Friday, July 29, 2011

Shopping at WDW: Why You Need to Bring a Carabiner

I've decided to have a few ongoing series on my blog, and today I'm introducing you to a new series about shopping at Walt Disney World. It will show up in between regular (random) WDW posts.

It's no secret that I'm a shopaholic! On my last trip I *loved* the row of hooks on the wall in our resort room because it gave me the perfect spot to hang all my shopping bags every evening! Goodness knows I had a TON of bags when the trip was over! That being said I've got some fun tips to share with you about getting the most for your money, free souvenirs, budget souvenir shopping, and making the best use of your shopping time.

Today's tip is an easy one that will make carrying your purchases much more comfortable.  Many visitors to the parks know that you can shop and then send your purchases back to the resort to pick up in the office later.  I, however, don't typically use that option (just not my cup of tea). Instead I leave my shopping until the end of each day after I've spotted everything I'd like to purchase and then make one large but quick shopping excursion.

When you're traveling with a stroller, shopping is AWESOME! You can hang your bags off the stroller handles or put them in the carrier under the stroller.  Why do you think I have gone so much trips with my sister and her family? Free bag carrying! *wink wink* My June 2011 trip was adults only, and barring looking really weird pushing a stroller around sans child just for my shopping addiction, I realized I needed to find something else to help me carry items.

Enter the carabiner clip!

My brother-in-law had a couple of these clips on a bag he used at Walt Disney World in November 2010, so I borrowed them before my June trip thinking that maybe they'd be helpful with something, but I wasn't sure what.

Despite trying to just shop at the end of each day, sometimes there were items I saw that I "needed" to purchase right then. Alabaster Mickey magnets in the Italy Pavilion of Epcot are a prime example! These spur of the moment purchases are usually small but often not items that will easily fit in a purse or that you want to smush in your bag.

This is where the carabiner clips came in handy!  Can you see them here on my purse?
Yes, I had TWO on there. The loop was perfect for them to hang on!

I quickly learned that I could attach a small WDW bag to the outside of my purse by clipping the carabiner through the handles of the bag to easily carry my purchases hands-free. In fact, I LOVED this so much that I would do whatever it took to fit a morning or afternoon purchase into a small bag! Once I bought a few Vinylmations and took them out of their boxes (& tossed the boxes), so they'd all fit in one small bag to hang on my carabiners!  The medium size WDW bags also fit nicely but work best if you shorten them by tying a large knot in the bag.  Who knew one little loop of metal could free up my hands so much? Besides, when it's hot outside, the last thing you want to do is hang onto a plastic bag!

So there you have it!  Walt Disney World Shopping Tip #1: Clip a carabiner (or two) onto your park bag for hands-free shopping bag carrying.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The iPhone, Apps, & Walt Disney World

This summer has been full of friends emailing, Facebooking, and calling me asking for tips for traveling to Walt Disney World.  My theory is "if I can't go there myself, at least I can help someone else enjoy their time in my happy place!"  My advice ranges from places to eat to can't miss events.  Recently a friend told me that my suggestion of Magic Kingdom's Rope Drop really made their trip!  Nothing warms a Disney fanatic's heart quite like hearing they helped spread the pixie dust!  Hopefully in this post I can spread some pixie dust with some Disney iPhone app tips.

Any organized techie can agree that the iPhone (or any smart phone) can be a useful tool especially when traveling. My iPhone stays quite busy when I'm at Walt Disney World.  You all know me, I love to organize, so my iPhone has really opened the doors to planning made easy (and fun)!  However, before I tell you about my favorite Disney apps, I must warn you that the last thing you want to do on vacation is be constantly "in" your cell phone.  Any apps you decide to download need to be easy and fast to use as well as worth taking time away from your vacation to look at them.

