Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Day In Wonderland!

Before I start about the most wonderful day ever, I have a confession and a very important message. We shall start with the message....

Thank you!! Thank you to everyone who reads my blog, whether you are anxiously waiting for your CRP or CP to start, or have already arrived, if you're one of my amazing friends I grew up with or my extremely supportive family, or if you're just someone who loves Disney, or even if you got here by accident - I appreciate each and every one of you taking time out of your days and busy lives to take a few minutes to read about my greatest passions in life.  I started this blog 3 years ago (June 11th, 2008!!) as something to pass the time while I waited for the biggest opportunity of my life, as well as for a way for my family to know what I was up to 3000 miles away from home.  Over the last year especially it has been a huge resource for me to turn to while going through the interviewing process again, as well as a place to document a very hard but incredible year all leading up to this absolutely amazing experience that I don't even have words to explain (although boy do I try!).  Thank you so much for hanging in there with me, and going through this journey with me! 

If you have any suggestions, comments, words of advice, things that will make the blog better, questions about the programs, questions about living in Orlando, questions about discovering Orlando outside of Disney, vacation planning questions (I can plan a unreal Disney vacation catered to exactly what you want ;) ), or anything else please leave a comment or write to me at !! I would love any comments, or just say Hi! If you're coming down I'm fun to hang out with ;)  

Thank you all again! Please keep stopping by :)

Can you imagine this at your wedding?!
Now for my confession...I've been spending way too much time over the last two days looking at THIS!  I've also somehow discovered planning journals on the disboards (not that I frequent them) and it is a bad bad addiction! I am both single and not really interested in being tied down currently, however, I love reading about these big famcy Disney weddings! I think it started because my roommate got an invitation to a wedding at the Wedding Pavilion at Disney for December and ever since I saw it I've been thinking about them way too much.  Also my dear lovely beautiful sister Kim is getting married, to the greatest future brother in law you could ever wish for, in 63 DAYS and I really wish I could be there to help with all the rest of the planning! I will be home soon, but it's really getting me in the planning mood! I love love love planning! I'm telling myself it's all for Kim's sake, I wonder if I can blame looking at pictures of super fancy birthday/anniversary/wedding cakes on her wedding as well?

I'm personally thinking this bad boy...should feed 50 right? ;)
I am going to tell you about my incredible day at Disney in photo essay form, in honour of Kim, who thinks a blog post is not good unless it is over loaded with photos:

To start off I will tell you that I went to the Magic Kingdom for my dear friend Tyler's Birthday!!! Ty was my main podium trainer when I started my program back in 2009, and we did about half of our contracts together! He currently works on the Disney Dream as a Youth Counsellor but is also doing a second program starting November 1st, 2011!! He invited me to the parks to celebrate his birthday with him and there was no way I was passing up the opportunity to see him for the first time in a very very long time, as well as celebrate him in the greats place on earth!! 
My roommate Emily offered to drop me off at the MK so I got there at 8:30am
and found all the gates at the TTC locked!  There were extra magic hours so we weren't
allowed to the front of the park until about
ten to 9am

From the monorail! Yay Grand Floridian! 

Ahhhh Castle! I was sooooo excited! 

Setting the scene

I have a weird obsession with families/groups with matching shirts.
I think they are both hilarious and horrifying, and I want to match one day.

Tyler and his friends had to come straight off the ship that morning
so I was a little early waiting for them, it was so exciting seeing him though!!

While strolling through Adventureland we came across this fellow! Captain Jack!
Tyler really wanted to watch the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It Parade!!
Before the parade we rode
Tyler's favourite..the Haunted Mansion!


Tyler shaking his tail feather!
In this parade you get invited into the streets to dance with the characters!
It's super fun!


He waved right at me!!

Frozone getting down with his bad self

I like this Minnie Dress! It's so pretty and colourful!

King Louie!!!!!!!

Lumiere! After the parade we went on Splash Mountain and got soaked!
I was in the front row with Ty's friend Andrew, and even put my hands up!
I'm getting so brave with old age :)

Main Street Trolley horse and not so hidden Mickey!

The Trolley Song! They perform all along Main Street off the trolley!
Definitely stop and watch this if you're heading up the street and are
lucky enough to catch it!

Guess where we are now?!!!

Kona Cafe!!! This is where Ty wanted to go for his birthday lunch! It was SO good!
I had the Kona Salad and a side of sweet potato crisps, and Tyler didn't want to drink alone so he made me get an Island Sunset - A delicious blend of spiced rum, coconut rum, melon, and peach combined with our guava passion fruit juice. 
I'm not going to lie, this drink was phenomenal! It tasted so good! I haven't really been drinking at all lately, so that may have added to my excitement over this one. Tropical deliciousness!
Kona Cafe has the most wonderful sweet bread and macadamia nut butter!! However they only serve it with dinner. Well I asked our server and she told us they had started baking the bread for dinner and she would try to snag us some - and boy did she deliver! Hot bread and freshly made butter! I don't usually swoon over bread, but honestly eat this if you go!!!
After lunch Tyler and his cruise ship friends had to leave to go back to the ship before it debarked! It was a great morning and I'm so glad that I got to spend it with them!! Once we finished lunch I decided to head over to Animal Kingdom as Tyler had used his maingate so I had park access all day! I'd been thinking about only one thing for quite a while...
Welcome! I haven't been here in over a year!!

If you insist!

The Tree of Life!

