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Disney Magic in Manhattan: Five Favorites

I can’t think of a better time to relive my Disney Cruise from Manhattan to the Bahamas then on the first day of summer, when it’s supposed to hit almost 100 degrees in New York City. It’s been just about a week since we returned and I still miss waking up to see the ocean slowly rocking and rolling outside of our room, finding a lounge chair near the pool, and sampling my beloved “Drink of the Day.”

I didn’t think it was possible, but Disney once again treated us to a fabulous trip — one that we both agree surpassed our honeymoon on the Magic last year.

Before I dig into the details, here’s a sampling of what I’ll be talking about in my new series:

Five stand-out moments:

1. Leaving from New York City. After of years of driving or flying down to Port Canaveral and lugging our suitcases through airport security and more, it felt like such a relief to pack up, take a cab to the train station, another cab to the Port, and leave our suitcases to be rolled onto the ship. Plus, they were playing Broadway tunes while we signed in. I don’t know a better way to say “welcome home.” Even after living near NYC my whole life, I will never forget the incredible views of the city as we made our way toward the great big blue.

2. Our dinner table. When you’re only two people going on a cruise, you can’t expect to get a private table by yourself when it comes to dinner. Last year, during our honeymoon, we were paired with a great group of people — one young couple and three mom & son couples. THIS YEAR, I want to kiss the person who made the seating arrangements. To my great surprise, on the first day, we were taken to a table filled with 3 other couples our age who were just as Disney geeky as we were. If it doesn’t get any better than that, we had people to go out for drinks with after dinner (score!) and also ended up bumping into each other (yay) many times during the voyage. Dinner gets about a million times better when you are 1) looking forward to it each day 2) have a great time during it 3) probably the last people to leave the dining room.

3. Our dinner at Palo. Palo is the adult-only restaurant on the Magic; you pay an extra 20 dollars a person and you can have a nice romantical dinner with a fantastic menu. James and I did this on the first night after 3 straight days off the ship. We had a lovely 3-hour meal, watching the sun set and enjoying multiple entrees and 4 desserts. This could possibly rank as the best meal I’ve ever had. Ever. Details to come.

4. Imagineer Jason Surrell. After dreaming of grabbing a cocktail with Kermit the Frog or talking weather with Sam Champion, our Disney company guest of honor was Imagineer Jason Surrell. In two presentations (that went way too quickly), Jason talked about his time writing behind the scenes of The Avengers and his contributions to the new Star Tours attraction. For someone like me who doesn’t have any interest in The Avengers and likes Star Tours but isn’t necessarily a Star Wars fan, I was pretty fascinated by both his talks. In fact, after dining in Palo, James and I took in a showing of The Avengers on the ship and I really enjoyed it. (Pigs are flying right now. Go look outside.) Jason was down-to-earth, funny, and always quick to interact with the audience. He talked about both subjects with such enthusiasm and just as a fan of entertainment in general and it made for quite a highlight on two of our sea days.

5. 14 Hours in Walt Disney World. I thought our last port was going to fly by so quick, I would miss it. Instead, the day felt like we did just as much as we could in Magic Kingdom and Epcot. By the end of the day, my feet and my soaked hat were ready for my bed on the Magic. (Gasp! I actually wanted to leave WDW?!) It was fun to be challenged to just a small block of time around the parks, and touring felt like an entirely new experience — which is awesome for someone who has been to WDW every summer since she was 12. (I could have done without the monsoon rain though… thanks.)

There’s so much I want to share with you and I’m just getting started!

…right now, I’m going to pretend I’m on back on island time. Catch ya later!

About Estelle Hallick


Estelle is a Disney enthusiast with a soft spot for Muppets, theatre, and small details. She thinks Animal Kingdom is a full day park, the BoardWalk feels like home, and nothing is better than watching Illuminations. When she's not writing about Disney, she enjoys hanging out with her cat and her husband, having adventures in Queens, New York. She can also be found geeking out over books at Rather Be Reading Blog.

MelissaJune 20, 2012 - 12:34 pm

I’m looking forward to reading more! As a geek, I am so jealous of the panels with Jason Surrell. :) I’m glad you had such a great time. I can’t wait to head out on our cruise now.

[…] teases us with her dinner at Palo on the Disney Magic in her Five Favorites of departing from Manhattan at This Happy Place. Be sure to check out her series on the cruise, […]

[…] Here’s the story: last year, right around this week, we sailed away on the Disney Cruise Line Magic out of New York City (eek!) and headed down to Florida, Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island) and the Bahamas. Out of the four times I’ve sailed on the Disney Cruise Line (all of them on the Magic), that definitely ranks as my favorite trip. […]

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