In the last five years we’ve been able to visit Disney in several forms from a Cruise, parks, resorts to just stopping and shopping at Disney Springs while passing through. One thing is for certain, the wonderful world of Disney loves its sweet treats and puts so much effort into every confection no matter where you are!
Recently while in Orlando visiting Hollywood Studios I couldn’t help but capture some of these delights to share with you!
“This much I know. If you are what you eat, then I only wanna eat the good stuff.” —Ratatouille
From marshmallows to apples dipped in chocolate the Mickey theme is everywhere you turn!
And Mickey tastes delicious!
Of course many of your other classic characters make an appearance in sweet shops as well. Goofy’s Candy Company in Disney Springs is one of my favorite stops.
I’m a firm believer that calories don’t count at a Disney, so while I did enjoy some of these treats, I brought home the rest for Audley to enjoy!
As Winnie the Pooh says, “I wasn’t going to eat it, I was just gonna taste it.”
Sweet treats in the parks are often themed to match where you are. While in Galaxy’s Edge I stopped by the Milk Stand and shared blue and green milk with ” The Child “.
In case you’ve wondered (and the Instagram poll I conducted proved it), blue milk is the best!
Regardless of your preference for blue or green milk, it’s a very refreshing treat on a humid Florida afternoon.
Fantastic confections were also found at the new Riviera Resort. Made fresh daily you could grab a cupcake to eat while savoring your coffee or a delectable cheesecake to enjoy for dessert after a Tuna Niçoise salad.
And while the sugary treats are mouth-watering and hip expanding, you can’t visit Disney without enjoying Mickey Mouse shaped waffles. They are my most favorite treat of all!
A happy way to begin the day indeed!
“You know the thing about good food? It brings folks together from all walks of life. It warms them right up and it puts little smiles on their faces.” — The Princess and the Frog
This year has been anything but normal, so when my girlfriend Tami reached out to me for a little road trip to Orlando I had a bag packed in a snap! The idea of doing something “normal” was extremely exciting!
Walt Disney World arranged park entry to Hollywood Studios (I’ve only visited Magic Kingdom and Epcot so this was exciting) and a stay at the new and gorgeous Riviera Resort. We were able to check out the newest rides and spaces, as well as all the health and safety measures they are taking so you can still enjoy the parks!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios was Walt Disney’s third park which opened in 1989. Its undergone several transformations over the years, but continues the premise as an ode to the “Golden Age of Hollywood” with details and architecture that will send your imagination into overdrive as you step back in time.
Hollywood Studios is an opportunity to emerge yourself in the movies you love through interactive rides, shows, parades, and experiences.
When you first enter the park you’ll stroll down the main street of the park; Hollywood Blvd. it is homage to the beautiful Art Deco style of the 30’s and 40’s. Neon, chrome, architecture with personality surround you as you meander towards the park’s iconic Chinese Theater.
While waiting in line for Micky & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, check out all the handprints in front of the Chinese Theater & see who you recognize!
Once you reach the Chinese Theater you can experience the fun of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway adventure! This brand new ride actually opened just a few days before the coronapocalypse shut the world down. It is the first ride to actually feature the iconic Mickey Mouse! It’s a super cute ride no matter your age.
Hollywood Studios is so much fun to walk through as you check out each themed area.
One of my favorite rides was the famous Tower of Terror that has been a hit in the park since 1994! I could’ve ridden it several times!
Galaxy’s Edge opened in 2019 to delight of Star War’s fans of all ages. It is by far the most popular attraction in the park! In Galaxy’s Edge I enjoyed blue and green milk with baby Yoda aka “The Child” and guided the Millennium Falcon on a Smuggler’s Run. Tami & I also took a 3-D Star Tour with C3PO. It was so much fun!
Toy Story Land is so colorful and enticing we had to check out a few rides there as well! The Slinky Dog Roller Coaster through Andy’s Backyard is so cute and if you’re not a fan of coasters you can twirl with the Aliens!
As you can imagine, with this virus going around there are changes to the parks and how things are done. Here are a few things you should be aware of if you are planning a trip in the next few months.
*Masks are required on all Disney properties, at all times, unless you are sitting and actively eating and drinking. This includes parks, resorts and Disney Springs. Take extra masks… it’s hotter than the devils kitchen in Florida this time of year and a mask soaked with sweat is highly uncomfortable.
*When you purchase your tickets to the parks, you must make a reservation for the days will will use the ticket. They’re limiting park attendance, so you must have a reservation to enter.
*Before entering the park your temperature will be taken. If you have a fever, don’t go.
