Jul 30

Disney Can Bring Even Strangers Together

Alyssa is back to share about how her son met a stranger and they had Disney in common…..

Taking a small break from food to tell you about our very nice wait time for a flight.
So today we are at the airport getting to go to CA to visit family & my son first sees Disney bags! He really got excited about them.bags He then asked me if he could go throw away his trash so I said yes. So he does and on his way back he, having no qualms about anything, walks up to the lady with the Disney bags who is sitting across from us and asks her “Did you go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World?”
Well folks my son has crossed over officially to the Disney side.  My shock aside, the nice woman turned to my son and politely told him she and her family just came back from Walt Disney World.  He then asked her “Did you have a good time? How did you book your trip, my mom writes for a Disney blog you should read it”. Yes, my face was bright red and my mouth wide open :O  But my goodness, if that woman didn’t look him in the eye and say “We had a lovely time, we used a vacation planer, that is very nice, is she good at it? If she is, you can give me the site” so for next thirty minutes this lovely lady talked to my son all about Disney until our flight came in.
So what I am getting at here is, have you, or someone you know ever made contact with a stranger over your love of Disney?
And what is it about Disney that we love so much we feel comfortable enough to walk up and talk to strangers?  I have made many friends through Disney, as has our son. On our last trip to WDW he made a few friends in the park and he still keeps in touch with them. What about you?
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
 ~ J.M. Berrie, Peter Pan
My Name is Alyssa, I am a mother of a 7 year old boy & the wife of a man who proudly serves the US in it’s Army.  I am from CA the home of “The Happiest Place On Earth”.  My first Disney trip was when my mom was six months pregnant with me.  And from then on once to twice a year for 27 years we have made the long trek to Disneyland or even Walt Disney World.  I am a Disney addict, my whole family are Disney addicts : ) We live, breath, bleed Disney : )  I love doing crafts of all kinds, & teaching our son through Disney.

Jul 25

Walt Disney World Food! Part 2

Alyssa is back with Part 2 of her Walt Disney World Food.  If you missed Part 1 be sure to check it out Disney Food – ‘Ohana.
So after we left ‘Ohana we went to our hotel & passed out.
The next day for dinner we went to Raglan Road also known as the BEST FOOD EVER!!! 1If I were to rate this place from a 1-10 I would give it a 30+. Raglan Road is based off of a song written by poet Patrick Kavanagh sung by Irish singer Luke Kelly.  Click here to hear him sing. It is an Irish owned and operated Pub & Restaurant. It has been operating in Disney since 2005. All the fixtures and fittings have come in from Ireland and assembled in Disney. The Chef Partner is Irish Celebrity Chef Kevin Dundon of Ireland. The food, the atmosphere, the people, everything about this wonderful restaurant was amazing!
3Any who we got there around 8 pm and waited about five minutes to be seated. We had amazing seats close to the stage where they were playing live music. They had traditional Irish dancing! It was all such a wonderful experience to be had by all. It was our son’s birthday week so he asked the band to play one of his favorite Irish songs and they did just for him, that just added to our night. The young ladies who where the dancers had the little old ladies at the table next to us dancing, pulling them up out of their seats and having them do an Irish jig! It was truly cute!
My husband started his evening with a Flight of beer Guinness, Smithwicks, Kilkenny, Magners, Cider, Carlsberg.  According to him, all were pretty good.
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Now, as for our food my husband had ordered their Mighty Mixed Grill – Lamb chop, Guinness banger, sirloin steak, black pudding, chicken drumstick & bacon all on a lovely bed of mash potatoes.
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I ordered the It’s not Bleedin’ Chowder! – It’s the freshest thick cuts of seafood & potatoes in a white wine infused cream broth. It is nothing but thick yummy goodness!
Our son ordered Macaroni Cheese-
Macaroni pasta with Dubliner cheese with a side of fruit. His Mac & Cheese was so rich & creamy & made with real cheese.
For dessert:
9Our son got the Strawberry Delight– Vanilla ice cream with pavlova, cream. Fruit coulis and fresh strawberries.   (Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert that has a crisp and crunchy outer shell, and a soft, moist marshmallow-like center.)
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My husband ordered Dundon’s Delight-
Raspberry pavlova with vanilla pod ice cream and raspberry sauce.
And I got what is now my all time favorite! Ger’s Bread & Butter Pudding it is amazing! Deliciously light & fluffy, with delightful dipping sauces. I was lucky enough to try this dish and out of all our trip I never came across anything like it nor anything as good. All so I have been talking to a wonderful lady who works at Raglan Road and she 11was kind enough to give me the recipe for this amazing dish.  It is posted below as well as the Raglan Road site where you can find out more about the restaurant. So Raglan Road is a must if you are looking for good people and great food. I would recommend calling ahead to find out when they have live music and/or dancing and make your reservations soon as possible this lovely place packs quickly.
 
