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Playing Hooky

by Meghann on March 1, 2013

Shhhh… don’t tell the boss but I played hooky at Walt Disney World today.

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My annual pass was burning a hole in my pocket and I’d been meaning to make a trip to the land of Mickey Mouse before the spring break crowds moved in and the temps became unbearable. Today seemed like the perfect day to getaway.

And perfect it was. Holy amazing temps, Batman! It was a high of 65 today and there was the perfect chill in the air to walk around in long sleeves and leggings. Loved, loved, loved it! Disney is its best when it’s just a tad chilly outside.

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I arrived at Epcot around lunch time and headed to my favorite restaurant in all of Walt Disney World: Via Napoli in Italy.

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I could rave about this place for hours. The decor! The food! The atmosphere! I love it all. You really feel like you’ve left Walt Disney World and walked right into Italy when you enter the restaurant.

I was quoted a 20 minute wait for my table of one, but only waited about 10 minutes.

By the way… did you know Disney has free public wi-fi set up across their parks now? I was able to access the surprisingly fast service in Epcot and Hollywood today (and was really impressed with the speed!), but couldn’t get the connection to work while I was in Magic Kingdom (my 4G was struggling to work too – womp. womp.)

As soon as I was seated I ordered a glass of cabernet. I felt extra fancy drinking wine with my lunch.

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For my meal, I ordered the “Capricciosa” which had eggplant, artichokes, cotto ham, and mushrooms.

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The pizza was devine. They have the best crust here – it’s very thin, light and full of flavor. The topping combination was incredible as well. The mushrooms were sliced thick and the ham had a touch of sweetness to it. Yum.

After lunch I headed to Test Track to check out the new renovations the ride just went through.

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The Imagineers “fancied” the ride up by removing the fun “test dummy” vibe the ride used to have and giving it a sleeker, modern look.

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I have to admit, I miss the fun youthfulness the ride used to have. The new look is a little too serious for my tastes. :/

The renovations kept the ride’s basic idea (you’re testing a vehicle’s safety), but added a new interactive twist. At the beginning of the queue you’re handed a card (or, if you’re staying at a WDW hotel, you can use your hotel room key) and along the way there are computers where you can design various aspects of a car and save it to your card.

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Once you get to to the end of the queue, you do a final scan of your card to register your vehicle to be tested on the ride.

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The mechanics of the ride are exactly the same (if you’re familiar with the ride – you still go over the bumps, you still zig and zag, and you still speed through the turns), but the look and language behind the different “test” aspects are all different. Again, it has a sleeker, more sophisticated look that is totally different from the previous version.

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At the end of every “test” element, the car you built in queue is given a score on how it held up through the specific test. At the end of the ride, you have a final score on whether your car would have passed all the safety inspections. Unfortunately since I went through single riders, so I never actually built a car, but it looked like the SUV the guy next to be built did pretty good.

Of course, it really doesn’t matter about what the rest of the ride is like. We all know why we really ride Test Track. πŸ˜‰

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Yep, you still get to go really fast on the track that loops the building. That’s the important part, right? πŸ˜‰

Have you rode the new Test Track? What did you think?

I left Epcot and headed to Hollywood Studios (which will always be MGM in my heart).

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There was a little Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster action.

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I had hoped the light crowds meant I could FINALLY ride Toy Story Mania, but the 80 minute wait still scared me away. However, I will admit 80 minutes is the shortest I’ve ever seen it. One day I will be at Hollywood Studio the minute it opens and ride that stinkin’ ride. I’m dying to know what all the fuss is about!! (but not enough to wait 80 minutes πŸ˜‰ ).

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While I was walking away from Toy Story, I saw a sign for a new-to-me attraction: The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow.

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Now don’t confuse this with Pirates of the Caribbean. That ride is located in Magic Kingdom and a Walt Disney World classic. The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is an interactive show in Hollywood Studios. I decided to hop in line out of plain ole curiosity, but probably should have listened to my Instagram friends and skipped it.

