Best Week Ever

Julia’s Best Week Ever, August 31, 2017: It’s Halloween Everybody?

by on August 31, 2017

Unless one very lucky reader out there is the one that won PowerBall last week, most of us probably are looking at our tickets and thinking “That’s okay, I usually don’t win anything anyhow.” Last week, I saw a Disney Parks Blog contest for tickets to the first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party of the year, and so I entered expecting my chances to be about equal to that of PowerBall. Well, luck was with me for that! I won tickets for two….for my family of three. (Awkward.) A few credit card charges later, I had tickets for the third in my party, and our “free” Halloween Party and dessert party was set (for a cost of $150). We had gone last year just to the party and had a blast, but were planning to skip this year. I really can’t turn down a chance to go to this party, though. Feel free to tag along… if we can have Christmas in July, why not Halloween in August, right?

This was the scene when we arrived. An unnamed tropical system (not related to the devastating effects of Harvey) had been sitting over Florida for several days, and so storm clouds were solidly predicted for this night as well. Still, we decided to press on, as it had been rainy when we went last year and miraculously cleared right at the start of the party. Besides, how can you not be excited seeing those giant inflatable pumpkins on the autoplaza?

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever, August 17, 2017: Goodbye Old Friends

by on August 17, 2017

Hello, friends! Well, it’s a sad week for the Best Week Ever crew. In case you haven’t been plugged into Disney news lately, last week Universe or Energy and The Great Movie Ride closed their doors forever. As an 80s kid that means I lost attractions that I held pretty close to my heart.  It seems only fitting that we pay tribute to each this week, starting with the Universe of Energy.

Everyone noticed the mirrored building front, but around the sides were colored walls. It seems like just yesterday these were being repainted to their original colors. I only have vague memories of the original Universe of Energy, but I frequented Ellen’s Energy Adventure when it took over in 1996.

Want to take a look inside each of these attractions? Click to read more. 🙂

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Julia’s Best Week Ever, August 10, 2017: Port Orleans Staycation

by on August 10, 2017

School. Starts. Monday. No matter how many times I look at the calendar, I still can’t believe it. This summer has flown by. With family visits and our ah-maze-ing cruise, it seems like we just got started on summer and it is already gone. We were able to find a reasonable rate at Port Orleans French Quarter, and since we haven’t stayed there in 10 years (yipes!), it sounded like a perfect choice for an end-of-summer staycation.

Port Orleans French Quarter has been a sentimental favorite for us–it’s where we stayed on our honeymoon. Although it is a moderate resort, I actually prefer it to some deluxe resorts. The fact it is so small also means that there’s not really a bad building to stay in, because everything is convenient. We arrived early in the morning to check in because we wanted to take the bus from the resort to Magic Kingdom. Because we weren’t planning to sleep there–just pay for the room as a place to change and hang out and watch Mickey cartoons if it rained–we took the option to skip Mousekeeping service for our stay and snagged a $15 gift card for the two nights. Time for breakfast!

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever, July 27, 2017: Olivia’s and Christmas in July!

by on July 27, 2017

Hello, friends! Thanks for joining us for another Best Week Ever. This week is not one to read if you’re feeling hungry, because we’re visiting Olivia’s Cafe for a scrumptious breakfast. After that we’re checking out Christmas in July at Disney Springs and maybe even showing off some new Dooney & Bourke patterns. Let’s get going!

When we were hunting restaurants to feature I realized that I hadn’t visited Olivia’s at Disney’s Old Key West Resort in several years. I had very fond memories of this dining spot, so I had high expectations. I was surprised how crowded the resort was at 9am. We would have had a very tough time finding a parking spot an hour later. We were scrambling a bit to make our reservation, but arrived just in time.

At the podium we were seated quickly and found the dining room to be quiet. However, there were several people waiting. It seems like this is a spot you can get into without a reservation, but it’s much faster if you book online. There are several dining rooms and we were seated in a smaller one pictured below. All those frames contain guest photos, mostly from the 90s. I immediately felt at home and settled in for our meal.

Don’t you want to see our fancy breakfast? Click below to read more from our adventure this week! 🙂

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Julia’s (Parents’) Best Week Ever, July 20, 2017: River Cruising

by on July 20, 2017

When my parents got married 45 years ago, they had a wonderful cruise planned for their honeymoon. Unfortunately, the Navy had other plans for my dad, and eventually he ended up on a Med cruise (without my mom, of course). It is only fitting that for their anniversary, they took a cruise of a different kind: an Adventures by Disney River Cruise on the Rhine. They have been gracious enough to share their photos, and looking through all the activities they did and sights that they saw, it truly qualifies as a Best Week Ever.

