Friday, August 30, 2013

Favorite Food Friday: Mickey Apple


One of my favorite places to visit at Downtown Disney is Goofy's Candy Company.  I love sweets- especially when they are Mickey shaped!  On one of our past trips, I ordered a Minnie caramel apple.  It was delicious!  

When ou first enter, you complete an order form with your treat, dip, topping and drizzle.  There are so many sugary options to choose from! 

I chose the apple for $5.50.  It was dipped in caramel and chocolate.  I chose not to have drizzle this time.  But I did choose Minnie over Mickey, so she added the bow!  I always get a caramel apple when I visit Disney, but seeing them make it to order is outstanding!  If I had that job I know I'd be 100 pounds heavier! :)

If you want an additional treat from Goofy's Candy Company, I highly suggest the Goofy Glacier drink (slushie)!  I believe it was around $4 and there were so many flavors to choose, I had a hard time!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Finding Disney in NYC and DC

Since I couldn't go to Walt Disney World or Disneyland this year, I had to find Disney in the one big trip I was able to make!  I spent a week in New York City and Washington DC this summer.  While I couldn't find as many Disney things in DC, I found several in NYC that made me smile!  While none of them really helped fill that Disney void in my life, they did help give me a little taste of Disney in an "off year" of Disney travel!

The Disney Store in NYC was a great way to get a little taste of Disney while in New York, but it just wasn't the same as the parks. There were some great souvenirs and photo ops though!

Seeing The Lion King on Broadway was another great way to get a small Disney fix.  But knowing I had to leave the theatre and walk back into the crowds of Times Square just wasn't the same as walking through the crowds of Main Street USA!

Speaking of Times Square, these "characters" below were definitely NOT Disney!  They were rude, they demanded tips if you took a picture with them and yes, they would take off their heads to talk to each other.  It was really appalling.  What is sad is that some kids in Times Square think these are the REAL Jessie, Minnie and Buzz Lightyear (I also saw Woody and Mickey). This may be the closest they will ever get to meeting any "Disney characters."  Sad.  I wonder if Disney could do anything to stop this trash?   

Another thing we saw that quickly made us think about Disney were these chairs in the lobby of our hotel!  The girls were sitting in them and we all said they reminded us of the Doom Buggies from The Haunted Mansion!  If they were only black! :)

One part of our trip that was fun, but painful, was going to the Yankee's game!  As a Red Sox fan, it's always hard to see the Yankee's play, but finding Mickey made it a bit better (even if he is in NY gear!).

In DC, we had a harder time finding Disney magic.  However, when we were walking through the tunnel from the Cannon Senate building to the Capitol we were able to see the winners from the Congressional Art Competition.  I was able to find a Hidden Mickey in some art from Colorado! :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Lost and Found at WDW

"Walt Disney World Lost and Found is one busy place. Every day an average of 210 pairs of sunglasses are turned in and, since 1971, an estimated 1.65 million pairs of glasses have found their way into the “lost” bin. On an annual basis, Lost and Found cast members collect more than 6,000 cell phones, 3,500 digital cameras, 18,000 hats and 7,500 autograph books."

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday #DisneyTrivia: Walt Disney World Railroad

FREE Lego Store Mini Build at Downtown Disney

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Did you know you could visit the Lego Store at Downtown Disney on the first Tuesday of every month to build a FREE mini model??The next "Mini Model Build" will be a LEGO Pirate on Tuesday, September 3, beginning at 5:00 pm until supplies last.  Here is the info straight from the Downtown Disney Lego Store Web Site:
Visit your local LEGO Store on the first Tuesday of every month and you can learn how to build a cool mini model, and take it home – for free! Quantities are limited and offer is good while supplies last only. A new model will be available every month and will be specially themed to that month – ask a Store Associate for details! Models are not for sale and cannot be purchased. One free per child. Event is open to children ages 6 to 14 only. See store for more details.
Thanks to the Magically Speaking Newsletter from, I learned something new... then confirmed it on the Lego Web site!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Magical Blogorail Green: Food and Wine Festival

Welcome to those of you joining me from Walt Disney World: It's Not Just For Kids and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

This month we are sharing about the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot.  Since I've never experienced this festival first hand, I had to do a bit of research.  What I found was pretty exciting!  I had NO IDEA all the events and activities that were offered.  I honestly thought it was just a lot of "froo-froo" food from different countries and a bunch of wine.  First, I don't like wine, so that was not a reason for me to attend.  Second, I do like food, but I'm a traditional, meat & three kind of girl- not an exotic, fancy, froo-froo type.  I really didn't think this would be a Disney event I would enjoy.

