“Mom, you just beat cancer, what are you going to do next?!” I'M GOING TO WDW! Sept 18 *NEW 8/22

Aug 31, 2008
Day 4, Part 1: Our Favorite Breakfast in the World

We woke up around 7:30 still feeling very satisfied from our delicious dinner the night before. We had at 9:25 reservation at Kona Cafe, our favorite breakfast at WDW! I’m not sure why it took us forever to get ready this day but apparently it did.

We got down to the bus stop at 8:25 and the MK bus wasn’t even on the screen, multiple other buses came and went, and when 8:45 rolled around we left the bus stop and walked up to the front to catch a Minnie Van. Mom was getting very anxious about not making it on time since we’d have to catch the monorail over. Our Minnie Van driver was Scott. We got the the Polynesian at 9:05, headed upstairs to check in.

I love the Polynesian, I think the lobby is so gorgeous! I’d love to stay here. We stayed here when I was 2, so 22 years ago… and I feel like I can’t count it because I don’t remember it at all.

We were seated early at 9:10. Our server was
Gee from Brooklyn, NY and I remember him being really great. We ordered coffee to wake ourselves up. Sometime before this trip the Kona Cafe had changed their menu and we were a little bummed about the changes. The Big Kahuna was my favorite thing to order because it was a bit of everything. So since we couldn’t order that, and we honestly weren’t feeling too hungry, we ordered the Macadamia Nut Pancakes and the Polynesian Egg Platter to split.

I wanted to get a picture of mom but there was a weird ray of light coming in, so I told her to lean forward but she didn’t really get what I was saying.

Breakfast was great per usual. Gee gave us some coffee for the road, which we greatly appreciated, and we headed on our way. Our plan was to head to Epcot, but not without stopping in the gift shop first. I purchased this lanyard with a water bottle holder. I ended up taking the lanyard off and just using the carabiner and water bottle holder on my backpack.

After our gift shop stop, we ended up chatting with the DVC cast member. I was probably looking at her pins or something and she started chatting us up. She was really sweet and nice. On my last trip the Spring before I went to a DVC info session and had been seriously considering joining. But I wanted to get mom on board with the idea, too. So the lovely woman cast member whose name I wish I could remember, talked us into “taking a tour” here at the Poly. We obliged.

After a few minutes, another DVC cast member came over to take us to another DVC cast member who’d be giving us more info. To make a long story short, we did not join DVC that day. And me, who was on the verge of joining in the past, was kind of now put off by it. The cast member we had who gave us our info session, or whatever you want to call it, was plain rude. We did not like him at all, he was very attacking and had a very bully approach to the whole thing. And he did not sell mom on the DVC at all, which was like the whole point. I don’t think he realized he needed to convince her and not me. The girl I had had the year before was awesome and I was really bummed by this guy and this experience overall. It actually put a damper on the day/trip. We did give negative feedback about him, and he was taken off of our “profile” or whatever it is the DVC keeps on prospective members. He kept us in that info session for soo long and then showed us a room for about a millisecond. I was so happy when we could finally leave. And I really hate complaining about it because I really loved my previous DVC information experience. We were glad we got gift cards out of it because after that hour and a half we seriously deserved them.

We left the Polynesian in a DVC bus that brought us over to Epcot where we could spend our well deserved gift cards on yummy food and put that awful DVC experience behind us. We got to Epcot around 12:30 and headed in.

I was trying to take a selfie with mom, but she was too busy taking her own selfie :rotfl:

There we go

Our first stop was the festival center. We wanted to go pick up our AP cutting boards for visiting four times! But first… mimosas! Just kidding, I’m pretty sure we got in line for our cutting boards, then explored the pavilion a bit.

We watched the artistic marbling which was really cool. Someone had purchased a scarf so we watched him drop all his colors and go through the whole process!

After this man finished his beautiful scarf, we moseyed over to
Craft Drafts and picked a beer to try.

I was really tempted to buy this coffee specifically for the bag, and this was before my newfound love for Joffrey’s

When we went to leave the festival center it was absolutely down pouring. So we decided to wait it out under the overhang. I complimented the girl next to me on her incredible shoes and she told me she makes them herself!

