More "found money"

I added $50 to our thermometer to the right for our Disney cruise fund!  YAY!  It's not growing very quickly, but at least it's something!!

A Photographic Walking Tour of Disney's All Star Movies Resort

I just finished working on a video - I took pictures all over All Star Movies Resort in May and I put them all together with some fancy-schmancy transitions and fun Disney music!  So, if you are interested in the resort, you can "take a stroll" with my video!


Uh...where's the stroller?

We left off back in Stormalong Bay, the amazing pool at the Yacht & Beach Club Resort.

After we pulled Henry out of the sand, we made our way back over to the Boardwalk, cleaned up and got ready for our evening--we were headed back to the Magic Kingdom!

Close to 7 pm we were at the bus stop and juuuuuust missed a Magic Kingdom bus. Sigh. It's always a bit of a bummer when that happens. However, we weren't too upset about this one leaving because it was standing-room-only and we weren't in a rush. Just minutes later another Magic Kingdom bus arrived..and there were only a few of us that needed to board.  Woot!

By the time we got to the Swan (another hotel, that the bus stops on), we were stuck behind the really full Magic Kingdom bus and it was taking longer than average for some reason. But, as we sat there, we had a rockin' bus driver-he sang for us to pass the time! Love those drivers who love their jobs!

Within 30 minutes we were at Magic Kingdom

and we were on the hunt for some food! We thought we'd check out the new Tortuga Tavern; however, it was closed when we arrived and we never did end up trying it.

Joe wanted to try one of the Quick Service restaurants we haven't eaten at much, and pizza was calling to him-so we were off to Pinocchio's Village Haus as our second option.

When we arrived we parked the stroller right outside the doors, near a bunch of other strollers, <--foreshadowing ;-)

and we made our way in.

Somewhere between the stroller and the counter where you order food Henry decided to melt down and act out. Getting the answer of "What do you want to eat?" from him was a chore...plus he was completely distracted with a Cast Member, who had great-intentions entertaining him with a Pinocchio puppet. It just made getting him to respond to me even harder. The whole moment frustrated me. But eventually, we made it through. Henry and I went to find a table near the windows that over look the It's a Small World waterway...such a neat feature of this restaurant!

Joe returns with our food.

No straws. No silverware. No napkins.

My frustration of the evening escalated.

He could tell I was not feelin' the magic and volunteered to run out to the stroller to grab the hand sanitizer.

Okay, sounds good. I'll snap some food pics!

Mine-cheese pizza and salad

Joe's pepperoni pizza - he also had a side of fries with his. You can pick either salad or fries when on the Disney Dining Plan.

Henry's Mac & Cheese, Applesauce and Cookie

Joe and I both had Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert

Well...Joe comes in...empty handed. And he declares he cannot find the stroller.

Say what?  Erg.

Okay. The man is legally blind. He sees pretty well in the dark, it's the bright light that gives him problems, but he might have missed it.

Was I gracious in this moment?

No. I was annoyed. I got up and walked out, just KNOWING that the stroller would be right where we left it.

Until I got outside...and it wasn't.

It was gone.

I grabbed a Cast Memeber who started to look around with me. We looked EVERYWHERE in Fantasyland. Back and forth, through the crowds of people watching the Wishes fireworks show exploding in the sky over us. I was totally panicked. This was our first full day-what would we do without a stroller?!? I had memories of the time we ended up swapping strollers (accidentally) after Fantasmic with a couple-and that worked out and became a funny story to tell, this would too...right?!?! But what if it didn't!?! Okay, breathe, Brook...we could rent a stroller. It wouldn't be the end of the world. It would be a hit to the budget, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nice Cast Member enlisted the help of another Cast Member and was calling on the radio because we just could not find it. We were looking for a good 15 minutes!

And then the fireworks end.

And the crowd thins.

And there is my little brown Maclaren, sitting the middle of the walkway.


But all well! Who cares where it was! We found it! I almost hugged that Cast Member!

I finally made my way back to Pinocchio's with the hand sanitizer and a humble grin on my face. There was good reason why my dear husband could not find the stroller!

The boys had thrown caution to the wind and chose to eat with germ-ridden hands (daredevils! LOL), and I settled into enjoy the meh food. It wasn't bad, but it was just alright. It have been better hot!  Though, Henry didn't like his mac & cheese AT ALL (if you go back and look at the pic, it does look awful!) and we all ended up sharing our food. Which was fine, it worked out. And I do remember the cheesecake being quite tasty.

