Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Pre-Trip Report that Should Have Happened

In only 4 days my family and I will be arriving in Orlando to set sail to the Bahamas on the Disney Dream!  Sadly I've been more busy before this trip than I have been before any other Disney vacation, so my pre-trip report just hasn't been happening.  

I thought I'd procrastinate packing for a bit longer to show y'all how we've prepared for our trip this time around.  Want to hear about our trip?  Back in January 2009, I went on my first Disney vacation as an adult.  I went with my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew. We stayed at Disney's All-Star Music Resort in connected rooms.  Since that trip I have visited WDW in May 2009 and November 2010 with my family.  I also went June and December 2011 with my friend Kyle.  This year I'm excited to see the sights with my family again!

My Incredible Family & Me

This year we're changing it up and taking a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas! I haven't been on a cruise since high school, and that was definitely not Disney, so I can't wait to see what this cruise has to offer. My sister is letting me have full use of her DSLR camera, so I'm planning on taking a ton of photos to share with all of you when we return. 

Unlike all of my last trips, we're not staying on Disney property. My sister found a great deal at Wyndham Bonnet Creek, and we've heard wonderful things about it.  While we'll have connecting rooms on the Disney Dream, at Bonnet Creek the kids and I will have a separate bedroom and bathroom AND we'll have a kitchen, laundry room, and dining area. I am going to miss the Disney Dining Plan, Disney Transportation, and the Disney charm you get staying on property, but this way we could stay longer without completely breaking the budget.  Besides, new experiences can be fun!  It will definitely be weird to drive ourselves to and from the parks!  Don't worry, I plan to fully document this location when I get back, so you and your family can decide if it's a place you'd like to try.

Because we'll be eating so much amazing food on the cruise, we've decided to opt out of sit down meals at Disney World.  Not having to worry about making dining reservations before this trip has been nice, but I do wonder how I'll feel after eating counter service meals for most of our days.  I like to change things up when I eat, so hopefully we'll try different places.  That's going to be another part of the trip report when we return: food and eating while paying out of pocket.

Finally, like we always do, we've been busy crafting and getting ready for the trip.  Hopefully I can convince my sister to write a guest post about fish extenders for the cruise because she has been fully involved in a fish extender group.  The last couple of trips my family went on, we made a t-shirt for almost every day.  This trip we bought similar 2012 shirts for the family, and we made ONE family shirt.  Here's what we've been up to:

These are the t-shirt transfers for our family shirts. Mine is the Edna
one. I always joke that I'm the Edna to the Incredible Family.
We made Minnie headbands from Pinterest. I can't find the tutorial
now. If anyone knows where it is, please put it in the comments!
I've graded an insane number of math papers (hence
the lack of full pre-trip report)! 
My sis & I splurged and got our nails done Disney-style!
We found what we wanted on Pinterest, and then we printed the photos
and took them to the nail salon with us. My sis' are on top. Mine are
on the bottom.
Here's a closer shot of my nails because I'm obsessed
with how cute they are!
I updated by old high school/college backpack by coating the bottom
leather part and pocket flap with a mixture of teal, purple, and gold glitter
mixed with fabric Mod Podge. It's super sparkly and fun! I've got new fringe
for it and will be removing the old Blink 182 & Jimmy Eat World
buttons before we head to the parks! 
So we've been CRAZY busy trying to fit some magic in before our trip while keeping our lives going!  I can't wait for the trip to begin and especially can't wait to share all of the magic with y'all!  It's about time I had some new photos and writing material here. Hopefully we'll get to see New Fantasyland, and I'll be able to share that with you. Also on the docket is an in depth look at the details of interactive queues. Can't wait!

Be sure to follow along on the journey with me by following me on Twitter (@goddessofmath)!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Choosing a Favorite in the World Showcase

Please let me to start this post with a quick apology. It's been a crazy few months at work and in my personal life, and it simply hasn't allowed me much time or energy for my love of blogging. My next Disney trip is in TWELVE days, and I have a bunch of great ideas for future posts. Hopefully I'll get to do a quick pre-trip report before I leave. 

I was asked to write about my favorite World Showcase Pavilion. At first I was certain this would be an easy, quick post to write... then I started mentally circling the World Showcase, and I realized I was in for a hard decision!
Map courtesy of
I love the World Showcase at Epcot.  In fact, my dream is that one day I'll live close enough to Walt Disney World that when I have a rough day at work, I'll be able to drive over to Epcot and stroll through World Showcase in the evening to relax.  Wouldn't that be amazeballs??  There's just so much to enjoy and take in when you walk around the World!

For starters, no trip to the World Showcase (WS from now on) would be complete without a stop at the Boulangerie Patisserie in France.  The Napoleon and other desserts there are simply to die for!  I happily skip meals just to partake in this bakery's treats. To get there, though, you've got to walk through Canada's beautiful landscape and the sights and sounds of the United Kingdom. I always feel like the UK is one of the neatest areas to go through as it feels so quaint and tucked away from the bustle of the park.
Me & my favorite snack
Then it's just a quick walk over to the always fun to explore Morocco where you can often catch a glimpse of my favorite Disney prince and first animated crush: Aladdin.  From there the shopping in Japan is a must do because there are so many items to see all tucked below Teppan Edo, the phenomenal Japanese Steakhouse. Before you know it, you're in The American Adventure where you can hear the amazing song stylings of the Voices of Liberty singing a capella in the rotunda of the main pavilion. Don't miss the show upstairs as it's a welcome rest from the heat and walking. Besides, it always brings a tear to my eyes!

Oh the shopping in Italy is always an adventure as there are such neat little finds there.  A couple of trips ago I found some gorgeous Mickey head stone magnets that are still some of my all-time favorite souvenirs.  Germany used to be a country I skipped because the smell of sauerkraut was so overwhelming, but then they put in the Werther's run bakery, the Karamell Kuche, and I was won over!
Who can resist a good German beer with a
German Chocolate Caramel? Not me!
China's shopping opportunities never disappoint, and they're one of the best spots to find a fan to help you beat the heat during the hotter months.  Norway is one of the only two countries to have a ride in it, and it's a favorite of mine for sure! Aside from the claustrophobic queue, the ride is educational with a side of whimsy.

Now Mexico is for sure towards the top of my list.  The sit down meals are divine, and the atmosphere is festive.  The margaritas are a must as well. However, the part of this pavilion that's won my adoration is the Three Caballeros ride.  Typically tucked behind the mariachi band, the ride always has a very short wait time, and I could ride it over and over again! The song is sure to get stuck in your head, and if you're anything like me, you'll discover you don't mind that a bit. :)

So my favorite World Showcase Pavilion?  It all depends on the day and the purpose.  Am I shopping, eating, or relaxing?  There's something for everyone and for everything you'd like to do!  Rides, stores, food, beverages, Kidcot stations: the Pavilions have it all.  Pick a favorite, you say?  If pressed I'd say Canited Froccan Amaly Gerinwayico. ;-)