Day 7 in review

We are to the point in our trip where we’ve pretty much done most things at the park that we enjoy doing at least once.  We headed back to Epcot this morning and it was our first morning time at Epcot.  We had fast passes for Soarin, Spaceship Earth, and The Seas with Nemo and Friends.  We’ve really enjoyed taking this years trip at a more relaxed pace.  We are not rushing around because our trip is spread out, and that gives us a lot more time to take it all in and enjoy!


After we got of The Seas with Nemo and Friends, we headed to the world showcase starting with the Canada side.  We decided to watch the 360 degree circle vision movie “Oh Canada.”  I haven’t seen that since I was in 6th grade, and my husband had never seen it!  Sometimes the circle vision movies make me a little motion sick, but I was okay this time!  After Canada we headed to the UK for Craig to get his Boddingtons at the Rose and Crown Pub, and then to France for a Grand Marnier slush for me!  We had lunch at the pastry shop in France, and then decided it was time to head back to the hotel for napping and packing (we are transferring to the Pop Century resort for two more nights after tonight).

After napping (more napping and less packing) we headed to the magic kingdom! Our first stop was a fast pass kiosk. Here we were able to secure a fast pass time for haunted mansion after dinner. Before dinner we had just enough time to watch Mickeys Philharmagic… My favorite 3D movie at the parks!


We enjoyed dinner at the Crystal Palace. This was was our first time eating dinner there and I was not disappointed! We met pooh and tigger the other morning at park fare and we lucked out that Eeyore and Piglet were the two we met during dinner rather than duplicating!

After dinner we headed to our haunted mansion fast pass where the coolest part of our day happened! I noticed a cast member looking at the mansion when we got off and I went to look at his pins (I ended up trading for a really cool flounder pin). And we started chatting! He actually told me a secret about something that’s coming which I hope to share when it’s gone public). We chatted for about 10 minutes and he made our day Sooooo magical!!! He gave a special fast pass to ride anything because he had “kept talking so long.”


We had certainly enjoyed talking to him and it was a pleasure, but it was a nice magical touch that made our day just a little more special!

So after that we went to the fast pass kiosk (saving our magic fast pass for later) and got a fast pass for dumbo! I highly recommend riding this one at night or dusk because it’s beautiful!


Afterwards we headed to space mountain with our magic fast pass and it was down!!!! No worries though we were able to walk onto the people mover! And the cool thing was when we went through space mountain on the ride, the lights were on! You could see the inside of space mountain with lights on!!!!


Space mountain was still down, so we rode small world. As we were getting off Small World, we saw the that Space Mountain was still down but that Enchanted Tales with Belle was only a 10 minute wait, so off we went.  All I can say is WOW!!!! Well done Disney!  I highly recommend this experience for all ages! (I will do a full blog post on it at a later time)

  
By the time we got out of Enchanted Tales, Space Mountain was back up and running.  We headed there with our magic fast pass in hand!  So awesome!  It was the perfect ride to end our evening!  We headed back to the resort and got a cocktail at the Scat Cats Lounge.

What a great day ūüôā  Today’s Step Count-

  

Day 2 in Review

Alright day 2, another great day at Disney (but lets face it, are there bad days at Disney?).  In our original plan I had us getting up around 6:45 or 7 and getting to Animal Kingdom by 8am for extra magic hours, but after nearly a 20 hour day on our first day we opted to sleep a little later!  We still caught the last 15 minutes of Extra Magic Hours, and were able to enjoy a nice short line at Starbucks!

We started out with our first fast pass for Kilimanjaro Safari, and lucked out with seeing a Rhino run, and seeing a male lion actually awake!  On all of our Safari rides we’ve yet to see a male lion, so yay!  Because we got on the Safari right after the park opened, we got off in plenty of time to make it over to the new Harambe Theater for the 10am showing of Festival of the Lion King!  What a great show!  It’s so exciting!

