So, I just wanted to give our readers a personal thank you for your patience with my patently disorganized behavior over the last month. I’ve had a hard time getting back on schedule after our recent Disney vacation.
This vacation served as our honeymoon since we never really had one when we married in 2008. We combined families and had already flown from Minnesota to Florida so that we could get married surrounded by our families. That left little time for a honeymoon afterward. So, since I love Disney so much and David had never experienced Epcot Food and Wine Festival, we decided to go there.
A Little History about Our Disney Vacation
About a year before our vacation, we started a savings fund explicitly for the occasion – and we booked our trip for September 4-10, 2017. We purchased the works – hotel reservations, dining reservations, special events, and plane tickets! However, as time grew near, David realized he had extra unused vacation time that would expire before the end of the year. So, he wanted to go a few days early. We rescheduled our plane tickets, bought a few more days at Disney, and scheduled a different hotel for a few days since Disney had no vacancies. Since we had two extra days, we got to see all four parks!
Our Disney Trip
We visited Disney Studios on our first day and had a wonderful time. The highlight – we enjoyed a delicious meal at the Brown Derby – where they decorated our table and surprised us for our honeymoon. They even gave us a free champagne mini! I think my favorite at the MGM Studios is the Star Wars stuff. We both thrive on sci-fi. I even got to meet BB – the cutest Star Wars hero since R2D2! Although I also loved the Indiana Jones and Beauty and the Beast live actions. We ended the night watching Fantasmic!
Disney Studios – formerly MGM Studios
The Magic Kingdom, as always, was magical. The Haunted Mansion is a mainstay highlight for us both. We didn’t stick around for the closing show fireworks, though.
One of my two favorite parks at Disney! Thanks to our Disney vacation trip extension, we enjoyed two days at both Epcot and Animal Kingdom. David danced with Daisy Duck at Tusker House. We enjoyed the new Pandora world. But the two highlights for this – David surprised me with a “Savor the Savannah” experience. It’s a twilight ride through the Savannah. You get to meet the animal handlers, followed by a romantic dinner in the middle of the Savannah surrounded by the animals. One of the other couples on the experience got engaged! The food – the wine – the sunset. His timely proposal was romantic.
Proceeds benefit African wildlife conservation projects. We had front row seats for the River of Lights closing show – an amazing experience, indeed!
And David Danced with another woman
Well… if you consider Daisy Duck a woman. Technically, she’s a female duck. So, she’s a hen. The characters were more enjoyable than the dining at Tusker House. But isn’t his joy just delightful?
Characters made their rounds at this Tusker House Animal Kingdom restaurant. It just wasn’t complete without a dance.
Posted by Alicia Taylor on Monday, September 18, 2017
We planned our Disney vacation over a year in advance because we couldn’t wait to see Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. While we enjoyed it, the festival didn’t take the starring role. I believe that’s because Savor the Savannah overshadowed the event. I want to make a trip back just for Savor the Savannah.
And then there was Irma
When we booked our vacation a year prior, it was too early to anticipate a hurricane. Besides, native Floridians know the only thing forecastable about a hurricane is its unpredictability. When we left on September 2nd, meteorologists weren’t even sure if the massive ball of wind would hit the US or not. (I point this out because, while trapped in our hotel room, an unusually insensitive blogger Facebook friend indicated that I should have known better than to plan a vacation during a hurricane.)
With concern, we watched the storm’s path solidify. Earliest predictions (around September 5th) forecast Hurricane Irma’s initial US introduction at Pensacola – our hometown. We remained in constant contact with family back home, ensuring our adult sons took our cats when they evacuated with my parents. My nephew and his wife planned to get our home hurricane ready for us. We were already evacuated, and everyone else had everything under control so David and I could enjoy our honeymoon. Can I just say how thankful I am for a family like this?
But then she changed directions!
Then, Irma turned, painting a bull’s eye on southern Florida – probably Miami. And, then, the airports closed the day before we planned to return home. Thankfully, Disney said we could stay in our room for the extra days. Orlando expected to get category one wind speeds (74-95mph). Since our hotel room opened to an exterior parking lot rather than an interior hallway, David and I were verifiably trapped in our hotel room for two days with no microwave and only a minifridge. But that was more of a highlight than a complaint ;). We used the remaining Disney dining points to stock our tiny fridge with food that didn’t require re-heating. Eventually, the storm did not turn as much as expected and came ashore just south of Naples after devastating the keys.
The airports remained closed the next two days, so we had to rent a car and drive home. Since everyone else had the same idea, we ended up with one of the last available vehicles in Orlando – an SUV – for just the two of us. The trip home was uneventful, but gas shortages abounded. Traffic heading north stayed light, but south- and westbound interstate paths were virtual parking lots.
So…That’s the Story
Thanks for your patience while I try to get back on my feet. After this trip, we took a trip to Missouri the very next week. I’ve been a little overwhelmed. While we enjoyed both trips, I’m glad to be back home. We did cancel our Halloween party, sadly. But I need some time to stabilize a bit. I hope you enjoy all the photos and the rare glimpse into our personal world.
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.