Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Going Back Home! :)


Over Thanksgiving, my husband told me, out of the blue, "I'm going to take you to Disney World in February. It's part of your Christmas gift."

So, you can imagine how thrilled I was, right? I didn't know the next time I'd be heading out to Disney World. I had no idea it would be this soon!

1. I honestly thought he was tired of going. (This will be my 7th trip.)

2. He rarely suggests travel or vacation that isn't an obligation (like to see family or something like that, or work).

Naturally, I'm thrilled. We'll be going just when I am DONE with winter in Chicago, and it will be during value season, so I'm hoping for low crowds. It will be later in the season, so hopefully it will be warmer than when we went in January of this year. AND it will be over Valentine's Day!

He'd wanted to make it a COMPLETE surprise, but then he remembered that the planning is part of the fun for me. So, he's footing the bill while I pick the meals, plan which parks we're going to hit, and which events we're going to do. All he asks is that we eat at Garden Grill and he gets to ride Haunted Mansion. I AM MORE THAN OKAY WITH BOTH OF THOSE STIPULATIONS!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Disney Designer Princesses

In late summer/early fall, The Disney Store began releasing ten limited edition Disney Designer Princess dolls.

They were available exclusively at The Disney Store (and online), and at $59.50 each, these dolls were a great deal. They're beautiful, with amazing gowns and accessories. I can understand why everyone went crazy over them.

The dolls are now sold out, and boy did I have some adventures trying to get the two I wanted: Jasmine and Tiana. I'm talking long lines, broken Web sites, and a lot of nail biting. I was sure I'd end up with neither, but my dear husband came through for me for both dolls, one by waiting in a very cold line on Michigan Avenue, and the other by getting his computer to somehow get through the checkout. (I'd waited in line at another Disney Store, and they ran out of dolls two people in front of me.)

They were worth the trouble. I haven't even unboxed the dolls yet and I'm absolutely in love with them. They're stunning!

Here is Tiana:

Princess Tiana

Here is Jasmine:

Princess Jasmine

I'll take more pictures once the unboxing happens. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Funky Style!!

I know I have blogged about this before, but watching YouTube today brought it back to the forefront of my mind.

When I was in high school, I LOVED LOVED LOVED the all new Mickey Mouse Club. This is the show that spawned Britney Spears, Keri Russell, and Justin Timberlake. I was a fan from the beginning--well, once we got The Disney Channel installed in my house. Back then, I had to beg and plead for us to get cable in the first place, and The Disney Channel was a premium channel, like HBO or Showtime! My parents knew how important Disney was to me, so they sprang for the premium. Back then, my cable life revolved around The Disney Channel, MTV, BET, and VH1. I loved music videos and there was no shortage of them in the early 90s.

I started watching MMC when I saw the video for Summer Vacation by The Party on MTV. I thought Damon Pampolina was the hottest thing on TV. I was ready for a new crush--I was over my New Kids on the Block phase, Joey Lawrence and Kirk Cameron did nothing for me, and Dino and Glenn Medeiros were just too old. I am not sure how I figured out that The Party had to do with The Disney Channel, but once I realized that The Party was made up of Mouseketeers from MMC, I was hooked. My crush on Damon was short-lived, though. I started watching MMC in its third season, and that's the season that Ricky Luna started. More on that later.

The show, to me, was so different from any other show. It wasn't a typical multi-camera sitcom filmed in beta. It was a variety show, with skits, singing, and dancing. My favorite was the musical numbers. I liked learning the dance steps and I liked singing along. The cast members used their own names, and at the end of a taping, they let the audience come down and dance with them, which made them seem more approachable than say, the kids on Blossom. I really wanted to be friends with all of them.

My life back then mostly consisted of school (ugh), an after school job at the deli, marathon phone conversations with my best friends (our record: 13 hours), writing (mostly fanfic), and music. I wasn't getting out much nor was I participating in a lot of school activities. My life was MMC and those kids. I wrote fan fiction about them before it was cool. If I wasn't planted in front of the TV at 5:30pm Monday through Friday, then the VCR was recording the show. That show was the reason I got up some mornings, the reason I got dressed and did my hair. Maybe I was just going to be in front of the TV all day, frantically rewinding the VCR so I could learn yet another dance step, but I was up and moving. And that was a good thing.

