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  • Writer's pictureElisha Bae

Disney World Trip!!!

Disney World castle

Hear me out. I had planned out this trip since MAY. I just sat down one day, created a new document, and started planning out a trip to Disney World.

I was budgeting, thinking about how I could make this an affordable yet enjoyable trip. I looked into Airbnb (because none of us were old enough to check in at a hotel), transportation, additional hidden costs, and all of that. I felt like I was a professional events planner. So, when I was recruiting my friends to go on this trip, I was ready.

A total of seven people (including me) went on this 3-day trip. It was short and snazzy; enough time to do all the things we wanted to do, but not too long to be very expensive. The journey there was already the start of my adventure. I had never gone on a trip with just my friends, so this was a big step for me. I had everything sorted out, and there were no tales of horrific travel stories to be told. Even the waits were fun when you had friends around.

When we arrived at our Airbnb, everyone was awestruck. We had a whole vacation house to ourselves at a very reasonable price, and we could even use the hotel amenities like the pool/hot tub without needing to pay extra. We even had groceries delivered right to our doorsteps so people weren't left feeling hungry.

The weather, albeit slightly colder than I thought it would be, was still an enjoyable temperature. Everyone had a blast at the pool on the first day, even lounging in the hot tub to feel extra pampered. (Some of us liked it a little too much and went back at 10 PM and then again just before checking out. Looking at you two, Yang and Aiden 👀) We had a pretty good dinner by cooking and ordering online. We got dessert, too, while we were at it.

I could hardly fall asleep - actually, that's a lie. I was pretty exhausted from playing at the pool, so I basically fell right to sleep, preparing for the big day the next morning.

When I first stepped into Disney World after the monorail ride, I felt the excitement bubbling up. It looked like we entered a whole new world (*wink* Get it? Whole new world?) of magic, fun times, and happiness. We tried to stick together as a group for the photo opportunities but ended up splitting into smaller groups at different times of the day, depending on what activities were available.

There were a lot of people (because, obviously, it's Disney World), but there was less of a crowd than I had imagined. That meant shorter lines and not getting stampeded. For a few minutes, I just had to take it all in. I was in Florida... with my friends... to go on an adventure in Disney World! What a sentence that was. After taking some photos at different spots, I was ready to get my day officially started.

Okay, before I get into anything... I. MET. RAPUNZEL!!!! And it seems like I'd gotten lucky because the princesses go on rotation in two different parts of the Hall of Princesses. I guess I stood in the right line at the right time. I was practically trembling with excitement when it was my turn. I blanked out on the greeting I was rehearsing, but I was so happy that I was seeing and talking to Rapunzel, my favorite Disney princess by far. Tiana was also such a sweetheart, and her dress was on point!

I actually went on quite a lot of rides, like Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Mad Hatter's Party, Dumbo's Adventures, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, It's a Small World, etc, etc. I came here not thinking that I would go on any other rides except for the Merry-Go-Round, but there was actually not much else to do. I ended up really liking Space Mountain, even though I was scared out of my mind while I was on it. It was pitch black, so I had this irrational fear of my head or limbs flying off if I jerked around too much. Even so, it was definitely the most exhilarating ride I was on. I don't have pictures of me on most of the rides because 1. I look ridiculous in those photos, screaming and squeezing my eyes shut, and 2. I forgot to activate those photos, so they're kinda just... gone.

A little tip: buy the Genie Pass (that's to go on the Lightning Lane for faster entries to the rides) at the start of your day at Disney World. We thought it was limited to only one ride, so the extra $25 seemed pretty expensive. But after we found out that you only paid that amount to go on the fast track for the whole day, it seemed okay. We got it almost at the end of our stay, but it helped us get on some of the last-minute ride plans.

I didn't get that many souvenirs that I thought I would - if I had come here when I was still in first grade, I might have wanted to buy the whole store, but I just got two Mickey Ear headbands (both a different theme) and a shirt and called it a day. It also didn't help that they were so very expensive!! But it was kind of meaningful because it was the 100 Year Anniversary of Disney.

We would have stayed a little longer, but there was some Halloween decoration prep going on, which meant that the park closed earlier than usual. Though that was a little disappointing, everyone was pretty tired out anyway, so I think it worked in everyone's favor.

The next day was mostly spent packing and traveling back to Swarthmore's campus. It still felt surreal that I went on a trip with my friends!

I would call this trip a complete success! I can now cross this dream off my bucket list. I had such a magical time, not just because I was at Disney World but because I had all my wonderful friends there (I thought this post was well-suited for a cheesy Disney Channel happy ending)!

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