Drinking Around Epcot

Last week we spent one of our days in Orlando at Epcot and I took on the hefty chore {my favorite chore} of drinking around the world. Now if you are new to Disney, this is when you get one alcoholic drink from each of the countries in Epcot. For the sake of my liver amongst other things, I did 9/12 countries and I did it all by myself… I was proud of myself! In hindsight, two people would be way easier to accomplish this! I’m just going to get right to it and share what I had from each country. The three countries that I skipped were Canada, United Kingdom and America.

Drink #1 - France - Orange Slush from Les Vins des Chef de France.

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Drink #2 - Morocco - coconut rum slush from the cart in Morocco

Drink #3 - Japan - Plum Wine from Kabuki Cafe

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Drink #4 - Italy - Berry Sangria Popsicle from the Via Napoli beverage cart in Italy

Drink #5 - Germany - Selbach-Oster Riesling from Sommerfest

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Drink #6 - Outpost - Mango Starr from the Refreshment Outpost

Drink #7 - China - Canto Loopy from Joy of Tea

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Drink #8 - Norway - Moscato from Norways Beer Cart

Drink #9 - Mexico - Mexican Sangria from La Cantina de San Angel

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9 drinks in one day and I was exhausted! Epcot is such a fun place to spend your day. It’s really the only park in my opinion that you don’t have to have a plan for the whole day. You get to just wander and enjoy trying all of the fun treats and yummy drinks and relax! I do have a post coming on the gluten free foods I found to eat in some of the countries so stay tuned for that coming soon! Have you had any of these yummy drinks? Or which one would you want to try first?! Let me know in the comments!

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5 shoes to bring to Disney World

When I started going to Disney World I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when it came to walking. You don’t realize how many times you circle the park until you are back at the hotel for the night begging the person you are with to rub your feet! I always see people at the parks in what seem to be the most uncomfortable shoe possible and I don’t know how they make it through the whole day!

It is so important to choose the right shoes when packing for your trip. I always want to look cute and add Disney touches to my outfits but its not going to come together completely unless it goes with one of the five shoes I am going to share with you guys! I also want to mention that all of these are under $65 and can be worn time and time again, not just at Disney World. They are more than just Disney shoes, for sure.

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  1. Reef Flip Flops - I could wear these pretty much all day every day when I am at Disney or even if I am at home. Dustin and I both wear Reefs in the park and have bought them more than once. When I am at Disney I like starting my day in sneakers and then toward the end of the day I like to switch into my flip flops!

  2. Roxy Sneakers - These are hands down the most comfortable sneakers that I own and I don’t know where they have been my whole life. These really feel like you are walking on pillows or like you just have socks on. You can wear them with or without socks and you can just throw them into the wash too clean them! They are so cute and would look too cute with a t-shirt dress!

  3. Keds - Such a classic Disney shoe, plus you can get them in red, I love it! This is a comfortable shoe that will look cute with so many looks and it really brings that Mickey Mouse flare to any outfit you come up with. Not only do they have red but they have black, white, grey, you name it they have it.

  4. Brash Sneakers - I found these on Amazon and bought them on a whim just to try them. I LOVE them! They also come in quite a few colors and have a fun detail that sets them apart from the traditional sneaker. I really like the tie detailing and they were surprisingly reliable throughout the day at the parks!

  5. Nike Sneakers - These were the shoes that I brought to my very first Disney World trip way back in high school. These were great and I wore them all day everyday and we went to parks for 5 days in a row. Now that I have been more times, I find it better to switch shoes and give different shoes a break but they were good and would be more than comfortable for 2-3 days.

These are the five shoes that I have {successfully} worn to Disney World and have survived those miles of walking without taking breaks or stopping because my feet were killing me. I have tried so many shoes and narrowed it down to the best! I would love to know if you have tried other shoes that you think could be on my list! Let me know if you have!

Review of Disney's All Star Movie Resort

I have mentioned before that it is one of our goals to be able to stay at every single one of the Disney resorts in our lifetime and so far we have only done two but I already have a favorite! Here is a breakdown of our honest thoughts of Disney’s All Star Movie Resort

Service

I don’t think the service could have been better. This trip we were on was our honeymoon and they treated us so well. I mean we haven’t really ever had a bad customer service experience with Disney cast members before but the staff at Disney’s All Star Movie Resort were great! For this trip, we stayed for 11 nights and we opted out of their cleaning services. For this we received a $150 Disney gift card to as we wished. It was only the two of us and we aren’t very messy. Plus they will bring us anything we need(toilet paper, fresh towels, etc.) whenever we call and ask for it. They were very attentive with bringing us anything.

