Time to get real for a second–I was so excited about participating in #Blogmas for the first time but guys… BLOGMAS. IS. HARD. I tried as much as I could to plan posts ahead of time, but we’ve officially caught up. That’s it. I’m now blogging in real time, for Blogmas. This may not seem like a lot, but if you also blog you can probably imagine how intimidating this is.
Anyway, the reason why I bring this up is because I had nothing planned for today. I was thinking maybe today could be a Disney childhood memories post or something along those lines, but then I *remembered* that today is my and Chaz’s NINE YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Crazy. So in honor of that, we’re going to share some photos and details for how we’ve planned our past Disney trips, and we’ll hopefully be back to regularly scheduled Blogmas by the weekend!
Chaz and I actually did not go to Walt Disney World together before my first Disney College Program in 2014. Long story short–we both applied for the Fall 2014 program, and only I was accepted. (If you follow the Disney College Program at all, you may remember that this was the first season where the “submission” application phase really became a thing, and lots of applicants were applying and never getting the web based interview for the first time ever.) Chaz’s application landed in submission and he was never able to take the web-based interview, so while my whole application process moved right along to my acceptance.
He planned a trip to Orlando visit me during that program and in September I took a week off from work so we had our “first Disney vacation” together and on the second day of the trip we got engaged! (Behind Spaceship Earth, ie: the exact location where Cory and Topanga got back together on Boy Meets World. Dreams do come true.)
This trip (and the rest of my fall program) was the first time either of us had been in Walt Disney World during the fall, and we instantly fell in love with it. Food & Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We probably spent half of that trip planning a strategy for the Halloween party, which was well worth it because we met every character we wanted to that night, saw HalloWishes and the parade twice. The first day of Food & Wine Festival was the last day of Chaz’s trip, and we managed to squeeze in a speed-round of Food & Wine hours before he had to leave for the airport.
Chaz had grown up going to Disneyland so he wasn’t that familiar with Florida, so when we went to Hollywood Studios I tricked him into volunteering for the Backlot Tour. I’m so happy he got to be a part of this show because about a month after this trip the Backlot Tour ended up closing!
During that trip, Chaz applied for the next season of the Disney College Program, and he interviewed and was accepted shortly after he returned home! So our next “Disney trip” together really lasted from January 2015-May 2015 while we were both in Orlando on the program. Chaz drove back down to Orlando to start his program in Main Street Custodial and I was transferred from DinoLand Merchandise to Attractions at Lights, Motors, Action!
During our program we went to the last (ever?) Star Wars Weekends, a Tampa Bay Rays game, and survived the car ride from Orlando to Boston together. Our next Disney trip wouldn’t be until January of the following year. We really wanted to get back in time for Halloween/Food & Wine, but January was the earliest I could take a vacation from hel–the job I had back then.
Your first Disney trip after the college program is always surreal. It feels like you never left, but also like you don’t have much time, it’s a really strange experience that you probably wouldn’t understand if you haven’t done it yourself.
A couple of days into our trip, Disney announced that Lights, Motors, Action would be closing and that the final shows would be on April 2. Since this is where I worked during my second college program, I was obviously heartbroken, so we saw the show a couple of times during the trip in case we wouldn’t be able to see it again. Some of my former coworkers began planning for the final show, and I just knew we couldn’t miss it–we upgraded our park tickets to annual passes and booked a trip for the weekend of the final show before we went home.
By the time April rolled around I had put in my two weeks at *that* job. (The second week might have been the week we were back in Disney. I got an “I’m Celebrating” button that said “Quitting My Job,” it was a whole thing–you had to be there.) The last day of LMA was an emotional rollercoaster so it was definitely better to experience all of that with Chaz by my side!
I made the trip to Disney (without Chaz) a couple of more times that year because I was doing research for Red, White, and Disney, but we’ve made it a tradition to go each year in the fall since then.
We’re actually going to be changing things up in 2019 and planning our trip for sometime in the winter (not Christmas week, but late enough into fall that we can attend all the holiday events because Chaz has never been during this time! What’s next after that? Well… to be continued…