Tuesday, May 3, 2016

[Cheers to Five Years] Disney Trip #24, day 3 - Anniversary at Epcot

April 12th -

Time to share the last day of our Cheers to Five Years Disney trip. With our annual passes expiring on the 12th we wanted to soak up a few more days of magic. So, we decided to lump my Birthday and our 5th Wedding Anniversary into a 3 day trip to celebrate. If you missed day one you can find that here, or day two here.

April 12th is our wedding anniversary, and whenever we can make it happen we love to spend the day at Epcot. After getting married that morning, we grabbed our best friends and celebrated at Epcot. We ate lunch at the Rose & Crown, we did a few rides, and we drank a few drinks strolling around the World Showcase. So, we like to celebrate our anniversaries doing something similar...just with a little lady in tow and less drinking.

Since we were up extra late the previous night we didn't set any alarms or have any inclination to get up for another early morning. Thankfully Aria was totally on board with the plan and slept in until sometime past 9. We got up, got ready, packed up, checked out, and hit the road for Epcot. Because our anniversary falls during Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival the bulk of our plan was to just eat whatever foods struck our fancy at the festival booths.

Here's what we tried:
Gaoli Beef Bun from Lotus House
 Gaoli Beef Bun from Lotus House - very yummy.

 Candied Strawberries from Lotus House
 Candied Strawberries from Lotus House - a sweet, crunchy, and extra messy favorite.

Vegetable Spring Roll from Lotus House
 Vegetable Spring Roll from Lotus House - nothing overly special, but still good. 
I also got the Peach-Oolong Bubble Tea but forgot to snap a picture - can't skip the bubble tea!

Pulled Pig Slider from The Smokehouse
Pulled Pig Slider from The Smokehouse - really good, a favorite of mine.

Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash from The Smokehouse
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash from The Smokehouse - another favorite.

Smoked Pork Ribs from The Smokehouse
Smoked Pork Ribs from The Smokehouse - Chris really enjoyed this one, I did too but I let him eat most of it because I was running out of room.

Warm Chocolate Cake from The Smokehouse
Warm Chocolate Cake from The Smokehouse - I hated it, it tasted like smoke.

Cassoulet au Confit de Canard from Fleur de Lys
Cassoulet au Confit de Canard from Fleur de Lys - Chris mildly enjoyed the duck but the beans were too weird so he skipped those. He liked the duck offerings better from previous years here. I didn't try it.

Seared Pork Tenderloin from Urban Farm Eats
Seared Pork Tenderloin from Urban Farm Eats -  Chris really liked this one, and I would have tried it if I could have eaten another bite.

Pineapple Soft-Serve with Coconut Rum from Pineapple Promenade
Pineapple Soft-Serve with Coconut Rum from Pineapple Promenade - you just can't skip this one. I don't like dole whip, but add coconut rum? delicious.

Violet Lemonade from Pineapple Promenade
Violet Lemonade from Pineapple Promenade - this one was for Aria and she loved it. Super tart.

Walt Disney World, Epcot, World Showcase, France Pavilion, Chocolate orange from L'Artisan des Glaces
(Not part of the Festival) Chocolate orange from L'Artisan des Glaces - gag. The chocolate and orange ice cream, great. The tiny bits of orange peel I'm assuming, awful. It ended up in the trash. Everything else I've tried from there has been delicious, this one just wasn't my preferred texture.

In between bouts of eating we rode the Nemo ride, took our traditional anniversary picture, tried to play at the play ground but it was closed, checked out the butterflies, watched the Italian mime show, strolled around the countries, and saw O' Canada. After that we called it a day and decided to head to PF Changs for dinner because we didn't have enough food yet. Although most of the food we tried was during lunch time and when we had room in the tummy again there wasn't anything else we really just had to try at the booths, and PF Changs always sounds good.
Walt Disney World, Epcot, The Seas, Nemo
Walt Disney World, Epcot, World Showcase, Canada Pavilion
Walt Disney World, Epcot, World Showcase, Canada Pavilion

That ends this trip, and our passes sadly. Several of you have asked if we are going to renew, so I thought I'd give you a Disney pass update!

Way back a year ago the plan was to let our passes run out on April 12th, and then focus the rest of the year on paying off a student loan.

Then at the start of 2016 there was a job opportunity that would have had us relocating to Maryland. So, for weeks we were planning on moving - lots of purging, and apartment hunting, and talks with Aria. But, all of a sudden a few weeks before the move that job was no longer on the table. I honestly have no idea what happened. Chris was really bummed about it, it was a good choice financially but he is also from that area and was looking forward to being there again. I really had no desire to move to Maryland but it was just one of those things we couldn't pass up. Clearly with the move we weren't planning on renewing our passes.

