Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Celebrating Two Years!

holding sunflowers
I was going to go to a local cupcake store for these photos but then I realized the sunflower festival was happening, so I grabbed my nearest seersucker dress and took my most “on brand” photos to date!

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for two years now! It feels like I’ve been at this forever but it also feels like I just started yesterday. In this post I’m going to share a little bit about why I started blogging as well as answering questions that you guys had for me, so let’s get started!

Why I Started Blogging

Here’s a little known fun fact: this is actually my second blog! I was inspired to start one because I used to read a blog about physical therapy school and I tried to start one about being a pre-PT but it didn’t last. I wish I could remember what the name of it was but those posts have been deleted and I transformed that blog into Sunflowers and Seersucker.

I started this blog because I was inspired by bloggers like Kate from Lonestar Southern and Lucy from Daily Dose of Prep. I wanted a place to document my style and share my thoughts and I’m so glad I started! Blogging has become such a fun part of my life and I’m glad I have a space where I can document what I’m doing so I can look back on it later!

walking with sunflowers
Probably checking to see if I have any bugs on me.

The Lessons

Something you may realize is that all of these lessons are centered around a common theme. I apologize if you end up thinking it’s repetitive but here we go:

Be authentic.

All of my favorite bloggers show their day to day life alongside the “highlight reel” that is Instagram. From sharing her hair loss and wig wearing journeys to showing viewers her husband’s broken toe, Dani (@daniaustin on Instagram) is the queen of keeping it real.

I personally believe that everyone who blogs should incorporate lifestyle into their pages if you blog/post on Instagram. I think keeps things interesting while also showing people that life isn’t meant to be perfect. We’ve let social media take over so much of our daily lives that it’s time to learn to laugh at ourselves.

Don’t niche down.

If you’re trying to make it big blogging, you probably shouldn’t listen to this piece of advice because every podcast I listen to tells you to find a niche and they have at least 10x the amount of followers that I have, BUT, if you’re blogging as a hobby write about everything that interests you!

People aren’t one-dimensional, so play to all of your interests. I love picking out cute outfits so I started this blog to share my closet, but I also love reading. So once I found out there were book blogs and #bookstagram I wanted to share my reading list too. It’s easy to get caught up in making things fit your niche but you’re still sharing something valuable it just might not be what someone was expecting. For example, I don’t follow any instagram accounts dedicated to making smoothies (although I do love looking at smoothie bowls) but when someone shares a good looking smoothie I usually screenshot it.

The numbers don’t matter.

This is such a hard one! For the past few weeks I’ve been staring at my follower count on Instagram just willing it to hit 1000. But so much of Instagram just isn’t real!

Real talk: when I first started trying to grow my Instagram I joined a Facebook “likes” group. You could comment on a daily likes thread and you and 99 other people would go like each other’s pictures. Sure my likes went up but I didn’t have anything in common with these people, they weren’t interested in my posts and I wasn’t interested in theirs except for the extra like. Not to mention it was stressful. I was always checking to see if a thread had been posted because I wanted to keep up my number of likes. And you had 12-24 hours to complete all the likes. I can’t even tell you how many times I wrote “oops sorry Instagram won’t let me like anymore posts right now” just because I didn’t have the time/energy to go down the list even though it’s a pretty mindless activity.

So next time you find yourself playing the comparing game, tell yourself that whoever you’re comparing yourself to may be using other sources. It wasn’t just small bloggers who are in those groups, some bigger accounts are there boosting engagement too!

Focus on the people.

This is social media we’re talking about. Not thing I want to focus on going forward is making real connections. I’m going to comment on more posts that I find interesting and ask people questions about how they’re doing. I want to find authentic engagement, I want people to comment on my posts because they think it’s interesting or they’re giving recommendations.

I recently joined @bloggersliveboston and I can’t wait to start meeting some New England bloggers! I haven’t been able to make it to an event yet but I’m looking forward to making connections really soon!

girl with her back to camera holding sunflowers, in front of sunflower field
They don’t even look real!

