Day 3: Drunk Envy and Swollen Eyes (Epcot) 

For the first time since this trip started, we got off on the right foot! We had our FP+ Passes sorted out and we got there on time. Things were looking up! 

Family selfie in front of Spaceship Earth

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Epcot. Its a tragically underlooked Disney theme park, mostly because of the lack of kid attaractions. I guess you could say it’s the most “adult park” available at Disneyworld.

Epcot has one new ride since we’ve been here last. It’s Frozen themed, and sits in a small corner in the Norway section of the World Showcase. I’m assuming this addition is to remedy the lack of Disney brand integration, and to bring in a bit more traffic by the way of piquing childrens’ interest. 

We caught “Frozen Ever After” at a measly 30min. queue!

The World Showcase is an area in Epcot that features a collection of pseudo-countries representing the real deal in terms of shopping, cuisine, and replicas of famous landmarks. It usually opens at 11AM, while the rest of the park opens at 9AM, but given Frozen Ever After’s incredible popularity, they’ve opened Norway at the same time as the rest of Epcot for a while now. 

Fake Norway at The World Showcase

The ride itself was really good! I remember this ride pre-refurbishment, when it was a Vikings themed ride, and they translated it very well over to the Frozen theme. Amazingly, we were able to beat the crowds! By the time we got out the line queue had gone up to 45 minutes, and growing. The ride is definitely worth it though, for the kids especially. Its a nice touch of Magic Kingdom Disney in an otherwise adult centered park. 

In general, I think Epcot is the park in most need of updating. While I grew up watching these men and the movies they starred in, younger visitors probably wouldn’t be very invested in the characters.

My childhood had a lot more cooky scientists than I’d realized

They have been changing things up recently! A 4D showing of a Michael Jackson short film has been changed to a “Disney + Pixar short film festival”. 

“Feast” is my favorite of the three that we saw!

I’ve heard rumors that there’s plans to update a vast portion of the front end of the park, and I’ve even heard that there might be some additions to the World Showcase! (Brazil, anyone?) I really do think the change is needed, but if they ever do get rid of Ellen’s Energy Adventure I might actually cry. 

The entire first half of the day went well, up until 3PM when it started pissing it down with rain. We were forcibly exited out of the Test Track ride right before we got on our vehicles! It was so frustrating! 

Fish & Chips in Fake England

We cut our losses and instead of bothering to wait for the ride to re-open, we went straight for the World Showcase and had ourselves some Fish & Chips from Fake England. 

The World Showcase is beautiful, but I’ve never been able to properly see it. My family always skims through everything because they find it incredibly boring. 

This time, I convinced them to give it a shot! We spent around 30 minutes in each country, give or take, except Canada. Not because I hate Canada or anything, we just ended up running to Fake England for food. 

Fake Morocco

Everything in each country is so beautifully detailed, from the tiling on the floors to the props on the walls. Many of the countries had short film that took you in a short journey of the country’s most breath-taking landscapes. 

I had read a review saying that France’s video was the least interesting, but I have to disagree. It was beautiful! I suppose the music could be a big lulling if you’ve been in the heat all day, but I absolutely loved it. 

Fake Japan

The shops in Japan were my favorite, they had so many cool things that didn’t cost the usual “minimum $10” apparent disney rule.  

Snow White in Fake Germany

The World Showcase does try and involve traditional Disney in some way, they have characters in their native country doing meet & greets, like Snow White and Rapunzel in Germany, Alice and Mary Poppins in England, and Aurora in France. I think this is the best park to get photos with Princesses, the ambiance is really chilled out and there’s not so much queue as in Magic Kingdom. 

Fake China

Around 4PM, right after this photo was taken actually, my Dad started feeling a bit weird. He has taken a pain reliever earlier for his back and kept complaining about a headache. Suddenly I realized that his eye was swollen! 

I’m talking eyeball whites swollen around the pupil kind of swollen, it was terrifying! Thankfully we were in China around this time and we sat down for a Chinese acrobat show indoors. The AC seemed to help him a bit. We sat around for a bit and tried to figure out what had happened before we realized it was probably an allergic reaction to the pain medication. 

Unfortunately there was really nothing we could do at this point. Whenever he gets allergic reactions like this, he has to wait it out. And that’s what we did… in Italy. 

Fake Italy

We sat with some gelato and took it easy until the pressure in his right eye felt less intense. It was right around this time that I realized how many drunk people were around us. Apparently there’s a sort of bar-hopping-esqued activity that you can do to try alcohol from around the world. 

