Sunday, September 30, 2012

Something New to do at Disney World

While in Disney World Bill and I did some hotel hopping.  We visited three of the hotels on the Monorail line.  It was a lot of fun to see the inside, the gardens and pools.  We have seen them from afar for many years but never had the time to take the tour.  

While at the Polynesian Resort we impulsively rented a little boat and went out on the lake, cruising by the Disney World entrance!  Who knew this amenity was available to anyone, not just hotel guests.  There is a fee, but it was quite reasonable, especially by Disney standards.

We also went by the Disney's Contemporary Hotel and under the Monorail itself!

It wasn't until we were out in the middle and on the way back that I noticed the clouds were darkening and a storm was 'abrewing!

We made it back in the nick of time with only a sprinkle of rain.  Far less rain though,  than the boat spray in my face and the gallons that splashed in over the edges!  :-)  

A one minute video of our speedy ride! 

A Disney World Tip!

When taking the tour, the monorail will stop at three hotels and you can get off an on again going to the next one, but each hotel also has a boat that goes to the Magic Kingdom.  These are boats only hotel guests usually get to ride so at your last hotel, choose to return via shipboard!  Just an added bonus 

We took the pirate shuttle from the Polynesian Hotel back to Disney World
I had often seen this happy little ship navigating the waters while riding on the lumbering ferry that takes hundreds of guests at a time,  but never imagined I would be on it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And the Curtain Goes Up

There is nothing like a night out waiting in anticipation for the curtain to go up! 

All ready for a great show!

Who doesn't like the 50's and 60's?
The Playbill we always save.

Linking up to:

Monday, September 24, 2012


My hubby surprised me with a caramel apple tonight.  

He made it himself!  He unwrapped the caramels and melted them on the stove.  Next time he will use a double boiler he promised.    He put three wooden skewers together  to form a handle, taped together at the bottom.   It was full of texture, chewy and delicious.  

Am I a lucky duck or what?

Linked up to:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Chance Encounter

My sister and I had a wonderful afternoon yesterday.  We geared up and moved out of our respective comfort zones and took a trip into St Petersburg to see an art glass exhibit.  We ventured out alone.  Just the two of us.

It was deemed best to arrive early so we could have a bite to eat and absorb the atmosphere of this artsy area.  We found a little deli full of atmosphere and decided to share a bottle of wine and a hot sandwich there instead of a more pricey restaurant.

A young 30something cashier waited on us and since it was early in the evening, it was slow and we had a chance to talk to him.  You never know who you might meet when you open a conversation.  Our wine was from Cupcake Vineyards in Livermore and we were surprised. We grew up nearby and hadn't know of a winery there.   As he uncorked it, he mentioned while on tour he had visited a local winery in that area.  "On tour?"  we asked.  It seems he had been a professional ice skater and had toured with several ice shows not only nationally, but internationally.  My sister Karan has traveled quite a bit and blogs Michael and Karans Excellent Adventures.  Suddenly they were exchanging travel stories about wonderful exotic cities they both had visited.

Customers came in and he took care of everyone, but continued to come back to the table as often as he could.

He is now training skaters and studying to be a nurse.  She is a retired RN.  More fun stories. He was invited to sample the wine, which he did and was quite the connoisseur.  Heck, only the fact that he was working kept us from dusting off another chair and pouring him a glass.

We each have sons also in their thirties, conversation was easy.  A chance meeting, souls enlivened.  All the more memorable because it can never be duplicated.

Then, off to the exhibit.  Just across the street.

So today I read a blog about just this sort of interaction at Lavender Dreams entitled When Someone Impresses You.  And that impressed me.  Thanks Diane!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's New at the Magic Kingdom? Storybook Circus!

It was a surprise to walk through Disney World's Magic Kingdom and find a whole new section.  It wasn't as if I hadn't been in years.  I spent four days there in July!  We only took one day for the Magic Kingdom and somehow I missed this simply by taking a right instead of a left on a pathway.  I take my time and hit all rides in my path as I trundle around from one land to another.  Had I taken the left I would have immediately turned a corner and been there after alighting from the train in Frontierland.  

