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This photo cracks me up. Hey, Boo!

This photo cracks me up. Hey, Boo!

A few weeks ago, I went to a work conference being held at WALT DISNEY WORLD. SCORE! #winning! And any other cool terms I can’t think of right now or just don’t know because I’m not cool.

So yeah, I adore Walt Disney World and will look for any excuse I can think of to go there. The last time I was there was in 2010 for the Romance Writers of America conference. However, as I  I wandered through the parks on this last trip, I remembered that I only spent half a day at the Magic Kingdom during the RWA trip, so really it had been since December 2008 that I spent any quality time in the parks.

I was shocked by this. Where did the time go?

Most things were the same at the World, but a few had changed, which is as it should be. It keeps things fresh and interesting for me. A few highlights of the trip…

A view of the Grand Floridian from the monorail

A view of the Grand Floridian from the monorail

1. OMG, the hotel! The Grand Floridian is Disney’s flagship hotel and I got to stay there! My employer paid for my hotel during the conference. The official conference hotel was the Contemporary, but it sold out and the Disney rep asked if I minded staying at the overflow hotel, the GF. Um, yeah, I think that will be okay. I’ve always wanted to stay at one of Disney’s deluxe hotels, but I’m way too cheap to pay the asking price. But if someone else is footing the bill? Heck, yeah. Sign me up.

The hotel was beautiful, of course, but another benefit of staying at the GF was that I got to ride the monorail a lot because the conference was at the Contemporary. And now I’m officially in love. I’ve heard other Disneyphiles rhapsodizing about the monorail’s convenience and now I fully understand why. The monorail only stops at a few of Disney’s hotels. I never waited long for one and most of the time I had a seat. Granted, it was late January, not the middle of July, but still…

2. You want some mayo with those fries? On my Hollywood Studios day, I was eating dinner at a table outside when two teenagers plopped down at my table, which was cool. It was crowded and I was taking up a big table by myself because I couldn’t find a small table. Anywho, they started talking and I tried to figure out where they were from. England? No, I didn’t think so because the girl said something and I had no idea what she said although she was only a few feet away. South Africa, maybe? Since it wasn’t really any of my business, I didn’t ask.

Not even when the boy poured ketchup and mayo all over his fries. But when the girl asked him for a packet of mayo and poured it all over her fries, I couldn’t hold it back anymore. I asked where they were from. New Zealand. Aww, so close. I asked if it was common for New Zealanders to put mayo on their fries. After a few seconds, they said yes, although they’d never thought about it before. They were working at Disney in the college program and had been in the States for two weeks.

3. You’re going to want to sleep in this ride. So when I rode Hollywood Tower of Terror, a dad sat in the row in front of me with his daughter. She couldn’t have been older than 4 or 5. He was really psyching her up. “You’re going to love this! You’re going to want to sleep in this ride!” In my head, I’m going, “No, she’s not. She’s going to hate it.” In case you don’t know, Tower of Terror is a sudden, elevator drop ride. It’s not as crazy as similar rides at Six Flags and other amusement parks, but it’s still pretty intense. So, anyway, we rode the ride. I clutched the handrail as hard as I can and yelled the whole way. As the ride ends, I hear this little voice in front of me. “Again, again, again!” I guess Daddy knew best.

4. Are you from the United States? While at the Magic Kingdom, my phone battery started to die. I found an electrical outlet outside of a building. Better yet, there was a bench next to the outlet, so I plopped down and went to charging. The bench was also across the way from a restroom. So an old man sat next to me while his family used the facilities. I smiled and nodded at him and went back to reading Twitter on the phone. All of a sudden I hear, “Are you from the United States?” Yes, old man was talking to me.

I understand why he asked. One of the coolest things about Disney World is the sheer amount of languages and accents you hear just walking through the parks. It was funny. He probably could have phrased the question in a more polite way, but it was cool. After I told him yes, he asked about my cool Crocs because he was from Colorado near the Crocs headquarters.

The American Idol Experience

The American Idol Experience

5. Fake American Idol makes me just as mad as real American Idol. I love American Idol, so I was really excited to try out the American Idol Experience, in which park guests audition and participate in an American Idol-like show. They sing, they get critiqued by 3 judges, and there’s a Ryan Seacrest wannabe judge, and the audience votes on the winner. They have about 4 of these shows throughout the day and then have a show at night with all of the winners and one grand prize winner is announced. The grand prize winner gets a “head of the line” pass for the real American Idol auditions. They don’t have to camp out with the masses.

I went to a morning session and loved it, so I had to go to the evening session to see if my girl won. And she didn’t! I was so mad. I’m fully convinced that they gave it to the teenager because she was the right age and my girl was “over the hill” because she was in her 30s. Hmmph.


6. And one bad thing. Yep, that’s my suitcase. Sometime between when I checked in my bag at the airport and when it was delivered to my hotel room, it lost a wheel. Sigh. I’ve wanted new luggage for a while. Now, I have the perfect excuse to get some. #silverlining – But if that was the worst thing to happen, then it was a fabulous trip.

Okay, this post is really long, so I’ll stop now. Enjoy a few photos from the trip with some witty, insightful, HI-LARIOUS captions.

And, oh, yeah, I can’t wait to go back!

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