Sunday, 30 June 2013

Disneyworld Diary: Day #9

Today we decided to head to the Boardwalk - we had heard so much about Disney's Boardwalk, but had never actually been. So we grabbed a bus over to Epcot and took the boat over!

Tank top - H&M, Skirt - River Island, Sandals - Primark, Phone Case - Disney :)

 As soon as we got to the Boardwalk, we wondered why we had never been before?!  The pace is so much slower, with hardly any people and none of the busyness of Disneyworld. The shops are so quaint and as huge fans of Boardwalk Empire, we immersed ourselves into the 1920's! We headed over to the Boardwalk bakery and saw they did some lovely looking sandwiches and more importantly... cupcakes! All included as a quick service on our dining plan no less! We grabbed a seat overlooking the calm waters of the Boardwalk and dug in. The sandwiches were just yummy and not to mention huge! We could only manage half the cupcakes at the end of it all.

Coffee cupcake for the boyf!

And Strawberry Cupcake for me!

 Afterwards, we walked along the Boardwalk, peeked into a few shops and enjoyed some ice cream before getting the boat across to Hollywood Studios! A very nice afternoon overall, definitely check out the Boardwalk if you want an afternoon "off" from all the madness!
We had dinner reservations that night at the Sci Fi Drive in Diner but with a few hours beforehand, we explored Hollywood Studios and went on some of our favourite rides! 

Those resorts in the distance are the Yacht and Beach Club. We really liked the look of them when we went past on the boat and asked the captain when we got off about them. He highly recommended them and said they also have a really amazing restaurant. My boyfriend turned to me and said "next time we come, can we stay there?" Music to my ears! NEXT TIME!!

Views of the Boardwalk. You see those balconies? Those are actually rooms! I wasn't too sure about them to be honest, being so close to the Boardwalk I can imagine it would get noisy especially with all the boats hooting but they look really nice and what a location!

At Hollywood Studios there is an amazing short film about Walt's life with a little museum with lots of hidden treasures, facts and quotes. I especially liked seeing Walts office and hearing about his "dream" of Disneyworld, Disneyland and animation. So worth checking out, and I always leave with a slight tear in my eye.


The Sci Fi restaurant is pretty cool and something we probably wouldn't have even thought about before Charlottes recommendation! You are seated in a car booth, with a huge screen in front of you showing old school Sci Fi movies with the stars above you. Very cool indeed. Even though you share a car with other families, you don't actually share a table as such, so its still pretty intimate.

Both Richard and I went for the New York Strip steak with garlic mash and veggies, as the rest of the menu consisted of burgers and sandwiches. However, I did have a slight mishap. The restaurant itself is pretty dark, I mean, I couldn't even take photos of the food as it was so dark! I took a big old forkful of what I thought was mash, but actually turned out to be blue cheese which was supposed to be on top of the steak but actually had fallen to the side of mine. I really struggled to keep it down, it was incredibly strong and the taste remained in my mouth throughout the rest of meal!! I couldn't taste anything else, so I honestly couldn't tell ya if my meal was good or not! Richard enjoyed his though!
For dessert I went for the fudge sundae, which comes in a glass complete with cherry on top! Thankfully my taste buds had turned back to normal at this point so I could taste its deliciousness! Phew! 

My only gripe about the restaurant is how dark it is. Damn blue cheese being disguised as mash!

We finished our meal just in time to catch the Hollywood Studios show, Fantasmic! I am a huge fan of this show, which has Mickey Mouse battling against his nightmares! It has lights, fireworks and fountains and is really not to be missed! We got a fairly good seat considering how late we showed up and thoroughly enjoyed the show as always! 

Can you spot your favourite characters? :)

We grabbed some goodies from the bakery afterwards to try and miss the Fantasmic rush and took some night time pictures before getting a bus back which was thankfully empty! Its always worth waiting back just a little bit, grabbing a snack or taking some pictures even for 10 minutes, so the buses aren't so hectic on the way back. Nobody likes standing in a crowded bus for 20+ minutes :)

Amazing candy apples!

Goodnight Hollywood Studios! :)

Friday, 28 June 2013

Disneyworld Diary: Day #8

So today we had planned to go to the mall, but being the lazy so and so's that we are, we didn't get up until midday! We decided to hit Walmart instead, as we wouldn't have time for the mall AND get back in time for our dinner reservation at Epcot's Hacienda De San Angel. 

Now if you are an American reader, Walmart to us simple UK folk is a pretty big deal. You do some INCREDIBLE food, particularly sweeties and cakes! Oh and not forgetting make up! As we don't have a rental car this trip, we took to public transport. We got a Lynx bus 56 from Magic Kingdom and the bus driver thankfully told us when we had to get off. Unlike British bus drivers, American ones are very friendly, helpful and cheery - a very welcome change (no offence, I haven't had the best experience with British bus drivers ha!)

Lucky Charms! If you are American, you will have no idea why these are so special to us UK'ers. But they are!
We made it, picked up some snacks and I purchased my first American beauty buy in the form of a Milani blusher in Luminoso! We then made our way back just before it bucketed it down!

Inside this huge temple is a little boat ride along with several Mexican shops and the most beautiful restaurant you will see. I must go there one day!

