Today we slept in a bit and then took the monorail to the Grand Floridian. We had brunch at 1900 Park Fare which is one of our favorite breakfast places. The buffet is filled with incredible food, and we especially loved the omelette station, bagels and lox, and Mickey waffles. This is a character breakfast so we got to see our favorite British characters: Pooh, Tigger, Alice, the Mad Hatter, and Mary Poppins. It was an excellent meal!
Afterwards, we went back to Bay Lake to spend some time in the Bay Cove Pool! We had a fun time swimming and cooling off in the water! We got dressed and Megan went to Magic Kingdom, where she spent time in the Main Street Confectionery and Big Top Treats watching the pastry chefs.
Neil, Bonnie, and Courtney went to Animal Kingdom for the WDW Radio Meet of the Month. It was great to see Lou Mongello again, and he gave us WDW Radio MagicBand covers. A family at the meet-up recognized Courtney from her DCP posts and it was nice to meet them too! Afterwards, we walked around Animal Kingdom and did some pin trading. We got to see our friend Abraham in one of the shops, Island Mercantile.
Then we met Megan at Downtown Disney where we went to Wolfgang Puck for dinner. We walked around and took some more pictures for the website before returning to our resort. We enjoyed Mickey ice creams on our balcony while watching Wishes. Tomorrow, we are going to Blizzard Beach!
We started off our day at Blizzard Beach water park! We started by taking the Ski Lift up to the top. The new specials were released today for fall vacations, so Neil was finishing up getting some discounts applied for his clients. Megan decided to brave Slush Gusher while Bonnie and Courtney rode Teamboat Springs. Then, all 4 of us went to the wave pool! While the Typhoon Lagoon wave pool is fun because the waves are so intense, this wave pool is also fun because it has intertubes and is more relaxing! Then we went to the lazy river and took that around the park. We all rode Teamboat Springs together before leaving the park.
We headed to the Beach Club Resort for lunch at Beaches and Cream. We absolutely love the burgers here! They also have delicious ice cream sundaes! It was a wonderful lunch at a favorite of ours! Then we headed back to our resort to get ready for the evening. Neil and Megan had an incredible experience planned, the Disney Family Culinary Adventure. I am going to let Megan tell you about their night:
"My dad and I did the Family Culinary Adventure tonight and it was one of the best experiences ever! We started out by walking over to the Contemporary’s Convention Center to check in. We were taken into a room where we received aprons and chef hats! We introduced ourselves to the room of about 25 other participants!
After that, we went to one of the main kitchens where we were greeted by the Disney Chefs! They had a long table set up in the middle of the kitchen and they explained what was in store for the evening! There were five cooking stations including sushi, fresh-made pasta, salad, filet mignon, and dessert! We were assigned our groups, but we were told at any time we could walk around to any of the other stations! As they called out the station assignments, my dad and I were placed at the sushi station... Anyone who knows us knows we’re not exactly the biggest sushi fans, but we were excited to try making it! We started out making the sushi rolls, and it turns out my dad is a pretty good sushi maker!!
On our first break, I went straight over to where they were making the desserts! I introduced myself to Chef Matt and told him how much I wanted to work as a pastry chef at Disney! He then asked Chef Olivia, who was leading the dessert station, if I could join! She was beginning to teach different techniques of plate decorating! I got to decorate three different plates using different colors and chocolate piping! I got to pipe a cupcake and decorate it however I wanted to!
Once we were finished at the dessert station, I walked around the rest of the kitchen to watch the other stations! My dad was happy because he went over to where they were grilling the steaks and learned new techniques from Chef Frank who has worked at Victoria and Albert’s and we have both seen him on a TV show before! Once the last station had finished cooking, we were all called back to the table where each course that we had made was brought out one by one! Every course was so delicious!!
After we finished our meal, Chef Matt had a special surprise for us! He brought out a cart of dry ice, and liquid nitrogen and made dippin’ dots right in front of us! After pictures with the chefs, our night was coming to an end. Before we left, Chef Matt gave me his business card, and told me to contact him, and he would show me around the pastry kitchen in the Contemporary! It was such an awesome night and we loved this experience!"
Bonnie and Courtney enjoyed a mother/daughter night of their own! First we went to the Polynesian where we had strawberry daiquiris at the Tambu Lounge. We did some pin trading and then went to the Grand Floridian for dinner at 1900 Park Fare. Their dinner buffet is amazing and we loved the shrimp, carving stations with prime rib and turkey, catfish, and delicious desserts. We also had visits from Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the stepmother and stepsisters. The stepsisters are very entertaining and we had great character interactions with them! It was a wonderful evening!
We took the monorail back to the Contemporary where we watched the sunset, and then waited for Neil and Megan’s event to end. We shared stories about our experiences as we headed over to Magic Kingdom to watch Wishes. Then we went to see the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. We took some pictures and pin traded before calling it a night. Tomorrow we are going to Magic Kingdom!
