My 2018 Disney Highlights

1. Staying at The Grand Floridian. I truly enjoy every WDW resort. Each one has its own special features. The grand Floridian is just a step above. The service was great, the views were priceless and I fell like a princess. Summer is a words I am good with going you once and don’t have to do it again. This resort will definitely need a repeat.

2. Walking in Walt’s footsteps. Disneyland was awesome! There’s so much history in each window, each store front and all around. It definitely felt familiar but on a smaller scale. WDW will Always be home to me but I am so glad I got to experience this. It definitely made me miss when characters were roaming around the parks and not just in meet and greets.

3. Andy’s room comes alive! Toy Story land is made up of 3 rides, one quick serve food stand and restaurants and yet it blows my mind! We are shrunken down to the size of a green army man. We see Andy’s giant footprints. Slinky dog is going for a ride! Even seeing the Cooties on top of the bathroom make me smile. I think my favorite part is actually the popsicle stick benches. Or maybe it’s the tinker toys that make up the lights.

Saying goodbye to Illuminations was bittersweet. It was time but it was like an old friend so I will miss the glowing globe.

2019 will bring more changes and I look forward to them all!


Losing it in Walt Disney World

The food in Walt Disney World is wonderful and plentiful. You can’t walk a few feet without running into a buffet or a Premium Mickey Bar. I’ve heard that vacation calories don’t count but what happens when you live where others vacation?

Joe and I have been challenging ourselves to make better choices. It’s not easy and I miss Biergarten and Liberty Tree Tavern and a few others.

Luckily WDW is big. We have walked miles and miles! We have discovered all of the resorts have great walking paths that are beautifully maintained and super scenic.

Don’t worry about us, we are still eating well. We skip the bread or appetizers or share an entree. Then we walk some more!

So far, we’ve lost over 40 pounds combined in about 3 months.


A Picture Is Worth A Bunch Of Words – Roger Rabbit

Yes, I know the saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words but that’s way too many words. I’ll keep it short and sweet.

I love Roger Rabbit. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and rewatch it with a smile on my face each time. He’s goofy and zany but he’s also a truly good bunny. Roger is a devoted husband and caring friend.

Sometimes, we will visit POP Century Resorts just to admire my old friend. There is a billboard and window homage to Who Framed Roger Rabbit in Hollywood Studios. I remember the days when there was so much of Roger and the gang to be seen.

In Disneyland, Roger has a ride in Toontown. It’s a wild taxi ride avoiding the Dip. Fun queue and great attention to detail. Right in front of the ride is a fountain. I will put it as a tie for my favorite fountain along with Miss Piggy. Of course the Splash fountain is gone but will always be number one.

I know someday all traces of Roger may be gone from the parks so I’m glad I have my pictures to look back on.


Four Parks in One Day – By Accident

We didn’t set out to visit all four parks in one day again, it just happened. My car was being repaired. We had two choices, stay home or get a Lyft. We don’t stay home. We’re too antsy.

Our first stop was the Ticket and Transportation Center. We got dropped off close to the monorail entrance. The line for security was really long so we figured we’d visit the Polynesian Resort.

We walked around and enjoyed the view then made our way over to the Grand Floridian. The carriage was waiting for a bride.

What a beautiful resort! We took the boat to the Magic Kingdom. It’s a great ride. What a way to make an entrance!

At the Magic Kingdom, we met up with Mary Poppins and she was practically perfect in every way! Joffrey’s helped us with some caffeinated fuel.

After walking around and enjoying the sights we got on the monorail to the TTC and then onto Epcot. The loop around Future World is worth the ride!

Lunch was a protein salad at the Electric Umbrella. Staying hydrated is always very important. Our friends met us and after visiting the Festival Center, we walked around the world. The International Gateway was next and then off to Crescent Lake.

Mickey bars at the Beach Club Resort were followed by water at the Yacht Club Resort. Not a bad place for a rest. Next stop – Hollywood Studios.

The movie in One Man’s Dream was the Nutcracker. Looks good.

By this time, it dawned on us that we had visited three parks already. Why stop? We could handle one more! So we jumped on the bus to Animal Kingdom.

Not going to lie, I know I was getting tired! We had dinner at Flame Tree Barbecue. It’s always one of our favorites. We people watched and walked around a bit then left to catch a Lyft home.

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Parks – 4

Resorts – 4

Boat – 1

Monorail – 2

Bus – 1

Lyft – 2

Steps – 25k each


I Still See The Magic

There are two kinds of people in the world; those who see the magic and those who don’t. I see it. I still get giddy walking down Main Street USA. I get goosebumps during fireworks and sing loud and proud about the best days of our lives at the Carousel of Progress.

In the last four years living in Central Florida, we go into the parks or resorts every weekend and sometimes during the week. How do we continue to see magic? It’s because Walt Disney World is always changing.

Some changes are small, like a new cupcake or a new dance party. The big changes like Toy Story Land get us even more excited for even more like Galaxy’s Edge.

So for me, I’ll continue to see the magic as long as there’s something new to be discovered!


One Night At The Grand

We can now cross another Walt Disney World resort off our list. Joe and I stayed at All Star Music and Movies, POP Century, Art of Animation, Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter, Coronado Springs, Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Yacht Club. We have also stayed Good Neighbor resorts – Hilton Buena Vista Palace, Hilton Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf Astoria. Our newest addition is The Grand Floridian.

