Park Hopping

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*We interrupt your regularly scheduled Five on Friday for the final post in my Disney recapping!*

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Oh – the final day of Disney and the mad rush to make it to all the parks just one more time… *sigh* I almost made it. Almost. Alas, too much cough medicine and a queasy stomach made for not the best morning…and so my four parks in one day effort was spurned.

We made big plans to get up at 6:30 (no – I promise we’re not crazy) and go straight to Animal Kingdom to arrive well before if opened. We figured by doing this we’d be able to get in the front of the line for Flight of Passage – a ride that three of us (Jeffrey said no thanks) wanted to ride again. And it worked out just fine, but when I woke up at 6:30 and kept having to stop getting ready because I felt like I was going to be sick…well I had to tap out (to my utter frustration) and resign myself to joining my Dad and meeting up with Ginger and Lindsey at Epcot.

Lindsey shared a few of her pictures from early morning in Pandora – one of the pictures shows the giant blue Avatar in the tank…although it’s a bit out of focus and hard to see!

I managed to move past feeling nauseated – I feel confident I took just a bit too much codeine cough syrup – and I joined my Dad for breakfast and then we headed for Epcot. The goal was to ride Frozen Ever After and Test Track (which we’d secured 1:00 Fast Passes for…); these were both rides that my Mom and I missed out on when I had to leave Epcot early on Tuesday evening and she so kindly left with me.

My Dad and I arrived at Epcot right about the time my Mom and sister were leaving Animal Kingdom, so we snapped some pictures at the entrance – including the newly installed International Festival of the Arts display (which started on Friday the 12th) and then we made our way to Norway. The line for Frozen Ever After was only showing 25 minutes – we hopped in and within 15 we were on the ride!

The line weaves through Arendelle and takes a short detour through the general store and sauna (yoooohooo…big summer blowout!) before you board your boat and journey through scenes from Frozen. You make your way up the North Mountain and hear Elsa do a fierce rendition of….Let It Go…of course, before Marshmallow lets you know that you really need to just…let it go…and sends you down the mountain and back to where you began!

My sister and Mom arrived shortly after we’d hopped off the ride, so we grabbed the breakfast (second for some of us…) of champions at the bakery in Norway. I got something called a snow globe and we could never quite figure out exactly what the cream was made from… was it ice cream? Chilled whipped cream? Something magical? Who knows… After that, I hopped on the ride again with my Mom and sister! My Dad chose to wait outside, he thought one trip to Arendelle was enough for one day, ha-ha!

 

I also managed to grab some video on the second round of Frozen Ever After – at my Dad’s suggestion. My favorite part of the video is when other people in our boat can’t follow the rules and so they interrupt the song to say “no flash photography please”. I mean – come on guys! I also have no clue why the screen cap is showing up sideways – the videos plays correctly, I promise!

From there, we had some time to kill before our 1:00 Fast Passes and by using the My Disney Experience app (such a game changer, if you have a Disney vacation planned – definitely download this, it’s free!) we were able to get a 12:00 reservation at the Rose and Crown Pub in “England”. We leisurely made our way toward England from Norway, stopping off in Mexico for one last stroll through the marketplace – there were sugar skulls on display as part of the Arts Festival!

As we made our way across the world (ha-ha) there were numerous art booths dedicated to the International Festival of the Arts – both literal artwork and artwork done through food! I didn’t think to take pictures but there were so many interesting things – a giant chocolate chip cookie made to look like a painter’s palette, a pop-tArt that was made to resemble a canvas & propped on an easel and multiple different deconstructed foods! It was all so interesting to look at and take in – and people were lining up to purchase a bite!

After stuffing our bellies full of fish and chips, tea, bubble and squeak, potato leek soup and more, we made our way back to future world and designed our cars for Test Track. Shortly thereafter, we climbed into the cars and went whizzing around the track at speeds of over 65 MPH – my hair looks so cute in the picture from the ride, ha-ha! Speeding along and there I am, trying to get my hair out of my face! What a nut!

We hopped off our high speed test vehicles and headed for another mode of transportation entirely – the monorail from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom. We needed to get Pirates of the Caribbean and the train and have some Dole Whip (y’all know that stuff is the best) to have hit all the rides/desserts we wanted to do in the Magic Kingdom and so we made our way across the Disney property, high in the skies and speeding along…

We arrived at the park and made our way to Adventure Land and hopped in line for Pirates of the Caribbean! We got in line just in time; the wait went from 30 minutes to 55 and it also started pouring rain; thankfully the line is completely under cover! We took our cruise with the jolly pirates and I read somewhere that the ride is eight minutes long – but man it seemed like it was over in a flash! When we finished, the rain had stopped and so we had our Dole Whip and rode the train around to the front of the park – getting a nice breeze in the process!

