Hello, everybody. I went to Disney World the weekend before Thanksgiving and I’m finally getting around to posting a recap the weekend before Valentines Day.
If that’s not procrastination, I don’t know what is.
I have valid excuses: I was in another country for a month without internet and started college classes when I came back, but I really should’ve gotten this up sooner.
The good thing is that I outlined this right after the trip, so the time stamps in the Recap are correct (even though they’re rounded to the nearest tenth). Today, I’m recapping my first day at Disney, which was November 18, 2017. My friend Kat and I went to Magic Kingdom and Epcot that day. I hope you enjoy.
6:30 AM//Wake Up + Get Ready
Waking up that early wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be considering the day before. I had flown in from Atlanta, the family I was staying with took me to the Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Sea Life, and we had dinner with another set of family down there. It was a fun and busy night. I got to hang out with my cousins, but we didn’t get home until about 11:30 PM and I needed to take a shower.
I set my alarm for 6:30 knowing I probably would need some time to get out of bed, but I managed fine. My friend Kat said that she was going to pick me up at 7:15, so I gave myself 30 minutes to get ready and 10 minutes to pack since I was staying at her apartment that night.
Our first day of the trip happened to be on Dapper Day, which is a semiannual event at Disney where guests are to dress up. It’s not a requirement, but many people go all out for it. One of my aunts gave me a vintage-inspired purple dress for Eid that I hadn’t worn yet, so it seemed like a good choice for the event.
After getting ready, I packed up my bag and went downstairs to wait for Kat.
7:15 AM//Kat Picked Me Up
After Kat picked me up we hugged and she told me all about her time at the Disney College Program. We were on our way to one of the apartment complexes to pick up her friend Maddie, who was having breakfast with us. After we picked her up, we all headed to Magic Kingdom.
8:00 AM//Arrive At Magic Kingdom
We parked at Magic Kingdom and headed to the trollies to take us to the ferry. If you didn’t know, in order to get to Magic Kingdom, you have to cross a lake on a boat. If you stay at a Disney Resort, you can take the shuttle buses from the hotel, but if you don’t, you have to cross the lake.
When we walked to the entrance, we saw cast members handing out buttons to pin on our shirts. I was planning on getting a Birthday pin since my 20th birthday was less than a week away, but I saw that they were handing out Mickey’s Birthday pins to everyone walking in. Our first day at Disney just so happened to be Mickey’s birthday. How cool!
So I grabbed my birthday pin and wrote “20” on it and also wore the “Mickey’s birthday” pin.
8:30 AM//Breakfast At The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace is the restaurant where you can meet Winnie The Pooh and his friends. I’m not that into character meet-and-greets, but I love Winnie the Pooh. I watched it all the time as a kid and my brother watches it on repeat, so I know almost all the songs.
Kat got a reservation for 8:30 AM. I’ve been to Disney quite a few times (I think the exact number is six, but don’t hold me to that), but have never actually done any of the Disney dining experiences. I was really excited.
The food was delicious. It was a buffet, so we were able to go back for seconds. I sometimes crave the salmon I ate there because it was so good. We loaded up our plates with hashbrowns, donuts, pastries, etc. I have a sweet tooth, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. (I also can’t complain about the cubed cheeses)
While we were eating, Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eyore circled around the restaurant meeting everyone at every table. They would even do a parade with all the kids every thirty minutes. It was so cute!
We had great seats too. Our table was by a window with a great view of Cinderella’s Castle.
Before we left, the waiter came with a cupcake and Kat and Maddie sang happy birthday to me. I was given a Disney card with the Winnie the Pooh characters’ autographs. I loved it. I had gotten the character’s autographs on notecards to give to Mysoon (my brother with autism who loves Winnie the Pooh), but I gave the notecards to Maddie, who was happy to have them and gave the birthday card to Mysoon.
Kat wouldn’t let me pay for the meal. She said it was my birthday present. That was so kind of her and was definitely the best birthday gift ever!
After eating, we said goodbye to Maddie, who was going to take a nap before her next shift and headed to the castle.
9:30//Castle Picture + Connect Magic Band To Ticket
Once we got to the castle, I set up my camera and handed it to an official Disney photographer (Yes, that’s a thing). We took the iconic Cinderella’s Castle photo that everyone takes, then headed to the front of the park.
