Fall into the Magic with Me! Oct. 23 – Nov. 4, 2018 Trip Report (Updated 10/11)

My 5th consecutive fall trip to Disney World was different in some ways. Unlike the previous two fall trips, sadly this time my friends, Paula and Hunter, were unable to join me as I “tasted” my way around the World. I was though able to meet up with other friends for about 1/3 of my dining, so at least some of my reviews will include additional opinions other than my own. One of these friends was Rachel, who is shown here with me at our Sunday brunch at California Grill.

 

Several times I also dined with my friends, Nicole & Mike, including at the Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Luncheon when I took this photo of them (in front) and their friends Kevin and Krissie.

Another change this year was that for the first time in many years I did not purchase an Annual Pass and therefore was not eligible to purchase a Tables in Wonderland membership (for its 20% discount at most Disney World table service restaurants). So with this in mind, I decided to experiment with another option highly promoted by Disney for discounted dining. For the first three nights of my 12 night trip (during my stay at the Polynesian Village Resort) I was on the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan. So for a cost of $348.72 ($116.24 per night) I received 9 meal credits, 6 snack credits, and a refillable mug (sold for $18.99 plus tax and good for up to 14 days, so for my entire trip). Of my 9 meal credits I used 6 to dine at signature restaurants which require two credits per person and the remaining three for two lunches and one dinner at other (1 credit) table service restaurants. Therefore, all of these meals included a beverage (I chose an alcoholic beverage at all but one), appetizer, entrée, and dessert plus tax (tip not included). Also four of my 6 snack credits were used at the Epcot Food & Wine booths for $8.00 items. So for the first 3+ days of my trip I ate “DELUXE” with lots of steak, lobster, shrimp, expensive Disney cocktails and desserts.  On Day 4 of this trip report (after my last snack credit was used) I’ll crunch the final numbers for you and reveal my conclusion as to whether this Disney Dining Plan experiment was a success. (NOW COMPLETE) 

 

That just leaves a few more important introductory details, like “Where did I stay?” This trip started with a 3 night stay at the Polynesian, followed by 2 nights at the Wilderness Lodge, then 6 nights at the Boardwalk Inn (my favorite Disney resort), and the final night at Port Orleans Riverside, so all four of these resorts will be reviewed in this report.

And then finally and most importantly for a Disney trip report which focuses on dining, “Where did I eat?”

Here is a list of the places/events which I will be reviewing in this trip report:

Table service Restaurants

  1. Narcoossee’s Dinner with Deluxe DDP (Grand Floridian Resort) – COMPLETE
  2. Tutto Italia Lunch with Deluxe DDP (Epcot, Italy) – COMPLETE
  3. Citricos Dinner with Deluxe DDP (Grand Floridian Resort) – COMPLETE
  4. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant Lunch with Deluxe DDP – Festival of Fantasy Parade Dining Package (Magic Kingdom) – COMPLETE
  5. The Plaza Restaurant Dinner with Deluxe DDP (Magic Kingdom) – COMPLETE
  6. Kona Café Breakfast (Polynesian Village Resort) – COMPLETE
  7. California Grill Sunday Brunch (Contemporary Resort) – COMPLETE
  8. Beaches & Cream Dinner (Beach Club Resort) – COMPLETE
  9. Flying Fish Dinner (Boardwalk Resort) – COMPLETE
  10. Ale & Compass Restaurant Breakfast (Yacht Club Resort) – COMPLETE
  11. La Hacienda de San Angel Dinner (Epcot, Mexico) – COMPLETE
  12. California Grill Dinner (Contemporary Resort) – COMPLETE
  13. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Lunch (Disney Springs) – COMPLETE
  14. bluezoo Dinner (Dolphin Resort) – COMPLETE
  15. Liberty Tree Tavern Lunch (Magic Kingdom) – COMPLETE
  16. The Edison Lunch (Disney Springs)
  17. Boatwright’s Dining Hall Dinner (Port Orleans Riverside Resort)

Quick service/Specialty Shops/Kiosks

  1. Captain Cook’s Breakfast #1 (Polynesian Village Resort) – COMPLETE
  2. Captain Cook’s Breakfast #2 (Polynesian Village Resort) – COMPLETE
  3. Kona Island Coffee Bar (Polynesian Village Resort) – see Friday, Oct. 26th
  4. Pineapple Lanai snack (Polynesian Village Resort) – COMPLETE
  5. Woody’s Lunch Box Lunch (Hollywood Studios) – COMPLETE
  6. Roaring Fork Breakfast (Wilderness Lodge Resort) – COMPLETE
  7. Boardwalk Bakery Breakfast (Boardwalk) – COMPLETE
  8.  Sunshine Seasons (Epcot, Land Pavilion) – see Tuesday, Oct. 30th
  9. Satu’li Canteeen Lunch (Animal Kingdom) – COMPLETE
  10. Beaches & Cream To Go Counter snack (Beach Club Resort) – COMPLETE
  11. Choza de Margarita snack (Epcot, Mexico) – COMPLETE
  12. Kringla Bakeri og Kafe (Epcot, Norway) – see Wednesday, Oct. 31st
  13. Belle Vue Lounge Breakfast x 2 (Boardwalk Resort) – COMPLETE
  14. Woody’s Lunch Box Breakfast (Hollywood Studios) – COMPLETE
  15. Main Street Confectionery (Magic Kingdom) – see Saturday, Oct. 27 & Friday, Nov. 2
  16. Boardwalk Pizza Window Dinner (Boardwalk) – COMPLETE
  17. The Ganachery snacks (Disney Springs) – COMPLETE
  18. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop dessert (Disney Springs)
  19. Riverside Mill Food Court Lunch (Port Orleans Riverside Resort)

Resort Lounges/Bars

  1. Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace Lunch (Polynesian Village Resort) – COMPLETE 
  2. Territory Lounge Dinner (Wilderness Lodge Resort) – COMPLETE
  3. River Roost Lounge (Port Orleans Riverside Resort)

Special Food & Wine Festival Events & Booths

  1. 12 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Booths Visited  – COMPLETE
  2. Swan and Dolphin’s Food & Wine Classic held on Oct. 26, 2018 (Swan & Dolphin Resort) – COMPLETE
  3. Parisian Breakfast held at Chefs de France on Oct. 27, 2018 (Epcot, France) – COMPLETE
  4. The Parisian Afternoon – Sandwiches, Macarons and Bubbles! Lunch held at Monsieur Paul on Oct. 27, 2018 (Epcot, France) – COMPLETE
  5. Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Luncheon held at Tutto Gusto on Oct. 29, 2018 (Epcot, Italy) – COMPLETE 

