Although this was our third trip to Disney World for my birthday, this was the first year where our dates worked out so that Isabelle would celebrate hers as well. Isabelle and I are born 5 days apart (well, 1 year and 5 days). I’m the 22nd of August, she’s the 27th. As a teacher, and due to her return to work at the end of August, we haven’t been able to arrange the trips to allow her to experience the joys of a Disney World birthday. This year; however, the calendar worked with us. She only had to go back to school on the 29th, so we were able to shift the dates a bit to get both of our birthdays in. Continue reading “Day 7 – Happy Birthday Isabelle! (aka The End)”
Day 6 marked our second visit to Hollywood Studios. But before heading there, we decided to journey back to Disney Springs in order to have breakfast at Wolfgang Puck Express again. I talked about it on day 4 – we absolutely love this spot! Best value for your dining plan, by far. Continue reading “Day 6 – Hollywood Studios Redux”
Following our day off, our next stop was Animal Kingdom. Before leaving for the park, I finally got to try something that I’d heard about. We were staying at Pop Century, as we always do, and there was a new addition to the menu… The Pop Tart Breakfast Sandwich. This item had apparently been available in the past when people requested it, but never on their published menu. But that had changed. What more could one ask for in a breakfast? Eggs, bacon and cheese sandwiched between two strawberry Pop Tarts. While I wouldn’t eat this daily, it did make for a fun experience. Plus, it gives me a great story to tell people.
One thing we do on every visit to Disney World is to schedule an “off day” mid-visit. This allows us to rest up a bit and just relax since the other days are what you could call loaded. We typically leave the hotel around 8AM and often return around/after midnight. So we need a little downtime to recharge and get ready for the second half.
Epcot was the next stop on our trip. This was a break from our usual pattern as we typically would visit Epcot on our first day. It was also a chance for us to continue with the new adventures. Earlier this year, the Norway pavillion’s Maelstrom ride was re-purposed into a Frozen ride. Knowing that this was one of the busiest rides in all four parks, we opted to make a bee-line directly to the ride on our arrival first thing in the morning. Despite the fact that we arrived very shortly after the park opened, we arrived to find the line snaking all the way around the little courtyard. In all, we ended up waiting in line for over an hour for this ride, but it was well worth it. You get to immerse yourself in the world of Arendelle, with all of the characters from the movie.
After the ride, I was able to try something I’d wanted to try for some time, but had never taken the time – School Bread. The Kringla Bakerei at the Norway pavilion sells these delicious, coconutty and custardy items. I’ll talk more about them some other time when I focus on the food at Disney World.
We always enjoy walking around the World Showcase. Visiting the 11 pavilions. It’s the day we walk the most, by far. I could stroll through the park all day long. In the span of a few hours, you get to visit Mexico, England, Norway, Japan, China, France, Italy and more.
Apart from the World Showcase, we had a chance to do a character encounter with Baymax from Big Hero 6. He winked at Isabelle. Our night ended with supper at the Japan pavilion, eating at Teppan Edo. Since it’s a hibachi restaurant with tableside grills, we were seated with some other people, including a non-verbal Down Syndrome child at the opposite side of the grill. He loved shrimp. And I mean LOVED shrimp. It was adorably cute.
Once the meal was over, we strolled through the pavilions yet again as they have a whole other feel to them in the evening. We found a nice spot around the World Showcase Lagoon from which to watch the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. This is one of the best fireworks displays in Disney World, and definitely a must-do for anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity.
And thus ended our third day.
Day 2 of our 2016 Disney adventure was a special day for me. It was my birthday! There is no better way to spend your 38th birthday than being at Disney World. This is now the 3rd birthday I’ve celebrated at Disney, and they each get better and better. We even have my 40th planned to be visiting Disney yet again. (I’m still working on getting my birthday twin, James Corden, to join us. We were both born August 22, 1978.)
As it was my birthday, the choice of activities was left to me. Naturally, we visited my favourite park – Hollywood Studios. It was a day full of Star Wars, Tower of Terror and food. Our absolute favourite ride is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – a thrilling drop elevator ride. We definitely took a few rides through the tower on this day. But the biggest part of the day was around Star Wars. Over the past few years, since Disney acquired Star Wars from Lucasfilm, the presence in the parks has increased. They are currently building a new Star Wars-themed part of Hollywood Studios. On this visit though, we were able to meet a couple of characters – Chewbacca and Kylo Ren. We rode Star Tours a few times and got to see some Storm Troopers marching through the park.
On the food side of things, lunch consisted of popcorn and a red-velvet cupcake from Starring Roles Café. We didn’t want anything too heavy for lunch as we were heading to one of our favourite restaurants for supper – the 50’s Prime Time Café. For those who’ve never been, the concept is that everyone in the restaurant are cousins, and you’re eating in your grandma’s family home. Mom’s in the kitchen making supper and Grandma’s making dessert. Our waiter, Cousin Carmelo, even gave me a birthday card! We are always left with an overfilled belly and huge smile on our faces when we leave here. Here’s my tip – try the PB & J milkshake.
One of the absolute highlights for me was the new Star Wars Spectacular – an all new firework and laser-projection show at the end of the night. The show is broadcast onto the front of the Chinese Theatre in the centre of the park using lasers and digital projectors. The images were spectacular, the lasers and fireworks stunning…it was one of the best Disney fireworks shows that I’ve had the pleasure of viewing to date.
Apologies for the delay in this series of posts. While I had all the good intentions to have them done when I last posted, real world got in the way. No excuses. And really, I don’t think anyone’s been clamoring for the posts. LOL. Continue reading “Day 1 – Let the Memories Begin!”
Do you believe in magic?
That’s how the song goes. (Am I referring to the classic by The Lovin’ Spoonful? Or the jingle for the restaurant with the golden arches?) With the recent passing of Alan Rickman (Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies for those unaware), I’ve found myself thinking about magic in all of its many forms, so that will be the basis for my post today. Apologies for the rambling and stream-of-consciousness that is to ensue. Continue reading “Magic”
Our usual Boxing Day routine consists of getting up, showering, putting our pajamas back on, sitting our asses on the couch in the basement and binge watching some TV series or movies while eating junk food until. Typically, this is an epic day. This year, however, we opted to go a different route. We again took advantage of our DINKitude and decided that we would just take a little extended weekend getaway. Continue reading “Boxing Day Getaway”
One of the advantages to being DINKs (Double Income, No Kids) is that you can just pick up and go whenever you feel like it. This is something that Isabelle and I enjoy doing on a semi-regular basis. Sometimes these trips will be planned out, other times, we’ll be somewhere and say “why don’t we take a drive to…” Yesterday was one of these times. Continue reading “DINKs”