Walt Disney World’s Monorail Bar Crawl

I originally wrote this post back in September because I was so excited to share one of my favorite ways to drink at Disney: the monorail bar crawl! I typed everything out but when I went to add pictures from my previous crawls I couldn’t find any of them! I switch from a PC to a Mac a couple months back and some of my pictures are god-knows-where in limbo. Being the dutiful blogger I am (please note the sarcasm) I couldn’t let you guys down so this past Friday I kicked off my Walt Disney World marathon weekend with yet another ride on the monorail.

You won’t even have to crawl (or walk, run, etc.) because this crawl utilizes Disney’s highway-in-the-sky monorail system that connects the three original resorts built on Walt Disney World: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney Contemporary Resort, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Without further adieu I present my best tips and drinks to enjoy while you crawl:

Stop one: The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

img_2366
Pictured: Under the Florida Moon- a martini like drink that has orange juice and beer! You won’t find this on the menu- I got this by asking the bartender to make his speciality.

The beauty of this crawl is it’s circular nature which allows you to go in any order that tickles your fancy but I always like to kick things off at The Wave. My recommended drink here (as long as you brought a friend) is unique to this resort:

img_3925

The Seven Seas Lagoon is 24 ounces of delicious mixed drink complete with Swedish fish, peach ring life-preservers, and tropical boba pearls.

Back up bar choice: California Grille’s lounge doesn’t require reservation and has specular views of the Magic Kingdom. However, seating is limited! Also consider Outer Rim situated right next to Chef Mickey’s. We visited here on marathon weekend and they had special drinks whipped up to celebrated:

img_3840

img_1005
The special Marathon Weekend Cocktail offering: The Finish Line

Stop two: Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

The Polynesian boasts the best drinks on the crawl so it’s hard to make just one recommendation. Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace is my favorite top because if you time it right you can enjoy the Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After fireworks display from your seat! My recommended drink here comes with a take home cup:

img_3994

The Shrunken Zombie Head is a rum cocktail that comes in an equally creepy and cool cup that I keep on a shelf at home.

Back up bar choice: Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is the indoor, official tiki bar while the Tiki Terrace is the outdoor off-shoot. The Grotto is fully immersive with lots of Jungle Cruise inspired jokes and special effects to match the drink orders. Be warned: it’s difficult to walk up here without a wait. My other favorite bar at the Polynesian is the Tambu Lounge located adjacent to Ohana. Tambu Lounge offers many great choices (including the option to drink out of a pinapple!) My favorite here is the Back Scratcher:

img_4779
Complete with a real back scratcher in your cup!

Stop three: Mizner’s Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

GRAND PIC

I love to wrap up my crawl with a stop at the ever-classy feeling Mizner’s Lounge. Tucked just behind the live band on the second floor, Mizner’s doesn’t have a speciality cocktail to recommend so I say go with:

img_3985

The Godiva Chocolate Martini is sweet enough to please the palate of even the most beginner martini sipper. Plus, if there ever was a place to sip a drink pinky out, the Grand is it!

Back up bar choice: Citricos Lounge offers a menu of unique cocktails that can be enjoyed without a reservation. Be advised that they have more limited hours that Mizner’s so make sure to check ahead and plan accordingly. Citricos does offer speciality cocktails that you won’t find in Mizner’s but they also offer a great wine selection so that’s my personal pick!

img_6038

Are you a Disney World person? Have you ever complete the monorail bar crawl? Any must have drinks that I didn’t mention?

A Bash to Remember.png

Stay adventurous, friends!

 

Advertisements

Throwback Thursday: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland

When looking for things to do in Edinburgh, the Royal Botanic Garden was at the top of my list. I love visiting public gardens when I travel because they’re beautiful and usually cheap or free. Even on a misty, cool fall day the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens didn’t disappoint. We got to enjoy low crowds too which made many areas feel like our own private backyard.

The gardens are open daily but hours vary so check their website. Admission is free however they offers options to see additional indoor exhibits for a small fee. Here is some of the beauty that awaits you:

img_4537

img_4540

img_4543

img_4550

img_4554
The gardens have 10 glasshouses on the property

img_4555

img_4561
The cottage in the background was dedicated by the royal family

I loved it here and would go back in a minute. I’m sure it’s just spectacular on a sunny, clear day when you can see the city on the hillside beyond the gardens. Have you been to the Royal Botanic Gardens? What’s your favorite time of year to visit?

In other news- the adventures continue in 2019 as I head to Walt Disney World on Friday! If you want to follow along keep your eyes on my instagram story for live updates.