The entrance to Storybook Circus.  

It's not completely open yet, the bright red fence is to hide construction going on and to keep out park guests until the area is open.

The Barnstormer is open and ready! 
 The Barnstormer kiddie Coaster is open and honestly that is about the only coaster I would attempt.  I've ridden Big Thunder Mountain for the last time on this visit.  This coaster is just right for kids, the drops are small, the curves are gentle. Flying through the air on a track in small airplanes is just my speed these days.  

It's so exciting for kids to come crashing through the billboard! 

The pathway to the two Flying Dumbo Rides and a Hidden Mickey!  Can you spot it? 

In between the double Flying Dumbo's is a Big Top interactive area
The cast member told us it was an interactive area for kids so we didn't go in.  We are kids of course, everyone is a kid at Disney World, but there wasn't a need to go the whole hog and try out all the toddler games.

Casey Jones Jr is a mini water park for anyone not afraid to get wet.  This is where you will want to spend a lot of time during the hot summer months.  Sprays of water and clouds of mist can keep active participants and observers comfortable.  A handy restroom is a great place to change the kids into swim ware if you have it.  The colorful train draws one and all like a magnet.  

Afterwards there is a quick, hidden path to 
along the back side of the Speedway where a deck of cards is hiding out from the Queen of Hearts.  As well they should.  

So this is how, by turning left on the path this time around, we discovered the Storybook Circus!

A perfect post for linking up to Rednesday!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2012

 Turning 65 is not so scary after all so for Bill's birthday we took a quick trip to Disney World and attended the special event known as

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2012!

The park was dressed for the occasion! 

The ticket is good for 7:00 PM to 12:00 Midnight but a tip given to us by our resort check in person is that they start admitting ticket holders at 4:00 PM.  That's three free hours to ride rides before the party starts!!

We went on opening night Sept 11 and the park closed to regular ticket holders at 7:00 so by 4:00 the park was starting to empty out since mostly there were families with small children.  We only waited 10 minutes in line for two rides.  Every other ride was a straight walk on.  We sometimes rode twice, without getting off the ride because there was no one waiting to get on.  That was a little spooky! 

At the entrance gate, cast members had special costumes just for this evening.

We received a special brochure and a trick or treat bag! 
Everyone was in high spirits, this was the first night of the event this year!

Everywhere there was bunting, garlands and wreaths celebrating the season.

Tonight adults as well as children were allowed in the park dressed up in Disney costumes.  Here I spotted Wendy with her baby Tinkerbell!

Every kind of costume was seen, from father/son pirates

to families dressed up as movie characters like Indiana Jones and his harem.

 There was a special path from the Storybook Barnstorming area to Tomorrowland

 a path we never knew existed

that had barrels and barrels of goodies for Trick or Treater's, young and old alike.  Each cast member dug deep and deposited a handful of traditional Halloween goodies in the special bags.  There were also other stations giving out candy all over the park.  

In Adventureland at the Jungle Cruise ride you received treats AND a banana.  Don't miss that station!  Other stations also had special additional treats, but we didn't go to them all. Our bags filled up pretty quickly.

There was a big fabulous show in front of the castle after dark featuring all the Disney Villains who later came down into the crowd to shake hands and pretended to be Not So Scary!  

The fireworks show was amazing.  We found seats just to the right of the castle on the walk way to Tomorrowland where the view was perfect.  There were long cement benches to lounge on while enjoying the bombs bursting in air.  It was a wonderful, extra long show.  Highly recommended to snag those seats!  The fireworks at times, so filled the sky they almost surrounded us.  The show was set to dramatic and spooky music though...and it the darkness that wasn't "Not So Scary!"  

The park emptied out after that so the second parade was easy to find seats for.  We rocked on the porch in Frontierland until the parade started with a full view of the parade route.  Then we stood, (with no one behind us), at the rope during the 20 minute parade to collect candy from the specially costumed cast members and get a close up view of the dancers and floats.  

