Disney Vacation and Disney College Program Memories

When I was eight, a captain of a night cruise shared a tale that opened my mind to new possibilities. I set my sights on a dream that I never let go of until I accomplished it. Still looking for a new dream, I fondly look back at the first memory of hearing about the Disney College Program and knowing in my heart that was something I needed to do in my life. I entered the Disney College Program in 2015 and successfully lived my dream for one semester. I’ve had a hard time expressing that part of my life to my dear readers. I feel like the topic is hard to write about when a saturated online market already blogs, vlogs, and sells products off an already massive industry. So I’ve decided after years of blogging, I need to share bits and pieces of my Disney past with you through simple posts.

Currently, I’m listening to Disney World Ambiance music which inspired this entire post: play the video below to listen along with me as you read.

I find this music fills my heart with so much joy and passion. It honestly makes me a little home-sick for the memories I experienced in Florida. During my program, I discovered more about myself, the inner workings of my favorite franchise, and friendships that I hope never die (6301 Patterson Court gals here’s to looking at you). I honestly get chills listening to Disney Park music and although I’m not the type of Disney fan to surround my life around the empire, I do praise a good portion of my upbringing on the classic films and visits to the most magical place on earth.

Disney has taught me a lot. I don’t agree with changes that have been happening to the parks and entertainment industry but it’s not something I want to focus on or try to control. Really, I just want to share what I consider the best parts of Disney for this post.

Comparing Disney Theme Park Favorites as an Adult and as a Child

Disneyland or Disney World

My bias is that I grew up visiting Walt Disney World and not Disneyland. I know there’s a massive debate about which is better: land or world. In my opinion, the more physical Disney space I can experience the better. In Disney World, you get more characters, resorts, restaurants, photo opportunities, rides, snack bars, mini attractions, parades, fireworks, merchandise, and overall ambiance.

My Favorite Shows

Adult: Hands down, Hollywood Studio’s Fantasmic is the best. I’m sure it’ll be changed out to a different show one day but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Childhood: As a child, I loved musicals. More specifically, I adored the Voyage of the Little Mermaid in Hollywood Studios (what was called MGM at the time) and EPCOT’s discontinued Food Rocks.

My Favorite Parades

Adult: I loved getting to experience Magic Kingdom’s Festival of Fantasy parade because of the goosebumps I’d get from the aesthetic and music of the parade.

Special Ticket Parades: Magic Kingdom has it all. For Halloween they host Boo to You, at Christmas they have Once Upon a Christmas, and on special occasions, they have the extravagant Villains Cursed Caravan (Which I show farther down below in a video).

Childhood Favorite: EPCOT used to have a parade called the Tapestry of Nations. It was wonderful to see the world united in artistic ways.

My Favorite Firework Shows

Adult: I’m so sad to say Illuminations: Reflections of Earth because it’s no longer a show today. 🥺 I have always loved Illuminations and I was hoping to be proposed to during this show one day but it has been retired. At least I have YouTube to relive this magnificent show.

Childhood favorite: I honestly couldn’t tell you. I assume that I fell asleep during every fireworks show in my stroller and so they were all the same to me.

My Favorite Type of Disney Transportation

Adult and childhood: “Please stand clear of the doors…por favor montagese alajado des las puertas.” My siblings and I would wait in line and guess what color we would get to ride before it arrived. I usually wasn’t right but I still play the game to this day when I visit Disney.

My Favorite After Party

Adult: I mentioned the cursed caravan above which is part of The Villains After Hours Party. This special event was epic in all areas including the stage show, food, ambiance, lighting, photo ops, and overall aesthetic. It’s a Disney core memory for sure.

Childhood: This didn’t exist when I was visiting as a child. Sadly.

My Favorite Dessert Party

Adult: I enjoyed different dessert parties in Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios but Frozen Ever After in EPCOT is definitely my favorite. You get the best seats for the fireworks, the desserts and beverages are amazing, and you get to ride the Frozen attraction after the park closes. What’s not to love?

Childhood: This also wasn’t a thing when I was younger.

My Favorite Rides

Magic Kingdom

Adult: There is no way I can pick a favorite ride in this park. They are all too good. It’s a Small World (I can’t give it up), Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Dumbo, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Childhood: I’d always want to ride It’s a Small World regardless if we just got off the ride. I also loved the colors and twirling of the teacups in the Mad Tea Party. I used to love sharing a teacup with my siblings and trying to turn it as fast as we could.

