Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 12

I’m afraid to say that I’ve been pretty poorly today, so a lot of the day has been spent in bed! I did get up for lunch at Pepper Market, and also did get some laundry done, but I’ve mainly been curled up watching Disney movies and feeling a little sorry for myself.

We did get out for the evening though, heading to Hollywood Studios for a few hours. We saw the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, grabbed some dinner at Catalina Eddie’s, while watching some of the new Tower of Terror projections and being snowed on, then went to ride Star Tours and meet BB-8 in the Star Wars Launch Bay.

We wrapped up the evening by using our the Fantasmic fastpasses we’d got from our dining package the other day. The seats were great, but it was a little windy so we got slightly damp from the fountains, but oh well!

I’m hoping to get a good nights sleep so I feel a little more alive tomorrow, let’s see how it goes!

Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 10

So it turns out I accidentally numbered my posts wrong and today is actually day 10, not 9 as I had thought, oops!

Today started much like yesterday, a lie in, followed by a gym session before heading out to the parks, and today our destination was Hollywood Studios. When we arrived, my first port of call was Adrian and Edith’s Head to Toe shop, as I had decided the night before that I was finally going to buy the Sorcerer Mickey hat I’ve wanted for ages, and I wanted it embroidered with my name, so we got that one going to collect later in the day. From there, I grabbed a giant cookie for brunch, then we headed to the Indiana Jones Stunt Show as we had fastpasses. This is a favourite for both Matthew and me!

After the show we hit Tower of Terror, and then Matthew went to do Rock’n’Roller Coaster; I was put off by my experience from the other day so instead I did some shops and grabbed a Starbucks before going back to meet him, and we went on to do Toy Story Midway Mania.

After Midway Mania, we headed to our late lunch reservation at Mama Melrose – we had booked this as part of the Fantasmic dining package – and then went to collect my finished hat, then met Mickey and Minnie before rushing back across the park for the last performance of Beauty and the Beast.

Unfortunately, Matthew wasn’t feeling very well after the show, so we decided to head back to the hotel, having been reassured by guest services that we could utilise the Fantasmic ticket we’d received as part of the dining package on another night instead, which was nice!

Back at the hotel, I went to pick up some merchandise that we’d sent back from the parks, and filled up our resort mugs, then started the mammoth task of reorganising my suitcase to make sure I’ll have enough room for everything I’ve bought!

Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 9

This morning we got up and went to the resort gym for a quick workout, and then headed for Typhoon Lagoon. It was Matthew’s first time ever, and my first time in over 3 years so we were pretty excited, and being November it was pretty quiet too!

After putting our stuff in a locker and finding some sunbeds, we started to hit the slides. First up was Misadventure Falls, then we did all three of the Crush’n’Gusher shoots in quick succession. Then we did the Storm Sliders, followed by Humunga Kowabunga, where I suffered the worst wedgie I have ever experienced in my life..

To recover from that, we hopped into the lazy river and rode that round to Leaning Palms for some lunch, then carried on round the river til we reached our starting point again. I then took Matthew to TL’s famous wave pool, and despite not believing me when I warned him how huge the waves were, he was amazed when he saw just how crazy they get!

We carried on hitting all the slides, doing Keelhaul Falls, Mayday Falls and Gangplank Falls, then headed back to do Misadventure Falls again, before spending the rest of the afternoon relaxing on our sunloungers. As it’s not peak season, to get back to the resort we had to get a bus to Disney Springs to then change for a resort bus, and back at the resort I had a few things to do – parcels to collect, paying off some of the room charges and filling our mugs – and then we just showered and changed and headed out to Hollywood Studios for the evening.

I’d managed to snag us some Fantasmic fastpasses for that night, and by the time we got to the park we only had time to look through some of the shops before we headed to the theatre and set ourselves up with some snacks and popcorn. Fantasmic is Matthew’s favourite Disney show (and we’re seeing it again tomorrow too!) so I was glad we managed to get some decent seats to enjoy Mickey’s imagination!

As the showtime was actually after the official park close time, once it was over we were flushed out the park pretty quickly, although we did catch a sneak peak at the new Christmas projections onto Tower of Terror!

Lottie and Matthew Do Disney: Day 5

Today we were up bright and early to get to Hollywood Studios for opening. We grabbed a quick snack for breakfast and then headed to Toy Story Midway Mania, riding it once via the standby queue and then again using our fastpass, although the standby still wasn’t more than 30 mins even an hour later. From there we did One Man’s Dream, which is showing a preview of the new Pixar film, Coco, which looks so good!

