Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dressing for the 'Rock Your Disney Side' 24 Hour Event (and a recap of last year!)

Hey there! On Friday, May 23rd, the Magic Kingdom will be staying open for a full 24 hours for the 'Rock Your Disney Side' 24 Hour Event. I hope you're planning to take advantage of this year's 24 hour Disney day! The opportunity to spend an entire day in the most magical place on Earth doesn't come along often (once a year, as of late...) and though it is a bit taxing, it's nothing short of AMAZING and should be experienced at least once by every true Disneyphile. 

This is the first year they're allowing (and encouraging) costumes. The only other time adults can wear full on costumes is during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, so this is kind of exciting! Sorry to disappoint, but I'm not dressing up as a Hero or a Villain for this. The weather forecast is 97 degrees (and climbing every time I check again!), and since I'm staying the entire time with no breaks, I just don't want to manage a costume. That said, here is what I plan to wear and why:

Top (so, so old; similar here): Michael Stars // Cardigan (again, SO old; similar here): J.Crew // Shorts (this print is from a few seasons ago; similar here): Lilly Pulitzer // No-Show Concealers: Hollywood Fashion Secrets // Shoes: Rainbow (Details on the accessories, below.)

This is almost exactly what I wore last year, and it worked like a charm. So, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, ya know?! See- almost identical. Just different shorts and a cross-body bag. (And, I would have worn those shorts again, but I gained 10 pounds in the past year and can't fit as comfortably into those as I did then. Damn you, Lay's potato chips!!)

My good buddy, Tink. We had all of our college courses together and never really hung out, then found out that we were both doing the 24 hour event solo last year, and decided to room together. Thus was the beginning of a beautiful Disney friendship- we're doing this 24 hour event together too (with the addition of my boyfriend fiance!) 

Wristlet (old, similar here): Coach // Phone Case: D Tech // Hair Tie: Emi-Jay // Earrings: Disney Store // Mascara: Maybelline // Cheek tint/blush: Benefit // Chapstick (with SPF!!) // Magic Band

Not pictured but DEFINITELY essential: sunscreen, sunglasses, and my new toy to document the day!!

Here's why I picked what I did. The top is flowy and light, and I don't have to wear a bra. In fact, I stick on some of the No-Show Concealers and call it a day. (One has to find advantages to having tiny boobs, and this is one of them.) The shorts are stylish yet comfy, and my Rainbows, well, they're my go-to. The lightweight cardigan is for the chilly air conditioned buildings and for when the sun goes down; this bad boy is so featherweight, it's practically see through and can be tied around my waist. 

The wristlet can be worn around my wrist (shocker!) but I prefer to hook the strap through my belt loops and use it as a fanny pack of sorts. I know, DORK CITY! Whatever. Function over fashion for me. It's just big enough to hold my ID, credit card and cash, phone and Chap Stick. The cross body bag from last year was fine, I just want to be as hands-free as possible this go round. 

I'd also advise taking along a fiance, boyfriend, pack mule, whatever to carry your camera and sunglasses. And make sure they wear cargo shorts. Thanks, John! Love ya!

As far as hair and makeup goes, the simpler, the better. I use Maybelline Great Lash waterproof mascara in brownish black everyday (along with this eyelash curler- hands down, the best). Waterproof to counteract the sweat and tears that are sure to come (happy tears, tears of joy, elation, over-tiredness, etc.). I also love Benetint as a cheek and lip stain. It adds a hint of color but won't slide off as the day heats up. Emi-Jay hair ties are my ultimate favorite. They don't leave a dent in your hair, won't snag, and look cute around your wrist when not in use. 

One last thing I would advise is some deodorant and possibly a light body mist if you're planning to stay the entire 24 hours in the park, especially if you're carrying a bag of some sort and can schelp it along. I smelled a tad funky by 7 pm last year. John was coming to visit after work, and we had just started dating, so I wanted to freshen up a bit. Note: the gift shops and Baby Care centers don't sell deodorant. I tried them all. As a last resort, I pulled a gardenia off a bush and pinned it behind my ear. Instant perfume! I don't really think it helped all that much, but John did say he liked the flower, so there's that! 

