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As I mentioned in my previous post, although our Orlando trip was technically a “Universal/Islands of Adventure” trip, we did manage to squeeze in a quick visit to Disney Springs on Thursday night. 1 – because I love Disney Springs and 2 – because my mom hadn’t been there since it was Downtown Disney. #2 was basically an excuse for me to indulge in #1.
One of the things that had to happen was Andy & my mom experiencing the delight and sheer wonder of the the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. Although they missed the best part because they turned around to excitedly tell me it was working and missed the whole camera to the cupcake robot part of the transaction. *Sigh* It wasn’t disappointing enough to buy another $6 cupcake though. There really should have been an in between shot with the actual cupcake, but it seems when you put a single cupcake in front of three starving adults it doesn’t last long…… And of course we had to make sure we picked up some candy from The Ganachery “for later.” If you get the chance, do yourself a favor and try the Dark Chocolate & Orange and the Dark Chocolate & Pistachio. You’re welcome.
Even though we were there for several hours, there was a ton we didn’t see, and we just quickly ran through a lot like the Undersea Bar at T-Rex. And then spent way to much time in others like the new fascinator/corsage area in the Co-Op (completely my fault). I’ve also new decided that I need a large bow hat with feathers. I’d wear it to afternoon tea and the grocery store. You know, the important things. I’ll do a full post on our vacation dining choices later, but the chandelier at Frontera Cocina was too good not to share. It reminded me of all the lanterns they released in Tangled. We wrapped up the evening with a visit to Amorette’s Patisserie to procure some pretentious pastries, also for “later”, and to admire the prep work the the pastry chefs were already undertaking to garnish the desserts for the next day. I found out that they offer (for a fee of course) a class where you can learn some decorating techniques and walk away with your own Mickey butt cake. I’ll need to do a bit more research, but I might have to try it the next time we visit.
Even though this trip was slated as a Universal/Islands of Adventure vacation, we still managed to squeeze in a quick visit to Disney Springs after checking into our hotel on Thursday evening. In the last few years, Disney Springs has undergone a huge transformation, leaving only the vaguest traces of its less glamorous former self aka Downtown Disney. I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few times in the last two years, and it just keeps getting better. One of the newest additions to the Disney Co Op stores is a charming little vintage inspired boutique called The Dress Shop on Cherry Tree Lane. I had seen a few articles about its opening, and blogger Penny of The Sconnie Sling lamented the fact that it opened mere days after she left Orlando. It was at the top of my hit list for our very brief visit.
My husband was so lucky we weren’t Magic Kingdom bound on this particular trip. Otherwise, there would have been a serious dent put in our credit card. This place is the most fun a grown up Disney princess wanna-be can have since we aren’t eligible to be styled at the Bippity Boppity Boutique (yes, I checked). This fascinator was my absolute favorite thing in the shop (closely followed by the white rabbit bag with fluffy tail), and, were it not for my unfortunately fine tresses, it would have been mine. My degree is in apparel design, and I thought it was a nice touch to have pieces of the inspiration boards for each “collection” framed for everyone to see. Also, as you can see to the right of the “Minnie” dress, the shop also carries crinolines for anyone who wants to amp up their look just a bit more.
The other thing that I LOVED, that’s right all caps, LOVED was that all the dresses I saw had sizes that accommodated more full figured ladies like yours truly. I am about a 16/18, and I saw options that would easily work for ladies who need 22/24. Trust me, there is nothing worse than wanting in on the game of dress up only to be told you can’t play because you’re not a standard size. On my next Disney vacation, you better believe I will be hitting up this spot for a park perfect ensemble.
On my recent trip to Orlando, my friend Verhanika and I were in search of caffeine and pastries to start off our day, and after checking out the Disney Springs directory, we walked over to Amorette’s Patisserie. Unfortunately, the place did open until 11, so we had to find breakfast elsewhere, but after walking around for a bit, we decided to hit it up on our way back to the hotel.
