Monday, June 17, 2013

Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party

The Fireworks Dessert Party is an event that is held at the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant every night at the Magic Kingdom. It is a dessert buffet where you have a designated spot to watch Wishes at and can sit beforehand. Instead of fighting thousands of people on Main Street to get a spot you are guaranteed a good view of the fireworks.

This party starts 1 hour before the fireworks start. From this location you will also see Celebrate the Magic, which is a show that is projected on the castle. It doesn't really matter what time you arrive because they let everyone in at the same time and the seats are assigned. There are place settings with your name on the table beforehand.

The cost of this event is about $24 per adult. Yes, it is pricey for dessert, but the whole experience, I believe, is worth it.

The Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant is in Tomorrowland, obviously!
When you enter Tomorrowland you will head right through the restaurant's lower level then you will see the check in area for the dessert party.
Before you go in they put wristbands on you and that is how they know you are a part of the party. When you enter in it is kind of a mad rush to your table and then to the dessert tables. Even though they replenish the buffet, the thought of the cheesecake running out inspires people to run!

Now my favorite part of the party: the desserts! They are housed under little carts with a shield on top.

Here is what you can or can't expect to find. There might be a couple of variances from month to month but it won't be too drastic.

Chocolate Truffles
Fruit Tarts
Mini Vanilla Cupcakes
Pistachio Creme Brulee
Classic Cheesecake
Chocolate Cheesecake
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Fruit- honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes, pineapple
Mango Shooter
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart
Apple Pie Tart
Key Lime Tart
Rice Krispie Treats
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ice Cream Bar

For beverages you can have coffee, ice water, lemonade, tea, and milk.

Here are some of my choices.

My favorites were the pistachio creme brulee, the tiramisu, the cannoli, and the chocolate covered strawberries. During my party in 2013 those are all I had because they were so good. The pistachio creme brulee is also served at Tony's and it is delicious! The cannoli is very good and tasty. The tiramisu is very light and not very tiramisu-y for people who are scared of espresso. The chocolate covered strawberries are awesome! They are as big as the strawberries served at all of the Disney confectionaries and Karamelle Kuche, which can run you $4-$5 per strawberry! You could easily eat enough of the cost in strawberries. All of the other desserts are really just blah! The cheesecakes are horrible. I thought I would love the mango shooter but it was too much like baby food. The tarts are all tasteless and mushy. Fruit is a nice idea but everything I had both times was flavorless.

Here is our view of the castle from right when we sat down at our table. The tables go back about 3 deep.

One thing people need to be aware of when booking this is that you will have to stand to watch the fireworks. About 20 minutes before they start everyone gets up and stands at the rail. Because of the roof a lot of the fireworks are blocked, so that is the reason for standing by the rail. It is still better than having to stand on Main Street 30-60 minutes before they start.

Like I said Celebrate the Magic, a castle projection show starts 15 minutes before Wishes.

Then Wishes will start a couple of minutes after.

To be honest I prefer my firework view straight on the castle but this view is still nice due to not having a lot of heads in your way.

Another good thing about this party is that you have your own fireworks photopass photographer. They will take photos with your photopass card for you. They stand in the furthest right corner, although they used to be in the left corner.

You have servers that will clear your table for you but you don't have to tip them. I have never hear of people tipping them but they work hard, so maybe you could. I am not sure if they would accept it though.

All in all I think this is a great option! It is so nice to not fight the crowds and it is a nice extra that makes you feel special. I will definitely book this again every couple of years for special events! As long as you go in knowing you will have to stand with other people along the rail you will enjoy it!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Resort Spotlight: Pop Century

It's no surprise that a stay to Disney World can be expensive. However, can, is the key word. You can do Disney World inexpensively.

To do that, it most likely means you are staying at one of Disney's Value resorts. Disney has three levels of resort levels, deluxe, moderate, and value. You can get all Disney benefits at each level. Most of the time, I stay value, because most people spend the majority of the time at the parks. You are at the parks from 8AM to 10PM and just use your room to sleep. And that is why I normally go value. 

Pop Century is my choice for values. It is the 2nd newest value resort however you can start seeing some wear and tear there. Art of Animation is the newest value but the Little Mermaid rooms are usually excluded from any discounts, so I choose Pop because you can walk to Art of Animation from POP.

If you are staying on property you can take advantage of Disney's magical express. Magical Express will pick you up from the airport and take you to the resort; FOR FREE! They will also pick up your checked luggage and deliver it to your room! It is literally magical. These services don't cost any extra!

POP Century is themed to decades of the United States. It is filled with pop culture and icons of the past. The section that is there now is called the Classic Years. There was going to be legendary years across the lake, but it never got complete due to 9/11. Each building is themed to the decades 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. My person favorite section is 80s and the 90s due to me growing up then and the proximity to the buses.

When you come off of Magical Express and walk in, you see the check in desks.

