• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Trip Report If you can see the floor, there's room for more- COMPLETED!

Let's see, I figured, I'd at least start updating about the road to Disney since, I'm sure once we actually get to Disney, my brain will explode and I'll forget all about this stuff...

So let's start:

Preface: Who are JZSquared?

I posted my pre-trip report way back in the Stone-age, so to save you all a trip, I'll just reintroduce myself [er ourselves?] to you?

Hi my name is Lyssa.... I'm not a robot without emotions, I'm not what you see... SORRY, 80S ROCK STUCK IN MY HEAD AFTER LISTENING TO IT FOR EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT.

My better half [though personally I think that's debatable] is Justin.

We're both teachers from Houston, Texas. I teach special ed preschool [I have mainly autistic students] and Justin teaches the other end of the spectrum.... He teaches AP Computer Science and Calculus BC in high school.

This is us:

[though currently my hair is bright Cheshire Cat fuchsia...]

Since we're both teachers, we're really limited in when we can actually visit the world. We're basically limited to school breaks and summer breaks AKA when everybody else in the US also visits Disney, so it's going to be mad crowded whenever we go. We decided to join the craziest of the crazies and travel to Disney during the most-crowded time of year, New Year's Eve... I mean we could've gone over the summer, I suppose, but winter weather > summer weather, especially since it seems Florida is going through a big of a cold front [it is currently 43 degrees in Milton, Florida], which makes me happy [my NJ blood craves the cold... Justin's thin Texas blood, not so much.]

We also decided to road trip there because we both really don't like flying even though it's supposedly one of the safest things you can do... but we also really like road trips and seeing the US [our honeymoon was a road trip up the west coast, and down through the center of the US, so we hit Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Parks] and when we worked out the finances, really flying and driving were about the same price, so we decided to drive to Disney instead, plus that gives me the leniency to buy as many Starbucks mugs as I want and not have to worry about stuffing them in luggage and flying them back in a cargo hold of a plane.

Anyways, welcome to our trip, I hope you enjoy following along. Expect it to be corny and cheesy, hopefully entertaining though [This is my first trip report]!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Chapter One: What do you mean there's no Orange Juice in Florida?

We left our house at about 7 in the morning. Our plan was to drive about halfway to Orlando, and we randomly chose Milton, Florida as a location because I used to have a friend who grew up here,and it was about eight hours from Houston, TX, which is a little over half way to Orlando, and shortens our drive tomorrow.

After a tearful goodbye to my cats [and no I AM NOT OBSESSIVELY CHECKING THE WEBCAMS AT OUR HOUSE TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE OKAY....], we headed to Bucc-ees [home of some of the cleanest bathrooms on the road], filled up our car with gas and headed towards Louisiana.


It actually didn't even take that long to get to Louisiana. It was maybe 1.5 hours out of Houston? It was weird to get out of Houston that quickly... When we did our honeymoon, we drove up to Amarillo, and that was literally over 10 hours even to get out of Texas and to New Mexico.

Things I learned en route through Louisiana:
● Louisiana is filled with casinos. Even the gas stations have casinos. Though I'm sure I wouldn't choose to gamble at a gas station casino because I'm sure the odds are awful.
● Louisiana is divided into parishes. Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes in the same way that the other 48 states of the US are divided into counties, and Alaska is divided into boroughs. Forty-One parishes are governed by a council called the Police Jury.
● Boudins are sausages.There are literally a million and one different types of boudin that we saw advertised on billboards as we drove through Louisiana. The subliminal messages through those billboards worked because I need to pick up some boudin on the way back from Disney just so I can say I tried it.. Now what flavors should we get? Seafood, chicken, pork, beef, crawfish, shrimp... Louisianans make boudin out of everything.
● There is A LOT of water surrounding Louisiana.


Somewhere between Louisiana and Mississippi, I needed caffeine... because even with blasting 80s music and having basically an 8 hour rock concert featuring myself on starring vocals, I started falling asleep. We wound up at a Starbucks at some random town in Louisiana.

