I love Valentine's Day. A day for love and let's face it the world could always use more love. We don't exchange gifts for Valentine's but we do try to have a special date. This year Chris took me on what I would consider the perfect date. We went on a Rose Gold Cupcake and drinks Monorail Crawl! I have quite the love for cupcakes so I couldn't think of a better date! Now if you are not into the whole rose gold craze going on no worries each hotel has plenty of other cupcake/dessert options to choose from!
Our first stop was at the Polynesian Village Resort for their tropical rose gold vanilla cupcake with guava pastry cream found at Captain Cook's. This was a very tasty cupcake with a unique flavor. While I enjoyed it very much it was probably my least favorite cupcake we tried. We paired it with the Polynesian's signature drink the Lapu Lapu from the Tambu Lounge. This delightful concoction is a blend of Myers's original dark rum with tropical fruit juices and topped off with Bacardi 151 rum served in a hollowed out pineapple! The pairing of a tropical drink with the guava cupcake was a wonderful pairing. (We did hear down at the Barefoot pool bar they are offering a Rose Gold Margarita and that was our first choice of drinks however much to my disappointment the pool and it's bar were closed for the day!)
Next stop was the one I was looking forward to the most, the Grand Floridian's Rose Gold Unicorn Cupcake!
This cupcake was everything I wanted it to be. The pictures do not do justice on how beautiful this cupcake is! The camera couldn't pick up all the glitter. Not only was this cupcake a masterpiece, the sponge cake and hazelnut cream cheese filling had my taste buds singing! After purchasing our cupcake at Gasparilla Island Grill we took it up to Mizner's Lounge found on the 2nd floor of the Grand Floridian Lobby. We decided on the Grand 30 specialty cocktail. It is a combination of Florida Palm Ridge Whisky, St. Germain, and Grand Marnier, Veuve Cliqout Champagne. I found this to be a refreshing cocktail to sip while enjoying the serenity of this beautiful lounge.
After Grand Floridian you could make a stop at Magic Kingdom to try their Rose Gold Red Velvet Marbled cupcake found at the Main Street bakery. We have not tried this gem yet but heard it was delicious. We choose not to face the Magic Kingdom crowds and continued to our final stop on our crawl, The Contemporary Resort.
Contemporary offered a Rose Gold Vanilla Cupcake with strawberry filling and vanilla buttercream. The rose gold Minnie ears were made out of chocolate. This cupcake was a wonderful treat. We grabbed our last delicious cupcake at Contemp Cafe and headed next door to the Outer Rim bar. After much debate we decided the Watermelon Margarita would pair well with the strawberry filling of our cupcake and it's color would match well with our rose gold theme. This margarita packed a punch! I wish it tasted a little more like watermelon and maybe a little more smooth going down. This wasn't bad but probably not something I would order again.
Over all this was such a wonderful, fun date! Forget the flowers, chocolates and jewelry cupcakes are the way to my heart (I mean, I wouldn't turn down jewelry!) After trying all of these fun Rose Gold themed cupcakes I have to say my favorite is still the Nutella/Vanilla Rose Gold Cupcakes from Epcot. In fact it rates as one of my all time favorite cupcakes I have had a Disney World!
I suppose we should be fair and try the Magic Kingdom's Red Velvet Swirl, Yatch & Beach Club's offering of a strawberry-chocolate mousse cupcake with strawberry buttercream frosting and Boardwalk Bakery's Rose Gold yellow cupcake including rose mousse and whipped cream frosting. If any of these sound like something you'd love then you better try to get in and try them on your own cupcake crawl before the rose gold fad disappears!
We recently had the opportunity to enjoy one of Disney's newer Character breakfasts, the Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at the Boardwalk resort. This breakfast is a fixed price meal approximately $34 for adults and $20 for children or 1 table service credit if on the dining plan. The breakfast starts with your choice of fresh fruit salad or mixed berry parfait along with a frying pan full of assorted pastries and then you get your choice of an entree. The Character meet and greets included Disney characters including Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel and Prince Eric. We had a lot of fun with each character who stopped by our table. They each took time with us and made sure we were having a good time. I personally enjoy this type of character meal. I don't feel rushed at a buffet, afraid I might miss a character making their rounds. We just sit back, relax, enjoy the food and atmosphere.
All of the character interactions were very fun. Each character is announced individually as they enter the dinning room. Once all the characters were in the restaurant they did a fun parade around the room in which children were invited to join in and everyone is encouraged to wave their napkins in the air. Following the parade the characters come around one by one stopping at each table . Speaking of tables on each table there is a map you can take with you to fill out on your Disney World adventures as well as an autograph card for all the characters at breakfast. I thought this was such a fun souvenir.
Overall we absolutely loved this newest character breakfast. The food was fantastic, we loved the character interaction and we had a lot of fun!