  
When the show was over we headed to Asia for my favorite Disney coaster- Expedition Everest!  On our way to our third and final fast pass we stopped for a free cup of water at the Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafe, and smelled some of their amazing foods!  We had planned to go to Flame Tree BBQ for lunch but ended up back at the Yak and Yeti for something new!  Their menu has an Asian flare as well a vegetarian option!  I had the chicken sandwich and Craig had the honey chicken.

  
After lunch we decided to head back to the resort for some relaxation! We enjoyed some time at the pool and some rest.  We love to take a break during the hottest parts of the afternoon to keep us fresh for the rest of the day!

Around 4pm we headed over to Epcot and jumped onto spaceship earth (only a 5 minute wait…SCORE!). After we had planned to head to test track and do the single rider line and it was down! That was a good thing though, it allowed us to try something new! We rode Ellen’s Universe of Energy for the first time! We generally hit our favorites and move on, but we’ve been trying hard to experience new things! 

  

We had dinner at Biergarten restaurant in Germany! It’s one of my favorites!!! Great food and atmosphere! We did a little shopping and then found a great spot for illuminations! 

   
 

And here are today’s mileage stats-  

  
 

30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 27 “Favorite Disney Beverage”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

Okay first, when I mention the word “Beverage” in quotations, I’m meaning beverages of the alcoholic variety. ¬†My beverage of choice is a margarita, so when I’m thinking favorite drinks there is one in particular that comes to mind- The Pineapple Margarita from La Cava del Tequila at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.

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A secret wish of mine is to meet Neil Patrick Harris at La Cava del Tequila.  He is a fan of this location, and every time I enter, I wish with all of my heart that he would be there!

Neil Patrick Harris at La Cava del Tequila

Neil Patrick Harris at La Cava del Tequila

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So margaritas and the possibility of meeting NPH sounds like a winning combination to me!

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30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 18 “Favorite Disney Memory”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

Okay, this may be one of my absolute silliest Disney stories that I have, but it is one of my favorite memories!

During my husbands very first Disney trip, in 2008 we only had 2 days to visit the park, and knowing that we only had the two days, I selected Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  I knew that my husband would love the World Showcase and seeing all the cultures, so we spent a lot of time in each country.  We started in Mexico and eventually made our way to Canada.

We were crossing the bridge between France and the United Kingdom (Fun Fact, the water under that bridge is representative of the English Channel!!!) ¬†As we were crossing the bridge we passed a Father and a little boy who I would estimate to be about 8 years old. ¬†As we passed the little boy exclaimed “Daddy I farted!” ¬† Craig and I stifled our laughter until they were out of ear shot, but we just thought it was so funny! ¬†Now EVERY single time we cross the bridge between France and the UK we look at each other and say “Daddy I farted.” ¬† Is it a dumb thing to remember yes, but it makes us laugh ūüôā

Bridge between France and UK at Epcot

Bridge between France and UK at Epcot

30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 15 “Favorite Gift Shop”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

I really should have pluralized a bunch of the categories on the list, because today is yet another hard decision for me. ¬†With that being said, I think I’m going to have to go with favorite gift “shops” instead of just one shop. ¬†So, away we go!

Magic Kingdom- The Emporium is my favorite gift shop there. ¬†It is the largest gift shoppe at Magic Kingdom and has a little bit of everything. ¬†There isn’t a real specific theme to the shop, just a lot of Disney apparel, mugs, Mickey Ears, and general touristy souvenirs. I love to stroll through the Emporium on a hot day to escape the heat for a little while and just check out what they have to offer ūüôā

The Emporium at Magic Kingdom

The Emporium at Magic Kingdom

Epcot- Mitsukoshi Department Store, is fabulous. ¬†It is located in the World Showcase’s Japan Pavilion. ¬†It is HUGE and there is a ton to look at. ¬†It has a lot of nick nacks, and is just really fun to check out. ¬†They have a wide assortment of Japanese snacks and candy, which is always fun to try, as well as a spot to purchase sake flights. ¬†Perhaps my favorite part is watching someone pick a pearl! ¬†Click here¬†to read my post (and watch a video) of me picking my pearl in January!

