Megan's October 2013 Pre-trip/ Trip Report!

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Mandy's picture
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Yay yay

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waiting Well you're keeping us waiting and in suspense you know.

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nsaunier wrote:
yay Cant wait to hear all about your trip!! I know I'm a little late but I LOVE your outfits!!!

Thanks girl! muchlove

Vettelover wrote:
waiting Well you're keeping us waiting and in suspense you know.

Okay okay it's coming! We've got pictures on both of our phones and a camera, so it's taking awhile to compile them all...

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MeganLeigh wrote:
nsaunier wrote:
yay Cant wait to hear all about your trip!! I know I'm a little late but I LOVE your outfits!!!

Thanks girl! muchlove

Vettelover wrote:
waiting Well you're keeping us waiting and in suspense you know.

Okay okay it's coming! We've got pictures on both of our phones and a camera, so it's taking awhile to compile them all...

OK just don't take me seriously. silly

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Vettelover wrote:

Vettelover wrote:
waiting Well you're keeping us waiting and in suspense you know.

Okay okay it's coming! We've got pictures on both of our phones and a camera, so it's taking awhile to compile them all...

OK just don't take me seriously. silly

Oh, don't worry- sarcasm is practically a second language for me wink laugh

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So it begins! This first part is gonna be boring, and kinda short, because it has no Disney and no pictures! sad . But I'll try to keep the updates coming as quickly as I can.

Wednesday--

Our travel day!

I took the day off, and Manda works from home so even though she had to take and make a couple calls, she didn't have any meetings or anything. So we both were running around town getting last minute things, not to mention our park tickets from the Disney store! Best 300 bucks I ever spent, lol. Our flight took off at 6:45 and we had a Groupon for a place to park the car, so we figured we should get there around 5:30. Traffic was kind of crazy, so we got to Flight Park at literally 5:30- by the skin of our teeth! They're great though- never too busy, so they put our luggage in their van, we hopped in, and got to the airport in about 5 minutes. Our driver was super nice- we chatted all the way there about, what else? Disney! He had just been there with his kid a couple weeks before, so we talked about the weather and the crowds- neither was too bad when he went, so we were glad to hear that. Plus we'd been obsessively checking the weather for that last ten days, and it was supposed to be pretty perfect. yay!
We got to the airport and checked our luggage and got our boarding passes(we flew Southwest, so we had checked in for our flight the night before, but we didn't print our boarding passes at home). Security was a breeze- the Nashville airport is never too bad during those odd times like 5:30 on a Wednesday night, and they remodeled a couple years ago, so everything in the security area seems to be designed for maximum efficiency(we'll talk about efficiency in airports more on our trip home waiting ). Nothing of note happened at the airport or on the flight- all went smoothly. We got to Orlando at about 9:45(2 hour flight, plus a time change), and Manda went to get our bags, while I went down to get the rental car. I got it through carrentalsavers.com- 96 bucks for 3 days! We got the paperwork for a compact car(something along the lines of a Nissan versa, they said) and went to the garage to pick it up. When we got there, though, there were no compacts left! So we got upgraded to an SUV! Sweet! I guess that's an easy way to get a free upgrade- get there late! The first car we were directed to made a weird noise when we pulled out, so we backed up, re-parked it, and got another one. We didn't want to take any chances on something like that. The one we ended up with was a Ford Escape(I think), and it was great! So many buttons on and around the steering wheel, I felt like I was driving a dang spaceship! lol.
On over to the good old Holiday Inn Express(we stay in a lot of those on vacations, since our dad gets points through them). Great service- the guy at the front desk was super nice, and had Manda sign some paperwork confirming that she was using her points, and so the credit card would not be charged one cent! woohoo! The hotel itself seemed a little dated, but it had everything we needed and the beds were comfy, so that's all we could ask for. By the time we got up to the room, it was about 11:30, and we were pretty tired. We had talked about possibly heading over to Jellyrolls that night if we felt like it, but we didn't really feel like it, so we just unpacked and hit the hay. Tomorrow was Epcot and Food and Wine!! yay

I promise the next installment will be a lot more interesting, with photos and reports of actual Disney stuff. lol

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Off to an awesome start! Can't wait for the next installment!

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Thursday- Epcot/Food and Wine, Day 1

We let ourselves sleep in a little this day- since we had two days planned for Epcot, we figured we didn't have to do the crack of dawn till midnight thing. So we got up up and around by 9:00, and out the door by 10:00. It was a super easy drive into the Disney area- a couple turns, and finally we were driving under the "Walt Disney World-Where Dreams Come True" sign!

