7 Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday in Walt Disney World

When my mom was about to turn 60, her one wish was to have a fun girls trip in Walt Disney World. Since her birthday falls on Christmas day, she has NEVER gotten a lot of ”hoopla” for her birthday. Sure we know better than to wrap her birthday gifts in Christmas paper, and not get her a red and green cake, but let’s face it, everyone is so busy with the holidays it’s hard to focus on a birthday other than that of baby Jesus!

Celebrate Your Birthday in Walt Disney World

When she told me she really wanted a quick girls trip to Disney to celebrate her birthday, I sprang into action to plan for the most FUN birthday bash ever. After all, she totally deserves it as the most selfless giving person ever. When I started making our October plans and doing some research, I got frustrated trying to think of things and having to hop all over the internet to find different things, so I thought I would come up with a list of fun birthday things to do in Walt Disney World for adults (kids at heart, right?) Hopefully this list will be helpful to some people looking for fun ways to celebrate!

 

7 Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday in Walt Disney World:

1.) Mark your reservations: Be sure when you book your vacation that you mention there is a celebration going on. That way, it can be marked on your resort reservation and your dining reservations. There is no guarantee, but resorts and restaurants have been known to sprinkle a little pixie dust for birthday guests. When I check in I also make sure it was noted properly on the reservation. We have gotten balloons and cards in our room, chocolate, cupcakes at lunch, free dessert at dinner, and more. (Please please remember this is NOT something Disney has to do, it’s just “extra” so try not to expect it so you won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.)

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2.) Birthday button (and hat, shirt, etc): Grab a birthday button at your resort or at the theme parks. Wear it with pride and watch the magic happen! Cast members and guests alike will tell you happy birthday and make you feel extra special. The button is a freebie, but if you want to pay for a little something extra, you can purchase a birthday ear hat or have a shirt made at Downtown Disney letting everyone know it is your birthday.

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3.) Cake: Let me tell you, Disney makes some AMAZING cakes. You can call the cake hotline and have a customized cake made and delivered to your resort or at certain restaurants around the property. I have been lucky enough to be the recipient of several cakes throughout the years. Thanks to my fellow cake fiend Jen, and they are so worth it, and such a fun surprise!

 

4.) Spa treatment: There is a spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian resort, and also at Saratoga Springs resort. Jen and I actually had pedicures done on my birthday one year, and it was so fun! They have a full spa menu if you are looking for some extra pampering with friends or family.

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5.) Fireworks dessert party: Disney knows how to light up the night sky, and they have been wise enough to pair their amazing fireworks with dessert parties, fireworks cruises, and the most recent addition, the Ferrytale Fireworks dessert cruise during the nightly fireworks. So many fun things to choose from (book well in advance for these events!)

6.) Guided Tour: There are a plethora of tours around Disney property, ranging from a behind the scenes Magic Kingdom tour, to a wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I think most people would be plenty excited to get to take part in a special tour on their special day.

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7.) Recreation: A lot of people don’t realize there is so much more to do at Walt Disney World than go to the parks. A birthday is a perfect occasion to do something special. Some examples are: play a round of golf, rent a boat at one of the many marinas, parasail, rent a surrey bike, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride.

Thanks for reading my tips on how to celebrate your birthday in Walt Disney World

QOTD: Have you ever celebrated your birthday in Walt Disney World? What did you do?

Walt Disney World Recap Video September 2018 Part 2

You may have seen part one of my Walt Disney World Recap Video September 2018.

Well, I am back with part two of our trip! Check out the video below for all the Disney fun, and be sure to hit “subscribe” so you don’t miss any videos on my channel. I would venture to say that Emma Kate had the time of her life.

 

 

We love Disney in the fall, the Halloween Party, Food and Wine Festival, and decorations are all amazing. Now we can’t wait for the Christmas decorations! (Ok, maybe we can wait until after Halloween!) What is your favorite time of year to visit Walt Disney World?

#DisneyKids Media Event Video Recap

Disclosure: We attended a media event at Walt Disney World, however, all opinions are my own. 

In September, we had the privilege of attending a #DisneyKids media event at Walt Disney World centered around preschoolers and Toy Story Land. We also got to eat at Homecomin’, Hollywood and Vine, the Grand Floridian, and also enjoyed Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Check out this recap video we made of our amazing experience! Parents of preschoolers, these activities are a must with your kiddos! so much fun! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel after watching. 🙂

 

What is your favorite thing about Toy Story Land? Have you been to the Halloween party or any of the restaurants we dined at?

