Sunday, July 9, 2017

Disney Fantasy 7 Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise: Day 4

Day 4: Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Tuesday: Sept 13, 2016
Evening Attire: Pirate/Cruise Casual
Restaurant: Royal Palace
Stage Show: The Magic & Illusion of Shawn Farquhar

This day was a super busy, but very fun day. Our first port stop was Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. The kids weren't too interested in getting off the ship so we decided to make this port day an adult only adventure. The great thing about Disney is they do allow you to leave your kids on the ship in the kids club at the ports if you choose. I was a little nervous about it, but it made me feel better that he would be with our friends three sons, the security they have in place, and the staff had been great with him the past few days. 

The port at Tortola

We chose the Tour to Virgin Gorda Port Adventure. When we got off the ship in Tortola we boarded an open air boat and cruised along the Sir Francis Drake Channel for about 30-40 minutes to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Disney Fantasy 7 day Eastern Caribbean Cruise: Day 3

Day 3: At Sea

Monday: Sept 12, 2016
Evening Attire: Halloween/Cruise Casual
Restaurant: Enchanted Garden
Stage Show: Wishes

Our third day was another day at sea. We had a pretty laid back day. We started off the morning hanging out at the pool and grabbing a quick lunch by the pool at Flo's Cafe. Flo's Cafe has 3 quick service stations that include pizza, burgers, salads, chicken and sandwiches. My son pretty much lived on pizza and french fries during this trip!

In the afternoon we walked around the ship to take in some exploring and played the Midship Detective Agency game. This is a ship wide interactive mystery scavenger hunt game. You are given a detective badge that interacts with hanging pictures throughout the ship that will reveal clues to help you solve your mystery and send you to your next location on the ship. (Be prepared for A LOT of walking!)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Animal Kingdom Solo Morning Trip

Walt Disney World has several levels of annual passes. For the past several years we have been gold members which only has block outs during Christmas/New Years and spring break. We recently downgraded to silver which in addition to the above block outs also blocks out the summer. I decided to keep the gold for myself because the gold has the added benefit of included photopass photos. The silver pass seems to be a pretty popular choice (in my circle of friends at least!) Summers are hot and crowded at Disney, so if you have the option to go throughout the year you certainly wouldn't choose July! 

Now I have been to Walt Disney World over 80 times, but I have never been alone. Since I am the only one out of my family and friends with passes who is not blocked out right now I figured I would hit up the parks this summer by myself. I decided to go to Animal Kingdom for my first solo trip. I have been wanting to go back to Pandora to ride Flight of Passage and eat at Satu'li Canteen (the 2 things I did not get to do the first time we went).

After dropping my son off at summer camp I drove over which would leave me about 4 hours before having to get back to pick him up. I was lucky enough to snag a fast pass for Fight of Passage about a month ago and also picked up an Everest pass as well. I got to the park around 9am and hit up Everest. It felt a little strange walking around and just being there in general with nobody else, but it was kind nice to be able to just do what ever I wanted when I wanted. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Disney Fantasy 7 day Eastern Caribbean Cruise: Day 2

Day 2: At Sea
Sunday: Sept 11, 2016
Evening Attire: Formal
Restaurant: Animators Palate
Stage Show: Aladdin

Sunday morning I woke up early and hit the running track. These early mornings became some of my favorite times on the cruise. The running track is on deck 4 and is mostly outside on the deck as you run next to the ocean, at the front and back of the ship you duck inside for a bit. I was out running around 6 or 7 most mornings and there were only a few other walkers and runners out. It felt a little strange running on a moving ship, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

After my runs I would then wander the ship. There were very little people around so it was nice to feel like I had the ship to myself. Here are some pictures I took in the mornings.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Disney Fantasy 7 day Eastern Caribbean Cruise: Day 1

Day 1: Embarkation Day
Saturday: Sept 10, 2016
Evening Attire: Cruise Casual
Restaurant: Royal Palace
Stage Show: A Fantasy Come True

I realized that since I have only recently begun to be more active on my blog that I never recap'd the Disney Cruise my family and I went on last September. This may take awhile because it was a 7 day cruise, and so it doesn't become a crazy long post I will dedicate a different post to each day of the cruise.

