Saturday, April 27, 2013

Vera Does Disney!


Decisions, Decisions!



Which do you want? 





or Black?


And do you need a wallet?


  Or maybe a make-up bag?


I’m really torn between this little bag that would fit an iPad or a Nexxus and this small backpack.



Sure, these are out in time for Christmas, but I think Mother’s Day would have been the perfect timing. If you want your pick of styles, my guess is you better save now and be ready to make your choice when they come out or brace yourself for styles selling out.

You can see these fine specimens at the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival Center from 10 am – 5 pm daily.


Week 14 – Week 14 – Girls Make a Splash & Root Beer Float Review


Miles –

Date -  April 6, 2013

                          Where Am I?

         (Finding Nemo Edition)

        Level: Mr RayIMG_1468

Level: Dori


Just keep scrolling, just keep scrolling….


Finally, after being taunted by numerous days of testing, Splash Mountain’s refurb was complete! I sure have enjoyed listening to other people argue with their parties that it was open, in spite of all the logs being empty and no one standing in line. Our party was seated in the last 2 rows and included the mystery guest.


And you cannot possibly ride That Mountain and not ride This Mountain!


I’m loving my new Canon EOS Rebel T3i that is allowing me to take so many pictures that my point and shoot just couldn’t! This means gratuitous shots of Disney just because.

TIP – If you haven’t ridden BTM at night, you really must.  It’s a totally different experience.  During fireworks adds another layer of awesome.  If you’re ever there during a downpour, that’s a whole  new level of crazy. And to remove any doubt, I present the following as evidence:


All other arguments are invalid.


Here is my new, must-do ride.  Many years ago I was a practitioner of the Unofficial Guide’s “Dumbo Or Die In A Day” touring plan, lining up before early entry to get my kids straight to this slow-loader without a long wait so my little darlin’s could have multiple rides on the uber-popular Dumbo. 


Now that there are 2, the line has been updated with an air conditioned play/waiting area….


but most importantly, it has been relocated to give you this view….


of the continued progress in Fantasyland... long before they gave us windows in the fence because of moments like this:


Nosy passholders  Guests, like myself, mercilessly clogged the lines at Dumbo enjoyed a view from the Disney classic.  Now I’m riding Dumbo again with my young adult son, husband, and high school daughter after years of it being too much of a kiddie ride.  I love it! When construction is complete, I’ll still be riding Dumbo.

Now, along with a ride on Dumbo, I have to oooh and ahhh over the most interesting shop in the parks.  You can get hats, goodies, toys, everything under the circus tent at Big Top Souvenirs.  At the very center ring is this circle of awesomeness that drags me to it like a tractor beam every time:


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The Sugar defense rests. Case closed!


And speaking of sugar….


Another location passes the test for root beer floats. You might think all Disney root beer floats are the same, and you might be sadly deluded.  Jean and Gale, self-proclaimed root beer float connoisseurs, have reviewed and approved these spots in Magic Kingdom:

  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Auntie Gravity’s
  • Aloha Isle
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace

In Hollywood Studios – No approved locations, particularly AVOID Oasis Canteen (consistently skimpy)

Animal Kingdom – Anandapur Ice Cream Truck

EPCOT – none yet

We are reviewing root beer floats with soft serve and are basing this on portion size, since all the ingredients are the same. It will take time to try every place, but it’s a challenge worth pursuing.  ; ) 


When you’re tired and want to leave the park, there’s nothing like hopping on the train for a calm ride and to save the feet! 


My daughter, Mairyn, (I defy you to pronounce that without Facebooking Chris.) came out from her hoodie, showing her Ariel hair.  Yeah, it’s a different color now. I can’t blog that fast.


She caused quite a stir for the little ones between her Ariel hair …


and carrying Perry. I am convinced that the optimum age for Disney is a 4 year old. The way they react is the absolute best!

Interactions we’ve had with 4 year olds have been truly memorable, and that’s the age group that was excitedly yelling, “Ariel” and “Perry” at Mairyn.  I think 4 is a parent’s reward for not giving kids up for adoption during the 2’s.


And speaking of a Mom’s reward, this was a mom/daughter day right before Jean’s breast cancer reconstruction surgery.  Who wouldn’t need a bit of fun for a mental health break right before that? We went on Saturday, and her surgery was on Monday, so it was a whirlwind. Here’s a get well bouquet of Disney flowers for Jean!  You know that to visit her bouquet, she’ll have to go to Disney.  Dag nab it! Guess she’ll just have to suck it up and put on her big girl panties. 

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Time to say goodbye to our Happy Place for this week! What really makes us happy is knowing we’re always coming back!




