the Mickey-est surprise ever

Hi friends! How are you? I hope you enjoyed the long holiday weekend. We took advantage of the Pilot being off work, and everyone feeling better – everyone in our house except yours truly was hit with the 24-hr stomach bug early last week- and took a trip to Orlando. I LOVE that it’s so close to us and we’re able to get away for little trips. Orlando has so many amazing spots and I’m definitely looking forward to some quality time there over the next couple of years. 😉 If anything new has opened up that we have to check out, please let me know!

Disney with the girls

We woke the girls up at 6am on Saturday morning to get into the car for our little adventure. We’d already packed up and loaded the car Friday night -we are definitely doing it this way whenever possible for now on- and all we had to do was wake up the girls and buckle them up in their jammies. When we told them we were headed to Orlando, they both started clapping and cheering. I knew they’d be excited, but the reaction was 100x better than I was expected.

the girls with Donald

As you guys know, I’m a serious packing procrastinator. I tend to wait until the last minute, and the girls are usually climbing around me asking for snacks while I pack, and we ended up forgetting things. It’s kind of a mess. Packing Friday night was CLUTCH. We were ready so much faster! Since I’d already booked the hotel, dining reservations, and Fast Passes online, the rest of the trip was pure enjoyment. We got into town, headed to the hotel to drop off our luggage, and were on the boat headed to Epcot before 11am. WHAT. 


We rode the Finding Nemo ride and headed to lunch at Akershus, in Norway. When I was researching for our last trip to Orlando, Akershus had the best reviews and seemed to be the fan favorite for character dining. Reservations were totally booked for last time, so I was pumped to snag a noon spot for lunch on our recent trip.


The meal includes interactions with five princesses, plus a photo op with a princess at the entrance. The girls were in heaven. 

the girls with Ariel

The Pilot and I were pretty stoked, too. They had an awesome cocktail and wine menu, and the food was amazing.

Tom holding P like a baby

(The only time P will let you hold her like a baby: when you’re eating through naptime)

The meal started off with appetizers: cheese, meats, fruit, salad, smoked fish, shrimp, roasted veggies, and bread.

Akershus appetizers

And for my entree, I chose the salmon, which came with fluffy mashed potatoes and roasted broccolini. It was perfect.

Akershus salmon

For dessert, they brought out a tray of delicious options: chocolate mousse, apple cake, and a traditional Norwegian rice pudding. The ride pudding was our fave. 

Akershus desserts

While we were eating, Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, and Sleeping Beauty all came over to say hello and take photos. The highlight of the meal was when the princesses led the children around the room in a Princess Procession. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever. We will definitely be back. 

After lunch, P crashed out in the stroller, so the Pilot hung out with her while Livi and I went to Turtle Talk with Crush, and then we all went to meet Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and Minnie.

Tom and Liv with Pluto

Hugging Minnie

We rode a couple more rides (<– the new Frozen ride is amazing), watched (and danced to) the mariachis, 

me with a snow cone

and ate shaved ice from Japan. (If you go to Epcot, this is my absolute favorite thing there. Get the melon flavor! It was just as wonderful as I remembered.)

Food & Wine Festival is going on right now, but we didn’t end up taking advantage of all of the booths since we were so full from lunch. We’ll definitely be back before it’s over, fully prepared with empty stomachs. 😉 

By early evening I was pretty tired -it was definitely the most walking I’d done since my surgery– so we headed back to the hotel for a quick dinner before bed. 

Sunday morning, we slept in (YES) and got brunch at the hotel before heading out for the day. They had PALEO CEREAL on the menu. Disney is a magical place, indeed.

Paleo cereal at Disney

They had fresh green juice, eggs, pastries, oatmeal, omelets, waffles, pancakes, potatoes, bacon… something for everyone in the fam. We looooove a good breakfast buffet.

We had a great day together, and then headed out for an early dinner at T-Rex before hitting the road back to Valdosta. 

T rex cafe disney springs

(photo source)

This is where I talk about the fact that I’m afraid of dinosaurs. It’s probably not the most common fear, but it’s akin to how some people are afraid of clowns. Imagine if you’re afraid of clowns, and you’re in a giant restaurant of ANIMATRONIC CLOWNS. 

The girls loved it, and it was actually a really cool place. The food was surprisingly good, too. I got the Omnivore salad with grilled chicken, goat cheese, pecans, dried cranberries, and balsamic dressing.

