Every once in awhile, a strange and random memory from my DCP will flash back in my brain and i will miss it all over again.
Lately I’ve been thinking about walking through that empty spot between Adventureland and Frontierland. I only ever went there when I was really bored.
I never really knew I had a favorite park until I lived there, and it quickly became clear it was the Magic Kingdom. And after a few unhurried visits, I also realized which lands were my favorite. Almost every single time I’d walk down Main Street and turn right. Sometimes to Tomorrowland and sometimes to Fantasyland but always that direction. I’d walk around until maybe Rapunzel’s Potty. If I was riding the Haunted Mansion I’d go that far, but almost every time I’d turn around by that point, or take the shortcut through Liberty Square back to the hub.
Towards the end of my program, I started to wander a little further into Frontierland. One of the chairs or planters along the street became a popular spot to find me just watching people or writing in my journal.
Which leaves Adventureland, which it turned out is my least favorite.
But there was this one day when I was at the Magic Kingdom alone and in no hurry and I intentionally tried to find some stuff to like in Adventureland. And lately, that tiny little section of the turn between it and the Frontier have been in my mind a lot.
It's nice to have the time to notice such things.
So I kind of get that memory popping in my head. It's pleasant and pretty. But this morning I keep thinking about from Hollywood Studios and to the parking lot. Strange. I don't even have a good image to help you envision that memory. There's just this:
If you're not in a big hurry while you're at the Magic Kingdom, you should definitely consider taking a ride along the rivers of America on the Liberty Square Riverboat. Mark Twain narrates this 20 minute-ish ride where you'll see several scenes you can't see anywhere else, including unique views of the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain and my favorite Disney roller coaster, Big Thunder Mountain. It's cool, relaxing and lovely so climb aboard if you're looking for a little down time in the sometimes crazy Magic Kingdom.
A lot of people are never excited to ride the Jungle Cruise and I understand that. If you end up with a bad skipper, it's a long boring ride and you can end up feeling trapped. But a funny skipper can make me laugh really hard, and even though they're animatronic I like looking at the animals. At it's heart, its a ride about traveling the world. I always think it's worth the risk.
I've been home for a while. In fact tomorrow will be a week.
I had no idea how little motivation I'd have to do anything at all when I got here. Or how much I would just want to be alone and quiet. It's kinda weird, but it also makes sense.
Saturday morning I got up and went to get Taco John's breakfast!
I decided I needed new sheets. I've wanted these a long time And they were on sale which I took as a sign.
It's nice to be home though. I missed lots of things about it, and it's nice to have so much free time back. It's fun planning out the next few months. There are free movie nights outside the library here in town, season tickets to Starlight, and season passes to Worlds and Oceans of Fun (that last one might be a little crazy).
I'm super excited to start using Elise's Get to Work book planner.
My sister stopped in town so we had lunch.
I'm starting to build a clean and ready space for me in my art room.
At the same time I really miss my Disney friends and the knowledge I could inside any theme park within the hour if I hurried. I had such a good time, you guys. But also? I'm so glad to be back.
Ok, I know how it happened. Time passes. Every minute. The date changes and the month changes and the year changes. It happens every day. But man the time has flown. Just like everyone said it would and like I knew myself it would.
As always, I am trying to live in the moment and focus on what’s happening today. Or better, right now. But in the back of my head right now I’m thinking about what’s left on my bucket list. And how I’m going to shove all this stuff in my car.
I’m taking a break today. A break from the parks and fun. I’m doing this not only because I need to. I’ve been needing to for a while but yesterday was the day I felt like the DCP experience had won over me. Not in a defeat way, or in a way that I was unhappy or a failure. But as in ok you win. I am worn out. Mostly from really great fun, it’s true. But still it won me and I was accepted defeat.
I’ve been in my room cleaning and putting things away while I binge on listening to many different podcasts. Later I’m going to Target (mostly because I’m just about out of Diet Dr Pepper). And I’m thinking a lot. As boring as days like this seem to be, I kind of love them. It’s been good.
