I’m busy today getting ready to race with behind Kim, so I’m letting one of my Fitfluential friends take the wheel today. Please welcome Erin from Girl Gone Veggie as she talks about one of her favorite vacations. I’ll be back Monday after they kick me out of the post-race beer tent (or scrape me off the ground since I’ve once again chosen an uphill race. I really need to start reading race descriptions before I choose them…) Don’t forget to enter The Simply Bars Giveaway!
Hey everyone! I’m guest posting for Erika today while she is out and about. I hope she is having an amazing summer and enjoying herself and getting to see lots of awesome sights! I have a bucket list of places I want to see in my lifetime and hope to be able to check them all off someday. I thought it would make for a fun guest post to share one of the trips I took where I got to visit one of the places at the top of my list.
For a little bit more about me first, my name is Erin, I’m a 21-year-old marketing major in college, and a vegetarian. I became a vegetarian a little over a year ago after looking to pursue a healthier lifestyle and become more informed about what I eat and how it affects my body. I blog about my eats, fitness, college, my life, my puppies, my fiance (we just got engaged two weeks ago!), and lots of other random stuff over at Girl Gone Veggie.
If you were still wondering where my trip was, let me give you a hint:
Disney! For the past two years I’ve been traveling to Orlando for a week in the winter with my school to compete in a business competition. I have always been a huge Disney fan. I love Princesses and fairy tales, dressing up, true love, Mickey and Minnie, and all the magic of Disney. In high school I wrote my final senior paper on the history of Disney and how their marketing strategies have made them so successful. Last Halloween my boyfriend and I dressed up as Mickey and Minnie Mouse for Halloween. And these past two years the dreams I’ve had since I was a little girl about visiting Disney World have finally come true.
I had no idea what to expect at Disney. All I had ever heard was that it was amazing, but I had no idea what it actually looked like inside, what there was to do, or if it was worth the hefty admission price. Before I went to any of the other parks I knew I needed to visit Magic Kingdom, simply because that is traditional Disney at its best. I took a bajillion pictures both years I was there but I’ll try and summarize the best of my Disney trips in just a few pictures. There were incredible parades every few hours in Magic Kingdom with dancing and music. I loved them.
There were really fun rides. I loved the Jungle Book ride down the river, my tour guide was hysterical. The Toy Story video game ride was so much fun, you have to try and rack up points throughout the ride by hitting targets. It’s A Small World was like a step back in time with the music and beautiful artwork. And Mickey’s Philharmonic was my absolute favorite thing to do in the park. Its a 3-D musical movie with a twist conducted by Mickey that re-invents all of the classical songs from Disney and lets you re-visit your favorite movies.
I also got to meet the Princesses! The lines to see them are normally out the door but by waiting until nighttime (when all the little kids are getting sleepy and heading back to their hotels) I was able to talk to all the princesses at once. The attendant took my camera and took tons of pictures for me with them. They were so sweet. When they found out I live near Hershey, PA they dubbed me the chocolate princess.
All the Pirates of the Caribbean stuff was amazing. I was talking to my dad as I was walking through the park when I turned and saw this Johnny Depp look alike and almost screamed and dropped the phone. He looked so much like Johnny Depp!
Visiting Magic Kingdom was everything I imagined it to be. The park was immaculate, so beautiful, and filled with happy, pleasant staff. It’s the park I can’t wait to take my future family back to some day and to get to enjoy the magic with little ones!
The other park I’ve visited is Epcot and it’s the park I think is perfect for 20-somethings as well as families. There’s so much to do, so much to see, and the entertainment and food are incredible!
For my big day in Epcot I donned my Minnie ears and Sex and the City 2 glasses.
