Monday, June 27, 2011

WDW Trip Report - Surprises - 8 Things That I Didn't Expect

Very rarely am I genuinely surprised during my Walt Disney World vacations, but I have to admit that a number of things surprised me this go round. Would any of these have surprised you?

1. 50's Prime Time Cafe: I was soooo set to hate this experience. The mere mention of this table service makes my brother-in-law's blood pressure go up! However, I found the atmosphere to be charming, the food to be scrumptious, and the entertainment to be hilarious! In fact, I honestly can't wait to go back, and it might be a more regular stop for me in the future. Read about Kyle's and my experience there here.

2. Disney's Hollywood Studios: In November 2010 DHS did not prove to be the favorite park of the group. In fact, it moved to the *bottom* of the parks ranking for me. It just didn't quite hold the magic and fun that it did in the past. This trip, though, it was a blast! We went twice just so we could ride Star Tours again, and I honestly enjoyed our time in the park. While Disney's Animal Kingdom has moved up to my #3 most favorite Disney park, DHS being in last place doesn't at all mean it's a disliked park. Disney's Hollywood Studios redeemed itself in a big way this year.

3. Parades: Kyle and I never once stopped to watch a parade, and yet I *love* Disney parades! We did see a large portion of Spectromagic as we walked to Haunted Mansion (or Fantasyland, I can't recall for sure because we were really worn out), but we never stopped. We also peeked at a few other parades, but we used parade times to take advantage of shorter attraction queues. I don't feel like I missed out in skipping the parades. Maybe next time I'll stop for them. It was much more relaxing to not wait an hour squished next to randoms for a parade to begin.

4. Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom: I'm not even putting a link in this one. If you've read my blog at all, it's no secret that I adore Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom! It's musical; it's magical; it's down-right awesome (wish I had another good "m" word, suggestions?)! This trip, I was tired, I wanted sleep, and I gave up Rope Drop with little hesitation. In the long run, that was probably the best thing for me. I needed that sleep. I've seen Rope Drop numerous times. I can sing the whole thing to you right now if you asked me to (but I'll spare you). It's firmly in my memory. Next time perhaps, but again, surprisingly, I don't feel gypped because I missed it.

5. Missed Attractions: Before we skipped ANY attraction, Kyle and I tried to be in total agreement that missing it was fine with both of us. You saw on our last video that we said the trip was a success, and I'm sticking to that claim. Big attractions we ended up missing due to super long queues (or deciding we were too tired): Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Country Bear Jamboree (ok I'm a little sad about that one as well as Indiana Jones), Rockin' Roller Coaster, and Kali River Rapids. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything else big. We rode every single thing in Epcot though (and that's what really matters, right?). Really though, we rode everything that really mattered to us, all of our "must-do's".

When you go to Walt Disney World quite a bit, it's ok to miss an attraction or two because you know you'll be back again some day. You hit what feels best at the time and since it's vacation, you skip the long queues, if you can't grab a FastPass, or stop when you're exhausted. I've come to terms with this, and despite missing these "big" attractions, I am delighted to say that I don't have regrets or feel like I missed something huge. I conquered all the Mountains in November. I'll conquer them again next trip.

6. Food: I can't link to just one post in my recent trip report to explain this, but a rich meal at the beginning of the trip set my stomach on edge for the rest of it, and I could barely eat. A note to dieters: if you're restricting fats, processed foods, and calories prior to your trip, huge meals will NOT go well once you're at Walt Disney World. You've been warned.

Prior to the trip I was looking forward to the meals and snacks. Once I got sick, partaking in those meals and snacks became minimal. In fact, there were entire "must-do" foods I missed out on like France's Napoleon, trying a Dole Whip Float, and being adventurous tasting foods at Boma. One day I'll eat those things, and it will be glorious. This trip was just not the trip for me to be a foodie.

I did find a few surprising delectable treats that my stomach could handle. Frozen Lemonade and Lemon Italian Ice were both soothing on my stomach (as long as they were in small doses). As much as I hate to admit this, beer always sat well. However, since I was operating on less food, I tended to get super giggly very quickly. Mickey Waffles actually settled my stomach on the last morning of our trip, and most of our table service meals were ok if I was feeling even halfway up to eating them. I lost 2.6 pounds during our 6 day trip, and as of today I'm 4 pounds down from where I was before we left.

Am I a little bummed? Yeah. Did it ruin my trip? Surprisingly not even kinda. I can offer some advice to anyone who gets sick to their stomach at Walt Disney World though. Don't push it. Eat when you aren't nauseous, and eat what sounds good to you. Trust your instinct not to eat even if it means not eating much for an entire day. Sometimes your stomach needs time to settle. Don't worry if you have to eat off the kids' portion of the buffet at a table service. Do what's going to keep you from having to go back to the resort or from running to the restroom a bunch. Yes, food at Disney is *awesome*, but I'll be back, and when I go back, I'm sooooo going to enjoy gaining those 2.6 pounds back! ;-)

7. Kyle: It's a little dangerous me starting a category like this, but I promise it's not where ever your mind just went. I was scared to death before the trip that I would be awkward or that we wouldn't get along. Let me explain "Joanna-awkward". Sometimes when I'm really nervous when I meet someone for the first time I get super clumsy (i.e. trip a lot), have major issues making eye contact, and get my words all jumbled. I don't think I was like this; although, I did mention to Kyle when we met up that there was a possibility that I was about to get super clumsy. He may tell you I was exactly like this, but mostly I just ended up talking too much which was actually a good sign. So the surprise here was that I was super comfortable with him from the second we met which meant we really did get to know each other online before the trip. He can choose whether or not to tell you if this was his take on it since I can only explain how I felt.

I was also shocked that sharing a room (2 beds, people!) with a guy wasn't as awkward as I thought it would be. He also actually handled me being sick on and off very well. All in all the lack of awkward on this trip was amazingly wonderful.

8. Leaving: I had a ridiculously hard time with leaving at the end of this trip. I went into detail about this in the last day of the trip report, but I feel it's worth mentioning again. I was shocked that I was in tears the last day (which is weird because tears do tend to come easily for me). I've never had a hard time leaving Walt Disney World before, so it's natural to conclude that it wasn't leaving the parks that hurt but rather was leaving a good friend that killed. I've already been all sentimental about this, so click the link above to read about it, but it definitely was a shocker for me.

It never ceases to amaze me how during one trip to Walt Disney World one thing is hugely important and then next trip it's almost a nonissue. In November 2010 I was obsessed with the baguettes in France. This trip I was hardly even tempted to purchase one. In January 2009 I rode Tower of Terror multiple times (even alone a few times), but this trip riding once was enough for me. Rockin' Roller Coaster has always been a must-do, but missing it this trip didn't bother me in the least. Swimming at the resort has turned into a must-do easy afternoon for me now since it's so relaxing and refreshing. D-Street will *always* be a stop I make at Downtown Disney since Kyle introduced me to it this trip.

How about you? Have you had any Walt Disney World surprises? Anything that was a must-do turn into a may-do?