Answering Your Questions

And now to your questions! I had a lot of similar themes so I tried to tie them together but if I missed your question, comment below/send my a DM and I’ll answer it!

How I grew my followers?

I’ve tried a few different ways to grow my followers so here’s the rundown:

  • In the Facebook groups I was talking about earlier I have also participated in follow for follow threads. So I would put my link down and then you would either have to follow everyone or pick a certain number of people per thread and follow them. If this is the route you’re going to try to grow followers I would definitely recommend the latter. While following everyone will get you more followers, it’s better long term wise to pick people that have similar interests to you!
  • I’ve also done a few loop giveaways. I did find these to be beneficial as I always gained a ton of followers and only lost a few in the days after the prize was announced. My advice if you’re trying this method: find giveaways that match your/your followers’ interests and make sure the giveaway account unfollows you before the prize is announced. Matching interests is important with the authenticity factor, for example I don’t think too many of my followers would want to win a gift card to Game Stop but they may want to try to win a gift card to Lilly, especially when After Party Sale season comes around (if anyone wants to do this as a giveaway hit me up it sounds like a good idea!). And as for the unfollowing factor, it’s easier for people to unfollow you if all they have to do is go down a list of everyone that participated in a giveaway ūüėČ
  • I have had some luck recently with my new and improved authentic engagement strategy. It is a slower process than the methods above but I’m okay with that! All that’s required for this one: comment on people’s photos! People that you follow and people that you don’t! Think like Oprah: you get a comment, you get a comment, everyone gets a comment. The important thing here is don’t just say “cute” make it meaningful, make it something you would want someone to comment on your page. Although I’m definitely guilty of throwing some “so cute girl”‘s around too.

Advice for new bloggers?

Have fun with it! This is your corner of the internet so share whatever makes you happy! Think of what interests you and share that. I am a firm believer in “your vibe attracts your tribe” so share what makes you smile and you’ll find people with common interests.

Biggest thing I’ve learned?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is definitely apparent throughout this whole article but it’s important so I’ll say it again: stay true to yourself! At the end of the day if you’re happy that’s all that matters! I actually just finished a book that is about social media and staying true to yourself and while the post is still being typed up, it was a good reminder that sometimes social media doesn’t feel social at all.

girl in sunflower field
Cheers to 2 years!

And so you have it! What have you learned from having a blog?

This dress is from Banana a few summers ago so here is a similar style from Tommy Bahama! Unlike mine, it has pockets which always seem like the best thing when it comes to dresses. I tried to find cheaper alternatives but it’s the end of the season so you’re best bet is looking on Poshmark!

xox,

Marissa

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Style

A Preppy Penny: A Casual Valentine’s Day

Happy Monday!

Strolling in with my best Valentine’s Day ideas!

If you’re going for more of a casual look, this is for you! One of the best things ways to save money when building your wardrobe is to have some go-tos that you can add statement pieces to, to make it different every time you wear it.

The big statement piece here is the pink coat! Mine (technically it’s my mom’s!) is from Old Navy and while they don’t have the same exact one right now, they still have a very nice pink one!

Find the pink coat here on Old Navy’s website and it’s on sale for $45! This photo is not mine, it belongs to Old Navy!

So what else, you can’t go really go out without anything underneath!

I wore simple dark wash jeans and I paired it with a gray sweater.

I’m going to skip over the jeans, I’m sure you all have jeans at home (dark wash isn’t necessary!). I’m going to skip over the sweater as well because I’m sure you can find this in your closet as well! I would suggest going with a neutral like gray, black, or cream!

You’re also going to need a statement necklace! I’m wearing my favorite one from J. Crew Factory.

The layered circle necklace from J. Crew Factory. It’s on sale for $20 right now! Photo belongs to J. Crew Factory!

The last must have is a simple black purse. I worked at DSW the summer before I went away to college and it’s such a great place to get purses! Kelly & Katie is one of my favorite brands for shoes and purses!

The Kelly & Katie Artemisio Crossbody is on sale for $30! The photo belongs to DSW.

