Florida

6 Things I Learned While Visiting Disney World

Happy Tuesday everybody! If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram, then you probably saw that Chris and I went on another whirlwind weekend adventure to Disney World for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, which is why I wasn’t around these parts yesterday. So in true Wandering Weekenders fashion, here’s a few things that I learned during our trip to Disney World, and of course, I’m linking up with Biana for some weekending and Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World for some Wanderful Wednesday!

The Wandering Weekenders- 6 Things I Learned While Visiting Disney World

  1. There is no other way to describe Disney other than magical- Earlier this year we went to Universal Studios to check out the new Harry Potter park, and while we had an amazing time, in my opinion nothing really compares to the magic of Disney World. The people at Disney just have this way of making everything feel truly magical, and the attention to detail is epic. For example, in Fantasyland there’s a section that’s completely devoted to Tangled, and the bathrooms look like Rapunzel could walk out from one of the stalls to join you. Universal has tried to replicate that with Harry Potter, and while that’s a really great section of the park, the rest of the sections just don’t have that magical feeling like Disney World.
    The Wandering Weekenders- 6 Things I Learned While Visiting Disney World
  2. Mickey & Minnie ears can somehow make you feel fulfilled, even as an adult- If you can believe it, I never owned a pair of Minnie ears before this trip! When I visited the first time around with my family when I was a kid my sister got Minnie ears, but for whatever reason I decided to opt out of them. This time around I decided that Chris and I were going to get matching ears, and it just made the whole trip feel so much more festive! I can’t wait to go back to Disney World and to wear my ears all over again!
    The Wandering Weekenders- 6 Things I Learned While Visiting Disney World
  3. Matching t-shirts are a must, especially at Food & Wine Festival- The idea of drinking and eating our way around the world at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival was one of the main reasons that we headed to Disney during this time of the year, and one of the things that I really wanted to get was a pair of matching t-shirts. If you’ve ever looked online for matching Disney shirts one of the first things that pops up, after all of the family vacation t-shirts, is drinking around the world t-shirts for Epcot. I know that the matching shirts helped to put me in the mood for all the food and drinks on Saturday. And if you’re worried that you’ll look like the only alcoholic in matching drinking shirts at Epcot, don’t! You’ll almost look like the outcast not watching a matching shirt!
    The Wandering Weekenders- 6 Things I Learned While Visiting Disney World
  4. At Epcot it’s very possible that you’ll wait longer to get alcohol than to go on the Frozen ride- One of the best parts about visiting Orlando is getting to meet up with some fabulous bloggers while I’m there! It just so happened that Kerri and Pamela were visiting Epcot on Saturday while we were there so we all met up in Mexico for a drink! The line at the tequila bar was super long, but we didn’t realize how long it was until Pamela saw a tweet from the bar saying that the wait time was 10 minutes longer than the wait time to go on the Frozen ride in Norway, which is normally over an hour long! I guess that’s what it happens when you visit Epcot on a Saturday during Food & Wine!
  5. At least two pairs of walking shoes is necessary when going to Disney- We were very lucky during our Disney trip in 2013, and we didn’t get any rain while we were there, which is pretty rare for Orlando. This last trip though, we weren’t so lucky. We got some rain not only Friday night but Saturday as well, even though Chris swore up and down that we weren’t going to get any on Saturday, and we pretty much got drenched. I was very glad that I packed two pairs of walking shoes for the trip, so that I didn’t have to blow dry my shoes in the morning like Chris did!
  6. Disney Photopass and MemoryMaker is totally worth it- During our last trip to Disney we opted to not get the Disney Photopass and MemoryMaker because at the time I didn’t think it was worth it. I had read online that if you can ask for the Disney photographers to take your picture with your camera too, and my in-laws were there to take shots of Chris and I together during our last trip. This time though, Chris and I were going alone, and after I read Karly’s post about getting MemoryMaker earlier this year, I knew that I wanted to give it a try. MemoryMaker was so easy and convenient, we didn’t have to ask random people to take our pictures, all of the pictures were readily available on the app, and we even got ride pictures too! The $149 was totally worth it, and I love that we have some great shots of the two of us together, and that some of them even had magic!
    The Wandering Weekenders- 6 Things I Learned While Visiting Disney World

Even though I woke up Monday morning feeling totally exhausted from our long weekend in the park and the fact that it was so soon after our Europe trip, this trip to Disney World felt oddly relaxing. I think that it had a lot to do with the fact that we really didn’t have that much of an agenda while we were there, and just enjoyed being in the parks and enjoying the special seasonal things going on at Disney World. Hopefully I’ll get around to recapping this trip sooner rather than later too!