When I started searching for Disney iPhone apps, there were so many that I was easily confused!  You can spend a small fortune searching for just the right one, so I recommend starting (after you read this blog post) by looking at the compilation of Disney iPhone/iPad apps on Stitch Kingdom.  Like any app out there, you have to find the ones that work for you and your needs, so be sure to read the reviews, check out the screenshots, and try any FREE versions first before you buy the app.  Also, I recommend loading your apps WEEKS before your trip, so you are used to how they work.
Above is the WDW Apps folder on my iPhone.  I did not use all of these apps while I was in Walt Disney World in June, but I find value in all of them.  Let's talk about my favorites though!

WDW Waits (Disney World Wait Times Free by VersaEdge Software) is quite possibly the app I used the most while actually in the parks.  I love free apps that only have a tiny ad on them!  This app does just what it says: it tells you the wait times for all of the attractions in all of the parks at Walt Disney World.  While in the parks it loaded fast and was highly accurate.  Often we'd be at the bus stop and check the wait times for the park we were headed to in order to know which attraction we should go to first.  It also helped us when we wanted to park hop: "Ack! Disney's Hollywood Studios has become super crowded! How's Epcot looking?"  Added bonus? When you're not at WDW, you can still check the wait times and daydream about what rides you would go to if you were in the parks!

WDW Hours (Disney World Park Hours Free by VersaEdge Software) is another of my favorite in park apps.  Again, it's FREE (and free is a very good price), and it has tiny ads.  I know we all grab the Times Guide when we walk into a park, so we know the hours of the parks, the parade times, and other event times, but this app has all that in one location!  I can put my hands on my phone almost instantly. That little piece of paper?  Not so quickly. It lists park hours, Extra Magic hours, parades, and some shows.  It's not quite as extensive as the Times Guide, but it gets the basics to you fast.

WDW Dining (Disney World Dining by VersaEdge Software) is an app that's completely worth the $1.99 you will pay for it.  Not only does it have every menu (with prices) for every counter service and table service in the parks, but it also has them listed for the resorts.  Want to make sure the restaurant you want to eat at has chicken nuggets for the kids?  Pull out this app!  Wondering where to find a cupcake in Magic Kingdom?  This app can tell you!  

Want to know about your dining reservations like the time, location, date, and reservation number?  Oh wow are you in luck!  I cannot even begin to tell you how many times we checked this app!  Below are the dining reservations that Kyle and I made on our last trip.  One evening before the trip I quickly entered them in the app, and voila! Instant reference sheet!  It will even email this list to anyone in one email instead of having one email per reservation.  Usually one prints all their dining reservation emails or makes a list on a scrap of paper that needs to be found to head to dinner.  This way your list is always with you along with your reservation number.  Invaluable tool!  This part of the app alone is worth the $1.99.
On a side note, I didn't realize until now how many VersaEdge apps I have on my phone!  Those folks sure know their stuff when it comes to Disney apps!

The three apps listed above are the apps I used the most while in the parks.  Apps do drain your iPhone battery, and I tend to prefer to enjoy the parks in person instead of through an app.  *wink*  However, the fun with Disney apps is not limited to the parks!  Some apps help make waiting for your trip even more magical!

WDW Pics (WDW Pics - Walt Disney World Wallpapers by kept my iPhone (and iPad) dressed in gorgeous WDW wallpapers leading up to and during my trip for only $0.99.  They update and add to the photo library often, and the shots are always breathtaking and high quality.  I could change my background daily and always feel like I was at WDW!

Mouse Trivia (Mouse Trivia: Disney Edition by x19 Studios) has over 1,000 questions about Disney!  While waiting for your trip (or killing time in the line for Soarin') you can brush up on your Disney knowledge about the parks, movies, characters, music, and more!  Challenge your travel buddies to see who can get a high score!  Play alone before your trip to learn tidbits to impress your friends in the parks!  Even better?  It's another free app, and they have multiple versions in the app store (like my favorite: Tangled).

