Monday, April 2

My Return Home After A Wonderful Adventure

It's hard to describe how much this trip meant to me, but as I'm sitting here sunburnt, sore, and sleep deprived I wish it wasn't over just quite yet. Here's a little recap of my fantastic trip down to Florida.

~ The Resort ~
 Midnight at Coronado Springs.

As previously mentioned, my friend Charlotte invited a handful of her closest friends down to Disney World for a magical week of theme park hopping, birthday fun, and good food. We stayed at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, a beautiful themed hotel "that evokes the spirit and romance of Spanish-colonial Mexico." Alvin and I arrived the night before everyone else in the group, around midnight, and the place was just amazing. So quiet and peaceful. No one was there, but the picturesque grounds were still lite up, and gave me a wonderful first impression while personally being escorted to the room. The day was just as brilliant as the night, full of bustling travelers and lively animals (I saw crows, storks, ducks, lizards, squirrels, and rabbits to name a few).

~ The Magic Kingdom ~
Nom nom cotton candy.

So of course we had to hit up The Magic Kingdom on the first day, that's just a given. What was nice about staying at an actual Disney Resort was the fact that they had bus transportation to and from the parks. Which was awesome, because one doesn't have to worry about driving or taking a taxi. It's all provided. As soon as I got there I had one thing on the brain: Cotton Candy! Being nostalgic about eating this tasty treat in the park, I had a mandatory quota of one per day. So sure enough, right there at the beginning of Main St. I partook in some of the most awesome cotton candy of all time. Gotta start the morning off right!

We adventured counterclockwise, making Space Mountain the very first ride of the trip. Followed by Stitch's Great Escape, which saddened me because it use to be ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. I was dying to experience this attraction again, because when I was younger I closed my eyes during the entire thing. So as an adult I was to eager to retry it. It was pretty similar, but toned down for children and centered around the Lilo and Stitch franchise instead. Oh well. 

Traveling around the park brought back so many good memories, it was kind of like living in a dream because it was interesting to see the same things from and adult's perspective. Being in the park made me reflect upon the concept that childhood memories are always larger than life. Or maybe it's just that first experiences are always the most potent. 

Love zee pirates!

The last ride of the day was Pirate's of the Caribbean, my all time favorite Disney attraction. I was so excited to go again! A pirate's life for me, right? Well when we were in line the ride broke down, but I didn't want to leave, so we just waited until it started up again. Sure enough, after about 15-20 minutes of waiting (and mind you I don't care one bit because the queue is good fun for me) it started right up again and we got on one of the first boats out. Arrrgh! Well half way through the ride, the boat stopped moving and a cast member got on the louder speaker to tell us riders to stay put. After about 10 minutes of listening to "Yo Ho Ho" by the burning village area, we noticed a cast member in rubber waders pushing the boats over to the shore so that passengers could evacuate. By this time the lights were on and the music was off, so it was neat to see the ride in that state. But all I could think of was, "Damn my camera is full and I can't record this." It's all in my memory though. I will never forgot how incredibly awesome it was to be up on the land looking down at the river as if you were one of the pirates. Followed by seeing all the behind-the-scenes magic in the building as we exited out into the the back lot. All of the people were given a free fast-pass that could be used to pass one line in the park as a sincere apology for the issue. I didn't care one bit, and was just beaming from the once-in-a-life-time experience, so I was a very happy girl.

~~Animal Kingdom~~
So incredibly sad.

On Saturday we went to the Animal Kingdom and it was a gorgeous day. I couldn't have asked for anything better and there was plenty of shade to hide in. It was fun to see all the animals but at the same time I was sad for them, because I know we're the reason why they're there in the first place and don't have proper homes. They were either born into captivity or don't have any wild jungles left to roam around in. It's quite unfortunate that the park meant to honor animals is the same place that keeps them prisoners. They all looked so bored and miserable. Most of this park, especially the animal exhibits, was new to me. When my family and I last went in the 90's it was still under construction. That, and when I was younger I was a little brat, only wanting to go on the rides and not bothering with the gardens. So this time I truly got to experience how lovely the entire park is.

~ Islands of Adventure and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ~
Can I please live here?

This was the day that my sister Carin joined us for the first time. We went out to breakfast, at IHOP which was a good time to catch up because I was so excited to see her. I was glad that she and her friend decided to join us that day because it was everyone's first time at Harry Potter Land. I was thrilled! We practically ran to the back of the park to get there as soon as we could. I of course was smiling ear to ear, because I had been waiting so long to go, and at last I had arrived. So the first thing I did was stand in line for butterbeer. If you ever have the chance to get one, the frozen ones are just divine and my preference for that matter. I had four of them that day. I just wish that they had an alcoholic version so that it would be more accurate to the films. Also, this is around the time my camera died because I didn't bring the charger. I was so sad, but in a way I'm glad it happened because then I could just live the experience instead of being behind my camera all day long. I was always opposed to that, and here I am being hypocritical. So the butterbeer photo was my last one for the entire trip.

This thing gave me a million brain freezes.

Nothing could top Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey though. I actually teared up on that ride (the part were you fly over Hogwarts for the first time) I was so incredibly happy. It's been a long time since something like that has happened to me, and I was surprised by it. I knew that I would love it, but it really blew my mind. You feel like you're there. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever done.

