Day 181- Dapper Day at Magic Kingdom

Today is Dapper Day at Disney World! I am beyond excited! This is a fun day and there will be so many beautiful Dapper Day visitors, and they will be dressed to the nines. The day is sunny and it says it will be 88 degrees today, but it ends up reaching a very hot 90 degrees in the late afternoon. Even though it’s hot today, there are a few clouds and a good breeze.

We arrive and they are just beginning to park in the Villains parking lot, so the traffic is at a standstill as they are getting the traffic redirected. It doesn’t take very long to get traffic moving again and they are filling up both the left and right sides of the Villains lots now. There are a ton of people arriving – I mean a ton! Soon, we are parked and walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center. There are people going to the ferryboat and the Monorail. After a short wait in line for the Monorail, we are on our way to Magic Kingdom. 

We disembark and head for bag check, where every table is open. There are so many strollers and bags being checked. Today there are so many people. Soon, we are heading to scan our MagicBands and enter onto Main Street USA. When it is busy, I enjoy seeing all of the families taking pictures, so happy to be here! You can hear all of the “oohs” and “ahhs” as they see Cinderella’s Castle for the first time. As you can see, the crane is now gone and the path to the right of the castle is open again!

I am looking to get a picture for Dapper Day! So, we are heading for Cinderella’s Castle… I want our picture to have Mickey and Walt Disney’s statue in it. “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it all started with a mouse.” 

Now, we are off to find the citizens of Main Street USA. Oh, we see Ms. Trumpetto! She is looking beautiful (as always!). She is a lovely, happy lady. You must meet her the next time you visit; she is very fun and so spunky! As we are fixing to take a picture, she says that she needs something more, something fancy. “Oh, you want my furry critters?”  “Sure, that is wonderful!” Then, she is so cute and gives one of the weasels, as we affectionately call them, a sweet kiss! So very funny! As we cross the street, there are seagulls flying past us, trying to get to the crackers a little family spilt! It is surprising how quickly they swoop down, in and out of the traffic flow. Then, we turn and see the most dapper family and ask if we can take their picture! 

Ms. Trumpetto lets us know that Ms. Beatrice Starr is here. Soon, we find Ms. Starr and say, “Hello!” She is so vivacious. She noticed my fur collar and said, “I missed you, Henry.” She said that he was her ferret and oh, how she had missed him!  I said, “Oh, I call them weasels, ‘cause a weasel gave them to me!” She started laughing and said that a weasel is just a flat ferret! We all laughed and then tried to get a picture! As we are blowing a kiss, Ms. Starr begins to laugh and laugh and laugh! She is adorable.

Next, we met Constance Purchase. She was dressed in a beautiful purple dress and had a parasol! We had not met her before today, and she was a delight to meet.

The Dapper Day group is having a meet up at the PeopleMover at noon, well, that is right now. We know it will be very busy getting everyone on the PeopleMover. I think we will skip this meet up.

We have not had any hot beverages yes, so we are going to the Main Street Bakery to grab some tea and coffee. Twinkie gets her drink and goes to find a table while our drinks are being made. We join her and sit in the shade of a yellow umbrella. Everyone seems to be facing the same way since the sun is already bright and it is getting hot. I saw a nice family sitting at the table next to us, so I asked if I could get the son to take a picture for us, and the older sister jumped up and took one for us and it turned out great. Her brother was so disappointed. So, I asked the dad if we could get the son to take a picture of us with the castle, she did a great job, but I would like for him to be our hero and help us out. Every guy needs to be a hero. The dad nodded and the mom looked surprised, but the dad loved that we understood that dudes, young and old, like to be heroes!

Soon, this area is full. I see a dad waiting for a table, so we offer ours to him since we thought about moving to a cooler area of the park. As we step into the walkway, a couple stops us for a picture. 

We move to another area, and soon another Dapper Day couple sits down at a table next to us, so they begin chatting with us. We just met them earlier; they brought their 2 nieces and a nephew. Their nephew wanted to come for Dapper Day, so he asked them if they would drive! Too neat that he asked his aunt and uncle to come to Dapper Day with him! They’ve just come from the PeopleMover and tell us how busy it was, the line zigzagged and it wrapped all the way back to Space Mountain. The funniest thing was that they took a video on their phone that they showed us, and it lasted a few minutes, she was surprised that it had taken them that long to walk that far. 

Twinkie takes a picture of them in their dapper finery and we have a fun time visiting. Soon, a man walks up and tells us that we, my kids and I, should have a picture of us sitting there. We say OK and he takes one for us, as his family sits across the way watching and smiling. He asks if we would mind taking a picture of him and his family in front of the castle. Not at all! So, Twinkie hops up and snaps a couple of pictures for them.

