Meet DiVine at Animal Kingdom.
Meet Pocahontas. COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
Meet Peter Pan. COMPLETED: December 29, 2016.
Meet Tinkerbell & her friends. COMPLETED: Tink - December 29, 2016.
Go to Character Palooza. COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
Meet the White Rabbit.
Meet Jack & Sally.
Meet Oogie Boogie.
Meet the Disney Villains. Gaston: COMPLETED: July 11, 2014. Dr. Facilier & Captain Hook: COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Meet Darth Vader. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Meet Kylo Ren. COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
Meet Chewbacca. COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
Meet Boba Fett.
Meet Mike & Sully. COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
Meet Rafiki. Completed: January 1, 2017.
Meet the Dapper Dans. Completed: December 29, 2016.
Meet Lilo & Stitch. COMPLETED: March 17, 2016.
Meet the Fab 5. COMPLETED: Mickey, Minnie, & Goofy - December 28, 2015. Pluto - March 17, 2016. Donald - December 29, 2016
Meet Belle in her blue dress.
Meet all of the princesses. NEED: Aurora, Rapunzel, & Sophia. COMPLETED: Merida - July 17, 2013. Ariel & Belle - July 11, 2014. Snow White & Jasmine - December 28, 2015. Pocahontas, Mulan, & Tiana - March 16, 2016. Elena & Cinderella - December 29, 2016. Moana, Anna, & Elsa - January 1, 2017.
Meet Sorcerer Mickey. COMPLETED: January 1, 2017.
Take a selfie with Gaston.
Visit Pete's Silly Sideshow. COMPLETED: Goofy & Donald's side - December 29, 2016.
Meet Cinderella's stepsisters.
Meet the Disney princes. COMPLETED: Beast: July 13, 2013. Aladdin: December 28, 2015.
Meet Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Meet Paige O'Hara.
Try the Dole Whip & Citrus Swirl. Dole Whip: COMPLETED: March 17, 2016.
Try LeFou's Brew. COMPLETED: December 29, 2016.
Conquer the Kitchen Sink.
Eat a character meal at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.
Try the Grey Stuff at Be Our Guest Restaurant.
Eat at Sleepy Hollow. COMPLETED: December 29, 2016.
Try a Jungle Juice slush at Mahindi.
Eat a Mickey-shaped Macaron. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Have tea at the Garden View Tea Room at the Grand Floridian.
Try both drinks at Pongu Pongu in Pandora.
Try a mint julep from Mint Julep Bar in Disneyland. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Try Mickey-shaped beignets. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Become a Wilderness Explorer.
Sit on the Goofy bench in front of Tony's.
See Disney's bench at Disneyland. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Pull the Sword out of the Stone.
Ride Na'vi River Journey in Pandora.
See the Tree of Life. COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
See Festival of the Lion King. COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
See Finding Nemo - The Musical.
See the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show.
Ride Star Tours. COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
See Fantasmic! COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
Ride the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. COMPLETED: December 29, 2016.
See Beauty & the Beast - Live on Stage. COMPLETED: January 1, 2017.
Ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant. COMPLETED: December 29, 2016.
Write a wish in the Blue Fairy's Wish Book in Pinocchio Village Haus. COMPLETED: December 29, 2016.
Watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Go to Chip & Dale's Campfire Sing-a-Long at Fort Wilderness.
Ride It's a Small World. COMPLETED: December 29, 2016.
See the Country Bear Jamboree. COMPLETED: December 29, 2016.
Take the Living with the Land Behind the Seeds tour.
Take the Keys to the Kingdom Tour.
Ride the Great Movie Ride. COMPLETED: January 1, 2017.
Ride Toy Story Midway Mania. COMPLETED: January 1, 2017.
Take a picture with the Purple Wall. COMPLETED: December 29, 2016.
Take a picture with the Blue Wall at Disneyland.
Take a picture with the Bubblegum Wall in Epcot.
Take a picture with the Blueberry Wall in Epcot.
Take a picture with the Toothpaste Wall in Epcot
Take a picture with the Moss Wall at Pandora.
Take a picture with the "You are most beautiful" Wall at Animal Kingdom.
Take a picture with the Carousel of Progress Wall in Tomorrowland.
Take a picture with the Orange Bird Wall at Disneyland.
Take a picture with the Small World Wall at Disneyland. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Take a picture with the Happily Ever After Wall at Disneyland.
Take a picture by the Tangled bathrooms.
Take a #hubgrassandchill picture.
Take a picture with a bundle of balloons. COMPLETED: May 18, 2018.
See the Disneyland ferris wheel.
Explore Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. COMPLETED: January 1, 2017.
Ride Peter Pan's Flight. COMPLETED: December 29, 2016. (I forgot to take a picture, so here's a super old one from 2013).
Ride Characters in Flight at Disney Springs.
See the Electric Water Pageant.
Watch every Disney animated movie (originals).
Tour Walt Disney's apartment above the Main Street Firehouse at Disneyland.
Ride the Lily Belle train car at Disneyland.
Ride in the tender seat on the Disneyland Railroad.
Ride the Disneyland Alice in Wonderland Ride. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Ride the Finding Nemo Submarine at Disneyland. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Ride Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Ride Pinnochio's Daring Journey at Disneyland. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Ride Snow White's Scary Adventures at Disneyland. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Visit Mickey & Minnie's houses. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Go on a Disney Cruise.
Go to Club Villain.
Go to Disneyland. COMPLETED: May 20, 2018.
Go to Disneyland's CA Adventure.
Visit Pandora. Completed: October 19, 2019.
Visit a Disney park in another country.
Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.
Visit Walt Disney's childhood home & Laugh-o-Gram Studios in Kansas City. COMPLETED: October 20, 2016.
Visit the Up house in Herriman, Utah.
Visit all 4 Disney World parks. COMPLETED: (Magic Kingdom - July 17, 2013. Epcot - December 28, 2015. Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios - March 16, 2016.)
Visit all 4 Disney World parks in one day. COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
Visit Disney World near Halloween. Completed: October 19, 2019.
See the Headless Horseman ride down Main Street at Halloween.
Participate in a RunDisney event.
Go to a park on Dapper Day.
Visit Disney World at Easter. COMPLETED: March 17, 2016.
Visit Disney World or Disneyland during the Food & Wine Festival. Completed: October 20, 2019.
Visit Disney World during the Flower & Garden Festival. COMPLETED: March 16, 2016.
Go to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Go to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Be Our Guest Restaurant: I don't remember what I ordered here, probably because I was too overwhelmed at getting to tour the Beast's castle. We were seated in the West Wing, & occasionally a petal would fall from the enchanted rose. After that, the painting would change from the prince to the Beast. We got to tour the rest of the castle as well, & saw the library & the ballroom. We also got to meet the Beast after our meal. It was a magical experience. My only regret is that they didn't have the Grey Stuff when we were there! But that gives me an excuse to go back!
Cheshire Cafe: We tried both the White Rabbit & Red Queen cake cups. Both of them were really cute!
Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe: This is a good place to go for a quick, plain meal. They have burgers, chicken sandwiches, etc. Cosmic Ray (an animatronic) is playing music during meals as well.
Gaston's Tavern: We stopped in at Gaston's Tavern for a LeFou's Brew. A glance at the menu said it was a frozen apple drink with marshmallow & something else. When Laker took a sip, he calmly said, "Oh, that's not whipped cream on top." I grabbed it, thinking it was the marshmallow, & took a big gulp. It was so sour & tangy, & definitely not marshmallow. I made a horrible face & yelled, "oh my gosh!" which attracted some odd looks from those around us. Turns out it was a mango topping. It didn't taste bad - But it was very tart when you're expecting marshmallow! The rest of the drink mostly tasted like sweetened frozen apple juice.
Pinnochio Village Haus: I got chicken parm with caesar salad, & Laker got a pizza flatbread, both of which made for a great, quick lunch. The restaurant also gave us free Christmas sugar cookies! It was a sweet little surprise. Another fun thing to do here is sign the Blue Fairy's Wish Book.
Plaza Ice Cream Parlor: I got the cutest Mickey ice cream cone in existence. I just got vanilla, but it was so good! The Mickey ears are little chocolates.
Sleepy Hollow: This is one of the restaurants where Mackenzie worked during her Disney College Program. I got a fruit & Nutella waffle that was truly amazing, & Laker got a sweet & spicy chicken waffle (he liked his too!). We had a gorgeous view of the castle, which made our meal even more enjoyable.
Club Cool: There is a free soda fountain at Club Cool where we were able to try Coke products from around the world. Most of them were honestly not great, & some were actually pretty disgusting, but it was a fun experience! I would definitely recommend going just to try them all!
Flower & Garden Festival: We got to experience the Flower & Garden Festival over Spring Break in 2016. It was absolutely gorgeous to see all of the flowers & topiaries, & we got to try some new foods, like candied strawberries (which tasted kind of like strawberries soaked in soy sauce & covered in hard candy) & violet lemonade (which tasted amazing).
Joy of Tea: Halli & I got tea smoothies in the China Pavilion, & we both loved them! Her's was mango green tea I think, & mine was strawberry oolong.
Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe: The troll horn is my favorite pastry at Disney. It's basically a giant, sugar-coated cream puff. We have also tried the sweet pretzels, but they were a bit odd. They were made with pastry dough & had raisins in them, so they weren't what you would expect from a pretzel. Both are available in the Norway Pavilion, & I recommend grabbing an iced coffee to go with your pastry!
La Cantina de San Angel: We got nachos in the Mexico Pavilion as a snack while we were walking.
L'Artisan Des Glaces: Macaron ice cream sandwiches. Oh my goodness. One of my favorite things I have eaten at Disney! So good! Of course, these are in the France Pavilion.
Sommerfest: Currywurst, or bratwrust with curried ketchup, is a snack we've grabbed on a couple of trips while going through the Germany Pavilion. They serve these with paprika chips. We like to grab these for lunch or a more filling snack.