Countdown (WDW Countdown by PLR Concepts, LLC) is my final favorite. Everyone waiting anxiously for a Disney World vacation needs a great way to countdown to the trip.  Kyle posted a screenshot of this app on Twitter one day, and I happily paid the $0.99 to have this app to help me countdown to my vacation.  It comes with pre-loaded WDW images for the background of your countdown, or you can load your own photos.  There are a lot of countdown apps out there, but this one had a Disney vibe and has a beautiful look to it.  You can customize quite a bit on it, and it adds just a bit more magic to your wait (and believe me, when you start your countdown over 100 days out, you need more magic)!

Any time you're at Walt Disney World and out all day in the parks, you run the risk of running your battery into the ground well before you are ready to go back to your resort.  I recommend checking out Amanda Tinney's iPhone Battery Saving Tips before you leave for your trip! I know those tips sure saved me when I was in the parks! Also a portable battery charger is a good idea.

Those are my 6 favorite Walt Disney World apps.  Remember to enjoy your vacation more than you enjoy your phone while you're on your trip!  What apps have I missed that you can't live without in the parks?

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Adventures of Kyle & Joanna!!!

One month ago today, Kyle and I were saying our goodbyes and leaving Walt Disney World. *sadness* Let's focus on the happy, ok? :-) For 2 months my blog has been devoted to Kyle's and my Walt Disney World trip.  Not only did I have a blast on our trip, but I really enjoyed sharing our adventures with my readers.  However, the time has come to close this chapter of my blog and move on to some other exciting Disney topics, so I wanted to put it all in a handy dandy package of fun here, so if you missed anything, you could find it all here in one central location.  I've even compiled all of our videos into ONE playlist on YouTube and embedded it below, so if you missed videos, you can find them easily at the end of this post.

Kyle & Joanna having an adventure with balloons!

My first ever Pre-Trip Report detailed how the trip came about, how we made our plans, and what our plans were. It's a great read for anyone getting ready for a WDW vacation!

Wanna Go To Walt Disney World? - Learn how two people from different sides of the United States decided to meet for the first time at Disney!
Moving Up in the World - Find out if we got a good Disney Pin Code and how we decided to go stay at a moderate resort instead of a value one.
Hop on the Monorail! - Park days are something I recommend everyone figure out before they make meal reservations.
Food Glorious Food - Read about our plans for our sit-down (table service) meals.
I Could Overdose on Cupcakes! - This post, about what snacks I was eager to try, was featured on the Disney Food Blog!
Choose Our Adventure! - Kyle and I allowed my readers to choose what attraction we rode as soon as we made it to Magic Kingdom on our first day in the parks.
What Are You Looking Forward To? - Every day Kyle and I started our mornings on Twitter by naming one thing we were looking forward to on our upcoming trip. See what made the top of my list!

As soon as I got home from our trip, I was chomping at the bit to write about our adventures in a full blown Trip Report. This was my second trip report (first one is found in December 2010 archives), and I never thought I'd write one let alone write a Pre-Trip Report! Turns ut sharing one's Disney story really is fun!  Here's a look back on our days at Walt Disney World:

Day 1 - Hey Look! A Duck! -Join us as we travel to WDW and go to Magic Kingdom.
Day 2 - Don't Upset Cousin Cooper! - Enjoy Star Wars Weekend with us!
Day 3 - Let's Make a Video! - Finally we visited our favorite park, Epcot!
Day 4 - The Only Good Dinosaur is a Dead Dinosaur! - Will Joanna chicken out or will she ride Dinosaur after all?
Day 5 - The Whole Country?? - Visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot with the dynamic duo!
Day 6 - The Answer to *Your* Questions - Have fun with us at Hollywood Studios and Epcot and mourn with us as we sadly leave our happy place.

After the daily write ups, I felt there was still more to the story, so I wrote one more post about the 8 Things That I Didn't Expect that happened during our trip.  If you're planning a trip, don't miss this post.  It's got quite a lot in it about how to make the best of it when things don't go as planned.  Our trip wasn't technically perfect, but because of our attitudes and the fun we were having, it sure *felt* perfect! 

