Be Our Guest!
It was a blistering 90+ degrees out, and the wait for lunch was about an hour, half of which is spent outside in the full sun. Disney really stepped up their game, though, by loaning out complimentary umbrellas for shade and providing an ice water cart, which I've never seen before. Kudos, Disney!
Once inside we snagged the best seat in the house - in the dark & cool West Wing, in full view of the holographic rose:
Every so often a petal will drift down, thunder and lighting will rock the room, and the portrait of the Beast on the wall will flash to his Princely version. Combine that with all the kids screaming in terror - or just plain screaming - and it's a noisy spot, but totally worth it.
Oh! And I finally tried The Grey Stuff!
(Now with dramatic lens flare! JJ would be proud.)
It's on a cupcake now, and they don't write "The Grey Stuff" on the plate anymore, but it's still called that on the menu. And since you could only get it at dinner before - which you have to book a full 6 months in advance - I'm not complaining. Plus, it really IS delicious. (Don't believe me? Ask the dishes!) Incredibly light and fluffy chocolate mousse - not heavy at all - and the cupcake is filled with the Stuff, too. Mmmm.
And that's AFTER I had the best lunch dish in the 'Kingdom: the braised pork over mashed potatoes with grilled onions, green beans, and other assorted veggies. Oh. Migosh. (And only $12! Seriously, this place rocks.)
Now I'm hungry again.
After lunch we wandered over to check out some of the hidden treasures by Rapunzel's Tower.
If you look down you'll see lots of hoof prints embedded in the ground, and if you look closer...
My friend Amy tipped me off to follow the hoof prints, and sure enough, they led to this:
A bit hard to see, but the right apple has a horse-sized bite out of it.
Across from The World's Prettiest Bathrooms Disney has installed a shady seating area equipped with phone charging stations, and they've also provided a little I Spy game to play while you're waiting:
I think we found five in all, but the rest are pretty well camouflaged. Here's one more:
I'll leave the rest up to you to find!
After another parade viewing - which I still have to post photos of, and which I'm not ashamed to admit makes me a bit weepy because it's the most beautiful thing ever - we wrapped up our day by playing all five of the new Pirate Treasure Hunts in Adventureland.
These things blow that Sorcerer's game out of the water, because instead of boring digital screens, you get cleverly hidden physical effects. You'll have air darts blown at you, glowing skulls serenade you, cannons explode right in front of you, and a whole host of other fun surprises.
The original Talking Heads?
The hunts are also FAST - no more tapping your toe while the dialogue drones on for minutes at a time ala Agent P's in Epcot; you can zip through a single hunt in about 15 minutes, easy.
Let me know in the comments if you guys want more on the Treasure Hunts. I have plenty of pictures from both these and the special limited-run Muppet's Adventure over at Epcot, so if you guys are interested I'll put together a separate post.
Ah, and some of you may find this relevant to your interests:
May 28th - the countdown is on!
(And for some reason they have an entire army of castmembers and managers just standing in a line out front. I guess to keep people from trying to queue up?)
My excitement is bittersweet, of course, since my anxiety has kept me off rides for about a year now. The only time I really mind is with new stuff like this, though, and I remain hopeful that someday I'll get to experience Little Mermaid outside of Youtube - and then work my way up to the Harry Potter ride at Universal. (Awww yeeeeah.)
Besides, there's always room for hope: Monday I managed the ferry ride in and out of the Kingdom for the first time in ages. Funny how anxiety makes you fight to regain ground like that; things I never thought twice about just six or seven years ago are now personal battlefields. Which is another reason I really appreciate Disney adding things like these treasure hunts; as a non-rider, I can still find plenty to do and see.
And to end on a sweet note, one more recommendation:
This is a Citrus Swirl and Sprite float. You can request it at the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland - and you really, really should. Mix all that citrusy and vanilla-y goodness together, and wooooooaaaaahhh.
Yet Another Give-Away Update: My last winner was a no-show, so congrats to Sarah Dutton, my new randomly selected art give-away winner! Please e-mail me your mailing address & choice of prize, Sarah!