It’s literally been a month since I went to WDW for Wine & Dine weekend. Where oh where does the time go? I’ve actually been wondering when I would get some kind of recap in since I have a lot of holiday-themed posts scheduled for December already. But I thought I would start small & continue into the new year with topics I want to touch upon. (I did something similar for our March road trip.)
Let me say this first: This was hands-down one of the absolute best trips I’ve ever had to the parks. It was also just about the most unique vacation I’ve ever had.
A huge reason for that: Katherine (Food Fitness and Fantasy). Short story? I can’t believe she and I just met up in February and months later, decided to room together on this trip. I feel like I’ve known her so much longer than I have and she was the absolute best partner-in-crime. I’m hoping we can do another trip like this soon.
And the other part? Truly experiencing all the wonderful people who are a part of this crazy community. I met so many lovely people (some who I have been chatting with forever) and it made the whole trip feel like this huge meet and greet (with plenty of libations around). So much fun to have so many friendly faces congregated in one spot; the whole time I felt so happy that the blog exists and grateful for all the amazing friendships that have come out of it.
Anyway! Enough with the mushy stuff. Here’s a short and sweet run down of the trip…
Hit: The weather.
This is my third trip in November, and I never had one where I was actually sweating in a sundress before. No cardigan, no jean jacket, and just that desperate need to hide in the shade. It was pretty remarkable. I wish I had had more free time to make use of our pool because it was the perfect temperature for swimming.
Miss: All-Star Movies
It seems silly to compare but I really liked Music a ton better. There were no mini cups in our hotel room, no “do not disturb” sign, and when Katherine was sleeping in after her race (and the after party) room service kept knocking on the door and wouldn’t leave her alone. After all of that, they didn’t even end up servicing our room that day. No bueno. (I also didn’t sleep well in those beds and heard so many kids running around.)
Hit: Magic Band
Okay, so I know how repulsed I am by this whole idea. But since I had ticket vouchers and didn’t put a credit card on my band, I only used it for opening and closing our door. Katherine documented a tweet and also talked about it here because I did say AT ONE MOMENT how convenient they were when I went out for a drink.
Miss: Magic Band communication
Katherine also touched upon this LOVELY, welcoming moment I had at the airport where the attendent at the Magical Express was very concerned that my Magic Band was not on my body already or even in my bag. “It’s used for EVERYTHING.” And proceeded to give me a lecture? It was a little strange. I tried to be polite because it was later in the day, but this is just a TEST phase. Not everyone is using them, and also you don’t know my individual situation. It definitely put a bad taste in my mouth.
Hit: Raglan Road (Downtown Disney)
I am a Raglan Road newbie and was so excited to get a chance to check it out when I arrived Friday night. We were there WAY late and I ate way too much (I swear our server was so convincing and enthusiastic… I could not say no to her). Have the banana pudding or… else. It was seriously the most savory dessert I’ve ever had. (Only sadface to the 11-dollar can of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout… I should have gotten something cheaper.)
Miss: Brown Derby Lounge (Hollywood Studios)
I wanted so badly for this to be a hit. Nope nope nope. The food was good, tasty but the service was just so horribly disorganized. I would have definitely ordered more drinks or food if we had been paid any attention at all. Management was understanding about it and altered our bills at the end, but it took about 10 minutes to even get our change. (Though Katherine and I made some lovely friends with “big kids” from Connecticut who were sitting at our table next.)
Hit: Extra magic hours in Magic Kingdom until 2 a.m. after getting 4 hours of sleep.
Since the trip was so focused on being social, it was really nice to have a long string of hours to send in Magic Kingdom where there were, surprisingly, no crowds. Keith (The Disney Project), Katherine, and I had time to get on a ton of attractions, wander around listening to Christmas music and taking pictures, and also chat over a cup of Starbucks. There was also the excitement of Keith breaking the news about filming at Carousel of Progress. Too funny. (Spoiler alert: this was the most I got done in one park during the trip.)
Miss: Not scheduling any food reservations.
Um, well. It seems like this experiment was a fail. Because when I don’t make a reservation, I fail to eat. I also had no set schedule and that made things all sorts of fuzzy and I wasn’t thinking straight. Maybe next time I would make one? Just one? Because eh. It was hard to find some good food especially when you were just so desperate and hungry.
Hit: Wine & Dine After Party in Epcot
When Katherine first told me about this, I was like: we aren’t really going to stay out until 5 a.m., are we? I should have known! We totally stayed until the end and had a great time chattering for hours and hours. We actually didn’t go on any attractions, and if I knew Epcot was going to be totally impossible on my last day, I would have made sure to squeeze one thing in. But other than that, it was quite possibly one of the most fun Disney-related events I’ve been to. Even for a non-runner like me. (Everyone’s medals were so shiny!)
Triple hit: Christmas in the parks.
More on this soon but the music, the lights, the trees, even the Jingle Cruise? THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS FABULOUS-NESS OF THE OSBORNE FAMILY LIGHTS? OMG. It was all so festive and wonderful; I was happy to be immersed in all of it for a few days and get into the holiday spirit in my happy place.
Okay, that’s the short version! (And I wanted to say more and more and more!) Final verdict: I would love to make this particular weekend a repeat trip every single year. I know it was good because the after-vacation depressing was probably one of my worst. Ha!