Okay, so there's my suggestions on what to wear to survive 24 hours straight in the Magic Kingdom. 

Below you'll find some tips on how and what to eat for a full day in the park, as well as a little recap of some of my favorite memories from my experience last year. 


Tink and I fueled up the night before with carbs by creating our own pasta dish as the Art of Animation food court, Landscape of Flavors. I highly recommend it; John and I did the same before the Expedition Everest 5K. So delicious! And HUGE- enough to share, as long as you can agree on what to mix in. 

We grabbed breakfast around 8:00 from Tomorrowland Terrace. A little protein and some fresh fruit kept us going. For a list of places serving breakfast, check out this handy chart that Suzannah at put together. 

Stay fueled throughout the day with fresh, light snacks. Liberty Square Market is a great options for these- they have fresh fruit, veggies and hummus, juices, grilled corn on the cob, and other nutritious choices. 

We ate lunch at the Diamond Horseshoe- tuna on a croissant. We sat for an hour and charged our phones while we ate. This year, we're taking a lunch break and sitting down at either Tony's Town Square Restaurant or Liberty Tree Tavern. I think it will be nice to take a break from the heat, get off our feet, and refuel. Any suggestions on which place to choose? I've never been to either! 

We made sure to have our fair share of Mickey Premium ice cream bars and Dole Whip floats; around the 3 o'clock (a.m.!) hour, I needed a sugar rush and ate some cinnamon roll and LeFou's brew from Gaston's Tavern. 

I capped off the night with a healthy breakfast of corn dog nuggets and plastic cheese from Casey's. Nothing says 'Disney special event' like eating this breakfast overlooking the castle at 5:30 in the morning. 'Merica! 

After returning to the resort around 7 and getting a few hours of sleep, we headed to the AOA pool and again, Landscape of Flavors, where I enjoyed a create-your-own salad, poolside. It was just the perfect light, refreshing ending to a wonderful day. 

2013 Monstrous Summer 24 Hour Event:

Finally, a quick recap of some of my favorite moments from last year's Monstrous Summer 24 hour event. Hope to see you there this year- let me know here or on Instagram (@Disneyfied_ash) if you're coming! 

Tink's tat and watch telling the start to our day. Plan to arrive early!!

Cindy's castle at dawn.

T-shirt madness! If you didn't preorder a shirt (guilty!) and want one, plan to go to the Emporium as soon as you enter and nab one. We did, and it was pandemonium. People were yanking shirts off racks, Cast Memebers were rolling cart-fulls of shirts out as fast as they were selling-- it was crazy! Crazy, but fun. I'll be doing exactly this right after I arrive. Shirts sold out last year halfway through the day. 

Sunrise over Splash Mountain. 

Last year's outfit in action. This is when Tink reminded me that Brad Renfro, who played Huck Finn, had died a few years ago. I'd kind of forgotten about that, and was bummed! He was a hottie. RIP Brad. 

Here we are exactly half way through the event- 6 p.m. celebrating with Mickey Premium ice cream bars and smiling!

Business in the front, raging party in the back. 

During one of our laps on the Peoplemover, the LIGHTS WERE ON IN SPACE MOUNTAIN!!!! 

Yay, John's arrived! I included this picture to show the gardenia I put in my hair as nature's deodorant. 

We tried one of the special event drinks while waiting in the ever-lasting Astro Orbiter line. I honestly don't remember what it was called, and it wasn't that good, but it's always fun to try the special event food and drink they have for the occasion.  

Late night Galactic Hero on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. This was my first time scoring the elusive 999,999. Pretty sure I texted John about this at 2 a.m. when it happened. 

Full moon over Gaston's Tavern. 

Sunrise over Cindy's castle. This was one of my favorite moments. The light-headed, sleep-deprived, euphoric feeling, the music playing on Main Street, the smells coming from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor... it's something I've never experienced nor plan to experience ever again. Hopefully I'll get close this year. 

