How to Find Joy, Love and Peace

disneybeautiful

What’s up bitches? I know, it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me. I had a busy holiday season, traveling to St. Louis, Walt Disney World, and Kansas City for a wedding. Above is my favorite picture from the trip. The moment I saw this view, I knew I had to capture it.

Oh, what’s with my blog title? Well, if you were read this far I might a well tell you. I have no idea either. You probably should read goop.com or something. I hear Gwyneth has some advice for what to do with jade eggs.

Disney Freaks Update

Disney moved their annual marathon up to the weekend we were there, making it an extremely busy time to visit. We had fun, but I felt bad for anyone there for the first time.If you make reservations for early January in the future, you’ll want to make sure the marathon doesn’t coincide with your trip. We were there January 1-6.

Alligator warning signs and fencing are now in place, wherever lakes are present. These areas include the Magic Kingdom and Boardwalk area hotels.

disneyjan

Most of you know about the June 2016 alligator attack at Disney’s Grand Floridian. A precious 2-year old boy visiting from England was killed, as his horrified parents fought to free him from the alligator’s grip.

Far fewer of you know, that this was not the first time an alligator attacked on Disney property. In 1986, an 8-year old boy was bitten by an alligator at Fort Wilderness. Unlike June’s attack, the boy had non-life threatening injuries. Yet despite this, and repeat alligator sightings preceding the tragedy, Disney failed to warn guests. Those unfamiliar with where this happened, probably don’t realize how the young victim (Lane) was in the center of it all. He was not on the fridges of the resort, in a remote place. He was within steps of the lobby, in a beach area frequented by families.

During our visit, I thought of Lane several times and how preventable (I feel) his death was. Prior to then, there were a few “no swimming” signs, but no one realized that simply being on the beach, playing in shallow water, could lead to such tragedy. Maybe someone familiar with Florida and the alligator risk present. But, certainly not myself, Lane’s parents and most other people immersed in Disney’s fantasy world.

I read that Disney removed all their alligator references in the park, but this is not the case. They may have removed some merchandising, but everywhere animated/mechanical alligators were present before, like Jungle Cruise, were still there.

Back to my visit…

frozen

Above, my gorgeous husband & 8th grade son, who confused people with his St. Louis Cardinal’s T-shirt, U of Michigan hat, and Purdue Shorts.

I couldn’t wait to go on the new Frozen ride. My expectations were high, especially given the 5 hour waits present during it’s opening weeks. During our visit, the wait was generally 2-hours, which proves patience isn’t (your) virtue. It’s just something you pretend to have, when your little brat HAS to go on the ride.

As soon as allowed, I booked my fastpass +, which in Epcot meant it was the only big attraction I could reserve (in Epcot) that day. As a Disney Resort guest, you can select 3 fastpass+ + selections in one park each day, on disneyexperience.com. In Epcot, you can’t pick Soarin, Test Track and Frozen in one day. You can only pick one, along with 2 other “less popular” attractions, like Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Ellen looks about 20-years younger in the video. I am pretty sure she’s holding an ABC executive captive, because otherwise, I can’t figure out why they haven’t updated it.

In Magic Kingdom, you can pick 3 popular attractions, as part of your initial fastpass + selections. In theory, you can select additional fast passes after you’ve used your 3, but when the park is busy, there may be no more left to give out. This is why using your fast passes early in the day, rather than later, can be advantageous.

What did I think of Frozen? Unless you have a fast pass, I wouldn’t go. In fact, I am not sure it’s worth wasting a fast pass on! If you’ve ever gone on the Norway ride you’ll realize Frozen is on the same track. In the same boats. Sure, there are animated figures and Frozen music, but the ride is so short you barely appreciate it. Waits for this ride exceeded 2 hours while we were there. 2 hours for what seemed like a 2 second ride, on the same boat you went on 2 years ago, through Viking territory. Buy your kid an Elsa doll and call it a day.

Soarin’s new film, which takes you around the world now, WAS worth waiting for. The way you move seemed the same, but the visual experience was completely different.

We also tried Sanaa, which is a fairly new restaurant in Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s in the second (newer) building, called Kidani Village. We liked the lunch menu better, so we went during the day. The Naan bread service with 9 different dipping sauces was amazing.I copied the menu below, so you could see the additional bread options offered. You can order additional bread for under $2 each, which makes this one of the better – more reasonably priced – appetizers at Disney.