And the last thing: just break out your favorite boots! Whether their higher or ankle booties, they tie this look together!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Travel, Uncategorized

Disney 2018: Part One

This post has been a long time in the making but it is finally here!! I decided to break it up into two posts to avoid being super drawn out so without further adieu My Disney Family Vacation 2018

Day One: Magic Kingdom

Our Disney vacations always start at Magic Kingdom, there’s no better way to be immediately immersed into Disney than where it all started. Our first stop was the Crystal Palace for lunch.

Then we went over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for our first FastPass of the trip. I was wearing my Magic Kingdom Hiking Club shirt from CF Designs. While we were waiting in line there was a lightning strike in the area and we had to wait for the storm to pass. We figured we should stay under the cover of the building and sat watching the empty cars run by.

One thing that seemed to be a theme for our trip this year was meeting really amazing cast members. One of the CMs we met was working the FastPass line when Big Thunder was shut down. She ended up explaining how they track lightning strikes and how that affects when rides are operating or shut down, it was so interesting to hear about how things operate. She was from Arizona (I personally LOVE that Disney puts hometowns on the name tags, it’s such a good conversation starter) so we were asking her about the weather there and she ended up telling us about the big storms over there- haboobs. She told us they’re crazy but she’s actually driven through one, if you want to learn more (I promise they’re pretty interesting!) here is some info!

We decided to go indoors for our next ride and went over to It’s a Small World. We ended up getting front row seats and our names popped up at the end! How crazy are MagicBands?! Sorry it’s little blurry the yogi in me was distracted by the namaste sign until I noticed this at the last minute.

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Our next FastPass had us back over in Frontierland for Splash Mountain. Here’s my mum in her Splash Mountain shirt from Modern Chic Threads. I personally feel that riding Splash Mountain in/after the rain is the best because you’re already past the fact “you may get wet”.

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Our last FastPass was over at Space Mountain, we had to hit all the mountains in our first day! The exit from Space Mountain was under construction during our stay so we got to see a magical sunset with the castle on our way out!

Can you go to bed in Disney without having dessert first? I don’t think so, so I got a Coco cupcake from the cafeteria in our hotel! I had just watched Coco a few weeks before coming to Disney and I am obsessed. I think it’s such a good story and I love the soundtrack. It’s definitely in my top Disney movies.

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Day Two: Epcot

The biggest decision of World Showcase always seems to be Canada or Mexico. This time we chose to start on the Mexico side and it was not a disappointment! They have redone some of the inside of the pyramid to highlight Disney’s new movie Coco and it was so cool!The best part about Epcot is that Disney creates all of these different pavilions that intrigue people no matter their age. All of the kids were so interested in all of the Coco stuff and that was tied into all of these exhibits about the Day of the Dead.

I’ve always loved the Mexico pavilion because it really feels like you are walking through Mexico (although I’ve never been so I have nothing to compare it to!). All of the stalls inside the pyramid are so cool and one of my favorite things to look at was the carved wooden animals. And of course, how could we pass up the Gran Fiesta Tour!

If you’d rather eat overlooking the lake check out La Hacienda de San √Āngel.

One last Mexico fun fact before we head to Norway? IllumiNations is controlled from the top of the pyramid!

Once we got to Norway we had to stop and ride Frozen Ever After. I had very high expectations going into this ride because my whole family loved the Maelstrom ride and I have to say it did not love up to my expectations. It was the same exact ride but instead of looking like you’re in Norway, the replaced everything with Arendelle. Disney had done such a great job transforming the space to look like Norway that when they renovated it to look like Arendelle, it seemed like stuff was missing. While the technology was amazing, ice skating Olaf was too cute, I wouldn’t wait more than 20 minutes for it in the future.

The queue area was a huge upgrade though. The open room where you do most of the waiting is actually where you used to get off Maelstrom. It is decorated just like My favorite part of this ride: in the queue you get to see Oaken, yoo hoo big summer blowout anyone?

We then continued our journey through the pavilions but our next big stop wasn’t until Italy.

The three ovens at Via Napoli.

