Monday, October 22, 2018

Hey, It's Okay

I got this idea from Glamour magazine. You can link up any day of the week. All you have to do is make a list of what you're okay about. Simple! Please do not link up a post that has nothing to do with Hey, It's Okay. It's rude and I'll delete the link.








Hey, It's Okay....



....to not be too bummed that season 7 will be the final season of Orange Is The New Black. It hasn't been the same since Poussey died.



....to have enjoyed the movie First Man. I suppose I never thought what it must be like for Neil Armstrong's family.



....to be tired of all the rain Texas is getting. I need the sun to be productive.



....to have finished When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica. If you like twists and turns, you'll enjoy this book. I totally didn't see that ending.



....to really wish Natalie would stop referring to be as "bruh." I am not a "bruh." Wait, do I look like a "bruh?"



....to have taken Natalie to her Fall Festival at school and paid to have her arrested and put into jail for tween girl attitude. She was amused at first, then annoyed when she realized she had to stay for 10-15 minutes.












Sunday, October 21, 2018

Halloween Horror Nights Tips and Tricks

I'm not a fan of clowns. So naturally Natalie led me to the area where they were.





"Natalie, I don't like the way they are staring at me," I whispered as one got close.

"They're cute though, aren't they?" Natalie mused.

No. Not at all. No.



We were at our first ever Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios in Orlando. My daughter is all about the scary things. I am not. I am a wimp, I fully admit that. But she has been wanting to go to one of these for years.



I have some tips to help enjoy your time at Halloween Horror Nights. (One? No costumes are allowed, so don't show up in one.)





1. Arrive early.





It starts at 630, but people start lining up at 4. We didn't get there until 5 and the line was pretty far back. Now, if you already have tickets for Universal Studios you can already be in the gates. They have areas called Stay and Scream where those people wait, and they generally can get in line for haunted houses earlier than 630. However, we only had tickets for Halloween Horror Nights, which, as I mentioned, doesn't start until 630. Annual Passholders can get in early as well. You will be herded like cattle to the ticket scanner. It took us about 25 minutes to get through it when Horror Nights officially opened. Hopefully the people around you have on plenty of deodorant.

Also, do not bring backpacks. I mean, you can, but you have to put them in lockers for a lot of the rides, which can be a pain. So I recommend rocking a fanny pack. They're in again, so don't worry about looking like a nerd.




2. Check out the Scare Zones. There are 5 of them around the park. This year they are: Revenge of Chucky, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, The Harvest, Twisted Tradition, and Vamp '85.







Now, the scareactors roam the zones and don't have to stop for photos, but many of them did. If you're making videos, they usually lean in for a close up.



3. Try out the special foods dedicated to Halloween Horror Nights.





Obviously because the big draw this year is Stranger Things, a lot of the food is waffle themed. We tried the strawberry shortcake waffles. They were good, but they were hard to cut into.




We also tried the pizza fries! I liked the flavor of the sauce and the meat. I preferred these to the waffle treats.





4. Go to the Revenge of Chucky Scare Zone more than once.










This was our favorite area. The monkey's are hilarious. Be warned: they might spray you with water. Chucky also might poke fun at you. When he's out, make sure you stand near him and he might call you out! He told told Natalie to "keep walking" and she went, "No." Also, you'll see evil looking Care Bears walking around, plus crazed toy soldiers.



5. Browse the Halloween Horror Nights merchandise.










6. Take in all the decor. I recommend doing the scare zones when it's light out so you don't miss anything. Then go back when it's dark, because it's obviously spookier then.












7. Don't forget the rides!






We walked right on Men In Black. We also got to ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, The Fast and the Furious (it was our longest wait and it was just okay. Don't wait more than 20 minutes for this), and Natalie did the Rip Ride Rocket Coaster. Most rides were 15 minutes or less, but we had express passes.



8. Watch out for the chain saw maniacs.



They'll sneak up on you. You'll be walking and one will creep up behind you and turn on the chain saw. They seem to be all over, but mostly around The Simpsons area.



9. BUY EXPRESS PASSES.




Yes, they cost extra. But they were worth it to us. The line for the Stranger Things house was always over 100 minutes when we were there. We waited 15 minutes. Some people told us that Express Passes are half of whatever the real line is, but we didn't experience this. The longest we waited was 20 minutes for the Poltergeist house. You can also use the Express Passes for the rides. If you're going multiple days you might not need them, but we only went one day, so I'm glad I got them. You can buy them online or in the park.

The houses this year are the following: Stranger Things, Halloween 4, Poltergeist, Trick R Treat, The Horrors of Blumhouse, Carnival Graveyard, Dead Exposure, Scary Tales, Seeds of Extinction, and Slaughter Sinema.



We had a ton of fun at Halloween Horror Nights. Would I do it again? Yes. But we probably won't be able to afford to do it again for many years.


