Finding Cupcakes in Walt Disney World

I’m going to share some secrets with you, my friends.  There are delightful cupcakes that many people don’t tell you about all over Walt Disney World.  I hope you understand that when I say cupcake, that these are cupcakes done Disney-style, and they are full of surprises.  You’ll also want to likely eat them with a fork AND share with a friend. They are huge and they are sweet and they are sinfully divine.

Kusafiri Coffee Shop (Animal Kingdom) Hopefully, you’ll have someone like Whitney, to serve you some of this delightful deliciousness

cupcakes from Kusafiri Coffee Shop

 

 

 

Pizza Planet (Hollywood Studios)

 

cupcakes from Pizza Planet

Seasons Restaurant (Epcot)

Main Street Bakery (Magic Kingdom)

 

Of course, there are other places to find them, and I’d love if you would share…so we can all enjoy some Disney-fied cupcake deliciousness now and again!

 

 

 

Disney World Park Hopping, Sans Kids

When I arrived in Florida last month, my flight got in early.  I decided that I could either go to the houses and chill by the pool, or have some time exploring Epcot by myself.  After shushing 25 year old me who was shocked that I’d even consider going to a theme park with no one else, I decided that yes, Epcot was in my future, got a ticket arranged, and off I went.  Six hours by myself, and they were awesome.  I did have a few twinges of “oh, I miss my kids, they’d love xyz” but realized quickly that they WILL enjoy it- when they are with me on our family trip.  The mama guilt got tucked quickly behind the oh-my-gosh-I’m-at-Disney-again-and-I-can-do-whatever-I-want feelings…and I ran with those.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I meandered. I explored. I smiled, and I took photos.  I did the rides I wanted, and checked out the things I felt like seeing.  It was amazing. I loved taking photos!  I think I got to do Mission to Mars, Finding Nemo and Soaring (1 1/2 hour wait and worth it!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best part? I got to do it again, a few days later, but this time, with bloggy friends.  Even more fun.

We started our day by rushing to Animal Kingdom so that Christie, Emily and Mary could ride Expedition Everest, and I could ride Dinosaur (which is as thrilling as my rides need to be…) and then Christie decided to share a little secret with us.  I’m going to share it with you.  There are cupcakes at Animal Kingdom.  Not just cupcakes, but glorious and wonderfully marvelous sugary sculptures that you really need a fork to eat.  Cupcakes that we enjoyed before 9:30 am.  Yes, we did. One glorious thing about being at Disney without the kids!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are more cupcake secrets but that’s for another post.

We didn’t get to do a TON of rides- we were there during Spring Break and weren’t any of us feeling pressured to cram a lot in- we kind of did what we wanted and headed where we felt like going, which was so much fun.  It didn’t matter what we did.  We had so much fun and laughed so very, very much!

We went to Magic Kingdom after the quick stop at Animal Kingdom, and then we ended our day at Hollywood Studios. We laughed, we did rides, the girls teased me that the People Mover really was the start of Space Mountain and had a really good laugh at my panic-stricken reaction (thankfully, no photographic images of that moment)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even without kids, it’s hard not to join in when there’s dancing in the parks….and we did join in.  When in Disney…

We also had lunch at The Plaza Restaurant.  Delicious.  Not a huge menu, but great food, and outlets in more than one place.  (If you ever travel with a group of bloggers, you’ll understand that anywhere we go, we look for outlets!) It really is like stepping back in time!

I was even able to sneak in a (too quick) visit with a dear friend from college and her scrumptious 8 month old baby, which was something that made my heart so happy (Love you Dani!)…and even got to enjoy the delicious Dole Whips from Aloha Isle over by Pirates of the Caribbean (which you really must.go.try.)   Plus, you can see the newly redone Pirates ride, with Johnny Depp included.  He looks marvelous.

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Magic Kingdom

Next we were off to Hollywood Studios which we thought would be a quick stop for the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, but with an hour + line, ended up being a long stop.  Being the roller coaster chicken that I am, I headed off to find a charger for my phone and that’s how I discovered that even the bathroom signs are themed at Disney.

But, my pals loved the coaster and I got to have some more juice in my phone so I could keep tweeting about the fun we were having and checking in!

(In case you ever need one, there is an outlet between the men’s and women’s bathrooms near the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.)

We did do Star Tours after the girls finished on the coaster, which is a thrill ride for those of us who are, shall we say, overly chicken?

Here are 2/3 of my partners in crime from my day at Disney sans kids.  I love them all. Me on the left, Emily in the middle, and Christie on the right.

This is Mary. She was clearly taking the photo during Star Tours ride of the rest of us.