We were FREAKING OUT with excitement when we started seeing all those purple and red signs(who came up with those colors? kind of a weird combo, but they stand out, so I guess they do their job). Of course we took a billion pictures of every one.

We finally got to the Epcot gate, paid that $15(ugh), and drove into the "Discovery" lot- Discovery 16, to be exact. Our family has this thing where whenever we park somewhere with a big lot, we go, "remember where we parked- Goofy 12!" or something. Yeah, we're all Disney nerds. So it's always fun to see the names of the lots.

We made our way to the tram, and we were sitting near the back, where the microphone is. The CM who was making the announcements went through her safety spiel, and then handed the mic to a little girl with a "1st Time Visit" button to give the "Driver, we're clear!" It was pretty cute, because the girl was kind of shy and quiet about it, so it took her a couple times, but she got it, and *beep beep*! we were off to the gates!

Next....Epcot Rides, Food, and Wine(and other alcoholic drinks laugh )

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We are taking Southwest for the first time so glad to hear the first flight was uneventful...thats how I like it!

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Ok, I'm going to pick up where Megan left off...EPCOT!!

So we got to the entrance, had our bags checked and finally got to the gates!! We loved walking in to see all of the Food and Wine decor.

After we got over the initial thrill of actually being at Epcot, we decided that our first stop should be the new Starbucks to grab coffee (or a hot chocolate in my case) before we headed off to Mission:Space. We thought about getting a FP, but the line was pretty short, so we just went for it.

Now here is a disclaimer...I am a huge wuss when it comes to roller coasters and the like while Megan is a bonafide coaster-buff! So, although I love all of the WDW thrill rides and was super excited about experiencing them again, I still get a little nervous waiting in line. Of course, Mission:Space does a great job of totally freaking me out by putting up warnings all over the place about motion sickness! haha But despite all of this...we LOVE this ride Smile

After Mission:Space, it was time for lunch. Off to Argentina! For our first bite, I got the beef empanada and Meg got the grilled beef skewer with chimichurri sauce and boniato puree. We found an empty bench nearby and proceeded to dig in. Both dishes were fresh, hot, and delicious!

Next we strolled around the World Showcase to see the sights and take it all in...of course after Meg stopped at Mexico to get a Dos Equis Smile Germany was the next stop where I had the apple strudel with Werther's Original Karamel and vanilla sauce and Megan had the roast bratwurst in a pretzel roll. Again, there was an open table that seemed to be reserved just for us! We both enjoyed these as well...although the apple strudel was a little cold, the flavors were great.

We continued our stroll and paused to take some pics in Italy. Japan was next and this was my favorite drink of the trip by far! The Tokyo Sunset...highly recommended Smile It wasn't on the menu of the Food and Wine booth, but in a small kiosk outside the store. We were thinking it might be something they have there all the time, which would be amazing! We sipped and spent some time shopping in Mitsukoshi (Japan marketplace). LOVE this store...it has the coolest, most unique things!

Morocco is always a favorite area for us because of the beautiful architecture and tile work. We stopped at the booth in France (which was the longest line of the day at around 15 minutes...not bad!). The boeuf bourguignon (braised short ribs with mashed potatoes) was really great and super filling. Of course we had to try the chocolate creme brulee and Meg also had the Eiffel sour cosmo slush.

Now sufficiently stuffed, and making a full trip around the world, we were back off to Future World!

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Magic Mirror wrote:
We are taking Southwest for the first time so glad to hear the first flight was uneventful...thats how I like it!

We ALWAYS take Southwest, and have never been disappointed. Just make sure to check in to your flight as soon as you possibly can(24 hours before your flight) so you can make sure to get a good choice of seats.

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awesome thanks for the seat / check in tip! We will be checking in online on Thanksgiving Day- I told Amy I might have to skip out on the family dinner so I am on the computer right at the 24hr mark...her greatest concern was we wouldn't get seats together (and I'm too cheap to pay the $50 preferred check in fees) because that's $50 more dollars for Disney!

I just realized somehow we totally skipped Japan last time we were there.. How'd that happen?? It's on my list to make sure I don't do it again this time!

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Great trip report so far! I'm missing that Cosmo Slush from last year...yummy! awesome

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sounds great so far.

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So picking up where I left off...we started our afternoon off at Journey into Imagination, which is one of our FAVES!! We have both loved Figment since we can remember! Next was Spaceship Earth. That's a great ride to relax and cool off on a hot day! It also has a great surprise at the end Smile We don't wanna spoil it for anyone because the surprise is part of what makes it so awesome - we heard some crazy laughter a few cars ahead of us and 30 seconds later we found out why. So great!

