disney · ramblings. · reviews. · traveling.

Walt Disney World – Part 2

The Boathouse Restaurant Review, Pandora’s Flight of Passage, 2021 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Highlights

Welcome back to part two of this two-part Disney vacation series. I left off on my last post discussing the delicious Mickey Beignets and Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Today I’m going to start by discussing another new favorite of mine – the Boathouse Restaurant at Disney Springs.

It is a tradition in my BF’s family to go to the Boathouse every year before they go to the Food and Wine Fest. I was super excited to go along, not only to get to know more of his family – but also so I would have the chance to try the famous Duck Duck Razz!

The Duck Duck Razz at the Boathouse Restaurant

This fruity drink isn’t just delicious – but also adorable! The blueberry martini is sweet, but not overwhelming, and tangy from the lemon juice and peach schnapps. Although in my opinion, the best part of this drink is the little rubber duck that floats along as you sip!

I was so in love with this little ducky the whole night. I sneaked him in my purse at the end of the night to remember the occasion. My BF’s family also loved the drink – and had a good time joking around at the whimsy of it. They all order old fashions, so it was a bit of a kicker for me to ask for the complete opposite. They were all good though, and didn’t give me too much grief. The drink was stronger than I usually go, but I ordered a second one. I mean you can’t just have one duck.

Our dinner was just as spectacular as the drink. I ordered the shrimp & andouille mac n’ cheese. The freshness of the shrimp, and the melty goodness of the cheese. I was in absolute bliss! My only complaint with this dish is that it was very spicy. I’ll admit I was warned in the beginning that it would be spicy, but I rolled the dice and ended up getting burned. If you like mild spice that builds over time, then I completely recommend this. You can also add lobster, but I didn’t in order to try and save some money.

50th Anniversary Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Our final course was a new addition. A special 50th Anniversary pineapple upside-down cake. The description read that it was one of Walt Disney’s favorite desserts, so my BF and I decided to give it a try.

To be honest, I was pretty underwhelmed by the cake. It was good, but it didn’t blow me away compared to some of the other desserts that were being passed around the table. I’m glad we gave it a try since it ended up being the only specialty desert we tried during our trip.

It’s time for Christmas!

Just as a quick side comment before we move on to Flight of Passage – Disney Springs was all decorated for Christmas! I cannot believe I was able to see the different trees and lights while we were there! It is so magical to be on Disney property while it’s all decorated for the holidays. I didn’t get too many photos due to the on and off rain and cold, but the center tree was too beautiful to not take a photo.

After all the excitement of Dinsey Springs, it would only be right to discuss the semi-new attraction at Disney’s World of Pandora! This is only of only new attractions I’ve been able to experience. We were only doing the parks for one day, so we did Animal Kingdom in the morning to get some extra bang for the park hopper pass.

We arrived at Animal Kingdom at around 7:30 for rope drop, and we were able to walk right on in! After managing to weave in and out of slower groups we arrived at the World of Pandora just as a line was beginning to form for Flight of Passage.

Again from my last post, here is a quick shout-out to AJ from Disney Food Blog for giving us the tip to run to the ride first before anything else. AJ is truly a life-saver. If you haven’t checked her out, do it! Her advice to run to Flight of Passage definitely allowed us to get on to the ride. We waited for maybe 30 minutes before getting on – which compared to the hour plus wait during the rest of the day.

The journey to the ride itself was amazing! You are really able to see all the beautiful alien plants and décor all around Pandora. Even though I couldn’t see the bioluminescence; I can only imagine how beautiful the whole land would be at night. The line moved quickly and was very interactive. I didn’t grow bored or lost during the wait, so by the time we entered the “Link Room” I was fully immersed.

The Floating Mountains

The first part of the ride was a “Link Room” experience. This was super entertaining as we were matched with our avatar drivers. The technology reminded me of the Rise of the Resistance experience in Hollywood Studios. It was entertaining and educational as we gained some knowledge about the whole experience.

I also loved that the ride and world was focused on the planet of Pandora and conservation. This lesson was very powerful in the film, and it truly fit in with the whole of Animal Kingdom. Learning about the ecosystem, and what we can do to help our own planet was good to see by Disney.

Finally after some funny linking procedures to break the ice (and pre-ride jitters for me) we finally got to the ride. The motorcycle-type seats were unique and it was a good break from the typical theme-park ride seats. By this point I didn’t know what to think or what to expect. I honestly was thinking it would be similar to Rise of the Resistance with some drops with excellent immersion. I wasn’t fully off, but not quite right either.

Turns out this ride was closer to Soar’n than anything else! Now I love Soar’n with all I have, so to say I was excited was an understatement. There are two floors for Flight of Passage, and this made it so that we all were stacked on top of each other during the whole experience. I felt like I as flying. My feet weren’t dangling in the air, but I felt truly free by being high up in the air.

