6 TV Shows I Want To Catch Up On

I gave up watching television around two months into my new teaching job last year, and I think it’s around time that I start catching up on all the shows I used to watch before things got kind of haywire with time and scheduling.

Note: I’m not implying any of these are good shows. In fact, I know that at least one of these has actually gotten so bad in terms of storyline that it’s a bit ridiculous that I’m still watching. But hey, old habits die hard don’t they?

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1. The Walking Dead

Last Episode I Saw: Season 3, Episode 3 “The Cell
Things were just heating up with Neegan and his crew, and I know the comics have some intense things going on with Carl soon. I’m a die-hard Daryl fan (because who doesn’t love being a cliche) so I’m mostly gonna go back and watch to see Daryl live and survive. Also to see Michonne and Rick be cute together because why the hell not.

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2. Bates Motel

Last Episode I Saw: Season 5, Episode 1 “Dark Paradise
I actually watched season 4 of Bates during winter break, and had to stop once I hit season 5 because school was starting up again. I’ve really been looking forward to this season! I know Rihanna guest stars, so I’m really excited to see that happen on screen.

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3. Supernatural

Last Episode I Saw: Season 12, Episode 3 “The Foundry
This is one of those shows that I know isn’t so great, but it’s just been stuck on me for so long that I have to see it through to the bitter end. Also, my family is really into it and I’d like to join in on the weekly pizza supernatural watch parties again. Interested in catching up with the hopes that the next season might be their last? Maybe? Who knows.

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4. Teen Wolf

Last Episode I Saw: Season 5, Episode 20 “Apotheosis
Teen Wolf isn’t my usual cup of tea, but my friends are really into it so we enjoy watch parties of the show. I’m about half a season behind, and I hear it’s very Stiles oriented which is always good because Dylan O’Brien is cute. New season starts soon, so I might make this one a priority so I can watch along with the rest of the world.

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5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Last Episode I Saw: Season 2, Episode 13 “Kimmy Finds Her Mom!
This series is hilarious! If you haven’t given it a try then I’d highly recommend it! The only reason I’m not caught up on this show is because I didn’t even know a new season had premiered already. It’s a Netflix original, so I guess it wouldn’t have been promoted anywhere on actual television. I can’t wait to experience more glorious Titus Andromedon.

6. Shameless

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Last Episode I Saw: Season 6, Episode 12 “Familia Supra Gallegorious Omnia!
I was pretty devastated by spoilers I’d seen from season 7, so I never really made the jump into starting it. I might have a go at it, just to find some kind of closure, but I’m not in any hurry to get to a particular episode to be honest.

That’s about it! I’m hoping to have more time for television this year considering I’m a bit more grounded in what I’m doing job-wise. What television shows are you watching right now? I’m always on the look-out for new shows to look into.

xx
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Day 6: Jump Scares & Sore Feet (Islands of Adventure) 

The truth is in the name, Islands of Adventure always proves to be some kind of adventure or another. We went in with the energy of someone who knows they’re in the last leg of a race. That is, with great enthusiasm only barely covering the masked pain. 

I checked our Health vitals on my phone, and we’d been basically covering 8.5 miles a day. And that’s considering my phone was in a locker for a good portion of time. 

Once we entered (on time, I might add), we headed straight to the new attraction in town. 

Skull Island


As of now, Skull Island only has one attraction: The Reign of Kong. Its a pretty great ride! There’s 3D goggles involved, and you get to ride an “expedition vehicle” (which basically looks like a huge jeep). 

The 3D effects are quite impressive and there’s also some really cool animatronics involved near the end. 

My only complaints about it were: 1. I hate giant worms, 2. The Skull Island natives scared the shit out of me, and 3. Did I mention I hate giant worms? 


If you hate giant worms like I do, I’d recommend sitting on the far left side of the tram, where I thankfully happened to sit. As for the natives, the people at Universal decided it would be a good idea to hide scare actors in the queue. As you’re walking through the darkness, at any moment a “Skull Island Native” could jump out and scare you. 

I may or may not have let out a blood-curdling scream. I got really scared ok! 

Jurassic Park

I love this area, its such a classic. The Jurassic Park River Adventure is always one of my favorites, although this time around we kept getting told off for taking pictures while the ride was in motion? 