And even though we aren't moving now (bonus from the move is that we were saving aggressively for a nice moving cushion, so when that fell through we took part of it and completely paid off the student loan that was our goal for this year - hooray!), we've still decided to not renew our passes for the time being. The prices have gone up, as they tend to do, but also Aria would need her very own pass. Instead of 2 expensive passes we would need 3, and Aria's isn't any cheaper than the adult price. So, we are taking the summer off from the parks. We really don't go too often during the summer because it is miserable and completely packed anyway, but we plan on reevaluating come fall. Aria has already put in a request to spend her 4th Birthday at Disney too, and really who wouldn't?

So, we are currently un-magical and Disney pass-less. But, that doesn't mean I won't be dragging the family to Disney property. We will actually be there this coming weekend for Mother's Day!

Disney Trip #24
And, last but not least the final video from our trip!


  1. All of that food looks so good. What a great way to spend your anniversary. I'm so sorry the job fell through, but it sounds like it may be a blessing since you weren't completely on board. But still stinks. I can't believe you aren't renewing. Girl! I just love that your hubby enjoys going too. Just trying to get Drew on board to take the kids at some point is difficult.

  2. Sorry to hear that the job in Maryland didn't work out. Congrats on paying off that student loan! That is always such a great relief!

  3. Smoke cake? That sounds horrible. I can totally see how a cake would soak in that smokey smell. Well once again I am starving after looking at your photos so I will head to the kitchen only to be disappointed :P.

  4. All that food! YUMMMM! So sorry about the ups and downs of the job, but AWESOME for paying off your loans! That's a huge celebration!

  5. The chocolate cake looks so good, that stinks that it tasted like smoke and about your hubby not getting the job :( I can't believe how expensive the passes are these days. I keep telling Dean we need to go before Mason has to have is own ticket. We had year passes to Busch Gardens last year bug didn't go because of the heat, it's ridiculous!

  6. What a bummer that the job fell through. But at least you don't have to move now! Also, I am craving all of the above listed food!

  7. That food all looks so amazing! Glad you guys were able to make the most of your passes before they expired! I'm so, so sorry that Chris's new job fell through. That would've been quite the move from FL to MD though, that's for sure! I'm jealous that you paid off your student loan. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be paying until I'm 50, ugh. Enjoy your Disney Mother's Day weekend!

  8. What a fun way to celebrate!! Please tell me you've seen all there is to see of Disney? How could you not?

  9. With every post you've done of all the food you've tried at Epcot, it makes me wanna go there more & more. Someday when it's just the hubby & I we'll head there. :)

  10. I love that you spent your wedding day as well as your anniversaries as possible in Epcot. I love Epcot, there is just so much there to appreciate!

  11. Always love your updates! And a great way to spend the last few days of your passes. All that F&GF food looks yummy. I've heard lots of things from the Smokehouse are really good and that seems to be the case here too :) I still think it's awesome that you were able to celebrate at Epcot after getting married. Great family photos!

  12. Aww, you guys find the best food! I'm actually headed to Disneyland on Friday, at least that is the plan! :) I want Baby Fox to see the Paint the Night parade and the fireworks, since he hasn't done either. I hope he likes it! Bummer that you didn't end up moving. We thought we might be moving to Kentucky...but glad that we're not but we our life was sort of put on hold until we figured everything out.

  13. So cool that you guys visited Epcot after your wedding and frequent it as much as you can on your anniversary. I love a good tradition, but one that includes Disney is even better!!! All of the food looks amazing, but I am wishing I had a pineapple soft serve with coconut rum right about now. I am so sorry the Maryland job fell through. Maybe that just means there is something better in store for you all. Yay for paying off that loan, though! How awesome is that? And I don’t blame you for taking some time off from the parks. I can’t even imagine how hot and busy the parks are in the summer months. Hard to enjoy when you’re just miserable. What are you guys doing for Mother’s Day at Disney? Sounds awesome!

  14. Your food choices have me drooling. Maybe counting calories and oogling food dont mix? ;) Congrats on paying off the student loan! That is awesome! Im sure youll be enjoying Disney even without passes, its part of your DNA!

  15. I want to eat my way through Disney with you. I wish DLand had the coconut rum for the dole whips. I'd have about 10 each visit (and then someone would have to wheel me out of there).
    I'm bummed your passes have expired, but totally get it! Scott doesn't have a pass, it's just Marcus and me who get to go. I have my fingers crossed you'll be back next fall!

  16. All that food and drinks look AHMAZING!

  17. Ok seriously? It's 10:52pm and I am now so hungry and want everything you just showed. Yum!
    I think you should renew your passes around Aria's birthday so you can meet me at Disney in January!!!!

  18. Look at all that amazing food!!! I'm sorry the move fe through but I mean Florida is sort of amazing. And being that close to Disney property would make me so so happy. My girlfriend gets the pass that has black out dates? So much money though. We had to do a payment plan for our Hershey passes. Not cheap and that's no where near Disney!!!

  19. So much yumminess in this post. And as crazy as that whole moving/not moving thing is, paying off the student loan is huge! Way to go on that! No more interest, yay. Summer really is the worst time to visit Disney, you guys are wise to wait. Boo for three year olds being adults.


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