Here are the lyrics that inspired Raglan Road the restaurant.
On Raglan Road of an autumn day I saw her first and knew that her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue; I saw the danger, and I passed along the enchanted way, and I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.
On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion’s pledge, The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay -
Oh I loved too much and by such by such is happiness thrown away.
I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign That’s known To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone And word and tint without stint for I gave her poems to say. With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May
On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow that I had loved not as I should a creature made of clay -
When the angel woos the clay he’d lose his wings at the dawn of day.
 
Ger’s Bread & Butter Pudding 
1 loaf               Pullman or Texas toast
1 lb                  Kerry gold butter softened
1 lb                  Sugar
1 qt                  Crème anglaise (see below)
1 cup               Raisins soaked in Irish mist or water
  • Combine the sugar and butter, spread evenly on the bread slices to make sandwiches, stack together and cut off the crust.
  • Cut the sandwiches in ½ on an angle (from corner to corner)
  • Butter the inside of 8 oven proof cups or preferred baking dish. One by one dip the “sandwiches” in the anglaise and place in the baking dish, layer the bread and a sprinkling of soaked raisins as you go until done
  • Bake covered in a Bain Marie at 375 degrees for 35 minutes until it rises a bit. Remove the cover and bake an extra 10 minutes until slightly brown.
  • Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly serve warm or at room temperature with anglaise and caramel sauce
Sauce Anglaise
6 each              Egg yolks
2 cups              Sugar
1 each              vanilla bean split or a teaspoon vanilla extract
1 qt                  Heavy cream
  • Heat up the cream and the vanilla bean on the stove until it almost starts to boil. Meanwhile combine the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk well.
  • When the cream reaches the almost boiling point turn off and remove the pot from the flame. Temper the yolks, by ladling a small amount of cream to the bowl and mixing well. Then add the yolk sugar mixture to the cream, whisk well so that it does not curdle. Place over a low flame for 2 minutes whisking until it starts to thicken. Strain and allow cooling to room temperature.
Caramel sauce
½ lb                 Bitter, chilled
½ lb                 Brown sugar
1 cup               Heavy cream

Combine the sugar and butter in pot and cook over a medium high flame. Whisk well to combine, when sugar is melted and it starts to boil turn off the stove, remove from the flame and whisk in the cream to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature. 

My Name is Alyssa, I am a mother of a 7 year old boy & the wife of a man who proudly serves the US in it’s Army.  I am from CA the home of “The Happiest Place On Earth”.  My first Disney trip was when my mom was six months pregnant with me.  And from then on once to twice a year for 27 years we have made the long trek to Disneyland or even Walt Disney World.  I am a Disney addict, my whole family are Disney addicts : ) We live, breath, bleed Disney : )  I love doing crafts of all kinds, & teaching our son through Disney.

Jul 19

Life with Grumpy

It my pleasure to welcome another regular writer here.  Shellie will be writing for “Mouse”cation on a regular basis too.  I can so relate to her Grumpy!  I have one myself.  See if you have one in your family.  This fits my husband to a tee.

Welcome to my first blog post.  I decided to give this whole blog thing a try for a couple reasons.  The two biggest are because I love to write and I love Disney.  I do.  I love Disney a lot actually.  I grew up about an hour and a half away and was fortunate enough to visit fairly often.  Some of my best childhood memories are the trips to Disney, especially with my Nana.  She was the kind of person who would ride the teacups 14 times in a row because I asked her to, the kind of person who rode Thunder Mountain railroad for the first time ever with me because she was afraid I would fall out if I sat alone, the kind of person who would buy me ice cream on Main Street for breakfast.  She is the person who taught me to never grow up.  What better place than Disney World right?

Now, I want to pass on those same pixie dusted magical moments to my own family.  Except for one little thing.  I fell in love, with the greatest guy a girl could ask for, he’s awesome!   He’s just like Prince Charming, except maybe more adventurous like Aladdin, with a little bit of Tarzan’s ruggedness.  Practically perfect in every way, but one.  When it comes to Disney, he is exactly like Grumpy.  Grumpy hates Disney.   I was shocked!

