Monday, September 30, 2013

Disney Trip Report: Day 6

Well, I'm a little behind on this, but well, that's life. So today I will give you the slightly anticlimactic Day 6 and follow with my tips and tricks post tomorrow.

Our last day at Disney was fun, even though we didn't actually go to any parks. We all slept in then grabbed a quick breakfast at Mara, the quick service restaurant in our resort. We made one last stop to the gift store then rushed to pack up and head out to Downtown Disney.
A panoramic view from our amazing room!
My giant nerd in a cute hat!

Look, it's Simba!
The people on that balcony to the right are the Altizers-it was so cool that we could see them from our room!
I think we could spend a whole day at Downtown Disney! There is so much to do here, from shopping to a bowling alley! This would be a great place to use an off-day from the parks and still be entertained. It is a lot of walking though, so I wouldn't do this if you are wanting a rest day!
One of the entrances to the Marketplace at Downtown Disney. 
We headed first to lunch at Portobello, an Italian restaurant. It was actually really yummy! I had the mushroom pizza-it was just OK. I was trying to try different things when I should have just stuck with what I know-pasta! For desert I had a pistachio gelato that was out of this world!
Yummy Italian food!
From lunch we did a little walking and shopping. We stopped at the Legoland store (super cool) where Ben (and the rest of us!) was mesmerized by all the things that were made out of Legos!

Then we headed to the Disney store, a HUGE store dedicated to all things Disney. We ended up buying a lot of Christmas presents for our families, so that was awesome! Ben and I headed to the Christmas store to look at their nutcrackers (my only collection obsession) and ended up buying a Mickey Mouse dressed up as Santa nutcracker. I cant show it to you because I technically don't have it yet (Ben is making me wait til Christmas-lame!) but he is super cute!

He was not happy that I made him wear this hat : )
We made a quick stop at the Ghirardelli store for Chris then loaded up the car and headed home!

I know this post wasn't super exciting, but I promise I will have an awesome post loaded with great tips and planning resources for you tomorrow!

To see Disney Trip Report Day 1, click here.
To see Disney Trip Report Day 2, click here.
To see Disney Trip Report Day 3, click here.
To see Disney Trip Report Day 4, click here.
To see Disney Trip Report Day 5, click here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Disney Trip Report: Day 5

Hey y'all! Thanks for stopping by to see my pictures from Day 5 of our most recent Disney Trip! If this is the first time you are reading, welcome! If you want to catch up, please find all the links to the other days at the bottom of this post. And as always, my tips are indicated with a *"

On our last day in parks, we chose to do EPCOT. Epcot is my FAVORITE-officially! I have been so excited to share these pictures and our experiences with you!

We grabbed a fairly early bus to Epcot (well early for us, anyway!) and went straight to Soarin'. I think this is officially my favorite ride in all of Disney. I may or may not have said that about other rides, but this is OFFICIALLY my favorite. In this ride, you are "hang gliding"over California. I am slightly majorly afraid of heights and I honestly thought I would come off this ride feeling nauseated but I didn't. It was so exhilarating to feel that free! Please please please ride this ride!

From Soarin' we walked to Living with the Land, which was in the same area we were already in. This is a slow moving ride where they show you how they make some of the food actually eaten at Disney-and its actually fascinating!

After Living with the Land we ate lunch in the Seasons food court. This is one of the places that actually serves the food grown in Living with the Land. *If you can, eat here! The food is so yummy and fresh, and definitely a welcome change from the fried foods of other counter service restaurants!*

From lunch we went to a Lion King themed video about recycling and pollution (nothing extraordinary, but a great way to let your food settle!), then headed for the World Showcase.

On the way to the World Showcase, we stopped off at a Disney Character Meet and Greet and met Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto!

We also stopped at Club Cool, Disney's World of Coke type attraction. There is a drink called Beverly (my Mom's name) and we always find it humerous to poke fun at how AWFUL the drink is!

No we FINALLY arrived at the World Showcase! In my planning I found something I knew I wanted to try-drinking your way through world. I am not a HUGE drinker, but I figured this would be a fun thing to do if we spread it out through the whole afternoon. I had a few resources, and I will share them with you in Saturday's post, but I did not follow any of them absolutely. *If you plan to do this, PACE YOURSELF. And eat! It is so fun to grab a snack in some of these countries to pair with your adult beverage!*

We walked through all the countries in order, starting with Mexico and ending in Canada. I will share some of the highlights with you!

In Mexico we acted silly in the little shops (shocking!) and tried on the biggest sombrero I have ever seen! Ben and I split a plain Margarita from La Cava del Tequila. Ben wasn't fond of it, but I thought it was OK. I tried to get him to try a fancier one, but he didn't want to. I think in the future we will try one of the different flavors here-its a great place to start! We did not eat anything in Mexico because we were still full from lunch! We also rode the ride in Mexico, but it is definitely on my skip-list for our next trip.

Next stop is Norway. I would have loved to have tried some of the snacks here, but at that point I couldn't think of even going NEAR any of the super sweet smelling snacks in their bakery! We also did not drink anything at this stop-nothing seemed stand out here! We rode Maelstrom, the ride in Norway. It is kind of fun and a cool place to sit on a hot day, but not on my must-see list.