After we relaxed a bit and laughed off the stroller ordeal, we made our way out and back into Fantasyland. I spotted Mr. Nice Cast Member and walked right up to him and got his name, Stephen, who works custodial in Fantasyland. That man rules. He went way above and beyond duty to help me. I told him so...and he gave me Fastpasses on top of all that!!

I have since sent off an email raving about his service.  It's Cast Members like these that make Disney known for it's customer service.

So Fastpasses in hand, no true agenda on deck, standing with this as our beautiful view

we asked Henry what he would like to do...his instant response?

"The flying blankies!"

Which made both Joe and I laugh out loud - we knew what ride he was talking about...the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.

So off to Adventureland we went.



I left you in the little Hess gas station buying some goods for the room.

I returned to the room with the stuff--a gallon of water, a 1/2 gallon of milk, 2 packs of soda, some fruit and possibly a few other things...and no, I didn't carry all of that-I used our carry-on suitcase, which worked out perfectly!

Henry woke up around 3:45 pm and we headed straight over to Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club Resort. The (slightly creepy, yet fascinating) clown slide, George-as I like to call him, was down for a refurb at the Boardwalk, so that gave all the Boardwalk guests access to Stormalong Bay "if we would like use of a slide".

And did we want use of a slide?



He he.

But did they even ask that at the gate? NOPE. And you know, if they did ask it, I would have to give my dear husband puppy-dog eyes, begging him to use the slide...cuz I ain't. Not a fan of water slides. I usually try them once and that's enough! I'll get to the Disney water parks eventually, and suck it up for the family, but I already know I'm not going to fully enjoy it.

I digress....they didn't ask. They just glanced at the room keys, smiled and slapped that wrist band right on us!

We are go for launch folks.

Oh, wait. Back the Boardwalk I dipped into the Boardwalk Bakery and YES! they had the new design on the refillable mugs!

3 please!

Henry was quite excited that he got his own mug...and it worked great as a sand toy.

Okay-now we are back at Stormalong-Heaven with wristbands. We are legal!

We started to walk.

And walk.

And walk.

I know the sand area is somehwere...

Wow, this place is HUGE! It goes on forever!

Cue: Little boy shrieking.

Yep, there's the sand.


My notes read:
"SAB. Huge. Amazing. Huge! Unreal. So cool. Beautiful sitting here on a lounger watching my boys dig in the sand. Staring at a palm tree. It's perfect weather. Ahhhhhhh. Yes, this is good.

I have my toes in the sand in FEBRUARY."

It's like a beach! But it's a pool!

There were a bazillion sand toys there for use. The cup hadn't yet become one...

Looking over toward Hurricane Hannah's, a pool-side quick service eatery.

My back was to this.

My view from the lounger looking up.

He was, in fact, the happiest child on Earth at this very moment.

The child now has a shirt on, the sun is setting and there aren't nearly as many people around. He's still digging.

So that about sums up our feelings of Stormalong Bay. There is nothing NOT to like about this place. Seriously. It's incredible. They even have servers that will bring you food and drinks!

We really stuck to this one area during our first visit. Henry dug and played for 2 hours straight. And I have figured out there is something therapeutic about digging your toes into the sand.

I admit, I did get a bit antsy after a while of just sitting there. I'm a get-up-and-go type of person and I have a hard time relaxing. Since we had some valuables with us, I felt like I couldn't leave the lounger for long and I didn't have a book to read. Plus, I felt a tiny guilty just laying there while Joe played with Henry...however, we have since cleared this up. Next time, I'll have a book and the boys will play. Joe didn't mind a bit.  Even though I did get antsy, I still enjoyed our time there immensely!

At 6 pm we pulled our child out of the sand and said "See ya soon!" to Stormalong Bay. We definitely had plans to return before our stay at the Boardwalk ended.

Up next: Uh...where's the stroller??


Paul. *shudder*

We left off finishing up our tasty meal at The Plaza, eating nearly every bit, and we were back out on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom.