Something you should understand about me is I am a fancy food junkie; I watch every pastry special, cupcake war, and cook off challenge I can find, and I love every minute of it. When we decided to “grab” a pastry for the road, I was expecting something along the lines of a Disney-fied Starbucks. I was completely unprepared for the elevated offerings ensconced in the large glass cases. I probably should have been tipped off by the fact that they had a guy behind the counter painting translucent stripes of gold on printed white chocolate eclair toppers. Had there no been a time constraint, I would have gladly stood around watching the elaborate confections being assembled for as long as possible. I have also decided that I need to order one of these gorgeous flower cakes (which I believe are the Amorette’s Signature Cakes). Since I knew it’d be a while before I was in Orlando again, I went a bit over board and purchased a mini opera cake, a pistachio eclair, and a three pack of snickerdoodle cookies. Everything was wonderful. Andy, of course, practically inhaled the cookies declaring them some of the best snickerdoodles he has ever had. The eclair was so incredible, I only shared one teeny bite with him. Seriously, no exaggeration, the best eclair I have had ever. It would almost be worth the four and a half hour drive just to have another one. Almost.I really do have to tip my hat to the magic makers at Disney. When they do something, they do it all the way. The food was great, the presentation was perfection, even the boxes and bags they sent their treats home in were beautiful. This place just shot to the top of my “must do” list for every subsequent trip I make to Orlando.
I have to start off this post by saying, as much fun as I had at the Magic Kingdom, I think it is ridiculous the adults are not allowed to go to the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. I can think of a number of grown women who would love to be a princess for a day, I’m just saying. That small grey cloud aside, Disney was just as magical as I remembered it being, and even though I couldn’t be a true Disney princess, one of the nice shop girls offered to sprinkle pixie dust from her magic wand on me to complement my pink hair. I totally went for it, and let me tell you, the mouse springs for some pretty strong pixie dust. I had to shower and wash my hair twice to de-glitter at the end of the day.
I think that I am unusual in that my favorite part of the park is Main Street USA. Adventure Land is cool, and Fantasy Land is of course magical, but the old time-y down town really does it for me.
I mean, come on; look at the perfect pastel of the Confections Shoppe. I could see myself donning one of their aprons and spending my days in clouds of cotton candy, painting chocolate faces on Olaf marshmallows.
I might have made an embarrassingly shrill girly sound when I realized the flourishes on these columns were the tails of the squirrels.
Lunch at Be Our Guest was one of the main events of the weekend. I’ve been wanting to eat there ever since the place opened, but along with not frequenting Orlando, you have to book your reservation months in advance. I barely was able to get a table for two for 8:25 (before the park officially opens) a month out of our trip, but we lucked out and the day before we left Tallahassee a lunch reservation opened. We quickly swapped out our times so we didn’t have to get up so early. The food was good, not great, but the ambiance made the expense well worth it. I ended up with a light up castle goblet and the “Grey Stuff” for dessert. That part of the meal was even better than I had hoped; I shared with Andy, but I didn’t really want to.
We’d originally planned to spend all day at the park, but I tapped out around mid afternoon when the weather started getting crappy and the lines started getting longer. Part of me wishes we had stayed late enough to see the parade, but most of me was happy we took a nap and then spent an awesome evening walking around Disney Springs. We have one day pass left that we didn’t use on this trip, so we are thinking about maybe heading back down to Orlando around Christmas. I hear the parks are spectacular all lit up.
Maleficent comes out this weekend! I haven’t been this excited since Alice in Wonderland, and I am seriously thinking about dressing up and wearing a flower crown. No matter how old I get, I think i’ll be a Disney girl at heart; I mean Tangled is one of my main go-to sad/sick day movies. If I wasn’t excited enough already, one of my classmates from college works at HSN and posted about their Maleficent event on Facebook. Lots of beautiful things, especially the Maleficent Jewelry Collection. My favorite are, of course, the elaborate necklaces.