#(almost)Wordless Wednesday: Disney Food (New Orleans Style)

We made it to Wednesday, which is one of my favorite blogging days, (almost) Wordless Wednesday where I link up with Focused on the Magic.com and other Disney bloggers to share our #DisneySide through a themed picture blog hop.  This week’s topic is probably my favorite…Disney Food.

When people think of dining at a theme park they think of hamburgers and hot dogs with a side of salty fries, but Disney shatters that vision and brings theme park dining to a whole new level and place…

One of my favorite meals from last November was at

(or the makeshift location as renovations were still in the process at that time to this location) located in the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, because while you are in Rome, err New Orleans, you must do as the Cajuns do, right?

Lunch consisted of the finest that New Orleans has to offer or that I wanted to try…

a hearty bowl of Gumbo and a Shrimp PoBoy Sandwich. I wish I would have known how big that PoBoy was before I ordered because I certainly we would have split one!  The gumbo was a bit underwelming, but the PoBoy was awesome (and those homemade chips, AMAZING).  No meal at Disney is ever complete without dessert and in this case you had to get the beignets!

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Fresh from the fryer, definitely messy but oh so worth be coated myself in powered sugar.

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And no celebration New Orleans is complete without a little beverage, for that we went to Mardi Grogs pool bar and had “All that Jazz.” A layered adult beverage with the green Gata-Melon Juice on top, the orange Front Porch Freeze in the middle, and the purple-red NoLa Cola on the bottom. The colors make a very fun and fitting Mardi Gras effect. I sure wish I had more time to lay around the pool and sip on a couple of these all afternoon.

The “Happiest Place on Earth” , Disneyland, is where Disney New Orleans dining began…

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located in the New Orleans section of Magic Kingdom.  Last March I took the boys on a fact finding mission for my first Disneyland client and our first meal was atI had been dreaming of this since we had booked our trip and in my true Disney form knew exactly what I was having…

Monte Cristo Sandwich with Pomme Frites. They were as good as the reviews and oh that dipping sauce on both items…let’s just say the #monsterchild and I fought over who was liking the bowl.  My boys love dessert as much as I do…

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and loved getting powered with these fun Mickey shaped beignets.  I wish Walt Disney World’s beignets were Mickey shaped, because after all Mickey shapes taste even better.

There are so many places that Disney dining will take you…

Tuesdays on the Run: What do you need to know about a runDisney race?

It’s Tuesday, so that mean’s I am linking up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for

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Recently, I crossed paths with an old friend, as we proceeded to catch each other up on major events in our lives she mentioned seeing my endless FB posts about runDisney and was thinking about giving it try.  Well, Cindy as promised here what you need to know…

1. All Magic Comes at Price

runDisney events are not cheap.  While a local half marathon registration will cost you $50-100, a runDisney half marathon registration will be in the range of $200.  That is a lot of money for a t-shirt, medal and bandana.  Then when you factor in the cost of making it a run-cation the expenses go up significantly.  But trust me after you finish your first race, you will never have sticker shock again and somehow your eyes will never even gaze at the price, your finger will just click on that registration link.

2. Lots of Runners Want in on the Magic

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runDisney events have gained significant popularity the last years and many of the event weekends and distances are likely to sell out VERY quickly, some within minutes.  You need to make sure you are aware of registration dates & times, as well as be familiar with the registration process.  runDisney races are also huge events in the terms of participants, in 2016 almost a 250K runners took part in a runDisney race. The 2016 Princess Half Marathon had 37.000 registered runners.

3. Races are not Sleeping Beauty Friendly

Most runDisney events have a start time between 5-6 am, which means a 2:30 am walk up call is in order so that you can get dressed, make it to the bus on time, take care of your personal needs and get in your race corral ready to start by race time, all in the dark.  Most runners compete in the challenges (multiple races over the course of the weekend) and will repeat the early mornings 3-4 days in a row.  Princesses are off to bed early and have to limit times enjoying the parks.  You have to get in the mindset of you are here for “work” first and play afterwards.

