Here’s What We Think: Rapid Rant

[Getting my ghetto Henry County on; head bob, finger point, and all.]

Oh NO, you dih-int!

Just heard word of the Rapid Fill roll out across Walt Disney World resorts. Click here for the article from WDW Magic. In our last post regarding Rapid Fill, we were so sweet. Even gracious in defending it. But today, we are skeptical and a step below livid from what we’ve been hearing. Wish you could see the text messages Tim and I have been swapping back and forth today. {Chris Patton, if you are reading this, they are all work related, centering around team building, leadership, and the Grand Opening tonight…}

Warning: One or more of the above statements are completely false.

From what we can tell, Rapid Fill is in full swing, with pricing as promised. No new mug designs have been introduced, but more color options have been provided including green, purple, and orange. This is a bandaid for us. We’re satisfied with that, but would still love some creative variety in the future.

Things people seem to be complaining about it is the inability to get coffee and hot chocolate in the mugs. Apparently the hot beverage machines do not have the RFID scanners in them? However, this sign obviously says coffee is available, so am I being scammed by Twitterers trying to stir up trouble? Refillable-Mug_Full_19179

If there is any truth to the coffee rumors, this is where my ghetto-fightin’ girl comes out. Don’t. You. Mess. With. My. Coffee! If I’m paying $18 for a refillable mug, I don’t want to have to pay for coffee in addition to that! Coffee is mostly what I drink from the mug, anyway! I’m not the soda consumer my husband is, so coffee and water are my two beverages of choice. If I have to pay for every cup of coffee refill I want, the mug really isn’t worth it for me. I guess Starbucks will be getting my money, instead. It’s a better cup of coffee, anyhow.

Complaint number two, which has yet to be confirmed, is the free refills being limited to every 20 minutes. I’ve heard of this from unlimited drink machines aboard cruise lines, so most people are saying this is a given with the instillation of a RFID chip. We don’t like this either. If this is the case, they need to offer a bigger mug, maybe? {I know, I know, welcome to America.} My husband can drink down the 16 ounces the mug holds within a few gulps. Having to wait 20 minutes between refills would make him grouchy, to say the least. And here’s a thought; what about people that prefer a mixed drink {ie. half Coke, half Coke Zero}? Does the machine give you some sort of time limit to fill up your mug? Or do you get one push of the trigger and that is it? Because even then, with fizzy drinks you tend to fill them up by pressing the trigger several times, letting the fizz die down to avoid spill-over. I guess I am just uneducated as to how the machines fully work. I need some ‘splainin’, as Ricky Ricardo would say.

As for those who wish to “go green” and bring back an RFID mug on numerous trips to reactivate, Disney is still saying that’s a no-go. Hopefully that will change in the future, as well. I’ve heard from several techie minds that that should be relatively easy to incorporate.

Overall, now that Rapid Fill has been put into place, the Elrods are giving it a thumbs down. We’re hoping Disney can work out the kinks in the coming months. We will be arriving in 22 days, so I doubt things will be fixed by then. I’m expecting to hear some major complaints coming out of Tim while there. Photo on 3-13-13 at 3.20 PM #3

What do you think? Let us hear it. Are we overreacting?

With love, Malorie

Making the Most of Magic Kingdom with Young Kids

A common question we are asked is how we make the most of our time in Magic Kingdom, having two kiddos, a double stroller, and still “claiming” to take breaks and maintain the nap and eating schedule they keep while at home. It is an art that we have mastered through trial and error, and one that admittedly comes with some sacrifice.DSCF1198

{Our one year anniversary dinner at the Crystal Palace in MK}

Tim and I have taken many, many trips in our young adult lives without kids, so we have done every thrilling ride WDW has to offer, that is mostly off limits to children below a certain height or thrill level. {My sister is 13 and still prefers to sit out the thrill rides…so sometimes the ability to ride everything with ease as a parent does not come with height or even age.} This is the reason that Tim and I urge adults without kids to take a WDW vacation before their parenting years. We hear so often, “Yeah, Disney World will be nice when we have kids. Isn’t it pretty much a kiddie park, anyway? I don’t care to meet Mickey Mouse.”

