After sadly not making it to the finals we were left with a free day of magic that we weren’t expecting. I left that morning with my two roommates and headed to Epcot. While in line for the Finding Nemo ride we checked our My Disney Experience app constantly for some Flights of Passage fast passes. Somehow I managed to get one for the next morning. By the time we got out of our shell on Nemo magically they had gotten fast passes as well for the exact same time! We went our separate ways and I headed to some character meet ups. I met Baymax from Big Hero Six and made sure to fist bump him and after seeing all the kiddos have so much fun with Mary Poppins I decided to meet her too.
I headed to World Showcase to try the cheddar cheese soup poutin. I am a lover of fries and cheese and gravy and there has never been a bad review about the LeCellier cheddar cheese soup so I wanted in. I was not disappointed. I was also not disappointed with my Frose’ from the France Pavillion. I jumped on a bus to Disney Springs and met my boss for dinner at Art Smith’s Homecomin. That fantastic meal deserves its own post so more on that later. While waiting on a bus back to the parks I managed to get a coveted Frozen fast pass. When I texted one of my room mates they too had managed to get a Frozen pass for almost the same time. Because Disney Springs buses don’t travel to the parks I jumped on a bus to the Polynesian Resort where I then jumped on a monorail to Magic Kingdom to pick up my partner in crime. We got back on the monorail and got off at the ticket and transportation center and then jumped finally to the Epcot monorail where we basically went into a sprint to get to get to Norway. The ride was so cute and very well done it was worth the run. I left and got on the Grand Fiesta tour at the Mexico Pavillion and then lastly onto the single rider line for Test Track. I managed to get out before the end of the fireworks and got a nice seat on the bus back to the hotel.
This was our last day in the parks. After a long couple days I slept in a little and went to Animal Kingdom with the roommates to ride Flight of Passage again. It was just as fantastic the second time around as it was the first. We did Its Tough to be a Bug again and then I headed to the Lion King Theater to catch the show where I proceed to sing like a 5 year old and cry while the birds were flying. I was hitting the tired wall at this point so I said to myself that I needed to get to Hollywood Studios before the trip was over. I grabbed some lunch and then braved the single rider line at Rock n Roller Coaster. I went back to the room and then spent the evening in Disney Springs doing some last minute shopping and eating at the Polite Pig.
In 4 days I was able to:
Its a Small World, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Space Ranger Spin, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Winnie the Pooh, Little Mermaid and Dumbo. Expedition Everest, Its Tough to be a Bug, Dinosaur, Na’vi River Journey, and Flight of Passage. Rock n Roller Coaster, Test Track, Soarin, Grand Fiesta tour, and Frozen.
Casey’s Corner, Cosmic Rays, Refreshment Port, Aloha Isle, Polite Pig and Homecomin.
To me the amount accomplished in 4 days in which none of them were full days spent in the park is astounding to me. I enjoyed myself immensely and I can’t wait to go back and see how much more I can get done.
First off lets review lessons learned in the first post on this topic 1) check a bag no more stupid rolly bags 2) Magical Express is the bomb.com 3) think about inconvenience
While I could have stayed at the hotel and moped I chose to jump on a bus and head to the best place that Disney has to offer, Magic Kingdom. While at the bus stop I managed to make a few fast passes. Somehow I had the amazing luck of booking a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train fast pass so my spirits were lifted. I got off the bus and walked as quickly as possibly to the gates and down Main Street I went. I knew there was only one thing that was going to put me in a good mood…DOLE WHIP! I swear by these things. Just as I thought, it absolutely put me in an amazing mood and I was ready to enjoy myself. I got to Magic Kingdom around 6pm so I had about 4 hours to try and get some magic under my belt. I first went to fantasy land where I was able to ride the Journey of the Little Mermaid with only a 10 minute wait. From there I got in the fast pass line for the Mine Train. The last time I visited this was not open so I was very excited and it did not let me down. When I got off of there I was able to make a fast pass for Winnie the Pooh and jumped right on. Next I headed into Its a Small World. While this is not everyone’s favorite I have a very special story from this that I will share about in a later post. I jumped off and ran to my favorite ride, The Haunted Mansion, and then Thunder Mountain Railroad and got right on. That is one of my favorite rides to do at night. For some reason it feels to me that after the ride has been running all day it gets faster in the evening and its more fun. I headed back to fantasy land and rode Space Ranger Spin and walked to Space Mountain to realize that my fast pass was useless since the ride was down. I hoped over to Cosmic Rays and grabbed some dinner and then met up with one of the cheer sponsors. We went to Adventureland and rode Pirates of the Caribbean and ended our night on the last boat of the night on the Jungle Cruise. For only a few hours in the park I felt like I got so much done. I also learned that the rumor is true about getting out of the park faster if you walk through the gift shops on the right side of main street. Well that is at least true if you are not tempted by the shopping.
