2012 Disney Daily Blog

Click here to see a sampling of pictures - Week 1

Click here to see a sampling of pictures - Week 2


Today was such a magical day as we began our vacation in Walt Disney World!  We left dark and early to head to the airport.  We are so excited that our friends, Kevin, Rosi, Kayleigh, and Aly, will be joining us this week!  We took Disney's Magical Express transportation service to our resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge's Kidani Village.  The moms and girls got to explore the gorgeous lobby and savannah outlook, while the dads checked in.  Much to our surprise, both of our rooms were next to each other and ready immediately!  We went up to our rooms, which have a view of the savannah.  It will be so neat to see the animals outside on our balcony all week!  After getting settled, we headed to Magic Kingdom! First stop was, of course, pictures in front of Cinderella Castle! We ate lunch at Tortuga Tavern, famous for their taco salads. This meal had been much awaited by everyone! After an amazing lunch, we went to ride the Haunted Mansion.

Next, we had to say hello to our two favorite mice, Mickey and Minnie! We had fastpasses to see them, and had our own private meet and greet! On our way out, we saw Mary Poppins waiting for us! We spent some time in the shops on Main Street as we headed to Fantasylan​d. We saw Mickey's Philharmag​ic, which was very entertaining​ng! We went over to Tomorrowla​nd to use our fastpasses for Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear'​s Space Ranger Spin. We also saw Stitch who was happy to see us! We went to the new part of Magic Kingdom that just recently opened, Storybook Circus! There we rode the new Double Dumbo and revamped Barnstorme​r. We checked out the new train station and rode the train to the front of the park. We went to Main Street Bakery for their famous ice cream sandwiches that are made to order! We went to the Storybook Princess room where we met Rapunzel, Belle, and Cinderella​!

We headed to dinner at the Plaza Restaurant, and the view from our table was Cinderella Castle! We enjoyed potato soup, cheesestea​k sandwiches, and club sandwiches, all of which were delicious! Our waitress brought us cupcakes for the anniversar​ies, birthdays, and graduation​s we are celebratin​g! After dinner, we rode Stitch's Great Escape and the Peoplemove​r. We finished off the night with The Magic, the Memories, and You, and the Wishes fireworks spectacula​r. Take a look at pictures from our first day! We are heading to Animal Kingdom in the morning so check back tomorrow for another update!


Today we went to Animal Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours, which are exclusive to resort guests before the park opens.  We got to ride Expedition Everest five times in a row within that hour!  After escaping from the yeti, we went to eat breakfast at Pizzafari where we enjoyed yummy breakfast platters.  After breakfast, we went to see the 4-D show, It's Tough To Be A Bug, which is actually located inside the Tree of Life.  We all enjoyed this show that was filled with special effects and lots of creepy crawlers!  Next, we headed to Dinoland USA to ride Triceratop Spin.  After the ride, Courtney and Megan had arranged for a special surprise - VIP seating at Finding Nemo: The Musical!  We were escorted into the theater before it opened to the public, and led to a roped off row with the best seats in the house.  We all loved this fun musical filled with singing, dancing, puppetry, and more!  After the show, we went to Flame Tree Barbeque to enjoy their famous ribs.  Following lunch, we headed to take some pictures in front of the Tree of Life, which included magical shots that we'll get on our Photopass CD.  Courtney and Megan had arranged for some more special treatment, with VIP seating at Festival of the Lion King.  Here, we got to enter the theater first as well.  We were seated in the Warthog section, which represented Pumbaa. We had AMAZING seats, right on the first and second benches!  The show was incredible, especially with being so close to the performers.  Kevin was even selected to lead the warthog section and demonstrate the noise they make!  We all enjoyed the music from the movie, as well as the many dancers, acrobats, and characters.  After the performance, we went to Kilimanjaro Safaris, where we saw animals such as lions, elephants, giraffles, hippos, and so much more!  We had a refreshing fruit snack, watched the afternoon parade, and headed back to the resort.

