Monday, October 28, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia!

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday #DisneyTrivia: Space Mountain

Welcome to another round of Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia!  Be sure to check out Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, My Dreams of Disney, Disney Babies Blog, and Heidi's Head for more awesome trivia!

My little piece of trivia today comes from a Disney World bus driver, believe it or not.  We had an awesome Magical Express driver on our way in and he decided to play the Disney Trivia with us.  Thanks to so many of you awesome bloggers who post on Tiggerific Tuesday, I knew a lot of the answers already (don't worry, I didn't hog the spotlight!) but this one was news to me:

Did you know that Goofy's original name was Dippy Dawg?  It was changed to Dippy the Goof, and then just Goofy.

Do I look like a "Dippy Dog" to you?

Thanks for joining me today.  Be sure to check out all the other blogs participating in this fun hop and learn lots of fun Disney Trivia!

Also, be sure to tune in here later in the week!  I'll have some trip reviews and pictures for you!

Annnnd...We're back

Hi Everyone-

We have returned from our 6 day jaunt to the happiest place on earth.  This was a trip filled with lots of firsts for us.

First time getting celebration buttons.  The "just engaged" buttons were adorable and got a lot of attention
First time at the Pop Century Resort (a LOT more about that later)
First time going to Micky's Not So Scary Halloween Party
First time seeing Fantasmic
First time going to the Food and Wine festival
First time at lots of new restaurants (I'll have some vegetarian food reviews for you soon!)

And also: we were testing Fastpass+, mydisneyexperience (not the app, it's not supported on any of my zillion devices, despite them insisting they could "help me with it") and we also had everything linked to our magicbands.  We also went all out and bought the Photopass+  for this trip (I'll have some really important tips about that for everyone that might be helpful too).

This trip also marked a not so wonderful first.  This was the first trip (of many I've taken) in which I was significantly less than satisfied with the patron service and the way (some) Disney CMs handled issues that arose (or, in some cases, created issues for us). So, this was the first trip to Disney World in which I felt upset enough to ask to speak to Guest Services.  I'll have a little write-up about our experience with that as well.

C-ya real soon!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia!

Today is Tuesday, and that means it's time for some Tiggerific Trivia!  This fun an informative hop is co-hosted by Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, My Dreams of Disney, Heidi's Head, and Disney Babies Blog.  Be sure to check everyone out so you get your full dose of Disney trivia for the week!

Some of you might already know my trivia fact for this week, but you may not know the why behind this fact!

If you've ever ridden Kilimanjaro Safaris, you've seen the lions lyin' (ha!) around on the rocks in the middle of the safari.  Your guide may even tell you that the rocks they are on are actually air conditioned!  According to my favorite trivia book, Little-known Facts about Well-known Places: Walt Disney World by Laurie Flannery, the reason the rocks are air conditioned is because the lions originally came from Oregon and had a hard time adjusting to the Florida heat.  Because of this, they often retreated to the shady areas, which were out of view of visitors.  The air conditioners served to make the lions more comfortable and keep them out for everyone to see.

Here's a look at those lions hanging out on the rocks:
Lionesses "chillin" on the cool rocks

The King of the Jungle, around 10:30am

And, 5 hours later:
All he's managed to do today is roll over!

Thanks for joining me for the hop!  Now go check out everyone else's fun facts!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Vegetarian Food Review: Columbia Harbor House

Welcome to another vegetarian food review from our last Disney World trip.  The first full day we had in the parks was spent at the Magic Kingdom (of course!) and lunch this day was at Columbia Harbor House. Vegetarians can  rejoice at this location, because Columbia Harbor House has a lot of great options for us leaf-eaters to order straight off the menu with no adjustments! (Not something I'd say at too many Disney quick service locations) This includes veggie chili, a salad with no chicken on it (!) and sides of broccoli and couscous. I'd read a lot about the Lighthouse Sandwich, and it sounded like it would be pretty tasty, so I gave it a shot.  The menu describes the sandwich thusLighthouse Sandwich - hummus with tomato & broccoli slaw on toasted multigrain bread with potato chips.

As you can see, it's a pretty tasty looking sandwich.  There is a really good helping of tomato on the sandwich (not just a piece or two, it's a sizable serving of tomato, and it was pretty flavorful tomato too).  The multigrain bread is slathered with hummus (in the best way something can be slathered), and the broccoli slaw is very tasty and fresh.  While the menu says the bread is toasted, mine was a little soggy on the inside (probably from the tomatoes).  It wasn't so soggy that it was inedible, but it didn't exactly taste like toast.  That aside, this is a really good vegetarian option at Magic Kingdom! My one regret about this meal is that I didn't order the chili to go with it.  On the Disney Dining Plan this is a Quick Service meal credit, and it comes with Disney chips (fairly unremarkable) and choice of a dessert.  They have standard Disney chocolate cake or strawberry yogurt as dessert options (although the most recent menu update has "seasonal cobbler" listed as a dessert as well!).   

For those of you with meat-eaters in your life who may want to have lunch with you, this is also a good place to meet their needs.  Nathan had the fried shrimp platter (with fries and coleslaw--although he had the option of fresh broccoli)

Never fear, though, there are many un-fried options on the menu that are a little different from the typical burgers and pizzas that you see at other locations, and might be a good choice for a group craving a quick lunch so they can get back to the Mountains, but are looking for something a little different from standard Disney quick fare. You could have a tuna sandwich (Anchors Aweigh Sandwich - white tuna with lettuce and tomato on toasted multigrain bun with potato chips), A grilled Salmon plate (Grilled Salmon - served with couscous and steamed fresh broccoli) and a unique sounding salad (Broccoli Peppercorn Salad - mixed greens, garden vegetables, chicken, broccoli, Parmesan cheese, tossed with a creamy peppercorn dressing).

For me, Columbia Harbor House is a must try!  One of my goals on our next trip is to get my hands on that veggie chili (do note that the veggie chili is not on the Disney Dining Plan) I'm thinking about it and a side of broccoli dumped over the top of the baked potato from Liberty Square Market, what do you think?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop- actually mine has a lot of words!

Hi All-

It's Wednesday, so it must be time for the Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop over at Focused on the Magic.  The theme this week is our October calendar shot.  I've never been at Disney World in October, so I don't have any of the fun Halloween or fall decoration pictures that other lucky bloggers have, but I did come up with this:

Dumbo was Disney's 4th animated feature, and it opened October 23, 1941.  It's the shortest animated feature at only 64 minutes, but it was designed to be short and simple to be financially successful following the expensive Snow White (which was also financially successful, as we all know), Pinocchio, and the very expensive Fantasia.

Thanks for joining in on the hop!  Be sure to check out Deb's page to see other October Calendar Shots
Focused on the Magic

Monday, September 30, 2013

Disney Food Review- Vegetarian option at Animal Kingdom Lodge's The Mara

While I'm preparing for our next trip (I actually just realized we're going to be there during the Food and Wine Festival!  How could I have missed that!?)  I thought it might be fun to do a little trip review of our last trip (of what I remember about it before I became a walking flu virus).  In honor of my realization about the Food and Wine Festival, I thought I'd talk a little bit about vegetarian food options and what I ate while we were there. For this past trip, we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I know a lot of people don't like how far away Animal Kingdom Lodge is from the other parks, (there are reports that the buses are slow to arrive, and take a while to get from point A to point B) but (except for one night when it took an hour and a half to get to Downtown Disney some back way that was full of traffic at rush hour) we never found that to be an issue and really enjoyed everything about our stay there.

It's a pretty amazing hotel, with amazing views, and no matter what room you're in or what you can or can't see from your room windows, the common viewing areas are great and are pretty centralized. Here's a picture of the Lobby from the bridge that's strung across the top floors so you can look out onto the savanna:

And here's a picture of Nathan standing on that bridge looking out over the savanna like Simba (everything the light touches will be his!)

One more!  Here's a picture of my new Giraffe-y friends in one of the common viewing areas:
I think he's saying "cheese"

But this is all just to set the stage for the really important stuff.  It being the Animal Kingdom Lodge, I had high expectations for the variety of food options that would be available at all locations, including the counter service location, The Mara. Animal Kingdom is my favorite park to eat at as a vegetarian because of the wide variety of foods and food cultures represented there, and I hoped the hotel would be as good as the park is.  I had my sights set on the falafel sandwich as soon as we got off the Magical Express.  I wanted it to be delicious, and I wasn't disappointed!
 served on a warm pita with sun-dried tomato hummus, cucumber, tomato, and mixed greens with mint yogurt sauce

There are lots of greens and veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers)  in that soft pita bread, and two good sized falafel. The hummus that's slathered on the bottom helps hold everything on the pita.  This is not your standard falafel; it's much softer in texture, and doesn't exactly "hold together well"   It was a challenge to eat, because of the size and the softness of the falafel, but with a fork and a knife, you can tackle it (I wouldn't take it as a to-go item, or you might end up wearing it).  The yogurt mint sauce wasn't a prominent flavor, so if you don't dig mint (I don't, really) don't let that stop you from ordering this one.

You get a side with this sandwich, and I chose the couscous.
not the most appetizing picture, is it?
I didn't really enjoy the couscous, and didn't finish it.  The texture was great, and there were veggies and raisins mixed in, and it would have been really good, but it tasted like it had been slathered with teriyaki sauce, which was a weird and unexpected flavor for couscous, particularly in conjunction with the raisins.  I'm not sure if that was just a weird batch that day and the bottle slipped out of someone's hands, or if they're trying to make what might be seen as an "unusual" side be a little more universally appealing with a more familiar taste profile, but to me, this went the other way and was less appealing than the fresh-tasting side of couscous I envisioned.  The other side option is just Disney french fries, though, so I probably would still go with the couscous, but it wasn't my favorite.

Overall though, this is a great vegetarian option--particularly if you're tired of veggie burgers and salads as options at other counter service places.  The Mara also has an interesting vegetable flat bread available, that is more than the typical "Margarita pizza" style you find at a lot of the park counter service locations.  I've never tried this option but the menu describes it like this: olive tapenade topped with four cheese blend, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and arugula.

If anyone has had the flat bread, feel free to post and let me know how it was!

Tiggerific Trivia Tuesday Blog Hop

Hi Everyone-

It's Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia Time!  It's co-hosted by 4 awesome blogs, so be sure to check them all out: today I'm linking to Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, but be sure check out Heidi's Head, Disney Babies Blog and My Dreams of Disney.  You can link up on any one of these amazing blogs!

Did you know that the Prince Charming Regal Carousel is the oldest attraction in Disney World? It was originally crafted in 1917 and was called the Liberty Carousel.  It started it's life in the Palace Garden Amusement Park in Detroit, Michigan and was then moved to Mapelwood Olympic Park in New Jersey in 1928.  It stayed in Jersey until Disney bought it in 1967 and had it totally refurbished (hand painting each horse!)  There are 90 horses on the ride and as of 2011 there are still 72 horses that date back to the original 1917 craftsmen!

Here are a few fun pictures of the Tremaines Riding the Carousel with some unsuspecting young guests just after the park opened this day!

This fun fact comes from Little-Known Facts about Well-Known Places: Walt Disney World by Laurie Flannery.

Thanks for joining the hop.  Be sure to check out all the other fun trivia!

Tiggerific+Tuesday+Trivia Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia: Walt Disneys Silver Buffalo Award