There were two Mousketeers who inspired me the most. One was Mylin Brooks. I thought she was absolutely beautiful. She had this gorgeous dark hair, this beautiful face, and she was on a TV show that was filmed at Disney World. She was smart and talented and I desperately wanted to be her.

It was this video here that started my fascination with Mylin:

Please refresh if the videos aren't showing up. YouTube is being a pain in the rear.

Ah yes, Disney Channel's watered-down pop lyrics. I didn't care. I watched the video all the time. I even learned the steps. I can still do most of the steps. I NEVER in a million years would have imagined that one day, this would happen:

Me and Mylin

Through the wonders of the Internet, I reached out and asked Mylin to be my friend on MySpace back when MySpace was cool. She accepted, and we began talking back and forth. When everyone moved to Facebook, she and I kept in touch on there. I was part of her "American Girl" street team back in 2006. It was amazing to get to work with her.

In July of 2010, I finally got to meet and spend the day with this woman, and let me tell you, she is just as sweet as she is beautiful. My mom is tickled pink because she knew how important MMC was to me, and she knew how important those kids were to me.

The other Mouseketeer that changed my life was Ricky Luna. I had an obscene crush on him when I was a teenager, and I didn't care. Every single day from 5:20-6:00pm, I would sit in front of my TV, VCR remote in hand, ready to tape anything with Ricky in it.

When the MMC came on, the Mouseketeers would pop into a circle and say their names. He popped into his circle, yelled "Ricky!" and I was instantly head over heels. Well, as much as a girl can be with a guy whose first name is the only thing she knew about him. But we don't need to worry about that. Look at this video:

He's the one in the red shirt and the suspenders. I dare you to say you don't understand how teenage me could have fallen for that total Mr. Hottyness.

I got to meet him for the first time in 1993, when MMC came to Cleveland to do a tour. Boy did I make a fool out of myself. I grabbed him and yelled "I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU." Mortifying. Forgive me. I had no social skills and I was face-to-face with the object of my teenage fantasies OMG what was my life??? Don't judge me.

Here are a couple of pix from that weekend:

MMC in Cleveland 1993 MMC in Cleveland 1993

Forgive the blurriness. I scanned these back in 1997 when I had no idea how to really work a scanner.

In late 1997, Geocities came out. I could make my own web page, what! So I did. I made a Ricky Luna fan site. If you google "Ronni's Ricky Luna Fan Page" some old, old, old mirrors of that site will come up. Good times. I made that site in hopes that Ricky would do a search of his name and find it. He did. That site was the top hit in all the search engines. He contacted me and we kept in touch on and off over the next several years. MySpace and Facebook kept us even more in touch. Back in 2009, this happened:

Ricky Luna & Me

Yeah, it was pretty awesome. I got to hang out with him and his manager's family. It was a really fun day. He lived up to the crush that 17-year old me had on him and then some because he's just an awesome, kind, and warm human being. We laugh about my declaration of love for him at Tower City mall back in 1993. I still can't believe I did that. Anyway, now he's a super talented producer and he makes really good music, which you can download for free from his site. I recommend the Electro Bomba mini mix. You can get it here. :)

I'm proud to call him my friend.

I leave you with this video. I just watched it again and it gave me chills because I loved it so much back then. And as I belted along with it, remembering all the words, I realized that I still love it today.

If only The Disney Channel was still this awesome. Oh well. At least they have Phineas & Ferb.

This is cross posted at my personal site. Feel free to visit and follow! :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Social Networking Disney Style

Today, I was invited to join what I think is the coolest thing ever. If you love Facebook and you love Disney, and you can't get enough of talking about Disney, then this site is for you. Create your profile, connect with other Disney fans, upload photos, and discuss anything and everything Disney in the extensive forums.

This site's in its babyhood, and it needs some awesome members to help it grow. Join by clicking here: Sign up is and painless and easy, and before long, you'll be sharing memories with other Disney fanatics.

See ya there! :) I'm Ronni!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Disney World Photos!

