August 3rd marks 50 days till we arrive in Orlando, so we have decided to do a countdown of 50 things we are excited to ride, drink, eat, see or experience during our trip. This is Sarah’s first visit, while I’m a returning veteran so we will have a great mix of everything Orlando and the Theme Parks have to offer. We will update this daily with our newest addition.
Day 1 – Seeing Happily Ever After
it is finally here day one tomorrow we fly to Orlando and our number one thing we are looking forward to seeing is Happily Ever After. When Wishes finished up last year Chris never thought to new show would be as good but to his utter delight he actually seems to love it more and this is only from watching it on Youtube. Every time we watch it we get so emotional so we cannot wait to see it in real life.
Day 2 – Meeting the Boss.
It has to be done at least once every trip (although Sarah has NEVER met him in all her trips to Disneyland Paris) its everyone’s favourite meet and greet. We should also get to see him all dressed up for Halloween.
Day 3 – Seeing Cinderella Castle
So this is a big one the castle the actual castle in the Magic Kingdom. I (Sarah) have been to Disneyland Paris and Sleeping Beauty Castle is stunning I know I will fall in love with Cinderella Castle. This castle is the icon of the park and I know there will be a few emotions from both of us when we see this for the first time.
Day 4 – Diagon Alley
Another one we have been trying to not look into too much is Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, which put it in a prime spot near the top of this list. Having visited the original Wizarding World in its opening year, I cant wait to see the expansion and for Sarah to see one of her favourite franchises in its entirety.
Day 5 – Riding Flights of Passage
Since Pandora opened in May 2017 Chris and I decided not to watch anything to do with the rides at Pandora. Meaning no vlogs, blogs or even pictures. We honestly don’t know anything about the ride and we are so happy we have got this far with 5 days to go and not knowing anything. We have managed to get a fast pass for this and we are so excited.
Day 6 – Having a Dole Whip
For Chris this is a must have snack when at the Magic Kingdom and I naturally have read and seen all the hype around this tasty treat. I must admite I am not the biggest pinneapple lover but I have purchased a pineapple top so clearly I need to try this and see what all the fuss is about.
Day 7 – Lunch at Finnegan’s
Chris has gone on and on about the crispy onions at the place and to be honest I had a look at the menu and I want to eat everything. Along with being Irish myself I always have to pop into an Irish bar when I see one when we are on holidays and chria says this venue is a must for any Universal holiday so I cannot wait!
Day 8 – Seeing the Stranger Things Maze at HHN28
I (Sarah) have been a die hard fan of Stranger Things since it first came out, Chris came to the party late on but boy does he love it and when this maze got announced we honestly lost it. Not only are we excited for the whole event be it the food, drinks, merchandise, scare zones and the others mazes but this maze is the one we are week for. This is my first HHN and Chris’ second. We honestly cannot wait and with our two night pass we get the experiences the horrors and screams twice.
Day 9 – Chilling at World Showcase in Epcot
Epcot is Chris’ favourite park and we have built in enough time for not just Food and Wine but explore all the Pavillions and to even try three of it’s restuarants Garden Grill, Chef de France and Spice Road Table. We just canno waitt to immerse ourselves in this stunning park and all the countries
Day 10 – Seeing Fantasmic
This is the only show that Chris has kept 100% a secret from me. All I know is the music and this picture I am completely in the dark about the show itself and I am happy that this is the case. One thing that has Chris worried is that we have only worked this into our trip once and he thinks that this will be my favourite nighttime show and that I will want to go back and see it again. So we will have to see what I think of the show itself, we have booked the Fantastic Dining Package for Mama Melrose so as we can get good seats and I for one am just far too excited!!
Day 11 – Pandora at Night
As an avid photographer, I cant wait to get some pictures like the one above (borrowed from the Disney World site!) with my new camera and tripod. We have tried our best to avoid too many spoilers and videos of this amazing looking environment, which will bring on a whole new level of emersion after dark. If you need me when the sun goes down at Animal Kingdom I will most likely be here!
Day 12 – Fireworks from the Polynesian Beach
This is one night we are both so excited for, we have heard great things about seeing the fireworks from the beach at The Poly and we worked it into our schedule. With a dinner reservation booked in Kona Cafe we plan on heading out to the beach with a cocktail in hand from Trader Sam’s to watch the show. The night we go is MNSSHP so there will be perimeter fireworks which will be breathtaking.
Day 13 – Muppet Vision 3D
One of my all time favourite attractions ever. This has been a favourite since I first saw the show in 1991, both the year it opened and my first trip to Orlando. Nothing has vastly changed since which is testament to just how incredible this show really is. The Preshow are is filled with literally tonnes of props and gags and jokes and is a place I don’t mind missing the next show for so I can see as much as I can. Waldorf & Statler steal the show (as always) with their one liners still making me laugh out loud to this day. Long may this show stay around!
