every person walk in the door) but it had an outlet so we could charge our phones. Pricer got a Powerade which he could have paid $200 for and not cared. He had had it with the people, the heat and humidity, the rides. Everything was a gigantic irritation including all things in motion and a second wind was far for mounting.  Luckily he pulled together since we still had dinner and we really needed some food to fill our bellies (and make room for all the beer we drank!) Beware the Mickey Meltdown; make one day a pool and spa day and just remember to take it easy.

epcot_vacation_30

Thankfully, a short while later, Price was smiling again!

We headed back to Norway for our character dinner at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. The dinner was just what we needed to regroup after a hot day full of drinking and random snacks. We needed some real food, tons of water, and some AC!

epcot_vacation_31 epcot_vacation_32

Our exceptions for drinks and dinner were blown away. Dinner started with a buffet that had plenty of seafood, salad, meat, cheese options, including Norway’s signature brown cheese, Brunost. I skipped it but Price tried it and said it had a sweet caramely flavor.

The entrees were the star of the show. Price’s Kyllingbryst and my Bassert Biff, were both incredible. His chicken was juicy with a nice crisp skin and my beef was incredibly tender.

We were so full then, but we still made room for dessert that featured 3 small desserts, including an apple cake. yum!

epcot_vacation_33 epcot_vacation_34

I am 31 years old and I still get a kick out of the Disney Princesses. It’s just so fun. Don’t be a kill joy and ignore the princesses. Enjoy it! Shoot even take a picture.

Of course, I was giddy with getting to meet Ariel. Hands down she is my favorite princess.

epcot_vacation_35

Ever wonder what’s inside that giant golf ball looking thing? Well it’s not just a sculpture, it’s the Spaceship Earth ride.

Our FastPass+ reservation for Spaceship Earth aligned perfectly with us winding down our day at the park. It is a peaceful slow ride and an easy end to our long day. Definitely makes up for the Mission: Space fiasco.

We ended our day by getting the family shield I bought in the UK pavilion and then hoped on the bus (not unlike our Boston bus trips with a bunch of sweaty irritated people not talking to each other) for our ride back to the hotel.

epcot_vacation_36 epcot_vacation_37

Once back at the Coronado, we dumped off our stuff and got into our bathing suits. We needed to cool off so we headed to the pool for a bit, right before a massive thunderstorm rolled in.

While there was the Mickey Meltdown, our day at Epcot was a success since we spent it together enjoying the magic of all the wonders that the world and future have to offer.

___________________

Check out my recaps of our previous days at Disney World!

Day 1: Animal Kingdom

Day 2: Magic Kingdom

 

Our Disney World Anniversary Trip: Magic Kingdom

making-the-most-out-of-a-day-at-the-magic-kingdom

The second day of our Disney vacation to celebrate our First Anniversary brought us to the Magic Kingdom.

We took the free bus from the Coronado Resort and to get to the Park.  (You can arrive by boat if you stay at the nearby Grand Floridian or Polynesian (among others).

magic-kingdom-vacation_01

The Magic Kingdom is the jewel of Disney; it’s amazing, it’s unbelievable, it’s magical.

To get to the magic you need to be prepared to wait in some long lines to get through security if you have a bag with you.  Once you make though security you are taken back in time and place to Main Street USA.

magic-kingdom-vacation_02 magic-kingdom-vacation_03

magic-kingdom-vacation_04

It’s so cute with nostalgic looking, gingerbread ornamented shops, and stores with a little park at the center. All your senses become engrossed with the small train going by, the Barbershop quartet singing, or the caramel shop opening.  It is the head of Main Street where you get the view of the Magic Kingdom.  The one that will have any kid young or old saying “WOW!!” Everyone stops for that photo, you kinda have to.

magic-kingdom-vacation_05

We walked down Main Street USA looking in all the shops and stores for goodies to eat or trinkets to buy. It was early in the day so we stay away from filling our bellies too soon or have to walk around with  bag all day but we did get ideas for things to buy later.  The castle beckons everyone to go to it, off we went.

magic-kingdom-vacation_06 magic-kingdom-vacation_07

We took a bunch of pictures in front of the castle. The gardens and flowers were so beautiful around the castle all just in bloom which was amazing.  Our walk continued up the stairs of the castle, where you have a great view back towards Main Street USA.

magic-kingdom-vacation_08

With a few thousand steps already under our feet, our bellies began to growl. We stopped off at the Sleepy Hallow Refreshments for breakfast. I got the Belgian waffle and Price got a Funnel Cake. Of course we couldn’t resist topping it off with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. The sweet smell was just so intoxicating. We sat in some shade next to the castle munching on our breakfast right by where a couple had just gotten engaged, magic!

magic-kingdom-vacation_09

After a short break we checked our map and decided the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride would be our first ride.  The line was short so we didn’t have to use our Magic Bands just yet.

