Month: December 2015

Our Disney Year in Review – ABC Style

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It is always fun to look back at the end of a year to see all what you accomplished & experienced. This year was definitely a whirlwind for us with our relocation and with Disney being such a huge part of our lives, I decided to take a look back at our Disney year in review in ABC form (must be the former teacher in me). It is always fun to look back at all the pictures and memories! I cannot wait to see what 2016 will bring. Enjoy!

A – Aqua Duck 

With two cruises under our belts this year, we definitely enjoyed riding this fun water slide on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy!

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B – Be Our Guest  

We had experienced dinner at Be Our Guest multiple times, but this was our first time experiencing the breakfast and lunch options and they did not disappoint!

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C – Cast Member

This is easy! Hubby landed his dream job and became a Cast Member in Florida, proving that dreams do come true!

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D – Duffy

We said goodbye to Mickey’s favorite bear on his last day at Epcot, but purchased a ShellieMay to help get us through this difficult time.

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E – EO

Another goodbye was said to Captain EO at Epcot in early December. We saw it in its last week and still believe the 80’s were a strange, strange time.

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F – Force

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens being pretty much the biggest movie of all time, we definitely had Force Fever in our household. We visited the new Star Wars Launch Bay, saw the movie at Disney Springs, fell in love with BB-8 and plan to see it again on the first day of 2016!

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 G – Gaston

For the first time, we met everyone’s favorite guy at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, needless to say, he liked our costumes, but didn’t understand why Justin let me walk around and read books. Such awesome character interaction!

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H – Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue

2015 marked the first time we witness this classic Disney dinner show at Fort Wilderness. Good food & even greater fun!

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I – Islands

Going on two cruises, we got to enjoy our fair share of islands this year. We visited:

  • Nassau, Bahamas
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  • St. Martin2015-10-27-13h23m36
  • St. Thomas2015-10-28-10h32m19
  • Castaway Cay (Disney’s Private Island and our favorite of them all!!!!!!)DSC_4894

J – Jafar 

We had another first time visit with Jafar at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. He is definitely not as lively as Gaston!

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K – Key

Our funny/not so funny story of 2015: The day we moved down here, our corporate apartment forgot to leave us our key in the lock-box as we were told. We arrived at 3 AM after 25 hours of driving straight to Florida and obviously the apartment office was closed. We called the 24 hour support line for the corporate housing company who basically told us to check into a hotel for the night and we would be reimbursed for the hassle. We checked into the nearest hotel we knew of:

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Funny thing was, our room key didn’t work at the Contemporary either and we had to wait an additional 45 minutes before being let into our room by housekeeping. Overall, a very bad day for keys which we can laugh about now!

L – Lilo & Stitch

Met these two for the first time at the DVC Merry Mixer in December. It was my first time visiting the parks solo!

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M – Move

We moved to Disney in 2015!

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N – Nighttime at Animal Kingdom

We finally got to catch a glimpse of how amazing Animal Kingdom will be once a full day park as we were able to visit after dark! The park has such a different feel at night, definitely put it on your must do list for 2016!

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O – Osborne Lights

With this being the final year of seeing these spectacular lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios,  I am happy we got to experience them one last time. Here is to hoping that they return somewhere else on property next holiday season. I will miss you, Osborne Lights!!!

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P –  Polynesian Village Resort

This is where Disney placed us when we came down in September for our house hunting trip! It was the next resort on our list to stay at and we didn’t even request it. Magic!

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Q – Quick

The whole move happened so quickly that sometimes I wake up and still cannot believe we are living down here and sitting in the hub grass! The entire year also seems like it flew by as well!

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R – Resort Hopping

Living locally now, we can really enjoy the resorts. We love just visiting and grabbing a bite to eat or taking pictures. The holidays are always a special time to visit the resorts to see all their decorations! Hoping the pay to park at the resort test that they are doing right now does not happen!

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S – Sunrise

We got to witness the most beautiful sunrise while aboard the Disney Fantasy in October. It was a pure accident too as Justin’s phone did not update and said it was 10:00 AM all the while it was really 5:00 AM. These are #insidestateroomproblems.

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T – The Magical Escape

This was the year this little blog was launched! I am glad to still be posting a year later and hope to do more blogging in 2016 than I did in 2015! Being local should help with that!

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U – United Airlines

Believe it or not, this year marked the first time my husband and I ever flew together, and of course it was to Disney. Since our house hunting trip was only a few days and we were in the middle of moving, it just made more sense to fly! It was my first flight since 2000 and his first that he can remember!

