Sunday, November 30, 2014

Elsa Ices Cinderella's Castle

So we just returned from a trip down to the World, our first ever during the holiday season.  The Christmas decorations were up, and Main Street in particular looked magical.  

On our first night there, we attended Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, and it was wonderful, although I will say - it was COLD!!!

Although the party officially began at 7:00 p.m., we were allowed in beginning at 4:00 p.m.  We took some time to take pictures in front of Cinderella's castle, then meandered through a little bit of the park, taking in the decorations and getting into the spirit.  

At 6:15 p.m., we made our way over to the Castle, as we knew that Queen Elsa would be freezing it.  We stood over to the left side by the bridge leading to Adventure Land to take it all in.  

It did NOT disappoint in the least! 

Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff make their way to the front of the castle, taking in the decorations, when Anna realizes they have been joined by, as Queen Elsa calls us, the "townsfolk of this lovely land".  Elsa proceeds to welcome everyone and introduces her sister, Princess Anna, who, in turn, introduces us to "her" Kristoff and to Olaf, who is nowhere to be seen.  

But, Olaf, being the star that he is, didn't make us wait too long for him - he quickly appears on the Castle balcony much to everyone's delight.  

It's amazing how that little snowman can make everyone smile...

Elsa invites Olaf to join them, and he quickly (and amusingly) makes his way to the front of the Castle.  They soon start discussing the winter season, when Kristoff points out that there's no snow or ice here, and they lament that it doesn't feel much like winter...

After some prompting from Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf, not to mention the crowd, and chants of "ice and snow", Elsa finally gives in and begins to ice the Castle with everyone's help. 

Elsa spins her magic, and the castle begins to light up, taking on a frozen appearance.  It is nothing short of spectacular, as the musical sequence from "Let It Go" begins to swell and everyone's breath begins to catch as snowflakes flurry across the Castle.  

And then comes the huge sigh from the crowd when the Castle becomes completely frozen, its icicles glistening, and the fireworks exploding overhead.  

It is truly spectacular and breathtaking.  

If you've never been to Disney World during the Christmas season, I strongly encourage you to make plans to do so.  

The Castle transformation alone is worth it!

Until next time, remember to keep the Mouse in your house.


There's a Mouse In Our House! Mickey Visits Our Home For The Christmas Season...

12/24/14 -

Merry Christmas from The Mouse In Our House!

12/23/14 -

I feel you buddy! I need some too!

12/20/14 -

Caught trying to get into the cookie jar.

12/18/14 -

He's helping us count down...

12/17/14 -

So it looks like Mickey was banished to the barn these past several days after

being caught with Barbie...

12/11/14 -

Mickey!!!! could you???? You rat! What about Minnie???

12/11/14 -

So Mickey didn't want to move yesterday either....

12/09/14 -

Move over Anna, looks like Mickey's found the next Disney Princess!

12/09/14 -

On Monday, Mickey refused to leave Minnie...

12/07/14 -

Mickey found his girl...

12/06/14 -

I think he's trying to tell me the stockings are a little empty...

12/05/14 -

Looks like he's still hanging around this morning. He must like that spot.

12/04/14 -

Oh great! Now he thinks he's Tarzan... Hang in there Mickey. You may have too 

stay put another day. That's life!

12/03/14 - 

Hmmm... He's either hamming it up or he's wrangled our Christmas ham...

12/02/14 - 

I think he wants some breakfast!

12/01/14 - 

I think he's trying to tell us something... May be time to decorate the tree?..

11/30/14 - 

All that wine yesterday has Mickey swinging from the chandelier! LOL...

11/29/14 - 

Uh-oh Mickey! Already in need of wine??? I know it's been a rough couple of shopping days...

11/28/14 - 

There's a Mouse In Our House! He must have stowed away in our luggage. 

Now that Thanksgiving's over, he's counting down to Christmas... 

Let's see what mischief he gets himself into...

I guess until Christmas is over, we've got a special houseguest. 