This is a Disney wide thing but one of our favorite perks is the Disney’s Magical Express that will come get you from the airport free of charge and take you to your resort as well as take you from your resort back to the airport. I think that this is a great perk and really adds to the quality of their service. 

Room

The room was pretty standard, the room that we were in had a King size bed and it was about a 3 minute walk to get to the main building. This was perfect because everything that we needed what in that main building, food, gift shop, customer service, the busses ran from that building. It was nice to be so close to it. 

The room came with Disney’s shampoo, conditioner and body wash and we never had issues with running out of warm water. The wi-fi was free in each room and there was also a TV, mini-fridge, iron and a safe which we kept our passports in! One thing we wish there was is a microwave but there hasn’t been one at either of the Disney resorts we have stayed at so far. This would be nice to have for breakfast foods if you brought your own but I understand that they are trying to persuade you to eat in the food court. 

We enjoyed our room for what it was and how often we were actually in the room. If you’ve been to Disney/do Disney the way we do(non-stop going, going, going) then all that will matter is to have a place to rest your head, and feet at night, with the quickest transport to and from the parks. Which this definitely checked all of those boxes for us!

Food

So the World Premier Food Court has many options and we were pretty satisfied with the amount of times we actually ate there which was quite a bit considering how long we were there. The World Premier Food Court is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snacks. They have the Specialty Shop, The Grill Shop, The Pizza Shop and the Ice Cream Shop. The GF options were pretty standard for Disney, GF chicken nuggets, cheeseburger on a GF bun, GF French fries and some other options at the Specialty Shop like chicken breast with mashed potatoes, Mahi Mahi, and Flank Steak. The Pizza shop was also great, and Dustin’s favorite! TIP: If you are going to get a pizza from the food court, don’t order just a slice. Get a whole pizza, you get more bang for your buck and you will have leftovers for later!

They also have the Silver Screen Spirits Pool Bar, where you can grab a drink and sit next to the pool! They have over 20 options to choose from ranging from $7-$13. 

They have the store at the front of the resort where you can purchase merchandise that you can get in the parks, food, snacks, beverage and things like medicine. This was so helpful! Over the span of the 11 days that we were there that came in handy for things like ibuprofen and a tide to go stick!

Lastly, you can order pizza to your room from 5:00pm-1:00am, this has come in handy a couple of times. 

Activities

They have two pools, the Fantasia Pool and the Duck Pond pool. The Fantasia pool is right off the main building and closest to the bar. Most of the time there is a cast member playing games, doing trivia or some other sort of interactive entertainment. The Duck Pond pool is much more relaxed and there are less people there as well. 

For kiddos, they have a playground the arcade to play in. Dustin and I (even as adults) can spend a morning in the arcade easily, there are plenty of games to enjoy. 

The last thing that they do, and probably one of my favorites is that they play movies at night. Its called “Movies Under the Stars”, its fun because it’s a different Disney movie every night and you get to unwind while being outside enjoying a movie. You can grab a snack from the food court and then pick a spot in their movie room to enjoy your favorite Disney movie! 

Busses/Travel times

We found that it varies from park to park obviously due to location but really nothing more the 10-20 minutes and it all makes it worth while when you don’t have to park your car, take the tram to the entrance and blah blah blah depending on which park you are visiting. 

We always say that we will always stay in a Disney Resort just for the bus system. It honestly makes your life so much easier. We also have never had a problem with a bus not being there to pick us up, usually there is a person working where you are and they are communicating with dispatch to let them know where busses need to be to pick guest up that have been waiting. If you have the My Disney Experience App you know when the bus is coming to your destination and you can plan accordingly! 

Overall Atmosphere

The overall atmosphere for us was perfect for us, we loved it and would stay here again. It was less crowded than the All Star Music Resort and we really liked that aspect. We have only been to two of the resorts so far but this was our favorite. In our opinion we enjoyed the All Star Movie resort more for its decorations and that sort of thing. Like I mentioned before, it’s so convenient and we are all about that!

5 Reasons to stay on Disney Property

We love visiting Disney World and we love staying on property to enjoy all of the benefits that they have to offer guests! Here are some of my top reasons to staying at a Disney resort rather than off property at a resort nearby.

  1. If you fly into Orlando rather than drive, the Disney’s Magical Express will pick you up and drop you off to your resort for free. They will also take your luggage right to your room for you. No need to pay for an Uber or another car service to get you to the resort!

  2. Extra Magic Hours! When you stay at a Disney resort, you get to enjoy an extra hour in a park where only Disney resort guests are in the parks. This means shorter lines and you can check off things on your list before the park actually opens! You can find the "Extra Magic Hours” calendar, here!