When all was said and done, I realized that one person had been written about for 2 months, but he didn't really have a voice, so I asked Kyle to come on and write a couple of guest blog posts about our trip.  After a little time to think about it, he readily agreed, and he chose to write about the meals we shared.  It's a great addition to the trip report since I didn't get to eat a bunch on the trip due to my stomach deciding food was the enemy.  He really did a great job!

Throughout all of the posts, I was able to add videos of Kyle's and my adventures.  Keeping a vlog was new to both of us, but in the end, we have some great memories shown in these videos.  I've compiled them into a YouTube playlist, so if you missed any of the videos, you can watch them below. Hover your mouse at the bottom of the video, and you can scroll through the 10 videos. You can also click on the video and see the list on YouTube.  The videos mean more to me than the pictures since I don't know when I'll see Kyle again. It's nice to watch us laugh together. :)

I can't say it enough even though I've definitely made a fair shake at it: this trip was awesome! I love my family trips, but this one was different and had a totally new vibe to it.  I keep getting asked if I'll see Kyle again or when we'll go back to WDW.  Honestly, I hope we get to see each other again.  He's a great friend, and we laugh all the time when we're together.  How could we not see each other again?  As for another WDW trip?  It's going to be a while before I can afford that, but I'd be game.  Besides, if you watched the videos, you know that Kyle and I will be going back DELUXE in 4 years (summer 2014) if we're both still single.  Oh yes, I'm holding him to that! ;-) Hope you enjoyed our adventures. I feel confident that someday we'll have more to post. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

WDW Trip Report - The Other Side of the Story (Part II)

Welcome back!  Today, I'm finishing up our tour of the restaurants that Joanna and I ate at.

Today Joanna and I headed over to Animal Kingdom. Joanna wasn't feeling too good, so it was mostly me eating today.  DAK is home to my favorite Quick Service restaurant in the parks: Flame Tree BBQ.  I like Flame Tree because the food is very high quality, and the sauces and spices that they use are awesome!

I decided to get the ½ Chicken, which comes with baked beans and coleslaw.  The beans they serve here are my favorite ever.  They cook them with bacon and they have an BBQ based sauce.  They are tangy and cooked perfectly. In the past, the coleslaw at Flame Tree has been some of the only coleslaw that I've been able to eat.  Unfortunately, it appears that they changed the recipe over the past year.  It was drier and had a more classic flavor than I remember from previous years.  I was a little disappointed by this.  The chicken on the other hand was perfect!  It pulled off the bone easily and the flavor of the rub used was present throughout.  The skin, while not as crispy as it has been in the past, was still very tasty.  I ended my meal with the Key Lime Mousse thing.  It was ok, but I couldn't eat too much of it because of the dairy in it.

After a quick trip to DTD, we were on our way over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Boma.  Boma is my personal favorite buffet on property, due to the great selection of different foods. I started out at the Soup Bar.  I had recently discovered a love of Mulligatawny, which is a curry-based soup with chicken, potatoes and apples.  I was very excited to find that Boma was serving it that night!  It was a quick decision that this would be my choice for soup.  Boma's Mulligatawny had a more subtle flavor than what my local soup restaurant serves.  I have to say that it was awesome and allowed the individual ingredients to show their flavors.

Next up, I moved to the area of the buffet that featured the African-themed items.  I sampled pretty much everything in that section, but the item that really stood out was the Lamb Curry.  The lamb was tender, the curry had just the right of spices.  I could have eaten a couple bowls of just that, if it weren't for the other food that I wanted to eat. The only disappointment of the meal was the bobotie.  I've had it at Boma in the past and it was great.  However, this night, it was very bland.  I'd be willing to give it a try again though, as I'm hoping that this night may have just been a fluke.

