OUR NOVEMBER 2019 “SHANNON’S WEDDING AND A LITTLE BIT OF DISNEY WORLD” TRIP: DAY 6 (FIRST-TIME RESTAURANTS! DISNEY SPRINGS! NBA EXPERIENCE! MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY!!!)

Day 6 was one a day filled with both new experiences (for us, at least) and traditional Goody favorites. Day 6 takes us from our resort to Disney Springs to Wilderness Lodge to the Magic Kingdom. And it’s a day where we got to spend some time just the four of us AND we got a visit from the Chicago Goodys.

And it was a day where we were both super happy AND complained about something.

We did…

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…on Day 6 is what I am saying to you now.

So I guess we should get a move on, aye?

Now, the original plan for Day 6 was to sleep in and grab a quick snack and coffee from Good’s but when we woke up, we knew a light snack was not gonna cut it. We needed a real breakfast.

So we decided to head over to Olivia’s at our resort. Nickie looked on our MyDisneyExperience app and made a quick reservation for breakfast.

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And speaking of the original plan, Olivia’s was actually on the plan for Day 7. So since we made the decision to go on Day 6, the obvious thing to do would be to then move our “light snack” breakfast to Day 7. Which we did.

Except we didn’t. Because light snacks do not equal breakfast. It’s simple math.

But yeah, Olivia’s. We had heard so much about this place but being that it’s so out of the way unless you are actually staying at Old Key West, this was our first time visiting. And man, the legends are true.

When you first walk in, the hallway is filled with pictures of Disney Vacation Club (DVC) owners.

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So much 90s in these pictures.

Old Key West was the first DVC property so all these pictures fit well here. And it does enhance the community feel of the place. Like I said in my previous post, I don’t see us staying at Old Key West anytime soon due to the inconvenience factor and the size of the resort, but the community feel of the place is nice.

We were seated right away. Well, right after this woman asked if she could get in front of us real quick to ask a question of the host. Of course we let her. And her question was an important one:

“Can we get Bloody Marys to go here?”

I mean, probably the best question of all-time. You’re my new hero, random lady.

Once seated, I snapped this pic of the fam squad.

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I SWEAR Myles was happy that morning. I swear. By the moon and the stars in the sky.

For breakfast that morning, I ordered the Eggs and Hash (Two Eggs-Any Style served over Potato and Sausage Hash, topped with Cilantro-Hollandaise served with a Buttermilk Biscuit and Herb-Chimichurri Sauce) and a side of Olivia’s famous grits.

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Everything I got was insanely good, but shout out to those grits. Seriously. These were hands-down the best grits I have ever eaten.

Nickie ordered Olivia’s Breakfast (Two Eggs-Any Style, Olivia’s Breakfast Potatoes, and Buttermilk Biscuit with choice of Bacon or Sausage) and Owen ordered off the kids’ menu – Mickey Waffles with a side of bacon and grapes.

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Both of them seemed to enjoy their meals for sure.

And Myles ordered off-menu. He had heard tales told of Olivia’s fried chicken but there was none to be found on the breakfast menu. He asked the waitress if they could put together some chicken and waffles and, after checking with the kitchen, she assured him she could. And with that, Myles won breakfast.

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Chicken and Mickey waffles, nonetheless. I say this without any shred of hyperbole. This was the proudest I have ever been of Myles.

With full bellies, it was time to get a move on. Our first stop today was Disney Springs. We walked over to the boat launch to just in time to see a boat pulling away for the Springs. But no worries. On account of they had cornhole.

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Hm? Who won? Eh, does that really matter? I mean, all that matters is that we had fun and spent some quality time together…

Pfft. Fine. Owen won.

I still make more money than him though. So there.

Look, the boat came!

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It was a really nice day for a ferry ride.

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I SWEAR Owen was happy. By the moon and the stars and all that.

See…?

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Soon enough, we pulled up to Disney Springs!

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We spent a little bit of time just walking around, taking it all in. Love me some Disney Springs.

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Our first stop for the day was at World of Disney.

World of Disney is awesome all the time, but especially at Christmas time.

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We had a plan to get Christmas presents for each other, so we walked around a little bit together, each of us dropping hints here and there. And then we split up – Myles with me to buy presents for Nickie and Owen and Owen with Nickie to buy presents for Myles and me.

We all found stuff and of course we were able to wait until Christmas to give everything to each other.