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I feel like they could have done a lot with the experience (during the show the audience performs a bunch of tests with the goal of becoming pirates), but they fell flat. They definitely aimed this towards little boys, but even the boy next to me seemed bored. There were parts in the show where the audience got lost and weren’t sure what to do and nothing made sense. Sigh. Hopefully they make some changes to this soon because the parts with Jack Sparrow were actually pretty cool. The couple next to me and I couldn’t tell if he was a hologram or live actor. If he was a hologram, those were some awesome special effects.

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My final stop of the day.

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A Disney employee saw my struggles with my self portrait in front of the castle and offered to help.

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Much better.

Not going to lie. I only had one thing on my mind.

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My day was now complete. πŸ™‚

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Okay. So I did ride a ride or two as well. πŸ˜‰

After 5:00 the crowds in the park really started to pick up and I took that as my cue to leave.

Adios, Walt Disney World! Until we meet again!

I love my husband, I love my friends, and I love my family, but sometimes it’s fun to escape and get some “me” time in all on my own. I had a blast at Disney World today by myself. It’s not something I would do everyday, but it was nice to relax, recharge, and be a little selfish. I know I won’t have the same opportunity to get away on my own on a random Friday in the future, so I’m living it up while I still can!

When’s the last time you had some “me” time?

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen March 1, 2013 at 11:26 pm

I live near Disneyland and I haven’t been brave enough to go solo. It’s crazy, because I’ve taken two European vacations alone and I go to the movies by myself all summer (I’m a teacher and nobody else is off!). Standing in those lines for rides alone just intimidates me! This post makes me think I might be brave enough to try it!

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2 Sarah March 1, 2013 at 11:27 pm

No more random Fridays in the future? Are you getting a real job?!

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3 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 2, 2013 at 8:06 am

my first thought went to babies. πŸ˜‰
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..fun facts friday

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4 Mary Ann March 2, 2013 at 9:33 am

hahaha I was confused because a boss was mentioned but I didn’t think she had a boss or a job!

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5 Christine @ BookishlyB March 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm

It’s cool you went alone. I’ve been toying with the idea of a “big trip” lately alone and everyone asks me why I’d do it (and if I’m having trouble with my husband, haha). Sometimes it’s nice to do your own thing. Independence is a good thing.
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6 [email protected] March 2, 2013 at 12:12 am

I totally know what you mean about “me” time!! There is nothing like it. It’s hard to come by with 2 kids, but my dream is to have a whole day at home with no one but me! Maybe in the next few months πŸ˜‰

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7 Mrs. Swan March 2, 2013 at 12:28 am

Love my me time! I am planning a vacay when school starts next year just so I can have the house to myself for a week. LOL
Mrs. Swan recently posted..My Monday and my lost marbles.

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8 Alison (AlisonCanRead) March 2, 2013 at 12:34 am

Wow Meghann – your hair looks fabulous today. I’ve never been a fan of bangs but they look super cute on you with that short hair. Love the slightly wavy/messy look.

We thought about going to Disney when we go to Florida in April but decided to do a cruise instead. We’re big cruise fans. We’re doing the Allure this time – our first time on that huge class of ship.
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9 Angela March 2, 2013 at 12:35 am

65 degrees in Oregon and people would be in shorts… Not kidding. πŸ™‚ I think taking a day for yourself once in awhile is great! You deserve it!
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10 Carolyn March 2, 2013 at 2:12 am

OMG! They changed my beloved Test Track πŸ™
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11 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats March 2, 2013 at 6:51 am

Oh I think I would LOVE to go to a theme park alone every once in a while! What a great way to get some “me time” and just relax and enjoy yourself
Katie @ Peace Love and Oats recently posted..March Goals

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12 Sarah March 2, 2013 at 7:28 am

that’s awesome! πŸ˜€ i can’t wait to be down at disney world for the college program. i’ll be down there may 20th! πŸ™‚ i’ve ridden the toy story ride and it is fabulous! if you can, get a fast pass. i waited all of two minutes when there was a 90 minute wait for everyone else. hope to see you down there while i’m working! πŸ˜€
Sarah recently posted..When you try your best but you don’t succeed.