We went to dinner at Megan's favorite, Raglan Road, which is located in Downtown Disney. Raglan Road is an Irish pub and restaurant, so we were treated with an Irish band and dancers during our dinner.  We ordered and enjoyed some great food, including sirloin steak, fish and chips, chicken breasts, and hamburgers.  Everything was delicious, and we had a great meal.  After dinner, we started exploring the many shops!  We spent some time in World of Disney, which is HUGE and has everything you can imagine, and more!  Courtney found a cute laptop case for her new computer, Megan got an awesome new pillow, and Aly found some pink princess Mickey ears!  We went over to Basin, which is a specialty soap store.  They have every theme and scent of soap possible!  Kayleigh found two cute bars of soap, watermelon and ducks!  We went to the sports store, Team Mickey, where Neil found what he was looking for - a University of Texas / Mickey t-shirt to go with Bonnie, Courtney, and Megan's shirts!  He was excited to see that they had it, because we were told on the phone that it wasn't in their system!  After that, we went to the much-awaited Ghirardelli's.  We all ordered some quite amazing ice cream treats!  We looked around in a few more stores on our way to the bus stop, and then headed back to Kidani.  Check out our great pictures from today!  Tomorrow morning, we will be going to Hollywood Studios!


This morning, we got to Hollywood Studios at park opening!  We got fastpasses for Toy Story Mania and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.  The girls went on Tower of Terror for a thrilling elevator ride.  Afterwards, the girls hopped on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster for a trip to Hollywood with Aerosmith.  We ate breakfast at Starring Rolls Café, where we enjoyed giant cinnamon rolls and other delicious treats!  We went to Toy Story Mania, which is always a fun ride.  After riding Rock 'n' Roller Coaster again, we looked around in some of the shops and took pictures in front of the Sorcerer's Hat.  We went back to the hotel, but got off the bus at Jambo House to eat lunch at the Mara.  We enjoyed yummy chicken, burgers, and pasta.  We went back to Kidani to change clothes before heading back out.

We went over to Animal Kingdom to hang out for a bit, for what ended up to be an amazing encounter.  We looked around in some of the shops on Discovery Island.  Then, we got a snack at Pizzafari.  Megan really wanted to go to the Creature Comforts store, not for any specific reason other than to look around.  We had spent a good 20 minutes in there, before heading for the door.  All of a sudden, Courtney stopped.  She recognized a cast member behind the counter that had just begun his shift.  Last year, we met him working in a different shop at Animal Kingdom.  His name is Abraham, and he does amazing impersonation of Donald Duck, and other characters as well.  Megan had videotaped him on her phone last year, and has since acquired quite an impressive impersonation herself!  We went over to Abraham, and told him we met him last year, and Megan showed him the video.  He was so excited because he had heard of cast members leaving an impression on guests, and we were his first!  He started telling his manager the story, when 3 other managers came out.  They said that they had a special surprise for Abraham that they wanted us to be a part of, and presented him with a banner and cast member pin in honor of his 1st year at Disney!  He has participated in 3 college programs, but this was his 1st official year.  We were so glad to share this with Abraham, and can't believe how fate worked out! 

Afterwards, we headed over to Epcot!  We went on Spaceship Earth, and enjoyed our journey through time.  We walked through the countries, and made our way back to Italy.  We had dinner at Via Napoli, which is an Italian pizzeria and one of our favorites!  We enjoyed white four cheese, pepperoni, and black olive pizza.  The chef even prepared a special Mickey pizza arrangement for us!  After dinner, we enjoyed funnel cakes in America and kakigoris (snow cones) in Japan!  We made our way to the United Kingdom, where we found out that Courtney and Megan had arranged a VIP viewing of Illuminations.  We checked in and were escorted to a roped off area, with an amazing view!  After a wonderful fireworks show, we went to the Epcot Character Spot.  We got to say hello to our favorite characters, Mickey, Pluto, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy!  We loved spending some fun moments with them!  We looked around in Mouse Gears, and then headed back to Kidani.  Tomorrow, we are going to the water parks!


Today we headed to Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park for some fun in the sun!  This morning was Extra Magic Hours for resort guests.  We started out on the family raft ride, Gangplank Falls.  Afterwards, we went to the water coaster, Crush N Gusher.  This ride has three different paths, themed to bananas, pineapples, and coconuts.  Next, we went over to the Shark Reef where we did the snorkeling experience.  We got to swim across the reef, and see many sharks and fish!  After that, we went to the park's namesake, Typhoon Lagoon.  We love this wave pool, and the giant waves that come every 90 seconds!  After catching some waves, we relaxed in the lazy river.  The sky started to get dark, so we decided to head out and went to the Polynesian Resort for lunch.  We ate at Captain Cook's, and enjoyed our meal!  We went back to Kidani Village to get ready for the evening.

