Thursday, March 29, 2012

WDW Trip Report - Day 2 - Tea Parties are More Fun When No One Stabs You!

Day 2 of Kyle's and my trip started off with a bit of luxury (for me at least). Since this was our second trip together, we knew each other's habits better. Kyle knew that I like to sleep in, and I knew that he likes to eat breakfast, so we started a new little ritual for this trip. He would let me sleep until 8 or so and would grab a shower before I woke up. Then he'd stay silent until I spoke (because heaven help you if you try to talk to me before I'm fully awake). We'd chat a few minutes, I'd head to the shower, and he'd head to breakfast to give me some time to manage the hugeness that was my hair and to try to get enough make up on to look halfway decent. I was usually finishing my mascara when he'd return to the room. It really was a nice start to our days on this trip.

Kyle had a creeper on the bus.

Hello, Magic Kingdom Christmas!
Our morning destination for our second day was Magic Kingdom. The Christmas finery was out and gorgeous, and the crowds weren't too bad. The nice thing about this trip was that we knew we'd go back to Magic Kingdom for the Very Merry Christmas Party where there would be minimal wait times on all our favorite rides, so we didn't rush around and try to hit everything in the park this day.
Someone forgot to wake the MK ducks!

We immediately headed to the Emporium to trade some Vinylmations and check out new merchandise. I am a huge fan of making Kyle put on fun hats while I take photos of him, and when I saw the Perry the Platypus hat, I couldn't resist begging him to put it on:
In "posing" him, I told him to tilt his chin down, so I could get a better angle on the hat, and after looking at this pic, I dubbed him the "sexy platypus". I don't know exactly what it was about the angle, but this was a constant joke for this trip (kinda like me mistakenly pointing out tree stumps as ducks on the last trip)!

I made this collage on the trip to tweet for
my neice & nephew to see. They love this ride!

it's a small world
After a quick ride on The Haunted Mansion, which I think is a favorite for both of us, we ended up over in Fantasyland and headed to one of the classics: it's a small world. Afterwards we decided to say a final goodbye to Snow White's Scary Adventures.  I can't believe it's going to be torn down. I have many fond memories of that ride.
Goodbye, Snow White!

When I was at Disney World with my family in November of 2010, they were breaking ground on the Fantasyland Expansion. Then when Kyle and I went in June 2011, structures were starting to rise. However, that was nothing compared to the amazing sights we could see over the wall this trip! Can you spot whose homes those are?
Fantasyland Expansion, December 2011

We grabbed some FastPasses for Peter Pan's Flight, an attraction I could ride 100 times and not get sick of, and went to Mickey's Philharmagic while we waited. There I decided that we would take self-portraits every time we wore 3D glasses! Here's the first of the bunch!

Dark but it's US ready for an adventure with Donald!
 Flying with Peter Pan can really work up a thirst, so Kyle suggested we go over to the Cheshire Cafe for frozen drinks. On the way, I got distracted by the Teacups! Since we missed them in June, I dragged Kyle onto them before he could get some food. (I'm evil like that!) In the middle of our joyfully spinning tea party, I accidentally stabbed Kyle with my thumbnail. (Wow, I guess I really am evil!) I felt so bad and burst out with "oh my gosh! I'm so sorry! Tea parties are more fun when no one stabs you!" We both burst into a fit of giggles which lasted until we got to the Cheshire Cafe.

Kyle, pre-stabbing

Me, pre-evil moment of violent behavior
 At the Cafe, in true Joanna style, I said I wasn't hungry. Seriously, y'all... I was determined to be careful this trip. BUT Kyle's frozen raspberry lemonade looked so good that I butted in and got a frozen lemonade too. So worth it! This treat was the perfect consistency: not frozen so hard that it wouldn't easily go up the straw but not so soft that it melted fast. My flavor was tart but was balanced with a nice sweet flavor without being overly sugary.  The umbrella-covered tables beside the Cafe were a great location to people-watch while enjoying our snack stop.
My mouth is watering right now, wanting one of these!
From there we headed to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover which was the first attraction we visited in June thanks to our readers' votes. I made Kyle sit by me this time and took my favorite shot of the trip:

This was us on this trip: relaxed & having fun. :)

Kyle's favorite: Joanna riding TTA with a pirate! ARRRR!
 We had just made it around the first bend when Kyle exclaimed, "did you see that!?" I looked at him funny and said, "no, did something happen?" He proceeded to tell me that a bird hit him in the face! I thought he was kidding because I didn't see any of it, but apparently the birds in Magic Kingdom were really out to get him this trip! It didn't help matters that my full response was, "no, did something happen? I didn't see anything; I was tweeting!" Hehe. (Seeeee? Eeeeeevil.)

No day in Magic Kingdom is complete without visiting Johnny Depp...errr... I mean, Pirates of the Caribbean! A quick ride there and a visit to the new and improved, I mean, old, Enchanted Tiki Room completed our morning at MK. I will say, in regards to the Enchanted Tiki Room that the last time I saw the show it was "Under New Management", and I didn't mind it.  I liked the reversion back to the old, classic show as well though. I'm not a firm lover of either show, but I did find both enjoyable.
Enchanted Tiki Room
This trip I learned how to navigate the WDW Transportation better than I ever have before, and it greatly delighted me. Often Kyle would let me say how we were going to travel to hop from one park to the next, and I'd get a high five if I was right. Under my  direction (and his agreement), we jumped on the Monorail to go have our late lunch at Teppan Edo in Japan at Epcot.  We'll pick up there in a new post in a few days, and I'll share with you how a potentially disappointing evening turned into one of the best ones on our trip!

(Almost forgot our recap video! We made this while waiting for the Monorail! Kyle explains the bird incident in more detail here while my hair looks fabulous. The humidity agreed with my hair this trip.)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Best Value at Disney World

Today's article is focusing on the Best Value at Disney. I really had to contemplate this article for a while because I love to write about shopping at Disney (see the WDW Tips at the top of this page). Whenever I travel to Disney World, I come back with a suitcase full of souvenirs, and nothing makes me happier than finding a "deal"! If you've kept up with my blog, though, you know that I am a big advocate of buying one or two BIG TICKET items that are functional items that you'll use daily. For instance, I use my Dooney & Bourke purse every day, and I've done so for almost two years now! 

But when I really thought about it, I've written about all of that before. What new tips do I have to offer? I admit that in my rush to get things done today, I considered just recycling an old post or giving you a list of links, but I didn't feel that would really be fair to the Magical Blogorail. After all, just because I have a touch of writer's block and am on a tiny blogging hiatus, it doesn't mean I should deprive you of a new, fun tip, does it?

Who knows my favorite snack at Walt Disney World?  Raise your hand! I know you know it! Yes, you... in the back, you know what it is?  Right! It's NAPOLEON from the bakery in France! However, if we roam a bit further down from France, we can find the German Chocolate Caramel in Germany. Some would say the School Bread in Norway is the best. Others would rave about the churros in Mexico. Ask anyone who loves the World Showcase about the food, and they will tell you about their favorite snacks, and there is a plethora of options there!

The best value at Disney, for me, is the World Showcase snack options. Almost all of the bakery items are on the Disney Dining Plan, and pretty much all options are HUGE and share-able. You can easily fill hungry tummies for under $4 when waiting for a late dining reservation! Sweet or savory, the World Showcase has it all!

What's your favorite snack in the World Showcase?