Picture this: I am in the earliest planning stages of my oldest son’s first magical trip to Disney World.  I am also newly pregnant.  This means I am watching Wishes on You Tube and crying my eyes out thinking how the trip will be absolutely incredible.  I decide to let Grumpy in on my plan for one last little trip before I turn into a real life pumpkin with arms and legs.  He looks at me, kind of screws up his face and says, “Really, I don’t even like Disney World.  That’s really what you want to do?”.  Holy Cow!  After some begging and pleading and potentially quite a few hormone induced crying jags, he relents.  Yes!!!

I skip off and book our super fantastic vacation.  In my mind I am picturing my oldest meeting Mickey and Captain Jack for the first time, soaring high above Neverland on Peter Pan’s Flight and of course, watching Wishes and tearing up still.  (What is it with that little girl’s voice that makes me cry?!?)  I start planning our outfits, because looking cute in all my Disney pictures is important.  This took an unusual amount of effort since I would also be 6 months pregnant and wanted to look as not bloated as possible.  As I was making shirts for my son and me, Grumpy walked in the room.  “Daddy, where are your shirts?” my son asks.  Grumpy replies, “I don’t have any matching shirts.”  To which my son replied with one of the wisest things a 3 and a half year old boy could ever say, “Its ok Daddy, you just have to believe.”  Not only did he guilt Grumpy into matching shirts, but he gave me a great idea.  I am going to get Grumpy to believe in Disney, in all the magic and fun only a Disney vacation can bring.  It was my mission.  So, for all of you out there with a Grumpy in your life, here’s some of the things that won him over.  Mostly.  Well, not completely, but he at least likes Disney now.  This mission is on going, but considering we have gone back every year since, I chalk this one up as a victory.

Grumpy loves all inclusives.  He loves the idea of going on vacation and having it all paid for.  He really likes eating and snacking when he wants and not feeling like he’s being nickel and dimed.  He loved the dining plan.  More than once he mentioned how it was like our last all inclusive vacation, just give them your card and eat.  And there is a lot of food to choose from.  And it’s really good.  Grumpy didn’t know there was anything other than hotdogs and popcorn at Disney World.   He was getting happier by the minute!!!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGrumpy enjoying a Lapu Lapu at the Poly!

Grumpy loves relaxing.   His ideal vacation would be spent in a hammock, on a quiet beach, sipping an adult beverage.  So I carefully chose to stay at Caribbean Beach resort where he could have exactly that.  Every afternoon we took a nice long break at the resort.  My son napped, I soaked up some air conditioning in the room and my husband found a quiet hammock and a cold beverage.  Who would have thought that such an oasis existed just minutes from the magic Kingdom?!?  This Disney vacation thing is pretty cool right?

Grumpy hates crowds.  Since my son was only in preschool, we decided to travel in early May.  The parks were truly almost empty.  Plus, being the Disney fanatic that I am, I did a little research on the best days to visit each park.  Short lines equal an even happier Grumpy.  Now we were making progress!

Grumpy wants to see value.  He wants top notch customer service.  He wants to be catered to when he is on vacation.  He wants people to go out of their way to help make his day a little bit better.  Sounds an awful lot like every Disney cast member I have ever encountered.  He loved that we didn’t have to schlep suitcases because the Magical Express delivered them.  He loved that mousekeeping always left the room extra clean and even changed their cleaning schedule around my son’s naps.  He loved that folks would kneel down to my son’s level when they spoke to him.  The resort and the parks were always clean.  Grumpy was coming around!

Disney is magic.  It just is.  And when you are a boy of three and a half and Peter Pan is your hero, Disney World is truly the happiest, most magical place in the entire known universe.  After watching Wishes from the Seven Seas Lagoon, the pirate from our ship walked off the dock with us and he gave my son his eye patch (a real pirate eye patch!) because he could tell he was going to be a “real pirate” someday.  Then my son met Peter Pan.  I will never forget how Peter spent what seemed like forever answering my son’s questions about his adventures with Captain Hook.  He showed Peter his new eye patch that proved he was ready to fly off to Neverland.  I thought my son would burst as he gave Grumpy an excited hug afterwards.  I remember Grumpy looking at me over the top of that little blonde head and whispering that this was a pretty cool moment that could only happen at Disney.  I just smiled and said “Grumpy, is that pixie dust in your beard?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmy little pirate with Peter

 Shellie earsBorn and raised in Tampa, Florida, Shellie grew up visiting Mickey.  She loves all things Disney, but especially Tinkerbell, Captain Jack and Cindarella’s stepsisters Drizella and Anastasia.  Shellie is almost as passionate about fitness as she is about Disney and is running the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2014.  She visits Disney World as often as Grumpy will let her. 

