Orlando Vacation: {Day 4 – Hollywood Studios}

By day four of a non-stop, on your feet, crowd crazy vacation all I wanted to do is stop and sit.
I could have gotten on the plane first thing in the morning but the overly priced Disney tickets had already been bought and couldn’t go to waste.  Lucky for us Hollywood Studios was the perfect recipe for the leaden leg and end of vacation blues.

I knew there were only about 3-4 rides worth taking the time for this park, so I had sneakily planned this park for the last day of our trip for the following reasons:
1.) There’s less to do and we had a plane that was taking off in the late afternoon
2.) Tons of shows to sit at
3.) Smaller park = less walking
4.) It’s just not as magical as the other parks.  There, I said it.  Not as magical and no shame about it.

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Orlando Vacation: {Day 3 – Epcot}

Exhaustion.

It had set in but regardless of heavy eyes and leaden legs we were at Epcot before the gates opened standing it throngs of sleepy kids and cranky parents.  We were there when the grand announcement was made and confetti bombs went off exactly at 8:00am for one reason only – Soarin’.

I had stood in line for 2 hours for Soarin’ before.  While it’s an awesome ride, I’d be a sucker if I fell for that mess again.  It was #1 on the list of things to do that day and I had every intention of marking it off before 8:10am.

We sprinted past the GGB (Giant Golf Ball [not the official name]) and made it straight into the front row for the first round of Soarin’ spectators that day.  Victory is mine!  And as we walked off the ride we heard a passerby remark that they were already out of Fast Passes for the entire day.  VICTORY IS MINE AGAIN!
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Orlando Vacation: {Day 2 – Magic Kingdom}

I planned the whole trip out weeks in advance.  There needed to be a delicate balance between ride heavy v. non-ride days to avoid exhaustion, lack of long line motivation and to save one’s legs.  That’s always the fun killer on these types of trips…legs.

My original plan had been the following: Universal Studios > Epcot > Magic Kingdom > Hollywood Studios.
And then I read {this} little beauty that had me tossing and turning Saturday night.
I woke up Sunday morning and was battling a nagging feeling that we should go to Magic Kingdom that day.  All of this of course conflicting with what would be letting go of control and planning, so it wasn’t really a fair fight to begin with.  But I finally succumbed to my gut and announced that we should go to Magic Kingdom about 5 minutes before walking out the door.  Not to worry, park doesn’t open for another hour so we’d just grab a quick breakfast and head on our way.  This is naturally part of the advantage of going to the park without kids: arrive when the gates open, no navigating with strollers and avoid a bunch of long lines at the beginning of the day.  All part of my master, control-freak plan. 

Pete and I are casually eating our mediocre oatmeal and tiny boxes of cereal in the hotel lobby when I decide it’d be a good idea to check out what times the parades are later tonight only to discover devastating news.  The parked opened 2 minutes ago and we’re eating freakin’ Fruit Loops.  Doomed.
In a matter of 5 seconds I managed to order Pete to leave, throw all our breakfast trash away and jog to the car.  And then I spread the wonderful blessing of flipping out and cursing the moment I decided we should go to MK today.  “We were going to be so behind!  Long lines for everything!  We’re going to definitely have to stay for Extra Magic Hours now!  This is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth, WTH!!!”

This epic Devin-angst last through parking, the walk to the monorail, the wait for the monorail, the ride on the monorail (squeezed between 1000 strollers and screaming kids), every stop on the monorail, the ride to the gate, the walk to the ticket line and then finally entering the park.  And according to my panicked calculations, this looked like it was probably the most crowded the park had ever been.  Needless to say, I was being a real gem.

But then…the Disney magic happened.

Main Street was decorated for Christmas including carols pumping through the speakers.
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Pete laid his eyes for the first time ever on Cinderella’s castle and said, “This is WAY cooler than I was expecting it to be!”
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Orland Vacation: {Day 1 – Universal Studios}

Things you might learn when you ask your husband about their childhood – #14684: They’ve never been to a Disney park.
Being the spouse in the situation who lived her first five years of life just hours away from Disneyland, went to Disney World on a high school trip and then conquered the World again just a few years ago on a family vacation, I was both shocked and saddened.

He didn’t even know the magic he was missing!

Upon processing the earth-shattering, magic-killing and devastating news, I made him make a promise:
We will go to Disney World before we have kids.
Six months of marriage in and with student loans paid vacation planning commenced!

We arrived late Friday night (week leading up to Thanksgiving) to catch a few hours of shut eye before the 3.5 jam-packed park days.  I decided we’d start with Universal Studios for several reasons:
1.) It’s not magical.  Is it cool?  Yes.  Is it awesome?  Yes.  But Disney claims all hold on magic and Universal just doesn’t compare.
2.) As awesome as the Hogwarts ride is, I will not arrive a few hours after opening and wait in line 3 hours again.
3.) Pete likes roll coasters and I hate them.  So if he’s wanting to get me on even semi-scary rides, we better get it out of the way before I’m exhausted, cranky and achy from walking all day.  (And yes, I think Hogwarts and the Spiderman rides are semi-scary.)

We made it!  After a make-your-granny proud, mall speed walk to the back of the park we had arrived!
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