Tag Archives: Old Key West

Throwback Thursday to 2011

Four cousins in Old Key West!  We had around 20 family members in Disney for this trip and we all got matching polo shirts.  We are missing Chris in this picture and I think she had left for the California Grill already or was trying to figure out where her luggage was since Magical Express was taking forever!



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Throwback Thursday to the 90’s


I believe this photo was taken in 1992 or 1993, but please chime in family members if you know the exact date.  Although the photo is a bit blurry, here is a photo of my grandma, my aunt, and my mom standing in front of an old Disney Vacation Club vehicle at Old Key West (or as it was known then the Disney Vacation Club Resort? or something like that).  I definitely prefer the old Disney Vacation Club logo with the mountains and Disney sun compared to the one they have been using the past few years with Mickey as a globe.  This vehicle almost looks like it could go on a safari!  How many people could fit in it?!

It certainly feels like Florida at school today with the temperature being the same as it is in Disney (a hot and humid 91 degrees).  We also had a random afternoon thunderstorm here where it down poured for 15 minutes.  Right before it rained, I was thinking about how it was just like Florida except for the afternoon thunderstorm and then it started raining.  Thankfully, I was inside by then.

Good luck to all of the runners this weekend at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!

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Disney Challenge

Natalie at Natalie’s Mostly Disney Blog (https://ncdavis2003.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/i-got-tagged-to-do-the-disney-challenge/) tagged me to do the Disney Challenge.   I have not been on top of writing posts lately but her tag has inspired me to write and schedule a few posts today!  Thank you Natalie for getting me back on track with blogging!  I was tagged in the Beauty Bloggers challenge by Danielle (https://itsagreatblogafterall.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/beauty-blogger-tag/) and that post is coming soon as well.

1.What was the first time you went to Disney World? I was 6 months old for my first Disney trip.

2.What is your favorite Disney Park? Epcot is my favorite Disney Park but I enjoy Magic Kingdom the best for extra magic hours at night.

3.What is your favorite land in Magic Kingdom? This is a challenging question but I have to say it would probably have to be Frontierland because I love Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and the general feel of the area.

4.What is your favorite Disney resort? Old Key West

5.What is your favorite snack in Disney World? Favorite snack by far is the same as Natalie’s favorite snack which is the Mickey Ice Cream bar.  I can’t go to WDW and not get a few!

6.What is your favorite souvenir to get in Disney? Although not considered souvenirs, my aunt and I always send out postcards on our trips. I enjoy picking out the postcards in the store and mailing them to family and friends.

7.What is your favorite counter and table service in Disney World? So many restaurants in WDW and I have to pick two?  Oh no.  One of my favorite counter service restaurants in Disney is Be Our Guest and one of my favorite table service restaurants is 50’s Prime Time Cafe.  I also really like Yak & Yeti in Animal Kingdom, but we do not eat there too often.

8.What is your favorite ride in Disney World? My favorite ride in Disney right now is the Tower of Terror.

9.What is your favorite show in Disney World? My favorite show is the Hoop Dee Doo at Fort Wilderness because it is hysterical.  I definitely recommend it if you haven’t seen it.  My favorite in park show would be the Beauty and the Beast show in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

10. What is your favorite parade and night show in Disney? My favorite parade was “Remember the Magic” in Magic Kingdom.  I remember this parade most from the home movies I have watched of it but I could sing more of that soundtrack than I could of the new Festival of Fantasy parade.  My favorite night show is Wishes, but I loved seeing Disney Dreams! in Disneyland Paris last summer.

11.What is your favorite world showcase  in Epcot? My favorite pavilion is definitely the United Kingdom because it is always fun to stop and listen to the music there.

12.What color is your magic band? Blue

13.What is your favorite character to meet in Disney?  I like meeting Mary Poppins because we share a name or Winnie the Pooh because he is my favorite character.

14.What is a Disney character you haven’t seen that you wish you could see? I would like to meet more of the princes!

