Day Five - Morning at Disney Springs and evening at Hollywood Studios!

We were originally supposed to spend the morning at Animal Kingdom and the night at Hollywood Studios, but after having done everything we wanted to at DAK the night before, we changed our plans to have a slow morning at Disney Springs. I'm so glad we did! IT IS AMAZING! Downtown Disney has always held a special place in our hearts - it was where we would always go when husband lived in Florida for college, and I'd be down to visit, especially because we couldn’t always afford to go to the parks.

A lot of people are super judgy about the new Disney Springs, but I think it is far and away the best thing Disney has done in that area. It does weird me out with some of the shops that were chosen to be added, but Downtown Disney always had shops that weren’t Disney related, so I get it. It also feels like it’s not quite as large with all the new things to do and see, and the cohesiveness of the theming is fantastic. Before, it always felt like you were walking forever to get to some of the best things, but now there’s something awesome to see all along the way. I LOVE THE THEMING SO MUCH.

I wish we had had time to check out all the new food options that are there - I'm looking at you, Aristocrepes! - but the revamp of the World of Disney store is fantastic. Also, we did the princess meet and greet inside the store, and I am a fan! But maybe it had something to do with the fact that the surprise guest was Princess Tiana, my second favorite princess after Belle. :) After spending a relaxing morning exploring the amazingness that is Disney Springs, we headed off to Disney's Beach Club Resort for a late lunch/early dinner at Beaches and Cream restaurant. We had some fantastic sandwiches and fries and a special treat for our celebratory trip. We loved the old soda shoppe theme but were shocked at how tiny the restaurant actually was!

We ended our evening at Hollywood Studios, spending much of our time riding Tower of Terror...as usual! We also did Star Tours, because despite it making me feel sick, we wanted to see the new Episode Seven features. It was pouring down rain most of the time we were there, so we tried to do a lot of the indoor stuff - including meeting Olaf!?! And Toy Story Midway Mania, which I won of course! We finished our time by watching a (twice delayed) showing of the Star Wars Spectacular projection and firework show. I have to admit, I am not a fan. I love the projections they’ve been doing lately, but there weren't enough fireworks for me, so it was kind of boring! Hubby loved it, though, but he’s all about production/entertainment since that’s what he studied in college and does for a living. Hollywood Studios is such hit or miss lately, so when Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land are finished, it’ll be very much welcomed.

The highlight of our day had to be FINALLY finding Disney luggage that we loved. We’ve waited years and years to build up our traveling accessories because we wanted them to be Disney. Now that disney has an entire shop/line (called T.A.G.) dedicated to Disney themed travel items, we figured we’d finally find what we were looking for. And we did! We probably could have bought the whole store - I can’t wait to use them on all our traveling (especially Disney) adventures.

Day Six - Picking up family at the airport and HURRICANE MATTHEW!

Day six wound up becoming vastly different that originally planned. We were supposed to pick up my brother and mom from the airport, spend the afternoon at Disney Springs, and spend the evening at Epcot. However, a little thing called Hurricane Matthew literally blew up our plans.

My family did make it in that morning safely. Husband and I hung out at the airport waiting to pick them up and, of course, checked out the theme park shops (and decided that our next Orlando trip will have to include a visit to Universal Studios now that it's changed so much). They both had got in long before the airport closed, despite it being crowded with news stations that were reporting the end of the world was upon us. ;P When we got to the hotel for them to check in - their room was connected to ours! - we were informed that literally all of Walt Disney World was closing at 5PM that day and would be closed all day tomorrow.

Keep in mind, Walt Disney World had only ever completely closed four other times in its forty-five-year history...so we knew we were in for a crazy experience. Our dinner was supposed to be a Morimoto Asia, so we called them to see if they would still honor our reservation. They told us if we came early, that they’d seat us, so we headed straight over there. We wandered around for a while so my family could explore the new Disney Springs, then headed for the much anticipated - but honestly, kinda disappointing - meal at Morimoto Asia. I think had Disney not been freaking out about the hurricane, it would have been more enjoyable...but the whole time we were eating, we felt like we were being rushed out.

Since we were at a value resort, our food courts were closing (unlike the fancy deluxe resorts, where they stayed opened), so we stocked up on RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE boxed lunches for our dinner that night and the next day’s lunch. We luckily had plenty of snack food for in between, plus milk and cereal for breakfast. By 5PM, we were on lockdown in our room. No one was allowed to be out and about, everything was tied up or hidden away, the music was turned off...honestly if someone told me we were the last survivors of the apocalypse, I would have believed them. It was eerie!

Needless to say, it was an early night. I wound up having to take an anxiety pill because I was freaking out so much over the “imminent doom” that the television and social media kept saying was headed our way. I was terrified I'd wake up to a flooded room since we were on the ground floor, and I was also stressed out at the idea of being trapped down there while our little kitty was back home alone.