Other Special Dining Events

  1. Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party (attended after fireworks) with Plaza Garden Viewing (Magic Kingdom) – Part I (Details and Show) – COMPLETE
  2. Happily Ever After Fireworks Dessert Party – Part II (Dessert Party)COMPLETE
  3. Frozen Ever After Dessert Party (held in Norway pavilion due to inclement weather) followed by reserved waterside viewing for Illuminations (Epcot) – COMPLETE

Miscellaneous Non-Food Stuff

  1. Polynesian Village Resort & Room 2603 (Samoa Longhouse)COMPLETE
  2. Torch Lighting Ceremony at The Polynesian COMPLETE
  3. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party held on Thurs., Oct. 25, 2018 (Magic Kingdom) – COMPLETE
  4. Wilderness Lodge Room 5056 – COMPLETE
  5. Rivers of Light Fast Pass Viewing vs. Dining Package (Animal Kingdom) – COMPLETE
  6. Boardwalk Inn Room 3289 – COMPLETE
  7. Halloween 2018 at the Boardwalk  – COMPLETE
  8. Port Orleans Riverside  Resort & Room 8088 (Magnolia Bend, Acadian Mansion)COMPLETE

 

(Kudos to anyone who recognized that the above photo and the next one were taken on Epcot’s Spaceship Earth ride.)

Tuesday, October 23 – Arrival Day (Polynesian Village Resort, Grand Floridian Resort)

My morning was mostly uneventful, with only a small delay going through security when the gentleman in front of me had his home canned pickles confiscated, as there apparently was more than the allowed 3.4 ounces of pickle juice included with them in the jar.  Lol.  After that though it was smooth sailing (or flying)…
…with my Frontier flight taking off on time at about 10:00 a.m. Central Time and landing about 2 1/2 hours later (or  about 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time) at the Orlando (MCO) airport. Despite a quick bathroom break, a slight detour from my normal path due to some construction in the main terminal, and a longer than usual Magical Express check in line, I was still on my ME bus by about 2:00.  It was during my walk through the airport that I received a text saying my room at the Polynesian was ready.  I had been assigned to Room 2603 on the 2nd floor of the Samoa longhouse.  Also included in the text was a link to this Polynesian Resort map…
With the help of the map plus having just stayed at the Polynesian last year, I was able to find my longhouse and room pretty quickly once the ME bus let us off at the front entrance of the Great Ceremonial House (where the main lobby of the resort is located).   So by 3:00 I was already in my room taking photos like this one that I sent to my family of the beautiful view out my window…

My Review of Samoa Room 2603 & the Polynesian Village Resort

Next was a visit to the front desk to take care of a Magic Band issue, a park ticket issue, and to confirm that everything was in order to begin using my Dining Plan.  It was during this visit to the front desk that I was given this lei…

Then after a quick stop at Captain Cook’s (the Polynesian’s quick service restaurant) to pick up the refillable mug which was included in my dining plan…

NOTE: Though I was hoping to get the cute Halloween themed mug that I’d seen in photos, there weren’t any available at Captain Cook’s (as of October 23rd).  My color choices at Captain Cook’s for the lid of the regular mug were red, blue, pink and purple.

…it was on to the Tiki Terrace of Trader Sam’s.

My Late Lunch at Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace

When I returned to my room my luggage had arrived from the airport and been delivered there.  I took some time to get my stuff organized and take more photos of my room.  Then it was time to go outside to the Great Ceremonial House Lawn for…

The Polynesian’s Torch Lighting Ceremony

At about 7:45 I was my way to dinner when I saw another activity taking place on the Great Ceremonial House lawn…

The activity seemed to involve lighted hula hoops and lots of kids having fun.

But no hula hooping for me, ’cause my plan for this evening was to meet up with my friend, Rachel, for dinner at one of my favorite Disney restaurants.  So I boarded the monorail (on the 2nd floor of the Great Ceremonial House) and got off at the next stop, the Grand Floridian, where I had to stop and take a picture (or two) of the beautiful lobby…

And also stop for a minute to listen to the orchestra…

Then it was down the stairs, out the back door and down the path to the waterfront, where Narcoossee’s is located…

Dinner at Narcoossee’s on the Deluxe Dining Plan

4 Deluxe Dining Plan Credits used ($222.91 total value), 5 Credits Remaining

Wednesday, October 24 – Polynesian Village Resort, Epcot, Grand Floridian Resort

On this first morning of my trip I was awake very early and ready to start my day with breakfast to go from the Polynesian’s quick service restaurant.  So at 7:00 a.m. I made the short walk over to…

Breakfast from Captain Cook’s

I left my room at the Polynesian at about 9:45 a.m. and took the walking path through the resort’s grounds to get to the Ticket & Tranasportation Center.  I reached the Bag Check/Security Line there at about 9:55.  Unfortunately a large tram load of people from the parking lot arrived just before me, so the line was quite long.  After about 10 minutes I was through the line and made my way to the Epcot monorail platform.  And of course, a monorail had just left the station as I was climbing up the ramp so I had to wait about another 10 minutes for the next one.  It took a few minutes for the guests to get off and for us to board, so it was about 10:18 when our monorail left the T&TC.  It was about a 10 minute ride to Epcot so we arrived there just before 10:30.  It took about another 15 minutes to get through the Epcot Bag Check/Security line and make my way through Future World.

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So at about 10:45, one hour after leaving my room at the Polynesian, I had reached my first destination in Epcot’s World Showcase…

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12 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Booths Visited Over 3 Days

After using my first two DDP snack credits (of 6 total) at the Food & Wine Festival Canada and Greece booths, I still had about two hours to kill before my lunch reservation.  So I took my time exploring the shops in the countries of Mexico, Norway, China, and Germany before reaching my lunch destination, Italy’s Tutto Italia…

Lunch at Tutto Italia on the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan 

After lunch I went to the movie next door in the American pavilion, I watched the first show of the night by Billy Ocean outside at the American Gardens Theatre, and I had two more snacks from the Food & Wine Festival booths before making my way to the front entrance of Future World and out of Epcot.

1 Deluxe Dining Plan Meal Credits used ($79.88 Total Value), 4 Credits Remaining

4 Deluxe Dining Plan Snack Credits used (Total value $32), 2 Credits Remaining

I then took the monorail back to the Ticket & Transportation Center, but instead of walking from there back to my room at the Polynesian I transferred to the Resort Monorail and got off at the next stop…the Polynesian Resort.  From there it was a short walk back to my room.  I then had a little down time there before I needed to change clothes and get back on the monorail, which took me to my dinner destination at the Grand Floridian.