Straight ahead is Everything POP which is the gift shop and the food court. The food court is one of my favorite in all of Disney. They have a huge variety. My personal favorite entree here is the Chicken Penne Alfredo. Their specialty dessert is the Tye Dyed Cheesecake! It is very good if you can forgot about the Tye Dye.

When you exit the food court the first thing you see is the main pool, the Hippy Dippy pool. This is in the 60s section. You can see it has a very "groovy"  vibe.
When you turn around and look at the main building this big "POP" pops out at you.
The icon for the 60s section is the Jungle Book, which was made in 1967.
The stairs to the rooms are hidden by a Duncan Yo Yo, which became popular in the 1960s.

 You can turn right and go to the 50s Section, where the pool is shaped as a bowling pin. The main larger than life icon is an old jukebox thing.
When you head back to the main pool and pass it you will first come to the 70s building. The icon here is a tricycle and a mickey phone. I have never stayed in this building. There is also a lifesize foosball table in this area that is a fun photo spot.

The next area is the 80s and 90s section. This area has the 3rd pool of the resort, themed to a computer.
The icon here is a giant computer!
My favorite photo spot at Pop Century is Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. They are in the 80s section!
Now that you have a good idea of the grounds of Pop Century, let's take a look at the rooms! The rooms are very small at only 260 square foot. You will most likely get more square footage by staying off property but you don't get the amenities that a disney resort has to offer. So I am all for the small rooms and being stuck in the "disney bubble".

Here are the basic rooms. They aren't that exciting. They do have a flat screen TV and two double beds. As of last year, all value resorts come with a mini fridge. They also have wireless internet or an ethernet cord for faster service.
When it is time for you to leave the park the buses are located in the front of the resort.
What I like about the buses here are that they have actual lines. At other resorts, there are no lines, so it is a free for all to get on the bus. They also don't share buses with any resorts. In fact, based on my experience Pop Century has the best bus service out of all resorts! Sure, there might be a lot of people coming and going, but it sure is efficient!

And there you have a basic overview of Pop Century. I highly recommend this resort if you are on any type of budget! Ending this, I will give you a brief overview of the great things about POP and the not so great things!

1.) Price. Price can range from $95-$206 dollars. It is about as cheap as you can. Also, you can almost always get it at some sort of discount. When you literally only use your room to sleep, it is worth it not to spend a lot.
2.) Food court. There is a great food court with lots of yummy items. I love this food court!
3.) Bus Service- Bar None, the best bus service for any resort! You don't share buses and there is only one stop.

1.) Beds. The beds are incredibly uncomfortable. I recommend bringing your own pillow if you can. They are lumpy and one is too small and two too big.
2.) Noise. It can be incredibly noisy, especially if you have a connecting room and are facing the pool. I always request a non connecting room and non pool facing. The pool is open 24 hours, so during the warm months, people will be in very late and you can hear it. The connecting rooms are horrible as well.
3.) Getting a bit outdated. You can start to see it getting old. The rooms and food court are getting a little outdated.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Top 5 Disney World Alcoholic Drinks

What goes along with eating, is drinking! I like to enjoy a couple of alcoholic beverages on vacation! 

Many people are surprised to know how much booze there is to drink at the World! You can now get alcohol/beer at every park! In fact, just this past year, Magic Kingdom lifted their "dry" ban. The park used to be dry meaning no alcohol found anywhere! Now, you can enjoy a glass of wine or beer during dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant. Epcot is definitely the park to drink at though. Epcot is where you can drink 'around the world' and where you will find drinking teams at various times during the year!

So, since I like to endulge in some beverages, I present you my top 5 Disney Alcoholic Beverages.

#5 Forever Young
This is a martini that is on the Disney standard drink menu that you can find at most all table service restaurants and bars. I enjoyed this drink on my past trip in January. This drink has Tito's Handmade vodka, Cedilla Acai liqueur, muddled blueberries, agave nectar and fresh lemon juice. It is delicious because of the middle blueberries at the bottom. It is sweet but not too sweet and not too strong tasting.

#4 Superfruit margarita

This is another beverage that is found on the standard drink menu. The drink menu has a collection of different margaritas. This marg has Tres Generaciones organic plata tequila, VeeV Acai spirit, pomegranate and house-made sweet & sour topped with lemon-lime foam. What made this drink was the pomegranate and the lemon lime foam. There is a fad going on at WDW with foam on drinks and here is an example. It was delicious! The margarita is sweet and the foam a bit sour. Perfect complement.

#3 Blood Orange Margarita
Another of the drinks with foam, the blood orange margarita can be found at La Cava del Tequila which is a little hole in the wall place located in the Mexican pavilion. It is one of the best kept secrets! I also have tried the jalapeno margarita and the avocado margarita from there and this one was the best. This one has El Mayor Premium silver Tequila, triple sec, a sweet-tart mix of blood orange juice and hibiscus syrup, served on the rocks with hibiscus Himalayan salt rim and wildberry foam. It is pretty potent as are all of the margaritas from here.

