Bonus – Disney Day 51

Since I was in Disney for my 51st birthday, I decided to make that a bonus Disney day. Of course, I had to be in the Magic Kingdom.

We tested out the early 30 minutes for resort guests and we messed up. It is new and I didn’t really know what to expect. At the gates, I didn’t see a separate entry for resort guests so we just went in. We just kind of shrugged and thought it didn’t seem different but whatever. I had wanted to grab a pin in the Emporium while it was quiet and then the Dapper Dans were on the trolley and, of course, I stop when the Dapper Dans are there. So it was about 20 minutes into the early entry period when we saw a sign for resort guests. So how it works at the Magic Kingdom is that everyone can enter the Main Street area up to the hub. Then you can go to the right to Tomorrowland for resort guests early entry (and maybe to the left towards Adventureland too but don’t quote me on that as we didn’t go that way). They checked our magic bands and we were in.. with only a few minutes left of the early time. Oh well..

We did Little Mermaid and then went to our breakfast reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table. I have never eaten there since the princesses are not really a draw for me. This seemed like a great opportunity to try it out.

We had a great table by the window looking out onto Fantasyland. We started with shared pastries. Then I had shrimp and grits and Chris had the French toast. I really loved the shrimp and grits. Chris’ French toast was more like a bread pudding. It was small but dense.

Cinderella did make an appearance at a distance to wave to all the tables. Instead of autographs they give you a pre-signed postcard. And they gave me a cupcake for my birthday.

The rest of the day we did all the attractions that we hadn’t gotten to yet for this trip and then a few other favorites as well. We had a late lunch at Comic Rays too.

The Main Street Confectionary was scheduled to open later that week but it opened early on this day. We took a walk around and then noticed they have my favorite thing – Mobile Order. So when we were finishing up in Tomorrowland, we ordered a treat for later in the room and picked it right up on our way out.

And that was the end of this trip and my 50 Days of Disney project. The project took a year longer to finish and wasn’t quite what I had planned but it was still fun. Thanks to everyone who was a part of it!

Disney Day 50

YAY!! I finally made it to Disney Day 50. After multiple plans that had to be revised due to Covid, the final plan had Disney Day 50 landing on Sept 27, the last day of my 50th year.

I started my day as any good Disney day should start.. with Mickey (and Minnie) waffles.

Then Chris and I headed to Animal Kingdom. I had booked the Capture Your Moment experience for 10:30 am. I had done the Capture Your Moment experience back in May at the Magic Kingdom. It was a really great experience and I thought it would be a good one to do on Disney Day 50.

I tried to explain the whole project to the cast member but she didn’t quite get that it was 50 days OF Disney, not 50 days AT Disney.. as I didn’t spend them all in the parks. So the sign she made was not quite what I wanted, but it was fine.

The experience was just as good as at the Magic Kingdom. You have two Photopass photographers just to yourself for 20 minutes. We actually did several different locations in Animal Kingdom and it really is plenty of time to get a bunch of pictures. Here are just some.

We had the rest of the day to spend in Animal Kingdom. It was really quiet overall. We did the safari twice and took the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to do the Animation Experience. I LOVE the bird show so that was a must do as well.

We enjoyed our day and went back to the hotel for bit as I had another activity for the evening – the passholder preview for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. It was only for passholders so I couldn’t get Chris an entry. He was just as happy to hang out in the room.

Of course, the Skyliner made it easy to just hop on over and enter through the International Gateway and just be right there.

My preview window was 7 – 8 pm. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work but once you were in the area, and cast members were checking your email confirmations, there was no limit to how long you could stay or how many times you could ride.

Your options in that area were the ride itself, a photopass photo, the counter service crepe walk up window or a sit down meal at the new crepe restaurant.

I headed straight to the ride first which was listing a 5 minutes wait. Here come the rats!