 

 I really wouldn’t have a problem with this, but their only rule had been no flash photography, beforehand. Our phones were in a plastic protector! Nothing would’ve happened. It kind of harshed my mood while on the ride, but it was still lots of fun like always. 


My favorite newish attraction in this area is the Raptor Encounter, where you can meet with a raptor trainer who lets you pose for photos with an animatronic velociraptor. 

I knew that it was an animatronic but somehow it was still scary? The raptor reacts in real time to anything you do and the noises are so lifelike! For a moment I was genuinely terrified. 

Seuss Landing


This area is great for kids! As a teacher I kind of went wild buying things in this area, because, well, finding good Dr. Seuss merch is nearly impossible. 

All the rides are geared towards children in this area, so it would be a great destination for little ones. 

The Lost Continent

 This area used to be a lot bigger before the integration of the Harry Potter area, so The Lost Continent now boasts a total of two attractions: The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad (a live stunt show) and Poseidon’s Fury (a walk-through show). 

Both of these are great but haven’t been updated in a very long time. I’d say Poseidon’s Fury is my favorite of these two, just because the effects are super cool. 

Marvel Superhero Island

 

A part of me loves seeing the old comic book heroes come to life in this area of the park. There’s something very nostalgic about the cheesy, old-fashioned, original superhero costumes that makes me happy. 

The Hulk is the must-ride roller coaster in the park, its so good! Fast and thrilling, the coaster never stops being a favorite. 

We also happened to eat in this area, we did lunch at Captain America’s Diner, where sure enough, Captain America was hanging out for photo ops. 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hosmeade

The crowning glory! Who doesn’t love seeing the Hogwarts castle in the distance? It made me all kinds of emotional. 


The Forbidden Journey is the ride inside of the castle. We did the whole queue despite single rider being available because, well we wanted to walk through the whole castle! 

I think its possible to do the walk through without having to do the ride, but I love the ride so I didn’t actually bother asking. 


After a quick ride in the Twiwizard Tournament Dueling Dragons, we sat for a quick frozen butterbeer. It did wonders to combat the Florida humidity. 


We did a bit of shopping and saw the Twiwizard Tournament Pep Rally, where you get to see Drunstrang and Beauxbaton students perform on stage, much like their intro in Goblet of Fire. 


Like I said before, I really do love the performances over in Diagon Alley much more, but both of the ones in Hogsmeade are still worth a look. The second performance is the Hogwarts School Choir performing various acapella songs, complete with frogs! 


It just so happened to be International Ice Cream Day on the day we were in Hogsmeade, so I nipped in to The Three Broomsticks to get a bit of ice cream to celebrate. I got Strawberries and Peanut Butter while my little sister opted for a Butterbeer Ice Cream. I liked mine but I really wish I had gotten the Butterbeer flavored one, it was delicious. 

The biggest issue with Hogsmeade is space. While it is technically rather big, it always feels so cramped with space! There’s never anywhere to sit. Thankfully, this year I discovered a bit of a hidden nook! 


Next to the Girl’s Restroom, where Moaning Mrytle lives, there’s a small passageway that leads to the back of the Hog’s Head. 


Tables galore! And with wonderful shade no less. We spent a good half hour here. This seating area has wonderful views of the lake and of Hogwarts! It seems like most people don’t know about it because it was practically empty. 

I love that I can still find secrets at Hogwarts, no matter how many times I’ve visited. 

We called it quits rather early. Not only we’re our feet insanely sore and bruised up from so much walking, but my inner thighs had a rash from so much rubbing together. Thick thigh girl problems, eh?

Either way we were able to finish this park surprisingly early, considering how long it took us to finish Universal the day before. Not that I’m complaining, I needed a rest. 

xx

Day 4: The World Of Pandora (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) 


I could pretend to write a long post about everything in Animal Kingdom. I could talk about how the animal exhibits are beautiful and how the musicals are worth watching. I could talk about the awesome rollercoaster thrill that is Expedition Everest and how amazing all the usual attractions are, but I’d just be beating around the bush. 


The new gem of Animal Kingdom is Pandora. Without a doubt. It is quite honestly the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced, and I’m not even a huge Avatar fan! 

Obviously, being the new attraction, this area was destined to be packed with people. When we arrived at the park, one of the two rides already had a 60 minute wait! 


We decided to do the 20 minute line for the Na’vi River Journey first. This is a beautiful boat ride taking you through the beauty of Na’vi nature. Not only is it beautiful, but I have to say the animatronics in this ride were incredible.