We started our day at Magic Kingdom with breakfast at Gaston’s Tavern. Then Courtney and Megan took some pictures in their Elsa/Anna sister shirts that they had made at Downtown Disney. We walked around Main Street and we were so excited to see the Main Street Citizens. These citizens are one of our favorite parts of Magic Kingdom! First we saw Mayor Weaver who we were so happy to see because he had been on vacation. We also saw some of the ladies. Then we saw Scoop Sanderson, and Courtney asked if he had any pins to trade as he typically wears a long lanyard with lots of pins. He didn’t have his lanyard but he then surprised Courtney and gave her one of his exclusive pins, and signed the back of it! It was a very special surprise!
After seeing them, we watched the Main Street Trolley Show and headed to Fantasyland. We saw Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall and they loved Courtney and Megan’s shirts! We had lunch at Pinocchio Village Haus and rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Then we watched the Festival of Fantasy Parade in Frontierland. After the parade, we were excited to ride Splash Mountain. We all got pretty soaked, but we were heading back to the hotel anyway.
We freshened up for dinner at the Yacht Club and took some pictures around the resort. We had dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse with our friends Mitch and Tina who work at Disney. We enjoyed the delicious sourdough and onion rolls, Caesar salads, and filet mignons. It was great to see Mitch and Tina again and we always enjoy our dinners with them. We headed back to Bay Lake Tower to watch Wishes from our balcony. Tomorrow we are going to Epcot!
We arrived at Epcot before the park opened and started out the day by riding Test Track! We love designing our cars. After the ride, we stopped to watch the JAMMitors perform and also saw our friend Adam who was walking the park with a colleague. Then we stopped for breakfast at the Fountain View Starbucks. We went over to the Land to ride Soarin’ and saw Chip and Dale. We visited Epcot Character Spot and saw Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy! Then we headed back to the World Showcase, where we saw some managers with a pin trading trashcan! We made some great trades. We went to the Mexico Pavilion and had chips, queso, and salsa at La Cava del Tequila for the first time. We walked around and then saw Donald in his sombrero! We continued “around the world” and explored Norway, China, Africa Outpost, and Germany. In Italy, we watched the new flag throwing performers.
In America, we watched the new American Music Machine performance at the American Gardens Theater. This was an outstanding group of a cappella singers performing all different types of American music and popular songs. In Japan, we went to Katsura Grill for rice, salad, and shrimp tempura. Courtney and Megan also got kaki goris (snowcones). We continued exploring Morocco, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada before heading back to the resort.
We took the boat over to Fort Wilderness for another dinner at Trail’s End. We even had the same waiter as last week, Shaun! It was another delicious meal at Trail’s End and we love this restaurant so much! We took the boat back to the Contemporary and watched Wishes from our balcony (can you tell how much we love this?!) In the morning, we are going to Animal Kingdom!
We started off today at Animal Kingdom! We went straight to Kilimanjaro Safari, which we love to do in the mornings to see the most animals. After our safari through Harambe, we had breakfast from Creature Comfort Starbucks and the Fruit Market. Then we went and rode Expedition Everest. Afterwards, we saw Finding Nemo: The Musical, which has an incredible use of puppetry and costuming with amazing music. We had lunch at Restaurantosaurus and rode Kali River Rapids. After getting soaked on the rapids, we headed back to our hotel.
We went over to Capt. Cook’s at the Polynesian for dinner. Then we went back to the Contemporary to get the bus to Typhoon Lagoon. Tonight was the first ever Disney Vacation Club Member Neighborhood Beach Bash event. The water park was open exclusively for DVC Members! We had never been to the water parks at night, so we were very excited! The wave pool, lazy river, and tube slides were all open for us to enjoy. There was a DJ and a Dance Party. They also had complimentary refreshments including chips, cookies, Mickey ice cream bars and lemonade.
It wouldn’t be a Disney event without characters, and we got to see Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Minnie! Mickey and Minnie never meet at Typhoon Lagoon so we were excited to see them in their beach attire! We spent most of the time in the wave pool and lazy river, and also enjoyed the slides. It was a really fun event and we are so glad that we got to attend! We were there from 7:45 until 11:30, when we headed back to Bay Lake Tower! Tomorrow we will be going to Hollywood Studios!
After a late evening, we slept in a bit before heading to Hollywood Studios! We went to Pixar Place where we saw a Green Army Man and rode Toy Story Mania. Then we went to see Sorcerer Mickey in his new location. We were surprised to see our friend Frankie as the Character Attendant! Afterwards, we had lunch at Studio Catering Company and saw Muppet Vision 3D. We went over to One Man’s Dream and we were surprised to see that there was a PhotoPass photographer inside the attraction. He took some really neat group photos of us as well as black and white photos in front of an iconic Walt picture. We walked around and looked at the exhibits and watched the movie at the end. We love this attraction and it’s always a must do.
Then, we went to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster before heading to Bay Lake Tower to freshen up. We returned to Hollywood Studios and took some pictures around the entrance. There are some major changes anticipated to be happening at Hollywood Studios, so we wanted to document certain areas while we can!
We met up with Cynthia, who is Courtney’s good friend that was a Vacation Planner on the DCP with her. She still works at Disney in Marketing! We went and rode Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster before heading to Mama Melrose for dinner. We had a great dinner and enjoyed the chicken parmesan, flatbread pizza, and chicken campanelle. They also brought out a cupcake for Megan’s birthday, which is tomorrow!
