Facebook reminded me this morning, that I was at Universal Studios Hollywood one year ago today.
Those who have been around awhile, know that this park is my absolute jam! I love the smaller size and the California vibe.
This particular trip, we filled up two park days seeing and doing all the things. I wanted to share my experience, because I think this park is a must-do, ESPECIALLY with littles!
The Minions section at the Hollywood Park is, in my opinion, superior. Four words to start this off: SUPER. SILLY. FUN. LAND.
This is your tiny people place, y’all. There are rides, games, amazing decor, snacks, characters and oh my gosh…the splash pad of your dreams. We didn’t do the splashpad because it was too cold, but it’s incredible.
We also loved playing in Springfield. They have tons of games over here, where you can win prizes! I loved all the different characters we saw from this series, too!
I can not stress enough, to try a Krusty Burger. It looks exactly how you would think it would, haha!! But it is DELICIOUS, and even more so, paired with a Duff Beer.
And no trip is complete with our a souviner sipper and GIANT DONUT from Lard Lad’s!
Of course, perhaps one of the most famous parts of either Universal Park…the Wizarding World is an absolute must do. The immersive experience into Hogsmeade at Universal Hollywood is so magical.
Flight of the Hippogriff is the perfect coaster for littles, as well as a massive stop in Honeydukes for all the treats! Here you can find Bertie Every Flavor Beans, chocolate frogs, treacle fudge, Gilly Water and so much more! Their candy counter is unreal!
We saw soooo many characters this trip. Trolls, Minions, Hello Kitty and Curious George.
Another stop I recommend is the Hello Kitty store! They have an entire of fudge and candy shaped characters that will be the most adorable part of your visit!
They also have a build your own Hello Kitty ears bar! You pick your headband, bow, and bow center and can mix and match however you like! To this day, these are still a big hit in my house!
All in all, this is a great destination in and of itself, or as part of your SoCal adventure!
Rumor has it that National Chocolate Day recently donned our calendars. Upon learning this news, I knew I had to share pictures of my favorite Disney chocolaty treats.
Let’s start with this beauty from Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Quick Service, The Mara. Is it a cookie? Is it a cake? You decide. But I can tell you this…it’s delicious.
These next few treats are found aboard DCL. The gorgeous butterfly topped cupcakes can be found at Vanellopes on the Disney Dream, and the others on your evening dining rotation!
Let’s not forget the classic Mickey bar! This one is from DCL but you can find them almost anywhere at Disney.
The France Pavilion, in Epcot, is perhaps one of the most delightful places to search for all things Chocolate. This tarte is no exception! I think it deserves all the heart eyes. 😍😍😍😍😍
One more for DCL. Perhaps my favorite chocolaty treat on board, the chocolate martini.
Speaking of drinks, how about this Christmas cookie shot from the Grand Californian Hotel, at Disneyland? Chocolate chip cookie “glass” with a peppermint rim, filled to the brim with chocolate milk. Also comes with Rumchata, if that’s your jam.
A few more fabulous chocolate treats from Disneyland. The brownie cupcake from Holly Jolly Bakery, and the chocolate chip cookie sundae from Clarabelle’s! Ahhh I can just taste these.
And last, but certainly never least, the Grey Stuff. Shown here on the VIP Snacks tour around Magic Kingdom, this can also be found at Be Our Guest.
Have you tried the Grey Stuff? It’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes!
Drop a comment below with YOUR favorite chocolate Disney dessert!
Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy have an adult only restaurant on board called Remy, and let me just say…only Disney could pull off an incredibly beautiful restaurant based on a rat.
That’s right! Remy, from Ratatouille, is the inspo for this gorgeous restaurant at sea. You can find him in all the details!
On my last sailing on the Dream, we stopped by to confirm our reservation and were given a lovely tour by Susan, a Cast Member who hosts guests in both Remy and Palo, Disney’s other onboard Adult-Only Dining Experience.
First stop is always gushing over the two most expensive bottles on board, one valued at 25K and one at 14K! Can you imagine? Both of these are featured and referenced in Ratatouille!
Remy had two dedicated private dining locations. One in their massive wine room and the other in room that looks like it’s straight out of a French Castle! Lo and behold, when we arrived to Remy for our meal, Susan set us up on this very room, the Gusteau Room, which was such a huge treat and act of thoughtfulness that only Disney can do!
We were greeted by, and attended to, by several different waitstaff. Each were experts about different parts of the brunch. We were offered a complimentary glass of champagne to start with options of continuing the champagne pairings with each of the courses, or every few courses.
Bread and butters were served alongside a tiny dish of Fleur de Sel…so divine! The butters were Kale, regular and Pepper. All were delicious and creamy! Not much beats a really good plain butter to me, but the pepper was probably my favorite.
A menu was waiting on the table for us, boasting each of the six courses offered, and you can see the champagne offerings mentioned before as well.
Courses included ham, asparagus and caviar, lobster, wagayue beef, chicken, and a vanilla cream dessert.
Each course was thoughtfully designed and curated by both Chefs at Remy, weaving layers, textures and flavors together you could never have imagined would work!
It’s hard to say which was my favorite, but the chicken dish was probably at the top for me!
At the end of our culinary journey, the Chef sent out an extra dessert if tiny cakes filled with vanilla and sugar. They were so light and fluffy and perfect!
I definitely recommend this experience and will do this again. The cost is $75 per person, and this does include gratuity. Note that if you choose to have still or sparkling water, this is also an additional cost and subject to an additional gratuity.