In case you don’t recognize the restaurant from the photo of its menu, my dinner destination was…

Dinner at Citricos with the Deluxe Dining Plan

2 Deluxe Dining Plan Meal Credits used ($99.32 Total Value), 2 Credits Remaining

And here’s how my numbers looked at the end of Day 2 on My Disney Experience…

Thursday, October 25 – Polynesian Village Resort, Magic Kingdom

In preparation for the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party that I was planning to attend that evening, I slept in on the second morning of my trip.  Then after getting my dining notes up to date, I headed to Captain Cook’s in search of some breakfast…

Breakfast from Captain Cook’s Again

By 11:30 that morning I had taken the Resort Monorail to Magic Kingdom and was taking photos of the Halloween decorations around the Town Square…

 

And just as I was about to head over to Tony’s to check in for my lunch reservation, the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play it! began…

This fun, little mini-parade only took a couple of minutes to pass through the Town Square area and head down Main Street toward the castle so I stuck around to watch it.  Then I headed inside Tony’s Town Square Restaurant…

 Tony’s Town Square Restaurant Lunch with Deluxe DDP (Festival of Fantasy Parade Dining Package)

1 Deluxe Dining Plan Meal Credit used ($72.42 Total Value), 1 Credit Remaining

I left Tony’s at around 1:15 and found a bench underneath the train station where I could sit and watch for the Reserved Area for the parade to open.  This reserved area was the circle in the center of Town Square (where the flag pole is located) and the entrance area (which was still roped off) faced Tony’s restaurant.  As soon as I saw that the Castmembers (who were posted there) were starting to let guests in (at about 1:30) I walked over and presented my VIP voucher/card.  Being one of the first guests to arrive, I staked out a prime spot with a straight-on view of Main Street and the castle…

As I sat and waited for the parade to begin (which wasn’t until 2:00, in Frontierland), the reserved area filled up around me but was not nearly as crowded as the rest of Main Street.  Also as the curbs and sidewalks filled, many new arrivals would try to sit down right in front of our roped off reserved area or even try to crawl under the ropes.  Thankfully there were several Castmembers patrolling the area and did a great job of taking care of this problem.

At about 2:00 the Main Street Philharmonic Band made their way down Main Street…

Then nothing for about 1/2 hour.  At about 2:30 I saw this…

The lead float of the Festival of Fantasy Parade, with Beauty and the Beast on the front…

Other highlights of the parade were the Tangled float…

Little Mermaid…

Peter Pan…

Brave…

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs came strolling along…

Pinocchio led by Jiminy Cricket…

Donald and Daisy Duck…

The stars of the parade, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, led by Goofy, Chip & Dale…

And at 2:42 was THE END…

But wait, where was my favorite float?  The Sleeping Beauty one with Maleficent in dragon form…

Led by really cool looking Thorn Stilt Walkers…

But the coolest part…

– Photos I took in October 2014 –

I did some online research and learned that the dragon had a fiery death back in May 2018.

See the source image

Wow, I’d completely missed that one!   I was glad to hear though that the dragon is expected to return eventually…maybe it has already???  UPDATE: It returned on January 25th!

After the parade I used my 3 Fast Passes to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Peter Pan, and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  By 5:30 I was done with these, plus It’s a Small World, so I headed to check in a bit early for my solo dinner reservation at…

Pre-MNSSHP Dinner at The Plaza with the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan

1 Deluxe Dining Plan Meal Credit used ($53.25 Total Value)

0 Dining Credits, 2 Snack Credits Remaining

After dinner it was time for the…

2018 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Review

Friday, October 26 – Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Swan & Dolphin Resort, & Wilderness Lodge Resort

I was up early today, as it was my packing and moving day.  But first I had breakfast scheduled at 7:45.  Before heading into the Polynesian’s Great Ceremonial House, I made a quick stop at Captain Cook’s to refill my mug with coffee.  Then it was on to my solo breakfast at…

Review of My Breakfast at Kona Cafe

On the second floor of the Polynesian’s Great Ceremonial House, right next door to Kona Cafe, is Kona Island.  In the morning this serves as a coffee bar and has this menu…

After my breakfast at Kona Cafe I stopped by to take a few photos of their “Baked Fresh Daily Pastries” starting with their…

Banana Nut Bread – $3.49

 

Assorted Muffins – $3.49 (I think these were from Left to Right: Blueberry, Mocha Kona (with macadamia nuts), and Chocolate Chip)

 

Turnovers – $3.79

I was surprised to see “Krispy Kreme-like” Glazed Donuts here for $1.99

 

Another photo of a turnover and donut on display…

There were also…

Scones – $3.49

And…

Assorted Fruit Danish – $3.79 

In addition to regular croissants there were also Chocolate Croissants for $3.99 (shown underneath the Cinnamon Bun

And speaking of the Cinnamon Buns, they were selling for $4.29

All of these pastries were also available for 1 Disney Dining Plan Snack Credit.  Though I still had 2 unused snack credits at this time, I had just filled up with pancakes at Kona Cafe so no pastries for me.  But I must say that these pastries looked fresher and tastier plus there was more variety than what I had seen at the Polynesian’s quick service restaurant, Captain Cook’s.  I wish I had explored this option earlier in my stay at the Polynesian.  If I stay here again I will definitely give Kona Island a try for breakfast.

After checking out the offerings at Kona Island it was back to my room to pack up for my transfer to the Wilderness Lodge.  While packing that morning there was a rainstorm outside so I stayed in my room until I had to check out at 11:00.  After arranging for my luggage to be transferred, I left my room.

But before leaving the Polynesian, I wanted to use my second to the last of my 6 snack credits at…

My Visit to the Pineapple Lanai

1 Deluxe Dining Plan Snack Credit used (Value $6.38), 1 Credit Remaining

I waited out the rain undercover at one of the tables by the Pineapple Lanai and enjoyed my snack at a leisurely pace.  Then I headed over to the bus stop to catch a bus to Hollywood Studios, where I fast passes scheduled that afternoon for my three favorite DHS rides.

I had forgotten until our bus arrived at the park that the previous resort bus stop pickup and drop off area was closed off due to construction of the Skyliner station at DHS…

So we were dropped off in a makeshift bus stop area back in the DHS parking lot, which was a bit longer walk to/from the park entrance.

But anyway, anyone recognize the location where my first FP of the afternoon was used?…

If you said, “Tower of Terror” you are correct!

