Sunday, October 28, 2012

Disney's Art of Animation Resort - Little Mermaid Section

Today, I had the opportunity to meet with a bunch of friends at "Landscape of Flavors" at
Disney's newest resort:  Art of Animation.  I have found that this Food Court has a great variety of healthy foods, great kid-friendly choices & adult comfort foods.  They have anything from a fresh fruit/energy smoothie or a bowl of fruit to salads, sushi & even a tilapia, white rice & flatbread dinner.  You can even purchase an individual bottle of beer in the Food Court here, if you so choose.

After a nice time with friends from WDW Radio, MEI Mouse Fan Travel & All Ears, I needed to SEE The Little Mermaid section of this resort which opened on September 15th, 2012.  I LOVE The Little Mermaid & must tell you that this section did not disappoint this Disney Girl from Orlando!

One feature for me in this section is that The Little Mermaid offers smaller rooms, as I do not have a large family.  Rooms in The Little Mermaid section sleep up to 4 guests (as Finding Nemo, Cars & Lion King sections have rooms that sleep 6).

Ariel & Flounder seem to be havin' fun at the Flippin Fins Pool, pictured above!  And Sebastian watches from the other side as you enter & leave the pool area.  But honestly Art of Animation has some of my FAVORITE FUN themed pools!  The Cozy Cone Pool in the Cars Section & The Big Blue Pool in the Finding Nemo Section would make it a difficult decision on which one to spend my time around!

Below you can see some of the FUN FINDS around The Little Mermaid section.
I was thinking of my Dad smoking his pipe as I attempted to play the Snarfblat.

 Then I did my best Seagull impression from Finding Nemo as I said "MINE!  MINE!  MINE!) when I found THIS treasure chest!

My Dad used joke that he wanted to buy the large can of beer because my Mom would only allow him to have one...I think THIS one would be a bit too much for me - LOL!

 And the generic pose that EVERYONE does...with Prince Eric's statue

 I will do the other sections in another blog at some point, but I had not been to the Lion King Section since the Grand Opening & was impressed at how quickly the foliage is really filling in beautifully.  Definitely a GREAT place to stay & ENJOY your home away from home!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Horse Drawn Carriage Ride at Disney's Port Orleans Resort

Today my hubby surprised me with a Horse Drawn Carriage Ride at Disney's Port Orleans Resort.  For those of you interested, the cost is currently $45 for about 30 FABULOUS minutes!

I do highly recommend this experience - which can be done at Port Orleans Riverside or at Fort Wilderness.  Fort Wilderness also provides Hay Rides through the campground and even sleigh rides during the holiday season.  YES, you can actually book a SLEIGH & see some amazing holiday decorations through the campgrounds!

Now we get to meet our wonderful Carriage Driver:  Star is from Winter Haven & I enjoyed speaking with her about growing up in Florida through the years.  She's worked at Disney for 7 years & answered all my questions with a wealth of knowledge.  She introduced us to Dan, our Brown Percheron horse.  Dan is 13 years old, weighing in at 1800 pounds & height of 5 foot 7. The other horse working tonight is Ivan, a Black Percheron.

Above, you see our driver, Star & horse, Dan.
Dan is a Brown Purcheron, which is actually a special breed which was created from the actual Black & Grey Purcherons.  They are a bit smaller & much more rare.
In case you're wondering, Disney uses Purcheron a lot pulling the trolleys & carriages because they are massive in size & strength, yet their temperament is amazingly calm.
Disney currently houses approximately 90 horses at Tri Circle D Ranch in Fort Wilderness. The horse breeds consist of Black, Grey & Brown Purcheron, approximately 40 Draft Horses, 4 Clydesdales, & 8 Belgium.  They also have 20 ponies that they use for pony rides at Fort Wilderness.  The white ones pull Cinderella's Coach for weddings & in the Christmas parade. 
Disney horses work 3-4 days a week/4 hour days and live at Tri Circle D Ranch in Fort Wilderness.  They are driven to work every day from Fort Wilderness stables.
When a horse retires from Disney, as Luke just did at the ripe ole age of 17, Disney goes to the person at the bottom of the Wait List because that would have been the first name in waiting for the particular horse or horse breed that you may be willing to adopt.  They do research anyone that is next up to adopt a horse to make sure that it goes to a forever good home.  Currently the oldest working horse at Walt Disney World is Doug - who is 15 years.