The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride was fun and easy.  For the two of use it was a good start to the day since the seats are made for two.  The ride takes you through all the Pirate movies and a glimpse to key scenes.  Plus you get a short and much needed break from the Orlando Summer heat which had bitten Price early.

Mickey Meltdown Meter – 30%

magic-kingdom-vacation_10

Our next stop was The Hall of Presidents, which houses a visitor area with historical artifacts along with a huge theater.  The show was about 30 minutes long and very impressive.  The animatronic Presidents were all dressed in historical clothes and all appeared just like you would imagine. Abe’s Hat, Washington’s coat, and Taft’s big belly. There was even a speech by our current president, Barack Obama.

Besides enjoying the show, it gave us a chance to enjoy some AC. I highly suggest stopping here when you need a real break from the heat!

Leaving just makes you wanna walk outside, blow off some fireworks, drape yourself in the American flag and drink a Sam Adams in the bed of a Ford F-150! #Merica!

magic-kingdom-vacation_11 magic-kingdom-vacation_12

Still on the west side of the Magic Kingdom we visited the Haunted Mansion. So at this point, we did the castle, pirates, Presidents, and now ghost.  Oh Disney!

The Haunted Mansion was something I did when I was little and always had fun memories of so I was looking forward to doing it again.  The line was extremely long but it moved fairly quickly. Plus there’s fun activities to do outside- like play music on the decorations. \

The haunted House is corny, fun, and sweet.  It was fun to do again after all these years.

magic-kingdom-vacation_13 magic-kingdom-vacation_14

After all our morning activities we had to get inside, get well hydrated, and have a real meal. Prior to getting to Disney we made a reservation at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant in Main Street with our Disney Travel agent. She told us about a brand new deal they had that allows you to get a 3 course lunch and get reserved seats for a parade later. Sounded fun to us so we had to do it.

Tony’s is a really nice Italian restaurant, big portions, good food, ice cold water (I’m sure each place has it but Price was drinking as if he was melting from the insides!!!). We enjoyed great service, amazing food (the tuna! omg!) while there. Unfortunately, my tiramisu dessert was frozen. We received our bill with to free passes to see Tinkerbell, which we presume is due to the frozen dessert.

magic-kingdom-vacation_15

These character interactions usually have very long lines but not with the free pass, we went right to the fronts.

Meeting Tinkerbell was so neat (and a bit silly). The cast member was on point with anything to say to stay in character.

Tink was a great sport saying ‘hi’ to a friend of mine on video. My bud loves Tink so it was so fun to send her that video. ha!

magic-kingdom-vacation_16

We started to make our way back through Main Street Disney and towards the Castle. Price splayed out on the “lawn” area with a Mickey Meltdown Meter set at about 50% when we noticed people lining up to watched a parade.

We soon discovered it was time for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. We stuck around to see the characters, floats, and musicians for a long time. The parade ended with a fire breathing dragon. (FB live video!)

magic-kingdom-vacation_17 magic-kingdom-vacation_18

The next area of the park that we ventured into was Tomorrowland. The sculptures, exhibits, and buildings appear futuristic or sci fi. It’s silly looking but still fun.

We jumped on the People Mover Ride. This allowed us to loop around above Tomorrow Land in the shade. Bliss.

