Beach Club & Chill – Day 1

This is the second post in a series about our BFF vacation in May 2017. All the posts about our trip will be listed here! Make sure you read the intro post here first 🙂

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Here we are with our first official day of fun activities for Beach Club & Chill!!! I’m so excited to write about all the fun things we did together. We kept a long google doc of all our notes of everything we did so we can remember every little detail haha

So starting off for the day we headed over to Animal Kingdom!! Sarah, Ana & I have a tradition of starting off all our trips with Animal Kingdom, ever since our first trip together in 2013.

We were expecting long wait times because this took place the weekend before the new land of Pandora opened, and we expected lots of people to be there in anticipation or for soft openings. We headed out bright & early to AK to get in as many rides as we could.

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We all had a great time posting to our instagram stories each day, so you’ll see more photos like this in the future haha. When we got in the park we stopped to get some super cute photopass pictures! We got Memory Maker this trip so we made sure to get a LOT of photos every time we saw a photopass photographer.

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I love this one why are we so cute!!

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We LOVED this zebra frame!!

We decided our first ride was going to be a classic fav – Everest! We headed over to Asia and passed the Rivers of Light theatre where we would enjoy the show a few days later.

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When we got to Everest there was a bit of a line so we decided to do single rider! We rode twice and thoroughly enjoyed it despite the girl’s hand in my face in our photo lol

After Everest we were feeling quite parched and headed to Starbucks for a quick pick me up!! We also laughed at the misspellings on our cups….Ana somehow became Hannah lol

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While we got our Starbucks we discussed our next plan of action and a lot of the wait times were pretty long. We knew we would be coming back to AK on a different day so it wasn’t a big deal if we didn’t get to do everything we wanted right away. We jokingly suggested doing It’s Tough to Be A Bug as Sarah had never been, and the joke quickly turned into not a joke and we were on our way over lol

On the way in we enjoyed scenic views of the stunning Tree of Life:

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It’s Tough to Be a Bug is one of those attractions that I hate the first time I do it, but on subsequent visits I really enjoy it lol. It’s especially fun to take first-timers on and see their reactions. I also LOVE the various Broadway-style bug-themed posters on the inside of the theatre:

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We loved the bug-eye glasses too. As Sarah said inside, “no offense but we look so cute in these glasses”:

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The show was super cute and funny as always and we all enjoyed it!! Afterward we decided to head to Dinoland to do another one of our somewhat-ironic favs – Primeval Whirl!!

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We always say that Primeval Whirl is great because you fear for your life the entire time. I have such a love/hate relationship with that attraction haha. After Primeval Whirl it was time for one of our favorites…Festival of the Lion King! On the way over we snapped some super cute photopass pics:

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The photopass photographer also had us put up our “Yeti paws” haha:

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and on our Memory Maker we also got one that has like…snow in it or something haha it’s cute though:

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We also stopped on that path behind the Tree of Life – we met Pocahontas there on our first trip and it’s still a great photo location!!

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And a selfie on the way too! Like I’ve said before – when you get to see your best friends so infrequently, you have to cherish every moment and get as many selfies as possible!!

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We finally got to Festival of the Lion King and we loved it, of course! We did notice that the tumble monkey part was taken out which was kind of weird, but there were only 3 monkeys performing that day too. No biggie, that’s my personal least fav part of the show anyway lol

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After the show, it was almost time for our lunch reservation, but we decided to swing over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch really quick. My friend Amy is a Wilderness Explorer and was working over there at the time, so we stopped by to say hi!!

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We also did her Wilderness Explorer badge activity while we were there and actually had a great time?? I truly don’t know why I’ve never done more of the badges before, I think I’ll have to make that a priority whenever we get back to Animal Kingdom!

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By now it was high time to head to our lunch reservation, so we said goodbye to AK for now and headed over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for our lunch at…..

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Sanaa!! This is one of my all time favorites and I always recommend it to people – both friends and guests at work too!!

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Our table was super cute and right next to a window, where we could look out and see the animals!

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It’s a mix of African and Indian-inspired food but the real star of the show is the bread service:

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They give you 5 types of naan bread with 9 different dipping sauces. I could seriously go there and only get this. In fact I have done that before and would do it again. It’s so good.

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We all thoroughly enjoyed trying all the different sauces. My favorites are the Tamarind sauce (the burgundy one, 4th from left on the bottom) and the tomato hummus (the red one second from left on the bottom). But they’re all amazing!!!!

