Halloween Arrives at Disney World

Halloween came a month ago to Disney World. The first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) was August 17th! How crazy is that! And it was sold out! Halloween is so much fun at Disney World, and Magic Kingdom dresses up especially nicely for the season.

We haven’t been to the party quite yet, but we plan to. It’s been a crazy month here with interviews and auditions and work schedules and life. We can’t wait for a fun-filled evening at the Magic Kingdom.

But until we get to the party, I thought I’d take a little trip to Epcot, which isn’t the spookiest park, and see what they had in terms of Halloween merchandise. They had PLENTY!

 Who doesn’t want a little Oogie Boogie hanging around with them?
 This shirt speaks to my soul.

 These shirts are quite popular. I usually see a few of these a day on guests in the parks.
 The king of Halloween is everywhere this time of year!

Enjoy these random videos as well. 
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as far as Halloween merchandise goes. And this doesn’t even count all of the exclusive MNSSHP Merchandise or any of the Passholder exclusive Merchandise! Disney definitely knows how to help us celebrate holidays! 
Stay tuned for our visit to the party! We’re hoping that will be next weekend!

Trip #3 to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The drinking Chocolate was SO RICH! It needed Whipped Cream, though in fairness, I feel like a lot of things need whipped cream, or MORE whipped cream. It’s my Leslie Knope side. This is definitely shareable! I don’t know if anyone could chug a whole cup of this.

The Grilled Tuna was AMAZING!!! I wanted to eat like 4 plates of this! The tuna was so flavorful and tender and fresh and I will be getting it again. I especially loved the wasabi cream sauce. Yum! Get this at the Hawaii Booth!

Adam also tried the Spam Hash at the Hawaii booth. He ate it. He said it was fine. He wished that the potatoes had been crispier.

We revisited the Creme Brulee with raspberry preserves in France and Adam treated himself to something outside the festival and got some ice cream in the France pavilion.

All in all, it was definitely a great trip! And next time will be our 4th trip and we can get our free Passholder cutting board!

Our First Trip of the 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

We visited the Epcot International Food and Wine festival on the opening day! It was pretty full! A lot of annual passholders were getting their limited edition festival magnets.

 We’re excited to get our free cutting board after our 4th visit! Stay tuned for that! We also grabbed a Festival Passport so we can keep track of all the tasty dishes we try! Go to the Festival Center (by Mission Space) to pick up your magnet or cutting board. They’ve also got a bunch of demonstrations and a few booths in there as well! Plus, air conditioning.

Here are the booths we checked out on our first visit!

My personal favorite was the creme brulee in France. The raspberries in the bottom. Wow.
We’re excited to go back and eat more of what Mickey is cooking up at the festival! Stay tuned for more tasty eats!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2018: More Tasty Treats

Last week we went to the first day of the 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! It was our very first time at this festival and it was a big success! We had tasty eats and treats and couldn’t wait to go back! Check out the video here!

Well, we didn’t wait long before going back! Last night, I had the day off and Adam got off work in time for dinner….So to Epcot we ventured!

We didn’t do a video but I did take pictures and careful notes of our dishes so I could bring you a blog post with juicy details about the delicious things we tried. Between our 2 trips, we have tried 9 dishes and every one of them was soooo good. #noregrets Let’s dive right in…

First up are the Piggy Wings from Flavors From Fire. On the menu it says these are “roasted pork wings with Korean BBQ sauce and sesame seeds.” Adam and I like to share our dishes. There was a good amount of meat on each of these 3 piggy wings. Sometimes you get wings or lamb chops this small that just don’t have meat on them. And the meat was pretty tender too. I did use a knife and fork to cut up the wings (they’re definitely finger foods, but I don’t like getting saucy fingers) and the meat came off the bone cleanly. The sauce had good flavor, though I wish it had been just a little sweeter. We both agreed that we wanted more sauce. Of course, that would have made it messier for the finger foods eaters, but that’s what napkins are for!

Next, we headed back to Belgium. I’ve been eying this booth since the menus were announced! A beef dish and 2 waffle dishes?! Um, Hello dream come true! Anyway, we ordered the Beer-braised Beef with smoked gouda mashed potatoes and the Belgian Waffle with warm chocolate ganache and whipped cream. The beef was good. It wasn’t as tender as some of the other beef we’ve had at the festival. But the gravy was tasty and the potatoes were creamy and the gouda taste came through nicely. Honestly, I’m not a huge gouda fan, so I didn’t eat as much of this dish as Adam did, but he enjoyed it. He said that the more he ate, the more he liked it.

