I was pretty sure my hair wasn’t going to get along with Florida.
(Spoilers: I was right.)
Really though. That humidity. Those bangs.
We had a pretty good flight (non-stop!) and landed safely in Orlando. Mom and dad were excited!Why shouldn’t they be? We were celebrating, after all! (We traveled on my parent’s anniversary!) Little did they know, there would be some adorable Mickey ears waiting for them at the hotel…
We stayed at Coronado Springs and it was beautiful!
The resort was absolutely humongous. And the bottom is me spending time at the pool before our flight back home to AZ.
Day 1: Animal Kingdom/Hollywood Studios: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
The first ride of our trip was Dinosaur! My parents both preferred DLR’s Indiana Jones but I enjoyed it! Mom and I spent a long time walking around Animal Kingdom—just really taking it all in. We met Pocahontas who was fascinated by the green-wearing tradition of our “village”. Adorable. I had a drink at Tusker House and they didn’t even card me! We then took a bus to Hollywood Studios where we met back up with Dad. We ended the night at Toy Story Mania, which I think was our favorite ride of the park!
Day 2: Epcot/Magic Kingdom: Classic Characters and Magical Main Street
Mom and I started the day in our favorite park at Disney World: Epcot! We met some awesome characters at the Character Spot and spent most of the day looking at the shops and scoping out things for Dad to do (he’s an EPCOT skeptic. I know, I know, he’s crazy). We got to see Erin who was working! Then we went to Magic Kingdom (we went there last out of all of the parks so we were all pretty antsy about going—so antsy that we barely got pictures of the craziness). We had dinner at that awesome place with the terrace and we watched the fireworks.
Day 3: Epcot/Magic Kingdom: The Tangled bathrooms are magical
Mom and I spent the majority of our EPCOT day at the World Showcase! We stopped and took a picture at each one! Some highlights: I was too embarrassed to speak French in France, we had peach bellinis in Italy, Mom counted to 10 in Japanese to which the ENTIRE Japanese Pavilion applauded, we met Aladdin and Jasmine in Morocco and we ate dinner in Mexico. Then we met Dad at Magic Kingdom (he brought me shorts and a new shirt because my legs were chaffing in that Florida heat—what a doll, right?). I had the best drink on the planet Le Fou’s Brew and then showed Dad that yes, it was obvious what my phone case was.
Day 4: Magic Kingdom/Animal Kingdom/Downtown Disney: Reunited w/ Erin
That morning Mom and I met Erin for breakfast. We were able to catch up a bit before going to the Magic Kingdom! This was probably my favorite day of the trip. I made Erin try Le Fou’s Brew and we had the BEST EXPERIENCE EVER with Gaston. “Nice to meet me, the pleasure is all yours,” he said to Erin and I and I seriously could not even handle it. If you look closely, you can see how red I was in the picture where we are holding hands. Apparently this is a thing I do, but only to characters. But not even that can shadow the fact that this was the day I finally met Rapunzel. She asked where my frying pan was and I told her they wouldn’t let me take it on the plane. Good times. If I’m feeling generous later, maybe I’ll post the picture of Mom and I waiting in line to see Rapunzel. We look like we are going to puke we were so excited. We said goodbye to Erin and we headed back to Animal Kingdom. Dad rode Everest with me, we watched the Finding Nemo and Lion King shows, and then met Baloo and oh god wtf is the monkey’s name King Louis (no, I totally didn’t have to google that). Then we went to Downtown Disney it was quite the time!
Day 5: Hollywood Studios/Magic Kingdom: The Incredible Wreck-it Ralph
We had way too much fun at Hollywood Studios. I know that vacations are supposed to be fun, but it’s wrong how much fun we had that day. We got to meet Mr. Incredible (a family favorite) and Wreck-it Ralph (Dad and I LOVE this movie—we got Mom to watch it on the flight to Orlando and she quite enjoyed it!). Vanellope was just too cute. We went back to MK so I could get Dole Whip (orange and pineapple swirl, y’all!) and then we went back to Coronado for dinner and drinks!
Day 6: Magic Kingdom: The Last Day/Reunited w/ Rachel
We knew we had done everything we wanted to do in the other parks, so we really took our time to explore MK on our last day. The Splash Mountain (my favorite ride) photo is one of my all time favorites. Woody and Jessie were awesome. I LOVE the photos above where my dad is shaking hands with Woody and where Woody is hugging my mom and she is just too precious there. We met up with my college friend Rachel and rode a couple of rides with her. She said it was nice to see a face from home! (She was on her DCP.) By the afternoon, we were exhausted. So we headed back to Coronado and had drinks at the bar. And let me tell you, that thing was the best drink I’ve ever had.
The next day, we had a later flight, so we hung out by the Coronado pool. It was long but amazing trip so we weren’t ready to leave yet still ready to go home. I know my sisters (we left them at home because they had a different Spring Break—sorry girlies!) were happy to have us back at home.
Now, I didn’t realize it at the time, but this trip is what made me decide to do the DCP. One of the days we were walking around MK, I remember telling my mom how peaceful it was to just walk around, not really having a plan. I remember telling her that I could see how amazing it would be to work there. I didn’t actually (consciously) decide to apply for DCP until June, but this trip really was the inception of that plan. There are so many people out there who have wanted to the DCP for SO long and I seriously applaud that. But life is funny sometimes. It doesn’t go as planned. One day you wake up and you realize that you don’t want to teach anymore and you question whether you ever did in the first place. You suddenly don’t know what you want to do with your life. But you figure it out, eventually. And when you do, you get to call it your new dream.