Travel Bites: Walt Disney World
It’s been a while since I did one of these Beyond the Oven posts and figured I should update you on things beyond the recipes I share. To be honest though winters and I don’t get along and in my opinion they are for hibernating and cooking comfort foods. Thus, I’ve hardly done anything beyond my kitchen and couch. Until three weekends ago when I decided to thaw out in the sun in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World Resort! It’s the best place to seriously thaw out 🙂
Let me start off first by saying I am not the fairytale kind of girl. I did not grow up watching any of the Disney movies in Sierra Leone. Yes, I read some of the stories and have seen a few of the movies since moving to the US but I think I missed out on that inner child installments of Prince Charming and happily ever after lessons (not complaining at all!). So Disney World has never appealed to me. But that’s not the case for the hubs. Being a typical American kid, Disney World ranks high on his must visit places especially when his grandparents took his sisters and not him a million years ago (he still holds that grudge). As soon as he heard there was a blog conference at Disney World I could attend, he was all about getting a ticket. Food Blog Forum, a conference for food bloggers was held at Disney World three weekends ago and I was lucky to attend with him, my sister-in-law and niece and nephew (they came for the fun!).
If you are a food blogger, this conference is a must at some point in your blogging career! It’s an amazing gathering of the community where everyone is passionate about sharing and learning from one another. It’s hosted by Jaden and Scott (The Steamy Kitchen couple), Todd and Diane (White on Rice couple), Lindsay (Love and Olive Oil) and Julie (The Little Kitchen) and they put up an amazing schedule of talks, local activities and sessions with leading food bloggers in the community and awesome sponsors!! I learned so much and was very excited to meet so many bloggers I’ve only had a chance to follow online (Lindsay, Julianne, Kelly, Ashley, Aly, Joanne, Audrey, Emily to name a few). Here are a few highlights of the conference for me:
- A very fabulous ‘Deliciously Disney’ lunch at The Contemporary Hotel sponsored by Disney,
- A Taste of Orlando field trip to the East End Market, a neighborhood market and culinary food hub inspired by Central Florida’s local farmers and food artisans, sponsored by Visit Orlando
- Pinterest Best Practices session by Enid Hwang from Pinterest
- Food Photography and Styling session by White on Rice Couple.
The conference wasn’t the highlight of this trip even though it was amazing. It was my full day at Magic Kingdom that stole the show. I had a free day on Sunday from conference activities and decided to join the family at the parks. I figured if I only had one day, I should spend it at Magic Kingdom (even though I reallllly wanted to go to Epcot for all the food). After all, Magic Kingdom has the famous Disney Castle!! I am so glad I visited Magic Kingdom because I was seriously blown away by everything. Everything from the bigger-than-real life castle to the late night fireworks to meeting the characters and just the whole magic of this world.
I am afraid to say my inner child was definitely awakened that weekend. I’ve been told I don’t have one but once those Mickey ears came on (so freaking cute!!!), it was all over. I cannot wait to have kids and be able to bring them to this world. Nothing beats that pure joy of a 4-year old jumping up and down as she meets Belle. It’s just incredible to watch and impossible not to feel the magic when you see it all.
Luckily for the hubs and I, we will be going back to Orlando sometime in the next year because while at the conference, I won a Visit Orlando Culinary Trip Giveaway!! We will be going back to explore more of Orlando outside of the theme parks and I seriously can’t wait for that!
Have you been to Disney World for the first time in your 30s? What was your favorite part of your visit?
This looks like such a fun trip! Something definitely worth trying!
What a fun trip Zainab!! I am a HUGE Disney fan. We go almost every year with our three kids to either Disney World or Disney Land. When you go back, youMUST go to Epcot,….it’s my favorite!!! Glad you had a great trip! 🙂
I have to!! I know I will love Epcot!
My Mr. J loves Disney too. He grew up going at least once a year and we have continued the tradition until this year. Now it is all about when the new one will have her first visit. I am so happy you had a great time. It is always cheesy thinking about it but once you get there it really is magical.
Of course Mr J loves Disney!! he is just like mine and now he says we have to go every year lol! Your little girl will love it!!
What a great post, Z! Thanks for sharing all of your fun photos. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to enjoy The Magic Kingdom. But, I’m elated to know that you won a return trip in the giveaway! How incredibly awesome is that? Congrats, my friend! xo
Aww thanks Stacy!!
Oh my gosh I had so much fun reading this! I don’t know why but for some reason I always get choked up/nostalgic hearing about Disney and how the little ones love it so. It is all just so magical. I’m so excited for you that you get to go back! One day (hopefully) I will get to enjoy Food Blogger Forum 🙂
It was so great to finally meet you at Food Blog Forum! I love your recap. It looks like you had a blast in the parks. Congrats on winning the Taste of Orlando trip. At least you get to come back and visit the sunshine state 🙂
Yes!! It was so great to finally meet you!!
Aaaw yay! Love all these pics and most of all, loved meeting your adorable self 🙂 So glad you had such a magical day at Magic Kingdom with the fam! <3
Oh this looks like so much fun!!! I’m jealous that you got out of the cold, even if it was too brief 🙂
It was way too brief!!
I grew up with the Disney movies like most American kids but Disney has seriously no appeal for me. I went when I was in high school on a trip for marching band. Everyone was ga-ga but me. I would have rather had an extra beach day 😉 I just can’t justify the expense of everything there and all the time wasted waiting in lines! I find camping much more magical. My daughters have already asked to go though so I am sure that will happen in the future.
I am glad you enjoyed your time though!
Hahha Jamie you are a rare one but I do see what you mean!!
DAW, what a wonderful time you must have had, girl!!!! We are still trying to squeeze in a trip sometime soon, but it’s great that you got to go–and to this awesome conference as well. Glad you had a magical time!
I loved visiting Disney World…now I need to make a trip to Cali!
*claps* yayyyy!!!! I love Disney World! It looks like you had so much fun-so cool that you were able to bring your niece!
Hahha thanks Kayle!!
We had the best time there one year, everything was perfect, even the weather in February!
The weather was my favorite.