Sunday, June 23, 2013

Theme Park Connection near Orlando, Florida!

Today, I took a trip to Theme Park Connection, located just 35 minutes south of Downtown Disney in Winter Garden.  
As a Disney fan, I truly love looking through the treasures that this warehouse holds.  They normally have props from former rides, park signs and even authentic movie props.  
They have a huge warehouse and they rotate their merchandise.  You'll be amazed at the very old and the very new things that you remember from Disney attrections.  If you don't live around the Orlando area, Theme Park Connection has a website, Facebook page and Twitter account where you can find information about new and exciting things happening there.  
If you are interested in checking out this place, their key information is:

     Theme Park Connection
     1307 Green Forest Court
     Unit 110
     Winter Garden, FL 34787

     Monday-Friday 10am-4pm
     Saturday 10am-2pm

From their website: - you can click on their link to check out their Ebay store.  No matter where you live, you're just a click away from this magical place!

If you have items that you would like to sell, they do pay cash for them.  

You'll find the staff at Theme Park Connection to be very helpful and welcoming...just like meeting a new friend if you feel like chatting about your Disney passion.

And, if you're like me and have been a Disney Park fan for a long time, you may have some "well-loved" and very worn out items.  I had the opportunity to buy a Winnie the Pooh plush that looks just like my old one did many years ago.  After years of hugging, the print wore off his shirt and his hat had to go, but now I have one that will remain in good condition to bring back those happy memories of the first time I rode The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Maybe you need a new Halloween costume - you could be a Park Hopper....or maybe your favorite resort is the Boardwalk - you could have the resort map in your garage for a quick Disney retreat any day!  Today, there was even a Braille map of the Magic Kingdom that I would love to take may just find some items that you can't leave without...
You may get to see a glimpse of their warehouse if you watch Orlando Attractions Magazine - The Show.  The show records in the warehouse.  It's also a great show for information on what's happening at all the Theme Parks in the Orlando area.  You can find Orlando Attractions Magazine on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and on their own website:

I am not affiliated with either Theme Park Connection or Orlando Attractions Magazine, but I am a fan of what they do and happy to share good experiences
with you.  As Theme Park Connection sells and buys, you may not be able to purchase items pictured here.  But, rest assured, if these items are gone, you're still sure to find something wonderful in it's place.  Feel free to share your great experiences at Theme Park Connection below or if you plan to visit while vacationing in the Orlando area.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dining at Yak & Yeti in Disney's Animal Kingdom

I had the opportunity to check out Yak & Yeti while visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom recently.  If you are considering dining options, I would really recommend the food and experience that you get here.  

This wonderful restaurant is vibrant in color and interesting Asian statues.  Check out the luggage and keys at the "Check-In" area for traveling guests and embrace the story.    

The Ahi Tuna Salad is their largest salad and I tried a few new things while here.  Rice Noodles - which I found didn't have much taste, but maybe with some soy sauce from the table would have helped.  Those who tried it joked that it "felt as if we were eating nothing."  Also, the Monks Blend, an unsweetened hot tea had a very good flavor.  An interesting appetizer I tried was the Wok-Fried Green Beans, which were quite tasty as well.

The story of the Yak & Yeti is on the back of their menu.  It's story is one that begins in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains.  That area is one rich in culture and has the majestic view of Mount Everest just above the horizon.  A rich merchant, Arjun, has fallen on hard times and turned his large home into the Yak & Yeti Hotel.  The decor and furniture make up a wonderful collection of mismatched artifacts that Arjun has collected through his years of travel in Southeast Asia.  This full-service restaurant features Asian cuisine, beer and tea.  All of our group of eight enjoyed out meals and I hope that you try it our and enjoy yours also.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Aloha and welcome to Disney's Polynesian Resort!