After showers and freshening up, we headed to Downtown Disney!  We went to Disney Quest, which is a virtual theme park.  We went to the Virtual Jungle Cruise, where we paddled along the river through various lands.  Disney Quest was quite crowded, so we decided to get something to eat.  We ate at Wolfgang Puck Cafe, where we had delicious steak, salmon, pasta, and salad.  After our meal, we listened to some of the live music performances throughout Downtown Disney.  We looked around in some of the stores such as Disney's Pin Traders, Art of Disney, and of course, Goofy's Candy Company!  After getting some yummy dessert, we headed over to Bay Lake Tower.  Being DVC members, we were able to watch fireworks from the Top of the World Lounge on the roof.  We enjoyed the view and loved the show.  We decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel.  Check out the pictures from today!  Tomorrow, we will be heading to Magic Kingdom!


Today we went to Magic Kingdom for the resort guest Extra Magic Hours!  We were there before the park opened, so we got to watch the welcome show with all of the characters and trolley dancers.  We headed straight to Space Mountain!  After traveling through space, we went to ride the Tomorrowla​nd Indy Speedway.  We went over to Frontierla​nd, where Megan got the first fastpasses of the day for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  We rode Splash Mountain, and then big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  This completed our "triple mountain whammy!"  We took the Walt Disney World Railroad around to Main Street USA.  We ate a late breakfast at Main Street Bakery, where we enjoyed cinnamon rolls, croissant sandwiches​, bagels, and even an ice cream cookie sandwich!  After our meal, we went to take some pictures at Cinderella Castle.  While we were there, a man proposed to his girlfriend in front of the castle, which is definitely a dream of Courtney and Megan's!  We headed back to Fantasylan​d where we took a spin on the Mad Tea Party.  We also went on Prince Charming's Regal Carrousel.  We went to lunch at Columbia Harbour House, where we had their fried shrimp and fish.  We headed back to the hotel, because we were being picked up for a surprise.

Courtney and Megan had arranged a private VIP tour of the Animal Kingdom Lodge savannahs, with Greg, the resort's Animal Manager/Curator!  We were escorted out to the front, where a safari jeep was waiting for us!  We got in, and were driven to the Pembe Savannah.  We got to learn about how Kidani Village is one of the few places with the okapi.  We went over to the Sunset Savannah, which is the one that our room looks out to.  We got to see many animals, such as giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, nyalas, cranes, Egyptian longhorns, ostriches, and many more!  We also got to learn all about the training and caretaking that goes into keeping the resort's savannahs in good condition.  We learned about how they test out putting new animals into the savannah as well.  Greg has been with the team since the original Animal Kingdom Lodge opened in 2001, and helped in the development and opening of Kidani Village (the DVC section), which opened in 2009.  We had an awesome time on the safari, which gave us some amazing pictures and memories, as well as a better understanding of the immense amount of work that goes into this resort!

Afterwards, we freshened up and headed to Hollywood Studios.  Some of us did the magic of Animation drawing class, and learned to draw Tigger!  Some of us stayed out in the Animation Courtyard for Characterpalooza, and we saw Meeko, Pluto, Stitch, Mary Poppins, and Chip & Dale.  After that, we went to dinner at 50's Prime Time Cafe.  This is a restaurant that takes you straight back to the 50's, from the food, to the decorations, to minding your manners!  Cousin Kimberly made the kids set the table.  Mama Janice saw Kevin with his elbows on the table, and made him clear the dishes and take them all the way back to the kitchen!  Megan was saying "we want dessert!" and Cousin Kimberly saw that she hadn't finished her meal yet.  So, she took a spoonful of Megan's pasta and had the whole restaurant make airplane noises while she fed it to her!  We enjoyed our food, especially the fried chicken, which has been voted #1 in Disney by the Disney Food Blog.  When it was time for dessert, Cousin Kimberly brought out the dessert menus, which were on viewmasters!  We all enjoyed this entertaining meal!  We went over to the nighttime spectacular, Fastasmic.  Courtney and Megan had us in roped off seats, right in the center of the amphitheater!  We loved this show, which has lots of water, special effects, and characters!  We called it a night and headed back to Kidani!  Tomorrow, we will be hitting Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Magic Kingdom, so stay tuned for our busy day! 