Stay adventurous!

Stumbling upon the Jay Covered Bridge in Jay, NY

Now that it’s officially 2019 let me take a moment to say: Happy New Year! Thanks for visiting this year! Today I’m taking it back to my October trip to the Adirondacks once more to talk about how I stumbled upon the Jay Covered Bridge in Jay, NY. What I love about this was it happened as a true accidental adventure.

We started out the day by driving towards White Face to check out the area because I hadn’t been past Lake Placid before. It was too foggy to drive to the mountain’s summit so we drove past the road for that and took a few random turns to enjoy the scenery. When we finally came upon the tiny town square of Jay, New York we decided to use the opportunity to loop around and head back to Lake Placid. Once I turned the car around, and just as we were about to head out of town I saw a sign advertising the ‘historic covered bridge’ so on a whim we looped around again to see the bridge.

Given that it was a rainy, foggy weekday, no one else was around which made for a very enjoyable and private wander around what we learned was the Adirondack’s last standing covered bridge.

fullsizeoutput_210

The bridge had fallen into disarray after a truck accident but it was fully restored in 2006. It’s now for pedestrians only as an alternative bridge over Ausable Chasm was built next door.

fullsizeoutput_212
This more industrial looking bridge gets cars across these days

IMG_6589

There are signs up on both ends that talk about the rich history of the bridge.

fullsizeoutput_211.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_20b
The portion of Ausable Chasm that the bridge crosses is a popular summer swimming hole destination!

fullsizeoutput_20d

My mom and I both agreed that this was a beautifully serene stop and we were glad we’d turned around on a whim to check it out.

IMG_6588
Loved out time ‘hanging out’ at the Jay Covered Bridge!

Stay adventurous!

Goodbye 2018, hello 2019: A year in review

I can’t believe another year is in the books! I wanted to review my December stats and goals, and take a look back at all the places I got to see in 2018.

December stats:

Number of total posts: 38

Number of total views: 790

Most viewed post: Throwback Thursday:Haleakala National Park in Maui, HI

Most commented post: runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: 4 days, 4 races, 48.6 miles

Number of Twitter followers: 742

Number of Instagram followers: 499

Number of Pinterest followers: 207

Number of blog subscribers: 83

December goals:

  1. Find or make three group boards on Pinterest- I didn’t do nearly as well at completing my goals this month. I don’t regret it because the reason I didn’t spend as much time on my blog was because I was enjoying my holidays with family! I totally failed at this goal- didn’t make or find a single group board aside from the one that I was already part of. I’ll keep this in mind in the future.
  2. Curate my Pinterest boards to 50 pins each- I added significantly to all of my boards but none of them are over 50 pins. I’m ok with this- I want to make sure I’m adding good content and not just pinning things to meet a number quota.
  3. Tweet 4 times per week– I didn’t tweet four times a week but I think I did better at sharing original content and engaging with other people.
  4. Beat out my old record for a post with the most views or comments- Success! I beat my old record for most views this month by writing about Haleakala National Park!

Memories from 2018:

January- I started off 2018 with a massive accomplishment by completing runDisney’s Dopey Challenge. I recently finished a series of posts on the experience that you can read here.

IMG_5301

February- My sister and I celebrated her 30th birthday in a grand fashion by cruising to the Bahamas on Norwegian Cruise Line! We got to visit the beautiful Atlantis resort- read about that here.

IMG_5520

March- I turned 25 this year- a quarter century old!

April- I made my first trek to Hawaii! I got to see so many beautiful things and I have lots more things I want to share from that trip in the future. I’ve already shared about visiting Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm here, and Haleakala National Park here.

IMG_5738
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

May- Spring was in full bloom in Connecticut this month and I took advantage of visiting the local park to check it out.

June- I did my first yoga at the winery class at Arrigoni Winery- I love that place! You can read more about it here.

2018-06-07_19-09-10_274.jpeg

July- This month I enjoyed a week long family vacation in Rhode Island. One of my favorite memories from this trip was seeing Connecticut’s light houses on the Lights and Sights Cruise.

img_5958

August- I saw my first MLB game at Fenway park as part of a birthday celebration for my cousin!

September- I started September off by visiting Rosedale Farms and Lost Acres Vineyard on Labor Day Weekend! I also started blogging this month!

2018-09-01_12-50-55_672

October- This month my mom and I took our girl’s trip to upstate New York. We got to see some beautiful fall foliage and drink delicious wines. I’ve written lots of posts about this trip but one of my favorite’s is this one about visiting the Olympic Ski Jumps in Lake Placid!