Welcome to the tropical Pacific Island paradise right here in Walt Disney World!  
The Polynesian Resort is definitely one to visit!
It's convenient to the Magic Kingdom and one of only three resorts (including Disney's Contemporary & Grand Floridian) that has the amenity of the monorail transportation directly to your resort.  There are so many reasons to make a stop at the Polynesian Resort!  Kona Island is located just inside the doors from the Monorail and serves coffee, tea, pasteries & dessert.  I love the Kona Coffee Beans, so I am a big fan of stopping in for a cup of coffee and serenity to start the day!
Disney's Island Paradise in Orlando
Another great reason to go in the morning is for the Tonga Toast!  
If you're looking for atmosphere, have your breakfast at Kona Cafe' but if the best price is your choice, you can get your Tonga Toast at Captain Cook's on the first level.  Another special side note is that The Dole Whip is a special soft serve treat that can only be found in two places:  Aloha Isle Refreshments, in the Magic Kingdom and at Captain Cook's 24-hour walk-up counter cafe in the Polynesian Resort.  And if you find one of the long-time Cast Members in the Tambu Lounge, they still know the recipe of a former Dole Whip alcoholic treat...but you need to make sure someone in the Lounge knows the recipe, go down to Captain Cook's to purchase your Dole Whip & bring it back up to make your order...the good thing about the soft-serve Dole Whip at Captain Cook's is that it's a if you REALLY LIKE if, you can pile it high...but they do not sell the Float here. 

Daily at 3pm a Cast Member walks through the lobby with a tray of complimentary  COOKIES!  It's just another magical treat provided by Disney.  Also in the Resort Lobby (currently Tuesday through Saturday) you can participate in Hula Dance Lessons at 3:45pm.  There is a Torch Lighting Ceremony at 6pm in the Resort Lobby.  Disney Movies Under the Stars on the beach at 9pm.  Pool Party and various poolside activities throughout the afternoon and even campfire on the beach in the evening.  If you're staying at this resort, make sure you check the Recreation Activities Guide!

You can even catch a great view of Cinderella Castle & Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, the ferry + watercraft in Bay Lake while you enjoy a game of beach volleyball.  If you visit Mikala Canoe Club, you can rent anything from Sea Racers, Surry Bikes, Fishing Excursions, Sailboats, Pontoon Boats or equipment to water ski, tubing & water boarding. The Club is open daily from 10am-6pm.  

One special cultural story is that of the Menehune.  There is a sign in the Great Ceremonial House that tells us The Story of the Menehune:  "The Menehune of Hawaii'an folklore are playful, rascally people known for delighting in games and mischief, but also known as Industrious laborers and expert stone-cutters.  Despite their rowdy tendencies, by working diligently in large numbers they have been credited with building many of the ancient temples and fishponds still found throughout Hawai'i.  Each Menehune project has allegedly been completed in the dark of a single night - an extraordinary feat given their legendary inability to make fire!"
You'll find these wonderful creatures in the lobby, around the Gift Shop, restaurants, in the pool area and all around the resort...always keep your  eyes open for these cute creatures.  You never know where you may find one or what they may be doing.

Each Dining Experience has it's own special charm.  Kona Cafe is one of my personal favorites restaurants on Disney property!  It has chocolate carvings of Lilo & Stitch made from 70 pounds of solid chocolate.

 The Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is held in Luau Cove, you'll have to follow the signs and path from the Great Ceremonial House.  It's a wonderful celebration of the Polynesian culture and includes a three-course dinner, complete with wine, beer, coffee, soda or tea.  You'll see a nice show that includes the beautiful hula and fire dancing.  Ohana means "Family" and when this restaurant opens for dinner, the servers come out in a large group and say "ALOHA" as they all welcome you to come in and eat.  

Here are a few pictures of the perfect ending to a day and a blog...with fireworks from the Magic Kingdom from the beach at "the Poly".- check the Times Guide.  They even pipe in the music from the show onto the beach for your full enjoyment...and also enjoy the Electrical Water Pageant at 9pm nightly at the Polynesian Resort.  Yes, Disney actually provides a parade in the water around Bay Lake.  (The Electrical Water Pageant can also be seen from the Contemporay, Grand Floridian, and Wilderness Lodge - check schedules for times if you're staying at those resorts.)  Most of all, the spirit of Disney's Polynesian Resort offers you a chance to experience the beauty, relaxation and fun in ways that will last a lifetime!
Feel free to post comments of your own personal magical experiences at Disney's Polynesian Resort and I hope you have enjoyed my experiences.  

Thanks for reading!