Is it possible to feel post holiday blues three months after a holiday? Yes, yes, it is. I spent most of my last year of uni not only studying but counting down the days until I would be rubbing (rather sweaty) shoulders with a famous mouse, his friends and the characters I’ve grown up with or learned to love over the years at Walt Disney World, Florida.
I’ve been to Florida twice before, as a baby who probably couldn’t string a sentence together let alone remember much about the holiday and then as a six year old who definitely could string together sentences but definitely couldn’t handle being in the same vicinity as Mickey Mouse (I was absolutely terrified of people dressed up when I was younger, so I stuck to meeting the princesses). Add to mix a hurricane and that particular Florida visit is always remembered for the wrong reasons.
Luckily, I got over my fear and (to celebrate turning 21) my sister, Mum, Dad and I headed to Florida on 28 July, 2019.
Our flight was a 10/11 ‘o clock flight so, thankfully, we didn’t have to roll into Manchester airport too early. That being said, considering how excited I was, I hadn’t really slept so I kind of coasted through the airport like a zombie.
That lack of sleep came to haunt me when we got to our gate and I proceeded to nearly go flying before I’d even got on the plane. Luckily, I caught myself and only my family saw the almost accident unfold. It seemed clumsiness runs in the family as my Dad got up to board our flight when the attendant had only called out people flying with children. Our family were hit with another airport based fiasco when they announced, due to American law, a few passengers will be pulled aside for questioning etc and – of course – it was my Mum who got called. This meant we had something to laugh at and, lucky for her, Mum was on the plane before we were!
The flight, I was glad to know, was actually pleasant. It had been a while since I’d been on such a long flight and I worried that I (or, more specifically, my tolerance levels) couldn’t handle it now. I think, in the end, I handled being up in the air pretty well thanks to in-flight movies, gin and excitement.
Eventually we landed, tired and grotty. We got through customs, got our bags and headed to our transport. Soon enough, we made it to Blue Tree Resort, Lake Buena Vista. I think, when we booked the trip, we weren’t fussed (and frankly couldn’t afford) about staying on Disney property. Our main priority was just to get somewhere close enough, with good transport and good enough for sitting and chilling when we weren’t in the park.
That’s exactly what our room was. Simple, clean, comfortable. I don’t think we could’ve asked for more.
So we spent that night getting settled and it was then, in the hotel, we experienced our first storm of the holiday.
Monday 29 July
We were up early that day to catch the bus to Universal Studios. It was a bit annoying having to get up early but, now that I think about it, it was great to get up and be able to explore the parks.
I don’t know if I’d ever been to Universal before now. Like I’ve said, I’m pretty foggy on my last trip. Either way, I was blown away by the way it was set up, the atmosphere, everything about it.
We ended up in the park at 9am, so – considering the fact that we weren’t the only ones who were eager – they opened the park up early. First thing we did, on recommendation from our parents, was go on the Spider-Man ride.
I’m not a fan of Spider-Man, or many of the comic book related films. Honestly though, I loved that ride. I’ll be ashamed to say this but, when Spider-Man jumped on your ride vehicle, I jumped out of my skin! It was insane how thrilling the ride was, even though it was just a simulator. After that, we went on Kong: Skull Island. Can we talk about the queue? It is so dark and kind of spooky, I’ve never got through a queue so quickly! Again, this was an exciting ride, I really liked the effects and it wasn’t like any ride I’ve been on.
Next, we went on the Jurassic Park ride. I knew I was going to get wet but oh my god. We all got absolutely soaked! Plus, being the idiot that I am, I decided to lean forward to get a sneak preview of the drop and – as well as a good soaking – I think I got a bit of whiplash! The final ride we went on was the Transformers 3D ride. We’re not Transformers fans so, for the most part, I had no idea who was flashing up on the screen in front of me!
Post Jurassic Park look 💁🏻♀️
After that, we had a drink in the park and then returned back to our room. As far as first days go, this was a really good one.
Tuesday 30 July
The following day we went to Magic Kingdom. Of course I thought it’d be busy but I really wasn’t expecting it to be so full of people. I think, unfortunately, the sheer amount of people took away from some of my excitement.
The first ride we went on was the Haunted Mansion, an absolute classic. I’ll admit, I’ve never been on the ride! It was pretty cool though, even though our ride vehicle broke down and a girl had to get off because she was too upset to ride! Next thing, we saw Philharmagic. I love this! I remembered it from the last time we visited, though I think there’s been some adjustments, and it made me feel a bit teary. After that, we rushed off to the Be Our Guest Restaurant.
I’m a huge Beauty and the Beast fan so, as part of the trip, my sister and I booked lunch. It was so busy! Thankfully, we chose to sit in the area filled with pictures of the film. It was such a lovely area and I really liked the spinning centrepiece of Belle and Beast dancing. As for food, I went with the carved turkey sandwich with enough fries to cause a potato shortage! It was crazy how delicious a sandwich was. Plus, we washed it down with alcohol to mark the fact that – at 21- we could finally drink in America!