Dawn 'Kiss Goodnight.' 

Pure joy. I didn't want to leave! I honestly felt like I could have gone another 24 hours at this point. It was the most amazing time I'd ever had in the parks. I truly hope your experience is as wonderful as mine was. 

Hope that helped you plan your day a bit. Please, let me know if you'll be around. I'd love to see you. Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dressing for Mother's Day Weekend- Life's A Beach (Club)

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there. My mom is swell and was up for spending her special weekend at my favorite place (plus, she has the Florida Resident ticket that expires on June 6th, and the Flower and Garden Festival ends this coming weekend, so this was the perfect excuse opportunity to go!). 

We secured a fairly decent Annual Passholder rate to stay at the Beach Club Resort, which was a win-win. It's practically in Epcot's backyard, and it's a resort I've never stayed at before. And isn't it every Disneyphile's goal to stay at each resort at least once? I think so...

Check-in was smooth; our room preferences were accommodated with a quiet area, high floor, and queen beds. Then only bummer was our tiny, barely walk-out balcony and our stellar view (note sarcasm). 

Ain't she a beaut?! So you know, request a full balcony if that's important to you. We like to sit out in the morning with our coffee and enjoy the view, and feel that a full balcony gives us almost an extra space to the room.

Top and shorts: Lilly Pulitzer

Sure Mickey, smile away, perched atop your little beach chair lamp. You don't have to look out the window...

We called down and asked if there was any availability in a room with a 'full' balcony, and were informed that we would be able to move to one the next day. Needless to say, we didn't unpack too much that first night. 

Instead, we went down to Hurricane Hannah's for a 'kick-the-weekend-off' cocktail, and to visit my good friend Disney Bill! If you're in the area, be sure to stop in and tell him Large Marge sent 'ya! (Pee Wee's Big Adventure reference... anyone. Anyone?!)

Hey DB! Mixing up the oh-so-tasty (and according to him, most popular pool drink at Disney) Mai Tai. 

Hurricane Reef Pilsner by Florida Beer Company. They're located practically in my back yard-- represent!

Mom's blouse: Lilly Pulitzer. This was a limited-edition print, but I LOVE these shirts in any color. They're releasing fan-favorite prints in the the Else with a different print every month, so be sure to check back for more. / Sunglasses: Versace 

From there, we drove over to the Grand Floridian to have a drink at Mizner's and listen to the Grand Floridian Lobby Society Orchestra. 

Cheers! Love me some sauvignon blanc. 

Earrings: CRISLU /Necklace: Dogeared 

Cross body mini-purse (similar here) : Coach/ Phone case: Disney D-Tech (limited edition and sold out- I hunted for this bad boy forEVER! Similar here). 

Haunted Mansion, baby! I've always said I'd like to wallpaper the baby's nursery in this one day... no, seriously. Maybe just one wall?!

I love the little balconies located to the left and right of the main staircase on the second floor of the Grand lobby- they're usually empty and have tables and chairs to enjoy the view. You can even carry your drink out with you! Here's a photo from there.

We stopped in Basin to pick up some bath bombs to enjoy later, then headed home to soak in a tub and get a good night's rest. 

The next morning greeted us bright and sunny. We walked down to the Beach Club Marketplace to get coffee, a bagel, and a yogurt parfait, then made our way out to the benches around Crescent Lake to enjoy our breakfast. Then we went back up to the room, got cleaned up, packed up and rang for a bellman to take our bags to storage. We were off to Epcot! 

See the garbage bags on the shoreline? They had a fella out picking up the seaweed/ lake grass from the sand. Gotta love that 'Disney look!'

I love going into Epcot via the International Gateway, especially before it opens at 11:00. It's very quiet and picturesque inside around the countries. 

This is my favorite seating area, right next to the Rose and Crown. I've found it to more often than not looks like this- empty! I think people assume it's part of the restaurant, and don't venture down the path. Fine with me! More space for us. 

