Florida Part I: Disney World

The last time I went to Disney World was in 2000, on the 25th anniversary, when I was only 4 years old. Over the last sixteen years, I've been shown pictures and told hundreds of stories about my family's trip there but I remembered nothing. So, I hopped on a plane and started my journey down south to go to Disney World for the first time in my own personal memory. 

My entire trip was magical and still, a week later, I'm having trouble finding words to describe what my trip to Disney was like. I was amazed by the size of this empire, for lack of a better word. The size of these parks and how many there were. Walt Disney really did create his own little city. Going from ride to ride and park to park, I was most amazed at how much thought and attention to detail was put into everything from the small sets in the Haunted Mansion ride to the 60's era theme of Hollywood Studios to the amazing fireworks shows at the end of each day. 

Here is my journey in Disney through photos. Enjoy!

Day 1: Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios, which was called MGM the last time I went to Disney World, was our first park of the trip. After waking up at 4:30am to make my 7:20am flight to Florida, I was exhausted but there was no stopping. Straight from the Tampa airport we headed for Orlando. Hollywood Studios is every film fanatics dream. The 50's vibes are reminiscent of color film photography by William Eggelston and Stephen Shore. I was fascinated by the colors and the overall theme. But to be honest, everyone knows what I was truly most excited for: the Rock n' Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror. Needless to say, those rides did not disappoint and I had an absolute blast.

Entrance to Hollywood Studios

Entrance to Hollywood Studios

Head to Toe café, Hollywood Studios

Head to Toe café, Hollywood Studios

Palm Trees, Hollywood Studios

Palm Trees, Hollywood Studios

Prime Time Cafe, Hollywood Studios

Prime Time Cafe, Hollywood Studios

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Hollywood Studios

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Hollywood Studios

The Hyperion Theater, Hollywood Studios 

The Hyperion Theater, Hollywood Studios 

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios

Tower of Terror, Hollywood Studios

Tower of Terror, Hollywood Studios

Rock n' Rollercoaster, Hollywood Studios

Rock n' Rollercoaster, Hollywood Studios

Rock n' Rollercoaster, Hollywood Studios

Rock n' Rollercoaster, Hollywood Studios

Disney & Co., Hollywood Studios

Disney & Co., Hollywood Studios

The Darkroom, Hollywood Studios

The Darkroom, Hollywood Studios

Crossroads, Hollywood Studios

Crossroads, Hollywood Studios

Day 2: Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom was my first full park that I visited. I spent 12 hours at this park from 1PM until closing (12AM). In that time I managed to eat a lot of food, take a lot of pictures, make a big fool of myself, meet some of my favorite characters and manage to go on nearly 20 rides.

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom

Seeing Cinderella's castle was surreal. I've seen so many pictures of it, and even pictures of 2 and 4 year old me in front of it but I never remember being there. 

Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom

Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom

Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom

Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom

I ended up paying the extra money to have the best lunch experience of my entire lifetime. My roommate and I ate at the Crystal Palace for lunch where I not only had the best food I have eaten in a long time, but I got to meet Winnie the Pooh and his friends. I identify with Eeyore on a spiritual level now that I'm grown up. But getting to meet Tigger, who I named my late cat after, was amazing. Oh, and Piglet kissed me.

The Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom

The Crystal Palace, Magic Kingdom

Belle's Castle

Belle's Castle

The entrance to quite possibly the most annoying and creepy ride on the entire planet. The song was stuck in my head all day afterwards. I also began to realize that Disney World has a thing for the creepy little dolls that fill this ride, they made appearances in other rides throughout the parks as well. 

It's A Small World, Fanstasyland, Magic Kingdom

It's A Small World, Fanstasyland, Magic Kingdom

The Little Mermaid, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom 

The Little Mermaid, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom 

Outside the Little Mermaid ride, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom

Outside the Little Mermaid ride, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom

Adventureland, Magic Kingdom

Adventureland, Magic Kingdom

I've always found space and the future to be really interesting so it was obviously a no brainer that Tomorrowland was my absolute favorite section of the park. I got to meet Buzz Lightyear, who I've adored for years. Witnessed a dance party featuring Mr. Incredible dancing with a bunch of toddlers, it was great. 

Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom

This ride was a great rest. I got to sit on my butt for 20 minutes and listen to a bunch of plastic moving mannequins sing "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day."

Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom

Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom

Jungle Cruise, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom

Jungle Cruise, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom

Ice Cream and Smoothie store, Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom

Ice Cream and Smoothie store, Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom

Polaroid of Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom

Polaroid of Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom

The Electric Light Parade was a blast from the music to seeing the light creations that were made it was one of the highlights of my day at Magic Kingdom. 

Mickey and Minnie Mouse during the Electric Light Parade, Magic Kingdom

Mickey and Minnie Mouse during the Electric Light Parade, Magic Kingdom

Fireworks at Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom

Fireworks at Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom

Day 3: Epcot

The Golf Ball, Epcot

The Golf Ball, Epcot

The Golf Ball, Epcot

The Golf Ball, Epcot

Epcot

Epcot

Palm Trees in Epcot

Palm Trees in Epcot

Epcot

Epcot

Universe of Energy was great for so many reasons. It was dark, so I could take a nap if I wanted to, it was seated and it was air conditioned. I also learned a little about energy, which is a plus.

Universe of Energy, Epcot

Universe of Energy, Epcot

Universe of Energy, Epcot

Universe of Energy, Epcot

The Seas was one of my favorite rides because I love Finding Nemo, not to mention they have an actual aquarium at the end of the ride?! I saw a manatee, which I mistook for a whale, and a dolphin. How crazy is that?!

The Seas, Epcot

The Seas, Epcot

Reflections on the monorail track, Epcot

Reflections on the monorail track, Epcot

Palm Trees in Epcot

Palm Trees in Epcot

Monorail passing through Epcot

Monorail passing through Epcot

A nice color combo at Epcot

A nice color combo at Epcot

Polaroid of Epcot from the World's Showcase

Polaroid of Epcot from the World's Showcase

The Golf Ball at night, Epcot

The Golf Ball at night, Epcot

World's Showcase at Epcot

Italy

Italy

The United States

The United States

Norway

Norway

Statue in Norway

Statue in Norway

Norway

Norway

China

China

China

China

China

China

China

China

China

China

Germany

Germany

Germany

Germany

Model German neighborhood, Germany

Model German neighborhood, Germany

Model German neighborhood, Germany

Model German neighborhood, Germany

Italy

Italy


Signs

For some reason, I had a fascination with signs at Disney world. From the signs for stores to restaurants to rides, I found my camera being pointed at them on more than one occasion.