This morning, we went to Epcot for the Extra Magic Hours, and headed straight to Soarin'!  We rode it right away, and got fastpasses for later.  We went on the Living with the Land boat ride, which goes into the park's greenhouses.  After that, we had breakfast at Sunshine Seasons.  Then, it was time for our second ride on Soarin'.  After our flight, we went to the Seas with Nemo and Friends.  After riding, half of us stayed for Turtle Talk with Crush, and half of us went to the Sum of All Thrills.  We met back up, and started heading into the World Showcase.  We saw Rafiki by the fountains, and we saw Mulan in China.  We went over to Italy for lunch at Via Napoli.  Since our dinner on Tuesday, we had learned that the special Mickey pizza that we had received from the chef had not been made since the restaurant's opening!  That was pretty cool!  We got to thank both the Director and Executive Chef of Via Napoli.  After our wonderful lunch, we walked over to the Beach Club for ice cream at Beaches n Cream.

We took a bus to Animal Kingdom, because we had been invited to be in the parade!  We were supposed to be in the parade on Tuesday, but it was cancelled due to rain, so we were so excited to get to reschedule!  We got on our safari vests and hats, and headed backstage.  We were all on the final float, with none other than Mickey Mouse!  We had a great time on the float waving at all of the guests! We went back to Animal Kingdom Lodge to freshen up, and then headed to the Polynesian for dinner at Kona Cafe!  We LOVE their pineapple teriyaki steaks.  At Kona Cafe, they have all of their desserts displayed, and the pastry chef makes them in front of you.  Megan's dream is to be a pastry chef at Disney, and she started talking to Lauren, the pastry chef.  Megan found out that she is on the Culinary track of the Disney College Program, and also interned with Buddy Valastro of Cake Boss!  Megan was quite in awe that Lauren has done the two things she wants to do!!  After dinner, the Smiths went back to the resort to pack, and the Sucharts went to Magic Kingdom.  We watched Wishes and the Main Street Electrical Parade.  We went on many rides with no wait, such as Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, It's a Small World, and the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  We also took pictures in front of the lit up castle.  We headed back to Kidani for one last night with the animals.  Tomorrow, we move to Bay Lake Tower, and it is Bonnie and Neil's anniversary!


Today was Bonnie and Neil's 22nd wedding anniversary!  The Smiths headed back to Houston this morning. We slept in a bit and packed up our suitcases, because we moved over to Bay Lake Tower!  This is our home resort for the Disney Vacation Club, and it felt so great to be back home!!  We checked in, and received our room keys.  Usually, the room keys are blue, but ours were gold!  The gold cards are only used for celebrities, VIP guests, and for other special reasons!  While we waited for our room, we went to lunch at the Contempo Cafe.  Neil had a cheeseburger, Bonnie had a cheese flatbread, Courtney had a Caesar salad, and Megan had chicken.  After lunch, we looked around in the gift shops, made pressed pennies, pin traded, and enjoyed being back at the Contemporary.  Our room still wasn't ready, so we decided to go over to the DVC preiview center at Saratoga Springs.  We got to meet with our DVC guide, Scott.  We got to see the model room of DVC's newest resort, Aulani, which is in Hawaii.  We are so excited that we will be visiting Aulani in March after Megan's dance competition.  It was great to see the models!  We enjoyed talking with Scott about Disney Vacation Club, and always enjoy going to the preview center during our trip.  We are so glad that we joined DVC a few years ago, and can't imagine our trips without being members!