Next Post: I'll most likely write a sum up of the trip report with all the links to the days and an embedded playlist of all Kyle's and my videos. After that post I have no idea what I'll write about next. Really this blog is called "Joanna & Her Amazing Technicolor Interwebs" not "Joanna Does Disney" (although how did no one suggest that??), so I'm thinking I may write something about teaching next. I've had a post rolling around in my head for a while now that might find a place here. (Or I could just stick to Disney. I do have some Disney plans that I haven't revealed on Twitter, Facebook, or my blog yet!)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

WDW Trip Report - Day 6 - The Answer to *Your* Question

I know it's silly, but I've been putting off writing the Day 6 post about Kyle's & my last day at Walt Disney World. You guys know me: I'm a crier, so it should come as no surprise that I had a hard time with this day. I'm ahead of myself again, so I'll stop and try to chronicle our last day. Also, I'm waiting until the end of the post to embed the video because it sums up the trip.

We started by getting up super early to finish packing and take our checked bags to the airline counter at our resort. That's one of the great perks of staying at a Disney resort: they'll print your boarding pass, deliver it to your room, check your luggage, and take it to the airport for you! Makes for a much simpler last day. Anyways, I woke up really really nauseous. (At this point I was fairly certain Kyle thought that I'm always sick, but I swear I'm not!) My body was dying for the comfort of my bed, but my heart wanted to stay a few more days with my good friend. It was a pretty quiet morning.

After checking our bags, we took the bus to Magic Kingdom and went to the boat dock to wait for the boat to Wilderness Lodge, so we could go to breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe. We sat with our backs to the park, and when we turned around and looked as we boarded the boat, we saw this massive crowd (solid people):
We were kinda happy not to be going there!

Since no one really leaves the Magic Kingdom area in the morning, we had a private boat ride to the resort.
That gave us time to have a pleasant conversation about Deluxe Disney Resorts and to look at all the places along the way. I remember enjoying the cool breeze while we rode the boat. (Remember that comment later...)

Walking in to Wilderness Lodge I was floored to say the least! LaRae and Randy went there for their honeymoon, and they rave about the place. Honestly, from the pictures online, I wasn't super impressed, but it was astoundingly amazing in person. I couldn't find the words to express how lovely it was! I've always kinda thought that I'd wait to stay Deluxe until I got married, but sometimes I think waiting for my life to begin is completely moronic. I seized the moment and that feeling and got Kyle to make a deal with me: if we're still both unmarried and unattached in 4 years, we're going back to stay Deluxe! I don't even care which one; they're all amazing! (Besides, it will take 4 years to save up that kind of cash!)

Whispering Canyon Cafe was similar to 50's Prime Time Cafe in how the waiters and waitresses "played with" the diners. They mostly stuck to teasing the kids, but they still messed with us a little. If one asked for ketchup, they called for all the ketchup in the restaurant to be brought to that table! Our waitress asked us if we needed any, and when I laughed and said no, she said "don't be scared!" in a tone that worried me a little. ;-) By the way, I thought she sounded just like Roz from Monsters, Inc.

We got the All You Care to Eat Breakfast Skillet. Despite still not feeling great, I decided to power through and have a couple of Mickey waffles. Yum!!!
I also tried biscuits and gravy. I must be the worst Southern gal ever: I thought they were disgusting! Of course I also don't like sweet tea (or any tea for that matter) and didn't like grits until I was 26. So yeah, me being Southern has been called into question a few times.

After a leisurely breakfast (where Kyle was sung to and given a birthday cupcake one last time), we headed to the bus stop to take the bus over to Hollywood Studios. When we got to the bus stop, I heard someone call out, "Joanna?" It was a woman from work, so we visited with her and her family until their bus came. Was great to see her, and she snapped a pic of her and me to text to our principal. Haha! Our bus took about 45 minutes to come. Some people called about it, and one finally got there. Possibly the worst bus wait we had, but looking back, it didn't feel that awful to me.

Hollywood Studios was crazy crowded, so we rode Star Tours twice and shopped around looking for a Perry the Platypus shirt for Kyle (we never found one). On the last ride Kyle finally got a Star Tours ending that was NOT the Death Star, so I think he was pretty happy. He also steered me over to Phineas & Ferb, so I could get a photo of them for the kids.
He's also a pretty big fan, so I took his photo with Ducky MoMo. Was really glad that he explained he whole Ducky MoMo thing to me. It's actually pretty hilarious, and I'd like to see that episode now. Also, I think this is the *only* picture in the photos I took of an "actual" duck.

The entire time we were at DHS, the Camp Rock song was going strong when we passed the Hat, and I sang along (loudly) with it each time we heard it. I mean, come on, who can help but sing "We rock! We rock!" when they hear it?? I don't think we did anything besides sweat, ride Star Tours, sing along to Camp Rock, and shop at DHS. In fact, we decided after all that and after the crowds got insane, that we would hop over to Epcot for the rest of our last day. Anyone surprised we ended up in Epcot 3 times this trip? After all, it is our favorite park. *grin*

Notice that I said we sweated at Hollywood Studios? I think the heat was the worst it had been the whole trip on this day. There was no way to be girly with the suffocating heat. I mean, you try to be prissy when you feel like you're dripping sweat! Not gonna happen. The only saving grace I had was the fan I bought in China in Epcot the day before. Best $11 I spent! By the end of the trip I was quite adept at quickly popping the fan open and closed. I usually tried to get us both in the fan's breeze when we were sitting on boats or standing in queues.

We took a boat from DHS to the International Gateway in the World Showcase of Epcot. As I say in the video below, it was my first time coming through that entrance, and it was excellently vacant!

We spent the afternoon wandering through World Showcase. Kyle got a Kaki Gori (a shaved ice treat) in Japan, and I got Italian Ice in Italy (did I really need to say where?). We stopped in the shade in Germany and ate our treats. At one point I stepped out of the shelter and realized it was raining. Our conversation still makes me laugh (keeping in mind I was the girl who wanted to wear a poncho on water rides):
Kyle: Is it raining?
Me: (standing in it) Yep.
Kyle: (perplexed look) Are you standing in the rain?
Me: Yep. (smiles happily)
Kyle: Do you have your poncho in your purse?
Me: Nope.
Kyle: Want to go get one?
Me: Nope. (pauses) Wanna join me?
Kyle: (waits a beat) Yep.
We then walked in the wonderfully cooling rain until it became giant drops that would knock a full grown fairy out of the sky and went into the Mexico Pavilion to take cover. The Mariachi band was playing close to the Three Caballeros entrance, so the queue was practically non-existent, and we decided to ride it one last time. Even though a family was coming through the queue right behind us, the CM's loaded us in the front seat of the boat and closed the gates and sent us on a private boat ride. Again, it was nice. We joyfully sang along with Donald, Joe Carioca, and Panchito one last time.

After that we headed toward the front of the park to ride Spaceship Earth as our final ride of the trip. I find it interesting that we started and ended our trip on perpetually moving, calm rides that most children would say are boring instead of the trill rides. I liked that. Seemed fitting for us and our relaxing trip.