The Dessert Bar at Boma is not my favorite.  Almost everything is chocolate based, and usually, that means milk or white chocolate.  As such, I stuck with the Fruit Bar for dessert.  This ended up being a disappointment too.  They had these incredibly red strawberries there that looked absolutely delicious.  I should have smelled one first because of I had, I would have known that they weren't ripe.  They were possibly the most bland strawberries I have ever tasted.  Other than that, the melon and pineapple were delicious!

Joanna Edit: Here's the video where we talked a little more about our meal at Boma. 

Joanna and I decided to sleep in a little today, so all I had for breakfast was a few slices of apples.  I didn't even eat them all.  This ended with me being a little cranky and out of sorts for most of our time in Magic Kingdom.  After we finished there, we headed over to Epcot and I decided I didn't want to walk all the way to the Morocco to eat at Tangerine Cafe.  Joanna and I decided to go to Sunshine Seasons at The Land pavilion.  I ended up getting a really tasty chicken & cashew Chinese stir-fry thing and either a cookie or a brownie.  I don't really remember as it wasn't really that memorable.

Our dinner this night was at San Angel Inn at the Mexico pavilion.  Just as Joanna hadn't been looking forward to 50's Prime Time Cafe, this was the meal that I really wasn't looking forward to.  I'm not really a big fan of Mexican food, due to how much they put cheese or cream on everything. I managed to find something that sounded interesting before leaving home and was mildly looking forward to it.  Unfortunately, when we arrived, we found that the menu had changed! I was disappointed, but the new menu gave me more options to choose from.  We both started out with Blood Orange Margaritas. 

This drink was really good, probably my favorite drink of the trip. For my meal, I decided to have the Mole Pablano, while Joanna had the Carne Asada a ala Tampiquena.  My meal was OK, but I'm not really a fan of Mole.  It had a bitter, but spicy flavor to it that just wasn't too appetizing.  I ended up scrapping a bunch of it off because it was too overwhelming.  For dessert, I had been “looking forward” to having churros.  Thankfully, the menu change also provided a more interesting choice: Isla Flotante.  This was a surprisingly good dessert!  It's a caramelized lime meringue in a vanilla sauce with berries.  After the heavy entree, I really needed a light dessert.  You can't get much lighter than meringue!  It was delicious too!

Joanna Edit: In this video you can see Kyle eating said apples, him (and me) being a bit cranky before lunch, and then us talking about our snack from Germany and dinner in Mexico. After the 2:00 minute mark, I find this video to be one of my favorites that always makes me laugh (well this one and our DTD video)! :)

With that, we come to the last day of the trip. I have to say that I didn't want this day to come because I was having so much fun with Joanna. We decided to start the day off with the most important meal: Breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe.  I've been to WCC once before, and really enjoyed it.  I also thought that Joanna might enjoy it.   This restaurant really feels like a cousin to 50s Prime Time Cafe.  The staff tend to have a lot of fun with the guests and the food is very comforting.  Joanna and I both ordered the Skillet.  I personally believe that this is the way to go when ordering here.  It's another All-You-Care-To-Eat meal with the following items: Eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, oven-roasted red potatoes, biscuits and gravy. 

I've never understood the whole biscuits and gravy thing, so I shied away from the latter. I was actually surprised that Joanna didn't like it either, though she actually tried some (something I can't say I did, but I blame the collard greens for destroying my adventurous taste buds.) Other than that, I really loved the potatoes. The sausages were pretty good too.  Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with the scrambled eggs.  I think the eggs at the resort food court tasted better.  After filling up on all the potatoes, eggs, bacon and sausage that I could eat, I noticed that a couple of the staff were approaching the nearby table.  Our waitress broke off from the group and approached me with a birthday cupcake.  Then the whole group of waiters/waitresses had me and a young lady from the next table stand  up while the whole restaurant sang to us. Yikes!  How embarrassing for the both of us!

