Monday, May 11, 2009

My Disney Weekend, Part One: Hugh Jackman, Mickey Hands and Tons of Bacon

I don't know about you, but having a hotel room to myself is one of the greatest pleasures on earth, right up there with all-you-can-eat buffets and gratuitous shots of Hugh Jackman bare-chested. So, throw in that hotel surrounded by a beach resort, amusement parks and a chance to meet some great bloggers from all over the U.S. (and a few from the U.K.) and you have my unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime trip to Orlando's Disney World last weekend. Hugh Jackman wasn't there, but I think it's safe to say I wouldn't have been willing to share my room even if he was. (But Hugh, don't be afraid to ask.)

I'm still thinking there was some mixup, that my name was mistaken for someone who could actually string together a few coherent sentences and that's how I got invited to the Walt Disney World Mom Blogger Mixer. How else to explain how I ended up with a beautiful room at the Disney Beach Resort, dining on exquisite escargot at the luxurious Chefs de France, enjoying the IllumiNations fireworks show from a private perch while being served hot coffee and an entire table of desserts? Did I mention that was just on the first day? But wait - this is what I came back to find in my room that night:

Can you believe that? Can you blame me for putting on those Mickey hands and dancing around the room for a few minutes in my underwear? See what I mean about the incoherent sentences?

(Before I go any further, here is the crew I got to hang out with on my crazy, decadent weekend. I spent a lot of time dodging their cameras, but I liked them anyways: Megan, Lindsay, Andrea, Beth, Amanda, Lisa, Dawn, Christine, Emily, Leanne, Laura and Maria. I'll write more later about this group of smart, funny, talented women who are all way more photogenic than me.)

I'd never been to Disney World (not to mention Florida) so this trip was exciting for me to say the least. Sure I was a little sad to be there without my husband and kids, but it was a great opportunity for me to check out the park and bond with some other great bloggers. (Also, see gushing references to 'private room' above.) I've always wanted to visit Epcot (what is IN that huge golf ball for gawds sake?) and I've had many people recommend the Disney Cruise, which leaves out of Port Canaveral, as a great first cruise to take the kids on. After my first day at the Disney Resort I was so convinced that it would be the ideal vacation for my family that I came back to my room and started looking up prices online for Disney's Land and Sea Packages. Sure it was hard typing with those big Mickey hands on, but I was caught up in the moment. And I was surprised to find out how truly affordable it really was - especially if you take advantage of their special deals, like the Free Dining plan. That's right - you could get some of that awesome, garlicky escargot for free.

For me, one of the most surprising things about Disney World was it's size. We were told that the properties take up an area larger than two Manhattans (the city, not the drink) and I could see how you could stay there for weeks and not see everything they had to offer. I loved the various resorts that were clustered around lake - I walked out the door of the Beach Club Resort and walked to the neighboring Boardwalk Resort and it's restaurants and shops. We were able to walk to Epcot, but you can also get their via one of their charming boats that will not only take you for a tour around the lake but will whisk you right into the park. This is one of the things I wish I'd had time for and will definitely do when I return, along with the clam bake and the waterslide in the pool. In fact, there are so many things I still want to do there that I'll definitely have to come back for another week. Or thirty.

We also got the opportunity to tour one of the resorts newest properties that is still under construction - the Bay Lake Tower. This place was unbelievable - the modern design was right up my alley and everything my dream home would be. I've never been tempted to steal hotel furniture (maybe just that velour headboard from Vegas) but I could see myself attempting to stuff every knob, door handle and chair in this place right into my suitcase. (Note to Disney management: I'm just joking! About the chair, anyways.) We weren't allowed to take any photos, but you can get a great virtual tour by clicking here. I know - it makes me cry, too.

I ate better (and more) last weekend than I can ever remember. Every meal seemed to be in a first-rate restaurant; from the eco and health-conscious Wave to the classic Hollywood eatery The Brown Derby. I had a wonderful meal on my first night at Spoodles, one of the restaurants on the Boardwalk and had the best olive tapenade I've ever had - and they even offered to email me the recipe. (I heard through the grapevine that Spoodles will be closing soon. Yes, this makes me sad, but it will be truly tragic if I don't get my recipe before then.) Even our breakfasts at the hotel were 'magical' - where else could you get Mickey-shaped hash browns? I meant to take a picture of them but I was too busy loading up my plate with the all-you-can-eat bacon. They don't call it the Happiest Place on Earth for nothing, people.

Check back for my next posts, where I talk about the American Idol Experience, my new blogger friends, doing the SouljaBoy, my daughter's favorite souvenir, and why my taste in rides would even bore your 90-year-old grandma.

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Thanks to Leanne and Laura at Disney and Maria Bailey for making my Disney weekend possible!

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tags: | epcot | |

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oh amanda said...

Lovely post! I'm sad that I'm not there again...and altho' I actually have met you in real life, I can just hear your delightful voice as I was reading!


Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Love it!! It was awesome meeting you :)

Margaret said...

It was such a great weekend and so awesome to meet all of you. Love sharing the Disney magic and hope you get your princesses there soon.

Leanne said...

I'm reliving the whole weekend all over again reading this post. I had an absolutely wonderful time meeting you and all the other fabulous "magical moms"!

Anonymous said...

I loved spending time with you, but you got me all distracted with that talk of Hugh Jackman toplesss.

I think I will try to add that into the next itinerary!


Andrea said...

Oh, you were camera dodging for sure!! Guess who has some pictures of you. For anyone reading, there is a head w/ that coffee cup...and it's a hawt head w/ a purty smile :)

I was so glad to have met you!!! Can't wait to read more on you and your famousness!!

Anonymous said...

Hi... just happen to cross your site...

Im planning to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong Disney this Christmas. Hoho and I found some stuffs from Hong Kong Disneyland here as well:

I will definitely take tones of photos there!!!

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