I love days like today, where we meet tons of people and they take pictures of us and with us. We get to explain Dapper Day to a lot of people who ask us about it, and it is so fun! I love talking to and meeting so many happy people.

We have lunch at the Plaza Restaurant. The kids have wanted me to try the gluten free cheesesteak sandwich. They went with some friends and said that it was over the top delicious. So, here we are. I love the ornate woodwork and detail! It is so art nouveau in all of its décor, absolutely fabulous.

As we are leaving, we can hear and see part of the parade. We see Rapunzel, Ulf, and Flynn, and we see Maleficent’s fire breathing dragon, and some of the other floats as we walk toward Tom Sawyer Island. This is where the next Dapper Day meet up is today. We stop to get a picture with the Liberty Belle riverboat and walk on around to the launching of the boats to cross over to the island. It is so very hot, and we meet a nice family as we are crossing. They are from Texas and close to where we lived. The mom says that the kids are having a little trouble with the heat since Texas has been so cold this winter. I totally understand the difficulty of the transition from cold to hot, especially on a humid day like this. I do let them know there is a rope bridge and barrels to cross if they have time to find them.

Once we arrive on the island, we turn to the left and find the rope bridge that leads to Fort Langhorn. This fort is so much fun! Escape tunnel? We just had to go through to find out where it lead, and we popped out at the back of the fort. Now we go back around and explore the rest of the fort. Oh, look, Dapper Day people! As we get down the spiral staircase, we find that the wind has died down. It is hot on this island. I think we need to find something cold to drink. It is suggested that frozen apple juice is at Gaston’s Tavern, better known as LeFou’s Brew. Sounds wonderful to me, so we make our way over to Fantasyland, where Gaston’s Tavern is just past his statue on the water fountain.

As soon as we have our LeFou’s Brew, we head outside to see Gaston talking with the guests who have come to meet him. It is so very fun to watch, and today there are so many Dapper Day people watching since the line to meet him is now closed. As we watch, the cutest Dapper Day Baymax with his dapper bowtie, Mickey Mouse ears, and his suspendered pants pops up as he’s being carried by a dapper lady! Too cute! With our Brew in hand, we go to find a place to sit and finish our frozen apple juices. As we are sitting, I get a picture of the sparkly fireworks from the Dream Along with Mickey stage show. We stop for a beanstalk picture at Sir Mickey’s, pictures in front of doors at Cinderella’s Castle, and since the crane is gone we can go to the wishing well for pictures.

Today has been fun, hot, and so enjoyable! I love interacting with so many people and I enjoy Dapper Day with so many dapper people! It has been a very good day. With the hot weather, I think we constantly were drinking water and other yummy beverages. Please keep yourselves hydrated, and make sure your kids are drinking enough and you will have a great day at Disney World!

Day 156- Epcot Rainy Day

It is such a rainy afternoon! The rain is light as we get to the Epcot parking entrance. We get parked, walk in the rain to the entrance, get our bags checked, and scan our MagicBands.  We enter and see the beautiful purple flowers; with the rain, they smell awesome!

We near Spaceship Earth and there is an amazingly long line for a late afternoon. We go on around and see so many colorful raincoats. We see the family of orange rain ponchos, the pink poncho family, and there are so many Disney ponchos. Then, I see one green poncho. It is a myriad of color. Even in our group, we have a red raincoat, a green, and a pink one!

The rain begins such downpour that we go to get drinks at Starbucks and decide to go to sit in the Electric Umbrella. We find that they have a pin trading umbrella! So, we had to take a minute and look at these cool pins!

We enjoy a few minutes of drinking our coffee and teas as we watch all of the people going through the walkway near MouseGear. Then, as we are fixing to leave, there is a family who sits at the table near us. They were so cute: the mom and dad were searching their phones, and their teenage daughters were talking to them, trying to get their attention. I walked to their table and the daughters looked up. I smiled at them and said, “Do you have trouble getting your parents not to watch their phones when you are sitting down at the table?” The daughters laughed and said, “Actually, we do!” They laughed as they explained that their mom just got a new phone and she is on it all the time! Just then the mom looked up and asked, “What was that?” The girls and I giggled. It was fun talking to them for a minute and their daughters thought that it was really funny!

Now, we are off and heading for the front gates on this rainy day. It is not very cold today, just wet… very wet! We had fun, rainy day at Epcot!

Day 155- Magic Kingdom

Today we are enjoying this blue sky full of fluffy, white clouds, and the warm weather. It is 73 degrees and feels like 76. It is just so beautiful. I think we will head for Magic Kingdom for a fun afternoon!

