You know, when I first set out to write the posts detailing our epic forever-long Summer 2021 Disney trip, I really was planning to do multiple posts a week. Otherwise, by my calculations, we will be trick-or-treating by the time this nonsense is done.
Then, you know. Life gets in the way you guys. Owen turned 14. Work got busy. The new Masters of the Universe show came out on Netflix.
But look, I am willing to stick with this whole thing if you are.
Even if it takes us months, years, decades even to get through this. I promise to keep writing these if you promise to keep reading the…
Wait, where are you going?
Let’s just get on with it, shall we?
Day 4 – Whispering Canyon, Blizzard Beach, Three Bridges, and Mini-Golf at Fantasia Gardens!
Day 4 was a different type of Disney Day. Since we didn’t have a breakfast scheduled until like 9AM and that breakfast was AT OUR RESORT, there was really no need to wake up all that early. We could sleep in and get nice and rested for the day.
I woke up early in order to get a run in before breakfast.
Yeah. I mean. Sleep schmeep. Right?
Since it was VERY hot, I decided against running outside and headed over to the Sturdy Branches fitness center to get a run in on the treadmill.
Ohhhhh wait. Sturdy Branches.
I get it now.
I got 4 miles in before heading back to the room to get ready for breakfast. Where, you know, I could negate all that hard work I just put in running.
Like I said, breakfast today was at our resort. Actually, it was right off the Wilderness Lodge lobby. So we simply had to walk out of our room.
Down a hallway.
Past the pool.
Up another long hallway.
And into the main lobby to get to it.
We were kind of far from the lobby is what I am saying to you now.
Breakfast this morning was at Whispering Canyon Café!
And bonus – we were spending the day with Jeff and Shannon today!! And that whole “spending the day” thing? It starts now.
Being in Disney means a lot of things. It means fun. It means memories. It means magic.
And it means having cocktails at breakfast.
I am pretty sure Jeff and I started with a Bourbon Sweet Tea.
I say “pretty sure” because this doesn’t really look like a Bourbon Sweet Tea. I feel like Bourbon Sweet Teas usually come in a highball with a lemon. But I am like 90% sure that’s what we got.
But there is also like a 90% chance it was just bourbon on the rocks.
Yeah, I realize that’s 180%. But my blog, my math.
For breakfast, Whispering Canyon offers all-you-care-to-enjoy skillets to share so most of us shared The Heritage (House-made Buttermilk-Cheddar Biscuits and Sausage Gravy with Mickey Waffles, Scrambled Eggs, Country Potatoes, Hickory-smoked Bacon, Pork Sausage Links.)
Everything was good stuff. I mean, pretty traditional breakfast offerings but Mickey waffles are a true elevation food. Like just by being associated with Mickey Waffles, those scrambled eggs immediately become the best scrambled eggs in the history of scrambled eggs.
Also, I really like the inclusion of biscuits and gravy.
I love me some biscuits and gravy.
In fact, I love them so much I wrote a little haiku about them.
Biscuit. Thick gravy.
Why are there non-biscuit foods?
I think Myles ended up getting the Carnivore skillet (House-made Buttermilk-Cheddar Biscuits and Sausage Gravy with Scrambled Eggs, House-smoked Ham, Oak-smoked Beef Brisket, Hickory-smoked Bacon, Pork Sausage Links) but I didn’t get a picture of it.
I think I was just protesting the absence of Mickey waffles.
I got your back, Mick.
Overall, breakfast at Whispering Canyon was fine. Nothing real unique or anything but the food was all tasty. I’d say if you were staying at Wilderness Lodge, it’s definitely worth a stop but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it or anything.
Which is essentially what I did. Went out of my way for it. Because OUR ROOM WAS SO FAR FROM THE LOBBY.
Day 4 was a pretty exciting day because after breakfast, we were pretty much non-stop doing things we hadn’t done before at Walt Disney World.
Our first post-breakfast stop was Blizzard Beach, one of Disney’s two waterparks.
While we have visited Disney’s other waterpark – Typhoon Lagoon – in the past, we have never ever been to Blizzard Beach. So I mean.
We were snow excited.
For those that don’t know, the story behind Blizzard Beach is that back in 1977, a freak snowstorm occurred in Florida and this led to the development of Florida’s first ski resort. Ski lifts were put up, toboggan runs were put down, and the resort was built up around this mountain of snow. Unfortunately, Florida temperatures came back and the snow turned to slush, leaving all that ski resort stuff pretty useless.
Or was it? Because something or other about an alligator sliding down the mountain and they were like, “duh, waterslides.”
And thus, Blizzard Beach was born. The theming here is pretty outstanding. It really does feel like a melted ski resort.
