Remember how I said that Boardwalk has it’s own entrance to Epcot? Well on our last day we walked down the Boardwalk, went up to an entrance with NO line, and waltzed on into the park. Literally such a luxury. We spent our last day touring the countries, and browsing everything the flower and garden show has to offer! Epcot does it every spring, and it features stunning topiaries of favorite characters!
This is one of my favorite shots! Belle is one of my favorite princesses, and their topiaries in France were amazing.
Next are some snaps from the countries! Above and below were both in Morocco!
This was my first funnel cake ever.. yes I’ve had fried dough before and I know they are almost the same thing but this was amazing.
Anna and Elsa looking flawless in Norway.
Lady and the Tramp in Italy.. as much as I love The Lion King I think these are my favorite topiaries from the flower and garden show! In Epcot we Fastpassed some character pictures, the Frozen Ride, and Test Track. After spending the morning at the park, we had to head back to the Boardwalk to have a bite to eat. We grabbed a pizza, but as we were eating we saw this…
There was a wedding happening on the Boardwalk!!! It was gorgeous, with the glass carriage and six little white horses pulling it. Such a fairy tale moment.
After pizza and ice cream we headed back to the hotel to grab our carry on luggage and wait for the Magical Express. (If you have a late flight, just go to Bell Services in the morning to drop your luggage off, Disney will transport it to the airport so you can spend the day enjoying the parks and not worrying about luggage!). The week went by SO fast, and I cannot wait to return to the parks! Below is a little video I put together from this trip.. I hope you all enjoy it, and have a great rest of your weekend!
Thanks for watching and reading along this week, love you all!
Alright, we are winding down to the end of my Disney Diary posts! Today I am chatting about the final hotel we stayed at for the week, Disney’s Boardwalk! It’s the other hotel on my top two list, and really is incredible. The rooms are beautiful, airy, and feel so spacious. Although the rooms are great, that really isn’t the best part. Boardwalk is set on an actual Boardwalk, complete with an ESPN club, restaurants, and an ice cream shop. Not going to lie, this ice cream place had probably the best Cookies N’ Cream I have ever had, just sayin’! Good ice cream is a priority.
Okay so the other amazing part of Boardwalk? It has it’s own entrance to Epcot! That means no waiting for a bus, no bus ride time, and no long lines when entering the park. It’s amazing, trust. However on Day 5 I woke up bright and early to hit Animal Kingdom by myself! I just wanted to take my time, take some pictures, and record some clips for videos while in the park.
As for my Fastpasses during the second Day at Animal Kingdom? I did Dinosaur (yes, again, don’t judge), Kilimanjaro Safaris, and The Festival of The Lion King. I highly recommend the Animal Kingdom shows, both Finding Nemo and The Festival of The Lion King are amazing, plus it’s nice to sit for awhile when you’ve been walking around the parks for days. After spending the morning in Animal Kingdom, I hopped on a bus and made my way to Hollywood Studios to meet up with everyone else.
Once at Hollywood, we did a few photo-spots and then made our way over to Rock N’ Rollercoaster. I refused to ride it when I was younger, and didn’t get the chance during my last Disney trip in May. Although I was super nervous, I ended up LOVING it! Seriously such a fun ride. I will say that the beginning is the worst part; you go from a dead stop to 60 mph and it’s a bit of a shock to the system. After that it’s a blast! Because Rock N’ Roll was so much I got a little bold and ended up doing Tower or Terror. I think I mentioned this earlier in the week, but I have always refused to do Tower. Always. However, I know that it’s a huge part of “Disney Culture” so I took the risk and tried it. I cried in the line. I cried when we sat in the elevator. I sobbed the entire time. It was awful, but the picture was great. For me it’s just the up-and-down motion, I can do loops on a coaster fine but I don’t even like to ride in normal elevators, they make me queasy. Thankfully Katrina was able to tell me exactly when we were about to drop, that made me feel a bit better but it was still brutal! Never again, but at least I can say I’ve done it once! Sidenote, I also hate bashing Tower because I know so many people love it! Just if you don’t like a straight up and down motion, I really don’t recommend it! If anything just do it one time just to say you did!
At night we went back to Magic Kingdom, during which we did Splash Mountain and Mine Train! I was also tempted to get that mac and cheese at Friar’s Nook again, but had some self control and refrained.
I have one more Disney related post set up for tomorrow, and after that it’ll be back to regular outfit posts and content, promise!
