Disney World 2013: Part 5



It felt like our trip flew by, but you sure can’t tell from these ridiculously long blog posts! Sorry for so many recaps, but I want to try to remember every detail. 🙂 December 7th was our next to last day in the parks, and we had a full day planned! Our first stop was Animal Kingdom bright and early to get in a few expeditions to Everest…IMG_1680 IMG_1681 IMG_1683 IMG_1684 IMG_1685

We somehow narrowly escaped the yeti, YETI again. Hahaha. We also went to see the Finding Nemo musical for the first time. It was cute and funny. Finally, we grabbed lunch at Flame Tree BBQ again because it’s our absolute fave. Yum-o.IMG_1686

Next, we made our way over to the Magic Kingdom with a quick bus swap at Port Orleans. We’ve vowed to stay there on our next trip…it’s so pretty!IMG_1691

We arrived at Magic Kingdom to see the filming of the Christmas Day Parade on ABC. YES, SPOILER ALERT: THE PARADE IS NOT LIVE. Neil Patrick Harris was hosting, so it was cool to see him. Also, there was a fun spoof of Darth Vader showing up in Santa’s place. You’re so crazy, Disney. Apparently the parade filming lasted allllll day. We only caught about 30 minutes on Main Street, but, according to some of our friends, they saw us for a moment on TV! We didn’t watch the parade, but that sure would be neat if we had a cameo!  IMG_1693

The park was pretty crazy that day, so we enjoyed strolling around the park, and stopping into Gaston’s Tavern again for a snack for Louis.IMG_1696 IMG_1698

I seriously love all of the Beauty and the Beast areas in New Fantasyland. The detail is amazing, and it’s cool seeing one of my favorite movies brought to life.IMG_1702 IMG_1704

Louis was sweet enough to let me ride Peter Pan’s flight despite it being pretty slow moving and mega boring. I can’t help it; I love it!IMG_1705

Who doesn’t appreciate this aerial view of London!?


After getting off of our flying boat, we wandered over to Haunted Mansion. We never get tired of this classic favorite. 🙂IMG_3923

Keeping with our theme of experiencing new things this trip, we decided to see the Hall of Presidents next. It was so awesome! I’m sure some people would consider it boring, but we loved it! They had a small museum before the show with different presidential momentos. My favorite was a pair of boots worn by George W. Bush at his inauguration…God Bless Texas! The show was also really neat. They had audio animatronic versions of EVERY United States President. Each one was introduced, and a few even gave speeches. Louis and I love America because it’s awesome, so we definitely enjoyed the show.IMG_3924

Right after the show, we had to hurry over to Be Our Guest for our dinner reservations. I didn’t think we’d get to eat there at all our trip, so considering we had our Fastpass+ lunch invitation AND the dinner reservation I snagged, I was so happy!IMG_1709

We arrived for our reservations and got our pager to wait until the Beast was ready for us.IMG_1710 IMG_1713

We were happy to wait and enjoy views of Beast’s castle on the entrance bridge.IMG_1715 IMG_1716 IMG_1720 IMG_1721

When our pager finally went off, we headed up to the castle and were escorted in by one of Beast’s servants.


It was crazy how much the restaurant had changed since lunch. All of the soda machines were hidden, the lights were dimmed, and instrumental versions of Beauty & the Beast songs were piped in.IMG_1724

We were seated in the ballroom with an excellent view of the Christmas tree and snow falling outside the windows.IMG_1725 IMG_1726

I’m sorry if you’re sick of seeing pictures of these chandeliers, but they’re just so stunning! They’re even more impressive in person!IMG_1729

The mercury glass candle holders also added to a romantic dinner ambience. The theming went all the way down to the napkins, which were folded to look like roses.IMG_1731

Louis added a paper stem and leaf to mine to make it look even more realistic. 🙂IMG_1732

SHOCKER: Another chandelier picture…IMG_1733

This was our view for our delicious meal.IMG_1738

Louis made sure to create a mustache out of his straw wrapper because…how else would one act in a castle?IMG_1742

First, they brought out some DELICIOUS mini baguettes with sea salt butter. Oh my gosh yum. I could have just eaten 6 of those for dinner. They were so fresh and flaky and goodness gracious. I wish I had one right now. We both decided to order the Grilled Strip Steak with Garlic-Herb Butter and Pommes Frites for our entree, so I had to quit stuffing myself with bread to save room.IMG_1743

It was soooo good. We typically don’t splurge on sit down meals at Disney World, so this was a welcome change from our typical fare of chicken nuggets and fries. You may have noticed our “Happy Anniversary” buttons by this point…time for full disclosure: We’re frauds. Our anniversary isn’t actually until March. However, I had heard that the only way to try “the grey stuff” was to be celebrating a special occasion. For that reason, we pushed our 2nd anniversary up by a few months. Sorry, we’re not sorry. The grey stuff was TOTALLY worth the small fib. We each got our own plate, and it was the delicious just as the song said. According to The Disney Food Blog, the grey stuff is “a cookies and cream panna cotta that’s been whipped into a creamy dessert.” Whatever it is, it’s scrumptious. We both just about licked our plates clean.IMG_1752