I jumped out of bed at 545 am leaving my room mates to think I was nuts. Since we were on property we got to use Magic Hour. The hardest ticket in the park at the time we traveled was anything in Pandora at Animal Kingdom. The Magic Hours were early and I was hoping to get to Pandora when the parked opened to avoid the hours long waits. The park opened at 8am and by the time I made it to gates it was a few minutes past. Apparently everyone else had the same idea since I had to join in the stampede going towards Pandora. I was determined to wait in the line for Flight of Passage no matter how long it was. I followed the line that had already formed. Walking. Walking. Walking. Until I got to the back of the Lion King Theater. If you know anything about the area this is no where close to the actual ride. I stuck it out though and waited a little over an hour to get on the ride. The good thing about it was that it was early in the morning so that sun was not yet beating down on you and the line was continuously moving. The theming at Disney is always wonderful and there was always something to look at so you were never bored. As for the ride it did not disappoint! while I wouldn’t wait 4 hours for it I was not mad a bit that I waited in line for it. Since it was still early when I got off that one I was able to do Na’vi River Journey with just a 15 minute wait. While this one was not a long as I thought the animations were great and I still enjoyed it. Next I was able to do Its Tough To Be a Bug, I saw the new baby tigers on the Maharajah trail, rode Dinosaur and Expedition Everest all before lunch. I had no fast passes for the rest of the morning. Since I had a park hopper I headed to Epcot for a little more fun before the cheer competition that afternoon. I used my fastpass to ride on Soarin and then headed to World Showcase. I made my way to the UK pavillion and had a lunch of fish and chips with a very grabby squirrel while watching kiddos excitedly meet Mary Poppins. I took the rest of the afternoon to rest and get ready for the cheer competition at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. After an evening of competing I headed back to the Magic Kingdom to grab some food and catch a few more rides. I stopped at Caseys and got the biggest hotdog I had ever seen which was delicious. I rode Dumbo because well did you really go to Disney if you don’t ride Dumbo? I managed to get a fastpass for Space Mountain since I missed it the night before and this was my first time ever riding it. I had such a good time on the ride that I thought I would finish out my evening with another mountain and my biggest Disney fear….Splash Mountain. I know its completely irrational but I have always been terrified to ride this one. I got in line and told myself I had to do it. I was terrified the entire time and felt ridiculous as the tiny human behind me sang along to all the songs. When the big drop finally came I had worked myself into such a frenzy I freaked. Afterwards I laughed at myself when I realized it was great fun. I made it back to the room around 1 am fully exhausted but so happy.
While sitting at my desk last fall my boss came in and said very non-nonchalantly that we should go to Disney World with the cheerleaders. Being the person I am I looked at her and said that’s not funny. You can not joke with me about Disney. Well she wasn’t. That day we booked our tickets and for the next few months I prepared to join our cheerleading squad at Nationals. Now I know this may seem as though the title of this blog is misleading considering I didn’t travel completely alone but I did find myself alone in the parks for a good part of this trip and I wanted to share some tips and my experiences.