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When I looked at the line up of events, I realized there is so much I would love to see and do!  Here is just a sample of things I'm adding on my Disney Bucket List from the Food and Wine Festival:

  • "The Discovery of Chocolate" is where you can learn what makes chocolate so tempting and sample different chocolates chosen by chocolatiers. ($75)
  • Participating in “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery, allows you to sample different types of desserts as you enjoy a VIP viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. ($90)
  • The Mixology Seminars invite you to watch a skilled mixologist share how to make unique mixed drinks.  (This would allow me to finally know how to properly reenact the "Cocktail" scene!)  ($15 and 21 or older)
  • The Eat to the Beat Concerts would be right up my alley!  I love the bands from the 70s, 80s and 90s.  Here are just a few of my favorites: The Go-Go's, Sister Hazel, Pointer Sisters, Boys II Men, Smash Mouth, Spin Doctors and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy .
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What is your favorite part of the Food and Wine Festival?  I'd love to hear in the comments!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Your Highway In The Sky.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Lion King on Broadway

Back in July I was able to spend several days in New York City with my husband and my youth group.  We had an amazing time seeing the city and studying at the United Nations Church Center, but I think my favorite part of the trip was the night we saw The Lion King on Broadway.  The show is in the Minskoff Theatre on W 45th St.  The theatre itself is magnificent with it's views of Times Square from the second floor windows and the displays in the lobby.  But the actual show will leave you breathless! 

Below are the different displays you can see before entering the theatre.  I love Rafikki's costume!  It's my favorite.  But honestly, all of the costumes and puppets are pretty amazing.  I just wish I could have gotten better pictures- but the glare from the huge windows messed me up! 

Rafikki (L), Mufassa, Sarabi and Simba (R)

Scar (L), Pumba puppet (R)

Ed (L) and Lioness (R)

Rafikki (L) and Simba puppet (R)

If you are familiar with Disney's movie, The Lion King, you'll find the theatre version bring the movie to life.  Everything about this show is amazing!  The opening scene, "Circle of Life" brings me to tears every time- and I've seen this show 3 times now!  The costumes, sets, lighting, props and story are all wonderful.  The creativity behind the costumes making the humans appear to be animals is genius.  The use of lights and puppets to help tell the story helps bring the creative level of this show to the top.  

What I like best about this show is that it's appropriate for almost everyone.  I would have taken my 4 year old son to see this show without any hesitation.  My 13 year old son and 40 year old husband would also enjoy this show.  Besides infants and toddlers, I can't think of an age who shouldn't see this show!  It's happy and family friendly- something we need more of in our society these days.
I give this show a 10 out of 10!  It's my favorite Disney Broadway Show of the following that I have seen: Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Tarzan, The Lion King, Aida, and Peter Pan.  Thanks Disney, for providing another outstanding option for families to enjoy together!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Disney Autograph Books

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"If you stacked the number of standard autograph books sold annually, it would match the height of 200 Cinderella Castles. Add the Princess-style autograph books and, end to end, the books would reach 88 miles into space."
~Trivia from!

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday #DisneyTrivia: LEGO Sea Serpent

Thanks for the hop guys!!

Tuesday's Tip: Disney Character Meet & Greets

Meeting characters and getting autographs are high on our list for every Disney vacation.  When we go with kids or without, we always stand in line to meet our favorites!  Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your meet & greet time.

