Quick Disney Trip Report

We’re back from Disney World and quite rejuvenated.

Emotionally Disney is relaxing because the employees are paid to be very nice and you get to act like a kid all day; but physically, it’s somewhat of a workout. You walk and walk, and with so much to see, you don’t realize how far you’ve gone until your muscles ache. We always come home in better shape than when we left.

disney cool crossing

October is our favorite month to visit. Along with manageable crowd levels, there’s Epcot’s Food and Wine Fest, where you stroll around the World Showcase and purchase small portions of food from various countries. We didn’t sample much this year because we’d made reservations at sit-down restaurants, but we did try some sushi in Japan. It was a pretty good 4:00 snack.

disney wine and food shot

And of course there’s the mask making, where kids walk through World Showcase building a mask and collecting charms from each country.  This is one of Fuzz’s very favorite things about Epcot. 

Disney Masks

Tigger liked the mask as well.  We were really happy to get this photo. Most of the lines for character pictures were long, but we caught Tigger and Pooh in the London store right before dinner.

disney family with tigger

We also attended what is now my favorite Magic Kingdom event ever, the Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party. It starts at night, and only official ticket holders are allowed in. Scary music plays, fog is in the air, and there are trick-or-treat stations throughout the park where adults and children are given handfuls of candy. Best of all, lines are short. We could have ridden Thunder Mountain Railroad twice, but we didn’t because I was having too much fun just walking around looking at stuff and getting candy. By the end of the night, we had about 6 pounds.

disney candy shot

As usual, we spent half a day at Hollywood studios, where Fuzz rode Rockin’ Roller Coaster for the very first time and where we discovered Starring Rolls Bakery. Hollywood Studios also has a new Toy Story ride, but that particular attraction had a line we couldn’t deal with so we hunt out at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area instead.

disney shrunk kids

It had been a while since we’d visited Animal Kingdom and we’d forgotten how nice it was. Fuzz loved Expedition Everest, but that was one roller coaster I wouldn’t ride again because the headrests weren’t padded and my skull kept banging against it. I couldn’t wait for it to be over, and I love roller coasters.  This one just wasn’t for me. I’d say my favorite thing at Animal Kingdom was the safari ride.  The baby elephant was too cute.

The meals seemed better than ever this year.  We’ve never used the Disney Dining Plan, but all the restaurants kept asking if we were on it so I’m going to do some research — especially since I found out it includes wine.

For this trip, we dined at California Grill, The Wave in The Contemporary, Teppan Edo, Yachtsman Steakhouse and Citrico’s in The Grand Floridian. All the meals were great, but my favorite was the chicken with pappardelle pasta at Citrico’s. Sorry this photo is blurry, but I don’t use flash at restaurants.

disney chicken from citircos

Todd had the short ribs.

disney short ribs

As for desserts, the white chocolate puzzle at Yachtsman is still Fuzz’s favorite.

disney white chocolate puzzle dessert

Another highlight of this trip was that it was our first stay at Bay Lake Tower. After mulling it over for a few years, we finally joined the Disney Vacation Club and it was kind of fun going to the park and feeling a tiny bit of ownership. And while Bay Lake Tower had a few kinks like bathroom doors that won’t lock and food in the hallways (apparently, a lot of people order room service) the hotel was very clean. Since it’s attached to The Contemporary, a place that looks and smells the same way it did twenty years ago, there was a sense of familiarity.  They should put the Contemporary hotel smell in a can and sell it so when you take a whiff, you’re back at Disney World.

Bay Lake Tower is attached to The Contemporary by a little 5th floor walkway. It has it’s own private lounge where DVC members can watch fireworks at night and it has a private pool. Our studio was the size of a hotel room and big enough for the 3 of us, but next time we’re going to book a one bedroom which seemed quite large. I took some pictures of the model.

This is the outside of the building

disney bay lake outside

Living Room
disney bay lake living room

Kitchen — much bigger and better equipped than the one in the studio!

disney bay lake kitchen

Bedroom — I love how the door of the bathtub opens to the bedroom. This is another feature we didn’t have in the studio

disney bay lake bedroom

And this is the view from our 15th floor studio. We chose “Lake View” and got a view of the pool and Bay Lake.

disney view from bay lake

This photo was taken from the same balcony, but I pointed the camera up.

disney view of bay lake 1

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Comments

  1. says

    Isn’t that Bay Lake view just gorgeous? I kept waking up every morning just to watch the sunrise over Discovery Island…then promptly went back to bed!

    Great shots of your Citricos meal. We ended up at the Wave in place of Citricos last month, but I wish we hadn’t switched. Wasn’t too impressed with the Wave, but I do love Citricos.

    And great haul at the Halloween Party! That’s really a fun experience. We timed our ride on Big Thunder Mountain to coincide with the fireworks this year — it was a blast to watch the finale as we were speeding around in the runaway mine train!

  2. says

    Glad you had fun Anna! I can’t get over that amount of candy but what I really loved was that chocolate puzzle with the brush Fuzz’s eating! That’s way cool!

  3. Katie says

    I was in Disney a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the food and wine festival. I rode my very first roller coaster!