  3. The 60 day in advance fast pass section rule. If you stay on Disney property you get to choose your fast passes 60 days before your trip rather than 30 days. You will also be able to choose all of the days you are at the parks on the first day. When you stay off property, you will have to get up each morning and pick fast passes for 30 days out.

  4. Disney Bus Transportation will take you literally anywhere within the property that you might want to go. If you are going to have dinner in Disney Springs, the buss will take you there. If you are spending the day at Blizzard Beach, the bus will take you there.

  5. The magic and the happiness doesn’t stop once you leave the parks. I like to think of Disney World as this happy magic bubble and honestly, I don’t want it to end when I am there. When you are done at the parks for the day and you get on the bus at night to get back to your resort, the bus driver is happy and ready to make your ride enjoyable. When you get back to your resort, there are happy faces waiting to see if you need anything before you call it a night. Lastly, for the most part, even the guests are happier than they would be staying off property!

The rooms on property might cost a bit more than staying off property but once you add in renting a car, paying parking each day at the parks and all in all, the lack of convince to drive and park and find a spot each day, and subtract the stress, the cost will even itself out. What is your favorite reason to stay on property?

10 Tips for Animal Kingdom

10 Tips for Animal Kingdom

 
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After I created my Tips for Magic Kingdom post, I got to thinking that I have tips for all four of the parks! Animal Kingdom is such a fun park, they have great food, its basically a zoo combined with an amusement park and the shows are so much fun to watch {Just to name a few}. We love that there are so many different types of food, sort of like Epcot but different in my opinion.

  1. If you are unable to get a fast pass for Flight of Passage, go get in line around lunch time(between 12:00-12:30 when everyone is getting food! Opt for an early or late lunch or you can bring a snack in line.

  2. Get a fast pass for Kilimanjaro Safari in the morning, the animals are more active. This is what we do when we go. I have also heard that they are active around dusk but I have never actually tried it yet, maybe next time!

  3. Skip Pizzafari, there are so many good reviews for this restaurant but neither Dustin or I enjoyed our food. We actually ended up not eating it and getting dinner elsewhere.

  4. During the light show on the water at night, ride Expedition Everest! Usually everyone is watching the show and last time we were there we were able to ride it four times in a row by going in the single rider line. I also think that it feels like you are going faster at night!

  5. Take some time looking at the Tree of Life! There are over 300 animals that are carved into the tree and really cool to look at. If you walk around the Discovery Island Trails you can see them up close!

  6. If you weren’t able to get fast passes for The Festival of the Lion King, that’s okay! Usually the wait in the afternoon(around 3:00pm) isn’t too long and it is a great way to escape the heat. It’s also one of my favorite shows in all of the parks!

  7. The Starbucks at Animal Kingdom is called Creature Comforts and it is located on Discovery Island. We like to get coffee here to start the day off!

  8. The fast passes that I recommend getting are:

    1. Flight of Passage

    2. Kilimanjaro Safari

    3. Expedition Everest

  9. If you want to ride Kali River Rapids, or any water ride for that matter, bring a zip lock baggy so you can put your cell phone in it to stay dry! Usually on hot days your clothes will dry fairly quickly, but if you are worried you can bring a pancho as well.

  10. For my gluten free friends, we had a really hard time finding breakfast at Animal Kingdom. I ended up having babybel cheese and fresh fruit from the Harambe Fruit Market. I recommend eating at the resort!

I hope you enjoy these tips and learned something you didn’t know before! As always, if you have any questions at all feel free to ask! I am happy to help!

Our First time at Universal Studios

The last time we were in Florida for a Disney trip, we knew we wanted to visit Universal. Dustin had never been and I hadn’t been in almost 10 years. We are both HUGE Harry Potter fans so we were very excited about visiting! There were definitely other parts of the park that we were excited for, but Happy Potter was the biggest thing. Going into the day, we knew we wanted to prioritize Harry Potter World over anything else and then if we had time at the end of the day we would do other parts. We had plenty of time to get done what we wanted/needed!

The Tickets

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We purchased the 2 park 1 day ticket and we felt that was plenty of time to do and see everything we went to see. You have to purchase the 2 park ticket if you want to see all of Harry Potter World. We started our morning in Islands of Adventure and went straight to Hogsmede and we were in immediate awe!

We chose not to get their fast pass system and once we were there we didn’t feel like we even needed them. We were there in the beginning of December and never waited more than 40 minutes. Now if you go in the summer, you may want to splurge and get the fast pass or “express pass” as they call it. Honestly it was too much money for us, I think it was like an additional $90 per person!!