 
Most of the ride features “bioluminescent” lighting, so it was very hard to take photos that properly captured the beauty of it, but believe me when I say that it was gorgeous. I’m glad we took advantage of the short ride though, later in the day the wait went up to an hour and a half. While the boat ride was beautiful it definitely wouldn’t be worth a wait that long. 


By the time we got out of the river ride, we went to make queue for the Rite of Passage attraction, which had managed to go up to two hours. It was insane! The line winded its way throughout all of Pandora and out into Africa! 


On the bright side, we got to see all the beautiful sights in Pandora. We stuck in that line until the bitter end. In all honesty, once the line went into the actual cave, the wait didn’t feel all that long at all. 

There was so many interesting things to see! Markings on the cave walls made way to bioluminescent Pandora flora.


The beautiful cave-dwelling plants eventually led to a science lab for the conservation and discovery of everything o do with the “banshee”, of which the basis of the ride revolved around. There was even a massive Avatar floating in a water capsule that looks like a movie scene in photo, but is EXTREMELY life-like in reality. 

I want to shake the hands of all the Imagineers who took part in creating this queue, it was incredible. 

The ride itself required the rider to sit in a motorcycle-like chair to connect with an Avatar that would ride on the back of a Banshee. 

I’ve never experienced anything quite like this ride, and I’ve been to a lot of theme parks. It was so immersive? That’s the best way I can explain it without waxing poetry about it. While following the road that was paved by Epcot’s Soarin’, Rite of Passage takes this type of experience to a whole new level. 

I felt the movement of the banshee beneath me, movements that were integrated into the seats. The “flying” movement simulation was perfect. You could both feel AND smell the ride! I’m serious. You could smell the waters when the banshee flew near the beach, you could smell the foliage when flying through the jungle, and you could smell the dirt on the paths made by creatures. It was a complete five senses simulation! Its so hard to explain this ride without resorting to weird hand gestures and flabbergasted noises. It was just insanely cool. 


After a full day finishing the rest of Animal Kingdom, we went back to Pandora and did the full two-hour queue to get on Rite of Passage again. It was that good. A friend of mine had recommended we take blacklight paint for a bit of fun in Pandora, so the second time around we spent a majority of the time painting our arms. By the time we reached the “cave flora” bit of the queue, our arms lit up with the numerous black lights in the room. 


Everyone really liked it and it sparked a lot of conversation with so many people in the queue, it was lots of fun! 

The Pandora area also has a lot of cool stuff in terms of food and snacks. They have a full-fledged restaurant that we weren’t able to try out, but we did try a snack stand called Pongu Pongu. 

“Pongu Lumpia” is basically a spring roll with pineapple and cream cheese inside. It was good, if only a bit too unsatisfying size wise. I think deep down I would’ve liked a churro or a soft pretzel instead. Very good for a one-time tasting though! 

The drinks are what really stand out! They’re brightly colored with different colored boba balls on top, and if you shell out a few more bucks, the drinks glow. 

 

I ordered a “Night Blossom” and absolutely loved it. The drink is non-alcoholic and tastes a bit like a SweetTart candy, in a weird way. The passion fruit boba balls were delicious! 

They have an alcoholic option that I desperately wish I could’ve tried because it looked so good! The woes of traveling with family, I guess. 

We usually never stay late at Animal Kingdom. However, there was a new night show that debuted a couple of months ago, and we stayed to watch it. Frankly, a part of me wishes that we’d just stayed in Pandora instead of seeing the show. 


“Rivers of Light” is okay, but I think it’s very much a one-time viewing. I wouldn’t go racing to go watch it again any time soon. If anything, I wish that time had been spent experiencing Pandora by night instead. Maybe next time around I’ll get to see the nighttime luminescence throughout the park. 

Even for a casual fan, I’d say Pandora is well worth a visit, if only to experience the amazing talent of world building that Disney has managed to reach. If this is what Avatar gets, I can’t wait to see how immersive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be like! 

xx 


PS: I’m back home now and about two days behind on my travel posts, so hopefully I’ll have those up tomorrow! Then I can get to all the award nominations that you wonderful people have given me within the past two weeks, thank you!! 

Also, thank you to any new followers I’ve gotten recently, as well as people who have been liking, commenting, and interacting! You guys make my day! x 

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. 

xx

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. 

xx