Mitsukoshi Department Store- Epcot

Mitsukoshi Department Store- Epcot

Hollywood Studios- Tatooine Traders is the gift shop at the end of the Star Tours ride. ¬†I LOVE Star Wars, and this gift shop is like geek haven. ¬†I always end up buying a t-shirt for my brother and saving it for his Christmas gift ūüôā ¬†Oh and for added fun, build your own lightsaber!

Tatooine Traders at Hollywood Studios

Tatooine Traders at Hollywood Studios

Downtown Disney Disney’s Days of Christmas is located¬†in the Marketplace at Downtown Disney and is a must stop place for me on each trip. ¬†My husband and I have a tree in our living room and all the ornaments are Black, White, Maroon, and Silver (the colors in the room). ¬†It is stunningly beautiful, and every trip we make to Disney, we love to look through this store to find a new ornament for our tree! ¬†It is a little difficult at times to find one that fits the theming of the tree, but that makes each one more special and unique! (Click Here¬†to view my ornaments purchased at Disney’s Days of Christmas)

Disney's Days of Christmas- Located at Downtown Disney

Disney’s Days of Christmas- Located at Downtown Disney

If you’re interested in planning your own trip to check out the amazing shops that Disney has to offer, be sure to contact Ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com. ¬†Her planning services are always free of charge! ¬†Take the hassle out of your planning! ¬†Contact her today for your free quote!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 14 “Favorite Table Service Restaurant”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

With SO many different options to choose from this is a very another difficult choice to narrow down. ¬†I’ve had some amazing meals at all of the parks. ¬†They all bring something unique to the table (pun intended). ¬†Many offer unique experiences with entertainment, or characters, and some just dazzle with amazing food, and atmosphere.

We try every visit to experience new dining, and I have certainly not been to every restaurant. ¬†I’ve been to quite a few, but not all of them. ¬†The location that we visited last summer that has stood out in my mind is Biergarten in Germany. ¬†We loved the live entertainment that happened during the meal. ¬†It was fun to watch people abandon their seats and get up and polka with the live band! ¬†We also enjoyed the seating. ¬†We were seated with another family and had the opportunity to visit with them and get to chat. ¬†(This isn’t for everyone, but we really enjoyed it) ¬†and then there is the FOOD!!!! ¬†It’s a buffet, so you get the chance to try many different foods, and if you don’t like something you’re not stuck with it. ¬†I enjoyed just about everything I tried!

While we try to visit as many new restaurants as we can on each trip, this is one that we are revisiting on our upcoming trip because we enjoyed it so much last time!

Biergarten Restaurant

Biergarten Restaurant

Thinking about planning your next Disney vacation?  Be sure to email ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com!  She can help with all of your planning needs, and best part is that her services are free of charge!  Email today for your free quote!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 12 “Favorite World Showcase Country”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

Within the 1.2 miles of the World Showcase at Epcot there are 11 countries, and something for just about everyone.  There are shows, attractions, live music, shopping, and enough food and drink to make anyone want to be rolled out of Epcot!

For me, I love just about EVERYTHING in the World Showcase, and think that each country’s pavilion is special and unique in its own way. ¬†This maybe the hardest decision I’ve made yet in the 30 day challenge. ¬†My top two finalists are Mexico and Japan, and after much consideration, I’ve concluded that Mexico is my favorite pavilion.

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There are several reasons that Mexico is my favorite-

* There is a ride. ¬†Many of the pavilions do not have a ride, rather a movie or other attractions. ¬†The ride may be a little cheesy, BUT it’s one of my husbands favorites, and I just love watching him get excited about it! ¬†(Added bonus there is never a line for the ride!)

* The inside of the pavilion is just beautiful. ¬†I love the feeling of the open air market and how it is set up with individual “puestos” or stands.

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* There are two amazing table service restaurants, as well as a quick service restaurant in this location. (To read my review of San Angel Inn and La Hacienda de San Angel, Click Here)

* La Cava del Tequila offers the best margaritas on Disney property (at least in my opinion!) ¬†I love love love margaritas. ¬†They are probably my all time favorite libation. ¬†They have an amazing pineapple margarita that I look forward to on every trip! ¬†They offer flights of tequila and small plates (for a more intimate experience check out “Wind Down” at La Cava del Tequila.) ¬†AND Neil Patrick Harris is a semi-frequent visitor at La Cava. ¬†It is my dream to meet him there sometime haha!