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Aug 31, 2008
Day 4, Part 2: All the Snacks

Once the rain passed, we trekked across Future World to the Land to use our Soarin’ FP.

After we soared over the world, which was mom’s first time since they changed Soarin a couple years ago, we began our big eating around the world/F&W experience. First stop,
Light Lab. We ordered the Phosphorescent Phlight, which was non-alcoholic slushies. It was sooo hot this day so these slushies and the AC was much appreciated.

I’m a big fan of slushies and have pretty high standards for them, and these ones were really good. And the fun glowing “cubes” were cool too. The whole room was a really cool experience and environment.

There was a cider stand outside the Light Lab, but still inside in that air conditioned area. We ended up grabbing a cider and then we headed over to the Visa Photospot.

We really love the the Visa photo spots are usually not busy at all and you can pop in and out super quick. And that was definitely the case here.

After saying a quick hello to Mickey and Goofy we continued on our quest of eating everything.

We grabbed some snacks from the stands right by that indoor area we had just been in and then headed back into the AC. We used a QS meal credit at
Coastal Eats to get one of each of the snacks.

Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip with Sourdough Baguette

Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn, Butterbean Succotash and Chili-chipotle Butter Sauce

Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Avocado-lemongrass Cream

We ordered this drink too and I can’t remember what it was or what stand it was from but it was alcoholic and it was very good.

We ended up setting up camp in the indoor area. We grabbed a table and then one of us would run and grab snacks from the surrounding stands every once in a while.

Next I ran over to
the Chocolate Studio and the Cheese Studio to grab some more… and honestly I’m not sure how I made it back without dropping anything.

Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel

Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Blueberry Wine, St. Petersburg, FL

Cheese Trio: Profiterole topped with Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese and Orange Apricot Jam; Smoked Salmon Pinwheel with Boursin Shallot and Chive Cheese and Everything Seasoning; Strawberry Macaron with Boursin Pepper Cheese

Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Cream, Caramel and Pecan Crunch


We thoroughly enjoyed our snacks in the AC and I honestly can’t even pick true winners because they were so so good. Rarely do I meet a form of cheese I don’t like, you know what I mean? But I think the cheesecake might have been the winner, just by an inch or two.

I still had my heart set on that pink snack Magicband and I kept checking the app looking for stores that said they had it in stock. I had checked two stores on the way into the park and neither had them. The app was saying that MouseGears had it so we headed there. I dug and dug and finally found one sole pink snack magicband!

We were feeling a little stuffed so we opted to walk it off and do a big loop around Spaceship Earth where I proceeded to take a zillion pictures. It’s just so pretty!


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Aug 31, 2008
Day 4, Part 3: Magical Moments

After attempting to walk off our food in Future World, we headed back to World Showcase to eat some more. It was about 5:00pm at this point and we had an 8:30 dinner reservation, so we didn’t want to stuff ourselves but we still had a few more things on our F&W bucket list!

We headed over to the
Wine & Dine studio because I was dying to try the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Parmesan Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds!


We made a quick stop at
Refreshment Port and got the Sweet Potato Poutine: Sweet Potato Fries with Caramel Sauce, Mini Marshmallows and Pecans. This was a little toooooo sweet and we had to admit defeat and toss them after a few bites.

Canada was next! Followed by New Zealand!

Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce. This was so so so good. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Steamed Green Lip Mussels with Garlic Butter and Toasted Breadcrumbs. YUM!!

Next we changed directions and headed to Thailand. We got the Marinated Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Stir-fried Vegetables. We both didn’t love this. I was expecting it to be more like pad thai which I love, just without the noodles. But this definitely fell a little short for me.

We were feeling the heat and in need of an icy refreshment, so we stopped in
Mexico to grab a frozen margarita from Choza de Margarita. We ordered the Fiesta which is a combination of all three frozen margaritas. Wild strawberry, classic lime, and passion mango.