So by Day 4, we were really moving up in the world hotel-wise. Animal Kingdom Lodge is a deluxe hotel, which means is part of the “best” group of Disney hotels and is usually a bit more pricey. However, you get what you pay for and although ALL Disney hotels are nice, the deluxe hotels usually have more attention to detail (For example, our shower had this gorgeous tile work with textured, almost stamped animals). Animal Kingdom Lodge is also super sentimental, as it’s where we stayed when I went to Disney for the first time with my family! The Animal Kingdom Lodge is divided between the Jambo House and Kidani Village. Kidani Village is the Disney Vacation Club component of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which essentially means that those who have timeshares usually stay in Kidani Village. But you can also “rent” Disney Vacation Club points and stay in Kidani Village! It’s essentially a little smaller than the Jambo House, but just as beautiful.
Can you spot the hidden Mickey?!
So gorgeous, right?! Animal Kingdom is definitely one of my top two places to stay. You can select Savannah View rooms and be able to see Animal Kingdom’s wildlife species from your balcony. Although it does cost extra, if you have younger kids I really recommend it, seeing the animals from the balcony is one of my most prominent memories from Disney as a kid! It just feels so cozy and authentic, I seriously adore this resort. Another great part of the Animal Kingdom Lodge? It’s close proximity to the Animal Kingdom Park!
A few snaps from Everest, Animal Kingdom’s one and only coaster! (Do you know how much patience it takes to get the perfect picture of a cart going down the drop?! Haha). This ride made me super sick the first time I rode it; there is a long-ish section where you are going backwards, and I think it was just too much for my motion sickness. However, I took some Dramamine in the morning, and was just fine! It allowed me to enjoy the ride without worrying about feeling sick, which made it less stressful and more fun!
Above are two snaps from the outside of my second favorite overall Disney ride – Dinosaur. It has tons of nods to Dinosaur, which I feel like is a super underrated Disney movie (It’s said in reviews that the story line isn’t that great because the animators focused so much on the animation itself, but my brother and I really loved the movie as kids so it’s still one of my favorites today!). Dinosaur was one of our 3 Fastpasses, the other two being Finding Nemo – The Musical and Everest. I love Animal Kingdom so much that I spent a second day there, so be ready for more photos in tomorrow’s post!
On Day 3 we transferred our luggage to Caribbean Beach Resort; I didn’t take any pictures, but the rooms there are beautiful! The bathroom/vanity area had sliding doors, which made a huge difference in the morning. The only con to Caribbean Beach is the fact that it’s made up of all different buildings. It’s nice that they’re spread out, but when you get on Disney transportation to head to the parks stopping at each building feels tedious. Don’t let it dissuade you from staying there though, the rooms really are beautiful and comfortable!
Day 3 was our day in Magic Kingdom! It’s breathtaking during the day; I love taking in all the details of the park by daylight. The only downside? It’s ALWAYS busy during the day; at one point we literally spent 10 minutes trudging through a crowd in Frontierland (my friend Katrina and her mom literally go to Disney multiple times per year, but this is why they recommend spending more time in Magic Kingdom at night as opposed to during the day!).
Here’s one of those little details I was talking about – in front of Tony’s Restaurant on main street you can find Lady and the Tramp’s paw prints! We had to move a stroller or two to find them, but such a cute hidden gem.
Guys, this is hands down one of the greatest bowls of mac n’ cheese that I’ve ever had. You can get it at The Friar’s Nook, which is near the carousel behind Cinderella castle! I also grabbed some frozen lemonade, which was divine.
Cinderella castle looking great from all sides, as usual.
For Fastpasses we did Mine Train, Splash Mountain, and PhilharMagic. Mine Train is a newer ride and always has a long wait time, so it’s best to Fastpass this one no matter what. Splash is a classic; every time I do it I challenge myself to get closer to having my hands up for the drop! It was also my first time seeing PhilharMagic, which is a 3D show, it was magical! After the morning in Magic Kingdom, we headed back to the hotel for a much needed break and a nap. The thing that most people don’t mention enough is how much Disney can wipe a person out; a break is essential to recharge and then head back out to the parks! We went to Epcot at night for extra magic hours, during which time we did Test Track and Soarin’!
On Day 2 we woke up, had breakfast, and sent our luggage to Pop Century. Fun fact, Disney will move your luggage for you between hotels! You just have to bring everything to Baggage Services and tell them where it needs to go next; when you’re next hotel is ready you will receive a confirmation text, and by the time you get to the room your luggage will be there! Pop Century is one of the best deals price-wise on Disney property. The rooms are comfortable and clean, so as long as you don’t want a ton of bells and whistles it’s a perfect place to stay while on a Disney vacation!
The morning of Day 2 was spent in Epcot! The Flower and Garden Festival is going on this time of year, which means that Epcot is completely cloaked in flowers and topiary’s. As for Fastpasses, we did Soarin’, Nemo, and Spaceship Earth. Soarin’ is hands down my favorite ride in all of Disney, so if you do nothing else make sure you do Soarin”!
