How to Survive at UCF Without a Car

Her Campus

Originally published on April 18th, 2018, on Her Campus UCF.

So you got into your dream college, and you can’t wait to escape your hometown and curfew. Moving away from home, making new friends, and learning how to live independently are all exciting adventures that await your future, and you can’t wait to learn! You’ve packed up your clothes and your favorite photos of your besties, but one thing missing from your college survival kit: the freedom of transportation. If you’re moving away from home and realizing you’ll no longer have access to borrowing your parent’s car 24/7, don’t sweat it, I promise you will survive!

I’ve spent the past two years at UCF without a car, and I’ve compiled my best tips to help you get around without that fresh set of wheels that are missing from your dream.

Live On Campus

You might have your heart set on the luxurious, yet bank-breaking, apartments a few miles down the road from campus, but living at school had its perks. Other than being able to walk everywhere you need to go, you’ll be able to make friends with the residents in your building, and be able to sleep in extra 30 minutes before class. I spent my freshman year living in Lake Claire, and it was one of the best places for me to walk to class every day. UCF has a huge campus that acts as a mini-city, and I was able to do and see so much without ever having to leave. But when we can’t stay here forever, there are other options available.

Take the Shuttles

The shuttles are a gem that don’t get the recognition they deserve. UCF shuttles are free and run to all different parts of Orlando. Need to get groceries? Head on the grocery shuttle that comes every Tuesday to stock up on your favorite snacks. Want to go to Disney? Take the shuttle that runs to the Rosen campus, and your Über from there will only be around $10. Want to grab a bite to eat off campus? Take the different apartment route shuttles that drop off near restaurants, such as Plaza and Colligate Village Inn. Plus if you DO live off campus without a car (currently me), you’ll already be a pro at knowing how they operate.

Be Nice to Your Roommates

If you build up a strong bond with your roommates, I guarantee they will offer to drive you places in times of need. But make sure to hit them with some gas money as a thank you for their favor.

When All Else Fails, Über

What a great age it is that we are now encouraged to go against our parent’s wishes of getting in a car with a stranger. Yet Über and Lyft are powerful tools that will get you where you need to be, without the hassle. UCF even offers 50% off rides Friday and Saturday (k)nights to make sure we stay safe!

Being car-less might seem to be the biggest inconvenience out there, but it has humbled me to think outside the box when it comes to getting around. Remember that when the glorious moment comes that you do get a car of your own, be sure to pay back all your friends in the form of rides to thank them for putting up with you the past couple of semesters.

xoxo,

Songs to Get You in the Summer Mood

Her Campus

Originally published on April 17th, 2018, on Her Campus UCF.

The sun is shining, your windows are down, and some of the best songs ever made are blasting out of your speakers. Summer is the perfect time to create playlists that radiate pop and positivity! Whether you are gearing up for a long road trip with your friends, or a chill day by the pool, everyone needs an epic soundtrack to back up the life-changing memories made during one of the most adventurous seasons of the year. Here are 13 tunes that you’ll want to max out the volume for all summer long.

1. “Sit Next to Me” by Foster the People

If you loved jamming out to “Pumped Up Kicks” in 2010, you’ll be obsessed with Foster the People’s newest single “Sit Next to Me” that radiates good vibes.

2. “American Dreamer” by Kyd the Band

You’re probably unfamiliar with Kyd the Band, but there’s no way you’re unfamiliar with the American dream. Add this to your 4th of July playlist to keep your party fresh.

3. “Heart Starts Beating” by Coasts

If you’re looking for the perfect song to put your positive emotions into words, look no further with “Heart Starts Beating”, plus who could go wrong with a band named Coasts

4. “Jungle” by Tash Sultana

If you’re more of a fan of progressive rock, Tash will blow you away with her guitar riffs and vocal skills.

5. “Rollin” by Calvin Harris ft Khalid

“Location” singer, Khalid, takes the vocals by storm on the perfect song to accompany your long drives ahead. The uplifting beat and techno beat from Calvin Harris will put a huge smile on your face.

6. “Kamikaze” by Walk the Moon

Walk the Moon is known for their nonstop bops, and Kamikaze is no exceptions. Turn this one all the way up for positive stares from drivers around you.

7. “Weather is Warm” by Manwolves

It’s summers, so chances are that the weather is warm. The chill beats mixed with melodically rapped versus makes this song a crowd pleaser for listeners of all genres.