Tangierine Cafe: Laker & I love Mediterranean food, so we usually grab a plate of Morroccan food. They have a platter with lamb, chicken, hummus, tabbouleh, & salad. I also tried baklava for the first time.
Germany Pavilion: We got giant pretzels at one of the stalls in Germany. It wasn't the best pretzel ever & I prefer the Mickey ones, but Mickey-shaped everything seems to taste better!
Pizzafari: We grabbed a quick lunch here. I got pasta, which was good, but simple. One thing I like about Animal Kingdom is that they don't use plastic lids or straws so that the trash can't hurt the animals.
Starring Rolls: We grabbed a Butterfinger cupcake from Starring Rolls, & I would definitely recommend making this stop if you're ever in Hollywood Studios! It was such a good cupcake, & big enough for two to share. (Note: I have read that this location has actually closed, with no word on whether or not it will reopen. So sad.)
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Earl of Sandwich: This is our go-to stop in Disney Springs, yet somehow, I've never managed to get a photo there. They've got great sandwiches, lots of choices for sides & desserts, & Earl Grey lemonade.
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop: We've grabbed iced coffees here a few times, plus the store gives out free chocolate samples. Can't say no to that!
The Daily Poutine: Laker & I had our first poutine during our Christmas 2016 trip. It was not my favorite thing, but not bad either.
Sprinkles Cupcakes: This was my first experience with Sprinkles, but my cupcake wasn't great & it took too long to get it. I would definitely give Sprinkles another chance though! I'm a huge fan of Cupcake Wars, so I want to believe Sprinkles lives up to the hype.
Jolly Holiday Bakery: These pastries were SO good! Mackenzie got the tart, & Taryn & I shared the eclair & the millennial pink Mickey macaron. The macaron was strawberry flavored with icing in the middle, along with a key lime filling. It was really good! But the chocolate eclair was incredible. The gold sugar pearls added a little crunch, & the flavor was perfect.
Mint Julep Bar: We tried Mickey-shaped beignets & mint juleps from the Mint Julep Bar. They were good, but nothing spectacular (I feel bad saying that, since I've heard so many good things about both!)
Tiki Bar: Dole Whips are always a go-to. Can't go wrong with a Dole Whip!
Pixarfest food: We grabbed the Pixar Cake at Plaza Inn, & also tried the Mickey mousse cake. Both were very rich, but good!
Earl of Sandwich: We always stop at Earl of Sandwich when we're in Disney Springs, so we were happy to discover that Downtown Disney also had a shop. Unfortunately, this location will be closing soon. My favorite is the holiday turkey sandwich.
Marceline Confectionery: I got one of the Belle cupcakes. It was really good! Not too much icing, good balance of flavors, & so pretty!
Duff Brewery: The guys grabbed drinks here over our December 2015 trip. I can't vouch for the quality of the drinks, but hanging out in the Simpsons section of the park was fun. Even though I haven't seen much of the show, it was so well-themed, & made you feel like you were in a cartoon!
Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour: I got earl grey & lavender with sticky toffee pudding ice cream, & Laker got strawberry & peanut butter with chocolate chili. The earl grey lavender was probably the best ice cream I've ever had!
Lard Lad Donuts: We got a giant strawberry d'oh-nut from Lard Lad Donuts. It's about the size of 5 regular donuts, & so good!
Leaky Cauldron: The Leaky Cauldron is the main restaurant in Diagon Alley. I usually get the shepherd's pie, & I tried the pumpkin juice last time we were here. I'm not a big fan of the pumpkin juice, so I'll probably stick to butterbeer from now on!
Islands of Adventure.
Butterbeer Kiosk: The kiosks have cold & frozen varieties, & there's also a shop that sells hot butterbeer (the only one I haven't tried yet). Most of my family prefers the frozen kind, but I like the cold version best.
Honeydukes Sweet Shop: This is a fun shop to explore. I've gotten the Sugar Quills, Chocolate Frogs, & Butterbeer Fudge.
Three Broomsticks: This is very similar to the Leaky Cauldron in terms of menu offerings. Again, I usually get shepherd's pie, but my family has gotten the big platters of food to share before.
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin: We love riding the Space Ranger Spin! Lines are usually long, so FastPasses are best. I'm convinced the ride somehow picks the least flattering moment to take a photo, but that makes it even more entertaining. The point of the ride is to shoot laser beams at the enemies to defeat Zurg. The first time, I completely destroyed Taryn's score, but Laker beat me on another trip. Either way though, I'm apparently still a Galactic Hero.
Country Bear Jamboree: My family spent a lot of time one evening joking about how weird this show was, but Laker & I had some extra time during a Magic Kingdom day, & it's an original Disney World attraction, so we decided to check it out. We actually had fun with it. People got so into the show, singing along & cheering for the characters. It's definitely a favorite for a lot of people! I can't say that I'll be a frequent visitor, but I'm glad we gave it a chance.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant: Dumbo is one of those rides that you see on TV as a kid & think, "I want to do that someday." & at the age of 26, I finally got to! It's such a simple ride, but I loved getting to fly around on Dumbo with Laker. It's such a classic Disney attraction, & everyone should ride it at least once!
Enchanted Tales with Belle: In this attraction, Belle chooses audience members (usually kids) to participate in helping her tell a story. This was fun for me, because Belle is my favorite, & we also had my little cousins with us, so they got to participate in the story. Throughout the attraction, you get to explore Belle & Maurice's cottage, see Lumiere & Madame de la Grande Bouche (the wardrobe), & take pictures with Belle in her yellow dress afterwards.
Enchanted Tiki Room: 10/10 my least favorite attraction I have done at Disney. Basically, you sit & watch fake parrots in cages talk & sing. As we were leaving, the guy next to us said, "Well, we won't be doing that again." Same.
The Hall of Presidents: A film followed by an animatronic show about the former U.S. presidents. Some people love it. Some people hate it.
Haunted Mansion: This can be a little much for small kids. There's a little "intro" at the beginning that is kind of scary - My little cousins did not like it. But the ride itself is fairly tame, & goes along a track through some spooky scenery.
Holiday Wishes: Disney fireworks are always amazing, but it was awesome to see the Christmas touches they added to the show. Snowflake projections, Christmas tree-shaped pyrotechnics, glittery red & green fireworks. It was a great show!
It's a Small World: It's a Small World is another classic Disney ride that I think everyone should ride at least once. Again, some people love it & some hate it, but I personally think it's beautifully designed. Mary Blair is a Disney artist who did work on some iconic Disney movies & pieces, & she helped design the ride as well. I really enjoyed going through it.
Jungle Cruise: This is a fan favorite for many people, but I didn't really enjoy it. I love puns & cheesiness, but this was too much even for me. So go at your own risk.
Mad Tea Party: Another favorite of ours. I love spinning rides, & Alice in Wonderland, so this is a perfect combination. The ride is just fun to look at as well.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin: This is a fairly easygoing ride, but it's fun to pretend you're on a magic carpet. Or maybe I'm the only one who actually imagines I'm actually doing what the ride intends... Regardless, watch out for the spitting camels nearby.
Magic Kingdom Ferryboat: This isn't necessarily a "ride," so much as a form of transportation, but sometimes it's fun to take the ferryboat into the park instead of the monorail. It is sometimes a bit less crowded & feels less rushed, & it has a pretty view going into Magic Kingdom.
Main Street Electrical Parade: Unfortunately this is no longer at Magic Kingdom, but I really enjoyed this parade when we saw it! It was fun to see so many characters lit up with props from their movies, & some older characters were added in that aren't generally seen in the parks.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: This is a ride-through of the story, & since I love Pooh, I really like this ride.
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade: We saw this parade unintentionally during a December trip (we thought we were seeing the Festival of Fantasy Parade), & I'm so glad we did! There were so many characters, all in festive attire. We also had great seats, so many characters came up close, waved, or even said "happy birthday" to me. We got tons of great photos! This was my favorite parade to date.
Mickey's PhilharMagic: This is Mackenzie's favorite attraction, & it's a cute one. It's a 4D film that features special effects & is somewhat interactive.
Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire: This is a live show that takes place in front of Cinderella's castle. Mickey & Minnie, along with other classic characters, host several princes & princesses for the friendship faire. This is mostly just singing songs from the movies. It was fun to see the characters in costumes they aren't usually out in (my favorite was Tiana in a flapper-style costume) & to see the princes, since most don't usually meet, but we didn't stay for the whole show - it was super crowded.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor: This is a really cute, interactive, live comedy show. The monsters tell jokes & involve audience members in the act. We really enjoyed this one!
Peter Pan's Flight: Peter Pan's Flight is a slow-moving ride that takes you through the story of Peter Pan. I believe a lot of it is blacklight art. Honestly, I missed most of it because it tilts a lot, which triggers my heart condition, so I was leaning forward to try to reverse the trigger. However, this is a very popular ride with long waits unless you have a FastPass, so I assume it's great!
Pirates of the Caribbean: This is a boat ride that takes you through pirate scenes.
Prince Charming's Royal Carrousel: The carrousel is a merry-go-round, with one horse supposedly belonging to Cinderella.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: I have only ridden the Mine Train once, & it was right after it opened, so I don't think all of the kinks were worked out yet. It stopped several times, & we sat, waiting for the ride to start up. Once was on a hill, & we were afraid the tilt would trigger my heart condition. I haven't ridden it since, just to be safe. But my little cousin loved it, & said, "That was the funnest fun I've ever had!"
Stitch's Great Escape!: This is a 4D ride that uses pretty much all of your senses to involve you in Stitch's story. I love this ride, but a lot of people complain that it's gross or hurts their shoulders, & some kids find it scary, so take that into consideration. This ride is also being slowly phased out & replaced - I'm told it will eventually become a Wreck-it Ralph ride.