I won’t give away any spoilers. My overall impressions were that it was very cute. It will be fun for families especially. There are 3D glasses and screens so while I didn’t have a motion sickness problem from one ride, I rode it a second time and that was enough for back to back.

When I arrived, the line for the walk up crepe window was long so I skipped it. After I finished riding twice, it was pretty quiet so I decided to try one. Honestly, I am not a big crepe fan. I maybe should have tried a savory option but I went with berries and cream. It was ok… still doesn’t really do it for me. Sorry no picture… it was too dark.

I hopped back on the Skyliner and was back to my room in about 10 minutes.

So while this is Disney Day 50… there is one more day in this project. I decided to make the next day, my 51st birthday, a bonus Disney Day.

Disney Day 49

I started off this morning by meeting a local friend for breakfast at Topolino’s. I have done the breakfast there twice before and I love it. Love seeing the characters in their special outfits and the food is great. I really love the quiche from past visits but I decided to try the steak over polenta. It was excellent.

We lingered and chatted for awhile and then went out on the terrace to see the views. You can see almost all of Disney property from up there. This picture is our resort and that pool is where I was heading after breakfast.

In all my trips to Disney, I have never spent the day at the pool. We decided to do that today. We grabbed lounge chairs and just relaxed. We went in the pool a few times and got lunch from Primo Piatto. This is the “quiet” pool, so no slides or activities for kids. It was really quiet for most of the day with families staying at the other feature pool. I did notice that in the evenings, you would find families in this pool as well.

We planned to go to Hollywood Studios for a few hours in the evening. I have never seen Galaxy’s Edge or Toy Story Land at night. We arrived around 5 pm and the park was open until 9 pm. Mickey’s Railway was only a 20 min wait so we did that first and then went to Galaxy’s Edge. We mobile ordered dinner from Docking Bay. I had ribs and Chris had a spicy chicken.

Rise of the Resistance was only 45 minutes so that was our next stop. By the time we were done, it was dark so I was able to take some pictures.

We did Smuggler’s Run and then went to Toy Story Land. It was really quiet so we did Slinky Dog and Toy Story Mania.

We left just at park closing having done most of the major rides in just a few hours. I would definitely plan again to have a relaxing day and a few evening hours in a park on a future trip.

I got a great evening picture at the Riviera of the fountains as you walk back from the Skyliner.

Disney Day 48

A late night at the Boo Bash led to a leisurely morning. I slept in a bit, then grabbed breakfast and headed to the Magic Kingdom.

I took some pictures of the entrance that was already decorated for the 50th anniversary.

It was hot and it was pretty busy. Chris was joining me later so I went around and found all the statues for the 50th.

We knew we had another whole day at the Magic Kingdom and we had just done a bunch of attractions at the Boo Bash the night before. So based on the heat and the crowd level, we decided to just take a leisurely approach to the afternoon. Do some indoor shows / attractions and then spend a relaxing night at the resort.

We did Hall of Presidents, Mickey’s Philharmagic and Carousel of Progress. We were going to do Peoplemover but even that had a big line.

We caught the Mickey Cavalcade. Gotta love a kiss from Mickey. And not quite sure what was going on with Donald in the back.

So we walked down Main Street and I thought I could just run into the Emporium and get a few things that I knew I wanted for the 50th. It was a zoo in there! Chris bailed for a bench outside. I grabbed what I needed and found the shortest register line I could find.

I was happy to catch the Dapper Dans at the train station on our way out.

Back at the resort, we started some laundry – another plus to the villa was the washer / dryer in the room. Then we went ordered from Primo Piatto for dinner and grabbed a drink at the bar and brought it all back to the room. I had a margarita, cheese board and flatbread. All good!

We tried out a feature on the TV in the room. It had a spot for you to connect your device through Chromecast. I had the Chromecast app on my Ipad. It was pretty easy to follow the directions and set up. So we relaxed and watched our own Netflix account for the evening.

Disney Day 47

I was up and out to Animal Kingdom in the morning.

