After we got checked into our room, we decided to walk over to Epcot with no real agenda. We didn’t have any particular rides we wanted to do, but we did want to check out some of the Flower & Garden displays. The walk from the Beach Club Resort to the International Gateway entrance is very short…just minutes.
Here are just SOME of the beautiful displays around Epcot right now:
This one was super cute and themed after Encanto! It was a walk through with a few different sections.
Each country had displays that were appropriate for that particular country. This was Japan with super cute Bonsai trees:
Outside of Mexico:
There were so many more displays. These are just a few from throughout just some of the countries!
The views in the evening are pretty amazing!
Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival is held each year for a few months throughout the spring. Besides the beautiful topiary and garden displays, there are special outdoor kitchens featuring the season’s freshest flavors. Think Food & Wine Festival that is held in the fall…but with a spring spin!
Up next…Dining Review of Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie!
We made Theme Park Reservations for our arrival day at Hollywood Studios. We had nothing specific we wanted to do attraction wise. We just wanted to get some pictures and videos. We decided to get there by way of boat. I just love the view around this whole area!
We arrived around 11:30 a.m.
We walked through some of the shops on the way in.
We were walking toward Toy Story Land, when we came upon some filming going on:
We took some time to go in to see Walt Disney Presents, and had a meet and greet with Sulley! Yes, character meet and greets are back!
We finally made it to Toy Story Land, and decided to get in line for Toy Story Midway Mania, which had a 40 minute wait time posted.
My friend reallllllllly wanted to get the Margarita flight at the The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge. I had never been here but always wanted to try it! It’s seating just outside of the regular Brown Derby restaurant. So that was our next stop. The menu they gave us was actually different than the one they had posted online. This one included items from the actual inside table service The Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant.
I am just noticing that I forget to take a picture of one of the beverage pages. I ordered the Sangria pictured below and I don’t see it on the menu! There were so many good drinks to choose from and this was super refreshing during this hot day.
Chrissy got the Margarita Flight.
We also ordered the Charcuterie Board:
I am not a charcuterie meat person, but I did like the cheeses and the pickles. Chrissy prefers the one at BaseLine Taphouse.
And the famous Cobb Salad:
This was amazing! And I absolutely would get it again.
I did ask for this cheese to be on the side because I don’t like too much of it.
Overall, I really liked it here. I liked the expanded menu, the outdoor seating for the right time of year, and the staff was great.
After our snack here, we decided to head back to the resort because our check in time was approaching.
My Annual Pass expires on May 14th…so I knew I had to take one last, quick trip to Disney! My good friend and fellow travel agent, Chrissy, joined me. I was able to find one night with my DVC points, and a travel agent rate for the next two nights at a different Disney Resort. Our flight left Philadelphia at 5:30 a.m., and once we landed, another fellow travel agent texted and asked if we wanted her to pick us up from the airport and stop for breakfast.
We checked My Disney Experience for dining availability and landed on Cape May Cafe, which is located at the Beach Club, where we were staying for the night. This used to be a character dining experience, but that has not yet returned.
The restaurant is located right off the main lobby of the resort.
Right inside the entrance to the restaurant is an omelette station.
They have returned to a regular buffet style meal. There are four different sides with food. This side had the fresh sliced ham and rolls.
It also had fresh fruit, yogurt, and oatmeal with toppings.
The first dish on the left was a steak and egg scramble, then regular scambled eggs, bacon, and sausage.
Also on this side was a poached egg on top of hash, asparagus, breakfast potatoes, and something with tofu/vegetables.
The third side featured the kid section…Mickey waffles, chocolate chip pancakes, and tater tots.
And CREPES! There were also a few toppings for the crepes that are not pictured here.
The fourth side has eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits with sausage gravy.
My FAVORITE item at this buffet were the Salted Caramel Beach Buns that were brought to our table. This was also served with a vanilla sauce not pictured. This was like cinnamon roll texture. Super soft and squishy on the inside!
Overall, we all loved the meal and would definitely return. It was $25 per person for an adult. Our waitress was great!
Posted at 10:28 am by taryngirl, on April 20, 2022
Today was our first Hollywood Studios day! Park hours were 8:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Because we were staying at a Disney resort, the park opened at 7:30 a.m. for us. We were at the gates at 7:00 a.m. Our plan this day was to try Genie+. We purchased it and right at 7 a.m. logged on to reserve our first attraction. We were trying for Slinky Dog Dash and the first return time we could get was 5:15 p.m.!
Once the gates opened, we went immediately to Rise of the Resistance. We did not want to pay for Individual Lightning Lane to ride it, so we chose standby. We were on the ride by 7:45 a.m.
After Rise of the Resistance, we went to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. A 30 minute wait was posted, with an actual wait time of 20 minutes. Next was Star Tours. At this point, some of us were hungry, so we mobile ordered from ABC Commissary for pick up at 10 a.m. Our dinner reservation was at 3:50 p.m., which was an odd time. So we had to plan our food times accordingly for the rest of the day.