Sword in the Stone: Near Prince Charming's Carrousel, you can attempt to pull the sword out of the stone. I've never seen it happen, but I'm told that very rarely, someone actually pulls it out. Someday, that "someone" will be me. So far, it has not been.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover: The PeopleMover is a really easygoing ride that can provide a nice rest from the rush of the parks. It takes you through some of the other park attractions, & allows you to people-watch.
Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid: This ride allows you to sit in a clam shell & go through the story of the Little Mermaid.
Wishes Nighttime Spectacular: Disney fireworks are better than anywhere else in the world, & Magic Kingdom's are the best of any park's. Definitely stay for the fireworks if you have the chance! (Note: Wishes' last show was May 11, 2017.)
Frozen Ever After: We were lucky enough to get FastPasses to this ride shortly after it opened - Others were waiting hours to ride! The ride follows the old Matterhorn track, but we had never ridden that before, so it was new to us. It's a boat ride through the Frozen story, but speeds up in places & even goes backwards in parts. The animatronics & projections are absolutely incredible. We were so impressed!
Gran Fiesta Tour: This is another boat ride, but it is slow & easygoing. It's in the Mexico Pavilion, & I found it to be a little odd. The Three Caballeros take you through different Mexican scenes, but it varies greatly - you'll see a film of a Mexican restaurant, followed by an "It's a Small World"-style scene, followed by animatronics. It's all very random.
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth: This is the Epcot fireworks show, which we have also seen with the holiday ending. It takes place over the water, & is very pretty, but definitely my least favorite of the three current firework shows in Disney World.
Impressions de France: This video is kind of a promotion video about all that France has to offer. It's a good way to sit & enjoy the air conditioning as well.
Living with the Land: Laker & I went on this ride together & found it to be pretty interesting. It's a slow boat ride through Epcot's gardens, which are used to grow some of the produce used in the restaurants around the park. Disney has come up with some new processes of farming that are discussed as well.
O Canada!: This video about Canada is narrated by Martin Short. I have nothing against Martin Short, but the video was painfully bad, & probably worse because we mostly just went to have an excuse to sit down - but there were no chairs. It's a "360" video, so the video was projected on the walls all around us, but that meant we had to stand in order to be able to turn around efficiently. Maybe it's not so bad if you're not so exhausted.
Pick-a-Pearl: In the Japan Pavilion, there's a little shop where you can choose a clam, & they will open it up for you & you can keep the pearl. This all costs money, of course, & there are also jewelry settings available for purchase to put your pearl inside. Halli & I purchased pearls during our Christmas 2015 trip, although I opted to buy a necklace setting off of eBay before our trip!
Sea Base: Epcot has aquariums that can be explored, with all kinds of animals to see. We also enjoyed finding some hidden Mickeys!
The Seas with Nemo & Friends: This ride lets you sit in a clam & go through the story of Nemo & his friends.
Soarin': This is probably our favorite ride in all of Disney World. We rode it once when it was just based around California, & once now that is has been redone to fly around the world. It is such a relaxing, beautiful, yet adventurous ride!
Spaceship Earth: This ride is inside the Epcot ball. It is slow moving, heavily tilted, & takes you through the history of communication.
Turtle Talk with Crush: This is an interactive session with Crush from Finding Nemo. Similar to the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, the character is able to interact with the audience to put on his show. However, I feel this experience is more geared toward kids, where the laugh floor is enjoyable for all ages.
Festival of the Lion King: This is a live show with dancers, singers, & even acrobats. Shows fill up fast in busy seasons, so get there early!
It's Tough to be a Bug!: A lot of people hate this attraction, but I thought it was fun! You enter through the ant hill, which is cute, & then put on these bug goggles that made me feel like Edna Mode. The show is 4D, so you watch the show while experiencing things with your other senses as well. Keep in mind, the show is about bugs, so that could bother some people!
Kilimanjaro Safaris: This is a very popular attraction, so FastPass is recommended. I think our driver might have been new because we could never tell if she was joking or serious, but it was still fun to see the animals & learn some new things.
Rafiki's Planet Watch: After taking the train to the island, you can meet Rafiki, learn about conservation efforts, see the vet station, & even meet some of the scientists & animals at Animal Kingdom.
Street Performers: One of the best parts of Animal Kingdom is that there are always street performers somewhere, & they're almost always really enjoyable! I love the different musical & dancing acts we've seen, just while we were walking through the parks.
Tree of Life: This might not seem like an attraction to some, but it is an iconic part of the park! I love seeing the tree for the first time each time we arrive.
TriceraTop Spin: This is very similar to the Dumbo ride, but with dinosaurs.
Wildlife Express Train: This is the train to get to Rafiki's Planet Watch.
Beauty & the Beast - Live on Stage: This was the first live show we ever attended at Hollywood Studios. I enjoyed it because it is my favorite Disney story, & it was fun seeing it played out with just the highlights! We saw the show on New Year's Day, so they also had a little New Year's cake character added into one of the dance numbers.
Fantasmic!: I loved seeing Fantasmic! This is the nighttime show at Hollywood Studios, before the fireworks. There are so many characters & awesome effects, & I definitely recommend it to those who are hardcore Disney fans.
Great Movie Ride: This is a slow ride through various iconic movie scenes, with a couple of different options for tracks you can be sent through. We were on the mobster track, & it was fun to have our cart hijacked! It's definitely cheesy, but I had fun with it!
March of the First Order: This is a street performance with the storm troopers & Phasma, & it was so so so cool. There are usually one or two storm troopers out patrolling the streets, but this show had so many, & seeing Phasma was really neat. It also had a dark tone to the show that you don't get many places in Disney.
Muppet*Vision 3D: This is a 3D Muppet show, in case you hadn't guessed from the name. The entry area has a lot of fun nods to the Muppets, & it's a quick, fun show to watch.
One Man's Dream: This is a mini Disney museum within the park. It doesn't take long to walk through, but there are a lot of cool things to see inside, like some Musketeer memorabilia.
Star Tours - The Adventures Continue: This is another one of those rides that I missed a lot of because my heart couldn't handle it. There are a few different "paths" your ride can take, so I'm told it's worth riding multiple times for the various experiences. Ours was very bumpy & jolted us around a lot. I don't really remember what all happened. It's a family favorite, though, so I would recommend it based on their experience!
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular: The Star Wars fireworks show in Hollywood Studios was so impressive. I don't understand how Disney is able to make fireworks look like planets & galaxies, but it's so pretty & amazing. Adding Star Wars music just made it even better!
Star Wars Launch Bay: The Launch Bay is so fun to explore! You can meet Kylo Ren & Chewie, trade with Jawas, & see tons of Star Wars memorabilia. I love this area of Hollywood Studios.
Toy Story Midway Mania: This is definitely one of the most popular rides in the park, so get there for rope drop or grab a FastPass! The line area is filled with giant toys, so you feel like you're toy-sized too (the blurry photo was taken as we ran through rope drop). The ride itself is so fun - You get to play carnival-style games, like darts & ring toss, led by characters from Toy Story. We loved it!
Alice in Wonderland The Alice in Wonderland ride is a cute ride-through of the story. Despite a weird blank section where nothing really happens, it's a fun ride, & the caterpillar carts are adorable.
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters This is just like the Buzz Lightyear ride at Magic Kingdom in WDW!
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage The Submarine Voyage goes partially underwater & takes you through parts of Nemo's story. I felt bad for the CM who had to operate the ride - he had a tiny little space to stand in, & had to crouch down to check on guests before & after the rides. I bet his knees were dying by the end of his shift!
Goofy's Playhouse We didn't go through the house, but we did walk by! This is a fun area for kids.
Haunted Mansion Again, pretty similar to the version in WDW.
It's a Small World The difference between this & WDW's version is that at Disneyland, there are cute little Disney characters tucked into the ride!
Mad Tea Party Same as WDW.
Mickey's House We didn't go through the house, but this is a walk-through with a meet & greet with Mickey at the end.
Minnie's House We went through Minnie's house. There were so many cute details! There is also a meet & greet with Minnie at the end (although we didn't wait for that).
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride A ride through of Mr. Toad's story, where he makes some poor decisions. It's a little dark.
Pinocchio's Daring Journey Another story that's weirdly dark. I guess I need to re-watch Pinocchio... Or maybe not. This ride was oddly depressing.
Pixar Play Parade Such a cute parade! Characters from MOST of our favorite Pixar films. So much color!
Snow White's Scary Adventures Another ride-through of the story, with some cute details in the queue.
Together Forever - A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular The PixarFest fireworks show, which had some really unique things that I had never seen before in a Disney fireworks show! Projections all the way down Main Street, plus Buzz & the house from Up flying over the castle instead of Tink. The best part was the Coco inflatables that popped up on top of the buildings!
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem: Laker & I did the "stationary seating" version of this ride, so our experience was a little different than the rest of my family's. The ride is a 4-D trip with Gru, the girls, & the minions. In the stationary seating, you basically watch a 3-D movie of their schemes. The regular ride moves a lot more, & gave some people a "seasick" feeling, so it's not for those who don't have tough stomachs! Afterwards, you exit into a dance party area with screens overhead. At certain times, there is also a minion in the dance party area that you can meet!
Gringotts Dragon: Every 15 minutes or so, the dragon on top of Gringotts breathes fire. This is really cool to see, & you can feel the heat from the fire throughout Diagon Alley!
Harry Potter & the Escape from Gringotts: This is definitely the coolest ride I have ever ridden, but it was also extremely tough on my heart, & so it was a one-time thing for me. The line takes you through Gringotts, where you see bank vaults, issues of the Daily Prophet, & even goblins. The ride itself is just amazing - it is a ride-through version of Harry, Hermione, & Ron's escape from Gringotts in the book/movie, but told from a different point of view. The special effects are incredible. You truly feel like you're facing evil villains!
