A few months ago, Dom and I were invited to a wedding in Nashville. We decided that we would get vaccinated, and be as SAFE as possible before we traveled. After coming up with a game plan for our mini trip, I convinced him (see also: Demanded) we should use our airfare for our canceled trip last year (See Also: Dragoncon 2020) and head down to the happiest place on Earth…
Walt Disney World.
A few weeks went by, and after some minor convincing our trip went from 3 days to 6. I felt that we deserved some kind of light during the dark, terrible year we have had. We have been responsible, safe, and isolated for a very long time. Weeks leading up to it, we got our first vaccination and took precautions. Unfortunately we couldn’t get our second dose until we returned… but we were happy to see that we both had Antibodies present before the trip!
First Stop: Nashville
Nashville was a bit scary. The mask mandate had been lifted, but we continued to wear it wherever we went. The only times we took it off was when we were at the Wedding Festivities amongst friends who have been vaccinated… and the tables were socially distant to one another. Everywhere else was a bit of a culture shock. I would be completely lying if I didn’t say I had an anxiety attack at least 2-3 times being there. Coming from what was once the epicenter of the world, I haven’t seen maskless faces in A VERY LONG TIME. However we had a great time with our friends and it was so nice to see them after everything we have experienced the past year. I don’t think a mask mandate should be lifted yet.. but I’m glad I don’t live there.
..Off to the most Magical Place on Earth
We caught at 5am flight Monday morning and arrived in Orlando around 10:30. Most of our flights had connecting flights so through the entire duration of our trip we flew 5 different flights. It was worth every second of it. Flying was a very smooth easy experience. We flew American and Delta and they both were extremely accommodating, enforced social distancing and made us feel very safe. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Lake Buena Vista (which I highly recommend). You get a lot for low price (just watch for the hidden resort fees😉). They have a beautiful pool area and the rooms are extremely nice and clean. Staff is also very helpful and do expect you to wear your mask in the Hotel. Your stay is definitely very important on vacation and I have to say we picked a great place.
…to infinity and THE PARKS!
Our first day there we decided to spend the day at Epcot. The lines for the rides were a breeze. Everything was socially distanced, everyone wore their mask and people were extremely respectful. It’s definitely a bit difficult to keep your mask on in the Florida heat for long periods of time but there are designated areas where you can take it off especially if you’re actively eating or drinking. Since we booked this trip only a couple months prior and went on a more spontaneous note we didn’t make any dining reservations. However we were able to get a table at Spice Road Table in the Morocco World Show case. The food was delicious and we were extremely satisfied. We only waited about 20 minutes for a table to open up. We ordered, Hummus Fries, Grape Leaves and Meatballs with Taziki Sauce. Needless to say I need that recipe for Hummus Fries.
The next day we headed to Animal Kingdom and park hopped it to Magic Kingdom! It was our first official Disney Bound Day! Dom Disney bounded as Flynn Rider (compliments of Amazon Prime) and I of course, accompanied him as Rapunzel (compliments of HerUniverse). Also my good friend Taylor (Astravoidcosplay on Instagram) made my shoes (and is also taking commissions!). Disney bounding was SO MUCH fun , everyone referred to us as Punzie and Flynn (sometimes Eugene). So many people complimented us and the cast members always made us laugh. I absolutely love Disney Bounding.
It was Dom’s first time on Avatar. I was so excited that after talking about it for so long he finally got to experience it. It’s one of my favorite rides in the parks. He met me on my last trip in 2019 but only stayed 2 days so he never got to experience it. Animal Kingdom was a lot of fun and again, the lines went very quick. We had lunch in Pandora and loved the system of ordering our food on our phones and them telling us when we can be seated. Most of the restaurants without reservations did this throughout Disney World. After doing a few rides there (sadly dinosaur wasn’t open) we took the magical express (who was also on their social distance safety game) and headed to Magic Kingdom. We went on all of our favorite rides and noticed a few changes. For one, we noticed specifically in this park that most of the rides were dim. Our guess was that they were trying to preserve power. We enjoyed all of them but the haunted mansion was a bit disappointing because we can barely see anything. We also snagged a last minute reservation at the Grand Floridian Cafe. We had a great dinner, dessert and I’m still craving the dinner rolls.
The day the FORCE was with us.
So being that we are both HUGE and I mean HUGE Star Wars nerds. Wednesday was our biggest most anticipated day. I got to ride Rise Of The Resistance in 2019 the day after it opened but Dom sadly had left the trip before the ride was open. As excited as I was to get on that ride again it was my mission to experience it with Dom. We woke up at 6:59am and joined the virtual que. The app gave us a little bit of trouble but we were able to THANKFULLY get in. We had a 2 hour window for our boarding group. So I got up and got ready and got my Disney Bound together as my favorite Rebel pilot Hera Syndulla.
Dom was going to do Kanan with me but Adidas came out with these amazing Kermit the frog sneakers and he ended up bounding as Kermit and paired it with his Kanan mask. When we arrived at the park it was pretty empty. I took photos of Dom in front of the Muppets theater.
Once we got to Batuu we took our ID cards out (made by Hondo Supply on Instagram) and took photos everywhere in the park.
The first purchase I made was my Loth cat who I named Leio. Yes it is a homage to my real cat Leia (haha). Everyone was super friendly and a few people got my bound (Hera is seriously underrated). They did all ask my Loth cats name though, especially the cast members.
We got on all the things we wanted too and finished the park pretty early , since there’s no fire works at night we decided to snag a reservation at The Yacht and Beach Club on Disney’s Boardwalk. Just a heads up the seafood bisque is basically the seafood pot pie, just with a croissant on top. They were delicious but they could have told us our appetizer was the same thing we ordered for dinner. I’m also still dreaming about their dinner rolls as well.
Toasting our Butter Beer to a successful vacation!
Thursday we made our last stop at Universal Studios. We hit Islands of Adventure first and we of course went on Spider-Man first. We had burgers at our favorite spot (Burgerdigs) in Jurassic Park. We did a few rides before taking the Hogwarts Express to Universal Studios. We had a lot of fun. I will say that the rules and regulations were a lot looser. They didn’t enforce social distancing on the lines and I saw more people bending the mask rule. So I wasn’t as impressed with their system. I do recommend going to all the parks before it gets too hot. I did struggle with my mask in the heat but I’m glad Disney had air conditioned relaxation areas for people who needed a break. I highly recommend taking a trip once you feel safe. It was nice break from a year of awfulness and fear. There is a few changes and a few things we do miss like the parades and fire works but it was definitely worth every penny. So if you’re thinking of traveling especially to Disney. I say go for it!