NO!

And the experience you have without children is so incredibly different than the one you will have with them. Both are amazing. Actually, Tim and I now prefer WDW with our kids, because there is nothing like experiencing everything brand new through them. Seeing them so happy and amazed, believing their favorite dream worlds into reality…I’d say that anyone is hard pressed to not shed an emotional tear or two when feeling the joy of experiencing WDW through the eyes of their child.

That being said, this is how we do a typical day in Magic Kingdom with our kids. You will not see Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in our day anywhere because unless we are there with family that is willing to watch the kids while we do such rides, they are not worth the time and switch-off for the thrill. Been there, done those, we have more fun doing the “experiences” Disney has to offer than being raced around a track in the dark over and over. If you want to ride the thrill rides again and again, maxing out your FastPass potential and by-passing parades and shows, go without young kids; because trying to do both produces angry adults that don’t think it’s worth the ticket price, and cranky kids that are hot and tired of waiting on Daddy to ride that “big” ride again. Believe me, we’ve been there.

So without further ado, this is how the Elrod’s make the most of Magic Kingdom with young Kids:IMG_5594

Step 1: Be there early. 

Like, at least 15 minutes early. Remember to calculate in transportation times. If you are coming from a resort by bus, I’d suggest being at your MK bus stop 45 minutes to an hour before the park open. Most bus rides to MK will take longer than other parks because MK is kind of set apart, being surrounded by the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. We notice the bus ride takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on your driver and traffic, etc. Don’t fool yourself. Just because it’s WDW transportation, doesn’t mean it runs on pixie dust and gets you there at the speed of Lightening McQueen.

If you are coming via boat, give yourself a good 30-45 minutes, and monorail a hair less. Obviously monorail is most timely, however, it can make some long stops if there is a hold up.

If you are driving to MK, bless you. Give yourself a solid hour to hour and a half, please. You will have to stop at the gate to pay for parking {or present your parking pass if you are staying on property}, find a parking spot, and hopefully be close enough to not have to take a tram to the ticket and transportation center. Hop on one if you aren’t, though. Save those feetsies for all of the walking you will have to do in the park. Don’t burn out energy here.

At the transportation center choose either boat or monorail {we suggest monorail} and then you will finally arrive at the gates of MK. Next is bag check. Parents, tag team it here. One take the stroller and bags through check while the other takes the kids into the park and finds a spot for the opening ceremonies. Remember: The park has not yet opened! If you are on track, it is only 8:45am at the latest.

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The best spot to see the opening ceremonies is obviously the center, although there is not really a bad spot, since they are up so high. We have a double stroller that is difficult to maneuver through crowds, so sometimes one of us stays center with the kids while the other takes a spot near the right hand {if you are looking at the park with your back to bag check} entrance. This is because we like to do “the slink ‘n slide”.

The Slink ‘n Slide – a strategical move mastered by the Elrods to maintain better positioning upon opening of the park to ensure being one of the first guests in.

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Step 2: Enjoy the opening ceremonies! 

“Good morning, good moooorning!…” Main Street citizens will perform, the train will come around the track, filled with all of your kid’s favorite Disney characters, a little more song and dance will ensue, and then they will introduce the Family of the Day. When you hear this, shift gears and begin the first steps of The Slink ‘n Slide. Move quietly, stealthily, and hey, graciously {“Excuse us. Oh, sorry! Excuse me, just trying to get to my pregnant wife, right there…”} toward the right-hand entrance of the park. Right-hand entrance is key. By now they should be counting it down. 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1! Aaaaand you are officially allowed to enter the gates.