We were lucky enough to be able to attended the Disney Annual Passholder preview of Pandora: World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom this last weekend. I was expecting it to be pretty amazing and let me tell you Disney did not disappoint. It was well above my expectations. There are two new rides that have been added to the new area. The major attraction is Avatar Flight of Passage. This has got to be one of the best rides I have been on in a long time. Best way for me to describe it is an amped up 3D version of soarin. You fly on the back of a mountain banshee during an 3-D ride through Pandora. This was full of visual effects, sounds, smells plus a few surprises. My only complaint was the queue was incredibly long for as few people who were there. I am not sure if this was because they might have not been running at full capacity or working out kinks but hopefully by opening day this will be worked out if not expect astronomical wait times for this ride. The second new ride is Na'vi River Journey. A boat trip into the bioluminescent of Pandora's rain forest. I really enjoyed this ride. My only regret is we didn't do this ride first. After riding the Flight of Passage anything else seemed less impressive, but this ride is beautiful, relaxing and I did like it. The landscaping alone was just stunning. There was so much detail everywhere you looked. It really felt like you stepped into a different world, the world of Pandora. I of course took about 2000 photos and no matter what I just couldn't really capture the beauty of the landscapes. Luckily for you I have spared posting all of the photos I took but have selected a handful just to get an idea of the detail Disney has done.
As you can see there is a lot to look at just walking around. There are also sound effects of the animals and bugs you might hear on Pandora. I wish we were able to have seen this at night. I imagine it is just beautiful in the evening/night time.
On to one of my favorite topics: food. Pandora offers a quick service restaurant called Satu'li Canteen. I liked how this offered something more interesting than the burgers, pizzas and other typical fast food. There wasn't a big menu selection but we were happy with the choices offered.
I picked to try the cheeseburger pods. I really enjoyed the cheeseburger taste in a steam bun. I did find the steam bun a little hard to cut but I enjoyed the flavors. This came with vegetable chips and both meals had a crunchy vegetable slaw topped with boba balls (these were so flavorful and fun).
The chocolate cake. This tasted like a rich chocolate mouse with crunchy cookie at the bottom. This was very good but super rich. I was satisfied with just a couple spoon fulls. It was topped with a banana cream and goji berries. I didn't think the banana cream had a very strong banana taste which was perfect.
Next door to the Canteen there is a drink/snack stand called Pongu Pongu. So of course we stopped to try a few items here as well.
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight...Tonight ends an era as we say goodbye to Magic Kingdom's Wishes Fireworks. I remember seeing Wishes 13 years ago, the year it first started. I cried from the all emotions I felt and I have cried every time since then. This last weekend I cried for one final time as we attended the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrance. I look forward to seeing the new show, Happily Ever After, but Wishes will always hold a special place in my heart. So make a wish, and do as dreamers do, and all our wishes, will come true.
As you can see there were lots of delicious choices. Besides the main dessert station, they also had a sundae station, cookie station with a decorate your own cookie options, cheese & fruit station and drinks. When we were finished eating a cast member escorted us out to a special viewing area in front of the castle. I thought this was the perfect way to view the show. I didn't need to stake out a spot early only to be pushed or have someone squeeze in front of us. It felt relaxing being able to sit on the hub grass and enjoy Wishes fireworks once last time.
One of my favorite events at Disney is Dapper Day. If you are asking what is Dapper Day? Dapper Day celebrates the tradition of "stepping out in style" and is held twice a year, Spring and Fall, at Disneyland, Disney World and Disneyland Paris. It is the opportunity to dress your best and head to the parks. Whether it vintage inspired or just dressing your modern day best. I love seeing everyone dressed up and all the creative outfits to see. It is people watching at it's sophisticated finest. Now Dapper Day is not an official event put on by the Walt Disney Company but I love that Disney has started to embrace Dapper Day. This year at Magic Kingdom they offered special picnic lunches and a picnic area as well as Main Street Bakery offered special Dapper Day cupcakes. This year Disney World had their first 2-day event. The first day was at Magic Kingdom and the following day was at Epcot.
The first day of this years Dapper Days was held at Magic Kingdom. Joining in on the fun Disney offered a special picnic lunch to purchase. It included your choice of Fried Chicken, Chicken Caesar Salad, Greek Salad Wrap, or BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich; all lunches come with house-made chips, a fruit cup, a Dapper Rose cupcake, and a fountain beverage. They also had a kids meal with choices of Chicken Strips, or Uncrustables Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich; those include house-made chips, a Go-Go SqueeZ, a mini Dapper Rose cupcake, and a kids’ fountain beverage. I loved Disney added this for Dapper Day. It was very fun and delicious! The one draw back is it seemed to take a very long time to get our food. I am not sure if it was because they had to assemble all of the boxes, too many people eating or what but hopefully next year they do this again and have a faster way of getting the food out other than that this was perfect.