Our dinner reservation that night was at the Mexican pavilion in Epcot - The Hacienda De San Angel restaurant which we went to last year and adored. We are a huge fan of the Hacienda platter, a glorious platter filled with chorizo, chicken, steak, corn, veggies, chilli and black beans. Its a huge feast and we enjoyed a great view of Illuminations from our table. We did ask for a window seat, but you'll be very lucky to get one. Worth asking though! Our dinner was gorgeous but i'm always left a bit underwhelmed with the selection of desserts here. Richard chose corn flavoured ice cream sprinkled with popcorn (kind of odd?!) and I went for an apple turnover, not my favourite thing in the world but the other delicacy had nuts in, so its all I could go for really! Its a really nice restaurant though, i'd really recommend checking it out, its pretty relaxed and quiet with really nice decor and a great view (and a great menu to match!)

Lights overhanging in The Hacienda De San Angel. Really pretty, I want some for my own house!

Complimentary nachos and dips!

Views of Illuminations!

The "Hacienda" platter to share comes with chicken, steak, sweetcorn, veggies, chorizo, rice, wraps and black beans. A feast!

As it was late, the restaurant was kinda empty, the perfect time to take photos!

After dinner we went around Epcot for a while, taking pictures and exploring the shops. The Germany pavilion has a little Werthers Originals shop/bakery, where I got my chocolate fix in the form of chocolate covered strawberries and grapes and then we headed to the Paris pavilion to hunt down some Ratatouille merchandise. I'm a huge fan of the Disney Pixar film, Ratatouille, but merchandise seems pretty hard to come by. We figured Paris would be our best bet and we asked one of the cast members who pointed us in the direction of a small little side shop, that we would otherwise have missed. I was overjoyed to find my own "little chef" which I happily took home with me :)

The bakery in the German pavilion does some amazing little treats, Worth peeking your head in as a lot of them are available as snacks on the dining plan!

Goodnight Epcot!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Disneyworld Diary: Day #7

Its our 7th day here and that means only one week left *throws self on floor*

 Today we planned to hit Hollywood Studios, the last park we had yet to visit. We got there and my oh my, it was busy busy. We went and got fast passes for our favourite ride, Rockin Rollercoaster (seriously, my favourite ride!) and grabbed some lunch. I went for a cheesy "Mickey" pretzel but as soon as I had paid for it, the heavens opened yet again. It rained, and rained and rained some more. So we found a little undercover table and I ate a gorgeous Red Velvet "Mickey" Pop and Richard went for a wedge, literally a whole wedge of a sandwich, with what looked like an entire pack of ham in it. Americans sure know how to do sandwiches!

Dress - H&M (Yep exactly the same as yesterday, I couldn't resist getting the yellow version too!) Shoes - Crocs sold at Disneyworld. 

Our rather rainy view from our table. Must say though, Starring Rolls Cafe is a really nice place to visit for a quick service sandwich and dessert! 
The rain let up, so we went and explored, but everything had 60+ minute queues and the heat started to get to us. We both looked at each other and decided to head back to the resort for some pool time - only to step on the bus and be hit with rain again. The day was a bit of a write off, so we resorted to watching TV until our dinner reservation! Not the best day, although we did go for a little ride on a two seater bike around our resort when the rain let up, which was very enjoyable and really nice to see what else our resort had to offer.

This picture was taken maybe an hour after it rained. As you can see the floor is completely dry - showing how hot Florida is! 
Views of Downtown Disney from our resort.

Found these cute little rocking chairs by the waterfront overlooking Downtown!

We booked dinner reservations at one of my absolute favourite restaurants - House of Blues. Seriously, last year this topped my list of favourite meals, with the blackened salmon. I had never left a restaurant so full and so satisfied and would go as far as to say it was probably the nicest meal i've ever had in my lifetime. 

We were seated immediately and our server was the nicest. I of course, ordered a cocktail which was a combination of the tastiest but most alcoholic cocktail i've ever had. I'm on a bit of steak kick so ordered the New York Strip while Richard went for the famous Aarons citrus grilled chicken. I love House of Blues, the atmosphere is really nice. It has a "cool" chilled kind of vibe, with live music outside, a bar, a little stage and folk art covering the walls. Its loud, but not in an overpowering kind of way and just feels like a friendly, lively place to eat. The staff are incredibly friendly and accommodating and also very knowledgeable. Our server helped me choose a cocktail!
 My steak was gorgeous and came with the nicest garlic mashed potato and grilled veg. So delicious. Richard loved every bite of his chicken and it was safe to say our plates were well and truly clean by the end of the meal. I enjoyed a chocolate cheesecake for dessert and Richard opted for the huge slab of bread and butter pudding, again everything delicious. House of Blues really is a nice place to go, I couldn't recommend it enough and if you had to make a choice, I'd pick this over Planet Hollywood anyday. I find Planet Hollywood, while amazing, can be a bit over loud, busy and very squished. House of Blues is spacious, relaxed but still has a bustling atmosphere. 

Cool ceiling in the House of Blues. Never noticed it before, but it shows the heads of famous musicians!

My steak

Richards Chicken

Richard couldn't resist having a bite before I took the picture. He clearly doesn't know the rule!

Of course when we left, it was pouring hard again, putting to an end the plans we had to ride the Characters in Flight hot air balloon. We headed back to our resort and got an early night as tomorrow we are hitting the malls! Oh yes!

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