Located in the new Pandora area of Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Walt Disney World
Brief view of the Banshee Rookery where you can purchase your very own Banshee.
Located in the new Pandora area of Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Walt Disney World
Brief view of the Banshee Rookery where you can purchase your very own Banshee.
So, I just discovered that there is only 1/2 a slice of cheese in the Filet-O-Fish sandwich!
I thought it was really weird so I looked it up, and it seems like it’s a legitimate spec.
Of all the photos online you can seem to discern the rectangular corners poking out. I’m just surprised that all across the world, McDonald’s are using 1/2 a slice of cheese on the Fish sandwich.
Anyways, I found this YouTube video of this guy complaining about it, which is kinda funny. I could see Fred Armisen playing this guy on Portlandia. #McDonalds #Filetofish #FredArmisen #Portlandia
It has been many years since I’ve made a Semolina Cake. I remember purchasing a mix for it at a middle eastern store and had made it at home.
This cake pictured above is from a restaurant. It is one of my favorite Mediterranean desserts. It has the same sweetness as baklava, and that’s because it is drenched in the same simple syrup. They usually make a large pan of it, cut it into diamonds and place an almond in the center of each piece.
The consistency can be a bit grainy (like cornbread) but it is so delicious, the syrup makes it soft and moist. If you want to try making one at home, you can search for semolina cake recipes online, they also call it Basbousa, Basboosa, Harissa, Harisa, Harisi, there are many variations on the name. If you enjoy baklava, I’m sure you will love this.
Just baked a batch of Immaculate Baking Company’s Organic Fudge Brownies. They came out really well. The taste is rich and chocolaty, very sweet. The baking mix, which also contains tiny chocolate chips, only requires 1 stick of melted butter and 2 eggs to bring the mix together. (I think the box I had was an older version, the new directions say add 2 tablespoons of water as well).
It is a really thick batter, it actually formed a ball by the time I was done scraping the mix around the bowl. I had to push the batter down into baking pan. It had said on the box that you would have to push it into the pan. I’m glad it said something because it was way thicker than most mixes.
This batch took about 30 minutes to finish in a 350 degree oven. The end pieces got a bit crunchy, the center stayed pretty moist. Some people like the crunchier ends. Overall, I was very satisfied with the end result. Brownie mixes can be hit or miss, even when you follow all the instructions properly. It’s a good thing I didn’t cook it any longer, I think it would have really dried out. If you decide to make these yourself, be sure to set your timer and recheck as needed. I set my timer for 22, checked it and it was still soft, and then reset timer again for 8 minutes and it was done.
I’m glad there is an organic option available on the market, I’d definitely buy this mix again.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday yet, it’s on Netflix instant streaming. I’ve probably watched it 4 times already since they put it up.
I was really surprised by how much I instantly loved this movie. It has a lot of that retro movie charm of classic 1980’s movies that I loved growing up. We have our familiar lovable Pee-Wee Herman in a brand new adventure. Paul Reubens looks terrific, and he just nails it, silly, funny, charming, plus Joe Manganiello was a perfect choice.
Of course you can’t take the movie too seriously, it’s Pee-Wee Herman! It’s just for laughs and entertainment. It’s full of jokes and gags, and just out and out ridiculousness. I’m no critic, but I know what I like. I’d say it would probably make my top 10 favorite list simply because if I was flipping through channels and this movie was on…I’d stop to watch it, and there are only a hand full of movies that I like that much.
In about 10 days, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party season begins. It will go on for two months on select dates. For many people attending the Magic Kingdom, this means shorter hours on those nights, meaning that non-party goers will need to leave the Magic Kingdom by 7pm! It is going to be important to check the calendar before hand to make sure you don’t use a full day’s admission if you aren’t going to be able to stay the full day.
To attend the party, you will have to purchase a separate event ticket for each member of your group.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2016 dates:
September 02, 08, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30
October 02, 04, 06, 07, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
Pricing this year is staggered again, the cheapest prices are at the beginning of September, and incrementally rise up to Halloween, those prices being $72 and going up to $105, and there is a very small discount for Annual Passholders or DVC Members. Their premium pricing structure is most likely based on demand, as we have seen their recent tiered pricing structure revealed and implemented earlier this year.
