What is better than graduating college after four years of tests, papers, and a thesis? Going to Disney of course! I was lucky enough, along with my boyfriend Wes, to fly down to Orlando and visit the happiest place on earth the day after we graduated. Here is my trip, every happy, crappy, and silly thing that happened. From start, which will be this post, to finish (which will be the next few posts).
We take a lovely plane ride from Huntington, WV to Orlando, FL. We're super excited! I buy a hat at the airport! I can't even wait to buy something until I get to the parks, that's how excited I am. After I buy my hat and a couple of muffins (because we are very hungry by now because it's like 5 o'clock), we head off to find out Disney Express which will take us to our Disney Hotel, Disney's Port Orleans Resort.
Only, where is this magical bus that's supposed to whisk me off on my adventure a lifetime in the making? We look everywhere. We get our luggage and search every little inch of that airport. Only to find out we've flown in to Orlando-Sanford Airport. Which does not provide you with a magical shuttle service to your hotel, sorry not sorry.
Well, obviously this gave me intense anxiety and I called my mom freaking out. MY first long distance trip without my parents and I can't even get to the freaking hotel. I was stranded at the airport, alone. Well, with Wes which is basically alone because at this point he's telling me it's okay and we'll take a taxi or rent a car. Like, I'm sorry Wes. We are almost ONE HOUR AWAY from our destination. A taxi will cost a million dollars and if we're even old enough to rent a car, I did not come prepared with that kind of money on my debit card.
Hence why I called my mom.
Anyway, after trying not to cry while figuring out how to get from point A to point B without spending all of our money or have a panic attack, we finally figured out a game plan. But, this game plan also gave me heaps of anxiety. (In case you haven't figured it out yet, I get anxiety a lot). Wes decided to download this handy-dandy app called Uber.
Now, I'm from small town West Virginia. We don't have this where I live. Mostly because there's zero use for it, but still. Uber is a scary concept, or it was in that moment. Take it from a girl who has watched way too many Criminal Minds episodes. Uber had getting kidnapped and killed all over it.
My mother and Wes did not seem to get the point because about five minutes later, after I had shoved my chocolate muffin down my throat, a man in a nice little car showed up to take us all the way to Disney.
Now, I will admit that this guy was nice, he put our luggage in his trunk, and offered us a water. As far as my past experience with Uber, which was none, this was going much better than my criminal infused thoughts of ten minutes ago.
The next 45 minutes to an hour go by pretty quickly; we take in the sights, make small talk with our driver, and decide what we're going to do with our evening. (But, just so everyone doesn't think I completely changed my mind about this Uber thing, I was documenting my journey to my friend, Morgan, who had orders to go to the FBI if I didn't answer her back after so long).
Slowly but surely we make it to Disney. Where there is construction EVERYWHERE. Like obviously magic takes work, but I didn't even get to go under the little arch that says to have a magical time or whatever because of this nonsense.
I was sad to say the least.
It was the least of my problems at this point, though. With the way this day had been going, I figured I wouldn't even be able to get into the hotel.
Finally, we arrive at Port Orleans and it's wonderful. It was so cool and it was playing soft jazz music so it really couldn't get any better. We get our stuff out of the nice mans trunk and head inside where a cute older man is all dressed up and wearing Mardi Gras beads. He lets us in and I swear I squealed like a little country pig that I am.
There was a little bar off to one side, the check in area off to the other, and a beautiful fountain with coins and beads inside right in front of me. I didn't think it could get any better, but of course it did. Obviously, I took pictures, to the enjoyment of Wes, and then we went to check in.
Disney does it right, guys. The guy that checked us in literally made me so excited to be there I think I could've ran to Disney World then and there. He told us everything about the hotel, cool things going on their and in the parks, gave us maps and brochures (I love brochures), and gave us pins which I put on my purse so everyone would know I was celebrating and it was my 1st visit.
I swear I'm five when it comes to this stuff.
We get our bags and head off in the direction of our hotel room. Now, normally a hotel where you enter from the outside is sketchy and I wouldn't stay somewhere like that. But, 1) this is Disney World and 2) it was seriously the coolest/prettiest place ever so I was perfectly okay with it. Walking down the streets with jazz, the colors, and the warm evening air was like I had stepped off the plane and into New Orleans.
I've never been there, but I feel like I had made it to a nice, kid-friendly French Quarter. It was like I was inside The Princess and the Frog.
We made it to our room which had a river view and everything was perfect. The view, the hotel, the fact that they were playing Moana at the hotel that Friday...
That evening, we decided to go to Disney Springs to look around and get some food.
And we went by boat.
Thankfully, no alligators were seen on this trip or I probably would have never done it again. Taking the boat is a great option if your hotel offers it. I think it was faster than taking the bus and you got a nice change of scenery while getting to see some of the other hotels along the way.
First impression of Disney Springs: If I think this is incredibly magical, which I did, what the heck is actual Disney World going to be like?
The art place was amazing, I wanted all of the paintings. I wanted all of the toys, cups, shirts, and kid's costumes. The only thing stopping me was my lack of funds. But, I did come away with a cup that looks like Chip from Beauty and the Beast!
Our next stop was food because we were starving and we had went all in with these bands and a dining plan. Cue The Boathouse.
While our meal cost us two Table Service credits each, it was well worth it in my opinion. We both got to enjoy some filet mignon and dessert and I'm fairly certain I gained 10 pounds, but I'd do it all over again.
We continued our look around the Springs as we digested our heavenly meal. I bought some presents for my loving family, made sure to get a cupcake from Sprinkles, per my friend's orders, and went inside every store related to Disney.
Did I mention that THE TREES TWINKLE AT NIGHT?? It's like little fairies living inside all of the trees, sparkling and lighting up my childhood heart. Needless to say that after a rough start, my first day in Disney was a success.
As we took the boat back to our hotel, I didn't know how I was going to get any sleep knowing that tomorrow, a Disney park awaited.
Also, for your viewing pleasure!
Here is a picture of me with an Olaf hat that Wes didn't think was cool enough to buy.