February 2022
Disney Enchantment Pre-Party
and Princess Half-Marathon

February 2022 Disney Trip
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
New LaGuardia Airport Awful for Travelers

    Kelli and I woke at 3:10 for our 6:30 am flight. We drove over to our nephew Tim’s house where Tim, Marissa, Maddie and Liam were all waiting to be driven by our brother in law, Rich. We got to the new Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport early at 4:15.

    Check in was easy but there was a huge line for regular security. Tim Marissa and kids had TSA Pre-check and were through in no-time. Kelli and I waited an hour. After id check there were only two lines through security. We texted Tim to get us a bottle of water and soda for plane ride.

    We had to quickly walk to our gate. This is where the new LaGuardia Airport SUCKS for travelers. We had to walk to a very high escalator to the left. Upstairs we had to walk this huge ¾ circle of just stores, through a huge atrium with more stores, then a long wide hallway with more stores, then down two escalators to where the gates started. That took over 10 minutes lugging our carry-ons. Why make travelers walk through a huge mall. They could have used it for much needed parking structures. No one has time for them anyway since they aren’t open and if they were no one would have time due to the dismal security.

    Fondler former Gov. Cuomo must have gotten lots of bribes for all those stores.

    Fortunately, our gate was the first and we walked right on since they had already called our boarding group.

    Our plane’s name was All Wrapped Up in Blue. I watched the new Dune movie but didn’t see the end.

    The plane landed a bit early. After picking up our checked luggage; we were whisked away to Disney using Pegasus Professional Transportation car service.

    We arrived at the Art of Animation resort around 10:25. We changed, shopped a little, then checked our luggage with bell services and hopped on the Skyliner over to Epcot.

    We entered Epcot through the International Gateway at 11:30. We noticed that they already had some topiaries up for the upcoming Flower and Garden Festival. We saw Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, and Pooh.


    Kelli and I were trying to take it easy so we split up. Tim, Marissa and kids went on to ride Nemo and we headed over to Morocco for lunch. First, we found a photopass photographer and took a picture with Chip from Beauty and the Beast


    We used the Disney App to wait for seating at Spice Road Table. It was a 30 minute wait and we passed the time talking to the friendly CMs at the check in podium. One was Mario from the UK. I even helped them out when one guest asked where to find the “blue milk.” That’s not in Epcot, but at Hollywood Studios in Black Spire Outpost. I also added that it can come with or without alcohol and there is a minty green milk as well.

     We had a great table for people watching.  It was outside, under shade and in a corner facing the path. 


    I ordered a Pomegranate Aҁai - Açai-blueberry-pomegranate, Bacardí dragonberry rum, lime juice, agave, and soda water. It was sooooo gooood.

    We ordered a few small plates and shared.

Pomegranate Aҁai

Dolmas – stuffed grape leaves
Naan Spreads with Hummus, Chermoula, Marinated Olives, Za’atar
And a Spice Road Table Sampler; 
     - Spiced Chicken with ras el hanout, mint yogurt and tabbouleh;
     - Tiropitakia, a cheese-filled phyllo with cucumber and tomato relish.
Lamb Kefta, a grilled lamb meatball with tzatziki, radish and blistered cherry tomato

    The hummus was the best I ever had. The Pomegranate Aҁai was so good I had another!  The bill came out to 76.39 with tip.

    After this wonderful meal and experience we found Belle posing near flowers. It was the perfect setting for her

    Kelli and I headed back around two to rest and avoid the heat. Tim Marissa and kids traveled over to Magic Kingdom. Maddie got to ride Space Mountain twice due to rider swap.


    Back at the resort we grabbed the luggage but had to call for food order delivery.

    We left for the Magic Kingdom at 4:30 to meet the others only to see five Disney Spring buses come and go before an MK bus. We didn’t arrived at MK till 5:15 pm. We met the Tim and family outside the Town Square theater where they met Mickey Mouse.

    We saw this huge group photo on Main Street with 40 people. Near the hub a cavalcade started featuring floats with the Fab 6 plus Chip and Dale.

    Tim, Marissa, and kids went to get on a ride; Kelli and I first did the far away magic shot then explored the gold statures in the hub before heading to the dessert party.


