Friday, November 17, 2017

anniversary trip day seven: mickey's very merry christmas party (again!)

grand floridian gingerbread house
We started the last full day of our trip by checking out of Copper Creek Villas and checking in to the Polynesian.  Our room wasn't quite ready so we hopped on the monorail to check out the gingerbread house inside the Grand Floridian.

grand floridian cafe brunch
We had breakfast reservations at the Grand Floridian Cafe and Jacob was excited to find out he could order lunch instead.  Grand Floridian Cafe brunch: Delicious biscuits, French Toast (with awesome Madagascar vanilla butter) and the Reuben.

checking in a the poly
We got a text that our room was ready so we made a quick loop on the monorail and checked in at the Polynesian.

studio at the poly
Our lake view studio had TWO bathrooms!!  And a view of Space Mountain!!

another mvmcp
We spent the afternoon relaxing at the Poly and then went to the Magic Kingdom for our last night at Disney World and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party!

dinner at casey's
We had dinner at Casey's Corner and watched the Move It! Shake It! street party.
Casey's Corner dinner: We split the footlong hotdog with pulled pork and slaw and an order of corndog nuggets with cheese!

more castle pics
We love Cinderella Castle pics!!

jingle cruise at night
Jingle Cruise is fun during the day and at night!

around the park
- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party -

outside the haunted mansion
- Outside the Haunted Mansion -

inside the haunted mansion
- Inside the Haunted Mansion -

It's so spooky!!

We had fun wandering around Fantasyland riding our favorites again, and we stopped at Gaston's several times for the best ice water in the park (Orlando tap water is GROSS!!).

seven dwarfs
The Seven Dwarfs had a really short line (only about 30 minutes!) so we decided to wait and get a picture.

yummy treats
They started serving the treats for Mickey's birthday even though we were a day early so Jacob got the Steamboat Willie Cookies and Cream Cheesecake and I had the peppermint cupcake (not a birthday treat).

holiday wishes
- Holiday Wishes -

holiday wishes.mp4
- Holiday Wishes -

holiday wishes finale.mp4
Can you tell that we like the fireworks shows??

mickey's most merriest celebration
We caught the midnight showing of the Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration show on the Castle stage in order to stay in the park a bit longer.  It's a cute show that we'll make sure to watch with the kids next time we go!

castle pics at night
And then we waited for people to clear out of the park so that we could get pictures with no crowds.

end of the night
I love pictures on an empty (or at least mostly empty) Main Street!

goodbye disney world
And all too soon, after a magical week at Disney World, our trip was over and it was time to head back to reality and relieve Grandma of her babysitting duties.  Can't wait until we can go again... maybe our 16th anniversary???


Thursday, November 16, 2017

anniversary trip day six: animal kingdom

Kilimanjaro Safari is one of our fave rides at Animal Kingdom so we try to do it several times on every trip for the best chance of seeing a variety of animals being active.  This was the first time we ever saw the hippos out of the water!

elephants and rhinos
- Elephants and rhinos -

afternoon snack
- Afternoon snack: Mr Kamal's Seasoned Fries, and the bird that kept trying to steal our fries -

We had fun stopping at all of the PhotoPass photographers since we never remember to get pictures of the two of us when we're with all the kids.

riding expedition everest
- Riding Expedition Everest -

We easily watched the gibbons play for half an hour before moving on (or back...) to the Safari.

gibbons three.mp4
These gibbons had everyone cracking up!

hippos round two
Back on Kilimanjaro Safari and this time the hippos were swimming around.

elephants round two
LOVE the elephants-- especially the baby one!!

rhinos and a lion
- Rhinos and Mr Lion -

satu'li canteen
We ordered lunch from Satu'li Canteen and tried out the new Mobile Ordering feature and it worked out fabulously!  We put the order in via the app, scoped out a table and then just had to pick up the food once it was ready-- no lines, no headache!  Lunch at Satu'li Canteen: Chicken Bowl with Red and Sweet Potato Hash and Charred Onion Chimichurri, Steak Bowl with Red and Sweet Potato Hash and Charred Onion Chimichurri (with no Boba Balls), Hawkes' Grog Ale and Dreamwalker Sangria, and a Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse.  This lunch was one of my favorite meals of the trip!!

- Pictures around Pandora -

flight of passage
We finally got to ride Flight of Passage on this trip and it did not disappoint.  It was, quite literally, the best ride I've ever been on so I was happy that we were able to go on more than once!

tree of life
- Kangaroos playing in front of the Tree of Life -

fireworks from the room
We wrapped up the night by watching Holiday Wishes from our balcony-- I love having rooms with a fireworks view!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

anniversary trip day five: epcot and magic kingdom

We started Day #5 at EPCOT and I MAY have used the Passholder Entrance (no line!!) while Jacob had to wait in the regular line.  In my defense, I did it so that I could get in the PhotoPass line so we both ended up waiting in line, but we maximized our time!

When we go with the kids we're always very Go-Go-Go and we don't always take the time to watch the street performers but we made sure to stop for shows on this trip and we were thoroughly impressed with the JAMMitors!

jammitors two.mp4
- JAMMitors -

epcot snacks
One of my fave things about EPCOT is the ability to snack around the world.  We loved the new cold brew coffee from Joffrey's and the Schoolbread was a delicious new-to-us treat from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in Norway.

epcot mexico
The Mexico Pavillion is the only one in World Showcase that is entirely indoors, however, they've done a great job giving the illusion of being in an outdoor market in Mexico.

san angel inn
We lucked out and got a table by the water for our lunch at San Angel Inn-- it's so fun watching the boats float by while you enjoy a delicious meal!  Jacob started with the margarita flight (when in Mexico...) and then we split the Queso Fundido.  He had the Carne Asada Tampiqueña and I had the Tacos de Carne-- while they were both good, his was the clear winner.  Unfortunately, it's really dark in the restaurant and while that's great for creating ambiance, it's not conducive to good food pictures.

three caballeros
- The Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros -

snacks in japan
We stopped at Kabuki Cafe in Japan for a refreshing afternoon snack-- I had the Strawberry Kakigori and Jacob had the Pineapple Coconut Sake Mist.

disney visa meet
We made sure to stop at the Disney Visa Character Meet-n-Greet since we don't always have time to with the kids.  Surprisingly, about half of the people in line were groups without kids!

the land
- Living with the Land-- I love all of the the hidden Mickeys -

test track
- Test Track -

leaving epcot
I love Spaceship Earth at dusk when the colorful lights come out to play.  The Stitch topiary reminded me of Ben (Stitch is his all-time fave)!

dinner at whispering canyon
We went back to the hotel for dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe.   After the drama of getting the car valeted (it's a stick and hardly any of the valets could drive it!) we checked in and waited for our table.  I love the lobby of Wilderness Lodge and it's a great place to unwind after a long day in the parks.  We both ordered the All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Skillet and while it was pretty good, the restaurant is probably a one and done for us.  Neither the food quality or the service were up to the standard that we've come to expect at Disney.

fireworks from the peoplemover
After dinner we took the boat over to the Magic Kingdom to wrap up our night.  We watched Happily Ever After from the PeopleMover-- it's always fun to watch from different places!

- Happily Ever After -

seven dwarfs
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train -

castle pics
- Cinderella Castle -

tangled bathroom
- Another "Glowing Lantern at the Tangled Restroom" picture -


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