My next stop was for lunch in the new Toy Story Land…

My Lunch at Woody’s Lunch Box 

After lunch I used my second FP to ride Toy Story Mania and then decided to use my final snack credit for a snack from this food truck/kiosk that was parked along Hollywood Boulevard, close to/in front of the Chinese Theatre…

Though they sold popcorn here in Star Wars-themed souvenir buckets, they were not available for a Dining Plan snack credit.  So my snack credit eligible choices here were a regular popcorn ($5.00 value), a Chocolate Chip Cookie ($3.50), a Soft Drink ($4.75), Bottle of Water ($3.50) or my choice…

 

Mickey Pretzel with Cheddar Cheese Flavored Sauce – $7.00

With tax this would have cost $7.46 out of pocket, so a very good value for one snack credit.  However, it was disappointing because the pretzel tasted stale.  It was helped by covering it with cheese sauce…

But in the end, about 1/2 of it went into the garbage. And that folks was end of my Disney Dining Plan credits, as you can see from my pretzel receipt…

1 Deluxe Dining Plan Snack Credit used (Value $7.46), 0 Credits Remaining

And so as promised in my trip introduction, here are my final numbers and thoughts regarding the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan…

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Crunching the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan Numbers & Final Thoughts

Not long after using my third Fast Pass to ride Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, it was time to head out towards my next dining destination.  Boarding a boat from Hollywood Studios at around 5:00 I arrived about 15 minutes later at the boat’s first stop, the Swan & Dolphin Resort.  Here I was up with my friend, Rachel, to attend the…

My Review of the 9th Annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

After the Classic ended at 9:00 Rachel’s husband picked her up from the Swan and the two of them kindly gave me a ride to the Wilderness Lodge, my resort home for the next two nights.  I had originally planned to catch a Disney bus from the Swan to Magic Kingdom and then a bus or boat from there to the Wilderness Lodge, but with the direct ride there I was in my room taking photos by 9:30.

Wilderness Lodge Room #5056

Watching HalloWishes from the balcony of my room was a perfect ending to another great day (Day #4) at Disney World…

Then it was time for bed, because Day #5 would be a very busy one.

Saturday, October 27 – Wilderness Lodge Resort, Epcot, Magic Kingdom

At just before 8:00 a.m. I left my room and headed towards the bus stop.  While crossing the 5th floor walkway/hallway over the Wilderness Lodge’s beautiful lobby I had to stop to take a few photos…

Things were pretty quiet there, even in the usually “not quiet” restaurant, Whispering Canyon…

I think the restaurant had been open since 7:30, but I only saw one table occupied on this Saturday morning…

 

Then it was on to the bus stop to catch a bus to Epcot.  I arrived at Epcot’s main entrance before the park opened at 9:00 and attempted to enter early with other guests who had early breakfast reservations in the park (including the Parisian Breakfast that I was heading to).  Unfortunately though, since my friend Nicole had made our reservation for the breakfast and was unable to link me to the reservation on MDE it did not show up when they scanned my Magic Band.  So even though I showed them a screenshot of the reservation I was not allowed in the park early.  Nicole and the rest of our French breakfast group were staying at the Boardwalk so were entering the park from the International Gateway that morning so it was just me that was forced to wait until they opened the flood gates at 8:55.  I was close to the front of the crowd so was able to make it all the way from the front of the park to France at the back in about 10 minutes.  I actually beat Nicole and the rest of the group to Chefs de France for…

Our Parisian Breakfast 

After breakfast Nicole’s group headed to DHS but I had a couple of Fastpasses to use in Epcot.  So I left Chefs de France and the France pavilion at about 10:30 and spent the next couple of hours in Future World, first riding my favorite Epcot ride, Soarin’.  As I walked by the Garden Grill restaurant (also in the Land pavilion) I checked the sign for their current prices…

Ever since I had a great breakfast there a couple of years ago I’ve been interested in giving lunch a try but when I saw the $52.00 price I decided to wait for another trip when I might have a Tables in Wonderland discount.  So then it was on to Spaceship Earth to use my second Fastpass…

After this it was back to the France pavilion to continue my day of bottomless mimosas at Monsieur Paul…

The Parisian Afternoon – Sandwiches, Macarons and Bubbles! Lunch 

I left Monsieur Paul and the France pavilion at about 3:15 and made my way to the front of the park and out to the bus stop to catch a bus back to the Wilderness Lodge.  This process went unusually quickly, as I was back in my room shortly after 4:00.  But I didn’t stay there for very long.  At about 5:30 I headed downstairs to the…

My Dinner at the Territory Lounge

After returning to my room for a jacket and bag, I made my way out of the lodge and towards the bus stop.  On my way out I noticed this display in the window which featured Donald and Daisy Duck.  I liked it so much that I stopped to take a photo of it…

Then I continued on to the bus stop, where I boarded a bus to Magic Kingdom.  Note: The other transportation option to Magic Kingdom from the Wilderness Lodge is to take a boat from the boat dock.

I arrived at the park and was through security and the gate quickly, so I had some extra time to kill.  I decided to use this extra time to look around inside the Main Street Confectionery…

One of their window displays featured Cotton Candy…

Inside I was surprised to see a machine with fresh cotton candy being spun and bagged by a castmember.  I guess I had never noticed this before during my previous visits to the Confectionery.

There were other castmembers who were busy making caramel apples…

I also noticed that on October 27th they already had some Christmas merchandise out…

After leaving the Confectionery I stopped to enjoy the window displays along Main Street, as I made my way towards my destination.

I of course had to stop to admire the crystal Cinderella’s Castle on display in the window of the Crystal Arts shop…

I love how the lighting inside makes it change colors…

This limited-edition Walt Disney World Cinderella Castle sculpture made by Arribas Brothers is covered in thousands of Swarovski crystals and sells for a mere $37,500.  Or you can get a miniature version for just $6500.  Maybe someday when I win the lottery?  Of course, I guess you first have to buy a ticket before you can win.   Image result for laughing emoji

I then proceeded to my destination…

Happily Ever After Fireworks followed by the Dessert Party  – Part I (Details & Show) 

Happily Ever After Fireworks followed by the Dessert Party – Part II (Dessert Party)

Sunday, October 28 – Wilderness Lodge Resort, Contemporary Resort, Animal Kingdom, Beach Club Resort, and Boardwalk Inn

I was up early on this morning and at about 7:30 I went downstairs in search of breakfast from the Wilderness Lodge’s quick service restaurant…

Breakfast “To-Go” from Roaring Fork

After breakfast it was time to pack my bags and send them off (via Bell Services) to my next resort, the Boardwalk Inn.

I then left my room shortly after 10:30 and headed toward the dock to catch a boat to the Contemporary.  I stopped along the way to soak up the beauty of the Wilderness Lodge grounds for one last time (on this trip) and took a few photos…

There was a sword fight going on…

Then it was on to the dock, just in time to catch my boat, the Blue Flag boat…

This small, open boat runs between the Fort Wilderness Resort, Wilderness Lodge, and the Contemporary (where I was headed).  There is another small boat (I think it’s the Red Flag) which runs between the Wilderness Lodge and Magic Kingdom.  And then there is also this larger, enclosed boat which goes to and from Magic Kingdom.  This boat was at the dock as we pulled away…

I had boarded the Blue Flag boat a few minutes before 11:00 and about 10 minutes later we arrived at the Contemporary…

So I had a little time before our 11:25 brunch reservation.  I first stopped to take a few photos before going inside…

Once inside I also made a quick stop at the Contempo Cafe.