For our entree, we legit all got the same thing haha but it’s so good that we can’t even be mad about it. It’s an entree where you can pick two different dishes to try with rice, and we all got the butter chicken and paneer tikka:

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I get this almost every time, it’s so good ❤ During our meal we also told our server that it was Ana’s birthday and they came around and sang to her, it was so fun! However there were apparently a ton of birthdays in the restaurant that day and I do not think our server believed that it was actually Ana’s birthday and we just wanted a fun song hahaha

After a delicious meal, we stopped by the gift shop upstairs to peruse a little bit. However, we quickly realized how tired and full we were so we headed home for a little break before we headed back out.

When we got home we met up with Chris who had just gotten off of work! We rested for a little bit and then we all headed out to our next destination…Magic Kingdom!!

We stopped for some cute photos just inside the park.

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The photopass CM tried to get artsy and take a tilted photo and Chris ruined it by BLINKING!!

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We originally had booked a Space Mountain FP, but we missed it oop. So we headed instead to our next FP which was….

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Splash Mountain!

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It was a lovely time, despite Chris’s murderous look there. We got very wet.

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But it was okay because by the time we got off the ride it was time to head to our next attraction which was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! Another lovely time and it dried us off a bit. We also stopped for some photos in front of the scenic background:

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Next we made our way back out of Frontierland. Sarah and I decided we wanted to do the best attraction in all of Walt Disney World: The Country Bear Jamboree. Ana and Chris are haters and fake friends and refused to join us. Their loss!

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We picked up Ana a souvenir penny of her best friend Big Al while we were in there.

We had selected our next FP right after Big Thunder, which was Pirates of the Caribbean!

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It’s impossible to take nice photos of Pirates but there you go. If I’m not mistaken, this was my first time going on WDW’s Pirates since we had been to Disneyland and it was very disappointing in comparison, I’m not going to lie haha but it was still fun.

Once we finished up at Pirates, it was just about time to get some dinner and start searching for a spot for the fireworks! The new show, Happily Ever After, had debuted the week before our trip and it would be the first time watching for all four of us. We wanted to make sure we got a great spot to see everything. Me, Sarah and Chris headed to Casey’s Corner to get food while Ana found and saved us a spot (she is really good at fighting people who try to take our spot lol)

Our dinner at Casey’s was SO delicious. I had the new-ish mac & cheese hot dog, Chris got a chili cheese dog, and Sarah & Ana both had corn dog nuggets at my recommendation. Everything was amazing, but that’s not a surprise – Casey’s has never let me down. Except for when they got rid of the hot cheese. RIP.

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We ate our dinner on the ground and everyone around us was really offended by that for some reason lol but whatever. We finished up well before showtime and stood up to watch the show when they made the “in just five minutes…” announcement. Before long it was time for the show!!

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And it was an AMAZING show. Listen, all of us had enjoyed Wishes thoroughly, and we were even sad to see it go – but Happily Ever After is something ELSE. It was honestly spectacular. Many of our fav movies were represented (including a lot that we didn’t expect!!) and the way they tied together the music, projections, lasers (!), and fireworks was incredible! We were openly weeping by the time it ended. I started crying around the Moana part and didn’t stop like…the whole time. It was just SO GOOD. I believe my exact tweet was “ok we’re stanning for Happily Ever After now” haha. Sarah also mentioned that the person who designed HEA deserves a #castcompliment on the WDWToday twitter account hahaha

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But yeah that’s enough fireworks talk. The point is – we were all extremely impressed. Sarah was particularly thrilled that her fav princess, Mulan, had multiple appearances in the show, since she barely shows up anywhere in WDW! It was a great time and we immediately wanted to watch it again. And we did – but that’s for another day’s report!!

Once we finished weeping, we started to make our way out of the hub area toward Fantasyland. It was VERY crowded and we did not enjoy the large crowds lol but we got out of there fast enough. We stopped by Gaston’s Tavern for a quick little drink of water (it was unbelievably hot every day of our trip, RIP), then headed to our next FP at the Haunted Mansion. I have no pics of this so we’ll continue haha

Our next FP was one of our all time favs: It’s a Small World! We love Mary Blair, we love classic Disney attractions, we love the Sherman brothers – a good time was had by all.

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At this point the park was just about closing, so we scurried out towards Main Street to get a few quick photos before they kicked us out.

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By the time we were done the park was closed, and we were POOPED! We headed back home to crash in our beds and get some sleep before our next day of fun tomorrow 🙂

That’s all for our first day in the parks, and it was SUCH an amazing day! Just being able to hang out with my friends again was so much fun and we were all excited to be together again. I hope you enjoyed this post and will come back to read about our next day, when we check into our resort for a true staycation. Thanks for reading! ❤

xo, Kaela

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