After our visit, we headed back to Bay Lake Tower, because our room was ready!  We have an awesome view of Magic Kingdom and Bay Lake, and we will be able to see the fireworks from our balcony!  Waiting for Bonnie and Neil on the table was a surprise delivery of delicious chocolate covered pretzels from Courtney and Megan!  We freshened up before going over to the Yacht Club and taking some pictures around the gorgeous hotel.  We were excited to be having an anniversary dinner at one of our absolute favorite restaurants, Yachtsman Steakhouse.  We were seated, and found out we had the same waitress from last year, who actually remembered us!  We also talked to the manager, who used to be at the Contemporary, and remembered us as well.  She brought out special appetizers on the house for Bonnie and Neil's anniversary.  We also started out with the steakhouse caesar.  We all had the red wine filet mignons, which are always absolutely wonderful!!  We really enjoyed our meal, and were too stuffed for dessert!!  Neil's brother's family has been here for the past few days, and we invited them up to the Top of the World Lounge to watch fireworks with us.  Eddie and Tyler were already in the room, but Lisa and Ashley came to join us.  It was good to see them and hear all about their trip!  We all enjoyed the show, and then called it a night!  Check out the pictures from today!


Today we set out for some fun at Hollywood Studios!  We went straight to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and got fastpasses before riding it.  We also got fastpasses for Tower of Terror.  We had breakfast at Starring Rolls Cafe, which is a place we always enjoy.  Then, it was time to use our fastpasses, so we went to ride two of our favorites.  We went over to Toy Story Mania, where we enjoyed trying to rack up the most points.  When we exited, the Green Army Men were waiting to see us!  We also went to see Lightening McQueen and Tow Mater from the movie Cars.  After that, we saw Muppet Vision 3-D, which is always funny.  We went to get fastpasses for Star Tours, and then ate lunch at Backlot Express while we waited.  We LOVE their multigrain ciabatta turkey sandwiches.  After lunch, we went to use our Star Tours fastpasses.  This ride was recently refurbished, and is neat because it is different every single time you ride it.  After that, we went to see one of the preliminary shows of the American Idol Experience.  Then, we went back to the Animation Courtyard, where we saw one of Neil's favorites, Handy Manny.  In the Magic of Disney Animation, Courtney and Megan learned how to draw Tigger.  We decided to head out, but instead of going back to our resort, we went to spend some time at other resorts.  We took the Friendship Boat over to the Beach Club, where we were able to get a table at Beaches N Cream with no wait!  This restaurant can get waits up to 2 hours!  This restaurant's hamburgers have been voted the best in Disney World, so we had to get one to try!  They are also famous for their ice cream, so we enjoyed some treats!  We looked around the Beach Club, and then headed across to the Boardwalk.  They have a huge selection of DVC merchandise, so we did some shopping, then headed back to Bay Lake Tower.

We freshened up and then met up with Eddie (Neil's brother), Lisa, Ashley, and Tyler at the Contemporary.  We took the monorail around for some family time at Magic Kingdom!  We took some pictures in front of the castle, and then headed back to the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor.  This show is always enjoyable, and everyone loved it!  Then, we headed to Town Square Theater, where we took lots of pictures with Mickey & Minnie, Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella.  After that, we all went to ride Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.  We ate dinner at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe, and then walked right outside to see the fireworks.  We got on the Mad Tea Party with no wait, then rode Stitch's Great Escape!  We went on the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, and Ashley and Tyler loved being driven by their big cousins!  Then, we went over to the new Storybook Circus, where we rode double Dumbo.  We also rode Goofy's Barnstormer, and stayed on it for a second time because there was no wait.  We decided to call it a night, and all rode the monorail home.  We're so glad we got to spend some time with them tonight and glad that Ashley and Tyler enjoyed their first trip to Disney World!  Take a look at the pictures (please note that they are now on the week 2 page)!


This morning, we slept in before heading to Blizzard Beach water park. We took the ski lift up to the top of Mount Gushmore, where we rode the family raft ride, Teamboat Springs, to the bottom. At the end of the ride, a cute Mickey raft was waiting! We hopped in the lazy river, Cross Country Creek, and rode it around to the other side of the park. We went up to the purple slope, where we rode the Snow Stormers down to the bottom. We saw Swimmer Goofy, who even did a Hook 'em for Courtney! After that we ate lunch, where we enjoyed nachos, chicken, and meatball sandwiches. We went into Meltaway Bay which has bobbing waves. Megan enjoyed building a sandcastle on the shore. After having fun in the sun, we headed back to Bay Lake Tower.

