The Most Magical Place on Earth

beverages, Birthday, Disney, Dream Come True, food allergies, mom, NYC, soda, Uncategorized

I teased about it awhile back – but now I’m here to share the story of our most magical trip!

Back in November (before all the sickness and holidays kicked in and I disappeared) I had been preparing for my youngest daughter’s 2nd birthday.  My daughter and I actually share the same birthday – she is the best birthday buddy!  We had a sweet little party at a local venue. They provided kiddie entertainment (art, music and of course bubbles) and kid food, and I provided the adult beverages.  Of course I learned earlier in the fall that seltzer was necessary, so I brought a bottle, which before I would have never thought of doing!

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We had a great time – but the real fun was actually set to begin just a few minutes AFTER the party.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love Disney.  We actually have a trip planned (in my mind, lol) for a few years from now to visit Walt Disney World Resort when it’s Christmas time.  I’ve always wanted to see Disney decked out in all its holiday glory! A few months back I learned that part of that beautiful Christmas splendor, “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights” would be showcased for the last time this year, and I was sincerely saddened that I would have never seen them.  I tried to just let it go, but a few weeks before our birthday I couldn’t shake the need to see them, so I explained to my dear dear husband how badly I wanted to go (mind you, 1. He HATES going to Disney, 2. We’ve already gone this year & 3. We already have a trip booked for the spring)- and he finally relented and agreed to make my dream come true and go for my birthday!!

We didn’t tell the kids about this trip! As soon as we returned home from my daughter’s party, I started to open my birthday “presents” which wound up being our packed luggage and Disney themed gifts and we surprised them that we were leaving THAT minute!  They didn’t quite understand…they thought we were talking about our Spring trip that they knew about…my son was confused about why I was being given his packed clothes as a gift…it didn’t exactly go as planned…but as soon as we started rushing them saying “Quick put on your shoes we’re going to the airport right now – come on! Come on!” They started to get giddy!

We flew into Orlando and arrived at Disney around 10pm- crazy late for us.  Since we only booked the trip 3 weeks before going this was the most UN-planned I’ve ever been for touring Disney, and it led to a few nice surprises!  We stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, which I never would have considered before and was pleasantly surprised. The grounds were beautiful, the food was more than fair and the transportation to the parks was fantastic.  The grounds are rather spread out, but we were happily housed in the Cabana section of the resort right near the featured pool and a bus stop, so it was perfect!  We went straight to our room and went to sleep so we could wake up early and start our surprise adventure!

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We woke up early! 5:45AM- crazy, I know, but I like to get to the Magic Kingdom before it opens at 8AM to see the welcome show and to try to get in as many rides as possible before the crowds show up.  We got up, dressed, ate breakfast and got on the bus!

I know many people can’t relate to this – but I hope there will be a few of you that do…when you enter the Magic Kingdom and round the Town Square and step on to Main Street and see Cinderella’s Castle in the distance, something very special – yes, I’ll say it: magical – comes over you. You are transported to another time and place and in that moment all is well with the whole world.  This trip was especially magical for me and as we reached the end of the beautifully Christmassy decorated Main Street and started walking up the castle ramp I started to tear up with happiness. This trip, more than most, was truly a dream come true. To be able to surprise my kids with a trip like this and see something I’ve always dreamed of, but never knew if I actually would – was just so so special.  I just felt so thankful that we were able to make this trip together as a family.

I could go on and on and on about every tiny detail, which I originally planned to do, but I’ll stick with 3 main things…the lights…a special dinner moment…and of course the soda!

I’ll start in reverse with the soda – and praise above, Disney serves Coke products!  When you stay at a Disney Resort you have the option to buy a refillable mug (can’t refill at the parks, just the resorts) for around $16.  The mug has a chip on it that will activate the soda fountain and is good for your length of stay. You can also buy individual drinks if you don’t want a mug, so you need to decide for yourself what makes the most financial sense to you. I, of course, even thought we would only be there 2 full days, opted for the mug – and I made the most of it!  Whether at the Pepper Market food court or by the featured pool, each soda really was fresh and crisp – no complaints from me.  At the parks I drank either 20oz bottles which were available at snack carts for purchase or fountain sodas at both counter service and full service restaurants.  All were top notch, chilled perfectly and met all expectations. (You can see some examples of the refillable mugs here.)

Next I’ll tell you about another pleasant surprise that came from my last minute planning.  Normally when you plan to stay at a Disney World resort you can make all of your dining reservations 180 days before your arrival, so as you can imagine the pickings were slim when we booked our trip on such short notice.  I settled on an 8:15pm dinner one night – WAAAAAY past my kids’ bedtime – for Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  My 4 year olds and I watched the 7pm Fantasmic show  (Dad and baby headed back to hotel to rest) and then went to dinner.  My daughter and I enjoyed a delicious buffet and my son was treated like a VIP guest!  Chef Angel came to our table to discuss his food allergies and then went back to the kitchen and prepared a scrumptious and safe allergy free meal for my boy.  I tried a little myself and I will tell you – I would pay anything to have someone prepare me such a healthy and tasty dinner! We were one of the last tables seated that night and so by the end of the meal we were basically one of the only parties left. Chef Angel came back out and chatted with us for a while, and I got to hear about his grandson and family. When you are at Disney World it’s amazing how time after time you feel such personal moments – like you’re home – in such a huge place.

(Yes, I have this shirt. You can too..just click on picture and get redirected to amazon.)