Then we headed over to the Carousel of Progress. It was personally created by Walt Disney for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair using cutting edge animatronics technology. It is so dated but fun. It shows how life has changed for the average middle class American family since at points in time from 1900, 1920’s, 1940’s, and ‘today’. That today Act looks like it’s in the 80’s? early 90’s? It’s so strange but fun. (Again, more AC!)

magic-kingdom-vacation_19 magic-kingdom-vacation_20

We decided to speed things up from the slow pace of the People Mover by heading over to the Tomorrowland Speedway. Accept there was no speed…

I understand that this is for ‘All Ages’ but it’s really for kids, maybe 12 and under, that would get a thrill of driving on a track but this ride is a huge waste of time and space for Disney. The cars were very difficult to maneuver on the guided track, it was impossible to steer without hitting the middle guiderail that would jerk you to your lane and around the track. The other aspect was that pushing the peddles was very difficult. Price said it took all of his 220 lbs to keep the peddle down the whole time, so how could a little kid do it? In Prices opinion, it was the worst thing about Disney.  Mickey Meltdown Meter: 60%

magic-kingdom-vacation_22

We perked ourselves up with a treat after that lame ride on the Speedway. After all, we couldn’t resist get Mickey shaped ice cream and having the castle in the background.

magic-kingdom-vacation_23

Towards the northeast corner of the park is the Casey Jr Splash ‘N’ Soak. Sorry kids, the adults need to cool off too. We walked through some sprinklers and cooled off a bit without being drenched the rest of the day.  By this time it was mid afternoon but we still had a lot to see and do.

magic-kingdom-vacation_24 magic-kingdom-vacation_25

magic-kingdom-vacation_26 magic-kingdom-vacation_27

Near the Splash Park is Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid ride….

This was my dream come true!!!!!! I have always loved The Little Mermaid. So this was something we had to do while at the park. I loved every bit of it from the clam shell ride seat to the music and animatronics.

magic-kingdom-vacation_28

I mean… come on now!!! Ugh! I loved it.

magic-kingdom-vacation_29

Early in the morning we made a FastPass+ reservation for Space Mountain with our Magic Bands. Good thing because the line was almost 2 hrs long!! We skipped a majority of the line (to the point when the regular line and fast Pass lines meet) so it was a great use of one of the 3 FastPass+ reservations you get a day.

I was really surprised Price did so well at Space Mountain, as he doesn’t like roller coasters much. Space Mountain is dark, fast, twisty, with lots to laser lights all over. It’s was a blast for me but he was glad that we are not going back any time soon. ha!!!

magic-kingdom-vacation_30

We needed another cold beverage and I had to have the infamous Dole Whip. We were on a mission for one so we went across from Tomorrowland to Advenureland to get to the Aloha Isle stand. While Price would have used all our food vouchers on Dole Whip, we shared one and moved on with our day.

magic-kingdom-vacation_31 magic-kingdom-vacation_32

During our wait at the Haunted Mansion earlier in the day we saw a bunch of people on an island and wondered how would we get to it. Well, we figured it out!!

It was Tom Sawyer’s Island which was accessed by a few boats and docks. Pricer and I waited around a few minutes until we saw a worker and asked if we could go.  There response; “You can now!!” (I assume they were closed for a short while).  We had the entire island to ourselves for about 30 minutes; we wandered the caves, we walked the bridges over and over, we got into all parts of the forts, we sat in the rocking chairs, and no one else was around.  For a short time, we had our own private island at Disney! We had been surrounded by thousands of people for two days so getting away from everything, was really nice.

magic-kingdom-vacation_33 magic-kingdom-vacation_34

We used another one of our Fast Pass+ ride reservations for Splash Mountain. Again, really worth it since the line was crazy long.

Thankfully, we ended up in the front seats since you get the biggest splash in those seats when you down the log flume part of the ride.

magic-kingdom-vacation_35 magic-kingdom-vacation_36

Our lunch and afternoon treats were so filling that we didn’t want a ‘real’ diner so we opted for using our Snack Credits from our meal plan to grab a Churro and Pretzel from a cart. I didn’t love the churro that much. It was decent but not stellar. But it was still so nice to just hang out with Price and take a moment to reflect on our busy day.

magic-kingdom-vacation_37

As the sun began to set we started to make our way back to Main Street, USA to get our seats at the Town Square Viewing Area for the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Man, getting reserved seats with our lunch package was so great! We sat right in front for perfect viewing, without being crowded.

magic-kingdom-vacation_38 magic-kingdom-vacation_39

magic-kingdom-vacation_40

Characters and floats of all sizes will lit up for a fun parade around Main Street. Everyone was there from Tink to Snow White to Pete and his Dragon.

magic-kingdom-vacation_41 magic-kingdom-vacation_42

magic-kingdom-vacation_43

Yeah, this might be the best photo of the day!

