Disney World 2017 Travel Blog Part One


Travel — “to go on or as if on a trip or tour.”
-Merriam Webster’s Dictionary

I went on vacation around the end of July so this is super late, but trying to get through all of the videos and pictures I took on vacation took forever.  This trip was amazing and I didn’t want to leave.  I think every time I go I think it was the best trip, but this definitely is at the top of the list.
Day 1:  Arrival and Magic Kingdom
Since I unfortunately don’t live in Florida, it takes a while to get to Disney World.  Therefore, I had to wake up super early to catch a flight there.  When we go to our hotel, the Grand Floridian, we checked in and waited until our hotel room was ready for us.  To our surprise, we were upgraded to a Deluxe room, which means our room had a sitting area and a huge balcony.  The best part was our view; we had a partial view of the Castle and could see the lagoon.
For lunch, we had reservations at the Plaza Restaurant on Main Street U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom.  I have a specific set of places I like to go on the first day of any Disney World trip, and the Plaza is one of them.  I really didn’t need to talk to a chef about the allergy-friendly menu because I always order the Strawberry Chicken Salad, which has a great white zinfandel dressing and Gorgonzola on it.  We then rode a bunch of rides at Magic Kingdom, like the Carousel of Progress (my all time favorite Disney ride!), PeopleMover, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Splash Mountain, and the Seven Dwarves Mine Train.  I also got to try a Dole Whip for the first time, and it was amazing!  I can’t believe I’ve never had one before and I think it’s become a staple of my Disney vacations from now on.  Since we had an early morning, we went back to our hotel to relax for the night.

Day 2:  Epcot
Before we left for our first park of the day, we ate breakfast from Gasparilla Grill, which is definitely my favorite quick service restaurant in Disney.  I ordered the gluten free waffles, and they tasted just like regular waffles, I couldn’t really tell a difference.  We then took the monorail from the Grand to the Ticket and Transportation Center and then to Epcot.  Just between you and me, the classic Epcot might beat out Magic Kingdom in my list of favorite Disney Parks.  I love the concept of the World Showcase and a world of invention.  I really wanted to see Joy and Sadness at Epcot, but the line was so long, and we never got back to see them.  Soarin’ has been on my list of favorite Epcot rides since it opened in 2005 so when they opened the new version of Soarin’, I couldn’t wait to go on it.  It was only fitting that it was the first ride we rode in Epcot this trip.  The new version takes you over so many beautiful places in the world, but the original ride is still better.  I think they should have both versions all the time.  The next stop was Living with the Land, which always amazes me with how Disney even innovates with food!
If you read my initial blog post about my Disney trip, then you would know one of the things I really wanted to do was go on the Frozen ride.  New rides at Disney always have like a three hour wait so when we saw the wait was only 30 minutes, I knew we had to take advantage of it.  After about 15 minutes of waiting, we were on the new ride.  It was a really cute ride, but only lasted about three minutes so I would definitely not wait three hours for it.  We then went on Journey Into Imagination with Figment.  Little secret, my dad’s favorite part is when Figment turns into a skunk in the smell lab, and you can figure out the rest.
For dinner, we ate at ‘Ohana, which is also one of my family’s favorites.  They offer a great family style meal with unlimited grilled steak, chicken, and shrimp.  Their gluten-free alternatives were really good, but my favorite part of the meal is the salad and the peel and eat shrimp.  The shrimp are doused in a sweet chili sauce, and with the grill marks makes them so delicious.  For dessert, instead of the bread pudding, the chef prepared a cookie a la mode dish for me, which included delicious brownie cookies.  After dinner, we went back to Magic Kingdom to walk around and see what rides we could get on.  Once we were done riding Under the Sea, it was time for the fireworks so we watched Happily Ever After from behind the castle.  It’s a great show, and stay tuned for Part 2 for my whole review.  We also rode Buzz Lightyear again (my dad won yet again), and with that, our night at the Kingdom concluded.