After that, we decided to brave the standby line for Rock’n’Roller Coaster, but despite the line saying 45 mins, and a cast member announcement warning that it might be slightly longer, we definitely didn’t wait more than about 30 mins. My head took a bit of a bashing on the ride, so we opted for a sit down in Muppet Vision 3D after that.

Lunch was at Sci-Fi Dine In, and I was a happy girl with a steak/mac and cheese combo which was to die for! After lunch we did Star Tours, and we had hoped to do Beauty and the Beast afterwards, but unfortunately my head was really giving me grief after RnR, and I was starting to feel dizzy so instead we went back to the hotel room so I could have a lie down.

Once I was feeling a little better, we decided rather than going back to Hollywood Studios, we’d head to Fantasia Gardens mini golf, then walk along the Boardwalk into Epcot. I’ve been wanting to do mini golf in Disney for a while now, and despite having to wait about 25 mins before we could start due to it being quite busy, I really enjoyed the course, plus we timed it with the end of Fantasmic, so we could actually hear the show from the course!

At Epcot, we decided to trial some of the Food and Wine festival offerings, starting from the International Gateway and working anti-clockwise. As it was late, and we’ve got a whole day planned for this next week, we just hit a few booths but I’ve discovered a serious love for Brazilian cheese bread so yeah that’s gonna happen again..

Once we were back at Future World, we washed down the food with a few samples from Club Cool, then headed out of the park just before the Illuminations crush incurred, and managed to get a resort bus to ourselves!

February Disney Trip Day 8

Happy Tuesday guys! Our day kicked off in Hollywood Studios, and with quite the bang – a fastpass for Rock’n’Roller Coaster, and of course we were pretty hyped to be in the back car of the limo. Sensibly, we saved breakfast for afterwards, grabbing a drink and a snack from Trolley Car Cafe and sitting to watch the First Order March through the park.From there, we had to make a quick detour to guest relations before heading back to Tower of Terror for our second fastpass of the day. Sarah dared me that I couldn’t do it without holding on – which I always do because I’m awful on this ride – and for the first time ever, I had my hands in the air for almost the whole ride! Yay me! I got myself a celebration button as a reward.

Out of the blue, we discovered Bolt meeting in front of the Chinese Theater, so of course we stopped for a quick photo with him, then got in line for Voyage of the Little Mermaid, but as we got to the front of the line to enter the theatre, the cast member announced it was at capacity and we would have to wait an extra 25 minutes for the next show, which we couldn’t really be bothered to do in the heat, so instead we went and did Muppet Vision 3D, then grabbed lunch at Backlot Express.

Bellies full of bacon cheeseburgers, we headed back to the Chinese Theater for the Great Movie Ride (cowboy, if you were wondering), then as we went to leave the park, Sarah remembered that it was coming up time for character palooza again, so we decided to swing by before we left and boy was it worth it?! Unlike the 4 character we met the other day, they brought out 11 characters, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Pocahontas appeared followed by Meeko, and the two of them met together which made my little heart so happy! Also out were Robin Hood, Pluto, Donald, Rafiki, Evil Queen, Snow White, and Smee and Prince Ali – we were so lucky to see that many! On a side note, I’m super sunburnt today, and had to buy sun cream, and I also managed to drop and smash my phone screen, so I fully believe in karma today.

Riding the palooza high, we left the park and got on the boat to Epcot, and as we got into International Gateway, we decided to hang out in the UK pavilion for a bit in order to meet Alice, then wandered round to Mexico for a bit of air con inside the temple and a ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour. From there, we headed back to Future World and met Baymax again, before doing Living with the Land and the Circle of Life, and a quick Seas with Nemo and Friends, before going back to the UK pavilion for dinner.

As we waited for our Rose and Crown Dining Room reservation, we stuck our heads into the pub to see how authentically British it was, but the floor wasn’t sticky and it didn’t smell quite like a proper pub, so we definitely didn’t feel like we were in the UK! Our table for dinner was right on the lake edge, giving us a beautiful view of the now lit World Showcase as we dined on fish and chips and chicken tikka masala, cos y’know, UK tradition, and we were lucky enough to be served by our friend Milly who’s out here on the CRP, so between ordering we could discuss important matters like Character Palooza and a certain Wilderness Explorer.. We also got to watch Illuminations from our table, and while it’s probably my least favourite nighttime show, it was a pretty view for it.

After dinner, we hustled our way back up to Test Track as extra magic hours meant the park was open til 11pm, so we dived in the queue while it said it was a 40 minute wait, we were in and out within that time, before heading out of the park for the night, again opting to get on the bus to French Quarter rather than Riverside because the queue were that much shorter!

Goodnight y’all!

