Before we begin our blog entry, we would like to acknowledge our fallen soldiers and the ultimate sacrifice that they paid for our freedoms. They are our heroes.
To begin our holiday weekend at Disney, we arrived fairly early in the afternoon to Pop Century for our stay. The weather was picturesque - hot, blue skies, and a few clouds. As we entered the lobby of Pop Century we were met with the signature aroma of the lobby that we all enjoy, along with the sounds of some old school music that we certainly appreciate! Ryan and I decided to go speak with the concierge desk to request adjoining rooms, if they were available. After spending a few minutes with the wonderful Cast Member, we were able to successfully move my reservation to match Ryan’s room type and get our rooms right next to each other with the adjoining door, at the expense of extending our wait for the rooms to become available for us to move our stuff in. I actually saved myself some money as I had previously booked a Preferred Room, so keep that in mind for any future trips should this option be available to your travelling party - you never know until you try!
To help keep busy while waiting for the rooms to be ready, we had already planned on swimming upon arrival. As a pro tip, have a change of clothes in a backpack or a carrying bag to change into while waiting for your room to become available. You have access to the pool upon arrival so be sure to take advantage of it! We had a blast with our family in the Hippy Dippy Pool doing some Disney Trivia games with the poolside hosts, as well as some fun pool games for the kids to compete against each other. It was a great time!
After a little bit of pool time, we headed back into the lobby to do some Disney Pin Trading! We spotted some boards while speaking with the concierge desk and had to partake in this fun activity. Ryan’s daughters, Braelynn and Alivia, whipped out some pins and did some trading. Little did we know that some Cast Member magic would be sprinkled on us. We were gifted a handful of pins! Our trip started off with a bang and we haven’t even walked into our rooms to drop off our bags yet!
While inside Everything Pop, the gift shop in Pop Century, we bought some Fathers Day MagicBands that were for sale - featuring none other than the best Dad in the galaxy, Darth Vader. The Cast Member that rang us up noticed my Off The Monorails ball cap and began asking about it. After a short conversation, we found out that her husband is a Monorail driver! Very cool. We gave her info on how to find us on the internet and we hope that she was able to find us and follow along!
By this time our rooms were available for us to bring our luggage in and start prepping for our dinner in a few short hours at Boma. Once we got ready for dinner, we had to make a quick trip over to Animal Kingdom to scan in so we could Park Hop after dinner to Magic Kingdom to catch some fireworks and some rides. For those that didn’t know, wherever you have your Park Pass Reservation scheduled you must visit that location first, scan in at the gates, and you can then be able to Park Hop after 2pm. After a short bus ride over to Animal Kingdom, our tribe of 10 quickly scanned in and made an immediate U-turn to head back to the bus loop to go to Animal Kingdom Lodge.
After a very short bus ride, we stepped foot on the grounds of Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House and headed straight to Boma to check-in for our dinner reservation. As we have stated before, if you have never eaten at Boma, you are missing out on some epic cuisine. The aroma of rotisserie meats, smoked meats, spices, and more just permeated the air. You can’t escape it. It reminds me of the old cartoons where the smell enters your nose and pulls you in to the restaurant. The sound of Victoria Falls completes the ambiance of this fine establishment. The visuals of dark colored woods and stone really make this an elegant looking resort, a must visit if you have never done so!
We have spoken about just how good Boma is, and it is always a consistent product. We enjoyed many great offerings including some smoked meats, veggies, sweet treats, and more all with a little African-inspired flavoring. You can seriously put some chow down at this restaurant and walk away completely satisfied. It is definitely worth the price tag and we HIGHLY recommend making it a part of your future plans!
After a fine meal, we took our family around the grounds to check out the sights of Animal Kingdom Lodge at Jambo House. Animals galore just roaming the grounds and just a serene atmosphere leads to ultimate relaxation. You can truly appreciate the effort Disney put in to making Animal Kingdom Lodge so unique and beautiful.
After we did a few minutes of shopping at the Zawadi Marketplace, the souvenir shop inside of AKL, we hopped on a bus to head to Magic Kingdom for the evening. We had one mission for the evening, get on as many attractions as possible before the 11pm closure. We did just that. We were able to hit The Haunted Mansion, Its A Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, caught the finale of Enchantment from behind Cinderella’s Castle, some PhotoPass pictures, Dumbo The Flying Elephant, Peoplemover, and The Barnstormer! All of this in 3 hours with a party of 8. It can be done y’all! At this point, we were all ready to turn it in for the night and get some rest for an epic day at Epcot the next day.