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The Wandering Weekenders- After a whirlwind weekend at Disney World for Epcot's Food & Wine Festival and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, here are 6 things I learned!

10 Best Destinations For A Girls Trip

For the past few years, my girlfriends and I have tried to take a trip together every year. We were all so close in college, and then afterwards we all moved to different parts of the state and country (and eventually to another country altogether), so a trip together was the perfect way to stay close. Obviously this year we decided on Charleston for our destination, but I thought that it’d be fun to talk about some other great destinations for an amazing girls trip for this Wanderlust Wednesday with Kerri, Kate, and Emily!

The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend

  1. Charleston- When we were thinking about a place for this year’s girls trip, Charleston just seemed like the perfect place. Not only is it one of the oldest cities in the United States, but it’s also extremely beautiful and girly with the all of the amazing architecture (read perfect for Instagram!). You also can’t beat the amazing food scene either! Another appeal of Charleston is the fact that it’s a smaller city, so it was easy to navigate and get around, and also relatively inexpensive compared to the other top travel destinations in the US!
    The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend
  2. New Orleans- There’s a reason that we chose this for our first girls trip ever! Not only does New Orleans have a great night life (hello Bourbon Street!), but New Orleans is another city that’s rich in history as well. From tours of the Garden District and the French Quarter to spooky ghost tours at night, you can definitely get a feel for the city of New Orleans no matter where you are. And who can pass up some amazing Creole or Cajun food or some delicious beignets from Cafe du Monde? Plus, you can’t beat how relatively inexpensive the city (if you don’t go during one of the top festival weekends) considering how touristy the city is.
    The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend
  3. Las Vegas- Oh Las Vegas, you definitely know how to keep a secret, right? Sin City is known all over the world as being a place to let your inhibitions go and have a great time, and who better to do that with than your girlfriends! From the clubs and night life, to the pool parties during the day, to the amazing shopping, and the out of this world food, Las Vegas is the perfect place to go with your girls! Just be prepared for the very high price tag of this very fun city!
    The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend
  4. New York City- New York City might be one of the most iconic cities in the United States! From the numerous different neighborhoods that each have a vibe all on their own, to the amazing food and shopping, to all of the cultural experiences like Broadway and the art galleries and experiences, it’s easy to see how NYC would be the perfect destination to go with your best gals! Again, because New York City is known all over the world, it’s definitely going to be a destination with a higher price tag than some of the other cities.
    The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend
  5. Napa- I think that all I need to say is wine for a reason why Napa would be a great destination to visit with your besties! Besides some out of this world wine, Napa also has a great food scene with some of the world’s best chefs. Although there’s not too much more to do in Napa besides drink wine, sometimes that’s all you and your girlfriends really need! Just be prepared to pay for everything when you visit Napa, including all of your tastings!
    The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend
  6. Austin- Being a Texas girl, you know that I have to throw a great Texas location on this list! Austin is known for being the capital of Texas, but it’s also known for being “weird”, aka not like the rest of the Lone Star State! Austin is definitely anything but traditional Texas, but that also means that it has a lot of other fun things to offer. Austin has its famous 6th Street for some night life, an awesome music scene, a ton of festivals throughout the year, an awesome food scene, and a ton of outdoor activities ranging from hiking and canoeing to all the lake and river activities as well. And since Austin is in Texas, it’s relatively inexpensive as well.
    The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend
  7. Boston- If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, then you probably know that I’m a huge history buff, which is one of the reasons that we chose Boston as a destination for one of our girls trips. Besides being one of the integral cities during the American Revolution and having a ton of history, Boston is another city that’s has a great food scene, a great cultural scene with tons of museums, and also a great sports scene as well. Girls can love sports as well, so don’t be afraid to take in a Red Sox or a Patriots game while you’re there! Because of it’s location, Boston is another city that’s a little bit on the expensive side.
    The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend
  8. Nashville- Nashville is another fun Southern city, that’s very quickly becoming the bachelorette party capital for the country, and there’s obviously a reason why. Nashville is a lot cheaper to visit than Las Vegas, and it offers some of the same great benefits as Sin City! Broadway offers a great place to party, and with all of the amazing live music, that puts it a step above Vegas in my opinion. Nashville also offers an amazing southern food scene, and if you’re a fan of country music, then Nashville is definitely the place to be!
    The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend
  9. Los Angeles- Los Angeles might not be a very traditional place to visit with your girlfriends, but I think that it’d be a ton of fun! LA is the home of Hollywood, so the potential to run into some of the celebrities that you love is way higher than any where else in the country. And who better to fangirl with than some of your best friends! Because of all the celebrities that live in LA, you can also count on some fabulous shopping, some great food, and very high prices!
    The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend
  10. Disney World- Again, Disney World is a very untraditional destination for some, but where else can you relive your childhood with some of your girls! I’ve always thought that it would be a ton of fun to get your picture taken with some of your favorite Disney princesses with some of your favorite girlfriends! Disney World is definitely not just for kids or big kids, you can definitely have some adult fun in Epcot and attempt to drink your way around the world!
    The Wandering Weekenders- 10 Best Destinations For A Girls Weekend

And now I’m officially excited and can’t wait to start recapping our awesome trip to Charleston!