After that we went over to The Three Broomsticks to have a feast. Like Great Hall style, we had an entire long table and it was covered in silver platters containing roasted chickens, ribs, scalloped potatoes, corn on the cob, cooked veggies, and salad. Again, everything was perfect! Perfect I say! Every little detail about this place was spot on. Moaning Myrtle was in one of the lavatories, Hogsmeade was good fun, and the designers found ways to incorporate characters and themes into the rides.

Another favorite was Ollivander's Wand Shop. The short show is fun to watch, and I was very close to purchasing one of them. If they weren't plastic, I would have, but I want a real wood one. Of course it would be Hermione's wand. She's my favorite character because I see myself in her, and we share the same birthday month, only seven days apart. So vine wood is the proper material according to the lore. Also, I wanted a Gryffindor sweater, but those things were expensive. So I walked away empty handed, but that's okay, at the entrance I found some cotton candy which was twice as large as the ones at Disney and a fraction of the price. I got four of them for the remaining days. The universe was on my side.

~ Epcot ~
This was Char's day. Epcot is her favorite park so we spent it there riding all sorts of awesome things. A lot of which were new to me because it's been years since I've been there. That, and just like Animal Kingdom, as children we didn't appreciate all of the attractions that weren't rides. So this time around I got to enjoy all of the countries, the architecture, and the gardens. We were also lucky enough to catch a taiko drum performance in the Japan area. The drummers were absolutely amazing, but because we were standing in the sun I got a little sun burnt that day. My poor toes have the most awful sandal tan lines now. I even had sunscreen on and I ate my watermelon in the morning because it's a natural sunscreen. It was still too much though, and well, yeah, now I have to get ride of those lines.

That night we all went back to the resort to get dolled up to head on over to Disney's Contemporary Resort to watch the sun set and have dinner at the fabulous California Grill. It was amazing and after dinner, drinks, and cake we all went outside on the balcony to watch the fireworks show from high on top of the resort. The best spot ever! It was so beautiful.

~ Hollywood Studios ~
Then lastly we hit up Hollywood Studios, formally MGM Studios. I love this place, and I remember it being a close second favorite to Magic Kingdom when I was younger. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is the best thing about this park and this version is way better than the Disneyland version. We ended up riding it three times in a row at night when the line was nonexistent. Also, this was my very first time going to the Magic of Disney Animation as well. I was heartbroken when I was a child because it was closed, and at that time I wanted to work for Disney. So this time I got to go and it was amusing. College all over again, and we learned how to draw Chip. I ended up giving my drawing to a little girl and she was so happy.

Star Tours is good fun too. It's been redone, with 3D, has a variety of different scenarios, and C3PO now pilots the ship instead of the old captain. I missed him, but he's still in the queue all sad and retired. Again, it's best to ride this one at night a few hours before closing. There was no line, we learned a lot from the friendly cast member about the ride, she gave us the best scenario ever which included a crash landing at the end, one of us was picked as the rebel spy (it was Andre from GameXplain), and we had the ship all to ourselves. It was good fun indeed, and a perfect way to end the night.

So now it's resting time for me. I took the weekend to get back on track and catch up, so now I'm excited to move forward with new art, videos, and posts.

♡ Claudia


  1. I'm so glad u your sis n friends had an awesome time!! I really missed your posts!!

  2. Thanks Matt! I appreciate it. Yup, I have more videos and photos to upload as well from the trip. So stay tuned! :3


  3. Ok cool thanks for the news. Man... I wish I were there. U really had much to talk about this time as well as I myself still here in my hometown. I feel sorry for the little disaster u and the gang went through but I'm glad u guys got your experiences. I haven't been there in years!! TAKE ME WITH YOU!! Oh and I sent u an e-mail last week. Be sure u read it k?

  4. Aww! One day I'm sure you'll have your chance. :)

    Yes indeed, I still need to go through my email. You do not want to see my inbox right now! I'll probably do that today along with a million other things.


  5. Yay! Glad you guys had fun and I'll be sharing photos soon :). Recuperating today and then it's back to art for me too :)

  6. Char: Oh so much fun Char! We rocked it. I'll email everyone later this week with all the photos and videos. <3

    Matt: Indeed. I've grown up... My poor mother remembers it quite well though. We were laughing about it on phone together.


  7. Lol I bet u two had a great time chatting. Thank u so much for e-mailing the photos and vids to us. That's very thoughtful of you!! Oh and u think I could have Carin's E-mail address? Cause I've always wanted to chat with her. Or did I already ask that?

  8. Indeed.
    I cannot give out Carin's email. She keeps to herself. Yes, you asked already.

  9. It's good to see that you had fun. There's nothing like going on an adventure. And its not hypocritical if you get to experience something good. Just a wonderful accident.

  10. Thank you Corey! Tis true. :)
    Yes, I just meant spending too much time behind the camera. So it was good that it died on me after awhile.


  11. Hey,
    I just hopped over to your site via Stumbleupon. Not somthing I would normally read, but I liked your thoughts none the less. Thanks for making something worth reading.


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