Finally we packed up our things and started to head out – that’s when another magical moment happened.  As we walked towards the door, we saw Daisy Duck hand what looked like a smart phone to a Cast Member (Disney’s term for all staff) and motion that she wanted this person to take her picture.  The restaurant had maybe 10 people left in it, and the Cast Member started to take her picture in front of a Christmas tree.  A moment later Donald Duck ran over and started posing, then Mickey and Minnie came…well, Donald didn’t want to lose the spotlight and started photobombing Mickey & Minnie’s pictures.  I am not doing the experience justice here – because we were rolling on the floor laughing.  It was as if we got a special secret glimpse into Daisy, Donald, Mickey & Minnie’s real life after work. I will never forget it!

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OK- So here’s where I’ll just show you the whole reason for the trip. The stunningly breathtaking, magical, surreal “The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights”. The lights are set to holiday music and snow falls from above as you walk down the Streets of America in Hollywood Studios.  Again, I am not doing them justice – but I will say it was worth a last minute 2 day trip to Orlando and I will never forget it for as long as I live.  Please enjoy the photos!

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Too Early?

Best NYC soda, beverages, holiday shopping, mom, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

My kids are 4, 4 & 2(as of this weekend)…starting to look at ideas for Christmas presents.

IDK – just stumbled upon this…what do you think?

Too Early?

Lol 🙂

#SodaGirlsAndBoyInTraining

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Throwback Thursday: Older Cousins Have the Coolest Stuff

Best NYC soda, beverages, Giveaway, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, Throwback Thursday, Uncategorized

OK- You all know it’s true…Growing up, your older cousins were the COOLEST people you could ever imagine living – they were! OK, maybe my younger cousins didn’t think that about me, but whatever, lol.  So it is no wonder that one of my earliest “GO THERE FOR SPECIFIC SODA” memories has to do with my cousins.

This particular set of 4 cousins (yeah, I have 17 first cousins, plus now most are married and many have kids and we are all still close – it’s quite a scene) lived about an hour away in New Jersey. I vividly remember the drive to their house, how their exit on the turnpike was closer to Six Flags than ours was, and then driving down the long main street and seeing their house on the corner of the side street as we turned into their driveway. I’m not sure we ever went through their front door – I’m sure we did – but my memory is of getting out of the car, walking past the garage and down the tree lined path to their backyard. Right at the end of the path, on your right, was the “beverage table”…and the beverage I always looked for was RC Cola!  They drank it so I knew it had to be the best. I did not know another group of humans alive who drank the stuff (which came in handy as I was the only person in my group of friends who knew the RC stood for Royal Crown) but about 4 times or more a year- I drank it!  I have no idea of what the soda tastes like now. I’ve considered ordering it (feel free to here) but I’m almost afraid to! What if it’s gross?! I don’t want the magical memory ruined!

I may go ahead and give it a shot – I feel I must keep you, my dear NYC Soda Girl readers, fully on top of all soda experiences – even ones that may have happened over 25+ years ago. (Did I just say 25? Jeez…and truthfully it may have been longer.)  Plus, many other “totally 1980’s cool stuff” I still think are/were great! My cousins had it all: The Ghostbusters Commodore 64 game, a badminton net in their yard AND the other thing I looked forward too at their backyard parties – CROQUET!  I really thought that was the best game ever!  Again – no one else I knew had ever played it (or at that young age had never told me)…but I really think they hadn’t because when I finally saw the 1988 cult classic “Heathers”, I had to explain the game to more than one person-thanks big cousins!

So while I haven’t kept up with the RC Cola, video games or badminton, I have taught my children a kiddie version of croquet. Melissa and Doug made a set and during the summers we bring it to my dad’s and play on his lawn 🙂 (I don’t know if they still make that exact set, but this other set seems to get good amazon reviews:Children’s Croquet Set if you’re interested.)

Alright- comment below and tell me your “cool older cousin” stories…AND please, someone tell me if they’ve had an RC Cola lately!

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Don’t forget, you have until 10pm EST Saturday to enter NYC Soda Girl’s $20 Hillstone Gift Card Contest. Enter here!

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My Holiday Wish List Begins

Best NYC soda, beverages, Disney, mom, New York City, NYC, soda, soda fountain, Uncategorized

I’ve mentioned it before, but in addition to soda, I love Disney – like REALLY love Disney.  I grew up watching the Disney Afternoon, old VHS live action movies and new animated releases in the 90s. We took 2 trips to Walt Disney World, first when I was in 2nd grade and then later when I was in 8th grade. It was something we looked forward to for YEARS leading up to each trip.  Now that I have a family of my own we go every year, lol 🙂 .

Anyway, I also have a serious Amazon Prime one-click addition.  Maybe it’s a city thing – if something can be delivered and I don’t need to lug it home with children and a stroller, I’m sold! Thankfully for my bank account, every October I somehow find the strength NOT to one-click and instead start an Amazon Wish List in the hopes that someone else will buy me these things!

Today as I was surfing Amazon I came across the perfect item that reflects 2 of my passions – soda and Disney!

 

Can you believe it even exists?  It’s a Disney Couture Dr. Rx Romanelli Soda Can Necklace

  • Gold plated mixed metal chain necklace with a soda tab, soda can, and crushed soda can featuring Disney vintage artwork.
  • Disney Couture has partnered up with innovative designer Dr. Romanelli, a.k.a DRx, to create a limited-time collection that reconstructs our most beloved Disney characters from junkyard materials, while keeping their iconic designs. The Dr. X for Disney Couture collection uses artistic reconstruction to create truly unique pieces.

 

…and my finding this necklace led me to discover that Amazon has its own Disney Shop which you can check out HERE. I will be wish listing away over there for my kids AND for myself!

Do any of you have a love of Disney or Amazon? Tell us about it in the comments!

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