Oh what’s that? You thought that was our only dessert? Nope. We’re oinkers and didn’t know when we’d get a chance to eat at Be Our Guest again, so we splurged and got a Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake to split.IMG_1754

Yes, that is Louis with both his plate of grey stuff AND our cupcake. Whatever. We were on vacation. And that cupcake was delightful.IMG_3939

After stuffing our faces, we explored the West Wing. It was dark and spooky, so it was hard for me to get any good pictures…sorry!IMG_1755

This portrait of the Beast changes every 20 minutes from the Prince to the Beast. Scary magic.IMG_1756

The enchanted rose was, of course, in the West Wing, too! The petals were slowly falling, but we knew better than to try and touch it…didn’t want to Beast kicking us out of the castle, you know.IMG_1757 IMG_1759

Once we finished exploring, we headed to the study to meet Beast and thank him for the delicious dinner. He was such a gracious host. Sucks that he’s a Beast instead of a human again though. Didn’t want to ask him about it because I figured it was a touchy subject…IMG_1763

It was an awesome experience, and I definitely recommend it to anyone able to get a reservation there! Great food, awesome ambience, and so fun and unique!

We left the castle in the mood to hang out with more royalty, so we headed over to Princess Fairytale Hall.IMG_1767 IMG_1768

We were happy to meet Cinderella and Aurora who were both happy to see us.IMG_1774 IMG_1780

By then it was time for us to get a spot for Celebrate the Magic and Wishes. Celebrate the Magic is where they project awesome images and videos on Cinderella Castle set to music…I tried to snap pictures of several of the scenes:IMG_1781

Wreck It RalphIMG_1782

The Lion KingIMG_1783

“Let It Go” from FrozenIMG_1784

Elsa singing “Let it Go” from Frozen…such an amazing song!IMG_1786

Stained glass? I’m sorry, I honestly can’t remember…oops. 🙂

Castle covered with poinsettias IMG_1790

Cinderella Castle wrapped up like a present! Best gift ever!IMG_1791

Gingerbread House Castle

As you can see the show has tons of amazing elements, and it’s mind-blowing how they’re able to transform the castle! I’m excited to see what other special effects they add in the future. After Wishes, we stuck around for the Electric Parade, which is an old favorite.IMG_1795

We spent the rest of the evening enjoying a few more rides and strolling around the park. It was another full, fun day with great rides, amazing shows, and delicious food. The next day was our last full day in the parks, so we headed home to get some rest!

Siggy AutumnMiss a Disney Trip Recap? Catch up here!

Disney World 2013: Part 1

Disney World 2013: Part 2

Disney World 2013: Part 3

Disney World 2013: Part 4



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Disney World 2013: Part 4

headerWe woke up bright and early (surprise) and decided to spend the entire day at Epcot. We typically write off Epcot and think it’s boring because there are only a few rides there. However, we always read about people raving that Epcot is their favorite park and how there’s so much to do. We figured maybe we hadn’t been giving Epcot enough credit, so our goal was to really experience the park and try new things we hadn’t experienced! It was a PACKED day, so we spent lots of time strolling and admiring all of the unique scenes and experiences at our own pace.

One of our first stops was “Club Cool.” Coca Cola products are served at all of the Disney parks. At Club Cool, they offer free samples of Coca Cola products from around the world! We grabbed a few of the adorable tiny cups and got to tasting! IMG_1582 IMG_1583

Louis tried all 8, but I was too scared to try Beverly from Italy because I had read that it tasted like earwax…not worth the experience to me. 🙂 Some of the others were really good like the Melon and Pineapple Fanta from Greece and Thailand. They were delicious, but way too sweet to enjoy with a meal, I thought. It was neat to see what other countries drink! IMG_1584

We had to snap some pictures in front of the gedesic dome of course! Or the “giant golfball” as most refer to it. 🙂IMG_1586 IMG_1588 IMG_1591We strolled past the rose garden and decided to ride Journey Into Imagination with Figment since we’d never ridden it together, and Louis had never ridden it at all! I had him pose awkwardly in front of it because that’s just the kind of wife I am.


After Figment we headed over to the Land Pavillion where Soarin’ and Living with the Land are housed along with some other attractions and restaurants. We had gotten a Fastpass+ for Living with the Land, which we joked about because there’s never a wait. Thank goodness we did! There was an hour wait! That should be proof of how packed it was at the park that day. We breezed through the Fastpass+ line and enjoyed the slow boat ride past 9-pound lemons (that Louis repeatedly asked me if I thought he could get or grow) and Mickey-shaped vegetables. It’s not a thrill ride by any means, but it’s one we always enjoy. 🙂

We skipped out on Soarin’ because it’s identical to the one in Disney California Adventure that we rode this summer and will ride again in a month! Also, the line was THREE HOURS LONG. No thanks. 😉

We did, however, stop at Sunshine Seasons for some lunch! We both got the Mongolian Beef, and I don’t think Louis has stopped raving about it since. That’s a miracle in itself because he is a lifelong Asian food hater. With our bellies full, we decided to wander over to Canada to start our journey around the World Showcase. 

