Chatting Over Chocolate

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Trip Report Tuesday - WDW Day 3 // Magic Kingdom, Disney Vacation Club, and Hollywood Studios!

Happy Trip Report Tuesday, friends!  Today I'm delighted to share a day that I had anticipated for years.  The day we'd hear those magical words "Welcome home!" as we checked in for our first stay as Disney Vacation Club members!  

Day 3 - Sunday, October 18, 2015

We checked out of Disney's Art of Animation resort and headed off for a magical morning at Magic Kingdom!  

"Good morning! Good morning!  It's great to stay up late!  Good morning, good morning, to you!" 

We began our day with a launch at Space Mountain...

Princess can't help but make silly faces for the cameras, even  while zooming through space! ;)

Once we got our feet back on Earth we headed off for a pirate adventure!  

It's all fun & games until someone needs an eyepatch - ain't that the truth! ;)

Dead men tell no tales, but grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize...

...and a ghost will follow you home!

This is seriously one of my favorite PhotoPass pics of the trip! Love my fun family!

The wildest sweetest smiles in the wilderness!

It's a Small World has always had a special place in my heart. I love this attraction's history having been overseen by Walt Disney himself and adore the unique artistry of Mary Blair.  It also holds sentimental significance for me as it was my mom's favorite ride when my parents took me as a child.  Decades later as we planned this trip Small World was at the top of her "must do" list.  This was the long awaited morning when she'd once again board the happiest cruise that ever sailed!

 My mom thought it was every bit as cute as she remembered!  What a sweet treat it was to cruise with her here once again!

Before heading out we took in the 3D magic and sensational scents ( pie!) of Mickey's PhilharMagic.  Each and every time we enjoy that attraction I remember my girls' first few visits to it!  My mind wanders back to those precious shows when my girls would reach out to grab the gorgeous gems during Ariel's scene.  My heart melts a bit and I tear up, every time.  Disney memories are the best!

On our way out of the park while some of us took a restroom break Jason made a beeline for his all-time favorite Disney snack, a sweet cream cheese pretzel.  Being the thoughtful man he is, he got enough pretzel-y goodness to share.  Some were sweet, some were Mickey shaped, all were delicious!  With happy tummies we made our way to the bus bound for Animal Kingdom Lodge!

My Disney Dream Came True!

My biggest Disney dream was to become a Disney Vacation Club member.  Last year that dream came true!  To say that I was excited to check into our home resort and hear "Welcome home!" for the first time would be the understatement of a lifetime! 

When we arrive at a resort Jason typically gets us all checked in while I relax with our girlies in the lobby.  However, this was an occasion that I needed to be by his side for!  I'm sure the sweet gal checking us in could see the enthusiasm written all over my face as there was no hiding it!  We'd almost gotten through the entire interaction with her and it
 seemed as if she wasn't going to say those sweet DVC words, so I couldn't resist telling her that this was our very first stay as Disney Vacation Club members and our first stay here at our home resort of Animal Kingdom Lodge.  She then went on to tell us "Welcome home"!  In fact, I think she worked that phrase in at least three times after that! I told her I'd waited so long to hear that!  I was completely overjoyed!! My Disney dream seemed absolutely official now!   We were home at Disney World!  *happy sigh*

Our 2 bedroom villa wasn't ready yet as we arrived in the early afternoon, but our appetites definitely were! We found AKL's quick service restaurant, The Mara, and threw our own little pizza party!

Little things like Disney pizza boxes and cups make my heart smile! :)

After some shopping the girls and I promptly found a trio of rocking chairs with a beautiful view and kicked back to relax at "home" before heading out for the evening.

There's nothing quite like a relaxing Disney resort rocking chair!

Hooray for Hollywood (Studios)!

They put us in pictures!  PhotoPass pictures, that is. ;)

Lights, Motors, Action!  Extreme Stunt Show

After seeing this show several times, we passed on popping in to watch it the past few trips.  However, we were really looking forward to taking my parents this time around!  As you could probably guess from our Daytona International Speedway surprise on day 1, we thought this would be right up my dad's alley!  His oldest granddaughter got into it this time around too...

After the show we did a little bit of shopping.  (Disney shopping is a daily must for me! ;))  Princess is mad about all things Maleficent so she didn't think twice about swapping out some of her Disney dough for this cool souvenir!

Our fastpass for gaming goodness at Toy Story Midway Mania was quickly approaching, but as usual my family never misses a fun photo op!

Cutest barrel of monkeys ever! // Woody and Jessie (aka: my parents)

When we approached the ride we saw a line of cast members talking with upset guests.  Toy Story Midway Mania was down!  What were we to do?...