Hi my name is Lyssa, and I am sadly addicted to Starbucks...

The first part of conquering an addiction is admitting you have a problem, right?


This was a black and white frappuccino... I thought it was pretty good. I liked it better than a mocha frap, at least. It had a delicate balance between sweet white chocolate and bitter dark chocolate.

Louisiana seemed to drag on forever... After Louisiana, we wandered through Mississippi and Alabama before we finally got to the Sunshine State.



What came first.... the Lynyrd Skynrd song... or the state sign? AND THAT'S A SERIOUS QUESTION, I NEED TO KNOW, it's like the chicken and the egg of the road trip...

The only city I really remember from Alabama is Mobile, Alabama:

Now I can say I saw Mobile, Alabama.

It was around Mobile, Alabama when I got really sick of 80s music, and put on the entire Les Miserables soundtrack, and decided I needed to sing a one-women rendition of the entire show, starring myself as Valijean, Javert, Fantine, and... the battery died on my iPod before Marius, Cosette, and Eponine showed up.

I guess I'm lucky that Justin loves me... because I'm pretty sure I think I sing better than I actually do.

After Mobile, Alabama, we drove past the Gulf of Mexico... The Gulf of Mexico is really really big... Much bigger than it looked on a US Map, though I know maps are not drawn to scale.

It's sort of like the Tardis... it's bigger on the inside, as in the inside of the US, instead of on a paper map.

It just goes on for miles and miles.

Eventually we got to Florida:

[I have a thing for taking pictures of state signs]

As soon as we got into Florida, there was a visitor's center. I remember reading throughout numerous trip reports that the Florida visiting centers served freshly squeezed Florida Orange Juice... I was really excited about the orange juice, I kept on telling Justin about it..
"I CAN'T WAIT TIL WE GET TO FLORIDA AND GET TO DRINK ORANGE JUICE..." I was psyched... he was psyched..

We got to the visitor's center, practically quivering with... antici..... pation... took a selfie:

Walked inside the Visitor's Center... and SAW THIS:



What do you mean there's no orange juice? All my hope and dreams for freshly squeezed orange juice... they were all in vain...

Defeated, we walked out, the sun was setting, and I took this nifty picture:

And sulked back to the car, and drove onwards to our hotel for the night, listening to a CD that we've both heard a trillion times, though really that's my fault, I forgot to burn some new mixed CDs for this road trip.

Now here we are... in Milton, Florida, the temperature is 43 degrees.

Our hotel room is our wedding date:

Surely that's a sign, that amazing things are to come, right? Like maybe finding freshly squeezed Florida Orange juice somewhere.

[Our wedding anniversary is 3.1415... I married a math teacher, he wanted to get married on super pi day... though actually we met on NYE in 2010 turning into 2011, so this trip is sort of an anniversary trip honoring that too]

I had an amazing chicken and pineapple pizza for dinner [though I only ate three of these slices... you're either on team pineapple or not... I love me some pineapple pizza]

Now is the time to catch up on sleep.

Tomorrow we're off to Orlando... though not to Disney, we're staying an hour outside of Disney, just so we have no issues getting to Pop Century on New Year's Eve extremely early and hopping on a bus and darting off to Animal Kingdom.

So.... to be continued.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Song before slogan.
I’d put money on it. :p

I'm sure you're right ;)

Have a safe trip home!

Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

Thank you, I hope I don't disappoint you :)

Sorry you missed the orange juice!
I enjoyed your state sign photos and your commentary.
Safe travels!

Thank you :) Sometimes I worry I'm too sarcastic when I write things, I'm glad you're enjoying it ;)


Well-Known Member
Original Poster

And man, it's only been 48 hours but I miss Disney SO FREAKING MUCH!!


[not my pic, I was too busy sobbing into my Wawa coffee to have my camera out]

I'd say the trip was a success, already Justin is planning another trip [probably in three-ish years], so I think I the poison worked, and he is now a Disney addict like me.