    They let us in early at 6:10 for 6:30-7:30 party.

Disney Enchantment Pre-Party at the Magic Kingdom 

This dessert party was held at the Tomorrowland Terrace 

It featured:
     - Assorted cheese and fruit
     - Freshly made apple crepes with caramel sauce
     - Chilling Chamber Pop – Vanilla crumbs, caramel buttercream and graham crackers
     - Firehouse Doughnuts- Cinnamon sugar ricotta doughnuts with Strawberry topping
     - Tres Leche – coconut cake soaked in four milk mixture
     - Butterscotch pudding with caramel
     - Chocolate covered strawberries
     - Chocolate Silk Pie -chocolate tart shell, chocolate filling, whipped cream and chocolate shavings
     - Devil’s Chocolate Pudding – with Crumble brownie and whipped cream
     - Assortment of beer (Budweiser and Blue Moon) and wine (Red  blend, Chardonnay, Moscato d'Asti), plus coffee, tea. soda, lemonade and sparkling wine (Cuvee Cava)
     - and a gluten free assortment plate available (pictured bottom right)




Everything was delicious, the Tres Leche was the best. The strawberries were sweet and ripe

    Afterwards a cast member then escorted us to a prime standing area in the Plaza Garden for priority viewing of Disney Enchantment—a brand-new fireworks spectacular at Magic Kingdom park. We found a back railing to lean against and to sit in front of till the show started. A service dog did come near us and Maddie was concerned, but she was still able to enjoy the show. We had a great view of Tinkerbelle flying over us.


    In the end, we think it’s expensive but worth it, IF you have the extra money to spend.

    We waited for the crowd to disperse. Kelli and I tried to shop the Emporium but it was way too crowded-busy so we left for the buses. Tim, Marissa and kids soon followed. Back at the resort I found a replacement for my Mickey backpack, which had been sown up a few times. I also brought a couple of Chip and Dale and 50th Anniversary pins.


Thursday, February 24, 2022

    Everyone woke up at 6 am as we wanted to Rope Drop Magic Kingdom. Breakfast was at the Landscape of Flavors. Kelli and I shared a Waffle Platter and a Danish. 

Hidden Mickey towels

    There was a huge line at the Magic Kingdom bus stop at 7:30 We were able to get on the third bus that came. They were still loading the second bus when the third came and stopped at the nearby next bus stop. It was a coach style bus. The bus driver stored carriages underneath in the luggage hold. We happily traveled in style to MK.

    Kelli and I lagged behind the others as they rushed ahead to try to do Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the standby line. I took a few pictures of some of the Main Street store windows.


    Tim texted that they changed their plan. Standby was too long and will try Peter Pan first. We all met up at Peter Pan where Marissa and Tim met some friends, The line moved quickly through the rooms and we saw Tinkerbelle light up the bedrooms twice and played with the shadow bells.



    Small world was next with a short wait so we decide to wait a little longer for the two front rows. We nicely asked the CM and she held our group till the next set of boats came in.

    After riding we found more 50th gold statues behind castle.

    We walked over to Tomorrowland and rode Buzz. Kelli sat this one out and checked the gift shops.

    All six of us the rode the People Mover – all 6 in one car! Which made it fun!

    Next was Little Mermaid using the Lighting Lane. The ride stopped momentarily three times.

    As usual, Kelli and I headed back early, but not before some shopping on Main Street and saw Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Tinkerbell pass by.



    A pair of Mallard ducks greeted us at the bus stop.

    We grabbed lunch at Landscape of Flavors. I tried Walt Disney’s Favorite Chili in a Bread Bowl and Kelli the Signature Pimento Bacon Cheeseburger topped with bacon, pimento cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a toasted brioche bun.

    We also got two cupcakes to eat later. A Cookies 'n Cream Sundae Cupcake a chocolate cupcake topped with cookies 'n cream butter cream, rainbow sprinkles, and chocolate ears and a Mermaid Tail Cupcake, a vanilla cupcake filled with pineapple and topped with coconut butter cream, white chocolate mermaid tail, graham cracker crumb, crispy pearls, and glitter.

