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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party - Review

So I have had the opportunity to experience Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party twice now.  I got to go again on my most recent trip.  You have to know that I look at this party a little differently.  This is a seperate ticketed event, so you have to pay extra to get in.  What do you get?  A special parade, special Holiday Wishes, ride the rides with less park people, hot cocoa and cookies.  I think that the parade is super cool!  Nothing beats the marching toy soldiers or gingerbread men.  It is very cool.

My suggestion is that you do not have anything planned early the next day so that you can enjoy the party from start to finish.  If you want to see the parade and wishes, you will need to stake out a place early.  Main Street fills up very very fast.  This is where I look at it differently.  I like to go to get on the rides.  See I am not a HUGE parade or fireworks person.  If I catch them I catch them, if not I am not upset.  The rides are EMPTY during the parades.  Usually there are 2 parades so ride the rides during the first parade and come back for the second one!

Is this worth the extra money?  Well I think that it is once.  The first time I went I ended up waiting for about 2 hours to see the parade and fireworks and still did not have a front row seat like I wanted.  The second time we went we got a better spot, but were walking around during it.  If you want to ride the rides then YES this is worth it.  But if you are scepticle, skip it.  There are other things going on around the World.  I hope that this helps with your decision in the future

Tony’s Town Square Review

On the second night of our stay we tried Tony’s Town Square.  It is located in the heart of Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom.  It is right next to the Town Square Theater.  This was the longest that we had to wait for our dining reservation.  It was about 20 minutes until we were seated.  It was very very nice inside.  Although there is not much space to sit and relax prior to your meal.  It was very very busy because this was also the debut of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. 

Our pager went off and we were seated. We were seated in the back corner of the restaurant and it was a little noisy.  The menu looked great…I had to run the next morning and I was not sure how pasta would sit on my stomach (sometimes I have issues with that) so I chose not to get the pasta.  I got the Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mashed butternut squash and seasonal vegetables (Green Beans).  It was fabulous.  I am not a huge fan of Squash but I was in heaven.  This was fabulous.  The tenderloin was perfectly cooked and moist.  Also my mom had the New York Strip steak with Tony’s Potatoes and seasonal vegetables.  She said that it was really good too.

For desert we dined on Pistachio Creme Brulee and Seasonal No Sugar added Green Apple Sorbet.  Both were delish!

If you have not dined here I suggest that you try it.  If you are looking for quiet though, this is not the place.  It is noisy.  I liked it and am excited to dine here with my family

The New Fantasyland - Review

I know that many of you are extremely curious as to what is going on at the Magic Kingdom and that a lot of you have been reading about it.  I was lucky enough to not need a special pass to get in and try every aspect that is open in the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom.  From Dumbo to Gaston’s Tavern I have to say that it is amazingly fantastic and really brings your favorite fantasy’s to life. 

The first thing that we were able to do was walk into Ariel’s Under the Sea Adventure.  As you enter the queue you will see that you are already immersed in Prince Eric and Ariel’s world.  You will feel like you are in her treasure room with crabs that are taking her treasures and moving them all around.  You get to be a part of every aspect of the story.  You board your clam mobile (much like over at EPCOT in the Seas with Nemo and Friends).  You get to see the sights and hear the music as this wonderful tale has been brought to life.  It is colorful and wonderful.  I suggest it for any age group.

After leaving Prince Eric and Ariel we headed back to Gaston’s Tavern.  There I tried a new treat to the Magic Kingdom called Le Feu’s Brew.  Now I have to tell you that this is one of the best things that I have ever drank.  It is a frozen drink made with apple cider.  I LOVE IT!  I am a huge fan of Dole Whip, but this surpasses that.  I am not sure how to explain it except to say that you need to try it.  Gaston’s Tavern does not only have some amazing tasty treats, but it also looks like it was taken right out of a scene of Beauty and the Beast.  From the chandeliers, made of antlers no less, to the painting of the big man himself.  It is amazing.  I love all of the detail that Disney has put into this wonderful Quick Service restaurant.  They also have those wonderful cinnamon rolls that you used to be able to find at the Main Street Bakery. Truly a delight not to be missed.

Next we went to Enchanted Tales with Belle.  Any lover of this classic tale needs to see this.  Or should I say, be a part of it.  It is so cool.  First you begin by walking through Maurice’s Cottage.  It is quaint and beautiful.  You are then guided into a small area where you are told that you will get to meet Belle.  She only has a small amount of time to hang out with you though and tell you her story because she is going to have dinner with the Beast and can not be late.  Next they need a few helpers to tell the story.  The cast picks a few small helpers and a few larger ones to help tell the tale.  Next you enter through a magic mirror and are in Belle’s favorite room…the library. After being seated and the helpers are all in place, Belle comes and tells her wonderful tale of true love.  It is only better told by Belle.