After Star Tours it was getting darker- and we were getting really HUNGRY. We tried to eat a few places (including the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater, which is on my MUST DO list for my next trip) but the wait was long and we were all getting very, very hungry…so we ended up at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano.  Delicious. We had the nicest waitress who chatted with us and gave fantastic recommendations for our dining pleasure!! (She also gave us cupcakes…but again…that’s another post)  It was a nice, quiet setting and I almost forgot we were inside a theme park!!

We intended to see some fireworks, and didn’t make it.  We had a blast, we were exhausted (that’s one thing that surprised me- Disney is still exhausting even without kids- but OH, is it FUN!)  One of the best days ever!

 

Thanks to Disney for inviting us to spend the day without the kids! I can’t wait to go back WITH the kids! 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Wild Africa Trek is one of the must-do items for a Disney trip!

disney's wild africa trek

With bloggers come cameras...

I have done the Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom multiple times each time I’ve visited the park.  Last month, I got to experience a safari of a very, very different nature.  I love the safari, and I love seeing all of the animals.  This visit, I got to enjoy the safari, but from a more…well, shall we say “bird’s eye” view?  You see, we went around, behind and ABOVE the Kilimanjaro Safari, in addition to going through it.  I got to go on the Wild Africa Trek – a 3 hour excursion that few have experienced and everyone should be able to try at least once.  It’s amazing.  I mean, we got close enough to hippos to see little tiny hairs that, well, are in areas that maybe I won’t mention specifically.  But we saw them from about 10 feet away.  From above!  And more- so much more!

You will also learn when you are near hippos and hear a lot of swishing to move away- hippos mark their territory with their feces and they use their tails to spread it around.  Obviously when you are swishing a tail quickly with “matter” like that, it can spray in all directions…which is why you learn this little fact FIRST when you come near the hippos.  I cannot get over how LARGE their mouths are!!  (This is a female, she was wanting some more watermelon!)

You’ll walk across rope bridges on this trek…something THIS mama was super, super nervous about.  The fancy schmancy vests you see us sporting above?  Those have clips attached, that hook us up to cables above…no risk of anything happening.  You get the feel and experience of walking on a rope bridge without the danger.  I won’t lie, I shook like a leaf.  My heart pounded and I was very very nervous but I did it.  And such amazing sights to see! Plus, if I’m going to be within 10 feet of more than a dozen enormous alligators, I think I’d rather be ABOVE them than at their level, you know?

After the bridges, you can also get even closer to the gators (never at risk of falling near them) and let me tell you, when you think a gator looks large from above, they look even larger from a 10 foot distance.  They are awesome creatures, though.  It’s pretty neat to see them lounging and then “spar” with other gators.

This trek is so much fun- most of the route parallels the Safari ride, but you have more time to stop and get photos, and are able to stop and observe the animals if you want.  You can see that we all brought our cameras with us (or most of us) but you honestly don’t “need” to, because included with the price of the trek is a cd of images shot by a photographer who accompanies you on the trek.  So you can really just enjoy the experience and not worry about capturing the memories on film (or memory card!), Disney takes care of it for you.  Given that we are all bloggers, we brought our cameras along anyway (you cannot bring a phone or a camera that does not have a wrist or neck strap on this adventure, so plan accordingly).

We were the last safari of the day, and our experience happened to coincide with the early evening hours, when the animals go “in” for the night, and when the big cats wake up.  So we got to see some beautiful sights that not many get to see…from a raised pavilion.

The view while dining on the Wild Africa Trek

Who else can say they dined about 100 yards from a lion?  Or elephants who were heading in for supper?  The food prepared for guests of the Trek is only made for those on the Trek- its made by a restaurant in Animal Kingdom, but the foods aren’t served at the restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along with your lunch you will get a delightfully refreshing punch that complements the food beautifully.  They do offer children’s meals as well, with more kid-friendly foods.  (The chicken curry is to.die.for delicious.  Tucked into the mini pitas and I was in heaven!)

 

We got to see a lot of the animals eating on our trek, which was a neat experience for me.  We always do the safari ride at least twice when we’re at Animal Kingdom, but we’ve never really seen the animals eating – so this was a treat for me.  It’s an awesome experience.

The Wild Africa Trek is a one-of-a-kind adventure that is done as only Disney can do- there is thrill and excitement, with no danger…beautiful scenery, hilariously funny and engaging guides, who will bend over backwards to make sure that you are having an amazing time, working hard to make sure they get every shot you may wish you had once you return home…with a smile on their faces.

Thanks to Disney for inviting all of us on the #DisneyGlobalEvent trip to come and experience the Wild Africa Trek.  It was a truly amazing experience and I hope I can do it again with my family one day.  