That's the last Table Service meal of the trip. After scouring the parks for some last minute souvenirs, we headed back to Port Orlease Riverside where we spent our last couple snack credits and I used our last Quick Service meal on a simple Chicken Nugget meal.  I'm actually amazed that I went so long without ordering these.  Sadly, they changed the Honey Mustard sauce that they offer.  It leaned more toward the mustard side of the spectrum.  The nuggets themselves were all right, but not as good as they have been in past years.  I would still order them though! 

With that final meal, the tour of Joanna and my culinary adventures comes to a close. I have to say that after spending four trips solo dining, I really enjoyed having someone to talk with.  It made eating in a nice sit-down restaurant much less awkward (though at times, it ended up more humiliating thanks to  Joanna's sneaking my birthday onto our ADRs. ;-)  )

HUGE thanks to Kyle for being my first guest blogger! He did a great job detailing our meals in a way that I couldn't manage to do (probably even if I did get to eat them).  I admit that sneaking his birthday onto every single reservation might have been a bit excessive, but I really enjoyed getting to celebrate his birthday [early] with him.  I've never gotten to "celebrate" anything bit at Walt Disney World before, so that was kind of a guilty pleasure for me.  Next post will wrap up the trip report and then we'll move on to some more big Disney fun!  

Saturday, July 09, 2011

WDW Trip Report - The Other Side of the Story (Part I)

While posting my Walt Disney World Trip Report, I quickly realized that there was a whole side to the story not being told: Kyle's! (You know him from Twitter, but did you know he has/had a foodie blog too?) Feeling that his take on the trip would be an interesting one for my readers to enjoy, I asked him to write a couple guest blog posts for me. I was overjoyed when he agreed! This is the first of two (I've added some pics and videos where I've got them), so I'll let him take it from here. - Joanna

When Joanna asked me to write a guest blog post about our trip to Walt Disney World at the beginning of June, I was surprised and honored. However, I had a difficult time trying to figure out a topic to focus on. She had already done an amazing job detailing our trip. About a week went by when it finally struck me: the food! Since Joanna was unable to eat most of the trip, she wasn't able to talk very much about our meals.

I should preempt this by saying that Joanna has the magical gift to have our table called whenever she went to clean up before dinner. She'd head to the restroom to wash up, and it never failed that our table would immediately be ready. It was pretty impressive, considering the lines that we saw in some locations.

In planning our trip, we had only scheduled meals for five of the six days that we were going to be at WDW. We preliminarily decided on the following schedule:

Friday: Liberty Tree Tavern (LTT)

Sunday: Via Napoli

Monday: Boma

Tuesday: San Angel Inn

Wednesday: Whispering Canyon Cafe (WCC)

On our DHS day (arguably planned as the longest day with no breaks) we chose to fore-go a Table Service (TS) meal. As we got closer to our trip, we started thinking about this decision and the state of the Quick Service (QS) locations at that park. Personally, I find the QS locations at DHS to be lacking in food that I want to eat. The first reason is because when I travel on my own, I prefer not to eat Hamburgers and Chicken Nuggets. The other reason is that having a allergy to dairy, I have a hard time finding food that I can eat without having a reaction. After discussing this concern with Joanna, we decided to add another TS meal to our trip and just pay out of pocket for WCC.

So, with the back-story set, let's begin our culinary trip!


Having an early flight from Hartford to Orlando, I didn't really have a lot of time to make sure that I was well fed before my trip. I grabbed something quick to eat at the airport around 6am and hoped that it would last me until dinner time. Unfortunately, this plan proved to not be very sound. By the time I arrived at MCO, I was starving! However, Joanna and I had to find each other and catch our bus to Port Orleans Riverside so that we didn't waste too much time. By the time that we checked in, and made our way to Magic Kingdom, it was nearly 1pm. Due to how hungry we were, we made the executive decision to head to Pecos Bill's for a quick lunch.