We then went over to the story book circus to see the Great Goofini!  Now this was a great small roller coaster for kids and adults alike.  I laughed so hard and loved all the little squeals from the little kids who got to enjoy their first coaster.  It was great. 

Finally to round out our evening in the new Fantasyland we rode Dumbo.  Now it is no different than it used to be except that it has a wonderful new queue and there are 2 Dumbo rides versus just the one.  We rode it at night and it was all lit up.  It was so magical.  There is nothing like riding Dumbo, brings out the kid in even the grumpiest people. 

You all know that I love Disney with all my heart and that there is very little that I want to miss or have ever skipped.  But the new Fantasyland is not just for the littles, but for anyone that has ever dreamed of dancing with the Beast or Belle, swimming with Ariel,  drinking with the prettiest man around, soaring with goofy or flying with the coolest elephant.  It is truly another Disney wonder.  I love it and hope that you do too!

Pics to coming up next!

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Akershus Royal Banquet Hall : Dining with the Princesses

To continue my week in review I will begin with letting you know that I tried all new dining at Walt Disney World.  Places that I have never eaten before.  I wanted to do some character meals and began our vacation with dining with the princesses at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in EPCOT at the Norway Pavilion.  We had dinner here and I was told that it was going to be different if not weird.  I was prepared for some very strange stuff.  See being from Wisconsin we have a lot of Norwiegan people living here and I have heard about the strange food.

We checked in and waited about 10-15 minutes to get in line.  First we had to wait in line to get our photo’s taken with Belle.  She had on her finest as we talked to her.  She teased me that if we headed to the new Fantasyland we may run into Gaston and he may propose.  He is simply barbaric.  LOL  She was very very funny.  We got to take the picture home.  It was delivered to us while dining. 

There was an appetizer buffet.  It had mixed greens, cheeses, pickled fish, shrimp salad rolls and more.  I thought that the dinner was absolutely perfect.  Appetizers were wonderful.  They were a little different, but it was really good. I loved trying everything.  Although I will say that I did not try any of the fish.  But my favorites were the shrimp salad, grilled asparagus and cuscus.  Very Delicious

For my entree I had the herb crusted beef tips with potatoes.  It was very very good.  Super tender and yummy.  I would eat it again in a heart beat.  My mom had meatballs and said that they were fabulous. 

Dessert was a trio of norwegian fare.  There was a chocolate mousse, rice cream and a berry tart.  I like it all but the rice cream.  To me the texture was very very strange but good.

The service here was impecable.  Our server was very cool and seemed appreciative to have 2 adults dining and the fact that we had a sense of humor helped a bunch. She was funny and tons of fun.

So the question that I get all the time is “Which do you prefer, Akershus or Cinderella’s Royal Table?”  Well to me, I wish that I could put them together.  I love eating in the castle.  You do get that ambiance at Akershus but it is not the same.  I like the food better at Akershus.  If you are on the dining plan and want to eat with the princesses then I think that Akershus is a great value.  But if your heart is set on the castle then eat in the castle.  Make sure to get those reservations in early!

The next post is some pics of me and the princesses and the food!  Enjoy

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Walt Disney World Beach Club Resort!

Everything that I did this trip was completely different from any other trip that I have taken.  If you follow me you know that I am a value girl.  Well this value girl decided to go High Style this time in one of Disney’s Deluxe resorts.  I chose the Beach Club Resort for many reasons.  Last year I had walked the grounds and it was so close to so many things that I just loved it.  Also it was a host resort for the runDisney races that were going on that weekend.  I was running so I got a decent deal on it.  I will discuss the race in another post. 

When we arrived we were greeted and taken to the front desk to check in.  Someone actually personally took us there.  It was wonderful.  After check-in we went to our room.  Our room was ready early and I had requested a room close to the walkway to EPCOT. I got exactly what I had asked for.  Know this though, it is very very far from the lobby and bus transportation if you are not used to walking.  I had no issues with the walk, and actually found it faster to go outside and walk than to go through the resort. 

The room is a standard room and had 2 queen sized beds and 1 day bed.  There was a desk and chair, mini-fridge, coffee pot, and flat screen TV.  Also there were 2 sinks in the bath area and a nice tub.  The room was clean and nice.  Mousekeeping did an excellent job for us.  We were on the first floor with a very nice patio. 

I can not complain at all about the room or the resort.  If I asked a question they had an answer.  The food at the quick service/Marketplace was not my favorite.  There were very limited options, but it was good food.  I like a few more choices.  There is Cape May Cafe for table service and the Marketplace and Beaches and Cream for quick service meals.  I did not make it to Beaches and Cream. 

The gift shop was great too.  They had a ton of park merchandise and even some resort merchandise. 

Now Transportation, that was OK.  The buses did not seem to run as frequently here as I would have thought.  It was not a far ride to go anywhere though.  It was really nice actually.  Sometimes we shared with the Yacht Club and the Boardwalk Resort and sometimes we did not.  That part I did not like.  But the busses were not over crowded we never had to stand.  You can walk to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios or take a boat to either.  There is bus transportation to the Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom.  It was so nice to be able to walk places. 