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13 Katie March 2, 2013 at 7:50 am

Darn it! We could have said hello! I am visiting Orlando from Wisconsin and was at Hollywood Studios all day yesterday! πŸ™‚

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14 Lindsay March 2, 2013 at 7:51 am

My friends always make fun of me for escaping to Disney by myself, but I LOVE IT! I’m glad I’m not the only one πŸ™‚
Lindsay recently posted..friday funnies: health and fitness survey.

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15 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 2, 2013 at 8:06 am

I love Disney. I don’t think I’m going to make it back there for at least another 3-4 years which makes me super sad!!
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16 Elizabeth @ Positive Change March 2, 2013 at 8:12 am

I know just what you mean! I love going to Disney by myself sometimes, you can do whatever you like whenever you like. I also very much enjoy going with my husband and family as well:)
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17 ash bear March 2, 2013 at 8:14 am

I love that you went by yourself! I was curious as I was reading the post. πŸ™‚ The last time I had me time was last night when I went to yoga by myself after work!
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18 Lisa March 2, 2013 at 8:25 am

What a fun day! Your hair looks adorable πŸ™‚

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19 Kristen March 2, 2013 at 8:55 am

This made me want to get on a plane and fly to Florida! That cookie at the end helped too! πŸ™‚
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20 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 2, 2013 at 9:04 am

How fun! I’m not sure I’d think to go by myself but I guess that’s also a good way to ride the rides and do the things YOU want to do without having to make any compromises. πŸ˜‰
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21 meredith March 2, 2013 at 9:17 am

My favorite cookies in the world are from the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom! OMG have you had the giant cookie ice cream sandwich there? So so delicious! My latest love from the main street bakery is the giant chocolate covered apple. I love everything about Disney World, especially the food!
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22 [email protected] March 2, 2013 at 9:50 am
23 Stephanie @ happyhealthystephie March 2, 2013 at 9:58 am

Disney is my favorite place ever! We celebrated our daughter’s first birthday there in December and then I went back in Jan with my mom for her first half marathon. πŸ™‚

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24 [email protected] March 2, 2013 at 10:04 am

Seriously, Epcot is like my happy place. Especially France, where I will sit with wine and bread all day. I think we will be there in May for a wedding.

The Kidless Kronicles
[email protected] recently posted..Food Friday: Pizza

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25 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats March 2, 2013 at 10:46 am

I love me time but can’t imagine Disney without friends. I need people with me there for sure to enjoy it.
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26 Barry Wright, III March 2, 2013 at 10:50 am

The best way to do Disney – at a leisurely pace and with copious delicious food!
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27 Lauren @ Eat Like An Elephant March 2, 2013 at 11:11 am

It IS a hologram πŸ™‚
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28 Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat March 2, 2013 at 11:34 am

Ah I’m jealous! I love spending time alone, and spending it at Disney World would be the best ever!
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29 Emily March 2, 2013 at 11:57 am

Those are the best days, espcially if you live with your man! I need a day like that soon, it’s been far too long:)
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30 Julie Wunder March 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Your post made me home sick for Disney!! Love the pictures. Alone time is good for everyone!
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31 Lissy March 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm

we were just there a month ago πŸ˜€ We weren’t keen on the new test track, but that’s because they were having some difficulties. You know when they’re testing the breaks and it stops short? We stopped short about 5 times throughout the ride, but it was much shorter and rougher than that. It hurt a little. Not a pleasant experience.

I liked the pizza at Via Napoli, but not enough for the price I paid, lol. The pizza in actual Naples still definitely wins.

You’ve never been on Toy Story Mania??? You know they have these things called Fast Passes… yeah, 80 minutes is way too long to wait, but really, it’s worth getting there early for. Please tell me you’ve at least been on the new Star Wars.
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32 Meghann March 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Unfortunately they’re always out of fast passed when I try to go on Toy Story. I’ve been there at 11:00am before and they were already sold out of Fast Passes for the entire day – CRAZY! One day I’ll get to Hollywood Studios as soon as they open and nab a fast pass or just wait in the line. Yes, I’ve been on the new Star Wars a few times now. I’m a fan of the new updates.