I forgot that I'd promised you more photos from my most recent trip. Here they are:

It's Us! YAY We're Here! In the Animal Kingdom

Wishes Safari!

Us With the Boss! Epcot

Aidan's Yummy Dessert Catch Ya Down in New Orleans

Rockin' Out With Phineas and Ferb

Aidan is Hula Hooping and Clapping! Pretty Birds Aidan and Duffy

There's plenty more where that came from, right here: [LINK]

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Disney World June 2011 Recap

Cinderella Castle

Here's a rundown of my most recent Disney trip. More photos to come in a separate post. (They're uploading now.)

The Fantastic
+ Online check in. Quick and easy.
+ Getting a ground floor room in building three. Refurbished and redecorated, close to the main building and the pool.
+ Boat ride to Downtown Disney. It was beautiful.
+ Magic Kingdom Rope Drop.
+ Star Tours 3D. Holy crap is that ride awesome now!
+ Garden Grill. I think they outdid themselves this time. Everything was delicious, and as usual, the character interaction was top notch.
+ Kilimanjaro Safari. There were TONS of animals out!
+ The gorilla strutting out, squatting in front of all of us spectators, and proceeding to show us how he does #1 AND #2. Quite entertaining!
+ Festival of the Lion King. It was fantastic as always. And I was FINALLY in the giraffe section.
+ Dancing with Phineas and Ferb! The line to meet them was long and hot, but we were entertained! And when it was finally our turn? Rock on!
+ Seeing the Torch Lighting ceremony at the Polynesian. (I am determined to stay there someday. I love that place.)
+ Chocolate-covered marshmallows rolled in mini Reese's Pieces. YUM.
+ Aidan and me finding reasons to laugh hysterically in the hotel room, probably driving poor Adam crazy.
+ Living With The Land. Always a neat ride, and we had an entire boat to ourselves.
+ PeopleMover. So relaxing. I'm always sad when it's over.
+ The Memories castle show. OK, they could do without the pictures. Just show us the effects on the castle. So awesome!

The Good
+ Flight was smooth.
+ Aidan falling in love with Pirates of the Caribbean.
+ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (always awesome).
+ Surprising Aidan with a trip to the LEGO store in Downtown Disney.
+ Meeting nice people in line or on the bus.
+ Liberty Tree Tavern. Good food. Very busy, though.
+ Soarin'. Always a good time.
+ Weather. It was hot, but we had plenty of water and one of those spray fans. We were OK.
+ New music to buy, new earrings to be had.
+ Watching Aidan enjoy Mission Space: Green, and Test Track.
+ All the cool stuff in the store in Japan.
+ I am not as obsessed with getting character photos anymore, so a little less standing in line for that. It made the characters we DID get more special.
+ Sitting in one of those little side streets off of Main Street and discovering a few secrets. :)
+ No rain!
+ Seeing Space Mountain with all the lights on. WEIRD!
+ Naps in Hall of Presidents and Carousel of Progress. I KNOW, but believe me, I needed them!

The Meh
- Whispering Canyon Cafe. Too loud and the food was so-so. Our server, "Lazy Suzan," was nice, though. And the ketchup thing? HI-LARRY-US.
- Chef Mickey's. Food was just OK. Kids running wild and screaming. Character interaction was rushed. Server did what she could, but she was super busy. She did give us a bunch of apple juice boxes and tell us to take them with us. I do not envy her job at all. Adam tipped her well.
- The long queues just for Fastpasses for Soarin' and Toy Story Midway Mania. Holy crap.
- Sunshine Seasons at Epcot. Disorganized, unclear direction for those of us with the DDP, and no good selections for picky kids that didn't cost a billion snack credits.
- Traffic jam on the way to Hollywood Studios.
- Finding out we went to Hollywood Studios on a Fantasmic Day. Crowds! Eeek! Will plan better from now on.
- Flash pictures on Pirates. Blah.
- "High-speed" Internet. Not high speed at all. I finally just gave up. It was slower than dial-up.
- Wondering, as I impatiently waited for more people to get the heck out of my way, why I visited the parks over and over. A lot of the other guests were getting on my nerves!