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Step 3: Let your kids meet Mickey. {note: if you are going to MK several days of your trip, only do this step one of the days. Getting a family picture with Mickey is on our yearly check-list, not something we do over and over again. If you want to see Mickey again, we suggest doing a character meal with him! Yummy and fun!}

One of you take the kids straight inside Town Square Theater on your immediate right while the other parks that dang stroller {notice your kids have really yet to be in the stroller, but believe me, if you have children our kids’ ages or a little older, it will come in handy sooner than later!}. Inside Town Square Theater, a Cast Member will already be directing other wise park guests where to go. Right now, you are able to choose between a Magician Mickey and Minnie meet ‘n greet, or a meet ‘n greet of some big name Princesses. However, at some point in fall 2013, the Princesses are getting their own royal treatment for meet ‘n greets back in New Fantasyland called Princess Fairytale Hall.

You will be shuffled through a short line of ropes, and into a claustrophobic holding room. When Mickey is ready, you will be escorted by another Cast Member to the Main Mouse, himself! Since lines are not long, we aren’t usually rushed through our time with Mickey. Cole {or the baby} always gets a game of pee-a-boo from Minnie while Jack starts the tally on his high-five meter for the day. Fun times. Get a Cast Member to take pictures with your camera, take the PhotoPass card from the other Cast Member, and you are on your way! Your kids have met Mickey and Minnie and the park has only been open about 10 minutes! Yesss!

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Step 4: Take in the castle.

Strap those kiddos in the stroller, it’s time to move, move, move! At a slightly slower pace than speed walking, get thyself right-ith down the center of Main Street {watch out for the horse-drawn trolley!}, gawking at the castle and letting the kiddos take it in. {note: I DIDN’T say stop for a picture. You’ve got things to check off your to-do list, and believe me, this is not the best time. With the position of the sun, you will either all be wearing sunglasses or making the angry-squinty-face. Pictures in front of the castle turn out much better in the evening!} Push forward and up, going straight through the castle, taking a moment to check out the mosaic story of Cinderella in the walls if you never have before {skip it, if you have, you’ve got places to be!}, and come out of the other side into Fanstasyland!

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Step 5: Fantasyland 

Spend the next hour to hour and a half running going back and forth between rides. Make sure you put Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Journey of the Little Mermaid, and Enchanted Tales with Belle at the top of that list, those are the ones that get the longest lines later in the day. Mark them off your list early. The Barnstormer is one of Jack’s favorite rides, and both boys tend to zone out in over-stimulated bliss in It’s a Small World. Do not bypass Mickey’s Philharmagic! No, it’s not a ride, but I just love it. A must do, for sure. Last year Jack was so concerned about Donald being blown into the wall at the end, he talked about him the whole trip; asking if he was still stuck. So. Cute. Then of course there’s the Tea Cups and Carrousel….Just look at wait times {download the App for your phone! Yes, there’s an App for that!} and try to hit up as many as you can before lunch. Often times, because we go in the off-season, we are able to do almost all of them.

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Step 6: Move on to phase two rides. 

If you still have some time before lunch, or there are some rides you skipped back in Fantasyland due to lack of interest, move on to phase two rides. We usually take the path by It’s a Small World and Peter Pan’s Flight to Liberty Square, Frontierland, and then slip into Adventureland from the backside, coming in beside Pirates of the Caribbean. Rides we take advantage of are Haunted Mansion {yes, we take our kids on that}, Splash Mountain {Sorry, Tim and I just have a hard time passing up this “big” ride because it’s our favorite. However, I’m usually pregnant, so he’s the only one that can ride. We are hoping Jack meets the height requirement this year. We are wanting to desensitize him early, so he will always want to ride.}, and Pirates of the Caribbean {yes, we take our kids on that, too. Both of our boys took their first ride on it before they were a year old.}. If time permits, you can scamper across to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Spin, but we usually save Tomorrowland for post-naps.

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Step 7: Dream Along with Mickey

We always make sure to see Dream Along with Mickey before/right at lunchtime. Check your times guide for showtimes and get there a hair early so your kids can have a good spot to see. My kids adore this show, and that’s probably an understatement. We like to see it before naps to get it out of the way and to avoid the blaring midday heat.

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Step 8: Lunch.