My tickets to Disney were free because Kat got guest passes through her job (my ticket would only work if she was with me). After setting up my tickets, she got two access cards for me.
There are two ways to use Disney tickets: by using the key card or a Magic Band. A Magic Band is a bracelet used at Disney to connect fast passes, dinner reservations, hotel key cards, etc. It makes life a lot easier, but you either have to buy one or get provided one at a Disney hotel.
My family and I stayed at a Disney resort in 2015 with my cousins, so I already had a Magic Band. I was able to use the same one for our trip in 2016, so I was sure it would work for this one. The woman who set it up was concerned that the battery would run out because the battery is only supposed to last two years, but I think that’s just a scheme to get people to pay more money because I didn’t have any problems with the one I had all weekend.
10:00 AM//Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor (+ Incredibles 2 Trailer)
We headed to Tomorrowland after that. Since we were both stuffed with food, we agreed that getting on a roller coaster was a bad idea. We headed to the Monstr’s Inc Laugh Floor because the line wasn’t too bad and it’s a funny show.
There needs to be a little build up for the next part. The Incredibles is my absolute favorite Pixar movie and I knew that the trailer would come out a few weeks before the Coco premiere, so I turned the notification on for the Pixar YouTube account weeks before.
(You don’t know how many times I checked my phone in disappointment every time something came up.)
I don’t remember my reaction when the notification came up on my phone (I may have squealed or folded in on myself in excitement.) I just remember clicking the button and tapping Kat frantically. I was the third view. I’m very proud of that fact.
The line into the show moved pretty quickly after that. The Monster Inc. show was hilarious as always. I’ve watched it many times and it’s still funny.
10:30 AM//Various Rides & Shows In Tomorrow Land, Fantasy Land, And Frontier Land
We spent the next few hours wandering around the park. We walked from Tomorrowland to Fantasy Land and ended in Frontier Land before waiting for the parade. It was a lot of fun. We rode Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel, Mickey’s Philharmagic (which is a highly underrated show), The Carousel of Progress… we managed to do a lot in those few hours considering the large crowds (It was the Saturday before Thanksgiving.)
There was this one moment I remember sitting in the Country Bears show, which is an old an pretty lame show if you’ve ever seen it, but we were passing time waiting for the parade. It struck me that I was living in a moment I had dreamed of years ago. Kat and I had talked about going to Disney World together many times in high school and we actually made it happen. I can’t describe that feeling to you. I was on a high the whole weekend because it truly felt like I was living my life on purpose.
Later on, I said to Kat, “We’re so lucky we get to be here and do this,” because we truly were. Sure it took a lot of work, but I felt so grateful.
2:30 PM//Grab Ice Cream And Wait For Parade
We found a really good spot to watch the parade. It was pretty hot by that point in the day, so I bought us both ice cream and water. We sat down and enjoyed them while waiting. We met a couple who did a human cosplay version of Chip and Dale. They were adorable!
3:00 PM//Festival Of Fantasy Parade
Finally, the best parade started. I love all the floats and dances and characters in this parade. Disney really goes all out. The giant dragon float that Prince Phillip fights actually breathes fire. Real fire! It’s insane.
3:30 PM//Take Monorail To Epcot
This was my first time riding the Monorail (I think. I don’t remember riding it as a kid.) There’s a train line from Epcot to Magic Kingdom, so it made sense for us to do those two parks in one day instead of going to either of the other two. It was much faster than the bus. It also gave us a fun view of Epcot before dropping us off at the station.
This is the ride inside the big “Golf Ball” at Epcot. There was a pretty short waiting time and it’s a really great ride. You basically ride through the history of the Universe. It’s a lot of fun, but while we were riding, there were a bunch of malfunctions, so the ride would stop due to technical difficulties. I loved it when it stopped while we were going backward and we were looking up at the “stars” (Kat was scared, but I was enjoying it.) It doesn’t go very fast (it’s not a roller coaster), but I think it’s worth the wait because the ride lasts a long time.
5:00 PM//Soarin’ Around The World
This is my favorite ride at Epcot. The last time I rode it was in 2015, so I hadn’t seen the renovations yet. The original ride showed landmarks in California, but the new one showed famous landmarks around the world. It was breathtaking.