* Inside La Cava del Tequila there is a really cool mural that shows the process of how Tequila is made, and there is a representative from Tequila Mexico on hand who will explain the process of how tequila is made from the agave plants.  I think it is fascinating, and a great cultural experience.

mural

* In addition to all the fabulous things you can see inside there pyramid, there are additional puestos outside as well as meet and greets with Donald Duck (my hubby’s favorite character) and live mariachi music.

I think this is one of the most well rounded countries in the world showcase! ¬†There is so much to do and see! ¬†Amazing food, amazing drinks, culture… this pavilion has it all!

30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 9 “Favorite Character to Meet

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

Alright, Day 9,  and my favorite Disney Character to Meet.  I am going to break this one into two categories- Animated Characters, and Face Characters (Just because interacting with the two are quite different.)

So first, my favorite animated character to meet is Tigger! ¬†He has been my favorite since I was little! ¬†He’s so fun to meet (I’ve met him both at Crystal Palace, and in the park). ¬†I love him so much that for my first Marathon ever (at Disney of course) I dressed up at Tigger! ¬†I was so proud to get a picture with him and my marathon medal the following day! (And our course I can’t find the picture… MEH!!!!)

Me with Tigger at the Crystal Palace (Day before my 2nd Disney marathon!)

Me with Tigger at the Crystal Palace (Day before my 2nd Disney marathon!)

Me dressed as Tigger for my first Disney Marathon!

Me dressed as Tigger for my first Disney Marathon!

So in the other category, “Face Characters”- ¬†it is definitely Mary Poppins! ¬†She is so fun to interact with! ¬†I’ve met her at both the Magic Kingdom (by the carousel) and at Epcot (in the United Kingdom). ¬†During my last trip I asked her if I could take a “selfie” with her, and she didn’t miss a beat! ¬†Her response was “Is that like a self portrait? ¬†I have¬†never heard of a selfie.” ¬†I love the movie, and I love Mary Poppins (never just Mary)

Me with Mary Poppins for our "Self-Portrait"

Me with Mary Poppins for our “Self-Portrait”

Who are your favorite characters to meet?

Want to plan a trip to meet your favorite Disney characters?  Be sure to contact ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com for your free quote!  Her planning services are free of charge!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 5 “Favorite Epcot Ride”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

Epcot is more “attraction” based rather than “ride” based. ¬†There are several great rides, like Test Track, and Mission Space, but my favorite is “Soarin”

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This ride was originally developed for Disney’s California Adventure Park, and made it’s way to Epcot’s Land Pavilion in 2005. ¬†This simulates a hang gliding experience like none other. ¬†You get to hang glide over various locations in California and it is truly breath taking.

It is rumored that they will be adding a third theater to this attraction as wait times often hit 100 minutes early in the day. ¬†It is also rumored that the Epcot version of the ride will be getting new ride footage and be a new Soarin experience that isn’t over just California.

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If the views weren’t enough listen to the beautiful music composed by Jerry Goldsmith

If you’re in the mood to “Soar” down to Walt Disney World, be sure to chat with ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com. ¬†She will get you set with a free quote for your vacation!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

Disney Challenge- Day 1 “Favorite Disney Park”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

For many I think this would be a hard question- “What is your favorite Disney Park.” ¬†All of the parks have their great qualities, however, Epcot is without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite Disney park.

I love everything about it!  I love the learning is available there, I love that you can experience many cultures in one place, and I love the FOOD!

Epcot is special to me as well because that was the first Disney park that my husband ever got to experience.  On our way to my best friends wedding in Siesta Key, we stopped in Orlando for only one day, and could go to one Disney park.  I choose Epcot for him to experience, and now it is his favorite park as well!

2010 Trip to Epcot

2010 Trip to Epcot

If you’re interested in booking your own trip to Epcot and the other Magical Parks at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, be sure to contact Ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com for your free quote!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com