We stopped in Canada and saw Oh Canada! narrated by Martin Short. We always make it a point to admire their waterfalls there, too. So pretty!IMG_1599 IMG_1601

While on our way to next country, we ran into some familiar faces, so we stopped and snapped a couple of selfies…IMG_1603 IMG_1604 IMG_1605

Each pavilion is so unique and beautiful. If you can’t afford a trip around the world, Epcot is probably the next best option. 🙂IMG_1607

Mary Poppins greeted us as we walked into the UK pavilion. Louis was excited to visit the Twinnigs Tea Shop because he’s been super into tea the past couple of years. We explored the shop looking at the various teas and beautiful tea sets.IMG_1608

As you can see by the Eiffel Tower in the background, France was next after the UK.IMG_1610

I shared our visit to Morocco in a previous post, but here’s a daytime shot of us in front of the entrance. It is a seriously beautiful area!IMG_1611

We strolled towards Japan where we were greeted by these AMAZING Japanese women playing the drums. The drums were huge, and the women were so talented. I wish I had taken a video! We also wandered through the Japan pavilion store where they had tons of adorable Japanese foods, clothes, and trinkets. I’m not sure how authentic any of it was, but it was very fun to peruse! Their tea sets were even more beautiful than the ones in the UK!IMG_1613

How could we journey around the world without visiting our wonderful home country? IMG_1623

We happened to arrive just in time to see the Voices of Liberty perform. They are a Dickens-style choral group, and they were AMAZING. Seriously, hearing them perform was one of the best experiences of our trip for me. They were insanely talented, and I can’t wait to see them next time we visit.

By then, we were close to Italy and getting hungry after our world travels. We had reservations for dinner at Via Napoli, so we headed that way.IMG_1629

It was a beautiful night for a delicious pizza in Italy!IMG_1630

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One of the coolest thing about the World Showcase is that the castmembers in each pavilion are actually from the respective countries. It’s always fun to us to chat with them and ask about how similar the pavilions actually are to their homes. We had a super friendly waitress at Via Napoli from Italy, so we liked asking her about how authentic the food was.IMG_1640

Authentic or not, it was no doubt the best pizza either of us have ever eaten. It was soooo good. It looks gigantic, but it wasn’t THAT big. Haha, I mean, it was big enough that we weren’t able to finish it. And trust me…we tried! IMG_1642

The pizzas are cooked with flour imported all the way from Italy…maybe that’s why they’re so yummy! They are fired up in these three giant ovens, that cook them to perfection.IMG_1644 IMG_1645

We were definitely satisfied and will be making a trip back there next time for sure!IMG_1647

The entrance of Germany was marked by this adorable miniature town.
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They had different shops and restaurants in Germany as well as this Christmas shop with a Christmas tree full of pickle ornaments!IMG_1654

We also found this little Swarovski covered castle for $37,500 if anyone’s interested. IMG_1656

I loved the feel of the German pavilion! It was so pretty at dusk.IMG_1659

Karamell-Küche, which is full of amazing Werther’s Caramel desserts, is also located in Germany. We didn’t splurge on a dessert because we were still so fun from our pizza, but we did indulge in a free sample of their fresh made caramel corn. OHMYGOSHYUM. It was just scrumptious. IMG_1660

From Germany we headed to China, where we saw Mulan and more beautiful tea sets as well as some authentic kimonos and samurai swords.

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I laid on the ground to get this picture, and it was totally not worth it. The ceiling was beautiful though. 🙂IMG_1665

In front of China there is a little stand called the Joy of Tea. Here they serve various teas as well as Chinese snacks and slushes. Louis tried the Strawberry Oolong Tea Slush and was immediately hooked! I have to agree, it was delicious! Louis drank two back-to-back! Haha! He’s always saying how he wishes we had the recipe, so we could enjoy them at home!

We headed to Mexico and went on the Gran Fiesta Tour featuring the Three Caballeros. It was a cute little boat ride that was a first for us, so we enjoyed it!IMG_1674

We grabbed an early spot for the Holiday Illuminations fireworks again because they’re our fave! IMG_1676

I included a video I captured of the finale…sorry it’s a little blurry and cuts out most of the action. 🙂 I was watching the show myself instead of worrying about video quality obviously!

We decided to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours afterwards and went on Test Track again. The car we designed performed excellently. 🙂 We also decided to go on Spaceship Earth, which is the ride inside the giant golfball. Here’s a clip of what mine and Louis’s future looks like, according to the ride…

I know it sounds like all we did was eat at Epcot….which is kind of true. Haha! We really enjoyed exploring the shops and educational areas in each pavilion and learning about the different countries (that includes which foods they enjoy 😉 ). I’m so happy we gave Epcot a chance and spent time exploring the park. It was one of my favorite days of our trip because it gave us a chance to experience so many new things together! We’ll definitely be enjoying time in Epcot on future trips! 🙂 With that we were halfway through our trip already! Isn’t it flying by? It felt like that to us too…

Siggy Autumn

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