“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” \\ Hurcules
On to the second stop on our #Coles50StateBucketList Disney World in Orlando, Fl
A couple weeks ago I visited the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ with my second family! This was a much needed vacation from such a busy couple of months and I am so thankful that they let me tag along. I had only been to Disney two times before this last trip, once when I was 6 and the other when I was 13. I am very thankful that I did get to experience Disney with my brother, even if he was too little (or scared) to ride many of the rides! That time together was well worth the wait in line to have him turn around and say I don’t want to do this ride anymore.
Disney is the place where you can ‘Wish Upon a Star’ and your dream will come true, and as much as I would love to have my dream of Cole being by my side physically I know he was there spiritually laughing right along with me (or at me knowing my brother). So without further adieu here are some of my favorite moments from my #Coles50StateBucketList Disney trip!!
Day One- Epcot & Hollywood Studios
We started our vacation in Epcot, and what a way to start it off! There is something about seeing the iconic golf ball looking building up close a personal to get you excited for the day. After we soared over California and flew to Mars we took a walk through 11 countries tasting Mexico’s margaritas and Germany’s beer all before lunch with the princesses. After lunch we walked around some more then headed to the boat that would take us to our next park. Hollywood Studios, or as I remember it as MGM, is a story in its own. Back during my first visit to Disney World we came to MGM, and I road the Tower of Terror for the first time at the age of 6. Let’s just say I might have cried for my mom on the way down while sticking my head into my dad armpit. So this time around was my chance to conquer my fears and dominate this ride, which I did, we road it twice that day and all I did was scream and laugh in delight! Next we went on Rock ‘n’ Roller-coaster, which is an amazing ride that is set to Aerosmith songs, I love me some Aerosmith and roller-coasters, so all in all it was probably my favorite ride. After our adventure with R2D2 and C3PO and waiting in line for an hour to ride the awesome Toy Story ride we finished our day with the Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller-coaster at midnight and headed home.
Day Two- Magic Kingdom
Day two was the day I was most excited for, Magic Kingdom!!! When you walk through the gates to Old Time Main Street and see Cinderella’s Castle you just get sooooo excited. That moment had me forgetting all about my ‘grown up’ worries and just made me feel like a 6 year old once again. Once we took our much needed picture in front of the castle we were off because of course we picked a fast pass early in the morning so we literally had to RUN to Big Thunder Mountain (if you have every been to Disney you know that BTM is on the OPPOSITE side of Disney). To everyone’s surprise this was the first time I would be riding Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain, I was so excited I literally danced!! After my arms thrown in the air windblown experience with BTM we headed to Space Mountain which I learned is scary fun! If you haven’t ridden it yet let me just tell you at times you might feel like you are about to hit your head or you hand (if you raised them) but that was the amazing part of it the fear adds to the ride experience! We had a little time before our Italian lunch so we HAD to ride Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride because Aladdin is my favorite movie and I’m a child sometimes. When we were flying it took me back to a much simpler time when I was little and would always have to be Jasmine when playing princesses making Cole play the monkey. After an amazing lunch we split up with Tyler’s parents going back to the hotel with Grayson to nap and the rest of us running around riding different rides. Later after we ate dinner and all met back up The rest of the day was spent riding rides and sharing old and new memories with each other.
Day Three- Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom is an adventure in its own. If you love animals then you will love this park like us! When we first got there we headed to DinoLand USA where we were transported back in time to retrieve a Dinosaur and spun on an old time dino roller-coaster. We then headed to Asia to Expedition Everest where we rode through the Himalayas and encountered a Yeti. We had a fast pass for this ride (of course) so the girls road it first while the guys waited with Grayson. Tyler and his dad talked this ride up so much that I was so excited to ride it!! When we got seated and the ride started it was a slow climb to the top. Once we got there I kept on thinking about how Tyler raved about how fast and fun this ride was, yet it was fun but not fast. That is when it happened; all the sudden we were flying backwards in the dark and it wasn’t the same way we had came. Once the ride had finished and we met the guys to switch Sarah, Amanda and I left Grayson with Tyler’s mom so we could run and get in line for Kali River Rapids. Once everyone got soaking wet on the Rapids we went and grabbed a bite to eat then headed to Kilimanjaro Safaris. This ride was amazing! You get to ride in an open-sided safari vehicle for an expedition to see many African animals freely roam through acres of savanna, rivers and rocky hills. We got to see elephants, black rhinos, cheetahs, gazelles, zebras, hippos, lions, Nile crocodiles, giraffes, and white rhinos! After our 30 min safari we walked around and took pictures then headed to Sanaa for a steak dinner where we could watch animals roam the grounds! Since Animal Kingdom closes earlier then all the other parks we headed to Downtown Disney to look around then headed home to get much needed sleep before our last day.
Day Four- Hollywood Studios & Magic Kingdom
Our last day was our “lazy day” for sure (just Tyler and Me)! Both parks were equally busy but the wait times weren’t as bad and when you’re in the magical land of Disney with your partner in crime you tend to not worry about how long you have been standing in line. We started the day riding Tower of Terror then running over to Rock ‘n’ Roller-coaster and just like the last five times they were a blast! After the two main rides were out of the way we decided to walk around and see the sights that we might have missed from the first day. This led us to the Live Action Indiana Jones Stunt Show, which of course we had to stop in and watch because one Its Indiana Jones and two Tyler THINKS we are going to name one of our future children Indiana Jones(not happening). The show was just how I remembered it from my first visit, well sort of; the only thing I remembered from the first time was the big ball rolling over Indiana Jones. It was mesmerizing to watch all the flips, tricks and the joy in their face as they do something they love! After the show it was time to say goodbye to Hollywood Studios and hop on over to Magic Kingdom. This time we had later fast passes for our three favorite rides in the park so there was no running to the rides. While we waited for our ride times we lazily walk to the Mad Hatter Tea Cups which is a must ride for any Disney adventure. Waiting in line was probably one of my favorite things to do during this ride, seeing all of the little kids dressed up as their favorite Disney princess\prince\character laughing and smiling while spinning in cups with their loved ones. We of course had to spin super fast because we are big kids and yes I did feel a little sick afterwards. The rest of the night was spent walking hand in hand browsing every land and riding our designated fast pass rides while also getting stuck on splash mountain (thank goodness I didn’t get suck by the drunk pirate on the Pirate of the Caribbean ride like I did when I was 6).
As we were leaving Magic Kingdom for the last time, they were starting the ‘Celebrate the Magic’ on Cinderella’s Castle. While walking down Main Street towards the exit we heard a little girl turn to her mom and say “Look mom it’s Tinkerbell! How did she get up on the castle so fast?” She sounded so innocent and excited. At that moment I realized that this whole week was not just a vacation from a few busy weeks of work or weekends of charity golf tournaments and college graduations, but it was also a vacation from the struggles that I have been trying to over come this past year. For that week I wasn’t the women who lost her best friend 9 months ago I was that innocent little girl who was in wonder of meeting my favorite princess and riding my favorite rides. What I would give to go back to my innocent years of singing “A Whole New World” as we passed the water tower in down town Newnan or dressing up Cole as a girl while I performed “It’s a Hard Knock Life” from Annie. That week spent at Disney was amazing and as silly as it sounds opened my eyes up to a lot of things that I have been struggling with. For that little girl I hope she never loses the wonder that I heard in her voice because once gone it takes a lot to get back (I’m slowly getting mine back thanks to my amazing friends and family). The advice that I leave with you till our next adventure is this; if you ever lose your wonder find the place that takes YOU back to your ‘happy’ days and go there, life is too short to wait.
2 down 48 to go!!