Spring Dapper Day was wonderful. If you want to learn more about Dapper day or upcoming events you can go to the Dapper Day webpage
Easter is almost here which means it is time for the sixth annual Easter egg display at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. These marvelous eggs are decorated by Disney pastry chefs from each resort and will be on display until April 29th. They are always a fun tradition for us to see each year. It is always amazing to see how beautifully crafted each egg is.
We really enjoy seeing all the creative eggs and love this Easter tradition. If you are at Disney during Easter they are definitely worth checking out!
Today was the grand opening of the Polite Pig at Disney Springs. We've been looking forward to this opening since owners/Chefs James and Julie Petrakis also own/operate the very popular Orlando restaurants The Ravenous Pig and Swine & Sons. The Polite Pig is a quick-casual eatery. You order, pay, are given a pager and select your seat. Your food is brought out shortly and servers refill your drinks, clear your table and get you anything you may need, even that is to order a dessert you might have left room for. Our server Sara was very friendly, offered lots of fun information about the restaurant and answered any questions we had. She was great!
They had an impressive sauce bar. Our favorite was the Lil John's Black Pepper BBQ. I also really enjoyed the Alabama white sauce. It was a BBQ flavor I have never had before and the creamy, vinegar taste really appealed to my taste buds.
Without further ado... the food!
Over all we loved the Polite Pig and welcome it to Disney Springs with open arms and satisfied tummies. We can not wait to bring our friends and family back to try even more off the menu!
Today is opening day of baseball so I thought it would be an appropriate time to share our pictures from spring training at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Where else can you eat a Mickey ice cream bar while watching baseball? Growing up in Southern California my grandpa had season tickets to the Dodger games. It was the best day ever when I got to go to a baseball game with him. Little did I know those many years ago that those memories would mean so much. Now when I go to a baseball game all those wonderful memories come flooding back.
A few years ago we started attending spring training games at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports where for 20 years it has been the home for the Atlanta Braves training. Now I have to admit I am not a Braves fan but an avid Cardinals fan (I hope you don't judge me to harshly for that!) There is something fun, may I say almost more personal about attending a spring training game. You feel closer to the players and action. If you combine Baseball and Disney then I am pretty happy girl.
Sadly Atlanta Braves won't be doing their spring training at Disney much longer. Their contract has run out and they will be moving further south. Their new stadium won't be ready by next spring and there is a rumor (I stress the rumor part since nothing has been confirmed at this time) they may do 1 or 2 more years at Disney if so I'll be there for sure to cheer on my favorite baseball team. The stadium is beautiful and I enjoy Mickey shaped food with my games.
The Marketplace Co-op at Disney Springs welcomed a new shop this morning called the Dress Shop on Cherry Lane and we were on hand for the opening. The shop carries retro Disney themed dresses and accessories as well as a few dresses from Pinup Girl clothing (which has always been a favorite clothing store of mine for years). My understanding is Pinup Girl's pop-up shop is only available through Sunday April 2nd only. I was impressed they carried a wide range of sizes from XS up to XXXL in some styles. Dapper Day founder Justin J. as well as pinup model Doris Mayday were both on hand for the opening.
We have eaten at Art Smith's Homecomin' (formally called Homecoming) a couple of times now and have had a enjoyable experience both times. We have always had excellent, friendly service and the food reminds me of going to grandma's house for a wonderful home cooked meal but turned up a notch. Nothing fancy or ingredients I have not heard of just delicious food. My only complaint, if there is one, is our 2nd time there the food took a little longer to come out. This is not a big deal to me at a sit down restaurant especially when the food is worth the wait (which it is) but it was something to keep in mind if you are on a time limit and have some place to be.
The interior of the restaurant is open and bright with high vaulted ceilings. From the potato sack chandeliers, the sunny mural, and the antique bottles I love the southern comfort look.
As I said above the food we have tried as been excellent. Homecomin' specialty is their fried chicken. I have a confession... I am not big on fried chicken so I did not order it but two of my dining companions ordered it and said while it was not the best fried chicken they have ever had it was definitely delicious and worth ordering.
This is the Fried Chicken Sandwich: fried chicken, dressed with hot sauce, aioli, iceberg lettuce, tomato and house-made barbecue chips drizzled with icebox dressing. This sandwich was very tasty. I loved the flavor of the chips but the bbq powder on them fell on my white shorts and left little streaks when I wiped them away..just a warning to not be a messy eater like me!
Art Smith's famous fried chicken. Both people in our dining group said they thought this tasted very good. It was moist on the inside, crispy on the outside and was delicious. The description on the menu says served with creamy mashed potatoes, cheddar drop biscuits, and love. Can we just stop and appreciate that it says "and love".