+ a prickly pear margarita

prickly pear margarita at TRex Cafe

And we shared the crazy chocolate dessert with dry ice in the center, because that’s what you have to do in a place like this.

Now we’re back in V-town, and enjoying the rest of our long weekend since the Pilot is off work for one more day. 😉

How was your weekend? What was the highlight? 

Any random phobias?

Have a happy Tuesday and I’ll see ya soon.



Tips for Disney World are here!

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  1. Jen M. on September 5, 2017 at 7:06 am

    My husband’s best friend lives in Orlando, so we visit semi-regularly. The last time we were there, we tried an AMAZING Venezuelan restaurant in a strip mall near Disney World — Q’Kenan. (A friend had recommended it and I’d bookmarked it for later). We will be going back next time we’re in town.

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      i’ll look for that next time! thank you 🙂

  2. Juliette | Namastay Traveling on September 5, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I haven’t been to Disney as a kid but am so excited to one day take my own! Spent the weekend at a wedding and absorbing as much summer air as I could! Have an awesome week Gina!

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      that sounds perfect! hope you have a great week, too!

  3. Christina @ on September 5, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I love Disney and can’t wait to go with my family in a few months! A surprise trip sounds like so much fun. I’ve never tried that shaved ice, but will look for it when we go!

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      yesssss! it’s the best

  4. Amanda on September 5, 2017 at 8:10 am

    SAME! I always say I have an irrational fear of dinosaurs. 🙂 I would not recommend the Jurrasic Park ride at Universal Orlando…a couple of friends talked me into it and I am forever traumatized!

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      you would never get me on that ride. i’ve watched the youtube video and it’s terrifying haha

  5. Alaina on September 5, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Need to get to Epcot! And, paleo cereal? Wow! Got to be sure to stay at that hotel…which one was it?

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:42 pm

      it was the dolphin. i was super impressed by their breakfast selection 🙂

      • Alaina D. Burran on September 6, 2017 at 8:27 am

        Thanks for sharing 😀 Good to know for when we head down!

  6. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-ups on September 5, 2017 at 10:17 am

    We have not taken the kids to Disney land or world yet, but I am dying to take them to Disneyland soon. Looks like a great weekend getaway.

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      it’s so so much fun! hope you enjoyed the long weekend 🙂

  7. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on September 5, 2017 at 10:59 am

    OMG they are growing like weeds!!!! Now I want to go back to Disney Land !

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      it’s the best 🙂

  8. Reenie on September 5, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Looks like a fun trip.

    Gina, you look great. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      thank you so much <3 hope you enjoyed the weekend!

  9. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 5, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I can’t believe how big the girls are getting. Must be fun seeing their reactions as they’re older!

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      yes! they’re amazing!

  10. Liz on September 5, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Your adventures to Disney sound so fun! I have serious envy but we’ll get there some day I’m sure. I am so afraid all jumpy hoppy flying type of insects, and slimy frogs, etc. Should be fun raising two boys over the next few years!

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      hahah oh man!

  11. Lauren on September 5, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Gina–I’m planning to take my twin boys for their first Disney visit when they turn 5 in a couple of months. Just wondering if you would recommend taking the stroller for kids that age. It sounds ridiculous since they haven’t used it in years, but several moms have told me that I will regret not taking it. Does Livi ever ride in the stroller at Disney, or do you just take single for P? Thanks in advance for any advice you have! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      yes! she rides in the front part of the bob (the little triangle). she doesn’t ride in it the whole time, but it’s clutch at the end of the day when she’s tired from walking, or when we want to get from one place to another very quickly. in disney, you see a LOT of *older* kids in strollers because it’s so, so much walking. i would definitely bring it and use it to get from one ride or event to the next, park it, and then the kiddos can stand and walk around in that area or while you wait in line
      have so much fun!

  12. Emily L. on September 5, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Looks like SO much fun! I am 25 and I still love Disney World! 😀

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      same! i’ve always loved it, and it just gets better with time 😉

  13. Erika S. on September 5, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Ummm…when did P turn into a big girl?! She’s getting so big and really is looking more like Tom. I remember when Livi was a tiny tot…I’m suddenly feeling old! hahaha!

    I love the Dole Whip at Disney…it’s my fave thing to have there…looks like you had a lovely weekend!

  14. Jackie on September 6, 2017 at 7:45 am

    I love that you surprised them. We can’t wait to do that with our baby. She’s going to be 10 months old for her first trip to Disney world. Did you take either of the girls when they were that young? I’m wondering if it will be either awesome or a huge mistake

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