Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Events: Disney World Vacation 2016 (Part 4)

disney all star sports resort

Hey everyone! I know it's been a while since my last Disney World write-up, so thanks for being patient. Today I'm going to take a break from my product reviews (even though I have so many new items to talk about) and finally continue onto day four of our fabulous 2016 Disney vaca. If you missed the previous posts, check out PART 1, PART 2 and PART 3. Good to go? Let's get to it!

Our fourth day (Tuesday, April 19th), was primarily spent back at the Magic Kingdom. We were so excited to finish up a few rides we hadn't gotten to yet as well as have lunch at one of our favorite places...Be Our Guest restaurant! It was another beautiful day.

disney world vacation blog 2016

When we arrived in the park, the "Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!" street party parade was going on (which is always fun to see) and I was even able to catch a brief glimpse of Woody. Howdy partner! 

disney toy story woody magic kingdom

Lunch at Be Our Guest ended up working out flawlessly. When we were there a couple years ago, you didn't need a lunch reservation. Now, just a heads up, you do (which we were unaware of). Luckily we were able to just talk to the guest relation booth outside the castle there and they happened to have an open spot for two. It was simple as that and we were let right in!

disney be our guest magic kingdom

Be Our Guest is so fun. As you wait in line, you're able to pick out exactly what you want for lunch on a touch screen. You then choose where you want to sit (with three rooms to choose from) and the food comes brought out on a magical glass domed cart within minutes. In true Disney fashion, the servers know exactly where to find you (through either tracking your MagicBand or a magic rose they give you to place on the table).

disney be our guest magic kingdom

The ambiance there at Be Our Guest is absolutely stunning. Though each of the three rooms is as detailed and beautiful as the next, our dinning room of choice is the main ballroom. We love sitting by the window and watching the "snow" gently fall.

disney be our guest magic kingdom
disney be our guest magic kingdom

The French onion soup ($5.69) is fantastic and what I was most looking forward to. Yum!

disney be our guest magic kingdom french onion soupdisney be our guest magic kingdom

Back to the Haunted Mansion gift shop! As you an tell, we really loved this place and visited it a few times during our trip. We love the Haunted Mansion, especially for it's rich history, backstory and the secrets within. Oooooohhhhooooooooooo.... (that was a ghost wail). 

the haunted mansion shop disney world magic kingdom
the haunted mansion disney world magic kingdom

Aw, Rapunzel's tower in Fantasyland. Did you know right in that area pictured below, you can find multiple hidden camouflaged Pascals (the chameleon from Tangled)? A Disney tour guide helped us spot them all. We had never heard of that before, so it was fun to learn something new. Be sure to try and spot as many as you can next time you go!

fantasy land disney world

We then hit up Thunder Mountain, the Swiss Family Treehouse and caught some of the Jack Sparrow show in Adventureland. Classic stuff!

big thunder mountain disney world
swiss robinson treehouse adventureland
jack sparrow adventure land disney world

We made our way over to Tomorrowland and I introduced Brita to the exhilarating PeopleMover ride for the very first time. Hey, it might not be the most thrilling, but it's a totally classic "must-do." It's a nice little time filler in between fast passes; plus it gives you a pretty cool tour around the upper levels of Tomorrowland.

disney tomorrow land people mover

An Up MagicBandits kind of day.

disney pixar up magic bandits

I love the Carousel of Progress. I know it gets made fun of for being boring or outdated (or for being just a place to cool down from the heat for a few minutes), but it evokes all sorts of nostalgic memories for me. I hope it never goes away!

There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow's just a dream away
OK, now that I got that stuck in your head, let's move on... 

disney carousel of progress
walt disney world vacation 2016 castle
walt disney world vacation 2016
walt disney world vacation 2016 castle

Splash Mountain! It was a zip-a-dee-doo-dah time.

disney splash mountain
disney splash mountain
disney splash mountain photo

After getting stuck in some Festival of Fantasy parade traffic, we were off and running (quite literally) to our dinner reservation at the Polynesian Resort's Ohana restaurant. We took the monorail over there and made it just in time.

"Please stand clear of the doors, "Por favor, mantengase alejado de las puertas."

 disney world monorail
polynesian resort disney ohana dinner
polynesian resort disney ohana dinner

This meal was WITHOUT a doubt our favorite of the week. Wow. Everything was perfect and the flavors were out of this world. And to top it all off? The song from Lava was being preformed live on a ukulele. Priceless.

Check out a brief snippet of the song being played HERE.

polynesian resort disney ohana dinner salas bread

Here's what to expect out of the all you can eat, family style meal ($42 per person): The starters include delicious Ohana Pineapple-Coconut Bread and a Mixed Greens Salad with a Lilikoi dressing (like a sweet, Dijon vinaigrette).

Then the appetizers came out: Pork Dumplings (tossed in Garlic-Ginger Sauce) and Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings- both served with Peanut and Sweet-n-Sour Sauces.

polynesian resort disney ohana dinner

The variety of meat skewers is the main event. Expect oak fire cooked Sweet-n-Sour Chicken, Szechuan Sirloin Steak and Grilled Peel-n-Eat Shrimp. All served with Peanut and Sweet-n-Sour Sauces (we also asked for a side of their amazing Teriyaki sauce).

Noodles, tossed in their signature Teriyaki Sauce, and Fresh Stir-fried Vegetables round out this feast. My mouth is literally watering right now, don't mind me.

polynesian resort disney ohana dinner

But wait! There's even more. Of course there's dessert too, and it's probably the best bread pudding you'll ever have. ‘Ohana Bread Pudding à la mode with Bananas-Caramel Sauce. Please take me back.

polynesian resort disney ohana bread pudding

After we completely stuffed ourselves to the brim, we had a good time walking around the Polynesian Resort grounds. This is the resort I grew up going to with each Disney World vacation, so it brought back so many amazing memories. Below you'll notice the newly renovated lobby and grounds (which was completed in late 2014).

polynesian resort disney new lobby
polynesian resort disney new lobby
polynesian resort disney new lobby
polynesian resort disney
polynesian resort disney beach

We finished up the night by going back to Disney Springs (since we didn't have a ton of time there our first go-around). We hit up Pin Traders, the Lego Store, the Marketplace Co-Op, Basin (a trendy soap shop), Fit2Run (a Disney runner's store), Once Upon a Toy, World of Disney, etc...just about every store one could visit.

disney springs pin traders
disney springs pin traders pixar
disney springs the lego store
disney springs the lego store
disney springs market place co op
disney springs once upon a toy

These "sophisticated" Star Wars chocolates can be found at The Ganachery- a new sweet shop there at Disney Springs.

disney springs bb-8 chocolate

I was surprised to see that the D-Street store (which use to primarily sell Vinylmations) was closed and converted into a full Star Wars store called "Galactic Outpost." Pretty neat store nonetheless though! 

disney springs star wars galactic outpost

Here's a cool little tidbit- visit the Ghirardelli shop there in the evening and you'll most likely be treated to a free chocolate sample! That night they were giving out chocolate blueberry squares.

disney springs 2016 free chocolate

The overall ambiance of Disney Springs, including the different street performers and live musicians, is almost as fun as the shops themselves. We wrapped up the evening watching a pretty hilarious game of "Simon Says" and then took the bus back to our resort.

disney springs 2016

Before we called it a night, we poked around the All Star Sports gift shop for a few minutes. I spotted these Pixar footballs/soccer balls there and thought they were pretty cute.

disney all star sports resort gift shop

Phew- we packed a lot of fun into that day! It was an absolute blast, as usual. What adventures will the next day bring? Hint: things might get a little "wild." Stay tuned!

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