Dining, Disney, Disney Springs, Disney World, Photo Pass, Visiting Disney

Winter’s End Trip Starts at Disney Springs

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My daughter (age 5) and I were fortunate enough to take some time away together for our first ever Mommy/Daughter weekend.  After settling into the Pop Century resort we started our evening of activities at Disney Springs, Disney World’s downtown district that is filled with shops, restaurants, shows and fun!  Our resort bus dropped us off at the Marketplace area.  We immediately started to check out the shops! We bought a pair of personalized EARS for a friend who is turning one next month (and having a Mickey themed birthday party) at the Wonderful World of Memories store.  We literally went into every store in the Marketplace area.  The Disney’s Days of Christmas shop is always a treat to visit – you are instantly greeted by cast members with a “Merry Christmas” upon entering – no matter what day of the year it is outside their doors.  Everyday is Christmas? – yes, thank you!  The store is filled to the ceiling with ornaments and Disney Christmas décor.  They currently have a small Frozen themed merchandise nook off to one side of the store.

Another store that knocked our socks off was Once Upon a Toy.  Not only did all the toys a child could ever dream of exist in the store, the larger than life décor makes this store a must see as well.

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The Potato Head display was really neat. For about $20 you can fill a container with different Disney themed Potato Head parts of your choosing.  We wound up purchasing this Disney Animators’ Collection Anna Mini Doll playset as a gift for my youngest daughter.

Up next was the Marketplace Co-Op.  This shopping area features mini boutiques that change from time to time. We IMG_7039fell in love with the Cherry Tree Lane shop and my daughter decided to use her birthday gift cards to purchase a Plums Up Mickey Straw Wristlet by Vera Bradley…I know – she’s 5, she doesn’t need it. I tried to persuade her to use her gift card for toys – tons of toys…but she saw this display and her decision was firm (wristlet is top left).  It probably doesn’t help that I use this Vera Bradley bag on a daily basis:

Next we had a little Mommy/Daughter photoshoot at the PhotoPass Studio at Guest Relations.  The studio seems to be used mostly by princesses who have just emerged from the nearby Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but all are welcome…and I love a family photoshoot that doesn’t require a sitting fee.  I had already ordered the Memory Maker package, so all the digital files were included in that for me! The studio backdrop currently looks as pictured below, but I was told by a cast member that they would be renovating soon and will have different background displays…we shall see!

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After shopping til we were dropping, it was time for our reservation at Raglan Road, located in “The Landing” section of Disney Springs. We were seated fairly quickly, but off in one of the side rooms.  After a day of traveling we were too tired to wait for a table in the main room which is home to a lively stage show.  We quickly perused the menus and ordered immediately.

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I had Mammy’s Roast Chicken,

 

 

IMG_7058IMG_7061and my daughter had the Grillin’ Chicken.

 

We both enjoyed our meals.  The chicken was moist and tasty and the vegetables were fresh.

While we were disappointed to not be in the main room, they do have the Irish dancers come in and do a few solo dances for the guests in the side rooms.

IMG_7054We declined dessert, as there wasn’t anything that appealed to us that didn’t contain nuts (we are a nut allergy family).

IMG_7064Our departure timing worked in our favor…as we left, the next main stage performance was going on, so we stood by the bar and watched the dancing and then…my daughter got to dance on the stage!  During the performance they invite a few children up to learn and perform some Irish Step dancing.  We would have never known this sitting in the side room.  My daughter had the time of her life and received a sweet certificate at the end of it too!

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(emoji faces are to protect the children’s privacy)

After all that excitement, we were ready to call it night –  We never even made it over to the Westside! We took a quick peak at a dance performance by the water (that’s Rainforest Cafe’s volcano in the background) and took a quick ride on the kiddie train ride before heading back to the Disney Transportation bus that took us back to our hotel.  We had a blast that first night and we didn’t even step foot in a theme park – Disney magic is everywhere at Disney World!

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