Indian-style Bread Service

Choice of Five Breads – Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kucha, or Paneer Paratha. Choice of Accompaniments – Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mango Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Tamarind Chutney, Coriander Chuntey, Garlic Pickle, Red Chile Sambal, or Spicy Jalapeño-Lime Pickle

 

We asked for a table by the window, and got one, although the hostess said normally you’d need to check-in early for your reservations to secure that. I thought the restaurant and the view were amazing. While you wait for your table, there is an area just outside the hostess stand, filled with rocking chairs, and beautiful views of the resort and it’s animal residents. I have included pictures below.

For lunch, my daughter and I ordered the Tandoori Chicken. The spice on the chicken tasted more like Indian food, than Middle-Eastern food like I hoped, but my daughter loved it.My son and husband thought their food (Kenya Coffee BBW sandwich and Sanaa Burger) were OK. I suggest going here, but I’d stuff myself on the Naan bread and skip the rest.

chefs

We were disappointed that our favorite lunch place, Chefs de France, is now serving their dinner menu all day. We weren’t made aware of this when we made our reservation 9 months in advance, which is necessary when visiting the park during peak times.

When you book at Disney, you have to give a credit card deposit equal to $10 a person. If you don’t cancel 24-hours in advance, you are charged that fee. We looked around, and everyone was eating side salads and appetizers, not the heavy steak and duck main courses, we were now expected to order. What we always loved, their delicious monte crisco type sandwich (can’t remember the french name) wasn’t even available upon request. It was frustrating, since we couldn’t just get up and leave.  Considering how busy Disney was, the likelihood of finding sit down service anywhere else was remote. So, arguing too many items were removed since we booked, wouldn’t have solved our problem. We ended up ordering appetizers and leaving. I know, #firstworldproblems. Poor Northville mom couldn’t get her overpriced sandwich and had to eat flat bread instead. I almost feel stupid writing about it, but I know my loyal Disney followers need to know these things. Hi to the 3 of you, LOL. Kidding aside, sit down meals at Disney are about twice their going rate elsewhere. So when you replace the lunch menu with a choice of $30 dinner options, you have to expect some disappointed Disney fanatics like myself.

Best new find: Sprinkles in Disney Springs, F.K.A. Downtown Disney. Best cupcake ever! Usually I throw away half the “cake” and focus on the icing. Not this time.

Cat Freaks Update

For those of you that like me for my CATS, I am pleased to announce they made it through our 2 1/2 week absence perfectly fine. We made sure we left a really big bowl of water.

Oh yes, and we had a cat sitter come every other day. She’s a sweet high school freshmen who made sure she played with the cats, other than Cookie who refused to come out. Cookie is not as “easy” as the other two. He likes to get to know people  through snapchat first. To us, he’s a cat. To the hot blonde in California, he’s a 30-year old navy diver who’s facetime isn’t working for some reason.

crazycat

My husband (Rich) read a book over break, which said pet owners don’t realize how much their house smells like their animals. You are probably familiar with Febreze’s “noise blind” marketing campaign .Well, Rich decided he’s going to fix our “problem”, even though none of us were concerned.

Rich sprayed Cookie’s favorite hang out, the cat tower in our family room. This is the place where Cookie hides his face behind the pillar, when he’s sick of you petting him. Like, I don’t notice his giant tail and body sitting there. Rich’s second location was Blackie’s favorite place, the brown throw on our (white) living room love seat. Fortunately, J.J.’s favorite spot, Kayla’s lap, remained untouched.

I didn’t know any of this went down. All I knew was that suddenly, Blackie wasn’t sitting on his throw, which was the only thing saving my couch.  Instead, he was sitting on the arm of the love seat, a strange place that was throw free, and covered in black cat hair. Now, after almost a week, Blackie has begun sitting on the throw again. This is a positive development. Maybe we’ll start talking to Rich again in a couple days.

Cookie took longer to convince. After vacuuming and spraying with cat nip, he did return to his tower, but this was only after a week. He’s not nose blind apparently. During Cookie’s tower protest, he sat on his second and third favorite places,  the Restoration Hardware towel on my bath tub and the family room couch. Not on one cushion mind you. He always makes sure he takes up two.

Cookie is known as our bougee cat. When I tried to replace my RH towel with something less expensive, he meowed in the middle of the night, until I put it back. He likes his towels like his match.com dates; thick, soft and dark brown. What? That’s what my towel is like!

Now you are caught up on my cats and Disney trip. Time to sign out. Peace and love, Northville Mom.

lauramom

My new Dicken’s Village building. J.J. will love lying in front of it next Christmas.

 

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One thought on “How to Find Joy, Love and Peace

  1. Out of the park, Northville Mom. Cats and Disney! Your house is always a breath of fresh air
    compared to mine, which smells like an animal shelter. Love me some naan and the mental image of baby boy’s Cardinals/Michigan/Purdue outfit. Thanks a million.

    Like

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