(we are a little obsessed with Figment!!)

Then we decided to head to Ellen's Energy Adventure. Who doesn't love Ellen and Bill Nye?! This is another one to hop on if your feet are starting to hurt (like ours were! lol). Other than that, it's really not a must-do for me. Ellen's funny, of course, but it's just so LONG. After this, we made our way back to the World Showcase toward the International Gateway. We had previously planned on taking a boat over to the Boardwalk to grab a cupcake at the Boardwalk Bakery! So off we went. We hadn't done this before and it really was a nice break in the day. This area was quiet and of course has a great view...and the cupcakes were divine! Meg had a pumpkin cupcake, with actual pumpkin pie filling in the center (wowowow), and I had a chocolate cupcake with oreo filling and ores for Mickey ears! Very cute and delicious! We ate them outside at the tables by the margarita stand- don't know if this is normal, but there were tons of gnats? After about the third swarm of them came by us, we moved to another table by the candy store. We hung out here for a bit and then, when we were ready to get back in the action, we caught another boat to take us back to Epcot.

From there, we decided to ride Test Track. The FPs had run out super early, of course, so we thought that later in the day, the lines would be shorter...and turned out to be right! The standby lines for most of the day were 60-80 minutes, but by this late in the day, they were down to 30-40. Pats on the back ensued Wink We hadn't ridden this since the refurbishment and, although the actual ride track seems to be very similar, we liked the new graphics and the design-your-own-car part! I will say though, when the computer tells you '10 seconds' until the design will save...it really means 2!! haha We were on the part where you add any accessories and we were clicking through them, and we decided we just didn't want any on there, but before we could take it off, our time was up! So we ended up with this weirdo thing on the hood, but it was alright- that ride's pretty fun!

By this time, we were pretty hungry again, so we headed to the opposite side of the World Showcase than we had started on. Canada was the first place that caught our eye, and it was definitely on our must-try list. The filet mignon with truffle butter sauce (Le Cellier version) was my favorite dish of the F&W booths!! Sooooo melt-in-your-mouth good. We also tried the cheddar cheese soup, which was so rich I could only eat a few bites of it...but Megan finished it for me! But really tasty as well. We also tried the Apple Ice Wine which was very tiny and sweet.

Now was dessert time (again! haha). The dessert trio from the Dessert and Champagne booth was really good and well-proportioned (hazelnut chocolate cheesecake, chocolate orange cupcake, and cherry pistachio mousse). We also tried the Belgian chocolate seashell truffles and the frozen s'mores drink!! Wow...I can't believe that drink really had all the s'mores flavors!! The dessert trio is definitely the way to go at this booth. The truffles sounded good on the menu, but when they gave them to you it was just a boxed package of two little chocolates- they were yummy, of course, but it seemed like something you could get at any candy store. The champagne, of course, was delicious Smile

We decided to take another leisurely stroll along the rest of the World Showcase. We stopped at a few pavilions and casually made our way to find a good spot to watch the evening fireworks. We sat down near one of the more desirable (but not super crowded) fireworks viewing areas and the Singapore booth happened to be right in front of us! The line was practically non-existent, so we decided to grab a snack and check yet another country of our list. I got the seared mahi mahi with jasmine rice and singa sauce and Meg got the lemongrass chicken curry with coconut and jasmine rice...Both were yummy and again, seemed really fresh. Meg also got the Tiger Beer- although the name sounds super cool, it was pretty much tasted like your run of the mill light beer- not that there's anything wrong with that. Wink Illuminations was impressive and we were both singing that Celine Dion- esque song (Megan way louder than me!) all the way out of the park, lol. We stopped in a shop or 2 on our way out to avoid the crowds and tried on some ears! What a perfect day!!

(it took several tries to get the right angle where both of our ears weren't competing for center stage!! haha mickey )

We got back to the hotel and crashed- we had an ADR for breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Cafe the next morning, and more of the Food and Wine Fest to conquer!

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Super report! I think I need that pumpkin cupcake from BW Bakery. Must check that out. mickey

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We had the exact same selections as you at the Canada booth when we were there last year! I feel like I'm reliving my trip via you! That smores drink looks delicious, too! More report please muchlove

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Thanks disneydoc and Allie! Epcot Day 2 is coming up!!

I could really have another of those S'mores drinks right about now Wink

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Sounds yummy!

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Is there booze in the s'mores drink?? Smile Sincerely, the Lush.

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Our local wineries make Ice Wines...so crisp, sweet and smooth.....yum....and I triple agree with the rest.....hooray for awesome cupcakes and smore drinks! stars

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disneydoc wrote:
Super report! I think I need that pumpkin cupcake from BW Bakery. Must check that out. mickey

It really was delicious. I love pumpkin pie, so it was just perfect.