You can tell on the video (again, below) I was starting to have a hard time with the whole "end of the trip" thing. By the time we finished Spaceship Earth, I was holding back tears. I promise I don't typically cry when I leave Walt Disney World. I know I'll be back, but the thought of leaving Kyle was really bugging me. You have to understand, we've known each other for over a year. It took over a year for us to bridge the gap between Texas and Connecticut to finally meet. We meshed so well and had so much fun that the thought of leaving someone I now consider to be a best friend and not knowing when I'd see him again was on the point of painful for me.

My bus to the airport was leaving 30 minutes before Kyle's, but he went back to the resort to wait with me. While he headed off to grab lunch, I found a table, turned my back to where he was, and finally let the tears flow. Once he sat down I tried to smile, but he knew something was up and asked if I was ok, and I burst into tears again. A couple minutes later I was able to speak again *sigh* and chatted with him through lunch. We promised we'd see each other again some day, and I plan to hold him to that.

We waited to go to the bus stop until the last minute, so the bus pulled up fast. When we were saying our goodbyes, Kyle pulled out his iPhone and "said one last picture?" 8 photos later we finally had one with both of us in it. ;-) The trying to get it to work right explains the looks on our faces.
He also snapped one last pic of the trip as I boarded the bus:
I took one from the bus of him waiting on the bench, but it's really hard to see the Kyle-shaped blur (on the right on the white blurry bench):

I waited until the end to post this video because it really does sum up our trip nicely in the last minute or so. Also, while on the trip (and in the days following it), I received MULTIPLE private messages on Twitter, in my email, and on Facebook asking about Kyle's and my "status". We answer that burning question in the end of the video. (By the way, wouldn't have killed some of y'all to message Kyle instead of me. Just sayin'!)

I love Kyle's "oh I'm being filmed" smile at 1:50. Keep in mind I wasn't feeling great, so makeup had become minimalistic, so excuse that, and towards the end I'd been crying.

So there you have it! Kyle and I had a successful trip to Walt Disney World. We proved that two people can meet online, share a digital connection for a year, and get along amazingly well with minimal awkwardness when they meet for the first time in real life and spend 6 days together. To everyone who said that they admired my bravery and that they were a little jealous of my adventure, you can do this too. :) Be brave; have no regrets! It's really the only way to go about life!

Hope you all enjoyed sharing our adventure with us! We had a blast sharing it with you via Twitter while we were in the parks, and I have had fun reliving it on my blog. Who knows, in 4 years you might be reading about Kyle & I going to a Deluxe resort at WDW (although I plan to go back before that)!

Next Post: I'll write one last time about the trip in my next post about things that surprised me about this trip, and hopefully we'll have a guest blogger join us in the next week or two, but we'll see on that last one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WDW Trip Report - Day 5 - The Whole Country??

Any good Walt Disney World fanatic knows that a great trip starts with detailed planning including, but not limited to, an elaborate spreadsheet. I knew I had picked the right person to travel with when I mentioned making a spreadsheet, and Kyle offered to email me the one he had started! You're probably laughing at how maniacal it sounds to have a spreadsheet for a vacation. After all, the Tanner family's vacation was very nearly ruined when Danny lost his vacation planning notebook at Walt Disney World on Full House, but know that just because one has a spreadsheet, one doesn't have to live and die by it.

I say all that because Kyle and I started to veer away from our plans on Day 5. For starters, we were supposed to watch Magic Kingdom's Rope Drop on that morning, but I didn't want to get up that early, and since it was my "must-do" that I was willing to skip, we slept in a little. From there we were supposed to head over to Epcot and then go back to Magic Kingdom the following day to get in some last attractions. Day 6 looks nothing like our spreadsheet said it should, but I'm ahead of myself! That's the next post.

When we got to Magic Kingdom, we only had a few attractions that we really wanted to ride before park hopping to Epcot. We stopped for a quick PhotoPass picture:
I had already started filming us in the hotel room that morning, so maybe it's better on this post for Kyle and I to tell you what we did. Excuse how bedraggled I'm starting to look in these videos. Remember, I hardly ate the night before, and the lack of sleep and food was starting to make my eyes look a bit dark:


At the start of the video we're talking about how we would see the Disney's Magical Express paperwork on our door handle when we opened the door that morning. In all fairness, Kyle had been patiently waiting on me to be ready to leave that morning, and I was s-l-o-w. And yes, to answer your burning questions, I did make Kyle pull the apples back out of the fridge to eat while we filmed. 5 points to whoever knows what "Don't pull the rope!" references. Apparently it was my day to "whoo hoo!" on film a lot too.

From there we took the Monorail to Epcot (as stated in the video). The crowds were getting crazy big in Magic Kingdom, and when we got to Epcot, they were huge there as well. Not willing to be scared off from our favorite park, we decided to go find food and enjoy the World Showcase. Again, we vlogged our way through the park. Before you click play, a few words of warning: we were tired and hungry at the start of the video. At the 2:00 mark, we start filming in World Showcase, and we're MUCH more fun! In fact, the 2nd half of this video is my favorite video especially the "the whole country??!!" line at the end.


After we left lunch at Sunshine Seasons, which I was able to eat (YAY!!!), the rain started coming down. Despite my pre-trip insistence that I would be wearing a poncho on water rides and in the event of rain, I did not get a poncho or run for cover. Instead we strolled through the rain! It helped cool us off. The humidity rose like a tidal wave of heat right after the rain though, so that was a bit of a bummer.

We spent most of the afternoon shopping and slowly browsing in World Showcase. At some point we got to see the Voices of Liberty perform in the American Pavilion. They are AMAZING, to say the least, and I never feel like I've heard enough when they finish their show. Their first song on this video always makes me laugh (as you can hear in the video - sorry). The second one is especially neat to me since my hair is indeed (naturally) black.

The snack we mentioned was this lovely treat from Germany:
The caramel is the German Chocolate Caramel from Karamell Kuche. It was about an inch thick and had a layer of pecans and toasted coconut through the middle of it. One caramel was plenty for me, and I had a hard time finishing the last bite. The Oktoberfest beer was tasty but got hot fairly quickly in the heat of the day. Kyle said he really liked his cookie. I swear that thing was as big as my head.

Dinner was at San Angel Inn that night, and we both kind of described our meals in the video. The tables in the restaurant were super close, but after a little while I didn't really notice our neighbors. As always, we put away our phones (as much as we could) and enjoyed some great conversation full of laughter that night, and that made it one of my favorite meals. Also, the waitress called us "Mr. & Mrs. G_____" and then suggested we ride the Three Caballeros attraction because it's so romantic! We just laughed it off instead of trying to explain we're good friends and travel buddies. Sometimes smiling and nodding is easier.

The part of the video that's after San Angel Inn was after we partook in a responsible amount of adult beverages which Kyle sweetly pronounced on the video (and did NOT drive afterwards- feel the need to be clear), so I was super giggly which you can obviously see for yourself in the video. What surprises me watching that video is the giggly was balanced with super serious looks from me. Weird to watch yourself sometimes, no?