I will be posting pictures here and on my FB page of our room.  I really liked this resort and would highly suggest it to anyone that wants to be in the middle of the Disney Magic. 

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I really liked it here.  Everyone and everything was great.  Even when we had an issue they handled it with grace and style.

Pics in the next post

Review of Garden Tours!

Hello everyone!  I have just returned from Walt Disney World and have so much to write about it is crazy.  I have dining and resort reviews, a race recap, review of Garden Tours and so much more.  I will try not to overload you all with all of the information that I have.  So we will start with my start and end with the end.  So I will review everything 1 day at a time, starting with Garden Tours. 

So if you are reading this I know that you love Walt Disney World and all that it stands for.  Now I have been to Walt Disney World 15 times and love every minute of it.  Including the Magical Express.  So this year I was a little bummed, but decided to try something new.  I decided to get a town car transfer to and from the airport.  I have to tell you that it was worth the extra money!  I loved it. 

We arrived at Orlando International Airport and were told to meet our driver at the bottom of the escalator to the baggage claim.  This is exactly what happened.  He had a sign with our name on it.  Just like I was royalty or something.  We had a very very short walk to our car and we were off. 

The driver put our bags in the trunk and we set off the the Beach Club Resort at Walt Disney World.  The car was clean and beautiful.  The service was impeccable and I could not ask for anything better than what we got.  It took less than 45 minutes to get to the resort (only about 30 actually).  We were dropped off at the front door for check in.  It was great!  I highly recommend it to anyone.  Also they have large vans and limos and they are very reasonable.  :D

If you have any questions feel free to ask and contact me at Mickie@GlassSlipperConcierge.com or call me. 

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EPCOT ~ For the Little Ones

I hear a lot that EPCOT is not for kids, or that parents simply do not want to take their young ones to EPCOT because “there is simply nothing to do with them”!  Well this is untrue.  One thing I have learned about Disney is that there are a Ton of things for kids of ALL ages.  All 3 of my kids (ages 2,3 and 5) were very young when at Disney their first times.  They LOVED all aspects of it.  Plus Daddy and I did not have to give up what we wanted to ride either.  At EPCOT there are a ton of things for those little tykes to do!

Usually when we go, we hit Spaceship Earth first thing.  Line is never long (actually we always walk on when we go right away).  This is a DARK RIDE (meaning that it is mostly in the DARK.) ****TIP: Take a small pen light for your little ones if they are afraid of the dark.  They can then play with this and use it in the ride*******

Next we head to The Land!  Daddy and I will get fastpasses for Soarin and take the kids on the Living with the Land Ride!  My kids love this.  They have always been involved in our garden at home, so they like this a lot.  We will watch the Circle of Life movie and hopefully our fast passes are ready by this point.  Now I will ride Soarin first and Daddy will get a snack with the kids at Sunshine Seasons.  I come off the ride and Daddy gets on.  Now there is something called Rider Swap where you tell a cast member that you would like to use rider swap as a person in your party is taking care of the little ones.  A cast member will then give you a pass for the other person to get on the ride after you get off.  We find it just as easy to use the Fast Pass system and just arrive at the beginning of our return time. 

Back to the kids.  My kids love The Seas with Nemo and Friends.  We ride the ride, see Turtle Talk with Crush and explore in the aquarium.  We could spend hours here.  It is amazing. 

The Imagination pavilion is next on our list.  We ride Journey into Imagination and let the kiddos run WILD in the area after the ride.  They love all of the stuff that they can explore.  We skip the 4D movie (just too scary for the little ones).  If the fountains are jumping we watch those. 

We do skip half of Future World because it is too scary or the kids can not ride.  We save that for Mommy and Daddy’s night out.  So Mission: Space, the Test Track and Ellen’s Universe of Energy are not rides that we partake in.  Not saying that you can’t because you could, but I still have too little ones and we just don’t.

My kids love the World Showcase. The kids love the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros! So we ride that in Mexico.  We walk around the other countries and shop and look at different customs and cultures.  We try to catch a couple of shows too.  If the kids have a question about something we will have them ask a cast member.  They find this fun.  If you think that your kids will not enjoy the different cultures of the world, then try getting them a passport!  No not the kind from the state department.  You can get a World Showcase Passport at any World Showcase Shop.  The kids can then collect Stamps and signatures from the different countries.  There are also little craft stations, called Kidcot Fun Stops, that the kiddos can create a craft at in each country.

I do not think that EPCOT is a park that you should “SKIP” because you have little kids.  I think that it is fun for them and if you find that they are getting a little bored, head back to the hotel and hit the POOL!!! 

Illuminations:Reflections of Earth is also the kids favorite Fireworks show!  Plus it is at 9 PM so it is not that late after bed time.  :D

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