Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth (and Hogwarts)

At the end of the school year, Caroline and I traveled with my friend Erin to Orlando. The original plan was to spend a week with my college suitemate, Erin (I have two Erins in my life), who lives in Orlando and works at Disney. While there, we would be able to visit with Erin, hit the parks for free, go to Ikea (always a favorite of mine), and spend one day at Universal for the sole purpose of seeing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Well, shortly before our trip Erin (the one in Orlando) landed a role in a movie and found out she would be in Knoxville filming while we were supposed to be in Orlando. Not to be deterred, we imposed on her delightful husband Bill, who graciously let us come invade their condo for a week, got us into the parks, and even provided a full day of babysitting while Erin and I went to Universal. Needless to say, I am so glad Bill officially joined our suitemate family thorough marriage two years ago. :)

The trip was such a blast. The ultimate character for Caroline was Mickey, and she was so excited to meet him. She had been talking about wanting to go see him at Disney World for the longest time. We didn't tell her until we were in Orlando exactly what we had planned.

Gearing up to head to the park the first day:

She was itching to get a Mickey doll to go with her Minnie:

I was a little concerned that she would be afraid of the characters, but there was no need to fear. She ran right up to each one and gave him a big hug. She also loved all of the shows!

My brother and his family also happened to be at WDW at the same time we were there. We got to spend a day at their hotel pool with them and eat at Boma with the that evening. Yum!

The following day we hit the MK. We met lots of more characters, rode lots of rides, and stayed to see the parade and fireworks.

Our last Disney day was split between Epcot and Animal Kingdom. We did AK with my fam in the morning, which enabled us to ride Everest a couple of times since there were extra hands to watch kiddos.

And, of course, the day at Harry Potter was lots or fun. Visiting Olivander's Wand Shop and eating at the Three Broomsticks was really neat. The best part hands down was the butter beer. Thankfully, they deviated from the book and chose to serve it a shaved ice form instead of warm.

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