I mean, I think it does. I don’t know if anyone has ever actually experienced such a thing.
Plus, I mean…I LOVE that Christmas music is playing all year round here. By “here” I mean my house.
But they also play it at Blizzard Beach.
Hey look – a fun pic!
We grabbed some open chairs near the wave pool and set up camp.
Now, full transparency time. Leading up to this Blizzard Beach visit, I was very nervous. Like, I was physically having stomach aches thinking about riding Summit Plummet, the tallest water slide at Walt Disney World and, like, the 6th tallest water slide in the country.
And no, you do not go flying off there at the end. Water shoots off that ramp as you continue to plunge down behind it. But yeah, it is a freefalling 12 stories straight down and you take a chair lift to reach it or you can opt for the stairs if you’d rather.
I opted to take the chair lift.
And taking the chair lift didn’t help. With the whole nervous thing. The lift moves just slow enough up to the top of Mount Gushmore to really let you think long and hard about the mistake you’re about to make.
After getting off the lift, Jeff, Owen, and I climbed the additional stairs (yeah, it literally just keeps going) to the top of Summit Plummet and waited in a line of about 4 people before taking the plunge. From the top of the slide, you can pretty much see all of Walt Disney World. Tower of Terror. Expedition Everest. Spaceship Earth. Impending doom.
All three of us were nervous. And when you’re standing there, watching people descend, it’s like they disappear. They lay down, cross their arms and legs, and then…boom. Gone. From our group, Jeff disappeared first. Then Owen. And then it was my turn. I told the cast member running the slide how nervous I was and he said I would be fine. At least I think that’s what he said. I was too busy seeing my life flash in front of my eyes to hear him.
I got the go-ahead and, ugh. I had to push myself off. And that’s, like, the worst part no? Having force yourself to take the leap yourself. I kind of wish they would just push you down with their boot like the Santa in A Christmas Story.
But. We all did it. We all slid down this monstrosity at around 60 mph. And of course, it ended up being INSANELY fun. Owen said it was the best water slide he’d ever been on.
So the moral of the story? I don’t know. Face your fears? Things are never as bad as they seem? Maybe the Santa in A Christmas Story is the true hero?
Being that this was a water park, I didn’t really carry my phone with me most of the day. But through the morning we rode a bunch of stuff, like Teamboat Springs as well as some of the body slides like the ones over at Runoff Rapids.
We missed out on a few slides, including the mat ones. But that was mainly because we waited like 30 minutes in line for the Downhill Double Dipper and right when we were about to grab our tubes for the slide, it shut down.
Yeah. Ross Face.
At around 11:00AM, those of us riding the slides headed back to the chairs so we could all meet back up to grab some eats/drinks and hit the wave pool together.
Myles assumed his default position…
…while we headed over to the Lottawatta Lodge to see what they had to offer.
For lunch, a few of us went with one of their specialties. Made with water, barley, yeast, and hops this really hit the spot.
We got beer.
Is what I am saying to you now.
Yeah, I mean. We just weren’t all that hungry. Plus, we were planning on a pretty early dinner.
The kids still wanted a little snack, though. So Owen got a milkshake and Myles ordered some chicken strips and fries. And a Virgin Pina Colada. Which like, some people may make fun of. But whatever. Good for you for not settling, Pina Colada. Your first time should be special.
And for research purposes, I did sample a chicken strip or two. Standard Walt Disney World chicken strips. Which is by no means a complaint. There’s something real special about Walt Disney World chicken strips.
While we all knew not waiting 30 minutes before going into the pool after eating could be dangerous, we decided to take a collective risk and head into the Melt-Away Bay wave pool immediately after finishing up with our lunch.
It was a good wave pool. Waves were big without being “oh my god I am going to die” big. And bonus – the bottom of the pool was smooth, unlike the bottom of the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon which is all kinds of rough. The Typhoon Lagoon wave pool floor has like a stucco-ish feel to it. I guess maybe to stop people from slipping or something. But the combination of powerful waves and sandpaper bottom leave you looking like you got attacked by a shark.
Well, a shark with long fingernails.
Anyways, yeah. Wave pool=fun.
Remember when I said we weren’t all that hungry? Well, when I said “we,” I mean “we minus Myles.” Because even though he had just had some chicken strips, Myles was hungry enough to eat a beach pail full of ice cream.
And I know what you’re thinking – “Myles must have shared some of that ice cream willfully. I mean, It’s a whole bucket of ice cream.”
Ha. You’re such an idiot.
Of course he didn’t share.
After Myles literally shoveled ice cream into his face, we split up once again. Jeff, Owen, and I wanted to take a ride down Slush Gusher.
Oof, Slush Gusher.
