Showing posts with label Magic Kingdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Magic Kingdom. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Liberty Tree Tavern: dining in the Magic Kingdom

The Liberty Tree Tavern is located in Liberty Square - across from the Riverboat and near the Hall of Presidents.  
We visited this restaurant for the first time in May.  And I must admit that in the beginning, I was not that excited about eating here. I had read a few reviews of dinner - and well, as un-American as this might sound, I am not a fan of Thanksgiving type foods.  But.  As I read and researched further, I found that the lunch menu at the Liberty Tree tavern is quite different than the family style Thanksgiving meal at dinner.  There was a menu.  With lots of choices.  And ones that sounded really good.

I really like the theming of this restaurant as well.  It's located in an 18th century colonial style building - and then the dining room is composed of a series of rooms that are patriot themed: Betsy Ross, Paul Revere, John Paul Jones, Benjamin Franklin, George and Martha Washington, and Thomas Jefferson.  
And it's really fun when they call you from the waiting area to your table: "Welcome the Harris family from Georgia!"
We were seated in the John Paul Jones section right by a window.  
Do you see those stairs in the above photo?  If I have any quibble at all with this restaurant, it's the bathroom.  The bathroom is up those stairs (I am not sure how they handle accessible needs) - and it's really, really small.  
When you get your drinks, they are in these cute tavern mugs - and they are also available for purchase.

My mom and I decided to split the New England Pot Roast (the tavern keepers favorite).  And it was delicious.  Normally, I am not a big fan of pot roast.  It seems that almost everything made in my slow cooker tastes the same.  Obviously, the Liberty Tree Tavern did not use my slow cookers!  This was absolutely amazing.  The beef was fork tender and melt in your mouth.  And the potatoes with the gravy - I could eat it again right now.  Because we split a meal, we were each brought a plate with our half portions - so this picture is a half portion.
My girls decided to split the Pilgrim's feast.  They do not join me in my feelings for Thanksgiving food.  They thought it was all quite yummy - and even ate their green beans.  Again - this is a half portion on the plate. 
Our lunch was amazing - but what is going to make me go back is the dessert - the Ooey Gooey toffee cake. I wish we had gotten more than one to share!

To see more posts about Disney food and drinks, be sure to check out the blog hop over at Deb's Focused on the magic!

So...what about you?  Have you tried Liberty Tree Tavern?  Do you like Thanksgiving food?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wishes Fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom

Most nights in the Magic Kingdom, there is a firework show before the park closes.  And Disney does put on an amazing display of pyrotechnics.  But there is so much more to the show than bursts of lights.  Disney is actually telling a story with those dazzling flashes in the sky.  
"When stars are born, they possess a gift or two. One of them is this: they have the power to make a wish come true."
And so begins our show - with these words from the Blue Fairy.  Jiminy Cricket is our narrator and he tells us that he didn't believe in wishes.  But some things changed his mind.   We then get to hear the wishes of many Disney characters.  Ariel.  Peter Pan.  Snow White.  There are wishes for adventure.  For love.  And for something magical!  
And this part of the show has one of my favorite things - the flight of Tinkerbell from the castle into Tomorrow land.  It's not an image I'd ever be able to capture - but one that gives me chills every time I am there to experience it!

And then, things take a turn with the Villains taking over - led by the Evil Queen from Snow White.  Naturally, good triumphs over evil and the show closes with this thought, again, from the Blue Fairy:

"We must always believe in our wishes, for they are the magic in the world."
Where can you see Wishes?  Well, you can see it from just about anywhere in the park - but we like to be on Main Street so that we can see the projections on the castle.  And I especially like to see it from the Wishes dessert party so that I don't have to stake out a spot too far ahead of time.  
Another great spot is at the resorts around the lagoon.  The Polynesian is a great one - and especially great if you want to watch the fireworks on a day you aren't going to a park - you can come to the resort and claim a spot on the beach to watch.  At the Contemporary Resort is another great option - either from an amazing Theme park view room or at dinner at the California Grill. 
To see more Magical memory pictures of Disney World, be sure to check out Deb's Focused on the Magic!
So...what about you?  Where is your favorite place to watch Wishes?  Tell me what you "wish" to do next time you are at Disney World!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Meeting Tiana (from Princess and the Frog) in the Magic Kingdom

There is only one place to meet Princess Tiana from Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" - and that is in the Magic Kingdom.  Her spot is in a tucked away gazebo in Liberty Square (just behind the Christmas Shoppe - which is across from the Hall of Presidents).