Remember the Duffy ears hat and how I said it showed how Kyle was always willing to wear random hats to make me smile or be in random photos when I asked? Norway was another place that this was quite evident in the photos. After we got off Maelstrom (you know, when we "rode Norway"), I saw a Viking hat and popped it onto his head and named him Viking Kyle as I snapped a pic:
This epic photo is his Facebook profile pic right now because Viking Kyle is pretty awesome. Since Kyle pulled the Troll Vinylmation the night before, I thought it was fitting for say, "ooooh Kyle, go stand by the troll!" while I snapped a pic:
The actual troll in Norway (above) is much cuter than the Vinylmation version of itself. The troll is on the right by the way, ya know, if you couldn't tell. ;-) Hee hee! This picture would only be more perfect if I'd begged him to keep the Viking hat on a bit longer.

After dinner we watched IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth again, but our viewing location wasn't quite as good as the time before because we were back from the railing. Afterwards we shopped in Mousegears once again. I wanted a cute cupcake necklace, and Kyle bought a really great watch he'd been eyeing the whole trip. On the way out we snagged another photo using the PhotoPass:

After shopping we went back to the room to pack and then do our usual chatting before bed. Our last full day in the parks went fast, but it was nearly perfect. While we missed some attractions, I really do think not standing in super long lines was the best choice overall for us.

Next post: Our last day in the parks and our last video. Our spreadsheet said we should go to Magic Kingdom, but we didn't! Where do you think we ended our vacation?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WDW Trip Report - Day 4 - The Only Good Dinosaur is a Dead Dinosaur

As promised, today's post will have MUCH more footage of Kyle & me, but it will all be at the end of the post because we filmed in the evening. (If you want to see the videos bigger, simply click on one, and it will take you to a fuller sized video on YouTube.)

The day started, as planned, at Disney's Animal Kingdom. I'm not going to go into graphic details, but if another child throws up in my presence on a Disney bus, I may just start renting a car. (OK not really, but it was gross!)

As soon as we got to the park, I begged Kyle to use PhotoPass with me. I'm glad I did, the colors we were wearing contrasted nicely with the greens all around us:
I was told to hold onto his waist & look surprised. One of our more fun photos from the trip. :)

We tried to ride Kilimanjaro Safari as soon as we got to the park, but the queue was winding through Africa, so we grabbed a FastPass and went over to ride Expedition Everest. Luckily its queue wasn't nearly as long. On my last trip, I only saw the FastPass line and had a hunch I was missing out on some neat themed elements. Wow, was I right! This queue is highly themed with Yeti "evidence", and I found that the line moved faster than I could look at everything.


After Everest, it was my turn to hold up my end of the Tower of Terror/Dinosaur bargain. I drug my feet as we went towards the attraction. Kyle was a gentleman and offered to let me bail out, but I don't back down on promises. :) Last trip I ended up a huddled, whimpering chicken on my sister's shoulder. This time I was determined to look up more. I did see more of the ride this time including most of the dinosaur that jumps out at the end. When we exited the ride, I offered to ride it again because I knew Kyle really liked it, and I kinda wanted to see a bit more of it. So those of you who know the ride know that a dinosaur jumps out of the pitch black at you from the right towards the end of the ride. I was ready for it and fearfully looked it in the eye this time. What I was totally unaware of was the HUGE dinosaur that looms over you from the center and seems to be lunging at you! I ended up screaming in Kyle's ear and grabbing his arm! *red face*

After the screaming, we decided to use our Safari FastPasses. Nothing really of note here. We saw animals. They were close to the vehicle. I didn't take any photos... just enjoyed peacefully watching the animals.
Around lunchtime I realized something was pretty wrong with me. In line, I put my head on Kyle's shoulder, and when he asked if I was ok, I lied. Yeah, I'm a horrible person for lying, but I was like a 5 year old having too much fun to admit she was sick. The nausea was back full force, and suddenly I had no energy. I really thought maybe food would help, so I got the pulled pork sandwich from Flametree BBQ. I ate about 2 bites, but wow those 2 bites were delicious! Then I sat there and watched the birds surrounding our table and made conversation while Kyle ate & looked at me all worried-like because I wasn't touching my food.
I didn't want to leave to go sit around at the resort, but it was becoming fairly evident that I wasn't going to make it at the park much longer, so we sorted out a plan at lunch. I was dying to see one of the shows, so Kyle suggested the Nemo one, and then we would head back to swim before dinner.

I can't rave about the Finding Nemo Musical enough! It was amazing, and that's saying something coming from someone who isn't really a Nemo fan! The music was beautiful, the puppetry was excellent, and the story telling was seamless. If you have a chance to see this show, go! In fact, go twice. It's worth it.

After Nemo we stopped to shop a bit on the way out of the park, and we found the 9" Vinylmation I've been wanting for months. It's technically a birthday cake, but I wanted it for my kitchen since I decorate cakes as a side business. I was super excited about my find! It was taken off of DisneyStore.com right before my birthday in February, so I really thought I'd have to buy it on eBay. (BTW - don't I fake feeling well for a picture amazing well? Hee hee!)

Back at the resort we decided to go swimming. It was a much better success than the night before. The pool was very warm, so I was able to swim around some while Kyle sat on the bottom of the pool. The floating helped my stomach feel some better and soothed my tired muscles. I really didn't want to get out, but we had to get cleaned up for dinner.

Our reservation that night was for Boma. The pool proved to be one of our best ideas because we were able to feel fresh again as we changed for dinner (that nice top I threw in the suitcase last minute came in handy, and Kyle looked quite dashing in his new 40th Anniversary WDW shirt). Looking good, we headed to the boat to Downtown Disney to bus over to Animal Kingdom Lodge to Boma.
This is one of my favorite trip photos because we both look so happy! I keep saying how happy we looked in photos, but really we looked that way the whole trip I guess...

While waiting at the bus stop, we made a video of what we ate. The whole joke is that I mostly watched Kyle eat because I knew food wasn't the right thing for my body at the time. I ended up eating off the kids' part of the buffet and managed to look like either a) the pickiest eater ever or b) a fat anorexic. Either way, I was a little mortified at what the waiter must have thought of me. For the record, the food did look good even if I couldn't partake.

The soup I had was a Black-Eyed Pea soup, not Black Bean. I misspoke in the video. Also after watching this video I made a conscious effort to pull my chin down in every other video.

No thanks to my ability to navigate Disney Transportation, we took the bus to Downtown Disney to go shopping. (I looked at the sign below at the last bus stop and exclaimed, "but this one doesn't say Downtown Disney either!!!")
Once there, we realized the crowds were INSANE! Once they cleared a little, the video camera came out again:

Kyle's look at 0:10 cracks me up every time I see it.

