Disney World and WAI Conference 2020

This post is about a year overdue because we went to Disney the first week of March 2020 – but I never blogged about it! I like documenting all of our travels in blog posts so I can look back on them and all the memories. So here is a very late Disney 2020 recap.

This was actually kind of a spontaneous trip to Disney, it all started when I learned about an organization called Women in Avionics (I am a software engineer that works on flight management systems) and found out that their 2020 conference would be taking place in Disney World in March 2020. I started reading about it and it sounded right up my alley. I thought the chances of me attending were slim – due to costs and not really having anyone to go with, but I did a little research and found out my company does reimbursement for conferences that are applicable to my job. So I talked with my boss about and she agreed it sounded cool and said she would sign off on it – her boss also signed off on it plus agreed to pay for the travel as well. I was ecstatic. I asked if someone else in our department could also attend so I could have a “buddy”, they eventually said yes and I asked my friend Sammy if she wanted to join as well and of course she said yes. Miguel and Sammy’s boyfriend also bought plane tickets to tag along as well.

I couldn’t stay on Disney property without finding some time to visit the parks too so I started planning that as well. We were going to have the conference for two days and spend about a day and a half at Disney Parks.

We flew to Orlando on a Wednesday, took the Magical Express to our resort, Coronado Springs (which I had not stayed at before) and checked in. They had recently redone a lot of the resort and it was really nice! We got changed, grabbed some food at the food court and caught a bus too Epcot. Since it was late afternoon by this point, I thought Epcot would be the best park to visit because it has the least rides to go on and it isn’t usually a full day park anyway.

We still rode all the big hitters, Soarin, Living with the Land, Test Track, The Seas with Nemo, Gran Fiesta Tour and Frozen. The Flower and Garden Festival had also started so we were able to walk around the countries and get dinner at the food booths (my favorite) and then watch the new-at-the-time fireworks show (Epcot Forever). We then headed back to the hotel by bus after a long day.

The next day we were up bright and early for Magic Kingdom! We headed to the bus stop early so we could be in the park before it opened. We ended up walking down mainstreet about 20 minutes prior to the park opening which was a great time to arrive. We were able to grab a picture in front of the castle and then line up at the entrance to Tomorrowland before it got too crowded and we were able to see the mini “opening show” with the characters in front of the castle as well while we waited. One of my strategies is to not use a FastPass on Space Mountain and instead just head there as soon as the park opens and avoid waiting in line. This strategy worked again this time and we were on and off of Space Mountain I think within 20 minutes of park opening. We spent the entire day at Magic Kingdom – doing pretty much every single open ride/attraction, ate lunch at Pico Bills (my first time and I thought it was good quick service food!) watched the parade. and ate dinner at the Plaza Restaurant (again my first time eating there and I thought it was pretty good and we even had a view of the castle!). After dinner, we headed right out to Mainstreet and found a spot to watch the fireworks as they were about to start. We had a pretty good spot and view. I love Happily Ever After and it was great to watch again! We headed back to the bus stop to go back to the hotel after.

The next day was the first full day of the conference – we were able to hear so many inspirational speakers and learn a lot about different areas of avionics and career advancement in breakout sessions. There are so many cool ladies in the avionics business! Sammy and I felt like we were the only ones without pilot licenses lol.

The boys went golfing this day which I was a little jealous of but they had a great time too!

For dinner we stayed at the hotel and ate at Maya Grill – it was good too! And then just chilled and grabbed a drink at one of the resort bars.

The next day, we had more of the conference. I love starting my day off with Mickey Waffles! We listened to more speakers and had more breakout sessions.

After the conference was over, we changed and packed a little and then headed to Disney Springs to walk around the shops and eat dinner. When we had arrived on Wednesday it was in the 90s and by Saturday night it was in the low 60s and it felt so cold!!  We had jeans and sweatshirts on. We ate Dinner at Terralina Italian and then headed back to the resort. We were all exhausted and had a 3AM wake up time to catch our Magical Express back to the airport. (Note to self – do not reserve the earliest flight home on Daylight Savings day – that was rough). Leaving Disney is always the saddest day but it always makes me excited to go back!

It is crazy that we left literally one week before Disney completely shut down due to COVID-19. I am so glad I was one of the last ones to visit while it was still “completely normal”. I can’t wait to be back and we are currently planning a trip at the end of 2021 and I am hoping things are more “normal” and we are able to go.

Thanks for following along!

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