Category Archives: Trip Reports

Adventures in Disneyland – Day 1 Part 2

For those who have found the trip report, you can catch up with Day 1 Part 1 so you can get up to speed with the upcoming post.  It was a busy morning and afternoon.  It was also becoming a long day since we were at 4:30 am Eastern time and it was now rapidly approaching 6 pm Pacific time.  Could we stay awake until our 6:50 pm dinner reservation at Blue Bayou Restaurant.

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General Impressions of Disneyland

Late Friday night or early Saturday morning (depending on your perspective), I returned from five days at Disneyland.  This marked my first visit to Disneyland since the early 80’s.  A lot of things of change and I am glad to say that most of the changes were positive.  My family and I had a wonderful time at Disneyland.  I’ll be sharing my trip report in blog posts over the next couple weeks but today I wanted to share just my overall impressions from the vacation.

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Photo Essay of the Festival of Fantasy Parade

I made seeing the Festival of Fantasy Parade one of my “must-dos” for my trip back in November.  I had heard great things about the parade.  Normally, I’m not a parade person.  I would rather take advantage of the shorter attraction lines than watch a parade.  However, this parade is worth seeing.  It’s much better than sitting in any attraction line.  It is a parade filled with princesses, historic Disney characters (Jiminy Cricket and Dumbo), iconic Disney characters, and well themed floats!

I was able to grab a front row seat in Frontierland to view the parade.  The only problem was I looking into the sun which “washed out” some of the pictures on my iPhone.  That said, here are 26 of my best pictures from the Festival of Fantasy Parade.

Festival of Fantasy #1 Festival of Fantasy #2 Festival of Fantasy #3 Festival of Fantasy #4 Festival of Fantasy #5 Festival of Fantasy #6 Festival of Fantasy #7 Festival of Fantasy #9 Festival of Fantasy #10 Festival of Fantasy #11 Festival of Fantasy #12 Festival of Fantasy #13 Festival of Fantasy #14 Festival of Fantasy #15 Festival of Fantasy #16 Festival of Fantasy #17 Festival of Fantasy #18 Festival of Fantasy #19 Festival of Fantasy #20 Festival of Fantasy #21 Festival of Fantasy #22 Festival of Fantasy #23 Festival of Fantasy #24 Festival of Fantasy #25 Festival of Fantasy #27 Festival of Fantasy #28

Trip Report: Day Four Part One

Day four of my November trip was the most summer-like day of the trip.  The temperatures got into the 80’s and even pushed 90.  It felt more like April or May than late November.  The weather was perfect for me because I had an exciting day planned away from the parks.  I had a tee time for Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course.  This is one of the courses that Disney used when they hosted a PGA Tour event.

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Trip Report (Day 3 Part 2)/Chef Mickey’s Review

Chef Mickey Entrance


Day three of the vacation closed with a trip to what is quickly becoming a staple of our Disney vacations….a dinner at Chef Mickeys.  Usually Chef Mickey is our first dinner of the trip, this way we can knock out the Big Five autographs and not have worry about waiting in line to see them during the rest of our stay.  This time, because of extended family traveling with us, it did not fit as our first vacation dinner but rather one later in our stay.

Because dinner was so late, my wife and I made sure to grab a heavy snack in the afternoon.  Due to the character interaction, you may be limited as to when you can get your food because a character is coming and during that time some foods which you may enjoy could be getting restocked.  But don’t let that scare you, the food at Chef Mickey’s is good.  It’s one of the best buffets at Walt Disney World in my opinion which is why I don’t mind it becoming a staple of our vacation dining.

There are a couple of things which I can not get enough when dining at Chef Mickeys: anything from the carving station (usually roast beef or turkey) and the Parmesan mashed potatoes which are beyond good.  For this meal, the characters were spaced far enough apart where I could get into the buffet line and got multiple servings of beef/turkey to go with the mashed potatoes.

The kids options are solid as well.  Usually a Mickey-shaped pasta, which my daughter won’t eat because she thinks she is actually eating Mickey Mouse.  There are also chicken nuggets and pizza for main dishes as well plus corn and other vegetables for sides.  We only see the corn because my daughter will only eat the corn.  She’s a very picky eater but never leaves Chef Mickey’s hungry.

But what makes Chef Mickey’s special is the character interaction.  We had some great interaction with the Big Five throughout our meal on this trip.

Chef Mickey #1

Minnie stopped by first and took great care in signing autographs before posing for even more pictures.  Then took the time to try to answer questions posed by the littlest member of our party.

Chef Mickey #2

Pluto tried to sneak up on us but was caught first by my daughter and then her cousin but still finished with a big dog hug for both kids.  Pluto made sure to sign some autographs and play with the kids as well.

Chef Mickey #3

Goofy came next and made sure to get down to kid level before starting any interacting as the small one was getting scared but my daughter loved the attention at her level.

Chef Mickey #4

Donald was next and, as you can see by the pictures, the restaurant was started to clear out.  Everybody by myself was in the washroom so I stalled for time and got into an argument about who was number #1: Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck.  I kept pointing to pictures of Mickey and proclaiming him #1 while Donald kept pointing to himself and saying he was #1.  This went on for good couple of minutes and then I saw everyone returning and pointed them to Donald.  Donald, then, proceeds to trip Goofy “by accident” and apologized to Goofy which gave everyone enough time to return and get some pictures.  Donald, of course, made it a point to say that he was #1 in his autograph.

Chef Mickey #5

Mickey came last to our table.  He got big hugs from both kids and a big laugh when I showed him that Donald thought he was not #1 and not Mickey Mouse.

We love character interaction that you get at these meals.  It’s the type of interaction that you don’t typically receive in the parks when there is a big line to meet them.  Plus, you have the opportunity to get up and get food while sitting down.  The characters come to you.  You don’t go and wait for the characters.  It’s a great experience.

However, it was a great experience that we had to cut short after Mickey came.  The little one was about ready to put his head through the table because he was so tired.  He also didn’t eat a lot of his meal.  He wasn’t coughing or sneezing or have a runny nose.  He was just run down.  Our party had a bug that went through everyone expect myself and my father-in-law.  My daughter started to show signs of it the next night at Via Napoli when she barely ate any of her dinner.  As a result of this illness, most of us missed out on dessert.  My daughter and I stayed and had some ice cream and cookies before walking back to our room at Bay Lake Tower while my wife and her nephew took a taxi back to Old Key West so he could get to bed.

And with that, Day three came to a conclusion.  We will be back later this week for Day four and how to survive Disney while sick.

Thanks for reading!