Usually Casey’s Corner. C’mon. We are suckers for a good chili-cheese dog and cheese fries with a side of cheese…haha! So we splurge a bit on the diet when we are in WDW, who doesn’t? And we like Casey’s Corner because it’s right on Main Street, which makes for an easy out for naps. We like to traipse through the Main Street Emporium on our way out. We can usually make it out without actually buying something. Other options we enjoy are Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe or just hitting up the turkey leg stand. Or hey, maybe your way would be whipping out the pre-packed PB&J during Dream Along with Mickey. We’ve done that before too, and it’s definitely more cost efficient.

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Step 9: Naptime.

Our kids go down for naps between noon and 1:00pm. Keep your kids on whatever schedule they’re used to, adjusting rides and shows accordingly. Just don’t run them ragged, especially if you are there for 5-7 days. By day three they will be fit to be tied, and you will wonder why you didn’t “wait until they were older”. {Another common misconception: You can’t have fun in WDW with kids until they are older. The youngest we’ve take our kids to WDW is three-months-old. We’ve gone at least once a year since then, mostly twice. You just have to know how to do it!}

We hope for you, at this point, that you are staying at a deluxe resort nearby. The best vacations we’ve taken with kids, by far, have been when we stayed at Bay Lake Tower in 2010 with a three-month-old Jack, and at the Wilderness Lodge in 2012 with Jack {then freshly turned two} and Cole {eight-months-old at the time}. Being able to walk or take a boat back to the resort for naps, without having to fold up the stroller and ride on a bus was…well, magic. We’ve done nap times at the value resorts, and though it was do-able, it was a lot more work for a less enjoyable experience. You don’t have a balcony at the values, so one or both of us were stuck inside of a dark room with our slumbering toddler, waiting it out, listening to the muffled sound of pool-side games and dance parties.IMG_5824

{View from our balcony at the Wilderness Lodge. So peaceful. A great break from the hustle and bustle of MK, even for adults!}

At the deluxe we were able to go out on our balcony, kick our feet up with a cup of midday coffee, and chill. It was great bonding time for Tim and I too, and turned out to be some of our favorite memories together. We would sit out there playing board games and DVC dreaming, and now a year later, here we are about to go on our very first trip as members! Yay! God is good!

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Step 10: Wake up and go!

After the kiddos get their snooze on with a side of “happy heart”, as we like to call it, lace those shoes back up and get ready for the rest of your full day of MK fun. Fill up that refillable mug on your way out, if it suits your fancy, and catch your mode of transportation. When you get back to the park, I’d still suggest one parent hitting up bag check while the other takes the kids on through. It’s always easier on the nerves to have the kids wait as little as possible.

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Step 11: Phase three rides. 

Whip out that handy-dandy App and check out your wait times. Rides we generally hit up in the evening are Buzz Lightyear’s Space Spin, The PeopleMover {more than once, actually. If you can hit it right at sunset too, you’re in for a treat! We just love it.}, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, The Jungle Cruise, round two of Pirates of the Caribbean or another of the kids’ Fantasyland favorites, or a ride around the park on the Walt Disney World Railroad.

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Step 12: Parades and fireworks.

Make sure you know when the parades start and get to a good spot {we almost always go with the curb on Main Street, although Frontierland and Liberty Square are another great option} 30-45 minutes beforehand. A good solution to doing this with young kids is giving in to that sweet treat, so sitting will not be as torturous, or have one parent hold down the fort while the other takes the kids on a brows through the gift shop or a ride with a walk-on wait time. Switch off, if necessary.