15.What is your favorite Disney memory? Well this has to be the most challenging question I have ever answered in a survey.  Hmmmm…this is too hard!  Can I pass on this for now and come back to it in a few weeks once I have an article written with a bunch of my favorite memories?

16.What is your favorite Disney character? Winnie the Pooh

What is your favorite Disney song? When I am running I like listening to “Go the Distance” but I also really like “Golden Dreams” from the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot.  My favorite classic Disney song might be “Under the Sea.”

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March Trip Report Day 8 Part 2-The Ring

I started my summer job this week working at a travel agency in my town.  I love planning clients’ vacations, especially when they are Disney vacations!  But back to the extended trip report from March…

So to recap the afternoon of Day 8, I will need to give you a little background.  My cousin’s boyfriend had texted my dad earlier in the week after we had hung out with him and my cousin at Epcot.  He had told my dad how he was planning on proposing to my cousin in a few weeks and wanted to tell my grandma and show her the ring.  My mom, dad, sister, and I were all very excited.   We had to keep it a secret for a few days though until my cousin’s boyfriend was able to meet us in the park.  We had a few close calls where the secret almost came out to my grandma and aunt.  My dad’s cell phone rang while we were in the car and while we were at dinner but we were able to say it was my dad’s work friend (who was supposed to spend a day with us in Disney but was not able to make it in the end).

So Saturday FINALLY arrived and the plan was for my cousin’s boyfriend to meet us in the Magic Kingdom around lunch.  He was talking to my grandma as we all got off of the WEDway People Mover (where I last left the trip report) and filling her in.  Then he told my aunt what was going on and proceeded to spend the rest of the day at Magic Kingdom with us!  He did not have the ring because he was getting it set so he was going to leave us in the afternoon to go pick it up and then meet us back at Old Key West.  IMG_3493He had told my cousin that he was at SeaWorld with his nephews so she had no idea that he was spending all day with us at Disney.  So after quickly catching up we went on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  My mom does not ride Buzz Lightyear because of the spinning so my cousin’s boyfriend used her Fastpass.  I got a terrible score on Buzz and I think something must have been wrong with my machine or strategy.  The picture on the right is a little blurry but my aunt and grandma are in the front row and my cousin’s boyfriend and my sister are in the second row.  After my failure of a score, we headed to grab lunch.  We had lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland and it was PACKED!  I now know why we try to make advanced dining reservations for most meals or try to eat really early.  Finding a table was challenging.  I found a table and texted everyone but they were carrying food and could not look at their phones so it was a bit confusing but eventually we were able to eat.  I really enjoyed my chicken and fries too.

poohAfter lunch we walked over to the Winnie the Pooh ride with our next set of Fastpasses.  The Winnie the Pooh ride is always fun.  We had also made Fastpass reservations for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and started to walk over there but quickly noticed that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was down which was very disappointing.  We wanted to go to the Country Bear Jamboree but got stuck in the 3pm parade madness.  It was our second time watching the Festival of Fantasy parade and we had a good spot on the bridge between Country Bear Jamboree and Splash Mountain to watch the floats.  We also ate Mickey Premium Ice Cream Pops.  They are my grandma’s favorite WDW dessert and are much better to eat in March compared to August because they don’t melt as quickly.  As we watched the parade, we also watched fellow Dapper Day participants get off of the Ferryboat.  It was fun toIMG_3498 see more fancy outfits of the day.  After the parade ended we got to watch the Country Bear Jamboree and my cousin’s boyfriend was able to watch it for the first time!  I had  fallen asleep during the Jamboree last trip so I made sure to stay awake this time.  The cast member had some funny jokes before the show began and I was able to make a crushed penny to add to my collection.