We had decided before even going into The Plaza that we'd head out of the park after lunch to get in some swimming. The weather was perfect and.........we had access to Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club even thoug we were staying at the Boardwalk!!! For those of you who might not know, Stormalong Bay is an AWESOME pool, complete with sand bottom, lazy river and waterslide, located at the Beach and Yacht Club Resort...which is very close to the Boardwalk.  It is strictly for guests of that resort ONLY.  They check ID and give wrist bands for access.  The Clown slide (George, as I like to call him) at the Boardwalk was under refurb, which allowed us access to Stormalong Bay. Both Joe and I were eager to check-it out since we haven't ever stayed at the Yacht or Beach Club, and I knew Henry was going to loooooooove the sand area.  That boys loves to dig!

We slowly made our way back down Main Street. Part of me didn't want to leave, but I knew Joe was READY for swim, sand, and sun.

We ran into the Dapper Dan's and watched their show for a few minutes. They are so fun to watch, incredible talent!

Video: The Dapper Dan's (48 seconds)

Gotta get a balloon picture!

So far we have been able to make it out of the parks without buying one...so far...

Bye Magic Kingdom! See you later tonight!

We were out of the gates and on a bus before 1:30.

Back at the Boardwalk I noticed the totally creepy clown chair that they have in the lobby was pulled away and facing the fireplace:

But what made it weird was...

He has a name!!!!!! LOL!   I so want to know the history and story behind this chair.

In the room we put Henry down for a nap and I went off to the Hess Station (gas station) to pick up some things we wanted for the stay. I had no idea what to really expect over at Hess because I couldn't find ANY info on the internet about the selection other than simple things like "big variety of chips."

Well...there is a reason for that.

Chips is about all they have!  We were hoping for string cheese, yogurt, maybe some hot dogs to grill out with, fresh fruit and/or veggies. They really don't have anything for perishables/cold items. We always bring the non-perishables from home, so Hess wasn't much help for us. I ended up with apples, bananas, water, milk and soda.

I did document my trip, for those that it matters to. Hess can be an easy stop for some snacks, water and cheap snacks for your room if you want to avoid the delivery fees of GardenGrocer.com or WeGoShop.com.

WDW only has Chase ATMs, this might be useful for someone to avoid a charge...

Lots of random stuff. You could make spaghetti (without meat), Mac & Cheese and PB&J...wait, they were out of peanut butter. You could make jelly sandwiches.  Or Spam ones.

You might have spied the coffee. The 8-12 type filters are the ones you use in a Villa, but for the regular hotel rooms you need the 4 cup ones.

Some single-size cereals and full box too.

I know this matters to a lot of people!

Trail mix type stuff on the end.

Only Coke products. And no, they don't sell gum!  You won't find Pepsi or gum on Disney property.

Handy stuff!

The only fruit in the entire joint.  Boring Red Delicious apples and green bananas.

Single-serving type and 1/2 Gallons were all they had.  The 1/2 Gallons were actually cheaper at the Boardwalk hotel store than at Hess!

Single serving size only.

Half & Half

Overall, here is what I put in my notes: Hess is a lot smaller than I had imagined. They have a LOT of various chips and a few "healthy" choices like pita and veggies chips. The only fruit they had were bananas and Red Delicious apples. Boring. No veggies, not even a bag of baby carrots. They sold hot dog buns, but no hot dogs. No string cheese or cups of yogurt. 1/2 gallon of milk was $3.09, $0.15 cheaper at the Boardwalk, which was surprising. Soda was on sale, and the worker told me about that, so I got 2-12 packs for just over the price of one. A gallon of water is $1.99. A few toiletry items, feminine products, diapers, wipes, toilet paper, tooth care, hair stuff. Candy bars and other candy-typical gas stations stuff. There was a section for hot food, but the displays were empty while I was in there. One was for hot breakfast sandwiches. There was a coffee bar area too, and they did have a roller cooker of hot dogs. The only juice they had was single-serving style. A lot of things didn't have price tags.

It was kinda strange to see the Cast Members that work at Disney...in costume...pumping gas and purchasing items. Kinda like a "real world" slap in the face.

So, while we were hoping for a bit more of the cooler-type items, we knew it was a gamble relying on it and not getting a grocery delivery. We ended up just purchasing a few things from the Boardwalk shop, which really isn't all that much more than your average NYC grocery store.

Pretty boring update, apart from Creepy Paul. Sorry about that! But...next time...Stormalong Bay baby!