My boss and her spouse flew with me from our hometown early that morning and we planned to meet up with the rest of the group once we made to Orlando. After a terrifyingly short layover in Atlanta we landed in Orlando. My boss was staying at a different hotel so she headed out for an Uber and onto the parks she went. I on the other hand had a little different experience. I sat in the Orlando airport for about an hour trying to find me cheerleaders. Many many squads past me by before my team finally made it off the plane beautiful and spray-tanned. We headed downstairs to the Disney Magical Express buses and it wasn’t long before we were on our way to the resort. When we arrived we checked in with the cheer association and made our way on a mad hunt to find our rooms. We stayed at the Caribbean resort. While it is beautiful it is HUGE! We found ourselves walking in circle and mazes of brightly colored buildings trying to find our island. After some cheer practice and another stretch of walking we finally found our rooms. Much to our dismay they were not ready for us. Even though we arrived only slightly an hour prior to check in we waited much much longer before we could get in. At this point I learned lesson number one. The $25 cost of checking a bag is worth every penny if it means you don’t get stuck with a carry on for a day with nowhere to put it! I thought I would save some money and take my carry on. First thing, the regular rolly bag I got when I graduated high school no longer fits down the aisle of a plane. I apparently didn’t get the memo that you need the sideways rolly bags if you don’t want to break your arm trying to wiggle down the aisle panicking about missing your connecting flight. Lesson number two though is that the Disney Magical Express is worth it. While I was lugging around me rolly bag my cheer pals had only their backpacks to worry about. The Magical Express will take care of your bags and have them delivered to your room.
After carrying my rolly bag and backpack and sitting in the heat and rain looking into the window of my room that I could not enter I decided to bribe the cleaning lady to let me leave my stuff in the room. That may not have been my brightest moment considering the amount of things that were in my bag but I was willing to take that chance because well its Disney.
Another thing to mention about the hotel is the fact that it is currently under construction. We received a $100 gift card for our inconvenience. At first we all thought how awesome a free $100 who cares about inconvenience. Yea well lesson number 3…you should care about the inconvenience. After flying out at 8 am it was now about 5pm and the most I had eaten or drank was airplane coke and cookies. With the hotel construction there was no way to get food unless you went to a park. So after the bribery to leave my things in the room and waiting almost 45 minutes to catch a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then subsequently being squished onto the bus by an entire squad of angry cheerleaders and their coach it was finally time for me to feel the magic!
I will explain my adventures in my more posts but one more thing I would like to add before I tell that part is the fact that we were not able to access or magic bands or tickets prior to arriving. Therefore we were not allowed to book any fast passes before we got there. This became quiet an adventure itself. It was a small victory anytime anyone could manage to get more than 3 passes at the same time for Space Mountain or if anyone managed to get anything for the Pandora rides at all.
In my next post I will give you guys a rundown of how I made the most of my time with no fast passes and throwing a cheer competition in the mix. Until next time…
For today’s challenge I am taking a topic from the Disney list. It asks to pick your favorite character. I don’t think its as easy as that. I love all things Disney but that’s not why I think this is hard. I love to watch Disney movies because they are easy and happy and take you to a world outside of your everyday life. Sometimes you just have a sucky day. Those are the days that you just need a little fluff. While enjoying those fluff movies you start to relate to those characters. So instead of just picking one that is close to my heart I will categorize a little. Side Note: Everyone knows Ariel is my favorite. Forever and Always. But I wanted to talk about something different than just my fav mermaid.
First on my list is my favorite sidekick, Ray. As someone from Louisiana I love the Princess and the Frog. I love that it is so familiar and so true to my real life story that it makes me want to watch it over and over again. Even though I think Tiana is a great princess my favorite character from the movie is the ever positive lovable lighting bug. He’s a problem solver. He’s a good listener. He’s a great friend. He reminds me of so many people I know who would take the shirt off of the their back to give to someone else. The love and sacrifice he shows to the others characters makes him one of my all time favorites.
