Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: February 26, 2015

by on February 26, 2015 9 Comments

Filed under: Best Week Ever, Dining, Magic Kingdom, Observations, Walt Disney World (FL)

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. This week we’re spending evenings in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, having dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby, and visiting Animal Kingdom for some bright blue skies. Three parks in one week! This is going to be a blast, let’s get going! 🙂

First, check out this view from the entrance of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios! You can almost see what this will look like once the hat is completely removed. While it was sad to watch it come apart, in the end I’m glad it’s gone. I can’t wait to see the last pieces removed and this view restored. What do you think now that it’s coming together? Do you still miss the hat?

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Want to see more fun from all around Disney World this week? Click to read more. 

We were visiting the Studios this evening because we’d snagged a 7:15pm reservation for The Hollywood Brown Derby. We hadn’t been here in forever and were excited to give it a try. We were a little early for our reservation so we stopped by Starbucks to check out the cupcake situation. I’m happy to report that they now have all the cupcakes you know and love here! No need to worry if you’re at the park after Starring Rolls has closed. 🙂

With just a few minutes to spare we ran to get a look at the My First Oscar Moment Experience. I somehow thought this would be more, but it was just an Oscar statue with a background. They were taking security very seriously, though. There was no wait when we visiting and people that came in after us also seemed a little confused. I guess it’s nice that they offered this… but you didn’t miss much. 😉

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It was very cold the night we visited so Brown Derby wasn’t crowded and we were seated quickly. Our server was wonderful, I don’t like to be fussed over and he kept our meal very casual despite the swanky surroundings. We started with the cheese plate ($16) and it was excellent! The cheeses were served with little pieces of crostini that gave it a great crunch. For full details on the cheeses be sure to check out their menu.

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For dinner I had the entree size Famous Cobb Salad ($16). In hindsight, I wish I would have order the appetizer size. It’s very large and when you throw in appetizer and dessert it would have been more than enough. In any case, their cobb salad is famous for a reason! It’s was just as good as I remembered from my last visit years ago. My hubby decided on the Charred-glazed Filet of Beef ($47 – gasp!!) and despite the hefty price tag he didn’t love it. He would have much rather had a steak from Jiko at that price. I will say that I tried his potatoes and green beans and they were to die for!! I wish I could just go order those next time!

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Despite not finishing my dinner I decided I’d earned a small dessert. Desserts are served in flights of three for $9. We decided on creme brulee, a chocolate sphere, and grapefruit cake. All of them were wonderful, and so was the Nutty Irishman my hubby ordered to drink. ($10). Overall we really enjoyed Brown Derby. While the steak we ordered was wildly overpriced, the rest of our meal was reasonable for the quality considering it’s inside a Disney theme park. We’d definitely try this spot again. Have you been to Brown Derby? What did you think?

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What’s the best part of dinner at a theme park? Timing it so you get to walk out after closing, of course! In this case everything was pretty much abandoned but we could hear Fantasmic echoing in the distance. I love that feeling of being the only one. We had a peaceful walk out of the park and beat the crowd that was still watching the show.

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Beat the crowd to where? Well, the Magic Kingdom, of course! I purposely waited to be the very last one down the monorail ramp so I could snap this photo for you. This sign went up a few months ago but I’m always running along with hundreds of people behind me. This once I decided to hang back so you could have a proper welcome to the most magical place on Earth!

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Walking down Main Street I was struck by how great the castle looks. I think they must be done removing the lights because it looks perfect again. I caught my breath when I first saw it! It’s been months since it looked so nice… now that scrim on the right side of the photo I can’t say the same thing about. It seems like it’s really been there a long time. I hope they’ll be taking it down very soon.

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It was quite chilly out so I expected the crowds to be down, but that was surely not the case. The park was so full that The Golden Horseshoe was open! Like a moth to the flame, I had to see inside. I walked up to the cast member outside and asked if I could just take a few photos and she informed me that was all I could do. They were booked solid for the entire night!

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We snagged a few FastPass+ reservations and tried to make the best of our time. We even stopped by Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. If you can believe it, our revolving theater was nearly full! Finally it was time for our FastPass+ for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, but when we scanned our bands they didn’t work. Luckily, a great reader here had suggested using my FastPass+ screen shot as the lock screen on my phone. It was incredibly fast to show the cast member and they let us right on. I can’t stress enough what a good idea it is to do this for yourself!

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Knowing that we were going to continue to have FastPass+ issues and seeing how crowded it was we decided to call it a night before the fireworks. On our way out I caught this awesome view of the castle that used to be blocked by construction walls. Slowly but surely the Magic Kingdom hub project is starting to come together!

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We made it to the front of the park just as Wishes was ending. There was no way I could just walk by when I could be taking video to share with you. So here you have it, enough pixie dust to get you through another week! 🙂

Bright and early the next morning I decided to go play at Animal Kingdom. If you’ve been reading for any length of time then you’ve heard me complain about all the mystery construction walls all over the park. Well, a few finally came down and they revealed wider walkways! Check out this new view walking in:

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New carvings have also started to appear around the tree of life. In this same area was what almost looked like a little stage. I would guess it will be used for trainers to stand and display animals without blocking walkways. All the new additions look great and fit perfectly with the existing look and feel in the park.

