Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wed. Where: A Pretty Disney Door

Another Wednesday...can you believe how quickly the days slide by sometimes - and now we're almost through January!  I'm looking forward to spring, but I like the winter too. :)

ANYwho, here is today's WDW trivia photo.  Have you seen this pretty Disney door?

Last week's photo was correctly guessed on here and on twitter - that was the ceiling of the check-in area (El Centro!) at Coronado Springs!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Captain Cook's Cupcakes

Have you guys ever wondered what Captain Cook (of the Polynesian counter service) looks like?  Or who he is?  I was just pondering that...

Wikipedia tells me there was a British Captain James Cook who was the first European to make it over to the Hawaiian islands, so I guess it's named after him!

Whatever his identity, Captain Cook certainly knows how to do cupcakes.

When I was at the Polynesian earlier this month, there were three beautiful cupcakes behind the counter at Captain Cook's - two of them new to me!  The one on the far left is the chocolate macadamia cupcake.


The cupcake on the left in Peanut Butter & Jelly.  The one on the right is Chocolate Beer!

We were dashing through when I took these pics, so I didn't get to try them.  Now, of course, I wish I had!

Reports on the Disney Food Blog say the chocolate beer cupcake actually does taste like beer, so I'm not so sure I would've gone for that one; but the PB&J cupcake looks so pretty!

The icing looks vanilla, the cake looks peanut butter, and I'm guessing there's a jelly filling in there somewhere!

Hope it's a lovely Monday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wed. Where: Beams and Lanterns

Happy Windsday!  I've got a new Disney mindbender for you.  Do you recognize these beams and lanterns from a soaring ceiling somewhere at Walt Disney World??
As for last week's trivia, we got the right guess on twitter - that elegant picture of Belle is from one of the rooms at Be Our Guest restaurant, the rose gallery!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gateway to New Fantasyland

There are lots of lovely touches in New Fantasyland, but one of my very favorites is not a ride, not a shop or a restaurant or a character.  It comes at the very beginning, and it puts you in a perfect Fantasyland mood...

I LOVE the gates to the New Fantasyland.  It's funny, because they're something you would ordinarily walk right by, but they're so gorgeous.  I hope Disney always continues to put thought and effort and detail and beauty into the things you walk right by, because that's what makes Disney so magical.

So today, instead of rushing right by to all the new stuff inside New Fantasyland, we're going to pause and just admire the gates and castle walls and turrets for a little bit.  Above is the view you'll have if you approach New Fantasyland from the front, from the carousel/castle side.

Another view from the front.  If you approach from a different direction though, say if you're walking towards New Fantasyland from the tea cups and Winnie the Pooh, then you'll get an entirely different view...

From the original concept art, I thought the wall would extend the entire length of New Fantasyland, but the walls and gates stretch from Pinoccio's to the Friar's Nook, with plenty of archways and space to walk through, so you don't get too much traffic congestion.

Here's the wall stretching away from Pinoccio's.  They cleverly built a ledge along most of the wall for extra benches/seating!

I love all the these medieval chandeliers hanging inside the arches!

You might be wondering if the columns holidng up the arches are ionic, doric, or corinthian.  In fact they are squirrel-ic

Seriously, though, these little squirrels at the top of the pillars might be my favorite detail of all.  They look so enitrely, adorably delighted.  They seem to be saying, "Hey!  You're at the Magic Kingdom today!  So are WE!  Isn't it FANTASTIC?!!"

I love the torches hanging from the castle walls too!

I love how the arches stairstep up higher and higher in height.  And check out the slits for the archers to defend Fantasyland!

Can't you just imagine some regal guards patrolling up there?

Another part of the success of the gates is how well they mirror the castle.  They don't compete with it, but they blend perfectly!


The view of the gateway from behind is my favorite, with the castle in the distance - so many blue turrets!