    We ate in the room. Kelli’s burger was delicious!  The rest got back and also ate. Tim and Marissa headed to the Run Disney Expo. We took the kids to the Cozy Cone pool for an hour. It felt great.


    During freshening up back at the room I rescued a Lady bug and let it go outside.  On my return I was able to get some fresh towels from Housekeeping in the corridor.  We all headed to Epcot around 4 using the Skyliner.

    Once inside the International Gateway we shopped the Port of Entry shop then we split up. The others went to ride Soarin using Lighting Lane while Kelli and I found more topiaries out and more gold statues. We also saw Alice in England. She happily posed for some pictures.



    We rode the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros then looked around in the Plaza De Los Amigos shop. 

    In Canada , we caught the tail end of Alberta Bound Band’s set at the Mill Stage, then  sat and people watched in France to wait for the others to get back. Before dinner we used our paid Lighting Lane passes for Remy's Ratatouille Adventure then headed back over to Mexico.

    Dinner was at La Hacienda de San Angel with a 6:15 ADR. This was a new restaurant for us and my 52nd different Walt Disney World sit down restaurant.

    I started with a Black Magic (created bt Neil Patrick Harris) - mezcal, blackberry puree, black currant liqueur, lime and mint. Tim had a Dos Equis Lager.

    We shared the Guacamole with mango salsa and chipotle bacon.

    I had the Tacos de Langosta, fried lobster in flour tortillas, shredded cabbage, chipotle, aïoli, and mango relish with rice and beans. Kelli and Marissa had the Pollo Poblano, roasted chicken breast with poblano cream sauce, served with brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, and oyster mushrooms.

    Tim had the Alambre de Res, seared tenderloin, bacon, poblano and bell peppers, onions with Monterey jack cheese, with salsa verde, rice with beans, and flour tortillas. The kids had the quesadillas


    We all then tried the Chocolate “Fiesta” Pyramid for dessert. A festively decorated chocolate pyramid filled with Mexican chocolate mousse and toffee atop a traditional tres leches cake, and accompanied by ice cream.

    Kelli and I also tried the Sweet Corn Ice Cream, and it was surprisingly good.

    We saved 10% using my DVC discount. Cost with tip $280.91

    We started to head out as Tim, Marissa and kids strolled through the countries, stopping at some kid cot stations.

    We grabbed some great video of the Monorail passing by Spaceship Earth at night.  https://youtube.com/shorts/neswCsrz8_E?feature=share

    Kelli and I again caught the end of the Alberta Bound Band.

    Outside the International Gateway we saw a bride and her entourage.

    On the way back on the skyliner we saw both Magic Kingdom fireworks and Spaceship Earth.


Friday, February 25, 2022

    We tried to get Rise of the Resistance LL passes but it sold out in less than 2 minutes.

    Kelli decided to relax at the resort. She wasn’t feeling that great. Most of the rides  at Hollywood Studios are not for her. 

    We grabbed a quick breakfast at the food court and headed to the Skyliner. There was already a huge line at 7:20 AM. It stretched all the way into Pop Century to the first giant bowling pin. But when the skyway opened just before 7:30 , the line moved quickly and we were on in 10 minutes. We made it to the Hollywood Studios at 7:55. Our plan was to rope drop Rise of the Resistance, but the ride was down. We hopped on the long Slinky Dog line but we were on in less than 30 minutes. Next was Smugglers run with a 20-minute wait. This time I got to pilot the Millennium Falcon!

    A photopass photographer took a group photo with a Porg on Liam’s arm.

     Liam was so good at following the photographer's directions he started holding out his arm on all the other pictures taken during the trip.

    I got some green milk, this time with tequila at the Black Spire Outpost Milk stand. While enjoying this I spotted a bird on top the TIE fighter. Turned out to be a Eurasian Collared Dove.


    I liked this T-shirt but didn’t buy it. Not my color.

    Above the Prime Time Café, I tried to get a better picture of the Eddie Valiant window with Roger Rabbit outline where he broke through the window. 

    I saw Edna Mode and others on a passing cavalcade and brought some AP and Visa pins for myself and Tim in the Celebrity 5 and 10 shop.

    I headed back to join Kelli at 10:30. She had gotten some oatmeal and a crumb cake to eat and was now walking the grounds and enjoying the weather and birds including a close Great Blue Heron. 

