Welcome to Day 10 of our INSANELY long Summer 2021 Walt Disney World vacation. Day 10 and we STILL, even after you finish reading or skimming or skipping this post, have 6 more days left. Crazy man.
And hey, before we get into Day 10, it’s probably worth mentioning I am writing this in the midst of seeing all kinds of videos and posts and news about Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. And as I see all these posts. And videos. And all this news. It just makes me feel all kinds of….
…GLAD I am NOT there.
Oof, those crowds, you guys.
Reports are that wait times were low, but still. That’s anxiety-inducing. Like more than the normal anxiety-inducing crazy of Walt Disney World.
Annyways, though. This post. If you came here looking for some information on Walt Disney World parks, you’re crap out of luck.
You see, Day 10 was July 4th. Happy Birthday America beeteedubz. Actually, this was our first July 4th at Walt Disney World ever. I know. We find that shocking as well.
And since it was July 4th, we wanted to avoid any possible insane holiday crowds so we had a non-park day planned. But don’t worry – we still have plans to see some fireworks. You were, weren’t you?
You were worried
Don’t be an idiot.
Onto Day 10!
Day 10 – HAPPEEE BERFDAI ‘MURICA!!!
Since Day 10 didn’t have us getting up early for a park day or anything like that, I took the opportunity early to go for a run on the Boardwalk. As you might recall from Day 9, my phone’s camera was acting up a bit so I wasn’t able to snap pictures of the Boardwalk during my run but I did a couple laps around Crescent Lake and ran down to Hollywood Studios and back. It’s one of my favorite places to run in all of Walt Disney World, especially early in the morning as Walt Disney World is waking up.
And also I should give credit where credit is due. Since my camera lens was still drying out, Nickie had to handle much of the photo-taking early in the day today. Yeah, she’s not just another pretty face.
And guys, her face is real pretty.
In fact, while I was out for my run, Nickie walked down to BoardWalk Bakery to get breakfast for everyone…well, not everyone. Just the four of us. And she took pictures for the blog!
She knows the way to my heart.
Pictures of food.
She grabbed me and her a couple of pastries to share – an Almond croissant and one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast in all of Walt Disney World – the WDW cheese Danish!
Yeah, I don’t have a picture of it. But trust me, it was delicious stuff.
And since it was July 4th, she got the boys some American-style Mickey cupcakes.
Cupcakes for breakfast is like one of the most Disney things ever.
Well, that and crippling debt.
Breakfast, however, was decidedly light today since we actually had 4th of July brunch plans.
And as I think I have said in the past on this blog, there are few meals I like more than brunch.
I mean, there are meals I like at least as much as brunch.
Oh, and elevensies.
But I mean, there aren’t any I like more than brunch.
Anyways, right. Brunch today was at Disney Springs so we all got ready, jumped in the car, and drove on over to park in the Orange garage. We were in Disney Springs by 11AM.
And specifically, brunch was at a restaurant we have enjoyed many times for dinner but never for brunchyness – The Boathouse!
Man, do I love me some Boathouse. Like I said, we have never done brunch here before but it’s definitely up there in terms of dinner spots at Walt Disney World.
We walked up to the hostess and were immediately seated.
Our meal started with these INCREDIBLY INCREDIBLE Parker House Rolls. Seriously, look at these things.
Oh, what’s all that amazing on top of those rolls, you ask? That was like this warm, cinnamon drizzle situation. And like, if there is any situation I wanna be a part of? It’s a warm, cinnamon drizzle situation.
Look guys. I know it sometimes seems like all we do is eat and drink on this blog sometimes.
Oh. That’s all I wanted to say. It seems that way to me too.
Speaking of. Drinks.
For her morning time alcohol infusion, Nickie ordered the IG-worthy Duck Duck Razz (Stoli Razz, Peach Schnapps, Blue Curacao, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup).
She said it was pretty good. In that it was pretty and good. But she also said it was a tad too sweet for her. But it did come with a Rubber Duckie. So it’s like…even Steven? Maybe. I don’t really know what that means.