Flight of Passage though was very different than Soar’n. The ride was similar in the technology, but very much enhanced. The picture was bright and seemed one-on-one. I lost myself in the beauty of Pandora, and the excitement of flying on the back of a banshee. I don’t want to give away to much, but know that it was one of my favorite ride experiences from Disney. I will definitely be going on this one again, and if you are heading to Animal Kingdom – make sure you get on Flight of Passage!

After this amazing ride, our day only continued to get better. We explored the rest of Pandora, and then hit all the highlights of Animal Kingdom. Going to Pandora first gave us the upper hand on the rest of the park. We barely got any lines during the morning, and we were able to hit everything before we park-hopped to EPCOT to meet up with the rest of my BF’s family.

Look at those crowds!

The 2021 Food and Wine Fest at EPCOT was in full swing by the time we got there. And oh boy. I don’t why this particular weekend was so packed. As you can see from the picture it was super busy. The lines for the booths were insane, and a bit overwhelming. It was also starting to get cold. By the end of the night it was absolutely freezing, but still a magical day nonetheless.

We meet up with the BF’s family pretty quickly weaving though the crowds. They had already visited a few booths, but we were just in time to check out the “Tangierine Cafe: Flavor of Medina” booth. My BF and I waited in line and decided to try the Fried Falafel Pita with Tahini Sauce and the Pistachio Cake. I got the Fig Cocktail to sip on while we walked. I have some photos of the Pistachio Cake and Fig Cocktail that I will put below.

The Pistachio cake was fluffy and absolutely beautiful! The bright green cake wasn’t too crumbly, but was moist and well flavored. The top chocolate design was so beautiful and extremely intricate. I have no idea how they got that style on such a small piece, but I was completely impressed. Overall the cake didn’t blow me away, but I really hope it comes back to the Food and Wine Festival next year. I would definitely order this again in the future.

The Pistachio Cake from Tangerine Café

My BF got the Fried Falafel Pita, which I was able to try but I couldn’t snag a photo by the time it was gone. The Pita was very good and warm. The burst of flavor form the pita and tahini sauce elevated the dish and left me wanting more. I could have definitely eaten an entire dish, but with all the other interesting places to try I didn’t want to indulge too much.

Finally at the Tangierine Cafe I ordered the Fig Cocktail. I was a bit skeptical of this drink as I was unsure that I would like it. But luckily for me I was dead wrong. The drink was fresh, sweet, and very comforting. The drink had some clove and cinnamon flavors that added to the fig taste. It was truly refreshing and I’m so glad I got to try it. Once again, I hope that this drink returns to the Food and Wine festival next year.

There were so many amazing booths and treats from the Food and Wine festival, but unfortunately due to the amount of people at the festival, we wouldn’t be able to eat too much more. I truly am excited to have been able to attend the Food ad Wine Festival this year. It was exciting and I really enjoyed being able to wander around and enjoy 50th Anniversary décor.

The Fig Cocktail from Tangerine Café

Overall, I truly loved my time at Walk Disney World! It was a magical experience and I was so happy to be able to share this experience with my BF and his Family. I cannot wait till next year’s trip, and I can only imagine what Disney has in store for us in the future.

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving last week! What are your favorite holiday traditions? I would love to hear them below. I am looking forward to sharing some holiday content here soon. Thank you all for reading! And I can’t wait to hear from you soon.

disney · ramblings. · reviews. · traveling.

Walt Disney World – Part 1

Disney’s Old Key West Resort & Mickey Beignets Review

Hello Internet! I’m for the delay in getting another post published. It’s been a wild past few weeks and I finally found a few minutes to write this out. And, “Oh Boy!” (queue Mickey voice), I am excited to share this. A few weeks ago, I had the honor of going to Walt Disney World with my boyfriend and his family. Every year his family attends the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, and I am so grateful to tag along this year.

Mickey Powerlines!

This trip began late Thursday night. My BF and I decided to head out after his late class, which honestly was the best idea ever. The three-ish-hour drive was peaceful and perfectly uneventful. Plus it was amazing to see the iconic Mickey Mouse powerlines lit up. We got into Orlando around 10pm and ended up getting some ‘fancy’ White Castle before passing out in our hotel room.

Friday was where the real excitement began. After waking up and getting ready for the day, we had the unfortunate realization that we forgot our sneakers at home. Note to anyone packing for Disney: always pack your sneakers first! But at least this gave us (more like me) to go shopping a bit. Friday was a free day within the family, so we were free to explore the area and check out the nearest Target and Walmart. The stores here are like a dream. Everywhere has a Disney section! It took all my will to not buy all the Disney merch.

After a while few hours of running to different stores, we finally each found to pair of sneakers. They seemed pretty comfy and, hopefully, they wouldn’t hurt us by the end of our park day. By the time, we were all done with our shopping venture, we finally checked into our hotel. We were staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. I’ve never really stayed on-site before, so this in of itself was a magical experience.