We get to the gates to enter the parking lot and there are many cars still coming into the Transportation and Ticket Center. We follow the cars around to the parking lot and it is so very full. We park and go to catch the Monorail. Today is Presidents’ Day and you can definitely see that people came to enjoy the holiday at Disney World.

The walk up to the Monorail is lightly busy, and it is just pulling away. The waiting area begins to fill up and the little girl beside us starts yelling, “Look! There it is, there it is!!” She was so excited to see the Monorail and she sang quietly during the entire ride to Magic Kingdom! She was so precious and so very excited!

We get our bags checked, scan our MagicBands, and enter into Main Street USA. It is busy, and there are so many people coming and going. We start down Main Street USA and by the time we got close to the Main Street Bakery, I lost sight of the kids. So, thinking we were close to the Main Street Bakery, I stepped in and was greeted with, “May I help you find something?” “Oh, I am looking for my kids!” The cast member smiled.

I stepped back out and saw them. They laughed because they knew I would step into the Main Street Bakery to find them. It is always good to have a meeting place set in case you get separated. If your children are young, make sure they know to go to the cast members to ask for help if their parents get lost. The cast members are so fast helping parents and children reunite!

Anyway, on to Adventureland! We pass by Peter Pan; he is so fun to meet, I am glad we’ve been able to meet him before! Today, we are going to get to meet Aladdin and Jasmine. The line is pretty long, and they are going to be taking a break in just a few minutes. We get in line and soon, they return. It is so fun to watch families meet Aladdin and Jasmine. When moms and dads get their turns for pictures, you can actually see them get so happy and smile even bigger than the kids do! I love seeing the kid in them have so much fun!

There is a nice couple and their two little ones waiting in front of us. As the group of teenage girls in front of them are finishing up, we are asked to wait just a moment. As we do, we see a Make a Wish child come in from the exit. She is so excited to meet Aladdin and Jasmine. My heart is touched as they greet her. Aladdin and Jasmine are so loving and attentive to her, her mom, and little brother. We watch and say a little prayer for her and her family. What a sweet moment to get to experience.

Now, it is our turn! I cannot wait, Twinkie goes first, and then, we get to join her! It is so fun to get to be with them! As I hug Aladdin, I tell him that how he treats the children means a lot to me, and as I hug Jasmine, I thank her too for how wonderfully she treats the little ones she meets. She seemed touched. I am grateful.

Now, we go toward Frontierland. I am going to sit for a minute since we were standing in line for about an hour. It is beautiful as the Mark Twain Riverboat passes by. The area is very busy and bustling with people. We pass by the Hall of Presidents as we make out way toward the Cinderella’s Castle.

The sun is setting and we decide to make our way to the front entrance. It is so busy that there are not many FastPasses available today. We noticed that even the Swiss Family Treehouse had a line today.

Main Street USA is so pretty when the sun goes down and the lights are bright. We get a coffee and find a bench to sit on as we take our first few sips. Then, we are off and walk to the entrance. There are so many people leaving and so many coming in at 7pm. What a wonderful day at Magic Kingdom

Day 154- Epcot

It is a beautiful day; a little windy and cool, but beautiful! We are heading for Epcot today. It has been busy this weekend and we are hoping that Epcot is less crowded than the other parks. As we get to the parking lot, we realize it is going to be very busy. We hop on the tram and head for the park. We get our bags checked and wait in line to scan our MagicBands.

As we get into the park, we can already see how busy today is going to be. We get close to Spaceship Earth where we can see that the line and wait time is really long. Even the Fastpass+ line is rather long today. We walk around the walkway and carefully make our way through the crowds of people.

I think we will drop into the Artist Shop. It is so beautiful to walk into the shop and see the talent that goes into each of these creations. From the sculptures to the paintings, there are so many beautiful things to see here!

Now we are off to Starbucks to get coffee and tea to take with us as we make our way around the World Showcase. As we walk toward the World Showcase Lagoon, see the flowers that are being laid for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! I cannot wait! I love seeing the artistry that is put into all of these lush gardens. We walk on around and stop in France to see the beautiful design of the shrubs. I love these. Twinkie stops to get a picture, and then we see that there is a quiet place in France to sit. On the way, I must stop in and see what is new in Guerlain. As we exit, we sit where we can watch the Friendship boats as they come and go. There is a quiet serenity in this spot. I look up just as a lady is taking a picture of us. I realize by her expression that she recognized my kids from being on the Steve Harvey Show.

