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November 20, 2012

One Year Later | Anniversary Trip to Disney

It still blows my mind that we’ve been married for a year already.  This time last year we had just gotten back from our honeymoon in Paris and were about to celebrate our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife (you know, the year that we had to have the turkey with our second helping of everything else because I hadn’t allotted enough time to cook the bird?  Yeah, that one).  The funny thing is that we’d actually talked about going to Disney FOR our anniversary!  I remember sitting in a restaurant for dinner (crazy story of how we ended up there, but that’s another blog post!) talking about it… and here we are, a year later and we went and are already home!  Gosh, time really does fly.

Because my husband is the chef at our house, with most every trip, he plans the culinary excursions while I plan the itinerary.  It actually works out really well because I’m all up in the nitty gritty about wait times and crowd levels and finding the right apps, while he’s trying to find the best food possible.  Otherwise, we’d have been eating hamburgers at every park.  Yuck.  So, my advice if you’re planning a trip to Disney… 1) meet with my friend Holly.  No, I’m serious.  Her knowledge of the parks and all things Disney is amazing!!  We met for lunch and she had calendars and food suggestions and park plans all outlined.  2) Listen to the WDW Radio podcasts.  The host is great and he’s got so much information!!  If not for him and another girl on the show one day, I wouldn’t have known as much as I did about the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot (which, btw, was amazing.  More on that later!).  3) Visit Undercover Tourist for all kinds of Disney and Universal Studios info, including discount tickets.  4) Go with an idea of what you want to do/see, but be completely flexible.  5) If you go in early November, you’ll wait no more than 30 minutes for the majority of rides!  6) Have fun!!!!!!!

We had decided months ago to not take the “real camera”.  I know plenty of people who have gone on trips with just their phones to capture memories here and there and decided that as hard as it might be, we could do it too.  I LOVE photography, but I also don’t want to miss out on making memories because I’m behind my lens all the time.  It really was the best decision because if we wanted a picture, I just pulled my phone from my back pocket, snapped, and returned it to my pocket.  Somehow, I still managed to take a few hundred pictures during the week… but that’s ok :-)  So, because of that, the quality of the photos isn’t the best.  But that’s not why we were going.  I LOVE getting to spend uninterrupted time with Ben and the fact that we got to do that and capture a few simple pictures along the way made this a trip full of memories.  We loved it!

 The sunrise was gorgeous as we left home!

Can you believe our view from the condo???

As if it couldn’t get anymore gorgeous… sunrise the next morning.

The last time I was at Disney, I was 16 and a sophomore in high school. And this was my favorite ride… and it still is. I think we rode this 4 times that day!

The Rockin’ Rollercoaster was next to Tower of Terror and we rode it almost as many times as Tower of Terror.
I’m still convinced that the guys behind us were on a completely different ride.

A little Beauty and the Beast on stage!

 The lighting wasn’t great inside Toy Story Midway Mania and even though this picture is terrible, I still really like it.

I think we just sat down to take a break (it’s hard being on your feet ALL DAY!).  And if y’all don’t know, I love my husband.  He cracks me up :-)

It’s next to impossible to be anywhere at Disney or Universal and not try on hats.  Go ahead, I dare you to NOT try on a hat!

We HAD to ride Toy Story Mania again!  Although we did wait for about 45 minutes because we didn’t have a Fast Pass the second time.
Didn’t matter… still totally worth the wait!

And Fantasmic at the end of the night?  AMAZING!

And then we rode Tower of Terror for the 4th time… can you spot us? :-)

Before we left the park, we ate dinner at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe. The whole place is themed as a 50’s style house!  As is the menu!

Day 2 was at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.  Our main goal?  Harry Potter World!

 The entrance to Hogsmede didn’t disappoint.

He was wearing his Gryffindor shirt.  This picture just had to happen!

Amazing.  It was all amazing!

Waiting in line for butterbeer (which I forgot to get a picture of!).  Words of advice… butterbeer is REALLY sweet (and non-alcoholic).
And as strong as my sweet tooth is, I couldn’t finish one on my own.  So, Ben had to finish that last quarter of mine.

There is a GIANT chocolate frog in the window at Honeydukes.  GIANT.  And it moved.  And would say “ribbit”.

And then we went to the castle.  And proceeded to ride this ride 2 more times after the first!  SO MUCH FUN!

The Sorting Hat was there!!!

Hagrid’s Hut is inside the Hippogriff ride.

And after lunch at the Three Broomsticks…

We went on the Jurassic Park ride… and got a little more wet than we’d anticipated we would!
Although, you’d think seeing people wearing ponchos on the ride would have clued us in…!