On to the waffle. The waffle itself was great; crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They put a significant amount of whipped cream on it, which makes me (and Leslie Knope) happy! The chocolate ganache was rich. But I still think there should have been more of it. (that might be a theme for the trip…MORE SAUCE!) Overall, it was a pleasant dish, but I think next time I’ll try the Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote.

 We knew we wanted another chocolate dessert, but first I wanted a fruity palate cleanser. Enter the Quesito from Islands of the Caribbean. It’s a “puff pastry with sweetened cream cheese and Guava Sauce.” The Guava Sauce might have been my favorite part, and so of course, I wish there had been more. Overall, this is a very light and tasty dessert. It’s not too filling and not too sweet. And while I wanted more guava sauce, that wasn’t the biggest let down. There wasn’t much cream cheese in my pastry. Truthfully, that probably won’t stop me from trying it a second time. But if the next is as empty as this was, then I’ll know that they chefs are just being stingy with the cream cheese! BOO!

 And finally, the crown jewel of this trip… the Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle from The Chocolate Studio. I’m not even sure how to describe this. The chocolate is flash frozen with Liquid Nitrogen (think of the science that brings you sub-zero ice cream or Dippin’ Dots). The outside is solid while the inside is so creamy. SO CREAMY. It’s kind of like an ice cream truffle. It was light and delicious and while we shared it, I felt like I could eat 4 of these all on my own. (Full Disclosure: I hadn’t eaten much all day…so I could have had a slightly skewed experiences based on my dramatic feeling of starvation)

I would definitely recommend all of these dishes (and the ones we ate on day one)! So far there isn’t a dud in the batch! It’s unlikely that we’ll try ALL of the dishes, but we’ve still got plenty more we want to try… and several we’ll be re-visiting.

Stay tuned for more Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2018 updates!

Review: Breakfast Buffet at Trail’s End Restaurant

Adam’s birthday happened last week. We were so busy with our work schedules that we kind of had to split up the celebration. Our first official “celebration” was visiting a new-to-us restaurant for breakfast. 

Trail’s End Restaurant is located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Fort Wilderness has cabins, campgrounds and RV pads. If you didn’t grow up camping and “roughing it,” this is a great resort to help you get a taste of that life. If you’re not staying at this particular resort, it can be a little tricky to find this restaurant. You’ll park at the resort parking lot and then board a bus heading to Pioneer Hall. Pioneer Hall is home to Trail’s End as well as the Hoop-dee-doo Musical Revue. 
The Breakfast Buffet for Trail’s End is pretty traditional and straight-forward. More importantly, it’s really affordable! At only $22 per adult, it’s definitely budget-friendly, especially by Disney standards.
 I’m a really low-maintenance breakfast eater. I love me a Mickey Waffle and the warm pecan sticky buns were AMAZING!!! Also…Bacon!
 For those who prefer pastries, they’ve got you covered with a pretty good spread, including house-made corn muffins and tasty danishes and croissants.

 There’s a great build-your-own yogurt parfait station!
 Fruit? Cheese? Smoked Salmon? Yes indeed.
 If you go for nothing else, go for the Warm Pecan Sticky Buns. Try to get one from the middle. If you’re like me and don’t like pecans, don’t worry, they’re on the bottom and easy to pick off.
Overall, there wasn’t anything life-changing about this buffet. But the resort is serene and a nice escape from the insanity of the parks. And you really can’t beat the price! Their dinner is a buffet too and we’ll definitely be checking that out at some point! And we already have reservations for the Hoop-dee-doo when my parents come out to visit next month!

Saving For Your Disney Trip

There’s no denying that any Disney Vacation is expensive. Saving for a Disney Trip is one of the first steps in the planning process. It can take some time to save up for your trip. This post is going to talk about how to save for your Disney trip. I have a lot of thoughts about this so let’s just jump right in!

#1- Start Early

There are a few things you should know about me. First, I am a planner. I really like planning ahead. It’s not often that I just kind of “fly by the seat of my pants”, as it were. Second, I have the travel bug. In my family, we’ve decided it’s a genetic thing. My Grandpa can get home from one trip and immediately start wondering when the next trip will be and lamenting the fact that he “never goes anywhere.” I definitely inherited that. And because of that, we have a special “Travel” savings account that we just continually add to for our next trip, whatever and whenever it might be. Basically, we always know there will be a “next trip”. 

If you’re a Disney trip novice, I recommend starting to plan around a year ahead. This will give you a good amount of time to save up and to keep your eye out for deals, discounts, and promotions. Depending on the time of year, you can get discounts on Disney hotel rooms, packages and even FREE DINING PLANS. A year will give you time to figure out approximately how much you might need to save up for your trip. And to make appropriate reservations (but that’s another post for another time). 