Use the complimentary fastpasses we received to check in at Hollywood Tower Hotel, of course!  Maybe our room would be ready there! ;)

See, I told you Princess can not resist making crazy faces for these ride photos!  Silly girl! :)

Bellhopping at its finest.


We arrived an hour early to secure excellent seats at my favorite nighttime spectacular, Fantasmic!  What were we to do with that extra time?  Eat of course!  Nachos, pretzels, and hot diggity dogs were dinner and our time passer as we awaited the show.

"Some imagination, huh?"

After a fun and full evening we could hardly wait to head back to Animal Kingdom Lodge! We got our room number and made our way to our 2 Bedroom Villa.  Complete with a full kitchen and two full private Savannah View balconies, our accommodations were AMAZING!!!  Disney magic is definitely in the details and our villa was overflowing with them!  I plan to do an entire post dedicated to the details, but first here's a quick peek at our main living room/dining area, full kitchen, the master bedroom/bath.  

Looking forward to sharing more photos and details with you soon!

Thanks so much for visiting today!  Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!  I've decided to take the next week off from blogging to allow for more family fun during our extended holiday weekend.  I'll be back on Friday, December 4th with Five Loves on Friday, and will share a fresh new trip report 2 weeks from today!

Here's a sneak peek at the fun to come on December 8th!...

Don't forget that you can also watch fun footage of our Disney days on my family's YouTube channel, Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat My husband Jason publishes a new video weekly, so be sure to click that "subscribe" button while there to catch future videos!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Five Loves on Friday // Anniversary Edition

Happy Friday, friends!  This week seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye!  In looking back at the happy blur of it all, I decided to simply focus on the five things I loved most about celebrating the seventeenth anniversary of becoming Mrs. Platt!

1.  Celebrating Seventeen Years

Jason and I are now just three years away from spending half of our lives together!  We've held each other in grief, cheered each other on, grown in many ways, and started a sweet little family complete with its own traditions and quirks.   Real life, happiness as well as hardship, has been lived out hand in hand.  Through it all Jason has been by my side, showing me such grace, care, and devotion.  My heart overflows with thanksgiving to God for blessing me with this incredible man I call my own!

2.  It's the little things... the way Jason puts me before himself in the simplest of ways.  For example, whenever I ask him a question about what he'd like to do, where he'd like to have dinner, or what show he'd like to watch, his typical answer is, "whatever makes you happy".  Sweet and selfless, that's my guy.  Saturday night I threw him a curve ball when he gave me that sweet response.  I narrowed it down to two choices and insisted he choose.  We could go out to a steakhouse or grab takeout from our favorite Thai place and hit up Redbox for a few flicks.  He chose the second option, and I found myself pretty giddy over the idea of a simple, quiet evening snuggled up next to my favorite man with my favorite food!

Thai & my favorite guy is a recipe for a fabulous evening!

3.  A Romantic Starlit Stroll

When those movie credits rolled we decided to head out for a sweet stroll under the stars.  We had the pedestrian bridge pretty much to ourselves which so romantic!  We walked, talked, and soaked up the sweet time for two.  We both agreed that this was the highlight of our celebratory weekend!   

4.  A Time for Cheesiness!
Cheese Plate with Whole Foods' Curried Chicken Salad

After walking off (part of our) dinner, we broke out some snacky goodness and watched a silly tv series.  It was pretty much perfect!

5.  One of the million reasons I adore Jason...
He indulges my love of a good movie marathon!

I love a good marathon (the kind that happens on the couch, that is ;)).   Whether it's binge watching an addictive television series or flying through a movie franchise, if it'll keep me on the edge of my seat, count me in!  Last week we thought we'd try The Hunger Games.  Three late nights and three movies later I can hardly wait to see Mockingjay Part 2!  Last weekend we decided to give Divergent a go.  Wouldn't you know, when we went to return it, the second movie in the series was reserved and waiting for us at the Redbox?  He clearly loves me!

*Side note:  We watched all of these movies either when the girls were away or after their bedtime.  I wouldn't consider these family friendly flicks. ;)

So, Lord willing, what will the next 17 years bring?  If I had to guess I'd say a few more laugh lines, tears shed on a strong shoulder, a dozen+ more Disney trips, and a whole lot of love!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, friends!  Wishing you a lovely weekend ahead!

Earlier this week at Chatting Over Chocolate:


Click HERE to watch the 2nd video from our most recent trip to WDW on our family Youtube channel, Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat!

As we approach Thanksgiving week, you may also be interested in:

Find this fun family DIY here: Mason Jar Turkey with Thankfulness Stuffing

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Trip Report Tuesday - WDW Day 2 // Little One's Birthday!

It's time to share one of my favorite days of our most recent Disney trip, Little One's Birthday!  We have celebrated many things at Walt Disney World over the years.  Jason and I enjoyed a Disney honeymoon and a few anniversary celebrations there, but this was the first time we had the joy of being there on one of our birthdays.  It was every bit as special as we dreamed it would be!  Ready to hear all about it?  Ok, let's get to the good stuff!

