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.

Gina

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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

Gina

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.

Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone At WDW

I love Walt Disney World. It’s my happy place. I love Florida and have never regretted moving here for a moment.

One difference between here and New England is the lakes. I grew up swimming in the spring fed lakes up north. I’ve fished and gone tubing and enjoyed it so much. I’m Florida, not so much. I’m not a fan of wildlife. I can handle the lizards, tolerate the love bugs and view the cranes from afar.

I thought Small World and Living With The Land were close enough for me. Then we were at the Polynesian Resort and Joe stopped and looked around the marina. He raised the challenge and I figured it was time to get out of my comfort zone.

I loved it! The sights were stunning and the different points of view were eye opening. I thought Bay Lake Tower was a round building. It’s more like a horse shoe. The Grand Floridian is truly regal and Fort Wilderness Lodge is majestic.

I’m so glad that we tried something new. It really goes to show that after countless visits to the World, there’s still something new to do. Sometimes you just need to put your fears aside.

Gina PD

Wasted Spaces at WDW – Epcot

Wasted Spaces at WDW – Epcot

Enclosed within 47 square miles, Disney World is roughly the size of San Francisco. There are 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 4 golf clubs, 2 mini golf parks and countless Disney resorts and Good Neighbors. Sounds like that space should be pretty full but there are untouched acres, empty spaces and under utilized areas in otherwise populated spots.

Epcot has room for several more countries tucked in greenery between existing sponsor countries. Rumor has it we will hear more about a new addition at the D23 Convention this year. My guess is Brazil but Joe would like Portugal.

The Wonders of Life Pavilion was home to classic attractions such as Body Wars, which was kind of like Star Tours if Yoda was a doctor and Darth Vader was an infection. The Making of Me was a film narrated by Martin Short that was literally about making babies. Sad that I missed that! Now the building is the seasonally used as the Festival Center. We saw recently it was getting a paint job. Hopefully this will be totally rehabbed.

The Odessey and Inoventions are also just waiting for the next great update. I think of the endless possibilities for them. Getting off Spaceship Earth into a new area stressing our global community would be super.

What would you put in the empty or seldom used spots in Epcot?

Art Smith’s Homecoming at Disney Springs

Art Smith’s Homecoming at Disney Springs

There are countless restaurants in Disney Springs, from food stands (Poutine), to quick service (Polite Pig) to great table service (The Boathouse). You will be able to find whatever you want for whatever you are in the mood for and whatever budget you want to stay in.

We were in the mood for a good home cooked meal but it was my turn to cook thus we turned up at Disney Springs. We had heard of Homecoming and Joe is a big Art Smith fan. He follows him on Instagram. Joe’s a huge foodie.

We were not disappointed. We went for early Saturday dinner and had no reservations. We had actually figured on BBQ at the Polite Pig. We only waited 20 minutes.

The whole restaurant runs like a finely tuned machine. The staff is large and seems to work together perfectly. The tables were turned quickly but we didn’t feel rushed. The drinks were replenished and the meal was served and cleared away promptly.

I had the catfish and grits with an apple ale. It was perfect. The fish was fresh and crispy. I’m from New England, so grits aren’t really my thing but these made me change my mind. They were reminiscent of creamy polenta. I would eat them daily!

Joe had the fried chicken and mashed potatoes with sausage gravy. First of all, he couldn’t finish it. That just doesn’t happen, like ever. Joe said it was the best fried chicken he’d ever eaten. The mashed potatoes were creamy but the gravy was just perfection.

We didn’t have desert.

We highly suggest Homecoming to all the foodies out there!

There is a Passholder discount.

Gina & Joe

New Positively Disney “Totally Tubular Wish You Were Here” Subscription Boxes!

Almost 4 years ago, we moved to Central Florida. Part of the reason was to be close to the Magic. Still loving life and enjoying our Disney days and nights.

Before moving down, we followed bloggers, had favorite websites, Twitter accounts and Facebook posts that we lived vicariously through. We planned each detail of the next trip and the one after that. We fought off the Disney blues with keepsakes and more planning. One great way to keep the magic alive is through subscription boxes. I’ve watched tons and tons of unboxing on YouTube.

I love the whole concept! Some of them are so cool with souvenirs that I would love. A lot of them can be really pricey. With the Disney parks app you can now buy so many things that are in the Parks.

So we started thinking, what is missing? How can we put a Positively Disney spin on a subscription box?

Here’s what we came up with:

1. This is about you. We want to know more about you. We want to know your likes and dislikes, where you been and where you want to go and what makes your happy place happy for you.

2. Price points. We want this to be flexible to match everyone’s budget.

3. Theming. One month we could be all about Magic Kingdom, the next Star Wars and the following one it’s Port Orleans Riverside.

4. #Floridaliving. Do you want to get information and doodads from Gatorland, SeaWorld or Daytona? Sure, why not!

5. A little extra. Do you want to have all matching t-shirts for your family of 6? How about you need a special ornament to complete your collection? We could do that for you, let us shop at the parks for you.

What do you think? We value your opinion!

Courtney, Gina and Kim

Breakfast at Boma – Animal Kingdom Lodge

Breakfast at Boma

This is a buffet with a twist. Yes, there are Mickey waffles, bacon and scrambled eggs but there is so much more. There are no characters but children will still enjoy Boma.

The location is in the Jambo House of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and it is stunning. The African themed resort is colorful and is enhanced by the backdrop of the savanna. Definitely take time to walk around and spot the animals roaming around.

I give this 5 stars!

Gina

These are a Few of My Favorite (WDW) Things

These are a few of my favorite Walt Disney World things. I have made my favorites list before but these things change from time to time. It’s hard to choose when there’s so much to love but here I go.

Favorite Resort – I’m going with the Yacht Club Resort. It’s location on Crescent Lake so close to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios make it so desirable. The neighboring resorts are great for a meal or just a visit. The Yachtsman Steakhouse has fine dining and impeccable service. The rooms were recently remodeled and have clean classic lines. Always a pleasure.

Favorite Character Dining – This one was close but I’m going with the Garden Grill in the Land at Epcot. The food is served family style. I like that the menu changes with the seasons and some ingredients are grown right on site. The characters come to visit each table for pictures and autographs. Oh yeah, the restaurant spins so your view changes throughout the meal.

Favorite Holiday – another tough one. Disney makes all year feel like a holiday but Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party blew me away! We got enough candy to last a month. The parade was beyond what I’ve come to expect. The character interaction was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing!

Favorite Show – For the First Time in Forever: a Frozen Sing Along Celebration is a must do each time I visit Hollywood Studios. Sometimes I go in just to see Ben playing Eric, a royal historian.

Favorite Epcot Festival – Festival of the Arts is the most understated of the festivals. It doesn’t draw as many people as the Flower & Garden or Food & Wine. I feel like I can enjoy it more with additional elbow room. The Odyssey building really shines with the vintage style artwork. The food and wine are still there but it’s just got style!

This list will always be evolving just like Walt Disney World does.

Gina