Um, yeah… didn’t see this part before we went on the ride!

I don’t know if y’all know this or not, but I LOVE comic strips.  The sunday funnies have always been my most favorite part of the paper!!

More hats… see??  What’d I tell ya??

Day 3 (our anniverary!) was at Epcot!

There are several parts to Epcot, including the World Showcase, which is basically a mini-tour of the world!  And during the Food & Wine Festival, they have kiosks set up for different countries with food from that country to try.  If you’ve ever been to Fall for Greenville in downtown Greenville, it’s kind of like that, but for countries around the world.  We basically just ate food from the stalls all day long!  SO Yummy!

But of course, this was our favorite :-)  Aren’t many places in the states you can get a REAL pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) or crepe!

There was even some street entertainers :-)

Instead of saving our cake from the wedding, we had fresh cupcakes made.  Thank you, Alissa!!  They were delicious!
Mint Chocolate Chip on the left and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip on the right.

Days 4 & 5 were in Magic Kingdom!!

My favorite!!

There were a lot of lights going off and so I thought they might be taking pictures.  So, I posed.

“It’s a small world after all…”

Ben laughed at me for wanting to go on a magic carpet ride…

But he had fun too!  And then we found the pirate store.

So, this ride is the ONE roller coaster my dad actually got me to go on when I was 6. And I was terrified.  But now I love it :-)

We saw several people wearing these who were at Disney on their honeymoon!

I just had to go see the princesses…!!

I mean, what girl doesn’t like being called Princess by these ladies?? :-)

We decided a character breakfast on our last day would be a good way to begin our last day :-)

The food was oh so yummy… and we got to see these guys!

We didn’t ride Dumbo… but I couldn’t resist a picture.

I think this was on the Goofy ride, the Barnstormer. And I only just now noticed the guy behind us with a video camera!

View from the top of the ride… I know, I’m so daring :-)

They’re in the process of building the New Fantasy Land at Magic Kingdom.  We tried to walk up to check it out (because others were walking in and out), but we were asked if we had a wristband.  We knew nothing of having wristbands.  But, my brilliant husband had suggested that we wear our “Happy Anniversary” pins the rest of the week… it WAS our anniversary trip after all.  Plus, it’s really fun to have the cast (workers) wish you a happy anniversary!  So, when the lady who’d asked us about our wristbands saw our pins, she said, “Well, happy anniversary… come on in!”  WOW!!  It was so nice of her to do that because she definitely didn’t have to!!

Inside the New Fantasy Land (so far), they have an area for Beauty and the Beast and the Little Mermaid.

On the left is Cinderella’s castle and on the right is the Beauty and the Beast castle!


The sun was SO bright.  But the gentleman was nice to offer and take our picture.   And I really like it :-)

Belle’s papa’s house!  It was JUST like the movie.

Except that it has a secret passage into the castle! (sort of…)

We were able to make dinner reservations at the Be Our Guest Restaurant (which also gave us a wristband to get back in!), so we left the park for a bit to take a nap and then come back for dinner.  Best idea ever.

On our way out, we stopped to have an ornament made… we’d seen this guy the day before and it was so cool.  So he used our wedding colors and was going to put miniature Mickey Mouse icons in it before sending it to us.  Can’t wait to get it!

Y’all will be proud… I resisted the urge to get out in the street and dance with the characters.

From the monorail on our way to nap time!

When we came back, we had a little time before our dinner reservation so we went on The Little Mermaid ride.

The napkins were folded into ROSES!!  And my husband offerred a little “off camera lighting” so I could get a good picture of it.  Thank you, flashlight app!

And the grey stuff?  It really is delicious!!  It’s a cookies and creme kind of dessert… the “pearls” are the cookies and the grey stuff is the creme.

The ballroom!

If you go for lunch (a counter service kind of meal), you’d sit in this room.

Belle and the Beast are supposed to be a music box in the center of the room so they spin the entire time!

The fireworks were some of the best I’ve ever seen.

And then we went to Tomorrow Land one more time… this time, Ben knew about the cameras too :-)

Last picture!

The morning we left was as gorgeous as the morning we started our trip!

Happy anniversary, Ben.  I always have so much fun with you and can’t wait to celebrate each year I get to have with you!

  1. Elisha McWatters says:

    Woohoo! how fun! Never been to Disney, but it looks like a fun place to go…especially with your Honey :)Happy 1 year

  2. Mommy says:

    What a great time you both had! I loved seeing all the pictures and especially the ones of you two together. Your first anniversary is one you’ll never forget!
    Love you,

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