Side of fries:
Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese with Fries:
We have ordered this before, and it’s the only reason we come back here to eat…it’s SO GOOD! A great change for a counter service meal.
Chicken Club Sandwich with Fries:
This was also very good!
While on our “lunch” break, at 10:30 a.m., we were able to get our next Genie+. The pickings were already slim, and we chose the Frozen Sing Along. We did hit some other attractions…Muppets, Millennium Falcon, Indiana Jones, and then had dinner at Mama Melrose. A separate review will be forthcoming for that meal!
Here are some random pics from around DHS throughout the day!
(One of my favorite spots to sit and people watch or grab a quick snack, is Baseline Taphouse!)
After dinner, we went on Toy Story Midway Mania, Slinky Dog Dash with our Genie+ return time, Alien Swirling Saucers, and then hit the shops on the way out. We were on the bus at 7 p.m. Some people from our group went to Magic Kingdom, and the rest went back to the resort for the evening.
Overall, it was a great day. Crowded and super long lines everywhere, and Genie+ didn’t really help, but we got on most of the rides we wanted to. A large part of our time, we spent refreshing the app to see if we could get a better return time. We did have great weather though!
For our big family trip, we were so fortunate to stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge! This is hands down my favorite resort during the Christmas holiday season. I LOVE THE LOBBY! The tree, the garland, the wood…it’s all just perfect! I stopped in for a half hour earlier in December when I was in the area, and literally just sat in this lobby and relaxed.
We were booked in a Nature View Room. This room features 2 queen beds. There is an option for a king bed Nature View Room also. These rooms were very recently renovated and I was super excited to check them out!
This is the view when opening the door to the room:
To the left was our closet area:
There was so much storage space in this closet.
To the right was the bathroom area:
The double sink and mirror were separate from the toilet and shower.
The shower had a rainshower type faucet, as well as a regular faucet.
Also near the closet area was the coffee station.
Underneath was the mini fridge, and to the left was the hair dryer, safe, and more shelves for storage.
View of the 2 queen beds:
Television, drawer storage, 2 chairs with nesting tables that can be moved around:
The view from our balcony:
Overall, I loved the room and my stay here! The location is great for Magic Kingdom, as it’s a quick boat ride away. I love the food options here, the lobby ambiance as I’ve said before, and the outside atmosphere. You forget you are at Disney and think you are at a National Park! I would definitely stay here again. I would love to get into a Copper Creek Cabin with our DVC points sometime!
As my luck would have it for this trip…I was also able to score a reservation for 4 to Topolino’s Terrace, which has been on my bucket list for the last several trips! There was so much going on this day with food, so people had to pick and choose what was important to them. This was first on my list!
Topolino’s is located at Disney’s Riviera Resort. The easiest way for us to get there for breakfast was to take a Lyft from our resort.
This resort is absolutely gorgeous! It kind of reminds me of a mini Grand Floridian in its style and decor.
The lobby is kind of on the smaller side.
This is one view out the back from the lobby area.
We took the elevator up to Topolino’s Terrace.
We were seated promptly right in the middle of the restaurant, which was busy, but not too busy.
We were brought this delicious basket of pastries, and condiments. Crossaints, muffins, and fabulous maple?? turnovers. All of it was SO GOOD!
I had read many different reviews while deciding if I truly wanted to eat here. A majority of them said that they would do this meal again hands down. It also varied on what you could order. Because you are paying a set price per person, it was assumed that you could get one entree, however that is not true. You can order one entree and then ask for sides or small orders of other things if you wish.
I knew for sure I wanted the Fruit Plate–Seasonal Fruits, Honey Yogurt, Seed Granola, Toasted Sunflower Butter. It arrived and it was fantastic!
My daughter chose the Sour Cream Waffle–Roasted Apple, Chantilly, Orange-Maple Syrup, and served with Sausage. I was also torn between this and what I ordered. Luckily I was able to try this, and it was SO GOOD! I would order this again for sure!
My niece ordered the Quiche Gruyere–House-Made Pancetta, Roasted Potatoes, Gruyere, Lemon Vinaigrette, Sausage. She really liked this, especially the potatoes.
I went with the Two Eggs Any Style–Roasted Potatoes served with Sausage. This was your standard (real) scrambled eggs. The potatoes were really good! I knew I was going to be tasting my daughter’s waffles, so I wanted something somewhat “healthy.”
While we were eating, the characters took turns coming around. They did make an announcement with music so you knew someone was coming. They did not get close to the tables, but did stop next to us so we could get pictures or videos. I loved Minnie’s outfit!
A look inside the restaurant:
When we were finished eating, we were able to go outside on the terrace to have a look around. The views were amazing! It was pretty windy, but the weather besides that was perfect.
