Sunday, May 19, 2013

Planning A Disney Themed Birthday Party

I am in the process of planning my daughter's second birthday party and let me tell you, I am having fun! My little Alexis absolutely loves Minnie Mouse and I knew right away that was going to be the theme for her second birthday party. We are having a small party with just a few children and I always try to plan parties on a budget. For starters, I chose the party date and time (afternoon party to avoid cranky toddlers who haven't had a nap!) and then I chose the party favors.

I am really excited about how cute the party favors are. I found them at a super cute Etsy shop called Bella Bargains. Each child will receive their own handmade mouse ears to wear at the party and to take home. Bella Bargains specializes in party favors and accessories on a budget. They have the most adorable chevron striped paper straws that are such a hit at parties. They sell a wide variety of party goodies ranging from super cute cupcake wrappers to party favor boxes.
can't wait to see these on all of the kiddies at the party!

wide variety of fun bright colored paper straws to choose from!
In addition to the mouse ears the children will also be receiving these adorable personalized water bottles that I found at another great Etsy shop called Grimes Graphics. They are available in pink or red with your choice of Mickey or Minnie ears (bows) for $5.89 each.
Next up I had to decide cupcakes or cake? There are just so many "Minnie" themed cupcake designs that I love that I am having a hard time to choosing! Thanks to Pinterest I have seen some really amazing cupcakes that I am hoping to reproduce myself. This is one of my favorite's:
I am not sure how I will create that bow though...
I love this three tiered cake but there is absolutely no way that I could even attempt to recreate this! Stay tuned for my next blog post on how the party turned out!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Columbia Harbour House Review

The menu at Columbia Harbour House

Anchors Aweigh Tuna Sandwich with chips, Garden Harvest Salad and apple crisp for dessert

Close up of the delicious Anchors Aweigh Sandwich
Columbia Harbour House is my favorite quick service dining option at Magic Kingdom. It is located near the Haunted Mansion and offers plenty of indoor air conditioned seating. The menu offers a wide range of delicious foods ranging from lobster rolls to fried shrimp platters. My husband ordered the Anchors Aweigh tuna sandwich which he said was delicious. The sandwich comes with a side of potato chips. I ordered the garden harvest salad which was delicious. The salad has grilled chicken, mixed greens, green beans and carrots. For dessert we had the apple crisp and after eating this we wished we had ordered two! The apple crisp was amazing! The meal cost a little less than $25 and we loved it. The server also gave my children two Mickey straws because he saw that they were crying. The straws cost .59 each and they are available in red or blue. I would give Columbia Harbour House an A+ for the clean interior of the restaurant, delicious food and value of the prices.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gaston's Tavern Review

Gaston's Tavern is located in the new Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom

Picture of the limited menu

Warm cinnamon roll
Gaston's Tavern is a great spot to grab a quick breakfast in the new Fantasyland or a snack. The menu is very limited and unfortunately they do not serve iced coffee. I grabbed a quick breakfast and I was hoping to grab a specialty coffee but unfortunately the only option they had was plain old regular hot coffee. I prefer the iced coffee version on a hot Florida morning. The warm cinnamon roll was delicious and the portion was great! I noticed many people eating the pork shank later in the day when we were walking by. Those things are huge! Overall I would give Gaston's Tavern a B for the limited menu and lack of iced coffee.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

The 2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival was SO amazing. Even my three children enjoyed it! The day that we were visiting Epcot was a cloudy and overcast day but it was still very hot. My children had never been to Epcot before and they loved it! I had read and heard many mixed reviews on Epcot but I am so thankful that we went and saw for ourselves just how fun it is. My children are ages 6, 3 1/2 and almost 2. We spent a full day at Epcot and despite the periods of rain and thunder we had a great time. The children were never bored and never asked to go back to the resort. They enjoyed seeing the beautiful character topiaries, meeting Winnie the Pooh and the various princesses and participating in the Kidcot Fun Stops.
My oldest daughter with her Kidcot Duffy Bear

My son with his Kidcot Duffy Bear

Such beautifully detailed topiaries can be found throughout the park

My daughter in front of Tinkerbell's Butterfly House

The butterfly life cycle


there were such detailed little fairy houses hidden throughout the fairy garden

What a fun day at Epcot!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Free Dining for Disney Visa Card Members!

Free dining for Disney Visa card members is back! To learn more information and request a complimentary quote go to Cheryl's website.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kingdom Strollers Review

This year we decided to rent a stroller from Kingdom Strollers in Orlando instead of packing our own double stroller. Our double stroller takes up most of our trunk space and let me tell you, it was so nice to have the extra space for packing the van this year! We arrived at our hotel and simply called the bell station and asked for our stroller which had been dropped off that morning. They brought it up to our room and it was so easy.
Kingdom Strollers has several options for stroller rentals. Single or double strollers are available. They rent by the night and will deliver and pick up the stroller at most Orlando area resorts. For 7 nights it cost $70 which is much cheaper than renting a stroller at the park. I really loved this double stroller, there is plenty of storage below for a backpack, shopping bags, etc. A small cooler bag is included in the rental price which is great for storing baby bottles, sippy cups, etc. The stroller has a weight capacity of up to 100 lbs and will hold children up to 44" tall. We will probably never pack our own stroller again when traveling to Disney. It was so convenient having this and it was easier to push that I had thought! My children were comfy and the baby even took a nap in the recling seat.
City Mini Double Stroller

Clearly labeled with our last name

Cup holder and two storage spaces (great for snacks, maps, cell phone, etc)

Plenty of shade for napping
Here are my girls riding in double stroller at Epcot

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kona Cafe Review

We had a wonderful dinner at the Polynesian Resort's Kona Café. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and wanted to eat somewhere special. We really love the Polynesian Resort and try to eat there each time we go to Disney World. When we arrived at our dinner reservations we were given a pager and waited just about five minutes to be seated.

The children were given crayons and a children's menu to color. We were immediately served warm delicious bread with honey butter (it was gone before I could take a picture). I just love the bread at Kona! I ordered the long awaited Lapu Lapu drink (I had been reading reviews about this drink for months!). The Lapu Lapu is served IN a pineapple! The drink consists of Bacardi 151, Myers rum and tropical juices. I did ask the server to ask the bartender to leave out the 151 because I did not want the drink to be too strong!
totally worth the $12

this is me enjoying every sip

My husband ordered the Kona Coffee Rubbed Pork Chop with mashed sweet potatoes and seasonal veggies. He enjoyed his meal very much and said he would highly recommend it. I ordered the Teriyaki Style New York Strip topped with diced pineapple and served with stir fry broccolini and sticky rice. The sticky rice was somewhat bland in my opinion and I wished that I had substituted the rice for the mashed potatoes. The steak was amazing and the flavor really was perfect. I would definetly order the New York strip again!
Kona Coffee Rubbed Pork Chop

delicious mashed sweet potatoes
teriyaki New York strip

my daughter enjoying the chicken nuggets and fries

kids ice cream sundae

complimentary cupcakes for our anniversary :)
Overall this meal was wonderful and I would highly recommend Kona Café to anyone who wants a nice sit down dinner in a wonderful atmosphere. The meal cost $98 before the tip and we would love to go back again!