We took showers and got ready for Downtown Disney. While we were on the bus, it started pouring, so we made a mad dash for the closest store, Art of Disney! After a while, it started to let up, so we went over to Mickey's Pantry to look around. Then, we went to Disney's pin traders. They have a huge pin trading board that is opened up randomly, and the lady opened it for us! We each got to trade 2 pins, and added to sets we needed! We went over to World of Disney to shop, and then went to dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express. We enjoyed bruschetta, pasta, pizza, and chicken. After dinner, we went to Create-A-Tee, where we designed our own t-shirts! We each made one with the Bay Lake Tower logo! They will be printed and delivered to our hotel on Wednesday. After that, we went to Disney Quest, where Courtney and Megan did CyberSpace Mountain. They created their own roller coaster, at a scare level of 5 (out of 5), that went upside down 7 times! Afterwards, we had hot fudge brownie sundaes at Ghirardelli's. We called it a night and headed back to Bay Lake Tower. Tomorrow, we are going to Animal Kingdom!


This morning, we went to Animal Kingdom and were there at park opening. We headed back to Asia and rode Expedition Everest right away. We texted and met up with our friends, Don, Bonnie, and DJ. They were the first people to ever recognize us from our website, years ago at Hollywood Studios.  We have kept in touch with them on Facebook and met up in Disney many times since. We all rode Expedition Everest again together. Then, we headed over to Dinoland USA, where we rode Dinosaur.  After capturing the iguanodon, we rode Primeval Whirl.  After the ride, we went our separate ways, but hope to meet up with Don, Bonnie, and DJ later in the week!  We took a few pictures on our way out and looked around in some stores, and decided to go back to the Contemporary for lunch.  We enjoyed caesar salads and hamburgers at the Contempo Cafe. 

After lunch, we waited in the Contemporary for a huge storm to pass.  We did some pin trading and shopping, and Neil finally got the DVC jacket he had been eyeing!  It started to clear up, so we headed to the Magic Kingdom and rode Space Mountain twice.  After that, we rode Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress. We went over to Frontierland and got a cute new snack, Mickey soft pretzels!  We had our favorite taco salads for dinner.  Afterwards, we used our fastpasses for Jungle Cruise, which was quite funny.  We went over to use our fastpasses for Peter Pan's Flight.  We went over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and rode that twice.  After riding the runaway mine train, we grabbed some ice cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on our way back to our hotel.  We watched fireworks from our balcony, which we love doing!  It is so nice to be in our beds right after the show ends, instead of fighting crowds to get out of the park.  Take a look at the pictures!  Tomorrow, we're going to Hollywood Studios!


This morning, we went to Hollywood Studios!  We got fastpasses for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and Toy Story Mania, before eating breakfast at Starring Rolls Cafe.  We eat here every time we come to Hollywood Studios, because it's just that good!  We love their cinnamon rolls and danishes.  After breakfast, we said hello to Minnie Mouse, who was in the courtyard.  After breakfast, Courtney and Megan rode Rock 'n' Roller Coaster twice in a row.  This is by far their favorite roller coaster!   Afterwards, we went to One Man's Dream, which is a walk-through exhibit and movie displaying Walt Disney's extraordinary life.  After the movie, we went to ride Toy Story Mania.  We headed out, saying good-bye to Hollywood Studios for this trip.  We took the Friendship boat over to the Boardwalk Resort.  We walked around some of the shops and restaurants, before having lunch at the ESPN Club.  Neil just happened to be wearing his new Disney / ESPN shirt!  The ESPN Club is quite the sport's lovers dream, with over 100 TV's set up around the restaurant!  And yes, there are multiple TV's over the bathroom stalls and sinks too!  We also enjoyed seeing all of the sports memorabilia around the restaurant.  We had a nice lunch, of sandwiches, nachos, chicken dippers, and burgers. 