I know I mentioned this before, but I have quit trying to keep up with the “this is what I did on this day” posts about this program. For one, the pace is impossible to keep up with that kind of thing. But for two, I just don’t think it’s the best way to share the fun and adventures and trials and everything that’s gone on here in this small part of the world since I left home in January. I’m still writing everything down to keep the details, and of course I’m still keeping my camera close at hand, but I think I have subscribed to the idea that it’s better to live the adventure while it’s happening and share about it later. When there’s the time to do it properly and make the most of the memories.
I’m still posting all over Facebook (and Instagramming in spurts), so there’s that if you’re someone I know who is curious. And just because no blog post is complete without a photo, here's a piece of the fantastic fun I was having just before I admitted my defeat and headed home yesterday:
Yesterday I had a really great day hanging out with a friend I've known from Facebook since before we got to Florida, but I hadn't actually spent any time with since we've been here. It was so super fun. We did nothing but meet characters. And score a walk up for lunch at Be Our Guest.
One thing we talked about was vlogging and blogging since we've been here. Neither of us have been very good at it. It's hard. If we're not working, we're trying to get the most out of the advantages we get while we're working here. And if we're not doing either of those things there are still real life things to be done like laundry and grocery shopping and making lunches for the week.
So I just want to say I know that I made this blog and started my vlog to keep you all updated on what's going on in my life while I'm here, but it's obviously not working out that way. I *am* doing a pretty good job of keeping my Facebook and Instagram busy, but beyond that not so much.
I'm making notes for every day, and I'm taking lots of pictures (although maybe not as many as I had imagined). When I get home, and have the kind of free time I've forgotten how to handle, I'm thinking that will be a good time to make the blog posts and record stories on my vlog about the fun adventures I've had and am having while I'm here.
I'm not going to stop trying to post here during this last month though, and right now? Here are some of the photos of yesterday's fun:
It was time to go check out Hollywood Studios without the hat!
Gorgeous, right? The view is much, much better.
It was really cold this day. I bundled up and wandered around the park, drinking it all in. When I got hungry I decided to head to Pizza Planet.
The line was kinda crazy.
Ordering was kind of a mess, and as always when you're eating alone it's really hard to find a table. Everyone else who is with people sends those people to save a table, which means when you're by yourself, there aren't any left. Eventually I found one outside.
I had a pepperoni pizza, a side Caesar salad and some Diet Coke.
I had made a fastpass for the Anna and Elsa sing along, but the line was already so long (yeah, the fastpass line) so long before the show actually started that I decided to bail.
I walked past the spot where I was standing when I got the email from Disney that I'd been accepted into the College Program. Ah, the memories...
I used my Star Tours fastpass. Usually when I go on this ride, I'm with Danny so we use the wheelchair entrance. It was kinda fun to walk through the regular queue and see all Star Wars stuff.
I headed for Sunset Blvd after that and came across these lovely ladies giving out free advice in the street. The were Hilarious. I love them.
It wasn't quite time for me to get in line for Tower of Terror, so I found myself a nice bench along the street and wrote in my journal for a while. That street is a great spot for sitting and people watching, if you have the time.
I wandered through some stores to stay warm and made my way to the haunted hotel.
Look at me with my hand up like I'm in English class.
My main reason for visiting the studios that day was to see who was at Characterpalooza, so after my ride on the haunted elevator, I sat around outside and waited for them to open the giant gates. It's really gorgeous back there. Check it out.
Sometimes there's no one waiting for Characterpalooza. Today there was a pretty big crowd. I chatted with a little girl and her mom for a while. The girl wanted to see Stitch more than anything. When they opened the gate she was thrilled to see he was there!
It was Rafiki, Donald, The Evil Queen, Genie, Stitch, Mulan and Mushu. Quite a nice line up!
I went straight for the Genie.
I should have gone to Mulan and Mushu first. Their line was insanely long, and no one else really had a line at all. But I made it in time to meet them and man, were they fun.