It looked like so much fun! But, unfortunately, I’m really not the type to drink around my parents. I want to come back to this park with friends and experience it, everyone looked like they were having so much fun! 

Fake Mexico

Near the end of our day, we stopped by a building near the Starbucks at Epcot called “Club Cool”. My little sister had read about it and wanted to stop by. 

It’s a Coca-Cola owned establishment that lets you try different sodas from around the world! My personal favorites were Zimbabwe, Brazil, and Japan. 

Soda flavors from around the world!

The Italy one was just horrible though, never again. 

The sun was starting to set and the Spaceship Earth Epcot ball was starting to illuminate, but we didn’t stay for the night show this time around. 

After three days we needed an early night, especially with my Dad’s eyeball swelling up. Back to the hote for sleep, and an early start for tomorrow again. 


Day 2: It’s Raining Wookies and Jawas (Hollywood Studios)

We’re on time today! 8:55AM, we’re at the gates ready to enter and run to the first destination. Only… it was already open? 

I know the park is open to Disney Resort guests early, but the park was letting everyone in! It was weird and threw us for a loop, but thankfully our usual first destination, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror only had a 10 minute wait. 

We did the Rock & Rollercoaster right after that. Yes, that’s both fast-paced attractions before 10:30AM. R&RC has a “Single Riders” line that my family always uses to cut our waiting time. We have to be separated, but I think the wait time is so worth it. Besides, you get to meet interesting new people this way! 

We did a quick round of the Toy Story ride and the Muppets area. I just recently found out that this park will be getting a fully fleshed-out Toy Story Land soon! They had concept art up for the area and it looks amazing! 

Slinky Dog is such an underrated Toy Story character, so I’m especially excited to see that Slinky themed rollercoaster! 

We had lunch today at a pizza place called “PizzaRizzo”. Its a Muppet themed restaraunt. This was previously a “Pizza Planet” restaurant modeled after the Toy Story restaurant of the same name. 

Because of construction for the Star Wars additions and Toy Story additions, this restaurant ends up being quite a bit out of the way for most people. It was awesome! Barely any people were around, and the food was great. We sat in a beautiful empty room and relished in the sweet sound of quiet that’s so rare in the hustle and bustle of an amusement park. 

But honestly, the weirdest thing I realized from visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios is that it’s basically Star Wars Land already. 

So many of the events and shows are Star Wars themed! They’ve even gotten rid of the giant Sorcerer Mickey’s hat in the center of the park to make way for a brand new Star Wars themed center stage. 

There’s an Imperial March Parade starring Captain Phasma, which was ridiculously cool to witness first hand. 

There’s troopers all over the park! My favorite change has been the refurbishment of the old Animation Courtyard into what’s now called the Launch Bay. 

There’s everything from Storm Troopers to Jawas, walking around and fully immersing you in the world of Star Wars. 

The Jawa accidentally scared me and it shuffled off! It was so cute, I felt really bad because it just wanted a picture and I might’ve scared them with my scream. The Jawa was going around meeting small children, though, it was really cute to watch. 

And the best pet of all, I GOT TO CUDDLE A WOOKIE. There was a Chewbacca Meet and Greet available with only a five minute wait. I obviously jumped at the chance! Who wouldn’t? Just look at him, super fluffy! 

He makes me look so short! Makes me wonder if the cast members who play Chewie are actually that height… who knows. 

This entire new addition to the park made me even more excited for the addition of Star Wars Land. 

There’s a brand new night show in Hollywood Studios as well, right after “Fantasmic!”, the Sorcerer Mickey show. But at around 6:30PM, it started pouring, and it just. Did not stop. 

By 8:00PM, we were sat in the Fantasmic! arena, best seats in the house, but the announcer said that there was a possibility of cancellation due to weather and … well we just assumed. We left early that day, and sure enough, we found out later that the show had been cancelled. 

Good thing we did leave early though, we got back to the hotel to find out that there was a leak in our room! The carpet near the beds was completely soaked in water. 
Apparently our lovely top-floor neighbors left water running and the pipes leaked on to our floor. We spent most of our “free evening” gathering all our belongings and moving to a different room. 

It was pretty inconvenient, mostly because the second room didn’t have beds as comfy as the ones we’d had in the first room. At least now we have a dry carpet and non-wet-smelling room. 

Epcot is tomorrow! Let’s hope nothing else goes wrong. 


Day 1: An Unsuaully Late Start (Magic Kingdom)

We woke up late.