Though it was 11:15 by this time, they still seem to be serving breakfast.  So sadly their display case still had breakfast pastries, instead of the cupcakes and other desserts that I was hoping to photograph.  But I took a few photos anyway.

There were Cinnamon Buns for $4.29

Apple-Cinnamon Muffins for $3.49

Cream Cheese Danish

Chocolate Croissants

And Strawberry Strudel Muffins for $3.49

Then it was time to check-in for our…

Sunday Brunch at California Grill

After our brunch, Rachel headed home (she’s a local) and I was off to Animal Kingdom to meet up with my friends, Nicole & Mike, and their friends.  We first had fast passes to ride Avatar Flight of Passage (currently my favorite Disney World ride) together, followed by a safari ride.

We could practically reach out and touch the ankole cattle…

Thankfully that was not the case with the crocodile (or are these alligators???)…

And speaking of reaching out…

These were wildebeests…who gnu?

And it’s always fun to catch a glimpse of the lion…

And lioness…

After the safari my friends had Fast Passes for Expedition Everest but my 3rd and last Fast Pass was for the Rivers of Light show, which they were not interested in seeing.  So I strolled around the park for awhile taking in the sights and sounds, like checking out the beautiful carvings on the Tree of Life…

And before I knew it, it was time to head to Asia and find the Fast Pass entrance for the Rivers of Light amphitheater…

Rivers of Light with a Fast Pass

As I was leaving Animal Kingdom, I decided to take a detour in search of dinner.  So instead of getting on the Boardwalk Resort bus, I boarded the one headed to the Yacht & Beach Club Resort.

Dinner at Beaches & Cream

After my dinner I made my way over to the Boardwalk Resort, where I would be spending the next 6 nights of my trip.

My Room at the Boardwalk Inn

Monday, October 29 – Disney’s Boardwalk, Epcot

My plan was to get breakfast from the Boardwalk Bakery on this morning, but on my way there I stopped to take these photos. First the Beach Club, across the lake on the right…

And then the Yacht Club on the left…

 

And the Boardwalk, where the dock was busy with boats going in both directions (Epcot is the next stop for the one on the right, while the boat on the left stops at the Yacht & Beach Club and the Swan & Dolphin before arriving at Hollywood Studios.

Here’s another one minus the boats…

Then it was time for…

My Breakfast from the Boardwalk Bakery

I spent the morning in my room relaxing and catching up on my dining review notes.  Then at about 11:00 I headed out to the boat dock on the Boardwalk…

Thank you! I think I will have a Magical Day.

I then boarded a boat for the short ride to the backdoor entrance (aka International Gateway) of Epcot.  Once there I headed to the Italy pavilion for the…

Italian Regional Food & Wine Pairing Luncheon held at Tutto Gusto

Following our lunch, I returned to my room at the Boardwalk Inn to sleep off the many glasses of wine that I had had.  Along the way I stopped in at the Boardwalk Bakery to refill my mug with soda.  The bakery during this mid-afternoon was quiet, so I took photos of some of the desserts that had been added to their display case since I was there for breakfast early that morning.

I didn’t get the sign for this first dessert in the photo but I think it was a Mango and Vanilla Panna Cotta

 

I was way too full from lunch so didn’t buy anything, but the Boardwalk Bakery always has many tempting desserts.

That evening I met my friends again for dinner along the Boardwalk at…

Our Flying Fish Dinner Review

Tuesday, October 30 – Yacht Club, Epcot

This morning I was meeting up with friends for an 8:00 a.m. breakfast across the lake at the Yacht Club.  The boats were not yet running when I left the Boardwalk at around 7:30 but it was a beautiful morning so I enjoyed the walk around Crescent Lake.

 

 

After my leisurely stroll (stopping to take some sunrise photos), I arrived at my destination, the Yacht Club Resort…

I arrived there before my friends so I checked out the table in the lobby which held the decorated pumpkins created by the Cast Members of the Yacht & Beach Club Resort…

I’m not sure if this is something that is done for Halloween at all of the Disney resorts but I know they also do this every year at the Boardwalk.  I’ll be showing you this year’s Boardwalk contest entries when I cover the resort’s Halloween activities so you can compare the talent/creativity of their cast members to that of the Y & B Club’s.

I also checked out the Lunch menu posted outside the Ale & Compass Restaurant…

Then my friends arrived and we were seated for our breakfast at the…

Our Ale & Compass Breakfast

After breakfast, Nicole & Mike were off to the golf course but my destination for the remainder of the day was just a short walk away…

Along the way I stopped to check out the progress of the Skyliner station located just outside Epcot’s International Gateway entrance…

While I am looking forward to riding on the skyliner, I am a bit worried about the increased traffic that it will create coming into the back entrance of Epcot.  It’s been a huge benefit for guests of the Epcot resorts (where I often like to stay) to be able to enter through the International Gateway while the majority of the park guests enter from the main entrance.  Entering here is usually a breeze at park opening compared to the front entrance, plus there is the added bonus of walking through/by an empty United Kingdom and Canada pavilion (and France too if you choose to head to the bakery there first thing in the morning).

Ahhh…I am really, really going to miss this quiet, early morning stroll into Epcot.

Anyway, my first destination in Epcot that morning was my second favorite ride at Disney World, Soarin’.  So it was on to Future World…

After riding Soarin’ I had a little bit of time to kill so I checked out the quick service restaurant in the Land Pavilion, Sunshine Seasons.  Here is what I found (and photographed) in their display case of desserts, starting with their cupcakes…

I read that the Belle cupcake was chocolate cake with cherry filling, and the gown’s skirt (aka frosting) is lemon flavored. A fondant bodice tops the whole thing.  Very pretty, but perhaps too pretty to eat.

Another Sunshine Seasons cupcake that might fall into the “too pretty to eat” category for me is their…

The Rose Gold Minnie Ear Cupcake is a vanilla cupcake with chocolate-hazelnut swirls and topped with buttercream, fondant ears, edible rose gold glitter, and chocolate pearls.  Another work of “edible” art!

Another eye-catching cupcake was their…

Here is a photo I found on the internet of the inside of this one…

And here is a description I found of this pretty flower pot cupcake: The Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcake ($5.99) is a vanilla cupcake, more muffin than actual cake, that is filled with a layer of strawberry jelly, then a layer of peanut butter inside. On top is a layer of peanut butter frosting, then buttercream frosting “grass”, chocolate cookie crumbs for dirt, and edible flowers.