IMG_6209

November- I was busy at work so I could save up money for my 2019 adventures.

December- As I mentioned earlier I’ve been more removed from the blog this month as I’ve been spending lots of time with family and friends. My mom and I made a final wine trail visit to Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown, CT to enjoy their holiday decor.

2018-12-22_15-16-37_800.jpeg

My 2019 goals:

  1. Start a Master’s program– I’m excited to go back to school and am hoping to start in the spring.
  2. Travel as much as I can afford– Already have lots of trips on the roster. I plan to enjoy these and add more if the opportunity arises.
  3. Reach my one year anniversary of blogging– I’m comin’ for ya, September 2019!
  4. Continue to grow my blog– Of course I want to continue to grow my blog and related social media but I hope to remember why I started blogging in the first place- for fun, not followers!
  5. Race more half marathons– In 2018 I ran two full marathons which was awesome but I want to scale back and spend more time appreciating the half marathon distance.

Happy New Year! Thank you for your continued support- wishing anyone reading a happy and healthy new year. Stay adventurous!

Merry Christmas: a holiday throwback to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! Today I’m bringing you a combination of the most magical place on earth with the merriest holiday of all: Christmas time at Walt Disney World!

Christmas at Walt Disney World is beautiful and lasts much longer than just one day. Christmas can be enjoyed at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida as early as November 1st and as late as early January. Today, in the spirit of the season, I’m sharing some of my favorite moments from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party- a seasonal hard ticket event offered in the Magic Kingdom.

One of my very favorite part’s of Christmas time in general at the Magic Kingdom is getting to see Cinderella’s Castle done up in it’s Holiday Dream Lights!

MK_MSBRCART_20161108_7854460549.jpeg

During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the castle also serves as the back drop for Holiday Wishes. The seasonal soundtrack is a great way to get into the holiday spirit!

IMG_3422.JPG

My favorite part of the party is definitely Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. I think this is Disney’s most beautiful parade and the fact that it snows on Main Street makes it even better!

IMG_3437.JPG
Sitting under the falling snow!

IMG_3450.JPG

IMG_3471.JPG
The tin soldiers and the dancing reindeer make me so nostalgic for the Disney Christmas sing-along tape from my childhood!

IMG_3478.JPG

I hope your holiday is filled with happiness and warmth! I’ll be enjoying mine with family and will be back next week with more updates (both Disney and non.)

Stay adventurous, friends!

 

runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: Walt Disney World Marathon Part 2

This is part five of a recap of the 2018 runDisney Dopey Challenge. For part four click here!

IMG_5182

When I left off we had just taken a mid race break to ride Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom! I’ll admit that I was crabby when we got off the ride because though my sister was all for it I hadn’t been excited to wait in the twenty minute line. The ride was fun but after I was really cold for the next half mile. We made our way through the Animal Kingdom parking lot and I shook off the bad mood and actually warmed up enough to take off my long sleeves and tie it around my waist.

After marching our way down Osceola Parkway we made it to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. A lot of people complain about this section of the course because it’s a lot of twists and turns so it seems like it goes on forever. I will admit that ESPN seems long but I always love how many character opportunities are available!

IMG_5339
Minnie in her soccer gear!
IMG_5340
Channeling our inner Joy and Sadness from Inside Out!

Next we got to run around Champion Stadium, the spring training home of the Atlanta Braves.

IMG_5341

Once we finished up at Wide World of Sports we made the short trek to Hollywood Studios where we entered via backstage access behind Fantasmic and Tower of Terror. Lots of people were buzzing about Oswald meeting here because he usually can’t be found in Florida!

IMG_5432 (1)

Anyone checking in?

There was a lot of construction going on in Hollywood Studios in January 2018 (Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge) so it limited the amount of running we could do in this park.

IMG_5342

We exited park’s front entrance and ran down the path that connects the park to the Epcot Resort area. I definitely started to lose steam as we ran by the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts but I tried to remember to keep my eyes on the prize- we were almost there!

We entered Epcot between the Canada and U.K. pavilions shortly before mile 25. Just past mile 25 we stopped to meet Belle and Aurora outside the France pavilion.

IMG_5343

Next we stopped for a picture with Jasmine in the Morocco pavilion.

IMG_5344

Our next stop with Germany- no characters greeting here but we wanted a nice cold beer to finish the race with! Being able to stop for a drink in Epcot BEFORE the finish line is one of my favorite novelties of the Walt Disney World marathon!

IMG_5347
We mostly walked to the end as to not spill our beers!