I have SO many pictures to upload [though I am definitely not as talented of a photographer as some of you guys are, but I did my best] and some CRAZY stories to tell, and I'm almost 99.9% sure I was behind someone on this board for my entire two hour wait for Navi River Journey [if you remember two nerds playing gameboy ds's while you were on line for that ride, it was probably you!] on New Year's Eve.

I can't wait to share them all :) and I need to write everything down before I forget everything that happened!

So hopefully, I'll have a post up really soon :)


Masked Crazy Cat Lady
Premium Member
Can't wait to read more! I love all of the pictures of the cities you traveled through, and absolutely love your writing style!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Can't wait to read more! I love all of the pictures of the cities you traveled through, and absolutely love your writing style!

Thank you :) I always worry my deranged sense of humor and sarcasm comes out way too much when I write :) so I'm glad people are enjoying it :)


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Chapter Two: If you can see the floor, there's room for more!

I meant to live blog while we were at least driving to Florida.... but well you can all see how wonderfully that worked out... Or to be honest, the second day was mainly filled with lots of driving.... and lots of traffic... And then when we finally got to the hotel, hours after we were meant to be there, I really just wanted to play Fire Emblem Awakening on my 3ds and didn't feel like setting up my laptop...

Warning.... I like to think I'm a good photographer, whether or not that is true, you can decide... I'm far from some of the amazing photographers on this board... But there will be lots of pictures...I really don't do well during night or rides that move fast, but I tried. Anyhow, Hopefully they don't burn your eyes. I suppose you could always view them with eclipse glasses, surely those are easy to get since the eclipse is way over...

Anyhow on New Year's Eve, I woke up at 5:00 am... see it's just like school. I showered and then woke Justin up from his slumber, we hopped into his car and drove about 30 minutes to Pop Century... Though we seriously took a wrong turn on the journey to Pop Century and wound up at an extremely vacant MGM er Hollywood Studio's parking lot, had to make a serious U-turn, and then finally arrived at Pop Century... Seeing how it was about 7:00 am or so when we finally got there, and there was no way our hotel room was ready, we just parked the car, and jumped on a very crowded bus to Animal Kingdom..

As the bus driver said "If you can see the floor, there's room for more!" [and as a preschool teacher, man do I love saying like that... though the one I seem to use the most is "you get what you get, and you don't get upset..."]

We were squished against a large group of people [thank goodness I showered and put deodorant on that morning!] and listened to 70s and 80s rock the entire journey to the park.. AND IF I DON'T HEAR "I GOT YOU BAD" by Sonny and Cher EVER AGAIN, IT WOULDN'T BE SOON ENOUGH FOR ME!!! My parents used to TORTURE me with that song.. they'd take us to this diner with a jukebox [HE WAS A JUKEBOX HERO... sorry 80s tends to get stuck in my head a lot]and play that song and sing it horribly.... very loudly... and there was no paper bag large enough to cover my head with during those very loud public concerts... though I suppose I inherited my love for very BAD karaoke from the, so perhaps I should be indebted to them? Though I personally think I do an AMAZING rendition of "Piano Man" by Billy Joel.. But anyways... I HEARD THAT SONG ON THE BUS SO MANY FREAKING TIMES DURING OUR JOURNEYS TO THE PARK [and I heard a lot of journey too!]

Speaking of buses, we had AMAZING luck during our trip, there was ALWAYS a bus ready for us, whether we were leaving for a park, or returning to the hotel, and if the bus was full, one would pull up behind it immediately. I don't know if there was an increased amount of buses because it was a crowded time, or I'm just lucky, but MAD PROPS to Pop Century's Bus Service.

Anyhow, I digress... where was I?


But before that, there was a Christmas tree:

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was that Disney still had all their Christmas decorations still up. Have I also mentioned I'm Jewish and have major Christmas tree envy? And I'm an awful jew because I seriously get more excited about setting up my Christmas tree every year than I am about setting up my menorah.

So of course that called for a CHRISTMAS TREE SELFIE!!!