As I mentioned before, I tend to stay away from burgers. I ended up getting the BBQ Pork Sandwich. I enjoyed this sandwich as a hamburger alternative. It had a very flavorful sauce and the bun they served it on soaked up the excess without getting too soggy. Other than that, it wasn't really anything special.

I ended lunch with the standard chocolate cake that is served at most of the QS locations. I'm not really a big fan of chocolate cake (or cake/cupcakes in general) but at this location the only other choices were heavily dairy-based.

Next up on our tour was Liberty Tree Tavern. I have gone to LTT every year since I started visiting WDW on my own in 2007. However, this was my first time eating there for dinner, I always go for lunch when there is a normal menu. For dinner however, LTT switches to an All You Care To Eat menu of rolls, salad, turkey, pork, beef, stuffing, green beans, potatoes, and mac & cheese. I was really looking forward to this meal because my favorite food in the world in turkey. To be honest, I could eat turkey everyday and be perfectly happy.

So, for this meal, I was actually surprised that I actually liked the beef and pork over the turkey. The rubs that they used on those meats were so flavorful! I also really enjoyed the stuffing, having a number of extra servings and the green beans as well. I left the mac & cheese for Joanna due to all the...ya know...dairy and such, so I'm unable to comment on that. It was very...cheesy looking.

Before our waiter brought the dessert (warm apple crisp) I flagged him down to ask if we could have the ice cream that it came with in a separate bowl so that I could eat some of it too. He graciously fulfilled this request and I'm so very glad because the crisp was AMAZING!

As we're eating our dessert, the waitstaff brings a birthday cupcake over to the pirate family sitting diagonally across from us. They ring the bell, give the announcement and I assume that they are done. Next thing I know, our waiter turns around and there's another cupcake in his hand and he's looking straight at me. It turns out that Joanna snuck my birthday onto all of our dining reservations! Arg!!! It was a pretty good cupcake, but I just couldn't eat it all after everything else that I had eaten that meal.


Saturday was our day at DHS for Star Wars Weekends. DHS is my least favorite park, but I think that this was probably my favorite day. I started off by having breakfast at our POR's food court. Just the standard eggs, bacon, sausage and hash browns platter. It was nothing special, just enough to get me going. I'm a huge believer of having breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Joanna is not so much a believer.

After we arrived, we did a few rides, then Joanna decided that she wanted a cupcake. As she previously mentioned in her DHS post, she got the Red Velvet Cheesecake cupcake. I can't say anything about the cupcake other than it looked insanely large and incredibly sweet.

After the cupcake and walking around for a little while, our ADR for 50s Prime Time Cafe arrived. I was really excited that we decided to eat at this restaurant at the last minute. My family had eaten here back in 2000, and it was one of the things that I remember most about the trip. Joanna wasn't too excited about eating here because she didn't want to get picked on.

The good thing about our meal here was that we had an amazing server! Cousin Cooper really fit the role well. He didn't overdo the scolding, and it was more a playful joking with us the whole time. My favorite part was when he started calling Joanna “Nemo” because she ordered two drinks when we arrived.

I ordered the Sampler, which consisted of fried chicken, meatloaf and pot roast. Each of these items came with a small helping of the vegetables that they are typically served with. I also ordered a Vanilla Coke. I really dislike Coke, but I love Vanilla Coke. Weird, I know. Anyway...I was determined not to be the scolded for not eating my vegetables. Unfortunately, being the Yankee that I am, being forced to eat collard greens is not something that I was looking forward to. I'm sorry to all the fans of collard greens out there, but it was like eating a bunch of steamed oak leaves. They were easily my least favorite thing of the trip. I am proud to say, however, that I ate them all. Cousin Cooper was a little “annoyed” by how slow I was eating my greens, but he let me place my order for dessert anyway.

