Hey friends, we made it through another long week! I know it was a difficult one for many of us, so if you missed it and need some encouragement, check out my post from Monday.
For today’s Friday Favorites, I’m doing a little recap of my family’s recent trip to DisneyWorld! My family went when I was about 7 so I don’t remember much, and Matt has never been so we were very excited to go and spend time with my family. All I have to say is thank God and the medical school that Matt’s spring break was on the earlier side and we got to go just before everything closed down. I also want to give a shout out to my parents for taking us on this trip which was a huge blessing. And special thanks to our Disney travel agent Jen Guthrie, who got us our tickets, fastpasses, dining reservations and customized itineraries! If you’re planning a Disney trip soon check out her page because she’s amazing 🙂
First stop was animal kingdom which none of us had been to before. The park is on the smaller side and does not have a lot of rides, but it makes up for it in two ways: Pandora (the land from Avatar) and the Kilimanjaro Safari which was an actual safari trip with a ton of animals!
This is a hard decision because Expedition Everest was so fun and I love roller coasters, but the winner goes to Flight of Passage in Pandora because you legitimately feel like you are flying. Basically, you sit on a motorcycle type thing which makes you feel like you’re on a banshee, and it even moves as if the banshee is breathing beneath you. Then you’re immersed in Pandora by the screen in front of you, and they even have different scents if you’re flying through the forest or near the ocean. You can watch a video here to give you an idea. I kept thinking if humans came up with something this cool, think of what heaven must be like!
We went to Rainforest Cafe to celebrate my sister’s birthday and it was so fun. They really committed to the experience with all the anamatronic animals and occasional thunderstorm where they all go crazy. I got coconut shrimp which was delicious and we all shared a volcano, which is slabs of brownie in a tower over ice cream and whipped cream. So good.
Since we waited until the end of the day to ride Flight of Passage, we missed most of the Rivers of Light show which was a bummer, but we did catch Tree of Life and that was pretty incredible. There is a huge tree in the center of the park with all kinds of carved animals on it, and at night the lights on the tree make it look like they come alive, and the tree changes seasons and shows different scenes from Lion King. It was a great end to the night.
Our next day was Magic Kingdom! A lot of my friends have asked me what was better – Disneyland’s or Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. It’s hard for me to choose, because Disneyland is so nostalgic and it has New Orlean’s Square with the BEST corn chowder bowls. But the castle at Disney World is bigger and it definitely has a better show at the end of the night. So I can’t decide!
This one was again a toss up between Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain, but Space Mountain won out because I think it has a more fun track and I like that it’s in the dark so you can’t see anything coming up. It definitely felt longer than the DisneyLand version which I appreciated!
This was the one park we got breakfast in because we heard that Gaston’s Tavern had great cinnamon rolls, and we weren’t disappointed. The cinnamon rolls were HUGE – they took up almost an entire regular-sized to go box. We ate them in line for Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train and everyone else was very jealous. Sadly I didn’t get a picture of it, but you can google it if you really want to see the size 🙂
Obviously, the best show in Magic Kingdom is the one on the castle at the end of the night – Happily Ever After. We were fortunate to get a great view of the castle, and I was really impressed with the show they put on! Not only were there fireworks, but they have projections covering the castle with different scenes and characters and a great soundtrack to go along with it. We actually watched the fireworks a second time the next day from the Polynesian Resort and it was still a great view!
Last but not least, Hollywood Studios! We got at this park bright and early around 7:30 am so we could be inside the park and get a shot at signing up for the Rise of the Resistance boarding group. Thankfully we got group 28, one of the earliest groups, because once we were in the line to get on the ride it broke and we had to come back. Obviously, Galaxy’s Edge was the coolest and it really made you feel like you were in Star Wars.
Hollywood Studios has some GREAT rides, so this one was super hard to choose. I love Tower of Terror which is also my favorite ride in California Adventure (nothing like those drops am I right)? And we had a blast getting to ride Rock’n Roller Coaster twice because the attendant was from Oregon and Matt happened to be wearing a Trail Blazers shirt so he let us go again. BUT I think the best ride was Rise of the Resistance. What I liked about the ride was that there was a smooth transition between the line and the ride with several interactive parts before you actually board the car. I loved that the car wasn’t on a track so it felt like the robot was really driving it. And the laser effects were awesome! Definitely worth getting to the park early to get a boarding group. Here’s a video if you want to get an idea of what it’s like!
In my opinion, Hollywood Studios had the best food out of the parks we visited. I liked the smoked Kaduu ribs in Docking Bay 7, but the best meal was the apple and gouda stuffed pork chops at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe, or “Mom’s” as our waitress “cousin Leanne” called it. And to top it off, we got chocolate malt shakes. Yum!
I didn’t know what to expect with Fantasmic! but it was such a great show! It combined water floats, fire, fireworks, and live characters. I liked that some older disney movies like Pocahantas and Sleeping Beauty were featured. And it was also really fun to have Mickey be a main component. It was a great end to our DisneyWorld experience!
Hope you enjoyed this Disney edition of Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend and stay healthy!