Also note that each of these cupcakes in the display case was topped by a different edible flower.

Next was their Seasonal Cupcake…

This was a Vegan Coconut Pineapple Cupcake that was made to look like a perfectly scooped ice cream sundae!

Then there was a Carrot Cake Cupcake that really didn’t look like a cupcake…

Now for some other dessert options from Sunshine Seasons, starting with their Strawberry Shortcake…

Years ago this was a family favorite but it looks very different (and a little smaller) now.  Sometime I need to try this and see if it tastes the same.

And then a couple more desserts that have been around at Sunshine Seasons for awhile…

 

I’ve not tried either of these.  How about you?

Then I saw something in their display case that surprised me…

Although I had many times seen these at Roaring Fork at Wilderness Lodge (and heard they were also at Port Orleans Riverside), I didn’t know they were available elsewhere on Disney property.  In case you are unfamiliar with the Magic Cookie Bar, its ingredients include a graham cracker crumb base, both chocolate & butterscotch chips, pecans, candy sprinkles, and coconut flakes.  While I have tried one once when they had them out for guests when I stayed Club Level at the Wilderness Lodge a few years ago, I didn’t really care for it.  The culprit for me is the coconut flakes.  Though I enjoy the flavor of coconut (love pina coladas, lol), I don’t like coconut flakes/shredded coconut.  I think it’s a texture thing.  But anyway, these are super popular so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that they are expanding their availability.

Additionally there were still a few breakfast pastries displayed in their cases, like these Cinnamon Rolls for $4.29 and Chocolate Chip Muffins for $3.49…

An although it was only about 10:15 a.m. they already had some lunch items available.  Here is the menu on display…

I’m not sure about the Barbecue Pork but I saw the other two items on display and ready to purchase.  Here is the Rotisserie Turkey Club Sandwich…

And the Deep Dish Pizza, which came with a Caesar Salad…

Shortly after I took that photo a family came up and purchased 3 out of the 4 pieces of pizza on display.  I thought this looked pretty good and if it had been a little later in the morning I would have considered giving this pizza a try.

I ended up sticking to my original plan for lunch by eating my way around the festival booths in World Showcase.  I combined all of my festival booth reviews in one review on Day 2 of this trip.  Here is the link:  12 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Booths Visited Over 3 Days

Later in the day I attended the first Eat to the Beat performance of the night of Hanson…

 

I had seem them perform on Halloween (in costume) at Epcot a couple of years ago and enjoyed their concert.  They were again very good this year.

After the concert I slowly made my way to Mexico and found a spot in front of the restaurant to sit, relax, and people watch until Nicole & Mike arrived and we checked in for our reservation at…

Dinner at La Hacienda de San Angel

 

Wednesday, October 31 – Boardwalk, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Contemporary

HAPPY HALLOWEE

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Halloween 2018 at the Boardwalk Resort

Now on to my activities for the day.  I wanted to ride my current favorite Disney World ride (Avatar Flight of Passage) for a second time on this trip but wasn’t able to get a second Fast Pass.  So my choices were to wait in the ride’s Stand-by line for a very long time or get up very early and do my waiting outside the park (waiting for it to open) and again at the Rope Drop entrance for Pandora.  I chose the “Early Bird Catches the Worm” approach.

So on a day when Animal Kingdom officially opened at 9:00, I was walking down the path to the Boardwalk’s bus stop at around 7:25 – 7:30.  When I saw that the bus for Animal Kingdom was already there, my walk changed to a jog.  Thankfully though the bus was delayed from departing by a woman asking the driver when the Magic Kingdom bus would be arriving.  So I made it onto the bus with 0 wait time!  AND I WAS THE ONLY PASSENGER ON THE BUS!!

My own personal bus reached Animal Kingdom at about 7:40.  I got through bag check quickly and was happy to find that the lines at the park gates were still short.   There were only about 10 people in front of me in my line.  They started letting people into the park at about 8:15 and I walked quickly to the bridge at the entrance to Pandora, where I waited (along with many others) for Rope Drop.  At about 8:30 this group was led by some Cast Members to the the Stand-by entrance to Flight of Passage.  This was all done in a very orderly fashion.  The Stand-by line moved pretty quickly so by 8:55 I had ridden FOP and moved on to the other Pandora ride, the Navi River ride.  Before seeing the length of the Stand-by line for FOP I had considered riding it again, but when I exited the ride and saw all of those people waiting I quickly changed my mind.  But because everyone was in the line for FOP there was practically no one at the Navi River ride.  Though the posted wait time was 20 minutes it was actually a walk on…it just took a little bit of time to walk through the winding stand-by line.  By 9:15 I was off the ride and saw the posted wait time was now 40 minutes.  I then took some time to explore the beautiful Pandora.  At about 9:30 I stumbled upon a performance by the…

Pandora Drummers (aka Swotu Wayä)

 

I think they perform every hour starting at 9:30 so if you find yourself in Pandora around those times, I recommend that you take a 15 minute break to watch their show.

I hadn’t eaten any breakfast that morning because I planned to have an early lunch at Satu’li Canteen, Pandora’s quick service restaurant.  It opens at 10:30, so I waited at one of the outdoor tables in front of the restaurant and did some (always entertaining) people watching.  Then a few minutes before 10:30 the doors were unlocked and it was time for…

Lunch at Satu’li Canteen

Not long after lunch I headed back to the Boardwalk to take a nap, as I had gotten up early that morning to get to Animal Kingdom before the park opened.   Later that afternoon I decided to head over to Epcot, but first took a detour over to the Yacht & Beach Club…

Beaches & Cream Ice Cream To Go

I then walked to Epcot’s International Gateway entrance and made my way to the American Gardens Theatre for the 5:30 Hanson Eat to the Beat concert.  This time around I had a little better view from my seat so I took more photos than the previous day.  So here is Hanson – TAKE II…

 

 

 

After the concert I went in search of a snack to tide me over until my late dinner that evening.  And I found myself in Mexico at…

Choza de Margarita Snack

After my savory snack in Mexico I decided to stop next door in Norway at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe for something sweet.  I had something in particular in mind…

In case you don’t recognize this, it is a Cream Horn, or a Troll Horn (as they are called here at  the Norway bakery)…

Troll Horn – Cloudberry Jam with Whipped Cream in a Crispy Pastry Sugar-coated Shell

Though I had never had a Troll Horn here before, they are a favorite of my friend, Hunter, and came highly recommended.  So I entered the refurbished and newly re-opened Kringla Bakeri og Kafe looking forward to trying this treat.

In their display case were many of the things that I had grown accustomed to seeing here during my previous visits to this bakery.