Do the same with fireworks, only get there an hour to an hour and a half before it starts, depending on the time of year you go. I know, sounds extreme. But believe me, if you want a good spot {we suggest the top or bottom of Main Street} you need to do this. And it’s worth the wait. I promise. Wishes it so worth it. I cry almost always. Okay. Always. I just can’t take that darn Jiminy Cricket telling me that all my dreams can come true, as I’m standing there next to the man of my dreams that has provided and loved and cared for me in every way possible, and our two gorgeous sons who make me laugh everyday because they are just like us in so many ways…Ek! Okay, I’ll stop being so mushy. {Elrod WDW Tip: If you can get a spot at the bottom center of Main Street, this is ideal for fireworks viewing with toddlers and babies. The thunder of the fireworks is not quite as loud, and it is an easy out after it’s over, since you are right near the exits. Let the kids watch from the stroller, if they can see well from there, so you can just kick the break and high-tail it outta there after the show. Be the first to catch that bus, boat, or monorail!}

{another side note: we generally only do the fireworks at MK one night of each trip, usually close to the end. Makes it special. All of the other nights we try to get the boys in bed as close to their 8:00 bedtime as possible.}

And that’s it! Your 12 Step process to doing MK with young kids!

Other handy tips:

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~ Get your castle pictures in the late afternoon/early evening, 4:00pm-6:00pm. Also remember there are some great spots for pictures without being front and center on Main Street. There are PhotoPass photographers that can get your whole family to the left and right, near the entrances of Tomorrowland and Liberty Square.

~ Utilize the Baby Care Center behind Crystal Palace. I always prefer changing diapers in there, as opposed to the restrooms, if we are nearby. Baby Care Centers usually have cute little toddler-sized potties too.

~ Don’t stress if you don’t get to everything. MK is a big park! Here is a list of rides we often skip without stressing:

Jungle Cruise {Okay, WDW guru’s–just hush. I get it. But our kids don’t.}

Magic Carpets of Aladdin {especially if you’ve already done Dumbo}

Tomorrowland Speedway

Astro Orbiter {see Magic Carpets of Aladdin}

Stitch’s Great Escape {please, for heaven’s sake ALWAYS SKIP THIS!}

The Carrousel

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Space Mountain

Swiss Family Tree House

Tom Sawyer Island

~ Shows are great if you have the time and your kids have the attention span. Jack claims to love the Tiki Room, but we’ve only done it with him once. For young kids, it’s probably best to steer clear of The Hall of Presidents {although I love it and get choked up with American pride every time} and The Carrousel of Progress {that one hurts to type out. Again, I love it! But my boys would run amok in that thing. Or cry. It’s long.}. Safe tries would be the Tiki Room, Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, and of course Mickey’s Philharmagic.

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Please let me know if I skipped anything. I will be happy to answer questions in the comment section!

With love, Malorie

Here’s What We Think: Rapid Fill

Remember those refillable mugs I mentioned in previous posts? Well Disney is crackin’ down. IMG_3555

See, not only were those mugs a good deal while you were staying on WDW property, they were a great deal when regular WDW goers {like ourselves} figured out the loop hole of bringing their mug back year and after year instead of paying for a new one each trip. There were two sides to that debate. Half of the people were outraged with the immoral beings that would dare to bring back a cup from a previous trip in the name of free drinks, and the other half said, “If Disney really cared that we brought back our mug, they’d find a way to stop us from doing it.” As for us Elrods, we fell somewhere in the middle. We never really had to deal with the issue since we tend to go during the off-season and get the free dining plan {our dining plans would come with a refillable mug}. However, on some of our short trips, we definitely fell into the scum-of-the-earth category by bringing back our used and abused mugs.

Well, it turns out Disney did care. Does care. Whatever. Their solution? Rapid Fill.

Rapid Fill – a new system being put into place starting in the value resorts at the end of July 2013 in which refillable mugs come equipped with a hand-dandy RFID chip that allows guests to refill their mugs for free for a certain time period based on price. After that window of time is up, the chip will deactivate and free refills will no longer be available. Prices are as follows:

$8.99 for 1 day

$11.99 for 2 days

$14.99 for 3 days

$17.99 for length of stay

{Elrod WDW Tip: Days are counted as calendar days, not 24 hour periods, so consider buying your mug on your first morning there if you arrive late in the afternoon your first day.}

Once again, the Disney community is in an uproar of opinions. Usually, we keep our opinions to ourselves, but I thought we’d turn that around and start adding a new facet to our blog entitled Here’s What We Think. So in reference to Rapid Fill, Here’s What We Think:

The Pros:  We don’t hate the idea. Yes, getting free drinks at Disney for years and years is dishonest and dirty. We agree that there should be a higher standard to keep visitors from doing so. And honestly, for all of those moral people out there, Rapid Fill will save them money on their shorter trips, since they won’t have to purchase a one-size-fits-all mug if they are only going to be there for two days. As for the price increase on the length of stay mug, it’s only a couple of bucks, and no matter how you spin it, spending $18 on the front end is always going to be be cheaper than paying the high prices for drinks at each meal. It’s probably even cheaper than bringing your own bottled waters and sodas from home for your length of stay! Especially if you suck down a soda at the speed of my hubby!DSCF1088

{Blondie days! Kinda miss those days…}

The Cons:  Here’s where we take issue. We already have about eight or nine of those bright and gaudy mugs in our cabinet right now. I don’t like that I am now forced to buy the same stupid mug every. time. we. go. all in the name of saving money. Can Disney please come up with a variety of new looks for the mugs {and I don’t just mean different colored lids and handles}? Remember the old resort themed mugs? So cute! Or mugs with logos of the different parks, attractions, or classic characters. Good grief, they probably could have made a killing with a stupid 2013 “Monster Summer” Mike and Sully mug. We’ve seen the holiday themed mugs for the parks, lets just elaborate on that idea so the loyal Disney goers don’t grow cold and hateful toward the idea of playing by the rules. It could even be a new collectors item type of souvenir that people actually look forward to buying each stay, instead of feeling obligated.

Another solution to the con could be charging a lower price to re-activate a “recycled” mug. Bring back your old mug and pay the old $15-and-some-change price to be able to reuse it. C’mon guys, it’s green!…because I can promise you that if I have to buy another one of those hot pink, beachy mugs, old ones will begin to make their way to the trash dump!IMG_5589

Issue number two {mainly with Tim}, is the fact that with the introduction of the chip, you will no longer be able to microwave your mug. This is a thumbs down to folks with toddlers whose coffee tends to go cold before you drink it all, so reheating it in the microwave is a common practice.

So where do you stand? Even if you are not a regular Disney goer, will this new system keep you from or encourage you in purchasing a refillable mug?

Elrods Go Disney is excited to be joining in the Disney community debates! Keep an eye out for more Here’s What We Think posts in the future!

With love, Malorie

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday: Disney Dads

This week’s theme over at Focused on the Magic is Disney Dads. If anyone is a Disney Dad, it’s Timothy Michael Elrod, my hubby of almost six years!DisneyDad

{left side top to bottom: Grand Floridian, Kona Cafe – right side top to bottom: Bay Lake Tower, EPCOT, DHS}

Good grief, I love that man.

Don’t forget to hop along to other Wordless Wednesday posts, leaving a trail of love and pixie dust along the way!

With love, Malorie

Focused on the Magic

Less Than 100 Days!

Oh man alive, this has been a week of ups and downs for us…especially the last couple of days. House stuff.

Being a grown up is no fun sometimes.

In an attempt to be positive today, I’m celebrating the fact that we have less than 100 days until we leave for WDW!

photo{Our chalkboard countdown.}

We are even more excited about this trip than normal. Here’s a few reasons why:

1. It’s our first trip as DVC Members! “Welcome home, Elrod Family!”

2. We are staying another full week at the Wilderness Lodge. That means endless BBQ sandwiches from the Roaring Fork, surrey rides, pool time, and kickin’ it on the balcony with coffee and my love.

3. My parents are staying at the Wilderness Lodge, as well. It’s their first time since I was probably fourteen that they’ve stayed at a Deluxe. I think they are going to be hooked, like they used to be.

4. My friend Stacey is staying at the Wilderness Lodge the same week, too! Stacey and I have been friends since sixth grade. We used to lay in piles of blankets at teenagers on sleepovers, dreaming of getting married to hot guys and having kids at the same time and taking family vacations together… Well, dreams do come true! Jack is excited  because Stacey’s son, Jacob {who is 8 months older than Jack}, just happens to be his best friend, too. I see fun times ahead!