  4. A Mom Anonymous says

    Ohhhh I lovvvve Disney! We are so far away though (LA is MUCH closer but we’ve never taken the kids there!).
    We did the dining plan last Jan/Feb and it was great. I”m always so cheap that it was nice to just order what I really wanted instead of adding up prices first. We had an over-abundance of food too. My only complaint is sometimes I would have liked a side salad instead of dessert -especially at lunch. I am a dessert lover but really not 2-3x a day!
    We figured it saved us money doing the dining plan anyway. It was worth it.
    The Toy Story ride was our 4 1/2 year old’s favorite. She’s not a roller coaster fan but she liked the Toy Story ride. Just waiting in line was entertaining too (it IS Disney after all). She was just all about the Princesses and our 8 year old son was all about the rides.
    I am really really hoping we can go back again next year. We just all enjoy it so much! It just is a trek from the West Coast. :)
    Glad you enjoyed it!

  5. says

    Someday, someday we’ll go to Disney. Although, I would rather go with just Kevin and I (or maybe we could start taking annual trips with just one kid each time). It just looks like it would be such a pain with four kids in tow! But it looks so fun, never a lull!
    6 lbs. of candy–wow. How fun. My boys would certainly go nuts for that!
    If–no when–we do finally do, I will be talking to you for sure!
    Great pictures!

  6. says

    I love that first picture! I’m glad you all had such a great time! All the restaurants you went to sound wonderful, it’s so hard picking where to eat at Disney because there are so many amazing choices! I like that the adults could trick or treat too – how fun :)

  7. says

    Hey, I’m here via MisoHungryNow and saw that you were at Disney at the same time as me. You can find my report on the food and wine fest here: http://cibatarian.blogspot.com/2009/10/2009-epcot-international-food-and-wine.html. I’m posting reviews of the rest of the restaurants in posts later this week, including Le Cellier, Kouzzina and Teppan Edo. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. :-)

    Disney Dining Plans are available to people who book vacations at Disney resorts via Disney. You can find more info here: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdwi/en_GB/tickets/packageDetail?id=DisneyDiningPlanPage. There are a couple plans that include wine, and can be used at the Epcot Food and Wine Fest. My family and I couldn’t purchase it because we stayed at Shades of Green.

  8. beth says

    Anna,

    I love that you love Disney. I showed my kids your pictures and they were so jealous of your candy haul. We went to the Halloween party a few years ago and still rave about what fun we had. My favorite part was the parade. We all liked your trip report and my son wants to know why you call your daughter Fuzz. By the way, if I ever get that cupcake from Starring Rolls, I’ll come home with a few starring rolls of my own, right around my middle:) Speaking of indulgences, we stopped at Levain this weekend after seeing Hansel and Gretel at the New Victory Theater. The oatmeal raisins were my favorite. Thanks for posting about it.
    beth

  9. Erin M says

    Thanks for sharing your cute photos of your family. Your little Fuzz is getting so big and I love her new haircut. Looks like you had tons of tun!

  10. says

    AJ, we thought The Wave was pretty good, though it didn’t measure up to Citrico’s! We ate there at the last minute. It was the one night we didn’t make any advance dining reservations and The Wave was able to fit us in. The deconstructed chicken pot pie was pretty good.

    Rita, maybe you could come up with a white chocolate puzzle or “paint it yourself” type of dessert. I’m not sure what they used for the paints and forgot to ask.

    Dolce, I would have liked there to have been a little more chocolate, but I can’t complain ;).

    Katie, I’m curious to know which roller coaster you rode. Space Mountain is closed, but Rockin’ Roller Coaster was working.

    AMA, thanks for the tip on the Toy Story ride. We’ll try for Fast Passes next time. Another reason we opted not to stand in line was I was worried about motion sickness issues.

    Katrina, we ran into several couples vacationing at Disney without their kids. Fuzz would never forgive us if we did that. But I can see why they’d do it! We went a lot before she was born. I like your idea of traveling with just one or two at a time.

    Kerstin, it was really nice being able to trick or treat as an adult.

    Taneka, Fuzz says thanks on the haircut compliment. It’s much easier to take care of right now. Thanks for noticing.

    Jenn, we brought two big suitcases so getting the candy home wasn’t a problem.

    Kelly, I’m looking forward to reading your report. We tried getting reservations at Le Cellier, but didn’t have any luck.

    Beth, Fuzz used to have really fuzzy, crazy, hair. That’s how she got her nickname. Glad you liked Levain!

  11. michelle says

    Anna,

    I know EXACTLY what you mean about the smell at The Contemporary — but I thought that I was just weird for remembering the smell and that no one else had ever noticed it. But it is a really distinctive smell. We moved to a new house this summer and the people who lived here before us were from Ethiopia and I swear the first time we walked in here I actually thought, Hey this place smells kind of like the hotel at Disney. The smell went with them so it must have been something they were cooking. Too funny!

    Glad you had a good time, the pics are great and Fuzz is so cute. What happy memories you are making for her.

    Michelle

  12. says

    Anna, I thought the same thing with the candy–are you going to give it out to Trick-or-Treaters? Even if it is more ‘sugary kiddie/non-baking friendly candy’ I love the idea of the Halloween Party–I’m such a big kid myself, I would totally go back to Disney someday, especially since they’ve added so much to the place, since I went there last as a preteen. The mask making is just a brilliant idea, and I love the ‘mad modern artist’ shot of the white chocolate puzzle.

  13. says

    M, I think we will give most of it out to trick-or-treaters. Fuzz can’t eat a lot of the chewy candy because she has a tongue guard and I’m only interested in the chocolate. Still, it was fun. But we’ll probably give it to trick-or-treaters or share it with people in Todd’s office.

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