Located next to Summit Plummet, Slush Gusher is an undulating body slide that, honestly, was a tad more terrifying than Summit Plummet. It has two dips and a 90-foot drop. The drop is whatevz. But that second dip is rull scurry. You get all kinds of air at that point.
While we were cheating death on Slush Gusher, the rest of the crew (Nickie, Myles, and Shannon) took a float down Cross Country Creek, Blizzard Beach’s 3000 foot lazy river that winds around the entire park.
Once we were off Slush Gusher, the three of us planned on catching up with them so we headed to one of the many entrances to the lazy river. But you guys. Getting a tube for the river? It’s madness. Like, remember that scene in Jingle All the Way where the store inexplicably let loose a bunch of lotto balls to a group of rabid Turboman-obsessed parents who then proceeded to nearly kill each other in an effort to obtain one?
Yeah, it was kind of like that.
Oh and even after we did make it into the river, we never actually caught up to them so we just met back up with them at our chairs. Yeah. Ugh. That story literally went nowhere.
And the award for Most Boring Lazy River-Related story goes to…
By this point, it was around 3:45PM and we were all pretty waterpark’ed out. So we packed up our stuff and made our way to the exit to bid adieu to Blizzard Beach onto our next advent..
Oh look, donuts!
Yeah, on our way out we passed the Mini Donuts by Joffrey’s stand. And me passing up donuts would be like me passing up whiskey.
And me passing up whiskey? As likely as me passing up donuts.
I ordered a dozen for us to share – 7 for me, 1 each for everyone else.
Whatever. I put the work in of ordering them.
And these things were yumtown. All warm and soft and warm and soft. With or without the chocolate dipping sauce I got on the side, I could seriously eat a lot of these.
I know this because I did.
Eat a lot of these.
Fueled by the power of donuts, it was NOW TIME to head out on our next adventure.
Which was…to eat.
And we were eating in a place new to us that was right down the street from Blizzard Beach at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
And you know what? I don’t think I have EVER been in this resort before. As we walked in the lobby, I was kind of taken by surprise at how pretty it all was.
We asked a cast member where we could find our next eating destination. And he heard me talking about how much I was digging this whole wall of lights thing. So he offered to take our picture in front of it.
And given my excessive vanity, who was I to turn him down?
“Excessive vanity,” he says as he hides his entirety behind everyone else.
OK so our plan for dinner was we wanted to eat at Three Bridges Bar & Grill out on the water at Coronado Springs. But the cast member we spoke to informed us the place didn’t open until 4:30PM. It was just about 4PM at this point so we had some time to kill.
We first stopped in at Panchito’s to browse and do some shopping.
Well, I first stopped to take a picture of this fountain. Because fountains.
That took up some time but when we came out of Panchito’s, we still had a little bit of time before Three Bridges officially opened so we ducked into Rix Sports Bar & Grill for a pre-dinner cocktail.
I opted for a Sweet Tea Old-Fashioned.
Nickie went in for the old tried-and-true Long Island Iced Tea. When you can’t decide on a liquor, just get all of them.
We sat at the bar. And I mean obviously we shared some laughs. I mean, you guys think the blog is funny? Imagine me in person.
Once we finished up with our drinks, we paid our bill and headed out to Three Bridges.
Part of the awesomeness here is in its location. Three Bridges is located at the intersection of. Well. Three Bridges,
Come on. Keep up.
These bridges all converge in the middle of Lago Dorado, the lake at Coronado Springs so you’re just sort of out there in the middle of the lake surrounded by water on all sides.
We were seated pretty much on arrival and the whole place had a super casual vibe to it. When you first walk in, you pass the bar.
And beyond that, there were comfy couches and chairs set up in the middle with more standard table seating on the perimeter.
And we were seated in some of those comfy couches and chairs. And like, the boys made quick use. Of the comfiness.
Jeff and Shannon sat more upright. But still, comfortable.
Oh, Nickie and I were also there.
We started our meal as we normally do.
Nickie got the Sangria flight, which allowed her to sample all four of Three Bridges’ house-made sangrias (Red, White, Rose, and Sparkling.) Check out this presentation…
Our waitress also informed us this was one of the only locations on property with house-made sangria as many Disney locations make theirs from the same bag. Yeah man, she was throwing some serious Sangria shade.
Unfortunately, I think Nickie only liked the red one. Nickie often gets flights and then regrets it. Fun fact? She also hates flying. Coincidence?
I was feeling like some gin today so I ordered the Spice Road Gin Tonic (Tanqueray Gin, House-Made Tonic Syrup, Soda Water.) When I ordered it, our waitress (who was great by the way) told me it wasn’t like a typical gin and tonic because of the house-made tonic syrup. I decided to go for it. She assured me, though, if I didn’t like it I could get something else instead. And um yeah…this was definitely different.