Next on my list is my favorite Pixar character, Wall-E. This is a character that doesn’t even really talk but I love him. Wall-E shows you how to love. You don’t have to say it. You can show it. He protects Eve from the rain, he sings for her, and he puts himself in harms way for her. Its not even a romantic thing when it comes to Wall-E. For a tiny garbage robot he sure shows you how you should behave as a human.
Lastly its my favorite underrated character. POWERLINE. I personally think that the Goofy Movie is one of the best things Disney has done. Powerline doesn’t have to have some crazy great story line because he has the voice. Sure there are great songs in the Disney cannon that are classic but if I want to jam out this is legit my go to. My husband rolls his eyes and laughs every time this comes on in the car. Powerline is my jam.
I will be the first to admit that I have been the worst blogger ever created as of late. I had the best time blogging last summer while I was doing Little Mermaid and for some reason life happened and I just couldn’t push myself to blog. I’ve tried to get back into the swing of the things. I’ve created over 50 draft titles but every time I look at them I don’t feel inspired. Since I like to use this as a stress relief I didn’t want to invest time in it if my heart wasn’t there. So instead I have found some challenges of things that my heart loves…movies, music and Disney. I have decided to get myself excited about writing again I am going to combine 3 challenges to make me happy to post again.
So here we go Day 1.
Movie Challenge: Last Movie You Watched
The last movie I watched was Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them. I waited to watch this one until it came out on DVD because I just wasn’t sure if I was going to like. I love the world of Harry Potter so much and after reading the Cursed Child and being a little disappointed I didn’t want that feeling with this too. Luckily I didn’t feel that disappointment when I finished this movie. I thought the acting was amazing especially Eddy Redmayne. It still felt like the Harry Potter world but it has its own character to it. I like the era its set in. I loved the fashion of the time period. I love the New York characters. I wish they would have ventured into the magic a little more but with several sequels coming out I think they can do that. I give this one 4 stars!
Music Challenge: A Song From Your Childhood
If you are going to have me pick a song from my childhood it has to be something from a show I loved as a child. When I was little there was a show called Sharon, Lois and Bramm. I can not tell you anything about them except that they sang a song with and elephant. They finished every show with the same song and it had little hand motions that went along with it. If I hear this it automatically takes me back to sitting in the living room at my Mawmaws with no pants hamming it up.
Check out the video of the song and see if you remember too!
Disney Challenge: Favorite Movie
There can be no question what my favorite Disney movie is. Nothing will ever compare to the love I have for Ariel. I dreamed of being a mermaid. I cried when I got to play one on stage. I still think Prince Eric is the most handsome cartoon there ever was. I still wish that Terry had proposed to me with Kiss the Girl playing in the background. For me there is literally nothing better.
Now that I’ve had time to process that this amazing adventure is officially over its time to close out this chapter of blogging. I’ve learned so many things from this experience. Some of the things I will carry with me are:
- Get a good dresser! If you have multiple quick changes in a show a good dresser is the key to your success. Ms Marie was AMAZING! Especially when the two of us teamed up with Sydnee to get things accomplished I was not stressing about if I could get to places on time.
- Wearing jazz shoes for 3 months will kill your feet, your back, and your ankles. They are basically walking barefoot with a small piece of leather between you and the ground and a heel that digs into your foot. So make sure to ice those ankles and wear supportive shoes when you can.
- Being silly can make even the worst day better. A good game of heads up in the green room, a funny costume or wig swap or even just a good snapchat photo session can pick up the mood among the cast.
- There is gonna be a little bit of drama but that’s ok. Sometime a diva moment will happen. Sometimes cast mates will butt heads. Sometimes you wanna throw something when you can’t find your eyelash glue. But it will all be ok. We would not be in theater business if we didn’t like a little drama.
- Be prepared! Think of every single possible thing you would need and add it to your bag. I was thankful for the many articles and pin boards I read before setting up my dressing room. I had scissors, meds, clear nail polish, extra bobby pins, q-tips and so many other things that were helpful to not just me but my friends around me.