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The Food

Breakfast: We stopped to get coffee at Starbucks right at the entrance where all the shopping is. Luckily at this Starbucks there were the egg bites that are gluten free and I was able to eat breakfast!

Lunch: We ate lunch at the Leaky Couldron(thats in London .. haha I couldn’t help myself). We tried the pumpkin juice and butter beer to drink and then for lunch Dustin had the Fish and Chips and I had the gluten free specialty chicken sandwich! Both were very good!

Dinner: We were pretty spent by the time dinner rolled around, we decided to grab a drink and eat dinner at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. This was located at the Universal CityWalk. We couldn’t eat at Margaritaville and not get margaritas, I had tried the watermelon marg and Dustin tried the blackberry marg. We split chips and guac for an appetizer and for the main meals, Dustin had Jimmy’s Jammin’ Jumblaya for dinner and I ended up getting the Florida Grouper Sandwich… SO good, it was the perfect amount of spicy and delicious!

 

The Rides

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We really liked all of the rides in Harry Potter World, we liked Flight of the Hippogriff, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Escape from Gringotts, Hogwarts express(sort of a ride, more of an experience). We really spent most of our day wandering through different parts of Harry Potter world and just soaking that all in!

Outside of that we enjoyed The Revenge of the Mummy, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Fast & Furious: Supercharged and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem! All of the wait times were less than 30 minutes and we were there on a Saturday but in December.

We rode Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon and we both got off of it feeling very sick and it pretty much ended our day.. If I am being honest, most of the rides, pretty much 95% of the rides we went on we felt like we were stuck in a box and shaken up. It was a lot of simulation rides. Don’t get me wrong, those can be fun! But ride after ride of it can make you really sick, at least it made us sick.

Other than that, we loved visiting Universal Studios and Harry Potter World and now that there is a new ride in Harry Potter World we would love to go back! Have you been? What was your favorite part?

Review of Disney's All Star Music Resort

It’s one of our goals to be able to stay at every single one of the Disney resorts in our lifetime and so far we have only done two but I already have a favorite! Here is a breakdown of our honest thoughts of Disney’s All Star Music Resort.

Service

Definitely great, I honestly haven’t had a negative experience with any Disney customer service before though. I know some people have, but luckily not for us yet! We stayed for 8 nights and we opted out of their cleaning services, because it was just the two of us and we received an $80 Disney gift card. It’s $10 for each night that you opt out. Plus they will bring us anything we need(toilet paper, fresh towels, etc.) whenever we call and ask for it.

We also asked to move closer to the main building after the first night and they told us absolutely and made it so simple for us to move. Now I’m not saying this is the norm, just our experience and an example of Disney’s customer service going above and beyond for its’ customers. One of our favorite perks is the Disney’s Magical Express that will come get you from the airport free of charge and take you to your resort as well as take you from your resort back to the airport.

Room

So the room was pretty standard, the first room we were in was pretty far. We were in the farthest building on the back side with two full beds and it took like 5-8 minute walk to the main building. In the second room which was much closer we had a King size bed and it was about a 3 minute walk to get to the main building. We were much happier once we were moved to the king bed with a shorter walk.

The room came with shampoo, conditioner and body wash and we never had issues with warm water. Wi-fi was free in each room and there is also a TV, mini-fridge, iron and a safe. One thing we wish there was is a microwave but there hasn’t been one at either of the Disney resorts we have stayed at so far.

We enjoyed our room for what it was and how often we were actually in the room. If you’ve been to Disney/do Disney the way we do(non-stop going, going, going) then all that will matter is to have a place to rest your head, and feet at night, with the quickest transport to and from the parks.

Food

So the Intermission Food Court has many options and we were pretty satisfied with the amount of times we actually ate there(about 5 total for all meals). The Intermission Food Court is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snacks. They have the Specialty Shop, The Grill Shop, The Pizza Shop and the Ice Cream Shop. The GF options were pretty standard for Disney, GF chicken nuggets, cheeseburger on a GF bun, GF French fries and some other options at the Specialty Shop like chicken breast with mashed potatoes, Mahi Mahi, and Flank Steak. The Pizza shop was also great, and Dustin’s favorite! TIP: If you are going to get a pizza from the food court, don’t order just a slice. Get a whole pizza, you get more bang for your buck and you will have leftovers for later!

They also have the Singing Spirits Pool Bar, where you can grab a drink and sit next to the pool! They have over 20 options to choose from ranging from $7-$13.

They have the store at the front of the resort where you can purchase merchandise that you can get in the parks, food, snacks, beverages and things like medicine. This was so helpful! For example, I forgot q-tips and I was able to get them there.