Animal Kingdom

Adult: As you all know, I’m big into travel so escaping to a new world in Avatar Flight of Passage was an immediate favorite ride as soon as my banshee took flight. The way the banshee breathes as you sit on its back feels pretty realistic and freaked me out the first time I rode it. Also, the smells of Pandora are incredible. I’ve been meaning to buy candles that have similar scents. There are older rides I still love which are Dinosaur and Expedition Everest. I’m a bit of a thrill-seeker. I mean, I did go sky diving.

Childhood: A visit to Animal Kingdom wouldn’t be complete without riding the bouncing safari truck. You never know what animal will cross your path each time you rode Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Hollywood Studios

Adult: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Toy Story Mania are at the top of the list for this park. I have yet to ride Slinky Dog Dash or any of the new Star Wars rides though.

Childhood: Star Tours back when Rex and R2D2 were the scariest and most-talented pilot duo in the galaxy.

EPCOT

Adult: Soarin’ Around the World. Come on I worked here; it’s a given.

Fun fact: I was in the “tower” and sent the last flight of Soarin’ Over California off before the ride was shut down and refurbished into what it is today. That’s another core memory.

Childhood: The Maelstrom was the original ride in Norway before it was refurbished into Frozen. There were parts that were scary as a child but I really enjoyed it. I felt connected to my Norwegian heritage.

Disneyland

Adult: Oh, if there is one thing I remember it’s the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. I rode it many times for the chaos, bumps, speed, and thrill.

Childhood: I never went when I was little but I bet it would have been It’s A Small World and Alice in Wonderland.

My Favorite Restaurant

If there’s a Starbucks, Joffrey’s, or cafe in the area the first thing I’ll be doing is heading for that line. Besides coffee, I list other favorite restaurants below.

Magic Kingdom

Adult: The features of the Beast’s castle makes Be Our Guest worth visiting for any meal. The ballroom is gorgeous, the host is very kind, and the grey stuff is indeed delicious. It’s the most magical meal you can have at Disney. A close second is Tony’s Town Square restaurant but I recommend their dinner menu.

Childhood: Hanging out with the Hundred Acre Wood family at Crystal Palace for Breakfast and dancing with princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table for dinner are potent memories.

Animal Kingdom

Adult: It’s simple. Yak & Yeti for the rice.

Childhood: Donald served the best breakfast with his pals at the Tusker House Restaurant.

Hollywood Studios

Adult: For a drink, I say Oga’s Cantina but if I’m looking for a full meal and the perk of getting great Fantasmic seats then I dine with a package at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. Plus it’s close to the Muppets show.

Childhood: Honestly, the popcorn at Fantasmic and Mickey Premium Ice Cream bars are the only thing that rings a bell when I think about visiting this park as a child.

EPCOT

Adult: There are so many restaurants I’d love to try in EPCOT. One I really really really want to try is the Japanese restaurant Teppan Edo. I have never had the opportunity to eat there but I have a feeling I’d love it. As of right now, my favorite restaurants are Nine Dragons in China and Via Napoli in Italy.

Childhood: Spinning ever so slowly round and round, it was nice to see Living with the Land while dining on Mickey waffles at the Garden Grill character breakfast.

Disneyland

Adult: I’ll be honest, I don’t remember much from my trip in 2009. Nothing really sticks out to me other than Alien Pizza Planet because it’s the only place I remember.

Resort/Hotel

Adult: Five stars on my foodie scale, Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club reigns at the top, followed by a tie between Kona Cafe and ‘Ohana at the Polynesian.

Childhood: Polynesian’s ‘Ohana breakfast where we could join the parade around the restaurant with some of my favorite characters.

Everyone has an opinion. What are some of your favorite things about Disney Parks? Don’t forget to like this post, subscribe, and follow!

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2 responses to “Disney Vacation and Disney College Program Memories”

  1. […] workout inspiration and friend suggested a playlist she uses for her workouts. I met Aly during my Disney College Program in 2016-2016. Druing that time she had a consistent routine which included HIIT workouts that are […]

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  2. […] was fresh, dewy, and earthy except everything felt light on the nose. The scent is similar to the Polynesian Resort and Costa Rica but neither the exact same as the air in Puerto Vallarta. I deeply desired to bottle […]

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