One of our dining reservations was at a new-to-us restaurant, Via Napoli. Being that two of my main food groups are pasta and pizza I’m very surprised we had never made it there before.

For lunch I got the Penne Arrabiata and it was so good! And for dessert: Zeppole di Caterina. These are deep fried ricotta cheese with whipped cream and chocolate sauce: what more could you need.

We kept walking until we hit Morocco, this is one of my favorite because the architecture is so unique and being from New England it’s truly like nothing I have ever seen before!

From the fountains to the market stalls, I think this is one of the pavilions that you truly feel like you hopped on a plane. While the theming in all of them is stunning, the stores in Morocco don’t feel like a huge place just trying to sell you things, like Mexico it feels like a ton of little shops you would see if you traveled there.

After stopping to get a macaron in France, we continued our journey all the way to Canada, and ended our day in Epcot with Martin Short singing O Canada.

This street is actually split half and half!

Paying tribute to Canada’s English and French history half of this street has English architecture and half has French! My family never really paid attention to the building until we went to Quebec City and saw the Chateau Fortenac. (It’s actually modeled after the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa!)

After stopping by to see my friend Figment and use our FastPasses for the new Soarin’ we headed back to out hotel.

Guess what was waiting for us at the hotel? Lilly ears from SouthernCoastStudio on Etsy! My mom and I ordered matching ears to go with dresses for our family photos! Stay tuned the photos are coming soon!

Day Three: Magic Kingdom

We were back in Magic Kingdom for day three of our vacation for something very exciting! We took the Keys to the Kingdom tour, which was the most amazing thing!

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from the tour so that Disney can keep the magic but it exceeded all expectations! We had the sweetest tour guide, Kara, who loved Disney so much and her enthusiasm shone through on our tour. The Keys to the Kingdom tour took us down Main Street, on a special Jungle Cruise with Kara as our guide, through the Haunted Mansion, and even under Magic Kingdom. That’s right, I’ve been to the Utilidors. We even learned a secret about Fantasyland employees but I’ll leave that for you guys to learn, should you take the tour!

After our tour I got to meet some Disney instagrammers I’ve been following forever! I had been following Montana (@montanahatfield) since she was a skipper on the Jungle Cruise and then I saw her setting up for the parade! I didn’t really want to go up to her but then my mom made me (thanks Mum!) and I ended up talking to her and she was so sweet! And then she told me Cat (@mainstreet_mermaid) was over by Town Hall! So I went over and started talking to her and her friend Alex came out to say something to her. SO naturally now I’m following Alex too (@alex.on.mainstreet).

It was so fun meeting all of them and talking about different things we had just learned about on the Keys to the Kingdom tour. I love following Disney accounts (cast members/annual pass holders/just your average Disney lovers) because I love seeing the park at different times of year since I’ve only been there when the Halloween decorations are up. Although I used to see the Christmas lights being hung in Hollywood Studios for the Osborne Family Lights, this was still in September though!

How I felt when we decided to stay for the Festival of Fantasy! My dad isn’t a parade person!

During the parade I kept my eyes on the Swan Court because our tour guide Kara’s roommate was dancing!

I don’t think this is her roommate but I love this photo!

We ended our day riding some more attractions and stopping by the purple wall for photos! I love all of the fun walls at Disney but the Purple Wall and the You Are Most Beautiful Wall are my favorites!

The rest of my trip will be up on Monday! Can’t wait for you guys to read it! Let me know some of your favorite things about Disney in the comments!

Have a magical day!

xox,

Marissa

Friday Faves

My Friday Faves: Vol. IX

Hello friends!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted my Four Friday Faves but the wait is over!

The four feature photos are not mine but you can click on the links below to be brought to the sites where they came from!

Sincerely Seersucker: blog | instagram

Old Navy: Soft-brushed button front coat

Barnes and Noble: The Woman in Cabin 10

Lilly Pulitzer: Embellished Amber Lynn Sandal

Cheers to a great weekend!

xox,

Marissa

Travel, Uncategorized

Disney: Hollywood Studios

This is another park where I feel like I don’t know anything anymore! I can talk about the classics all day but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out more about Toy Story Land!¬†Here¬†is the soundtrack to Hollywood Boulevard to get you in the spirit!