#disneykids

Related: Toy Story Land with a preschooler

Related again: Art of Animation Cars family suite

Emma Kate Does Disney: Part 2

I left off with us going to bed after a bit of stressful arrival day. The next day, we woke up ready to go to the Magic Kingdom. I couldn’t wait to show Emma Kate the castle and my favorite park. We decided to take things slow and let Emma Kate lead the way. I had a couple of fastpasses scheduled, but other than that there was nothing we just “had” to do.

We got to the park right after it opened, and after showing her the castle, headed to Fantasyland.

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We walked right on to Winnie the Pooh (she was so fascinated and slightly overwhelmed!) Then we did the little Mermaid, Dumbo, and Peter Pan.

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Then we had a fastpass for Enchanted Tales with Belle. My mom and I had done it before, but my dad (and of course EK) had not so I was excited for them to see.

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We sat on the front row and watched the little play, and Emma Kate got to get up and meet Belle and get a bookmark. She was really hesitant and didn’t smile, but she also didn’t cry. I call it a win!

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I was so happy Emma Kate’s first princess meeting was with my personal favorite!

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After seeing Belle, we decided to take a little break and get a snack. Emma Kate and I sat down and hung out in the grassy area in front of the castle while my mom and dad went to Starbucks to get us coffee and and a snack. Emma Kate enjoyed running around this little area that was away from the hustle and bustle.

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We sat in the grass and all took a little breather and ate (Emma Kate was again wanting to walk and not hold my hand or sit in the stroller so we had a few meltdowns all before 11:00.)

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After our little break, we decided to ride the train and see if Emma Kate would take a nap. She loves Thomas the train and enjoyed being on it, but it stops so much and for such long periods of time we quickly realized this was not going to work. We got off after a couple of stops, and decided to ride the people mover. After this, she was getting super cranky so I told mom and dad to go take a break and I would walk her around in the stroller and see if she would take a nap (she was so tired but fighting it at this point). I headed off from tomorrowland towards fantasyland by way of the walkway near space mountain, and Emma Kate pretty much fell asleep instantly, so I just kept walking. I made it all the way around the park, then stopped at a quiet corner in Liberty square behind the Christmas shop. I sat down on the ground while she slept. aaahhh.

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After awhile, my mom texted and said she would come meet me and we could switch spots, that dad was getting a snack in Tomorrowland and I could meet up with him there. So I walked back across the park after she arrived and had some fries with my dad. Soon after I got there, EK was awake so we met with my mom and did Buzz Lightyear. We got stuck on the ride for about ten minutes though! After that we decided to take another break in the grass until the 3:00 parade. This time we sat on the other side of the castle.

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Check out Emma Kate putting sunscreen on my dads knees Smile Bless it.

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We made it across the street for the parade and my parents ran into friends from high school! How crazy is that! They ended up chatting during the whole parade and I held Emma Kate up to see. Thankfully I lift weights because holding up a 31 pound child for the whole parade was pretty difficult! But she loved the parade and loved waving to the characters, especially when they waved back!

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We had a 3:30 reservation at Crystal Palace, so as soon as the parade was over we checked in. I was so curious to see how EK would do with the characters. To sum it up, it took her a little while to warm up to them but then she did really well. Tigger was her favorite.

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The issue here was that my super active child was over sitting still in her high chair after about seven minutes and wanted to run around the restaurant, which I wouldn’t allow. She ended up on the floor of Crystal Palace throwing a complete fit and I immediately picked her up and took her outside. I was really frustrated but tried to remind myself she is two, and is really overwhelmed and probably still wasn’t feeling great. I was just tired from chasing her around all day and dealing with the terrible twos. My mom finished eating and came outside to swap with me so I could go eat, but I still didn’t get as much as I wanted because I knew she was being difficult outside for my mom and I wanted to hurry up.

After we finished eating, we decided to leave, which Emma Kate did not want to do, so I apologize to anyone who was on Main street when I strapped my child in the stroller and power walked to the front of the park as she screamed. It was super fun for everyone I’m sure.

When we got back, we took EK to the playground right outside out building. We were on the first floor so it was nice to just walk right outside.

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The playground is near the water and has a great view of Disney Springs.