Margarita in hand we went over to get in line in
China. This line was significantly long and we started chatting with the girls in front of us. One of them was wearing a purple lanyard with a little Chef Mickey on it. The lanyard was really thin and resembled the ones they sell to cast members. So I asked her about it and if it was just for cast members or if they sold them. She told me that you could get them in the festival shops when you put $250 on a gift card. I was bummed because we were at the tail end of our trip so there was no point in putting that much on a gift card now but had I KNOWN on Monday I definitely would’ve done it.

She took hers off and gave it to me! WHICH WAS SO INSANELY SWEET. She was a cast member and she said she was going to go get another one because she’d used up her gift card already and it was like the first week of September and she’d be back plenty. I’m still blown away by this. Like I was seriously on the verge of tears. I gave her a hug and thanked her a bunch. She also gave me and mom pins to make a little magical moment for mom.

Seriously I’m still so shocked and thankful to her. Thanks Marissa!

Chicken Dumplings with Chinese Slaw

Our dumplings were good, but nothing could top my new Chef Mickey lanyard. It was 6 o’clock at this point and we decided to meander back to International Gateway and go back to the Boardwalk so we could freshen up and rest, well mom could rest, and I could run, before dinner.

Not without a few stops along the way of course. We stopped at
Brewer’s Collection to try the Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen Pomegranate Beer. And we also stopped at Blocks and Hans and got the Ciderboys Strawberry Magic Hard Cider from Stevens Point, WI.

Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen Pomegranate Beer

Ciderboys Strawberry Magic Hard Cider. This was so so so good.

We headed out of the park right at 7, made our way back to the Boardwalk. I changed quick and headed back down for 1 mile for day 103 of the run streak!

I headed back up to the room, showered quick, and got ready so we could head back to Epcot for dinner! We got to
Teppan Edo right at 8:30 and checked in. We were seated with the rest of our table a few minutes later.

We’d never eaten here before and we thought the food was great and so was the whole overall experience. Our hostess who explained everything and sat us was Momoko, and she was the cutest person ever. And our chef was Ken, he was awesome.

Mom and I both ordered cocktails. Mine was the
Sun Shower and it was so so good. I don’t remember the name of mom’s, but her’s was really good as well!

Our salad came which was delicious and then the cooking began!

I went with the shrimp and steak and I think mom ordered the same. Everything was so so so good. The experience, the food, the drinks. So great. Since we were on the meal plan we got dessert, but we were so incredibly full we couldn’t eat one more bite. They let us take our dessert to go and we brought it back to the room.

It was just about 10 when we left Teppan Edo and the park was closed to the public, but there was some sort of after hours event going on which seemed fun! We hopped on a Friendship boat and were back to the hotel in no time. We popped in the gift shop to get some treats to take home with us tomorrow. We still had a bunch of snack credits to use up, we hadn’t used them well to be honest.

When we were in the gift shop the cutest cast member made a magical moment for Mom and gave her a candy apple. It was seriously the sweetest thing. We were really feeling the magic this whole trip and this was just so sweet. She had some sweet words to say to mom, too.

I made mom take a picture with her! I believe her name was Megan! Thanks Megan!

We headed back to the room, did a little packing, and then went right to sleep. We had to wake up early in the morning and drop our luggage off before heading out for the parks!


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Aug 31, 2008
Day 5: We’re Going To Be Late!

We woke up bright and early, or dark and early! I was shocked at how dark it was outside still at 6am in Orlando! I never realized how far west it was in comparison to Boston, because it is seriously sunny at 6am in Boston. I got changed quick and headed out for a run to keep the streak alive! Day 104!

I got back from my run, took a speedy shower, got changed super fast, and finished packing up my last few things. Our flight was tonight so we needed to store our luggage before heading to the park. We were headed to Magic Kingdom to do the
Keys to the Kingdom tour starting at 8:30 and we DID NOT want to be late.

We called a Minnie van, which was taking a long time to get to us, but eventually we were on our way. Our driver, Nick, was in no hurry at all, he was driving at least 2 miles below the speed limit at all times. A+ for safety but c’mon Nick. When he pulled into the MK bus area and the speed limit was 5, I kid you not, he was going 5. The buses were passing us!