There was the very popular School Bread

Also four kinds of their popular Sweet Raisin Pretzels (aka Kringla)…

Including a seasonal one that I don’t recall seeing here before…

There was also Lefse

Lefse – Soft Flatbread rolled with Cinnamon, Sugar and Butter

And Viking Mousse Cake

Viking Mousse Cake – A Chocolate Mousse Dome, twin tuile cookie horns, and a garnish of toasted coconut

As well as Berry Cream Puffs

Berry Cream Puff – Puff Pastry filled with slightly sweetened Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries, dusted with powdered sugar

And Rice Cream

Rice Cream – Rice Pudding topped with Strawberry Sauce – $3.79

Also the Frozen-themed Mini Cupcakes (in the background) and Anna’s Birthday Cupcake that I had seen before here were also present in the display case…

Anna’s Birthday Cupcake – Chocolate Mousse-filled Cupcake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing – $5.99

But sadly, the one thing I did not see in their new display case was the Troll Horn that I wanted.  I asked one of the Cast Members and was told they no longer offered the Troll Horn.  He also mentioned that they had many guests asking for them and recommended that I pay a visit to Epcot’s Guest Services to add my complaint to the others.

Since my heart was set on the Troll Horn, I passed on getting something else so no actual review this time for Kringla Bakeri.

But FYI, I was headed back to my resort (the Boardwalk) via the International Gateway (backdoor entrance) so didn’t take the time to walk to the front of the park and lodge my complaint at Guest Services but there must have been plenty of guests who did because I see that the Troll Horn is now back on the bakery’s online menu.  So maybe next time I’ll get to try it!

After Norway, I made my way around World Showcase and took a few sunset photos along the way…

Then I exited the park at the International Gateway and returned to my room at the Boardwalk to get ready for dinner at the Contemporary Resort’s…

A Late Dinner at California Grill

 

Thursday, November 1 – Boardwalk, Disney Springs, Dolphin Hotel

I started my day by grabbing my breakfast to go from downstairs at the Boardwalk’s…

Breakfast (x2) from the Belle Vue Lounge

Later that morning I boarded a bus to Disney Springs to do a little shopping before meeting up with friends for lunch at…

Image result for homecomin kitchen

Our Lunch at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

After lunch, I believe Nicole & Mike headed out to the outlet mall while I stayed in the Disney Springs area to catch a movie at the AMC Theater.

 

I cried my eyes out but it really didn’t matter because I nearly had the theater to myself at this mid-Thursday afternoon showing of A Star is Born.  

After the movie I caught a bus back to my resort, the Boardwalk, where I stayed until it was time to walk next door to the Dolphin Resort…

Where I was meeting my friends for dinner at…

Our Dinner at bluezoo

 

Friday, November 2 – Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Boardwalk 

Today I used the last day on my park hopper ticket and my original plan was to visit all 4 parks in one day…my first ever attempt to do so.  Sadly though, the weather didn’t cooperate.  But more on that later.

My day began at Hollywood Studios with a quick service breakfast at…

Our Breakfast at Woody’s Lunch Box 

After breakfast Nicole and I used our Fast Passes for our first ever ride on Slinky Dog Dash…

It was fun but Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster is still my favorite ride at Hollywood Studios…at least until the Star Wars rides are open.

After Slinky Dog we checked out the other new Toy Story ride and found a pretty short stand-by line so we also rode Alien Swirling Saucers.  It was okay.  Probably a ride that is more fun for the kiddos.   Anyway, our other fast pass was for Star Tours and then on a whim we decided to see the Frozen Sing-Along Show together…

Someone in the seats ahead of us was using FaceTime to share the show with their little girl at home.  It was fun to see her reactions.  This was my 3rd time seeing it but it’s always a bit different due to the “ad-libbing”of the narrators…who add some humor to the show.

After the Frozen show Nicole and I said our goodbyes and I was on my own for the rest of the day/trip.

So for me it was on to another park…

Which as you can see in the photos, Magic Kingdom had been transformed from Halloween to Christmas since the last time I had seen it on Halloween night.  This was on November 2nd…

The Christmas decor and spirit could also be seen and heard as soon as you stepped inside the park onto Main Street USA.  The Main Street Barbershop Quartet was singing Christmas-themed songs…

The pumpkin figures which had stood in Town Square had been replaced by Toy Soldiers…

 

 

And of course the decorations on the light poles which line Main Street had been changed…

I had a little time to kill before my lunch reservation so I decided to take another look inside the Main Street Confectionery to see if there were any changes since my last visit nearly a week ago…

They were busy decorating the chocolate- covered Mickey apples…

 

Of course there were also white chocolate-covered Mickey apples for sale here and a choice of different bottoms, including mini M&M’s and graham cracker crumbs…

And they still had some Nightmare before Christmas apples on the shelf…

Or for those who like peanuts on their apples…

 

In the display case were these large chocolate-dipped Mickey cookies…

 

Plus a whole lot of regular cookies…

They already had some Christmas cupcakes for sale…

 

Or if you are looking for giant Mickey-shaped Rice Krispie treats, you can find them here…

But $14.99?!?!…

Or you could get a smaller pumpkin decorated rice krispie treat from the bargain barrel on sale for 1/2 price…

Also in the “Bargain Barrel” were some cool Day of the Dead-themed rice krispie treats (since this was Nov. 2nd).  I got one of these and brought it home for my daughter…

After leaving the Confectionery, I continued to make my way down Main Street, looking in the store windows and seeing that they too had been transformed…

Then it was time to head to Liberty Square to check in for my lunch reservation at…

My Lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern

So, as you may recall, my plan for this day (my last day in the parks) was to visit all 4 parks.  But I didn’t want to just visit, I wanted to partake of a meal (or at least some sort of food to review for my blog) and ride at least one ride or see a show at each of the 4 parks.  So after my lunch at Liberty Tree I headed to the nearest ride and found the stand-by line to be fairly short so at Magic Kingdom I rode this…

“Welcome, foolish mortals to the Haunted Mansion.”

After the Haunted Mansion my plan was to head to Animal Kingdom but as I was leaving Magic Kingdom it was starting to sprinkle and the dark clouds overhead made me think there was much more rain to come.  So sadly I ditched my plan and boarded the bus for the Boardwalk instead of Animal Kingdom.  By the time we reached the resort’s bus stop it was pouring so I was confident that I had made the right decision.  However, I was sad that I had had to abandon my “4 Parks in 1 Day” plan.

But my mood soon changed when I entered my room and saw this wonderful display…

Three adorable small character cupcakes…

 

Plus 4 bottles of water…

These were a gift from Housekeeping, given to me as an apology for a minor problem that I had had with them the day before.  The Housekeeping manager had already called me and apologized so the whole thing had been forgiven and forgotten.  Therefore this thoughtful gift came as a total surprise.

