MegaCon Orlando 2016 – pictures

I went to my first comic book convention – MegaCon. I will admit that I had a preconceived notion of what I would see. However it was so much more! More sci-fi, more anime, more artists and more everything!
I thought I would be Disney cute and wear my princess tiara shirt and an actual tiara. Well, I was probably one of the most conservatively dressed people there! The highlight of my day was definitely seeing Stan Lee! At 94 years old, he has been elevated to almost god-like status in this community.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!!!

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Disney Springs: Sprinkles


It’s here!!! The new addition to Disney Springs that everybody was excited about has finally opened. Sprinkles offers cupcakes, shakes, and ice cream. Even with an always long line they actually provide friendly and fast service. 

I went there to redeem my free cupcake and was pleasantly surprised by how nice the entire staff was. Everyone had a smile on their face and greeted me like I was super special! 

Now, I only ordered a cupcake, though I was quite tempted to try out the ice cream. My cupcake was delicious. I ordered the classic vanilla cupcake with a cream cheese chocolate frosting and of course…sprinkles(jimmies to our New England readers). The frosting was super creamy and the cupcake was perfect. 

I really enjoyed my experience here and was by myself and still had fun. I imagine that coming with a group and getting a smorgasbord of items to try is a fun, tasty experience!


Enjoy PD

The Struggle is Real: Enduring Negative Nancies Popping Your Disney Bubble

Anyone and everyone who knows you, knows you love Disney. You love the movies, the music and of course the parks. You wear Disney accessories daily and are always planning your next trip. You’re not trying to hide it, you wear your obsession like a badge of honor.

Why then, do we get asked if we ever get tired of it? Nope.Never. I can’t get enough of the magic! I would live at Port Orleans, if possible. I would eat Mickey shaped food daily, if I could. I would even give up my car to ride in Disney transportation to go everywhere. I’d save tons in gas!

So what to do? You could make a great sales pitch about all of the wonderful aspects of Disney World. Throw in some pointers on saving money. Show pictures of a fire breathing Dragon from the 3 o’clock parade. Sorry but this may not work. 

You could try going with them to the center of all happiness.try to get them to see the magic from your angle. However, you can’t force feed a feeling. You can’t transfer your giddiness about fast passes to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. They may just see it as a rollercoaster that they never would have waited 85 minutes for. Don’t attempt to explain the allure of Peter Pan’s Flight (or Carousel of Progress).

In the end, sometimes it’s best to admit defeat. Let it go. Separate your friends into two categories: Magical Disney Friends and Grumpy Gusses. Stay inside your bubble where it’s safe from ridicule and you don’t have to explain why you have to wear Star Wars gear to Hollywood Studios.

Gina

I Hate That I Love You!

There are certain things that we say we will never do. That’s not different at Disney World either. “Oh I’d never wear flip flops at the parks”. I now have permanent tan lines on the tops of my feet. “I’ll spend the money on bottled water because I hate the taste of Florida water”. I now stop at all quick service restaurants for my free Florida H2O.
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However there are things that I am so not proud of, things that I swore I would avoid like the plague. I was wrong. Here’s my list of things that I hate that I love:

      1. Baseball hats – just not my thing, I’m a girly girl and not a jock at all! However, the sun is strong down here. I prefer my hats light colored and made of thin fabric.

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      1. Yoga pants – they are everywhere you look. Know why? Because they are very comfortable and wick away the sweat. Yes, I make sure that I buy non- see through pants and wear long tops.

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    1. Matching family shirts – at one time, I would have cringed. Now I look at families in their  WDW themed bring orange tops with envy. What I wouldn’t give to have my adult children in shirts with a catchy phrase and personalized Mickey heads. The closest I’ve been so far is coordinated outfits with the hubby.

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Bonus: it’s a small world – LOVE it even more now with the new goodbyes!
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I may have relented on some things that I always said I’d avoid. There are still some things that I’ll vehemently deny ever considering. You will not be seeing me with a fanny pack ever! Sometimes you have to put your foot down!
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Disney Springs- May 2016

I finally made my way over to the new Disney Springs. Wow! Those walls that were up for what seems forever were hiding basically a small town. There are shops, eateries, and even a new guest services building. All the different shops all have their own feel to them but they all fit into the look Disney was going for with Disney Springs. It was truly hard to grasp walking through that I was walking where there once was parking lots and walkways! It was beautiful. A perfect spot for shopping and eating. Now guests never have to leave property to go to the mall, just hop on the bus to Disney Springs!

Beane Family Vacation: April 2016


Just this past week my family traveled down from Massachusetts to enjoy their annual(this year will be bi-annual) family vacation. Our trip included 2 pool days, 1 day at Gatorland, and 5 days in Disney World. This was a fun trip and I hope some of what I share with you can help you plan a long family vacation. 

Planning:

Something that gets forgotten when you live down here is that your family doesn’t get to just drive back down to Disney if they didn’t get on a certain ride. I have, many times, walked out of a park saying “oh I didn’t ride space mountain this time, I’ll just go on next week.” Well visitors don’t get that option! So when planning our days, I really planned out fastpasses. 

One thing I really focused on with fastpasses is trying to not make them on top of each other. Having fastpass after fastpass is tiring especially if they are across the park. So in order to have a relaxing vacation I set them up 2-3 hours apart. This way we could actually have time to do other rides, in the same land then make our way over to the next fastpass. It worked very well and it kept the vacation somewhat relaxing.