I really had this built up in my mind. It would wow me and we would be one with the brunch crowd.

It did not disappoint! I was wowed! From the obvious push surroundings to the little touches, my expectations were met and more. The ease of check in is classic Disney. The grandeur of the great room with the piano and beautiful flowers are awe inspiring.

The room was spacious and comfortable with a wonderful view of the pool. The balcony was perfect for catching the sinking sunlight.

We had brunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe. This is such an under rated gem. We got snacks at Gasparilla’s. This is a quick service with sandwiches, pizza and great cupcakes. They have plenty of seating, inside and out.

We watched the fireworks from the dock. The view really is magical. I could get used to this place!


Another Non Park Day in WDW

Not every Disney day needs to be in the parks. It’s fun to explore too and with so many resorts, the possibilities are endless.

One great adventure is to start your journey at Disney Springs. This alone a full fun day! With all the shopping, food and entertainment, DS is a destination hot spot.

From DS, you can take a 20 minute walk to Disney’s Old Key West. The walk will bring you along side Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.

OLW is part of Disney Vacation Club and is filled with pastel colored buildings and some beautiful tropical plantings. Themed after the Florida Keys, this resort is very laid back and peaceful.

Olivia’s is a casual dining restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and brunch on the weekends. We had their version of the Cobb Salad with crabmeat, avocado and shrimp. It was amazing! Truly the best salad in the World.

This is definitely worth a half day to see new places that you might not have visited before.


Seeing Double

I couldn’t lift either out!

Seeing Double

We recently took our first trip to Disneyland and California Adventure. We wanted to walk in Walt’s footsteps. It was amazing of course!

The buildings on Main Street felt familiar. I knew the scale of Disneyland was smaller than Magic Kingdom but the castle was much shorter than I imagined.

Cars Area in Art of Animation WDW – Cars Land in DL
POP Century’s 80’s section in WDW – Toontown in DL

Despite being on separate coasts, so much is the same. We didn’t get lost. The differences between the World and Land were fun to find. Some were easy to find like Mr. Toad still resides in California. While Rodger Rabbit is a popular guy, The Muppets are non-existents. The Haunted Mansions look so different from one another but the rides are very similar. The addition of the Hatbox Ghost in DL is the most notable. California also has Disney characters in their respective countries in small world. That was great!

Haunted Mansion DL/WDW
It’s a small world is just better at DL!
The Astro Orbiter in WDW is brighter and on top of a building!
Must have been a sale? One is in Main Street WDW and the other in the Haunted Mansion in DL.
The Castles

California Adventure feels more like a WDW park. It feels big and spread out. The tower was reimagined with Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel superheroes roam the streets! I saw Patrick in Soaring. Ariel still got her happily ever after.

I didn’t know our Lego friend had a twin!

We have a trip planned for September 2019 to Disneyland Paris. I’m looking forward to comparing three Disney parks.

Giant marbles in Tomorrowland


What I Like More At Walt Disney World Than At Disneyland and California Adventure

I’m sure I’m biased because I visit WDW several times weekly. I’ll be as neutral as possible.

1. Magic Bands make life easier at the parks. Period.

2. Stickers. It’s a small thing but I like to score a few every visit.

3. Fast Pass + makes planning your day easy without running from ride to ride. I haven’t appreciated it enough.

4. Bathrooms. There are so many and they’re everywhere! I missed them in Disneyland.

5. Jungle Cruise. Sure, the rides are almost identical but the queue in Magic Kingdom is covered and has ceiling fans. In Disneyland, you have to go up and down stairs and in the sun. Not a fan.

Bonus – Cinderella Castle is majestic! It looms large and is the focal point of the World.

Bonus bonus – space! With 4 parks and 2 water parks, there’s room for everyone!

What I Liked More At Disneyland and California Adventure Than Walt Disney World

I love Walt Disney World. I’m there all the time. I feel like I know it well. What I enjoy most is that it’s always changing and reinventing itself.

Now that I have visited Disneyland and California Adventure, I see the similarities and differences. There are certain things the California parks rule supreme with:

1. Character interactions. Once upon a time, you could see random characters roaming around Magic Kingdom. That’s a thing of the past. Not so in DL and DCA. Loki, Alice and friends and Pluto were free range and making memories with everyone!

2. Marvel! Captain America rides to his greeting area on a military vehicle. Spiderman is alive and well and signing autographs. Thor, Loki and Gamora are in a courtyard near the Wakanda exhibit. WDW is building a ride for Guardians of the Galaxy in Epcot and a store in Disney Springs.

3. it’s a small world. No contest. The outside of the building in DL moves. You get on the boat outside then float past animal topiaries. There are Disney characters in their perspective countries! Loved it!

4. Benches. Seems like a small thing until you’re tired. I have often said that WDW lacks seating. I now know that it’s because all of the benches are in CA! They are literally everywhere and in abundance.

5. Fuel Rod locations. Again, CA has them all over! I take tons of pictures and videos on my phone. I won’t even get into my Twitter usage. It’s so convenient to find the wonderfully themed machines and not have to search for them.

Bonus – Walt walked here. The history is in every step you take in Disneyland.