I would 100% do this breakfast again, even for the cost. It’s a character meal, with delicious food, a gorgeous resort, and spectacular views. I would try to align it with a Hollywood Studios or Epcot day so you can take the Skyliner after eating.
Our server here was meh. She wasn’t very personable and didn’t ask if we wanted anything extra. She was also nonexistent for a majority of the time.
Posted at 1:29 pm by taryngirl, on January 14, 2022
After checking in at Art of Animation, we wanted to head to Epcot. We had secured a virtual spot in line for the brand new ride, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. One of my main priorities was getting a late breakfast in France.
To get to Epcot from Art of Animation, you have to take Disney’s Skyliner transportation. There is no bus service available unless for some reason the Skyliner is down.
Here we are over top of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
We arrived sometime between 10 and 11 a.m. One of my favorite quick service dining locations in Epcot is Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. Entering at the International Gateway is super convenient because France is the first country next to the entrance.
The line was out the door and down the walkway!
My favorite is the Crossaint Jambon Fromage–Ham, Cheese, Bechamel in a Crossaint. You can get it warmed or not. SO GOOD!
And my new found love…the Baguette! Fresh from the oven and served with butter on the side.
Some views of the France Pavilion:
We just briefly whizzed through some countries when our return time was called for the virtual line for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Once your group is called, you have one hour to return to the entrance of the attraction.
Inside the ride!
The ride was SUPER CUTE! A great addition to Epcot. I do get somewhat motion sick and had to close my eyes at one part, but it wasn’t terrible.
At the time of this post, the virtual line method has ended for Remy and it’s just a regular standby line!
Posted at 9:29 am by taryngirl, on December 14, 2021
10/2/21 We took a Lyft from Saratoga Springs to Art of Animation first thing in the morning. Our plan was to check in or drop off our bags, and head to Epcot via the Skyliner. Luckily our room was ready, so we went directly there!
We chose to stay at Art of Animation because neither of us had ever stayed there in a Little Mermaid room. The theming is completely on point here as you can see in my photos! All of the little details were perfect for Disney or Little Mermaid fans.
Directly inside the door, is a table and two chairs with a mirror on the wall above.
The table has some amazing details!
There are 2 queen beds with the cutest bubble lights on the headboard.
There’s a curtain to partition off the sink area from the bedroom area.
The shower area literally makes you feel like you are under the sea!
Overall, the room was clean and a good size for a value level resort. This is the perfect room for a super Disney fan or Little Mermaid lover! The walk to the food court and bus area is a little bit long from the Little Mermaid rooms. The family suites are much closer.
Posted at 8:41 am by taryngirl, on October 22, 2021
Originally our plan for the day was to just wake up leisurely, and not get there for rope drop since we knew it was going to be a late night. We didn’t have any specific shopping we wanted to do as far as the 50th merchandise was concerned. We had no plans to ride anything specific. We were expecting huge crowds and long waits. Our main goal was to just see the new nighttime fireworks show, Enchantment.
Imagine my surprise when I opened my eyes, and Jamie was already awake and on her phone to absolute craziness! The park was supposed to open at 7:30 a.m. to resort guests, but instead opened much earlier. The lines for merchandise were already hours long with a virtual queue, which also appeared to be full already. It was 8-8:30 a.m.! So we decided to get up and get ready to go! We got to the bus stop at 9:30 a.m. and the bus came right away.
Let the celebration begin!
Everyone was given one of these special commemorative guidemaps.
These were a hot commodity, as immediately there were some up on eBay for sale!
We spent a little bit of time taking some photos around Main Street. It was super crowded right in this area. People were lining up for one of the cavalcades, and the lines for the shops stretched all the way down the sidewalks. It was very organized though.
Many views of the castle! (I personally love the colors!)
We decided to check wait times for the attractions, and ride a few things with no wait. We were pleasantly surprised that wait times were super low! We did want to check out the Big Top store near Dumbo, as that had special October 1st merchandise only. Once we got back to that area, there was a sign with a bar code that you could scan to get on a virtual waitlist to shop. It was absolute chaos. People were crazy! This is everyone trying to scan the barcode:
Once you scanned the barcode, you were put into a virtual line. We were number 1193, which meant that’s how many people were in front of us.
From there, we went to Under the Sea–Journey of the Little Mermaid (which was a walk on), It’s a Small World (which was basically a walk on), and then decided it was time to make our way over to the Contemporary Resort for our lunch reservation at Steakhouse 71.
View looking down Main Street from the castle:
After lunch, we did some more photo taking. These special statues are all over the parks!
And we were able to watch one of the special cavalcades.
Overall, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as I was expecting. Most rides had a maximum 20 minute wait, with many being 5-10 minutes. Everyone was in line for the merchandise or crowding around Main Street and the castle. Some people even had their blankets out and were camping out for the evening fireworks. We decided we were NOT doing that and wasting our whole day!
Up next, Lunch Review of Steakhouse 71, and more from around the Magic Kingdom!