Thursday, June 29, 2017

World Showcase: Canada & Mexico

Epcot!! I was super excited for the day we had planned to tour the World Showcase. I only have two very faint memories of when I went to Disney World as a little girl and both of them are from the World Showcase. One memory is getting caught in a Floridian thunderstorm while at the Italian pavilion and we all bought matching yellow ponchos. I remember the storm was so intense the water came up to our shins and we had a blast running and splashing around in it. My other Disney memory is running from pavilion to pavilion to get stamps and signatures in our Epcot Passports. I remember loving finding out what cute little drawing or saying each country writes on it's designated page

While I was hoping I wouldn't have to relive the rainstorm memory, big rainstorms are a lot more fun as a little kid, I was super excited about reliving the fun of the Epcot Passports. I made sure to purchase mine a few days early so I would be ready in the very first country we visited. In true Disney fashion, the packaging was adorable, and comes with a cute Epcot Mickey pin, sticker stamps for each country and the very official looking World Showcase passport!


We began our tour around the world in Canada since we had early lunch reservations at the fabulous Le Cellier Steakhouse. This restraunt can be super hard to get into, so again, a huge thank you to Laura and her Disney magic for getting us a reservation, this was one of my favorite meals of the trip! Actually, most of the my favorite meals on the trip happened in the World Showcase, Canada, France and Morocco to be specific, but we will get to those others later.

One thing I did not remember about the World Showcase pavilions is how big and immersive they are! I really felt  enveloped in each country's culture while touring through it's pavilion. It was fascinating to see what Disney had chosen to represent each country. To be honest I was a little confused as to why they would chose Canada as one of the countries, it's a beautiful country and all but it's not as exotic as some of the other countries out there. However, Disney did such a great job with Canada's pavilion, it is breathtakingly gorgeous and is a very unique pavilion. 

Our meal at Le Cellier was outstanding. Laura had been there before so she knew all the good things to order, and one of the things not to be missed is the poutine. They offer two types of Poutine, one with Montreal-smoked Brisket, French Onion Gravy, Gruyère Cheese, Pickled Vegetable Slaw, Mustard-Beer Sauce (!!) and one with Canadian Cheddar, Truffles, Red Wine Reduction (even more !!!) We ordered the one with the red wine reduction, in my book if there is ever any doubt, always go with a wine reduction sauce. We were accidentally served the mustard-beer sauce poutine first, which was fun to see, I took a picture of it before we sent it back, it fancy.

Then came our red wine reduction poutine, hands down best poutine I have ever had, and I have even had the traditional stuff up in Canada, which is no match for this savory, rich, flavorful version. Our main courses were delectable as well, I got the roasted chicken with with autumn squash purée and ginger-spiced cranberry glaze.

After lunch, we set off to explore the rest of the pavilion. The mini Butchart Gardens are incredible and create a very fairytale like atmosphere, especially with the victorian style "Hotel-du-Canada" in the background.

The Canadian Rockies are represented by this amazing rock canyon stream that ends in a majestic 30 foot waterfall.

We watched the film, O' Canada in the 360 degree circle vision theater located in the Maple Leaf Mine. Footage for movie was filmed at Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Niagara Falls, combined with current images provided by the Canada Tourism Commission and is hosted by Canadian native Martin Short.

The view across the river


After our time in Canada, we strolled on over to Mexico

"Welcome to Mexico Princess!"
Mexico has the cutest message for the passports

Inside the Plaza de Los Amigos is so adorable! I honestly felt like I had been transported to Mexico. We strolled through the fun little shops and stalls looking at all the festive, colorful things for sale.

Then we took a ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros. I have fond memories of watching the Three Caballeros on the last day of school almost every year of elementary school so I was super into this ride.

Next to the Mexico pavilion there was a giant paint by numbers that guests could  get paint and a brush and add their contribution to the masterpiece. Epcot was having their first ever arts festival and this was one of the many fun activities they had going on, it was a fun time to visit the park!

Next up, Norway and China!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Yacht Club Resort

While planning our trip to Disney World Laura found the most amazing deal for the Yacht Club Resort. The Yacht Club is one of Disney's Deluxe resorts and is absolutely gorgeous, it's lakeside and shares many amenities with it's next door neighbor the Disney Beach Club Resort. The Yacht Club is within walking distance to Epcot and has water taxis to Hollywood Studios. There was some construction going on in some of the rooms during our stay, that's how we were able to get such an amazing steal of a deal to stay there. We only heard construction noises once, and it didn't bother us at all so it was so totally worth it.

We had a corner room that was right next to the stairs that led outside, it was such a perfect location, we could be in or out of our rooms and on the dock in just a matter of seconds. I also adored how our room had so many windows, the room would flood with light each morning, it was the perfect sight to wake up to each morning.

I was obsessed with all the nautical and Disney details.

We had a balcony that over looked the lake and the boardwalk 

On our first night, we walked over to the French Pavillion in the World Show Case to get dinner at one of Laura's all time favorite WSC eateries, Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. We had breath taking views of the lake as we strolled by the beaches of the Beach Club Resort. It was right at sunset so everything was bathed in that glorious golden light, and the weather cooled down to a nice balmy temperature with a slight breeze, it's one of my favorite memories from the trip. 

Every morning Laura would brew us a nice blend of herbal teas to help our tummies digest and detox all of the sugar and gluten we were consuming. I would pair it with whatever room treat I had at the time (of course it was always full of sugar and gluten...) for a delicious pre breakfast snack to enjoy while I got ready.

We would also enjoy room snacks at night before going to bed. I would love to change into my jammies and crawl under the covers to unwind from the day's adventures while enjoying a sweet little treat. Room treats are an essential part of any Disney vacation.

We were able to catch both sunrises and sunsets over the boardwalk and the lake

Coming home to the hotel all light up at night time was the best feeling in the world. We were always so exhausted at the end of every day so being welcomed home with twinkle lights being reflected in the water was glorious.

We wanted to make sure to have time to explore the boardwalk during our vacation, so we decided to have a late dinner there one night. It was the perfect way to enjoy the boardwalk, it was so fun and whimsical with all it's lights shinning bright and the temperature could not be beat, it got pretty hot during the day so being out at night was the way to go.

The palm trees at our other neighboring hotel, The Dolphin, always had a fun light show going at night, we had a perfect view from the boardwalk.

We had corndogs for dinner, and it was perfect

Then we got dessert at the fairly new to Disney, Ample Hills Creamery!

They had the cutest murals on the walls

Creamy and delicious ice cream in an oreo cone with a cherry on top, yes please!