First order of business was to find the statues for the 50th anniversary.

I did the safari and then decided to see Festival of the Lion King. The show had been changed a bit since re-opening and I didn’t get to see it my last trip. Was it a little different? – yes. Did I still love it? – YES

Chris arrived and we did Tough to be a Bug and then it was time for our lunch reservation. We ate at Yak and Yeti which is a favorite of mine. I have always wanted to try the tuna nachos appetizer so I decided to get that for my meal. It was huge but a little deceiving as there is a big pile of wonton crisps in the middle so not quite as much tuna and slaw as you would think. It also was a little spicy, at least for me. I did enjoy it and glad I tried it but I don’t know that I would get it again. For dessert, I had my absolute favorite – the cream cheese fried wontons. I love everything about this dessert – the wontons, the pineapple, the ice cream and the sauce.

We left the park late afternoon and went back to the room to cool off, shower and change for the Boo Bash.

The Boo Bash is a special event that is new this year. It is basically a combination of the typical Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and an After Hours event. So there was trick or treating stations, guests could wear costumes and there were special Halloween cavalcades. There were also free unlimited popcorn, Mickey bars, Mickey ice cream sandwiches and bottled beverages.

The event was from 9 pm to midnight and you can get into the Magic Kingdom at 7 pm. We decided to get there at 7 pm so we could see Happily Ever After at 8:15 pm. This was the last week for Happily Ever After so it was already pretty crowded when we arrived. We managed to find a little nook up by the castle with a spot.

It was fun to watch the castle go from day to night.

By the time the show was about to start there were just a few people behind us.

I love Happily Ever After so I was glad to see it one last time before the new show for the 50th begins.

Our spot was awesome to see the projections while the perspective for the fireworks was different. I do like to see the fireworks more directly behind the castle. But it is always fun to see the shows from different locations.

When it was over, we let the crowds disperse and then started off to Frontierland for the party. I wanted to be sure to see the Cadaver Dans – who are the Dapper Dans during the day so we checked the schedule and went to see their first show.

Chip and Dale were also out in Frontierland the whole night. I really could have watched them all night. They interacted with guests and with the characters on the cavalcade floats which was so funny.

We did a lot of rides as most of them were walk ons. We got a bunch of candy and saw a lot of cute costumes on fellow guests. Overall I enjoyed it. We both thought that it was more crowded than we expected. We have done the After Hours events before and those were much less in terms of number of guests. But we really did everything we wanted to except for the special Photopass pictures as the lines were too long.

We stayed for the whole time so we left the park a little after midnight. Mickey and Friends were out to say goodbye.

Disney Day 46

After almost 15 years of marriage and several trips to Disney together, I finally came up with a trip plan that worked for both Chris and myself. I like to get up and go. Chris likes to sleep in (like really “in”). So before we left, I said “I will get up and go when I want and you can meet me in the parks by noon.”

So I was up and did my new favorite thing at Disney – I mobile ordered my breakfast while laying in bed. By the time I got up and shower, I just went downstairs and picked it up.

Primo Piatto is the counter service location at the Riviera. They had several things I wanted to try but this morning I went with a somewhat standard breakfast of eggs, bacon and sausage. But it also came with polenta that was the best part of the dish. I could have eaten a bowl of it!

I also took some more pictures around the resort. I loved the art work and photographs. You can go into the gift shop and use a kiosk to order prints of the art throughout the resort and have it shipped directly home.

I really can’t say enough how much I love the Skyliner. From the resort to Hollywood Studios took me about 10 minutes.

Today was the first day that no virtual boarding group was required for Rise of the Resistance. I arrived just around park open and watched guests make a beeline for Galaxy’s Edge. Perfect for me – I walked onto Tower of Terror and only waited 10 minutes for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Then I went around and took pictures of the 50th anniversary character statues.