Everyone was great, but this guy was extra awesome. He saw me taking pictures and ran right up to my and yelled (in character!) so I was able to snap this.

magic-kingdom-vacation_44 magic-kingdom-vacation_45

(The Light Parade is moving to Disney Land in October, so be sure to see it while you can!)

magic-kingdom-vacation_46

There was a little boy waiting for the nightly fireworks who had just had enough and decided that laying down on Main Street was a good idea. To be more specific, he decided that laying on my right foot and looking up at me was perfectly acceptable. I didn’t even have the heart to make him move since I couldn’t blame him at all. If it was acceptable for a 31-year old woman to lay down and whine on Main Street USA, I would have.

magic-kingdom-vacation_49

Thankfully, the Fireworks show (9pm) was well worth the wait. It was magical to watch it all. The start of the fireworks was awesome with (an illuminated) Tink flying all around The Castle, and then a real life one flying (ziplining) away from The Castle for the fireworks to begin. The Castle gets all lit up with fireworks going boom all around it.

magic-kingdom-vacation_48 magic-kingdom-vacation_49

magic-kingdom-vacation_50

magic-kingdom-vacation_51 magic-kingdom-vacation_52

 magic-kingdom-vacation_53

We were so thankful to get back to the room and just collapse in the bed. It was a day filled with lots of miles walked, lots of food eaten, and lots of fun had by both of us.

My feet were beat and Price’s knees were sore from our endless walking, but so worth it!! Mickey Meltdown Meter 70%

And we still had 1 more day to go!!! Next up: Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow).

Our Disney World Anniversary Trip: Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Enjoying a Visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It had been just over 20 years since I had been to Disney and over 25 for Price, so when we were trying to figure out what were going to go to celebrate our belated honeymoon/first anniversary we quickly considered Disney. It just seemed like the prefect situation as it’s close by and something we had never done before.  The first Anniversary is paper, surprisingly we didn’t spend as much as we thought we would.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-01

We worked with Victoria, a great Disney travel agent at Hi-Ho Vacations to help book and plan out our trip. It was no-cost to us and it was comforting to know that we had someone comparing prices and looking for the best discounts to get us the best deal. We compared a few different resorts and got the best deal by staying at the Coronado Springs Resort with Park Hopper Passes and the Disney meal plan.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-02 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-03

Before we knew it our anniversary was here and we were checking into the Coronado Springs Resort.

Leading up to that moment, Victoria sent us information on different plan options for us to book. There were several we could consider at different price points. As well, she sent information on the different parks, restaurants, and attractions we wanted to see.  It’s Disney, so the options were endless.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-04

Here’s to one year, and many more!

Now that we live in Florida, Disney is no longer a “maybe next year” or “in our lifetime we will go” now it’s less than a 2 hour drive and Voila, Mickey Time!!  We got up early and drove in, around the park, around the complex, and finally to our destination, the Coronado Springs Resort.  No lie, the magic is all around you and it better be, because people come from around the world to see something we hopped in our cars and drove to.  We checked in which was very pleasant.  This is Disney! So of course checking in is an experience.  “There are your magic bands… This is where we are… your room is here… pool… restaurants… buses to any one of our parks located here…” I could go on and on but we were given so much information and every question we asked was answered.

Mickey Meltdown Meter – 0%

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-05 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-06

After getting our stuff set up in our room in Casitas 4, we headed over to the closest bus stop (#2) to get to the Animal Kingdom theme park. A short wait and then a bus ride later, we were at the park for some much needed fun.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-07

We didn’t really have a plan, aside from dinner, when we got there so we wandered around checking out the animals a bit since it was just fun to be there. We ended up heading over to the Tree of Life since pretty much centrally located in the resort on Discover Island. Plus, it’s just so cool. The central location basically screams “um yeah, I’m the Tree of Life”

On our way there, we noticed we were perfectly timed up with heading in to the “It’s Tough to be a Bug! show. We didn’t know what the show was about but decided to just wing it and head in. It was geared more to younger kids with the animation and he characters from It’s a Bug Life, but it was fun to learn about bugs. Plus, the special effects were just cool. I recommend it for anyone.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-08

Then we wandered some more taking it all in.

Plus, we didn’t prepare and make FastPass+ reservations with our Mickey Bands to sign up for up to three events, shows, rides, etc.  And we didn’t know which ones to pick from that worked around our dinner reservations. Thankfully we didn’t really need to use it right away since there were plenty of attractions with short rides.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-09 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-10

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-11

Checking out the monkeys in in the Asia part of the park!

