{Disney World} Part 4: Animal Kingdom + Pandora

Our ItineraryPart 1 | Part 2 | Part 3Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8Part 9Part 10

Animal Kingdom is everything you could possibly want in a zoo and a theme park, and somehow, Disney’s Imagineers have managed to make it a stellar mix of both. With their latest addition, Pandora – The World of Avatar, it has become one of the most exciting and fresh parks to pay a visit to.

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We covered over 16km in this park (in one day) because the attractions are insanely far apart. If you have young children, please bring a stroller so your child’s legs don’t malfunction after about 1 hour of walking.

We were there on a Wednesday, and I arrived at the park rather bus-sick because the bus ride had been terribly cramped and stuffy (a little girl threw up during the ride).

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walking/running into the park

The gates opened slightly before 9am, and we made a beeline for The World of Avatar, since the FastPasses+ for both of the rides had been unavailable up to a week in advance. Apparently everyone was also headed there, so we made our way through the crowd and rushed to the Na’vi River Journey.

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Read On: Pandora, Safari Animals & Dinosaurs

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{Disney World} Part 3: Epcot + the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Our Itinerary | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 Part 10

Our second Disney day was spent at Epcot, possibly one of the most unique parks, with its mix of futuristic attractions and 11 country-themed pavilions.

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And it was a pleasant coincidence that our trip fell during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, so you’ll be seeing an excessive number of photos of topiaries in the rest of this post!

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The temperature that morning was perfect – the right amount of sunny and chilly – for us to run through the park as it opened, as we made a beeline for the most popular ride: Frozen Ever After (FastPasses+ had run out a week in advance). Epcot’s attractions are a lot more spaced out than in Magic Kingdom, so we brisk-walked for a good 5 minutes before finally reaching the ride, located in the Norway pavilion.

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I was ready for the day ahead, sporting my Frozen Mickey ears

The queue was less than 5-minutes long when we arrived, comprising mainly parents with toddlers who were decked out in Frozen costumes or wearing the same Mickey ears as me.

Read On: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival & World Pavilions

{Disney World} Part 2: Magic Kingdom

Our Itinerary | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 Part 10

In today’s post, I’ll be writing about the 2 wonderful days I spent in Magic Kingdom, arguably my favourite of the 4 parks (with EPCOT coming a close second)!! We spent 2 out of 5 days at Magic Kingdom since it’s the park with the most rides and shopping, plus it holds a lot of sentimental value for me: it’s been almost 9 years since my last trip to Disneyworld, and even back then as a 12 year old, Magic Kingdom was my favourite.

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this was taken on the second day (cloudless and too sunny), when we were waiting in Main Street USA for the cast members to open up the rest of the park at 9am

We were still really jetlagged and our body clocks were running on Singapore time, so we woke up at 4am and watched TV until it was time to head to our hotel lobby’s shuttle pickup point. We hopped on the first bus (at 8am), and it dropped us off at the monorail station after a 15-minute bus ride. Thankfully, the monorail queue was fairly short and we made it to the park entrance before opening time.

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It was a bright, sunny but unexpectedly chilly Monday morning, and I was shivering despite wearing a jacket. Thankfully it was the only day in Florida with such chilly 13-degree weather; the weather on the rest of the days was pretty hot.

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With Disney’s new FastPass+ system on the Disney Parks app, we were able to book FastPasses (for 3 rides) before even reaching the park (up to 30 days in advance!), which means we could skip the queues right away! After using up your first 3 FP+, you can keep booking FP+ via the app for the rest of the day, which means you can keep getting new FP+ immediately after you finish using the previous FP+. There’s really good wifi coverage in the park to make surfing and using their app a breeze.

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To make the most of your FastPass+ (FP+), these are the rides I would recommend getting FP+ for:

Read On: Fastpasses & Our 2 days in Magic Kingdom

{Disney World} Part 1: Disney Springs + Discounted Disney tickets + our hotel

Our Itinerary | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 Part 10

As a self-confessed shopaholic, Disney Springs is/was definitely the second happiest place on earth for me, right after the theme parks themselves. Disney Springs is pretty much a shopaholic’s paradise, with over 100 stores including brands like Kate Spade, Anthropologie, Sephora and Uniqlo, not to mention the insane number of dining options for any budget (of course their ‘cheap’ food was still kinda expensive…).

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We visited the place on 3 out of the 6 days that we stayed at our hotel, since it was just a 5-minute walk away – we chose our hotel precisely for that reason – and there were also direct shuttles from the theme parks to Disney Springs, making it even more convenient for us to head there after a full day spent at the parks.

