Disney World and Orlando, Florida
Nothing says winter in the northeast like taking a quick trip to Florida. Ahh the palm trees swaying in the breeze. The 70 degree weather.
This post comes a little late because of how busy my Husband and I have been with opening a new music venue in Portsmouth, NH. And we came to Florida not only to get away from the busy-ness of the new business up north, but also for me to see Disney World for the first time. And there were a few firsts on this trip!
Can we talk about Waffle house real quick? A cute old-world 1950's style fast paced diner with no frills or fuss and cheesy hash browns to go with your cheesy eggs and cinnamon toast. I never realized how well this all went together! Our server was a cute southern girl named Candy and she was sweet as pie. Everyone seemed to have service with a smile. How's that for southern hospitality?
I will say that it wasn't necessarily southern hospitality at first. We ran into a little bit of a fiasco in terms of our accommodations at first. We booked a private room of an Airbnb, which looked nice and had a pool and outdoor tiki bar. What we weren't too comfortable with was that our room didn't have a door. Nope, no door. Just a curtain. How's that for privacy?
So we got a hotel closer to Disney instead. Much better.
There was a brewery restaurant called the Ale House right across the street from our hotel where we grabbed some quick apps and a couple of beers to kick off our trip.
Later that night we explored some of what orlando had to offer. International Drive had A TON of different restaurants, arcades, you name it. We never tried Ethiopian food - so this was another first.
We were pleasantly surprised! We looked at reviews on Yelp first and this little hole in the wall place that was part of a plaza ended up being quite fantastic. When you eat ethiopian food, you basically unroll a bit of this doughy flat bread and pick up different portions of meat, spiced veggies or salad with the piece of bread and eat it with your hands. We totally need an Ethiopian joint back up north because now I want some more!
They had an array of Ethiopian beer and I tried what was called a honey wine. Slightly sweet and tasted exactly how you think it would.
Then there was Disney. We got a perfect day for it. High 70's weather and sunny. This was the entrance when you first walk into the park.
They had parades every couple of hours and they rope off certain areas for the floats to come through. We were just in time to see one in action.
Disney is MAGIC around christmas time. You'll see a lot more of what I'm talking about further down this post.
My FAVORITE ride of all time - The Teacups!!
My life is COMPLETE!!
We're entering the space zone! So many people walking through everywhere. This was around lunch time so many people were sitting down with their treats. Lots of chicken tenders and fries or burgers.
Obligatory Disney selfie
Obligatory Big Thunder Mountain ride selfie
This shot reminded me a lot of Germany by the Neuschwanstein castle. Did you know Disney actually modeled his Disney castle off of it? Now you do!
Definitely Bavarian style buildings here! Very whimsical.
It's a small world ride took about two hours to get on. But it is one of the most famous! What a spectacle.
Dusk at Disney.
Gazebo's and boats passing by.
This was a dinner boat ride through Disney.
Mike's very happy about the dinner boat.
Waiting in line for the Haunted mansion ride. Getting eerie here.
Big thunder mountain went down earlier in the day due to technical difficulties, so of course we came back.
Everybody was making their way to the magic castle to see the fireworks.
There they are!
They had all sorts of lighting displays. Here was a winter one on the magic castle!
Here is main street where they had a big christmas tree and all the little buildings lit.
We heart disney!
Mike's not sure.
I'm like, "hip hip hooray!!"
Now he's happy because we're going to get ice cream!
We're both pretty happy about that. What made this scene extra magical was that it started SNOWING. in florida. Where it was still 70 degrees. It was fake snow from but still.
Here's the famed ice cream parlor. I wish I could bottle up how good it smelled in here. We got a hot fudge sundae of course.
There were lots of lit parade floats.
And lit dancers!
Here was a rainbow display that I didn't zoom in and catch in time.
They even had an american flag display!
Back to tomorrow land to hit our last ride of the night. Space mountain!
This was the longest line of they day. 2.5 hours. But it was SO worth it. You are basically in a fast turning roller coaster in the dark for what feels like 15 minutes. Exhilarating!
Getting ready to head back to the hotel. Mikes not happy.
The next day we were sucked into a meeting that the hotel was hosting for info about a time share. We just wanted the free breakfast. 2 hours later. At least the view was nice.
(note the minions in the background)
On our last day in Orlando, we checked out Disney downtown. A place you can get into for free that had a bunch of restaurants. We had reservations at the Rainforest Cafe - another first for me!
On our walk over the the restaurant. You can see the sign in the distance.
Mike's jumping in! "Outta here!"
I told Mike to make the same face as his Rainforest cafe tiki glass. Close enough.
I didn't have a face :( But the margarita was tasty! Look at that giant aquarium behind me!
This place was PACKED. We were lucky we got a seat. Most were big parties.
We got to sit next to the big elephant. The big papa. The waiter warned us when he sat us to be careful because the animals "come alive." That they did. Periodically certain animals in different parts of the room would move and make noises. Monkeys, giraffes, toucans, you name it!
We ended the night with the jacuzzi and a couple tequila sunrises at the hotel.
Kids were still up and playing in the pool. So relaxing. Taking it all in before we had back home tomorrow.
There you have it. Our amazing trip to Disney! My first time and Mike's first time going as an adult! We wanted to go while we were still a twosome to experience it without kids and this was the perfect time! It was nice to get away from the cold winter months for a couple days and see sunny Florida, and Magical Disney world during the holidays.