Do you have any other destinations that would be perfect for a girls trip?

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The 10 Best Destinations for a girls trip in the United States broken down by location, price, and things to do!

The 10 Best Destinations for a girls trip in the United States broken down by location, price, and things to do!

What To Pack For A Day In Universal Studios

One of the things that I love about both Universal Studios and Disney World is that they allow you to bring backpacks into the parks, along with water bottles and snacks. The only problem difference between Universal Studios and Disney World is that you’re required to put your bags into lockers for a lot of the Universal Studios rides, while you can carry your bags on most of the Disney World rides.

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Pack For A Day In Universal Studios

The lockers at Universal Studios outside the rides are free for the duration for the ride plus the line length, but they’re also pretty small (only 9.5″ wide, 11.5″ high, and 17″ deep). With that being said, you can bring whatever you want into Universal Studios, but you also want to be cautious about what you bring because you won’t have a ton of place to store your stuff while you ride your rides!

What To Pack For A Day In Universal Studios

The Wandering Weekenders- What To Pack For A Day In Universal Studios

A Backpack- Personally, I think that the best way to carry everything for your days in the parks is a backpack. The only thing to consider when choosing a backpack is that you have to go through security before you get onto Universal property, which means that you will have to open up every compartment. So I suggest a backpack with as little compartments as possible.

Refillable Water Bottle- Water is one thing that you should never EVER pay for when you’re in a theme park. It’s too expensive and something that you can get for free if you pack accordingly. There are water fountains all over the parks, so a refillable water bottle is definitely a must pack when visiting the parks, especially during the summer.

Snacks- Another thing that’s very expensive in the parks is food, and not only is it expensive, it’s also high calorie. A great way to save your money and your calories is to pack your own snacks. During our last trip to Universal Studios, we packed 100 calorie packs of nuts and protein bars, which were perfect for some mid morning or afternoon hunger pains.

iPhone Portable Charger- One of my favorite things to do when we’re on vacation is to severely over use SnapChat and Instagram way too much. The only bad thing about that, besides blowing up everybody’s phone, is that my phone will usually die about half way through the day, which, of course, is bad for everyone. To make sure that doesn’t happen, I always pack a portable charger. They’re usually super small, and one of the most important things that I usually pack. Just don’t forget to bring your lightning charging cable too!

Camera/Camera Batteries- Speaking of taking tons of pictures. You don’t want to forget your camera when you visit Universal Studios, because like I’ve mentioned previously, the details especially in the Harry Potter sections of the parks are outstanding! You’ll want to remember them for forever!

Sunscreen- The Florida sun is no joke, especially in the middle of the summer. The last thing you want to happen is to get fried on your first day in the parks, which would make the rest of your trip totally miserable. To make sure that doesn’t happen, make sure to pack a tube of sunscreen for your day in the parks, and don’t forget to reapply during the day!

Sunglasses- Again, with the Florida sun you definitely don’t want to be caught without your sunglasses. A long day in the sunny parks would make for a lot of squinting and probably future wrinkles if you forget your sunglasses!

Hand Sanitizer- If you ever stop to think about how many thousands of people that visit Universal Studios everyday, it doesn’t take long to think about all the germs that are all over the rides and other things that you touch throughout the day. You definitely don’t want to forget the hand sanitizer for your long day in the park.

Medicine- Before our trip to Disney World a couple of years ago, I read a few articles about packing some basic medicines to take with you into the parks, like pain reliever, Tums, and bandaids, and I couldn’t agree more with those articles! The last thing you want is to get a blister, a headache, or heartburn when you’re in the park and not have anything to fix it. A small medicine bag is a perfect thing to remember to take into the parks.

Fitness Tracker- I don’t think that it’s any secret that when you visit a theme park, you walk A LOT. A great way to track how much you’re walking is by bringing your fitness tracker. I’ve always been a huge fan of FitBit, but our Apple Watches were also great fitness trackers for our days in the park.

So there you have it, what I would pack for a day in Universal Studios. What else would you pack? Did I leave anything off?

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