The Ugly
- People who stop in the middle of the entrance to a ride, decide to gather around and confer, and act offended or like *I'm* the rude one for going around them. Why should I have to wait for them to make up their minds?
- I walked into a restroom in AK. Saw that there were stalls open, so walked past the people who were standing there. Then I double backed I asked a girl if she was in line and she said "well.... sorta." HUH? Was tapped on the shoulder by an older lady and informed that they were in line. I was confused. Why were they in line when there were open stalls? Fortunately, this rest room had another side with tons of empty stalls. I left those people to stand in "line" (how are you 'sort of' in line anyway?) and used one of those empty stalls. Seriously, my bladder refuses to wait for people who can't make up their minds or figure out what to do.
- People getting downright nasty when waiting for buses in the morning. Although I guess I can't blame them there. Apparently, everyone and their moms decided to go to Animal Kingdom on Wednesday. When we got to the bus stop, the line was very long. Three Downtown Disney buses and two Hollywood Studios buses came in a row, but no Animal Kingdom. Ariel, the fancy guy dressed in Mardi Gras clothing, called in for an Animal Kingdom bus and it FINALLY showed up. Unfortunately, there was a Downtown Disney bus in the way, so the AK bus stopped by the people who'd just walked up instead of the people who'd been waiting. Much yelling ensued. It was not pretty. One lady came barreling through with her son like "I WAS FIRST IN LINE." I was amused, but then, I am used to letting three trains go by in the mornings before work b/c they're just too crowded to fit another person on. I wouldn't have cared about waiting for another bus.

Park Grades
based on crowd level, fun quotient, wait times, characters, activities, personal experiences
Magic Kingdom: B+
Epcot: B+
Hollywood Studios: B
Animal Kingdom: A-

Random Thoughts
We started out the trip in Magic Kingdom and had fun, but I felt overwhelmed at times. Not sure why that was. I suppose I wanted to get so much out of the way so the "relaxing" could begin. But that day, there was none, really, because there was so much. Rides, parades, shopping, dinner, fireworks, shows. Plus, we stayed for Extra Magic Hours, and Aidan got upset when we tried to get him on the Haunted Mansion. We were exhausted!

Epcot was good. We managed to avoid most of the huge crowds, and the thrill rides were great with Aidan. Soarin' is always a treat! Spaceship Earth makes us smile. Garden Grill was fantastic. I ate too much! And we went back to the room pretty early to recover from Sunday.

Hollywood Studios had its moments. Phineas and Ferb sure were great. Toy Story Midway Mania was fun, too, especially because we got moved up ahead. Aidan beat me, but I came close! We enjoyed the Art of Animation, and we all drew Dopey in the Animation Academy, which I'd never done before. I was pretty convinced I'd screwed up the picture, but I did a pretty good job. :) The food from the ABC Commissary was good and the people working there were nice considering how busy and insane it was in there. Star Tours was super. I got cranky at times, but managed to do OK.

I took the most photos in Animal Kingdom. Pizzafari was yummy. The Kilimanjaro Safari was the best I'd been on. Tons of animals out! More than I'd ever seen. The trails were fun and not too crowded. There is that one section of the park that's always INSANE--that part right before Africa. What is up with that?

That park is beautiful. I never appreciated it until recently, which is a shame. Camp Minnie and Mickey was cool, and we ran into Brer Bear there. We explored it a lot more than usual and I'm so glad we did. Everything from playing the djembes to walking around and enjoying the scenery made the park a great experience.

Finished off the trip with another visit to Magic Kingdom. This time, I didn't feel the pressure to do a bunch of stuff, as we'd already done everything Sunday. So, we relaxed, rode a few of our favorites, tried to get Aidan back on Haunted Manion with no luck (he was done after the stretching room)

A lot of things bugged me way more than they did before. I don't know if it was the heat, I was tired, or that I didn't get to plan as much as I would have liked. I still had a general good time. I'd say my entire trip was a B+. But I definitely felt like some of the magic had dimmed. Maybe I went back too soon. Maybe there were too many other people. Could I be outgrowing it? :( I don't know. I do know that I vacillated between not wanting to come back to Chicago and being ready for a day at home to do nothing. I was sad to leave, so I guess that counts for something.