 

 

 

 

Marvel Super Heroes Magazine from Disney (Giveaway)

marvel super hero magazine
What has most of the favorite Marvel charactersoutside , pull-out posters for your wall, great articles and lots of  fun games inside?!  Disney Worldwide Publishing‘s new Marvel Super Heroes Magazine! The first issue came out recently, including a Thor comic that you won’t want to miss and plenty of puzzles and brain games for comic lovers. There’s also clip & collect pages with details on some of your favorite Marvel characters so you can learn all about them!  You can grab your own subscription for $29.92 )$39.92 in Canada) online or pick up an individual copy in most retail stores where magazines are sold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My son love, loves loves this magazine.  He’s all about The Avengers right now, and since he’s not yet old enough to see the film, he’s very happy when he’s able to have “cool stuff” in the mail that’s Avengers related.  Obviously the puzzles and written content are a bit above his reading level right now but he’s loved reading the stories with us and we’ve made up our own letter hunts with the game.  This magazine is recommended for ages 8+.

One reader will win a year’s subscription to Marvel Super Heroes Magazine!

 

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I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions are my own.

2 FREE Apps from Disney Junior out this week with “Yo Ho, Let’s Go Summer” promotion

jake and the neverland pirates, appsWe are big Disney Junior fans around here.  Wholesome programming with positive messages, engaging characters and fun storylines make for entertaining programs that interest all three of my kids.  That doesn’t happen very often.  We’ve already downloaded Jake’s Never Land Pirate School (remember, it’s free!) and the kids love it.  I wish it was compatible with my iPod Touch, because now I have to share my iPad with the kids…it’s fun, although my kids only seem to be interested in the Spyglass Class for now.  Go figure.

We did also install the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally” appisode app but haven’t checked that out yet.  It’s been a busy day here at the Bargains house.  I just wanted to share about these 2 new FREE apps so you can enjoy them as well!

Disney Junior’s interactive multi-platform “Yo Ho, Let’s Go Summer!” programming event returns with new episodes of “Doc McStuffins” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” cable TV’s #1 and #2 series among Kids 2-5 respectively, as well as other favorite Disney Junior series including “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Jungle Junction” and “Octonauts” beginning MONDAY, JUNE 4-FRIDAY, AUGUST 24.  The “Yo Ho, Let’s Go Summer!” programming event will take place across all Disney Junior digital platforms including Disney Junior On Demand, Mobile and iTunes, as well as an immersive online super-site on DisneyJunior.com featuring new games to “unlock” each week and a printable summer scrapbook.  Additionally, new interactive iOS apps for “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” launch today.

                Disney Junior’s “Yo Ho, Let’s Go Summer!” programming event kicks off on Monday, June 4 with a week of new “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” episodes airing on both the Disney Junior programming block on Disney Channel (8:30 a.m., ET/PT) and the new 24-hour Disney Junior channel (5:30 p.m., ET/PT).  Also beginning June 4, kids and their parents can log on to DisneyJunior.com/Summer to print out pictures of their favorite Disney Junior characters to take along with them and include in photos of their summer adventures.  Parents can then upload the photos of their child with their character for the chance to be seen on Disney Junior.  The site will also feature a printable summer scrapbook, with new pages added each week through August 24.

Beginning Friday, June 15, new episodes of favorite Disney Junior series will air every Friday throughout the summer on both the Disney Junior programming block and the Disney Junior channel.  During each episode premiere, kids will see a featured Disney Junior character of the day and can go online to DisneyJunior.com/Summer to unlock a new game based on that character.

Among the premieres are an episode of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” where Marina (voiced by recurring guest star Ariel Winter of “Modern Family”) and the rest of the mermaids make Izzy an honorary mermaid, Friday, June 29; a special 45-minute episode of “Jungle Junction,” where Zooter and Ellyvan care for a stranded baby FlaGoGo bird, Friday, July 6; Donald Duck serves as a reluctant babysitter for a mystery egg on “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” Friday, July 13; Jim Belushi guest stars as the recurring character Glo-Bo, a six-handed toy monster in “Doc McStuffins,” Friday, July 20; Jane Kaczmarek guest stars in the recurring role of Red Jessica, a swashbuckling pirate gal who wins over Captain Hook in “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” Friday, August 10; and a heartwarming episode of “Doc McStuffins” where Doc’s toy friends come to her rescue when she becomes the patient, Friday, August 17.