Day 14 – Drinks at Jock Lindsays Hanger Bar
As a massive Indiana Jones fan, I was excited about this bar as soon as it was announced a few years back. Filled with ‘in-jokes’ and nods to the original trilogy of movies with a story which links back to the Adventurers Club which was located close by during the Hey Days of Pleasure Island this ticks all my boxes. With a great cocktail list and some great staff this is one bar where we will be spending a lot of time.
Day 15 – Toy Story Land
I love Toy Story Playland in Disneyland Paris and even though it is much smaller than this one I just loved the theming and the general vibe of the place. When I heard a version of this was going to Walt Disney World I was super excited even though most people before it had even opened had already thought it wasn’t going to be great. From what I have seen and read this land looks like a lot of fun and we both cannot wait to see this area at night.
Day 16 – Pastries at Amorettes Patisserie
We are both mostly excited for the the food and drinks at Disney World these Mickey Domes can be found at Disney Springs. Filled with Dark and White chocolate mousse coating in a galcage edible glaze to give it an amazing shine. Definitely one for Instagram.
Day 17 – Drinks at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
What actually needs to be said about this… Trader Sam’s sees to be a fan favourite and a must do if you have the time to pop on over to The Polynesian Resort. We have a dining reservation in Kona Cafe and then plan on watching the fireworks from the beach. It just so happens that our friends Charlotte and Carl from @witp_blog happen to have a dining reservation for Ohana on the same night so we plan on meeting for drinks ere after to experience this wonderful bar together making this experience all the more fun.
Day 18 – Having a cupcake from Sprinkles at Disney Springs
For me (Sarah) it is all about the salted caramel cupcake and I just cannot wait. I love sweet things and I LOVE cupcakes and these cupcakes look amazing to me. It has been a top of my list snack item for this trip pretty much since day one and I cannot wait to get a box of cupcakes on our first night at Disney Springs. Yummy!!
Day 19 – The Blues brother live at Universal Studios Orlando
The music, the car chases and Carrie Fisher with a bazooka. What is there not to love about this movie? I grew up with this and watched it religiously once a month. So to find out that there is a live show with Jake and Elwood I just knew I had to see it. So as Elwood would say I’m on a mission from God to see this show and to meet the blues brothers themselves.
Day 20 – Riding Tower of Terror
By far one of our favourite rides in any of the Disney parks Tower of Terror is iconic. I (Sarah) have only been on this in Disneyland Paris and the running joke in our household is that I will finally get to understand the story as it will be in English lol I used to watch the old black and white TV show of The Twilight Zone so I can say I do understand the story lol ide on this is both terrifying and just so much fun. This is one will be be riding a few times on our trip for sure.
Day 21 – Going on Transformers The Ride
This may seem like a random one but there have been alot of changes to Universal Studios Orlando over the last few years. So there are alot of new rides for us both to experience for the very first time. The Hulk even has a new track and yes I am classing this as a new rollercoaster lol but with the introduction of Transformers, King Kong and Gringots since I was there last and for Sarah as a first timer there is just as much new stuff for her to experience and for me as someone who has not been there in a few years.
Day 22 – Going on the safari in Animal Kingdom
I am an animal lover so Animal Kingdom is a park I am really looking forward too. I have always wanted to go on an actual safari in Africa so this will have to do for now lol. We have booked a Fastpass for this for the morning as that is meant to be the best time to see alot more of the animals as the temperature is cooler.
Day 23 – Drinking around the World Showcase
Today marks the opening day of Epcots Food and Wine festival. A festival that Chris and I have been so excited for. We covered Food and Wine in day 50 which at this stage seems like a lifetime ago lol. So we are keeping with Epcot and we cannot wait to drink around the world with our dear friends Charlotte and Carl from Walk in the Parks. We are doing a Food and Wine day with them and mixing in this aspect too. I for one am so excited for the Grey Goose vodka and the Grand Marnier slushies at the French pavilion.
Day 24 – Having a Duff at Moe’s
Chris and I like alot of people grew up with the Simpsons. I must admite we don’t watch the show anymore but I always even as a child wanted to try the food and drink from this iconic show and at Universal we can. Don’t get me wrong trying a Krusty Burger is high up there but to actually walk into Moe’s and order a Duff beer is just so cool and I cannot wait. I even hearx that during Halloween Horror Nights there is a speciality beer which I cannot wait to try too.
Day 25 – Riding the PeopleMover
This is one of my favourite things to do to in Magic Kingdom Park (like many others) there is never a line, you catch a cool breeze, great people watching and you can normally ride as many times as you want without getting out your seat. The perfect way to relax mid-afternoon and take a break from the heat and the crowds. The highlight for me is seeing the model of Walt’s idea for the original Epcot. It also has some of the best view’s of Cinderella Castle you can find inside of the park. I cant wait for Sarah to take a ride on this, and hopefully see what all the fuss is about.