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On our way back to Kilimanjaro Safaris I had to check on the Starbucks progress. So far it pretty much looks the same as when I last visited. I hope they’re working furiously in there to get it done. I was my next mug! 😉

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On safari I saw the strangest thing I’ve seen in a while! When we drove by the hippo pools I thought they weren’t out until we got up to a small strip of land. There we found a half dozen hippos all passed out and sunbathing. Maybe I’m just never there in the cold? But these gals had decided it was certainly too chilly to go for a swim!

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Over on Monkey point I spotted the rarest animal on the entire safari! Two mandrill baboons just happened to be out in the trees. In all my great many visits this is the best photo I’ve ever gotten of these guys! (Am I just unlucky? Have you ever seen them on your visits?)

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One of the baby elephants was out getting a drink of water. It was so cute to watch her slurp the water up in her trunk and then spray it into her mouth! I kept hoping maybe she’d decide to go for a swim. I can never catch them in the water! Have you ever seen the elephants take a bath?

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The king of the jungle was also out sunning himself. He looked so majestic! (Of course, his only competition was the three zebra butts that we were passing on the other side. LOL!) While the savannah was pretty much vacant it seemed like all the other animals were enjoying the weather being a little cooler.

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And yes, Animal Kingdom is still a park full of construction walls. They are absolutely everywhere throughout the park. I don’t say that to complain, I just want to be sure you know for your next visit. What’s hiding behind all of those walls? Well, except for Avatarland nobody really knows. But if those first few walls coming down at the front of the park are any indication it’s going to be awesome!

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Who wants to end with construction walls, though? Not this girl! I decided to take you for a ride on TriceraTop Spin because I don’t know that I’ve ever shared it? This ride normally has a very minimal wait and it gives a unique view of the area. It’s worth sparing a few minutes when you visit if you like this sort of thing.

Just as we were about to leave I spotted these guys with only a 5 minute wait. How can you pass that up?? So in parting this week I’ll leave you with Dinoland going to the dogs! 😉

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That’s everything for this week. Now let’s see what you can expect if you’re visiting next week.

Crowd Calendar: Crowds are supposed to not be bad this weekend. Since there isn’t a princess marathon to bring the crowds, I tend to believe it.

Weather: The weather is going to be all over the place this week. It will be hot, cold, and rainy! Pack and prepare for anything and remember not to trust the forecast too much.

Remember: Keep an eye on the refurbishment calendar. Lots of rides will be going down for short refurbishments over the next few weeks, you don’t want them to sneak up on you!

Here’s my top tip for this week: The best working part of the My Magic Experience App is making dining reservations! Haven’t been able to get that dinner reservation for the last few months? Check frequently the day you’d like to dine. You’ll be amazed what pops up as available! 🙂

Do you have any news I missed or any requests for coverage next week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, and thanks so much for reading! I’m wishing all of you the Best Week Ever, until next time!

Posted on February 26, 2015

9 Responses to “Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: February 26, 2015”

  • Love these articles, so thanks for sharing! Quick question on the FastPass screenshots – if they are letting people on with just a screenshot, there is really no way for them to tell if you have changed your reservations since taking that screenshot, correct? Wondering if that’s something people will start to abuse under the new system and if so, how long they will allow it. So sorry about all your FastPass troubles!

    • Daisy:
      It would be good for you to indicate what dates go with which visits, for keeping things that are time sensitive in perspective. For example, when you were there (I’m assuming Friday night and Saturday, but maybe Saturday night and Sunday?) part of the hat was still at DHS, but by the time this got posted, it was gone.

      Liz:
      “…Wondering if that’s something people will start to abuse under the new system…”

      Well, if it wasn’t being abused already, it probably will be now 😀

      Cheers,
      –Lee

      • Hi Lee – it sounds so easy, but I had to look back at receipts to tack down which days I was where. I go so much it blends together a bit! 🙂 My deadline to submit is every Monday – so anything that I post is from the previous week. (So everything here is from the 16th – 23rd) I hope that helps! 🙂

    • I’ve actually been wondering this exact same thing every time I’ve seen the advice to take a screenshot. I wonder if eventually they will tell cast members that they need to actually see the reservations in real time. This poses another problem since the app and website both seem to run pretty slowly in the parks.

      Daisy, does this mean that deleting all your extra magic bands from your account didn’t actually help? I’ve seen several people saying that they use 5 different magic bands without any trouble and I’d like to try that for my trip in May. Your post was, as always, very enjoyable.

      • Hi Gracie – that’s exactly it. I don’t think they would accept the screen shots… if the app worked. But it is painfully slow on a good day and holds up the line.

        I don’t think I’m qualified to give any advice on the MagicBands. I think I’m a fluke with how terribly they’re working for me. I don’t know if they just aren’t designed to be used 3 days a week or if my account is a mess. Either way I wish you a much better time with the system than I’ve had!! 😀 Honestly, I’m really trying to work with Guest Services to get it fixed. And thanks for your kind words! I always appreciate it!

    • Hi Liz – the screen shots have been working for me. I’m thankful because the other option is waiting for that slow app to load. 🙁 I’m going to stop back by guest services and see if they can give me any help. It’s an amazing system when it works!! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  • There’s my lion!!! Great pic 🙂

  • Ahh, it’s so nice to see DHS looking back to it’s former glory. I first visited on my honeymoon back in 1998 (back in the MGM days) and I remember that amazing first look down to the Chinese Theatre. It was a real disappointment when I visited in 2010 (I live in the UK, hence the big gap) and that blasted hat spoilt the view. Can’t wait until I’m back again in 3 weeks time and can share the view with my children.