For my drink, I went with (surprise surprise) the Old-Fashioned.
Made with Heaven’s Door, Cherry Bitters, Orange Peel, and Luxardo Cherries, this was a pretty solid Old-Fashioned. I’m a sucker for a big ice cube.
Nickie also bought Myles a captain’s hat at the gift shop as a souvenir.
But before you go hailing her as selfless mother of the year, I think you should all know that if you come to brunch at the Boathouse wearing a captain’s hat, you get a free mimosa. So like, yeah….she could have bought a mimosa for less, it didn’t come with a captain’s hat for Myles.
So maybe there was some selflessness going on there. But…there was also champagne.
Another super cool thing about this brunch is it’s also a sing-along brunch featuring dueling pianos. So of course we made MULTIPLE requests.
And OF COURSE I requested “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I mean, nothing says, “Happy Birthday America” quite like Deep Blue Something.
Oh wait, sorry. My phone is ringing.
OK, I’m back. It was just the record company. No big deal. Looks like there are big things on the horizon for me.
Yeah, they said I could get 9 cassettes for only 1 cent. I’m obviously an insider now. No big deal.
Since we were at the Boathouse, I had to start with some oysters on the half shell.
I am the only one out of the four of us that enjoys raw oysters so I only ordered two – I had to go with one of he Lucky Dux from Duxbury, MA and then I also got a Bevans from Chesapeake Bay.
Lovely stuff, the both of them.
We also ordered some Fried Atlantic Clam Strips with Chipotle Tartar and Lemon to start since all of us at the table enjoy fried things.
These were very good. We finished the entire dish of em. We all enjoyed them, Look at us, how happy we were because of the clam strips.
While this was technically brunch, Myles was the only one of us that ordered anything remotely breakfast-y. He got the Chicken Biscuit & Gravy (Buttermilk Biscuit, Creole-Onion Gravy, Panko Chicken Tenders, Two Eggs any style).
Nickie and Owen both ordered what they always order at the Boathouse, the Filet Mignon Sliders (with Maitre d’ Butter served with fresh Cut Fries.)
And while I have always ALWAYS gotten seafood as my main whenever I’ve visited the Boathouse before, I was in a burger mood today. I went with the Gibsons “Sandwich King” Award Winning Burger.
I mean, of course I did. It’s award-winning.
This thing was gooood, man. Topped with Crispy Cherry Peppers, Jalapeño Havarti, Spiced Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato, and Onion and served with Fresh-cut Fries, I would 100% get this burger again.
I don’t know if it is the best burger on Disney property, but it’s up there for sure. Those cherry peppers were rull nice.
Hey, remember Cherry Poppin’ Daddies? Remember swing dancing?
Hey, Remember the 90s?
I actually was super into swing when it was all “cool” in the 90s. The bowling shirts. The saddle shoes. The wallet chains. Calling everyone “baby.”
I had it all.
And yeah, somehow.
I still found someone to love me.
I’m so money.
Oh ahem. Right.
Also, I mean. Those Old-Fashioned and Rubber Duckie drinks didn’t last into our entrees so Nickie asked for her free mimosa…
…and I went with a Florida-brewed IPA, Beach Hippie.
Good stuff. Fer sure.
So yeah, HIGHLY recommend Boathouse brunch. The food is always good at the Boathouse of course but I really love the addition of the dueling pianos. It really elevates this brunch to something more than just being able to combine two meals and creates the feeling of something special.
After the meal was over, we walked out to the back patio to snap some pics. It was a beautiful day out there. And I mean, these are some beautiful kids out there.
But as magical as that brunch was, our day was about to get even magicaler. Because as we were walking out of the restaurant, we spotted a couple of VERY familiar faces. I have mentioned before on this blog how much we watch Disney YouTubers as part of our trip planning and I mean, let’s be honest, even when we aren’t planning trips.
And two of our most-watched YouTubers are the Kay brothers – Michael Kay and Dave Kay. And like we have seen a bunch of YouTubers on our many travels to Walt Disney World. Which has of course been awesome. But the Kays have been our Bigfoots.