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V – Visitors

We now look forward to seeing our family and friends when they come to visit. We have already had both sides of the family come down for short visits and we have more to look forward to more in the summer! It is fun to share our Disney love with those we love!

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W – Wish

It is a tradition of ours to make a wish at Cinderella fountain behind the castle. Since we moved down, the fountain and surrounding shops have been under refurbishment and behind scrims. Recently, they took the scrims down and the fountain is back, but I won’t be able to get to Magic Kingdom until 2016! I guess they figure we didn’t need to make anymore wishes since we finally moved down here.

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X – Xmas Tree

All of our belongings are still in storage, but I still wanted to get a Christmas tree. We got a very small tree and decorated it with Disney things we had lying around like our Tsum-Tsums, Justin’s extra CM nametag and an ornament we got engraved for the year (which is another Disney tradition).

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Y – Yummy

Between the two Disney cruises, our May and September Disney vacations and now living here, we have got to experience a lot of yummy food! Some of the new places we tried this year included: Coral Reef, T-Rex Cafe, Cape May dinner, The Boathouse, and so much more! Plus we got to experience the Food & Wine Festival multiple times which was amazing!

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Z – Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay

The lyrics to this song pretty much sum up 2015 for me, minus the Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder:

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-A-Dee-Ay

My oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine heading my way
Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-A-Dee-A

Mister bluebird on my shoulder
It’s the truth
It’s actual
Everything is satisfactual

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-A-Dee-A
Wonderful feeling
Wonderful day

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Happy New Year everyone!!! Hoping 2016 proves to be as magical as 2015!

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World Showcase Inspired Gift Idea

DSC_7003Happy Holidays! When it comes to gift giving, I am a sucker for making themed gift baskets full of goodies. Last Christmas, I gave the mommies and daddies in my life a movie night gift basket for when the kids go to bed with all the trimmings: a Red Box gift certificate, popcorn, popcorn bucket,movie theater candy and a bottle of wine. This year, we are participating in a Secret Santa exchange and I was thinking what would make a good themed gift basket, when it finally hit me to create a World Showcase inspired one! If there is anything I love more than themed gift baskets, it is a DISNEY themed basket.DSC_7071[1]It is super easy to make and you don’t even necessarily have to visit the World Showcase in order to create it, but it is definitely more fun if you do, of course, which was what I did. The idea here is to give someone a little “taste of the world” by filling the basket with treats you can find at the various shops around the World Showcase. All the countries have some sort of prepackaged snacks, candies, spices, beverages, etc that hail from its part of the world. It is also nice that most items come in a variety of sizes, making it convenient to customize your basket allowing you to go as large or small as you want.

Everything found below with the exception of one snack, the golf ball, and the basket was purchased in the World Showcase. You will notice that each treat has a number adhered to it and a map of Epcot. The number corresponds to the country found in the Epcot map, making it easy to identify which part of the world it can be found in. If you can’t make it to the World Showcase, but still want to create a similar gift, you can easily visit World Market or any similar stores which sell ethnic foods. DSC_7072[1]Let’s have a closer look at what treats were included. Typically, when I tour the World Showcase, I always go to the left towards the Mexico Pavilion, so let’s start there:

Mexico: Praline Candied PeanutsDSC_7054[1]

Norway: Grandpa Lindquist Scandinavian Julmust (Christmas Soda)

From the bottle:

During Jul (pronounced “yule” – Swedish for Christmas), children and adults alike enjoy Julmust, a unique, sweet and flavorful winter soft drink. Created in 1910, Julmust was quickly embraced and continues to be a part of Swedish culture to this day.

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China: Chimes Peppermint Ginger Chews – I hear these are supposed to help with motion sickness, so this would make a great stocking stuffer for those prone to it! DSC_7067[1]

Germany: Quickbury Assorted Premium CookiesDSC_7068[1]

Italy: Piselli Panettone – Side note: Panettone is a traditional Italian sweet bread enjoyed during Christmas and New Years. DSC_7062[1]

America: Krave Sweet Chipotle Beef Jerky
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Japan: Pocky Strawberry Cream Covered Biscuit SticksDSC_7066[1]

