Wedding Planning & Visiting Pandora

This seems to happen quite often where my posts become inconsistent for a little bit - super sorry about that! I started a new job at the end of May so much of my time and energy have been eaten up by gaining my sea legs (or land legs if you want to stick to the Disney universe 😛)

I have been wanting to recap our June trip for sometime so here it goes!

We've had this trip planned since January and it was centered around our wedding planning session. I seem to have really good timing planning our trips to WDW (the last two were during Flower & Garden Festival and Food & Wine) as this trip was shortly after Pandora opened. As a present to the Fiancé (and myself) I bought us Annual Passes as soon as I knew we'd be taking at least two trips over the next year. 

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Day 1: Animal Kingdom + Visiting Pandora

We always take the same flight from JFK to MCO so we don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to leave but still get to Disney with enough time to enjoy the parks. We stayed at Port Orleans this trip as we love seeing the different resorts and staying at ones we haven't before if we can. We quickly hopped on over to Animal Kingdom after we dropped off our bags and got changed.

As you'll see, I've now roped The Fiancé into Disneybounding. If I learned anything from this trip it's that I will wear skirts whenever possible on future trips. I had on athletic shorts on under my skirts as to prevent any... inappropriate exposure, but otherwise, despite how hot it was, I was more comfortable than our other trips!

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risa xu disneybound Russell animal kingdom

We noticed we were both more relaxed during this trip, time-wise and whatnot. Outside of FastPasses and 1 dining reservation the entire trip, there wasn't this constant feeling of "go go go!" and having to do everything and see everything, which was nice. 

Our favorite part of this trip had to have been traveling to Pandora! The Disney team really did a beautiful job putting together this new area and you really do feel as if you're transported to a different place. And The Fiancé has officially found his new ride - Flight of Passage. My fear of heights took over a little, despite knowing that a Banshee is not actually flying us off the side of a cliff... Below are some shots of Pandora - believe me, the pictures don't do the beauty of it justice:

 

Day 2: Magic Kingdom

A trip to Walt Disney World is never complete without at least some time in Magic Kingdom. I was lucky enough to snag us some reservations at Be Our Guest for dinner this time! Unfortunately, the dinner reservation ran until Happily Ever After started so we weren't able to catch the new fireworks this day. 

As mentioned, we felt so much more relaxed this trip and because of that, we found ourselves riding attractions we haven't even thought of before - the People Mover and Carousel of Progress were actually a nice, cool place to relax for a little while when there was a lull between FastPasses or if we just wanted to chill for a little while. I was also able to get two pictures I've so desperately been wanting!

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Now onto the most exciting part of this day - dining at Be Our Guest! We were seated in the West Wing of the Castle. It was super dark in there so I wasn't able to get great pictures but I will say the food is delish and they had my favorite wine: Sancerre! I know many people say it's overrated but I think that everyone should at least dine there once. The decor and special effects are really outstanding.

 

Day 3: Wedding Planning + magic Kingdom

And I'm sure this is the part that everyone is actually curious about considering we were boring and hit up the same parks as our last trip.

Our Planning session started at 9 AM inside Franck's. We discussed everything from our floral to decor to colors! I brought pictures of my bridesmaids' dresses and lots of pictures from Pinterest for inspiration. If you're planning a Disney Wedding, I definitely think doing research beforehand and at least having some idea of what you want to do is helpful to your wedding planner and team to put together your big, special day. 

We had an idea of what kind of cake we wanted already but still wanted to make sure that it was the best choice so of course we requested a cake tasting. Any guesses as to what we picked? How adorable is that carriage in the middle?! 

risa xu Disney wedding planning session cake tasting

Surprisingly, we were able to finish in just about four hours - giving us time to wander over to the Poly for some Dole Whip. Afterwards, we met up with our wedding planner for our menu tasting - am I allowed to say that the menu we've selected is one of the things I'm most excited for? I don't want to give away too much, just in case any of our guests read this but all I have to say is... GET. EXCITED! Dinner is going to be amazing! Coolest part of the menu tasting, though, had to be dining in the kitchen and having a chef basically walk through each dish and help us decide what we liked best and where we wanted things even slightly changed.

We headed over to Magic Kingdom afterwards for some shopping, Casey's hot dogs, and camping out for the new fireworks show. If you've seen Wishes, I will say that Happily Ever After didn't draw the same emotions from me (except one part) but it is really beautifully put together and is amazing to see the technological advances Disney has made in just their fireworks shows. 

risa xu Disney world Alex and ani Disney wedding magicbands
risa xu Disney world fireworks happily ever after
risa xu Disney world happily ever after fireworks castle
 

Phew - okay that was a lot and I realize I left out some details for our wedding planning but I'm hoping that it'll come alive in November and the pictures will explain why I didn't give the details away now! If you have any questions about the planning process or just trip planning, feel free to reach out! Always happy to help! 

In the meantime, I'm going to need someone to hold me accountable to post more often and timely - any volunteers?