REVISITING WHERE WE GOT ENGAGED!

REVISITING WHERE WE GOT ENGAGED!

If you followed my blog months back, you might have read one of my first posts which was the story of Dee and I getting engaged in Disney Springs (if you haven’t read it yet, here’s the link: OUR DISNEY WORLD ENGAGEMENT STORY). That night we would have never imagined that two years from then, we’d be living minutes away from The Most Magical Place on Earth and yet here we are!

So, of course, we decided we just had to go back and reminisce on our most memorable moment together yet. For months we planned to head to Disney Springs January 3, 2019 and relive everything we felt that same day in 2017 – and the experience didn’t fall short.

All day, we were elated because not only was it the anniversary of our engagement, but we had just (FINALLY) rung in our wedding year. All we could talk about was how we couldn’t believe two years had flown by so quickly and how now we are living our dream.

So, we headed to Disney Springs and the first thing we noticed was how much more crowded it was compared to two years ago! Both parking garages were full, but after driving around the Lime Garage for a bit we finally found a spot. Walking into DS itself, it was jam packed. But, unlike Christmas Eve, that didn’t stop us from having a magical time or even hinder our experience.

Since we parked in the Lime Garage, our first stop was the 45 foot tall Christmas tree in the middle of the shopping center – which is the tree my soon-to-be husband proposed in front of. It truly felt like stepping into a time warp because the tree was exactly how I remembered it. The same golden shimmery garland glistened around the tree with illuminating baubles that were larger than our heads scattered throughout. Just seeing the beauty of the tree itself brought a flood of emotions with it reminding me of that magical moment two years ago. Of course, we stopped and snapped a few pictures and stared at the trees beauty a little more before heading on.

Next stop was to grab a bite to eat at Chicken Guy. Now, obviously this new quick-service restaurant just opened this past summer 2018, but Dee had yet to try it out! If you  read my rave review on the restaurant (CHICKEN GUY: A REVIEW), then you’d know that it is amazing and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to eat there let alone introduce it to my fiance! It did not disappoint.

Last, we embarked on  the journey all the way across DS to the Christmas Tree Trail. This seasonal attraction holds 27 themed trees that you can admire while walking in a winter wonderland – with snow and all! Our first experience walking along the CTT was the night we got engaged, before he popped the question, so it was another nostalgic and magical moment.

There were a few differences this year compared to two years ago, but in good ways! First, there was more snow falling which only added to the magical feeling. Also, there were a few different trees including a Haunted Mansion themed tree which is officially my favorite. The last difference I noticed was instead of a curved trail that just basically went along one path, this year there were different sections/areas. I’m assuming this change was to help with crowds – which there were a ton of – and it did, but it wasn’t as smooth of a walk. Either way, it was still such a wonderful experience!

After the Christmas Tree Trail, there was a little photo spot with Goofy, Pluto, and Donald statues that was exactly the same two years ago, so of course we had to snap a picture there as well!

After the trail, we decided to head back home and relax for the rest of the night. It was so beyond nice to revisit where we got engaged and relive that night. However, since then we have done nothing but look ahead into the future. We also decided that day that, due to many reasons, we are going to have a small and intimate wedding ceremony and celebrating in Walt Disney World instead of our big wedding that we had been planning. Later in the summer, we are going to head back home to Ohio for a week and have a party with all of our friends and family to celebrate our marriage. We have been non stop talking to family, planning for this new decision, and looking forward to the best day of our lives. We are truly living in a fairy tale. Only 138 days to go!

Thanks so much for reading! Be sure to subscribe to our blog to be notified of any new posts. Also, check out the then and now pictures below! See ya real soon ūüėČ

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS “FLURRY OF FUN”

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS “FLURRY OF FUN”

The holiday celebrations in WDW have officially begun! The parks, the resorts, and even Disney Springs are all dressed in beautiful holiday decorations, each with unique offerings in their own way. Later in the month, I am going to have a blog post discussing¬†all of the holiday offerings found on property, but today I want to focus on one of my person favorites –¬†Flurry of Fun in Hollywood Studios.

Although I’ve visited the parks countless times over the past few years, I’ve never visited WDW during the holiday season, so all of these new experiences are beyond magical to me.¬†Yesterday, my fianc√© and I decided to check out the holiday experiences at Hollywood Studios and we were not disappointed!

From the decorations to the snow falling on Sunset Blvd to the tree lighting ceremony in the middle of Echo lake, Flurry of Fun absolutely put me in the Christmas spirit. It has been a while since we have been able to experience something new (to us) on property, and these offerings completely took my breath away!

