The All in WDW Readers’ Top 15 Magic Kingdom Attractions!

No, I didn’t forget that I was supposed to finish off last week’s tournament – the one that crowned Haunted Mansion as our favorite Magic Kingdom attraction – by revealing the All in WDW Readers’ Top 15 Magic Kingdom Attractions.

MK Castle

To be honest, I have an Excel file in which I recorded all of the round-by-round vote totals.  Well, I went on the road last week and thought I had forgotten it on my iMac at home.

Hah!  Joke’s on me.  As it turned out, it was in my on-line Dropbox the whole time!  Boy, I must have been terribly busy with “real life” stuff!  Sorry, folks.  I could have closed this tourney down days ago!  At any rate, here it is!

  1. Haunted Mansion®
  2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad®
  3. Wishes nighttime spectacular
  4. Splash Mountain®
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean®
  6. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  7. Space Mountain®
  8. Jungle Cruise®
  9. Mickey’s PhilharMagic®
  10. Main Street Electrical Parade
  11. Peter Pan’s Flight®
  12. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
  13. “it’s a small world”®
  14. Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
  15. Cinderella Castle

There you go, my friends!  If you’re someone’s “Disney expert”, and they ask you what you think they should do while in Disney’s Magic Kingdom, send them to All in WDW!

Tell them they should use the All in WDW Readers’ Top 15 Magic Kingdom Attractions – as well as all the other Readers’ Top “10” Lists – as their “must do” tour guide!

Tequila Recon: La Cava del Tequila

It would be unfair for me to title this piece a “dining recon” because, well, there was no dining going on that night.  Although, this particular venue does offer a variety of tortilla chip-oriented tapas.

To be truthful, we were strolling around World Showcase with friends, and we just dropped in to pay a quick visit to this dark and crowded “cave” of tequila.  If you’re unfamiliar, it can be found in the heart of the Epcot World Showcase Mexico pavilion’s Aztec pyramid.

La Cava

La Cava Entry

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La Cava is renowned for its unique and vastly enjoyable variety of margaritas – delicious refreshments like Avocado, Blood Orange, Jalapeño, or Cucumber.  However, on this visit – our first, if you can believe it(!) – margaritas weren’t on our minds.

For a full view of La Cava’s extensive list of tequilas and margaritas, check out their site at this link.

So.  How did we make our choice from among this cast of a “thousand” options?  Fortunately for us, we had a bartender in our touring party that day.  Since we were looking for a good tequila, she pointed us in the direction of Familia Camarena.

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Served with fresh lime, salt, and a tasty sangrita chaser, we settled on the Camarena Reposado.  It was very good.  Mrs. All in WDW loved it!  The sangrita was excellent as well!  It was so good that we asked for the recipe.

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One of our favorite things to do on a Summer weekend is to sit out on our balcony, bathing in the warmth and sunshine, while enjoying a refreshing “diet” margarita.  Diet?  Let me explain … have you ever used Crystal Light drink mix?

Go to Target, and buy their brand of low-cal (no-cal?) Margarita Mix.  You’ll find it among the Crystal Light.  Mix the drink mix in a standard bottle of water.  Follow the box’s directions.  Add tequila and lime, and you’ll have a tasty margarita!

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Now, since I was able to find that delicious Camarena Reposado in Atlanta for the very affordable price of $20 per bottle, will it make it into one of those margaritas?  Maybe not.

Actually, it might be best for enjoying all by itself.  Very smooth.  Perfect for sipping or excellent for shooting, it, and that sangrita(!), are just two more winners offered by La Cava del Tequila!

“Food” & Garden Returns – A Reader’s Report!

“Food” & Garden is b-a-a-a-ck!  And, why not?  The festival is still steaming along.  It will continue gracing Epcot’s guests with its culinary delights for another month and a half or so!

I want to thank our friend on Facebook, Debbie, who recently said, “After all your postings of “Food” & Garden, I decided I needed to go!”  Happy to help out, Debbie!  That’s exactly why I post all of those pics!

Well, “go”, she did.  And, she did all of us one, or six, better.  She sent us food pictures!

Actually, she very kindly responded to my plea, “If you have [a dish] that I have not, would you be willing to email me pics?  Entrees and/or desserts would be really appreciated!”

Well, here they are … with some of Debbie’s – and some of my – comments.  Bon appetit, folks!