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I can’t remember exactly what we did that evening but I’m guessing just hung out in the room. Our original plan was to go to Hollywood Studios the next day, but since we got a contract on our house the day we left for Disney, we decided it would be best of my dad and I drove to Tampa to meet with my realtor and look at homes because we needed to make on offer on one quickly for all the closing dates to line up. My poor mom would be left with EK by herself, but I am thankful she volunteered so that I could get this handled since we were so close to Tampa!

More on that adventure in the next installment. Smile

QOTD: Did your/do your kids like the characters at Disney?

Disney Days at Princess Half Weekend

I’ve already recapped the runDisney expo as well as the 10k and half marathon, but not what Jen and I did on the other days we were in Walt Disney World.

Jen picked me up from the airport Friday and we went to the expo before checking into Hilton Bonnet Creek.

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Check out the gorgeous view from our room.

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We ate dinner at the hotel, and called it an early night.

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The next day was the 10k, and after the race we went to Celebration and had Chick-fil-A biscuits, and then headed back to the resort to shower and change before going BACK to EPCOT. We headed straight for Via Napoli, craving some pizza for lunch.

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It was a gorgeous day and we were able to sit outside and enjoy the atmosphere. We may or may not have eaten that entire thing, plus we both had appetizers.

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Wasn’t I just here?

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We walked around world showcase and went to Test Track, the Nemo ride, and Spaceship earth.

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But not before getting some much needed caffeine. We were both delirious! I forgot which direction Spaceship Earth was when we came out of Starbucks. That’s when you KNOW I’m tired!

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Can’t you tell we need sleep?

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We went back to the resort and sat outside by the pool and had dinner at a restaurant called Beech. The temperature was perfect, and the food was really good.

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The day had been very peaceful and relaxing, and we only had one race to go!

The next day we ran the half marathon, then came back to the room, packed up and loaded up the car. Then we headed downstairs to our amazing pool cabana, compliments of the resort, so sweet!

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These cabanas can be rented for a full day for $300 and include lounge chairs, a sofa, television, refrigerator with snacks and drinks, a safe, and a button to press to call over a server if you need food and drinks.

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We spent all afternoon napping, eating, and relaxing at the pool. It was glorious, and an amazing special treat after all the running we had just done!

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By late afternoon it was sadly time to go, so we drove over to our home for the next two nights, Port Orleans Riverside. We got SUPER lucky and have a room in a building very close to the food court. However, that night we had dinner plans at California Grill! Let’s just say I’m so glad I packed my flats, my feet were hurtin’!

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After dinner we were craving something sweet so we walked to the food court and I got a Mickey ice cream sandwich. It hit the spot!

The next morning we ate breakfast in the food court before driving over to the Magic Kingdom. I HAD to get a Mickey Waffle, of course.

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it was more crowded than I expected for a Monday, but there was nothing we “had” to do so it was ok.

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First stop, Starbucks!

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We rode Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear, Big Thunder Mountain, the people mover, and I think that’s pretty much it! We had lunch at Cosmic Ray’s, and then just walked around a bit.

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It was starting to get pretty warm and more crowded, so we went to the candy store then said farewell and took the monorail to the Polynesian for an afternoon treat.

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We again enjoyed sitting outside eating our treats (notice a theme of all the JUNK FOOD I ate on this trip?!?) and I was happy to get my Dole whip float.

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We got back to the resort and changed clothes before hopping a boat to Disney Springs. We had dinner at Earl of Sandwich, and for dessert, you guessed it…more ice cream!

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We hit up some of the shops, then decided to take the boat back to the resort. When we were about to head back, I realized New Orleans was going to be having severe weather when I was flying into the airport the next day…as in the schools were closing and they were telling people to stay home! I searched several weather sites, talked to my parents about what the local news was saying, and called Southwest trying to change my flight to an earlier one to beat the weather. They said there was no severe weather (HAHA) and it would be $175 for the new flight. Guess I was taking my chances with the weather, but I was super nervous. (you can see what happened here.)

The next morning was sad. Jen left around 6:30 and I had an hour to wait until the saddest bus ever came to pick me up. I was also super nervous about my flight with the weather. I did not want to be stuck in the Orlando airport all day or be on a flight that couldn’t land, I just wanted to snap my fingers and be home. I sat outside on a rocking chair trying to soak up every last bit of “Disney” that I could before I had to go back to reality. Always such a sad day.

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It was definitely a whirlwind trip but it was also a lot of fun, and I am glad we were able to make it happen last minute. I sadly have zero Disney trips on my calendar right now “officially”, but am hoping to take Emma Kate in the late fall. I just can’t with the heat haha.