Pfft.

Of course we didn’t. We ended up giving each other our presents at the airport before going home. It’s how we roll.

After our little bit of shopping, the boys and I headed to our primary destination of the day – The NBA Experience!

Nickie wanted to do some more shopping and head back to the resort to hang out for a bit while we pretended we were…

um..

Erm.

Famous basketball people.

Nailed it.

The boys and I arrived just as it was opening and we checked in. As you can see, they were pretty excited.

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We ended up spending about two hours in there and honestly, it was really fun. I had my doubts about it and was all kinds of “RIP DisneyQuest” but I enjoyed myself a lot. We pretty nearly everything and even went through the Combine a few times. But I bet we could have spent at least another hour there doing a couple things we missed and revisiting a couple favorites.

I’d say this place was…

A home run.

Wait, that’s not right. Whatever, Here are some pics.

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Highly recommend the NBA Experience. Is what I am saying to you now.

After we left, as we were walking back to the dock to grab the ferry, Nickie called me with some distressing news. Apparently, Disney was double-charging us for everything we were charging to our MagicBands. When she inquired about this, they informed her one of the charges was a hold and would be released. Being that we were holding everything with our debit card (and the person at the front assured us nothing would be held), this was a bit of an issue. So we made a plan to meet at the lobby to sort it out with the front desk.

I hopped the ferry with the boys and met her back at Old Key West. The boys went off to play some basketball and I took our refillable mugs to get some drinks for us while she talked it out with the guy behind the desk. Essentially, there was nothing he could do to remove what was already being held, but to make up for it he gave us like 6 Multiple Experience FastPasses to use. And we made the decision to just not use our MagicBands  the rest of the trip, unless we were charging snacks or meal credits. What a dumb policy though. Definitely discourages use of the MagicBand. Oh well.

Nickie also had the foresight to pack all of our bathing suits when she made the drive up to the main building so we all put on our suits and headed to the main pool.

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We grabbed some snacks  – a couple Mickey pretzels – and a couple beers and hung out at the pool. It’s definitely a pretty pool. All of us (yes, including Nickie) made use of the sandcastle slide, which was fun. I mean, it was a water slide. Of course it was fun.

But we couldn’t spend ALL DAY just hanging around. We had big plans y’all.

So we hopped back in the car and drove back to our room.

Yeah, driving to and from the pool would definitely get old on a longer trip.

We got back to our room and got ready for the night. And by ready for the night, I mean we put on our pajamas.

Yup, we were going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

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Eeeeeeasy. We had one stop first. For food for our tummy.

Dinner that night was at Storybook Dining at Artist Point (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en-eu/dining/wilderness-lodge-resort/artist-point/) in the Wilderness Lodge. Which was exciting on account of it was a first-time dining experience for us.

We ordered up a Lyft and off we went to the Wilderness Lodge.

Once there, we made our way right over to Artist Point and on the way we got to see some construction of their gingerbread house, which is new this year.

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On the way up to the restaurant, they have a bunch of Snow White artwork on display.

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The interior of the restaurant is really nice. We never actually ate at Artist Point before it turned into a character meal, but I mean I am pretty sure it didn’t look like this. The ceiling was covered with vines filled with these lights that changed colors as different things happened in the restaurant or different characters were introduced.

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I appreciate lights that tell me how I should feel.

This place was kind of a big deal. On account of it was filled with leather-bound books.

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It, however, DID NOT smell of rich mahogany.

But yeah, those were our menus. Hella-fancy. Inside, the menu was laid out like a story.

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But like, a story filled with food that I can eat. Unlike that stupid Hansel & Gretel story. Which leaves me wanting due to it being filled with food I can’t eat.

Oh, you mean like all the candy right, Wayne?

Oh. Um. Sure. Yeah, the candy. Definitely NOT the human flesh.

While the characters at this meal do indeed sign autographs, they also give you one of those pre-signed thingamajigs. This one was shaped like an apple. But it wasn’t edible.

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OK, so the food. Storybook Dining is like part prix-fixe, part a la carte. They start with prix-fixe appetizers for the table, then move on to a plated a la carte entrée, and end with prix fixe desserts for the table. So they exhibit control, then let you have a taste of freedom, before ripping it from your hands once again. It felt like I was being parented. Very comforting.

The meal started with a serving of three appetizers. Served on these giant leaves, which in turn made the meal feel very Smurfy. You know. Like I bet when the Smurfs go out for a nice dinner, their food is also served on giant leaves.