After seeing the country bears sing their hearts out, my cousin’s boyfriend left to pick up the ring and we headed towards the front of the park since we had a dinner reservation at the California Grill.  I knew I would be back later that night for Extra Magic Hours so I did not have to say goodbye to Magic Kingdom just yet.  We took the monorail over to the Contemporary and checked in for dinner.  Last March, California Grill had been our first advanced dining reservation of the trip so having the dinner as the last meal this trip was so sad.  We had a great meal here and continued our last meal trip tradition.  At the end of the trip, at the last meal all together, we go around the table and say our favorite ride and meal of the trip.  Sometimes we add in our favorite moments as well.  A few trips ago we had a series of events (a flying ped, walking into the wrong bathroom, falling in a ditch, etc. which all deserve another post) and so we said our favorite laughable moment.  I really enjoy this tradition because it highlights the best parts of the trip.


I love walking out on the balcony at California Grill.  I took the main photo for the blog heading here and decided to take a selfie this trip.  If you eat at the California Grill, you can return later in the night to watch Wishes from this balcony.  I have never done it because I prefer watching Wishes in Magic Kingdom from Splash Mountain but I am sure it is a great experience.   Part 3 of the trip report for this day will include Mickey shaped pineapple, late hours in the Magic Kingdom, and a very exhausted Mary Cate on the bus ride back to Old Key West.


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March Trip Report Day 7 Part 2

IMG_3450It feels like this trip has been going on forever! But we fit so much into each day that it is hard not to spread the trip report out over a month or two.  We last left off riding the Haunted Mansion with Fastpass+reservations.  We then continued to the Jungle Cruise, the WEDway People Mover, Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, and the Carousel of Progress.  I love hearing all of the corny jokes on the Jungle Cruise.  It would be fun to be a skipper for a day on the Jungle Cruise.  IMG_3451The WEDway People Mover is my grandma’s favorite ride and we all enjoy relaxing on it especially after lunch.  I have noticed that the Space Mountain part of the ride is darker at night and you really can’t see anything in front of you for a few seconds.  Monster’s Inc LaughFloor never gets old and we ended up going to this attraction the following day as well.  The jokes are funny and it is comical to see who in the audience they pick on especially for the role of “That Guy.”  The Carousel of Progress is called the Carousel of Sleep by my dad but we all managed (with a few pokes) to stay awake the entire time.  I love the song in this attraction “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” and I hope they never change this ride, especially since it was at the 1965 World’s Fair.  The photo to the left is fairly small because I just wanted to show off one of Disney’s snapchat filters in Tomorrowland.

After going on a bunch of rides post-lunch, my dad decided to head back to pick my mom up for dinner so that we would have the car at the Contemporary to drive home.  So my grandma, aunt, sister, and I went to ride the monorail over to the Contemporary for dinner at the Wave.  We had extra time so we rode the monorail around a full time before getting off.  We also helped a few people with directions since they did not know that they needed to get off at the TTC to transfer to Epcot or that the monorail did not go to Animal Kingdom.  Other than that, it was a relaxing ride to the Contemporary and we quickly met up with my mom and dad who had just checked into the Wave.  The waiting rooms at the Wave are really neat with different lighting but I could have fallen asleep on the couch I was so exhausted.  We had a great dinner here.  I had the soup special plus a salad.  The soup was chicken and rice and delicious.  I made a point to tell the cast member who was our server that I loved the soup even though I am a picky eater!  After dinner we shopped around a bit before my parents, aunt, and grandma decided to head back to Old Key West.  My sister was itching to stay out late and so after some strong convincing, we got on the monorail and headed to Epcot.  IMG_3465