Lastly, you can order pizza to your room from 5:00pm-1:00am, this has come in handy a couple of times.

Activities

They have two pools, the Calypso Pool and the Piano pool. The Calypso pool is right off the main building and closest to the bar. Most of the time there is a cast member playing games, doing trivia or some other sort of interactive entertainment. The Piano pool is much more relaxed and there are less people there as well.

For kiddos, they have a playground and then they have a one mile jogging trail around the property as well! Another fun thing that they have is the arcade, Dustin and I (even as adults) can spend a morning in the arcade easily, there are plenty of games to enjoy.

The last thing that they do, and probably one of my favorites is that they play movies at night. Its called “Movies Under the Stars”, its so fun because it’s a different Disney movie every night and you get to unwind while being outside enjoying a movie. You can grab a snack from the food court and grab a spot next to the pool!

Busses/Travel times

We found that it varies from park to park obviously due to location but really nothing more the 10-20 minutes and it all makes it worth while when you don’t have to park your car, take the tram to the entrance and blah blah blah depending on which park you are visiting. We always say that we will always stay in a Disney Resort just for the bus system. It honestly makes your life so much easier. We also have really never had a problem with a bus not being there to pick us up. If you have the My Disney Experience App you know when the bus is coming to your destination and you can plan accordingly.

Overall Atmosphere

The overall atmosphere for us was great. It was a little more crowded in comparison to the All Star Movie Resort but its bigger and there are more rooms for people to stay in so it all makes sense. In our opinion we enjoyed the All Star Movie resort more for its decorations and that sort of thing. Like I mentioned before, it’s so convenient and we are all about it!

Our Favorite spots in Disney Springs

Dustin and I love visiting Disney World but we also love Disney Springs! If you have ever visited, and have seen the hot air balloon flying over the lake, that is our favorite spot. We got married in that hot air balloon! Almost all of the places that are our favorite spots are from the week of our wedding. When we went back this past Christmas we visited some of them again and we were just so happy! Disney really is our happy place! Here are some of our favorite spots in Disney Springs!

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  1. Raglan Road - We had brunch here with all of our friends and family just minutes after we got married! Its such a fun spot, they have live music and its just an energetic atmosphere, all day long! For brunch we recommend the Eggs Benedict or the Steak and Eggs, both are good and you can’t go wrong with either! As for dinner, get the Seafood Gnocchi or the Bison Burger! Absolutely fantastic. For reference, I can’t EVER finish a burger, there is alllllways some of it leftover and I DEVOURED IT. lol it was GONE! They also have great ciders!

  2. Boathouse - This is one that we just visited for the first time around Christmas and we fell in love with it! The lobster bisque is LIFE CHANGING. Like seriously we dream of that stuff. The staff was so awesome, too. With my gluten allergy the chef came out and chatted with me about what was safe and what wasn't, but we actually ended up talking for about 10 minutes about how we can make the lobster bisque at home! He was so nice! Our meals were also great, I had the prime rib sliders which were so good and Dustin had the Grilled Mahi Mahi tacos! We will definitely be back considering we have been dreaming of the lobster bisque ever since we had it!

  3. Morimoto - Very yummy! We really liked this place and we liked their appetizers even more! The Seafood Pizza, Toro Tartare, and the Kanikama Rangoons! We also loved the Toro sashimi.. like melt in your mouth so good. Now we order it everywhere we go and it had never been the same since! As for the rest of our meal we just got a couple of sushi rolls that did not disappoint! I will say though that we ate here before my gluten allergy so I am not 100% sure which of their menu items are GF or not!

  4. Splitsville - We actually had our wedding reception here and it was perfect! Great food and we got to bowl and play pool. We loved the pizzas and sushi! This is another place though that we visited before my gluten allergy. When we did come back after I had my allergy, there were very, very limited options.

  5. Wine Bar George - Such a great atmosphere! We just got a bottle of wine and just hung out at the bar for a few hours after dinner one night. It was fun to people watch and talk to the bar tender. They also had more seating upstairs that is a little more relaxed. The Wine Bar has a few snack options too like charcuterie boards and other small plates!

  6. Paradiso 37 - Three words, Baja Fish Tacos… SO SO GOOD, like so good we both got them! We also had a super tasty pitcher of the sangria! We split chips and guac for an appetizer which was delish. We sat at the bar because there was a really long wait for a table and we actually enjoyed sitting at the bar and watching everything happen around us! Anyone else people watchers out there? haha

We seriously love Disney Springs and all that it has to offer, when we plan our trips we like to make sure that we have at least half a day if not more to explore and just enjoy some time in Disney Springs! Have you been? What are your favorite spots in Disney Springs? We love trying new places!