QOTD: What “must do” rides are your favorite in WDW?

Birthday Bash Day 4

Day four was our final day in Walt Disney World, and we still had a lot we wanted to do. Unfortunately we woke up to rain, but we didn’t let that stop us. We made it to the Magic Kingdom, and headed straight for Starbucks. Our late night on the Ferrytale Wishes cruise wore us out!

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I tried the special for Halloween “frapula” and I think I was the first to ask for it because it took them awhile to make it and they were all conversing with each other trying to figure it out.

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We had fastpasses for Pirates of the Caribbean so we headed that way first, and then to Enchanted Tales with Belle which I had seen but mom had not. SO cute. I can’t wait to take Emma Kate there!

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We did a little shopping and grabbed pizza for lunch.

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Mom and I really enjoy just walking around and looking at everything, so we just kind of “hung out” for awhile (Bobby would be so bored and never let’s me do that, so it was nice and relaxing!)

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The rain was getting harder, so he headed to the monorail and ran over to EPCOT to get a couple of things and then went back to the hotel. I was able to make us last minute dinner reservations at California Grill that night, too!

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Bye Magic Kingdom

I still had not done one thing I REALLY wanted to do, and that was get a Dole Whip at the Polynesian. So when we got back, we did just that, and it was delicious.

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We got ready for dinner, had some appetizers in the lounge, and then took the monorail to the Grand Floridian because we had some time to kill. We went upstairs and visited one of my favorite Cast Members, Vonnie, and chatted with her for a bit before heading over to the Contemporary. We were seated right away, and I will have to say this was the most delicious meal of the trip. I got a margarita and the filet, and both were amazing.

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They even gave mom a free birthday dessert, even though we were stuffed!

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We got back to the resort and changed clothes and headed for Trader Sams. This was another one of those “research” things I needed to do for work. SO many clients have asked me about it so I knew I needed to go. The drinks were good and the décor was super cool, but it was pretty pricey and if you aren’t into loud environments I would say skip this one. We were so tired and left after one drink, but it was cool to see, and say hello to a fellow runDisney runner/bartender we went to see!

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We went back to our room and called it a night. The next morning was very early and very sad. Departure day is always sad, but it was also rainy and dreary so it was even more depressing.

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Four days is just not long enough! We had a blast but there was so much we didn’t get to do, like Hollywood Studios and most of EPCOT. That just means we have to go back, right?

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I planned a lot for mom for her 60th, and I hope she enjoyed everything I put into the trip for her. It was so much fun and I will always remember it.

QOTD: Favorite Disney resort? Favorite drink in Disney?

Disney Girls Trip: Part 4

On Monday, our last full day in Walt Disney World, we got up and headed to the Magic Kingdom, my favorite! We again had beautiful weather, and I was excited to see some of the new areas of the hub were finished. I love the way it turned out!

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Of course, we had to properly caffeinate before we started the day.

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We had a fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion, and we also rode the people mover and Pirates of the Caribbean.

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We had lunch reservations at Liberty Tree Tavern, and we hit up the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train before heading out of the park.

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Oh, after lunch I also had a dole whip float. However, I was very disappointed to find out you can no longer get the vanilla soft serve with the pineapple juice, only pineapple ice cream. They said the vanilla soft serve was “not popular enough”, but based on everyone’s sad messages on my instagram photo, I do not believe this is true at all. The good news is you can apparently still get the vanilla ice cream at the Polynesian.

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We got back to the resort mid afternoon so Jen could do some work, and I decided to go for an easy 3 mile run. I love running in new places, it keeps me occupied to have new surroundings to look at.

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It had definitely warmed up and I got hot quickly, and considered hitting the pool but decided to just hang out in the shade outside instead.

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That night we headed to EPCOT to have dinner at San Angel Inn. It was May 4th, so we were being Cinco de Mayo festive a day early.

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The next morning we had one last breakfast in the food court and one last Mickey waffle before Magical Express came and picked us up to go back to the airport.

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I had a great time and am so sad it’s already over, we have been talking about this trip forever! It was just the little break I needed in my favorite place.

QOTD: Have you ever been on a girls only or boys only trip?

Disney Day 2, February 2015

We left off after Thursday, our first day in Disney. Friday we were headed to the Magic Kingdom for the day since we had an early dinner at Chef Mickey’s that night with Jen and her family. It was a nice sunny day but it was freezing cold!

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We arrived mid morning, and headed to Big Thunder Mountain which was out first fastpass. Aaanndd…it was down for mechanical issues. Great. So we rode haunted mansion instead. Then we rode the peoplemover before heading back over to big thunder. The ride was back up but the fastpass line was SO LONG, so we said forget it and decided to go back later.

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We had a fastpass for the new seven dwarves mine train ride, and we went over to do it..and it was down too! We were not having good luck. We ate lunch at Cosmic Ray’s, and finally got to ride both rides that had been down earlier. I loved mine train, but it was way too short.

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Something else we got to do that I had been looking forward to was finally seeing the Festival of Fantasy parade.

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It was so cute, I really enjoyed it! We got to ride the mine train again, and Bobby got a funnel cake for a snack.

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It was close to dinner time, so we took the monorail over to the Contemporary to meet up with Jen and her family. I finally got to meet her little Hadley!

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We had a fun time catching up and eating. They had to head out before we were done since it was bedtime for the kids, so we stayed and got some character pictures.

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As we were leaving, a got a text form Karen asking if we were still there. They had reservations and were just walking up. So we met up with them and kept them company while they waited for their table. We eventually left, but we would be spending all day with them Saturday so we had more time to catch up!

We headed back to the resort and crashed, as another fun day in Disney World was complete.

QOTD: Do you go to character meals at Disney? Have you ever gotten stuck on a broken down ride?

February 2014 Disney Trip Recap: Part 2

We left off part one of my recap on Saturday night after eating at Trail’s End Buffet. The next morning, I was up at 2:45 for the runDisney Princess half marathon.  I ran the race, Bobby met me at the finish, and we went back to the resort so I could shower and eat. I was feeling a little better this day, so instead of napping we all headed to Animal Kingdom.

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We did a Bug’s Life, and Bobby did Everest. We happened to be walking by right before the Flights of Wonder show started. They were doing a fun pre show with some of  the birds and Bobby was a volunteer.

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We watched the show after and really loved it. Those birds can do some cool things! If you have never seen it I highly recommend it.

We had lunch at my favorite, Flame Tree BBQ, and then headed back to the resort (and THEN I took a nap!) That night we had dinner at California Grill. I was so looking forward to it and was bummed that I started feeling crappy and sick. We had a great view, but I just felt bleh the whole dinner.

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Mom and dad wanted to take the monorail to the Grand Floridian and walk around after dinner, but I was ready for bed so Bobby and I took a cab back to the resort. I was SO glad the next day I didn’t have to wake up early and maybe would be able to make it through the day at the Magic Kingdom!

On our last day, we went to the Magic Kingdom.

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We introduced my parents to Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. I’m not sure my dad got it ha.

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We may have had Dole Whips at 10:00 in the morning.

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We had fastpasses for Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan, and the guys rode Big Thunder Mountain.

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They crack me up.

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We had fastpasses for lunch at Be Our Guest, and then we headed back to the resort for a nap, then we wandered around the Boardwalk and the boys got into trouble.

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That night, we walked over to the Beach Club for dinner at Beaches ‘n Cream. My parents had never been there, so it was a fun experience. We all split burgers so we would have room for dessert.

We split burgers AND all four shared this thing. We barely finished it. I have no idea how people eat one all by themselves.

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The next morning we took Magical Express back to the airport, and just like that our trip was over. There were some really fun moments, but I was also really bummed at how sick and tired I felt most of the time. It was really hard to just have fun and enjoy everything, and after all those months of planning I was bummed at the timing. Oh well, just means we have to go back again!

QOTD: Do you order dessert on vacation? Have you played Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom?

Disney April Trip in Pictures

 

So I am still recovering from my food poisoning and also trying to catch up on work at the same time, and it is quite frustrating. After not eating solid food since Friday except a bit of soup and rice, I am finding it hard to wrap my brain around anything I need to do for work and just get overwhelmed, so after a couple of hours of trying yesterday I threw my hands up and just called it quits.

Since I really didn’t need a ton more to to think about today, like blogging, I thought I would share some photos from my Aprils trip to Disney with my aunts and mom. I apologize for the delay in my regular blogging, and hope you will stick with me and come back and read Running With Sass when things are back to normal, but I just don’t have the energy today. I know you understand!

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Fingers crossed I will feel more normal tomorrow!

QOTD: Have you ever had food poisoning?