8. “Always Been U” by Phangs

Techno indie-pop artist Phangs is new to the music scene, but if you’re a dedicated fan you might know front-runner Jake Germany is also a member of Reliant K. “Always Been U” will have you dancing all night long!

9. “Feels Like Summer” by Panama Wedding

Of course, it feels like summer when this song is on repeat. Panama Wedding’s upbeat vibes and feel-good soul will create the perfect soundtrack for your day at the beach.

10. “Made In Hollywood” by LANY

If you can’t make it to California this summer to live out your west coast dreams, LANY will bring you there in just under 4 minutes.

11. “California” by Wilder

Another mental road trip will take place while jamming out to this bop. The intro guitar riffs will have you dreaming of days in the sun.

12. “Beach Boys” by Weezer

A modern classic by the band that brought us past summer hits, such as “Island in the Sun” and “Beverly Hills”

13. “Permanent Vacation” by The Academic

Of course, we all wish we could live in a permanent vacation, and fortunately living in Florida is the perfect excuse to scream this song at the top of your lungs.

Whether you’re road-tripping it to the beach, or stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on your daily commute to work, this playlist will have you rolling your window down and dancing in your car so obnoxiously that others around you will stare. Nothing but infectious good vibes as we enter the carefree days of summer.

xoxo,

I Didn’t Spend Any Money for a Week and This is What Happened

Her Campus

Originally published on March 17th, 2018, on Her Campus UCF.

Money. It’s the thing everyone wants, but no one has. Especially in college, where it flies out the window faster than anything else. If you’re like me and have a real spending problem, it might seem next to impossible to cut out spending from your day-to-day lifestyle, especially for seven days straight. So naturally, I challenged the “impossible” and decided to not spend a single cent the week prior to spring break.

The rules of my challenge were simple: don’t spend a dime. This meant no cash, credit, or gift card transactions at all; no purchases, whatsoever. In theory, this was a great idea for a broke, unemployed college student like myself, but I soon learned that something I believed was a bad habit, is such a daily essential.

Day 1, Sunday:

The first day started out super easy, mostly in part by the fact that I didn’t even leave my apartment. I started off the day with making a super delicious brunch using items I already had. Not only did it feel amazing to have a great breakfast for free, but it made me feel put together that I could create a meal from scratch, that tastes just like the ones I buy at a diner. Following that, I made sure to eat some leftovers for dinner that I needed to get rid of anyway. Reduce, reuse, recycle…right?

Day 2, Monday:

Day two and I already came close to dropping $30 online shopping. After being rudely awoken by the sun, I was so close to smashing that “order” button on the black-out curtains that have been sitting in my Amazon shopping cart for the past couple months. But in that very moment, I got a message from above, in the form of a balance notification text from my bank account, and I immediately closed out of the tab. Instead, I draped a large gray blanket over my curtain rod and rolled back over to catch a few more hours of sleep. By the time I had to go to class, I made sure to pack lots of yummy snacks to bring to campus so that I wouldn’t need to have a stare down with a vending machine. I finished up the day with a homemade dinner, and I can basically call myself a chef now, right?

Day 3, Tuesday:

Tuesday’s are great days to be broke because I attend my weekly cooking class. In this weeks class, we grilled steak, roasted a rack of lamb, and ate like champions. For free. God bless my hospitality major for allowing me to eat well, while still rocking it at my no spend challenge. And because we practically cooked a feast, I was able to have both my lunch and dinner taken care of. Thank you FSS 2221.

Day 4, Wednesday:

Ah, halfway through. Wednesdays are my date nights with my boyfriend, so I was trying to come up with a creative way to not spend money, while still having a great time. Typically when we are broke, we just cook for each other, but this week he surprised me with buying me a sushi dinner that I have been craving for ages. What a good boyfriend. In following suit with not spending money, I cashed in my “Free Boba Tea” in his name as a thank you.

Day 5, Thursday:

Thursday was my last day of classes before spring break, and of course, I wanted to celebrate. But instead of going out or spending money on something pointless, I found a free event on campus that I was able to attend. It was Painting with a Twist style, minus the twist, where a fellow Her Campus writer and I were able to create free art with the instruction of how to complete it. I was able to walk out of there with a 10×12 canvas, a gift for my boyfriend, and great new memories. And I didn’t have to pay a cent. Thanks, UCF!