5. We will most likely be annual pass holders. Endless and unlimited entry to all four parks all week year long. ‘Nuff said.

6. We’re still planning on doing Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Candy! Rides! Parades! Shows! Jack said he wants to dress up like Woody or Captain Hook. He can’t make up his mind…

Honorable mentions: Watching Dream Along with Mickey live again, knowing all of the songs and most of the dance moves. Mickey waffles. Jalapeño cheese stuffed pretzels. Did I mention BBQ sandwiches from the Roaring Fork? Breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe. Wishes. The People Mover. The People Mover lots of times. Buying the car decal for our third child, knowing their gender! Buying official DVC merchandise, just because. Taking the boys’ Wilderness Lodge totem pole “growth chart” picture.

There is so much we are looking forward to, I could go on and on. And I’ve got to admit, thinking about these things has really lifted my spirits.

Less than 100 days to go. Whoopieee!

With love, Malorie

24 Hours of Disney Misery

Guys. Today is just awful!

Well, really today is great. I’m finally feeling like I’m reaching the end of the first trimester exhaustion {and the nausea is long gone}, it’s a gorgeous day, the boys are napping, and we have 32 days ’til the beach and are just around the river bend from 100 days until Disney. Even though all of these things are wonderful, today is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day {as Alexander would say} because a little Green-eyed Monster is taunting me.

No, I don’t mean Mike Wazowski.

I mean Jealousy. Raawwwrrr!

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For only the second time ever, today Magic Kingdom is open from 6am to 6am. Twenty four hours of Disney Magic to celebrate their Monsterous Summer Event. I thought I was okay. I really did. I even woke up thinking, “Gee, I’m glad I’m not there. Look at those crowds!” and “Ugh! I’d be exhausted after 12 hours in the park, much less 24!”

I think that was the pregnancy talking.

Of course I follow many, many {probably too many} Disney FB pages and twitter feeds, so all I am seeing today when I glance at my phone is, “Ooo! Look how much fun we’re having! Look at all of the new merchandise. Check out all of the limited-time shows, dance parties, and more! Here’s a list of all the events taking place in the next 24 hours! Look at all of the new food items people are enjoying! Nana-nana-boo-boo! You wish it was you-ooo!”579447_10151688096243274_322460121_n 931168_10151688096168274_2114292473_n

{photos from Walt Disney World Facebook Page}

So what do you do when you have the Green-eyed Monster dancing the Macarena on your shoulder and reminding you of the Disney sweet treats you can’t eat?

Shut. Him. Down.

In the name of Jesus, I rebuke you!

So I am shutting it down folks. No more twitter or FB for the rest of the day.

As I type that, a bit of anxiety creeps in because part of me still wants to see all of the cool and fun things happening right now. As I type this, someone is being flung down the 40-foot-drop into the Laughing Place, while another someone eats a chili dog from Casey’s Corner, while I sit here and type out my miseries! Waaaaah!!!

I think it’s time to go have a popsicle and fill up the kiddie pool. Bye-bye friends and followers. I’ll see ya tomorrow when I’m not so sensitive.

Can I blame all of this on the pregnancy hormones, too?

With love, Malorie

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday: Letter K

This week’s theme at Focused on the Magic is The Letter K. Today I’m sharing some pictures from one of our favorite restaurants, the Kona Cafe!IMG_1624 IMG_1626 IMG_1630 IMG_1632 IMG_1636 IMG_1640 IMG_5838 IMG_5840 IMG_5844 IMG_5847Anyone hungry for some Tonga Toast? Or a sweet tooth fix with that sinfully cotton candy garnished Kona Kone? Yumm…

Don’t forget to hop along to other Wordless Wednesday posts!

With love, Malorie

Focused on the Magic

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday: Month of May

This week’s theme over at Focused on the Magic is May Calendar Shot – pictures that make you think of the month of May. Well, here in the south, May is pretty much the beginning of summer; and summer means ice cream! Here are some yummy frozen desserts from our trips to WDW.pizap.com13672606220311

Don’t forget to hop along to other Wordless Wednesday posts, leaving a trail of love and pixie dust behind you!