Allie wrote:
We had the exact same selections as you at the Canada booth when we were there last year! I feel like I'm reliving my trip via you! That smores drink looks delicious, too! More report please muchlove

I LOVED reading your trip report, Allie! It got me excited for this trip, so I guess we have a sort of symbiotic relationship with our TRs awesome

Mandy wrote:
Sounds yummy!

Oh you know it, girl. I was looking at that closeup of the filet and my mouth literally started watering lol.

JMUDukz wrote:
Is there booze in the s'mores drink?? Smile Sincerely, the Lush.

No it did not sad Sincerely, a fellow Lush wink

Magic Mirror wrote:
Our local wineries make Ice Wines...so crisp, sweet and smooth.....yum....and I triple agree with the rest.....hooray for awesome cupcakes and smore drinks! stars

That's amazing- I've never had it before, and it was so good! I was not a fan of that teeny tiny portion, though.... laugh

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JMUDukz wrote:
Is there booze in the s'mores drink?? Smile Sincerely, the Lush.

I was thinking the exact same thing!

Loving the trip report Megan awesome

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Looks like you guys had a great time! Can't wait to see and read more. Getting hungry just looking at everything.

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Starting off Friday was a trip over to the Wilderness Lodge for breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Cafe! We had never been to the Lodge, and didn't realize we would be driving through the Magic Kingdom gates on the way! This automatically made our smiles even wider Smile

Okay, this place is seriously impressive. You walk in and your jaw immediately drops at the immense-ness of the place. All the wood carvings and beautiful details are an example of how Disney just does it so right. We went to the WCC and waited about 10 minutes to be seated. More great details here- the backs of the chairs all had western motifs, and the light fixtures looked like teepees- cute! When we opened the menu, my eyes zoomed in on one of the things that I had been looking forward to the most- a Mickey waffle!! I'm a little obsessed, lol. This wasn't an ordinary waffle that you can find at most of the buffets around the World- it was huge, and topped with maple butter and candied pecans. I'm drooling just thinking about it. Manda had a more simple breakfast of eggs, home-fries, and sausage- I think her stomach wasn't quite ready for anything too heavy after all the F&WF food we had the day before. Simple as it was, it still looked delicious. The experience here wasn't as rowdy and crazy as we had heard it might be. They might have just been winding down from the earlier morning rush that I'm sure happens with all the families trying to make rope drops. The ketchup thing happened a couple times, and you can definitely tell that they're a little more fun than typical servers. They were excellent though- I think we had 3 or 4 different ones come to the table to make sure we were doing okay. We actually had conversations with a couple of them about F&WF and things they recommended. Overall, a great experience and great food! We decided to explore the resort a little before we left for the 2nd day of Epcot.

Ok, back again!!! Just love the sight of that big geodesic dome in the morning Smile Our first stop on day 2 was the Land Pavilion. Manda just HAD to go on the Living with the Land ride( or what I call, "the learning about plants ride" lol). No, it's actually a very interesting and enjoyable ride- I imagine it would be perfect for a mid-day break from the heat and a nice rest for your feet. The line is never too long and it's so nice and cool in there. The FPs were already gone for Soarin', but that is a must-do ride for us, so we stood in line for around 40 minutes. There are some digital screen games that the crowd plays while in line, so that took away some of the monotony.

Next was the Seas Pavilion to Nemo and Friends. This queue was fabulous!! We were very impressed with the detail and the lighting, but didn't get to enjoy it very long because we walked right onto the ride! October is definitely a great time to come to Disney!! We didn't spend a whole lot of time in there after we got off the ride- the aquariums are really cool and everything, I guess we just weren't into it that day. We headed over to Journey into the Imagination again...Figment!!! Just had to spend a little time there again. The line was even shorter than the day before and we walked right on.

Next up- more food!

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Your outfits are so CUTE! I love them clapping

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Love your Minnie Mouse inspired outfit!