There are so many changes happening in Hollywood Studios I can’t wait to see everything! While I am disappointed The Great Movie Ride is no longer, it seems like the Imagineers have nothing but exciting things in store.

What to Ride

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  • Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith: My¬†favorite¬†ride in Hollywood Studios! If you’re an inversion junkie here is the only ride at Disney with a loop! I love this ride so much that one year I went home and learned all the words to Walk This Way¬†so that I could sing it next time, unfortunately the next year when we went back I got a different car which means a different soundtrack! Waiting in line you’ll hear different announcements over the PA system… one of my favorites is, “Phone call for Jude on line one. Hey, Jude! Pick up line one!”
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: Another one of my favorite thrill rides! When I was younger we used to go during the first week of school, the best time to go because the lines are so short! One year, there was no wait for this ride and we rode it so much that I had a nightmare about being in The Twilight Zone that night! Looking back, it was so worth it! Another fun story is that one year it was just me and my parents in the whole elevator! So for the photo we all looked scared and then we bought the giant poster version for the shed. The Disney attention to detail is so present here: the ride is only 199′ tall it should have been 200′ but at that height they would have needed to put a light on the top for airplanes and that would have ruined the spooky feel.
  • Toy Story Midway Mania: This is a ride that when paper Fastpasses were a thing I would be in charge of taking all three cards and sprinting to the Fastpass kiosk. This is a ride similar to Space Ranger Spin in Magic Kingdom but you have to work a little harder than just pushing a button. The queue line is so much fun and has an interactive Mr. Potato Head, but don’t let that stop you from getting a Fastpass, this wait can be loooong.
  • Star Tours- The Adventure Continues: As a former rebel spy I highly recommend this ride! This is a ride you should do multiple times as there are several videos that give riders a unique experience.

Where to Eat

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe: a restaurant that takes you back to the 50’s. This is a restaurant full of American comfort food but don’t forget your manners. Keep your elbows off the table, take off your hats, and you better clean your plate. If you want dinner and a show this is definitely the place to go.
  • Backlot Express: I’ve only been here a handful of times but it’s a great quick service option. If you love Star Wars be sure to check out the Dark Side Chicken and Waffles!
  • Hollywood and Vine: If you’re going to Hollywood and Vine I would recommend tying it into the Fantasmic show. You get a really good buffet for dinner and then you get priority seating to Fantasmic, Hollywood Studios’s nighttime spectacular! Honestly, I don’t remember the food here too much but I can tell you the desserts are fabulous! You also get to meet characters here, I’ve met Mickey, Minnie and the gang as well as Disney Junior characters like Jake and Sofia the First.
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant: This is a restaurant styled after drive-ins. You eat lunch/dinner in a table modeled after a car (or a flying saucer table) while watching clips of old black and white movies! You’ll even see the classic intermission reels. I definitely recommend getting the milkshake!!
  • PizzeRizzo: While I have never been there I 100% plan on stopping there on my next visit (only 11 days!). It combines my love of pizza, my love of the Muppets, and my nickname- Rizz. What could be better?!

Extras

  • Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular: a super fun show where you can see how movie stunts are done! In my opinion this is what Hollywood Studios is all about. This year I will finally be over 18 (last year I missed it by a few days) and I will be waving my arms wildly to try and be a part of the show! Make sure to stop at the well near the entrance, the sign may tell you not to pull the rope but you should do it anyway!
  • Muppet Vision 3D: I love the Muppets and I love this show! This is a short show that gives you a behind the scenes look at what goes on in a typical day with the Muppets. It all ends with a giant tribute to all nations (but mostly America) led by none other than Sam the Eagle! Insider tip: look under the doormat after going through the turnstiles!
  • Take a moment to stop and watch the Citizens of Hollywood. The Citizens of Hollywood are performers you can find on Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, and the entrance to Echo Lake. These are interactive shows and they’re a fun way to take a break during a busy day.