I had never noticed that the actor who plays Lemony Snicket in A Series Of Unfortunate Events was the speaker in the safety video before. And then I realized that the same actor plays Kronk in An Emperor’s New Groove. It won’t be the same watching them anymore after realizing that connection.
5:30 PM//Pixar Short Film Festival
I love Pixar Short Films (who doesn’t?). Kat had gotten a fast pass for this show earlier, so we headed inside. Basically, Epcot chooses three Pixar Shorts to show in 4-D. The day we went, the featured shorts were “Piper,” “Feast,” and “Get A Horse.” I found an outlet to the side to charge my phone and we laughed our way through the 4-D showing.
On our way out of the theatre, there was a pin trading station. I traded for a Meeko (the raccoon from Pocahontas) pin.
I had never ridden this before. You have to choose three fast passes (1 first tier and 2 second tier attractions), so we chose this one. It’s really cute. Possibly seizure inducing.
On our way to the World Showcase, we found a lake where we could see all the different Pavillions. Kat, who comes to Disney multiple times a year, said that she had never seen this place before. We did a little photoshoot while we were there. I’m proud of how well the photos turned out because it was almost pitch black out there. They are brighter than the actual lighting I was working with.
6:45 PM//World Showcase
We surprisingly made it through the entire World Showcase before we had to leave. We started in the Canada Pavillion then worked our way to Mexico. We saw Belly Dancers in “Morocco” and the coolest Chinese acrobat show. It was wonderful to walk through Epcot at night. I didn’t take many photos because I was enjoying the moment and it was way too dark to get good ones.
8:00 PM//Eat Dinner
We grabbed dinner at the Mexico Pavillion. I got cheese empanadas and Kat got Nachos. We headed over to Future World to find a spot to sit. We ate at some couches while I charged my phone (I was low on battery because I kept skyping with my mom and sending pictures from my camera through my phone)
I put my camera on a table and turned on a timer to take the picture below.
The things I do for you guys.
8:30 PM//Test Track
After eating, we saw on the “My Disney Experience” app that there was only a 25 minute wait time for Test Track. That’s almost unheard of! So we speeded on over to ride the roller coaster before heading back to Magic Kingdom for the Happily Ever After show (and to get to the car).
Test Track was so fun and gave me the adrenaline rush to get through the rest of the night (I woke up at 6:30 AM remember)
9:00 PM//Head Back To Magic Kingdom
After Test Track, we went to the Monorail to head back to Magic Kindom.
9:30 PM//The Haunted Mansion Ride
The first ride we went on was The Haunted Mansion. It was on my list of rides I wanted to try that trip because I had never ridden it before. It was really cool. The effects were awesome.
10:00 PM//Happily Ever After Fireworks Show
Kat and I snuck into one of the reserved areas for watching the show. We had really good seats, but I think that Disney put up too many trees in awkward places for Christmas because they obstructed our view a bit.
This was my first time watching this fireworks show and it did not disappoint. I liked it far more than Wishes and I loved that it included more obscure Disney movies like The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I give it five stars. It was wonderful.
10:20 PM//Rides + Wander Around Magic Kingdom
After Happily Ever After, Kat and I wandered around Magic Kingdom for a bit. We rode the Barnstormer roller coaster because it was our last Fast Pass and I bought my souvenir for the trip (which was a big stitch stuffed animal). I was freaking out a bit because something happened to my memory card and I couldn’t take any pictures or access the ones I had taken that day. (I had to pay a lot of money to recover them when I got home, so that sucked.)
It was nice walking around Magic Kingdom after the fireworks because most people were leaving the parks. It was still really crowded despite that because it was the first day of a holiday weekend, but it was still nice.
11:00 PM//Arrive At Kat’s Apartment
Kat’s apartment was near Disney Property, so it didn’t take long to drive there. It took longer to walk to the ferry, ride across the lake, take the trollies to the parking lot area, and find our car than it did to take home. It was a very efficient process, so that wasn’t so bad.
When we got to the apartment, we changed and went to bed exhausted, setting alarms for the next day (Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom)
Well, that was part 1 of my Disney Trip. I hope you enjoyed. Stay tuned for Part 2.
What is your favorite Disney Park? What’s your favorite ride or show?