My girls are usually not into characters - but they do like things that are hard to find - and like Merida, Tiana fits that bill.  Tiana is currently only available for meet and greets at her gazebo.  She does not meet at any other park.  She is not part of any princess meal.  So my girls decided that they needed to meet her.
When we got to her gazebo, she was not there - she was helping Big Daddy with the gumbo, but an attendant let us know that she'd be back in about 20 minutes - so we decided to wait.  The area is outside, but there are lots of trees and cool breezes, so even on this May day, it was quite pleasant.  However, do know that the trees are full of squawking birds - and we had a couple of close calls with "treasures" dropped from above!

About 5 minutes before Tiana was due to arrive, a photopass photographer came out to talk to those of us waiting in line.  He also did these cool magic shots:

He did ones of Madalyn, too - but it never showed up on our photopass (though you can't capture a magic shot on your own camera - taking pictures with your own camera is always a good idea!).

And then Tiana arrived!
She asked the girls where they were from - and they told her just outside Atlanta.  It was hilarious - Tiana and the girls spent the rest of their time talking about food from the Varsity!  

We had a great interaction with Tiana - and we'd love to meet her again when Naveen is with her (right now, he's only out at the Halloween and Christmas parties) - and maybe we'll bring her that hot dog the girls promised.

So...what about you?  Do you have a favorite Disney princess?  Is there a princess or character that has been hard for you to find?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sleepy Hollow Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom - a review

The Sleepy Hollow restaurant is located just off the hub in Liberty Square.  It's a counter service location with outdoor seating.  If you are on the dining plan, you can get a couple of snacks here - but there are some options not on the plan that are well worth trying:  Waffle sandwiches!

The waffle sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow are pretty new to the menu - and I was excited about trying them out during our visit this summer.

First up is the Sweet and Spicy Chicken waffle ($6.99).  This is a fried chicken breast that has a sweet and spicy Asian flavor; it's topped with slaw and arugla - all sitting on a huge, full size waffle.  The best way to eat this is like a burrito - and to share.  Did I mention that it's huge?  And.  It's kinda messy - so eating it while walking is probably not the best of ideas.

What's the spicy level?  I am such a wimp when it comes to spice.  I could taste the heat - but it didn't make me extra thirsty or make me feel like I needed to fan my tongue!  Also, I don't like coleslaw - and the slaw on this sandwich could not be further from your typical side of coleslaw for your afternoon barbeque.  More like some type of Asian slaw - and added a nice crunch to the sandwich.  This sandwich is only available from 11 - 5 - and it's not on the dining plan. 

Next: the Nutella and Fresh Fruit waffle sandwich ($5.59)  Another huge full size waffle, spread with nutella and heaped with fresh fruit - bananas, strawberries, and blue berries.  Again - huge, messy, not meant for walking - and definitely meant to be shared!  This sandwich is available all day - and not on the dining plan.

And because my youngest decided that she didn't want either sandwich, we got her a waffle with strawberries.

Unfortunately, we both thought they'd be fresh strawberries instead of ones in syrup.  The waffle was good - eaten around the edges!

We got all three of these goodies at one time - and it was WAY too much food for four people.  One would have been plenty and filling!

Overall - we loved our waffle sandwiches (and the regular waffle - just not the strawberry part).  Be sure to find a nice shady spot to sit and eat - you'll even have a great view of Cinderella's castle.

So...what about you?  Have you ever had a waffle sandwich before?  Is this something you'd like to try?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Haunted Mansion's interactive queue - Disney's Magic Kingdom

Haunted Mansion has always been one of my very favorite rides.  The first time we took the girls to Disney, my youngest decided that since Haunted Mansion was my favorite - well, it would be her favorite too.  So after a walk down Main Street USA with a pause in front of Cinderella's Castle, we marched off to Liberty Square with chants of "Haun-ted Man-shun, Haun-ted Man-shun" for the girls to have their very first ride in a Disney park.  Probably not what most 5 year old children would choose.