They were talking to me about Mushu's fire breath, and I was telling them how I'd be nervous if I had firebreath. It's quite dangerous.
This face? Seriously cracks me up every single time I see it.
I stopped by to see Stitch.
And the scary evil queen. She really loves herself.
It was a great Characterpalooza that day. I was glad I hung around for it even though it was way too chilly.
I went home and Adriana had made some Carne Asada and some home made tortillas and offered to share. Thank you roomie! I know I took a picture but I can't find it anywhere. Just trust me that it was yummy.
Dianne's daughter was here visiting and she came by to meet us all. She was sweet and funny and I liked her a lot.
That was the night the entire internet lost their minds over which color that dress was. Remember that? Crazy how the internet can make us all think about the same thing at the same time.
It was getting close to 3 o'clock and I was thinking of finding a spot for the Festival of Fantasy parade, so I headed towards Main Street.
This new area of the hub is amazing beautiful and I was so pleasantly surprised! The construction walls were so unpleasant, and it seemed like they had been up forever. I wasn't sure it could be worth it - but it so is. If you're coming, make sure to plan in some time to enjoy them.
When I passed by Casey's the piano player was out so I stopped to listen for a while.
The crowds had already gathered on Main Street so I headed over towards Frontierland to find myself a spot. It was crowded there as well but I found a spot by an ice cream cart.
The cast members were trying to keep a nearby walkway empty so guests could get around. This was one mom's idea of keeping the walkway clear.
Here comes the parade! Dreams that Glow Wondrous Dazzling Brilliantly, So Away we go Its a Festival of Fantasy!
I always love that parade.
I had a fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain and I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it, but I did! And I got to ride in the very front car all by myself.
There is an ice cream shop at the end of Main Street. People love it, but I had never checked it out. It seemed like a perfect time to fix that so I added myself to the very long line.
I got the All American Sundae; ice cream, hot fudge, peanutbutter drizzle and whipped cream. It was amazing.
As I was sitting on the curb enjoying it, I decided it was late enough I should just hang out a few more hours and stay for Wishes! I headed for the FP kiosk in FantasyLand when I was done and added a fastpass to meet Ariel later in the evening. Then I headed to meet my man Buzz Lightyear.
I headed towards Prince Eric's castle. When I went for the entrance to the Ariel meet and greet, a cast member told me "This is just to meet Princess Ariel." D'uh. I scanned by band and headed in to meet her.
She was great that night! She told me she liked the bag I was using to keep my collection and asked if I collected anything special. Then she noticed my bracelets and wanted to look at them. We talked about Tinker Bell and how she probably wouldn't do well under the sea. (You can watch an animated gif of us here.)
I headed for Frontierland after that to see if my friend Alex was working. We had chatted over Facebook way before we even got accepted for this program, but had yet to meet "in real life". I decided it would be smarter to message him and see if he was working than to search all over for him. He wasn't. So I turned around and headed back to find a spot for Wishes.
The new garden area was meant to be the FP area for watching Wishes, but since it had just opened it wasn't yet. I headed inside and found a nice spot on the ground to relax and people watch for a while.
When Main Street Electrical Parade came by I laid back on the fake grass and watched the sky. That was kind of amazing.
It was a great spot for watching Celebrate the Magic and Wishes! Everyone stayed sitting down which was very, very nice. I made my way through the exiting masses and headed for the ferry boat back to my car. It might have been my favorite day of this whole program!
With less than 2 months left on my program (people were not kidding about the time flying!!), I've created a new list to keep in my Google Keep with the most important things still left on my bucket list.
Here they are:
+ Take a park tour.
+ Spend an entire day meeting characters.
+ Kilamanjaro Safri photo day.
+ Universal photo day.
+ Visit a beach!
+ Play mini golf.
+ Visit a water park.
+ Orlando Museum of Art.
+ 4 parks in 1 day.
+ Watch a movie outside at a resort.
+ Watch a movie at the Downtown Disney Dine In theatre.
+ Do the Sing Along/Marshmallow roast at Fort Wilderness.