Hogwarts Express: I am only listing this once, but you can ride the Hogwarts Express from the Universal Studios side to the Islands of Adventure side & vice versa, & the ride is different going either way. It's a fun experience, with details added in from the films & books. Be sure to watch the doors & windows to see different characters & scenes! Also, going through Kings Cross Station, you get to go through Platform 9 & 3/4, which is magical & emotional & amazing.
Kang & Kudos' Twirl 'n' Hurl: This is a fairly easygoing, spinning ride in the Simpsons area of the park. Even if you aren't familiar with the show, they do a good job of filling you in - screens above the ride play clips from the episode the ride was inspired by. In the Simpsons photo, it's the tentacled alien ride on the far right.
Terminator 2: 3-D: This is another cheesy attraction, but I don't mind cheesy. A mix of film, special effects, & live actors, the show allows you to see some of the stunts used in these films & feel the action taking place around you. In the gift shop outside, you can also see some of Arnold Schwarzenegger's costumes from the films.
Islands of Adventure.
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man: This was another ride that messed with my heart, mostly because there were a lot of tilts & jolts. It's a 3-D ride that allows you to swing through skyscrapers with other Marvel heroes.
Caro-Seuss-el: This is a typical merry-go-round, filled with not-so-typical animals. The characters are all from Dr. Seuss, which makes it a bit more colorful & fun than other carousels!
The Cat in the Hat: This is a ride-through of the story of The Cat in the Hat. The first time we rode this, it was almost painfully jerky, but they seem to have smoothed things out, which makes the ride much more enjoyable!
Flight of the Hippogriff: Flight of the Hippogriff is a small rollercoaster (as in, small enough that I can actually ride it!) set near Hagrid's hut, with Buckbeak watching nearby. Lines for this are usually a bit shorter than the lines for the other rides in Hogsmeade!
Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey (Queue only): I am told the Forbidden Journey is one of the best rides (if not the very best ride) in Universal Studios. It's supposed to be similar to the Gringotts ride, but a bit more adventurous. The line itself is fantastic, & takes you through Hogwarts castle. You get to see the greenhouses, Dumbledore's office, talking portraits, & so many details. It's truly amazing how the Universal Studios crew captured so many details from the books & films & brought them to life. Even if you don't plan to ride, you should walk through the line. It's definitely worth seeing!
The High in the Sky Trolley Train Ride!: This is a cute, easygoing ride that takes you around & above the Dr. Seuss section of the park. You get to see different scenes from Dr. Seuss books, & also go over Seuss Landing, which provides a fun view.
Ollivander's Wand Selection: It's always fun to go into Ollivander's & watch the demonstration where a wand chooses a wizard. On our last trip, Halli & I were lucky enough to be the chosen wizards! We got to try our hands at magic, & found the perfect wands.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: This is another cute ride in the Dr. Suess section. It's similar to the Dumbo ride at Disney, but you get sprayed with water during the ride! I rode this with Taryn & Kamiya, & Kamiya had the best time!
We stopped at the Grand Canyon on our way to California. It was gorgeous, & I'm so glad I was able to see it! (The last photo is a Parks & Rec reference.)
I went to Eureka Springs, Arkansas in June 2012. Highlights were staying in a treehouse cabin, exploring the town, & lots of shopping & eating. A few popular landmarks I visited were the Thorncrown Chapel, the Razorback Observation Tower, & the Christ of the Ozarks statue. I also visited Eureka's famous working bunnies! The bunnies take your money & even hand you your change & package.
We went back to Eureka in June 2017. Highlights included our gorgeous balcony view, a fantastic train ride lunch through the mountains, & exploring Onyx Cave.
My mom, sisters, & I went to California to take Mackenzie to participate in the Disneyland College Program. While we were there, we explored LA (including Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood sign, the Kardashians' Dash store, & the Walk of Fame), saw Downtown Disney, & went to PixarFest at Disneyland.
During our road trip to Boston, my family made a stop in Canada to see Niagara Falls. I was fairly young, but one thing I remember is seeing all of the candy bars. They had several that we didn't have in the U.S., & even some of the ones we did have had different wrappers. Also, the speed limit & distance signs listed both miles & kilometers! This was so long ago that you didn't need a passport to cross the border - just a birth certificate.
My family went to Colorado the summer after I finished 4th grade, I believe. We stayed in the Estes Park area. We did some hiking, & I remember seeing elk everywhere. Even though it was the middle of summer, there was still snow on the mountains. I thought it was the prettiest place I had ever been! (Also, check out my super cool shoes.)
Florida is one of my favorite places in the world! I have had so many (cheesy as it sounds) magical experiences there, & I always find myself dreading the return home.
The first photo is actually on one of our flights to Florida. Our pilot was retiring, & we were on his last flight ever! There were several firetrucks waiting on the ground to spray the plane as a "salute" to the pilot. The co-pilot said he'd only seen the salute twice in his entire career, so we were lucky to witness it!
The second photo is one of the most gorgeous sunsets I've ever seen in my life. It was during one of our trips, on the last night we were there for the week, & just behind the house we were staying in. It truly makes you thankful for everything God has created.
This section also has several beach photos, & photos of exploration of Orlando & my friend Colleen's hometown area. There are so many fun things to do in Florida!
I feel like Disney World needs its own category, because it really is a place of its own. I have met characters I'd only seen in movies, visited places I never thought I'd see in real life, been on rides I saw on TV as a child, eaten foods from around the world, met people from across the planet, seen the best lighting & fireworks shows the world has to offer, all while experiencing what is honestly some of the best, most genuine customer service available. Disney really knows how to make someone's day! When you walk into a park with a birthday button dressed as Snow White at 25 years old & aren't given weird looks, but instead are greeted with "Happy birthday, Snow White!" & "Have a magical day, princess!" it helps you to welcome in a magical, childlike experience & explore everything they have to offer!
Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) is another awesome area Disney has created. Filled with fantastic shopping areas, lots of entertainment, & the best Lego Store you'll ever see, we've spent hours looking around this mini Disney town!
The Disney Resorts... These are the nicest hotels I have ever been in! I have only been to four so far, but each one was so elaborately themed. There are gorgeous decorations (even more for holidays), fun character experiences, fantastic restaurants, & so many things to do. I can't wait to explore all of the rest of the Disney resorts!
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is also such a magical (there's that word again) experience. Islands of Adventure has Hogsmeade, & Universal Studios has Diagon Alley. These pictures aren't in any real order, but the first two rows are Hogsmeade & the rest are Diagon Alley.
In Hogsmeade, you can explore Hogwarts, get sweets at Honeydukes, see Hagrid's Hut, eat at the Three Broomsticks, & much more.
There is also a large supply of Butterbeer (frozen, regular, & even hot) on both sides of the parks. You can ride the Hogwarts Express between the two sides, & the ride is different each way.
In Diagon Alley, you can try on robes at Madam Malkin's, explore the shops, sit on Sirius's motorcycle, go through Gringott's, buy jokes at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, eat THE ACTUAL BEST ICE CREAM at Florean Fortescue's, & have a meal at the Leaky Cauldron. You can also venture into Knockturn Alley, & explore London, where you'll see King's Cross (& go through Platform 9 & 3/4!), meet the Knight Bus conductor & the shrunken head, & see Kreacher at Sirius Black's house.
Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure have lots of fun things to offer as well. Seuss Landing is one of my favorite sections, since I always loved Dr. Seuss as a kid. I also enjoyed seeing some of the movie props, & the Shrek character meet is one of my favorites to date! The Simpsons area was pretty neat too, & we got a giant d'oh-nut (that's the size of 4-5 regular donuts, for reference!).
We made a quick stop at Panama City Beach during our Christmas 2016 trip to Orlando.
Both of my visits to Atlanta were very brief. The first time, my family stopped through during Kiefer's senior trip. I just remember touring the CNN building, getting a photo with the sign, & then getting yelled at by security because we weren't supposed to be that close to it.
The second time, we stopped at the Marriott Marquis in December 2015 on the way to Florida. That particular hotel is where several scenes from the Hunger Games movies were filmed, so we had fun exploring!
My family visited Chicago when I was in middle school. I remember going to the field museum & seeing Sue, the biggest T-Rex ever found (& thinking it wasn't as big as I expected - although, my mom pointed out, I wouldn't want it running after me). There are a few photos from our boat ride on Navy Pier. Notice my sisters' American Girl Store t-shirts ;) There is also a photo from the Cubs vs. Cardinals game we went to. We saw Sammy Sosa (that's him in the photo). I actually read Harry Potter the whole time, so it wasn't really my thing.
I went back to Chicago for my birthday weekend in 2017. It was fun to see the city again as an adult, & to see everything decorated for Christmas. I loved having a Girls' Weekend with Whitney, too! We did all of the typical touristy things: Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Art Institute, Eataly, Lincoln Park Zoo, Hancock Observatory (& Tilt), Sears Tower (& the Ledge), & the Bean, plus lots of shopping & great food!
I explored Wichita in June 2015. I've been to Wichita a million times growing up because it's only an hour & a half away, but it was always just to run errands & things, so this was a fun trip because I actually got to explore the city. I started out by going to Keeper of the Plains, which is a park that houses a Native American statue, outdoor museum, & garden area. At night, the statue lights up with fire, & it's really pretty! The next day I explored downtown & the Botanica Gardens.
We visited Acadia National Park during our trip to Boston, which was absolutely beautiful!
My family went to the Boston area when I was in middle school. I don't remember much except for walking the Freedom Trail, seeing the Cheers bar, Plymouth Rock was more like Plymouth Pebble, & the beach had rocks instead of sand (which was crazy to me).
I've been to Mississippi a few times to see family. I'm sure my mom has photos somewhere, but I don't have any on my computer! We mostly played outside & spent time with family.
Springfield, Missouri is one of my favorite places. I love all of the local businesses, & the whole downtown area in general. They have the best food, too! I don't think I've ever eaten anything bad there! I think it's also the only place where I've ever seen every fall color on one tree at the same time. Plus there's an arcade where you can play unlimited vintage games for $5. It doesn't get much better. I have gone here several times & plan to go many more.