    The others made it back a little later.

    We grabbed another delicious Signature Pimento Bacon Cheeseburger to share for lunch. We all went to the Cozy Cone Pool to relax and cool off and eventually got a Cozy Cone to use.

    We headed back to Hollywood Studios early at 3. Donald and Daisy were up on a veranda greeting guests just inside the park. 

    I was happy to find the Edna Mode gold statue as we made our way to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Train. Liam was fast asleep but woke up by the time our LL time arrived.

    The kids went to meet to Vampirina and Doc Mc Stuffins then attended the dance party.

    Kelli and I did the Mickey and Minnie cartoon short “Vacation Fun.” The theater seats were Mickey Mouse colors. The short was good and included Mickey’s Donald’s, and Goofy’s visit to Potatoland on their vacation. The exit area after the show had scenes from the cartoon that you can take pictures in. We loved taking pictures of us attending Potatoland.

    Kelli got a Poweraid to keep hydrated at Frozen Fractal Gifts. We all met up and greeted Olaf.

    Kelli and I headed to the Tune-In lounge to rest and I got the Shimmer Over the Moon cocktail. 

    This new 50th Anniversary drink consisted of Ole Smokey apple pie moonshine, amaretto, falernum, pineapple juice, and club soda served with a souvenir glow cube.

    Dinner was at Hollywood and Vine with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto.

    During our dinner I saw Mickey sign language to a cute little girl at the next table.


    I started with a Magical Beacon Cocktail and got my second glow cube of the day. It had Empress 1908 Gin, Bols Blue Curaçao, Lemonade, Orgeat (Almond), Lemon, Hibiscus and Grenadine. Tim had a Yuengling.

    We all shared the Chopped Salad Bowl. The kids got Mac n Cheese, I got the shrimp mac and cheese.

    The others ordered the Pork Loin, Beef Tenderloin and Seared Salmon with Grain Mustard-Beurre Blanc, crushed fingerling potatoes with olive oil and garlic-lemon broccolini.

Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper Sliced Beef Tenderloin*
Sour Cream and Chive Whipped Potatoes, Sautéed Green Beans, and Herb Relish.

Macaroni & Cheese with Shrimp
 Cavatapi Pasta, Four Cheese Sauce, Shrimp, Crispy Bacon, Buttered Panko Crust with Fennel and Arugula.

Spice-rubbed Pork Loin
Creamy Soft Cheese Polenta, Spicy Mustard-Barbecue Sauce and Bacon-Peach Chutney

Kids Mac and Cheese

For desserts we ordered two vanilla Crème brulee, a Chocolate S’moores pie and a White Chocolate Cheesecake.

White Chocolate Cheesecake

Guava Sauce, Fresh Whipped Cream and Mint

Chocolate S’mores Pie

Dark Chocolate Mousse with Toasted Marshmallow and Graham Cracker Streusel

Vanilla Crème Brûlée

Rich Custard with Caramelized Sugar

With the 10% DVC discount and the automatically added 18 % gratuity, dinner came out to $373.53

We all headed back to the resort after dinner. I stopped for a frozen Rum and Coke at the Drop Off Pool Bar.


Saturday, February 26, 2022

    Tim and Marissa headed out at 3 am in the morning for Marissa to run the Disney 10K. 


     We got the kids up around 6:30 and we ate breakfast in the room.

    On their way back; Tim had to instruct the bus driver how to get from Pop Century to Art of Animation.  After they freshened up we all headed for an Animal Kingdom bus at 7:45 and arrived at 8:10.

    Out front there was a sand sculpture promoting the new Ice Age movie “Adventure of Buck Wild.”

    On Discovery Island we found a Bambi statue and viewed the flamingos.

    In Pandora Kelli took Liam onto Navi River Journey and the rest of us waited for our LL for Rite of Passage. When Kelli and Liam finished their journey they played on the rock and drums, They also noshed on some Doritos when it took longer than expected for us to return from our ride.

    After we saw the Rite of Passage pre-shows, we entered the ride but had to abandon it as someone had gotten sick on the previous ride. The CM lead us to another pre-show room and we had to endure a shortened pre-show again. I enjoy this ride more and more since I can now look around and see more details.