Day 6, Friday:

Fridays are my lazy days, so luckily I put off spending money by spending my day in bed instead. I caught up on some homework and TV and snacked on food around the house. When dinner time finally came around, I was able to cook up some steaks from the freezer (I really love steak) and make some side dishes from ingredients I had in my pantry. Six days without spending any money has been a success.

Day 7, Saturday:

Because all good things have to come to an end, Saturday I caved. Some may call it a cheat day, but I call it “a well-earned treat”. On the final day of this challenge, my friends and I headed to the beach, and instead of being smart and bringing snacks from home, we stopped at a diner to grab lunch. I admitted defeat, and it tasted like loaded French fries. Not the worst flavor in the book.

It was crazy to me how simple it is to avoid spending money, but you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. After this challenge, I can definitely see myself cutting down on my spending habits because it really made me ask myself “do I really need this?” with each purchase. Yet unfortunately, spending money is required for surviving, so if we must do it, at least we can be frugal about it. If you’re looking to cut out spending from your daily habits, my tips are to start small and think about necessities versus splurges, and you’ll be well on your way to being fiscally savvy.

Me, on the other hand? I’m just excited that I can make a run through the Starbucks drive-thru without feeling guilty this week.

xoxo,

Why You Shouldn’t Be Sleeping on “American Idol” This Season

Her Campus

Originally published on March 14th, 2018, on Her Campus UCF.

“Wig, okay.” “Wig? Did you just say wig?” “Yes” “I know, wig, I feel that already.” If you have fallen in love with the “wig” kid, aka Noah Davis, then it’s time for you to fall in love with American Idol as well.

The singing competition that we have grown to love over the years, was taken away from us in 2016. Along with that, my childhood dreams of auditioning in front of the celebrity judges were thrown out the door. American Idol was the first reality show of its kind, that has led to many copycats over the years, yet it has always held a special place in all of our hearts as the OG.

After binging the final season a few years back, I was taken aback by beloved host Ryan Seacrest signing off the final episode with “Goodnight America… for now”. Since that moment, I have been waiting in anticipation for a revival announcement and was blessed with one this past spring.

This time around, ABC decided to pick up the show, with a brand-new set of judges, featuring Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, as well as a rumored new host. The judges have changed over the years, so that wasn’t as concerning as the scare for a new host. Ryan Seacrest has become one of the leading icons of the series, and I knew it wouldn’t be the same without his personality.

But alas, the rumors were fake, and Seacrest was signed back on for the 16th season of American Idol. This revival has brought back the nostalgia factor of our beloved singing competition and has me all in the feels. As I’ve been catching up with the auditions this week, I can’t help but reflect on all the memories I’ve made through this show.

I fell in love with the competition back in 2009 When my first childhood crush, David Cook, dominated the stage and blew the competition out of the water. I was only in fifth grade at the time but watched every season following that. I had daydreams of auditioning and befriending the original judges, Randy, Paula, and Simon, despite my obvious handicap of being tone-deaf. I religiously streamed the final season, willing it to never end, yet delighted when my number one choice, Trent Harmon, took home the final win.

I grew up with this reality TV show, and it introduced me to the wonderful world of music, and I’m over the moon to have it back on the air. If you haven’t begun watching this season, you can tune in to ABC Sunday and Monday nights at 8 pm to catch up with all the exciting auditions.

American Idol is back and bigger than ever before, and I’m ecstatic to have it back in my heart. Don’t sleep on the competition this year, because I can already see some real superstars in the making. Noah and Katy and can vouch for the fact that this season already has their wigs snatched, and yours will be too.

xoxo,

What to Do if You’re Stuck at School During Spring Break

Her Campus

Originally published on March 7th, 2018, on Her Campus UCF.

Writers Note: This was originally written before making plans to surprise my family for spring break, but then uploaded to fake them out in order to keep the secret going.

Stuck in Orlando for spring break? Wow, first world problems, huh? Well when you’re like me and forgot to make plans, it sucks hearing about all the fun trips everyone is going on, knowing the furthest you’re going to travel is from your bedroom to the kitchen. But it doesn’t have to be that way, here are some fun things you can do around Orlando to keep the vacation spirit alive because even if we aren’t actually traveling anywhere, we love to brag about how we live where you vacation.