Tip: If you’re going to grab drinks in Epcot know that characters won’t pose with you with the drinks in your hand.

IMG_5349

Finally we saw the finish line arch ahead- we did it!

IMG_5301

IMG_5352.JPG
What an amazing feeing- Dopey Challenge done!

So, would I do the Dopey Challenge again? Yes! Am I doing it in 2019? No!

I recommend Dopey for anyone who loves runDisney to try at least once. It was really fun to get to participate in the whole weekend and not feel like I was missing out on anything. However, the four early mornings in a row were really hard. By marathon morning it took everything I had to force myself out of bed. Plus, the registration fee is high and I don’t think I’d want to pay that every year. Ideally, if it’s still around and I’m still running, I’d like to give Dopey another try in 2023. In the mean time I’ll stick to the Goofy Challenge (the half marathon and the full marathon) or the marathon alone.

IMG_5356.JPG
Until next time, Dopey Challenge!

I had so much fun recapping my 2018 Dopey Challenge! I’m headed down to Disney World soon for the 2019 Walt Disney World marathon. My training has been riddled with knee problems so this should be an interesting and challenging run to say the least. I’ll be sure to recap it here so stay tuned!

Theadventuringemily.home.blog (6).png

Stay adventurous, friends!

 

runDisney’s Dopey Challenge: Walt Disney World Marathon part 1

This is part four of a recap of the 2018 runDisney Dopey Challenge. For part three click here!

IMG_5182.JPG

Standing at the start line of the Walt Disney World Marathon meant that I had reached the end of the Dopey Challenge- almost! In reality, with only one race left, I still had more than half the 48.2 miles left to run. However, Disney saves the very best for last!

Before each race Disney has characters out greeting and taking pictures in the start area. We got to the starting area early today and Pluto had a really short line so we jumped in. You can usually see the Fab Five and Dopey before and after each race of the weekend.

IMG_5328.JPG

Tip: Arrive early if you want character pictures before the race. Lines get long and cast members will stop allowing people in line.

Following suit of the half marathon we didn’t take many pictures in the beginning of the race as it was cold (so we were layered up) and it was dark. We did grab a selfie as we ran under the gates of the Magic Kingdom parking lot!

IMG_5429.JPG

Tip: Don’t let the distance overwhelm you. I try to think of a marathon in small parts- cover this section, then that section, etc.

We ran under the Magic Kingdom train station and headed down Main Street, USA.

IMG_5331

We choose not to wait in as many character lines this visit to Magic Kingdom. We were wearing our custom ‘Think I’m Dopey? Meet my sister!’ t-shirts so we had to stop for Cinderella’s not-so-favorite sisters.

IMG_5282.JPG

The course follows the same path as the half marathon out of Magic Kingdom and past the nearby resorts. However, instead of heading for Epcot, the course turns just after passing Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course and Shades of Green resort. On our way to make that turn we stopped to visit with Tourist Genie!

IMG_5334.JPG

Next stop: Animal Kingdom! On the way we saw Hades and his minions. Pain and Panic.

IMG_5335.JPG

This is the section of the course where we passed Disney’s (smelly) water treatment facility and horticulture facility. The later is responsible for all the seasonal topiaries you see throughout the year on property. As I’ve mentioned in my half marathon report we don’t usually stop for mile marker pictures but because today was ‘sister-themed’ we stopped for a picture at mile 12.

IMG_5430 (1).JPG

A little past mile 12 we were running into the backstage entrance to Animal Kingdom. On the way there are usually animals out to greet you with their own race bibs on.

IMG_5431 (1).JPG

There weren’t as many out this year which makes me wonder if the cold kept some of the animals away. Once in Animal Kingdom we stopped for a picture with Timon and Rafiki!

IMG_5287.JPG

IMG_5338.JPG

Our next diversion was the highlight of the half way point of the race: Expedition Everest! That’s right- the Walt Disney World marathon offers the unique experience of a mid run roller coaster ride!

Tip: Animal Kingdom typically opens at 9am on marathon Sunday so plan to be in the park around that time if you want to ride Expedition Everest.

Riding Everest has become an increasingly popular experience with runners in my opinion. The first year we road we walked right on and sat on a train. This year it was a short line and took us about 20 minutes to get through the line and ride. The downside to this was I got cold waiting in line and riding. Despite that I’m still glad we did it!

IMG_5300.JPG
The best part: Magic Band RFID technology with automatically send you your ride photo!

Stay tuned for the second half of the marathon recap where we cross the finish line and complete the Dopey Challenge!

Theadventuringemily.home.blog (5).png

Stay adventurous!