I spent Fall Break 2016 in Kansas City. I visited Disney's childhood home & first studio, went to the World War I Museum & Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, ate tons of food, went to the Sea Life Aquarium & Hallmark Visitor Center, & much more.
On our way to California, we made a quick stop in Albuquerque for a photo op at Twisters, which was the filming location for Pollos Hermanos in Breaking Bad.
My family went to Oregon the summer after I was in 9th grade. This is one of the prettiest places I've ever been. We saw the beach for the first time here, I think. Or maybe we'd seen Boston's beach, but I didn't count that at the time because of the rocks/lack of sand. Anyway, Crater Lake has the bluest water I've ever seen. It's almost unreal. I'd love to go back.
South Carolina has one of the prettiest beaches I've ever been to. It was warm outside, the water wasn't freezing, & it wasn't insanely crowded. We went boogie boarding, & also got to witness a gorgeous sunset. This was part of my senior trip, so my friend Maegan was with us.
My family went to Memphis, Tennessee several times as I was growing up to see family. These photos are all from my senior road trip, though. We visited the Lorraine Hotel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. We saw the grounds of Graceland, Elvis's home. We also walked down Beale Street & had the best food!
I went to Nashville in October 2018 for Whitney's bachelorette party. It was fun to meet her friends & explore the city! Highlights included Arrington Vineyards, Five Daughters Bakery, & brunch at Hemingway's.
I have spent several weekends in Dallas. I've explored the Arts District, gone to Medieval Times, been to the farmer's market, seen the Dallas World Aquarium, & much more. One favorite Dallas restaurant is the Meddlesome Moth, which is a gastropub in the design district, & my favorite place I've stayed in is Hotel Nylo, a modern, green hotel in Las Colinas (it's the last photo, with the floating square couches).
My family has spent several weeks in the Galveston area. We used to go to this area almost every Spring Break it seems like, either to Surfside Beach or Crystal Beach. The first photo is from one of my high school trips, & the last several photos are from the most recent trip we took, which was during my sophomore year of college.
During part of my senior trip, we went to Mount Vernon & saw George Washington's former home (insert Hamilton lyrics). This guide hit on us in old English, which Maegan & I found very entertaining (& my dad did not). I also remember taking a boat during part of the tour, & it was so windy, we couldn't see anything the whole time because our hair was in our faces. But the walking part of the tour was pretty interesting!
My family saw Mt. Saint Helens in Washington. My mom told me it was an active volcano, so I was expecting boiling hot lava pouring everywhere. Looking back, I'm not sure why my mom would have taken me somewhere like that. This wasn't quite as eventful as I imagined, but still very pretty!
My family has been to D.C. twice, & I still feel like there is so much I haven't seen! We toured the White House, went to Arlington National Cemetery & saw JFK's Eternal Flame & the Changing of the Guard, & went to several Smithsonian Museums & saw lots of famous props & artifacts. We went to Ford's Theatre & saw where Lincoln was shot, & where he died across the street. We learned about sit-ins & the Civil Rights Movement, visited several monuments & landmarks, & saw the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, & Van Gogh & Rembrandt's self portraits. That's only a fraction of the things we saw, & there were still several museums & monuments we didn't get to go to. It's such an amazing city!
My family is one of the most important things in my life. I come from a big family, & am blessed that my family members are also some of my closest friends.
My dad is the best example of Godly fatherhood that I could ask for. He is compassionate, thoughtful, & always putting others first. He has had his share of struggles, but always strives to have a good attitude & keep his focus on God. I try to follow my dad's example in his outlook on life. No matter what is going wrong in his own life, he always seems to be looking for ways he can help someone else, & never seems to be too down on himself. My dad is also incredibly funny, & will do just about anything to make someone laugh.
My mom is another role model of mine. She is always doing so many things, I'm not sure how she balances it all, yet she does everything well. My mom is the smartest person I have ever met. She is also one of the biggest nerds I have ever met (I say that in a loving way!). I credit her for passing that nerdiness down to me. We can talk for hours about Star Wars or spend an embarrassingly long time picking out the perfect planners. My mom is also very crafty, witty, loving, & wise. I honestly believe there isn't anything she can't do.
My big brother is the greatest. Since he is only a year & two weeks older than me, we were always close growing up - sometimes even getting asked if we were twins. As kids, we played Batman & rode our bikes everywhere. When we got to high school, he was nice enough to let his little sister tag along with him & his friends. When I got to college, I got a phone call saying he accepted Christ, & got to talk with him after his decision! Now that we're adults, I see all of the qualities he's always had, & can appreciate them more fully. My brother is such a generous person. He loves to give gifts, often for no reason, & they're always amazingly thoughtful. He loves to help people, even strangers. He is incredibly gifted with music & technology. He knows how to make people feel appreciated, & he is one of my favorite people in the world.
My little twin. Although I guess I can't call her that anymore because she's taller than me now. Ever since she was born, I was SO excited to have Mackenzie around, as you can see in the last photo! I used to always want a big sister, so Mackenzie was my chance to BE the big sister I always wanted. I still try to live up to that & be the best I can be for her (& for Taryn!). Mackenzie doesn't really need an example, though. She is such a strong - & often headstrong - person, who is so driven, smart, & passionate. She sets goals & doesn't stop until she gets them - like becoming Concert Mistress in her high school's orchestra two years in a row, graduating in the top 10 in her high school class, & then being accepted to the Disney College Program. She knows there's nothing she can't do, & we all know that too! She is also such a beautiful, funny, sassy person, & so talented. She's going to be great in everything she does.
Taryn is one of those people who is good at just about everything. She played a bunch of sports when she was younger & was good at all of them. But then she quit those to focus on music & became chorale President & first chair of the cellists in orchestra during high school. In her first semester of college, she earned solos, a starring role in a musical, & was nominated as a homecoming queen candidate to represent the band, & she's accomplished so much more since! & she's also amazing at hair, makeup, crafts, & pretty much anything else she touches. You'd think with all of that talent, she'd be really prideful or full of herself, but instead, she is one of the goofiest people around. She's so funny, & will do anything for a laugh, without a care as to what she looks like or who's watching. She has become such a beautiful person, & I can't wait to see where God leads her next.
My extended family is also really special to me. We've suffered some losses & difficulties over the years, but we always support each other. My family is spread out, so it's always really nice to be able to get everyone together for family events or holidays!
Last, but not least, our pups! Lily joined the family in April of 2014. We thought she was going to be a 35-pound Boston terrier mix, but she's closer to a 50-pound Pitt mix. We love her anyway though! She has such a personality & is so smart. She knows a whole list of commands, knows when I'm taking photos & only gets in them when she wants to (she hates photos), loves car rides (& people & other dogs & sticks & everything really), & still thinks she's a lap dog even though she's half my size.
Padfoot is a whole different kind of pup. He is much more timid & shy. But he is such a sweet little boy, & he loves to cuddle & be babied. Once again, we were fooled - our 80-to-100-pound German shepherd mix somehow grew up to be a 22-pound German shepherd(?) mix, but we love him so much. He loves to hunt & jump & climb (things he's not supposed to), but he also loves to lay around & crawl under the covers & cuddle.
I made a Bucket List when I was 18, during my first year of college. Every once in a while, I take a look at it. It's fun to see what all I have accomplished, & what I no longer care to do. I update it as years go by, & post my progress here. Here is the current list, but it may change later on! My only rule is that I will never add something I know I am getting ready to do. I only post things that are wishes for the future!
1. Drive a racecar (We’ll have to see how my heart condition changes as I get older).
2. Build an igloo. A real one that you can go inside.
3. Ride a mechanical bull.
4. Celebrate my 50th anniversary.
5. Find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop.
6. Sing in public.
7. Ride in a hot air balloon.
8. Kiss underwater.
9. Give blood.
10. Put together a 500-piece puzzle by myself.
11. Pet a buffalo.
12. Find a career I love.
13. Be a groomsman in a wedding.
14. Design & make a dress.
15. Swim with manatees.
16. Learn NSync’s “Bye Bye Bye” Dance.
17. Learn how to surf.
18. Learn the cello solo from “Un Giorno Per Noi" by Josh Groban.
19. Learn how to ski.
20. Learn how to snowboard.
21. Go to Honduras.
22. Go to Comic-Con.
23. Go to Disneyland.
24. Live in Europe.
25. See Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in person.
26. Go to LA.
27. Visit Ireland.
28. Go to New Zealand.
29. Take a random trip on the first flight out.
30. Eat gelato in Italy.
31. Go to New York City.
32. Go to Africa.
33. Rock climb in Colorado.
34. Go to Santorini Island, Greece.
35. Go on a cruise.
36. Go to Alaska.
37. Take a picture with the Sydney sign in Australia.
38. Try Vegemite in Australia.
39. Go to Spain.
40. Take a picture on Abbey Road like the Beatles did.
41. Go to India.
42. Go to Mexico.
43. Go to Neal’s Yard, London.
44. See the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
45. Go to Japan.
46. Go to Germany.
47. Go to France.
48. Go to Guatemala.
49. See Matt Corby live.
50. Go to a Paul McCartney concert.
51. See Death Cab for Cutie live.
52. Get my Master's degree.
53. Go to the Kansas City library. Completed: October 21, 2016.
54. Visit all 4 Disney World parks. Completed: March 16, 2016 (The pictures show my first time visiting each park).
55. Pet a tiger. Completed: March 18, 2014
56. Read Pride & Prejudice. Completed: Summer 2014
57. Meet Belle at Disney Land and/or Disney World. Completed: July 11, 2014
58. Dress up as Beauty & the Beast. Completed: February 14, 2014
59. See the Beauty & the Beast Broadway musical. Completed: February 14, 2014 (see above)
60. Read the 7th Harry Potter book. Completed: January 15, 2014
61. Dress up like a flapper. Completed: October 9, 2009 (Thanks to my little sister Mackenzie for letting me borrow her costume!)