The Haunted Mansion has actually changed quite a bit since that first visit in September of 2006.  Shortly after that, the Haunted Mansion closed for long refurbishment.  And we were lucky enough to be there again in September of 2007 - on the day they did soft openings just for annual pass holders (what a score!!).  And then just last year, the mansion got a new interactive queue.

As you go through the Haunted mansion line, you'll come to a cross road.  You can choose the short way or the long way - with the long way taking you to the cemetery.  We always take the long way.

You can find busts of some of the happy haunts that "live" inside of the Haunted Mansion.

We particularly like the twins, Wellington and Forsythia.

 You can play a haunting tune on the piano - and you can touch several other instruments that are "etched" onto the sides that will play along with the tune.

 There is also a library where the books come out at random - just push them back onto the shelf.

And naturally, there are the graves.  There are the ones up on the hill.

The captain's mausoleum that also blows bubbles

And of course, Master Gracey.

The tombstones are pretty funny.  As a kid, I remember loving the one for Good ol' Fred - a great big rock fell on his head - because Fred was my dad's name.

When you exit the ride, there are more mausoleums - and the last time we were there, we found a great photo-op (but a few days later, this wasn't there at all!)

Be sure when you are leaving, that you look to the left as you face Liberty Square and the Columbia Harbor House restaurant - you'll find the pet cemetery there (I forgot to take pictures!).

I love that Disney is adding these interactive elements to so many of the queues - it makes the time pass much faster - and with the Haunted Mansion, we always take the opportunity to wait in the longer line as we soak up all the amazing details that are the Disney difference.

So...what about you?  Do you have a favorite interactive queue?  What is your first ride when you go to the Magic Kingdom?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Inside Cinderella's Castle - a story in mosaics

I practically grew up at Disney World.  And I distinctly remember walking through the castle from the hub and into Fantasy Land.  I remember the heat and the humidity.  And then, in the cool corridor of the castle, a welcome respite.  And in that corridor - I remember mosaics telling the story of Cinderella.

But going to Magic Kingdom with my own children, I don't recall walking through the castle.  It's often blocked off because of the stage for the Dream Along with Mickey show.  And.  My family tends to tour in a circular pattern, so walking through the middle doesn't typically happen.

And then on our last trip, I wanted to go back through the castle to see if things were as I remembered.  My girls didn't even realize you could walk right through!

There wasn't a lot of "traffic" on our end - but at the other end are the entrances to Cinderella's Royal Table on one side and the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the other.  So I was able to take a leisurely walk and enjoy the beautiful mosaics and assure myself that I hadn't conjured up a childhood memory - that it was all real.

If you'd like to see more Disney photos themed around the letter C - check out Deb's "Focused on the Magic" blog and join in the hop!

So...what about you?  Have you seen the mosaics inside the castle?  Do you have a favorite childhood memory of Disney World?


Monday, March 19, 2012

Splash Mountain - A Kid's review

I meant to do this post last week as part of Focus on the Magic's theme of the week - Frontierland.  However, my week got away from me.  But, I didn't want this review to get away from you!  Splash Mountain tells of Joel Chandler Harris' iconic characters - the same ones that can be seen in Disney's "Song of the South" movie.  This is not a ride that I like at all.  Mostly because I don't want to get wet.  But.  My children.  They enjoy a good soaking.  You don't get as wet as you do on Animal Kingdom park's Kali River Rapids - but the possibility is enough to keep me off the ride and enjoying my role as principal photographer.

Here is my 10 year old daughter - Madalyn - thoughts on the ride:

This a ride for kids who like to get wet!  In this ride you go through a briar village, meeting Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear, and the evil Brer Fox.  Throughout the ride, you hear Brer Fox's nefarious (can I just say that I love that my 10 year old knows and uses this word?!) plot to eat Brer Rabbit.  Then, Brer Rabbit gets captured and almost eaten.  You will go down a huge hill.  You might get soaked!

In the end, Brer Rabbit escapes and Brer Fox eats something else.

The line to this ride can be pretty long so be sure to either use a fast pass or try to go earlier in the day.  Have fun at "my laughing place!"

Because I don't ride, I do take pictures.  There is a bridge where you can stand and watch for your family.  I have TONS of pictures of other people's families coming down the hill.  But I did manage to actually capture mine (though there are many times when I don't!!) - made much easier due to bright green matching shirts.  

So...what about you?  Do you like water rides?