Best Week Ever

Daisy’s Best Week Ever, September 28, 2017: Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on September 28, 2017

Hello, friends! This week I dedicated myself to falling in love with Disney’s Hollywood Studios again. Well, it didn’t really start out that way. I popped in to do a little shopping but ended up spending the day appreciating the chill atmosphere. I was surprised how much we enjoyed ourselves, so I wanted to take you along to see how much fun a day can be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

So what was I out hunting to buy? Well, I heard there was a new Hollywood Studios mug for sale at Starbucks featuring the aliens from Toy Story! Since the ride doesn’t open until next summer this seemed too good to be true, but there they were on the shelf. I snapped one up and decided to shop a little before heading out.

Want to see what else I found? Join me for the rest of my day! Click to read more.

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Julia’s Best Week Ever, September 21, 2017: A Week for the Birds

by on September 21, 2017

Talking with my family on the phone this week, they asked how things were going in the wake of Hurricane Irma. My comment was “Things are business as usual, but not yet back to normal.” We were lucky in that we had very minimal damage (a couple torn screens and a leaning sapling tree), only lost power for 17 hours, and largely went on about our life as usual. Of course my daughter had more than a week with no school, and getting restocked with supplies after the power came back on was challenging, but by and large we did A-OK. We also learned that three people and two cats can rest comfortably in our walk-in closet, which didn’t feel that much smaller than our first DCL stateroom when we traveled with a toddler and seriously overpacked. 😉

To give you an idea of some of the ways that things aren’t yet back to normal in this area, aside from many people (including hard-working Cast Members) who still don’t have electricity more than a week after the storm rolled through, some supplies are still hard to find. This is from late last week–finding a gallon of milk meant calling to a half dozen stores to track one down.

Along the back side of Walt Disney World property, behind the Magic Kingdom, there’s a huge parking lot for Cast Members. The road that runs alongside the parking area still has significant standing water for about 1/8 mile–these are from one week after Irma (and yes, the water is deep enough on the edges to splash it over the hood of a car).

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever, September 7, 2017: A Little Bit of Everything

by on September 7, 2017

Hello, friends! I can’t tell you how happy I am that nothing closed this week at Walt Disney World! 😉 It seems like all I’ve done lately is say goodbye to my favorite, old attractions. So this week I’m saying hello to all four parks, a character meal, and Food & Wine Festival! Let’s get started with a look at Epcot’s iconic entrance all decked out for the festival.

So far we’ve only stopped into Epcot for one evening of Food and Wine goodness. During that visit we tried the Seared Scallops, Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts, and Wild Mushrooms. It was totally stellar! Of course, you can’t go wrong with a trio of cheeses too. These can both be found in the Future World booths. I’m still adjusting to the festival spreading out all over the park.

Want to see what else we tried and check out the other three parks? Click to read more.

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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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