Let me stress that this never happens. We’re usually out the door by 8:25, latest, standing at the gates by 8:50 with 10 minutes to spare. Not this time.


Magic Kingdom is already open. We’re barely entering through the parking entrance gates. I was looking forward to our usual magical ride through the one-track monorail, but this morning was about sacrifice. Our usual routine for the park was already on backlog, and this would add at least a 15-20 minute wait to each ride. We took a plain ol’ non-magical looking bus: the fastest route according to Disney staff members.

Once inside, we snaked our way around the thousands of people stopping for photo ops in Main Street U.S.A., paused for a second to admire the always beautiful Cinderella castle, and then immediately ran past Adventureland and straight to our usual first stop of the day: Frontierland.


We’ve done this route for a while. Start at Frontierland, head straight for Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to avoid lines at two very popular attractions. Usually, we get absolutely zero line for either of these, but with our 30 minute backlog, we had to wait around 25 minutes at each attraction.

The mornings in Florida are so humid, it looked like I’d already ridden Splash Mountain before I even stepped foot in the boat. I was sweating so much, it was insane. 


Next stop: The Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square. This has always been a long-time favorite of mine, I’m actually quite fond of that one Eddie Murphy movie that most people pretend doesn’t exist. The “time wait” claimed it was about 35 minutes, but in reality ended up being around 17 minutes in total.

Unfortunately the ride somehow managed to break down a total of three times while we rode, each time for a few seconds. The entire situation was made hilarious by an older 20-something year old girl five carts down who would absolutely lose her shit every time the ride stopped. Made my day.

I was pleased that the Hall of Presidents was closed for refurbishment. I wasn’t going to sit through an entire 20 minutes listening to Trompas try and deliver a speech. I read that there was a lot of drama involved in his induction into the Hall of Presidents so it’ll probably be a while before he’s included.


Our first FP+ of the day: Little Mermaid’s Grotto. The ride itself was nice, a new classic. Had the same feel as the old character rides in Fantasyland. However, I do not think the FP+ was necessary for this ride. We could’ve waited a measly 15 minutes of queue and saved ourselves the FP+ for another ride.

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After a quick trip to It’s A Small World, we skipped everything else in this part of the park to head for Space Mountain in Tomorrowland. We had a FastPass for this ride! It was awesome. Everyone else stared at us while we skipped 60 minutes of wait time. It felt like in the films, when everyone is in line for the club and a really cool girl skips the line at the front. I was that cool girl. Hell yeah!


We did a few more rides in the same area, like Stitch’s Great Escape and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, before heading to the next FP+: Buzz Lightyear Star Command. I love this ride! It’s so much fun competing against my sister. I totally won this time around! She denies it, but she’s just being a sore loser.


Quick lunch at a place called Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. It’s our usual eating spot. This year it was under construction, which is exciting! I’ve been saying it needs a bit of a facelift for years. Thankfully we were still able to eat there. It’s one of the cheapest meal options in Magic Kingdom. We ordered a normal burger and scarfed it down.


So there’s a new ride in Fantasyland called the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s a small kid roller-coaster type ride, based around Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This ride is such a phenomenon right now let me tell you. The queue for this was around 110 minutes long… and FP+ tickets were sold out for it all day. We decided to bite the bullet and do the nearly two hour ride… clearly a mistake was made.

Forty minutes into the line, a nice lady comes on the speaker to let us know that the ride is closed indefinitely due to lightening in the surrounding area. It was extremely disappointing. We considered staying in line, but ended up deciding that the ride wouldn’t be worth it in the end.

Maybe I’ll ride it next time around that I make my way to Disney. (Also, next time I’ll know about the new FP+ system a bit more, so I’m sure I could make it work)


Rode a few more rides at Fantasyland, including Peter Pan’s Flight (which we had FP+ for), The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, and Mickey’s PhilharMagic. We also managed to stumble upon the best water fountain in the park! It tasted amazing? Which might be weird to say about a water fountain, but it honestly did! Plus it was amazingly cold and refreshing. 

A quick online search claims that the water has Pixie Dust in it. Who am I to doubt the magic of Disney? 

Not long after, we got hit by the usual Florida rain, and took cover in the few rides we had left, like Carousel of Progress and the Peoplemover. 


Our last FP+ was cancelled because of the rain (Tomorrowland Speedway), and we were given a Multiexperience Pass that we could use to hop the line at almost any ride in the park! Except that Dwarfs ride, obviously. 