*Each ride is set up so that you are socially distanced as you wait. There are limits on how many can ride and only every other car/row is used.
*There are hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer stations everywhere in the park. I do mean everywhere.
*As for experiences in the park, they are different. There are a limited number of character experiences, generally found in the form of parades, and very few shows. You can feel a difference in the level of “magic”. The Disney Parks app is essential as you order and pay for your food and sign-up for times for certain rides. The Advantage of park policies right now are short lines for most of the rides.
Overall visiting a Disney Park has definite pros and cons right now. I am not a fan of masks so it was a policy that dampened some of my enthusiasm (and my mood once the sweaty thing rubbed a blister on my jaw). I did love limiting guest attendance to the park; shorter lines, not stepping on heels of people in front of you and not feeling like the whole world is crammed in around you. Smaller crowds is a definite plus and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if they kept that policy! Ordering food through the app is super convenient, but I am not a fan of my payment info being saved on the app. Overall it was a fun trip and i would go back if given the opportunity. If you decide to make the trip, just remember to make a reservation and plan out all the details of your trip before venturing down to Orlando!
It seems more and more families are looking for healthier options when dinning out while traveling or after a late day of sports. I know when we chose to dine out I really research healthier options because that is super important to my own family!
Fortunately we live in an area where several healthier options are available, including the inconspicuous Pollo Tropical; an upscale fast food option.
Last week I was invited to try a few new menu options as well as taste some of their original eats from this unique brand.
What makes Pollo Tropical different from other fast food restaurants?
** How about no freezers in the restaurant?! Everything is brought in fresh; prepped and prepared fresh in house daily.
**Pollo Tropical serves chicken that is natural; in other words, no hormones or antibiotics have been injected into their chicken as it was raised.
**The chicken is marinated in their special citrus marinade overnight and grilled fresh (never frozen) & right where you can watch.
** Recipes are traditional made with fresh ingredients daily, including the sauces on the sauce bar.
**Pollo Tropical prides itself in not using trans fats in their foods, and because everything is prepared fresh in-house there are a lot less unnatural preservatives in your food!
While known for their citrus marinated grilled chicken, Pollo Tropical has added Pollo Bites; fresh marinated chicken, dipped and battered in-house then fried in canola oil. These for perfect for those kiddos that love their chicken nuggets!
Also new to the menu are a couple of different chicken sandwiches. The chicken BLT with spicy chipotle ranch is so delicious!
For lighter fare, the bacon-shrimp salad served with dressing hits the spot. The shrimp is also marinated in the citrus marinade and then boiled.
The pulled pork sandwich with guava bbq sauce is such a treat. And I learned that in the Miami area this sandwich is served with a Cuban bbq sauce.
Originally founded in 1988 the Pollo Tropical chain has grown to 140 restaurants throughout Florida and up into the metro Atlanta area. This makes it really convenient for my southeastern friends when they hit the road for vacation!!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I am sooo excited!
Last week I was invited to accompany my gal pal Tammie for a return trip to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for media night.
Naturally I was very excited as I am that crazy person who walks around humming Christmas carols, and always looking for things to do to make the season even merrier!
Party goers get into the holiday spirit as carols are playing throughout the park, festive decorations galore add to the magic Walt Disney is know for, “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration” live show at Cinderella’s Castle that’ll have you singing all season long, the fabulous Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade featuring gingerbread men, elves, reindeer, toy soldiers and a special appearance by Santa Claus, cookies, chocolate and other sweet treats, a spectacular fireworks show and characters all through the park for photos and greetings!
The excitement and magic is contagious and I promise you will become that person that walks around humming carols all season long as well!
Check out a few images from our fun evening in the park!
Y’all, I’m such a fangirl!
Every little girl loves to meet a prince and princess!
Can we discussed the amount of lighting goals in this one picture?!
If you would like to attend Mickey’s annual party for yourself, it is open on specific nights between November 9-December 22 throughout this season. Beginning at 4:00 in the evening and lasting well into the night, tickets to Mickey’s party are a separate entry fee to Magic Kingdom. Once purchased, you enter a park transformed into a spectacular holiday scene that only the staff at Walt Disney can imagine! It’s fun to dress up in festive attire or even attend in your Christmas pajamas! With younger children plan to go early so that they can enjoy the magic before exhaustion overtakes them. Lines could be long for character greetings so stay merry and go with the flow. If you are a couple or have older kids planning to attend, wait and go later in the evening. The live show plays every hour, there are two parades (an early and a late), as well as fireworks. Of course there are the rides and several restaurants to enjoy as well as the magic you can only find at Disney World.