February was an exciting Disney month for me as I got to spend a week down in the world! Our trip was packed with races, great food, fun times, and even a trip over to Universal to visit Diagon Alley. Expect to see lots of blog posts about various things from my trip. Big Hero 6 also just recently came out on DVD (I still have to pick up my copy!). And finally, we are gearing up for the Flower and Garden festival, which I will be attending in April!
Disney in your Day news
My Enchanted 10k recap is up on the blog, but there will be lots more to come from my week in Disney, including a recap of the Half Marathon, some dining reviews, how I made my running costumes, and more. Anything in particular you’d be curious to hear about? I’m also still blazing my way through that Disney bucket list and will continue to post updates on that! We are planning to go to Disneyland in September, so I may also be posting some planning stuff. Finally, I’m still making my way through the Disney movies – just finished Peter Pan so I’ll have my thoughts on that up shortly!
February 21st the second Enchanted 10k, and also my second time running it! We were up bright and early, and I got into my Snow White running costume that because of the cold temperatures now had leggings and running sleeves to it.
We got on the bus around 3:30, so that we could stand around in the cold for two hours. It was only in the low forties that morning! I had brought a throwaway sweatshirt but I was still freezing the entire time until I started running. There were 5 corrals, A-E, and I was in C. Last year the corrals started about 10 minutes apart, but this time it seemed to be even longer, about 12 minutes. I started at 5:55 am. I planned to take it easy since I was running the half marathon the next day.
Don’t get me wrong. My past visit to Disney World was a great time. I had a lot of fun. But I’ve never been a fan of the FastPasss Plus system, and I started to realize exactly why on this trip. That’s not to say that it’s not for everyone – I know it works really well for some people and they love it. But I’m not crazy about it, and here’s why.
FastPass Plus makes the stand-by lines longer.
This seems to be generally true. I don’t remember Pirates of the Caribbean ever having over a hour wait time except in extremely busy seasons. And especially in Epcot and Hollywood Studios, people are getting fastpasses for things they wouldn’t ordinarily because of the tier system, so they either ride them when they wouldn’t otherwise or they “waste” that fastpass by making it but not using it.
I can’t get fastpasses for all of my favorite rides because of the tier system.
In Hollywood Studios, I have to choose between Toy Story Mania and Rockin’ Roller Coaster. In Epcot, it’s between Soarin’ and Test Track. The only way I can ride both without super long waits is to get a fastpass for one, and go to the other first thing in the morning when the lines are short. I understand that Toy Story is so popular you used to have to get there in the morning anyway if you even wanted a fastpass, but most of the other major rides had fastpasses available at least until the afternoon.
This is a continuation of my series on other theme parks, for those times when you just can’t get to Disney but want to spend a day at a theme park. Kings Dominion, located in Doswell, Virginia, is one of the theme parks owned by Cedar Fair. It was a really nice park, and here are some of the things that we noticed!
I pointed out before that there is a difference between a amusement park and a theme park. Some of Cedar Fair’s other parks don’t have much themeing to them. My husband and I have been to Dorney Park a number of times because we live near it, and while it’s fun it doesn’t have that sort of charm to it. So we were surprised to see that Kings Dominion did! When you first come in you are on “International Street,” which is reminiscent of the Epcot World Showcase. There is also a Safari Village, with an Animal Kingdom feel, and “Old Virginia.” And for the kids, like most Cedar Fair parks, there is a Planet Snoopy section. Think Mickey-like themeing but with the Peanuts gang. We loved an attraction that was like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger spin in set-up, but themed more like the Haunted Mansion.
Good thrill rides
We love roller coasters. While the ones here weren’t quite as impressive as the ones at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, there were still some that we enjoyed a lot. Volcano: The Blast Coaster was probably my favorite: it shoots you up into the air through a “volcano!” The Backlot Stunt Coaster was fun and reminded me of a slightly tamer, outside version of Rockin’ Roller Coaster. And the Dominator was a blast. There were a number of other coasters to try out too, but those were the highlights for us. For kids and families there are a number of more traditional amusement park rides. Nothing terribly unique like at Disney, but still a fun time.