This is the second river cruise that they’ve done with Adventures by Disney, previously having sailed on the Danube River. Both cruises are done through Ama Waterways, and this cruise was on the AmaKristina, sailing from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. And while it would be impossible to share everything that they did on their cruise, here are some of the highlights.

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever, July 6, 2017: Goodbye DisneyQuest and Hello Chef Mickey’s

by on July 6, 2017

Hello, friends! I’m so glad you’re here for another Best Week Ever. 🙂 This week we’ll be saying goodbye to DisneyQuest and saying hello to a pretty fantastic meal at Chef Mickey’s. So let’s get started by walking into DisneyQuest for the last time. I’m sure everyone is aware that DisneyQuest closed their doors on July 2, 2017, but we visited just a few days prior so you wouldn’t miss out. Just inside the front door you would get a glimpse of what this place was like in its heyday. Looking up was this beautiful roof held up by busts of characters.

Looking down you’d see this amazing floor mural advertising the different areas of DisneyQuest. If you can believe it, this is what you would see before even scanning your ticket for admission. Just ahead is where you would scan tickets and take an elevator upstairs. Many years ago the elevators would play a surprise welcome message from Genie on a video wall, but that hadn’t worked for quite a while. It was one of many things that wasn’t replaced over the years when it stopped working.

We’re about to hop onto the elevators and visit DisneyQuest. You don’t want to miss that! Click to read more.

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Julia’s Best Week Ever, June 29, 2017: One Fantasy-tastic Week!

by on June 29, 2017

If I could have a Groundhog Day experience of repeating a portion of time over and over again, I would like to choose the past 11 nights on the Disney Fantasy for my repeat time. This year, my husband, daughter, and I are scrimping, saving, and working our tail feathers off to live out a bucket list dream come true of sailing on all four Disney Cruise Line ships in one year. Although we still have two more to go, this trip on the Fantasy is the signature cruise for us–eleven nights exploring completely new to us ports in the Southern Caribbean.

I’ll let you know right now, it would be impossible to squeeze everything in about this amazing vacation. If you have the opportunity to sail on it next year, I highly recommend it! In the meantime, here’s the whirlwind summary of the experience in this supersized Best Week Ever.

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Daisy’s (Not So) Best Week Ever, June 15, 2017: Volcano Bay

by on June 15, 2017

Hello, friends! I was surprised and delighted when Touring Plans asked me if I’d like to try out Volcano Bay and report on my experience. I’m a huge fan of water parks and had high hopes for the newest addition to Orlando. I normally try to keep everything positive in these posts, but I can’t be dishonest with my review. So let’s start off with my first “Not So” Best Week Ever.

Arriving to Volcano Bay as an offsite guest was painless. We quickly parked, hopped a shuttle, and were directed to the entrance. We had purchased our tickets online and in advance, they worked perfectly and we were in the park about ten minutes before park opening.

There’s much more to hear about my day at Volcano Bay. Click to read more! 🙂

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Julia’s Best Week Ever, June 8, 2017: Birthday Girl Weekend Requests

by on June 8, 2017

Our little girl is growing up so fast. Unfortunately, the week before her seventh birthday, she ended up breaking her glasses and catching a cold, so we pushed her actual birthday celebrating back a couple weeks. She had a couple unusual requests: another round of mini-golf at Winter Summerland (but this time on the Summer course), and a meal at Rainforest Café (a restaurant where we’ve never dined). Ah, the wants of a seven-year-old, eh?

Winter Summerland, the mini golf course next to Blizzard Beach, had a decent crowd when we arrived shortly after opening. Still, it was less than a 20 minute wait before our “tee time” came up.

 

Many of the holes have themes that are similar to its winter counterpart, but looking at the fun themes, poems, and décor for each hole still makes for an amusing time out.

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever, May 25, 2017: Steam Trains, Pandora, and Magic Kingdom

by on May 25, 2017

Best Week Ever at Pandora and Magic Kingdom

Hello, friends! I have another amazing week to share with you, but first a confession. These things didn’t all happen in the space of one week. They were so cool I couldn’t not include them here. So let’s start with a view of the Magic Kingdom and what it looks like at 7:00am where we were taking the Magic Behind the Steam Trains tour! We easily found the rest of our tour group since there were so few people at the gates. We lined up and waited to get started at 7:30am.

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