26 September 2016

Life Lately - Vacation Edition

Oh the fun we had!  Disney was such a fantastic trip.  We had an amazing time and it was definitely over too fast.  Here's a peek into our little Disney Adventure.

We left at approximately zero dark thirty last Saturday.  The airport was a ghost town.  We walked to a different part of the terminal that was actually open to check in and check our bags.

We flew to Charlotte where we met up with my family and we flew from Charlotte to Orlando.  If you are staying on property at Disney, I highly recommend Disney's Magical Express.  You tag your luggage and they bring it to your hotel room for you.  It's a nice way to start your vacation.  

The bus ride to the resort was pretty quick, less than 30 minutes I'd say.

Me and my Mama.  She's the best.
By the time we got to the hotel and checked in we were ready to get to Epcot and find lunch.  We had fast passes for Test Track and we knew we wanted to eat first.  Fortunately our rooms were ready so we dropped our carry-ons and walked to Epcot.
It was hot.  And a little crowded.  It was the first weekend of the Food and Wine Festival.  We finally settled on take out in China and scarfed down our lunch.  We were a little hangry by then.  

We rode Test Track which was as much fun as I remembered and then we doubled back to Norway and Rayla met her first Princesses.

And here is my second plug for Disney.  Pull the trigger and get MemoryMaker.  It was so worth it.  We got some great pictures when Rayla met the characters and also at the parks.

She was so excited to meet Anna and Elsa.  I cannot speak highly enough of the people who portray these characters.  They are patient and they really get into it.  Rayla met Anna first and she was so excited she kept hopping.  So Anna hopped with her while she signed the autograph album.  It was so cute.

Day Two, our first full day at Disney, we went to Hollywood Studios and started with breakfast with the Disney Junior characters.  I think Sophia had a wee crush on Phillip.

He also made friends with Jake.  For some reason Phillip was very popular with the characters, ha ha.

We had the chance to get our competitive juices flowing at Toy Story Mania.  I loved this ride.  And not just because I beat Phillip at the game.  We played other games later and the 3-D nature of this game versus the laser guns of the others made this one more fun #justmyopinion

Louie, Katie, Missy, and Phillip rode Tower of Terror #Iwillnotridethatone and we had fast passes for Rock and Roller Coaster which is one of my all time favorite rides. 

After our roller coaster adventures we stopped for lunch.  It was a Mickey Pretzel kind of day.

This one opted for Handi-Snacks.  #whateverworks

We watched the Storm Trooper parade out on the square in front of the Chinese Theatre.  If you are a Star Wars fan it is pretty impressive.  We hit up Star Tours and The Great Movie Ride.  After that we wandered back to the hotel to relax for a bit.

Phillip and I took the boat back to Hollywood Studios for dinner at the 50s Prime Time Cafe.  Dinner was delicious.  I had an appetizer as my meal since I could tell the portions would be huge.  Phillip was willing to share some of his fried chicken off his sampler plate with me.  

After dinner we met up with Louie and Katie and saw Fantasmic.  Music, water, fire, and fireworks - you shouldn't miss this.  Especially if you are a Disney villain fan #maleficent4eva

Day 3 we hit up the Magic Kingdom in our matching shirts.  Rayla had one too but this was taken after this:

She had an appointment at the Bibbidi-Bobiddi-Boutique.  She opted for the Rapunzel look.  And she had a blast.

The Magic Kingdom was all decorated for the Fall and for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  It was very pretty and I loved these Mickey pumpkins hanging from the light posts.

We got to the Magic Kingdom in time for Rope Drop which is when they officially open the park for the day and Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom is not to be missed.  There is singing and dancing and the characters come in on Casey Jr. (the train).  

Our first stop was the Tea Cups which is Rayla's favorite ride.  We rode that one a few times since the line was not long at all.  Then Rayla went off to meet a couple of Princesses and for her appointment at the BBB and the big kids hit up the Race Track (not a great ride), Space Mountain (always a great ride) and Buzz Lightyear.

This is one of those competition rides.  I didn't like this one nearly as much as I liked Toy Story Mania.  We're a little competitive.  Can you tell?

While we were off on our own, Grammy and Papa were having lunch and waiting for the Little Princess to finish her appointment.

