Monday, November 25, 2013

Our 2013 Disney World Trip, Day 3

This year we did something different, we visited two parks in one day.  Normally, I plan one park/day and we stay at that park all day.  On our third day, we started out at Hollywood Studios and ended it at Magic Kingdom.  The extra magic hours were at Magic Kingdom till 2:00 AM and Hollywood Studios was scheduled to close at 7:00PM for the next two days.  Hollywood is one of our favorite parks so we wanted to spend as much time as we could there on our last 2 days at Disney so that is exactly what we did.  I had to visit guest relations at Hollywood Studios and they worked with my tickets since I did not purchase park hoppers.  However, they gave us complimentary tickets and made it happen for free.  I love Disney!  This was by far our best day while we were there this year.  Here we go.....

Upon entry to the Hollywood Studios, they have Monsters Inc decorations.  I grabbed a back shot of the hedges which was just as awesome as the front.  We wandered through the park and took our time.  We did not have fast passes scheduled so we rode what we wanted as we walked by it.

We saw a new ride, Pirates of the Caribbean.  It is where the Narnia ride used to be.  It is actually a pretty cool short show.  It is inside a building and you stand while you watch it.

Then we strolled down and watched the 3D Muppet Show which is one of our favorites.

We tried to stop and eat at the Sci/Fi Theatre but the wait was too long and the kids were starving so we walked on down to the ABC commissary and ordered right away.  It was a very nice environment.  The food was the Disney usual.  I have a shot here for you to see the atmosphere.

 We rode some more rides and then headed over to the animation section.  We met up with Mickey Mouse on our way out and Joel had his picture taken with him.

Jake was afraid of Mickey and was standing back.  We were the only ones in there.  One of the cast members came up to us and Jake and said I have a surprise for you I think you will like and won't scare you.  He told us to follow him down the hall and when he opened the door, I was amazed at how beautiful the room was.  They had crystal pin cushioned walls, beautiful decorated carpet, white fringe table cloth and there stood Minnie Mouse.  She was all by herself.  I have no idea why she was in that room by herself.  It was obvious we had received some sort of special treat.  It was not advertised and no one knew she was there.  Minnie tried to reach out to Jake but he was still afraid of her.  He refused to get close or take a picture.  I did sneak this one.

Not Joel, he hopped on in there and she hugged up to him and snapped a picture.  I thought it was absolutely adorable and so nice of the Disney World team member to do that for us.

We finished up at Hollywood Studios and headed over to the Contemporary Hotel to eat dinner and then ride the Monorail over to Magic Kingdom.

We ate at the Contempo Cafe and it had very good food.  While you eat, the monorail is going by overhead.  It is a neat atmosphere.  You also order from an electronic menu and then pay at the register.  They then serve your food.  They have an array of sweets in this Cafe as well as the gift shop on the same level.  We bought some deserts and then went to the Contemporary Grounds and picked up some Frappuccinos.  It was 8:00 PM and we were planning on a 2:00 AM stop time.  On our way to get the coffee, we saw this...

We saw several people wearing bandannas following Captain Hook throughout the Hotel.  I asked the Disney team member working the event what it was and she informed me, it was a party they have with Captain Hook in the hotel and then they load onto the boat and sail out onto the lake and watch the fireworks from the boat.  Kids and adults are welcome.  I have never heard of this event but it looked very interesting.  I would love to do this maybe next year.

After we ate desserts, drank coffee and rested in the lounge we were able to watch the Electric Parade glide by on the lake from the lounge.  We were rested and fueled up, ready to go until 2:00 AM!  We loaded the monorail and off we went to Magic Kingdom at around 9:00 PM.

This was taken right when we arrived.  Another shot at the pumpkins, can't resist it.

We headed down to Princess Fairytale Hall.  It had opened up for the first time a few weeks before our arrival.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  Joel took his picture with the Princesses.  Snow White and Rapunzel were there.  As you walk down the hall waiting to meet the princesses, they have each of their portraits shown on the walls.  The design of the building is beautiful.  Once you reach the end of the hall you can see Cinderella's glass slipper.  It is in the middle picture below, at right.  It is hard to see in the picture but it is so neat to see in person.  Oh, and if you are going in the summer, it was air conditioned which would enhance the wait from the outside summer heat.

I am in the middle and of course Joel is with his Princesses.

Next, we visited Enchanted Tales with Belle.  This was a first for us.  We did not know what to expect but it was lovely.  You first enter a room with a talking china cabinet.  They pull people from the audience to participate in a skit and then you move through an illuminated door that opens up into a library, picture below middle at right.  This is where you meet Belle and the talking candle man.  They put on a skit with members of the audience.  The small children, especially girls, love it.