I hope he offers to do the dishes occasionally... Just sayin'...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Favorite Character Meals

One of the most fun and exciting things to do while at Walt Disney World is character dining.  Adults and children alike will delight in visiting with their favorite characters as they stop by their tables for a little one-on-one time. 

So, what is character dining?  There are a number of restaurants around the World that offer character dining.  These are meals which feature particular characters that will visit each table during your meal. 

These can be very exciting for young children, and a time saver for you, since your child will get the opportunity to meet many of their favorite characters and get their autographs which means you won’t have to stand in lines throughout the parks to meet those characters.

We’ve enjoyed many of the character dining experiences over the last few years.  Below is a review of just a few:

Princess Storybook Breakfast
Princess Storybook Breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase.  We absolutely love this breakfast experience.  Each time we’ve gone, we’re ushered into the Hall and led directly to meet Belle for a picture (included in the price) which is later presented to us at our table.  Once we are seated, we are brought platters of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and a potato casserole.  We also serve ourselves from a buffet which includes biscuits, cinnamon rolls, pastries, fresh fruit, assorted yogurts, bagels, muffins, and select Norwegian items, along with many other food items.  While we dine, the Princesses mingle among their guests, going from table to table to greet us, pose for pictures, and sign autograph books.  In addition to meeting Belle, we have also always met Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, and Ariel when we’ve dined here on each of our trips.  I’ve also read that Mulan and Mary Poppins have been known to occasionally make an appearance here as well. 
Donald's Safari Breakfast
Donald’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House in Africa at Animal Kingdom.  This is one of our absolute favorites.  When we arrive, Donald Duck is waiting for us in his safari garb for a picture which we later have the option to purchase.  Once we’re led inside, we are greeted with their famous Jungle Juice, which is delicious!  Breakfast is a mix of traditional American and unique dishes with an African influence and includes roasted ham, corn beef hash, scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles, frittatas, bacon, sausage, assorted cereals, breads, yogurts, fruit, pastries, etc.  Donald’s friends, Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, and Goofy make their appearance wearing their safari outfits. 
Tusker House

Hollywood & Vine
Hollywood & Vine on Hollywood Boulevard at Hollywood Studios.  This breakfast is a buffet featuring standard American fare, but it’s good for meeting some of your favorite Disney Junior characters, such as Doc McStuffins, Princess Sofia from “Sofia the First”, Handy Manny, and Jake from “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.  Throughout breakfast, children are invited to participate in some fun with the characters.  The menu includes a selection of fruit, yogurt, pastries, breads, cereals, bacon, sausage, omelets, scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles, pancakes, etc.

Chef Mickey's
Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort.  This buffet breakfast is extremely popular, although I must admit it wasn’t one of my favorites.  However, my daughter absolutely loved meeting the fabulous five in their chef attire – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto – all made an appearance to the delight of their guests, all as the monorail speeds by quietly overhead.  The buffet includes fruit, yogurts, cereal, quiche, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, cheesy potatoes, Goofy’s Vegetable Lasagna, turkey hash, children’s breakfast pizza, pastries, etc.

1900 Park Fare
Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort.  This dinner buffet was wonderfully entertaining.  I loved it!  We’ve only been once, but I’m hoping to return sometime.  Dinner is served daily from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Here, you are joined by Cinderella, Prince Charming (who is truly charming!), Lady Tremaine, Drizella, and Anastasia.  The true jewels here are Lady Tremaine and her daughters as they interact with guests in their mean-spirited way they have always treated poor Cinderella.  The food here is good as well and includes a salad bar, carving station featuring smoked beef strip loin and hickory smoked ham, salmon, sushi rolls, pork pot stickers, chicken marsala, ribs, peel and eat shrimp, pizza, chicken nuggets, ice cream, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, etc.  If you can’t get into Cinderella’s Royal Table, this is a wonderful alternative and will not disappoint.

There is no shortage of character dining at the parks and resorts, each offering it’s own characters and dining experience.  Adding at least one character meal to your visit is a wonderful way to add some magic and make special memories.

Until next time, remember to keep the Mouse in your house.