We woke up at 5AM and packed:
- A cooler with contact solution so it wouldn’t overheat in the car,
- A suitcase with pajamas and a change of clothes, and
- A backpack with snacks, water, and our Annual Disney passes.
Yes, we have annual Disney passes.
I feel guilty even writing that sentence because it is such a luxury to be able to pop over to Disney World on a Saturday. It’s kind of trade off — we don’t get to live close to our friends and families, but for $300 – the same price as ONE flight back to Virginia or Pennsylvania – we can be Annual Disney World Passholders that allows us to visit Disney 365 days a year.
It includes free parking and in-park discounts.
We’ll usually drive 4 hours to Disney, spend the whole day there, and drive 4 hours back that night. It’s crazy, but by doing this and bringing our own snacks, our day trips are CHEAP.
We’ve been spoiled lately, though.
We’ve had friends with business trips in Orlando and family members who love Disney as much as we do. When they make the trip down and offer us a place to spend the night, we always feel GIDDY like we’re going on a once in a lifetime vacation on a few week’s notice.
This time, we decided to spoil ourselves and get a hotel room. We split the day between two parks: Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Epcot is in the middle of the Flower and Garden festival which is by far my favorite time of the year.
Oh, the flowers. We parked at the ticket and transportation center, and took the monorail over to Epcot. I snapped this picture as we were driving by.
Our first stop of the morning was in The Land: home of Soarin’! I just love all of the details like these hot air balloons swelling toward the ceiling:
I ogled all of of the epic flower displays:
It was HOT out for April, so we stayed cool by tasting some refreshing soda samples from around the world. My favorite is from Japan: VegitaBeta. It’s non-carbonated, tastes like juice, and is full of vitamins.
And then we were off to the World Showcase!
Walking through the World Showcase gives you a taste of different countries from around the world. All of the architecture, restaurants, music, performances, and gifts are from a particular country. While it’s easy to criticize the “cultural experiences” for being over-simplified, it’s pretty impressive for a theme park. Most of the restaurant servers are students from those countries, so it’s fun to talk to them about their experiences.
I’ll write a whole post about the incredible food and drinks that we sampled from each country, but for now, just focus on the magical-ness of Disney creatures in the form of flowers and leaves.
Disney is promoting the Muppets most wanted movie, so you could find these posters all over. They were in different languages depending on which country they were posted in 🙂
Oh, and England had a tea tour! I absolutely loved how the types of tea leaves were growing inside of giant tea cups.
After a full day in Epcot, we hopped on the monorail again and headed over to the Magic Kingdom.
Bret programmed our FastPasses using the Disney app on his phone. With a touch of a button, the fast passes were automatically loaded onto our Disney Bands. I had a Disney Band on my right hand and my FitBit tracker on my left hand. I felt pretty cool with all my wearable technology until I spotted some people wearing Google Glass! So cool.
On our way over to use our Thunder Mountain fast pass, we stopped to watch a few logs plunge down Splash Mountain. After watching a couple, we realized the ride had stopped… and one log was stopped at the very top!
Don’t worry, they made it down safely. Bret and I are both secretly afraid of Splash Mountain. We rode Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and the PeopleMover. I saw some kids having a dance party with the cast of the Incredibles. They did the Cupid Shuffle and danced to, “What Does the Fox Say?”! So fun.
Bret and I shared a delicious chocolate covered pineapple skewer and walked around the park enjoying the perfect evening weather. We considered sticking around for the parade, but around 9:00PM, I felt like I was going to pass out from exhaustion. We hopped on one last monorail back to the Ticket and Transportation center, and even though the monorail was pretty full, we were the ONLY people in our monorail car.
This was hilarious to me. I was also exhausted.
Bret drove us to our hotel – and I was so thankful we didn’t have to drive 4 hours back to Tallahassee. We had a restful night, enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the morning, and drove back home to spend the afternoon on the porch with our sweet cats.
It was a wonderful, happy weekend. I never want to take our Florida life for-granted. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah 🙂