Two months ago I received an email in my inbox that read something like, “Rooms at Vacation Village have been reserved, January 17th-24th in Orlando, Florida!” And then a list of room numbers and names of Justin’s family members. It was a complete surprise! We had no idea Justin’s dad was booking this vacation for the family, but it came at the perfect time to celebrate Justin’s college graduation!! If there’s one thing you should know about the both of us, it’s that we are young at heart. We both love laughter and playing and just being silly, and Disney caters to that… even as you get older!!
Justin and I first went to Disney World together in January of 2014. We were visiting our grandparents (and at the time, Justin’s parents as well) and decided we could do ONE day at Disney through a park hopper pass for $150. We hit three parks that day and had the time of our lives!! (The link to that blog post is at the bottom of this one!) We were running on adrenaline dashing from ride to ride and park to park, but that was how I had always done Disney. I’d go in with a strategy for Fast Passes and how to hit as many rides as possible in the shortest amount of time and it was equally thrilling as it was exhausting! But when you’re on a budget, sometimes you just have to squeeze in as much as you can for that one day ticket.
But THIS time…. this time was different. For the first time EVER, I got to do more than two days at Disney… we got to do FOUR!!! In one week!! It was a dream! This was only possible because during my research leading up to this trip, I came across a 4-day park hopper deal that is offered to retired members of our military. We were able to do four days at Disney for $196!!! It was too good to be true – but it was!! It was the opportunity of a lifetime and we’re so thankful for John and Nancy Clarke, our close family friends, for making this possible for us. We’ll appreciate and remember it forever!
So without further delay… here’s the beginning of our Walt Disney World vacation! We started off at the military ticket sales desk at Disney’s Shades of Green resort. I had to take a picture because we had several hiccups in getting these discounted tickets… and when we arrived in Florida we actually thought that it was no longer going to be possible. Talk about putting a damper on a parade! But by the next morning we had it all figured out and were off to Disney!!
Setting up my camera for the day… it was going to be a sunny, bright Florida afternoon!! We rode the tram in for old time’s sake!
And HERE IT IS!! Hollywood Studios! It’s undergone quite a few changes since we last visited, but we loved it all the same.
First “Justin test shot” of the day…. lol.
I LOVE this! We were so excited!! Haha!!
Hollywood Studios was designed to reflect 1930s era Hollywood, California… I love it!!
Walt Disney wanted everyone who walked into his parks to be whisked away to another time and place… and the actors here totally make that happen!
Meredith had never been on a roller coaster and we took her on Tower of Terror first (one of our favorite rides)! She hated it. Haha
The next time we’re at Disney, I’m making reservations for this place!! We didn’t book any here this time around because we weren’t sure we would have time (and we ended up only getting a half day at this park, so it was probably for the better that we didn’t do a sit down meal) but it’s supposed to be a pretty fun experience!
Instead, we ate a quick service meal at the Backlot. The first of many overpriced burgers and fries… but it WAS delicious. Not gonna lie.
We actually used one of our Fast Passes for the autoshow here! Justin LOVES LOVES LOVES cars (that’s an understatement) and we didn’t get to do this last time we were here due to time constraints, so this time it was a priority! Lots of explosions, doughnuts, and loud motors!!
I love this “city” section of Hollywood Studios… set up like the backdrop/film location for a movie! There’s San Francisco and New York!
After grabbing some ice cream we headed over to watch Fantasmic, one of my favorite shows at Disney. It’s a lot of lights and water and music and floats! And here come all the Disney characters, including black and white classic Mickey!!
I just love how the parks light up at night… ahh I miss it already!!
We rode Aerosmith twice in a row because we got in line the minute the park “closed!!”
Goodbye Hollywood… and Crossroads of America!
Come back tomorrow for pictures from Day 2 at Magic Kingdom… and the breakfast experience where I got to meet Mickey Mouse for the first time!!! For now… goodnight from Hollywood Studios!!
To see our Disney World photos from 2014, click here!
To view more travel posts, click here!
For more information on Disney’s Military Salute Park Hopper Pass, click here!!!