I grabbed a late morning Starbucks and a cookie that I wanted to try. This cookie was sooo good. It was pumpkin shortbread with white chocolate frosting. I loved it and wanted to get another later in the trip but unfortunately that never happened.

I did a few more attractions while waiting for Chris to meet me. Once he arrived, we did some more rides and caught the Pixar cavalcade.

I had watched the wait times for Rise of the Resistance throughout the day. At the start of the day it was as high as 220 minutes, but it gradually declined and stay between 60 and 90 minutes. We headed over to Galaxy’s Edge and did Smuggler’s Run and then Rise was down. We grabbed a bite to eat to wait it out a little. It was still listed as down but as we walked by the line seemed to be moving and the cast member said it was up and running. The posted time changed to 60 minutes but we were on in about 35 minutes.

After Rise, we went back to the resort for a little break and to get ready for dinner. We were going to Topolino’s for dinner to celebrate our anniversary.

Topolino’s was excellent! We had the fresh ricotta appetizer. Then I had the sole with roasted potatoes and the warm lava cake for dessert. We even timed it right to see the Epcot fireworks from the restaurant. It is a great view from there and you can go out on the terrace to view them as well.

We were very glad to only be an elevator ride away from our room after a very filling meal.

Disney Day 45

Chris and I were off to Walt Disney World. We would be celebrating our anniversary, my birthday and finishing up this 50 Days of Disney project.

Travel was uneventful. We dropped off our bags as our room wasn’t ready yet and went to Epcot.

I liked how the Disney app showed what park you were at after you checked in through the touch points.

The Food and Wine festival was going on and we were able to try several items. Pictured is the Bailey’s milkshake, apple tart, tuna poke and an item I don’t remember the name of but it was melted alpine cheese over roasted potatoes. All were good. The apple tart was my favorite.

Wait times were pretty low so we did several rides. The only thing we weren’t willing to wait for at 40 minutes was Frozen.

At one point, Joy was out in the lawn area, getting her groove on.

The 50th anniversary celebration was scheduled to start in about a week. There are gold statues with 50 Disney characters throughout the parks. Our mission was to find them all. Here are the ones for Epcot.

As we were in the main entrance area, Mickey and Minnie came out to greet guests. I love their classic outfits. I was able to grab some pictures, including the best picture I have ever taken of Mickey!

Of course, I must see Voices of Liberty every trip so we found their next show time and caught their performance.

We wrapped it up at Epcot to walk over to Beach Club for a dinner reservation at Beaches and Cream. It’s a favorite of mine and I haven’t been there in a while. I went with grilled cheese and tater tots. It was very good. Fresh, hot and the tater tots were nice and crispy. While I love a No Way Jose, I kept it simple for dessert and had chocolate ice cream with peanut butter. So sort of a mini No Way Jose.

We walked back to the Skyliner to go to our resort and get settled. We were staying in a 1 bedroom villa at the Riviera resort. I had been to Topolino’s at Riviera for breakfast a few times but I had never stayed at the resort.

I loved our room! We had so much space which is great for us since one of us is a night person and one is a morning person. Plenty of room for storage as well. We didn’t cook any meals but we did use the kitchen area several times and loved having the full fridge.

Fun to see this when we turned on the TV:

This was our view from the balcony. We were able to watch the Epcot fireworks from there which was really cool.

Disney Day 44

I was very excited to have a “Disney Day” opportunity pop up that was local to me. In July, it was announced that “Pixar Putt” – Pixar themed mini golf – would have a pop up location in NYC.

It opened in August but my husband and I made a fall reservation for a weekday figuring it would be quieter with kids back in school.

We drove in and had no problem finding it in Battery Park, right near where you get the ferry to go to the Statue of Liberty.

We were checked in and playing right away. There were 18 holes and all were themed to a Pixar movie. There were speakers playing little clips of music from the movies as well.

It was all super cute. Some holes had you drop the ball to start instead of hit it off a tee area. Here are a look at just some of the courses.

