VIDEO: WDW Trip 03.14

Now that it is almost May, I’ve finally gotten around to putting together some of the video we took while on our trip to WDW this March! It was Lorelai’s first trip {at a whopping three-months-old, just like her big brother, Jack}, our second stay at Bay Lake Tower, and our second trip as DVC Members. It was a lot of fun, but also contained a lot of shuffle, being our first trip with three kids, and without the grandparents for that matter! Luckily, a Magic Kingdom morning cut short and the ride home were our only two rough spots in the trip. We’re looking forward to our trip this September, with Lorelai being more alert and aware of what’s going on.

Without further ado, our March 2014 video. I don’t love it as much as the last montage, but it still contains lots of great Elrods Go Disney memories!

VIDEO: WDW Trip 2013

We’ve officially been home from WDW for a week, and I have only had one day where I wanted to cry.

I think that’s a success, yes?

Part of the reason I haven’t slunk into deep PDD {Post-Disney Depression} is because we are already planning and booking meal reservations for our trip in March. The other part is because I have been working on a video montage of our trip, and being able to look back on all of our fun times and live vicariously through our memories captured via iPhone has somehow curbed the pains of withdrawal. I finished it a couple of days ago, but because I am not very computer program and technology savvy, I had to seek help from Tim in figuring out how to export it. He finally found the time today, and I am so excited to share it with you.

I know it’s amateur, but I am still quite proud, considering this was my first time ever attempting a project such as this. I pretty obsessed with it and plan on making one for each trip now. So get ready for that.

Without further ado and rambling {for which I am infamous}, here is our WDW Trip 2013. 

With love, Malorie

Pre-Buy for Disney 2013

Any entries posted between September 5th – 12th were composed prior to our trip. To follow along with us in our current WDW adventures, follow us on Twitter: malyourpal and timelrod or on Instagram: malyourpal.

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Who has two thumbs and has been having a blast pre-buying for Disney? This girl.Photo on 8-30-13 at 3.58 PM #4

That’s right. The one crawling with toddlers, humming the Dinosaur Train theme song… {Yes, this is how I blog most days; with one or more kids in my lap.}

As you know, we are fans of the “Buy Now, Save Later” principle. Especially when it comes to WDW souvenirs. Here are some things we snagged this year.

IMG_8464 We got this whole lot at Target about a week before we left. The two Planes shirts were $8 apiece at regular price. {Oh Target, how I love thee!} The toucan outfit was $9 for the whole shebang; MK gear for Cole. Sometimes we buy clothes that aren’t necessarily Disney, but are themed towards a specific part or park. ie. This reminded us of Adventureland and the Tiki Room, so we bought it. The Mickey shirt was the cheapest of all {I can’t remember the price} because it is obviously a 4th of July shirt. However, we figured it would work great for Jack in EPCOT!

Get it? America? World Showcase?? I’m really hoping we catch the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps while we are there. Jack and Cole would love that.

Another thing we always make sure to pre-purchase is any glow item the boys may want. This year we scored glow bracelets for 98 cents at Walmart and two glow necklaces for $2 a pop at Party City! $5 and both boys will be decked out. I’m pretty sure that not a single item on that glow cart they break out at dusk before the Main Street Electrical Parade is $5 or less. IMG_8463While at Party City, I spotted those Lightening McQueen bubble necklaces, as well. I got one for Jack, Cole, and their friend Jacob who will be tagging along this trip. I thought they’d be good entertainment for any lines we may encounter in the parks.

Who Can Blow the Most Bubble’s in their Brother’s Face. Sounds like a fun game to me…

With love, Malorie

Here’s What We Think: Via Napoli Review

Any entries posted between September 5th – 12th were composed prior to our trip. To follow along with us in our current WDW adventures, follow us on Twitter: malyourpal and timelrod or on Instagram: malyourpal.

