Our Favorite Disney Memories 2013

Our trip to Walt Disney World in July 2013 was a trip of firsts!

Our trip to Walt Disney World in July 2013 was a trip of firsts!

Hello everyone, and welcome to our Disney Memories 2013 post!  This trip was truly a trip of firsts for all of us.  For starters, it was the first time I’ve ever stayed at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and we did so because we went with some of our Pixie friends and were able to get a great rate for our stay!  It was a dream come true for Cindy and I because we always planned — and still do, as far as I’m concerned — on staying there, but figured it wouldn’t be until our 25th Wedding anniversary.  Well, we beat that by 12 years, so that’s pretty good!

In addition to our first stay at the Grand Floridian, this trip included a lot of other firsts, so let’s take a look at them in pictures!  I hope you enjoy, and that you come up with ideas for your own “first” memories that you want to experience at Walt Disney World!

It was the first time we ever saw Illuminations with the Dessert Party!

It was the first time we ever saw Illuminations with the Dessert Party!

We were able to experience and enjoy the Illuminations Dessert Party.  This special add-on is a group thing, so you can’t just go online and book it.  It has to be done through group sales I believe.  I was able to get some great shots of the fireworks, like the one above!

It was also the first time that we ate breakfast at the Prop Shop!

It was also the first time that we ate breakfast at the Prop Shop!

That was a lot of fun and good food, too!  The Prop Shop was a special breakfast and then afterwards we got FastPasses to Toy Story Mania!

It was the first time we ever had our picture with Phineas and Ferb!

It was the first time we ever had our picture with Phineas and Ferb!

I think it was a great picture, too!

It was the first time we ever road the Dueling Dumbos!

It was the first time we ever road the Dueling Dumbos!

Lastly, and perhaps most memorable, it was the first time I ever danced with Sophie at Biergarten.

Lastly, and perhaps most memorable, it was the first time I ever danced with Sophie at Biergarten.

The last picture is perhaps my most cherished memory from this trip — the picture that Cindy took of Sophie and I dancing to the music of the Biergarten band after our dinner.  It was a magical moment that I will never forget, and Sophie really enjoyed dancing with her Daddy that night.  It’s a precursor of things to come when she gets married one day.  Oh boy do I feel old now.

Thank you all for stopping by to see my favorite Disney Memories 2013.  This series has been a lot of fun for me, for really, it’s the memories that keep me coming back to Disney year after year, and it’s the memories that led me to start this blog.  Do you have an absolute favorite Disney Memory you want to share with us?  I’d love to hear it and experience it through your telling of it!  Just leave it as a comment and thanks!

The last post we’ll have in this series will be next week, when we take a look at some of the potential memories we have for our next trip!




St. Patrick’s Day at Walt Disney World!

St. Patrick's Day!

Biergarten – Not your usual location to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Hello everyone, and thank you for stopping by today as we join in on the Magical Blogorail’s #RidingtheRails series this week!  Today we are gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day, which is on March 17th this year.  I know that most people think of restaurants like Raglan Road at Downtown Disney when they think of St. Patrick’s Day:

St. Patrick's Day

Raglan Road is located at Downtown Disney

However, since I don’t drink very much, I like a restaurant that has a great atmosphere, great food, and great spirits, all rolled into one!  For me, that restaurant is the Biergarten, located in Germany in Epcot’s World Showcase!

My family has eaten at Biergarten twice in the past three years, and we have enjoyed it each time.  The first time we ate there was with my sister-in-law Nancy and her family, and then last year we ate there with our friends Brenda and Butch.  Brenda is a Pixie like me, and we are great friends.  That dinner was exceptionally special because Sophie and I got to dance, and it meant as much to her as it did to me.  Here are a couple of photos you might enjoy:

St. Patrick's Day

Dancing with my daughter Sophie at the Biergarten

St. Patrick's Day

I guess I’m practicing for my first dance after she get’s married — several years from now!!!

I know that Biergarten is not your typical Irish type restaurant to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with — but if you can overlook the German food, and the German decor, and the German Beer, well, then I think you’ll love it for St. Patrick’s Day! Now, a question for you all.  Have you ever eaten at Biergarten — at any time, not just for St. Patrick’s Day?  If so, what did you think of it?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!  Go ahead and leave your comment and then click the button to see the rest of the great entries!

Valentine's Day

Disney Valentine’s Day Suggestions!

Valentine's Day

Mickey & Minnie enjoying a ride on Dumbo — one thing we can do with our loved ones on Valentine’s Day!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Riding the Rails post!  This series is hosted at the Magical Blogorail website, and I thank them for having this great series of posts.  This week we are talking about some things we can do around Valentine’s Day, so perhaps these posts will help you get some ideas on what you want to do with your special someone at Disney!  For starters, perhaps you will take a ride on Dumbo with your special someone, like Mickey & Minnie did back in 2010 in this photo!