62. Have my fortune told. Completed: October 23, 2009 (The first time was by a girl dressed as a fortune teller at a Halloween party so I wasn’t sure if I should count it, but then Victoria’s Secret hired a palm reader for one of our events - super weird - so I got another chance.)
63. Get a bowling score of 100 or more. Completed: November 27, 2009 (I feel like I should thank Ethan Parrish, because he kept scaring me & somehow that improved my score.)
64. Go to a masquerade. Completed: December 3, 2009
65. Watch a 3-D movie. Completed: December 19, 2009 (My first one was Avatar.)
66. Make gingerbread men & a gingerbread house. Completed: December 20 (house - Thanks Britny Cranford & Amanda Armendarez) & December 24 (men), 2009 (& yes, I did make a Pikachu & a Ninja Turtle.)
67. Make a sleeve of temporary tattoos. Completed: January 1, 2010 (Thanks Britny Cranford & Amanda Armendarez!)
68. Try a Burger King taco. Completed: January 2, 2010 (I do NOT recommend them.)
79. Finish a WHOLE scrapbook. I always start them, but never finish. Completed: January 9, 2010 (Thanks Brooke Makeever!)
70. Learn how to tie a tie. Completed: January 9, 2010 (Thanks to Rob, even though I’m not sure I still remember how.)
71. Pierce my cartilage. Completed: January 10, 2010 (I had 2 at one point.)
72. Have over 100 followers on Twitter. Completed: January 14, 2010
73. Find a street sign with my name on it (first, middle, or last). Completed: March 25, 2010 (That’s my old last name.)
74. Tag the spillway. Completed: April 11, 2010
75. Put a random streak of color in my hair. Completed: April 25, 2010 (The first time was purple, & I don’t have any good pictures of it. Thanks mom!)
76. Have a caricature drawn of me. Completed: July 4, 2010 (Thanks to Tim Kelly!)
77. Have someone randomly get me my favorite flowers. (red roses & lilies) Completed: July 15, 2010 (Thanks again to Tim Kelly!)
78. Try space food. Completed: July 17, 2010 (Thanks again to Tim Kelly!)
79. Learn to skateboard &/or longboard. Completed: July 25, 2010 (Thanks Kacie Jo Soulsby!)
80. Take pictures with at least 20 different buffalo statues. Completed: July 28, 2010 (Thanks Maegan Boyer, Regan Jeric, Krissy Ritchie, Jenny Bergeron, Miranda Krug, Matt Demers, Ian Harris, Nic Muzyka, Blake Burrough, Cale Freeman, Steve Clark, Rebecca Hilton, Vincent Green, & anyone else I might be forgetting!)
81. Ride on a motorcycle. Completed: August 14, 2010 (Thanks Thomas Schaffer! & to Rebecca Hilton for setting it up! So sad that I don’t have any pictures from my times riding on a motorcycle!)
82. Fly a kite. Completed: August 23, 2010 (Thanks Rebecca Hilton!)
83. Kiss underneath mistletoe. Completed: December 29, 2010 (Thanks Laker!)
84. Kiss in the rain. Completed: ???
85. Spiderman kiss. Completed: ???
86. Get kissed at midnight on New Year’s. Completed: January 1, 2011
87. Make a bear at the Build-a-Bear Workshop. Completed: January 4, 2011
88. Get a tattoo. Completed: March 2011 (This is my first one.)
89. See Manchester Orchestra live. Completed: August 26, 2011 (Thanks Brandon Silver & AJ Garcia! Somehow we ended up front row in the VIP Section.)
90. Take pictures at a wedding. Completed: I shot a vow renewal August 29, 2011, but my first official wedding was May 26, 2012, so we’ll go with that. (Thanks Val & Jeremy Lancaster!)
91. Get married. Completed: June 3, 2012 (Thanks Laker. haha)
92. Eat a caramel apple. Completed: September 2012
93. Have someone surprise me with flowers for no reason. Completed: January 28, 2012. (Someone sent me these anonymously my junior year of college when I was going through a tough time. So thank you, anonymous friend!)
94. Learn to ice skate. Completed: December 18, 2012 (Thanks Laker!)
95. Try crème brulee. Completed: June 16, 2013 (Thanks Paul!)
96. Paint a real painting. Completed: ??? I don’t remember when this was, but it was my first painting.
97. Make that ringing noise with crystal glasses. Completed: ???? I have no idea when this was. (Thanks Laker!)
98. Make cheesecake. Completed: ???? The first time was mini cheesecakes.
99. Watch a sunrise. Completed: ???? I have no idea but I’ve seen a million now. (I have to say thanks to Earl Moreno, Jenny Bergeron, & Tyler Thomas... They once stayed up the entire night to drive out to the lake & watch my first sunrise with me, only to have the whole thing ruined by cloud cover. We still had fun though!)
100. Watch the Wicked Broadway musical. Completed: September 15, 2013 (Thanks to Heather for going with me!)
Oklahoma tends to have a bad reputation. People think it's just a boring, flat place that occasionally has ice storms & tornadoes.
I was born & raised in Oklahoma. I have been all over the country, & I have realized that while Oklahoma may not have huge mountain ranges, theme parks, sandy beaches, or an ocean view, it has been a wonderful place to grow up.
Although it is (for the most part) a very flat state, we still have some beautiful scenery, & because it is so flat, we some of the most gorgeous skies you’ll ever see.
Oklahoma is a big place with a small town feel. Everyone is connected somehow, which can be overwhelming, but also comforting. Oklahoma tends to have very friendly, truly caring people. This state has been through a lot (the OKC Bombing, tornadoes, ice storms, blizzards…), but we always make it through because of the people who live here. Another thing I love about Oklahoma is that it has four distinct seasons. The weather (though often crazy) doesn't stay the same throughout the year (or sometimes even throughout the day), which keeps things interesting!
One of my very favorite things about living in Oklahoma is all of the local businesses. We have so many coffee shops, restaurants, & stores that are unique to Oklahoma. There are also lots of great local events, like arts festivals, the State Fair, & the Chickasha Festival of Lights. It makes it fun to visit different towns within the state, & I know that when the time comes for me to move away, these businesses & events are going to be some of the things I miss most. & Oklahoma is growing! Especially the Tulsa & OKC areas… We are getting some great businesses, & some of the newer architecture is really interesting!
Oklahoma may not be the most exciting state, but it is a great one. I have had the chance to meet so many wonderful people & experience so many interesting things. I have played with animals at the zoo & fair (even petting a tiger at an exotic animal park!), gone to local events & seen local talents (like the OKC Ballet!), attempted to find all of OKC’s many buffalo statues, & taken advantage of beautiful weather by picnicking & going to the lake. I have done stereotypical “southern” things, like four-wheeling, camping, going shooting, & fishing. I have partaken of local traditions, like “tagging the spillway” in my hometown.
I do not claim to live in the “best” state. I don’t even think there IS a best state. But I do think that those who say Oklahoma is a horrible place need to give it another chance, & really look for the beauty in it. As they say, home is where you make it. & although I know that I will not live in Oklahoma forever, I know that part of me will always feel at home here.
I often get asked about my tattoos, so here are the full stories behind each of them - all together in one place.
1. Gungor Lyrics.
Done by Nina in Spring of 2011.
- right shoulder blade -
These are lyrics to a worship song by Gungor. It has been very powerful in my life, & reminds me that God can make beauty out of anything - any pain, any circumstance, any person. The tattoo says "You make beautiful things out of us" in my own handwriting… I think it makes it more personal. This is one of the first tattoos Nina ever did, & I need to get it touched up because it’s faded a bit. It’s my only tattoo that’s faded at all though, so that’s nice!
2. "talitha cumi."
Done by Shannon Beck in Summer of 2011
- back of my neck -
Mark 5 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. There are so many miracles performed in that chapter! Starting in verse 35, the chapter tells about Jesus going to see the family of a girl who died. He tells the father, “Do not be afraid; just believe.” He then goes to the girl, & says, “talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” & she does! With all of my health problems, it’s so easy to get discouraged & feel like giving up. But this Scripture reminds me that if He can heal a girl who died, I have nothing to worry about.
(Also, the font is called Jane Austen, for all of you other Pride & Prejudice lovers out there!)
3. Matthew 10:29-31 - Sparrows.
Done by Shannon Beck in Summer of 2011. Designed by Tim Kelly.
- right rib cage -
My older brother & I were born exactly a year & two weeks apart, so we were always close growing up. When I was in high school, I found out that my brother didn’t believe in God, & that was devastating. I had such a firm faith, & I didn’t understand how we were raised the same way, but could end up so different. For years, I prayed for him. Sometimes it got really tough. There were times when I was SO mad at God. My brother was my best friend, & the nicest person I knew. He did so many great things for people - even strangers. How could someone like that deserve Hell & eternal suffering? At some points I even rebelled against God. If He didn’t want my brother, maybe I didn’t need any part of what He had to offer. But it never worked. God was always there, & even when I was furious with Him, I still relied on Him, & I still cried out to Him in my pain.
This is a very long story, & I would love to share it sometime, but the short version is this: My brother thought he was too logical for Christ. He read every religious text he could find, searching for answers, & didn’t believe any of it. Eventually, though, my brother surprised me. He was debating philosophies with a friend one night, felt like he needed to turn to a certain Scripture (where Satan is tempting Jesus with Scripture), realized that’s what he was doing, prayed, accepted Christ, & called me. I was awestruck. God is so good! It took years of prayer, & it didn't happen in my timing, but it did happen - my brother trusted in God & who He is.
So back to the tattoo. I’ve always had a thing for sparrows. & Matthew 10:29-31 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. & even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” I got this tattoo for my brother. That whole time - when I was angry, when my brother wasn’t following God, when it seemed hopeless - God was watching. He knew what He was doing. Not a single sparrow will fall to the ground outside of God’s care.