We walked further into Downtown Disney than I have ever walked before to get to to D-Street. This place *is* Vinylmation Headquarters! They had a WALL of birthday cake Vinylmations. Yes, that kinda stung as I thought I'd found a sold out Vinylmation at DAK. Hehe. I traded a Vinylmation there (mostly to say that I traded at D-Street). I made Kyle pick the number, and that's, I think, where I got the awesome Urban Gears/Steampunk VM complete with mustache! I ended up needing to buy more Vinylmations to trade, and Kyle also bought a couple, so when we got out of the store, we decided to open our Vinylmations on camera.

A note for those of you who haven't heard my niece explain Vinylmation: you typically buy Vinylmations in "blind boxes" meaning you can't see which one you're getting. You just know the series which has about 12 VM options. I tend to count how many I want out of 12 to get a "desirability" percentage before I purchase from a series. After you open them, part of the fun (for me at least) is trading them in stores throughout the parks. Kyle wasn't a trader until this trip.

Around the 3 minute mark I put the VM I just opened on the ground and make a weird face as I duck out of the frame. No, I'm not losing my dinner... I'm just a dork who makes weird faces...

After our Adventures in Vinylmation (which I named the video on my laptop and THEN realized I said on camera), we shopped in World of Disney, the world's largest retail Disney store. It was PACKED. We got separated at some point, and when I finished shopping, I texted Kyle with something like, "stop moving... where are you??". It was reminiscent of being told to hug a tree if you get lost in the woods. Anyways, the store is ginormous and a Disney shopaholic's dream!

We took the boat back to the resort that night. I have to say, boating to places in Disney World is the way to go. The breeze is nice. You don't get stuck standing like you do on a bus, and the whole experience is very calming. After we got back to the room we did our typical chatting and passing out thing. Every night we were pretty exhausted once we got in. :)

Next post: Kyle and I head to Magic Kingdom and then hop to Epcot, AND we'll take you on a tour of our day through both parks. Also, you'll get to hear my favorite line of all the videos: "the whole country?!"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

WDW Trip Report - Day 3 - Let's Make a Video!

As the title suggests, today's trip report post is the first time you'll get to see video of Kyle and me, but we're not quite there yet. We started the day hoping to head to Epcot, but the busses were not coming and once they did, the busses were full, so I suggested we hop on a Magic Kingdom bus and then ride the Monorail to Epcot. We ended up in a private Monorail car:
Part of the fun of going to Disney World with another avid Tweeter is that you can pull out your cell phone and take random pics to tweet without anyone thinking you're weird or getting annoyed. In fact, while I was taking the above photo, this is the one Kyle was taking:
I still think those of you who actually followed us on Twitter have a better idea of the fun we had. We really enjoyed messing with each other via Twitter too. There's a pic out there of him "not" sitting by me on the bus followed by him tweeting a pic of my feet in the seat across from me. Anyways, we definitely enjoyed Twitter while we were there.

Once we bussed & Monorailed our way to Epcot, we decided to enjoy Futureworld.
That morning we enjoyed Soarin', The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, Living with the Land, Test Track, and Captain EO (starring Michael Jackson). Kyle had never done Turtle Talk with Crush, and while we were quite possibly the only people without children there, it was still really cute and hilarious. Captain EO was the original show brought back from the 80s where MJ defeats evil using song and dance. It was good, but it's not making it to my must-do list. Did we do Mission Space? I can't recall... we really got a lot in this day!

This day the crowds were not bad at all, so we left Epcot by boat to head to Downtown Disney for lunch. We enjoyed sandwiches from Earl of Sandwich at a table by the water. After being sick the day before, I was super happy to be able to eat my sandwich, the Italian. Can't recall which one Kyle got. I should have taken notes. I bought a custom Rice Krispie Treat at Goofy's Candy Company, and I brought it back to the room, but sadly I was never able to stomach eating it. :-( Oh the irony - right now I could really go for one!

We took the boat back to our resort to drop off food and then bussed back to Epcot for the afternoon and evening. I believe this was when I had the "genius" idea to stop at Club Cool to get free Coca-Cola samples from around the world and to film Kyle while he drank Beverly, a notoriously bitter drink. I was happily surprised when he said I could film him. He'll have to
describe what it tastes like because I've never been brave enough to try it.

As soon as we walked out of the doors of Club Cool, I declared that we should vlog the rest of our trip. I'm not sure what went through Kyle's mind when I pulled the camera out and pushed the red button (maybe he'll share), but he quickly filled the willing role of my on camera foil. In fact, I always enjoyed the fact that whenever the camera came out, he put on his "camera smile" and moved in to his spot by me to get in the camera's sight. This first time though was a little embarrassing. Despite that, we continued recording on our way to Soarin'. Here's the compilation of videos from the day:

If you listen closely around 0:50 I completely miss the bottom of the escalator & scream as I trip. I wish I'd filmed a bit longer after that because my nonstop giggling was pretty funny I'm sure.

A note about filming: As you can tell, the first day of filming was short, and it wasn't until thenext evening that I really figured out some good times to pull out the camera. Keep in mind that this is my first video camera, and we just filmed for the pure fun of it. The camera we're using is a Sony Bloggie Touch which films in HD. You'll notice I don't film on rides. Perhaps it's me being selfish (you miss a lot when you film), but it's also me being scared of dropping the camera, and my camera doesn't film well in the dark.

I think we rode Living with the Land twice that day. It's just so peaceful and relaxing. That afternoon we finally made our way to World Showcase and rode the Three Caballeros attraction in Mexico. It's one of my favorite rides and one I can't help but sing along in.

Dinner was at Via Napoli in Italy. I got the classic Margherita pizza, Kyle got the Piccante Pizza (with sausage on it), and we shared a pitcher of Sangria ($8/glass or $18/pitcher, pitcher made sense).
I've read that they use special water to make the pizza dough, and that makes all the difference. Whatever they do, it's amazing pizza! The dough was perfect, not too heavy, not to light. The ingredients were pure and flavorful. I was surprised that the sauce wasn't full of the spices we're used to in the US. It was very light tomato. The service here was also outstanding, in fact, one might argue they were a little too attentive. The second we took a sip of water, our glasses were being filled again, and the waiter continued to pour Sangria into our glasses! I tried to drink a little less and let Kyle polish off more of the Sangria that night since the drinks from the night before had left me super giggly, and we still had a lot of walking to do this evening.

At some point I went tweet-silent because I was having so much fun. We ended up in Mexico right by the railing next to the Ring Carver (across from the Margarita Stand) to watch the nighttime fireworks show, IllumiNations. Turned out we were right in front of a fireworks launcher! Made us jump the first time it went off. The location was pretty much a perfect view, so much better than last time. We could see all the countries light up (totally gave me chills) and had a spectacular view of the fireworks.

Afterwards we waited for the crowds to clear and went to MouseGears to shop. I've never been one to close down the park, but we really pushed it that night. We were some of the last people to make our purchases, but it was nice to not have to wait in a long line for the bus. Our bus was actually waiting for us when we got there, and it was one of the last of the night.