Valentine's Day

Perhaps you want to take your loved one to World Showcase instead?

Another option you might want to consider is taking your loved one over to Epcot and stroll around the World Showcase.  Perhaps grab a drink, or a bite to eat, maybe take in a showing of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, and stroll leisurely around the world as you explore some of the things you don’t often see at Epcot!

Valentine's Day

Of course, if this is a special someone, you might do this…

Back at the Magic Kingdom, perhaps this is the time you consider doing this with your loved one, as happened to my niece in 2012!  She was not expecting it, and everyone started crying when Shane proposed.  It was a great moment in my life that I’ll remember forever.

Valentine's Day

You know, Valentine’s Day is sometimes a day for Dad’s and Daughters, or Mom’s and Sons.

Perhaps you are visiting the parks with your daughter, or perhaps your wife and you want to do something special for your daughter.  Well, why not treat her to a dance on the Biergarten dance floor.  This is a memory that I cherish, and I think Sophie does too — and I know that Cindy does!  Thank you Cindy for taking this picture.

Valentine's Day

Perhaps, though, you want a romantic getaway at the Grand Californian Hotel…

To this day, I think this is one of the funniest pictures I have ever seen in my resort room.  When we checked in, our room wasn’t ready, but they went through the check-in process with us, and even spoke with Sophie.  When we walked in and saw this decor on the bed, Cindy and I first thought we were in the room for a newlywed couple, but it really was our room!  We have no idea why they did that, but Sophie thought it was a hoot, and loved collecting all the rose pedals!

So there you have it, my friends.  Some suggestions on some things to do at Disney for Valentine’s Day.  Thank you for stopping by, now please take a moment and check out the rest of the entries!  Just click on the image below, and thanks!  Remember everyone to go out and make it a Disney Day!

Disney Dining Review: Biergarten Restaurant

The Germany Pavilion is home to some very unique experiences, but one thing that I have found is a can’t miss experience is taking in a dinner at the Biergarten Restaurant!  Take a look as we explore what makes this unique dining venue such a hit with our family!

The Biergarten Band Performing

Biergarten Restaurant is one of those restaurants that Cindy and I have seen many times, but never made the time to try it out.

I’m at a loss as to why this was; perhaps it was because Sophie is a somewhat picky eater, and we weren’t sure if she would like anything there.  Or perhaps it was because we just always thought that there were other restaurants that we would like better.  Whatever the reason, we had never eaten at Biergarten before.

Truth be told, we weren’t even planning on going this time.  We had our reservations made early on, and Biergarten wasn’t on our list.  But after we got there, we were talking about the Garden Grill Restaurant, and how good it was.  We decided to see if we could get a reservation for it, couldn’t, but we could get one for Biergarten, so we went for it!

Biergarten is a buffet table service restaurant located in the Germany Pavilion.  They are a part of both the Disney Dining Plan for one table service credit, as well as being a participant in the Tables in Wonderland program.

Biergarten is one of those places that you think just doesn’t have a whole lot to interest you, until you sit down and take it all in.  In addition to the delicious buffet, which is full of German dishes and is a great place for good old fashioned “comfort food”, the beer was incredible, and the dinner show was fantastic.  I had many delicious offerings from the buffet, but the one item on the menu that I remember more than anything else was the beer!  My sister-in-law Nancy and I each got the German Beer Flight, which consists of 5 oz. tastings of the following beers:

  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • Altenmunster Oktoberfest
  • Schofferhofer Weizen
  • Hovels

Of the four beers, my favorite was the Hovels and the Oktoberfest.  The Weizen is a wheat beer, and it was ok, but not my absolute favorite, and the Pilsner was a little better than the wheat.

In addition to the food and the beer, the dinner show is really a lot of fun.  When we got there, they had started about five minutes before, so our waiter asked us if we wanted to stay and see it again.  He explained that by staying to see it again, he would be able to give the band Sophie’s name so that they would acknowledge her birthday!  Of course we waited, and she was really excited when they called her name to wish her a Happy Birthday!

As I said, I had never eaten at the Biergarten before, but you know what, I really enjoyed it, and I will dine there again!  It was a great meal, a relaxing show, and a cool atmosphere!  If you haven’t eaten there before, I urge you to check it out.  The Disney World page for Biergarten has two menus, one for the buffet, and one for the drinks.  Click on the links to view them.

Last, here are some photos from the show!  Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

The bandmember playing the bells


The whole band


Playing the xylophone (I think!)


Still Playing!

I would highly recommend that you take in Biergarten!  We had a great time, and I will definitely be making reservations there again in the future!  This post is also being featured as a part of Focused on the Magic’s Flashback Friday!  Click on the button below to see the rest of the posts!

Focused on the Magic

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