May 17, 2014

The Magic Kingdom. J Crew Love.

Embrace the loud check, readers.  As warmly as you have embraced the sequined Minnie ears.

Shirt - Ralph Lauren 

The weather has been a bit up and down in Orlando.  It rained all of yesterday, hence the need for a bit of colour in the shirt department and today it's glorious sun, sun,sun.

The quintessentially American conference experience - Starbucks filter coffee from hotel catering and a Disney themed programme cover.
It might be hard to believe from the blog, but I'm here for work and I've thought about and remembered things besides my American trouser and shoe sizes.  I've applied myself to concepts more complex than anticipating Toddler SSG's shoe sizes over the next few years.

Speaking of which, though, here are his Nike Jordan Flight 45s.  You'll be relieved to know that as of today, the shopping for this holiday is Over.  My two suitcases are full and I've had to borrow  half the space in my friend's back up bag.  Other contributing factors are the lack of a Sephora or drugstore nearby for a makeup stock up and a lack of Toddler SSG's size at the Tommy Hilfiger outlet.

But getting back to the topic which I think I failed to define earlier anyway.  The American work ethic and 'can do' attitude never fails to inspire and fascinate me.  This might be a resort for the families and holidaymakers present at the hotel but for everyone else, it's business as if one was back home.The hotel gym opens at 6am and the cardio machines are fully booked by quarter past six.  Conference sessions begin at 7.30 am each morning and the audience is as formally dressed as their colleagues on the podium (hence my last minute button down shirt ironing and wearing).  The prevailing spirit of America has kept me on my toes here.  To go to all the conference sessions I can (and not bunk off to the pool at 10am) and keep going with the cardio and not pike out at 7 minutes....

The contrast to the work hard, is the play hard.  And gee, they play (and shop) hard here.  Which is a convenient little segue to my Magic Kingdom photos.

Sit back and feel that Disney magic.....

Orlando is such a special place, even the toll booths are Disney-fied.

Taking up where I left off on the Hollywood Studios post, my friends and I went straight to Magic Kingdom via a free shuttle bus.  Our timing was impeccable because we got off the bus, past the security check point and straight onto Main Street USA and the beginning of the Festival of Fantasy Parade.

The attention to detail that went into each costume, dance step and float too my breath away.  It really was as if I'd been taken by the hand back to my childhood.

The Little Mermaid and Flounder waved down at us.

Peter Pan and Wendy set sail atop a rainbow above us.

Tinkerbell posed for photos.

There were waves and smiles for everyone.

Dragons were given right of way.

Alice and the Mad Hatter stopped to chat.

Pinocchio embraced the moment.

While Donald Duck gave us his best cheeky grin.

Pluto met his fans.

And Goofy goofed with the chipmunks.

Mickey and Minnie made a grand entrance under a hot air balloon.

As they officially closed the parade.

As I walked around the park, I noticed quite a few little girls dressed in princess gowns and tiaras.  Not an usual thing for little girls but they also all seem to have impeccably groomed hair.  Just a little jealous of the hair, I decided to investigate.

It turns out that princess hair and makeup is an actual thing and you can get it at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Downtown Disney.  A glittery updo complete with a blingy Mickey hair clip, a mani plus a complete princess outfit.  There's also a Knight package.  It doesn't explicitly say as much on the website, but I think there is an age limit and I also think that I'm well over it.

More pretty pictures of the balloons and buildings on Main Street USA.

Cinderella's Castle by day.

Walt Disney and Mickey standing to attention.

Starbucks is the official coffee of Magic Kingdom and it was doing a brisk trade.

Cake pops at Starbucks.

With our coffees in hand, we made our way the outdoor theatre in front of Cinderella's Castle to catch a live performance.

There was banter, there was singing, there were dancers.

And also some of my favourite Disney princesses.

Time for a bit of a shopping report, I think.

Mixing things up a little now with my J Crew purchases.  I've heard so much about The Crew but you know how prohibitive the prices are from an Australian perspective.  I think you can order direct from the US site back home and the label is also stocked through Net A Porter.  Much of what's available to us is from the pricier Collection range.  So I've been able to do little more than admire the images online.

Until now.

There was some crazy pricing going on at the outlet on Vineland Avenue.  These toothpick jeans were 60% off with another 10% store discount, taking them down to $28.62 per pair.  A price that I'm happy to pay for pale coloured denim (in case I ruin them).

This silk blouse worked out to be $17.99 and the pencil skirt $38.25.  Price aside, I'm really happy with my purchases.  J Crew cuts their trousers on the generous side and I know count them as a friend of women with hips.

All righty, then.  Back to Disney.  I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed the rides here.  I thought I'd be happy enough just browsing the shops and bumping into Disney characters but I actually loved the Haunter Mansion in Liberty Square and Pirate of the Carribean in Adventureland.

This area of the park also featured a superior taco salad.  Not that I've ever eaten a taco salad before but it was delicious and I am commending it to you the next time you're in the area.

A bit out of sequence here but here are my favourite hedges from the Magic Kingdom.

Night fell all too son and Cinderella's Castle was bathed in light.

The streets got cordoned off for the night parade and the lights were dimmed.

That's right, lucky us.  We got to see a second Disney parade, this time the Electrical Parade.

It was just spectacular.

Disney characters floated down the street on floats draped in metres and metres of coloured fairy lights.

Big Ben.

Not all my photos worked an these are the best of the lot.

A night dragon.

Prince Charming and the glass slipper.

Captain Hook's priate ship.
The parade ended with a patriotic flourish.

And you know what?  That wasn't even the end of our Magic Kingdom goodbye.  The castle was lit up with a Disney themed light show that ended with a 'small' firework display.  And then the big guns in the form of a 10 minute extravaganza of star bursts and cascades of fireworks came out.  It might be an every day occurrence for the locals and park employees but for me, it was one of those unique nights that I'll always remember with fondness and joy.


  1. Those floats amaze! Good work to enjoy the fanciful frippery of it all; while still acknowledging Walt's huge achievements! Too much looks like never enough there.
    And that Taco salad.....
    Nice travelogue. Thank you :D x

  2. I have loved these posts. I went to Disneyworld when I was 17 on a school trip. We also did a lot of outlet shopping all over the states. Oh happy memories.

  3. Beautiful! I bet you can't wait to take Toddler SSG back one day xx

  4. Gorgeous J Crew picks, the toothpick jeans look fab. Loving all the Disney photos, truly looks like the happiest place on earth.

  5. I'm so jealous reading and looking at your pics! Disney really is the happy place on Earth ... and I love J Crew.I can't believe you managed to remain disciplined and actually do the work part of the trip with so much temptation - well done! x

  6. Seems like you are getting your JCrew fix!

    If you don't have Starbucks back home, try a double tall, half sweet toffee nut latte.

    I've been to Orlando twice, also for work and managed to stay well away from the rides. Go figure. :)


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