  • When you enter the parks, get a "Times Guide."  This guide will give you times for shows, fireworks, parades, special events and character meet & greets.  Make notes of the times and locations for those "must meet" characters so you don't miss them.
  • If you don't see your favorite character(s) on the Times Guide, ask a cast member at guest services at each park to see if he/ she will be making appearances.  They should be able to tell you times and locations for your favorite/ must see character, if they will be there that day.
  • While you are in line, get your autograph book open to a blank page before you approach the characters.  This way you aren't wasting time finding a blank page while you are "meeting" the characters.
  • Use a retractable pen so the characters don't have to fumble with pen tops. Consider using a "fat" pen too, so characters with gloves or bigger hands will have an easier time manipulating the pen.
  • Have the Photopass photographer take a picture with his camera AND your camera.  That way you have 2 chances of getting that perfect shot with your favorite character.
  • If you are dinging with characters, try to book the last available time slot so characters have extra time with your family!
  • Engage in conversation with the characters- even if they are in a mask.  The more you talk or ask questions, the more memorable the experience will be.
  • Have the characters sign something unique (a hat, pillowcase, t-shirt, photo mat, Disney encyclopedia book) to get a better response from them.  They tend to engage in more conversation when they sign a non traditional item.

Monday, August 19, 2013

WDW Must Have Monday: Outside the Park Experiences

I've often considered taking a trip to Walt Disney World and not entering the parks... at all.  The tickets are an expensive part of our vacation and sometimes I just want a small Disney fix!  So, here are my top experiences to have outside of the 4 main parks at Walt Disney World- whether you are or aren't actually visiting those parks during your vacation!

  • Typhoon Lagoon and/ or Blizzard Beach.  These water parks are excellent for the entire family.  Both parks have areas for little ones to play, a lazy river and beach for those who like to lounge, speed slides for those who like thrills and wave pools for the entire family.  Each park is home to unique water park experiences: at Typhoon Lagoon you can swim with sharks and at Blizzard Beach you can go down the second fastest and tallest slide in the world!
  • Downtown Disney.  This is where Disney and shopping collide!  You can find almost anything Disney related and in any price range at Downtown Disney.  You need to shop here for those hard to shop for friends, those family members who have everything and everyone in between!  And there are fantastic restaurants and entertainment options here!
  • Monorail Ride and Resorts.  We always take a ride on the Monorail while we are at Walt Disney World and 95% of the time, we get off at the Monorail Resorts and look around.  We visit the resorts lobby, gift shops and restaurants.  We also like to look at the "extras" such as pools, playgrounds, beaches and more!
  • Fort Wilderness.  There is so much to do here!  You can go to a petting zoo, catch a dinner show, eat some home cookin', watch a free Disney movie, sing with Chip and Dale, ride a carriage and the list goes on.   I'd love to rent a camper and actually camp here- especially at Christmas or Halloween when the campers decorate with gusto!
  • Boardwalk.  The Boardwalk is so much more than just a Deluxe resort.  Outside the resort is an actual Boardwalk around Crescent Lake where you can eat, visit an arcade, listen to dueling pianos, dance, see performers, rent bikes, ride boats and enjoy all there is to offer!  
Honorable Mention:
  • Mini Golf.  While it has been a while since I've done this (due to my boys being so young) this is a fun thing to do outside the parks!  Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens are both outstanding mini golf courses.  That's just what they are- mini golf courses complete with sand traps, water hazards, and obstacles just like "real" golf! 
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge.  If you have enough time and have done as much of the things listed above as possible, consider taking a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge just to look around!  The resort is beautiful and during the day you can walk through the Savannah and see animals out and about.  At night, you can watch them through night vision binoculars.  Check with the front desk to see what else you can experience while you visit!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Favorite Food Friday: Filet Mignon at California Grill

In February 2012, my husband and I took a "no kids" trip to Walt Disney World to celebrate our fifth anniversary.  We celebrated at each restaurant we went to, but our big celebration was at California Grill.  While everything we ate was delicious, my favorite food from the meal was the Filet Mignon served on a bed of mashed potatoes with a sauce that had a barbecue flavor.  Currently, it's not listed on the menu, but at the time it was $47.00.

If you ever visit California Grill and the Filet Mignon is on the menu, I highly recommend it!