The last couple of years, my guy friends and myself have been going to Orlando for a weekend. I say a weekend, I really mean most of Saturday and a little bit of Sunday, because the weekend started at 6 pm Friday and taking the 7 1/2 hour drive to Walt Disney World, and leaving Sunday at 2 pm to drive home. Last year we had to beat a coworker to ride Transformers before them, so we went the weekend before them. This year, the other two guys wanted to see Skillet perform, and it just so happened that they were performing at Night of Joy at Walt Disney World.
While this was just a quick trip, we all agreed we wanted our own beds, last year one guy couldn't sleep because the other was a loud snorer, so I booked us at the Art of Animation Finding Nemo Room. We ended up on the ground floor with a pool view, which was a pretty nice location.
We arrived at the resort around 3 am, and quickly went to bed. I woke up at 6 to make my way to Hollywood Studios, the other guys had only bought the Night of Joy Ticket while I had my Annual Pass. It was Extra Magic Hours that morning at DHS, so I was able to enjoy most of the attractions that I love, and take in the surroundings a little more than usual.
As we all know, the Frozen Summer is happening at DHS, so Olaf opened the park, and made it snow around the Icon Stage. Most people ran to Toy Story Mania, per usual, but I just had a nice little walk, and got my picture with Donald and Daisy, and then a little later with Pluto. The lines for rides were fairly short from what I saw, but I wasn't so much there for rides.
As the park opened to the regular guest, I made my way back to the Animation Courtyard, for my picture with Sorcerer Mickey, which has been a while since I had seen him. I will say, it was kinda of weird being a single guy in line to see a character, but I was still given great interaction time with the characters. I went on to see Minnie in her new home (I haven't been in DHS since she got her spot). After I met the world favorite mice, I went to the Animation class, and learned how to draw Minnie!
I had made Fastpasses for Maelstrom and Soarin' at Epcot, so once the class was done I made my way out of the park and on to one of the friendship boats so that I would have a peaceful ride to Epcot.
At this point the rumors of the closing oof Maelstorm were high, but not confirmed, I was able to take a walk around World Showcase and take in a little of the atmosphere of the different countries, what little there was because of just opening. This was my first experience on Maelstorm, and I enjoyed myself on the ride.
It was getting close to 1 and had told the other guys that I would meet up with them for lunch at Landscape of Flavors. I ended up having to take a bus to Pop Century and walk over to Art, but once again, it was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the walk.
Landscape of Flavors was probably the bad experience of the trip, and it wasn't horribly. I ordered my food, and it was great, but they have me a kids meal portion of food, so I was extremely disappointed on the serving size of the great food.
After a quick trip to the room, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom so that we could get our tickets for Night of Joy. However we needed to ride the monorail first, so we took a quick ride out to Epcot and back, and then took the ferry to Magic Kingdom.
Before leaving for the trip, I had made reservations at Crystal Palace for Dinner, so once we got in the park we pretty much had to get to the resturant for an early dinner. Three guys excited for Pooh, Tigger, Eeryore, and Piggley was a sight to see. The good was amazing, and the character interactions were great.
Since it was one of the guys first trip, we decided to take in some Meet and greets before the park officially closed at 7. So of course we went to see Mickey, and then the rain started. The line for Mickey was about 30 mins, but Tinkerbell was only 5, so we went to meet Tink instead. The Castmember working the queue line stated she has never seen three guys come see Tink we took that as a compliment.
The rain didn't let up, so we devoted the some more time to meets, and because everyone was taking shelter under the awnings of the stores, we went down the middle of Main Street USA for our route to see Ariel in New Fantasyland. By time we got to Sir Mickey's me and one of the other guys were soaked, the third had brought a poncho just in case, so we headed in and bought a couple for ourselves.
Walking out of the store to Ariel's Grotto, it became clear we made a good purchase, as the rain had picked back up. There was literally no line for Ariel, and she gave us all a great interaction, unusually long for that time in the park.
I then decided I needed to make Beth mad at me, and we walked over to Princess Fairytale Hall, and got pictures with Cinderella and Rapunzel. Once again the wait wasn't long and the conversations were a little longer than one could usually expect.
After walking out of the hall, of course the rain stopped. We bagged our ponchos and made our was to Mickey's Philharmagic and Peter Pan. For the next few hours we just hoped on random rides because Skillet would take the stage at midnight.
The lines in the park weren't horrible, and the longest we waited was for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but was worth it of course.
If you have never seen a concert performed on the Castle Stage, then you need to find a time to go a watch one. Skillet utilized the Fireworks in most of there songs, and the crowd was all the way down Main Street.
A lot of people have negative reviews for Night of Joy, and it can be bad, but we had a great night on Saturday night.
Sunday we had two goasl, new running shoes at Fit 2 Run. This store and their staff are amazing. We were in and out with great shows that we had ran and walked in. The attention to detail given to what shoe best for your running style. Next time you are down in Disney World, stop by there and get some amazing shoes!
The second goal was wedding decorations, we spent more time in the World of Disney than any of us actually cared to spend, and I spent more money than I cared to.
After we got our 4 giant bags of random things in the truck we were off to head home. The trip was a great getaway, and a nice warm up for Tower of Terror weekend here in a couple of months.