Our Vera Bradley Disney bags. I've found mine to be the perfect park bag- holds just what I need, but not so much that it gets too heavy. 

We were sitting in this tranquil spot waiting for the Rose and Crown pub to open at 11:00 so we could eat a Scotch egg. 11:00 came and went, and they still weren't open, so I popped my head in and asked the barkeep what time they started serving-- 11:30! Yet another tidbit to help you plan your trip. You're welcome. With a lunch reservation set for 11:45, we cut our losses and headed up to Future World to see the butterfly garden and other gardens in the neck of the woods.

Mom on the boat to Italy.

Our lunch was at Via Napoli, home of heavenly pizza (and as we discovered, really great spaghetti! We asked for a children's portion and split it as an appetizer, along with a salad. The sauce was phenomenal- tangy, not overly sweet, and tasted homemade.)

Here's our pizza with pepperoni all over, artichokes and arugula on half.

Top(old) and shorts: Lilly Pulitzer

It was here that I called the Resort to see if our room was ready, and *ta-da*, it was! The heat was really building, so we headed back to get settled into our new digs (with a much better view and FULL balcony, hooray!).

We changed into our suits and went down to the awesome pool- Stormalong Bay- and read our books, had a pool drink, made a few circles around the lazy river, and relaxed for a few hours. Then it was time to clean up and go back to Epcot for dinner. 

Necklace: Azadouhi Jewelry

We went to Rose and Crown to finally get our Scotch egg, and also split an order of fish and chips. FYI, this is different than the fish and chips from the Yorkshire County Fish Shop just outside of the pub- this version is a nice fillet with crispy breading, rather than the 'fingers' from the outside stand. 

Look! Up in the sky! It's Petah Pan!

We closed out Epcot with The British Revolution and Illuminations, then moseyed back to the Resort to split a hot fudge sundae from Beach & Cream. Another tip- try to arrive right after Illuminations, or wait an hour or so to go to Beaches & Cream. We got there right at peak time about half an hour after Illuminations ended (when everyone else returned from Epcot) and waited at least 40 minutes in the counter service walk up line to get our ice cream. Even better, make a 9:30 reservation, sidle right in and enjoy your sundae in a cozy booth while the commoners wait in line. As it was, we ate our sundae poolside, which was very nice. 

We were lucky enough to get a late check out for 1:00 the next day (ask for one when you check in, to ensure you get one!), so we had our coffee on the porch and I suited up in my new New Balance Cinderella shoes to make a few laps around Crescent Lake. This was my first time using them, and they felt great. The details on them are awesome, too. 

After showering, we walked over to Kouzzina by Cat Cora for a late breakfast. It's too bad this isn't more popular, but it's convenient for people like us who don't often do 'set' reservations and can score a table any time. We arrived just before 11:00 (when they stop serving breakfast) and were seated at a table outside. We sipped on a Bloody Maia (details and ingredients on my Instagram photo @disneyfied_ash) and enjoyed our Greek-inspired breakfasts.  If you'd like to try it, do so before it closes for good in September. 

I had the Stacked Kouzzina Breakfast- Two Poached Eggs, Kalamata Olive Toast, Artichoke Spread, and Sweet Potato Hash with Chicken Sausage. It was yummy!

Mom had the Spinach, Tomato, and Feta Scrambled Eggs served with Breakfast Potatoes and Bacon. She really enjoyed it. 

After breakfast, we walked back to the Resort and packed up. After putting our luggage in the car, we went back in to take a few more pictures. Here I am with Gene. Hi Gene! 

Bag: Longchamp/ Sandals: Rainbow

I love the gorgeous flowers in the Deluxe Resorts. Just beautiful! 

What's better than a Friendship boat on Crescent Lake? THREE Friendship boats on Crescent Lake!!

Mom took this next picture- look how artsy she is with the camera tilt! 

Dress and sunglasses (similar here): Lilly Pulitzer

Alas, it was time to bid farewell to the beautiful Beach Club. We had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend.  Until next time, see ya real soon!