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Have a magical day!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 24: Live Love Lilly

If you haven’t seen this dress yet do you even follow my Instagram?? This dress has made its fair share of appearances this summer because it’s so cute!

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So this is the Courtney shift in Multi Sea Salt and Sun! I am so obsessed with the pattern, it’s so fun and summery!

I got the dress during the After Party Sale last August and so as soon as the weather was warm this year I brought it out and I haven’t stopped wearing it!

Here’s the best part of the Courtney though…

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I love the back! This dress is perfect for a day on the Cape! Even though it was cloudy when I went to the beach this dress brighter up my day!

While this dress is no longer on Lilly’s website, I found it on¬†Zappos!

Sorry for such a short post today, you’ve all heard about my sandals and sunglasses a million times by now! If you haven’t heard about them and want the details check out¬†this post… or¬†this one¬†or maybe¬†this one. What can I say, if I like it I like it!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 23: Vineyard Vibes

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Today’s Weekly Style is a look I took to the Vineyard!

I went for last summer’s sailor shorts from Banana Republic Factory. You can’t see them in this photo but they have the cutest buttons on the front for the ultimate nautical look. While they didn’t have navy this summer if you’re looking for something on the nauti side, check out these¬†striped ones! They also come in red (which I also have, oops). If you’re looking to add these to your closet act fast, they’re selling out!

The shirt is a Banana Malibu tee. These are my favorite shirts from Banana, they’re lightweight and perfect for hot summer days.

My bag is the classic¬†Vineyard Vines Tote. It’s bug enough to carry my wallet, my S’well bottle, and whatever books I pick up while I’m on the Vineyard… it’s usually more than one!

My shoes are my go to Kelly&Katie Sandals. While this style is not available anymore here are the Poppie sandals from DSW which are very similar!

My sunglasses are also a summer staple and they come from Old Navy!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Travel, Uncategorized

Disney: Epcot

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Another day another guide to a Disney Park!

This week I’m focusing on Epcot, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. I’ve always loved Epcot because it’s such a cool concept, when you walk in you are in Future World and then you can travel the world through 11 different pavilions. Here is the¬†link¬†to some Epcot music if you really want to get in the spirit!

What to Ride

  • Test Track: I’m still unsure if the new Test Track is as good as the old one but this is still a ride you cannot miss. While the old preshow is gone you can enjoy ¬†it¬†here.¬†The new Test Track is sponsored by Chevrolet and looks like something out of Tron. One of the coolest things about the new version is that you get to design your own car! My tip for Test Track is to take the single rider line, you have to miss some of the interactive elements but it can save you so much time! The cars fit 6 people so all the families of 4/5need single riders to fill seats. Of all the single rider lines at Disney I find this one the most efficient, my family of 3 has gone on the single rider line and 2 of us have even ended up in the same car. One last fun fact about Test Track, the outside turns are banked at 50 degrees while Daytona’s Speedway is only 31!
  • Soarin’: I actually can’t speak too much to this ride. While I adored the old Soarin’ it has since been updated to be Soarin’ Around the World. If the new ride is anything like the California version I can’t wait to see it! Here’s a fun fact about the old Soarin’: the year before it opened in Florida our Disney World vacation was changed to a Disneyland vacation due to a hurricane (after lots of hard work from my Dad) and so I got to ride it just before it opened in EPCOT and it has been one of my family’s favorites ever since.
  • Living with the Land: this is a nice boat ride through the Epcot greenhouses where you can see Mickey shaped pumpkins earning their ears! While this isn’t a thrill ride it’s a nice way to break up your day!
  • Journey Into Imagination: My Dad would probably kill me if he saw I put this on my list and didn’t include Mission: SPACE but the theme song is so catchy! And who doesn’t love Figment!
  • Gran Fiesta Tour: A boat ride ¬†that follows the three Caballeros in a journey around Mexico. While it’s very similar to It’s A Small World you have to go see it and find out what happens to Donald. It’s located inside the Mexico Pavilion which is a breathtaking indoor Mexican market!
  • Frozen Ever After: I can’t even write a review on this since I have not been on it since it was Maelstrom! While I’m excited to see the new ride I don’t think it will ever compare to the original!