Would wimps like me be able to handle it? Yes. The houses weren't horribly scary. They were all well done and yes, people pop out to scare you, but because you go in with a group of people, sometimes others get the huge scare and you're just like "Lalala, don't mind me, just going past."




What was my favorite house? Poltergeist. Stranger Things was awesome, don't get me wrong, but I just thought Poltergeist was extra neat and well done. My daughter was all about Stranger Things and she swears the actor who played Will was really in there.


On the night we were there, Halloween Horror Nights went on until 230, but we left around 1. We were tired.


Also, yes, Voodoo Donuts was still open, but there was quite a long line so we didn't go in. However, the chair was free for photos, and normally it's always swarmed.




So have you ever been to Halloween Horror Nights?




Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast At Trattoria al Forno Review

Natalie has always loved Flynn Rider. She used to watch Tangled all the time when she was small. When the movie first came out, you could meet Flynn Rider at Walt Disney World with Rapunzel. We weren't ever able to make it to the park to meet him. By the time we got there, he was no longer there. So the only time Natalie could see him was in parades.

But then I heard about the Bon Voyage breakfast where you could meet Flynn Rider and knew we had to do it.






The Bon Voyage breakfast is at the BoardWalk Resort, and it is gorgeous. (We stayed at Coronado Springs and took a Lyft to the BoardWalk for about $8.)









If we ever win the lottery, we'd stay there. It's peaceful.







The Bon Voyage breakfast is actually in the Trattoria al Forno restaurant. There's only a breakfast option at the moment.







Here's the menu:




Good news. You CAN get Diet Coke!




You start off with pastries that everyone shares. These went quick at my table. You get more if you have a larger party. I've heard from other people that you can actually request more, but our waiter didn't mention it so I didn't want to be annoying.



My favorite was the star! And that chocolate thing. I don't know what the correct term was, but we all shared it. My son kept trying to eat every pastry on his own and I'd be like, "Uh, we're sharing them all!"

I like that they were served in a frying pan. Because, you know, Rapunzel.




Everyone also gets fruit salad. It's just fruit cut up. I was hoping that it would be a slightly more fancy fruit salad like with marshmallow or something. But it was still tasty. In another blog post I saw they actually had a piece of fruit with edible glitter on it, but I guess they aren't doing that anymore.




Then everyone orders a main course. I believe it's about $35 per person. (Less for kids 9 and under.) Plus extra if you get drinks. Lots of people seemed to be ordering the mimosas but I just stuck with my Diet Coke.

Tommy and I ordered the Tower of Pancakes:



It comes with bacon or sausage and fruit compote. I liked it, but got full pretty dang fast because the pancakes are thick.


Natalie went for the Tangled Eggs. Now, these were different eggs. They had mozzarella and tomato basil, plus gravy. Natalie would have preferred plain eggs, and they had them in a kid menu, but because she's 11 she's considered an adult at Disney and wasn't allowed to order from there. So she tried this. She liked it, but they weren't her favorite. Luckily I had some leftover pancakes for her to have and Tommy ate the rest of her breakfast. Thank goodness for teenage boys with bottomless pits for stomachs.




Of course the main point of this breakfast are the characters! Flynn Rider came out first, and he noticed Natalie was dressed like him. He was pretty excited about this. He talked about his adventures and asked if Natalie liked going on adventures too. She does! Almost too much, because she's been in the ER a number of times. He found this amusing.



He also asked if Natalie wanted to work on her smolder. She said, "Sure!"



Then Rapunzel came over, and Natalie looked super awkward. I think it's because Rapunzel has always been her favorite Disney Princess, so she always get starstruck.



But she did give Rapunzel a hug before she left because she has good memories on dressing up like Rapunzel when she was tiny:





Soon after Prince Eric stopped by and asked if he had seen his dog Max.

"We have a cat named Max," Tommy offered.



Prince Eric had nice hair. I'm sure it was a wig, but still.


Finally, Ariel came by and said she was excited to have human legs. I got Tommy to be in the photo. Before he was too busy eating. I'd be all, "Want to be in the shot?" and he'd say, "I'm eating."





So, was the breakfast worth it? For character interaction, yes. The characters didn't feel rushed. Granted, we aren't ones to keep them talking forever, but I didn't feel like they had to hurry as I have for other meals. They will also sign autographs!

Also, after all the characters appear, there is a napkin parade around the restaurant. The song I've Got A Dream played and anyone who wanted to could participate.

The food was okay, nothing special. My favorite part was the pastries honestly. I would do this breakfast again purely for the character interaction. You can book a reservation online or call 407-939-5277. Breakfast runs from 730-1205. We did ours at 1010 and they were running a bit late, so the earlier the better if you don't want to wait around.

After the breakfast, we walked to Epcot! It's about a 10 minute walk and helps burn off all the food. You pop up near the France area at the World Showcase.




So have you ever eaten at the Bon Voyage Breakfast? Would you?



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