Below, I am going to list all of the events that are offered nightly in Hollywood Studios as part of the Flurry of Fun celebration. Unfortunately, we were not able to experience every single event, but I am determined to head back to this park soon and check some more boxes off my list!

Echo Lake Decorations 

WDW imagineers transformed Echo Lake into a winter wonderland. The larger-than-life Christmas tree is placed right in the middle of the lake, surrounded by giant Christmas ornament bulbs and other decorations. The Echo Lake dinosaur, Gertie, was even dressed for the occasion with a Santa hat!

Around Echo lake there are plenty of Photopass cast members to take your picture in front of the festive set up. And, at dusk, they do a nightly tree-lighting ceremony that is definitely something worth seeing!

Sunset Blvd Seasons Greetings 

There is so much to talk about that imagineers have done to Sunset Blvd in celebration of the holidays. To start, one of the most exciting things that happens is the transformation of¬†The Hollywood Tower of Terror.¬†Using the same projection mapping technology that is used for Cinderella’s Castle shows, watch the “hotel” come alive with projections of various holiday-themed scenes aligned with classic Christmas songs. Laser effects are also used throughout the show to create that special “Hollywood” feeling.

My favorite part, however, is the SNOW that falls periodically throughout the night. It may not snow in Hollywood, California, but that added magical touch is the icing on the cake to this fun entertainment experience.

Meet Santa Claus and other Character Meet-and-Greets 

What is a holiday celebration without meeting the big man in red? Up until December 24, Santa is stationed in the Once Upon a Time building on Sunset Blvd from park open to close. Also throughout the park, you can find the Fab 5 dressed in their holiday for photo ops, including Goofy dressed as Santa Claus!

One of the best places to meet the characters in holiday outfits, however, is at¬†Hollywood & Vine for¬†Minnie’s Holiday Dine. You can find Goofy in his Santa outfit at a few different spots throughout the park at various times of the day, but a dinner at this table-service restaurant will ensure you get to see the entire gang in their holiday best.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

About a half hour after park closing, guests can gather around the Chinese Theater to experience this holiday themed nighttime spectacular. Projection mapping is also used on the theater and is joined by fireworks, holiday music, and more to create a merry holiday show!

Toy Story Land Holiday Overlay 

If you have gotten the chance to visit Toy Story Land, you are well aware that year-round it is kind of decorated for Christmas, as you can see the characters stringing Christmas lights above your heads as decoration. However, WDW imagineers took it one step further to add a total holiday overlay in the park and it is spectacular.

The overlay includes larger-than-life Christmas cookies scattered as decorations around the park and characters dressed in holiday-themed outfits and/or accessories. There are also some fun ride overlays as well, including holiday music and special projections in Alien Swirling Saucers and the sound of jingling bells on Slinky Dog Dash as he races across the track.

I truly feel as though this blog doesn’t even do¬†Flurry of Fun¬†at Hollywood Studios justice. Imagineers and the cast members truly went above and beyond to create a completely magical holiday experience. It’s so tough to feel in the holiday spirit when you live in Florida (because it still feels like summertime), but one short night in this park did that for me.¬†Below are a few extra pictures of the park!

But, there you have it! A short guide to Hollywood Studios Flurry of Fun. I absolutely recommend checking this event out if you are on (or near) WDW property from now until December 31. You will not be disappointed!

Thanks for reading ūüôā Be sure to like this post and subscribe to my blog so you can be notified when I post next! See ya soon ūüôā

MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY: A GUIDE

MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY: A GUIDE

As if Halloween hadn’t come and gone quick enough, this upcoming Friday (November 8th) marks the first day of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Within days, Magic Kingdom was transformed from spooky szn to the holidays, and I couldn’t be more excited.

There is a lot to look forward to and do in WDW during the holidays (watch out for a future blog post where I outline all of the fun events and activities available on property!), but MVMCP is a can’t miss event. In anticipation of the event, here is a guide of everything you need to know about the event!


General Information

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held select nights November 8th through December 21. The party is a hard ticketed event, which means that you need to purchase a ticket for the event separately from a general park admission ticket. The prices for the party range from $95 – $125 depending on the night the event is held and how big of a crowd they anticipate (higher prices = anticipated busier party dates). There are also special rates for annual pass holders and Florida residents.

MVMCP starts at 7:00 p.m. and ends at 12:00 a.m. Just like a ticket to Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party, even though the event doesn’t¬†start until 7:00, your party ticket alone will get you into Magic Kingdom as early as 4:00, which I highly recommend taking advantage of! Doing this will allow you to grab a bite to eat and ride a few attractions before the fun of the party begins. There is so much to do at the party itself that it is hard to fit everything you want to do into one visit, so arriving earlier and checking some things off of your “must do” list will be a big help in the end!


Unique Offerings  

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has a lot of unique offerings for guests including special fireworks, trick-or-treating, a special parade, and fun shows on the castles stage. The party also includes treats unique to the party as well as special character meet-and-greets! Below, I will list and briefly talk about the unique offerings.

A Frozen Holiday Wish

Watch Queen Elsa take over Cinderella’s Castle by illuminating it with the¬†Castle Dream Lights. This 7 minute show is put on twice a night and definitely puts you in the spirit for the party!

Pro tip: Try and catch the later offering of this show. The first one is always the busiest and most crowded, especially because it will also have guests who do¬†not have tickets to the event and haven’t left the park yet.

Holiday Wishes Fireworks

Only put on once a night, this merry version of the old Wishes fireworks will put you in a magical holiday mood. Like HalloWishes, this fireworks show has a grand finale that includes 360 degree fireworks around the park.

Pro tip: Find a spot between Casey’s Corner and the statue of Mickey and Walt to watch this show. A spot too close to the castle or too far up Main Street will limit your view!

Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration

See the castle come alive four times a night as Mickey invites all of his friends over for a holiday themed celebration. The stage show includes tons of your favorite characters along with fireworks and castle projections.

Pro tip: Unlike the fireworks, try to get a spot for this show closer to the stage ‚Äď this way, you‚Äôll be able to see and appreciate all of the little details!

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Separate from the pre-recorded Disney Christmas Parade that airs Christmas day, MVMCP offers two showtimes for a unique Christmas themed parade experience. Watch as your favorite characters pass by in their best holiday outfits. Of course, Santa ends the parade with his reindeer sending his wishes to all.

Pro tip:Watch the later parade as it is less crowded, and more special to see with the floats and characters lit up in the dark night!

A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show

Join your favorite Tomorrowland characters including Mike and Sully, Buzz, Stitch, and more for a 20 minute holiday themed stage show. The show is put on several times a night and is on the stage located in between Carousel of Progress and Space Mountain. 

Unique Character Meet-and-Greets

One of the main draws to any hard ticketed event is the unique character meet-and-greet experiences offered. Usually, the characters that you can find at these events are those you can only come by during special parties. Some unique offerings set for this years MVMCP include Jack Skellington (in his Sandy Claws suit), Moana, Scrooge McDuck, Mary Poppins, and so many more.

Pro tip: Most of the character meet and greet options during the party are those that normally aren’t in the park, so if they have your favorite character be sure to find where they are stationed!

Snow on Main Street

Periodically throughout the night, snow will fall down on Main Street USA. Nothing like a flurry from Elsa to get into the holiday spirit!

Holiday Treat Stops

Much like the trick-or-treating experience at MNSSHP, there are stations set up throughout the park offering complimentary hot chocolate, cookies, and other treats. The stations are set up and open until the end of the party, and there is no limit to how many you visit!

Pro tip: There are gluten free and allergy friendly options available upon request!

Party Merchandise

If you are a shopper like me, you will fall in love with all of the merchandise for the party! From unique popcorn buckets to limited-edition MagicBands and pins, to clothing and holiday inspired ears, there is so much to choose from! The best part is ‚Äď most of the items are available for purchase throughout the entirety of the season, not just on party nights! A few of my favorites include:

  • Limited edition¬†Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party¬†Magic Band (only 3,000 made!)
  • Unique advent calendars (my favorite right now is the 12¬†Days of Socks¬†calendar!)
  • Holiday-inspired Spirit Jersey

One-of-a-Kind Treats

Disney does an amazing job at creating themed treats for their hard ticketed events, and MVMCP doesn’t fall short! With dozens of items to choose from, you’ll be sure to find something you must try! A few of my favorites this year include:

  • Peppermint Ice Cream Sundae: Find this minty treat at the¬†Plaza Ice¬†Cream Parlor on Main Street USA!
  • Sandy Claws Push-Pop: Similar to the¬†Jack Skellington Push Pop offered at MNSSHP, this cake push-pop with pudding and sprinkles can be found at¬†Sleepy Hollow¬†in Liberty Square.
  • Holiday Cinnamon Roll: A Mickey-shaped cinnamon roll with red and green icing over top and a white chocolate snowflake, this treat can be found at¬†Main Street Bakery on Main Street USA!

Photo Op’s

There are several PhotoPass special photo opportunities being offered during the party. Special themed magic shots as well as larger-than-life props can be used to make your photos extra special. To take advantage of these photo ops, find a PhotoPass cast member, utilize Memory Maker, and you will have unique holiday pictures for extra memories!

Some locations from last year where the special photo options were available included the main entrance, Fantasyland, Ariel’s Grotto, Main Street, Haunted Mansion, and more. Just ask a PhotoPass cast member for more information!


I could go on and on about this party, but I think I’m going to stop it here. I plan on attending the event very soon, so be on the lookout for a full review/memory blog about the event around then! I know I’m very excited that it is here, and I can’t wait to head to the event!

Thanks for reading! If you liked today’s post, be sure to like it down below and subscribe to my blog so you can be notified when I post new content! See ya soon ūüôā

A GUIDE TO EPCOT’S INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL 2018

A GUIDE TO EPCOT’S INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL 2018

This Thursday, August 30th, 2018, one of the best festivals Epcot has to offer begins – Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival! The event will run daily from the 30th to November 12th, offering many special food and beverage options for guests to try as well as a few special events. The festival itself is free with park admission with hundreds of food and beverage options available for guests to sample throughout World Showcase.

As a general overview, the International Food and Wine Festival includes over 30 international booths all around World Showcase themed to different countries including The Caribbean Islands, Hawaii, Greece, Thailand, and more. Each booth will offer about three different snack-sized dishes (usually two savory and one dessert) that are popular in that country as well as at least three different alcoholic beverages.

Prices for the food and beverage items usually range on average between $3 – $8 each. To purchase, each booth will take cash, credit or debit cards, MagicBands, Disney gift cards, and Disney Reward Dollars. The best part about this festival, in my opinion, is that many of the food items can be bought using¬†snack credits¬†if you have a Disney Dining Plan! For me, this is a big thing because when we have the dining plan, we normally don’t use even half of our snack credits (you’re allotted 2 a day, per person), so this is a great perk! However, if you are an Annual Passholder like myself, don’t expect to use your Passholder discount as they do not accept them at the booths.

This event is a very popular event both for tourists and local residents of the parks. There are many adults and older couples that take yearly vacations to the resort specifically for this event, and local residents attend the event regularly. Because of it’s popularity, Disney seems to run it longer and longer every year (but no one is complaining!). Don’t expect light crowds, but do expect tons of fun – and to be hooked!

Now that we’ve discussed the basic information of the festival, let’s dive deeper into the fun and unique offerings of the event! If I were to list¬†every event offered, this blog would be never ending. However, below I am going to list some of the most popular and interesting events that I feel are worth highlighting!

Party for the Senses  

Party for the Senses is probably the most popular event during the festival, loved by many regulars as well as new guests. This is a pre-reserved and pre-paid experience where a special host will lead festivities for guests catered around eating, drinking, and fun. During the event, you will be offered several favorite dishes and beverages from the festival, and will be entertained by a live performer. The event is pretty pricey (starting at $229!), and is only offered on select weekend nights during the festival, but it is something worth doing if you’d like to try multiple offerings from the FAW!

Sunday Brunch with the Chef 

On nine select days during the festival, guests can purchase tickets for a two-hour brunch event with a special guest celebrity chef! Some well known chefs that will be hosting brunches include Alex Gaurnaschelli and Chef Art Smith. The brunch will offer a breakfast buffet, a wine toast, a Q&A with the celebrity chef, and a photo op! This event is also pricy at $129 a person, but is something well worth doing if there’s a celebrity chef on the list you’d love to see!

Make It, Mix It, Celebrate It Hands-On Workshops 

Offered every Wednesday and Thursday during the festival, guests can reserve a space in this event to learn various culinary tips and tricks from well known and experienced chefs. Some of the classes may teach you how to bake a cake or make unique cocktails! The event costs $39 a person, but is something that is well worth doing if you’d like to impress your friends and family back home!

Eat to the Beat Concert Series

Eat to the Beat¬†is an event that most festival goers are most excited for every year! You can reserve your spot at this event by making a dining reservation at various restaurants around the World Showcase on the nights that it is being offered. Itself,¬†Eat to the Beat is a concert series with well known musical acts on select nights including performances by Tiffany, 98 Degrees, Plain White Tee’s, and more!