While in the store, I begged Kyle to try on a pair of Duffy Ears for me to tweet a pic. He hates this photo, but it's one of my favorites of the trip.
Let me explain why (and maybe he won't unfriend me). It shows his attitude the entire trip: willing to try anything, sweet enough to be uncomfortable for a minute for a photo, and willing to look a little silly to make me smile. This is the dear friend I chose to go to Walt Disney World, and this is why I chose to go with him. He's just awesome like that. This is also why I miss him so much right now and why I cried when I had to say goodbye. It had nothing to do with leaving Disney World and everything to do with leaving a friend like Kyle to be completely across the country from each other. That's just kinda rough.

Ok sweet and cheesy sentimental-ness aside, our Epcot day was pretty rockin'! We only really made it through Futureworld, but we knew we'd head back over to World Showcase another day. Getting in so much even when we left the park for lunch was a pretty amazing feat.

We ended the night by swimming in the quiet pool by our building. It was stinkin' cold too! Kyle likes to sit on the bottom of the pool when he "swims". I, however, ended up clinging to the side of the pool, huddled in a ball, telling him I wasn't cold. I'd so wanted to swim, so I was like a little kid and didn't want to leave as soon as we got there! He didn't have his glasses or contacts, but apparently my teeth chattering gave me away, and we left the pool after half an hour or so.

I know I've muddled up details up the day, so maybe Kyle can guest blog in the comments and set things a little straighter. :) He sure helped flesh things out yesterday, so if you didn't read the comments, go back and do so.

Next Post: Kyle and I are already halfway through with our trip, but the videos only get better (and more frequent) from here! Day 4 Kyle and I headed to Animal Kingdom, Boma, Downtown Disney, and D-Street. Come back soon to see how much fun we had!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

WDW Trip Report - Day 2 - Don't Upset Cousin Cooper!

Disney's Hollywood Studios was Kyle's & my destination for our second day of our Walt Disney World vacation. It was the last weekend of Star Wars Weekends, and we wanted to see all the characters (I'm going to sprinkle photos throughout) and enjoy some rides on Star Tours.

Our morning started at 6:10 with the alarm by the bed going off unexpectedly. I couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from or why Kyle would have set his phone alarm for so early. Thankfully he kept his wits about him and turned it off. Then I slept through my alarm a bit (like 15 minutes), and since it was our first morning together, Kyle let me sleep. No problem, but we did end up arriving at the park a little late.

As soon as we got there, we noticed the Stormtroopers guarding the entrance:
Right after I stopped filming they pointed out Kyle and put a bounty on his head! You could hear them talking from where we were standing, and they were a hoot!

We started our day by going to Toy Story Midway Mania which only had a 15 minute wait! It gets up to 2 hours long on a regular basis, so we felt super lucky to practically walk on. Kyle totally kicked my rear, but it was fun, so I was totally ok with that. Besides, he's classically trained in video gaming, so I didn't really have a chance.
When we got off the ride, the wait was already about an hour, so we grabbed FastPasses (basically a way to virtually stand in line) and hurried over to Star Tours.

Even without being a huge Star Wars fans, I recognized that the new and improved Star Tours was AWESOME! C3P0 pilots you through various places in the Star Wars universe. There's something like 52 possible variations of the ride, so you can ride it over and over without getting bored... well unless you're Kyle, and then you have the Death Star ending 5 out of the 6 times you ride. We also grabbed a FastPass on the way out of there, and we moved on to Tower of Terror.

Kyle made a deal with me before we arrived that if I'd ride Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom, he'd ride Tower of Terror with me. Once we got close to the ride, I realized his fear was a phobia, and he was seriously kinda panicky about the ride, and I felt really bad. At one point the child behind us said to his dad, "ya know the first time I rode Tower of Terror, I called it Tower of Terrible Death!" I couldn't stop giggling, but poor Kyle lost ALL color at that moment. I did offer to let him bail on me, but he stuck it out. Thankfully we got a more mild ride sequence than I've had before, so he came out alive. I jokingly asked him to ride again but didn't push it the rest of the trip.

The order of the day gets a little blurry for me here. At some point we headed over to lunch at 50's Prime Time Cafe. If you recall from my Pre-Trip Report, I was hesitant about this meal and unsure I'd be game to the waiter's razing, but it ended up being one of my absolute favorite meals! Our waiter was Cousin Cooper, and he immediately laid down the rules for us that included no "walkie talkies" (cell phones). Honestly, from that point on, unless we were taking pics of our food, we tried to leave our cell phones put away for meals, and it made things so much more enjoyable. Really got to chat more and enjoy our meal that way.

I seemed to be Cousin Cooper's target for lunch. When I ordered water and a Coca-Cola, I forgot to say "please". He kept sarcastically calling me "princess" until I finished my water, and then he switched to "Nemo." The whole meal we were laughing hysterically at his antics! When he asked if we were ready to order, I said I was and looked at Kyle, and Cousin Cooper's response was "well it's not all about you, princess!" When I finished my water, he called over from another table, "wait for the ice to melt, princess, and then you'll have more water!" He had other great lines all day that maybe Kyle will share in the comments (*poke poke*). We really did enjoy him though.

After lunch is when the day started going not so well for me. The richness of the food (amazing Pot Roast for me & a sampler for Kyle - I'll let him tell you about eating his veggies) did not sit well in my stomach. We decided to do some calm stuff and headed over to the Animation Courtyard for some character photos. Sadly, I was unable to stick it out (I was really really sick), so I headed back to the resort for some calm & cool relaxation.

Maybe Kyle can fill y'all in on what he did while I was away. I think he rode Star Tours again and he watched some neat show that he was looking forward to.

When I got back, we met up for dinner (well, he ate, I watched - this was to become an all too common event for us after Day 2 of our trip). Then we rode Star Tours again and used our Toy Story Mania FastPasses. I'll leave out the pic, but he beat me again. He offered to go easy on me, but my competitive nature wouldn't allow it. :) We also shopped in the special Star Wars Weekends shopping tent: Jabba's Hut.

We ended the night watching the Hyperspace Hoopla (search it on YouTube if you're interested) where all the Star Wars characters did a kind of dance off. It would have been better if people hadn't put their children on their shoulders. I'm going to do a quick PSA and say that keeping your children on your shoulders for any sort of show is rude and selfish. Think of the people around you! Holding your child at your height in your arms or on your back is one thing, but on your shoulders in the middle of a crowd is ridiculous. We watched most of the show on a woman's camera phone as she filmed it.

Moving past that annoyance (we chose not to let things out of our control get us down), we headed back to the resort to watch Yehaa Bob's piano comedy show. I can only speak for me, but this was one of the most fun evenings I had! From the second he started playing, he had the crowd totally involved! I did the hand jive in the front of the room; Kyle did 20 jumping jacks; other people ran around the room. It was a blast! Partaking in a couple adult beverages helped I'm sure. ;-) By the end of his show, we were wiped. After chatting for a bit before bed, we passed out! Nothing like a good night's sleep after a full day at Disney!

This post is getting insanely long, and no matter what I add, I can't fully explain how amazing and fun this day was for me. Experiencing Disney World with just one other adult who loved Disney as much as I was already proving to be totally different than all my other trips (in a good way).