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Read On: Buying discounted tickets + Our hotel

{USA 2018} Our Orlando & NYC trip itinerary

Disclaimer: Since no one actually reads my blog, I won’t write this as a travel guide to Orlando/NYC, so don’t expect too much detail with regard to planning or getting around/transportation. The last time I tried writing a comprehensive travel guide was for my Seoul trip, and it took way too long to write cos of all the details I included. I’ll just write these posts as travel diaries instead, so if you’re interested in getting more details, feel free to contact me and I’ll be more than happy to help you plan your dream vacation! ^_^

In April, I went on a 2-week family trip to USA to celebrate the end of my 2nd year in med school, and also to commemorate the end of my happiness – a.k.a the last month of freedom before the dreadful clinical years start (in June 2018). This is the longest vacation I’ve ever been on, so I’ll be splitting it up into many parts (maybe 10?) so that each post isn’t too lengthy.

As always, our family vacations are extremely intense and we averaged 12km of walking everyday for the 2 weeks we were there, which amounts to 3 full marathons…which is way more exercise than I do in a whole lifetime year. Anyway, before I ramble further, this is a very rough itinerary; be sure to follow this blog for more details and pictures from the trip in subsequent posts!

Our Itinerary

Day 0 // Sat A full day of flying T_T

SIN ✈ TPE ✈ JFK

Day 1 // Sun JFK ✈ MCO

Disney Springs

Day 2 // Mon °o° Magic Kingdom
Day 3 // Tue °o° EPCOT
Day 4 // Wed °o° Animal Kingdom
Day 5 // Thurs °o° Magic Kingdom (again)
Day 6 // Fri °o° Hollywood Studios
Day 7 // Sat Vineland Premium Outlets

Orlando International Premium Outlets

Day 8 // Sun Mall at Millenia

Florida Mall

Day 9 // Mon Universal Orlando

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Day 10 // Tue MCO ✈ JFK

Koreatown

Garment District

Times Square

Day 11 // Wed Grand Central Station

Staten Island & the Statue of Liberty

Museum of Jewish Heritage

SoHo

Day 12 // Thurs Thrift shopping

Sightseeing (Union Square, Flat Iron building, Fifth Avenue, Rockerfeller Center)

Day 13 // Fri Central Park

JFK ✈ TPE

Day 14 // Sat Still on the plane…✈
Day 15 // Sun TPE ✈ SIN

Home sweet home

Read On: Index of all the posts in my USA travel diary

Chasing Dreams Part 4: …but dreams take long-term planning

This is a series about my dreams and goals in life, and how I’m setting out to reach them.

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |

This is the last part in my Chasing Dreams series for now, but I’ll continue to expand it over the years as I start fulfilling my dreams one by one, so watch this space for more, you haven’t heard the last of me. 🙂

I’ve had a dream since I was 11, an idyllic future in which I was a doctor working in the UK, living with my family and a pet dog in a nice suburban house. 10 years on, and nothing much has changed. The same dream still burns in my heart, and I’m well on track to reaching that dream, except that I’m a cat-obsessed & very much single twenty-something. In this post, I’ll be sharing how I worked towards my childhood dream and have almost turned it into a reality. Just read on, I promise it isn’t as far-fetched or impossible as it sounds.

Read On: 10 years in the making

Chasing Dreams Part 3: maybe my lofty dreams can touch the sky

This is a series about my dreams and goals in life, and how I’m setting out to reach them.

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 |

A friend of mine was really stunned by my unconventional dreams, because most medical students intend to stay and work in Singapore for most of their lives, which makes my path very far off the beaten track. She said I’m as ‘weird’ and filled with childlike wonder as Amélie, the titular character of the movie, and she suggested that I write a book about my life if I eventually manage to achieve the future I’ve always dreamed about.

I don’t have enough time, and my short 2 decades of life haven’t been nearly interesting enough to warrant writing a book, but her comment spawned the idea for this series – Chasing Dreams – and I might write more parts in future, as the years pass and I either let go of my dreams or somehow manage to fulfil all of them. I’m excited to see how my future turns out, and I hope all of you will follow me on my journey through life and its misadventures. 🙂

In this post, I’ll be writing about my passion for travelling and my dream to travel the world before I die, as well as my dream of publishing a book someday. I apologise that it’ll be a lot shorter than the previous parts since I’m rushing these out while preparing for a clinical skills exam (i.e the last official exam for my 2nd year in med school) + packing for my trip to USA next week.

Read On: my wanderlust & writing as a career