1. Make Lunch Plans with Someone Else Who Stayed Local

So chances are that not every single person you’ve ever met is abandoning UCF for spring break, so call up that girl in your accounting class, message that boy from your intramural team, and take the opportunity to get to know them better. It’s an excuse to leave the house, and you might come out with more friends.

2. Spend a Day at the Pool

It is Orlando after all, and if you don’t have a pool, chances are there’s one you can go to in a 5-mile radius. Take some time to chill out and work on that killer tan, so when you get back to class, no one will be the wiser that you stayed in town.

3. Splurge on amusement park tickets

You’re already saving a ton of money by staying home, so take a moment to treat yo’ self during the mid-semester slump and head over to Universal or Disney for the day. After all, people typically spend thousands of dollars to visit here specifically for that. Might as well take advantage of that student discount and enjoy the fun.

4. Hit The Beach

So it’s not Cancun, but Cocoa Beach is only an hour away, and Instagram will be none the wiser. Enjoy that sand and the sun, because it is spring break after all. Just remember to lather on the sunblock, because combating a killer sunburn after coming back to school will be a double loss.

5. Head Downtown

Downtown Orlando is full of hidden gems that deserve their own post but take a day (or night) to explore something new you haven’t done before. In the midst of hearing about everyone trying something new on their vacation, don’t get lost in your day to day routine. Try something new, and make an adventure out of your hometown.

See, Orlando isn’t too boring, huh? Make the most out of your staycation, and I promise you will make memories to last a lifetime.

xoxo,

 

The Power of Dressing Up

Her Campus

Originally published on January 31st, 2018 on Her Campus UCF.

Being able to roll out of bed and stumble over to class in whatever I had on the night before was an amazing luxury of living on campus. Who could resist an extra hour of sleep in exchange for not caring about what you looked like? It was convenient, and it was how I spent my freshman year, but it wasn’t me.

Growing up, I have always put a heavy focus on my appearance, even if that meant waking up an hour early to do my hair and makeup. Especially in high school where the hallways were runways, and fellow classmates were the judges. It was important to me to express myself through my clothing, and I would never leave home without pin straight hair and my favorite lipgloss.

Fast forward to the first week of freshman year. I started classes with the same mindset, but as the Florida humidity and the late nights studying caught up to me, I decided it just wasn’t worth it to waste makeup on a 50-minute lecture hall. So thus the oversized t-shirts and Nike shorts made their first-ever appearance on my body in a classroom setting.

Yet the comfortability and convenience didn’t make me feel that good. Dressing down knocked my confidence down a peg because I didn’t feel like myself in these clothes. Sure, it was nice to sleep a little bit longer, but I was no longer expressing myself through fashion.

Now that I live off campus, I have been able to dress better. It’s a strange correlation, but hear me out. Each morning, I get up and get ready to spend 4-8 hours on campus. In my mind, I can validate putting together a nice outfit since I’ll be spending so much time out of my apartment, rather than the 50-minute lecture I rolled out of bed for last year. By waking up and physically leaving my home to make a 5-minute commute to campus, I already feel like I’m doing something with my day, and therefore am able to be more put together.

Since I am living off campus, I do have to wake up about 2 hours before my classes start in order to get ready and get there, but in that time I am able to start my day off right. Dressing that confidence up with my favorite skirt or shade of lipstick makes all the difference in the world. I’m a huge proponent of the look-good-feel-good mantra, and this allows me to do so each and every day.

I’m not going out of my way to impress anyone, but instead, I’m spending this extra time to please myself. The power of wearing a cute outfit is strong enough to shatter all of my stress, and the confidence I am able to wear lights up my whole day. The extra half an hour of sleep is nice when you want a lazy day, but feeling put together and confidence gives me the power to conquer the world.

 xoxo,

What is “Her Campus”?

BLOG, college, Her Campus

So if you follow me on any form of social media, I’m sure your feed has been clogged with a multitude of articles I’ve been sharing the past couple of years. Most probably scroll past without a second thought, but some of you might be curious as to why I’ve been spamming your timeline with stories ranging from the best lipglosses to wear each season to the feminist agenda.

Her Campus is the number one online magazine for college women, that is made up of writers from all over the world. There are over three hundred chapters worldwide, hosted at colleges and universities ranging in all shapes and sizes. We write about nearly everything under the sun and love to share that work in hopes that readers can relate.