Port Orleans has two themed areas:  Riverside & French Quarter.  It has a wonderful Louisiana feel of New Orleans, Mardi Gras, French Quarter, Mississippi, and even recreated some beautiful plantations.
The carriage ride takes you beside Sassagoula River - did you know that Sassagoula is the Indian word for Mississippi?  Our Guide was so full of fun facts about Port Orleans!  I loved every moment speaking & learning from Star!

Another interesting fact if you're planning on staying at Port Orleans.  They do a Nightly Movie in BOTH the French Quarter & Riverside - check out what's happening at both sides because the movie is not the same.  Also, there is a Nightly Campfire where Cast Members give you a stick & a marshmallow to roast.  Fun times all around this place!  Also, be sure to select the right room type for you, as they have three kinds:  PRINCESS rooms, PIRATE rooms or REGULAR rooms.

I must leave you with the mention that if you plan to go to Port Orleans, try to leave a night for Yehaa Bob.  He performs most Wednesday through Sunday nights in the River Roost Lounge off the Riverside Lobby area & it is truly a show that will have even the grumpiest or most tired among us laughing, singing & dancing the night away, no matter your age!
Also, if you've got a few moments on the French Quarter side, you may want to stop in Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory Food Court for a French me, you'll thank me.
If you've stayed in Port Orleans, I'd love to hear what you think of the type of room you stayed in or experiences with Carriage Rides, Yehaa Bob or anything at a wonderful Disney experience OUT of the parks.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I've joined the masses of the information highway

Well, I've joined the masses in this wonderful superhighway of Internet information and have created a BLOG of my very own!  

I am working on creating the look & exactly what my piece of the Internet pie will consist of.
Currently, my goal is to follow the title:  "A Disney Girl in Orlando" - I am not affiliated with the Disney Company, it's affiliates or any company - simply a Disney "Local" checking things out & letting you know the happenings of our area.
Basically, I would love to write on the things we do & places we go.  If you are planning a trip to the Orlando area, you may want to try a place that I find.  Most of my blogs will more than likely be Disney related because that is what I truly love to do in my spare time.
I will see how to do this - but from my list of resources, I'd love to create one basic calendar on my page that includes happenings around the area.  For my Disney Peeps, you'll find basics in a calendar form (hopefully) to include dates for EPCOT: Flower & Garden Festival, Flower Power Concerts, Summertime concert series schedule, Food & Wine Festival Dates & Eat to the Beat Concerts, rehab & closure dates, opening dates, Candlelight Processional narrator dates....Keep in mind I use a variety of Disney & non-Disney sources & I am not affiliated with Disney....but it will put a lot of different resources in one place for your planning convenience if I can figure all this out... 

I do enjoy working out, so there could be some fitness & healthy restaurants that we find around the area.  Food Trucks are also fun, so I may include some of that.  Also "OTHER" Orlando Theme Parks:  Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Sea World, LEGOLAND Florida, wonderful beaches & Botanical Gardens

I also would like to include general fun stuff around the Orlando area...just an ordinary person "A Disney Girl in Orlando" checking stuff out & letting you see a piece of this magical place that I call home. 

I would love it if you are interested in reading my thoughts or if you'd like to share it with Disney Dreamers & Planners to help you.  I am currently learning about this new venture, but have linked it to my Google+ Account, so if you have any requests or questions, I'd love to help you out. 
As my blog knowledge increases, I hope that I will assist you as much as this experience will help me grow & learn.  Always move forward in whatever you do or want out of life.  Cherish the moment - it is a special gift & we should always be thankful.  Thank you for your time.  
From  "A Disney Girl in Orlando"     (that's ME - wow!  I feel honored!)