Where to Eat

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When my family goes to Epcot we actually don’t usually plan to sit down and eat lunch. We’ve gotten breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, I definitely recommend eating there it’s a great place to get all you can eat food and meet princesses! We’ve also eaten lunch at both the Nine Dragons restaurant and the Lotus Blossom quick service restaurant.

One thing I’ve done in the past is my own personal under 21 take on a beer in every country, where I got a dessert in every country. I didn’t quite get through all 11 and about halfway through I transitioned to getting a piece of chocolate in every country instead. My favorite place to grab a dessert is definitely the French bakery! If you’re looking for somewhere to sit after getting your pastry head into L’esprit de la Provence, the gift shop is amazing and has tables off to the side!

Extras

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You can meet princesses throughout the World Showcase. Here are Ariel and Eric at the International Gateway!

  • Club Cool: While I’m not a soda drinker I recommend stopping in to try the Beverly!
  • Pin Central: If you are big into pin trading you have stop by! They have all the collectable pins you could ever need!
  • A lot of people end up entering Epcot through Future World and then find themselves short on time when it comes time to enjoy the countries. If you want a foolproof way of making sure you don’t get distracted by all that Future World has to offer come in through the International Gateway. If you find yourself at any of the Epcot area hotels (Yacht Club, Beach Club, Boardwalk Inn, or the Swan and Dolphin) you are a short walk/boat ride away from this hidden entrance!
  • Jumping Fountains in Future World: try putting your arms out and letting the water go in between… can you make it go through just your hands?

My Top 4 Pavilions:

 

 

This is such a hard one but I have narrowed it down to Norway, France, Canada, and Morocco! I’m not too sure how Norway will hold up now that they have replaced the viking display and Maelstrom ride to become Frozen tributes but I’ll keep you updated on those. France has to make the list as I took five years of French in junior high and high school and it is so fun to see all the things I had learned about. One year my parents wouldn’t buy me a cream puff unless I ordered it in French! Canada has beautiful flowers and the best video, in my humble opinion. It stars Martin Short and has to be one of the funniest things in Epcot. The attention to detail goes down to having some buildings look like they are in French Canada and some take on more on an English Canada style. Last but not least is Morocco! The attention to detail in this one is astounding as well! Rumor has it that the king of Morocco actually sent his own designers to help create this area. Another fun fact about Morocco is that it is the only country that does not light up during IllumiNations because the tower is a prayer tower and doing so would violate Muslim beliefs. For more fun facts head over to¬†Disney Fanatic.

Mum’s Top 4: Japan, Canada, Norway, and Mexico.

Dad’s Top 4: Japan, Canada, China, and Norway. He gives an honorable mention to Mexico even though it is dark.

Honorable Mention

  • The English gardens: tucked away behind the stores and the Winnie the Pooh meet and greet is a nice place to relax and possibly catch the Beatles tribute band, the British Invasion.
  • The Japanese gift shop: a fun place to crack open an oyster for a pearl. It’s also a great place to grab crazy snacks to try. One of my favorite memories in that store is picking out crazy flavored snacks to bring home to my cousin Nick.
  • The Terracotta Army: inside one of the buildings in China is a replica of the Terracotta Army and it’s so cool to look at!
  • Street Performers: from the Chinese acrobats to the balancing act in France the street performers are always entertaining.

 

Have a magical day!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Travel, Uncategorized

Disney: Magic Kingdom

 

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In a few short weeks I will be headed to the Most Magical Place on Earth! I wanted to share with you my own version of “Disney must dos” in the wise words of everyone’s favorite host, Stacey Aswad. If you want to put yourself even more in the Disney mood listen to¬†this¬†YouTube video!