Day 26 – Getting a wand in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
I (Sarah) am a die hard Harry Potter fan and I am a proud Slytherin. For me going to Ollivanders Wand Shop is Diagon Alley is a must do occassion and one I now I will probably be teary sad I know but it means alot to me. Harry Potter a such an amazing series of books and movies and just seeing The Wizarding World is a big deal for me.
Day 27 – Having Drinks at Cava del Tequila
Seeing as it is still the weekend the theme is going to continue… booze. This is one of Chris’ traditions having a margarira while watching Illuminations and I for one cannot wait to continue this awesome tradition. With so many margaritas on offer there should be one for everyone and we cannot wait to sample one or two…. or three or four lol.
Day 28 – Food & Drinks at Bar Bistro 17
This is a large reason of why we are excited to actually be staying at Universal’s Aventura hotel, (which we have already covered on Day 38 and in another blog about upcoming resorts) but the 17 Bar & Bistro is stealing all the headlines with its spectacular views across Universal Orlando Resort and the surrounding Orlando area. The food and drinks offered here look absolutely amazing and we cant wait to try all the Bar Buns on the menu while taking in the sunset on the night we arrive in Orlando.
Day 29 – Monorail Resort Crawl
If you know us you know we like a drink and what better way to see more resorts at Walt Disney World than whilst doing the unofficial Monorail Resort Bar Crawl. Not only will we be trying to the have drinks from the resorts but we will sample the odd dish if we are peckish. We feel this way is the best way to better aquint yourself with these stunning resorts.
Day 30 -Dinner with friends at The Boathouse
While in Orlando our friend Chris from Edinburgh will be in Florida as his beautiful finace Sabella is from Miami and seeing as we can never seem to make the hour train journey from Glasgow to Edinburgh and he happens to be in Florida at the same time as us we just had to meet up and we have planned to go the Halloween Horror Nights with them and the celebrate their recent engagement we are going to The Boathouse for a big fancy dinner and we cannot wait.
Day 31 – Having Voodoo Doughnuts
When Voodoo doughnut opened earlier this year I was hooked. Come on what is not to love? I could honestly look at the pictures of those sweet yummy doughnuts all day. The one thing we are most looking forward to is grabbing a coffee and a box on the way into the parks first thing in the morning. All i know is that I am getting a Bacon Maple Bar and the Voodoo Man.
Day 32 – Stay at Port Orleans French Quarter
We came late to the party in staying at French Quarter we originally booked Caribbean Beach Resort but luckily Chris found us a deal and we transferred over to this resort. Along with no construction, amazing food and direct boat transfers to Disney Springs this resort is perfect for us. We have been so excited to try the beignets and now the boozy beignets are at Scat Cats we are just so happy to be at this resort.
Day 33 – Shopping at the Outlets
Ireland and Scotland have some amazing shopping however everything I have heard about the American Outlets scream bigger and better. Due to this Chris has actaully squeezed in some time for us to head to the Outlets to drop some serious cash dollar bills lol and i cannot wait. This is one #50Things I am so looking forward to experiencing.
Day 34 – Dinner at Chefs de France
This will be the first time for us dining here and I am very excited to try it after hearing so many good reviews. We have a reservation for 7pm so the plan is dinner, cocktails and Illuminations. Too excited to try the escargots!
Day 35 – Seeing Illuminations Reflections of Earth
Chris has honestly gone on and on about this show since before we stated dating. I have watched this show more times than I can count on Youtube and I most say I love it. The music alone is amazing and I am so excited to grab a Margarita and the Mexican Pavillion and watch this show with the most important person in my life. This is the show he is most excited in seeing as he loved it as a child when he went to the parks and to see his face light up will be amazing to see.
Day 36 – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
With Halloween officially starting today, August 17th we are now officially allowed to be excited for this special event, with will actually be on the last night of our holiday. I think its the perfect way to say goodbye to Disney World. The new additions for this year, like the actors in Pirates of the Caribbean and updates to Space Mountain have me most excited and of course seeing the Hallowishes Firework show (which I had honestly expected would be upgraded to match Happily Ever After!).
Day 37 – Riding Jurassic Park River Adventure at Islands of Adventure
Since Jurassic Park graced the silver screen back in 1993 I have been hooked. When I saw the ads on TV for the ride in Orlando I knew one day I would have to go and experience this ride. This ride is by far one of the experiences I am most looking forward to at Universal Studios. I haven’t watched anything about this ride really as I want to be kept in the dark and be surprised when I experience this ride for the very first time.