 

Jul 15

Disney Food – ‘Ohana

Walt Disney World Food!
Back in February 2012 our family decided that we were going to go to Walt Disney World! What time of year we were not sure so we went to a travel service. As I am sitting there, talking to the travel agent about tickets she informs me that included with our Walt Disney World package we will be on the DDP, a DD WHAT? I put our room on hold & go on our merry way. Having no clue as to what this DDP thing is I get onto the Disney website & ask one of the live chat cast members who points me in the right direction. A DDP is short for Disney Dinging Plan. How it works, when you book your vacation you say what DDP you would like & you pay a set price, lets say $40 a day per person. DDP can save you a Minimum of 10% per person on dining at Disney. 
The DDP has five kinds of plans:
·      Magic Your Way Package Quick- Service Dinging
·      Magic Your Way Package Plus Dining
·      Magic Your Way Package Plus Deluxe Dining
·      Magic Your Way Premium Package Dining
·      Magic Your Way Platinum Package Dining
The food on these plans start at the Magic Your Way Quick-Service Dining that is 2 quick-service meals & trust me your meal is not cheap or small, 1 snack per person per night. You also get a mug you can refill at any quick-service restaurant & at your Disney Resort hotel. & The DDP ends at the
Magic Your Way Platinum Package Dining which you can click here Platinum Plan to see what it includes.
Now that we have discovered what the DDP is & that we have the Plus Dining package it’s time to make reservations! Sadly a lot of where we wanted to eat was booked but we got lucky on other places. We booked the following places:
‘Ohana
Raglan Road
50’s Primetime Cafe
Tony’s Town Square
Crystal Palace
1900 Park Fare
 So we finally get to the point of this blog! Walt Disney World Food! The first place we got to eat at was ‘Ohana located in the Polynesian & man it was yummy. Our dinner, which was a family all you can eat, came out in this order: 
1.   A large salad with a Honey Lemon dressing. It was green leafy goodness.  When eating, don’t fill up on the green, you will regret it! Ohana 1
2.  Hawaiian/Asian style wings, the wings were so juicy and the sauce they were covered in was finger licking good!  Pot-stickers, also so good a little tough on the edges but really good.  Mixed vegetables, all ways a good thing.  And low mien noodles, A little/lot oily but good I think I would have to put them in my two favorite appetizers for this meal.
3.  All meats for dinner were brought out on huge skewers: Grilled chicken w/Peanut Sauce, a little dry but the flavor was good.  Grilled Pork Chops w/ sweet and sour sauce, my husband is a pork snob and it blew him out of the water!  And then came the Steak, this steak was insanely good and was medium rare, perfect for everyone.
4.    And for the finale, the Pineapple/Coconut Bread Pudding…. it was epic! SOoo very Om nom, nom!
During our meal at ‘Ohana we got to see the firework show over the Magic Kingdom they turned down the lights & played the music to the firework show for everyone to hear. Ohana 4They also had the children get up and dance around the restaurant. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day at Walt Disney World!

A little bit about me:

 

My Name is Alyssa, I am a mother of a 7 year old boy & the wife of a man who proudly serves the US in it’s Army.  I am from CA the home of “The Happiest Place On Earth”.  My first Disney trip was when my mom was six months pregnant with me.  And from then on once to twice a year for 27 years we have made the long trek to Disneyland or even Walt Disney World.  I am a Disney addict, my whole family are Disney addicts : ) We live, breath, bleed Disney : )  I love doing crafts of all kinds, & teaching our son through Disney.

 

Jul 01

“Mouse”cation’s Fan’s Top Five Favorite Snacks

I asked my fans on my “Mouse”cation’s Facebook page what their favorite snacks were and here is the list:

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1.  None other than the DOLE WHIP!

2.  Mickey Bar

3.  Mickey Ice Cream Sandwich

4.  Sweet Cream Pretzels

5.  These 3 tied – Caramel & Chocolate Krispy Treat, Popcorn and School Bread

Did your top snack make it?  If not, list it below.  Thanks for stopping by.