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Have you ever enjoyed a meal at Via Napoli in the World Showcase at EPCOT? We have. Twice. And as a matter of fact, we are eating there for our third time today! [insert giddy girl dance]IMG_5991 Via Napoli is tucked into the very back of the Italy pavilion and is in my humble, untravelled opinion, a very attractive facade. IMG_1660Inside the atmosphere is nice without feeling fancy, and I like that. I’m a dress-for-the-occasion kind of girl, so I always feel awkward dining in really nice places in shorts and a tank top with my hair in a sweaty ponytail. Via Napoli definitely doesn’t give off that vibe. IMG_5989 IMG_1635My favorite part of the restaurant is the wall of three wood burning fireplaces where they cook their authentic Italian pizzas. They are named after the three active volcanoes in Italy; Stromboli, Vesuvio, and Etna.

On top of having really great food, we have to admit that one of the main reasons we keep returning to Via Napoli time after time is because of the wonderful service. Both times we have dined there, we have had amazing waiters that were willing to take the time to explain menu items, tell us about their homeland {yes, the waitstaff is comprised of Italian citizens working for a stint in America}, and go above and beyond to meet our needs. When Cole was still taking a bottle, our waiter brought us hot water to heat it and asked many times throughout the meal if I needed anything else for my baby.

Even though we have visited twice, pizza was what we ordered off the menu both times. Why not? It is made from authentic Italian ingredients, including water and flour flown in from Italy for the dough! Tim loves the piccante, while I’ve had both the pepperoni and quattro formaggi. IMG_1647 IMG_1645 IMG_1644 I mean, look at that! That is a pizza! Yum-my!IMG_1642For dessert we have sampled pretty much everything on the menu; perks of riding on the free dining plan. We all order something different and then share. Tim is a fan of the Tiramisu. I love the Coppa dii Brutti Ma Buon and my parents had only good things to say about the Zeppole di Caterina. And the coffee? Well, you know the Elrods love a good cup of coffee and Via Napoli did not let us down. IMG_1651 IMG_1653 IMG_1649 IMG_1650Over all, the Elrods rate Via Napoli:ElrodRatingEars copy 3 We have never {in our whopping two times} walked away hungry or disappointed. We are not anticipating today to be any different, but if it is, you are sure to hear about it. [wink wink]

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

{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

Here’s What We Think: Defending Duffy

Do you know who Duffy the Disney Bear is?1259000440026

There are so many people that don’t know the bear that has become so beloved in the Elrod family. We have also had many friends that have gone to WDW and come back saying, “And then we got our picture with this bear in EPCOT. I don’t really know why he was there. Who is he?”

Well, Duffy the Disney bear was first briefly introduced in 2002, but only gained popularity after being noticed and loved by the visitors of Tokyo DisneySea park in Tokyo, Japan. In 2010 they brought Duffy back to WDW and he has had mixed reviews ever since.

For the Disney story behind the bear, grab your kiddos and check out this video of how he came to be.

Personally, we love Duffy, but maybe that’s because we have two young boys that have really taken to him. Both of our boys sleep with their own Duffy every night and play with them almost everyday. At this age, I’d say that our boys really play with Duffy more than they do their stuffed Mickey toys! Tim and I have, in turn, really grown to love the bear that follows around Jack and Cole like a fluffy little shadow.

However, so many Disney goers like ourselves feel exactly the opposite. I can’t tell you how many tweets and blogs I read that bash Duffy. One person even scoffed at Duffy even being included in the Christmas Day parade at Magic Kingdom.

Poor Duffy. Well, I am here to be a voice on the other end. I’m here to defend Duffy. We love you, Duffy Bear! We love that Jack and Cole love you, and you can count on coming to WDW with us every trip, so that we can stuff you full of more Disney memories and love, just like Minnie did. IMG_5999IMG_6009IMG_6016IMG_6014So what side of the Duffy-fence are you on? Or is this the first time you are really learning who Duffy the Disney Bear really is?

With love, Malorie

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