If I just do one thing on each day off, it's still going to be a tight squeeze to get these all in. Wish me luck!
It was a day off! Monica and I had plans for the daytime at the Magic Kingdom.
I was almost made it to the park when I realized I didn't have my cast id, which meant I couldn't park for free, so I had to turn around and go back for it. Ugh! Eventually I made it into the park. I thought I'd stop into Starbucks but when I saw this line, I changed my mind.
Monica was having breakfast at Sleepy Hollow so I headed there to meet her. When it was time we headed to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train because I had a FastPass! Monica waited by the castle walls and with my FP I was in and out in about 15 minutes. The ride was amazing as always. I seriously love it.
And the Dwarfs house? I'm ready to move in.
I met back up with Monica and we noticed the Tweedles were out! Those boys are absolutely silly. They noticed my shirt and wanted to know if they could drive the Tardis. I told them they'd have to ask the Doctor, but I kind of doubted it.
We had lunch reservations for later, but since I bailed out of Starbucks and missed breakfast I was hungry. I didn't want anything sweet so I fell back on my mainstay of Magic Kingdom snacks, the Mickey pretzel. We stopped at the Lunching Pad, grabbed a warm pretzel with some cheese and found a spot.
A Disney lady came up and asked us some questions about our snack. She was fun and chatted with us for a while when we told her we were on the college program. I love that Disney has people around asking questions about people's experience in the parks. They take guest feed back seriously which is a wise idea.
When we finished the snack we took a spin on the People Mover and let us move us around part of the park. You get some great views from that ride. I love it!
Monica had a FP for Space Mountain, so while she rode I sat on the Coke boxes where Danny and I usually sit to wait for Hannah when she rides. I texted this picture to my family and told them I missed them.
We decided to head up front and see if we could find our friend (and Monica's neighbor) Seth. He's a character attendant and we knew he was working with Pluto in times square. I was also hoping to meet Snow White since I had my Snow White and the Tardis shirt on. When we got there, most was taking taking a break at the time, but we noticed Marie was out, so we got in her line.
The Trolley Show pulled up while we were waiting and entertained us while we waited!
Seth and Pluto came out while we were waiting. We kept an eye on them and yelled out a hello when we got close enough for him to hear us.
Monica had made us a lunch reservation at Tony's Town Square! I have always heard such mixed reviews about this restaurant so I was really hoping to check it out for myself while I was here.
I was having the best day ever so I was primed to have an amazing time here. We checked in early and were seated almost right away. It was beautiful outside so we asked for a table on the patio and got one. We had a great view of the characters around the flag pole and the guests enjoying their day. When the Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! parade came out, we had a great view of that too.
We also had a lot of awesome girl talk, not just while we were lunching, but all day long. Thanks Monica!
We decided to share the Tomato Mozzarella salad for a starter.
And then we both chose the Chicken Parmigiana for our entree.
It was tasty and a Lot of food, but honestly the best part was the atmosphere, the location and the excellent company.
But the time we were finished, Pluto and our friend were back on a break, so we decided to find Snow and meet her. There was a bit of a wait and during that time Hannah texted me to say they were sending her home from work because she was having seizure issues. Poor girl. It seems as if she has developed a new seizure trigger in extreme temperatures, and it was definitely super cold in Kansas at that time. She handled it great though and I am super proud of her.
Snow was so much fun! She asked if that was her on my shirt and I said Yes! Then she asked about the Tardis. "Is it safe?" she asked. I had to admit that it really wasn't. I told her about the Doctor though. "Is he nice?" and again I had to admit "Not always." Still I encouraged her to go if he ever came to take her on an adventure!
I love the way we both have our hands on our hips!
It was almost time for Monica to leave for her class but we decided we had time for one more ride. She checked the wait times and we headed for the Jungle Cruise.
I love this ride, although I understand it's kind of a hit or miss depending on which skipper you get. Lucky for us ours was quite funny and we had a good time! It was time for Monica to leave so we hugged goodbye.