After lunch, we went down to the Atlantic Dance Hall for a DVC Member event, Welcome Home Wednesday!  We had never been before, so we were excited to attend.  We got snacks on the way in, and front row seats.  The event consisted of a number of member games, led by the host and hostess.  Megan was picked for the first game themed to the new Hawaii resort, in which she had to balance with a surfboard!  In the next game themed to Animal Kingdom Lodge's Kidani Village, Bonnie was selected to play!  She had to guess which animal belonged to certain sounds.  Courtney and Megan were picked for a know your partner game, where they had to answer questions about what each other would order at different Disney restaurants!  After each game, we won special DVC trading pins!  The host and hostess were quite funny, and explained different member perks and tips throughout the event.  At the end, everyone received DVC tote bags.  We really enjoyed this event, and absolutely LOVE our DVC membership!  We are SO glad we joined!  We grabbed some ice cream from Seashore Sweets before heading back to Bay Lake Tower.  We freshened up before heading to Epcot for one of our all-time favorite dinners, Le Cellier in the Canada pavilion.  We started off with our favorite bread, pretzel bread.  We all had the filet mignons, which are to die for!!  Bonnie and Neil also got a special anniversary dessert.  We have been to Le Cellier every year since 2005, and always look forward to our next meal!  We had a great dinner with our waitress, Lacey, who is from Ontario.  Something neat about the World Showcase is that all of the cast members are from that country, which makes for an authentic experience.  After dinner, we went back to Bay Lake Tower, so we could watch the fireworks from our balcony again!  This is just one of the many perks about Bay Lake Tower, and something we love to do!  Tomorrow, we're going to Magic Kingdom!


We walked over to Magic Kingdom this morning and got there before rope drop!  We love being at Bay Lake Tower because we are close enough to walk over to Magic Kingdom in the mornings!!  Megan rushed over to Space Mountain and got the first fastpasses of the day!  We hopped in the standby line, and rode it once.  Then, we went on Astro Orbiter.  This ride always has a long line, but we walked right on and each got our own rocket ships.  After the ride, we saw Chip & Dale and Stitch, both with no lines!  After saying good morning to them, we used our fastpasses to ride Space mountain again.  We went over to Adventureland, and got in line at Tinkerbell's Magical Nook.  We said hi to her, and also took a magic shot with the Photopass photographer, who put fairy wings on us.  We took some pictures in front of the castle, in our cute Mickey / University of Texas shirts!  We ate breakfast at our favorite, Main Street Bakery.  Afterwards, we did some shopping at the best store at the Magic Kingdom, the Emporium.  After shopping, we saw Mickey and Minnie at the Town Square Theater.  We love that this meet and greet has fastpasses!  We went over to see the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor, which is always enjoyable.  We ate lunch at Tony's Town Square Restaurant on Main Street.  This restaurant is themed to Lady and the Tramp, and we haven't eaten here in years!  We really enjoyed our meatball sliders and pasta! 

After lunch, we took the monorail back to Bay Lake Tower.  When we got to our room, there was a note on our door!  The resort changed over the entrances to each room, to upgraded technology.  Instead of inserting your key into a slot like a regular hotel, you now simply hold your key up to a pad on your door.  The light turns green, and your door is unlocked!  Disney is in the process of switching over all of their resorts to this system, and Bay Lake Tower is one of the first!  We were excited that this happened while we were still here!  We decided to head down to the Bay Cove pool for some fun in the sun!  We swam, went down the Mickey slide, and relaxed in the hot tub.  We went back up to the room to shower and get ready for dinner.  We went to Epcot, for dinner at Nine Dragons in China.  We have had MANY reservations for this restaurant over the years.  However, we have always cancelled, whether it be due to another restaurant, the weather, or another reason.  We were so excited to finally dine here, and see what we have been missing out on!  We ordered sweet and sour chicken, honey sesame chicken, canton pepper beef, and chicken fried rice, and shared all of the entrees.  We really loved the food, and can't believe it took us so long to eat here!  On the way out, Bonnie and Megan got a candy treat, and Neil and Courtney had ice cream.  We took the monorail to Bay Lake Tower, and watched the fireworks from our balcony!  We never get tired of watching Wishes, especially in our pajamas!!  Tomorrow is unfortunately our last day, and we're going back to Epcot and Magic Kingdom!


