You are in for one heck of a Disney re-cap, so buckle up!
Not only did Nick & I travel to Gainesville to visit his brother and sister-in-law, but we also made our way to Disney on Saturday! Since the trip down is only about 2 hours, it was the obvious choice. I’m sure by now, most of you are aware that we know how to squeeze as much as possible into a Disney trip! This past Saturday was NO exception!
We woke up around 5:45am so we could be out the door by 6:15am.
We stopped for gas and some McDonald’s breakfast (My first choice was Starbucks, but they weren’t quite open yet). I ordered a egg & cheese bagel. The guy in the back thought I wanted chicken on it and I saw him actually place the chicken ON MY BAGEL, then take the chicken off my bagel, wrap it up and give it to me. Although that was frustrating, I don’t want to waste food, so I ate it – I was just annoyed. Some of you may not understand why that is, but if you’re a vegetarian, then I’m sure you get it.
Anyways… onward and downward toward Orlando we went!
We arrived at around 8:30am and it seemed a lot more crowded than I originally anticipated at that time, but we hustled through the crowd, go our bags checked, and scanned our Magic Bands.
Magic Kingdom was our first stop for the day. They always do a spectacular opening show in the morning and Nick had never seen it, nor had heard that it existed, so he was pretty excited about that!
The characters rode out on the train to wave us all in. Anna & Elsa were there!
The second we got in the park, we ran to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!! It wasn’t open when we visited in May, so we were both really excited about finally riding it! It wasn’t a big thrill, but it was a lot of fun and the animation was superb! At this point, I expect nothing less of Disney. Somehow our timing throughout the entire day was spot on! They did open the park about 10 minutes early though. We were out of the mine train by 9:10! We were on our way to Splash Mountain when I saw the Peter Pan ride. I’ve only been on it once or twice, but I remember loving the animation in it and you literally feel like you’re flying in the clouds above the rest of the world. We hopped in since it wasn’t even a 10 minute wait. Nick didn’t remember riding it before, so I’m really glad we decided too because he enjoyed it a lot!
We finally made our way to Splash and waited maybe 5 minutes. After Splash Mountain, we hit up Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The wait time said 20 minutes, but we literally walked straight onto the ride. Like I said, our timing was spot on. What we assumed happened (after seeing a thousand little 15 year old international kids) was that they all went on Thunder Mountain first, while we were on Splash. They increased the wait time to 20 minutes. They all finished as we were walking to Thunder and headed to Splash. Basically we bypassed all of them which was awesome because honestly… those tour groups from overseas are my worst nightmare at Disney. That’s another story, for another day from my Housekeeping Days at Disney!
Once we finished Thunder, we ran to the other side of the park – Tomorrow Land! We wanted to ride Space Mountain since it was still pretty early. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a wait, but it’s not so bad because they have games throughout the entire line. I got front seat and that spot can be scary! I felt like I wasn’t really sure if we were going to run into something the entire ride. If you’ve ridden Space Mountain then you know it’s pitch black!
We were going to ride the People Mover until we learned that it was closed for refurbishment. That’s one of our favorite rides, so I look forward to seeing what they change!
We stopped for lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Café in Tomorrow Land. Nick got the burger & fries. I munched on some of our snacks and nibbled on some fries w/ ketchup.
At this point, we decided our time at Magic Kingdom was over and we were ready to head out to Animal Kingdom!
I had been looking forward to Animal Kingdom ALL WEEK! My absolutely favorite thing is the Festival of the Lion. When we were there in May, it had been closed for refurbishment. They were moving locations. I wasn’t sure if it was opened back up yet until my friend David told me it was!
Our first stop was Mount Everest though which is my favorite ride. We always do single-rider because there is barely a wait time. You could stand in line for 50 minutes the regular way, but it took us about 10min. to do single-rider. After that, we headed for the Festival of the Lion King show. We waited in line about 30 minutes, but I was fine with that – we got great seats! The show was absolutely spectacular (as usual).
I have this list of Disney Experiences/Memories I want at some point during my life. One of those is to be the person they choose for the start of the show. I haven’t made it there yet, but one day it’s happening because I’m practically a Festival of the Lion SUPERFAN! Although that memory didn’t make it this go round, I was able to experience the greatest memory I’ve had to date at Disney.
Have you seen or heard of the Tumble Monkeys? They’re my favorite part of the show! Okay, that’s probably a lie… the entire show is my favorite part of the show. Check out a video of the tumble monkey’s from my trip back in November for the Wine & Dine.
So back to my now greatest Disney memory…. A Tumble Monkey, who we have now established is the coolest thing in the world, hopped up to our seats and HIGH-FIVED US!!!! I didn’t see him coming, but he popped up, I literally SCREAMED, “OMG, YES!!!!!!!” and gave him the biggest and best high five of my entire life! My entire day was made! They’re like celebrities to me. It was epic!
So after that, we did Primeval Whirl and then treated ourselves to a Vegan Donut (which is delicious!) and my fave – Mickey Pretzel w/ Cheese!
We wanted to do Kali River Rapids, but decided the wait time wasn’t worth it. Before we headed on to the next park, I knew I wanted to visit my old Disney Roomie, Nicolina. She’s doing a Professional Internship at Disney right now and I hadn’t seen her in almost 2 years! It was a short reunion, but it was completely worth it just to hug her and hear a little about her life right now! She was such a joy to be around during my time at Disney and I know she’s spreading that same joy to her new Disney friends & cast members!
After our mini-reunion, we took a boat to the Contemporary and then the monorail to Epcot! Epcot was our last stop for the day.
We started off with Starbucks because we knew there was still a lot of the day left to accomplish. While we sipped on that, we found ourselves in Club Cool & Nick had never known you could try the different flavors of Coca-Cola here!
It started raining some, so our goal was to start looking through the countries and if the rain wasn’t too bad, then hurry to the next one before it started pouring. Luckily, it never got that bad and we enjoyed our time looking around!
Nick’s brother & sister-in-law decided to drive down for dinner and my friend got them in so we could eat at La Hacienda de San Angel & watch the Epcot firework show. Before they arrived though, we had a fast pass for Soarin‘ and it’s one of our favorite rides because it’s so relaxing! Somehow we managed to squeeze that in right before our dinner reservation. I got a hefty run in from Soarin’ to Mexico though!
The evening ended perfectly with dinner & fireworks! I also got to catch up with my old Disney friend and fellow Housekeeper, David!
I enjoyed the veggie enchiladas and Nick & I split a Margarita. They also served black beans & rice for the table.
So for the record: We accomplished 3 parks, 8 rides, 1 show, 1 extra awesome high five from a tumble monkey, visiting with 2 special friends from Disney, 2 restaurants, 1 fire works show & one of the greatest Disney days I could have asked for!
I am a little shocked that we made it back to Gainesville safely because we were both unbelievably exhausted from this full fun-packed day! Little side note: Katy Perry was there on Saturday as well and stayed in Cinderella’s Castle. No I did not see her because if I had, we’d have a picture together.
- What is your all time favorite Disney Memory?
- What’s your favorite Disney ride?
- What’s your favorite Disney show?
- I would love to know you if you’ve been able to accomplish more in a day at Disney, because you’d be my hero, so introduce yourself below!