Nick's Birthday at Walt Disney World
How could we possibly take a trip to Disney World and not share it with you guys?! If you’re relatively new to our blog, you may not know what we’ve been taking these yearly trips to Walt Disney World for years and we love to share our photos and stories with you all here. So without any further delay, here’s the latest!
Hey! It’s the birthday boy, Nick!
I love that Jenna points out to our family & friends that it was my idea to go to Disney World for my birthday this year..
.. And she’s absolutely correct. Hey, I’m a kid at heart. No shame there!
Most of the world has this preconceived notion that Orlando is hot year round, but it’s not at all. It actually gets brutally cold and we love doing Walt Disney World when the weather is a bit chilly. There’s less people and there’s a certain Christmas vibe that accompanies cold weather, in addition to all the amazing holiday decorations anywhere you go. And if you know us well, you know we go into theme parks with a plan to maximize activities for the duration we know we’re going to be there. Let’s get right into our 2-days of fun Disney World..
DAY 1 - PARK 1
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Part of our maximization is trying to do at least two parks per day. So on my birthday, we decided to do Hollywood Studios & Magic Kingdom. I would venture to say these are my favorite parks at WDW, but after further discussion with Jenna, it’s impossible to make that decision because every park has its own personality & perks. We were eager to do Hollywood Studios for many reasons, but one of our main reasons was to experience Toy Story Land for our first time. So, we started our day with Joffrey’s Coffee, met up with our friend Sarah, and hit the ground running straight to Toy Story Land to ride Slinky Dog Dash. Jenna and I were under the incorrect assumption that it was kind of a kids ride. We were pleasantly surprised at how much fun it was, and that it’s not at all a kiddie coaster. I’m always a big fan of the queues and admiring the attention to detail — this queue was chalk-full of little Easter eggs and the ride was even more enjoyable. While we were at Hollywood Studios, we hit up our fav’s including Rock n’ Roller Coaster & The Twilight Zone Hollywood Tower Of Terror. We said our goodbyes to Sarah, Mickey-shaped treats were consumed and then we made the trek over to Magic Kingdom.
FUN FACT: People walk into our photos all the time. Like almost any time we shoot photos in a public place. Usually we just carry on shooting and attempting to get the perfect photos. This time was no different but our friend Sarah was kind enough to volunteer to take a few snaps, and we encouraged her to just keep going if people walked into frame - not thinking anything out of the ordinary would occur. Then this happened… and bless her heart, Sarah just kept snapping away and got it all!
This family didn’t just walk through our photo… they stopped in front of us and had some kind of a family reunion. So here you go; our reactions to the whole scene. We felt like it deserved sharing!
DAY 1 - PARK 2
Magic Kingdom Park
When we got to Magic Kingdom, there was a plan in place with Fast Passes and sneaking in time to eat lots of food, as well. We also really enjoy the People Mover. I consider it a hidden gem of the park and it’s something that Jenna & I always make sure we ride when we’re there. We made sure to go on Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and we were fortunate enough to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train — TWICE! I think that may be my favorite ride at Magic Kingdom.
Oh! If you’re ever at Disney World (or Disneyland) around the holidays, they change the “Jungle Cruise” to the “Jingle Cruise”. The dry humor goes a long way with Jenna & I, so this ride is always a solid go to for us. It’s basically all holiday-themed Dad jokes with decor to match. We concluded our night on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and actually got to catch the fireworks show while we were on the ride, which was an added bonus.
It was an amazing way to spend my actual birthday.
DAY 2 - PARK 1
Day 2 consisted of doing Epcot and Animal Kingdom together. We decided to do Epcot early because we wanted to enjoy Animal Kingdom at night. On our flight over to Orlando, we decided to watch Frozen, which I had only seen once before & don’t remember being much of a fan initially. The newest ride at Disney World is the Frozen ride @ Epcot, which ended up being the first thing we did when we got there. The technology on this ride is definitely state of the art & surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. Consider me an Olaf fan from here on out.
I also got to experience the Test Track ride for the first time, which was comparable to Radiator Springs @ Disneyland. (Quick tip: It was an hour wait. Go single rider on this attraction & you’ll be on the ride in 5 minutes.) After that, we ventured through many countries, tasting many delicacies along the way, like bratwursts in Germany, guacamole in Mexico, & beignets in France. I got completely dusted with powdered sugar from the beignets and Jenna couldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculous I looked afterwards. I was just channeling my inner Olaf. After we walked around the world, it was time to hit the final park of our amazing trip: Animal Kingdom.
DAY 2 - PARK 2
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
So, the last time we went to Animal Kingdom, we wanted to experience Pandora - The World Of Avatar. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to check out the Na’vi River Journey attraction, so we made a point to get on it this time around. But, we can’t lie on this one.. it was a letdown for us. We waited almost 2 hours and the ride felt like it was 2 minutes long, but also nowhere near the amazingness of Flight Of Passage. We could go on that ride all day long and it wouldn’t get old to us. It’s borderline emotional.
The food was stellar at Satu’li Canteen and was actually a great healthier option, for those folks who are often wondering about healthier places to eat in the park. Two thumbs up. But, one of the main reasons we do Animal Kingdom later in the day is to ride Everest at night. There’s something about riding it at night that makes it feel completely different and the Yeti is so huge & utterly terrifying, it almost makes me sick.
We also snuck in a nighttime ride on the Kilimanjaro Safaris which was surprisingly pretty busy with animals that late at night. We had a few rhinos walk right by the car we were in and they had not a care in the world. Just wanted to say hello. We also had a few friends with us who used to work the ride, so they were pointing out little hidden details on the inner workings of the ride & some interesting history on the animals. After a long day spent at Animal Kingdom, we met up with another friend for dinner at Ohana, located at the Polynesian Village Resort, where we completely gorged ourselves & enjoyed our final night together on my birthday trip.
We spent a lot of time at Disney Springs over the entire week we were in Orlando. We usually make a point to go to The Boathouse, our favorite lakefront restaurant in the Springs. Two other honorable mentions that are ‘musts’ for us are Morimoto Asia and SKT Orlando. Jenna and I wandered into a bakery to pick up some of these amazing holiday treats, as well.
One other really cool thing we did on this trip was to walk the Christmas Tree Trail on Downtown Disney. They have fake snow falling as you walk through, gazing upon massive Disney movie theme trees. Jenna and I are all about holiday decorations so this was a massive bonus. If you’re at WDW during the holidays, you definitely should make time to do this free walk. Not to mention, you can meet Santa there too. Mostly though, we’re here for the awesome ornaments.
Hope you guys enjoying reading about our latest trip to Disney World. Next up is our time at Universal Orlando Resort. So if you’re a fan of Harry Potter or just awesomeness in general, you’ll want to keep an eye out for that.