It began with the headless horseman trotting down the street carrying his Jack O'Lantern head but I missed the shot because my flash failed.  (hanging head in shame) 

But all the floats were themed for Halloween!

Even the Disney characters were dressed in Costume on a fallish decorated float! 

 There were dancers from The Haunted Mansion,

and the Big Bad Wolf and other villains were featured.

The float from Goofy's Candy Factory was definitely Not So Scary though and a dozen cast members surrounded it passing out good sized Mickey Mouse shaped suckers.

 On Main Street the wreaths lit up after dark boasting Mickey Mouse Pumpkins
 There were lit pumpkins on ledges 

...and decorations in the windows.  

 The park was filled with stacks of Jack O'Lanterns

Bill turned 65 while watching Cinderella's Castle change colors at Midnight!
What a happy celebration we had!

 Tired, costumed revelers started gathering up their friends in preparation for departure close to the bewitching hour.  

And the scarecrow at the entrance/exit of Main Street waved goodbye to everyone.

What a great night at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!  Tickets were $55.00 each and we rode every ride we wanted and covered the entire park in the eight hours we were there.  

Disney World is hosting the event several times a week until Halloween.  If you haven't been, it's worth the ticket! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Hidden Mickey and More

In the new Storybook Circus area I found a "Hidden Mickey"!  I didn't actually see it when I was there but it stood out when I was viewing the photos.   When I'm there I can't focus on the tiny details because the big picture is so overwhelming.  I love Disney World.  

We stayed at the All Stars Movie Resort and I was all into Disney mode right from the get go so after our initial swim I was blow drying my hair and glanced down at the towel

See the Mickey?  Well, it's a bit "icky" but  I had to run and grab the camera to record that anyway!

And last but not least as we left Disney World I glanced at the sky and saw Mickey Mouse Ears!:

Well, that is what I saw, but I had to photo shop it as I REMEMBERED seeing it because 

It actually looked like this by the time I got my camera out.  

It was pretty windy and the cloud formations only lasted a second.  

There are actually some books about the Hidden Mickeys around Disney World that you can easily order through Amazon before you take your next trip!

Here are my great Disney World / Disneyland tips and photos from our visit to
 Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!
It was a blast!! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's Not Even My Birthday!

Thank you Jill  from A Little Bit of Everything for the lovely scarf!  It's perfect for me.  It's lightweight for Florida, long and thin for a variety in ways in which to tie it, and brilliantly colored so it matches almost everything I own!  

Isn't is great to have good blog friends?  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Family Tea at Weeki Wachee

 Three generations gathered together yesterday in Weeki Wachee at the Magnolia Terrace Tea Room.  It was not a special occasion.  We just enjoy being together.

The front door is quite inviting!

It's a lovely place to spend time in.
And we made the most of it.  Here we are:  my sister Karan, my mom, Joanne, and my niece Becky.  Becky has never been to tea before, but this was actually a first for all of us.  It was Australian cuisine not a traditional English tea.

The ladies at the tea room surprised us with complimentary Mimosa's!  Now isn't that a nice tradition? 

I was charmed with the covering on the creamer! I may have to make one for myself!

I maybe should have taken a picture before we dove in to the selection of forty tea sandwiches served...but we were still choosing when I remembered to snap before they were all demolished!
Salmon and Cream Cheese,  Fig and Brie, Roast Beef and Horseradish, Chicken Salad and Chutney, Cucumber Salad, Asparagus and Pimento and many more choices were piled high on two tiers.  I believe there were at least a dozen different choices and we chose eight or nine.   Desserts crowned the top.

It was a lovely finish to such a fancy meal.  

The Tea For Two is priced at $12.99 each and we had two of them using a Groupon for a nice discount.
Magnolia Terrace Tea Room is located at
 6282 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee, FL 34613

It was lovely but I'm sorry to say, inflation has changed the menu and prices.  Here is the tea 
we had a year later.  

Alas, no mermaids! 

Weeki Wachee, City of mermaids!