Most importantly take the time to get to know people you are working with. These are your people. You all are there for the same reason…you love theater! Why else would you subject yourself to months of rehearsal and no social life. Its for the joy you get to see on a tiny child’s face when they meet a mermaid. Its for the 6 part harmony that can bring an audience to its feet. Its for the high fives after nailing a really hard dance. These people are there for you. They share your struggle and there is so much to learn from them. Nothing is more fun than a room full of girls ranging in ages from middle schoolers to seasoned pros all singing Whitney Houston in harmony. I love those people!
I will be starting a new theater adventure in a few weeks therefore I will be starting a new series of blogs but I do have to say how very special this has been.
Some days you just need some words of encouragement. I’m not sure if its a desire to be young again or if I’m young at heart but I tend to relate to things geared towards children more so than the seriousness of adult things. For example I love children’s literature. It doesn’t matter if its a classic book like the Wizard of Oz or if its young adult novels like the Hunger Games. A character and story I have always loved is Winnie the Pooh. No matter what he can always make me feel better. It doesn’t matter if its reading the books, watching the movies or finding his words of advice. Today I could use some of that positive Pooh thinking so I thought I’d share some of his wisdom with you.
When I finished high school I won a leadership trip to Washington DC for two weeks. While we were there we took the Myers Briggs personality test. When I was 18 years old I was an INFJ. 11 years later and after taking the quiz again I am still and INFJ. Take the test here.
You can be a combination of the following when taking the test.
Its a little weird but my personality seems to fit my letters to a T.
While sitting in the green room during shows we some how stumbled upon the topic of the test. It was interesting to see how others test results compared to my own. I was not surprised to find that I was one of the only introverts in the room. I would imagine that most introverts aren’t very interested in being on the stage.
Because we are in a Disney themed show we are all of course Disney obsessed. Somehow the test came up in conversation mixed with Disney characters. We have spent several shows googling and pinteresting Disney characters that match our personality. It is great fun. You can look up more than just Disney characters. While having discussions in my office we’ve found matching characters for Grey’s Anatomy, Harry Potter, and Hunger Games. Disney is my favorite though. According to most things I seem to have the personality of Pocahontas and I’m cool with that.
If you are looking for something to do with co-workers to learn who to work best as a team this test is definitely the way to go. Its interesting for sure.
We have finally made it to the home stretch of rehearsals. All that is left is dress rehearsals and a preview and then its opening night! Before all this can happen though there is the crazy of tech.
Saturday was a very long day of basically doing nothing…well at least for me. The tech crew however was working like crazy people to get through hugely technical show. There are tons of scene changes from a giant ship in the water to scuttle and his birds on their perch. Then there is the underwater kingdom and the one on land. There are giant chairs and shells and beds moving around in the wings and backstage. Its craziness!
Sunday though definitely took up for the sitting and waiting on Saturday. We saw a lot of our costumes for the first times. We had costume malfunctions and re fittings. We tried out makeup for the first time. We tried on wigs for the first time. We had so many things thrown at us and the dressing room is only so big. I’ve also got some crazy quick changes going on. Did I mention that my dressing room is upstairs? Yea so running off stage in big poofy dresses and heels made for an interesting night. If I don’t lose 20 pounds doing this show I would be surprised.
We were supposed to end the evening at 10pm. Then it was 11pm. Then it was lets just power through until we are done. We stopped a little after midnight. We weren’t able to get through the whole show.And I learned nothing is more defeating than running up stairs to do a quick change and finding out that we are stopping for the night after killing yourself to get said quick change done. All that said though I’m having the time of my life. It was my birthday and everyone sang for me and sweet Lauren brought me a birthday gift and balloons. This experience is more than just putting on a show. This is making bonds with so many amazing people that I’m so incredibly grateful for. Hopefully the rest of the week runs smoothly. And hopefully I can find some time to sleep before opening night.