After lunch we rode the Haunted Mansion ride before heading back to the hotel for a few hours by the pool.  #timetorelax

We had a reservation at Chef Mickey's to dine with the characters.  It was delicious.  

I had a little taste of the eggplant parmesan, the shrimp etouffee, the lobster mac and cheese, and Caesar salad.  I think the lobster mac was my favorite.

We started Tuesday with a Princess Character breakfast and oh boy was the food good.  So was the company.  Little Miss got to meet Ariel, Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Belle.  

Nothing like starting your day with breakfast with the Princesses!

 We had a fast pass for the Nemo ride and then decided to hit up Animal Kingdom. 

Rayla rode her first big kid ride - Kali River Rapids.  She was nervous until Grammy and Papa got a direct hit with a spray of water.  Excellent timing Disney people.

We went on the Safari and rode the Everest Roller Coaster which I think was my second favorite ride at Disney after the Rock and Roller Coaster.

After Animal Kingdom we headed back to the hotel.  Grammy and Papa were going off on their own for dinner.  The rest of us were headed to Teppan Edo at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

Before dinner, Phillip and I stopped for a drink at this fun little bar called Abracadabar.  It's done in a great 1910 decor with nods to the magicians of old.  The drinks were well done and it was a cozy spot to hang out for a bit before joining the others for dinner.

The crowds in Epcot were considerably lighter on Tuesday and we took our time wandering over to Japan.

We stopped over at Norway where Auntie got a little something for Rayla. 

It was my niece's first Hibachi experience and she was transfixed watching the chef prepare our dinner on the cooktop.

On Wednesday, Grammy and Papa kept Rayla and headed off to the Magic Kingdomw and the rest of us took off for Universal Studios for the day.

We had to try the Butterbeer #sodelicious #itsverysweet

And in case you were curious, I'm a Ravenclaw, Melissa is a Slytherin, Louie and Katie are Gryffindors, and Phillip is a Hufflepuff.

We could not have asked for a better day. Most of the rides we chose had a wait time of 15 minutes or less.

Getting to ride the Hogwarts Express was cool.  You should definitely check it out if you are an HP fan.

The Escape from Gringotts ride was so much fun.  We got off and immediately hopped back in line and rode it a second time.

Louie found his place as we wandered over to The Mummy Ride.

 While we were at Universal, Rayla was adding to her collection.

And she got to meet Donald.  Not a bad day.

We started our last full day at Disney with breakfast at the Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort.  I got the Tonga Toast.  So worth it.  Banana stuffed french toast coated in cinnamon sugar.

Our last day at Disney and we spent it at the Magic Kingdom.  More Tea Cups!

And the People Mover, which was Rayla's version of a roller coaster.

Someone wanted their face painted!

She had that done and then Missy, Louie, Katie, Phillip, and I had fast passes for Space Mountain.  Love that ride.

And of course, the carousel.

Rayla didn't want to sit next to her Mama.  She wanted to be big kid and go it alone.

After Magic Kingdom, we cleaned up at the hotel and then Phillip and I headed out solo for date night.  We started at Abracadabar for a drink before heading to the UK Pavilion for dinner at The Rose and Crown.

I opted for the cider, and he went with the Black and Tan.  I'm glad I picked cider.

It paired perfectly with the excellent fish and chips I ordered for dinner.

We wandered around Epcot a little and rode Soarin.  Soarin was our last ride at Disney.  After that we meandered back to the hotel.

It was a great vacation.  We didn't want it to end.  So we treated the rest of the weekend like vacation too.

We started with dinner at Fish City Grill and because we were on vacation still, we started with the fried pickle chips #ofcourse

Jack missed me, can you tell?  Phillip was feeling under the weather when we got back so we kept it low key on Saturday and Sunday.

Lots of reading, college football...

And lounging around.

We had such a fun time.  It was nice to completely unplug for the week.

We stayed at Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Villas.  Such a great resort.  I loved that we could walk to Epcot or Hollywood Studios and the Boardwalk has lots to do.  There are magicians, mimes, a caricaturist, restaurants, bars, etc.  So much right at your fingertips.  I've stayed at other resorts on property and they can feel isolated.  This absolutely did not.  I would definitely stay there again.

Come back Wednesday - it's the last Wednesday of the month so that means it's time for What's Up Wednesday #wheredidSeptembergo #bringonhalloween


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