    The kids stopped at an Explorer’s Club as we all joined up. We headed to Africa but each at our own pace.

    Marissa stopped at Starbucks and Tim took the kids to more Explorer Club stops. I grabbed my only Mickey Premium Ice-cream bar outside of Pizzafari.

    Kelli and I slowly made our way to Africa and just missed Mickey and Pluto on boat under the bridge to Africa.

    We shopped in Ziwani Traders and Mombasa Marketplace till the others caught up. Kelli found some earrings at the Jortra Boutique that I then bought for her as a gift.

    Once we were all together we used our LL for Kilimanjaro Safaris. A CM detoured us to the handicap loading area and took a safari vehicle from there.

    We had the back seat and it was a wild bumpy ride. I doubted any of my pictures would come out, but had good ones of the yellow-backed Duiker, Cheetah and the Lion.




    Near the end we spotted some hidden figures in the rock formations. We spotted a cheetah and a giraffe.

    Afterwards the kids were off for more Explorers Club stops as Kelli and I slowly made our way to Triceratops spin. On the way I grabbed a Frozen Chai that really hit the spot.

    We shopped in Chester and Hesters and found a 50th Anniversary Skyliner car.


    Kelli and Maddie rode Triceratops spin and I road DINOSAUR with Tim, Marissa and Liam. I was a little surprised Liam was joining us.  Afterwards he commented that it was too scary. We used the mobile app for Restaurantosaurus as Kelli found a table outside.

    It was more Explorers Club for the kids as Kelli and I headed back to Asia for the Feathered Friends in Flight! show. 

    While waiting for our LL time we enjoyed listening to the nimble fingers of Chakranadi who plays traditional Indian music playing the sitar.


    As usual it was a show and we all enjoyed it.


Parrot Singing


    We headed back. A bus was waiting at the depot. We got on and waited and waited. I saw that the bus had a few red lights lit up on the driver’s console. I think she was waiting for the bus to “reboot” as all of a sudden the lights went off and we were finally on our way.

    It was nice to rest back at the room before heading to Disney Springs at 4 for dinner at Ragland Road.

    Once at the Springs we found a Water wheel where if you turn it enough a water screw pumps water up and makes it flow down a waterfall.

    Kelli and Marissa headed off to some shops as Tim, me and the kids made our way to Ragland Road.

    Once the girls joined us we had a bit of a wait for a table. We were seated to the right side in a room with some big portraits of some unknown men. We wondered who they were.

    I had my now usual Raglan Road Signature Collection beer flight.

    Raglan Irish Stout (Coppertail Brewing Co.), Bloomsday Pale Ale (Orange Blossom Brewing), Tri Wishes Grand Irish Red Ale (Crooked Can Brewing), De Cider Belgian Witte Cider (Vermont Cider Co.)

    I ordered a Rack of Heaven as an appetizer to share. Kelli, Tim and I enjoyed the slow roasted Guinness glazed full rack of baby back ribs.

    Tim ordered the Worth the Wait Beef Sandwich, made of 12-hour braised beef, sautéed mushrooms, crispy onions, garlic aïoli and smoked cheddar on ciabatta. The waiter warned Tim of the size of the bread it was on, but he’d had it before. The waiter wasn’t kidding.

    Kelli had the  Florida Key Lime Salmon, whiskey cured and lightly smoked Atlantic salmon, Florida key lime and herb crushed potatoes, peas, shaved horseradish and crispy salmon skin.

    I got the Pie in the Sky, chicken, wild mushrooms and leeks in a white wine cream sauce in puff pastry with roasted vegetables. Marissa had a gluten free chicken dish and Maddie had the Atlantic Fish, fresh Atlantic fish deep fried in a crispy batter and we were all proud that she chose a mixed greens salad with ranch dressing. Liam probably had chicken fingers or mac and cheese.


    During dinner two Irish dancers set up a portable floor to dance near our table.

    The meal came out to $231.49 with tip and DVC discount, not bad for six people at Disney.

    Kelli and I tried to meet two friends, Judi and Saul after dinner, but the traffic to Disney Springs was awful and one of the parking structures was full so they gave up.

