A Proposal and How to Conquer Disney World In 3 Days (part 1)!

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Now that I’m home from my Disney vacation, I can finally talk about what I’ve been waiting for… the proposal!

On the day we left for Disney, I couldn’t sleep. I was just too excited. I even woke up Brendan, who spent the last two nights at Wilco concerts. After breakfast, we struggled to find ways to pass the time before our car came to pick us up for Midway. I suggested we play Monopoly. Monopoly is our FAVORITE game. We probably play it once a week. And ever since he found out that I knew about the impending engagement, he has been teasing that he had hid the ring in the game box. Every time he’d tease, I’d open it up thinking… “well, maybe this time, he’s for real.”

I wasn’t falling for it on Saturday. I refused to open the box, but he was insistent. Eventually, I stopped protesting, and inside the box were two pieces of chocolate. I turned around to yell at him for tricking me again, but instead I found him on his knee, proposing. I’ve read so many engagement stories where they say it was a whirl, and that everything stops. It really does. And even though I knew it was coming and he knew what I was going to say, it still shocked me.

Oh, and the ring was GORGEOUS. It doesn’t look like any ring I’ve ever seen, which is what I wanted. It’s very modern without being too showy. And it just feels me. He reallllllly got it right.

  

After the proposal, we changed our facebook status, called and texted everyone close to us, and grabbed our bags for our trip. B had rented a limo for us, which was such a nice touch! We landed in Disney about three hours later.

*Let me just stop here and say that we CONQUERED Disney World, as in, we did EVERY SINGLE RIDE on our wishlist (which was pretty extensive, plus some). I did a lot of research beforehand on how to maneuver the parks, and it really paid off. The next part of this blog is a recap, in addition to a how-to-guide:

Our first night was spent at the Boardwalk. It’s a beautiful little area meant to look like 1920s seaside town. We wanted to enjoy it, but we were overwhelmed and tired. We did have a drink at the Atlantic Dance Hall and munched on some fries at the ESPN Zone. Either way, it’s great if you are a group of adults looking for something to do when most of the parks and shops are closed.

Our second day was at Hollywood Studios. For our days at the park, we followed the magic hours perk we got as guests in Disney resort hotels. Even though we could use the park late, we insisted on getting up early, taking the Disney buses to the park about an hour prior to the park opening, and waiting in line for the “rope drop” (the official opening of the park). Our goal of the day was to do three things: ride Rock n Roller Coaster; Star Tours; and Tower of Terror, take a class at the Animation Academy, and see Muppets in 3D all before we had to go back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Jiko in the late afternoon.

We started by lining up behind the rope drop nearest to Tower of Terror. As soon as the rope dropped, we walked quickly to the fastpass line and grabbed our first fast passes. Then we headed to Rock n’ Roller Coaster where the line was about 10 minutes, if that. We hopped on without fast passes.  When we were finished, we rode Tower of Terror. It was B’s first time and he loved it, so we grabbed another fast pass on our way out to ride it again. At this point, it was only 9am, so the park still wasn’t crowded. We shopped, then headed to Animation Academy where we learned how to draw B’s favorite, Donald Duck. The class was actually a TON of fun. And it killed 20 minutes of our wait for Tower of Terror, which we then rode a second time without waiting.

After that, we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping, seeing the Muppets (really no line, which shocked me) while waiting for our Star Tours fastpass, experiencing the cheesy joy that is the Great Movie Ride and Backlot Tour, and getting a free hot dog from a vendor that spotted our “Just Engaged” buttons. *If you are celebrating ANYTHING while in Disney, tell a cast member. They will give you a button or two that your whole party can wear around the park. Cast members and other vacationers were congratulating us left and right, and we got a couple little perks to go with it.

Late afternoon, we headed to Jiko in the AKLodge. The Lodge was gorgeous with a ton of animals roaming the grounds. They, hands down, had the best lobby of them all as well. And Jiko… omg…. I am not over exaggerating when I say that Jiko had maybe the best food I’ve ever had. Jiko is also overlooked compared to the other AKLodge restaurant, so it isn’t crowded. But mainly, I picked Jiko because of the full vegan menu. But for us meat eaters, I tried the duck, which was cooked perfectly. After dinner, the restaurant gave us free creme brulee made out of spices. It tasted just like pumpkin pie. Yum!

When we were done stuffing our faces with the best food ever, we jumped on the bus and headed back to Hollywood Studios for the Osbourne Family Lights. Basically, a guy in Arkansas decorated his home in millions of lights. Eventually, his neighbors complained about them and the crowd it was drawing, so he was forced to remove them. Disney bought the display and added it to the movie sets. From Thanksgiving to the New Year, you can walk around and watch the lights dance to music and see fake snow fall. It was gorgeous. Here’s a video I found:

We made it back to our hotel around midnight. So, here’s what we learned about how to conquer Hollywood Studios:

  1. Head to the big attractions first, either Tower of Terror or the Roller Coaster.
  2. Grab a fast pass for at least one of them and then ride the other without the fast pass. My personal opinion is that the Roller Coaster will most likely have a shorter line each time.
  3. Kill time for Star Tours or the other main rides by taking in one of the shows or doing the drawing classes. You can also meet a ton of Disney characters in the Animation area.
  4. Avoid the entrance for Indiana Jones and Star Tours if you are in a hurry. Go through shops or walk around through the fake town instead. The place gets congested fast, especially in the afternoon.
  5. We didn’t realize this, but the biggest wait was for the new Toy Story ride. So, if you have someone that must ride that ride, head there first and get a fastpass ASAP. By the time we headed to Pixar, the wait was 3 hours and the fast passes were all gone (by 3pm!).
  6. You can only get one fast pass per hour, so read your ticket carefully and prioritize.

… So that’s it. Tomorrow, I’ll post on how to do Magic Kingdom (aka, the holy grail) in 4 hours and EPCOT in 2. HA!

 

 

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