But I remember really liking it. I feel like the syrup had hints of rosemary in it maybe? Whatever it was, it melded really nice with the juniper notes from the gin.
We started the food portion of our meal with some appetizers. Some house-made guac and tortilla chips…
…and the Warm Manchego Cheese and Oaxaca Cheese Dip (with Chorizo, Roasted Peppers and Tortilla Chips).
Yeah, we were in a “putting things on chips” kind of mood, I guess.
Oh guys. This Manchego cheese dip situation was ON POINT. Remember in my first post of this trip where I awarded the Dip of the Trip award to the Brisket Dip at Geyser Point? Well, I dunno now. I think these two are like, co-winners or some other kind of nonsense. Equal partners. Or some other woke-ness.
But yeah, this dip was all kinds of warm, cheesy awesomeness. OK, ready?
You definitely ready?
You guys should totally Manche-GO to Three Bridges for this dip.
Thanks. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal. Be sure to tip your waitress.
For our mains, I think everyone got something different.
Jeff, oddly…got…a salad?
Specifically, he ordered the Villa del Lago Salad with Grilled Shrimp (with Roasted Red Peppers, Romaine, Arugula, warm Yukon Potatoes, White Beans, Sherry Vinaigrette.) Oh ok. There’s shrimp in there. I guess that’s ok then.
Shannon got the Poke Bowl (Basmati Rice, Coconut Milk-Lime Sauce, Vegetable Melee, Sriracha “Aïoli”, Grilled Pineapple) with Salmon, I think?
Owen ordered the Kids’ Pork Tacos (with mac & cheese and fruit as his two sides).
Myles went in for the Braised Pork Tacos with Crispy Slaw, Salsa Verde, Cotija Cheese and Marinated Fruit.
Nickie grabbed the Three Bridges Signature Burger (with Crispy Potato, Manchego Cheese, Roasted Garlic-Lemon Aïoli, Arugula, and Tomato served with Smoked Paprika Fries.)
And I ordered the Harissa Lamb Chops (with Tzatziki, Cucumber-Tomato Salad and Naan Bread) per our waitress’s recommendation.
For the most part, everyone really enjoyed their entrees. Myles thought his tacos were a little too spicy but other than that, everything was a home run. Nickie’s burger was outstanding. And those lamb chops were one of the best things I ate this trip.
And duh. OF COURSE we got dessert.
We all shared the Warm Churros with Espelette Sugar and Chocolate Sauce…
And the Tres Leches with Compressed Pineapple and Marshmallow.
I think most at the table preferred the churros but I actually though the Tres Leches was the better of the two desserts. Both were good though.
Overall, a FANTASTIC meal at Three Bridges. I can’t recommend this place enough. It’s a bit out of the way for most guests but totally worth the trip.
Look at how content Jeff was.
After dinner was finished, it was time to continue our “things we have never done in Walt Disney World.” While some of us have played miniature golf at Walt Disney World, none of us had done so at Fantasia Gardens.
So um. We went to play mini-golf at Fantasia Gardens.
When we arrived, there was about a 30-40 minute wait but thankfully they had some activities to pass the time…
At around 8:30, two things happened.
One thing that happened is that we were called up to go play our round.
The other thing that happened is that the skies opened up and let loose a rain deluge of biblical proportions.
I don’t think this picture accurately captures the for real levels of what was going on that night.
Is what I am saying to you now.
But while others on the course ran for shelter? We played on. Eh, I mean I was still wearing my bathing suit anyways.
The presence of caves helped for sure.
And of course, the presence of beer helped as well.
The course was definitely a good time. And I don’t know. I mean, I am sure I would have preferred it without rain but having the rain definitely made it a unique experience we won’t soon forget. Plus, it completely cleared the course. We pretty much had the place to ourselves.
We were wet. But we were happy.
Pfft, Myles. Golf balls aren’t food.
Silly goose. Go back to your pond.
After the round had finished, the attendant at the front also gave us a raincheck to come back whenever we wanted to play without the distraction a fear of drowning provides. Which was nice. And also was something we never used.
From Fantasia Gardens, Jeff and Shannon were heading back to their resort. So we said our goodbyes not sure when we would see them aga…
Ha, Gotcha. We’re seeing them tomorrow! We still have another day with them!! Exclamation points!!!!!!
When we got back to Wilderness Lodge, it was still before 10PM and like I said, we still had our bathing suits on. So we went straight to the hot tub. As one does.
After a quick soak, it was back to the room and right to bed because – SURPRISE – Day 5 is another early day.
See ya then!
Last post – Day 3!