What to Ride

Arguably one of the most important things to do when in Disney. Here are the rides you absolutely cannot miss:

  • The Jungle Cruise: a Disney classic! You cannot miss the chance to take a ride along the rivers of Asia, Africa, and South America, I promise you’ll be quoting the jokes for the rest of your stay.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: another classic that would be a shame to miss! My favorite thing about this ride is spotting Jack Sparrow.
  • “Triple Mountain Whammy”: this is another Stacey-ism that refers to Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! It’s so hard to pick a favorite because they’re all so different but if I had to pick I would choose Space Mountain.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: this had just opened last time I went to Disney and it was so worth the wait! It is 100% worth the FastPasses if you chose to use them on this ride. The way they designed the cars allows you to actually swing them!
  • Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: while this isn’t a thrill ride I would say it’s worth your time if the wait isn’t too long! With the new Christopher Robin movie coming out I feel like this will be pretty popular when I get there but it is always fun to find yourself in the land of Heffalumps and Woozles.
  • It’s A Small World: disclaimer: after riding It’s a Small World this song will get stuck in your head at any moment for the rest of your life, and once it’s there it’s hard to get it out. That being said, it’s totally worth it!!
  • Haunted Mansion: this is a ride where the details really stand out to me. I know Disney puts this much attention to every attraction they have but there’s just something about this ride that gets me. Make sure you take a peak at the gravestones as you are waiting in line, they’re quite entertaining. And don’t be afraid of your host, your ghost host, he’s just Paul Frees- the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy.
  • The Liberty Square Riverboat: not my personal favorite as I’d rather be riding rollercoasters but I had to include this for Mum! This year she may not find it as relaxing as I’ll be asking her to take my blog photos while we’re on it ūüėČ There is one thing I love about the Riverboat though- if you go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party they dock the boat and you can see grave keeper/zombie figures looming around the boat.
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: I am awful at this attraction! I cannot hit anything for my life, which just gets worse when my Dad sits next to me and gets 999,999. I would recommend looking up which targets are high points before stepping on- here’s one: underneath Zurg in one of the final scenes!
  • Carousel of Progress: here’s another catchy theme to get stuck in your head: there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day! This attraction was featured at the World’s Fair and takes you through American history in an entertaining way.
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority: paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow, head on over to the TTA for a relaxing ride around Tomorrowland. This is another classic you absolutely should not miss!

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Where to Eat

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table: my insider tip is to go during one of the last reservations and then by the time you are done eating you can watch the fireworks from underneath the castle!
  • Crystal Palace: a fun buffet with Winnie the Pooh and friends! I’m sure they have great adult food there but I always go for the mac and cheese, corn dogs, and dessert.
  • Liberty Tree Tavern: they have great food and even better milkshakes!
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe: definitely an under appreciated option! I usually get a burger and ¬†you have the freedom to put whatever you want on it as there’s a topping bar. That may not be a big deal to some of you but a mentioned above I’m a picky eater so it’s easier to just put it on myself.
  • Aloha Isle: The home of the oh-so-famous Dole Whip. Even if you prefer chocolate ice cream over fruity ice cream you have to get one!

Here’s a picture from my iPod Touch circa 2011 of the fireworks under the Castle. It’s definitely worth it to wait until 9pm to eat dinner if you ask me!381402_335047186524217_1783441837_n

Extras

  • Look for hidden Mickeys! They are everywhere in the parks/hotels. In Fantasyland you can also look for hidden Pasquale’s.
  • Tom Sawyer Island: it’s not a ride but I could easily spend half a day over there exploring all of the caves!
  • Kingdom Keepers: a book series, definitely geared more towards kids but I remember reading when I was there and it was so fun to imagine the story unfolding in the park. From what I remember it makes you look at the park in a totally different way!
  • Don’t forget to meet some characters while you’re there. This photo is from when Rapunzel and I decided blondes do in fact have more fun.

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Here’s my last tip: if Disney gives you Extra Magic Hours use them!! One night during our last trip it was pouring and the park was open until 1 in the morning but we still had so much fun! Extra Magic Hours are just for people staying on the Disney Property so wait times are significantly lower.¬†IMG_3415

I hope you enjoyed my whirlwind tour of Magic Kingdom! More parks will be coming soon!

 

 

Have a magical day!

xox,

Marissa