When I was buying my ticket for the day the receptionist was so nice and recommended I check out Soarin’. She said it was the most popular ride in the park and that if I picked up a Fast Pass early in the morning I wouldn’t have to wait in a long line to get to ride it. Disney Fast Passes are awesome because they let you pick up a ticket early that guarantees you a spot in line later in the day. I took her advice and made a beeline for the pavilion Soarin’ is in. How stunning is this room? By picking up a Fast Pass I could go do other things for an hour and come back and only have a ten minute wait in line instead of a fifty minute wait in line. I’ll take it! The ride was incredible, it felt like you were really flying over some of the most beautiful sights in the world.
While I waited to use my Soarin’ Fast Pass I headed over to The Seas. Can you see the “Mine” birds from Finding Nemo on the rock? I love them! This was such a cool ride that is also an aquarium. They have a restaurant attached to the building that I would love to try some time. While you dine you can see all the fishes swimming around!
After checking out the rest of the traditional rides at Epcot I went to go explore the World Showcase. I was BLOWN AWAY by how awesome this was. You walk through various countries that have different exhibits, shops, shows, rides, restaurants, and entertainment. The World Showcase is the reason why Epcot is my favorite park, I feel like I could come here over and over again and never get bored.
For lunch I stopped at the Rose and Crown Pub in England because I heard the food was fantastic and they had a vegetarian shepherd’s pie on their menu. I’m Irish so I love shepherd’s pie but I haven’t gotten to enjoy it since becoming a vegetarian. Disney is awesome and has all their restaurant menus posted online. Since the first time I went to Epcot I ate meat I didn’t have a problem finding food anywhere, but this year being a vegetarian I wanted to make sure I found a meal I would enjoy. I looked over all the restaurant options for Epcot online and had my lunch and dinner choices picked out before I even landed in Florida for vacation. Type A, much? But I think it makes it a lot easier to plan out healthier meals with limited food options.
The waitresses were so nice, and are actually from England! I thought that was so cool! When I sat down and looked at the menu I realized the veggie shepherd’s pie was no longer listed. I asked the waitress about it and she said the chef could make me the veggie version for me no problem, they changed the menu because people kept on asking for the meat version instead. ;p The veggie shepherd’s pie was AMAZING. It was stuffed with vegetables and mushrooms and was so delicious. And the waitress came over with samples of different beers to try that she thought would compliment the meal. I know drinking around the world is pretty popular there! ;p
The showcases were stunning! This is Canada. Their restaurant is supposed to be amazing too, I’d love to come back and try that sometime.
Drummers in China.
The inside of the restaurant in Morocco. They had a belly dancer!
Me meeting Marie in France! She’s one of my favorite Disney ladies.
Street performers in Italy.
Mexico. They had a mariachi band playing and even though you’re indoors it looks like you’re outside on a street at night with all the lanterns and candlelight and stars. Its really romantic, I would love to go back there with Josh.
After exploring the World Showcases I decided to visit the pier and hotel area next to Epcot. It looked like a New England seaport town, it was so beautiful.
The New England-esque hotels were so pretty they looked like they were out of a picture book. Its a dream of mine to stay here when I have a family when we visit the parks. I absolutely love the atmosphere.
For dinner I decided to check out Food Network Cat Cora’s restaurant, Kouzzina. I had heard fabulous things about this restaurant and they had a really delicious sounding vegetarian dinner option.
The inside of the restaurant was beautiful, the service was incredible, and the food was to die for. I ordered the oven-roasted vegetables with oregano and kasseri cheese served with herbed orzo and loved every bite.
Each time I’ve been to Disney I’ve absolutely loved the experience and had the best time. If you are considering taking a Disney vacation I highly recommend it! It truly is one of the happiest places on Earth!
If you’d like to read more about my journey going vegetarian, fun trips I’ve taken, or just random posts about my life feel free to check me out at Girl Gone Veggie. I love new readers! I also Tweet up a storm on Twitter. And I’d like to give a big thanks to Erika for letting me guest post!
Question of the Day: What destinations are on your bucket list? Are there any you’ve been able to accomplish recently?