#2 Grey Goose Slush
This is a frozen slush from the France pavilion at Epcot. This is made with grey goose citroen vodka with some sort of lemonade mix. It is so refreshing on a hot day! You can barely taste the alcohol with the tart lemon taste. I could have so many of these. Even my boyfriend, who doesn't drink, loves these slushes!

#1 Lapu Lapu
You can get this beauty at the Polynesian resort and can order it at 'Ohana, Kona, or the Tambu lounge. Now, I have to admit, I might like this so much because it served in an actual PINEAPPLE, but the drink is pretty good too! Made with Myers's Original Dark rum and tropical fruit juices served in a fresh pineapple topped with Bacardi 151 rum. Now this drink is potent!! You can definitely feel the effects soon after drinking it. This isn't for the faint of heart, but it is delicious. And the whole pineapple thing is awesome! Warning- this thing will set you back $13.50!
Disney has many other drinks for those who aren't into fruity drinks. They have lots of beer, especially in the World Showcase. If you are in to drinking I recommend a "pub crawl" around the World Showcase booths/restaurants.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Top 5 Disney World Snacks

One of my favorite things to do at Walt Disney World is EAT! Disney has some of my favorite restaurants in the world and there are so many dining options! 

A lot of my posts will be geared towards food and of course, my first post is about food!

Specifically, my top 5 favorite snacks! Disney has the disney dining plan, and each dining plan (counter service, regular dining plan, and deluxe) comes with at least one snack. A snack is generally around $5 or less and can be sweet or savory!

Now onto the countdown!

#5 Kaki Gori

A kaki gori is basically shaved ice, except not shaved as fine. The syrups are honeydew(my favorite), cherry, strawberry, tangerine, or rainbow. This is found in Epcot at the Kabuki Cafe. It is perfect on a hot day.

#4 Red Velvet Cake Pop

This can be found at Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, or Downtown Disney at the bakeries. The ears are made with marshmallow and the red velvet part is coated in white chocolate then sugar. The cake is so yummy and gooey! I love this.

#3 Dole Whip

The Dole Whip is probably THE most popular Disney World snack. It is served at Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom at Adventureland. What I like is the pineapple/vanilla swirl with pineapple juice. But you can get orange as a combo or straight pineapple dole whip. The vanilla mixed in with pineapple cuts the tartness out. It is delicious!

#2 Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel

My only savory snack, the jalapeno cheese pretzel, is found at almost every park besides Magic Kingdom. I always get it at Animal Kingdom though. It is a warm pretzel filled with gooey jalapeno cheese in the middle. It isn't too spicy, so if you have an aversion to spice, it would still be good.
#1 Citrus Swirl
 The citrus swirl took a long hiatus from Magic Kingdom but it is back! You can find this in Magic Kingdom at Sunshine Tree Terrace. It is frozen orange juice swirled in with vanilla soft serve. This is my favorite treat because of the consistency. The frozen slushy OJ mixed with the sweet vanilla is the perfect combo! I could have multiple of these per day!

And there you have it! My top 5 Disney World Snacks!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

First Blog Post


I am trying this whole blog thing out so I can post about my favorite place in the world, Walt Disney World!

I love to help people plan Disney vacations and I thought I could share my experiences and tips and tricks with people to help them get the most out of their vacations.

First of all, I do NOT have kids! Disney is just as much fun without kids than with kids. There is SO much for adults to do. I highly recommend everyone giving Disney a chance!

First a little about me-

I am a 27 year old female, living in Minneapolis, working in the CPG industry for a food manufacturer. I graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Marketing and International Business. I moved to Minneapolis in 2009 then in 2010 my high school sweetheart moved out with me. We have a four year old Cockapoo dog named Lola. 

Next a little bit about my passion for Walt Disney World-

As a child I took two trips to the world. One when I was eight or so and then another when I was in 7th grade. In 2006 when I was a sophomore in college my mom took us three siblings to WDW for my brother's high school graduation, and I had a blast! So much so, that I took my boyfriend Corey there in 2008 for spring break. And that began my love for Disney World. Since then I have gone in

October 2009- stayed at Pop Century
December 2010- stayed at Pop Century
June 2011- stayed at Pop Century
December 2011-stayed at Pop Century
November 2012- stayed at Art of Animation
January 2013- stayed at Pop Century
April 2013- stayed at Port Orleans Riverside.

Next trip is in July and we are staying at Pop Century and Animal Kingdom Lodge! I am so excited! This year I bought my annual pass for the first time ever! I have definitely taken advantage of it so far.

Anyways, the point of this blog is to share my experiences with you and just show everyone what Disney has to offer. I love to talk about Disney so I thought this could be my ultimate channel to express myself.