Will post pix soon. Now, I must sleep. Good night!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Only one more weekend left before Disney World! And all I've managed to do was buy a bunch of shorts, a bathing suit, some cute tops, and a sun visor. And OK, I never thought I'd own a Kangol, but that's the kind of visor I got. DORK, I know. But it was the only visor they had at the store I was at.

Today, Aidan and I talked a long time about what we're going to do at Disney World. I dared him to yell YAY as loudly as he could once we walked in the gates. :D He also told me that he wants to ride the Carousel of Progress 42 times.

Last time I took him, he was timid and scared of a lot of things. Now he says we've "gotta" ride Pirates of the Carribean. I am stoked about that. I am so excited to show him everything. Oh and he also asked for Disney Dollars. I ALMOST forgot about that. Fortunately, I work right around the block from a Disney Store, so I can pop in during a lunch break and get that handled.

I dunno. I just want to make this trip extra special for him because he's at the age where it's awesome. He's not too embarrassed to be seen with me yet, but he still has a sense of wonder about him. It's going to be so much fun! :)

Wow. I can't believe it's coming up so soon.




Thursday, May 5, 2011

This Is Bananas!

Less than a month from now, I will be playing in the Magic Kingdom. I can't believe it's coming up so quickly. I've only recently managed to find time to transfer my dining information to my iPhone! It just seems like it was just February and more than 100 days left to go. Time is flying!

I am so eager to feel the sun on my skin. To hear the music and smell (and eat!) the cookies. I got a new camera, and I am so excited to use it in the parks.

Warning: excited rambling coming up!!

I haven't even made a list of stuff I want or need to buy for the trip. I HAVE gotten a few new outfits and a new pair of Keens (that it's not been warm enough here to wear out except once), and as I mentioned, my new camera (and zoom lens!). I am thinking of getting a bucket hat for me and one for Aidan. Or a baseball cap for him so the sun won't be in his eyes. OK, I'm done thinking about it. I am DEFINITELY getting him a baseball cap. And I need another one of those fan/spray bottles. I think I'll just buy the ones they sell there. Expensive but I know it works (unlike the cheapo-chang Walgreens one we had a couple years ago), and if it breaks for some reason, I understand they'll replace it free of charge.

I just got word from my travel agent that she's received our travel documents! When I saw the email in my inbox, my heart skipped. Trufax. Because you know that once the documents are here, it's time to really buckle down with the planning! That means I need to start making lists yesterday! I need to actually UNPACK the bright pink carry-on bag that still has stuff in it from my last Disney trip and oh God, laundry is essential. THIS IS CRAZY, y'all! Crazy in a good way.

There really isn't much to say right now, except that I'm sorry I've been absent. My job is demanding, I've started working out (go me!), and the days are almost a blur (Except when I'm in the office. Then they crawl. Isn't that typical?). I hope time slows down while I am actually AT Disney World, so I can enjoy my trip without feeling like the days are flying by.

I need to go to bed, although I know I'm going to have a hard time falling asleep. It's OK though because DISNEY WORLD in less than a month!

Now is when it starts to get REAL.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


We've hit the double digit mark! Fewer than 100 days until Disney World!!
Aidan's really excited. Maybe we'll even get him on Big Thunder Mountain this time. (Not really counting on that, and I know for sure that Tower of Terror is out of the question.)
I know it's still a long ways away, but it's just a little bit closer every minute.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking Ahead

This winter is not letting up. Every day it gets worse. More snow. Colder temps. Greyer skies. So depressing. Even the thought of Disney in June isn't cheering me up now, because June may as well be a million years away at this point. *sigh*

But at least I have a Disney World light at the end of the tunnel, right?