The Walkway In Between the Various Shops and Stores

The hotel was beautiful! Full of adorable charm and whimsy. Even though it was raining on and off all day, the hotel staff were friendly and helpful. Our rooms ended up not being ready until a few hours after our check-in time, but we enjoyed checking out the gift shop and restaurants. My BF was excited to show off all the amenities and memories from when he came as a kid, and I was excited to share all of my Disney knowledge.

Disney’s Old Key West Resort is a part of the Disney Vacation Club list of resorts. My family isn’t as into Disney as my BF’s family, so I have never spent much time on a hotel on Disney property.

I honestly felt like a celebrity the entire time we stayed here. My BF dropped me off at the front so that I wouldn’t have to walk in the rain. I was immediately greeted and told about the different shops we could check out while they prepared our room. Although we were a little bummed that our rooms weren’t ready, we decided to take advantage of it and go explore the surrounding hotels and area. After nearly heading to Disney Springs, we decided to take a detour and head to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside hotel for something I have been craving for a while now…

Mickey Beignets!

The famous MICKEY BEIGNETS!

I have been absolutely obsessed with these treats ever since I started following AJ Wolfe’s Disney Food Blog. For those of you that don’t know. AJ is absolutely in love with these beignets. And after trying them for myself, I understand why. These fluffy, soft, and delicious treats are now one of my favorite Disney snacks. I am absolutely in heaven. I decided to get the classic beignets, while my boyfriend’s brother got the boozy version. Although the boozy version looked amazing, it seemed harder to eat compared to the classic.

The beignets were warm and covered in powdered sugar – which, by the time we were finished, was all over my boyfriend and the table. The mickey shapes were perfectly fried and I was in love with the simplicity of this snack. It is now one of my favorite treats, and I will definitely be making a trip to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort in the near future.

After taking that amazing stop, my BF and I were finally ready to check out our room at the Beach Club. The room was awesome, to say the least! Three bedrooms, full kitchen, laundry room, living room, balcony, and full bathrooms per room! It was nothing like I had ever experienced before. If I have the privilege to stay here again I will. I would go into more detail, but unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the room and other facilities. All I can say is that if you get the chance to stay… DO IT!

I have so much more to say about my Disney experience, but I think this post is already long enough. I’ll post a second part soon with a review of the Boathouse Restaurant, the new Flight of Passage ride at Animal Kingdom, and a highlight of some of my favorites at the ECPOT Food and Wine Festival! Stay tuned!

ramblings. · traveling.

pumpkin patch shenanigans.

let the spooky vibes begin!

Hello again people of the internet. I hope you are out there celebrating and enjoying the final few months of the year. As the days pass by, and the air slowly shifts from summer to fall, I found myself missing all the thrills of the spooky season. This past weekend held the first few days of cold weather. Meaning instead of our typical skin melting 90 degree weather, it was in the mid 80s. So I, as a natural Floridian, grabbed my sweater and thigh high boots and went to the local pumpkin patch. The 2021 Pumpkin Fest at Fruitville Grove in Sarasota was in full swing. This festival has been a stable in my childhood, and it is a tradition to many families in Sarasota, Florida for the past 33 years. From face painting, delicious food, unicorn encounters, a bounce house, circus performances, and more, this festival has something for everyone.

I used to come to the festival all the time as a kid. The excitement of finding the perfect pumpkin and experiencing all the festivities always made me smile. This time was no different. Although the festival was busy, I was able to see everything and experience a few notable features. One of which was feeding all the animals on the farm. I am a sucker for the petting zoo’s and seeing all the wildlife. The goats were adorable and friendly. I feed a few for only a $1, and then I wandered around the farm. From sheep to pigs to chickens, the whole farm was in full swing for all their guests.

The adventure wasn’t over though. While sipping on some amazing freshly squeezed strawberry lemonade, I hit the main attraction – the pumpkin patch! There were so many different shapes and sizes to choose from. The patch itself was arranged in three neat rows with pumpkins stacked on top of the other, providing each wave of guests there own unique pumpkin experience.

I had already picked up a pie pumpkin for a freshly made pumpkin pie, (I’ll make sure to tell you all about that soon) so I was hunting for just one carvable pumpkin to make a Jack-o-Lantern. Since Halloween is still 13 days away, I didn’t want to go overboard and buy too many that will melt before trick-or-treating.

After searching and examining a few pumpkins, I finally found my champion. An adorable, perfectly round pumpkin to call my own. I knew the moment my eyes found it that I had my Jack-o-Lantern. I picked it up, walked over to the register, and left feeling victorious. My pumpkin hunt was a success. Being able to do fall activities like this will always cause me to smile. And after everything the world has come to, shouldn’t we all try to find simple joys in our everyday life? And that was my pumpkin patch shenanigans. Simple, but still exciting and full of joy none the less. I hope you all are celebrating in your own ways. Thanks for reading!