We woke up at the crack of dawn to catch our early flight to Orlando. It was more like 4am, but you get the idea. I actually got no sleep that night, so a wake up call that early was unwanted. I slowly snapped out of it once I realized we were on our way to Disney! Finally!
The plane flight went smoothly, and within about two hours we were safely on the ground in sunny beautiful Florida!
There’s something so uplifting about walking off the plane and feeling the warm Florida breeze. Especially when we’ve been bundled up in the snow for months now in Maryland. I honestly feel I was meant to live in tropical weather. I blame my Puerto Rican genes for that.
Staying within the Disney Resort has so many benefits. We didn’t realize how important these benefits were till we started staying in a resort a year ago, with meal-planning and such. As soon as we exit the plane, we can head straight to the buses to take us to the resort. Super easy! They even bring all your bags to the room so you can get right to park hopping! I know this may seem like a simple thing for most, but I grew up going to Disney staying off the resort, so I’m still taking it all in
The bus ride lasted no more than 15-20 minutes, and they kept us “entertained” with a little Disney educational video. I’m embarrassing, but I actually love the Disney promo videos…don’t ask me why. Gets me excited to do all the things!
We arrived at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. We’ve stayed here before, and as I’ve mentioned, it’s beautiful. It has an old-style Spanish/traditional Mexican feel to it that I find really relaxing.
Once we got inside, we were informed that our room was ready right away! We’re staying very close to the front desk, which is a plus. And I love the water walkways on the way to the rooms
I kept saying how nice it would be to do runs around.
I also saw a grasshopper and lizard making friends? Let’s hope.
We got our Magic Bands a few months ago, and it was finally time to put them to use.
Team Magic Bands!!!
Oh, and you also get this free mug cup thingy with the meal plan. It has a tracker inside that identifies with you, so with the plan you get free refills at the resort of anything you want, and filtered water refills throughout the parks. Kind of excessive in my opinion, but it’s a nice amenity. I keep getting nervous I’ll spill something on my stuff though (because this is me we’re talking about), so I’m not sure how much use I’ll get out of it?
Now the moment of truth. We used our Magic Bands for the first time! It was a simple swipe in front of this key, and voila! Super convenient not having to carry one room key in a family of four.
The room’s at the resort are quaint and lovely. I particularly love when they make the Mickeys out of towels
AND LOOK AT THE LADY RABBIT! This is not being used the entire trip. I don’t have the heart to take it apart.
After dropping our carry-on bags off and getting settled, it was time to hit the Marathon Expo! I was ready to get all my gear set, so I could prepare for Sunday.
Did I mention the weather was perfect?
Had to take a picture of my lovely sister Cristina (this Florida sun just makes any picture radiant!)
We hopped on the Expo bus, which got us to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Center shortly afterwards. I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it was! It looked less sporty, and more resort-y. By this point we were a bit anxious on making it to Hollywood Studios in good time for the day, so we wanted a pretty painless experience of getting our stuff as quickly as possible!
It ended up being a generally painless experience. We were immediately directed to race bib pick-up, where we would turn in our waiver and information.
Crazily enough, the lovely older woman who gave me my bib ended up being from my hometown of Olney! It’s honestly a small little suburb in Maryland that many never hear of. I love when stuff like that happens. Such a small world!
We got our bibs, but I was disappointed to find out we had to go to a whole other location to pick up our shirts and race bag. Ugh. I know Disney has their reasons, and this probably was the most efficient way with the mass amounts of crowds, but a lot of walking made for slow travels. The lanes were jam packed and we had a whole other building to get to!
We finally got the race shirt, which I LOVE (post pictures later…), and then met back up front to catch the bus back to the resort. The expo was a little bit of a hassle, but I’m sure it was done in the best way possible! I would recommend that anyone visiting Disney for the race takes an entire day to do the Expo however. Trying to fit that in with a park in one day is a little much.
While my Mom, sister, and myself were picking up our race stuff, my Dad was busy making little race signs. He was particularly proud He’ll be running around like crazy cheering us on come Sunday!