He was a little surprised and teased me when I ordered the seasonal cobbler without asking what type of fruit was used in it. What he didn't realize was that every other item on the dessert menu was (one again) a dairy-based dessert. The cobbler was my only option that I had open to me. Oh well, it was awesome! It was a caramel apple cobbler, and even better than the one served at LTT the night before!

After lunch, Joanna started to feel sick, so we split up. I rode Star Tours a few times, then got in line for the James Arnold Taylor show, which was awesome! By the time it finished, Joanna was feeling better, so she headed back to the park. We met up and I was hungry once again. We headed over to Studio Catering Company. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not a fan of the QS options at DHS. However, the Studio Catering Company offers the more unique options so if I have to eat somewhere, I usually end up there. I decided to get either the Pressed Tuscan or the Turkey Club sandwich. I can't really remember which, because it was an utterly forgettable sandwich.


At this point, things start getting a little foggy for me. I believe that I had the breakfast platter that I had on Saturday again, then we headed to Epcot. We hit the big stuff that we wanted to, then we headed to Downtown Disney (DTD) for lunch. We decided to go to Earl of Sandwich, one of my favorite places to eat at DTD. I got The Earl's Club, which is my favorite sandwich ever. Turkey, bacon tomato, and I even let them leave the cheese on. There isn't very much on it, so it doesn't cause a reaction. I also got grapes to go with my sandwich. The grapes were sour, but oh so delicious!

After heading back to the resort to drop stuff off, we headed back to Epcot. The first thing we did was stop at Club Cool for a nice refreshing Beverly. Ok, I can't keep a straight face on that one. While I don't have a problem drinking it in small doses, it does leave a very disgusting aftertaste that I can't stand. If you watched the first video that Joanna posted, you probably noticed the faces that I made after swallowing the stuff.

Ok, let's see...Earl of Sandwich, Club Cool...that leaves Via Napoli! Man oh man was that a treat! Joanna and I started out by ordering a pitcher of Sangria. I'm not normally a fan of wine-based drinks but this was so good. Joanna didn't have very much of it, and I felt bad about not finishing the I finished it. I think Joanna was trying to get me drunk. Hmm... Next up, we ordered our pizzas. I got the Piccante pie, which was apparently new to the menu, and Joanna got the Margherita pie. Both pies looked amazing and I really really enjoyed mine. The sausage was spicy, but not too spicy. Just the way I like it! For dessert, I stayed safe and got the lemon sorbetto. Even though it was a very plain dessert to order, it was so delicious. The lemon flavor was very fresh, and was a nice ending to a spicy meal. Definitely worth it.

Please join Joanna and I next time as I finish up the tour of our meals with Boma, San Angel Inn and Whispering Canyon Cafe!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Hello Faithful Readers! :D

Just wanted to stop by and wish you all a Happy Fourth of July and say that more posts are coming soon! I'm super excited about some Disney ideas I've got coming along as well as my first guest blogger! His posts will appear soon. Keep checking in!

A few things you can start looking forward to:
- How to find AWESOME but inexpensive Disney World souvenirs
- FastPass "Secrets"
- How much did that cost?!
- DIY take away Disney souvenirs
- AND my FIRST EVER Disney give away! YAY!

Of course I've got other posts up my sleeve, but those are a few I'm most excited about for the time being. (I'm refraining from typing :D or :) every other sentence!) For my non-Disney-loving original readers, I will be trying to post non-Disney at least once a month. I do have a teacher post that I've been writing in my head for a month now, and since it is my "Technicolor Interwebs" you can still expect to see some variety like Sprinkles stories and my family on here.

I'm looking for some guest bloggers (mostly to talk Disney, but if you have something else you'd like to write, we can talk). If you're interested, please shoot me an email at everydaymathchick[at]live[dot]com. I'd like to use a guest writer about once a month. Currently my sister has some ideas for a great post! It's exciting to hear other people's perspectives!

Thanks for continuing to stop by! Will post to Facebook and Twitter as soon as the next post goes up.