Now, I didn't even realize that Animal Kingdom had EMH that day when I initially planned what days we were going to what parks. I just wanted to be FAR FAR FAR FAR away from the Not-So-Magical when it's too crowded and you can't move and Space Mountain has a 300 minute wait Kingdom, and the rave known as the World Showcase at Epcot. I also didn't really want to go to MGM... er Hollywood Studios either because there are so few things open there, and my introvert tendencies prefer to be left alone and not in massive crowds of people [says that girl who loves mosh pits at rock concerts.....]. So AK it was.

Anyhow, so we got to get into AK early, which was an unexpected surprise. The first thing we did was see the Tree of Life.

Followed by selfie at the Tree of Life:

Then we decided to go to Dinoland just because it was right there.

It was completely deserted, it was like we had to entire place to ourselves.


We decided to ride Dinosaur because I figured Justin would like that... It was sort of like Indiana Jones from Disneyland, but Dinosaur themed. We literally walked right on the ride, no wait or anything.



Justin liked it a lot. That was a good start to our Disney trip... But the park was so empty, that they didn't even bother to take pictures on the ride... I mean I tried to take pictures on the ride, but they just were colorful swirls, sort of like the pictures my students paint in class.

My only complaint was that it seemed short? I mean not as short as Navi River Journey [which I have a whole rant planned about], but just short.

After Dinosaur it was our turn to ride Primeval Whirl:

This ride was also a walk-on, though the girl, who was working there told us that the park had been SO crowded the day before that even PW had a huge wait that extended far past the building and she was surprised since PW isn't really one of the more popular rides,.







Primeval Whirl was OK? I think I read somewhere that you ride it once and that's plenty... That's sort of how I felt? I mean really it was just a Space Mountain like roller coaster that was outside as opposed to inside and dinosaur themed... I actually think the roller coaster would be better if it was an inside ride and in complete darkness, with maybe some cool lighting effects, but I wouldn't say it was a bad ride. Justin seemed to really like it.... But he likes rides that spin... His love for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Disneyland almost broke up our marriage.

By the time we finished narrowly escaping the meteor apocalypse, Dino-land was getting pretty crowded, and there were a few more rides we didn't have fast-pass for that we needed to rope-drop, so I took a few quick pictures of the holiday decor and off we went.





Coming up next time... do JZSquared manage the trek up Everest, and did they spot the Yeti?

To be continued....


Masked Crazy Cat Lady
Premium Member
I used to stay at POP for all of my trips (before getting married) and still, to this day, even though we tend to stay at moderates and deluxes now...POP has the BEST bus service!!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I used to stay at POP for all of my trips (before getting married) and still, to this day, even though we tend to stay at moderates and deluxes now...POP has the BEST bus service!!

J wants to try staying at a moderate or deluxe next time we go... I think he'll be very sad when he realized the bus service isn't as awesome as Pop's is ;)


Well-Known Member
Excited to hear more! This cracked me up...
It was around Mobile, Alabama when I got really sick of 80s music, and put on the entire Les Miserables soundtrack, and decided I needed to sing a one-women rendition of the entire show, starring myself as Valijean, Javert, Fantine, and... the battery died on my iPod before Marius, Cosette, and Eponine showed up.
...definitely sounds like something I would do :joyfull:


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Excited to hear more! This cracked me up...
...definitely sounds like something I would do :joyfull:

Heh I kept trying to get J to sing with me because I KNOW he knows the lyrics to like 80% of those songs thanks to me constantly playing the soundtrack.. but he refused, so a one-woman Broadway show it was ;)

Anyways, thanks for reading :) Hopefully I continue to entertain


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Chapter Three: You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive

Where was I? Right, we had just left Dinoland, and decided we'd trek on over to Asia to climb Everest.


Mind you, this was my first ever time at Animal Kingdom, so I've actually never really seen the park before today, and now that I've seen it, I have to say, it really is a beautiful park. The theme is done so well, and while it certainly feels like a Disney Park [I mean especially because there were people everywhere], it almost felt like I had entered a different dimension. It's just so different from any other park there... it's like not an amusement park, more like an experience.