We had originally planned to see Fantasmic at night, but it ended up raining so we switched plans and headed to Disney Springs! It’s literally Disney shopping heaven, I swear. I kept myself contained and only bought a pullover. However when I say contained, you guys should know there’s an ENTIRE store donated to just Disney Christmas items; literally my two favorite things and I 100% refrained ;-).
Hey dolls! So this week is going to be a bit different, as I am recapping my week spent in Disney in a series of blog posts all week long! One of the coolest parts of this past trip was that we hotel hopped and stayed in five different resorts throughout the week. In each post I am going to be reviewing each hotel and recapping what we did each day, from Fastpasses to food! So without further ado, let’s get started!
On Day 1 we checked into Disney’s Art of Animation resort. From the moment we arrived on the resort I was blown away. The resort is themed around the making of four major Disney movies: The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Cars, and, The Lion King. If you haven’t been following me long, you may not know that The Lion King is my hands down favorite Disney movie, so naturally I was in awe at all of the concept art and early animation from the film that is incorporated into Art of Animation (not to mention the waffles.. yum!).
Just a few snaps from The Lion King section of the resort, so so cute.
And a few snaps from the other sections of the resort! Art of Animation is a value resort, which means it is less costly than a moderate or deluxe resort. We stayed in The Little Mermaid rooms, which is the only section of Art of Animation that doesn’t consist of suites. They sleep four and are themed so well; for example the shower is themed like Ariel’s cavern!
Here’s the breakdown on what we did park-wise on Day 1:
In the morning we hit Hollywood Studios. For Fastpasses we did Toy Story Mania, the Frozen sing-along, and Tower of Terror. Toy Story Mania is fairy new, and is essentially an arcade style ride where you compete with the person next to you! The Frozen sing-along is absolutely adorable; the end is the most magical part and the two hosts are hilarious! As for Tower of Terror.. I appreciate the concept so I use my fast pass and walk through but I take the chicken exit. If you don’t know, there is a real elevator between the two ride elevators. All you have to do is tell the Cast Member at the loading area. They will direct you to the real elevator and you will be taken to the safety of the exit area to wait for the rest of your party.
At night we hit Animal Kingdom just to get a glimpse of Rivers of Light. We wanted to go and see it while it wasn’t raining at night; with Florida’s random rainstorms, it’s always good to see shows while the opportunity is there, just in case it gets rained out later in the week. After the show, we headed over to Magic Kingdom (that’s right, three parks in one day), to do a few Fastpasses. Magic Kingdom truly is a night park, it is absolutely stunning during the day, but wait times get crazy so it’s good to do the “kid rides” at night. On night one we did Peter Pan’s Flight and the Haunted Mansion. Haunted Mansion is definitely on my list of favorite rides; I really think that it’s haunted and it has SO many hidden Mickey’s and secrets within it!
What better way to start a Monday than a post featuring pj’s?! 😉 I know we all probably wanted to sleep just 15 extra minutes or so this morning (orrrrr most of us did), but I’ve been putting this post together since I returned from my recent trip to New York City and have been so excited to share it with you all.
One thing that you guys might not know about me is I can get EXTREMELY anxious over certain things. For the most part, I just take a deep breath, reassure myself, and move right along. However, it occurs the most when I travel somewhere new. I’ve never openly shared this, but half way on the flight to Africa I was seriously questioning why I had even decided to go, and wishing I had just stayed home in Connecticut. I knew it was silly at the time, and looking back I am forever grateful I took the plunge and went – but that’s what anxiety does – it makes you question things, even if you were previously confident about a decision.
So how does this relate to my venture to New York for Fashion Week? Truth be told, I was probably more anxious for that weekend then I had been for any other trip. I’ve been to the city more times than I can count, but usually stay within a few blocks of Grand Central. I am comfortable there, I know where everything is, I know how to get myself back to the train and back home, and therefore experience zero anxiety. However, Fashion Week was different. I hadn’t stayed over in the city without my parents, navigating the subway stresses me out, I didn’t know how to get to and from the shows, and, most of all, I was worried that the hotel would be sceevy.
When Emily and I were invited to our first two shows, we immediately plunged into a search for hotels. After weeding through a few dozen places, we finally found City Rooms Soho. It was a 20 minute walk to the fashion shows, 20 minutes by car from Grand Central, and had two twin beds. I thoroughly inspected the reviews and pictures, and we booked it shortly after. Although it looked perfect and was the nicest thing we found for our price point, as our trip ebbed closer I became more and more anxious. “What if we get lost while getting there with our luggage? What if the hotel is sketchy?What if there are bed bugs? What if we get abducted when walking to and from the show by ourselves?”. Yup, I was a ridiculous ball of anxiety. Once we arrived at the hotel, it all changed. The person who greeted us at the front desk was extremely nice and welcoming. Our room was spotless, clean, tidy, and compact. I finally started to calm down and enjoy the trip!
