Friday, January 11, 2013

Catching Up: A Disney World Recap

Ever since I got an iPad for Christmas, I've sorely neglected by old Macbook Pro.  Which means I haven't gotten around to editing any pictures.  Or doing any posts.  Or basically anything which is not reading blogs or playing Draw Something.  But, I found a few minutes this morning to break out the ol' laptop so I thought I'd give you guys a little recap of our trip to Disney World right after Christmas.

We drove down on the 26th, and spent the 27th at Magic Kingdom.

Joe, Mandy, me, Steven

The crowds were almost unbearable and it was mighty chilly, but when I saw Main Street U.S.A. all lit up in its holiday finery, it was worth it.


The next day, we saw more beautiful Christmas lights at Hollywood Studios (The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights) and I was in awe.  Simply gorgeous.


On Saturday, we spent half a day at Animal Kingdom, then went to Epcot for the Holidays Around the World Candlelight Processional.


Epcot was decked out for Christmas too.


The Candlelight Processional was a.maze.ing.  Marley Matlin was the guest narrator, and even though her interpreter did the speaking for her, it was fascinating to watch the intensity of her sign language.


Oh, and the music was divine.


After the Candlelight Processional, we had dinner at The Garden Grill Restaurant with Mickey and his pals Pluto, Chip, and Dale.  The food was delicious, but don't look around too much while you're eating or you'll get dizzy.  The restaurant rotates 360 degrees!


Oh Mickey, I love you.


The next day we went to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, which was a huge BUST because it was so darn cold that no one was riding the abundant water rides, which meant the lines for everything else were crazy long.  Yeah, we only rode two rides this day, but all I really cared about was seeing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Oh, you have to wait in line just to get INTO the world, then wait in line if you want to ride any rides.  Luckily, they have a thing similar to Disney's FASTPASS, so we were able to do other things while waiting for our turn to go in.

Hogsmead village.  Beautiful.


Of course, we ate lunch at The Three Broomsticks (I had a turkey leg - yum!) and I had to get a Butterbeer.  It was gross.  But if you like cream soda, you'll like it.  Unfortunately, I don't.

(I'm just pretending to take a sip in this photo because otherwise my facial expression would have been one of YUCK.)


Ahh, Hogwarts.  The only ride we rode was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  We waited two hours, but I have to say, it was so worth it.  I've never ridden anything like it!  They warn you time and time again that if you are prone to motion sickness that you shouldn't ride it.  Let me be the first to tell you:  they are not kidding.  I didn't get sick, but I saw more vomit after getting off this ride than I cared to.


Obviously, I don't really have anything nice to say about Islands of Adventure, except that the Harry Potter ride was awesome.  It was cold.  It was beyond crowded.  Butterbeer is gross.  End of story.

Now, onto our final day:  New Year's Eve!  Back to Epcot we went, where we saw Minnie!


See those lanyards around our neck?  I have a simple tutorial for you if you'd like to make your own (as soon as I can put down my iPad again and edit the photos).  This was the first time we've done pin trading, and we are HOOKED.  It's seriously so addictive.  We didn't bring enough "trader" pins with us (i.e. crappy pins that you don't mind trading), so when we were in line to get into Epcot on Saturday, we saw a lady with a gallon ziplock bag FULL of pins.  We asked her if we could buy some off of her, so we gave her $8 (all the cash we had, except $20s) and she gave us 10 pins.  Score!

We had dinner at Rose & Crown Pub in the UK, and then staked out a spot to watch IllumiNations, the nightly fireworks show.  In the Times Guide, it said it started at 11:40 and there would be a special New Year's Eve countdown afterwards.  Well, it started a little late, then they did fireworks behind every country that had already celebrated the new year ("Our friends in Morocco celebrated New Year's 5 hours ago!" ***Fireworks***).  While they were doing this, midnight came and went, and they finally started the countdown at about 12:07 according to our watches.  Talk about a letdown.  I love you Disney, but next year, work on your timing!

The grand fireworks finale was unlike anything I've ever seen and I was in such awe that I didn't think to take a photo (this one was from the regular IllumiNations show).  The sky was absolutely FILLED with fireworks.  There was no black to be seen, only dazzling fireworks everywhere you looked.


Happy New Year!


Earlier in the evening, the gave out top hats and noise makers, which was fun.  But also loud.  And annoying.  Especially 6 hours before midnight.

All in all, it was a fabulous, tiring trip!  It took us days to recover from all the walking and sleep deprivation, but the holiday decorations and the festive atmosphere made it worth it.

Oh, and did I mention that my birthday was last Friday?  Happy 20-blah-blah birthday to me!!  Okay okay, I'm 28.  There, I said it.  Whew.

I still need to share a handmade Christmas gift, as well as what I got for Christmas (warning: I was spoiled!), the pin lanyards, and lots of other things.  Who knew having an iPad would make me such a slacker?

Happy weekend, friends!

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