4. Hi-Ho Hi-Ho, It’s Off to Train I must Go

Pixie Dust will not get you through a runDisney race.  You must take your training seriously and put the time into it to have a successful and enjoyable race. There is no room for excuses, only commitment. A great motivation for training is to pull out your registration and remind yourself of how much you are paying for this experience.

5. Magical Race Experience for Everyone

Whether you are a serious or causal runner, runDisney races can be magical for both skill levels and everyone in between.  With Jeff Galloway (leading running mousekeeter of the run/walk method) as the official race trainer, expect there to be a lot of run/walkers out on the course making a runDisney event a race that most everyone can be successful in.  Also, it is perfectly acceptable to stop occasionally and take in all the magic around you, including running through the castle or underneath Spaceship Earth. If you are brave enough, riding Expedition Everest in the middle of your full marathon, my personal goal. For those really wanting to celebrate the finish line, cross with a margarita in hand from the Mexico pavilion.  Also, make sure you take pictures and selfies along the way, documenting the magic you are having.  runDisney uses Disney Photopass photographers to capture the magic as you are running, but don’t be afraid to hand your camera off to a Cast Member too to help you capture the magic.  As long as you keep a 16-minute mile pace and are ahead of the “balloon ladies” you will finish the race.

6. Red or Blue?

While costumes are entirely optional, you will want to get in the spirit of a runDisney race after you see everyone else around you.  It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but it does need to be runner friendly so make sure you try it out during a run BEFORE you wear it for a race…chaffing is not fun.

7. Like Chocolate to Elsa & Anna, an Addition

Okay running is not fun or most people, me included.  But something happens when you compete in your first runDisney race and that medal is around your neck…. you suddenly forget about the training runs in the middle of summer (or winter), the blisters, the sweating, mile 9 when you are ready to die…all the bad stuff is erased and you begin thinking about the experience of running through the castle and only hear the clinking of your next medal.

So Cindy, are you ready to runDisney with me…

 

 

 

 

(almost) Wordless Wednesday: Summer

Once again I am late to (almost) Wordless Wednesday with Focused on the Magic.  But I have a good excuse, working to make a magical vacation for many families in 2018! This week’s topic is Summer, which is perfect timing now that I have finished summer school teaching and have a few short days to actually call my summer vacation.

There is not any place else at Walt Disney World that screams SUMMER than Stormalong Bay even if summer is just a faded memory and the calendar reads November.

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Stormalong Bay is located at Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club Resort (my personal favorite Walt Disney World Resort)…

With 3 acres to splash around in…including taking the plunge off a pirate ship (via slide), floating along in a lazy river or simply building sand castles along the sandy beach section there is a place for everyone.  But it you really want to get away from it all…

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My favorite place is the quiet pool in the DVC section of the Beach Club.  I could spend hours here reading a book and enjoying the sun in complete peace and tranquility…what summer is all about!

Friday Five: What I Love About the Port Orleans Riverside Resort

What a crazy week this has been.  On Tuesday, booking for 2018 Walt Disney World Vacation packaging became available and I found myself very blessed with over 20 quotes to put together for prospective clients. Looking over these reservations, along with the ones I have made throughout my last 6 months as an Authorized Disney Vacation planner I discovered that I am booking many of my clients at Port Orleans Riverside (POR)…

Besides the obvious Southern Hospitality theming and charm, today’s “Friday Five” is going to be dedicated to 5 Things I love about Port Orleans Riverside Resort…

1. Amenities of 2 Resorts

When you stay at Port Orleans Riverside, you get to also use the amenities of Port Orleans French Quarter resort.  What does this mean?  You get double the resort just a short 10-minute walk away… including arcades, evening movies, playgrounds, Cast Member lead activities, Quick Service food courts, and most of all double the pools for pool hopping (one of the few resorts this is allowed).