We sit for a few more minutes and soon, two men who work on the Friendship boats walk by. We realize that the sun is beginning to set and it is getting really chilly fast! It has been so peaceful here sitting and watching the boats come and go, but we must head out before the temperatures drop. It will be chilly tonight! As we are leaving, we can see the different areas being prepped for the Flower and Garden Festival! I am so excited to see how beautiful all of the flowers will look in the next few days!  

It has been a fun visit, and I am so happy to see all of the new flowers!

Day 153- Animal Kingdom & the Tree of Life

Today is beautiful! There’s not a cloud in the sky. It’s a bit chilly today, but the breeze is soft. It is 63 degrees and the sun is so bright! I think we will head for Animal Kingdom on this perfect day. As we get to the entrance for parking, I am surprised that there are 3 cars in each of the lines. We get through the parking entrance and notice that the parking lots are full.

As we get around the long driveway, we see that they are parking in an area that has not been used on any of the days that we’ve come these past few months. Soon, I realize that all of the parking is almost full! We park and walk to the entrance. We get our bags checked, scan our MagicBands, and enter into the main gates. Tonight Animal Kingdom is open until 8:00 P.M.

We go around the Oasis where there are many animals that you can watch. It is so cool to see the unusual birds and animals. It is beautifully green as you walk up the walkway. We walk across the bridge to Discovery Island, and that is when we notice the amazing amount of people who are here today.

One of our quests today is to see the new additions to the Tree of Life! We heard that they had finished the new carvings and I can hardly wait to get to see them! As we approach the area in front of the Tree of Life, it is bustling with people taking turns getting pictures in the midst of these new “roots.” They are fabulous! The detail in the deer and its antlers are so wonderful. There are several animals, including an elephant, a buffalo, and even a Komodo dragon! It is amazing and the detail is fabulous.

We tried to get some Fastpass+ before we came, but now that we are here, I can see why the attractions we were interested in didn’t have any availability today. It is the busiest I have seen Animal Kingdom! We checked wait times, and they are all very busy,

The next stop for us is coffee at the Royal Anandapur Tea Company. The line is very long, but it will be worth the wait. We order the Cupid’s Kiss, an espresso drink with milk, chocolate, caramel, and coconut, topped with whipped cream. It was amazing! Oh, Happy Valentine’s Day!

After we get our coffees, we walk over to Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, where we find a nice bench to sit on and drink coffee as we watch the roller coaster speed by.

We had not talked to very many people today. It seems that everyone has been busy and focused. But then, a young mom and her little one sat near us. The little one was having a meltdown since she was too little to ride Expedition Everest. I said, “Hi, I love your sweater!” and the little one got quiet as she munched on her Mickey Ice Cream Bar. Soon, she was happily talking, telling us all about her dad and brother riding Expedition Everest. She was so cute! We soon said our goodbyes and she was smiling.

We went around past Finding Nemo the Musical. A little ways down the path, you can find DinoLand USA. It is a fun place for kid’s rides, but we will stay to the right and continue around.

There are still so many people everywhere we go. I am just amazed. We are choosing to search for pins to see if there are some we want to trade. Soon, we find that we can go back toward the Oasis and search for pins near the entrance. So, we turn that way and make it to the front of Animal Kingdom.

As we are leaving, it seems that there are almost as many people coming into the park as there are leaving. It is busy, but so much fun. We figure out that it is perfect timing for us to go home since the sun is going down and the wind is kicking up. It is getting chilly really fast! Goodnight, Animal Kingdom, it has been a good afternoon!

Day 152- Hollywood Studios

Today is absolutely beautiful! We are off to enjoy the weather and Hollywood Studios! We get to the parking lot and park close enough to walk to the front entrance. There is a soft, lightly busy bustle as people are coming and going. We get our bags checked and our MagicBands scanned. The security guard mentions to us that when the sun goes down, it will get chilly fast. What a nice tip for later!

The sunshine is so pretty bouncing off of the Art Deco-inspired buildings on Hollywood Boulevard. The beautiful buildings on this street are so amazing. It is like you are transported back in time!

We get pictures of the progress as Mickey’s Sorcerer’s hat is being dismantled. I am excited to see the changes coming to Hollywood Studios, and it will be nice to be able to see The Great Movie Ride from down the street!

Now, time for coffee at the Trolley Car Café! It is so nice to have Starbucks Coffee here in such a fun and amazing building. It is worth stopping in for a moment to see the interior of the building; it is full of so much detail of that era and decorated like a trolley station! I love the display full of cupcakes, sandwiches, and other goodies! We meet the mom and daughter in front of us. They are on a mother/daughter trip and are having a wonderful time! The mom asked us if we were on a mother/daughters trip. I smiled and said that we were having a great time here at Disney, it is so much fun!