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Writing is our base, and what we specialize in, but over the past couple of semesters, we have been able to expand as a chapter and create a name for ourselves on campus. In addition to writing our weekly articles, we have hosted multiple women’s empowerment events, worked with the national chapter to put on a tour hosting multiple sponsors, such as L’Oreal and Aeropostale, and created a team that exhibits professionality and poise.

I got started in Her Campus UCF before my freshman year even began. I discovered the website late senior year of high school when I spent zero time studying and procrastinated all my work away by scouring the internet in ways to prepare for college. A simple search for the best study spots around UCF’s campus (hah, can you see the irony), lead me to find this host for incredible articles to get me ready for such a large transition.

I continued reading these articles sporadically throughout the summer and followed their Facebook page for updates on new ones being released. I didn’t even think to join the organization until months later, after I started my blog, and discovered it might be the perfect fit. So I found the new member applications, applied to be a contributing writer, and the rest is history.

Well actually, not quite history, since I’m still living in it. As freshmen year progressed, I began writing more and more than I ever had in my life, discovering my love for this newfound hobby. It wasn’t until my articles were continuously shared by HC’s national chapter that I thought I could be semi-decent at this.

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Towards the end of Freshman year, I nominated myself to be the social media director, on a whim, because I wanted to get more involved in this activity than ever before. I completely surprised myself, and earned the position, and began to learn the ins-and-outs of HC better than ever.

Through my position of the social media director, I learned how to promote events, schedule content, work with sponsors, design graphics, and more, all while completing a full-time internship across town. This role gave me so much more exposure to the interworkings of online marketing and promoting a brand, and I fell completely in love with that aspect, on top of all the writing I’ve been contributing.

I began translating these skills into my own personal brand when curating an aesthetic for my Instagram and reformatting my blog for the billionth time. After all, successful websites are constantly evolving and growing.

Come this past January, our current President and Editor-in-Cheif asked me, and my other blogger/girl boss of a best friend, Nicole, to take over for her next year. It was a crazy big honor because I had fantasized becoming President and Campus Correspondent (HC talk for a leader who corresponds with the national chapter’s office each week) my senior year, and here I am, an incoming junior with this position under my belt. It felt extra special because as much as I have been putting into Her Campus UCF the past two years, I’ve been getting that much and more out of it. It didn’t just act as a club that I went to once a week, but it became something that has shaped the way I have been living my life.

 

So as of right now, Nicole and I have finished our onboarding and training, and have officially assumed our roles as co-Campus Correspondents of Her Campus UCF. Her, taking up the role as Editor-in-Cheif, and me as President.

It is beyond exciting to be spending the next few semesters helping our team grow and fostering that special feeling I felt when I joined the team a few years back. So yeah, unfortunately for those of you who follow me on social media, you will continue to have your timelines be filled with all the wonderful articles from our writers that I have been sharing. And you should click on them and check them out too, as it’s incredible the words that have sprouted from our team’s keyboards and been uploaded onto our website.

I can’t wait to continue growing through this organization and hopefully inspire others to follow similar journeys as well. We don’t just write, we soar.

HCXO!

xoxo,

Meeting Your Childhood Crush

Her Campus

Originally posted on April 10th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

The Jonas Brothers are playing on the radio. You’re on a three-way call with your besties obsessing over how your future husbands are going to dress in your wedding. You then walk over to your wall covered in tear out posters from Popstar and J-14 as you give said future husband a kiss on the cheek before falling into another daydream about actually meeting your celeb crushes in person.

Waking up eight years later, it’s finally the day you make your ten-year-old self proud. Overwhelmed with adrenaline and excitement, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting your whole life for. The day you finally meet your first celebrity crush.

Last week, I died and went to heaven as I met the man of my tween dreams, Joe Jonas. Yes, the Joe Jonas. Singer, actor, teen heartthrob, and former star of my daydreams. It was an out of body experience, the moment I found out that I would be meeting the members of DNCE. I couldn’t tell you the names of anyone else in the band because I was goo-goo eyed for Joe. He was my Jonas and he was REAL.

Our interaction was brief, but like I said, it killed me. It amazes me how we as humans put other humans on pedestals and worship their every move, but I’m not going to complain about being in the presence of a king.

I could barely contain my excitement, and I still an unable to comprehend the fact that it happened. Sure he might not be the most relevant person in my life now, but there was a time where everything I did revolved around the Jonas Brothers. The fact that I was lucky enough to meet one of them now makes me wish that I could have invited my 2009 self to come join in on the fun.

