I want to start out by saying that I've never been so legitimately sad to come back from a vacation. Yeah, it's always a bummer to come home, but I don't know that I've ever actually been sad to see it end. Not as sad as I was when we got home on Tuesday, anyway. This trip was so necessary, and so much fun and relaxing at the same time! We've had to make so many big decisions in the past nine months, so it was really nice that the only things we had to decide on this trip were what rides to ride next and where to eat. And also which snacks to get. (The answer was all of them). We stayed at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort. This was our first time staying on the Disney property as a married couple (we stayed at Saratoga Springs with my parents before we got married) and it was so nice! In the past, we've fumbled with airport shuttles, and shuttles to and from the park, but Disney just does everything right. They have a shuttle that picks you up and drops you off at the airport, and their park shuttles run about every 20 minutes or so. Our resort is one of the value resorts, and I would say that when comparing it's prices to a non-Disney hotel, it's definitely worth it to pay a little more for the convenience of the shuttles!
We went to Epcot on our first day (which seems to be an accidental tradition for us) and had a blast. We were able to do all the big rides, all the chill rides, and eat our way around World Showcase. We had enchiladas in Mexico, gelato in Italy, a soft pretzel in Germany (that was for you, Jake and Alyssa!), and an eclair in France! Eating all the treats is obviously our favorite part of Epcot, but it was a great first day!
The next day we went to Universal Studios, and basically hung out in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade all day long. We ate an early lunch at the three broomsticks, watched a little show, and drank our weight in Butterbeer. The Hogwarts Express goes between the two parks, so we rode it three times both ways haha. We were a little all over the place! We also rode the new Jimmy Fallon ride, and E.T., but those were the only other things we did. Universal is mostly 3D simulator rides, and I don't do so well with those, so we didn't do quite as many things as we probably could have. We did watch the Animal Actors show, and good news everyone, the real Marley isn't dead! I got to pet another pup that was in the show and for a moment we locked eyes. It was magical.
Day three was spent at Animal Kingdom! They were open from 8 am to 1 am, so we had already planned for a nap in the middle of the day. It worked out really well, because we were able to get most of the rides done before noon (when it got blisteringly hot). We even got to ride Expedition Everest twice that morning! That night, we watched the new Rivers of Light show, which I very highly recommend! Animal Kingdom used to close before dark, but this show alone makes the extra hours worth it! We also were able to ride both new rides in the new Pandora section. We waited an hour for the river ride, and while it was cool, I don't know that I would wait that long again. The banshee ride however...wowza. We waited two hours for that ride (from ten to midnight, I was dying) and it was so worth it for the first time!! I can't even explain how cool it was, you'll just have to plan a trip and see for yourself!
Hollywood Studios is my second favorite park, so I was really looking forward to our fourth day of vacation! We got there as soon as the park opened, rode Rockin' Roller Coaster, then went straight to Tower of Terror! I always forget how much I love Tower of Terror, it's so good! After breakfast, we went to Star Tours, then tried to walk to the Backlot Tour, only to be disappointed. Everything in that area, the Backlot Tour, Lights Motors Action, and the little city section of the park are all closed!! That's where they are putting the new Star Wars area, but I was so sad!!! And then we discovered that they changed Pizza Planet to Pizzerizzo, and honestly we should have just called it a day then. We were seriously so sad. Brandon had even purchased a Pizza Planet hat, and we had the perfect picture all planned out, only to be disappointed. The rest of the day was fine, despite those few things. We had lunch at the Sci-Fi Diner, had two fastpasses for Toy Story Mania, watched Fantasmic, and got to see most of the Star Wars fireworks. All in all, a good day!!
Magic Kingdom is both mine and Brandon's favorite park, and we saved it for last. Like the other days, we got there as soon as the park opened, and surprisingly it was not very crowded. We didn't get to ride Pirates in Disneyland, so that was our first stop on this trip. We rode Pirates, Peter Pan, and Small World all within the first hour of the park opening, and did the Jungle Cruise shortly after. That park is seriously such a classic! I could go on forever telling you about every ride we did, but I won't. We rode rides and had some snacks, then had lunch at Be Our Guest (also highly recommend, for any meal, just make sure you go inside!). We felt like we had done most of the rides, so we went back to the hotel for a nap, and I just kept Brandon awake the whole time. I was exhausted, but my excitement for being at the park was stronger than my fatigue! We went back, had a snack at Gaston's Tavern, rode more rides, had hot dogs at Casey's Corner, then wandered around to find a spot to watch the special 4th of July fireworks (even though it was the 3rd). While we were walking, a girl snagged Brandon and told him she had some space, and was just looking for normal people to share it with, so we ended up with seats in the very front row closest to the castle!! The light show was great, and the fireworks were so good! It was really hard to leave at the end of the night, and I'm already wanting to plan another trip!
Even though we've been so many times, I feel like we learned a few new things on this trip. I'll post those a little later, since this one was so long. If anyone wants to book a trip to Disney, we're in!