With love, Malorie

Focused on the Magic

Sick. Just Sick.

Guys. I’m sick. Just sick.

Homesick, that is. We are still waiting on our membership number and packet in the mail. The boys are sleeping and I’m looking at old WDW pictures and listening to music loops from the parks. I’ve already listened to the MK loop, Illuminations, Muppet*Vision 3D queue, and now I’m riding Splash Mountain…well pretending to, anyway.

Since misery loves company, here’s some lots of pictures from previous trips to make you cry and wish you were there. Enjoy!

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DSCF0983 DSCF1022 DSCF1075 DSCF1088 DSCF1134 DSCF1151 DSCF1162 DSCF1198 DSCF1241 DSCF1252 DSCF1256_2 IMG_3576 IMG_3629 IMG_1449 IMG_1577 IMG_1618IMG_0618 IMG_0627 IMG_0741 IMG_0812 IMG_0828 IMG_0857 IMG_0936 IMG_1019 IMG_1081 IMG_1128 IMG_1143 IMG_1227 IMG_1245 IMG_1394 IMG_1423 IMG_1432 IMG_1443 IMG_1584 IMG_1587 IMG_1649 IMG_1653 IMG_1678 IMG_1710 IMG_1717 IMG_1767 IMG_5593 IMG_5607 IMG_5613 IMG_5670 IMG_5721 IMG_5730 IMG_4341 IMG_5903 IMG_5927 IMG_5954 IMG_5978 IMG_5991 IMG_6009 IMG_6030 IMG_6162 IMG_6173 IMG_6192 IMG_4360 IMG_6198 IMG_6272 IMG_6284 247995_10151225432075630_383336801_nAre you just sick?

Yeah…me too.

With love, Malorie

Here’s What We Think: Our WDW Favorites

This is a post for all of the people that ask us, “It’s our first time going to to WDW! What’s your favorite restaurant?” or “Where’s your favorite place to stay?” At which point Tim and I look at each other and shrug. That is such a hard question for us because we tend to want to answer according to your needs; like those annoying teachers that would answer your questions by asking you another question.

“Well…..what price point are you looking at? Are you asking us what our favorite value resort is or our favorite deluxe resort? What kind of food are you looking for? Are you asking us what our favorite sit down restaurant is, or do you want only quick meals?”

In essence, we try to answer people’s Disney questions by probing to find out what is going to be perfect for them for their trip, and we end up not answering the original question that they asked at all! What is our favorite? So here it is. Everything posted here is our own official Elrod opinion. These are our favorites when it comes to resorts and restaurants. Take it or leave it.

Our Favorite Resort

The Wilderness Lodge.

Our favorite Restaurant

This is where it gets tricky. This is where it get choppy. Let’s break it down.

By Location

Magic Kingdom: Table service – Liberty Tree Tavern  Quick service – Casey’s Corner  Snack – Main Street Bakery

EPCOT: Table service – Via Napoli  Quick service – Cantina de San Angel  Countries to get a snack – Germany and Japan

Hollywood Studios: Table service – Mama Melrose  Quick Service – ABC Commissary  Snack – The Writer’s Shop

Animal Kingdom: We mainly just eat snacks – Harambe Fruit Market

Downtown Disney/Marketplace: Table service – T-Rex  Quick service – Earl of Sandwich  Snack – Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop

Breaking it down a bit further for resorts

Breakfast

Table service: – Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kona at the Polynesian, & The Wave at the Contemporary

Quick service: Roaring Fork at the Wilderness Lodge

Lunch/Dinner

Table service: Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary

Quick service: Roaring Fork at the Wilderness Lodge, the Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge, & surprisingly the All-Stars for their variety and nacho bars

And there you have it! Easy as that. We still have many places we’d like to try that we never have before, so these may change. We’ll keep ya on the up ‘n up if they do.

With love, Malorie