It meant a lot to me that I could meet such an amazing figure from my childhood. Someone I looked up to. Someone I idolized. Someone with such a huge name in our generation. It’s crazy how after years of not worrying about someone who made such an impact in my life, they can instantly be shot back into it and all the amazing memories followed.

Again, although our interaction was brief, it was monumental, and I only wish my ten-year-old self could have been there to experience it.

xoxo,

Living Spontaneously

Her Campus

Originally posted on March 24th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

I’m a huge proponent of planning every detail of a day, week, trip, or lifetime. With planning, comes great responsibility, yet it’s an activity that calms my nerves and gets me excited and organized for what’s to come. It gives me time to look ahead and see what resources I need and I what I will have to accomplish in order to achieve said goal. Yet recently, I have been exposed to the complete opposite, which happens to be spontaneity.

The fear of the unknown has always held me back from doing things “for the hell” of it, yet starting about six months ago, I decided, to heck with it, and began living in a new way. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t through my organization out the window, I just reevaluated and opened myself up to new adventures.

These spur of the moment decisions I have been making have been some of the most exciting and memorable ones to date. I’ve been able to live life in a new way and makes so many new friends throughout the process. I have been able to set up last minute vacations and travel to new destinations. I have been able to go to Disney world within an hour of the idea popping into my head. I have been able to change my look up with a short trip to the hairdresser instead of months of stressful planning.

Spontaneity has taken the stress out of dealing with time constraining activities. It allows you to make decisions on the spot, and follow through with them immediately. It eliminates the endless deliberating that eats away at your soul. It allows you to have unconditional fun in the moment. In every moment.

I love planning because it eliminates the consequences of things going wrong, but I have learned to love living my life spontaneously because not everything requires a heavy decision.

As long as one learns to live a life full of balance and happiness, they will live one of success.

xoxo,

 

Once the Happiest Place on Earth, Always the Happiest Place on Earth

Her Campus

Originally posted on March 8th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

I was recently asked by my dad if the magic ever goes away for me. As an annual pass holder for the Walt Disney World resort, it’s easy to believe that weekly trips to the parks could minimize how special this place is to my heart. Yet this question really made me think. How could the most magical place on earth ever lose value? Does the magic go away as you get older? Will there ever be a day that I enter the park without a smile on my face?

The answer is no. Disney is more than just a vacation destination for me. Disney is my happy place, where I can be free to express myself and my love for all things whimsical. Am I a kid at heart? No, not really. Yet when I enter the gates, all my worries go away.

As arguably the most popular tourist destination in the world, most everyone has had their favorite memory that they can reflect on from one of their trips to the house of mouse. Families will shell out thousands of dollars after years of saving up in order to experience this glorified amusement park, and continue to repeat this cycle year after year. What makes this park so special that it keeps bringing guests back even after they have done everything?

The memories, the laughter, the escape from reality. All the most popular reasons guests give for returning to this magical place. The Disney company prides itself on exemplary guest service that sparks interest for guests to come back year after year. There’s just something magical about walking under the train station on Main Street USA and getting the first glimpse of Cinderella’s Castle whether it’s your first time there or your hundred and first time.

As you walk through all the lands, you become part of the story as you interact with your favorite characters and explore their reality. It becomes your reality for a moment and you share a bond with those surrounding you. Each ride you step foot on transports you to your favorite world as you are blown away with magic involved in making these dreams a reality. Every step you take brings you closer to a new adventure, and not a day goes by without a huge smile plastered across your face.

That’s what’s so special about this kingdom. No matter how many times I ride Space Mountain, I will always walk off excited to ride it again. No matter how many Mickey ice cream bars I ate, I will never get sick of the chocolate coated vanilla ice cream on a stick. No matter how many times I meet Goofy, I will never fail to run into his arms for the biggest embrace in the world. No matter how many times I watch the fireworks, I will never fail to belt out “WISHES!” at the top of my lungs. There’s something there that makes every experience a magical moment.

Yes, pass holders and cast members get the luxury of being able to go to the parks on a daily basis, but does the repetitiveness minimize the magic? Not in the slightest. I am extremely fortunate to be able to spend so much time in such a magical place, and I hope someday to be able to be part of the magical team responsible for making this place so inviting. Walt didn’t just create a vacation destination, he created a home. And to all who come to this happy place, welcome!

xoxo,