JAM goes to Disney World

Okay yes. We’re 30 and 29. With zero kiddos (minus ourselves). And we went to Disney World. And we loved it! Jordan had been several times as a kiddo, and I went when I was 13.  Since it’s a place where so many of Jordan’s favorite memories were made, we decided to go make some Disney memories of our own over Jordan’s spring break. And maybe scope out some spots to bring our future kiddo (ahem, not yet in the works - we still have traveling to do). :)

We both have a tremendous love of Disney movies old and new, and can frequently be found quoting Aladdin in crazy Genie or Jafar voices (it’s one of the few movies on which Mindy can almost outquote Jordan - he’s a serious movie buff). And of course there’s Hollywood Studios, which is Jordan’s kid-heaven.  Especially with the Indiana Jones stunt show. So off to Disney we ventured.  And guess what?  These two photographers didn’t take their cameras. Crazy, right?  Well, that’s sort of a half truth. We took our phones, and our tiny five(ish) year old Canon point and shoot, which we lovingly refer to as “the baby Canon.”  We’ve been talking about retiring the baby Canon for a bit, and after seeing the iPhone outperform our little Canon guy…well, I think it’s time.

There are several reasons we left the big guy Canon cameras at home. If you want a simple reason, lugging a heavy camera around your neck while walking around 8-10 hours every day in 90 degree heat isn’t too much fun.  And while visiting such a fun, magical place, why not rely on a fun, magical camera phone app to take your photos?  Also, there’s a reason songs are written about putting your camera down and enjoying being in the moment (think John Mayer’s “3x5”, Matt & Kim’s “Cameras”). I knew this to be true before our visit to Disney made it a reality, but…almost everyone has a nice digital camera these days.  Everywhere we turned, parents were whipping out their big ol’ cameras for photo ops galore, and of course that’s understandable.  But many of those parents were so focused on getting the right shot at the right moment, the experience of really seeing their child’s sheer joy upon spotting a favorite character or ride…it seemed lost in the “say cheese” moment.  I can assure you, this isn’t a moment of insanity where a photographer is encouraging you to stop taking photographs.  What this is, is a moment of clarity and inspiration, related to our business.  There are some exciting things in the works for us, and we can’t wait to share them with you all.  We’re focusing more on catching those non “say cheese” moments for you, and branding ourselves so we’re known even more for doing so.  That’s our fancy way of saying we’re working with a designer who will help us present ourselves in a way more true to who we are and how we shoot. :)  While we’re working on that, we’re still shooting our very favorite things, families and weddings.  We hope to see you soon, on the other side of our camera.  And I promise, said camera won’t be our iPhone.  We’re looking forward to capturing some amazing shots this spring & summer, and have truly never felt more inspired!  Now have a look at our Disney photos if you’d like, or go and grab some fun shots of your own.  Just don’t forget to put the camera down occasionally and enjoy what you’re photographing. :)

We grabbed our most comfy shoes and headed to RDU. After touching down in Orlando, you bet the first thing on my mind was a cupcake.  Well, it was after seeing them, anyway. How cute are those Mickey sprinkles? The next morning while I got ready, Jordan stepped out of the room to grab us coffee and a quick muffin for breakfast. Check out the muffin guy smiling at you below. It’s creepy-cute, no question.  After coffee, we left the Polynesian Resort and took the monorail to Epcot.

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 We happened to be there during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, so many of the Disney characters were topairied about the place. :)

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 The Sorcerer and the Mad Hatter? Seems almost fitting. :)

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 After riding Mission Space and Test Track (and missing out on a Soarin’ fast pass, oops), eating at the Cantina in Mexico, and roaming around half of the Epcot world, we headed back to our room to relax for just a bit.  Then went out to enjoy the Polynesian’s beach area.

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 I got a chance to snap a relatively people-free shot of the Toy Story guys at the Epcot entrance when we went back.  They were adorable. :)  We were awed like kiddos at the jumping water, and then slightly confused after “riding” Spaceship Earth (that’s what’s inside the Epcot ball) and not being able to change our language preference from French. Each car in Spaceship Earth has a touch screen monitor where at the end it asks you to create a future for yourselves.  Being that it was asking us in French, we were guessing at most of our future preferences. I remember something about riding bikes and growing vegetables.  So, I laughed and snapped a photo of us represented on the screen at the end, enjoying said vegetables. :)  We then enjoyed an Italian dinner…in Italy, of course! Tutto Italia Ristorante - amazing food and service.  I was skeptical after we got our entrees literally four minutes after ordering!  But, it was all amazing, and a great way to end our day at Epcot.

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 Apparently we were having too much fun to take a ton of photos at Hollywood Studios the next day.  But, I couldn’t resist these blues a the entrance, and a shot of us by the camera at the Kodak store. It seemed appropriate. :)

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 After a long day at Hollywood Studios, including stops at the Indiana Jones stunt show, the new Aerosmith coaster -awesome, by the way- a terrifying drop at the Tower of Terror, a funnel cake Mindy had been craving since seeing them at Epcot the day before, a behind-the-scenes tour of the movies, and lots more, we hopped on a bus to take us back to our home for the week.  Oh, and here’s our building at the Polynesian. We stayed in Rapa Nui. :)  And that little guy on the end?  He’s a tiki torch shadow. 