In anticipation of this summer’s programming festivities, the Disney Junior network today launched two new iOS apps, the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally” appisode app on iPad and “Jake’s Never Land Pirate School” gaming app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally appisode brings viewing, learning and interaction together into one cohesive, fun-filled iPad experience.   Fans 2-7 years old can touch, tap shake, swipe, drag and talk through an entire episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  The activities presented in the “appisode” include valuable counting, critical thinking and problem solving skills.  This is the first in a series of Disney Junior Appisodes to be released this year.

Using the “Jake’s Never Land Pirate School” app, preschoolers can become completely immersed in Never Land, completing pirate-themed challenges presented in Sailing, Music, Flying, and Map and Spyglass classes.  Features include: hunting for doubloons on Doubloon Beach; a customizable pirate certificate signed by Jake; and the ability to import a child’s photo into Pixie Dust flying class.

The Secret World of Arrietty – Released May 22nd, 2012!

If you grew up reading “The Borrowers” book series than you are going to be enchanted by The Secret World Of Arrietty.  This movie is based on the book series that we all know and love.  I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this film to share with my children.  As soon as it arrived this rainy afternoon we popped it into the DVD player, popped some popcorn and had a magical afternoon watching this fantastic film!

In  The Secret World of Arrietty, little people known as ‘borrowers’ live quietly beneath the floorboards.  Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler) is a tiny and tenacious 14 year old who secretly lives with her parents (voices of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) underneath a suburban garden home.  They go undetected until a twelve year old human boy named Shawn (voice of David Henrie) moves into the house with his Aunt and her housekeeper (voice of Carol Burnett).  Arrietty and Shawn develop a friendship, but if detected, could drive Arrietty’s family out of the home and straight into danger.
http://www.totaleclips.com/player/Splash.aspx?custid=907&playerid=69&bitrateid=461&formatid=20&clipid=e102564&affiliateid=-1

 

The story line is great and captured mine and my children’s attention for the duration of the film.  I loved the beautiful japanese animation and delightful imagery.  My family will definitely be watching this film over and over again.  It’s an instant classic!

The film was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and produced by Toshio Suzuki. Gary Rydstrom directed the English-language version of The Secret World of Arrietty from a screenplay written by Karey Kirkpatrick. The producers include Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. The original Japanese screenplay was written by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa.

The Secret World of Arrietty is available on DVD and Blu-ray May 22, 2012. Connect with the film on Facebook.

 

“A copy of this movie was provided to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are my own.”

 

Mama Hook arrives Jake and the Never Land Pirates #DisneyJunior

Guess what?  Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’ll be meeting Mama Hook on Jake and the Neverland Pirates – voiced by the hilarious Sharon Osborne!! I, for one, can’t wait to meet her!

When we’ll meet Mama hook, she pays a visit to Captain Hook and is disappointed in his naughty stealing- and sets to teach him a lesson about sharing.  She’s slated to be appearing in later episodes, as well.  More fun for the parents, I’m sure!

The episode premieres on Saturday, May 12 at 8:30am ET/PT on Disney Channel.  (It will also air at 11:00 AM ET/PT on the 24 hour Disney Junior Channel).

 

Disney Fairies Fairygolds Exclusive Previews $100 Walmart GC #Giveaway

Disney Fairies 300x250 BannerCheck out the new Disney Fairies page at Walmart with a never-before-seen  preview from Pixie Hollow! Every week there will be a  NEW Walmart-exclusive Pixie Preview to enjoy!  This week’s preview is “Rosetta’s Garden Lesson 1″ and I can’t wait to see what comes next.  We’ve waited so long to have some new fun with our friends from Pixie Hollow!

If you have a little one who loves the Disney Fairies like mine do, you’ll definitely want to head to http://see.walmart.com/disney/disney-fairies to check out the fun, FREE crafts, and be sure to check out the Disney Fairies merchandise available for sale at a great price!
Disney Fairies 300x250 Banner
Fairygolds Pixie Playtime Craft Kit: Download a variety of cute Fairygolds Pixie crafts to turn playtime into Fairytime. Print Pixie crafts like fairy name tags, wonder wands, and a Pixie bouquet.
Disney Fairies 300x250 Banner
Fairy Photo Frame: Want to surround a special photo with Fairy friends? Upload your picture to create a lasting memory within a Fairy Photo frame.
Disney Fairies 300x250 Banner
Letter from a Fairy Friend: Celebrate your child’s accomplishments and birthday by sending her a Pixie-perfect note signed by Tink herself! Customize the letter for your fairy fan to make it as special and unique as she is.
To celebrate the Fairygolds, one lucky reader will win a $100 Walmart Gift Card!
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New BRAVE trailer!

I cannot WAIT to see this film!!  It looks awesome!!  Here’s a new trailer for your viewing pleasure :o)