Day 2 - Saturday, October 17, 2015

Our day began with a family breakfast at Art of Animation's Landscape of Flavors.  Much like Little One's choice of breakfast, the day got off to a "sweet" start!

Throwing caution to the wind (we were on vacation after all) Jason ignored the "wait a half an hour after eating" rule and took Little One to the Cozy Cone Pool for some fun in the sun!  Meanwhile, the rest of us were in the suite preparing for a birthday party!

Approximately two dozen canon balls later they returned to the room, showered, and were ready to celebrate.  

We gathered chairs around the living room area and watched Little One's joy, surprise, and excitement grow with each new gift she pulled from her gift bag!  It was such a fun lit'l birthday bash!

Birthday present time! // Grandpa & Grandma giving Little One their gift // The Birthday Girl and her goodies from Daddy, Mommy, and Princess

If you'd like to watch video from this in-suite party, you can find it on YouTube here. ;)

Since this would be our last day at Art of Animation before moving on for our week at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, we took this opportunity to show my parents around a bit!

A kind gal from housekeeping mousekeeping saw us taking photos and offered to take about a half a dozen pics of us in various spots throughout The Lion King section of the resort!

The Little Mermaid section of the resort is still one of our favorite spots here.  To see more of this area check out this post from our previous WDW vacation!

Isn't Squirt the cutest?

These car-acters were just outside our Cars Family Suite.

Magic Kingdom Time!

First things first, the girls needed some new Mickey ears!  A quick trip to the Newsstand, and they were both decked out and ready for Little One's "dream birthday"!  Yep, we let her plan out the entire day, complete with her favorite attractions.  After taking in the fabulous fall decor along Main Street, we made a beeline over to Tomorrowland where we'd find one of her favorite characters, Stitch, creating mischief as usual!

Mad Tea Party was next on her list!  The Birthday Girl and her daddy spun in the pink cup while Princess and her grandpa took the blue saucer for a whirl!  My mom and I aren't much for roundy-round rides, but we snapped photos and enjoyed watching their grins as they twirled themselves silly!

Our first PhotoPass pic of the trip, complete with the Stitch plush Little One bought with birthday money from her grandparents!

After a couple rides and PhotoPass ops we hopped on the monorail for a quick trip to Disney's Contemporary Resort.

Shopping, celebratory deliciousness, and character fun, here we come!

Little One's Birthday Dinner at Chef Mickey's, Disney's Contemporary Resort

Months ago when we asked Little One where she'd like us to make reservations for her birthday dinner, she didn't have to give it a moment's thought.  She immediately chose Chef Mickey's, a longtime family favorite!  

We enjoyed a wide variety of deliciousness from the buffet in between visits from our old pals!

Our character meal at Chef Mickey's was definitely one of the highlights of this wonderful day!  Any meal that starts with hugging Mickey Mouse and ends with sprinkles and a lit candle cannot be beat!

There's so much to love about the Contemporary!  I adore the artwork, and the cutie pie posing in front of this particular piece!

With full bellies and happy hearts, we took a leisurely stroll from the Contemporary back to Magic Kingdom for a grand finale to an already fantastic day!

The first ride of the evening was Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid!  Princess was perfectly styled for it with her new Ariel inspired mouse ears.

As we waited for our next fastpass, we popped into Country Bear Jamboree...

The time had finally come for something that we'd been greatly anticipating for over a year, a ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!  This ride opened shortly after our last Disney vacation.  We'd done all we could to avoid "spoilers" and could hardly wait to experience Magic Kingdom's newest attraction!

It did not disappoint!  We LOVED it!

Watch this video closely.  You may recognize some of the train's passengers!


Saving the best for last, we boarded Little One's all-time favorite, Splash Mountain!

The birthday girl's face says it all!

Group hug at the end of a great day!

Wishes Nighttime Spectacular

It was such a treat to end this extra special day with a bang, and a whole lot of sparkle!  

"Make a wish, and do as dreamers do..."

A bus ride later we were back where this beautiful day began...

Princess, my dad, and I made a mad dash to the food court to fill up our Rapid Refill mugs before they closed at midnight.  While we were out, it was fun to see these taillights all lit up and the signs aglow!  The next day we'd be moving to our Disney Vacation Club "home", but we sure had enjoyed our weekend at Art of Animation!

Watch this day's correlating videos on my family's YouTube channel, Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat!  You'll find Day 1 Part 1 here and Day 1 Part 2 here!  My husband Jason publishes a new video weekly, so be sure to click that "subscribe" button while there to catch future videos!

Hope you'll be back to hear about Day 3, next Tuesday!