As promised, I am going to give more details about the upcoming trip. I'll be doing things a bit differently this time around. For the past four times I've gone, my routine has been similar to this:

Sunday - Arrive, drop off stuff in resort room, hit Magic Kingdom, soak up Extra Magic Hours
Monday - Back to Magic Kingdom. Get bored by midday. Hop if I have a Park Hopper, endure if not.
Tuesday - Epcot. OH YES Garden Grill!
Wednesday - Hollywood Studios
Thursday - Random whatever, go home

There was usually at least one character breakfast mixed in, and two character and/or sitdown dinners. I always wanted to fit in the parades and the fireworks. This has worked for me every Disney trip since 2005. But I want to switch things around a bit. Shake things up. With more frequent parades, I can do it. It's time.

I have never gone to the parks in June before. I've gone in January, May, August, and September. (So far, my favorite has been May and September, but if I want to take Aidan, those are out of the question.) We're going the very first week, so I am hoping the crowds won't be terrible and it won't be too humid. I'm looking forward to the sun warming my skin, but my husband and son will melt if the humidity is too stifling.

This will be the first time we're flying in on a Saturday night and not going to any parks. We're flying Airtran, and I ALWAYS expect delays with them. By coming in Saturday night, I won't feel like we're missing out on park time when the inevitable delay happens. We can just go to Port Orleans and relax.

In the past, I've always wanted to be wherever the evening EMH were. I am a night owl and therefore being at Disney World at night is awesome. However, I'm going at a busier time of year than I am used to, so I want to avoid large crowds any way I can. I plan to do Rope Drop every day (I usually sleep in), and have early evenings relaxing by the pools and stuff. Well, after the fireworks and everything. Midday breaks will be utilized if needed. I'm skipping the Park Hopper. I rarely use it. I also plan to spend more time in Animal Kingdom. On our last trip, Adam and I enjoyed the park a lot more than we anticipated. He LOVED the safari and Expedition Everest.

So. This time, it's going to be like this:

Saturday - Arrival
Ride the Magical Express to the resort, check in, chill out in the pool and/or hot tub, or hit Downtown Disney. I'd like to try the boat ride to Downtown Disney from the resort. I hear it's really nice.

Sunday - Magic Kingdom
It's important to me to go to Magic Kingdom on my first day in the parks. I have to see the castle, smell the scents of Main Street, hear the music, watch the parade. The difference is that I'll be dragging Aidan out of bed so that we can do Rope Drop. Magic Kingdom will have evening Extra Magic Hours, so I figure we can ride all the awesome stuff in the morning, have lunch, go back to the resort and relax, and then hit Magic Kingdom in the afternoon for the parade and then evening hours. I love the evening EMH at Magic Kingdom. The park empties out. It's quiet. The castle is changing colors. It's gorgeous. P

Monday - Epcot ...and GARDEN GRILL!
For the rest of the trip, I will be avoiding any parks with EMH, so instead of going to Epcot on Tuesday, we'll be going on Monday. (Usually, I hit Magic Kingdom a second day.) It's going to feel weird, but I think I'll be fine. And hey, Garden Grill a day earlier than normal is always a welcome change to the ole routine. God, I love that place, and the character interaction there is my favorite.

Tuesday - Hollywood Studios
I've heard weird stories about the bull run to Toy Story Midway Mania at Rope Drop so people can load up on FastPasses. I like TSMM, and I'd really like Aidan to experience it, but the idea of that bull run kind of scares me! I think I'll do it anyway, because I think Aidan would love the ride. Tower of Terror--I doubt I'll get a chance to ride it this time around, unless I can get up the courage to ride it alone. I don't think Aidan will ride it, and we could do the parent swap (maybe?), but we'll see. I'd love to ride Rock N Rollercoaster just once. It's a rough one, but it's super fun. For dinner, we'll bus it to Wilderness Lodge for Whispering Canyon Cafe dinner (I am excited!).

Wednesday - Animal Kingdom :)
We're going to try to spend the whole day here. I really hope Aidan is over any fear of coasters by then because Expedition Everest is so fun! The safari should be fun, too. And maybe the giraffes will be out again. Then, dinner at Chef Mickey's.

Thurday - OPEN :o
We leave that evening, so we'll just pop into whatever park we want, eat a counter meal, and relax until time to go and wait for the Magical Express.