We headed to Adventureland to do everything we had skipped in the morning, and used our fancy “sorry-for-cancelling-your-FP” pass to ride Pirates of the Caribbean 

We got stuck on this ride a few years ago. They had to call the Mickey Mouse Fire Department, it was pretty awesome. We didn’t get stuck this time but the ride was still great. They’re refurbishing it in a few years, so this will probably be the last time I see the “wench-selling” scene. Can’t wait to see what they’ll do with it! 


Rode Jungle Safari! I heard that there’s a film in the works based on this ride and I’m so excited! Honestly, the enjoyment of this ride completely depends on how funny your Skipper is. Our Skipper KILLED it. If you follow me on Snapchat, you would’ve seen his best moments. He was the funniest Skipper I’ve ever had on that ride and I loved him for it.


Somehow, we ended up forgetting that the night show requires at least an hour of waiting to get a good spot. Today was full of rookie mistakes, honestly. 

We ended up at the very back, near Main Street USA. Which was disappointing at first, but the fireworks were spectacular 


My favorite part of a day at Magic Kingdom is Main Street USA at nighttime. It lights up with hundreds of fairy lights and it makes everything look ten times more magical, even after the castle firework show. 

But it was the end of the night, and it was time to go home. We hitched a ride on the Ferryboat and caught a surprise mini-electric parade on the water! It was such a nice end to an otherwise hectic day. 

Time to sleep and do it all over again tomorrow. Biggest park done, the rest should be easy peasy. Should.


How To Use FastPass+ In Magic Kingom

I’ll be honest here. I’m writing the first draft of this blog post on a nearly two-hour queue for a ride. Which is very unlike us, considering we have a hard-set curated-over-the-years routine on how to tackle this mammoth of an amusement park. Two things set us back this year, that we hadn’t anticipated: 1. the new FastPass+ system, and 2. we woke up late.

This post might be a long one, so buckle in and get ready for the tips and learn from my past (and current!) mistakes.

Disclaimer: This advice is based on my own experiences, and on the assumption that the park tickets are bought in advance. This also skips through most “kids rides” and character meet and greets, although you can always do those in between my recs! There’s plenty of time, time that I spent on short 20-30 minute queues for rides, that you could use for character meet and greets! This advice is also based mostly on Magic Kingdom, but I will post info for the other three parks after I’ve gone in with trial and error for the next three days.

First off, if you’re not aware what the FastPass system is, it’s basically a “fast lane” in the queue for rides. You choose a ride, at a specific time, and you’re allowed entry in the priority line for the span of an hour (you’re only allowed in once!) It was a really cool system that, beforehand, required you to go to kiosks and get printed tickets. With the new system, everything is electronic! Which brings me to my first advice:

Make Early FastPass+ Reservations


If you and your party are staying at a Disney resort you’re allowed to pick three FastPass+ ride selections 60 days in advance! If you’re not staying in a Disney resort, you get to pick three selections 30 days in advance.

We, stupidly, did not think this was necessary. We’ve gone many times and always got our FastPass tickets in kiosks at the park! Why would we need to get them so far in advance? This was, as you can tell, a mistake.

I can now say, with a matter of urgency, book your tickets early, and on your 60 or 30 day mark, wake up at 7 in the morning to make ride selections!!

New and popular rides sell out very quickly, and the best way to secure the best FastPass+ selections is to choose early. I’ll get to my selection reccomendations later, but just to double stress: if its 30/60 days before (depending on your hotel choice) please make early reservations. 

Get The App Immediately

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The new FastPass+ system works so much better if you have it at hand. Here’s a couple things you can do with the app:

  •  You can set up your travel party’s information and have quick access to add and change FastPass+ selections.
  • You can add your desired times for parades and scheduled shows to make an itinerary.
  • It is equipped with a map that can direct you to any show, attraction, restroom, or gift shop that you want.
  • The map is also equipped with real-time queue times for every attraction in Disney World! This is such a bonus, you don’t have to walk across the park only to find that the ride you want to get on has a 60 minute wait.

Your life will just be easier with the app, trust me. I also recommend putting touch id for access to this app instead of relying on the password to enter, it’ll make accessing your FastPass+ information so much easier.

FastPass+ Early Reservation Recommendations:

There are so many options for FastPass+ ride selections at so many different time options, it’s really easy to get overwhelemed. This is a list of the rides in Magic Kingdom that I think are most important to get FastPass+ tickets for! Remember that this can be done on the Disney website or app!

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Buzz Lightyear Star Command

Three of these can be selected prior to your day in the park, one can be chosen the day of. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train sells out EXTREMELY quickly, so I would say that should be your first priority on the pre-selections.