Today, we set off for a busy last day at the parks!  We went to Epcot for the Extra Magic Hours, and headed straight to Soarin’ to get fastpasses and then went to ride it!  After our flight, we went to have breakfast at Sunshine Seasons, which is also in the Land pavilion.  Afterwards, we rode Journey into your Imagination with Figment, and by then it was time to use our Soarin’ fastpasses.  After another great flight to California, we did some shopping and pin trading.  We went over to the World Showcase, and stopped to look around in Mexico.  We continued on to Norway, and we were at Maelstrom when it opened.  After the ride, we spent some time in the Norway shops, before moving on to China.  We enjoyed playing with the marionette puppets and exploring the country.  We made our way over to Germany, before going to Italy for lunch at Via Napoli.  We absolutely love this restaurant, and highly recommend it!  The girls had their usual Quattro formaggi pizza, and Neil had pepperoni pizza.  All of us were surprised to learn that our meal was on the house!  After a wonderful lunch, we continued our journey around the world, and went to America!  We made our way over to Japan, where Courtney had a kaki gori (snowcone) and Megan had a new fruit ice pop.  They were both great, especially in the Florida heat!  We went over to France, where we met Marie from the Aristocats!  In the United Kingdom, we said hello to Alice, before heading over to Canada.  We saw Ariel on our way out, and then took the monorail back to Bay Lake Tower.  On the monorail, we happened to run into our friends Don, Bonnie, and DJ, who had spent the morning at Magic Kingdom.  We chatted with them, and wished them a fun last night of their trip.  We headed back to our room to get ready for our last evening!

We put on our new Bay Lake Tower t-shirts that we had created at Downtown Disney!  After a quick photoshoot at BLT, we walked over to Magic Kingdom.  We LOVE that Bay Lake Tower is close enough to walk to our favorite park!   We went over to Tomorrowland and got fastpasses for Space Mountain, before seeing a showing of the Laugh Floor Comedy Club.  We took some great pictures in front of Cinderella Castle, including a cute one using hula hoops to make the shape of Mickey Mouse!  We rode Pirates of the Caribbean, before eating dinner at Columbia Harbour House.  After dinner, we rode the Peoplemover and then used our Space Mountain fastpasses.  We went to the Hub on Main Street, where we watched The Magic, the Memories, and You, and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular for one last time.  This combination is by far our favorite nighttime entertainment!  We went over to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and defeated the evil Zurg twice in a row.  After that, Evening Extra Magic Hours had begun, so we went back to Fantasyland where we saw Mickey’s Philharmagic.  We hopped on It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel.  Bonnie headed back to the room, and Neil stayed at Magic Kingdom with the girls.  We rode the Mad Tea Party, and it was so empty that we each got our own teacup!  We went over to ride the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway.  We stopped at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor for one last treat, before walking down Main Street USA for the last time this trip.  We headed back to Bay Lake Tower, exhausted from attending both the morning and evening extra magic hours!  Tomorrow, we’re having brunch at the Grand Floridian and going to Downtown Disney


This morning, we woke up a bit sad as it was our last day in Disney.  We finished packing, and brought the luggage down to do airline check-in.  It is so nice that Disney offers this service, so that we can check our bags in at our hotel, instead of at the airport.  We went over to the Grand Floridian for brunch at 1900 Park Fare.  This is a character meal, so Pooh, Tigger, Mary Poppins, Alice, and the Mad Hatter joined us!  We enjoyed our meal, and loved the huge buffet with lots of options!  After a great meal, we did some pin trading in the stores at the Grand Floridian.  Courtney and Megan got soap at Basin embedded with cute Mickey’s!  We went over to Downtown Disney to hang out for a few hours.  We went to the Disney Pin Traders, and we made some great trades when they opened up the huge pin trading board!  We looked around in some other stores, before going to World of Disney.  We still had lots of pins to trade, so we each grabbed a handful and split up throughout the huge store!  We met up, each with different pins than we started with!  We happened to be there when they brought out a pin trading book, so we got some great trades from there too. 

We went over to Ghirardelli’s for the last dessert of the trip!  We really enjoyed our hot fudge brownie sundaes, knowing that we would have to wait a whole year for the next one!  We took the bus back to the Contemporary, where we did some more pin trading.  One of the gift shops even pulled out their pin trading board for us, since we wouldn’t be here at 7:00 when they usually pull it out.  We got some drinks at the Contempo Café, before getting on the Magical Express.  We had an uneventful flight back to Houston.  Thank you to everyone who has followed along with us on our trip!  We hope you enjoyed reading about our days and seeing a sneak peek of the pictures.  All of the individual pages on our website will be updated soon with the thousands of pictures we took!  If you have any comments about our blog or questions about our trip, please email us!  We would love to hear from you!

Until next time,
The Sucharts

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