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33 Molly @ RDexposed March 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm

When I went to DW as a kid, the test track kept stopping for maintenance. We stood in line forevvvverrr but never got the change to ride it!
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34 BroccoliHut March 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Ah man, this post makes me want to hop on a plane to Disney World! One of the first trips I went on with my now husband Seth was to Disney World for spring break in college. Definitely one of my favorite vacations EVER.
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35 Krissy @ Shiawase Life March 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm

LOVE this post, M! I love the parks so much and agree, it is fun to experience it alone sometimes, too. When I worked as a CM, I often spent some hours just admiring the parks and taking on some attractions by my lonesome πŸ™‚
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36 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep March 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Next time you’re here, we have to do Toy Story Mania early in the morning together!

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37 Katie March 2, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I don’t do 24 hours of “me” time all that much, but now that I’m training for the marathon my running time is enough of alone time. I have to say that italian restaurant looks amazing and is on my list for my next disney trip!!! Also, I did a day at Disney by myself once and loved it!
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38 Amanda March 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm

I live in Michigan and just happened to be at Epcot on the same day as you.:)

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39 Jenn March 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

It’s totally a hologram! Awesome, right? We went and saw it in January!
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40 Meghann March 3, 2013 at 7:56 am

I can’t get over that! Too bad the material in the show was awful because the effects were pretty good.

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41 J March 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

So….who was takin those pictures of you? Did you ask a stranger to take your picture while you hold an ice cream? How embarrassing

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42 Meghann March 3, 2013 at 7:55 am

It’s actually not embarrassing at all and I don’t think folks should ever feel embarrassed to ask to have their photo taken if it’s just them. The ladies who took the photo of me with the ice cream were really sweet. They kept asking me which sundae I got and where they could get one too. They agreed that the caramel topping versus hot fudge was a wise decision. πŸ™‚

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43 Kristin March 2, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I haven’t had a chance to dine at Via Napoli; it’s on my list of things to do before my season pass blocks me for summer. I am excited to experience Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival- I have never been!

I have been to Disney several times on my own and always have a great time! I also enjoy hopping on the monorail and grabbing the occasional drink at the Contemporary & the Polynesian πŸ˜‰
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44 Emily March 3, 2013 at 1:34 am

That looked too fun! I am now inspired to squeeze in a little self-date tomorrow.
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45 Anne March 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

What a FUN looking day! Love that you just went by yourself and totally rocked the me time. Also, loving the new hair!
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46 Victoria March 3, 2013 at 9:01 am

We just went to Disney yesterday- Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, which was ridiculously crowded! The Main Street Bakery is my favorite too – there’s just something about getting a sundae there!

PS – I totally spent a couple of hours at MK after the bar. I went with a friend who had to leave the park early and I stayed by myself and rode all the rides. It was awesome πŸ™‚
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47 Caitlin in MD March 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Meghann, you always have the sweetest answers for these, sorry, IDIOTS who ask you the rudest questions. Good on you for not stooping to their snarky level.

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48 Beth WA March 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Your haircut is so cute!! I love it. Just wanted to say that. Looks like a fun day.
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49 Brandi March 3, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Love your new haircut! Also you outfit is so super cute! If I lived in FL I’d totally go for a Disney day solo too!

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50 Anne @strawberryjampackedlife March 4, 2013 at 1:53 am

My friend works for Disney as an engineer, so she is the best person to go with and helps plan the day to be most efficient. When we went to Hollywood Studios (the day after the Princess Half last year), we immediately went to Toy Story Mania for a fast pass. The park had been open maybe an hour and we got one of the last fast passes. Definitely get to ride it when you can. So much fun!! And much better than the similar ride at Magic Kingdom (blanking on the name).

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51 erica March 4, 2013 at 2:04 pm

i was just at disney last month and rode test track….i kind of missed the older test track, i was wondering when they revamped it! i think the whole design-your-own-car thing makes the line slower….
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