Upon arriving at Epcot, we were unsure what we wanted to do.  We thought about seeing characters but did not get there until around 8pm and all of the characters were done for the night.  So we quickly walked around the World Showcase after stopping for Photopass pictures in front of Spaceship Earth and the Anna and Elsa topiary to get to Morocco.  My sister always gets henna at Morocco each trip and thankfully the place was still open when we arrived.  We then walked over to the American Adventure to watch The American Adventure.  We noticed something odd.  Instead of entering the rotunda, they had us waiting in the exit.  Since I had never seen the American Adventure at night, I wondered if it was just due to smaller crowds.  After watching the amazing show…honestly one of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World, we IMG_3458walked outside.  Then we saw a crowd of people dressed up.  There was a wedding going on in the rotunda of the American Adventure!!  My sister and I stayed outside by the fountain watching the door getting opened for guests who came out to use the restrooms and head back in.  We were able to peek in at the wedding and see a little of the set up.  It looked amazing and I would love to attend a wedding there!  One day my sister and I hope to have a double wedding in Walt Disney World with the ceremony and photos at the Grand Floridian and then the reception somewhere else on property.  Well the American Adventure has now become a possible reception place due to our run in.  I had also scheduled a Fun Fact Friday post for the blog this day that talked about how it is possible to have a wedding in the American Adventure.  What a coincidence!  The wedding spying was definitely the highlight of the night.

After that, we realized nothing could top the wedding, so we walked around the World Showcase to ride Spaceship Earth one last time.  IMG_3468The first time we had rode it this trip, our faces had not saved but this time they did.  I also started to realize how bright the flash is and how distinct the burning smell is in Spaceship Earth.  After this ride, I was exhausted.  We got on the bus back to Old Key West only to hear beeps going off on the bus halfway home.  The bus driver announced “If you’re thinking all those flashing lights and beeps aren’t good, you are correct.  I will try to get us into Old Key West so that I can let you off otherwise we will have to wait for another bus.”  The beeping stopped but then continued and with more flashing lights.  It was late at night probably 11pm and I did not want to have to wait to transfer to another bus, but it was looking like that would be the case.  So, we decided to take a snapchat. IMG_3474 Thankfully, we made it to the first bus stop in Old Key West and got off.  Thank you Disney bus driver!  We were able to quickly get on another bus to get the rest of the way around the resort to our stop.  A very tiring day, but the next day would be even more tiring and even more exciting.  Stay tuned to hear about how Dapper Day, a ring, and Mickey shaped pineapple are all related!

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March Trip Report Day 7 Part 1-Magic Kingdom!


Our first full day in Magic Kingdom was Day 7 of the trip.  This is really hard to believe since usually we try to make it to Magic Kingdom within the first few days, but the schedule just did not work out this trip.  We got up fairly early ready to go see the most Magical park.  My dad dropped my aunt, grandma, sister, and I off to catch the ferry and he hopped on the next one.  A HUGE group of high school students was there on a trip so after we saw that they decided to take the monorail, we opted for the ferry.  The ferry was nice and uneventful.

We were going to meet my dad near the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train since that was the first Fastpass for the day.  IMG_3410The ride had opened for previews a month or two after we had left last March so we were excited to try out the new ride.  We all enjoyed the new roller coaster, but definitely would not have liked waiting in a long line for such a short ride.  The Mine Train might be have the length of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  I would highly recommend a Fastpass+ reservation for this ride since we did not have to wait more than 7 minutes.  The scenes were all done great IMG_3422and it was really cool to see New Fantasyland from a different perspective.  They do take your photo on this ride and later link them to your online account and Photopass.  Somehow they must use the Magic Band technology to do this but I am not sure how.  I hope we end up purchasing one of the pictures where I look absolutely terrified even though I had no reason to be.  And beware of wearing Mickey ears on this ride.  I believe I looked terrified in the photo because I could feel my ears moving on my head.  They did stay on though so it is doable!

After the Mine Train, we had time before our Pirates of the Caribbean Fastpass+ Reservations IMG_3437so we headed to It’s a Small World ride.  The wait for this ride was probably around 15 minutes.  Even though the boats run back to back, it takes time for unloading and reloading.  I did not notice anything especially interesting on this time riding the ride, but we did get to see the clock perform its hourly ceremony because it became 10am.  I had seen that happen once before at midnight actually but it was neat to see again.

