A dream is a wish your heart makes. Making that wish at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve in front of Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World is pure magic; add in a 30th birthday wish the following day and your fairytale imagination has reached an all new high!
For winter break, new years, and a very special birthday, Ben and I packed our bags and flew to Florida for a getaway to the happiest place on earth. *For those who do not know, I took a new job back in September with the public school system. It was another dream come true for me. With this exciting new career opportunity I now am very fortunate to have large chunks of time off work. Summer break, Spring break, Winter break, snow days, holidays, I’m basically in heaven. Ben and I foresee taking this new opportunity to open up realms of travel destinations for us.
On January 2nd I said goodbye to my twenties and hello to my thriving thirties. Ben asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and in a cliché response as if I was winning the super bowl I said, “I’m going to Disney World!” I later thought why not? Where can I turn another year older while getting free rein to act like a kid? Disney has said himself, “the trouble with the world is too many people grow up.” I was going to welcome this new decade and the New Year with fun and spirit.
The first day we arrived we headed to Downtown Disney to enjoy dinner at one of the plentiful restaurant options, as well as take in The La Nouba Cirque du Soleil show. Dinner was delicious (like all food at Disney) and the show was breath taking. Ben and I had our jaws dropped the entire evening. The talent these acrobats displayed was amazing and more so the live music was a disbelief. We could not believe these talented performers were in synch with such powerfully played music. We were very happy we decided to see the show. It provided a different level of entertainment compared to the rides and parks.
The second day was New Years Eve and we knew we would be spending the day in the most iconic park at Disney World, The Magic Kingdom. We left our Disney resort hotel and arrived via the provided shuttle service. Once through the gates we walked up Main Street and arrived smack-dab in front of Cinderella’s Castle. It truly is a crazy feeling. No matter how old you are or how grown up you think you are, Disney has this ability to transform you to your childhood. Giddy and wrapped up in the excitement you have to pause a moment and think of how wonderful this all is.
Ben and I spent the day walking around, getting on rides, meeting characters and acting like kids. In the evening the park is transformed into a winter fantasyland. I am a true lover of snow and in the most magical way possible it snows in Disney World! When the sun goes down and the Christmas lights came on, tiny little bubbles of snow were sprayed from the tops of all the buildings. People (meaning I) danced in circles in the streets by this pleasant surprise. Snow in 70-degree weather? Yes please! As the night wound down the parade took place and a small fireworks show followed. The fireworks were such a sight right behind the castle, which has this high tech light show transforming the castle in rich colors and specific Disney scenes. The fact that this was not even the New Years Eve fireworks had me anticipating what was to come at midnight. At the stroke of the clock the entire park displayed a panoramic event of fireworks. Ben and I took it all in and were ready to start the New Year.
The following day the park was way less crowded with the majority of families heading home. Ben and I hopped between Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom. We finished the night in the Magic Kingdom. I wanted to get on the Peter Pan ride shortly before midnight (shortly before turning 30). What is more fitting than being reminded of the youthful mindset of Peter Pan right before turning another year older? The ride was so neat and we got off with a few minutes to spare before midnight, another special strike of the clock. We walked over to the carousel, my favorite ride as a child and apparently Walt’s favorite ride as well. I got up on my horse and January 2nd arrived.
On my actual birthday Ben and I spent the day in Epcot. After the childhood memories were touched upon, Ben and I were ready to make some new memories for this special occasion. We spent the day partaking in Epcot’s most joyous event, Drinking Around the World! We started in Mexico and ended in Canada. We worked our way through 11 Countries, drinking beverage after beverage and were very giddy by the end of it. It was a great time and the best birthday thus far.
The 3rd arrived without welcome and we had to leave a fantasy to head back to the real wold. However, in true form no journey is complete without a little travel drama. But as we discovered on this day, sometimes little hiccups end up being the opportunities to have even more fun in an otherwise uneventful situation. To sum it all up for you we left the Orlando Airport but neither by plane nor train. A 12 hour road trip was another little vacation adventure in and of itself ;)