Animal Kingdom

Earlier this year (in June) we went to Animal Kingdom and we  spent just a few hours there, I walked away from it thinking that it was a park that I could take or leave. It’s not that it’s not a lovely park, I mean when you first walk in it’s quite stunning, it’s just that it’s a little light on attractions and therefor I feel like it’s not as easy to be entertained here. That is to say that the things to do are more subtle in nature. However, if you look past the fact that rides aren’t just coming up and slapping you in the face and enjoy the park for what it is (an spectacle of natural delights) then you can really appreciate the park!

While reading up on Animal Kingdom I saw several people say to only devote 1/2 day to it but I think that is selling yourself short. In a vacation where everything feels like rush, rush I think that this park allows a more leisurely pace and the ability to slow down and “rest”. I found walking among the different foliage and viewing the animals in very beautiful habitats very relaxing. I love to start the day with the Kilimanjaro Safari. We’ve done it twice in the morning and both times it was wonderful. The second time being even better than the first because there were several instances where the animals were right up by the road. And even one instance where we had to stop the car to let the rinos cross in front of us! The kids loved the dinosaur play ground. There was an area where you could step on the “tracks” left by dinosaurs and hear dinos roaring at you from the shadows. I love the details of Animal Kingdom, especially in Africa. It’s the little things that really bring this park to life. I really wanted to catch both The Lion King and Finding Nemo but we only had time for one and Nemo was closer. It was an AMAZING show and that is where we found out that Emma LOVES shows. She likes them more than rides or play grounds. Next time I definitely hope to catch both!

going on a tripfavorite animalhanging outon the hilldetailstabletsignsinto the lightpuddledig it updigkeep diggingtracksthis wayfollow the printsjumpwater coolerice cream breaknemoshark bait

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Our third day was spent back at Magic Kingdom. This was Halloween party day!

One of the very first things we did that day was a character meet. Emma wanted to meet one princess above all the rest and that was Merida. She is her favorite! I really wish we could have met her when Em was dressed up but the timing didn’t work out.
I feel like I need to apologize for all the pictures of the kids meeting Merida. I have more, I swear this is paired down. I just can’t get over how perfect she was! Pictures can’t do her justice, her personality was spot on and the kids were enthralled!
This momentDo you like my hairfavoriteIt's really hermagicmerida and mehello theremeetingmerida

For the party Emma dressed up and Merida and I dressed up as momma bear. Jake dressed up as Darth Vadar and Jonathan went as the force. It was so crowded that we didn’t get to get pictures of everyone:(I hope to get some on actual Halloween.

merida and momma bear

Here are some random pictures of the event. Over all it was awesome even if it was very crowded. The fireworks were some of the best I have seen and the parade was amazing even if it was a little short. The dead ballroom dancers and the grave diggers with sparking shovels were my favorite (I didn’t get pictures of them:()
Boo To Youvote for mehowdybooupnow showingspookythis is halloweenThis is halloweendancethe dance

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Or Why I Gained Weight On Vaction

I had big plans for this day! This day was on of the days that I was looking forward to the most! I made a list of all the food and budgeted out my money and picked my route. I didn’t plan a lot of things extensively, but this, this is what I trained for! The food and wine festival! Around the world tapas style!? Don’t mind if I do! Come with me as I relieve all of those delctable and one or two not so dilectable moments!

There are 36 booths at the festival but we didn’t get to hit them all. There was no way that I could. Not enough time and not enough tummy room. Also, I didn’t get pictures of all of them:(

Kalua Pork Slider w/ chutney and spicy mayo
Hawaii

Seared Sea Scallop on top of spinach-cheddar gratin and crispy bacon
Scallop

“Le Cellier” wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce
Filet with mushrooms

Gratinated Green Lip Mussels with Garlic and Herbs
green lip muscles

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée
so good

Sweet Corn Cheesecake
corn cheese cake

Crispy pork belly w/ black beans, tomato and cilantro
pork belly

Tartelette aux escargots
escargot

Potato and leek waffle w/ beer braised beef
beef waffle

Epcot

I’m going to break Epcot up into to two posts because there is just too much stuff! I really wish we would have had two days here. When doing the research for our Disney trip I read a lot opinions stating that Epcot was a park to skip over if you need to cut a park. I know that I never went as a child and I think I recall my mom saying that she didn’t like it very much years ago when went. However the last time we were there with my parents we finally got to visit it and my husband loved it (I liked it too for that matter) and I think the kids had a great time as well! On our last trip we only got to spend less than half a day there though so we didn’t have enough time to truly get a feel for it. That’s why we knew we would have to devote a whole day this go around (especially since the food and wine festival was happening – but more on that later). Seriously I have no idea why this park gets such a bad wrap, it’s so much fun and even the kids wanted to go back! We didn’t get to ride many rides because their was too much to do in just one day!

We rode Nemo and enjoyed the aquarium area after it and we did Space Ship Earth and those are the only rides we rode this time around. The rest of the time was spent in the world showcase having a blast!

Big blue worldSwimming with the fishes
If you have kids you must do the Kidcot! Em is 3 and Jake is 5 and they both loved it! It gave them a reason to want to crawl around the world showcase. You can just get the free Duffy or Perry stamped but we bought a pass port for $10. The CMs would write fun things in it from each country and then every time they would get their pass ports stamped I would give them a sheet of stickers that went with that country (they came with the pass port) and they would decorate their page.

Kidcot stops are located in Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, America, Italy, Germany, China, Norway, and Mexico. They are in buildings (usually gift shops, crafty bastards).

Stampedgoing placesfirst stopseePass portperry

We also did the Phineas and Ferb secret agent mission. Jake ADORED this! And for that matter so did the adults. Emma could take or leave it. You get a phone which gives you clues, you then walk around the country that your mission is in and interact with the environment to help Perry defeat Doofenshmirtz. I think Jake could have done this all day!
This is your missiongathering infoMM

France might have been my favorite little corner of Epcot. I loved it so much! So peaceful! I think the kids loved it too (or it might have been the ice cream).
parislet's eatmickey was herethe bestso goodice cream time
And some random pictures!
I see youcanadasmall touchesfezzes are cooldance like no one is watchingsay cheesecrown and crestepcot