February Disney Trip Day 7

Another day in Disney paradise! We kicked off the morning with breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe, although the crazy number of people trying to get into the parks meant we were half an hour late for our reservation, but the cast members were really understanding and it wasn’t a problem at all.

After a quick explore of the hotel grounds, we caught the bus into Disney Springs for a few indulgent hours of shopping which involved a lot of Sephora (haul post to come!) and of course some World of Disney and the other shops available. Disney Springs has been developed so much even in the year since I was last there, and it’s so beautiful now with new water features and pretty new shopping areas. We refuelled with an Earl of Sandwich, then got the boat from marketplace back to the hotel to ditch our shopping bags before heading out to Hollywood Studios for the remainder of the day.

With a little bit of time from entering the park til we could use our Fantasmic fastpass, we decided to abuse our Memory Maker and get a bunch of photopass photos in various places, then grabbed some popcorn before we made our way into the amphitheater, getting almost front row seats for the magic! Now, as we discovered, that does come with a little bit of spray if the wind isn’t on your side.. Of course the show was its usual amazing self, encapsulating some of my favourite Mickey moments and even Meeko made an appearance on the boat!

After Fantasmic, we joined the crowds in front of The Chinese Theater to watch the Star Wars fireworks, which I’d really hyped up to Sarah – the non-Star Wars fan – after I was wowed by them last year, but since the last time I saw them the display has changed a little and while it was still impressive, I wasn’t as completely blown away as I was last year. Then, to avoid the crush of people leaving the park, we stepped into the entrance area of Trolley Car Cafe for a little while and let the park clear a bit before we made our way out. This proved to be somewhat of a mistake, as when we arrived at our resort bus stop, the queue was CRAZY LONG. I’m talking maybe 3-5 buses worth of people, and that didn’t sound fun to us, so instead we queued for the French Quarter bus, and walked the path down to Riverside from there, tiring us out nicely enough for bed! Zzzzzzzz

Baking Magic – Butterfinger Cupcakes

I’m just gonna prefix this post by saying that this is definitely more of a lazy person’s guide to the butterfinger cupcake due to the fact that my kitchen currently has a giant hole in the ceiling, so I’ve had to make do with the ingredients and space that I had!

Disney park cupcakes are the best, right? Apart from the fact that they’re often too big to finish in one go, YES. Today I’m taking on a Disney World classic, the Butterfinger cupcake.

Now Butterfingers are an American candy bar, and although you can get them in some UK retailers, I’ve made these as totally butterfinger-free butterfinger cupcakes. I feel like I’m totally cheating today, but I’m gonna pretend that I’m just making this recipe accessible for novice bakers.. BUT LOOK AT THEM YUM

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Right, here we go!

1. Start off with a batch of your favourite chocolate cupcake recipe, and to get a proper WDW experience, fill the cases a little more than you normally would! If you don’t have one, cream 125g butter and 125g caster sugar, add a dash of vanilla extract and 2 eggs, then mix in 20g cocoa powder and 105g self-raising flour and bake at 190C for 15-17 minutes. Ta-dah!

2. Once cooled, take a sharp knife and cut a hole into the centre of the cake, like a classic butterfly cake, and pop this to one side for the time being. It doesn’t matter if they get mixed up and you can’t remember which centre belongs to which cake.

3. (Cheat 1, coming your way). Well now you’ve got a hole in the middle of your cupcake that needs filling, so find either your favourite chocolate and peanut butter spread, or just a regular chocolate spread or frosting, and fill that hole all the way up. I recommend spread or frosting for this because its a little gooier than buttercream!

4. Those little cake centres, sit those back onto the cakes on top of the pool of chocolatey goodness to make a little peak.

5. Now grab some vanilla buttercream, or make some using a 2:1 icing sugar to butter ratio and a splash of vanilla extract. To replicate WDW buttercream, thicken it up with a bit more icing sugar – this will help it hold better when we load it onto the cake in a minute. Pop it into the fridge for a minute while we get a few more things ready.

6. Has anyone else noticed that basically every recipe I share involves crushing something at some point? Yep, we’re doing it again.. If you’re one of my American readers, grab yourself a butterfinger and crush it up nicely. UK friends, find yourself a peanut butter KitKat and a few cookies and stick them in a food processor to crumb them down nicely.

7. Grab your buttercream from the fridge, and using a knife or metal spatula, pile it onto your cupcake, then smooth it around the little peak you created earlier. Now grab your cupcake by its case and roll the buttercream mountain around in those crumbs until you get a nice covering.

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Is anyone else drooling?

Headed to the parks? You can get the original Butterfinger Cupcake from Starring Roles Cafe in Hollywood Studios!

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