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!
After a day full of classroom training and resort tours, we had the opportunity to spend the next day at Volcano Bay! We had the whole day, AND a private family cabana. I was very excited to check it out firsthand since I had never been there before.
This park also has early hours. We made it to the park before the gates opened for the early guests. You do go through security here and then it’s a little bit of a trek to get to the actual gates.
Once at the gates, you scan in with your ticket, and everyone is given a Tapu Tapu wearable.
The Tapu Tapu has many uses throughout the day. It’s used to ride most of the attractions through a virtual line, activate interactive surprises throughout the park, open rental lockers, make cash free payments and more!
These are just some shots I got on the walk in before it became too crowded with people!
The Volcano! With tons of empty seats for the moment. These filled in quickly once the gates opened for all guests. A definite advantage to staying on property…the early entrance time!
One of the eateries:
Restrooms and lockers (with Cabana Bay Beach Resort in the background!):
Another view of Cabana Bay Beach Resort from inside Volcano Bay:
Finally! We made it to our Family Cabana!
This cabana was HUGE! Tons of seating…
A little goodie basket:
Towels (towels otherwise are NOT provided! So you should bring some from your resort!), a safe, minifridge stocked with beverages:
Also included is our own personal Tapu Tapu station. Instead of having to go to an attraction to get a return time, we could do it right from our cabana! So super convenient.
Another advantage was having the ability to order food and drinks right in the cabana. We had an attendant who came around frequently to check up on us. Lines for food and drink at the regular eateries were long! So it was nice to sit in the shade and be waited on.
Here are just a few pictures of some of the attractions:
Krakatau…I actually went on this one! Our cabana was right next to this, so this is the first place we hit. The line for this got super long right away. We basically walked on it.
I also went on this green slide!
Here’s one entrance to the “lazy river:”
I did take some time to relax by the wave pool. We were looking for seats right as some people were leaving, so we got the front row!
I did order a fantastic drink while in our cabana.
And a Longboard Pepperoni Pizza!
It was good!
Overall, we had a fabulous day! I will definitely be returning here with my kids. I love the Tapu Tapu system so you don’t have to stand in lines and wait for every ride. I also think I will definitely get a cabana. Not having to worry about our personal belongings is a huge plus! The staff was all super friendly and helpful. I don’t have anything bad to say!
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!
This night we wanted to make reservations for a restaurant so we could check out City Walk. My traveling partner chose The Cowfish! I have walked past this restaurant every single time I’ve entered City Walk or either of the theme parks, and have never eaten here. Probably because I don’t eat any type of seafood, so the “sushi” part was throwing me off!
We arrived right on time for our reservation, and there was a long line waiting to check in. If you didn’t have reservations, the wait was two hours. I strongly encourage you to make reservations for any of the table service restaurants at City Walk. If they aren’t available on the Universal website, you can look for them on Open Table or try calling the restaurant directly.
The inside of the restaurant was open and airy, and consisted of 3?? floors I think?!
The weather was really nice, and we were happily led to this table overlooking City Walk. (It was open…no window!)
We started off with some drinks. I had the Ruby Panther–Deep Eddy Ruby Vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, pink lemonade, and raspberries–$14.00. It was delicious! I love fruity and this was perfect.
Megan had the Hokkaido Nights–44 North Nectarine Vodka, lemongrass syrup, fresh basil and mint, cucumber–$14.00.
We wanted an appetizer, so we chose the Crispy Brussels–Flash fried Brussels sprouts, wasabi yuzu vinaigrette, rice noodles, bonito flakes, sesame seeds, with a jalapeno citrus aioli dipping sauce–$8.00. These were SO GOOD! They were bigger than any brussels sprouts I’ve ever seen, and the flavor was amazing. I loved the dipping sauce!
We also got a side order of Sweet Potato Fries, and these were good as well.
I originally went in with the idea that I would be getting a burger…but I didn’t know they had CHEESEBURGER SUSHI! So I decided to go with The All-American Bacon Double Cheeseburgooshi–Seasoned premium black angus beef, yellow cheddar cheese, white cheddar cheese, and applewood bacon wrapped in soy paper and potato strings then flash fried. Topped with dill pickle, red onion, roma tomato, served over housemade Cowfish sauce, topped with ketchup and mustard–$19.00. THIS.WAS.AMAZING! And my favorite food from the entire trip! The flash fried potatoes on the outside made this meal. It was like eating fries and a burger in one bite. The flavors were all so good together. I would 100% go back to just order this!
Megan ordered the Dion’s OMG! Roll–Tempura coconut shrimp, kani, and English cucumber inside, coated in tempura flakes. Topped with fresh mango, avocado, spicy honey marmalade and coconut flakes–$18.00. She really liked this!
I was actually reluctant to eat here, but am so happy we did! It was my favorite meal as I said. I would definitely return!
I was fortunate to be chosen to attend a training with my agency at Universal Orlando! We would be spending Monday through Friday on property, in the newest resort, Endless Summer. I was extremely excited about this stay for multiple reasons! I had never stepped foot on this property, it was new, it’s a great option for budget minded clients, and I loved the theming.
The room type available to us was a 2 Bedroom Suite. IT WAS GORGEOUS!
This was the view upon opening the door:
Two queen beds were in the main part of the room. I loved the muted, beachy colors!
To the right was a little kitchenette area with a microwave, small sink, mini fridge, coffee maker, and picnic table with chairs. The also provided coffee packets, an ice bucket, and a shelf for storage.
Another view of the two bed area:
The view from the two bed area, featuring the tv, drawers and hooks:
Another view of the kitchenette area:
This was a separate bedroom with one queen bed and a small closet.
Inside the closet was an iron, ironing board, hangers and extra pillows/blankets. The safe was behind the bedroom door.
The bathroom consisted of two different areas. A double sink with mirror was out in the main living area.
The shower and toilet were in a separate room.
There’s also a full length mirror!
An outside view of the resort by the pool. The weather was perfect!
I loved this resort!
At the moment, a 2 bedroom suite for 4 nights begins at $136 per night. That is so reasonable for a family to have more space than a regular hotel room! I was worried about the distance to the parks, but it was very close…just a quick bus ride away. I also absolutely loved the food here! I am dedicating a separate post just to that. The pool was huge (there are actually 2 pools at Dockside), and there were plenty of chairs to sit.
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.