I had planned on riding the Safari but it had an hour wait and there was something else I wanted to see...

I rode Everest in the single rider line which went pretty quickly!
The ride stopped for an extended time at the part where it goes backwards
and again where it's switches to going forward again. I was scared we were going to have to unload
or that a non-stopped train would come smashing into us.
Clearly neither of those things happened, although the little boy I rode with
was super bizzare! He was yelling rude things when it was stopped
and then said how great it was afterwards. I was glad to not see him again :)

We need this tree for our Entertainment, Events and Arts event!
This is when I finally got to see what I'd been looking forward to for SO LONG! and the only think I could concentrate on for quite a while when I thought about Disney...
TIGERS!!! Yes, I wanted to see the tigers soooooo badly!!! 

Pretty kitty!

And saw them I did!!!

Wedding photo location? See I have a problem...

The tigers in the water! The tigers in the water!!

I was extremely extremely excited about this!

Yup, obsessive! But man oh man, they are such majestic creatures!

I don't really like birds, but this was pretty cool!

Gateway to Heaven
 I left the Animal Kingdom and took the bus to Wilderness Lodge to catch the boat to the Magic Kingdom where I was meeting my friend Amanda from school.  I was texting my dear friend Craig who was at work and let him decide whether I went to the Grand Floridian and took the monorail or Wilderness Lodge and took the boat! Thank goodness he picked Wilderness Lodge because it's definitely my favourite resort! 
Look at how grand the lobby is! 7 stories! It's just so beautiful, and kind of reminds me of
home and the West Coast. 

The boat to Magic Kingdom!

Safe D begins with Me! ;)

Shots from the boat



Train! I would like to be a train engineer! They would be such an unreal job shadow!

There it is! Ron Logan's window!

Afternoon Castle!

 I met Amanda at Casey's Corner and we went exploring together! We rode Big Thunder Mountain many many times! We also did Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Laugh Floor, Carousel of Progress, and the TTA Peoplemover!
Skyway construction! They are taking it down for "future projects,"
I've heard they are going to put washrooms over here to move the ones across the way for when 
they redo the Peter Pan queue! 

Philharmagic!!! It's so good! Mmmmm pie without calories!

Fantasyland construction! It was so neat to see! They're coming along quite well!

They themed they construction walls pretty well, they also have a huge bunch of trees along 
the wall to cut the sound as well as hide everything!

This ride is going to be cool! The carts will sway side to side on the track 

I would like to work here. I'm sure the majority of serving cast members would like to as well.
We all have to have goals right? ;)

Construction at the Speedway end of Fantasyland!
 We had dinner at the Columbia Harbour House! (I know there is no 'U' in America, but my auto-correct and I will stay with proper English thank you very much!) Amanda and I both had kids meals (a drink, two sides and an entree for $5.00? Yes please!) I went for the treat and had macaroni, french fried and apple sauce with a water! It was sooooo filling and neither of us finished our meals! I don't know how kids are suppose to eat all that, I've got to up my eating abilities haha. Just kidding! I could probably get away with sharing a kids meal but with a larger water.  Future planning ;)

We went on the Haunted Mansion right after dinner and I was set on finding the engagement ring! The story goes that there was a piece of a old post that looked like an engagement ring in the exit side walk, and throughout the years a folklore was formed about it that the bride had thrown the ring out the window. 
Well that "ring" got paved over, and they actually hid an engagement ring in the new queue!!! I had read that it wasn't obvious and you had to look for it.  I asked a cast member where it was but she wouldn't tell me (in the end I was glad).  So we went in and in the dark scoured the ground for a ring in the cement! It was off in a corner, but I won't say exactly where in case you want to hunt it down! I was SO excited when I found it though! Like celebratory dance happy :D Then we went to see these beauties:

We watched the fireworks from right in front of the castle! We also saw the
Memories Magic and You show again and it is breathtaking! A must see!

My fireworks shots are never that great but I always try!

It's pretty right?

 While watching the fireworks we met a really lovely family.  The father was trying to take pictures of the fireworks as well and showed me his! We started talking and he told us how they had saved to bring their two boys and daughter to Disney World for quite a while and it was the best thing they ever did. Even now thinking about him getting teary eyes talking about their vacation, and his children and the hold experience gets me verklempt.  He said that they decided to sign up for the Disney Vacation Club and would be coming down every year now.  We told them a bit about how incredible it is at Christmas and they are going to try and come down around the holidays.  Its moments like that, and talking to families like this one that make me swell with pride and love for Disney and the joy it brings.  I wished in that moment that I could have done something for the family, I wished I'd met them as a cast member so I could have hooked up something extra magical! It was the best moment in the day.

And we had some pretty incredible moments! Like Amanda somehow getting us VIP seating for the Main Street Electrical Parade!! It was soooooo cool!! All the characters think you're VIP (plus there are no other guests in the area) so they all come over to you and talk, high five or blow kisses! 
Dopey and his mine train!

Half the dwarves had to walk, half got to ride the float! 
Captain Hook was having some type of mishap and a manager actually got on the float in front of us, turned Hook around and fixed him! 

During the Pinocchio sequence I was trying to take a picture and a donkey ran up and scared me! It was pretty fun! After riding Big Thunder Mountain 4 more times we decided to call it a day and Amanda dropped me off around 1am.  Yup, 8:30am - 1am... 14 hour Disney Day! How many ways can you say heaven on earth?

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