After this we rode several more rides.  We stayed until the park closed at 2:00 AM.  Most rides had no lines after midnight.  You could walk right on the ride.  We had a blast on our last day at Magic Kingdom.  I have some random pictures to share below.  Hopefully, we can come back next year.

Till Next Year Magic Kingdom!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Best Christmas Present for a Shoe Lover

I know I am not finished sharing my Disney World trip with you guys but I could not resist bringing you in on my lovely find.  I have located what I think is the perfect pair of Christmas party shoes on the planet.  They are the most gorgeous shoes I have seen that you can actually walk in.  The pictures don't do them justice.  Now get ready to dig fairly deep into your wallet but I know I will wear these for years.  I did purchase the black so I could wear them with most everything but I am very tempted to go back and buy some of the other colors.  They are a shoe lovers dream.  They even came with a dust bag!  So for all you men out there that don't know what to buy your wife, if she loves shoes, check these out.  They are the Tory Burch Crystal Chelsea Ballet Flat.  You can purchase them here.  Not only are they beautiful but they are very comfortable.  They sparkle with every turn.  I can't wait to wear them!

*I am not being compensated by Tory Burch in any way for this review.  This is only my opinion.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Our 2013 Disney World Trip, Day 2

We stayed at Pop Century Resort.  We have stayed here a few times in the past and it is our favorite next to the new Art of Animation.  We stayed at Art of Animation last year and loved it.  Since it is only 4 of us, we decided against the extra expense of the 2 room, 2 bath suite.  I must say it was very nice last year and I will book it again if we plan a 7 day trip.  We really enjoy Pop Century mainly for 3 reasons.  One, the bus only stops at this resort.  If you go to a park it is a direct route.  You do not stop at several bus stops on the way which saves time.  Two, the food court.  I think they have some of the better food compared to the other Disney resorts.  Three, the atmosphere.  We love the oversized designs.  You can see in the picture the huge Big Wheel & Twister game.  Someone had decorated their hotel window which was adorable.  I had to take a picture to share.

 Day 2 at Disney World was planned to be spent all day at Magic Kingdom.  We had planned a full day.  We had tickets to the Halloween party.  There is an extra charge to enter the party.  It starts at 7:00 PM and ends at midnight.  You can enter the park with these tickets at 4:00 PM.  They have trick or treat stations throughout the park.

We love to attend the party and see all the costumes.  Adults and kids dress up but it is not required.  There is fun for all.  I had to snap a picture of the red solo cups.  Although, I can't imagine how they rode rides in those.  I met the skunks and corpse bride in line waiting for the bus.  Very creative ideas.  She said she made their skunk outfits.  Jake went as an Army soldier.  Of course, I thought he was the cutest of all.  We brought his costume with us and he changed into it at the park.

We took our yearly pictures near the pumpkins at the entrance.  I love the decorations.

Look at all of the Halloween/Fall decorations.  I think it is absolutely gorgeous.  This is a view down Main street.  At the end you have a prime picture of the castle.

We found something new this year.  Slightly down Main street on the right, we stumbled upon a store where a guy at the back was making glass pumpkins.  I have never seen this before or noticed it.  The pumpkins were so cute.  You could have it custom made with your name in the glass.  It was a bit pricey as everything is at Disney, plus I couldn't imagine it making the ride home in one piece, so I passed on the purchase.  Take a look at the crystal Magic Castle.  Isn't that beautiful?  Yes that does say $37,500!  See Mickey Mouse?  At first glance you might think he was $495 but if you look closely there is a much smaller Mickey Mouse in front of him for that price.  Hey, that is a bargain!

We had to stop at the candy store.  They have the neatest M&M machine with every flavor under the sun.  You grab a bag and load in your favorite colors and flavors.

Next, we hit some attractions and rides.  We started off with the Hall of Presidents.  It is an interesting review of all of our Presidents.  In the picture below you see two future Presidents, even the one making a face!

After we rode several rides, it was time for the Halloween party to begin.  They gave each of us a bag to trick or treat all over the park.

The new section of Fantasyland was nice.  We rode the Little Mermaid.  It was similar to Nemo & Friends in that you ride in a sea shell but I think the ride is longer.

There are two parades (same one) during the party.  We always watch the last parade.  Fireworks are right before the last parade.  I think this is the best parade Disney offers.  I have probably seen them all, including the Christmas parade.  I like the snow on Main Street during the Christmas parade but I still prefer the Halloween parade.  It starts out with a headless horseman riding through the route and ends with Goofy's candy machine which smells of candy.

At the end of the day, we walked out with a bunch of candy, memories and hurting feet.  Day 2 of Disney World 2013 is now history.