    Kelli and I headed back while the rest checked out World of Disney. We both hate that long circuitous route to our bus stop. 

    Back at the resort we did enjoy our Cookies 'n Cream Sundae cupcake we brought a couple days before. It was a chocolate cupcake topped with Cookies 'n Cream buttercream, rainbow sprinkles, and chocolate ears. It was good but nothing too special.

    We spent the evening packing most of our luggage.


Sunday, February 27, 2022

    Tim and Marissa were up extremely early for Marissa to run the Princess Half Marathon.

    We took the kids to breakfast around 7 AM. During that time Tim and Marissa made it back to the room. I decided to take the kids to the arcade to play a few games to let the parents pack in peace for a while. When it was time to go Liam refused to leave. Eventually Tim had to come get him.

    We packed the Mermaid Tail Cupcake and enjoyed it later after we got home. This was a vanilla cupcake filled with Pineapple and topped with coconut buttercream, white chocolate mermaid tail, graham cracker crumb, crispy pearls, and glitter. This was the better of the two cupcakes.

    I ran to the front of the resort and got a luggage cart as the others finished packing.

    We left the room for the final time at 9 AM and checked our cart full of luggage ant bell services, then hopped on an MK bus. Kelli noticed the bus’s rotating sign “Celebrating 50 Years of Turkey Legs”.

    Once at the park we all rode Pirates of the Caribbean, then split up.

    Kelli and I had never tried the Spring Rolls that most people rave about. We backtracked to the Adventureland entrance and found the cart. We tried one of cheeseburger spring rolls and a 50th Celebration roll- Pastrami and Pepper Jack served with mustard dipping sauce. Both were good and greasy. I will probably have these again when the mood hits.

    We relaxed nearby in one of the few quiet spots to be had in the park, enjoying our last of the Florida weather. 

     At the hub we saw Tinkerbell pass by us again.


     Behind the castle we found Cinderella's step sisters.


     We made our way over to Pooh and sat and rested on a shady side of the wall behind the castle. Once the others caught up, we found a few more gold statues in the area then all rode Pooh.


    Afterwards Kelli and I enjoyed two Cheshire Cat Tails and an All Mixed Up Slushy.

    Our last ride of the trip was on Dumbo.

    As we headed out we took a few photos in front of the castle, then stopped at the fire station and bathrooms at the end of main street.

    There are two NY City Fire Station patches on display with other patches from around the country and world. One of the patches is where our nephew Kevin is a firefighter; and the other is where Joe Leavey, a family friend who perished on 9-11 worked; Engine 74 and Engine 4/Ladder 15.

    Before exiting the park; we waited for a high school marching band to come by - St Martin high school, from Mississippi.

    We took more photos in front of the train station and in front of the 50th anniversary topiaries before hopping on a bus around 1:20.

    Back at the resort I found the massage chairs in the arcade and enjoyed them twice. The kids enjoyed the play area behind the main pool. Marissa saw a snake. Kelli and I split a burger at Land of Flavors for lunch.

    We got all our luggage and changed into warmer clothes for the trip back to NY.  Our van picked us up a bit early and had no traffic issues to the airport.  Security wait was moderate but when Kelli and I arrived at the gate Tim did not look very happy.

    Our 6:00 flight was delayed to 8:05. Our plane would arrive, but that flight crew was switched to another flight and we had to wait for another crew that was coming in from JFK.

    We later learned that some flights were cancelled, including friends who were coming back from their Disneymoon, so, I was glad just to have a flight.

    Fortunately, the crew arrived early, and they were not happy that the new time was that late. JetBlue did tell everyone to stay in the area in case the departure time changed. Kelli and I were able to board at 6:45, not too bad.  The flight did have to wait for a few stragglers to get back to the gate.

    Our Jet Blue planes name was Red White and Blue. I got to see the end of the Dune movie, but was disappointed that it ended well before the original Dune movie. The flight was uneventful and we got home fairly late for such a long day.

    It was another good  trip and this one felt closer to normal, but Disney is still not up to their full potential. Heck, nobody is. Hopefully our next trip is fully back to normal.

Thanks for reading.

Michael and Kelli

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