Definitely a perfect place for a stroll and a wonderful new addition to the Magic Kingdom!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sweet Treats from the Enchanted Castle

Today's quest for sweet treats at Walt Disney World is going to take us deep in the Enchanted Forest...
Go through the gates and enter beneath the enchanted rose...
Soon you'll find yourself in a breathtaking ballroom...
Candelabras line the wall, casting a golden glow everywhere; and outside the soaring windows, snow is falling gently against the midnight blue mountains.  The only thing missing here... a sweet treat to enjoy in the beautiful setting!

As you have no doubt guessed, this Monday's Disney dessert comes to you from the Be Our Guest Restaurant in New Fantasyland.  I have two sweet treats to share from the Be Our Guest lunch menu.  Most sadly, the "grey stuff" is only available at dinner.  But the lunch desserts were very tasty nonetheless...

Firstly I present to you the chocolate cupcake.  You wouldn't guess it was a cupcake to look at, would you?  It looks like some fancy mousse or muffin from a bakery with that little paper around it!  I LOVE the garnish on this one - those little chocolate dots were super tasty, the raspberry on top is adorable, and how can you not love the chocolate square that says "Be Our Guest" on it?

The icing on this chocolate cupcake was AMAZING.  It was like ganache, I loved it.  Maybe it was because the icing was so superior, but when you got to the cake it was a bit of a disappointment.  It was still good, but it was really crumbly, and not quite as good as that icing deserved!

THIS is the passion fruit cream puff, and it was deeeelicious.  The passion fruit cream filling was light and fruity and just right - I could've done with a smidgen more chocolate and more whipped cream, but that's kinda always the case. ;)

They also have a strawberry cream cheese cupcake, a lemon meringue cupcake, a chocolate cream puff, and a lemon-raspberry cream puff on the lunch menu -- things to try next time!

Have any of you guys tried the Be Our Guest desserts?  Which would you pick?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Portrait of Belle

We are several Wednesdays into the new year, and I haven't had a new Disney trivia post up yet!  Gasp!

Not to worry, because I'm going to rectify this immediately!  Today's trivia is a picture of a picture (so meta, I know ).  Have you seen this lovely portrait of a very bookish Disney princess?

I'll give you a hint...if you haven't seen this yet, I bet you will on your next trip!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mickey and Minnie Birthday Cupcakes

Last week on our trip, I hopped off the monorail after a day at the Magic Kingdom and ran down to the Contempo Cafe to check out their cupcake selection!

I was hoping for the peanut butter chocolate cupcake that I've heard about, but sadly there was no peanut butter behind the counter.  They did have red velvet and also the mint snowflake cupcake - apparently the switchover from seasonal cupcakes back to the normal ones was happening a little later in January.

BUT, I did spot a different new cupcake to try...

Introducing some adorable birthday cupcakes, one in blue with a mickey topper and one in pink with a minnie topper!

These were advertised as vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream, but I soon discovered that it wasn't just ordinary vanilla cake...

It was actually birthday cake, the kind where they mix sprinkles into the batter so that it's a rainbow in every bite!

I generally don't like the way the Contempo cuts out the center of the cupcake and flips it upside down (so it looks like there's a giant swirl of icing when really most of it's cake); but what with the filling and the generous swirls of pretty pink icing on top, this had a great cake: icing ratio.  No complaints here! :)

I mean, how pretty is that!  I even forgave the cupcake for not having any chocolate - the cake and the icing were nice and light, it was entirely delicious.  And the little pink Minnie head on top was plastic, so I kept it as a cute memento.

Definitely a cupcake win!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas...

On the twelfth and final day of our Disney Christmas, I think we need dozens and dozens of gorgeous fireworks...

These pics were taken of Magic Kingdom New Years' Eve fireworks at the very beginning of 2012, from Sunset Pointe at the Polynesian.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a wonderful 2012.  Here's wishing many good things in 2013 to you and yours - with plenty of pixie dust too! :)