Day 38 – Staying at Universal’s Aventura Hotel
We were so lucky to get a reservation here for the 3 nights we have while staying at Universal Orlando, the hotel was full but we must have got lucky with a last minute cancellation. The hotel officially opens tomorrow, with the resort filled with high tech amenities such as iPads in all the rooms to control the lights, blinds and TV and with underwater speakers in the pool so we don’t miss any music.
Day 39 – Having dinner at California Grill
This is going to be our ultimate date night and a reservation we cannot believe we got a reservation as it was added in after day 180. The menu for here is ever changing and we are always having a nose to see what has been newly added and there is always something on it for us. We have the Disney Dining Plan so we are very lucky to be able to use our credits towards this. We wont be watching the fireworks from here we are in fact going to head to the Magic Kingdom to watch Happily Ever After to round off our dream night!
Day 40 – Breakfast at Denny’s
It’s early in the morning when posting this so let’s go with an American staple, a Grand Slam with a side of pancakes and bottomless coffee. This will be Sarah’s first experience at a proper American diner so it will be a lot of fun. I am thinking about food now!
Day 41 – Seeing It’s Tough to be a Bug at Animal Kingdom
This is hands down one of my all time favourite Pixar movies and it wasn’t until recently that Chris informed but of this show. The theatre is located within The Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom which seems too perfect for the location of a theatre based on the story of an ant colony. I honestly cannot wait to see this show and see what Flick, Hopper, Atta and Dot get up too in this adventure. I will be running for a front row seat for sure.
Day 42 – The Incredible Hulk
By far one of the most iconic and recognisable coasters in the world, it is one of the most visually impressive and intimidating. This will test Sarah, who hasn’t ridden many big coaster’s, but she survived Alton Towers earlier in the year so I have full confidence she will be fine with the big green machine. After the removal of Dragon Challenge last year, this is the only large coaster we will be riding this trip, so I think a few repeat rides will be needed!
Day 43 – Renting a Sea Racer on the Seven Seas Lagoon
When we saw The Tim Tracker’s vlog with him and Jenn doing this we just knew we had to try this out as well. What better way to cool down than being outdoors on a sea racer enjoying the view of the Magic Kingdom, the resorts on the monorail loop and the natural surroundings as you sail the seven seas lagoon.
Day 44 – Festival of the Lion King Show
This is one my all time favourite shows at the parks, and I cant wait for Sarah to experience it for the first time. The songs are some of the best in Disney’s Back Catalog and the performers are always excellent and the energy in the theatre from both cast & audience is always high! Its now in its third location in Animal Kingdom, so they are definitely doing something right! A must see!
Day 45 – Seeing Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration
We have stayed away from any and all vlogs of this show and this picture is honestly as much as we know about it. We just hope it will be still running when we arrive in late September. We haven’t even read any reviews about the show, like we are honestly 100% in the dark about this so it will be nice to finally see the show and hopefully it will be an entertaining way to cap off our day at Universal Studios. I am just happy it involves a large dino so I already love it!
Day 46 – Lunch at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
It looks like a real life Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (in fact it nearly was scrapped because it was a little too like it!) with an endless menu of chocolate inspired items, from bread to beer and everything in between. I cant wait to over indulge and properly pig out. The decor is steam punk inspired to add to the factory theme. Reviews have been great, and they pretty much kicked off the over the top milkshake craze at the Orlando Parks.
Day 47 – Dining at Skipper Canteen
The Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen to give this place it’s full title is the dining we are most excited for at Magic Kingdom. Themed around the Jungle Cruise, with loads of in jokes and artifacts all over the restaurant and food that is unique and different (at least for this park) with many dishes having an Asian twist – one of our favourites. I have high, high hopes for our meal here.
Day 48 – Seeing Spaceship Earth
Seeing Spaceship is by far one moment I am most looking forward too. Since I met Chris and we realised we had a shared love of Disney he has always spoken of Epcot and Spaceship Earth. Looking at photos I can see it’s beauty and I am most looking forward to seeing it at night but these photos clearly do no justice. I cannot wait to be standing underneath this 180 foot tall structure to really appreciate it. Trust me there will be loads of selfies!
Day 49 – Riding the Monorail
I know they are in desperate need of replacement with the fleet being older than I am, but taking the monorail to the parks is iconic and one of my first memories. I can remember riding the red monorail through the middle of the Contemporary Resort as a small boy and thinking how cool it was, and still do, so they will always have a special meaning to me. So it will be great to take (probably) my last (and Sarah’s first) ride on the iconic Mark VI’s before they are retired.
Day 50 – Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival
I don’t think there is a better time to visit Epcot, there is such a great buzz in the park and with us being foodies, it really is the place for us. The Food Booth line up has finally been released which has only made us more excited for our time at the festival, with 35 different booths offering food and drinks from all around the world. We will be here with Carl & Charlotte from @witp_blog so expect lots of pictures and reports from us all.