Turning 24 and actually being okay with it (aka the best birthday weekend ever).

So when I first got my acceptance, and realized that I would be spending my birthday in Walt Disney World, I was slightly overwhelmed. What could I do to make this birthday as special and fun as possible? Somewhere along the line, I had the idea of four parks, one day. Also somewhere along the line, my good friend Kristoffer snagged a reservation at Be Our Guest for the night before my birthday. Yes, it was shaping up to be a fantastic weekend. And it really was! (So this is going to be a long post……..)

It all actually started on Friday night, though. I finished work at DisneyQuest at 7:15 and went over to Cirque. Because my manager and coordinator are absolutely awesome, I was able to sit in and watch the show as an early birthday gift.

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I even got popcorn. 🙂

The show was fantastic as usual, and honestly it was so nice to be able to just sit and watch the show instead of the audience.

The next morning, my friends and I got up early to head to the opening of Magic Kingdom so we could get on Splash Mountain, which had just reopened from a two month long refurb. We booked it to Frontierland and only waited in line about 5 minutes. The ride was great, but the boats kept stopping on the lifts. As we were about to go up the lift for the “big drop,” our boat stopped. For at least 5 minutes. The two boats ahead of us were also stopped. So we just hung out and waited. I was in the third row so I didn’t get all that wet… and called for us to go on again.

The second time, roommate Kelly and I sat up front. And got absolutely drenched.

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After Splash, we went and got Starbucks and then headed to Haunted Mansion and Pirates. Then Kelly, Eric, and Zack had to leave for work, so Kristoffer and I decided to go resort hopping. We monorailed to the Grand Floridian and walked around there for a bit. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more spectacular hotel. I felt super out of place in my shorts and tanktop, even though that’s what most guests we wearing. After exploring the Floridan, we walked over to Kristoffer’s favorite resort, the Polynesian. The Poly was awesome. The theming is absolutely perfect! We then decided we were hungry, so we monorailed over to the Contemporary to go the Contempo Cafe and walk around there. We went out onto an outside patio right under the monorail and took pictures of the Magic Kingdom (and I took tons of pictures of the monorail going over our heads). We then went to check out the view from the bridge to the Bay Lake Tower. I was so happy to finally get the chance to explore these three resorts.

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After the resorts, we decided we wanted to go on Ariel’s Undersea Journey, so we went back to MK and watched the parade, then got the train to Fantasyland Station. Unfortunately, when we got to the Ariel attraction, there was a 50 minute wait, so instead we went to Country Bear Jamboree, which I’d never seen before. It was certainly interesting… (blooooood, blooooood).

It was getting closer to dinner reservation time, so we went and saw Philharmagic and then booked it over to Be Our Guest. Once we checked in, we got to walk right up to the front of the restaurant. They called us in pretty quickly and gave us a brief tour of the castle. To our left were the restrooms; to our right was the room in which you can meet Beast. Then we were escorted into the ballroom, where we would be dining. Kristoffer and I were completely geeking out by this point. I cannot even explain how beautiful this restaurant is (but I will be putting up pictures on my Flickr later today).

We both ordered the vegetarian dish, ratatouille. It had zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and eggplant over a bed of quinoa, with bell pepper sauce. It was absolutely perfect. Then we got dessert — I got complimentary “grey stuff” for my birthday, and Kristoffer got grey stuff over chocolate. Yes, the grey stuff is delicious. I also got a signed card from Belle and Beast!

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After dinner we wandered over to the West Wing and took a million pictures of the perfect theming. Then we got to meet Beast! He was absolutely hilarious and totally charming, and I was so happy to meet him.

We spent a little more time taking pictures and then headed over to Peter Pan’s Flight (which is one of my absolute favorite rides). Kristoffer’s roommate works there, and without even having to tell him we were celebrating my birthday or that it’s my favorite ride, he walked us on through the Fastpass line. I couldn’t believe it — I don’t think he has any idea how much of a magical moment he created for me.

We then went on a few more attractions and watched Wishes from behind the castle (a very interesting experience for sure). After that we went on Space Mountain and then headed home because we were so tired. Overall it was one of the best days ever. And that was only really day 1.

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Sunday morning (my actual birthday!) I woke up early again to do four parks, one day. We started at the opening of Animal Kingdom. We went on the Safari and then went over to Everest, where we went into the single rider line, but Eric and I still ended up riding together. 🙂

After DAK, we went to Hollywood Studios. Eric had to leave for work so we walked around the Animation building and then headed to the Great Movie Ride after he left. We then went to get lunch (where I got a free cupcake!) and went on the Backlot Tour. Epcot was next up on the list, so we headed to Spaceship Earth, got a cronut (oh my gosh so good) and then wandered the World Showcase for a while. Epcot is slowly but surely becoming my favorite park again.

We left Epcot and went to Magic Kingdom for a little while. It was packed so we only really did the TTA Peoplemover (actual favorite) and Philharmagic before fighting the crowds to find roommate Kelly (who had just arrived) and head to Downtown Disney.

At Downtown Disney we wandered around for a while before deciding we would eat at T-Rex. It was certainly an experience. We were seated right by the aquarium that burst last week; they have it wrapped in a cover right now. The food was pretty good but we were all pretty tired from the day. After dinner (which actually rolled over past midnight), we headed home. I can only speak for myself but I’m pretty sure we all slept quite well.

I can’t believe I packed so much into one weekend. I took so many pictures (which will all go up on Flickr and Facebook at some point hopefully today). I want to remember every single detail of every moment. I also want to thank Kristoffer, Kelly, Eric, Zack, Dan, Whitney, RJ, Allison, and my amazing Cirque family for making this a birthday weekend to remember. 🙂

I’m off to edit pictures — the link to my Flickr with all of my edited DCP pictures can be found here (I’ll be adding to it soon!).

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