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Thanks Annie!! We had so much fun putting our outfits together for this trip Smile

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By now we were hungry, so off to the F&W booths! We knew we wanted to go to Hawaii to try the Kalua pork slider with pineapple chutney and spicy mayo...DELISH! We also both had an Aulani Sunrise, which was equally delicious! We definitely wanted to hit the Morocco booth, so we stopped there next and each had a different entree. Manda had the Kafta pocket and I had the Harissa chicken roll. Manda also got the baklava, which I took a bite of, and wow, was it good! I just had a bite, but it was one of my favorite things! Next we went to Belgium-remember how obsessed I am with Mickey waffles? Well, that actually extends to ALL waffles, lol. I got the one with berry compote- very yummy! I also grabbed a Stella Artois, because why not? You know, that classic pairing of waffles and beer.... confused laugh

(We slacked on the pictures of food this time- no waffles or pork sliders. sad )

By this time, we were stuffed, so we made our way back to Future World We had talked about a couple attractions that we wanted to do for a second time (if time permitted) and were ready to check some stuff off our list! Again, all of the FPs for Test Track were gone pretty quick that morning, so we had planned on this taking some time...no big deal. Before making it there, we stopped at Starbucks...it wasn't really cold out, but just cool enough for a hot cocoa! Then we got to Test Track...love this ride! We walked right onto Spaceship Earth again and then went to the Art of Disney store to browse. There was an artist there painting right in the middle of the store, which was really cool!

For dinner, we stopped again at Canada because we just HAD to revisit the filet mignon and I also got the cheddar cheese soup. That stuff really is so thick and rich- I don't know how you could eat a much bigger portion than the small bowl they have at the booth(not that I wouldn't love to try... awesome ). We walked around the World Showcase a little more- at this point, we had hit pretty much everything we wanted to so we were just wandering. The crowds were way heavier this day(Friday) than the day before. I grabbed another Dos Equis, and Manda was craving that Tokyo Sunset from the day before, so we went back to Japan for that. On our way back out of the Japan area, something super cool happened! We saw some celebs! A few actors from General Hospital were walking towards Mitsukoshi as we were walking out! We're not super into the show, but our mom watched it when we were little and we've watched it intermittently since high school, so it was pretty cool to see them. It crossed my mind for a split second to ask for a photo, but I thought better of it- I felt like it would be awkward to ask, and I didn't want to interrupt their day. I settled for a quick "big fan!" to one of them in passing and he was very appreciative and nice.

At this point, it was time to head over to the Events Pavilion where the 3D Dessert Discovery was to be held- we wanted to make sure we knew where we were going and if we really needed to be there that early. We walked toward the building, and saw the sign for the event, and cool lighting around the entrance- okay, this was gonna be cool. We signed in and grabbed our wrist bands and 3D glasses. We still had over an hour until the event actually started, and there weren't that many people there yet, so we went back out into the World Showcase for a bit. We got back to the pavilion with about a half hour to spare and sat on the floor in the holding area while we waited.

So at 8:00, the curtains opened for the party, and the mad dash for a table ensued! I had read reviews of this event from previous years, so I expected it, but people really were hustling! Once we really got in and took a quick scan of the room, we realized there was actually plenty of seating- the room was huge! We got a table with a good view of the band and a close proximity to a lot of the dessert stations. There was so much to see and eat that it was almost overwhelming!! We decided to go toward the stations with the least amount of people (which turned out to be another good decision because the lines went WAY down after the first 20 minutes or so). We tried pretty much every dessert and drink they had to offer (some was just one bite to say we had it!). And we just happened to be sitting right by the Flavored Whiskey table, so of course I had to try the whiskey cider- that'll DEFINITELY warm ya up! A couple other faves were the flambeed cinnamon donut a la mode, chocolate covered Mickey brownie, and the flavored Pinnacle vodka (shots!). There were also some fruit stations as well as some more savory foods, like charcuterie and pretzels with a few different dips to choose from. There was a live band, which we thought was ok...the lead singer seemed not to know the songs very well! But that didn't stop us from singing along to some of our 'sweet-themed' favorites: Mandy Moore's 'Candy', Jackson 5's 'ABCs', Aretha's 'R-E-S-P-E-C-T' (instead she spelled D-E-S-S-E-R-T...what?!), and the Eurythmics 'Sweet Dreams'. It was corny, but we ate it up!(see what I did there? wink ) I kinda wanted to get up and dance, but no one else really was, so I just shimmied in my seat a little. One lady actually noticed as she passed by and came over and we danced around for a few seconds- so silly and random! We were definitely on a sugar high, Disney style!! After the event, we were escorted to a roped-off area to watch Illuminations. The spot was at the front of the World Showcase, right on the lake, kind of in front of the gift shops at the entrance. When we put on our 3D glasses, we were super excited that all of the lights turned into MICKEYs!!!! (Needless to say, we will be keeping these glasses with us at all times in case we ever need a Disney-fied pick-me-up. They work on pretty much any light!) The fireworks were sooooooo cool through them. There were a lot of ooh's and ahh's and it really was pretty magical mickey

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Love the trip report~You girls know how to have fun stars