The most popular night has always been Halloween, however, we have always attended earlier events. Last year we did mid-September, and the year prior we did beginning of October. The weather is still pretty hot in September, but at least the event is at night, and it is pretty enjoyable if you dress comfortably.
Activities included, the Halloween parade “Boo-to-You” which runs twice in the night, the 2nd parade is usually less crowded, Trick or Treating locations, most of the rides are open as well, there is Hallowishes – the special themed fireworks of the evening, and a Hocus Pocus themed stage show. There is also a dance party over in Tomorrowland, and sometimes in the Diamond Horseshoe building. If you are looking to do any merchandise shopping, the stores are pleasantly less crowded during these events – at least on the occasions that we attended. Special event merchandise is available, and sometimes sells out early in the holiday season. In years past, they have offered a special Sorcerer’s of the Kingdom playing card, that you can pick up from the Firehouse or the podium next to the Christmas shop.
Definitely catch the parade, the Headless Horseman is amazing he starts off the parade. Do some trick or treating, I’d also recommend watching the fireworks. We haven’t watched the stage show due to the crowd levels, we usually spend the time trick or treating. There is also some special characters around, you can usually catch a special character at the Haunted Mansion, or perhaps see the Cadaver Dans quartet. In the Storybook Circus area, there are also Halloween themed characters, usually Jack Skellington and Sally, as well as Donald and Daisy.
In the past, we’ve had so much fun trick or treating, we have always ended up with way too much candy. I’m hoping we can attend this year, but we’ll probably not be trick or treating “competitively” this year. By competitively, I mean we have tried to break our own records from year to year and it has just gotten to be silly, no one needs 18+ pounds of candy. Even family and friends can’t help us eat that much candy.
I’d say to make sure to walk around the whole park and see as much as you can, and do a little of everything.
Still have some referrals left as of 8/23/16
It is that time of year again, just received some promotional offers from Chase Disney Visa Credit Card for referring friends and family. I have some referrals left.
If you are looking for the referral info for the $200 gift card offer, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include your first and last name, and your zip code and that you need the $200 Disney Referral info. If you want to use 2 referrals please let me know, as I need to keep track of how many referrals are given and used. It is appreciated when you let me know that you did use the referral. Thank you.
Must apply by phone by 9/30/16, **you would get $200 Disney gift card by mail after spending $500 within 3 months of account opening**. This is the NO ANNUAL FEE card. Most of the time they only give a $50 bonus.
Also, a married couple can…
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Just an update, my Disney Dollars arrived way earlier than expected. The cast member told me to expect them to arrive in 2-3 weeks, and they arrived Tuesday via UPS 2 Day Air!
The biggest surprise was that every bill I received was of this exact design, the Stitch 2005 $10 bill. It’s surprising because this bill is 11 years old. I haven’t had a chance to look them over too closely, but I noticed the serial numbers on my bills are indeed consecutive. I like Stitch so I’m happy about that too. I heard that they are shipping out whatever they have left in Scrooge McDuck’s vault, joking, but seriously if you happened to order some Disney Dollars this last week, you may be getting old uncirculated Disney currency.
If you are a Disney Vacation Club member, or have been looking into buying a DVC timeshare you have probably heard the news about the Membership Perks policy change that went into effect April 4, 2016.
Basically it doesn’t effect anyone who is already an existing DVC member, but will completely change how DVC treats future resale buyers. If you buy a resale contract you will no longer be entitled to Membership Perks and will not be issued a DVC Membership Card. Membership perks are varied, and range from discounts on annual passes, merchandise, or food, and to invitations to special DVC events. Many people have voiced the opinion that these small perks don’t make that much of a difference to them.
For future resale buyers, they will now have to consider if the lack of full status membership is going to effectively change their decision on purchasing a resale versus buying new. With the cost of direct ownership, for many people, owning direct points may not be an option financially. For many, resale is the only feasible way that they can actually buy a DVC timeshare.
Buying a DVC timeshare is a huge decision and financial commitment, regardless of whether or not you buy direct or through resale. For me, I still feel it is one of the best things we have ever bought for ourselves.
Are you a DVC Member? Have you ever considered purchasing a DVC timeshare?
The changes to re-brand Downtown Disney into Disney Springs began in April of 2013. As Disney Springs is still under construction going on 3 years now, and construction is stated as continuing through 2016, this area of Disney has been an absolute nightmare. For a regular like myself who used to enjoyed going to Downtown Disney to eat or to shop, the major pains started when they closed down the back parking lots and walk-ways. Parking, construction, and huge crowds have exacerbated the growing pains of what is to finally become Disney Springs.