#2- Create a Savings Plan

Once you’ve done your early estimating, figure out how much you need to save and break it down into manageable bites. I like to use spreadsheets. I know, I’m a nerd (also hereditary). Here’s an example of how I would breakdown our savings plan…

#3- Find Extra Ways to Find Extra Funds

Obviously your primary source of income will be the first place you start saving from. But sometimes our budgets are already stretched thin. The more creative you are with your money saving, the quicker you’ll be able to save! I have a few suggestions, in addition to having a designated savings account. 

#1- Ibotta app– if you haven’t tried this app, you need to! You’re already going to be buying groceries, so why not make a little extra? You get “cash back” for certain purchases (verified with a receipt you scan into the app) as as for completing certain challenges within the app. Then you can redeem your cash back via Venmo (this is my new favorite method because it’s actually cash right into my bank account) or various gift cards. You can also get bonus cash back by inviting your friends to join in the savings fun. I’ve earned almost $300 by using this app!

***Join by following this link https://ibotta.com/r/hskqwnc or download the app and put in my referral code hskqwnc. The app is available for android and iOS users. By following my referral link or using my code, you’ll get a $10 bonus when you redeem your first offer!***
#2- Shopkick app- I don’t find this one to be as lucrative as Ibotta, but it’s good for an extra $25-50. And that could cover a meal or souvenir at Disney! Shopkick is still evolving and you can use it similarly to Ibotta or you can use your phone and scan items in the store to earn “kicks”. The nice thing about Shopkick is that you can redeem your kicks for a Disney Gift Card! You’ll get an email with a digital code that you can use to pay for your trip or to pay for things on your vacation. Invite Friends and you each earn 250 kicks!
***Try Shopkick and we’ll both get points toward a free gift card! 😀 Use code GIFT503676 or download http://getsk.co/gift503676

#3- Change jar- We have a jar that we keep on our dresser and every time one of us gets change, we put it in the jar. We also stick our gift cards in the jar and occasionally we add in cash we get for gifts or we just take out a little extra in cash and put it in the jar. And then when we get close to the vacation, we take out the coins and see what we have. It definitely adds up.

#4- Garage/Yard Sale- Everyone has extra stuff laying around that we don’t really use or need to keep. Sell it! With social media, you can even just post your items online to see if your friends or friends-friends have been looking for those things for their lives. You’ll clean out your house and add to your fund!

#5- Don’t Treat Yo Self- This might be one of the only times I say this (haha). But your Disney trip will be the ultimate Treat Yo Self, so you can do without for a few months as you save. Take the money from your Treat Yo Self days and put them in your Travel account.

Why We Decided to Blog

We’ve been doing this blogging thing for a few months now. And many of you might be wondering why we started this blog and the YouTube channel. I figured it was time that we talked a little bit more about our adventure and why we’re sharing it on this blog.

As I’m sure you’ve deduced, we’ve always loved Disney and we’ve spent a lot of time planning and going on Disney adventures.  Now that we’re living here, we thought it might give us an opportunity to share some of that knowledge and experience. And with our close proximity, we could keep updating information and make things fun too! We know there are a lot of travel bloggers and vloggers out there and plenty of them specialize in Disney. But we have our own unique perspective on things and thought others might benefit from that.

We also wanted a way to chronicle our own adventures. In a way, this blog and videos are a kind of journal for us. We can keep track of our own adventures and what we learn from our experiences out here.

There are a lot of people out there making money from blogging and vlogging. And while we don’t expect to make our millions and quit our day jobs, it would be nice if we could make a little money from our blog and help us pay our bills and student loans. I’ve done a little research and we became Amazon Affiliates so we could post links of products we like and recommend and possible make a little side income from the blog. We’ve only just begun, so things are still struggling to get up, but hopefully our hard work will pay off (literally…we’d like to pay off our student loans)!

Anyway, so as you read through our blog and notice Amazon ads or our affiliate links, that’s why. We’re out here working out tails off during our Disney College Program, but we’re also working hard to make our Blog and YouTube Channel successful. We’d love your help with that! Please share our blog and YouTube Channel with your friends who might be interested!

And we would love your feedback on our content! Are there things you’d like to hear about? Please leave comments! We’re just kind of playing it by ear right now and hoping we can guess what our audience wants. But it would be better if you told us! Do you want to hear more about us as a couple and our journey here? Or would you like more Disney dining details? Attractions recommendations? Planning tips? Weather reports? Movie reviews? We want to give you what you want to read!

Leave some suggestions in the comments! We want to get to know our readers!

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