Disney for the Win

For Christmas this year, Zach got me a different kind of present. The first thing I opened was a little jar of glitter that said "magic," and the second thing was a little minnie mouse TY beanie baby.... and that's when he told me that we were going to Disney World!!! We went January 14-17th, and he had already called to sort out my work schedule so we could go! I was so excited! I have been to Disney a few times when I was little, but didn't remember too much about it except seeing all the characters and riding rides. I was excited to go as an adult and see how this place could still be so magical like everyone raves about.

My sister's 30th birthday is today actually ((Happy birthday Shannon!!)), and she and her husband love going to Disney World. They used to live in Orlando and work at Disney, so it holds a special place in their hearts. We decided our trip wouldn't be complete without them with us, so we surprised my sister for an early birthday present and had them come with us for the weekend!! We had the best time and it wouldn't have been the same without them! They know exactly where to go to eat, which places to make reservations for, what rides to ride first, and how to get around without even having to think about it. It was like we had our own personal Disney tour guides, haha! 

We landed super late on Thursday night and went to our resort to meet Shannon and Matt. We were staying at Coronado Springs, and it was super nice and so beautiful! The resort sits along a small body of water and has hammocks along the water, a hot tub, a restaurant with really delicious breakfast, a work out room, multiple pools and water slide! It's HUGE! We woke up really early on Friday morning and went to Magic Kingdom! They have something called "resort hours" for people who stay in the disney resorts, which means you can have access to the park early and later than everyone else. It was awesome! We were there from 8am until midnight, haha! We rode almost every ride, had breakfast at Be Our Guest, saw multiple parades, and watched the Wishes firework presentation! It truly was SO magical I couldn't believe it! ((Zach and I did go to Hollywood Studios in the afternoon to ride Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller Coaster because we had park hopper tickets, but then went right back to Magic Kingdom to be with Shannon and Matt!)) The day started out rainy and at one point even poured! We were all laughing so hard because we were wearing our ponchos but still getting absolutely soaked and running through the park! However by the afternoon, the rain stopped and the skies were perfectly blue and it was hot and sunny. Gotta love Florida! :) 

On Saturday, we went to Epcot. It was so cool and so much different than Magic Kingdom. We spent most of our time there seeing the World Showcase, which was incredible to see! We went through all the different "countries," like Canada, Germany, Morocco, France, Mexico, China, Japan, and more! ((There are 11 total!)) It was so cool because it felt like you were actually in each country as you walked around. In France we had macaroons and wine, in Mexico we had margaritas and tacos, in Japan we walked through their exhibit showcasing "Kawaii: Japan's cute culture," in Morocco we were in amazement at the beautiful stuccoed archways and intricate patters in the tiles to the clothing and jewelry being sold. It was so much fun and such a cool experience! I was amazed at how much work must have gone into representing each country so well, even the workers at each place were originally from that country! It was very impressive to say the least. We ended the night by watching yet another awesome fireworks show called IllumiNations. 

Sunday was unfortunately our last day, and we had reservations at another resort for breakfast. We went to Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the food was ridiculously good!! It was the best breakfast I've had in a long time! I am gluten intolerant and my sister is celiac and dairy free, so anywhere we eat is a bit of a struggle. However at Boma, the chef came out and walked us around the buffet explaining what we could and could not eat, and even made us a platter of gf + df pastries!! I was literally in heaven, haha! After breakfast and walking around the resort to see the animals, we spent most of our time at Disney Springs ((formerly known as Downtown Disney)). We pretty much just walked around, shopped, and ate way to much food yet again. Our last stop before the airport was going to see yet another Disney resort called The Polynesian. This one was my absolute favorite!! It felt like you were in a tropical paradise- complete with water bungalows to stay in over the "beach" and tiki lamps all around. It was so cool! We had drinks at a place called Trader Sam's that was an interactive bar. For every drink you order, the lights flash and the workers act out something that goes along with the story of each drink! It was hilarious and so much fun. 

Needless to say, our weekend get-a-way at Disney World was packed full of magic, excitement, adventure, and FOOD. Lots and lots of FOOD. My advice when traveling to Disney is this: go with someone who is a Disney pro ((like Shannon and Matt)) or do your research so you don't miss out on a lot of the hidden gems that are all around Disney- especially at the resorts! But whatever you do, definitely make a trip to Disney!! It is well worth it and absolutely still magical for adults!

Xo- Tara

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."

 ~Walt Disney

PS-- See even more photos on the Disney World gallery!