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

There’s Caesar, and He Brought a Salad!


I love a good chicken Caesar salad, and I consider this a good value in the world of Disney Dining. Recently, I’ve discovered that not all Caesar salads are created equally or with the same recipe for dressing.  At Magic Kingdom, go to Cosmic Ray’s but skip the salad at Pinocchio Village Haus. Cosmic Ray’s has a nice, creamy dressing that has consistently been delicious over the years. Pinocchio’s had a vinegar taste and oily look. (Frankly, I’m done eating there for awhile, because the management is so poor. Strike 3, they are out!) At Epcot, the Electric Umbrella (menu below) serves a delicious chicken Caesar.  You can get it in a child’s meal for $5.99 which includes a side and drink over at The Land’s Sunshine Seasons food court, if this salad is too big. (TIP: If you want soy milk, it’s included for no extra charge with a kid’s meal, unlike if an adult orders it.  You can always order a chocolate milk or juice for an adult then swap drinks with the kid to save .60 each time you upgrade to Silk Milk.)


Saturday they went a bit heavy on the dressing over at Sunshine Seasons, so my top pick is still Electric Umbrella. (Both have the drink stations out where you fill and refill them.)  My daughter gives that meatball sub a BIG thumbs up, too!


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Waiting for the concert

15 minutes to go! We have center on the 6th row which feels like 3rd. It's hard to get bad seats in the America Gardens Theater.

Disney Wi-Fi and Nexus

They are not soul mates, at least not today. My glorious plans of blogging as I go have been thwarted by their failure to communicate. Can't most problems be traced back to communication or the lack thereof?

In line for Village People

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Root Beer Float Debate

A root beer float is root beer and vanilla ice cream, right? Weeeelllllll, " It ain't necessarily so", in the immortal words of George Gershwin. Jean, frequent cohort in crime, introduced me to chocolate ice cream in root beer. Hmmmm! Not quite convinced, and maybe having commitment issues, I decided to get my Chubby Checker on and do the twist .... ice cream in my float. It was just too good to snap a picture. I was so busy doing my bicep spoon lifts, I didn't remember there was a photo op. With floats 2 down there was just one to go, the holy grail according to Jean. I dove in with the same gusto and enthusiasm (read: photo op amnesia) I greeted its competitors. An admitted chocoholic, the winner should be obvious, but I'm afraid the verdict is still out and requires further research. I'm leaning toward twist, but one thing IS certain. A root beer float makes my top 10 list of Disney treats, and Magic Kingdom has the best consistency of quality (size matters). Tomorrow I hope to make progress on this very pressing issue of which float to put on my hips, I mean list.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I forgot the picture!

Starbucks at Disney

I wonder if they will have double chocolate chip frappuccino? Yes, I was too eager and had to take a big drink before the photo. Naughty!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Week 15 Confessional

Here's a confession: I could totally fake this every week thing, and sometimes that sounds like a good idea. However, I don't, because I'm a random perfectionist. That's why this isn't a decorating and organizing blog, because my perfectionist tendencies are applied randomly. Only medical, and I'm not talking a virus, would push me to this point of considering skipping this week. I already fought bronchitis to go last week. I went to the doctor for a lingering sinus infection and growing abdominal pain and walked out with 2 antibiotics for 2 weeks, blood work, and an order for a CT scan along with the orders to head to the ER if it got worse, because it could become surgical. Rest helps the pain, and moving makes it really kick in. With Jean out of commission and my husband drilling all weekend, I don't have another driver. I don't want to aggravate it and increase the chance of hospitalization and/or surgery. Well, the week isn't over yet, so we shall see. I am past the 25% mark which was week 13. Now I've confessed that sometimes in extreme cases I don't want to go to Disney, and the earth has not stopped spinning on its axis...maybe slowed slightly.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Get Well Jean!!

Jean, my frequent cohort in crime, who is often mistaken for my life partner at Disney (more on that another time) is recovering from major surgery tonight in an ICU room. She's beaten breast cancer, and this is her final hospital hurrah! I wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to our Pretty In Pink celebratory trip.

This photo was at the beginning of her journey when we were saying goodbye to hair. I miss her blonde hair, and she rocked a Mohawk like no one's business! (I wonder if we're on someone else's blog of crazy fashion at Disney?)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

View from our table

Today is a special Mom-daughter day celebrating a landmark surgery for Jean on Monday. She's officially a breast cancer survivor!
Got to love when posts send out of order and leave nonsense on the blog!
I look forward to celebrating her full recovery from surgery with another Disney day, of course!