I had one of the cupcakes (the pink one because I thought it was the cutest, lol) and it was delicious.  I also took one of the plastic water bottles with me to Disney Springs the next day.  The rest I gave to my friend Rachel (who had just checked in to the Boardwalk with her family for the weekend) when I checked out the next day and transferred to my 4th (and final) resort of the trip.

So no Animal Kingdom that day.  Instead I spent the next couple of hours in my room, occasionally looking out the window to confirm that it was still raining…

By about 7:00 that evening the rain finally stopped for awhile.   I had earlier checked the My Disney Experience app and found an 8:00 Fast Pass for one of my favorite rides, Soarin’.  So as soon as the rain stopped I headed out to Epcot’s International Gateway entrance.  As I was walking towards the Land in Future World I saw there was a band playing on the Mill Stage in Canada…

 

It reminded me of the good old days of listening to Off Kilter here…

Image result for epcot canada band off kilter

Though it has been nearly 5 years now since Off Kilter last performed at Epcot on September 27, 2014, I still miss them.  It still makes me sad to walk by the stage, even when that stage is filled by another band.  Though this band (not sure of the name??) was an improvement over the lumberjack show which replaced Off Kilter, they still fell short of filling those Off Kilter boots (and kilts).

Anyway after my ride on Soarin’ it was time to head towards World Showcase Plaza for the…

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party Review

After the Frozen ride, it was about 10:45 p.m. (45 minutes after park closing) when I began my hike around World Showcase from the Norway pavilion to the International Gateway entrance/exit.  There were very few guests still in the park by this time and I noticed that for the first time of this trip there was no one walking in front of/back of or taking photos with the Food & Wine Festival’s topiary display so of course I had to stop and take a pic…

Then the race was on to catch the final boat of the evening from Epcot to the Epcot resorts.  My feet were already tired so I really didn’t want to have to walk all the way back to the Boardwalk.  Thankfully I reached and boarded the boat a little before 11:00, the scheduled departure time (1 hour after park closing).  The boat didn’t leave the dock until a little after 11:00 though, as I suppose they were allowing for guests who might be running a few minutes late.  Then we were off, with the first stop being the Boardwalk, then Yacht & Beach Club, and the last stop (since Hollywood Studios was already closed) at the Swan & Dolphin.  We reached the Boardwalk (where I was staying) around 11:30 and during the boat ride there I had decided that I was a bit hungry.  So my plan was to stop at the Boardwalk Bakery to get a snack before heading up to my room.  Unfortunately though the bakery had closed at 11:00 so I had to come up with a Plan B…

Walk-up window of Pizza Window at Disney's BoardWalk

Dinner from the Boardwalk Pizza Window

Saturday, November 3 – Boardwalk, Disney Springs, Port Orleans Riverside

Today I was on the move again, transferring from the Boardwalk Inn to Port Orleans Riverside for the final night of my trip.   When I decided to fly from Orlando to my local airport (which is available only on certain days of the week) I needed to add an additional night onto my already booked trip so that I could fly home on Sunday.  Unfortunately the Boardwalk Inn was not available for Saturday night, Nov. 3rd so I had to check on other available options.  One of these was Port Orleans Riverside, a resort I had not stayed at for about 15 years.  So I was looking forward to reacquainting myself with this beautiful resort.

I was busy packing my bags and getting ready for the transfer so breakfast that morning was only coffee from the Belle Vue Lounge (in my refillable mug) and one of the cupcakes which had been given to me the day before by the housekeeping staff…

Soon it was time to leave the Boardwalk and catch a bus to Disney Springs, so I called Bell Services and they sent a bell man up to my room to collect my luggage and arrange for its transfer to Port Orleans…

Then I was off to Disney Springs, where I had a lunch reservation at…

My Lunch at The Edison

After lunch, my next stop was at the nearby…

Chocolate, Chocolate, & More Chocolate at The Ganachery

From The Ganachery I made my way towards the Marketplace section of Disney Springs.  On the way there a few things caught my eye, like this sign outside of the newly opened (in May 2018) Wine Bar George…

Wow, 140 different wines?!?!  Very impressive.  And the ability to purchase several different wine by the ounce for $4 – $10 each.  A good way to try out some pricey wines without breaking the bank.

Another sign outside of Vivoli il Gelato tempted me to change my mind…

But I had a different kind of sundae in mind and decided to stick with the plan.  So I forged ahead to…

Dessert at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop

After my stop at Ghirardelli, it was time to take a boat to my new resort…

My Review of the Port Orleans Riverside Resort & Room #8088 at Magnolia Bend’s Acadian House 

Next up: Dinner at Boatwright’s

 

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3 thoughts on “Fall into the Magic with Me! Oct. 23 – Nov. 4, 2018 Trip Report (Updated 10/11)

  1. While waiting for your next update to your latest dining report I have been going back and reading some of your previous dining reports. I just finished reading when you, your son, and your daughter went to Raglan Road to be there at midnight when your son turned 21. If I did my math right your son and my son have the exact same birthday, December 15, 1995. I have been reading your dining reports off and on since you were on the disboards. Thank you for doing them. You have similar tastes in food as I do so your reviews give me a good indication whether I’m going to like a place or not. My next trip is planned for this May for my daughter’s 21st birthday. I am letting her plan where we will eat. We are going to several of her old favorites but I am excited that she has picked some new places too. Thank you again for doing these reports!

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    1. Hello Deana!

      Thank you so much for letting me know that you are following along on my blog. Yesterday I received notification from WordPress that I’d started my blog three years ago, which is also when I left the disboards. I really miss the immediate questions/comments/ feedback/discussion that was received after posting dining reviews on the boards. However, I just couldn’t abide by their 3 month rule for dining reports and still maintain the quality that I wanted for my reviews. So thank you again for taking the time to let me know you’re following along. It’s encouraging to know that my reviews are still being read and are helpful.

      P.S. You are correct! Our sons were born on the same day. It was fun celebrating his 21st with him at Disney. Hope you have a great time celebrating with your daughter in May!

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      1. My daughter has celebrated her birthday in Disney several times since it is May 27th and usually falls around Memorial Day but my son had never been able to celebrate in Disney because of school, finals etc. He finally was able to be there this last December for his birthday although I think he had to work that day. He was a cast member through the Disney College Program this past fall. He worked at Sunshine Seasons. He graduated last May and went to Disney in August. This was his second time in the Disney College Program. He originally planned to stay permanently since he likes working for Disney but ended up taking a better job offer in Madison, Wisconsin and moved up there in late January during the polar vortex.

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