This was mine and my sons first cruise ever and my husbands second. So of course we decided to go with a Disney Cruise! We were lucky enough to share this vacation with our good friends who have 3 sons and their youngest is my son's age. 

(on our way!)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Echo Half Marathon

This morning my alarm went off at 3:20 am to run a half marathon... in June... in Florida. I was so bummed that I missed out on 2 races that I had planned on this winter/spring because of my knee injury, I really wanted to sign up for something far enough out that my knee would have had time to heel and before the weather got too bad. This is when I stumbled upon the Echo Half in Osteen Florida. They sold me with a 6:15 am starting time and the promise of a mostly shaded oak tree canopied course. It was an hour and 15 minute drive for me. I could have driven up the night before and stayed somewhere but honestly I didn't feel like spending the money on a hotel, and a 3:30 am wake call is no different than if I was running a runDisney race!

The drive wasn't too bad but I have to admit I was a little nervous driving down State Road 46 in the pitch black with nothing around at 4 o'clock in the morning! I was thankful I just had my car serviced a few days ago! I got there at 5:15 which gave me an hour to pick up my packet, bring it back to my car, eat some last minute fuel, stretch, and make a final dreaded port a potty stop. It was super dark when I got there still and the sun began to rise just about the time the race started. The pictures didn't come out great because I didn't want to be that annoying person taking pictures with my flash on that early in the morning! 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Disney's Animal Kingdom: Pandora

Yesterday I finally made it over to check out Pandora, the new land at Animal Kingdom. Unfortunately we did not get to see it during the early access passholder preview dates before it officially opened, but I was glad I was able to check it out within the first week it opened. The forecast wasn't looking very promising with high percentages of rain and lots of orange and red on the radar maps, but it's Florida and you just never know so we grabbed our ponchos and headed out anyway. My family has the Silver annual pass and I have the Gold. The Silver pass has block out dates during the summer starting on Sunday June 4th and going through mid August, so this was the last opportunity for my family to see Pandora before the block out. I kept the Gold pass so we could still benefit from the photopass option that is included with the Gold and above passes! I also have some solo trips scheduled that I am looking forward too! 

My son has been close to the 44 inch mark for sometime now and a quick measurement at home with his sneakers on put him at 44.5 inches a few days before. We were pretty excited because that meant he may actually finally be able to ride Expedition Everest (as long as he stood up straight)! As soon as we got to the park we headed over there for our fastpass time and had the cast member measure him and sure enough his head hit the pole, he was in! So thankful my little guy inherited my love of roller coasters!

After that we headed over to Yak and Yeti for our dinner reservations. It was just about this time that it started to downpour. Looks like we were definitely ordering desserts this time! I ordered the Honey chicken but substituted the chicken with Tofu (for most of their meat dishes they can substitute tofu), and my husband got one of the specials, fried chicken and waffles. For my sons dairy sensitivity the chef always comes to the table to take your order. They made him a plain burger with rice and steamed vegetables. From our experience, Disney is always very accommodating when it comes to this and will really make whatever you want that they can accommodate.

Had to try the yak attack (a mango daiquiri with rum and berry flavors) it did not disappoint!

After dinner and dessert, the rain still hadn't let up so we put on our rain gear and headed out. We had a fastpass for Na'vi River later that night but we wanted to go and check out Pandora in the daylight (and rain!). It was actually pretty lucky that it did rain because I think it helped keep some crowds away and I have to admit the rain did add to the ambiance of Pandora! Thankfully it was just a light rain. I have only seen Avatar once when it was first released on DVD, so I didn't remember much of the movie. I really don't think you need to see the movie to appreciate Pandora. As usual Disney does an amazing job at creating an atmosphere that submerges you into that particular environment. The details that they put into this land is truly stunning. We were lucky enough to visit during the daylight and after it got dark. I definitely recommend experiencing the land during daylight and at night.