Let us know if you’ve dined at Remy, or if this is on your to do list for your next sailing! And don’t forget to look for all those amazing details that Disney does so well!
Wait, Laura is excited about a Cruise Line other than DCL?
You might be wondering if you read that correctly, I mean you all know that I only sail Disney and after the many non Disney mishaps you are probably confused. I am going to explain why I am so VERY excited I am about Virgin Voyages and the Scarlet Lady.
One of the main reasons that I prefer to sail DCL to the other lines is the simple fact that it is all inclusive. There is NO up-selling of soda packages, you don’t board a ship to the constant up-selling crew members. No, there are no all you can drink alcohol packages, but that is a positive point for me. The other reasons I only sail DCL: I never feel like I am on a floating city, I don’t need to be on a ship with a billion people with a mall…I have a mall at home, I am not on vacation to shop. I am not a gambler either so I don’t need the casino. The stateroom needs to be bigger than my closet at home, I might only need it to get ready for the evening or sleep, but I do enjoy relaxing in it or my time on the verandah. I expect a certain level of service, I want to be treated like royalty, no matter how long I am sailing. For these reasons, let me introduce you to Virgin Voyages!
The Scarlet Lady is a ship built for adults, just adults, you need to be 18 and older to sail on her. There aren’t very many cruise lines out there that are adult only, some boast adult only sailings, but Virgin Voyages is an adult only cruise line. She just started her Sea Trials this week and all have been successful!
The Scarlet Lady has a gym, spa, pool, athletic club on deck, cabanas on deck, over 20 restaurants, a theater, tons of clubs, bars, and even a tattoo parlor!
Modern, yacht-inspired aesthetic and clever cabin technology make for more than just a space to live (or sleep). Transform your room at the touch of a button. Mood-matching lights, a configurable Seabed and in-cabin tech come together to make your life easier. Save the friction for the dance floor.
Each Sea Terrace (balcony) has a hammock to relax on, who wouldn’t want one of those?
The suites offer a mini bar, first round is on Richard, as well as an actual record player, marble bathrooms, and so much more.
Beach Club at Bimini: The Private Island
The Beach Club at Bimini, located in the Bahamas, where do I even start, there is a pool, cabanas, hammocks in the ocean, food, drinks, a DJ, a bonfire, and a private area for those in the suites. Here are Richard’s words
Since Virgin has a private beach club experience in Bimini, Bahamas, we’d be crazy not to utilize it. But the only way in is on one of our Lady Ships.
See-through water and sandy white shores punctuate this geographically poetic port. And like any good haiku, it’s cloaked in seductive mystery. Besides having access to the island’s incredible biodiversity in marine life, boating, snorkeling and even historic shipwreck diving, sailors get exclusive access to The Beach Club — Virgin’s private beach club experience. Peaceful mornings and restorative days or amplified afternoons at the DJ-led pool party —our club is designed to answer whatever your specific mood is calling for. But regardless of your energy level, the bonfire finale will be nearly impossible to pass on.
This private island alone had me booked as soon as the bookings opened!
The sailings: Where does Virgin Voyages go and how long?
Virgin Voyages will boast 4 and 5 night sailings beginning April 2020. There are 4 main itineraries with a couple of special sailings thrown in.
Maiden Voyage and 2 Sneak a Peak sailings are still available and you can book those now! Take a look:
EVERYTHING!!! There are over 20 restaurants, a gym, entertainment galore, clubs, gym, all included in your voyage fare. Richard is even including your gratuities and non alcoholic beverages. Why isn’t he including alcohol? He has found that most sailors don’t want to feel like they need to get their monies worth and drink themselves into oblivion.
” We want Sailors focused on the experience not the free drinks in the dreaded wedding and nightclub “crush””.
Virgin Voyages instead promises reasonable drink prices, I have seen the price list and it is less expensive than all other cruise lines let alone what we pay in NYC for a drink.
” Our beverage program will feature the best prices on land and/or at sea, inclusive of gratuity, for the brands offered. We will always offer a single digit option inclusive of gratuity for bubbles, rose, white, red, house spirits and/or beer in every outlet. 70% of our wines by the glass are less than $15 versus 59% of the other premium cruise line, 46% of the urban restaurant and 57% of the boutique hotel. “
Personally, I hate being surrounded by a bunch of out of control, loud, drunk adults behaving like children, which is why I have always sailed Disney. (I realize how that sounds but that is the truth at 50+ years old, I do not need to vacation with unlimited alcohol packages and the results that they bring)
The Customer Service:
This will be comparable to Disney, this is Richard Branson’s company, his standards are high, he is building Virgin Voyages with sailors in mind. I do not think I will be disappointed at all, I need to be pampered.
The Virgin Voyages Promotion: HURRY IT ENDS ON 11/22!
Book with me before November 22nd and I will add an onboard credit for you!
It is hard for me to step out of my comfort zone, I have been disappointed every time that I have. That said, I can’t help but be super excited to be sailing on the Scarlet Lady in October 2020! I believe that Virgin Voyages is going to be a Luxury Cruise Line that will offer the most amazing adult only vacations! Heck, there is even a tattoo parlor onboard!!! (maybe I will finally get my Tinkerbell tattoo:)
Interested in a Virgin Voyage? Contact me, your journey starts HERE! (Hurry, that promo ends in just a few days)
FTJbyLauraGreco /845-781-0315 or request a quote from our blog!