After It’s a Small World, it was nearing the time for our Pirates Fastpasses so we headed over to Adventureland.  Pirates of the Caribbean has definitely moved up on my list of attractions in rides in the past few years as well.  I used to be scared riding this ride (probably because it was dark and there are the cannon shots of water in the one pirate ship scene) but now really enjoy it.  The music is great and even the line is nice before boarding the boats.  I really don’t remember the pre-Captain Jack Sparrow version but I think it is great he is in the ride a few times.  In general, the surrounding area of the ride is also fantastic because there is a huge gift shop that you enter into with lots of different clothing items and fake swords to buy, as well as bathrooms nearby.  A few dining options are also close such as Tortuga Tavern.  Needless to say, you could stay in this area all day if you wanted.

After we rode Pirates, it was time to check in for our reservation at Liberty Tree Tavern.  This restaurant is located in Liberty Square, and everything is colonial themed.  I had booked the earliest reservation of 11:30 which was good because I was hungry! Liberty Tree Tavern is my grandma’s all time favorite restaurant in Walt Disney World so we always eat here for a meal.  We each have our favorites at the restaurant.  IMG_3443My grandma usually gets the Pilgrim’s Feast and my sister always gets the Colony Salad.  I alternate between the amazing Colony Salad and the Freedom Pasta depending on if I am in the mood for salad or not.  For dessert, my grandma and aunt had the fruit crisp and my dad and I split Martha Washington’s Chocolate Cake.  This picture is making me so hungry.  I would recommend this decadent chocolate cake to any chocolate lover.  The chocolate icing is especially delicious.  But, it is a large slice, so you might want to split it with someone unless you really need an energy boost from walking around Magic Kingdom all day.

After lunch we headed to ride the Haunted Mansion, another favorite of mine.  Can you tell who booked the Fastpass+ Reservations? Haha.  No Peter Pan Fastpasses!  We boarded our doom buggies fairly quickly, but the standby line was very long.  This ride seems to be the most crowded mid day because everyone finishes rides in Fantasyland and then continues around the park in that direction.   Stay tuned for dinner at the Wave and a late night with my sister at Epcot.


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March Trip Report Day 5 Part 3-Golf and Dinner

Wait a minute…three posts in a row this week?!  What is going on?!  Well my homework load has been decreasing because finals are approaching.  I am not complaining that I have more time to blog!


After our lunch at Sanaa with the Animal Specialist, we did not know exactly what to do.  It was hot out, but we did not want to go into a park because we would not have that much time before our dinner at the House of Blues.  So, my dad made the executive decision and we went mini golfing which was really fun!  It was our first time at the Blizzard Beach Winter Summerland mini golf and we decided to do the Christmastime themed path.IMG_3371

Each hole had a funny sign before it and Christmas music was playing as well as Beach music near each hole.  This course is great also because there are benches every two holes to sit down and relax on.  Unfortunately, shady areas were scarce and my sister and I got a little sun burn, but some Vitamin C is probably good for me.  Hey! I rhymed!  IMG_3366If you are looking for something to do outside of the parks, the Disney mini golf courses are a fantastic option!  I like the IMG_3365other course we usually play at as well, but I am scared to go back because IIMG_3377 have gotten a hole in one twice on the same hole.  I feel like I might not be so lucky the next time.  But, I have been improving on my mini golf game.

My dad won the game, but my aunt, sister, and I all played very well (or at least I thought so).  After the game, we grabbed some complementary mini candy canes at the desk and left to go back to Old Key West.  We got ready for dinner and once again took the boat over to Downtown Disney.  The boat is definitely the BEST option during all of the construction that is going on right now.  The restaurant was getting crowded and I was glad I had made reservations.  One thing to note is that this year, House of Blues changed their policy and you can only make reservations two weeks in advance.  I actually had to book them through the restaurant website, instead of Disney.  Our dinner at the House of Blues was great.  It was my grandma and aunt’s first time dining there.  My mom, dad, sister, and I had been a few years ago when my two best friends came down with us to WDW as well.  We all enjoyed our meals and headed back to the resort soon after.  My mom, dad, and I had to be up very early the next morning to head to a university a few hours away for a tour for my sister.



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