I’m not sure why I decided the waffle sandwich was special enough to have its own item on the bucket list, but it did so here we go! I tried one of the waffle sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow, located in the Magic Kingdom, in April 2013. I went with the nutella and fruit waffle for lunch:
Maybe it doesn’t seem like a lunch food, but it sounded like a good lunch to me! This was better than I even imagined it would be. The waffle was great, it was crisp and delicious. But for me the fruit was the real highlight – all of the fruit was super fresh and full of flavor. It was incredibly messy to eat though – I definitely made a mess It was very filling too – it held me through til dinner 5 hours later and I didn’t get get a snack when the rest of my family did in the afternoon because I was still full from the waffle! For around $6 I think it’s a really good bargain for lunch too in WDW, or as a snack to share. Keep in mind that this one is really, really sweet, so if you want something more savory for lunch you might want to go with one of the other options.
My husband had the sweet and spicy chicken waffle sandwich:
The waffle was the same good quality, and he enjoyed the rest that was on it too. He mentioned that he really liked the level of spiciness – it stood out to him but not too much to be unbearably spicy. This one was quite messy too, and it was difficult to eat whether you tried to pick it up or used a knife and fork.
There is also a ham, prosciutto, and swiss waffle available, and during breakfast you can get a ham and cheese omelet waffle sandwich. Or if you’re just looking for a snack, you can get a waffle with cinnamon, waffle with strawberries and cream, or waffle with powdered sugar!
Have you tried any of the Waffles at Sleepy Hollow? Which one is your favorite?
And check out the other items on my Disney Bucket List:
When it comes to Disney, one of my favorite things is food. Whether it’s a quick snack or a fancy sit down meal, I love all that the parks have to offer. I religiously read the Disney Food Blog, and pin items I want to try on future visits. But I thought it might be easiest to have a place where I can compile all of the things I want to try! On these lists I’ve included items I have tried that I feel are “must try” for others, as well as ones that I haven’t tasted yet that I’m drooling just thinking about it! So without further ado, here are the items on my Disney “must eat” list:
Every month my friends over at Mouse on the Mind host a blog hop of “Kill, Refurb, Marry” – and this month’s topic is Disney Sidekicks! Here are my choices – what would you choose?
Kill – Cheshire Cat
To be fair, he is a cool character – I want to kill him more in the sense of, “gahh I hate you!” rather than “I wish you weren’t in this film.” He’s not necessarily a villain, but he’s a troublemaker, and he doesn’t seem to feel bad at all for Alice, even when she’s at her wit’s end and crying about home. He’ll always point her in the wrong direction. And I’m a cat lover, so he gives my cuddly creatures a bad name!
I had previously read Valentino’s other novel, “Fairest of All,” and I have to say I think I enjoyed this one even more. I was a little nervous to see what she would do with this story, as Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, but I think it’s an interesting and entertaining take on the fairy tale.
Some people complain that the story has been changed “too much,” but to me that’s all part of this genre – I don’t know if it has an official name, but there are lots of these stories now that are twisted fairy tales, or fairy tales told from a different point of view, that sort of thing. And honestly, it’s the nature of fairy tales. Most of the Disney versions are already drastically different than the original fairy tales. And you can go into a library and read tons of different versions of Beauty and the Beast, each which have changed the story in their own way.
In this version, we get the story from the Beast’s point of view. Although we’re not given an exact age, we can suppose he’s a teenager old enough to be considering marriage at that time. He is portrayed as arrogant, selfish, and uncaring – much like his best friend (surprise!) Gaston. We learn about a couple of failed relationships that he went through and the events that led to the curse, as well as his falling out from society after he’s been cursed.