Morocco: Oloves Basil and Garlic Natural Green Pitted Olives
*Disclaimer: These did not actually come from the Morocco Pavilion, but rather World Market. The Morocco Pavilion had a small selection of Turkish Delight or full-size spices, and I felt I already had included enough desserts and didn’t want to include spices that may not ever end up being used. The packaging said these came from Morocco, so I thought they were perfect!DSC_7058[1]

France: Pierre Pure Butter CookiesDSC_7065[1]

United Kingdom: Butler’s Irish Whiskey Dark Chocolate
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Canada: Jakeman’s Maple Popcorn
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Mickey Golf Ball: The person I bought for is an avid golfer, so I included this adorable Mickey golf ball in there as well and had it correspond with Spaceship Earth on the Epcot map since many people refer to it as ‘the golf ball’. This was a fun way to make the gift more personalized. DSC_7069[1]

Here is the Epcot map where you can see how the numbers on the map correspond to each of the delicious goodiesDSC_7055[1]I attached a tag to the map that read:

We traveled “Around the World” for your gift! See the map for the part of the world each treat comes from. Enjoy!”

It was so much fun to walk around the World Showcase to make this gift basket. There were so many different goodies to choose from, it was hard to pick just one! I must admit, I also picked up some snacks along the way for myself-I just couldn’t resist. I love how this gift can be used for just about anyone: men, women, kids, adults, teenagers. You can also use it for so many different occasions and not just Christmas. This would make a nice housewarming, birthday or retirement gift. The possibilities are truly endless! I hope you will make or receive one of these fun baskets soon!

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Dreams Come True.

 

 

WishesIt has been a while since I last posted anything, but as you know life often times gets in the way, and well, I guess you could say that life definitely got in the way here because The Magical Escape is now blogging live from Central Florida!!

We have always talked about moving down here, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would happen before retirement! The stars aligned and my husband landed a job with none other than The Mouse himself, which is another dream come true in and of itself. In the span of two short months, we moved our entire lives down to the Sunshine State and we have been down here a little over two months now, it all still seems surreal!

To have Walt Disney World literally in your backyard is crazy and we have been quite busy since we got down here just trying to take it all in. It is amazing to be able to go Epcot for dinner or see your favorite Candlelight Processional narrator–Neil Patrick Harris, anyone? We often do date nights at Disney Springs, partake in the special holiday events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or visit the resorts, just because. It is definitely a different way to do Disney and I think we can definitely get used to it!

We still have to do a little planning along the way since our Annual Passes expired, I am currently using my Maingate Spouse pass, which is subject to blockout dates, especially during the holidays, so it isn’t always as easy as just deciding on a whim that I want to go to Magic Kingdom on any given night as much as I would love to. Same for dining reservations, most of the popular restaurants still need to be made 180 days in advance. I have been itching to get to ‘Ohana for some bread pudding!

With that being said, I think we are settling in nicely here and just wanted to share some highlights from our last two months:

We said goodbye to Duffy on the day he jetted off back to Japan.
20151003_182256I celebrated my birthday at the Food & Wine Festival, YUM!20151016_182604We got to see Animal Kingdom all lit up and beautiful at night, which something we had never seen before and are so excited that shots like this will soon be the norm!DSC_5624Belle and Gaston had fun at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! DSC_5913 DSC_5667We journeyed into the high seas on the Disney Fantasy visiting St. Marten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay! Belle & Gaston came along too since it was was special Halloween on the High Seas sailing! 2015-10-27-13h31m332015-10-26-18h57m59 2015-10-28-10h20m35 2015-10-30-09h04m48We witnessed the amazing Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights for their final run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We will be back there again before they shut them off for good. :tears:DSC_6632 DSC_6622We were Merry & Bright despite the rain at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party20151119_233515 PhotoPass_Visiting_Mickeys_Very_Merry_Christmas_Party_7536957415We said goodbye to Captain EO which caused us to be late to get in line for the Candlelight Processional…but hey, we changed the world…DSC_6679So went back the next evening and saw Neil Patrick Harris, albeit from pretty far away, but it was still wonderful!DSC_6754There is still so much we want to do this holiday season! I must see the Osborne Lights again, visit Holidays Around the World at Epcot and catch the special holiday ending of Illuminations, plus I want to check out the trees and gingerbread displays at the various resorts. We also have not made it over to see the new Star Wars Launch Bay! There is still so much to see and do, but the best part about it is, we now get to experience it all!

I will leave you with this lovely little Someecard that I pinned a while back because it is just too perfect to not include in this post:6a3b37e53350bd478845c364239fa0dd

 

 

 

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