Wait, like not in a bad way. Like, not because they are excessively hairy or terrifying.
Or because they were once adopted by John Lithgow and his family.
But because they have been elusive. We have never run into them.
Until today. And of all the days to run into them, America’s birthday is like the best day. Because. Well. Eh, I’ll let the picture tell you why.
Yeah, amazing. Those who do watch these guys have seen this outfit before in his videos. And he showed up not only dressed like a whimsical World War II recruitment poster but he also had his little shoulder banshee friend, Pegasus, with him and also all America’d out.
It was an exciting situation.
And they were soooo nice. Like, we talked to them for a while and they never once seemed like they were trying to brush us off. They also seemed super grateful for their fans.
Oh, plus. PLUS. The next day we were being joined by Myles’s (and our) friend, Liam and he was going to be with us in Walt Disney World for his birthday. So Myles was making him a video compilation of people wishing him a Happy Birthday. Well, some people were wishing him a Happy Birthday. Most people on the video were pretending to forget Liam’s name. Which was HIGH-larious.
But anyways. Before we said goodbye to Michael and Dave, we asked them if they would record a Happy Birthday message for Liam since he is also a big fan. And they obliged with no question.
And who knows. Maybe we will run into a Kay or two later on in the trip.
Well. I know. And we do. Yeah, that’s some exciting foreshadowing there.
After our hella-exciting celebrity run-in, it was back to the car so we could head back to the Boardwalk. Once back at the room, we got changed into our bathing costumes.
Oh yep. I said bathing costumes. I think it’s so funny to say bathing costumes. Like, it’s all old-timey and what not. Like when I say it, I can pretend I’m in mid 19th-century London or something….
“Oi, nose bagger. That bathing costume is bang up to the elephant, it is. After a dip in the pond and we pick up the jammiest of jams, maybe we go get half rats smothering a parrot. But mind yourself. Last time we were powdering our hair, you got us right poked up and were all fifteen puzzle when the mutton shunters put an end to our mafficking.”
Yeah man. That’s ALL real.
Annnyways. Right. Swimming.
We got our bathing…suits on and headed down to the main pool.
And while we were there, Kayce, Bella, and Lani came to meet us!! Remember Kayce, Bella, and Lani?
Oh they’re the ones I told you all are HUGE fans of this blog. They have excellent taste and I am sure a lot of other good qualities as well.
But yeah, they came to join us for a 4th of July afternoon swim.
So I mean, we kind of had a 4th of July pool party. Oh and AND….The Red Sox were on.
It felt just like a pool party at home.
Except, you know, much more expensive.
I mean, magical. Much more magical.
So we swam and slid and swam and slid. Spent a lot of time in the pool that day. And then dinner started approaching the way it does and we had to say goodbye to our St. Louis friendzoes. But not to worry – you will be seeing A LOT more of them in the coming days.
Stop. With the worrying.
As I said, we had dinner plans that night but to tide them over, the kids ordered a couple snacks from the Leaping Horse Libations pool bar.
The always-awesome-never-lets-you-down Mickey Pretzel.
And the newly-discovered-yet-still-equally-great Leaping Horse Pretzel Dog.
Yeah. The kids were feeling a bit salty today.
You know, salty.
Oh and good news. My phone’s camera was working again! Yeah, those pretzelly pics were courtesy of my Samsung Galaxy.
Then, it was back up to the room to get ready for dinner. And as we were getting ready, we looked out the window and look what we saw.
Which made me think of this old tune…
Somewhere over the rainbow
There is food
I’m so hungry, I could kill somebody
Birds fly too
Remember that old movie?
Anyways. What were we talking about? Oh right, dinner. I had completely forgotten.
Dinner tonight was back at Disney’s Riviera Resort, once again at Topolino’s Terrace.
I love the look of this place. The kinetic light fixtures. The big windows.
And like, while I was going to be imbibing beverages of the more, erm…fermented…variety tonight, I did notice what I can only imagine is a siphon coffee maker behind the bar.
Oh and guess what?? We were meeting up with friends for dinner.
Look guys, it’s the Hills!