To start off our morning, our group took the short trek to Everything Pop, the quick service location at Pop Century, for breakfast. The usual offerings off scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles, and breakfast meats filled us up and then we headed towards the Skyliner. The crowds weren’t bad at all so we had no issues getting to the Skyliner quickly and get onboard. The flight from the Millennium Gap Bridge station all the way to the International Gateway was gorgeous during the early morning hours - a MUST DO if you have never experienced this! Scanning in to the park, Ryan’s Limited Edition 2019 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival MagicBand special effect happened, and we caught it on camera! For those that didn’t know, Limited Edition (NOT including Limited Release) MagicBands will have a special effect while scanning in to the park at random times, so be sure to capture that little bit of extra magic! Although our stay at Epcot was fairly short, we allowed the kids to lead the way until they got too hot.
First, we headed to a crowd favorite attraction - Soarin’ Around The World. Everybody in our party adores this attraction and was very excited to catch it with a low wait as soon as we got in the park! We were fortunate to also get our favorite view of this attraction, Concourse B Row 1. Trust us, if you can get this view you will understand! Once we got out of Soarin’ we took time to appreciate the gardens between The Land pavilion and The Seas with Nemo and Friends, just under the Monorail track. Breathtaking views of a sea of floral arrangements that were well manicured. So many beautiful colors.
After several minutes of taking pics of the flowers, our entire group walked on to The Seas with Nemo and Friends, a nice and cool ride for a hot Florida day. We love seeing our aquatic friends and checking on the animals every trip we can see them. It was so nice to see Bruce’s Shark World was wide open for the kids to play on and get some picture opportunities with Bruce!
Now that the kids were starting to work up and appetite, it was FINALLY time to dive in to some festival food! We hit up the Honey Bee-stro first. Ryan picked up the Lavender honey mustard-marinated chicken flatbread with whipped honey-ricotta cheese, marinated vegetables, and goat cheese. It was an amazing dish! For myself, I picked up the beer flight from The Citrus Blossum, which I did enjoy minus the floral-noted offering in the flight. We also tried the Tupelo honey and sweet corn spoon bread with jalapeños, bacon, and house-made whipped honey butter. 10 out of 10. Go try it! The smell of maple popcorn floated across my nose as we were enjoying our snacks, so I decided to investigate. Over at the Canada popcorn stand they had the treat for sale along with the option of buying a souvenir Skyliner popcorn bucket - bought it. Its just money, right?! The maple popcorn was so good. Ryan also grabbed some poutine while I was walking back, big shocker here! At this point the kids were ready to hit the pool back at the resort, and so were the adults! We made the short walk back to International Gateway to ride the Skyliner back to Pop Century.
At the pool, we had a ton of fun. We did lots of Disney trivia with the poolside DJ and listened to some great tunes. The afternoon pool visit is a much needed reset during our trips to Disney, we highly recommend it. We also did a little shopping and walking around Pop Century before we headed to our rooms to get ready for dinner at Three Bridges Bar and Grill over at Disney’s Coronado Springs resort, where we were meeting up with Jordan and his party.
Just a short 10 minute drive from Pop Century over to Coronado, we arrived for our dinner. Three Bridges Bar and Grill is nestled on the lake, literally, supported by three connecting bridges for access to the restaurant from all over the resort. The smell of grilled meats, tacos, and margaritas filled the air. The restaurant has lots of open air views with shade, meaning there are few walls around the restaurant. We chose to have our party right next to the railing looking back towards Gran Destino Tower. It was an amazing view! Between our entire party of 16 people, we all had a great variety of menu offerings. The popular dish seemed to be the Steak Frites, which I also chose as my meal. The seasoning on the fries were out of this world delicious. Every dish looked very appetizing and smelled so dang good. Definitely recommend you give Three Bridges a chance to serve you for dinner, you won’t be disappointed!
After our meal, we did a little sightseeing around Gran Destino Tower. Lots of candid pictures during our walk leading up to a large group picture right in front of Barcelona Lounge. It was so nice to have so many family members at Disney at the same time so we could have moments like this. We sat beside the water feature right outside of Panchito’s Gifts and Sundries for a long time enjoying our last few minutes being together before we all called it a night. It truly was a memorable experience for us.
The next morning was a short day at Hollywood Studios before it was time to leave. We managed to squeeze in a good bit of attractions, meet and greets, shows, and snacks in a 4 hour span! We ended our day with a wild train ride with Goofy on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway then had to say our goodbyes as it was time to get back to reality.
Memorial Day weekend at Disney was a great time. Crowd sizes are slowly increasing but we still managed to do so many things despite the wait times. Always make time for that mid-day break for yourself and the kids, you can thank us later! If you stuck around this long, thank you! We have put a lot of effort into this podcast and hope that it helps you in some form down the road, that’s the whole point of doing this in the first place. We have lots more to come, and, with the Disney way of always being in a state of change, we are sure to be bringing you more information and covering those changes. Until next time…