I liked this one from Soul where you dropped the ball down the piano keys.

And my favorite was the last hole for UP. You hit your balls into the house and then a staff person uses a crack to get your house over to Paradise Falls.

We had a beautiful day and it wasn’t crowded at all so we could take our time.

Very fun activity for a Disney day!

Disney Day 43 – Sarah Take Over

I knew my 8 year old niece would be visiting with me for a few days in August. I explained about my Disney Days and said we could have a Disney Day when she was here and she could be in charge of the whole day.

I wasn’t quite sure if she would understand the concept but she told me a few days later that she wanted to base the day on The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast because those are her favorite movies. She said she wanted to make cupcakes, do a craft for each movie and watch both movies. Perfect!

Thanks to Amazon I was able to gather some kits for our crafts and some fondant to use for decorating our cupcakes.

Though not really part of the theme, we started the day with Mickey and Minnie waffles.

Our next activity was getting the cupcakes in the oven. Sarah chose Funfetti vanilla flavor.

While they were baking, we did our Beauty and the Beast craft. I had found a very inexpensive kit on Amazon so figured we would try it. It said you could make 10 crafts with the kit, but neglected to mention all the other supplies you would need. So we ended up just making the stickers with the foil, which was actually pretty cool. Sarah was happy with doing that and putting them on paper.

We popped our cupcakes out of the oven, set them up to cool and then took a break in the pool for a few hours.

After the pool, we were ready to decorate the cupcakes. I had purchased some fondant and had the plan to make the “Beauty and the Beast” cupcakes with yellow frosting and a red fondant “rose” and then the “Little Mermaid” cupcakes with purple frosting and try to make either a mermaid tail or scales.

We had white frosting and food coloring so making the colors was easy. I am not very artistic with fondant but we did our best. We had the general idea anyway.

We took a rest break to watch our first movie.

After dinner, which was not Disney themed, we did our Little Mermaid inspired craft. This was also from Amazon. It was a canvas with a mermaid picture and watercolor pencils. You color with the pencils and then use water on a paintbrush to go over it. It was easy to do and came out great.

We settled in with a cupcake for dessert to watch the Little Mermaid.

It was a busy, Disney Princess themed day. It kept us busy for the day and was a lot of fun. Thanks to Sarah for taking over for the day!

Disney Day 42

With a trip to Walt Disney World coming up in September to finish my Disney Days project, I still had 3 days to find activities to do at home or close to home. When a Disney on Broadway show was announced, it fit in perfectly!

The Disney on Broadway performance was done 4 times as a benefit for the Actor’s Fund. It featured 4 Disney on Broadway performers: Michael James Scott, the current Genie in Aladdin, Ashley Brown, the original Mary Poppins, Josh Strickland, the original Tarzan and Kissy Simmons, who played Nala on Broadway.

The performances took place at the New Amsterdam theater, which is the current home of Aladdin. My sister and I attended the 4th performance, which was a Sunday matinee.

It was such an awesome feeling to be back in a Broadway theater again. Attending Broadway shows was a big part of my pre-Covid life and it was great to be back (I already have tickets to two Broadway shows when regular shows return in the fall).

As the house lights went down, the announcement came on saying “Welcome Back to Broadway!” The audience cheered and you could feel that energy of just being so excited and happy to be there.

The show was great. All four performers were excellent.. though I am partial to Ashley Brown. I just LOVE her voice. They sang a few songs from each Disney on Broadway show and seemed to be sure to include songs that were added just for the Broadway show.

At the end, they did a selfie with the audience in the background. Then they said, “Hey that isn’t fair. You all should take a selfie with us.” So they turned up the house lights and encouraged everything to stand up and take a selfie while they posed on the stage. You can’t see them very well in my picture but it was a fun opportunity.

I certainly enjoyed an afternoon of Disney on Broadway songs. Looking forward to more theater and more Disney Days!