Look guys, it’s the Hills!
Yup, Missy and Eric! And Olivia is around here somewhere. We’ll have pictures of her soon enough. But jeez. Aren’t Missy and Eric enough for you guys?
We put our names in and ordered some drinks at the bar while we waited.
And guess what I ordered?
You: An Old-Fashioned?
Me: No, stupid.
You: Oh, well that was uncall…
Me: Shut up. Anyways. I did NOT get an Old-Fashioned. I got a Modern Fashioned. Sooo.
Made with Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, Appleton Estate Reserve Blend Rum, Vanilla Bean, and Bitters, this was a real nice drink. And you can’t see it in that picture, but that ice cube? It had an “R” on it. For the Riviera. So you know, it was a pretty fancy ice cube.
Oh wait. Hey, there’s Olivia. And Owen. Myles also.
We started the meal off with a plate of the fresh, housemade Ricotta (with Tomato, Aged Balsamic, Cracked Pepper, Basil, and Epi.)
I know, seems like a pretty simple dish right? But. You. Guys. This Ricotta was delicious. Like, I think we were considering ordering another dish of it it was so good. The Ricotta is LEH. GIT. All smooth and creamy and what not. I imagine this is what eating a cloud is like.
As you saw in the dish above, the Ricotta came with a piece of French bread meant to be torn and shared. But I mean.
Thankfully, they also brought a whole basket of bread out as well. So sharing could be kept to a minimum.
That bread was also served with some French Olive Oil for dipping, which was good. Though I had heard tales of being served both a French and Italian Olive Oil for comparison. And nope. Not tonight. Just one Olive Oil.
Eh, if it was enough for Popeye…
We also ordered some of the Olives Marinées (with Lemon, Garlic, Marjoram, and Bay Leaf.)
Again, a pretty simple dish but very very good. I recommend ordering both of these appetizers to start a meal at Topolino’s. Both were delightful. But, if you can only pick one, I 100% recommend the Ricotta. I think this may have been my favorite dish of the night. And that’s saying something.
OK, onto the entrees. For our main, we got…
Ha, just kidding. We also decided to get a pasta course for the table and ordered up a plate of the Rigatoni with Braised Chicken Sugo, Broccolini Rapini, Wild Mushrooms, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
So yeah. The Ricotta was the best thing I ate tonight. But this rigatoni? A very close second.
By now, the meal had been about an hour and we still haven’t even hit the entrees yet. And by no means am I saying this as some sort of complaint. We were enjoying time with our family and our friends and our food. It was drawn out perfectly.
These three? They totally agree.
OK fine. I suppose we have to get to the entrees at some point. Now, I was having a real hard time deciding on what to get for my main. I was trying to decide between the Tomahawk Veal Chop and the Diver Scallops.
So of course I asked our server what he recommended. And he totally dropped a bomb on my plans and said the Classic Sole Meunière (with Sea Beans, Capers, Lemon and Petite Potatoes) was the best dish on the menu. And I am a sucker for a good server recommendation. Apparently, so is Missy because she ALSO got the sole.
Lookit how pretty.
And it was pretty good stuff. Super rich and given the size, it was hard to get it all down. But I mean. I did. Because I am a frikkin hero.
The Filet Mignon (with Potato Purée, Soubise, Pickled Scallions, Onion Jus, Guanciale Shallot Jam) was a popular dish at the table as I think most everyone else (with the exception of Olivia, who got the not-pictured kids’ Chicken Breast I think) at the table ordered it.
When this steak was ordered, the server claimed it was the best steak on property.
And well. Eh. I mean, the steak was good. But was it the best?
Again, good for sure. But like, we have definitely had better steaks at places like Yachtsman and Le Celier and, actually, I think I even prefer Topolino’s breakfast steak.
But still. It’s meat.
OK, time check. So I would like to point out that as we were finishing our entrees, the clock was just ticking past 9:00PM. Which put us at two hours so far.
Again, this is the opposite of a complaint. This is my kind of meal.
With the entrees cleared, it was time for dessert. Well, actually. I was suffering from a bad case of FOMO.
