I'm finally getting around to recap my 30th birthday trip to Florida! This vacation was definitely one of the best I've ever had - I'm still buzzing over how perfect it was.
Friday | January 20, 2017 | Travel & Check In Day
We arrived in Orlando around 4:30 pm. We decided to rent a car for the whole duration of the trip, so we picked up our car from the airport. It was less expensive than picking it up from the onsite Alamo at Disney World. The next time we go to Florida we'll probably use the Magical Transportation instead... Even though the car rental will cost more at the onsite Alamo, I think the stress free approach is worth it.
With Magical Transportation - you put tags on your luggage before you depart from the airport. When you get to Orlando you don't have to grab your luggage! You get on the Disney motor coach and it takes you to your hotel. Then your luggage magically appears a few hours afterward.
When we go on vacation we generally like eating at places we don't have here in Alaska, but we were so hungry after our long journey to get there that we decided to stop at Popeyes on our way to Disney World. Man, the price difference between Popeyes in Alaska and Popeyes in other places was very noticeable! For one thing, our Popeyes up here does not have chicken wings. Down there we got 24 wings for $14. I was totally amazed by that! Haha. After we ate dinner we went to Trader Joe's to pick up a pack of water bottles and snacks.
We got to the Boardwalk around 7 pm. I picked to stay there because I wanted to try staying closer to a theme park (Epcot was within walking distance) and I adored the theming. We all knocked out pretty quickly after unpacking and freshening up!
|The lobby at the Boardwalk|
Saturday | January 21, 2017 | Animal Kingdom Day
We woke up bright and early and headed down to Animal Kingdom. It's one of my favorite theme parks! One of the things we saw on this trip that we didn't on our last trip was the Festival of the Lion King show. Oh my goodness, it was such an amazing show. Another thing that we went to was Rafiki's Planet Watch. That place was a cool getaway since there wasn't a lot of people there.
As far as good goes, we ate at Flame Tree BBQ for lunch and Yak & Yeti's for dinner. We liked the BBQ a lot at Flame Tree BBQ. I really loved out Ahi Tuna Nachos from Yak & Yeti, but everything else we had was disappointingly mediocre. Maybe we just ordered the wrong food to try?
|I love the Tree of Life!|
|The elephants we saw while on the Kiliminjaro Safari|
|Meal at Flame Tree BBQ|
|Ahi Tuna Nachos from Yak & Yeti|
Sunday | January 22, 2017 | Shopping Day
Woohoo, shopping day! We woke up early and went to Disney Springs at 9:30 am. It was conveniently Rock the Dots (Minnie Mouse fashion day)! We ate lunch at Morimoto Asia and we thoroughly enjoyed our meals. We shopped at World of Disney, Basin, and browsed a few other stores. Then we drove to the Premium Outlet on Vineland and boy, I went nuts at Disney's Character Outlet. It's an official Disney outlet that has out of season goods from the theme parks and cruises. I highly recommend checking them out! We even saw several items that were still being sold AT Disney World at the full retail price!
After the outlet mall we went to IKEA. I was so excited, especially since it was my little sister's first time. We ate at the cafe and then shopped around. I'm pretty sure I mentioned this in my last post, but we didn't buy much since we were already at the Vegas location a few months prior.
We drove home in a storm! It was raining BUCKETS and there was thunder and lightning. The deejay on each radio station we turned to said, "If you can hear thunder and see lightning, you are in the danger zone." I was actually starting to feel worried. I was so thankful when we finally got back to our hotel. They even closed all the parks early because the weather was so severe! It was so weird that California was experiencing the same crazy rain - Disneyland even closed early too!
I was so concerned about the weather that I considered canceling our park day the following day (I figured we could go to Epcot after our cruise), but Sean insisted that we continue with our plans. I'm glad we decided to continue on with our plans!
|My sister and I rockin' the dots!|
|Sean and I trying to stay under the radar...|
|My cute hat I got from the Character Outlet!|
Monday | January 23, 2017 | Epcot Day
We woke up early and low and behold, it was a beautiful day! It was like there was never a storm the day before. We felt so lucky that we picked yesterday as our "shopping" day. Since we were staying at the Boardwalk, we took a leisurely stroll to get to the World Showcase entrance of Epcot. Epcot day was one of my BEST DAYS EVER:
- We rode on Soarin' Around the World for the first time. I was a little worried that I wouldn't like it since I am a die hard Soarin' Over California fan, but I was pleasantly surprised how incredible all the new views are!
- We rode on Frozen Ever After for the first time too. Thankfully we booked a FastPass for it. I loved it! The characters were life-like and you really felt immersed into the movie.
- We got approached to watch a TV Show and in exchange we each received a $50 gift card. I thought it was pretty cool that we got to go "backstage" in a building that is no longer open to the public. We weren't allowed to take pictures while we were in there. Sean and I did a similar focus group activity at Universal Studios. At Universal Studios we were offered $25 gift cards each and we had to press buttons when we liked or disliked something that happened in the show. I was expecting to press buttons while we were screening at Epcot, but they use more advanced technology. All we had to do was watch the show and a system behind the scenes measured our reactions and body language. The Messengers only lasted one season and ABC was trying to uncover what audiences liked or didn't like. It was a pretty cool experience!
- The Festival of Arts was going on so we got to indulge in a lot of yummy food.
- I GOT TO MEET ONE OF MY FAVORITE ARTISTS, NOAH! Sean even got me an autographed print of Snow White & Prince Charming.
- We happened to go on a day when Josh Strickland and Ashley Brown were performing Disney Broadway songs. Since we're DVC Members, we got special passes to go in early and get good seats. I saw Josh Strickland perform in Peepshow when it was in Vegas and he's very talented. Ashley Brown is very talented as well! She was Belle in the Beauty & The Beast broadway as well as Mary Poppins. Hearing and seeing them sing was such a magical experience! It was pure perfection.
- We saw Illuminations for the first time!
|I craved for these Fish & Chips for 2 years. They are so freakin' delicious! Best I've ever had!|
|Living With the Land is one of my favorite rides at Epcot, hehe|
|What's a Disney trip without taking a picture with Mickey Mouse?!|
Tuesday | January 24, 2017 | Magic Kingdom and my 30th Birthday
I celebrated my actual birthday at The Most Magical Place on Earth! We started our day with breakfast at Be Our Guest. I even ate The Master's Cupcake for breakfast. Hey - it was my birthday! I was craving for that damn cupcake for 2 years! Hahaha. Two things that we saw that we didn't on our previous trip was Mickey's PhilharMagic show as well as the new Royal Friendship Faire. I've added them to "my favorite Disney World attractions" list. For lunch we dined at Skipper's Canteen for the first time. I loved the theming - Jungle Cruise is one of my favorite Disney rides. I thought the food was just okay though. We rode on nearly everything we wanted to - Carousel of Progress, PeopleMover, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Jungle Cruise, Enchanted Tiki Room, Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, It's a Small World, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, etc. For dinner we ate at Be Our Guest again. We didn't get to take pictures with the Beast since we didn't want to be late for the fireworks. There's always next time, right?! We enjoyed the fireworks from the hub grass so we had a nice centered view.
After the fireworks we headed back to our hotel to pack our bags to get ready for our cruise.
My next post will recap our Disney Cruise and the rest of our days at the Disney World resort.
|Yes, the grey stuff is delicious!|
|I loooove this picture!|
|Thank you, baby, for the best birthday vacation ever!|