Peter Pan averages at a wait time of about 70-90 minutes during heavy hours, Space Mountain varies from 100-140 minutes. Buzz Lightyear is less of a wait, 45-60 minute wait, but it is worth getting a fast pass for this!

FastPass+ Time Selections

As for choice times, your golden window is 11AM to 4PM. That’s the best times to select your early choices! Important things to remember: your FassPass+ Selections cannot overlap! For example: if you select a FastPass+ for 11AM, you will be barred from choosing any other FastPass+ from 11AM to 12PM, because each FastPass+ gives you a window of an hour to get to your selected ride.

It would be ideal to select “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” at around 11AM, “Space Mountain” at around 12AM, and “Peter Pan” around 4PM, and getting Buzz Lightyear while in park for any time between 1PM and 3PM.

I will be making a separate post on how we managed our time in Magic Kingdom, because it is the hardest park to fit into one day, but I figured a post on how the new FastPass system works would be helpful.

Once you use up your preselected FassPass+ selections and the single in-park selection you made, you are able to choose FastPass+ tickets, one at a time. At this point you can get FastPass+ tickets for rides like the Tomorrowland Speedway, The Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean, or if you want, the various Character Meet & Greet Options in Fantasyland.

Barter With The FastPass+ Kiosk & App

Bit of a tip, if the app is showing you a selection at 11:35 and you want to get it at 11:20, exit out and try again! Or, alternatively, get the 11:35 selection and then click the Modify button and refresh! Usually you can get FP+ selection options for ten or even twenty minutes earlier than the first option that became available to you! Remember, you can make modifications on your app, so you can barter with the FP+ generator while in line for any other ride.

That’s all I have for you for now. Everyone’s asleep, so I’m gonna go join them. Tomorrow will be an actual vacation post with photos and stories! 🙂

Good night all!

Shopping Bucket List: Disney Springs

I’ve been to Downtown Disney, or “Disney Springs” as it’s called now, many times throughout my childhood. It’s changed drastically since I was little, from simple shop additions to a complete revamp of the area. The biggest change this time around comes from my end: I have a job. Which means I can actually shop! Can you tell I’m excited? Because I am. Here’s my top 7 shops I want to take a peek at, hopefully tonight.

anthropologie1. Anthropologie – I’ve only been able to step foot into an Anthropologie once, and I was dead skint broke at the time, it was horrid. I wanted so many things! I really want to go in to see everything they have, although it’s going to suck being limited by airline weight on the trip back. I want a candle! I’ll just have to take a sniff around and order the one I like online.


2. Free People – For all the reasons in Anthropologie, basically. You don’t understand the amount of longing I had for this one pair of boots on the FP website, but I was broke at the time and now they’re completely sold out. I’ll have a look round and try things on for later purchase, hopefully some nice boots. 🙂


3. Kiehl’s Since 1851 – I’ve never been in a Kiehl’s store. That’s illegal. Honestly, I my wishlist has about five Kiehl’s products so I might pop in for a cheeky purchase or two. I can’t wait for this!


4. Zara – I’m not in too much of a hurry to get in here, I’ve been in Zara before. But the we’ll be getting a Zara in my home town soon! I mostly want to go in and show my mom the clothes that they sell and how pretty everything is, so that she’s a bit more understanding when I go crazy at the store opening.


5. Basin – They have cute Mickey themed soaps! I don’t know how likely it is that I’ll be buying any, but I definitely want to go in and look around (smell around?)


6. Sugarboo & Co. – I’m really looking forward to this one. The site says that they specialize in the “whimsical” and they have so many cute looking uplifting prints! I’m always on the lookout for cute things for my room, so this is a must-go-to store.


7. Disney’s Days of Christmas – Because I’m a Christmas person who doesn’t wait until December to find the perfect yearly Christmas ornament. I’ve never bought one here before but I’ve always wanted to!

I’ll definitely be going to the usual World of Disney store and such, but there’s so many new things to look at, I wonder if we’ll even have the time. Our flight might be a bit delayed, so if we don’t go tonight, we’ll go at some point during the week. Stick around for my vacation posts this week! And you can also follow my instagram and snapchat for more photos and footage!

If the air balloon is up and running, you can bet your ass I’ll be hitching a ride on that!

Well, we’re about ready to pack up all our bags and head to the airport. Hope you all are having a lovely Monday! If you’ve been to Disney Springs, please let me know your favorite shops so I can have a peek in this week! 🙂