It says “Matthew 10:29-31” but it’s kind of hard to read because I'm a little smaller than I was when I got it…
Done by Gage Brim at Beauty from Pain in OKC (he now lives out of state) in September 2011.
- left hip -
This is the only one without a whole lot of meaning. I have collected owls for several years, so a tattoo was bound to happen eventually. One night (while I was still living in Shawnee), I went to OKC with a friend to go to a concert. We got to the venue, only to find out the concert had been cancelled. On a whim, we decided to go get tattoos. We had heard this studio was great, so we checked it out. Gage said he was about to close up since it had been slow that night, so since we were helping him out, he’d cut us a deal. I got this little guy for super cheap, & I love it (:
5 & 6. Disney Roses.
Done by Gage Brim in October 2012.
- left shoulder cap -
These are the roses from Beauty & the Beast & Alice in Wonderland.
Beauty & the Beast has always been a favorite of mine. I used to watch it every time I stayed home sick from school, & now I just watch it all the time for fun. I really relate to Belle’s character - smart, but awkward, stubborn, & more of a hermit than anything.
As for Alice in Wonderland… My mom had an old copy of the book from when she was a kid. I’ve read it several times since I was little, & have since started collecting my own copies. I love Alice & her imagination & love of nonsense.
These are two of my favorite stories, & it seemed appropriate to have a piece of my childhood on my body.
7. C. S. Lewis
Done by Jeremy Smith at The Ink Hub in March 2017.
-left rib cage-
I have always loved the C. S. Lewis quote, "courage, dear heart," that often floats around social media. When my hysterectomy was approaching, the quote kept coming to mind, & I decided to research a little more where the quote came from. It's from the Chronicles of Narnia series, which I loved when I was younger. You can read the full story behind the quote in this blog post.
I related to the story so much. I felt like I had made this big decision, & I felt so confident in that, but nearly everyone else was unsure. I had to trust that God had spoken to me & told me what to do, & that I would lead the way, & everyone else could follow along.
I decided to get this tattoo as a reminder of that, to keep me confident in my decision & remind me that I didn't need to listen to any voices of doubt.
I wanted to have a place to keep track of all of the characters I've met at Disney World & Universal Studios! This will be an ongoing list that will be updated from time to time.
I met Aladdin in Morocco in Epcot in December 2015. Aladdin's voice was perfect. He said I must be the genie of the family because I made our ears, & told me I should go find Rajah since I told him tigers were my favorite!
My first time meeting Alice was in the summer of 2013 during my first time at Disney World. We were in line to meet the White Rabbit near the Mad Tea Party ride (Magic Kingdom), & he left to go take a break. I was disappointed, but then Alice came out! She was so perfect, & even noticed my "painting the roses red" tattoo. She loved it, as well as my Belle rose tattoo, & was so excited that I had gotten a tattoo for her story.
The second time I met Alice was at the 1900 Park Fare character breakfast at the Grand Floridian Resort in December 2015. Alice was so sweet, & told me to have plenty of tea & cakes for my birthday - although she warned me to keep the Hatter away from the insani-tea because he already had plenty of that!
Anna was so bouncy & energetic - I don't know how she manages it all day! I'd be exhausted. But their meet area was very well-themed & cute. We met Anna & Elsa during our December 2016 trip.
We met Ariel in her grotto in Fantasyland (Magic Kingdom) in the summer of 2014. She called me angelfish & was very bubbly (no pun intended) & fun!
We saw Ariel again during our 2018 Disneyland trip. The princesses only had a 5 minute wait, which is basically unheard of at WDW! It was also fun to see Ariel in her green dress.
I'll start by saying that Big Hero 6 is such an under-rated movie, & that Baymax is one of my favorites! In December 2015, I was waiting for the rest of the group to finish up on their rides & decided I'd get in line to meet Baymax at the Character Spot in Epcot. The character attendants were all so sweet, & really made the experience extra special. Since I was by myself, they held my bags, took tons of photos, & made lots of jokes. Hugging Baymax was like hugging a giant balloon. I was definitely satisfied with my care!
We met the Beast in summer 2013 after our dinner at the Be Our Guest Restaurant (or as I like to call it, the Be Our Guestaurant - Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom). We had a wonderful dinner in the West Wing, & then explored the rest of the castle before meeting the Beast for a photo op!
I met Belle (& Lumiere!) in summer 2014 at the Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom. We explored Maurice's cottage, & then Keiara & Miya were both chosen to participate in Belle's story. It was fun to watch them act out their parts! After the story was finished, we got to meet Belle. I was the most awkward.
We met Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom (summer 2013). This was the only character photo I could get Laker to join in! Buzz blew me a kiss, too ;)
We met Hook during our 2018 Disneyland trip. It was surprising that several of the characters didn't have attendants! Hook's line was pretty short, so we were able to get a quick photo without much wait.
This was another one of my favorite meet & greets! We met Chewbacca during Spring Break of 2016 at Hollywood Studios. Families go in one by one, so it's not too crowded & you get to interact more personally. Chewbacca called me out for being on the Dark Side (I had my Kylo Ren/Darth Vader ears on), & he actually moved Ben so that I wouldn't be standing next to him in the photo. It was pretty funny! He did let me get close enough for a selfie, though!
We met Cinderella with our FastPass to Princess Fairytale Hall during our Christmas 2016 trip. Cinderella was one of my favorite princesses as a little girl. She was so sophisticated & elegant, & meeting her felt sort of like meeting a real princess.
We saw Cinderella again during our 2018 Disneyland trip. The princesses only had a 5 minute wait, which is basically unheard of at WDW!
We saw Chip & Dale during our Christmas 2016 trip, so I ran over to meet them, since I never had before. They started tugging on my arms & pulling me back & forth before finally posing for a photo. Then they squished me in a big hug, so close that you can barely tell I'm in the photo! They're so fun.
We met Daisy in Epcot in December 2015. Halli was disappointed because the next day, she was Disneybounding as Daisy, so we were a bit early in meeting her!
We saw Chip & Dale during our Christmas 2016 trip, so I ran over to meet them, since I never had before. They started tugging on my arms & pulling me back & forth before finally posing for a photo. Then they squished me in a big hug, so close that you can barely tell I'm in the photo! They're so fun.
We met the Dapper Dans during our Christmas 2016 trip. They sang Christmas carols, & had a fun jingle bell instrument to perform with. There were also a lot of terrible puns, which is one of my favorite things. They even tap danced a bit! I asked for a photo afterwards, since I was Disneybounding as a Dapper Dan that day (although my outfit didn't match their cute Christmas outfits - oh well). While we were posing, they surprised me with a (slightly embarrassing) birthday song. Despite my face being red for ages afterwards, I really enjoyed seeing them perform!
What do you say about meeting your hero? I was incredibly awkward & weirdly intimidated, but I absolutely loved every second.
My first time meeting Donald was at Pete's Silly Sideshow during our Christmas 2016 trip. He looked so cute dressed as the Astounding Donaldo!
I love meeting the villains! I met Dr. Facilier during our 2018 Disneyland trip. I tried standing next to him, & he said, "Back to back, this is NOT a ball." My mom was kind enough to capture my reaction!
We met Dug & Russell in Animal Kingdom during Spring Break of 2016. Dug was very energetic & licked my hand a lot.
We met Elena during our Christmas 2016 trip with our FastPass to Princess Fairytale Hall. Elena is so pretty, & although I'm not super familiar with her story, I love that Disney is adding more diverse princesses.
We met Anna & Elsa during our December 2016 trip. Elsa's dress was so pretty, & their meet area was very well-themed. Elsa congratulated me on my birthday & told me about the birthday tradition in Arendelle - eating one chocolate cake for each year you've been alive.
We met the Fairy Godmother during our Christmas 2016 trip. When we got towards the front, the Fairy Godmother was speaking with a family whose little girls had gone to meet her, & they had a cute old man in a wheelchair with them. She went up to speak with him & held his hand & hugged him, & I nearly cried. He looked so happy, & I loved seeing him get special attention. *Cheesy* but she truly made some magic happen for that family. When it was my turn, the Fairy Godmother was so sweet, & was one of my favorite meets to date. She talked with me like we were old friends. Also, she sounded like Miss Patty from Gilmore Girls, which added a little something special, I think.
Flik's weird ant backside was funny, & Laker actually agreed to be in the photo with me! We met Flik during our December 2016 trip.
We met Gaston outside his tavern in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom (summer 2014). This was one of my favorite character experiences. Gaston took plenty of time to interact with every guest who came through. He flirted with all the girls, picked on all the guys (Mackenzie went through with Ben, & he actually pushed Ben out of a few photos!), & was great with little kids as well. In the first photo, he was pulling us closer & actually almost knocked me over.
Goofy (Plus Santa Goofy & The Great Goofini)
I met Goofy using my Fastpass at the Character Spot in Epcot (December 2015). He was so much fun! He posed everyone who came through, rearranging families, making couples kiss, even asking me to kiss his nose! I made sure to get a goofy selfie too.
The next night, Halli & I saw Santa Goofy at Disney Springs & decided we needed to meet him too! I'm not sure what he was going for in the first photo, but it turned out cute!
During our Christmas 2016 trip, we met The Great Goofini at Pete's Silly Sideshow. This is probably my favorite costume of Goofy's!
Again, we met Jasmine with Aladdin in Morocco at Epcot (December 2015). Halli said she loved monkeys, & Jasmine said if we could find Abu, we could keep him.
The jawas don't have an official meet, & some of them just kind of do what they want. The first one we found was only talking to little kids, so we tried our luck with this one, who was standing off in a corner. We were able to get a few pictures by some neat props!
The meet area for Joy & Sadness was really cute, although the wait was much longer than advertised. Joy was very energetic & fun. We met them during our December 2016 trip.