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We were served the Mushroom Bisque…

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…the Hunter’s Terrine (Chicken, Black Truffle, Stone Fruit Preserve, House-made Pickles)…

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..and the Wicked Shrimp Cocktail, of which I took this amazing picture really capturing its essence.

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It’s unfortunate I didn’t get a good picture of it, because the shrimp cocktail was actually my favorite of the three apps. All of them were good in their own way, but the shrimp cocktail was the standout. Also, bonus. No one in my family likes shrimp so it was all for me.

Also bonus. The kids didn’t really like the Mushroom Bisque so most of that was for me too.

Also. BONUS. Only me and Myles really enjoyed the Terrine. So I got to have double portions of that too.

I know. I am impressive.

Nickie and I also ordered a couple signature cocktails. I ordered the Smoking Mirror (Johnnie Walker Black, Wildberry, Lime, Rosemary Smoke.) This one was all about the presentation.

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Nickie ordered the Enchanted Apple (Skyy Citrus Vodka, DeKuyper Pucker Sour Apple, and White Cranberry Juice).

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Nickie really liked hers. I was a little meh about mine. The lime was a bit overpowering. I don’t mind a little bit of citrus with my brown liquor but when it’s too much, it really ruins a drink.

The boys also ordered some specialty drinks. Myles got a Transformation Potion (Odwalla Lemonade, Blue Potion) and Owen got an In The Clouds (Powerade Mountain Berry Blast, Blueberry, Cotton Candy).

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Our entrees came quickly after our apps were taken away. This meal moved FAST. In the end, it was fine because we had a party to get to, but even still it was very rushed.

For our entrees, Myles and I both ordered the Magic Mirror Slow-Braised Pork Shank with Celery Root Mashed and Wilted Winter Greens.

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This was legit delicious. If we did ever go back, I would most certainly order this again. That pork legit fell off the bone.

Nickie got the Stroll Through Nature (Gnocchi with Asparagus, Leeks, Arugula, Sage, and Parmesan). She liked it but didn’t fall in love with it as much as she expected to.

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And Owen (of course) ordered the Royal Prime Rib Roast, substituting French Fries for the horseradish mashed potatoes.

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After we finished our entrees, we received some visitors. First up, Snow White.

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Continuing with the trend of feeling super rushed, Snow White didn’t hang around too long. Dopey came next…

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…and he basically stuck around long enough to take a picture. Pretty much zero interaction with the table.

Grumpy probably stuck around the longest but even he was gone relatively quickly.

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The desserts once again made use of the giant leaves.

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We were served Poison Apples with a dark chocolate-apple mousse and a sour center.

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Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie.

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And Miner’s Treasures (Sponge Cake, Chocolate Gems, Berry Panna Cotta)

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All three were delicious, honestly. I think my favorite, though, was the Miner’s Treasures.

Our waitress also presented us with The Hunter’s Gift to the Queen – Cracked Maple Popcorn and Ganache Hearts. Again, presentation was a big component here.

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After we finished dessert, our waitress informed us we were summoned for a visit with the Queen. While the rest of the character interaction was lacking, I will say meeting with the Queen was pretty great. She was very much in character. I am pretty sure she even made fun of the fact we were wearing pajamas. Good times.

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So yeah, Storybook Dining was…a mixed bag. The food was great but the character experience and overall experience was lacking.

But with dinner done, we were onto the party!

We walked outside and waited for the ferry to the Magic Kingdom.

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See? Look at them waiting.

Soon enough we were on our way.

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And look where it took us!

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The party was still not officially starting for another hour. And the boys and I had a FastPass for Space Mountain. So we quickly got our wristbands, made our way past this bad boy…

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…walked down our special little Christmas party pathway, grabbed our first cookie of the night…

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…and were on within minutes.

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And while they hadn’t put on the Christmas overlay at this point (guess we would just have to ride it again), we did still pretend to be reindeer.

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And while we were on Space Mountain, Nickie met up with MORE GOODREAUS. The Chicago Goodys! Scott! Carrie! Gwen! Matilda! Exclamation points!

Yes, exclamation points. Of course. On account of it was exciting. They were attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with us! We met up with them to take a quick spin on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. Well, we met up with Carrie and Matilda. Gwen and Scott jumped on Space Mountain.