The other aspect I had to keep in mind was where I parked. Going to Disney a lot I tend to find new places to park such as near the Boardwalk Hotel or even parking at a resort and bussing in. These are great when you have an hour to spare but with 6 guests just wanting to get into the park it’s just better to park at the park itself. My crazy parking ideas can be picked back up again when they are at home.

Gatorland:


Now, I am a Disney Snob so I was not optimistic for our day trip here but Gatorland was a great experience for our family. The park is not big but has a lot to do. The best part of our stay was most of our party zip lining across an alligator filled pond! I suggest this for a low cost vacation day if you have extra days in central Florida. 



Animal Kingdom:

Animal Kingdom was super fun. The kids enjoyed all of the rides. This was Patriots Day so the park was fuller than usual but we made the most of it. We decided to spend some extra time at Rafiki’s Planet Watch since it was not only busy but also very hot, especially to people who just left 35° weather 2 days prior. All of us got to get on all of the rides and took in some shows around the whole park. The key to today was taking our time and enjoying some Mickey Ears! 

Magic Kingdom:


Time for what everyone’s been looking forward to; Magic Kingdom!! We did 2 days here and on one of those days we met some more family for the day. Anyways the park was actually not all that busy and we were able to get on most of the rides. One tip for people who keep track of wait times just remember that when the app says that Mine Train is a 40 minute wait everyone in the park is going to run to the ride so that 40 minute wait is going to turn into a 80 minute wait in moments. 


They were great days and a lot of memories were made. One of the best moments for us was very simple. Being super warm we brought the kids over to the splash zone in Fantasy Land and they were able to play around and cool off.


Of course our days ended with fireworks and proof that the days were a fun filled success my little Macy fell asleep before even getting on the monorail out of the park both times. 


Epcot:

Epcot is a difficult park right now since there is no Soarin which is everyone’s favorite ride and the World Showcase is “the worst thing ever” to Zachary but we made the most of it. It was one of those people watching days while enjoying some of EPCOT’s best snacks. We even got to meet up with Aunt Gina!


Hollywood Studios:

We went to Hollywood Studios and since we were wicked tired we decided to get a late start. We were able to ride all of the rides. For Zachary we did Star Tours two times since he is a huge Star Wars fan. 

We didn’t stay for fireworks because the kids were just getting wiped out and we wanted the rest of our vacation to be enjoyable so we called it an early night(not all that early, we didn’t get home until 10:00 but compared to our other days, it was early).

Extra Days:


We had 3 extra days this year. We used one on Gatorland which was great. Another day we did swimming and a night at Disney Springs and then just a full pool day with dinner at Golden Corral(kids absolute favorite).

So how do you guys vacation as a big group? And how do you do non-Disney days?

3 Things I Don’t Like About Walt Disney World

I’m usually an upbeat person. You may even call me positive (wink wink) but there are still things about Walt Disney World that just burn my biscuits!
1. The food:
First of all, there are way too many options! With 152 full service restaurants, 393 quick service and 102 nightclubs, lounges and outdoor bars, how am I supposed to choose?
Then there’s the calories! Each Mickey Premium Bar has 330 calories. WDW sells 4.3 million each year. I’m not great at math but that’s a whole bunch!
Sure they also sell 1.6 million pounds of bananas annually too. However, I am assuming that some of those are dipped in chocolate!
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2. The size:
It’s wicked big! At 40+ square miles, it’s often compared to the city of San Francisco. With a staff of up to 74,000, WDW really is it’s own all inclusive community.
With it’s 4 theme parks, two water parks, sports facilities and endless options in resorts, that’s a lot of transportation! You can travel by car, bus, monorail, boat, train and tram but you’ll also be putting on a lot of miles by foot! You will be tired! Or exhausted!
Wear good broken in footwear and carry a backup! I like Sanuk Yoga Mat sandals and Nike or Reebok flip flops with memory foam. I usually have a back up pair of cheap Old Navy/ Wal-Mart flip flops in my bag.
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3. The cost:
Yes, vacationing is not cheap. We always find ways to economize and still have a magical time.
Buy souvenirs before you leave home. Target, Dollar Tree and Five Below are great sources for Disney baubles.
Bring your own food. Nothing better than a Fluff-n-nutter sandwich while taking in the parks. Pop Tarts are made for travel!
Long weekends at a value resort can be the most fun times of your life! I know I look back at those times with my kids and still smile.
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Ok all in all I’m still seeing so many more positives! You just can’t beat the joy a trip to the parks can bring.
PD

Quick Service – Part 8 Capt. Cook’s and Leaning Palms

Leaning Palms at Typhoon Lagoon

This feels like a classic snack shack.The food is fast and the seating is aplenty. No question about it, this is Disney Quick Service but they do have pulled pork and a good chicken sandwich. The theming is really fun and they also have the rapid refill cups.

Not gourmet but not so bad for a day at the “beach”. A big plus – they serve yummy adult beverages!

Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian Resort

Renovated just a few years ago, the look has been refreshed yet maintains the same throwback feel. Capt Cook’s is open 24 hours a day.There are ready to go snacks and meals.All three meals are prepared. This serves as the Poly’s food court.

My personal favorite is the Hot Beef and Cheddar Sandwich with sauted onions. I could eat this daily if I wasn’t afraid of a heart attack. The Fish Tacos are actually really good!

You get a fancy coaster when ordering so your meal can be delivered to you. The outdoor seating area overlooks the main pool. The setting is fun!

Enjoy your meal!

Gina