2. Royal Rooms

My Disney bucket list includes a stay in one of these incredibly themed rooms located in the Magnolia Bend Mansion section of POR. The theme is centered around Princess Tiana (Princess & the Frog) and her royal friends. You’ll find ornate furniture, custom drapes and bedding, royal artwork and my personal favorite…a light-up firework headboard. I can’t think of anything more magic than falling asleep under fireworks.

3. Yeehaw Bob

Port Orleans Riverside, Sassagoula Steamboat Company Main Buildi

Yeehaw Bob” is one of the funniest family-friendly entertainers around and appears at POR every Wednesday through Saturday evenings. He and his dancing piano put on a show that will have you laughing, singing and wanting to get up and dance. “Yeehaw Bob” knows how to get the audience of all ages involved in the show, and there is never a moment of silence during his performance.

4. Sassagoula River Cruise Boats

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These open air canopied boats transport guests from Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter to Disney Springs (shopping, dining and entertainment district). This is such a relaxing, enjoyable way to travel and a nice departure from a Disney bus. It’s especially beautiful and serene at night.

5. Carriage Rides

Port Orleans Riverside, Magnolia Bend area

 

Call me a romantic at heart but Southern Charm just oozes by taking a relaxing horse carriage ride through the woodland pathways and along the river…especially at dusk with the one I love.

The laid-back, quiet, “old south” charm of Port Orleans/Riverside will keep me booking clients at this moderate level Walt Disney Resort hotel.  It is especially perfect for families of 5 like mine.  Want to know more about what Port Orleans Riverside has to offer or a complimentary, no obligation Walt Disney World vacation?  Contact me today and lets start planning a vacation full of magical memories!

Tuesdays on the Run: Scenes from My Runs

It’s Tuesday, so that mean’s I am linking up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for

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I refuse to whine, but I am on the verge of giving up the thoughts of ever getting back to walking let alone running again.  Last Wednesday I had my latest check up with the podiatrist, one that I hoped would finally clear me to at least start building walking miles again in with hopes of returning to running in the fall…

Let’s just say the appointment did not goes as I had dreamed.  I am STILL not cleared to begin walking for exercise for another 3 months and physical therapy is going to get a little more aggressive with less stretching and more machine…meaning more ultra-sound and electrical current treatments to the ankle.  And the only miles I am going to be doing will continue to be in the pool.  Worst of all while the boot may be on the sidelines, it needs to be put into the game to relieve some stress on the ankle at times…

Honestly, I am not sure how much more of this I am going to be able to take before I finally just give up.  At this point I WANT TO AND NEED TO RUN/WALK for my own mental health…

Since this week is all about scenes from my run, I thought I would take a look back at some of my favorite views I have had during a run in the hopes of reminding me (or depressing me further)…

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Estes Park Half Marathon (Estes Park, Colorado)

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Rock & Roll Half Marathon (Dallas, Texas)

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Angel Fire Half Marathon (Angel Fire, New Mexico)

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Piazza Novena (Rome, Italy)

Epcot’s World Showcase (really any place at Walt Disney World, lol)

I have run in some pretty amazing places, but there is no place like home with canyon trail runs and morning sunrises that will take your breath away (the view that I miss the most). Patience…

I have so many more places that I see while running…inspire me with your favorite places and add to my running bucket list!

(almost) Wordless Wednesday: Disney Dads

It’s (almost) Wordless Wednesday!  Each week I join Focused on the Magic and other fellow Disney bloggers to share our Disney vacation photos and memories by blog hopping. This week’s topic is…Disney Dads

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I admit that when I planned our first Disney vacation as a family, I went in it thinking that it would be a “Once in a Lifetime” trip as I could never imagine that I would ever get Mr. Grumpy to agree to go back…

Let alone be his idea that we check out Carsland this past March.

I am so blessed (and thankful) that he goes along with my commando park plans, although it has nearly cost us our marriage a few times (which is probably the #1 reason he supports my venture as a Disney Travel Planner…so I focus on other people’s plans and not ours). I can’t wait to share with him Epcot’s Food & Wine this fall and our first Disney Cruise…as we escape to Florida without kids for a long weekend.