We've decided that sit down breakfasts cut into precious Rope Drop time, so we're going with all dinners this time. Breakfast will be a quick snack (cereal, cinnamon roll, etc.) procured from the food court the night before) so we can just GO. Also, we get the dining plan, and the dinners are a bigger value when using the dining plan.
I'm eager to see how this new plan will work out. Come on, June!

Til next time!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Our Disney McSquee Faces


I so cannot wait to be back there!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Disney Dreaming

We just had the mother of blizzards in Chicago. So bad that my job actually closed on Wednesday, and this morning's (non)commute was so stressful that I ended up going back home to warm up. I was so frustrated that I decided to take another day off. My boss told me to write a Disney blog entry, so here I am.

I AM SO READY FOR JUNE, YOU GUYS. Seriously, this morning, I stood on a train platform in 1˚F temperatures for an hour. I am so over the cold and snow, and every day I dream about being in Florida with the sun beating down on me while I nom on a chocolate and M&M covered marshmallow or maybe even a Casey's hotdog. It is that serious, folks.

The past couple of weeks, I went ahead and put the deposit on our Disney trip and extra night at Port Orleans French Quarter, got Adam to book the plane tickets, and made our meal reservations. If you're one of the three regular readers of this blog, you know that I like to try something new every trip. Here are my meal plans for our June trip:

Saturday - Whatever strikes our fancy. We won't be on the meal plan yet, so I figure we can eat at Downtown Disney or even in one of the resort food courts.
Sunday - Liberty Tree Tavern dinner (Of course I had to put in a tried and true favorite!)
Monday - Garden Grill dinner (Always.)
Tuesday - Whispering Canyon Cafe dinner (This is our new place. The menu looks scrumptious, and I hear that you can get into some real shenanigans here!)
Wednesday - Chef Mickey's dinner (I've never done this place for dinner before and I am eager to try the parmesan mashed potatoes.)

I used to follow a certain pattern every single time I went to Disney World. This time, I'm going to be doing things differently. It's just about time for me to eat dinner, so stay tuned for more details. :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Trip Report!!!

Finally, I'm going to do my trip report. It's a long one, so settle back with a snack and a drink and dive in. And please comment for the love of God! :)

So, Disney World came upon us FAST. We had a blast. :) I spent most of that first day in denial and in a daze, but that might have been because I was so darn tired 'cause I couldn’t sleep the night before! (I was excited, but also because I'd left all my packing and organizing to the last minute as I am wont to do.) I didn’t start to feel like it was real until after the Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade!

We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter, which is one of the moderate resorts. OK, I got spoiled. The bus stops were close to the parks, the resort was small and quiet, there was a hot tub, and it was just pretty! (Check in was super slow, but we ended up meeting some people from Columbus OH who just happen to be now living in the house that Chris--my ex-husband and good friend--grew up in. How is that for coincidence? Guess who was singing “it’s a small world” all afternoon after that?) Anyway, Adam and I decided that it’s worth the extra $$ a night for all the extras we got out of it. We’ll be staying there this June as well.

(God, imagine if I ever get to stay in the Polynesian! Talk about spoiled rotten, right? But that won’t happen for a long time, not with rooms starting at $400 a night. Yowsa!)

Almost every character I met hugged (or kissed) me, some more than once! I even got a hug from Tinkerbell. The hugs from Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen (the highlight of my trip) were the best, though.

Hanging with New Orleans Royalty!

Did I mention that Tiana is my favorite Disney princess? Oh well, now you know. :) On Sunday, our first day there, we were going around Magic Kingdom, and I’d mentioned to Adam that meeting Tiana and Naveen would make my trip. It would make my YEAR. We couldn’t figure out where their meeting place was, but we’d been planning on hitting MK the next day, so we decided we’d look for them then. Well, Adam and I got to the park at Rope Drop (I highly recommend doing that–it’s awesome so early in the morning!), and we ended up RIGHT BEHIND THEM as they walked down Main Street. When we got to their meet and greet place, they let me take pictures with them and chatted with me and it was like, amazing. I was like this when it was all done:


Yea, that was a pretty awesome day in the Magic Kingdom, even if it did rain quite a lot. It was warm, and I rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad twice (ended up riding it five times total during the trip), and it was the day of the Main Street Electrical Parade, where Adam and I were quite entertained by a total brat who was 11-years old and acting like a spoiled princess (she had visited the Bippity Boppity Boutique at some point during the day–she was ALL done up). Adam and I nicknamed her Veruca Salt. :o

Although we had a great trip, I don’t know if I’ll go in January again. The crowd level was pretty great for the most part, and soaking in the hot tub in the evening was nice, also. But a couple of days, it got pretty cold, and that’s not what you want to have to deal with when on a vacation in FLORIDA. We only had one day of rain, though, and one day it was absolutely perfect out. So the weather was hit or miss, and a lot of things were being refurbished or fixed up. Tarpilicious! Not that I noticed…too much. I was too busy gawking over the fact that Christmas stuff was still up for the first few days of the trip. I was thrilled, to be honest, because dude, I still had my Christmas decorations up, and I figured if DISNEY didn’t have theirs down, then I shouldn’t feel bad. (Of course, once I came to this conclusion, all the decorations were gone the next day. Even the poinsettias that had been planted were changed to purple and pink and yellow flowers.)

Here are a few picture highlights:

Wishes Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Main Street Electrical Parade The Selzer Family

Breakfast at The Crystal Palace Tree of Life

Adam, Me, and Flik Cinderella Castle

Beautiful Castle It's Duffy, the Disney Bear! Chillin' with Dale

Castle Reflection

Adam and Ronni Smooches in Magic Kingdom

Us with Mickey Mouse!

And you can see many more pictures here: Disney World 2011


It was nice seeing Adam’s family at various times throughout the trip as well. Eli ran the Goofy (in case you don't know, the Goofy is when you run the half-marathon AND the full marathon in the same weekend--we saw a lot of people wearing their marathon medals and limping, let me tell ya), Melissa ran the half-marathon, and Adam’s parents were there for cheers and support. Also, Cassidy brought little Lola which was awesome because she seemed to enjoy the park in the best way a little baby could:

On the Mad Tea Party

We ate good food (Liberty Tree Tavern, Garden Grill, and Boma FTW), saw parades and shows, rode rides (yea Expedition Everest, Tower of Terror, Rock N Rollercoaster [twice], Space Mountain [twice], and of course, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad), and really had an amazing time. I cannot wait to take Aidan this summer. Because OH YEAH we are going again! Twice in one year for me, and Aidan too, because his father is taking him in August. ROCK.

Oh yeah, I have six words for you: GIANT CHOCOLATE AND M&M COVERED MARSHMALLOW.

So getting another one of those when I go in June. Mouth is watering just thinking about it.

And now, some lists:

New Experiences This Trip

* Port Orleans French Quarter (staying in a moderate resort)

* Expedition Everest

* Country Bear Jamboree

* Meeting Pocahontas, Meeko, and Flik

* It’s Tough to be a Bug

* Captain EO

* Boma

* Flame Tree Barbeque

* Meeting Frozone

* Seeing the JaMMitors

* Mission Space: Green

Things I Wish I’d Done But Didn’t Get Around To

* Buying bath bombs at Basin White

* More of the dark rides

* Visiting the Japan pavilion in Epcot

* Mailing Aidan’s package from Disney World

* Sending Aidan an autographed postcard from Mickey Mouse

* Sending postcards in general

Lessons Learned

* Don’t schedule more than one character breakfast. Too dang early to get up, or they interrupt Rope Drop advantages (little to no ride lines!). Go for character DINNERS instead.

* Crystal Palace > Chef Mickey’s

* Avoid shopping in the Emporium. That place is a mad house!

* I would probably go later in the winter next time. The weather in early January is too unpredictable. I’d go for February. Should still be low crowds as long as I avoid Valentine’s Day or President’s Day.

* Port Orleans French Quarter has pretty good bus placement at the parks! Close bus stops, and bus service is really good. We rarely had to wait for a bus and if we did have to wait, it was never very long.

OK, that’s enough for now. :) Hope you enjoyed my short recap. Talk to you soon… but first, I leave you with some LOLz for days:

Okee dokee, artichokie. Signing off for now. Hope you enjoyed my trip report. I'll be back soon!



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