Summer. Is. Finally. Here! Well, for the most part. Technically, the first day of summer this year is June 21st. But school's out, and the temperature is averaging somewhere in the upper-80s everyday, so to me, it's summer.

My family took our summer vacation a bit early this year, so I just got back from the Happiest Place on Earth: Walt Disney World. As I was there, I actually noticed some striking similarities between Disney World and the Quad Cities.

Here are the five big things Disney World and the Quad Cities have in common.

  • 1

    Both are made up of four lands

    In Disney World, there are four parks you can visit: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Here in the Quad Cities, there's: Moline, Rock Island, Davenport and Bettendorf. Each one is unique and exciting to spend the day in, and attracts people for all different reasons. As a bonus, Disney's Hollywood Studios has the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and Davenport has the Rock 'n' Roll Mansion!

  • 2

    Both are famous for their ice cream

    Every single time I go to Disney World, I make a point to get a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar. It's been my favorite since I was a kid, and is a key part of the Disney experience. The mickey shaped snacks have become iconic.

    In the Quad Cities, you haven't truly lived until you've had Whitey's ice cream. When I moved here, it was the number one recommendation from everyone that I talked to.

    It'd be impossible to choose between the two places' signature treats.

    Google Images
  • 3

    Boats are a great way to see everything

    The QCA is actually a lot larger than it seems. It can be hard to get to everything. Luckily, the Mississippi runs right through it. With that comes the opportunity to cruise up and down the river by boat. Whether you own one yourself or take an evening ferry ride, it's beautiful out on the river.

    In Disney, it's a similar situation. Driving everywhere is time-consuming and stressful. One of the easier ways to get around and enjoy an evening is a boat ride. It's not quite as stunning as the Mississippi, but it's close.

  • 4

    Gorgeous walls

    This might seem like an odd detail to pinpoint, but it's true. All around the Quad Cities, there are incredible murals. There's one welcoming people to Davenport over by the Government Bridge, one over on Harrison downtown, and countless others. These walls make for interesting drives to work and some fun, colorful Instagram posts.

    Disney doesn't exactly have murals of QC caliber, but they do have some beloved walls. There's actually an entire Instagram account called "Walls of Disney." One favorite is simply known as "The Purple Wall" that people make a point to get a picture in front of (This is my first one ever, apparently I've been slacking).

  • 5

    There's ALWAYS construction going on

    Around here, the running joke is that there's only two seasons: Winter and Construction. With all the work around the Quad Cities, particularly on I-74, it seems like the construction may never be done.

    Disney's the Happiest Place on Earth, but it's no exception to construction. The parks are always changing, adding new attractions and refurbishing others. It's not uncommon to see a giant crane in the background of Cinderella's Castle.

    The construction can be frustrating in both places, but eventually, you just get used to it!