We ran to drop our race stuff off at the room, then jumped on the bus to Hollywood Studios!!!
Sometimes to pass the bus rides, you have to take cute pictures of your parents laughing when they don’t know it
We finally arrived!!!! I was so excited to just jump into my old favorites rides, pick up some food, and walk around endlessly doing everything. This park isn’t my family’s favorite, but it’s ONE of mine! I love the old-Hollywood feel to it. And it has two of my favorite rides, so PLUS!
Then, our fun was briefly cut short. This was honestly the first time in my experience with Disney that they actually just messed up. I won’t get into details, but getting our tickets at the front ended up being a 30-40 minute discussion with an incompetent employee who clearly didn’t care, or know what she was doing. This time was precious to us, since we already got to the park late and wanted to fit everything in we could for the day! We shrugged the situation off, and headed to get a quick snack since we were STARVING!
I was going for a smoothie, until I saw the pretzels were Mickey shaped…
So precious…ugh! I’m the biggest sucker for themed objects. I had to have it! Even though a pretzel wasn’t exactly what I wanted at the time.
After a quick bite, my Dad and I decided to wait for my favorite Hollywood Studios ride…Tower of Terror!
I look slightly worried because the sun was bright Probably will be a trend throughout the week.
The wait was only about 35 minutes, so we quickly lined up!
Every time, and I mean EVERYTIME I go to Disney, I end up taking excessive amounts of Tower of Terror pictures. I just find the building so strangely beautiful. Not to mention they make the insides look creepy. Definitely an old-school ride, but I love the classic ones at Disney!
The line flew by and we ended up getting off just in time for the showing of Beauty and the Beast!
This is also something I enjoy every single time. The show is actually well done, and it’s quick. Only about half an hour! Plus, Beauty and the Beast is definitely my favorite princess movie.
We then passed the rest of the time seeing the Muppets in 3D…
Beaker’s my favorite!!!
Then the American Idol Experience…
Then one last look at Tower of Terror
My other favorite ride is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, but it was unfortunately booked up for the day But we have “park hoppers” which means we can come back on another evening to do it another time. We also were on our way to see the nightly showing of “Fantasmic!”, but that was cancelled! We were having just a smidge of bad luck with rides. Luckily, we were actually exhausted and starving again by this point, so we headed on over to our dinner for the night at Epcot.
Tonight, we planned to eat at the “Coral Reef Restaurant” at the Epcot theme park. We’ve been here before, and I always love the ocean atmosphere!
The restaurant is ocean themed with a huge tank lining one of the walls. We could literally watch sharks swim by while eating dinner . I also heard a fun-fact that the tank could fit the Epcot ball structure inside it, with room to spare! Now that’s a huge tank…
They even gave us a cute little fish-guide to try and pick out the ones from the tank!
I ended up choosing the “Orange Ginger-Glazed Scottish Salmon with Vegetable Stir-Fry” for dinner. Now, I’m extremely partial to salmon, but this dish was particularly amazing! The ginger was a subtle taste, but it paired perfectly with the slightly spicy vegetables and cooked salmon. I would highly recommend it.
For dessert, me and the family decided to split two different ones.
First, the “Chocolate Wave with Raspberry Gelato”. Yumyumyum. Chocolate and raspberry combined in anything is also one of my favorite things ever. So this was again, perfect! The chocolate looks like a muffin, but is all melted chocolate on the inside. And the raspberry gelato was light and sweet.
Second, we tried the “Coconut-Mango Chiffon Cake with Raspberry Sauce”. I’m always partial to chocolate, but this dessert was wonderful as well. It was SUPER light, and very tangy. I would order this again, but I’m afraid chocolate always wins the competition for me
After dinner I was ridiculously stuffed, which meant it was time to return to the room and get a good night’s rest. Goal is to get as much sleep now so I feel completely rested for Marathon Day! It’s so exciting to see all the runners invading the parks and getting ready for their own races this weekend.
Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom!!!