I really enjoyed looking around as we trekked towards Asia to Everest.







Eventually we arrived at our destination:


The first thing J says is... "You didn't tell me this was a roller coaster."

Me: I'm sure I did. You'll be fine. I mean little 6 year olds ride it.

The standby wait wasn't too bad. I think it was around 20 minutes. I chose not to get a FP for Everest because I know the single rider line isn't too bad, and I figured if it was early enough, we probably wouldn't be waiting long. I chose the safari, which I know gets crowded, and Dinosaur because J loved Indiana Jones so much in Disneyland instead.

The queue was very immersive. It really made you feel like you were embarking on a quest to the summit of the mountain. Though between you and me, after reading Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, you couldn't pay me enough to climb Everest... Though if diasters are your thing, I highly recommend that book, it's a really good book... Just beware, if you ever had dreams of climbing Everest... This book might kill them.




Justin said "The 90s were calling and they want their computers back]



Justin and I got to the ride pretty quickly. He got on it willingly, then he saw this:





I think you can see the look of pure terror on his face.

I look like a deranged maniac.... roller coasters bring that out on me.

On a scale from 1-10 [1 equals awesome, 10 equals teh awesome], I'd rate Everest around an 8, as would J. J gave it an 8 because it was a classic roller coaster with cool "inner activity" such as the Yeti destroying the track. [His exact words]. I rate it an 8 because it was an awesome ride with a really cool theme, but it wasn't the best coaster I've ever been on. But we both liked it a lot, and that's coming from an adrenaline junkie [me] and an introverted nerd who's afraid of heights[him.... but also sort of me, minus the fear of heights thing]

But then as soon as we got off the ride, he wanted to go again, unfortunately, we didn't really have time. The wait on the ride had gone up to about forty minutes, and we had a safari to catch.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Chapter Four: It's the Circle of Life

Next up on our agenda, was Kilimanjaro Safari. We actually had a fast-pass for it for later on that morning, but we had time to kill and the wait wasn't too bad, I think it was only about twenty-five minutes, and with a 3ds, twenty-five minutes passes like that.


[Passed this along the way and thought it was pretty]


Our safari driver's name was Matt, and he told very corny puns and jokes, but it's that sort of thing that makes those rides memorable.

Justin made some very inappropriate jokes through the safari due certain memes about a certain gorilla, but alas that's what I get for marrying a nerd, who loves reddit.


Why did the giraffe cross the road?

To get to the other side of course...

I mean what did you think I was going to say?





Seeing as I've never been on KS before, I don't really have much to compare it too... but we saw animals, and isn't that what a safari is?

After KS, I was on a mission. I was hungry and I wanted an Animal Kingdom Starbucks mug.

Hi, I'm Lyssa, and I have a problem... well many problems, but spending too much money on overpriced coffee and "You Are Here" mugs is probably one of my worst [or best? depending on who you ask] vices.

I mean, it's gotten to the point that whenever my friends and/or family go on vacation, they don't even ask, they just bring me back mugs. I have so many mugs, and they do nothing but sit in boxes because no matter how many cute display ideas I pinterest, Justin just keeps ignoring me, so in boxes, they sit.

On route to Starbucks, I was stopped by somebody earning their ears, who wanted to know if I could answer a few questions about my experience in Africa. I'm sure research can't really be the most interesting job you can get in the Disney college program, and I'm sure most people just ignore them, so I answered her questions, and said something nice about Matt's sense of humor because he was the only name of staff members I interacted with that I could remember.

Starbucks, of course, had a long line... I think the Starbucks line was actually longer than the Everest line, and queue really wasn't as interesting. Eventually we got through, and I got some breakfast [and a mug of course]


[a beautiful sausage/cheddar/egg sandwich and an iced chai with soy]

Then we decided to go to Pandora... because it was basically now or never for Na'Vi River Journey since the crowds and the wait just kept on getting worse, and the park had only been open for about two hours...

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom