Now I must admit, I’m not a Harry Potter fan myself (gasp!), but Jeff and his family are, so they were really looking forward to this part of the trip. And I have to say, even though I haven’t read the books (I retract that, I read the first one!), it was still a lot of fun. It’s just amazing to see how fiction can be brought to life.
Here’s a few photos from our day at the park: Harry Potter fan or not, the Butterbeer ↑ is delicious. We tried both frozen and regular, but I think I prefer the frozen version. We also tried the Butterbeer ice cream in Diagon Alley (the part of the park in Universal Studios; Hogwarts and Hogsmeade are in Islands of Adventure. the parks are connected, but you need a park hopper pass to go to both, FYI.) and it was equally delicious! The walk through Hogwarts Castle ↑ while we waited in line to ride “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” was pretty amazing. They really make the castle feel as you imagine it would. The ride on the other hand, lets just say I was not a fan of the dementors. We rode the Hogwarts Express to Diagon Alley from Hogsmeade, and it’s definitely a ride to try. I thought it was just going you be your standard train ride through the parks, but no, they make it feel like you’re either heading to Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley – depending on which park you’re going to – and it’s so cool. And after Jeff’s wand found him 😉 , or so I’m told that’s how it goes, he was able to use it around the park at various spots where “magic” was available. I’m not gonna lie, I was geeking out a little bit too. Others ↑ were caught off guard by all the magic. 😉 Is it just me, or when you see the Universal Globe, do you think of this? #ChildOfThe90sAfter a day at the park, I was feeling inspired to read the books, but I haven’t started them yet, so maybe not that inspired … but I’ll admit, Harry Potter World was worth the trip!
Thanks for letting me relive our vacation, now it’s back to reality, sadly.
… according to our “expert” unsolicited opinions in this not-so-groundbreaking post. 😉 Let me start by saying this one is heavy on the caloric intake and light on the money-saving tips – but hey, when in Disney World.
I did a little research ahead of time – mostly in the form of Pinterest – and it proved very helpful in planning what we wanted to try, even if we didn’t check off everything on our list (a good thing for our waistlines).
I’m starting with our favorites from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, because we split the two parks over one day, so there’s less to share. We spent an entire day at Epcot, basically eating and drinking (responsibly!), with a few rides mixed in. Since we weren’t traveling with any children, we probably prioritized parks and food differently than other families!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Pictured: One of our favorites – Jeff’s parents agreed too – was the fried green tomato sandwich from Rosie’s All-American Cafe. This was one we didn’t seek it out or know about ahead of time, but it turned out to be one of the best things we ate!
I’m generally not a huge frozen margarita fan, usually because they’re too sweet, but I really enjoyed the one from Anaheim Produce.
Magic Kingdom: Pictured: The infamous Dole Whip, which I’d read about on several blogs and definitely sought out at the park. You can find it at Aloha Isle and it doesn’t disappoint. We tried the Dole Whip in float form and it was refreshing and delicious!
Although they don’t serve alcohol at Magic Kingdom (how ever will I survive 😉 ), except for one restaurant, I read that you can get this treat in adult beverage form at the Polynesian Resort. We didn’t get a chance to try it, so if you have, let me know how it is!
Not pictured: The nachos at Pescos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. I’m not including these because they blew me away or anything, but the restaurant offers a great “fixins’ bar” with tons of toppings! You could make a meal out of that bar alone.
We found the buffalo blue cheese/sour cream and chive popcorn (a pinterest recommendation) at a cart in Future World. We got a scoop of each mixed together, and the combination was buttery, salty perfection.
Not pictured: You must go to Germany in the World Showcase and order a bratwurst and hand-twisted pretzel. I somehow didn’t get a photo of either (gasp!), but they were top of our list!
On the opposite end of the spectrum – and what I’m about to say might be somewhat controversial in the Disney circuit 😉 – but we were unimpressed with the bakery in France. I’d read about how good their pastries were, but we tried their macaroons and meringue cookie, and neither were good, especially the meringue … but that’s just my two cents. Pictured: The many adult beverage options in the World Showcase, including the can’t miss Grand Marnier slush (top left photo) in France, which appears to be a favorite of many. Along with the Grand Marnier, we also tried the Grey Goose slush (not pictured), which was delicious and essentially a frozen lemonade. You can find them both at a kiosk.
As for wine, both Italy and France have great options at their kiosks and bars, including this stop in Italy.
And of course, when in Rome … err, Mexico a margarita is a must. Mango to be exact! Another good frozen margarita find that wasn’t too sweet.
Not pictured: Jeff appreciated the many beer options in Germany, England and Mexico.
For responsibilities’ sake, I feel I should note that we drank these drinks over many hours and did not drive home.
Whew, I think I got it all! If you’re judging us for all the food and drinks we consumed, I don’t blame you. I’m off to the gym, forever.
P.S. The mickey cake pop in the first image didn’t make the list, because it was way too sweet. We both ate one bite and decided we had enough. But I’m not gonna lie, it made for a good photo.
P.P.S All photos were taken with my iPhone 6s and edited with A Color Story.
… think of this as part one, because lord knows I took one too many photos on this little vacation of ours. 😐 I can’t help myself, especially in Disney World!
One thing’s for sure, whether you’re 13 (the age when I last visited) or 29, it’s a pretty magical place.
Since our trip was more of a long weekend (not that I’m complaining!), we divided up Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom and Epcot over two days – spending the majority of our time at Epcot. Turns out, when you’re an adult, Epcot is a lot more fun, no thanks to the food and alcohol 🙂 … but there’s a whole post on that later.
For now, a few photo highlights from our time at Disney World. As soon as we got to Magic Kingdom, we were hit with a downpour! But I’m telling you, even a little rain couldn’t put a damper on the thrill of being at Magic Kingdom. As a child of the nineties, I forget that Belle, Ariel and Cinderella are all princesses of the past, it’s all all about Anna and Elsa now – they were everywhere. Aren’t my in-laws the cutest? ↑By this point in the day, we were a little gross and sweaty (don’t mind the non-existent makeup and crazy hair) – but hey, anytime I’m on vacation with this guy I’m happy. Mexico → France → Japan in one day, it’s possible. 😉 As much as I’d like to take credit for this last photo ↑, I stole it from Jeff’s phone. It was too pretty not to share.
I’ll be back later this week with our favorite food and drink choices from the Disney Parks, and a recap of our time at Harry Potter World, so stay tuned!
P.S. All photos were taken with my iPhone 6s and edited with A Color Story.