Also – how much fun is the face my Mom made when the photographer told us to act like pirates? I love it!

We slowly made our way toward the front of the park, snapped a couple pictures for our last view of the Magic Kingdom for this visit and then hopped a bus over to Hollywood Studios!

 

We ended our vacation at Disney World with Hollywood Studios for one very important reason – we had tickets to a Star Wars dessert party on Friday night! The dessert party took place an hour and a half before the start of the new nightly Star Wars fireworks show and with your ticket to the dessert party, you got priority seating for the show!

As soon as we arrived at Hollywood Studios, we noticed the wait time for Star Tours was 25 minutes and so Lindsey and I immediately made our way to the Star Wars section of the park and hopped on board a star speeder. I’m not sure where the 25 minute wait time came from, but we hopped right on! Once we finished our ride, we grabbed churros and went to inspect the big fence concealing all the work being done on Galaxy’s Edge.

My Mom and sister went and did a re-do of their favorite thrill rides and my Dad and I relaxed on a bench and did a little people watching. I did take the chance to go peruse some shops and I found my new, beloved Star Wars purse – which I snapped up and carried around happily for the rest of the evening. We decided to grab a little something for dinner – nothing too heavy since the dessert party started at 6:30 – but even splitting the chicken nuggets was too much food, ha-ha!

We entered the Launch Bay at 6:30 and to our surprise, there was so much more to the dessert party than just dessert and special seating for the fireworks show!

The Launch Bay contained props from all eight films on display as well as original concept art for the movies. We learned that the Launch Bay was open only for the people with dessert party passes; we could have dessert, meet Chewbacca, Kylo Ren and BB-8, explore the Launch Bay and enjoy ourselves. We’d be taken to the special seating around 7:30! It was defintely a really cool experience and so we decided first and foremost we’d go meet Chewie!

 

That’s right guys – I’ve met Chewbacca. I know you’re all very jealous! Chewie was super friendly, hugged everyone and was basically a walking carpet…just like Princess Leia said!

We perused the collection of light sabers and helmets on display as we made our way to the other side of the Launch Bay and hopped in line to meet Kylo Ren. Kylo is very no nonsense, he ordered us around and immediately began trying to convince us that we needed to betray the rebellion. When my Dad told him that wasn’t going to happen, he took his picture with us and let us know we could leave, ha-ha!

We made our way to the dessert tables after our interactions with the Dark Side and realized pretty quickly that we should not have eaten a single thing for dinner. There were cupcakes and brownies and pudding cups and bite size krispie treats and bon bons and sugar cookies…and everything had a galactic name and Star Wars themed spin. There were tables set up to munch on the snacks and there were also drinks and more hearty food like a fruit salad and oh…I can’t even remember all the food. There was so much!

We ate dessert and drank a watermelon lemonade that was to die for – until we were about to pop! My Mom found a seat in the Launch Bay and the other three of us went on the hunt for BB-8! We found a short line, hopped into it and before long we were “talking” to BB-8 about supporting the Resistance; it was pretty funny!

We also perused more props and models from the film and original artwork that has been done in response to all the films in the Star Wars universe – it was just a nerd heaven honestly…

 

The artwork was crazy impressive – and all so very interesting to look at…

As we perused a gallery with props and models dedicated to the First Order and the Dark Side, we drew a little too much attention to ourselves and ended up being “harassed” by some Storm Troopers. They especially enjoyed telling my Dad that he didn’t need to be in that sector, that he needed to tell them what he knew of the Resistance and to stop being a troublemaker. It was hilarious!

 

In case you ever wondered – Storm Troopers aren’t really interested in being part of a “selfie”. Ha!

Those same Storm Troopers escorted us to a plaza around 7:30 and we had front row seats for the TWO night time shows at Hollywood Studios; both of which involve projections onto the front of Grauman’s Theater. The first show was about the magic of Disney movies and included clips from live action hits such as Beauty and the Beast, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mary Poppins, Dr. Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy…to name a few.

The pictures were not super easy to take – so they aren’t of the best quality…but then again, it is what it is. Of course I’m going to keep the picture of the Beast and Belle doing their iconic dance as a huge picture so you can see that one…

There were people everywhere y’all – I didn’t even realize how many until I flipped my phone around and snapped a look down Main Street behind us! Wowza!

And then – with the familiar fanfare of music – Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular started and I tried to take pictures but honestly…there was so much happening and so many things to look at and I was just trying to keep up! The show was amazing and for Star Wars nerds like my sister and I, we were absolutely mesmerized…

It was the perfect way to cap off our week at Disney – and now I’ve finally finished re-capping the entire week at Disney. It only took me almost a month to get the recaps up but I know I’ll love looking back on them and seeing the wonderful memories…so I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little bit about our Disney adventure!

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It was; of course, magical!

 

 

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