Next Post: If you can hold out and stick with it for one more post, I'll share another video with you, and this time Kyle and I will be in it! In fact, every post after this will have fun videos of us. I promise to explain how that came about too. Day 3 will take us to Epcot and Downtown Disney! Come back in a day or two. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

WDW Trip Report - Day 1 - Hey Look! A Duck!

After all the tweets, Facebook comments, and blog posts leading up to Kyle's & my Walt Disney World trip, I felt it was only fair to do a complete trip report when we returned. I didn’t expect it to be as hard for me to write as it’s proving to be. You’re going to have to wait for our last day post for me to fully explain, but I’ll go ahead and briefly say that leaving a close friend and not knowing when you’ll see him again is super hard. Connecticut and Texas are too far away!

When I landed at MCO, Kyle had already landed, and we were in different terminals. A few texts and a phone call later (the first of many times that I proved I have no mental map), and we found each other. Yes, I felt awkward at first because it’s me, and I’m self conscious, but by the time we got to Disney’s Magical Express (the DME), everything felt natural. Laughter, smiles, and conversation were flowing quite nicely. In that year+ of chatting, we really had gotten to know each other.

A quick bus ride to Port Orleans Riverside Resort

Thanks to Tracy for insisting that we text her a pic of us on the bus. This is one of my favorite shots from the whole trip. Look how happy we are! Such genuine smiles! :D

and we were checking into our room! I had secretly called and put our celebration of Kyle’s birthday (it’s June 27th) on our room reservation as well as our dining reservations, so he had a birthday button waiting for him, and we got an amazing room! First floor, near a quiet pool, just around the corner from a bus stop, and not too far from the front of the resort. I don’t think we could have asked for anything better. The front desk staff was super friendly.

On the beautiful walk to our room, we excitedly pointed out the boating areas, main pool, and gorgeous paths. I also showed myself in true Joanna-form, and exclaimed, “Look! A duck!” Kyle asked where, and my response was a quick, “never mind! Not a duck! Just kidding! Just kidding!” Yeah, I had mistakenly pointed out a tree stump to him. *red face* We laughed about that most of the trip and constantly pointed out “ducks” from that point on.

We didn’t take long to settle in our room and head to the bus stop to go to Magic Kingdom. After all, our luggage was going to be delivered in a few hours, so really it was shedding a carryon item or two and heading out. I do remember thinking that the double sinks were great and the room was super spacious.

By the time we arrived in Magic Kingdom, Kyle was already hearing “Happy Birthday!” nonstop thanks to the button he was wearing, and as soon as we entered the Magic Kingdom, a Cast Member (CM) sang happy birthday backwards to him.

Thanks to all our voters, we headed straight to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover for our first attraction of the trip.

The ride was peaceful, allowed us to chat some, and had a nice breeze. It was a perfect start to an awesome trip.

At some point we stopped for lunch at Pecos Bill’s which was good but fairly generic. Mostly it was about getting quick food and getting going on the fun! Outside of Pecos Bill’s I got “cookied”. Ya see, when you wear a birthday button, CM’s are constantly calling out “Happy Birthday!” and sometimes there are some perks. When we passed one CM, he gave the birthday call, and tossed a cookie to Kyle. What he didn’t realize was super uncoordinated Joanna was between said CM & Kyle, and I totally got hit by a cookie! From that point on I took a step back when CM’s started to speak to Kyle.

From there we embarked upon a whirlwind of activity! That afternoon and evening we rode It’s a Small World, the Haunted Mansion (got stuck on it 3 times but I wasn't too freaked out since Kyle was there), Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Carousel of Progress, Space Mountain, and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (Kyle majorly beat me which for some reason made me decide he was a "Planetary Pirate"). I don’t think I’m missing any…

First of many pictures of Kyle where I said "hey Kyle, go stand by ____!" or "hey Kyle, put this hat on!" and he sweetly obliged while I snapped a photo. He really was a good sport about it. (Of course I haven't posted the Duffy hat photo yet...)

Our first sit-down dinner was in Liberty Square at the Liberty Tree Tavern where we discovered that if I went to wash my hands in the bathroom, they would immediately call us for our table. ;-) The food was good, but it was not my favorite meal of the trip despite the fact that they sang to Kyle (who was starting to twitch nervously every time they came to sing to anyone around us). The beef was more tasty that the turkey and the sides were fairly good. Probably not a place I'd choose to go again. My favorites tended to be much more entertaining or have more out of the ordinary food.

Our evening also included the Magic, Memories, & You Castle projection show. This was my first video of the trip, and I’m not sure what the clicking noise is, so ignore it, and you can get a bit of an idea what the show was like. I really liked it was impressed with the precision of the projections.

Wishes, the fireworks show, followed shortly after, and while we got stuck behind a tree, it was still beautiful. Yes, I quietly sang along. Doesn't everyone do that?

We ended the night with a few more attractions, but we were both totally beat. We’d both gotten up around 5 that morning, and bed was sounding really good. Once we got to the room, we unpacked a little and pretty much passed out.

Hopefully Kyle will add his take and some extra details in the comments section in a while. No matter what I write, I don't think I can fully describe how amazingly fun this trip was from start to finish. Those of you who followed our tweets got a better idea I think. :)

Next post: We’ll head over to Hollywood Studios, enjoy a night with Yehaa Bob, and I’ll share what surprise we woke to on our second morning! Trip report posts will be posted about every 2 days, so be sure to come back soon!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

What Are You Looking Forward To?

Because we booked our June trip back in February, our countdown seemed to be going VERY slowly. Around 97 days out from our trip (maybe even before), I started greeting Kyle on Twitter every morning with “Good morning! Happy Day ___! I can’t wait to ____! You?” I remember one Sunday morning, around Day 87, I got a reply from him saying he was running out of “looking forward to’s” and I said something like “you do realize I’m going to ask you what you’re looking forward to every single day until we get there, right?” Hehe! He’s kindly played along this entire time, and now I usually wake up to his latest “looking forward to” tweet. It’s helped the countdown fly by. I’m not how I’ll start my day without those tweets when we get back.

Aside from the random things we looked forward to (napkins, no stress, no work calls, etc), we often mentioned a favorite ride, a fireworks show, the feeling you get walking down Main Street, USA, or a meal we would share. Every single day there has been something to look forward to! Sometimes mine were based on what I dreamed about the night before, but usually it was whatever popped into my head that morning.

So today I’ll countdown some of the things I’m most looking forward to:

1. Meeting Kyle! I have to put that tops on my list because, well, it’s going to be greatness. :)

2. Cupcakes!

3. I LOVE trading Vinylmation and can’t wait to run into shops, trade real fast, and dart back out. I have trading down to a quick art, and I even have 4-5 Vinylmations all waiting to be traded!

4. Magic Kingdom: riding Astro Orbitor & Jungle Cruise at night, seeing the Haunted Mansion queue updates, Wishes, Peter Pan’s Flight, & the smile that never leaves my face as soon as I get there!