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-12 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-13

Again, the lines were short and quick so we didn’t need to use our Magic Band Fast Pass Reservations for the Dinosaur ride in Dinoland, USA section of the park.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-14

Ultimately, we needed to head back over towards the Africa section of the part, as our dinner reservation was in that area.

We took a quick stop off to visit the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail before dinner. It was so fun to check out all the animals they had on display. We learned to much from the cast members in the area. We learned the grooming and social habits of the Angola colobus monkeys (pictured above and below). I think they have nicer hair than me they groom it to much!

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-15 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-16 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-17 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-18

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-19

There were so many animals in there to check out and learn about

Plus, it was nice to walk around in the shade under the canopy holding hands enjoying all the sights. So romanical.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-20 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-21

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-22

We walked all over and worked up a real appetite so we couldn’t wait for our dinner reservation at the Tusker House Restaurant, which featured a great buffet. This was one of those places we researched from what Victoria sent us weeks before our trip. It had great reviews for the selection and quality of food.

We were so, so hungry by that point that we immediately dug right in. Who wouldn’t be hungry!?! Our Fitbits were telling us that we both crushed our 10k step goal wandering around the park.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-23 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-24

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-25 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-26

We got to take some pictures with Safari Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy. It was so silly but wonderful. Even as an adult they come over to make your night special.

Also, there were a few outlets here so I was able to charge my nearly dead phone for some juice. Finding outlets to be able to charge your phone around the theme park was tough so I was happy to get some time to give it a decent charge.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-27

Our next be adventure took us on Safari! An after dinner safari, sure why not!?!

We went on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride that loaded up groups into jeeps to go on a safari. The guide set up the experience to to guide us on a 2 week Safari, when in reality it was about 20 minutes long.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-28 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-29

Why did the Rhino cross the road?

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-32

Rhino does what Rhino wants!

1Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-30 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-31

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-38

There were some natural barriers to keep animals away from the jeep, but for the most part they could roam all over. It was so cool to animals in the ‘wild’.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-34 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-35

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-39

Both of us were so impressed with the amount and variety of animals we saw on our safari. We have been to plenty of zoo’s before but have never had seen animals like this before. They were active, playful, and were happy to just go about their business while we drove around.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-36 Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-37

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-40

We used one of our three FastPass+ reservations for the safari. At this point we found out how to easily use the magic band  by signing up for reservations at kiosks around the park. So long 55 minute wait, let’s go to the front!!

While we didn’t do it, Disney set up a new Nocturnal Encounters experience which allows you to check the African Safari out at duck/night so you can check out the animals when they are more active. The animals were so close you just wanna reach out and touch them. BUT DON’T!

After dinner we also went on the Kali River Rapids, which was so much fun. Plus, it was just so refreshing to get wet on that hot June night.

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-41

Since we didn’t drink at dinner we decided that we needed to grab a drink to enjoy while we walked around the park. We stopped off at walk up bar at the Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks as we crossed over into the Asia section of the park. We split the Khumbu Icefall ($8.50), which was a frozen drink make of Cruzan Guava Rum Blended with Coconut and Raspberry Puree, and the Himalayan Ghost($9.50), which was Snow Leopard Vodka, Guava, and Odwalla Lemonade.

As expected, alcoholic drinks are pricey, but can be hard to come by, depending on what park you are in.  Understandably, no vendor in the Magic Kingdom has alcohol, which we learned the hard way the following day.

Mickey Meltdown Meter – 20%

Disney Vacation_Wild Kingdom-42

We headed over to the Tree of Life with our drinks to enjoy the Nighttime Awakenings light show that is illuminated on the tree. We just missed one show so we snuck to the front of the viewing area to get the best spot for the next show. So worth the 10-15 minute wait between the shows, especially with our frozen drinks on the hot Florida night.

By then we had been on our feet for hours and hours so we were so ready to head back to the room to crash.

In the end, my Fitbit read I had taken 20,671 steps for the day and had covered 8+ miles, which is pretty impressive all around, especially since we did the majority of our steps/distance for the day while at Disney, not at home.

We hopped on the bus which dropped us near the hotel room and crashed in our big comfy king sized bed.

Next Up: One day at the Magic Kingdom