We got our coffee and were off to find a place to sit for a few minutes. We chose to go to tables near the vintage looking ship at Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner. Today is a bit chilly, so hot coffees and chai teas are perfect.

After a few minutes, we finish our coffee, and stop in to Keystone Clothiers to check on a Minnie Mouse scarf. We see the beautiful Minnie Mouse items they are carrying this season. There are so many cute purses, clothes, and scarves, but not the particular one that I am thinking of getting. While we are in the store, the kids do some pin trading.

I think we are going to call it a fast trip. The sun is beginning to set, and the wind is picking up, so it is getting cold quickly. We walk out to our car and enjoy the last bit of sunlight for the day. We had a blast at Hollywood Studios today!

Day 151- Magic Kingdom & Maya Grill at Coronado Springs

The sun is shining and the sky is so blue. It is a wonderful day to go to Magic Kingdom! We park and catch the tram to the Transportation and Ticket Center. From there, we decide to take the ferryboat to Magic Kingdom. It is beautiful be on the water and see all of the boats on the Seven Seas Lagoon!

There is a couple standing beside us, near the exit, and I ask them if this is a race to get off of the boat. The husband laughed and said that I would beat him since his scooter is slow! His wife was just laughing and we had a fun chat. Then, one of the skippers joined in and soon, the two men were talking as we disembarked.

We got our bags checked and our MagicBands scanned as we entered into the park. The Festival of Fantasy Parade is coming around Town Square, and Maleficent’s fire-breathing dragon is right there as we walk into the park. As I listen to the music, I look up as the dragon raises her head and literally breathes fire! I stop to get a picture with Goofy; he is so perfectly posed as we sit together on the iron bench. Then, we continue to walk as Mickey and Minnie Mouse round the corner of Main Street USA by the Main Street Confectionary.

The line at Starbucks is not very long, and we soon have our coffees. We walk past the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. I love this place; there are so many beautifully crafted ice cream masterpieces. We see a table nearby and take a minute to sit and drink our coffee. We enjoy seeing the new construction for the “hub.” I cannot wait to see it finished! It will help with the massive amount of traffic that moves through the area in front of Cinderella’s Castle, and should provide more areas for watching fireworks. The hub is looking very nice, and it will open up the area greatly.

Now, we are off to Pinocchio Village Haus. We still have our coffees, seems the area we were in closes in the afternoon to set up for the Wishes Dessert Party tonight. When we arrive at Pinocchio Village Haus, we see that the balcony outside is open today! We have watched for a while and have not seen it available for seating! It is so cute up there and such a quiet spot in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.

Soon, we finish our coffees and are off to do some pin trading! I got a couple of really cool pins today. The kids got several fun ones, and some we have not seen before! We started here, in front of Pinocchio Village Haus, and then made our way toward Main Street USA. I love trading pins and love the interaction between cast members and pin traders.

The Move It! Shake It! Dance It! Play It! Dance Party is in full swing as we near the front of Cinderella’s Castle. I can hear the music and see the conga line full of young and old alike!

As we make our way back up to the park entrance I notice how beautiful the buildings on Main Street USA are as the sun hits them. We have dinner reservations for Maya Grill at Coronado Springs Resort this evening.

The Monorail traffic was being redirected to the ferryboat when we left. As we walk to the ferry, we see that is one just leaving, and soon another ferry arrives. We board and move to the front of the boat. It is a wonderful evening, though a bit chilly as we boarded, so I put my coat on. When the sun goes down, it quickly gets chilly here!

We walk to the car and head over to Maya Grill at Coronado Springs Resort. This is quickly becoming one of our favorite places to eat. Their gluten free options are wonderful! We love the option to have potato chips (from Pepper Market) instead of corn chips and hot sauce. We found this out since Twinkie can’t have corn, and they were very accommodating when we asked if it was possible to get potato chips instead. We get the green tortilla soup, and Twinkie gets it without the tortilla chips. It is so very good. I love the way it is served. Tonight we are also having the chicken fajitas. Oh, my! These are perfectly amazing! The flavors are over the top, and so amazingly blended. The grilled vegetables include peppers and onions, and to replace the corn on the side, the chef prepares grilled vegetables and broccoli. The rice is very full of flavor and yet subtle. This is a definite keeper on our list of amazing food! I know their desserts are wonderful, but we’ve had plenty to eat tonight!

We head for the gift shop to see if there are some pins on their pin piñata we might want to trade. Plus, we end up looking at the antenna toppers. There is a Buzz Lightyear that needs a home! We buy him and are on our way. It has been a very different day, we met so many fun people and now, it is time to say goodnight.