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 The Grand Floridian Resort was just across the water, so we decided to Monorail ourselves over there for dinner.  Jordan’s fond memories of the Polynesian, and love of all things tropical (talk about making us want to go back to Hawaii!) led to our stay at the Polynesian this time.  But I think when we go back, we’ll try the Grand Floridian since it’s one of the few places Jordan’s never stayed.  For dinner we dined at the Grand Floridian’s cafe (as the concierge noted, a boring name, but wonderful food).  I had a delicious fruity cocktail with this rainbow-colored flashing cube thing.  I brought it home. It still works.  Though I almost wish I’d ordered the kiddo version - punch with a glowing Buzz Lightyear! :)  Oh and of course there was dessert - a cute and delicious key lime tart for each of us.  We then monorailed ourselves back across the water, and enjoyed a movie on the beach. Beauty and the Beast!  The last little photo here is a part of a wall inset at the Polynesian.  We had fun trying to find as many Mickeys as we could. :)

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On our third day, we visited the Magic Kingdom, and went by ferry.  Doesn’t Jordan look adorable in his Indiana shirt? :)  And if you guys know Jordan’s Pops…this guy here at the Haunted Mansion is a weirdly perfect combination of Jim & Jordan.  We ventured through the mansion (and brought home a spirit, so they say…eek!), and rode the Magic Carpets of Aladdin!  Want to know how silly we are? Aladdin and Jasmine were there signing autographs, and we almost jumped in line for a photo op.  Maybe next time. :) Oo ooh, but the camel here? He spits! And it’s actually quite refreshing!

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Another must was the Pirates ride, which made us really ready for the new Pirates movie!  We grabbed a small but greasy good lunch of hot dogs & corn dog bites with fries before roaming a bit more.  We had dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, where they serve the same thing to everyone, family style.  And it was actually delicious southern cooking! Turkey, steak, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, mac n cheese, green beans, yeast rolls with honey butter (quadruple yum), and apple crisp with ice cream for dessert. Hoooooly goodness.  After dinner we again went back to the room to rest for an hour or so.  Then back out to Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks and parade.  We made a quick trip to Tom Sawyer’s island to roam around, and Jordan caught the Thunder Mountain Railroad coaster going by.

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Ooooh, Cinderelli! :)

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Oh dear, the Mad Hatter and his tea cup ride.  There’s a JAM controversy going on here.  Without putting any bias in, what would you suspect would be the most scary: the tea cups, or splash mountain? There’s continuous debate between us here.  It all comes down to this: Jordan gets motion sickness incredibly easily, so no spinning (on tea cups, or little else) for him.   I get anxiety from straight drops.  You can spin me around and turn me upside down all you want, but a straight drop from the top of a mountain?  No thank you.  I can do it, I just really don’t want to do it.  I’ll ride the tallest coaster in the world, if its main drop veers off to the side and loops. No drops!  And to be fair, Jordan isn’t afraid of the tea cups, he’s afraid of the sickness that will happen after he rides the tea cups. Okay I’ve gone off on a debate tangent here.  To the point, when we have a kiddo of our own, I’ll ride the tea cups with him or her, and Jordan will ride Splash Mountain. On another note, I loved the colors here. :)

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We decided to relax and spend our last day by the pool.  We started with breakfast at the Polynesian, where Jordan had pancakes, and I had tonga toast…stuffed with bananas, rolled in cinnamon sugar, served with a strawberry puree dipping sauce. And bacon. The photo on the right reminds me of Hawaii.  November 2012. Maui, version two. :)  We enjoyed a hot but not ridiculously humid afternoon by the pool, which has a lava slide!! Seriously, I rode it five times at least. It’s on the other side of the mountain pictured below.  Alongside my fruity-rummy drink in the sand.

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Our last treats: Jordan drank out of a pineapple, I had one last Mickey-sprinkled cupcake. Oh vacation, we love you.

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Here’s Jordan, sporting his kick-a throwback Epcot tee (which I’ll be stealing on occasion), and a trash bin at the Polynesian.  Thanking us for wasting! The nerve. :)

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 We brought home a bag full of little Mickeys & Minnies for nieces and nephews. Into the suitcase they went, along with a black and white knit Mickey for me.  Yep, I still dig stuffed animals. :)  The Ketchup shot is a bit random…my excitement upon finding this ad in our in-flight magazine was probably hysterical.  I love ketchup - the condiment. I’m not sure if I love the restaurant…yet.  I also love DC, and we’ve been thinking of taking a mini anniversary trip there this fall (since that’s where Jordie asked me to be his wife), and a trip to this place will be on the list.  The last pic was taken in the new terminal at RDU’s airport.  Ah, it’s good to be home.  Minus the fact that we left 90 degree temps and came home to barely 60 degrees and foggy.  So foggy that we didn’t see a single light until we landed.

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It was a wonderful trip. We had a few friends ask if we could/did enjoy it as adults.  To that I say, look who you’re asking!  A couple of kids whose main objectives in life are to laugh together, have fun, travel whenever and wherever we can, and just plain enjoy life. Yes, it was amazing. :)

~Mindy

PS-If you can believe it after seeing everything we ate, I actually lost weight on this trip! Disney World is a fantastic exercise program, if you spend the entire day there. Ha!

 

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