Easter Week 13 – Mickey Bars: They’re What’s For Dinner


March 27-30

Miles - A WHOLE bunch!


Where Am I?


Easter Limited Time Magic




Remind you of the Valentines pictures? I think this area is going to be used for every major holiday.

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Playing with my new camera a bit here, but the flowers really were so beautiful, how could I not? 

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Outdoor Padded Seating Alert! 

Last week I lounged on a padded love seat at Epcot thanks to the Flower and Garden Festival and remarked that you just don’t see padded seating outside. Well, it IS scarce, but it does exist in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. I like me a padded seat to rest these sore hips, so I’m on the hunt now! Look for Outdoor padded seating/Prime seating and The Drink Stations of Disney to appear on this blog soon, because I am SO over Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite!


Look for those crazy trees.  Here are some additional clues to help you locate this prime, padded seating. This is a good ice cream stop with a shop serving soft serve right there, too. 

IMG_0027  IMG_0016

Mickey Bars: They’re what’s for dinner!


See the Minnesota boy wearing a jacket in Florida so he can eat ice cream?  That’s dedication to the Mickey Bar, that is!

This was the 2nd time in my life I’d had a Mickey Bar, both of them within the last 12 months. I’ve learned a BIG lesson. If I’d known they were this good, I’d have gotten my kids Mickey Bars every day of our Disney vacations instead of it being a rare treat. My kids had every character meal Disney offered when they were growing up, so they weren’t even close to Disney deprived. I’m just saying that this is a small thing I’d have splurged on more, and the only way I’d have changed my mind is if I’d have eaten one back then.  If you’re having a hard time coughing up the cash for some Mickey bars, then you need to have one (assuming you actually like a Dove ice cream bar). I’d rather have  Mickey Bar than a Dove bar. YUMMO!!



Thestrals at Disney? So there IS a shuttle between Disney property and Universal after all!


How about a sneak peak? This was the first time for my family, and we all enjoyed it.



They’re probably going to do Fastpass for this attraction (I talked to a cast member who confirmed this), but until then go first thing in the morning or during night parades or fireworks to avoid long lines. I suggest utilizing Extra Magic Hours, if that’s an option.  For princesses, this is a do not miss.




I’m not commenting along the way, just because I didn’t read about the attraction and found that limited information made it rather fun. It’s nice to be surprised sometimes. If you want all the details, it’s out there on other sites. This shows you what I knew.  You start in Belle and Maurice’s cottage and go to the enchanted castle where you meet Belle.  Everyone who wants a part may have one, no matter your age.


I will go back, but I’m a line snob who refuses to wait more than 30 min.  Really, if you utilize Fastpass, Extra Magic Hours (or avoid the park with those if staying off site), use the wait time boards and apps, you don’t need to stand in any line for an hour. You do need to do some homework, be willing to backtrack, and go early and/or stay late if traveling during peak times.  Riding during meal times helps, too. I am all about line avoidance!

Beautifully Disney is now on Main Street not just at Downtown Disney. (Wonder if they just got too many requests they decided to make this change. It didn’t make sense not to have it in the parks.)


Lip gloss was $14.50, and I was disappointed to see that the gold tube was lip gloss not eyeshadow.  I can’t imagine wearing gold lips. What I’d really like is a gold pencil or powder, but I didn’t find it here.  As much as I love Disney, these colors didn’t grab me.


A compact is $10 with every $40 cosmetic purchase. 



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If you want the make-up, just look for this window:

You don’t need the store name, because like an addict hunting crack, you can sniff this one out.


The Trifecta: Purses, Jewelry, and Makeup


The only thing this store is missing is chocolate! 



Dark and milk chocolate ~ Delicious!


Where was I earlier?  Here’s the whole scoop!


Since I couldn’t quite pass the security clearance age requirement for the egg hunt, I had to wait until the jr. agents  kids had secured the area hunted eggs, and then I was allowed out there for my photo op. They didn’t want me tampering with evidence relocating any of the stealthily hidden eggs.



The cast members were very good about my silliness once they realized I didn’t want to actually hunt eggs. 


NEW – My family at Enchanted Tales With Belle, My camera that can do so much more, and Disney make-up, and we have 2 exciting new entries in Clothes Encounters!

TIP – Buy those kids Mickey Bars!  Go to Enchanted Tales With Belle at off-peak times & keep an eye out for when they start offering Fastpass on this.

Know where some good seating is before you go to the parks so you can catch some nice, comfortable, planned breaks along the way.

Coming this year in the fall to Disney parks is Vera Bradley prints, and they can be previewed at the Flower and Garden Festival Center. I have my eye on the black one.