5. Epcot: Spaceship Earth, Illuminations, the 3 Caballeros, Maelstrom, the bakery in France (YUM!!!), and the World Showcase in general. Debating drinking around the World a bit even. :)

6. Disney’s Animal Kingdom: exploring more, the shows, the safari, the shade!

7. Disney’s Hollywood Studios: riding Tower of Terror & Rockin Roller Coaster, beating Kyle at Toy Story Midway Mania (hehe!), and seeing all the Star Wars fun!

8. Downtown Disney: SHOPPING! Ghirardelli ice cream sundaes!

9. Port Orleans Riverside: having a new resort to explore & being close enough to walk to Port Orleans French Quarter for fresh beignets.

10. The food, all of it! I swear I could eat myself into a coma there. Of course I say that and then the heat makes me not so hungry! Hahaha! I can’t wait to try the new places we’ve picked to eat and to try a Dole Whip for the first time.

When it comes down to it, these are only the tip of the iceberg of what I’m looking forward to on my trip. My “looking forward to’s” change often. I mean, Walt Disney World trips in general have me smiling the whole time (even riding the bus “home” at night).

Lastly, remember how on the last trip I swore I’d never ride Dinosaur again? I made a deal with Kyle that if he’d ride Tower of Terror with me, one of my absolute favorite rides and a big fear for him, that I’d get on Dinosaur again. I was shocked when he responded with “Deal.” Whoops. ;-) So I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to that or not, but I guess it’s not just the wee kids you have to worry about being scared of rides!

This will be my last post until we get back from our trip (then you'll all be treated to a full on Trip Report!), but the fun doesn’t stop here! Follow us @goddessofmath and @Drantis82 on Twitter to stay updated on our WDW adventure! I promise to post lots of pics!

(Remember, you don't have to log on to Twitter to see what people are saying. Just click on the links & check it out. I update on Twitter way more than Facebook while at WDW.)

**Remember, we still need you to vote on what attraction we should ride first! The Haunted Mansion & Jungle Cruise are so close! Vote in the poll to the right, and we’ll hop on that ride as soon as we get to Magic Kingdom (after I trade a Vinylmation of course)!**

Friday, June 03, 2011

Choose Our Adventure!

In one week Kyle and I will be heading to Walt Disney World! We’ve been counting down the days to our trip for over 120 days, and we are eager to get there! The room is booked, Park days are set, dining reservations have been made, and our mouths are watering for the amazing treats there, but we still haven’t decided what we’re going to do first. That, dear readers, is where you come in. :) 

**ALERT!** If you are reading this on Facebook, click here to head over to my actual blog, so you can play along too! Now, carry on with the reading and such. ;-)

A few weeks ago I sent Kyle a direct message on Twitter asking what he thought about letting our Twitter followers and my blog readers pick what we ride first when we get to Magic Kingdom. He thought that would be fun, so we made a list of attractions that typically don’t have long wait times and we’re eager to ride.

Here are the choices (I’ve added video for my non-Disney-geek friends):

It’s a Small World


Jungle Cruise

Pirates of the Caribbean (really neat bit with Johnny Depp towards the end of this video)

Haunted Mansion

Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover
 
After we get all checked in at Port Orleans Riverside, we’ll head over to Magic Kingdom and ride the attraction y'all pick. We’ll even (attempt to) snap a picture and post it to Twitter to prove we rode your choice. Be sure to vote in the poll to the right under my Twitter feed. If you want to tell us why your choice is the superior attraction, feel free to do so in the comments below.

EDIT: Poll is now closed! Thanks for voting! The winner was the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover! :) See pictures of us riding it on Day 1 of the Trip Report. 

Next Post [June 7th]: This will be my last post before we leave for our trip! A lot of planning goes into a WDW trip, and a huge part of the fun is eagerly anticipating the trip. Next post I’ll chat about what I’m most looking forward to.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I Could Overdose on Cupcakes!

My brother-in-law pointed out that I didn’t mention snacks in my dining post. I thought I didn’t have time or room on my blog for that, but I’m ahead on my posts, and the snacks at Walt Disney World are truly incredible!


For my non-Disney readers (if I have any left at this point), when you get the Disney Dining Plan, the DDP, that Kyle and I are using, you get one counter service, one table service, and one snack credit. That means you can eat a fast food type meal, a sit-down meal, and get a snack each day. I love the snack credit because the snacks are things I might not spend $4-5 on normally, but when it’s included, I’ll totally go for it!


These are the snacks I’ve never tried but have seen on Disney Food Blog and am dying to try:


Snack: White Chocolate Elephant Cupcake
Location: DAK, Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery

This cupcake comes in the only size Walt Disney World knows how to make: ginormous! This chocolate cupcake with coconut and gobs of icing comes complete with an “extra” snack on top: a white chocolate lollipop. I'm not sure what the dollop of stuff is in the middle of the icing, but it looks like more coconut, so I'm all about it!


Snack: Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcake

Location: DHS, Starring Rolls

I skipped this cupcake during the last trip because it has Heath bar pieces on the outside. Then I got home and read that there’s a dollop of cheesecake INSIDE the cupcake! Oh yeah, I’m going to need to try that!


Snack: German Chocolate Cookie

Location: MK, Main Street Bakery

Those who know me know I *love* German Chocolate, so it should come as no surprise that I want to try this HUGE cookie. Last trip I bought one, brought it back to my room, and then never felt like eating it. Sometimes you end up with so much food that you end up not wanting to eat anymore. This cookie totally fell victim to that scenario.


**For more amazing WDW cupcakes, head over to the Cupcake Crawl Challenge on the Disney Food Blog!**


Snack: Anything in the Karamell Kuche

Location: Epcot, Germany

They have a German Chocolate Caramel here that intrigues me. I totally missed the shop on my last trip and really want to try it out! Perhaps a big caramel apple is in order…


Snack: Dole Whip

Location: across from Swiss Family Robinson Tree House

Amazing to most WDW Fans, but I’ve never tried one of these fan favorites. You have to know that I am slightly allergic to pineapple (sores in mouth, no breathing issues), so I try to stay away from it even though I really do like it. However, this pineapple soft serve in pineapple juice is a tempting treat, so I’ve decided to try it this trip. Besides, Kyle loves them, so if I don’t like it, he can have two!

There are some treats from the Boardwalk Bakery, the Cheesecake Brownie and Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake, that I’d love to try, but I think that will be for another trip.

I also want to bring home a few boxes of the new themed retro candies they’re now selling.

A few I’d like are the Who Needs Prince Charming, Everyone has a Dark Side, and Drawn to Chocolate. Might have to get the Monorail ones just because I love the box!


Oh, and it would be a crying shame to not mention my favorite snack of all that I could eat all day, every day:

That’s right! It’s the Napoleon from the Boulangerie P√Ętisserie. It’s rich, creamy, and not too sweet. In fact, there are quite a few treats from that bakery that I could really go for! I could practically live there. :D


What treats are your favorites from Walt Disney World?


Please return on Friday to help Kyle and I make one last decision for our trip! We’re leaving part of our plans up to you!