If we hadn’t been in other Minine Vans before I might not have been so shocked by this, but none of our other drivers were this meticulous about going the speed limit. And the ONE time we really needed to be someone. We arrived at MK at 8:11… for our 8:30 tour. And of course the lines for security were outrageous.

I made it through security faster than mom and ran ahead to put my bag in a locker. I had a pretty big backpack and didn’t want to be lugging it around with me for the entire tour. I threw my bag in a locker and ran to the theatre to meet the group. We picked our lunches and grabbed a water bottle Mom had to use the ladies room so off she went before the tour started. Then they go to start the tour and mom is nowhere to be found and not picking up her cellphone. Jeezzz Donna! Luckily she came along quick. No it’s time to leave the stress behind and enjoy the tour.

Our guide was
Rae from Alameda, CA and she had worked in entertainment for a good chunk of her career at Disney. She worked at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World and had originated a role for one of the citizen’s of Main Street, I believe (it was either Citizen of Main Street or Hollywood, I can’t remember exactly).

This tour was so fun and full of knowledge. Even as a former cast member there were so many wonderful things I had never known, too. Plus, I never had the privilege of working in Magic Kingdom so this was only the second time I had even been in the utilidors and I had never even seen most of what we did see. It was so so cool. I wish I had written this right after the tour so I could share better details with you but now that it’s months later I really can’t remember the little things.

We rode HM and Winnie The Pooh as a group. We saw the MNSSHP and MVMCP floats backstage, we saw pictures (and pins!) in the utilidors that were so cool. We had lunch as group at Peco Bill’s and it was so good, we sat with Rae and one other person and we all chatted about working at Disney, Disneyland vs WDW, and lots of other things.

After lunch, we walked through some more areas and headed back to the front of the park.

The tour ended at 1:30 and we had just a little more time to spend in MK before heading back to grab the Magical Express. I had made FP for SDMT for 12:20-1:20 thinking that the tour ended at 12:30, so we missed that and we didn’t feel the need to go ask if we could use our FP anyway.

We headed over to Big Thunder Mountain and walked right on at 1:50 and half the car was empty. There was seriously no line at all.

Then we headed over to Tomorrowland to use our FP at Space Mountain and Buzz.

Bye MK

See ya real soon!

After our last rides, we headed back down Main Street and out of the park. We tried to call a Minnie Van because we were exhausted and just wanted the convenience of hopping in a car, but there were none on the map. I don’t know if the app was down or if it was just a super busy time at 3pm on a Friday, but we ended up taking the bus at 3:20 and getting back to the hotel with just enough time to grab our luggage, run down and use our final QS credits to grab a sandwich from the bakery, and grab some snacks from the gift shop. I was waiting for mom at the bus and the guy was loading luggage and she came up just at the perfect time for him to load our luggage, hop on the bus, and take off for the airport seriously right after.

We ate our food before going through security, we had plenty of time to kill at the airport. I went in the Disney Store and tried to do some final pin trading, someone swooped in and took the pin I wanted. Then we headed through security and I got selected from random screening. It was fine and quick. We headed over to our gate and hung out for a while.

After awhile I heard a familiar voice. It was the annoying know-it-all girl from the flight here! She was on our flight again!

There was nothing out of the ordinary about this flight other than I think Mom and I’s TVs weren’t working and they couldn’t get them to work so we just had to do without.

We landed, headed over to the Logan Express pick up, and waited. And waited. And waited. One had just pulled away when we were walking over and we figured it must’ve been the one we needed because all the buses that came for the next 30 minutes were not our bus. Eventually we made it on a bus, and back to our car, and then back home. Luckily it was a Friday so we didn’t have to go to work the next day!

All in all, we had a great trip. It was hot as heck, but it was really fun and magical. And it was great making it a point to do and try things we hadn’t done before!

My little toll of all the pins I got on the trip.

The End.

Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to hop on over to my new TR for
my recent extended family trip!
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