Yes, we’re going back to Disney World and this is why

People always ask me why I love Disney as much as I do. They also ask why I insist on going to Disney World as an adult when I don’t have children and why I want to go year after year. It never fails. I go ahead and brace myself for the questions when someone finds out that I’m obsessed with the D.

My love for Disney, well, Disney World, even rubbed off on Justin. How could it not when he’s hand-washing my Disney coffee mugs and waking up every few weeks to me walking around the house with Minnie Mouse ears on my head.

He was first exposed to WDW in 2013 when we went for my 23rd birthday. That trip could not have been better. I hadn’t been since I was probably 5 years old, and I was probably more excited at 23 than I was at 5. I mean, I got to eat lunch surrounded by my fellow princesses at Cinderella Castle on my actual birthday. What more could a grown woman want?

I kid you not, I knew Justin was the one for me when he looked at me on the plane ride home after that trip and started listing things he wanted to see/do “next time.” He had me at “when we come back.”

The truth is, I just love to travel. I try to go somewhere new every year, but expect that I will visit Disney World once a year. That’s how I’ve tried to live life the last four years, at least.

I spend a lot of time planning my Disney trips because I don’t want to waste one minute while I’m there. There is so much to see and do and I want to see and do it all. To ensure that I experience new things, I have a different mission in mind each time I travel to the house of mouse. How else am I going to check things off my Disney bucket list if I don’t have a plan of attack?

The 2013 trip was obviously for my birthday and to introduce Justin to the magic that is Disney. My 2014 trip was a girls’ long weekend during Food & Wine Festival with one of my very best friends. Justin was bummed he had to stay home during that one. Since we skipped a Disney visit last year to see other places, we’re ready for a dose in April.

We’re about 1 week away from walking down Main Street, U.S.A., and I think I officially have every aspect of this vacation planned. There is something about making dining reservations and figuring out which days we’ll be in which parks that gives me an incredible rush; planning Disney vacations is my drug.

This WDW trip is going to be unlike any other I have taken. The wish list I have made is pretty lofty, but I think we can accomplish it with a little faith, trust, and pixie dust (see what I did there).

I asked Justin what he is looking forward to most about this trip and he said he is just excited to get away with me for a week. Sweet, ain’t it?

While I agree that spending a week together, just the two of us, is something to look forward to, the list of things I’m excited about is much longer than Justin’s.

Enjoy some romance since it is our six-year anniversary

This goes along with Justin’s answer, but I swear I didn’t steal it from him. We planned this trip to celebrate six years of non-marital bliss. I plan to “unplug” and limit my phone usage while we’re there so I’m not distracted by social media. After talking to a co-worker, I’m considering adding Memory Maker to our travel package so we don’t even have to take our phones out to take pictures.

We have a nice dinner planned at Magic Kingdom one night where we will splurge on a bottle of wine and appetizers (items that aren’t included in our dining plan).

I love the idea of the two of us talking, eating, riding rides, and even standing in lines without the distractions that pull us in separate directions during a normal week. I just have to remind myself to take a step back and enjoy the ride; I don’t have to do everything on my list.

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Also, I have a picture in my kitchen that was taken during our first Disney trip together, and I want to recreate it. It’s of Justin and me sitting in front of the “big golf ball” (that’s what I’ve called it since I was 5 years old) at Epcot and I’m kissing him on the cheek while his signature big, goofy smile stretches across his face. I don’t just want to recreate it during this upcoming trip, though. I want this to become a tradition for us to do every time we visit Epcot, even as our family grows.

Show Justin attractions we missed during our first trip

There were a bunch of attractions we didn’t hit up during our first visit together, and I really want to share those experiences with Justin. This will be our first visit to Animal Kingdom, which Justin is most excited about.

He will also get to do Gran Fiesta Tour, Living with the Land, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Peter Pan’s Flight, Spaceship Earth, and Test Track — to name a few. Oh, and Enchanted Tales with Belle. OK, that one is for me.

Eat

It’s no secret that we love to eat. Trying new restaurants and foods is probably my favorite part of any vacation. BUT, eating is extra special when you’re on a Disney vacation. There are endless options and it’s all so good.

We’re lucky to be going during Flower & Garden Festival. I can’t wait to try the Outdoor Kitchens stationed throughout the World Showcase. In fact, I’m so excited about these that I printed off the menus for each Outdoor Kitchen and color-coded them so I know what I want to eat. It’s so detailed I had to create a key to remember the organization structure. This girl doesn’t mess around when it comes to food at Disney.

Of course I’ve made dining reservations, as well. We will grace San Angel Inn, Via Napoli, Chef Mickey’s, and Be Our Guest with our presence.

Be Our Guest and Chef Mickey’s are two of my Disney bucket list items; It will be special to FINALLY eat at both of them.

Animal Kingdom

As I mentioned before, this is our first time exploring the wilderness of Animal Kingdom. AK is our first stop on our first parks day, and I plan to be there for the opening ceremony.

It is possible that I have over planned this day, but I want to make sure we see as much of this park as possible. In fact, I have utilized the notes section of My Disney Experience to keep my plans organized:

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We will enjoy the Festival of the Lion King stage show at 10 a.m. before moving toward our FastPass+ experiences (Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest, and DINOSAUR).

You can see in my notes above that Flame Tree BBQ is our lunch destination. I keep reading reviews that proclaim this joint is one of the best quick service restaurants in the resort. Therefore, as a foodie, I must give Flame Tree a taste.

Rope drop at Magic Kingdom

I have been trying to see the opening ceremony at Magic Kingdom since 2013 but have never been able to wake up early enough to accomplish this mission.

This will be the year that my rope-drop dream comes true. I have made a dining reservation at Chef Mickey’s for 7:20 a.m. on our last parks day. Justin and I will enjoy a nice breakfast, that hopefully isn’t too crowded that early in the morning, and then catch the Monorail from the Contemporary to MK. If we time it just right, we should be there early enough to be right up front for the welcome show.

Also, being at the park this early will put us ahead of the crowd and we can hopefully take in a couple of the more popular attractions before lines get too long.

Since our MagicBands arrived on my birthday, the only thing we’re unsure of at this point is how we’re getting to Disney World. It’s a minor detail, really. Chances are we will just hop in the car and hit the highway when the day comes. I suppose that means I need to get to work on compiling a sick road trip mixtape. Mixtapes are still a thing, right?

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