After that, we went on Big Thunder Mountain. Then we finished our day by seeing the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. I didn’t hold much hope for this attraction, considering I had no clue what it was, but it exceeded my expectations. I loved the humour and how into it the audience got! I couldn’t say I would’ve been the same if I would’ve been picked though.
Once we’d experienced the magic of MK, we went home and then out to a nearby restaurant. The server was so friendly, chatting away about Disney but the food…was a bit strange! Salad covered in so much mayonnaise-y dressing, then I had a sweet potato as a “side” that was not only bigger than my head but also covered in pecan butter. I just couldn’t get behind that choice, so I ended up sadly scraping the bits of potato that weren’t full of butter.
Wednesday 31 July
This was our second Universal Day. We decided on doing it this way because, halfway through the holiday, our Auntie was joining us. So we didn’t want her to miss out on the Disney parks or get a Disney overkill.
We kicked off our second day at Universal Studios with the Spider-Man ride. Then, we went on Kong (somebody jumped out on us in the queue!!). After that, we took the train over to go on Harry Potter’s Forbidden Journey. I loved this ride. It played havoc with my equilibrium but it was amazing! I loved the way visual effects and film played such a part in the ride and, of course, I screamed when the dementors came out! Plus, even though my Mum says that’s not the case, the picture that flashed up on the screen was definitely just me. We also went on Flight of the Hippogriff, which wasn’t the greatest ride I’ll admit but still alright.
After that, we went on the Simpsons ride and finished up with Men in Black – I won!
Thursday 1 August
We started the day off with IHOP. A combination of tiredness fully hitting me, and a poorly chosen order, meant I did end up crying in there. Not my finest moment.
We went to Animal Kingdom that day. I love the theming there. Considering it’s pretty standard, we started off with It’s Tough to Be a Bug. I love that show. I think it’s changed a bit since I last saw it as I was fully prepared for “bugs” to crawl on the floor not my seat! After that, we went on Dinosaur. Then, we finished our day with the Lion King show.
Friday 2 August
We spent our morning in Typhoon Lagoon. I don’t really remember the water parks considering the fact that, due to the weather, we didn’t end up seeing much of them at all! I spent most of the day getting burnt but we did go on the family raft ride. My favourite part of the morning, though, was getting stuck in the rubber ring on the lazy river!
After we got ushered out due to bad weather, we spent a rather drizzly afternoon in Hollywood Studios. We sat absolutely soaked watching the Beauty and the Beast show. Aside from the weather, it was perfect. After that, I conquered a fear. It’s a running joke in the family that I haven’t been on the Tower of Terror (my sister went on it when we were six, I waited till we were nearly twenty two!) so we went on it. My legs shook so badly and I nearly lost my bag but, other than that, I think it’s one of my favourite rides.
We finished the day off with Star Tours. We’re not fans of Star Wars but, honestly, it was still a good ride.
Saturday 3 August
Our Auntie arrived the day before so, considering the fact that she’s not big on rides, we took her to Magic Kingdom. We spent a good hour in the queue to meet Mickey and Minnie. Then we saw Belle’s Enchanted Tales, went on the Little Mermaid ride, saw Friendship Faire and took another trip to the Laugh Floor.
In the evening, we went to a rather crowded Disney Springs to go to Planet Hollywood. It was so hot that night!
Sunday 4 August
We spent our morning at one of the nearby malls. I think I’d hyped it up a fair bit and, honestly, I was so disappointed. The shops weren’t great and the only Disney related shop I found looked like it had been robbed – there was hardly anything there!
We visited Animal Kingdom again that afternoon. Again, we saw It’s Tough to Be a Bug. Then, later in the evening, we went on Flight of Passage. I can see why that was the only time Fast Pass was available, the ride is incredible! The effects were insane and I loved how much it felt like I was actually riding a banshee.
Monday 5 August
We visited Hollywood Studios again. This time, we saw the Little Mermaid show, Muppets 3D and the Indiana Jones show. After that, we got the boat to Epcot. Then it stormed. Being serious, it was horrendous.
Once we got out of the storm, we looked around Epcot a little bit, saw the Guardians of the Galaxy show (and of course I fell in love with the guy playing Star Lord). After food, we went on the Finding Nemo ride, finally visited Club Cool and went on Soarin’. I can see why that’s popular, too, as it was incredible!
We then got our last chance to see Illuminations. I won’t lie, I’m not big on fireworks but they were insane!
Tuesday 6 August
We spent our last day at Universal Studios. Again, we went on Spider-Man and The Forbidden Journey. Due to my mobility issues, I ended up getting the lift up when we went on Escape from Gringotts. That was a good shout as, not only was the ride brilliant, my parents and sister managed to see the bank setting that they’d missed when they went single riders.
We rounded off the day with dinner at a nearby restaurant.
So, that’s it, our trip to Disney summed up. I think, looking back at it now, I’d definitely go again. Watching Disney vlogs is incredibly bittersweet now so, when I do start earning, I’ll be saving for another trip.
What are your favourite rides/attractions at Disney?