The room had a bathroom, shower, clothing rack, two twin beds, a safe, and shelf to put luggage on or under. Again, it was immaculate, and I felt so comfortable sleeping there. The only thing that was frequently mentioned in the online reviews was that it’s loud at night. City Rooms Soho is right next to Canal Street, so you essentially have to try and fall asleep to the constant sound of traffic. However, City Rooms tries to accommodate the issue; there were two pairs of ear buds stapled to a card that said “Just Because the City Never Sleeps, Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t”. Little touches like that can make all the difference! They also were able to hold our luggage safely after we checked out the next day; Emily and I went to a few shows in the afternoon, then just swung back to the hotel to pick up our belongings before heading home.
So, as long as you can fall asleep to a bit of noise, I highly recommend this hotel! We paid around $160 through Expedia for one night, which really isn’t bad for a weekend in the city. I was anxious for nothing, and Emily and I ended up having a perfect weekend!
I hope this review was helpful for you guys!!! Also, if anyone would like a post dedicated to anxiety let me know! I haven’t always experienced it, so if anyone would be interested in how it started or how I deal I would be more then open to sharing more about it!
Okay seriously, can you believe these mountains?! I always rave about how living in Connecticut grants me with opportunities to visit Boston or New York City frequently, but another perk is definitely the close proximity to Vermont. Growing up, my parents used to take my brother and I to Vermont annually, and we actually learned to ski right on this mountain! There are TONS of places to ski in this state, but the one we always went to was Killington. It’s tradition; I would almost feel guilty if we went anywhere else! My family traditionally stays at the Mountain Green Inn, which is probably the most convenient location if you are going to be skiing daily. You can literally see the mountain directly from the inn, and there is a shuttle available to bring guests – and all of the ski/snowboard equipment – from Green Mountain Inn to the mountain base.
This 3 day trip was spent with my Dad, brother, and my brother’s girlfriend. We essentially would ski from whenever we got up-and-ready til dusk, then would head home, rest, and head back out for dinner! One thing to note about Vermont – it’s COLD. Like.. these pictures don’t show it but my dad’s poor hands were getting numb shooting this for me. It was between -10 and 30 degrees the entire time we were there, so packing layers is a serious thing. However, as long as you pack and dress for the weather things will be a blast!
If you are an avid skier or snowboarder and have never been to Vermont, I highly recommend it! Being on top of the mountain is like touching the sky, and it’s amazing to see the frozen trees still clinging to life at the mountain’s peak. Although I freak out a little bit on the descent (I’ve skied my entire life and still get nervous going down, not sure what is wrong with me because I am totally capable but forget it all when I see something remotely steep), I really try to take it all in and appreciate the views! Some parts of the trails are coated with trees on either side, then open back up to astounding views of the mountains, it really is something that only skiing can gives you a perfect visual of.
As another adventure starts today, I wanted to recap on my recent day trip to New York City! One fact that I think is SUPER under-appreciated about living in Connecticut is the close proximity to both Boston and New York. I know so many people dream of visiting these cities, and I am lucky enough to be able to spend a day in either whenever I can! Usually when I take a trip to NY I have a plan in mind (excuse me, my type A is showing a bit), but this round we completely winged-it! As you may or may not know, my boyfriend’s sister and I are really close, so the two of us went with two of our guy friends. We wandered around Manhattan, exploring Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and parts of Broadway – shopping and snacking along the way of course. We grabbed dinner at Carmine’s, which is an Italian restaurant that my family has always been obsessed with. I know a lot of people say it’s overrated, but it brings back so many memories of past New York trips with my fam, plus I adore their food #bringonthecarbs!
Today I am waking up in another favorite New England destination of mine – Killington, Vermont! I learned to ski at Killington, so it’s another location that holds a special place in my heart. My family used to go every year, but stopped going when I was in the middle of high school. That being said, I am AMPED to revisit the slopes, especially after Saturday’s blizzard! Skiing over ice makes me go into a minor panic, so the fresh snow will feel like a dream!
It’s Monday & it’s going to be 90 degrees, again. I am running out of steam loves and desperately need some fall for my soul. In the meantime, I am still trying to make the most out of summer despite the heat! The other day my friend, Svitlana, and I went to a sunflower maze at Lyman Orchards. It was hot of course, but we enjoyed wandering through a gorgeous sea of sunflowers!
Have a great day dolls, and thanks for swinging by, xo