After dinner, we went to watch the Frozen Fireworks. It was so great to see Cynthia and we loved having her join us for the evening! We returned to Bay Lake Tower for the night. Tomorrow is Megan’s 18th Birthday and we are going to Magic Kingdom!
We are so excited to be celebrating Megan’s 18th Birthday in the Magic Kingdom! We started off the day by seeing the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show! Then we met Minnie Mouse in Town Square, who was excited to wish Megan a Happy Birthday! We saw Mayor Weaver in front of City Hall and then went to the Main Street Confectionery. Our friend Krissie was working and she let Megan choose a treat for her birthday! She picked out a pink Mickey cake pop. Then we watched the Main Street Trolley Show and took some pictures in the hub grass. Snow White came out to the hub and our friend Frankie was her attendant! We rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain, and then went to get in line for Gaston! He is such a fun character to meet! We had lunch at Columbia Harbour House, one of our favorites! As we were walking down Main Street, we saw Piano Man Jim and he played Happy Birthday to Megan on the piano! We watched the Move It Shake It parade and shopped in the Emporium before returning to the Contemporary for a very special experience!
During the Culinary Adventure, Chef Matt had offered to show Megan around the Contemporary’s Pastry Kitchen, so they set it up for today! We all got to go on the tour. We saw them making all of the pastries and desserts for the restaurants at the Contemporary and Magic Kingdom. We also got to see them making the custom cakes! It was so neat to see where all of these treats are created, and talk to the pastry chefs. Megan’s eyes were lit up the entire time! It was an awesome experience to have, and especially on her birthday!
After the tour, we freshened up and went back to Magic Kingdom. We took some pictures and did Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. We went back to our hotel room before dinner to drop something off, and there was a Stitch and balloons waiting for Megan!
We went over to the Contemporary for Megan’s birthday dinner at Chef Mickey’s! We had a delicious buffet and loved the shrimp, carving stations, and delicious sides. We got to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto! When Megan’s birthday cake came out, we also got to take cute pictures of her with the characters and her cake! We had such a great dinner! We went to Chef Mickey’s on our first trip to Disney 15 years ago, and have been so many times since, and it is still just as fun!
After dinner, we went back to Magic Kingdom to watch Wishes from “Tink’s Spot” which is the bridge in Tomorrowland where Tink flies right over! It is Megan’s favorite spot to watch Wishes! After fireworks, we went back to the hotel. We had an amazing day celebrating Megan’s 18th Birthday! Tomorrow is our whirlwind day, where we will go everywhere!
Today is our last full day of vacation. It always seems to fly by! We decided to take on the 4 Parks Challenge today, but since we have done that before, we threw in a few bonus stops this time! We started off at Hollywood Studios. We went and watched the new Frozen Fever short which is showing all day at Hollywood Studios! It was really cute!
We watched the Frozen Royal Welcome parade before taking the boat over to Epcot. We had lunch at Via Napoli, which has become a tradition to have on our last full day! Then we took the bus over to Animal Kingdom. We walked around a bit and did some pin trading.
Afterwards, we took the bus to Blizzard Beach for the Winter Summerland mini golf. We have never done mini golf at Disney so we were excited for this first! We played the “summer” course which is really fun! The theming here is great.
Then we went to Downtown Disney, and had ice cream sundaes at Ghirardelli. We took the bus to the Polynesian and got there in time for their pin trading board. After that, we took the monorail around to Magic Kingdom! We had completed our challenge!
After taking some pictures, we went back to Bay Lake Tower to change for the evening. We had dinner at one of our favorites, the Plaza. We love this restaurant because it’s right on Main Street and the food is so good! We all enjoyed the delicious cheese steak sandwiches! After dinner, we sadly watched Celebrate the Magic and Wishes for the last time this trip. Then we went and rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad before returning to Bay Lake Tower. Courtney and Megan took their traditional “this is what 2 ˝ weeks of Disney looks like” picture and we called it a night! Tomorrow we are going to Magic Kingdom!
Today we woke up sad to be leaving and exhausted from a long trip, yet so happy to have made such wonderful memories together in our favorite place! We went over to Magic Kingdom and watched the Welcome Show. Then we went and had a very special meet and greet with Pluto in Town Square! We went back to Bay Lake Tower and finished packing so we could check out of our room.
After that, we went back to Magic Kingdom. We had lunch with Jeremy, Courtney’s friend from the DCP, at Pecos Bill’s. After that, we got to see Richard Rogers from CNN filming in the Hub Grass with Mickey and Minnie. It was really cool to watch! We went to Main Street to watch the Dapper Dans perform. We always love to listen to their amazing show! We saw some of the Main Street Citizens riding in the fire engine. Neil, Courtney, and Megan rode Space Mountain one last time. Then, we watched the Festival of Fantasy Parade.
Sadly, it was time to leave and head back to Bay Lake Tower so we could shower and get on the Magical Express. We truly had an incredible vacation in our favorite place. It was a perfect trip filled with lots of memories and magic! We can’t wait until our next trip home!