In China we all stopped for a cold drink. Ben had the Tsing Tao Beer and the rest of us had one of the frozen drinks. I actually sampled them all and finally decided on the Peach Snap!, a frozen drink made with Peach Schnapps. Not sure what this had to do with anything Chinese, but it was good! Light and refreshing. We didn't go in the actual pavilion, and I wish we had to see what kind of snack food they had here!

There is a little counter service place in the African Outpost, but we didn't stop here.

Up next was Germany. Ben had the Oktoberfest beer and I was still finishing my drink from China. We split a pretzel and it was YUMMY. I don't know if it was the heat or the alcohol, but it was seriously the best pretzel I have ever had! While we were resting eating our pretzel, one of the ducks came up to try to steal it from me. I cant believe it came so close-it actually scared me! Germany has one of my favorite restaurants that I can remember from coming when I was younger, Biergarten, and I wanted to eat here, but we kept walking.

Ahh, Italy. This was one of our favorite countries! We shopped in a little shop and had a drink in the bar. Ben had the Bira Moretti (really good-light and crisp like a Stella) and I had a wine that I don't really remember the name to-it wasn't anything special. Wish I had ordered the Bellini!

We skipped right over the United States and Japan, and went on to Morocco where we stopped for a Casa Beer (Ben) and the Sultan's Colada (me). My drink was basically just a Pina Colada, but it had a nice addition of almond liqueur. It was actually my favorite drink here! We walked around in Morocco for a few then headed on the the next stop-FRANCE.

Oh the wonderful things I could say about France. The wine, the food, the atmosphere. I LOVE France. I could have just hung out here all day! Ben had the Kronenbourg 1664 and I had the Grand Marnier and Grey Goose Orange Slush. I think I may be speaking blasphemy here, but I actually didn't care for it! It could be that the person mixing it that day did not have the correct proportions, but it was just too alcohol tasty for what I expected. I would probably try the other slush offered, the Grey Goose Citron Lemonade Slush, the next time, but it was a little disappointing and did not live up to the hype! We didn't eat here in this trip (that comes later). Oh, and by the way-we met Belle in France too. When she saw Ben she said "Why you are almost as tall as the Beast!" I just love how they are always in character!

As we walked over the bridge to England and on the way met Mary Poppins! Ben was quite a hit with the ladies-but Mary Poppins did tell him to stand up straighter :)

As much as I loved France, England was DEFINITELY my favorite country in the World Showcase. We spend at least an hour going through the different shops, and even took a break to watch a British band cover band in a back alley. Like I said in a previous post, these little breaks do wonders to keep you from getting drained!

We walked on to Canada and went to their 360 vision show. I don't know exactly what it was called but it was hosted by Marin Short and it was COOL. You go in this circular room with movie screens all the way around the top of the wall (why they call it 360-duh!) and it is all images of Canada. At the end of the movie Ben asked me when we could move to Canada-it was that beautiful! Canada also has a super high-end restaurant, Le Celier, that is on my MUST-TRY list for our next visit!

After Canada we walked to a little gift shop at the end of the World Showcase, then decided to ride the boat for a little while we killed time. We road it for a good 45 minutes (it is quiet and relaxing, and just plain fun!) then decided to get off near France. On this visit we stopped and got a chocolate chip pastry and a croissant with some sort of sweet honey-type topping. SO GOOD. UGH I wish I could try everything they had there...but my waistline would not be happy with me!

We walked on over to England again and put our name down for dinner at the Rose and Crown Pub. I would not recommend NOT having a reservation, but we lucked out and they were not busy. We waited about 30 minutes and our name was called, but we had to wait about 15 more for Chris and Dena to get there. We were seated inside (not on the patio like I would have liked) but our waiter assured us that we would be able to go outside and watch the fireworks (more on that in a minute). We ordered an appetizer (Scotch egg-SUPER yummy believe it or not!), I ordered the New York Strip with some sort of mushroom sauce on top and Dena ordered the Fish and Chips. I don't remember what Ben or Chris ordered, but it was probably the steak as well. At the end of our meal, right before our desert, our waiter escorted us to a private viewing area for the fireworks. THIS. WAS. EPIC. I specifically picked this restaurant for its views of the fireworks, but I didn't realize how cool it would be! We had unobstructed views that we didn't have to wait hours for! I will never NOT eat here for our night in Epcot! I STILL cant get over how magical it was!

After dinner we meandered out of the park and eventually found our way back to the Transit Authority and took the Monorail to Magic Kingdom. We ended up getting there just in time to watch their fireworks from outside the gate! For our next trip, if we end up doing this, I would try to get there sooner to actually get a better spot to watch. If the crowds are as low our next trip as they were this time, we should have no trouble getting there in time!

As usual, we all headed back to our resorts and actually got to bed at a decent hour (10:30 as opposed to after midnight!). We went to bed knowing we would have to wake up and pack :(

I am so depressed after writing about our last day in the park-I want to go back so badly!
If you would like to read about our other days, click the links below!
For Disney Trip Report: Day 1, click here.
For Disney Trip Report: Day 2, click here.
For Disney Trip Report: Day 3, click here.
For Disney Trip Report: Day 4, click here.

Come back tomorrow for Day 6, and then Saturday for the most epic Disney Tip post EVER!!

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