I swear I have some PhotoPass pics, but you’ll have to deal with pictures of pictures for now.

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As we were leaving Tomorrowland and heading into Fantasyland, we noticed a short wait for the Mad Tea Party. And word was there was a Christmas overlay here as well. Which was…kind of true.

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This early in the night, there was a little fog but no Christmas music yet. To confirm though, it did get more jolly later in the night. But eh, we still rode it anyways.

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A short walk away from the Mad Tea Party, the Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh also had pretty much no wait. So into the 100-Acre Wood we went.

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And the attraction train kept running because we walked right into Mickey’s Philharmagic next.

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So fun btw. I mean, I always like Mickey’s Philharmagic but watching it with Gwen and Matilda was awesome. Gwen kept reaching out to try and grab all the 3D effects while Matilda was laughing through the entire thing. Super fun.

The next step in the plan was to visit the Haunted Mansion.

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We got in line, worked on some mysteries…

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…but once we got past the Stretching Room, our ghost host told us the ride was down. We had a choice – we could either wait for it to come back up (which could take 15 minutes) or just move on. We decided to move on. Gwen was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing so I think she was kind of ok with said decision.

No matter though. We had a dessert party to get to. Our reservations at Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace. Oof, that was a mouthful.

Also a mouthful? All this.

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My plate was a veritable showcase. Sorry, my plates.

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There were ALL the desserts there. Plus some cheeseburger egg rolls, ooey gooey toffee cake, ice cream…so much. And yeah, it felt a little over-the-top attending a party within a party. But I mean, look at Matilda’s face. Worth it.

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And besides, you don’t book a dessert party for the desserts. I mean, you partly do. They ARE desserts after all. But the main reason for booking a dessert party is getting a good seat.

And after we filled up on desserts and egg rolls, we walked over to our seating area in the Plaza Garden. I love watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from this spot. And this year, we had a new fireworks show to see – Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show.

Look, fireworks.

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It was a great fireworks show. Miles better than Holiday Wishes in my opinion. I rank these ones high.

After the fireworks ended, the girls were getting tired but Gwen wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. FOR HER FIRST TIME. WHAT?? Of course, we had to oblige.

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I mean. Of course she had fun. It was Big Thunder. Man, I love that ride. It is, after all, the wildest ride in the wilderness.

Once we exited the ride, we walked over to Main Street to meet back up with Carrie and Matilda. We unfortunately had to say goodbye. Which was womp-town. But it was awesome getting to experience the party with the Chicago Goodys. And bonus? I didn’t upset Matilda this time.

As I mentioned before, when we rode Space Mountain pre-party, the Christmas overlay wasn’t in effect so the boys and I wanted to jump on real quick to experience it.

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Despite how we looked in our ride photo…

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…we really enjoyed it. The lights gave us a “riding with the lights on” feel and it was kind of cool hearing Christmas songs whilst riding Space Mountain.

We then met up with Nickie for another ride on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin.

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And for our last attraction of the night, we wanted to check out the Christmas version of Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor.

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Which basically meant…Christmas jokes. Eh whatever. I’ll take whatever Christmas I can get.

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Plus, I was the big winner tonight. First off, the joke I texted in got picked to be told in the show. Oh what was it? Pfft, who knows. I don’t remember it. It’s not like I have burned this memory into my brain to comfort me when times get tough.

Fine, here it is:

What do you call a snowman with a 6-pack?

The abdominal snowman.

Also. ALSO. ALSOOOOO. I was “that guy.”

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For those that don’t know, that means they kept showing me on camera and making fun of me.

Wait, did I say I was the big winner?

Anyways.

Nickie and the boys wanted to end the night with some ice cream so over to Main St. we went so they could get some at the Plaza Ice Cream Shop. And it was SNOWING!!!

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I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of their ice cream, but we did take this opportunity to get our traditional “boys walking down Main St.” picture.

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All in all, we had a lot of fun at the party. Since this was not our first party experience and this was our only time at the Magic Kingdom this trip, we made a plan to take advantage of the shorter lines and get some attractions in. And while we missed seeing Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, it was the same parade we have seen before so we felt ok with it.

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What a day, huh? We managed to do A LOT on Day 6. I’m tired just reading about it. But to be honest, reading always makes me tired. Also, walking. And breathing. Hm, maybe I should talk to someone.

Anyways, keep your eye out for our last day – Day 7!!

 

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