Day 3:  Epcot (Part Deux)
Yes, I did go to Epcot two days in a row.  What can I say?  I really like it.  Today, we were on a mission to ride Test Track, and we did.  Unfortunately, my car didn’t win in any of the testing.  We also rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends and then saw Turtle Talk with Crush, which now includes some of the characters from Finding Dory!  I honestly love how excited the little kids get during this show.  From Epcot, we walked over to Beaches and Cream for an early lunch.  I did utilize the allergy-friendly menu there.  I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with a gluten free bun and fries.  The allergy fryer wasn’t working so they had to bake my fries for me, which actually made them even more delicious.  Of course, you can’t go to Beaches and Cream and not get ice cream.  On our way back to the Grand, we rode Spaceship Earth and saw a sneak peek into our future.
After our afternoon rest, we went back to Magic Kingdom to see other things we hadn’t seen yet this trip.  But first, we had to stop and get a Dole Whip (I told you I really liked them).  We went on Swiss Family Treehouse and Pirates of the Caribbean (always a Disney classic).  On our way out, we stopped at one of my favorite places in Magic Kingdom, the Confectionery!  I love seeing them make chocolate covered apples and other magical creations.  While I was there, an amazingly sweet cast member gave me a Beauty and the Beast cupcake for my birthday.  Honestly, it was one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me at Disney.  For a late night snack when we got back, my mom and I got a gluten-free tomato basil flatbread, which I could probably eat every day of my life.
Day 4:  Animal Kingdom/Disney Springs
Honestly, this day was one that I was waiting for for so long.  Ever since Disney announced Pandora’s rides and restaurants, I couldn’t wait to see the new additions to Animal Kingdom.  When the land finally opened, I watched every YouTube video and read every blog post I could get my hands on about the new land.  I made sure that I got a FastPass for Flight of Passage because I could only imagine what the lines would be like for it.
When we first got to Animal Kingdom, we went straight for Pandora to ride the Navi River Journey.  After waiting about five minutes, we were on a journey into the world of Pandora.  The bioluminescence of the plants and the sheer imagination in this ride was amazing.  The ride didn’t last too long, but I’d definitely go on it again.  We then had a FastPass for Kilimanjaro Safaris.  Definitely go on this in the morning!  I saw so many animals that were out for their morning feedings.  After the safari, it was time to go on Flight of Passage.   Honestly, I think Disney did a great job with it.  You totally feel you’re riding on the back of a banshee.  After seeing the ride setufp, my mom was scared she’d feel claustrophobic on it, but she totally loved it too.  For lunch, we went to Satu’li Canteen, which is like a better version of Chipotle (don’t kill me, I love Chipotle too!).  My dad does not recommend the burger pods, but the chicken with rice and creamy herb dressing is amazing!  I also got the Mo’ara Margartia from Pongu Pongu, which was really refreshing.  Our last adventure in Animal Kingdom for the day was Expedition Everest, which is a great roller coaster.

After relaxing in our hotel room for the afternoon, we checked out the new Disney Springs.  Last time I was there, they were just starting to revamp Downtown Disney so I hadn’t seen the extent they changed it.  Since we were there at the end of July, Disney Spring celebrated Christmas in July so I got to see Santa, and everything was decorated for Christmas.  For dinner, we grabbed a quick meal at the Polite Pig, and let me tell you, their sweet potato tots were one of the best things I ate in Disney.  Of course, I went shopping and I’m really impressed with what they’ve done in Disney Springs.  The classic Downtown Disney shops, like World of Disney and Tren-D, are still there, but Disney added so many other great stores like Kate Spade, Sephora, etc.
When I first started writing this, I totally thought I’d be able to fit my whole trip in one blog post, but then I realized there was so much to write about that I decided to split it into two posts.  Wednesday, part two will be on here with more of my favorite things I got to do in Disney World this summer!


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