Oh, sorry. I meant “FOAM-O.”
It was time for a cappuccino. Is what I mean.
OK, dessert time. We ordered, like, a lot of desserts. And to me, the star of dessert selection was the Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake.
Multiple dishes of this thing were ordered and man, this is way up there in terms of desserts on Walt Disney World property. Served with Raspberries and Chantilly, this ain’t your normal lava cake situation here. While most of these types of cakes are filled with a warm chocolate center, this one is all warm caramel inside.
I would bathe myself in that caramel center if it were socially accep…
No. Nope. Sorry. For that imagery.
There were also a couple additional yumtown desserts ordered up, including this pistachio ice cream…
…and this erm. Well. Whatever-this-is.
I wanna say this was some sort of Pistachio Mousse but I honestly can’t remember and there is nothing like this on the menu right now. Some online research has me like 90% confident that’s what this is, but I can’t commit.
Yeah, remember when you came to this blog looking for information?
As we were eating dessert, we noticed some fireworks going off in the distance out the window.
And these were a total surprise. We actually came here expecting to see some fireworks after dinner (which, spoiler alert, yes) but these just kind of popped out of nowhere. I think these were not any sort of Disney World fireworks though – seems like they were going off in downtown Orlando. Again, thanks to my mastery of the Interwebz, I did see that there was a fireworks show at Eola Park in Downtown Orlando starting at around 9:15 and looking at the timestamp on the above photo, that seems to fit.
So yeah. Bonus fireworks.
As you can see from the above photos, Myles was very engaged and insanely into the fireworks.
And when I say “the fireworks,” I obviously mean Words With Friends.
Wait, do the kids still play Words With Friends these days? Well whatever. He’s on his phone is what I am saying to you right now.
Oh wait, but hey look…They all seem super into it now.
Well, that’s great. I love seeing the kids enjoying the world around them and getting into the whole “America’s birthday” situation. I love seeing them engaged and prese…
Ugh, we’ve even lost Owen.
The show ended at around 9:30 but that was NOT the end of the fireworks for the night. The plan was to catch the Epcot Forever nighttime spectacular off the outside rooftop patio at Topolino’s, which was starting at around 10PM.
And because we all believe in being prepared, we asked our server if we could get some drinks to bring out onto the patio. And he obliged.
I mean, we had to pay for them. It’s not like he just gave them to us.
But the girls got some champagne to bring out there.
And I got a glass of Oban 14 with one of their signature awesome ice cubes again.
To the patio!
It seemed like a lot of people had the same idea tonight but we found a spot where we could sit or stand near the door. And at 10PM the show began.
They didn’t play the music or anything and obviously nothing beats seeing the fireworks in the park, but its cool to get a different vantage point of things sometimes. Plus, not having to brave those 4th of July crowds and still see fireworks, with a glass of Oban in my hand, felt like a major win.
For me, yah.
But also? For America.
We also noticed a lot of helicopters flying around while we were out there. I tried to get pics of them but nothing came out. I think these were tourism helicopters. Which I thought were forbidden in Disney airspace but I guess we were outside that circle of restriction or whatever.
Stupid helicopters and their stupid loopholes.
What a great night. From when we first checked in to the last firework, we spent over 3 hours at Topolino’s. And those hours were filled with good drinks, great good, and incredible friends. Seriously, this was an awesome night.
After we left the restaurant, we all actually hung out in the parking lot for a little bit longer, talking and laughing and what not. And Olivia had to also record her Happy Birthday message for Liam.
On account of she’s never met him.
But I also think we were all just having such a good time, it was kind of hard to head back.
Eventually, though, we all said our goodbyes and headed to our cars.
We were back at the Boardwalk by 10:45 or so.
And we made our way back to our room, thankful for yet another super duper Disney day.
Stay tuned for Day 11 (I seriously can’t believe we still have like 6 days left in this trip).
Not only do we get more Disney.
Not only do we eat more food.
Not only do we get more of the friends we have already been seeing in these posts.
But we get some Liam action. Liam is coming, you guys. And it’s gonna be epic.