This concept art is majorly flawed in that it doesn’t represent the reality of what it’s like to be in Disney Springs. The amount of people on any given day is much higher than you could ever want to deal with. The weekends are even worse, and holidays – forget about it. Obviously, they are picturing the idealized view of what they imagine or at least what they want the public to imagine what Disney Springs is supposed to be.
Limited parking is a huge turn-off. There are daily traffic jams from Bonnet Creek Parkway through Hotel Plaza Blvd, a distance of not more than 3 miles, that it takes up to an hour to move through one way. The parking garage that was supposed to be such a blessing has become a total nightmare, when it fills up – the traffic comes to a virtual halt. The only viable parking option has become the furthest lot – to the rear of La Nouba Theater, which leaves us in the predicament of having to walk a very long way, or wait for boat transportation.
Although there are new restaurants and shops, I feel like there is really nothing of value TO ME being offered right now, and sadly I don’t think that is going to change. I liked the Co-Op Marketplace, but it’s so hard to get in and out of Disney Springs when will I ever get the chance to shop there? We tried the Boathouse and it was a huge disappointment, we were seated 45 minutes after our reservation time, and our dinner took nearly an hour and a half – not due to our fault, their service was extremely slow. The food was ok at best and I’m being too polite about that, it was like a C letter grade, but they charge ridiculously high prices (F for value and I’m used to Disney prices!); I can seriously get a better and more satisfying meal at Chili’s for about half as much money, and that’s what we’ve done in the last two years, rather than eating at Disney Springs, we’ve eaten off Disney property while outside the parks.
I just have this feeling like this whole Disney Springs conversion is just hype with no real substance, after trying the Boathouse I’m really wary. I am interested in trying Morimoto Asia because I love Japanese food, and the Jock Lindsay’s bar might be okay, but I haven’t been yet. All these other annoyances are keeping me from going. So this week they announced they are putting in a Sprinkles bakery cupcake machine – whoop dee doo. Like it’s worth two hours of hassle to schlep down there for that? Or for some overpriced grub or drinks?
Disney Springs also announced 30 more shops, like Sephora, Kate Spade, Lacoste, Oakley, and others – basically what you’d find in most high end malls. Which makes me ask, why? Why do we need or want luxury mall shops? I’m sure it’s because only the luxury stores will ever be able to afford the rent. Do people even buy stuff from those stores? Who drops $250 on a pair of sunglasses? (They put a Sunglass Hut inside Adventureland! Grr. And you know what – I’ve never seen anyone buy anything there.) Oh, and they have a shop dedicated to beards. We are in official hipster territory here.
I may be in the minority here, but everything about Disney Springs just screams -” pain in my a**”. It rubs me the wrong way like nails on a chalkboard. It was already annoying to have to wait thirty minutes to an hour to get an ice cream sundae from Ghirardelli before and there are never any tables available, now it seems like you have to fight past thousands of people do even get down to that side.
From an economic and re-vitalization standpoint it may be a triumph to Disney, it may be something they really wanted to achieve to compete with City Walk, so if that was their goal then I guess that is what they have done – because I HATE City Walk too. I have never liked feeling like a sardine, and I have tolerated it at the theme parks because that is just how it is, but in the theme parks it never felt like the outside world was crushing me, because the theme parks are isolated a bit from the “real world” and despite the crowdedness of the theme parks, you can usually find a quiet place to sit for a while.
At the end of the day, Disney Springs is still basically the same size that it ever was despite the addition of new restaurants and stores! It occupies the same basic footprint that it did, the land surrounding it is already developed, it is surrounded by water, roads, and parking lots. There were several large buildings that were left unused after the closure of Pleasure Island and those have already or will be converted into stores. With the exception of some new walkways, everything is basically on the same chunk of land. The biggest trick they ever played is that they are just cramming more people into a small space. Vertical parking – the parking garages are how they are managing to do this. People will just continue to flock in droves.
In the meantime, my priority should be to use my annual pass as much as possible and steer clear of Disney Springs, at least until they sort the traffic and parking situation.
I’m very curious about how other people feel about Disney Springs, please leave any questions or comments below. Thanks for reading.