Updated: Jan 18, 2020
Despite being a total Disney nerd, I didn't visit WDW until 2016, when I was twenty years old. Let me say one thing, the minute I stepped into the resort, it was like being a little kid again. Everything was magical and new and exciting. I couldn't wait to embark on this new adventure.
We got to WDW two days before New Years 2016. My first full day in Florida, December 31st, was planned to not include any parks, but the Dolphins in Depth experience at Epcot and some time at Disney Springs. Dolphins in Depth was, in a word, amazing. I've always had an affinity for dolphins, so getting to interact with one up close was a dream come true.
The marine animal specialists at The Seas took me and a small group around backstage, showing us the manatees and other species that call Epcot home, as well as giving a short biology lesson on dolphins. Then, I got to have some time with this beauty, Khyber.
He was so beautiful and friendly. I couldn't believe it when I got to give him a cuddle.
We spent New Year's Eve at the House of Blues and then headed back to the Grand Floridian to see the fireworks from the lagoon. Then, I called it a night slightly early, as the next day was my first park day and I had a 7:30AM reservation at 'Ohana!
I got up bright and early the next morning, super excited for what the day had in store. First, my grandma and I headed to 'Ohana. I booked this meal primarily to meet Lilo, as she has no regular meet in California.
My picture with her is extremely blurry, so here's mine with Stitch instead! My grandma and I loved the food here - we feasted on turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles, and breakfast potatoes.
Then, I headed off to my first park of the trip, DHS. My first stop of the day was Rockin' Rollercoaster. Not a great idea as I almost threw up, but I still ended up loving it! I then headed over to meet Mike & Sulley for the first time!
My mom loves this picture. I then met Sorcerer Mickey :)
This was when I first started meeting characters in different overlays.
After that, I rode Star Tours and got a picture of course...
You can tell this is 2016 because I'm wearing Uggs.
Next was Phineas and Ferb! I loved the show as a kid but had never met them in the parks. Getting them in their Christmas overlays just days before they were cut was a stroke of luck!
I also made a pit stop to meet these two :)
I got a bit lost trying to find my way to the Buzz & Woody meet and greet but had a pleasant surprise when I saw this guy instead!
Luckily, I found Buzz and Woody shortly after. Buzz loved that I told him he was my favorite toy!
I also met this Green Army Man who signed my autograph book :)
After this, I rode Tower of Terror (even though we still had it at DCA at this point) and then headed over to Launch Bay to catch up with the Jawas.
I had a reservation for dinner at 1900 Park Fare later so I decided to head back to the GF at this point. But not before stumbling upon Character Palooza :)
My first time meeting Pocahontas! I also met her majesty, The Queen.
With one last photo by the Christmas tree, I was out.
I went back to the hotel, took a nap, did some shopping around the resort, and got ready for dinner at 1900 Park Fare. I booked this for the sole purpose of meeting Prince Charming and the Tremaines.
His highness came around first, followed by Cinderella!
Then, I met the charming Drizella. We had a fun chat about boys and debated whether Prince Hans or Gaston was a better catch.
Lady Tremaine stopped by next!
She actually looks exactly like my aunt, which is hilarious.
The last one to come around was Anastasia :)
We left feeling quite full (the Mongolian beef was amazing) and walked around the lobby for a bit, marveling at all the Christmas decorations.
Then, it was back to the room for another early morning!
My grandma and I set out bright and early for Magic Kingdom. When we got there, we took some empty park pics!
After that, we met Talking Mickey! He was so adorable, and my grandma adored him!
We rode the Barnstormer and Mine Train after, and she screamed so loud! We had a blast.
Then, we met Alice! The Hatter was out for the day.
Next, a trip to the grotto to meet Ariel in fin form! She loved my bow.
Gaston was up next. I blushed literally the entire meet and greet.
On our way to Peter Pan's meet, my grandma insisted on taking a picture of me looking at Rapunzel's tower. She's the best :)
Meeting Peter was next on the agenda. He's one of my favorite meet and greets!
We then went on Haunted Mansion and used our pre-breakfast Fastpass.
These guys were my favorite, but also the most annoying, part of the movie.
We had breakfast at Crystal Palace after so I could meet Piglet!
He's so cute!!!
After a late breakfast, we headed back to the hotel for a break. My parents decided to join me later in the evening while my grandma took a break at the hotel. We had dinner at Be Our Guest! It was such a gorgeous restaurant, but we didn't really enjoy the food so much. But the ambiance was amazing!
After eating, we got to the main reason I booked dinner here - meeting the Beast!
With one last picture, we left the restaurant.
While the food isn't much to write home about, I highly recommend having dinner here at least once. The atmosphere is just amazing and the attention to detail is stunning.
After dinner, we went to meet Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen!
I told Tiana I couldn't cook but Naveen offered that I could be the assistant mincer. I was like, that sounds like not a lot of responsibility, so it works for me!
We saw the fireworks on the way out and headed back to the hotel. The next day, we headed to the Hyatt Regency to switch hotels. On our way out, I got my first picture with Richard :)
One of the sweetest people ever, RIP <3
The next day, we headed to Epcot! The first thing we did was meet Baymax.
He gave me a fist bump :)
Next, we walked around FutureWorld for a bit before heading over to the China Pavilion to meet Mulan!
We ended up heading back into the Norway store to check some stuff out too...
Before meeting Daisy :) She didn't have a regular meet at Disneyland at this point, so I was excited to meet her.
The rest of the day was spent taking pictures around World Showcase and doing a couple of attractions like Gran Fiesta Tour and The Seas with Nemo & Friends.
The next day was Animal Kingdom! I was possibly the most excited to go here because I remembered seeing the commercial for its opening on my "Lion King 2" VHS :)
My mom and grandma stayed at the hotel, so it was a daddy-daughter bonding day! We started off by meeting Dug and Russell.
And then Tarzan!
There was no wait to meet him, but when I passed by later in the day and it was warmer (and the poncho was off) the line was much longer hehe.
We headed off to meet Baloo and King Louie afterwards!
Then, I rode Expedition Everest and we went on Kilimanjaro Safaris! I believe I did Dinosaur as well. So fun!
We decided to check out Rafiki's Planet Watch afterwards.
I had fun making a new furry friend! We decided to start heading back to the hotel at this point to have dinner as a family. On the way out, we bumped into a rare surprise!
I'd never met Brer Bear so this was awesome! He signed my book and gave me a huge hug when I sympathized with him about Brer Fox.
We took a daddy-daughter picture on the way out :)
And then came the last day of the trip. I chose to spend it at Magic Kingdom, as I wanted to try to meet the Hatter and Marie (she was at the flagpole those days) as they weren't out my first day. However, I started the day by meeting one of my favorite princesses, Merida!
Then, as luck would have it, I met the Hatter with Alice!
I then used my Mine Train Fastpass before meeting Gaston again :)
I headed to the front of the park to see if Marie would be there - and she was!!
I'm usually a dog person, but I'd make an exception for her!
Then, I saw there was little to no wait for Tink and met her too!
We talked about how short girl struggles are a thing. It was then time for my back to back Fastpasses to meet Cinderella/Rapunzel and Ariel!
Cinderella is my favorite princess, hence my screen name :)
Raps is a close second!
It was a bit chilly so Ariel had her poncho on! She loved my crown.
After doing a few more attractions, I decided to end the trip by seeing my favorite lost boy again.
He made me pinky promise never to grow up and to come back and see him soon :)
And my trip was over. Just like that. But it wasn't the end. Since this trip, I've been to WDW a total of seven times with two more trips planned for next year. I love this resort more than words can say.