This past weekend, I had my first Disney experience and not a single iota of chill was to be found anywhere. Somewhere between the Orlando Airport and my first glimpse of the Most Magical Place on Earth, I got caught up in the magic and now finally understand why everyone is obsessed with the Mouse.
To give you some perspective, I went on the trip with seven other ladies to celebrate my good friend Bethany’s upcoming nuptials. I think it took the girls I didn’t know about five minutes to realize that I had emotional maturity of a five-year-old, and I’m super glad I didn’t scare them off.
Here’s a group photo featuring 7.5 of us (if you count the adorable baby bump…affectionally referred to as Beauty and the Bump). If you can’t tell from the photo, I was the resident giraffe of the party and was pretty sure all the other tourists thought I was just running security detail for the group or something.
Since I could literally write a novel about all the fun I had over the weekend, I’ll do my best to condense the best of the best for a top-10 rundown of the most magical moments.
How do I even describe this ride? In the heart of Epcot, Soarin’ straps you into these contraptions and lifts you about 10-15 feet off the ground in front of a giant screen. You then float over different parts of the world, and the device moves so you literally feel like you are FLYING!
If that isn’t enough excitement for you, they pump different scents past your nose so as you go to different parts of the world in the experience, you can literally smell it too.
Since my description simply can’t do the ride justice, here’s a video of it. You’ll want to skip to the 5:30 mark or so to see the actual ride.
However, I have to say my favorite part of the ride was the fact that I knew I was only 10 feet off the ground. Heights aren’t my thing, but I’m definitely coming around to the idea of virtual heights.
You obviously don’t know me if you thought I would make it through this post and not talk about food. And boy, did I eat. One thing you don’t realize when you’re trekking around WDW is just how much you walk. For the girls who wore their activity trackers, we averaged something insane like 15 miles per day. In my mind, that was great because it justified the massive amount of food I demolished in the parks everyday.
My friend Katie did an internship with Disney in college and had been talking about this magical pineapple frozen creation called Dole Whip that she was obsessed with for months. Spoiler alert: it did not disappoint. And, as an added bonus, there was the option of adding liquor to your dessert for some super magic fun time. Here’s a photo of Katie and her bae.
On our second night, we went to the Contemporary to enjoy a great meal at the California Grill. After being forced to eat bone marrow (and finding out I actually liked it) and then being made fun of for drinking an Old Fashioned (It’s not my fault if I like to channel my inner, 80-year-old man), I had some chicken so bomb I had to stop myself from being a complete millennial and posting it to Instagram.
Basically all you need to know about everything else I consumed is that it was either fried, frozen or full of sugar with the exception of the one apple I made myself eat out of guilt. All I can say is make sure you bring your stretchy pants to Disney.
Spinning teacups. Magic Kingdom. Quintessential Disney. I didn’t puke. I think that about sums it up.
Shoutout to my cup partner Sarah for helping me harass the poor employees to find out which teacup was in fact the fastest. The purple cup with the “weird door” definitely lived up to its reputation.
4. Tower of Terror
I was actually dreading this ride. As someone who doesn’t like heights, hates scary things and isn’t too fond of surprises, the idea of getting into a death trap in a haunted hotel that would drop me from an unspecified height at any given time was not thrilling.
Strangely enough, this was my favorite ride out of my entire Disney experience.
What you can’t see in that photo is that immediately after the first drop, I told everyone to let go of me, threw my hands in the air and became the biggest woo girl you’ve ever seen!
I’ve grown up always hearing about the fireworks show at Disney, but watching “Wishes” was even grander than I ever imagined. We saw this show twice, once on top of the Contemporary and once from behind Cinderella’s castle, and it very nearly brought me to tears.
This was the ride so nice, we rode it twice (in a row)! Located in Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest takes you up a mountain, then backwards down the mountain, then through a cave where a giant Yeti tries to kill you.
So, basically everything I would usually hate about a ride. But, just like Tower of Terror, I loved it! Check it out below:
Also in Animal Kingdom is Safari, a ride where you literally get to drive through a fully-functioning zoo. I think it might be best to just let the pictures speak for themselves here.
Side note: While everyone else in our van was being completely normal and taking photos of the actual animals, my friends literally had every lens focused on me because they really wanted me to see me cry from excitement. Thanks guys.
8. Team Ariel
Our single bad experience for our entire trip was having to wait over an hour for a bus on our second day to take us back to the resort. Enter the alpha females, Katie and Sarah, who took it personally. After having a little chat with our friends at the front desk, this dynamic duo returned to the room, matching tank tops and all, with a private taxi to dinner and oodles of free fast passes for the rest of our time.
To put things into perspective, we only waited on two lines our entire time at Disney. #TeamAriel for the win.
9. Meet and Greets
Throughout our three days, we met Alice, Tarzan, Belle and Ariel. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was totally ok with Tarzan, mainly because all he could do is stand there shirtless and talk in adorable, stunted English. Also, abs for days.
On the other hand, the princesses freaked me out. I don’t know how those actresses manage to stay in character, but I have a theory the dwarves from the Snow White ride slip them some crystals from their mine each morning if you catch my drift.
In honor of our meet and greets, here’s some photos of me being totally awkward with the princesses and pretending like everything is normal.
10. No Chill
I cannot stress this enough: I reached negative chill level at Disney if that’s even a thing. I also have a very expressive face that the Disney ride cameras really loved to capture. So here you go, Internet. I hope you enjoy these horrible action shots as much as my mother, who sent close up screenshots of my terrified face to family group texts.
Big shoutout to Bethany for including me for this amazing weekend. I’m already looking forward to reuniting with my #TurnDownforWalt squad in July so I can truly embarrass everyone with my interpretive dance moves to “Let It Go.”
Until next time,