Monday 8th April – Matt Arrives
Today was a relaxed day as we were waiting for my other brother to arrive in Orlando. I won’t lie, we were concerned he wouldn’t make it by himself after celebrating his team’s win over the weekend! However, he made it and we went to pick him up from the airport in the afternoon. We had a lovely evening in and attempted to play some Disney Monopoly but we were too tired and shortly gave up!
Tuesday 9th April – Magic Kingdom
As we were now complete, our first day together was, of course, Magic Kingdom. We had a Fastpass for Space Mountain straight away then had a reservation for breakfast at the Crystal Palace, which is one of my favourite places to eat in Disney World. We then did more rides and saw the parade.
Favourite moment: My dad loves Beauty and the Beast, and after missing meeting Belle in Epcot yesterday, he was excited to see Gaston meeting in Fantasyland. The line was closed though so, again, he had missed out on meeting his favourite characters. I took his photo in front of Gaston’s tavern and fountain instead, then Gaston walked past, came to join Dad’s photo and gave him his own personal meet and greet! His face was a picture.
In the evening, we did Enchanted Tales with Belle. This was the first time I had done it since they updated it (it’s a little show where Belle tells the story of Beauty and the Beast and gets some of the audience to play the characters) but the new version is so good! I won’t spoil it but it is amazing how they’ve done it.
When we’ve done this in the past, Dad has always volunteered to play the Beast (he does a pretty good impression!) and has never been picked. Of course, he volunteered again this time and they chose a little girl to play him instead… Dad was fuming. It was so funny. He got chosen to play the singing wardrobe though and he even got to meet Belle at the end!
We ended a great day with Happily Ever After. I was so excited for them to see it for the first time and they loved it. It made me all the more emotional.
Wednesday 10th April : Universal/ Islands of Adventure
After breakfast at the villa we headed off to Universal Studios. It wasn’t too busy so we did quite a lot of rides. The longest we queued for anything was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey which is my FAVOURITE ride ever.
Highlights of the day: We got absolutely soaked on the Popeye ride. Then we went on the other water ride, Ripsaw Falls, and Matt couldn’t fit into the boat! We had to get out and wait for another one then they made him sit in a bigger seat. It then happened again on The Mummy, they had to really push on his restraint to get it closed. Needless to say, we didn’t let him forget about it for the rest of the holiday… I will just add that it was because he has injured his knee from rugby so he couldn’t bend it properly but it was still hilarious.
We left early and had dinner at the villa as we had an early start the next day.
Thursday 11th April: Animal Kingdom
We were up early for Animal Kingdom today, as it’s always better to do the Kilimanjaro Safari early or later in the day to see more animals. We also did Expedition Everest and Dinosaur; Thomas was genuinely terrified (white shirt… click on the picture to enlarge… you’re welcome).
We also met Mickey and Minnie in their safari gear and watched the Festival of the Lion King. Both must-dos in my opinion. We got amazing seats and I was finally in a different section to the one I always seem to sit in!
We ate lunch in the Satu’li Canteen in Pandora. I’d heard good things and it didn’t disappoint! The boys and I then decided to brave the queue for Avatar: Flight of Passage, while Dad and Mel walked around looking at the animals. It was apparently 2 and a half hours but we didn’t queue that long in the end. Worth it, though. We all did Na’vi River Journey later which the boys and Dad were severely disappointed with… another funny moment.
We ate dinner in the Rainforest Café that evening. Matt was in the mood to get lit and kept ordering mojito after mojito not quite realising how expensive they were! If you’ve ever eaten here before you’ll know about their signature dessert, which is an enormous construction of chocolate fudge cake, ice cream and whipped cream. Every time they bring one to a table, they walk through the restaurant shouting, “VOOOOLCANOOOOOO!!!” This happened so often, we were that table who just joined in with it after a while. And yes, we also ordered one!
Friday 12th April: Rest Day/ Fantasmic!
Our villa wasn’t available for the second week so today was the day we packed up and changed to our new hotel. In between, we went to Disney Springs and had lunch at Raglan Road. Once we’d checked in to the new hotel, we spent a couple of hours in the pool (along with some rowdy guests who decided to bring a karaoke machine with them?!) then got ready and went to Hollywood Studios to see Fantasmic! in the evening. Mel had never seen it before so I was SO excited for her to see my favourite show on Disney property.
The first night in the hotel was eventful… the boys didn’t want to share a bed so we rearranged the room and brought in the spare mattress from Dad and Mel’s room. The rooms weren’t very clean and going from having our own rooms/ beds to having to share wasn’t great but we managed not to kill each other (the boys were close, though).
Saturday 13th April: Work
We had breakfast at Denny’s (eating at our hotel was definitely out of the question) then went back to Epcot. We did Test Track then I had to go to work. The others came to see me, had a couple of hours in Epcot then did some resort hopping to the Grand Floridian. They saw Tom Fletcher!
Sunday 14th April: Cast 5K
Call me insane but I woke up at 4:30am to go running today. Am I OK?! It was the Cast & Family Spring Fun Run around Epcot. The reason these things are so early is that the events have to be over before the park opens and the weather is much cooler early on. Saying that, it was SO humid, even before the sun came up! I’m so proud of myself that I ran the whole thing though; I haven’t really run properly since my half marathon a year ago! It was really cool running around Epcot in the dark. There were characters to meet along the route but I didn’t stop as I wouldn’t have been able to go again! We even saw someone propose at the finish line…
Some of us went to IHOP for breakfast once we’d finished, then I came home to tidy and do laundry. I only had time for a 20 minute nap before going to work. I was so tired. That evening, Elin, Liv and I went to Chloe’s and booked flights for a trip to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks. What a day!