Disney Du Jour Dance Party 

A character dance party for kids and adults alike, this experience is a new kid-friendly offering to the festival. Held on weekend nights, guests can join several characters ranging from Remmy (Ratatouille), Lilo and Stitch, Chip and Dale, or more friends to engage in interactive dances and activities. There will also be special appearances by Radio Disney stars! What’s best about this event is that it is¬†free for all guests with park admission.

Remmy’s Hide and Squeek¬†

Another kid-friendly (and free) option for the festival, guests can go on a scavenger hunt to find the 15 Remmy statues hidden around World Showcase. Ask a cast member in the park for a Hide and Squeek guide map and be on your way!

Junior Chef Kitchen 

Something that I am most excited about and will be attending even though I am 25 years old is the Junior Chef Kitchen offering! The event is free, however guests must register for the event the day-of at the festival center. Once the event begins, junior chefs will be guided through creating some unique dishes including candy sushi! The event will be offered every Sunday with limited availability.

For a detailed guide including the 30+ booth with menu options as well as details about the other festival offerings, go check out the Food and Wine guide on WDW Info, or at this link: http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-world/epcot/food-wine-festival.htm.

For myself, I know that I am very excited for this festival to begin! This, along with MNNSHP, is a must-do event during the Fall season. Every year, I am blown away by each food option or beverage that I try, and look forward to trying some new things this year!

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments below what you’re most excited for during the¬†International Food and Wine Festival. Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog so you’re notified whenever I post! ūüôā

OUR DISNEY WORLD ENGAGEMENT STORY

OUR DISNEY WORLD ENGAGEMENT STORY

Getting engaged at Disney World was always my dream. So much so, that I remember¬† in the beginning of our relationship jokingly telling Dee that I would say NO to his proposal if he didn’t do it in the¬†Most Magical Place On Earth. On January 3, 2016, that dream became a reality. Here’s the story:

So I want to start off by saying that’s my fiance and I are both extremely awkward people by nature because this story definitely shows it. It was the first night of our WDW vacation, which we always start by dressing nicely and heading to Disney Springs for dinner and a little shopping. Even though the holidays had just passed, they still had the Christmas Tree walk, and after dinner Dee and I took a stroll through the attraction.

I remember how magical it felt because it was snowing. Being that I am from Ohio, I actually hate snow but there’s just something about “pretend” snow in central Florida that makes it so much different. All of the trees were lit up and shining because it was evening, and we were admiring all of the different theme decorated trees during the walk.

After the walk, being just so happy to be back in Disney and loving life, I guess my fiance decided that right then and there was that perfect moment to pop the question. He took me over to the main Christmas tree that greets guests at the entrance of Disney Springs and had me sit on a bench while he made a phone call. Usually he will make phone calls in front of me, so automatically I thought something was off. He ended up calling 3-4 people which I can only assume were his close family and/or friends, then eventually came back to the bench.

When he came back, he asked me to come with him and we walked about 10 feet to stand right in front of the tree. Then,¬† he told me to “stay here” and just left. At this point I knew something was up, but I wasn’t sure exactly what. All of a sudden, a family comes up in front of me looking at me and whispering, which automatically made me nervous and skeptical. I immediately started looking for Dee, and he popped up out of nowhere with a snarky grin.

Before he even got on his knee, I saw the mother of the family in front of me start to point her phone at me while the rest of the family was smiling and waiting. I knew then exactly what was about to happen and immediately I thought YES before he even had the chance to ask. Literally, by the time he got on his knee, my awkward self already had my hand out for him to put the ring on! LOL.

Obviously, he laughed at me as most would, asked the question while still giggling, I asked him “ARE YOU SERIOUS” about five times, and he slid the beautiful ring on my finger. By now a crowd had gathered around the tree, and there was an applause.

Later that night, he told me that his plan was to propose in front of the castle during the fireworks, but he didn’t want to wait. This itself is actually funny, because during every Disney World vacation we’ve taken together, he has FAKE proposed with ring pops, a promise ring, and even literally nothing during the fireworks and has actually faked people out (including Cast Members!). I think that where and how he proposed was absolutely perfect, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it for the world.

The rest of our vacation was filled with so much joy. Characters noticed we’d just gotten engaged and would work that into our interactions, we’d get free desserts from restaurants, and almost every cast member that saw our buttons congratulated us. Getting engaged on property just took an amazing, life changing event and made it even more magical than it already was.

This is a day that I will never forget – I still get butterflies and tear up just thinking about it. The parks were a special place to us already, but now our travels to WDW mean so much more than just a “vacation”. We will always associate the parks with where a new chapter in our lives began. Next up, the wedding!