This was such a fun meet (Hollywood Studios - Spring Break 2016)! There aren't many villains out on a regular basis, so it is a fun change to interact with a villain, not to mention one of the great villains from Star Wars. Families are called in one by one, so it's not as crowded & is more personal than some other meets. Kylo Ren singled me out & questioned my faith in the Resistance. Then he let us get a group photo, & a single with just me (to show off my Disneybound!) & when my sister asked for a selfie, he let us take one & then said, "Enough!" & told us to go. It was all really fun & a different experience, & definitely made you wonder what it would be like to be under the influence of the First Order!
We met Lilo at the character breakfast at 'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort (Spring Break 2016). I was Disneybounding as Lilo, so it was fun to see her! Lilo & Stitch is one of my favorite Disney movies.
The Hatter was another one of my favorite character experiences! We met the Mad Hatter at the 1900 Park Fare character breakfast at the Grand Floridian Resort (December 2015). He noticed I was Disneybounding as him, took several photos with us, & teased Halli for wearing a doily (she had a lace dress on).
Mary was also at 1900 Park Fare (December 2015). She was so pretty & proper - I might even say she was practically perfect in every way! She actually managed to say "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" BACKWARDS in casual conversation.
Mayor of Main Street USA
We walked straight by the Mayor as we were entering Magic Kingdom during Christmastime 2016, so of course I stopped for a photo! He was the sweetest, cutest, older gentleman, & he looked so precious in his Christmas outfit.
My mom used my camera for these (summer 2013). haha Merida was so great! She had a perfect accent, looked the part, & had an awesome personality. She had us do fun poses & kept conversation going with Keiara & Miya. Her meet & greet area (Fantasyland - Magic Kingdom) also had a spot where the girls could practice shooting a bow & arrow. We loved it!
Mickey Mouse (Plus 'Ohana Mickey & Sorcerer Mickey)
I met Mickey for the first time at Epcot in December 2015. I used a FastPass for the Character Spot in Epcot while the rest of the group was on rides, so I got to meet Goofy, Mickey, & Minnie. The characters couldn't talk, but he managed to point at my button to tell me "happy birthday" & we took lots of photos & even some selfies!
During Spring Break of 2016, I saw Mickey again when we went to 'Ohana for the character breakfast at Disney's Polynesian Resort. This time he was in his island attire.
We went to meet Sorcerer Mickey during Christmas 2016 with very little wait. Mickey was especially fun to meet this time, because I was Disneybounding as Sorcerer Mickey that day.
Laker & I met Mike & Sulley in Hollywood Studios (Spring Break 2016) while everyone else was on rides. Laker isn't normally a big fan of character meets, but Monsters Inc. is one of our favorite Disney movies, so I made him get in this one with me! This meet area is fun, with lots of little nods to the films. I will say, Mike was probably the most awkward hugger of any character I've met.
I also met Minnie during my December 2015 Character Spot Fastpass in Epcot. I got a kiss on the cheek & she pointed at my ears to compliment them!
We met Hollywood Minnie during our Christmas 2016 trip with very little wait. I always enjoy meeting Minnie!
I met Moana at the temporary meet area in One Man's Dream during our Christmas 2016 trip. There was no wait at all, & the cast member gave me a Moana sticker for my birthday! Moana is such a great film, & if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. You'll be listening to the soundtrack for the rest of your life.
Mulan was at Character Palooza in Hollywood Studios while we were there over Spring Break in 2016. Her line in EPCOT is always incredibly long, so she was our second stop for photos during this meet time.
We met Olaf during our Christmas 2016 trip, & I'm so glad we did! He is so cute, & his meet area was so fun. Holding hands with his little four-fingered twig arms was a little weird, but as soon as I got a hug from Olaf, my first thought was, "I like warm hugs." He's just such a great character!
Suzy & Perla were out during Christmas 2016. I love meeting characters that aren't usually out, & these two were so cute & sweet!
Peter was a lot of fun, & had lots of energy. He encouraged never growing up & always going on lots of adventures!
My first time meeting Pluto was during Spring Break of 2016 at the character breakfast at 'Ohana (Disney's Polynesian Resort). He had on a lei, & was fun & festive to fit the theme!
We met Pocahontas during Spring Break of 2016 in Animal Kingdom. She was very sweet, complimented my "tribal tattoos," & asked questions about our village. She also said the mice in her village didn't have ears like ours.
We met Rafiki at Rafiki's Planet Watch during our December 2016 trip. He was a lot of fun, & would just plop down on the floor with the kids. When Laker & I got up to the front, he kept tickling our necks & poking us to make us laugh.
We were lucky enough to walk right into Character Palooza as we entered Hollywood Studios on my very first trip to that park during Spring Break of 2016. I did a quick scan of all of the characters & saw that Robin Hood was out, & since Character Palooza is his only (somewhat) regular meet time, I jumped in his line first.
We met Russell with Dug in Animal Kingdom during Spring Break of 2016. He didn't talk much, but gave us a salute!
The meet area for Joy & Sadness was really cute, although the wait was much longer than advertised. Sadness was just like her character, very gloomy & huggable. We met them during our December 2016 trip.
We were barely too late for Snow White's Meet & Greet (Germany - Epcot - December 2015), so we were first in line for her next one. However, since we were the only ones waiting & Snow White had extra time, they let us slip in at the end of her Meet & Greet! We were able to spend some extra time with her. We got a few extra photos, & she taught us how to make a wish at her well, reminding us that we're never too old to make a wish! She also loved my outfit, & told me we needed to get a special photo. She taught me how to do a princess pose (I'm not very good at it).
We saw Snow White again during our 2018 Disneyland trip. The princesses only had a 5 minute wait, which is basically unheard of at WDW!
As mentioned above, Lilo & Stitch is one of my favorite Disney movies. When we first arrived at 'Ohana for our character breakfast (Polynesian Resort - Spring Break 2016), we didn't see Stitch anywhere, & I was pretty disappointed. But towards the end of our meal, he came around the corner, & we were able to get some photos.
Laker & I met Mike & Sulley in Hollywood Studios (Spring Break 2016) while everyone else was on rides. Laker isn't normally a big fan of character meets, but Monsters Inc. is one of our favorite Disney movies, so I made him get in this one with me! This meet area is fun, with lots of little nods to the films.
Suzy & Perla were out during Christmas 2016. I love meeting characters that aren't usually out, & these two were so cute & sweet!
This was a really odd meet. We met Tarzan during our December 2016 trip, & he was super awkward. Instead of seeming like he was new to the human world & learning things, he just kind of seemed like a dumb surfer dude. He kept asking if I got bananas for my birthday. Also, I always wondered how all of the Tarzans were so tan (& why, for that matter, because Tarzan isn't super tan in the movie), but after seeing him up close, I see that he is actually painted that orange-ish tan color. I mostly just felt kind of uncomfortable, but the pictures turned out well. Very Tarzan-y.
We met Tiana at Character Palooza in Hollywood Studios (Spring Break 2016) as well. She talked to us like we were old friends, & asked about the food where we were from. When I told her that Oklahoma has good BBQ, she asked if we could cook it, & told us we should learn so we could teach her to make it in her restaurant.
Tigger was at 1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian - December 2015). He kind of pounced over to our table out of no where! He hung out for a bit & made us laugh a few times.
I have a secret love of Tinkerbell, beyond Peter Pan. I watch her movies on Netflix, despite the fact that they're made for little kids, & I actually had a Pixie Hollow account in college. I loved Tink's meet area, & seeing the oversized teacup, berries, crayon, & other decorations made me feel fairy-sized too. Tink was really fun, & asked me if I "tinked" my ears myself (I did).
Winnie the Pooh
Pooh was also at 1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian - December 2015). He was so sweet & made extra stops at our table throughout the meal just to say hi.
Disneybounding is coming up with outfits inspired by Disney characters. It's a lot of fun to come up with outfits & plan the little details to go with them. On our last couple of trips, we've even made ears to match the outfits! It's especially fun getting to meet the characters or have experiences to go with the outfits. Here a few things I've done with my Disneybounds.
Unlike Disney, many of the Universal characters are not advertised, so for a lot of these, we just happened to get lucky & run into them on the street!
Doc Brown (Back to the Future)
We noticed the Delorean over by the side of the road after stopping for food, & when we went to check it out, we saw Doc Brown standing in front of it! We stopped for a quick photo, & Doc told us to point for the camera (December 2015).
Minion (Despicable Me)
This was a scheduled Meet & Greet. We met this little guy in Gru's house in the dance party area outside of the Minion ride (December 2015).
Scooby & the Gang (Fred, Daphne, Scooby, Velma, & Shaggy)
We ran into Scooby & the Gang on our way to leave the park (December 2015) & forced the boys to get a photo with them (they loved Scooby as kids!). They were at the very end of their meet time, so we got really lucky on this one! Again, we saw the car first - the Mystery Machine was parked on the side of the road, & then we noticed the characters meeting to the side.
Shrek, Donkey, & Fiona
This was one of our favorite character experiences (December 2015)! Well, for me & Halli. The guys might not agree! This is a scheduled Meet & Greet, & we were first in line, so I think maybe Donkey was well-rested & ready to go. They asked if Halli & I were sisters, & when we said we were sisters-in-law, Donkey asked where our husbands were. We pointed them out (sitting across the road on a bench) & Donkey went off on them - yelling about how they should get in as many photos with us as possible (because "look at them!"), even telling Laker that he looked like a foot & I looked like a classy shoe. It went on & on, & Halli & I could not quit laughing. Fiona & the character attendants were laughing a lot too, & the photographer actually said, "That was a good one!" when we left.
Simpsons (Homer, Bart, Lisa, & Krusty)
I don't actually watch the Simpsons, but Laker enjoys the show. We saw a few of the characters & I pointed them out to Laker. He said we could get pictures with them, if I wanted. So we did. haha (December 2015)
Faith. Family. Food. Tattoos. Travel. Tea. Bath Bombs. Buffaloes. Disney. Dogs.