Debbie: “The first is the eggplant scallop … which you had, but I really liked, so I took a picture.”

Bob: I had it, yes, but I definitely was not a fan of the Land-grown Eggplant “Scallop”.

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Bob: Now, this is a great picture of a super great-tasting dish! China’s Spring Pancake.  Love this item!

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Bob: China’s Vegetable Spring Rolls look about as ordinary as I expected. I didn’t have them, so I can’t speak to the taste, but I am very impressed that they served two. Perfect for sharing!

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Debbie: Mexico’s Mushroom and Cheese Quesadilla. The first couple of bites were real “mushroomy” … then, it was all cheese. I liked China’s Spring Pancake better.

Bob:  I told you!  That Spring Pancake is just outstanding, eh?  And, as for this dish … it looks appetizing, but you’re not fooling me, mushrooms!  I’ll still pass.

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Debbie:  Frushi.  It was good … not great.  Simply a small piece of cantaloupe and strawberry with rice.

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Debbie: The Moroccan Pancake was bland. I didn’t care for it.

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Thanks, Debbie! The pics were great! We hoped you enjoyed the food!

If you’re going to “Food” & Garden, my friends, send me your pics.  If we haven’t already posted that particular item, then we’ll post it and give you credit!  Send it to bob@allinwdw.com!

In the meantime, check out our “Food” & Garden ARCHIVE at this link – Epcot “Food” & Garden ’14 HQ!  You’ll find our Flash Reports and pics, descriptions of the dishes, Top 15 lists as decided upon by myself as well as you – our readers – and much, much more!

Check it all out!  Use it to plan your trip to … “Food” & Garden ’14!  After all, the food still “flows” until May 18th!

Look out for the “Grim Grinning Ghosts”!

Poor, Pirates.  My poor, poor Pirates.  Huh?

Coming out of Round 4 – the semifinal round of 8 – do you know which attraction had racked up the 3rd-most votes in the entire tournament?  Uh, yeah.  Pirates.

Do you know what attraction didn’t make yesterday’s finale … and doesn’t qualify for next month’s WDW extravaganza?  Poor, Pirates.  Yo, ho, ho, and a “bottle” of 5th place for you.

Do you know from where the phrase “Grim Grinning Ghosts” originated?  Well, if you listen to Wikipedia, “[t]he title comes from William Shakespeare’s poem Venus and Adonis.”  Excerpt:

‘Grim-grinning ghost, earth’s worm, what dost thou mean
To stifle beauty and to steal his breath,’

Well, Shakespeare or not, we sure DO love our ghosts!

Haunted Mansion

Is it the voice talents that we favor?  The vast array of animatronics?  Or, as said by our “daughter-in-law to be”, is it “those cool ghosts that ride with you”?

Whatever it is, Mansion exerted its allure once again to become the new All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Disney’s Magic Kingdom Attraction.  New?  Yes, new!

Don’t you remember last year?  Or, weren’t you around for last year’s tourney?  Well, let me remind you.

Just like this year’s competition, Haunted Mansion led all attractions in votes-received coming into the finale.  In 2013, however, the ghostly manor couldn’t close.  Splash Mountain came out of nowhere to steal the crown.

History is history.  2013 is gone.  And, now, the haunted house’s 999 ghastly ghosts have risen up to claim their throne.

My friends, I thank you for all your votes and support the last several days.  Your task is complete.  Haunted Mansion is your All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Disney’s Magic Kingdom Attraction!  Congratulations to the ghouls!

The BIG “Magical” Finale! Last chance to VOTE!

Mark your calendars, folks!  Saturday, April 5th.

Yes, that is the day the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament hits its Final Four.  More importantly, however … yes, much more importantly, that’s the day on which our remaining four Magic Kingdom gems return to battle.

Wishes

Not much rest for these four, I’m afraid.  They come back one more time to face:

Epcot
Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival
Spaceship Earth
Soarin’®
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Toy Story Midway Mania!
Fantasmic!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
Kilimanjaro Safaris®
Finding Nemo – The Musical
DINOSAUR

The prize?  The lofty honor of becoming the 2014 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Attraction!  Which of these 16 attractions will rule The World?  We shall see!  Wow!  Talk about hard choices!

In the meantime, here’s one last excruciating vote.  Pick your ultimate favorite, fans!  Which one of Magic Kingdom’s best will win the crown?