Time to move to Florida, hike my pants up to my elbows, start having lunch at 10 AM and complain about the government full time.

That’s right, I’m 50 today. I am reminded of the below SNL sketch.

Sally O’Malley and Dottie O’Donegan

Sadly, I feel a lot closer to Dottie than to Sally. If I tried to kick or stretch like that, I would have just two words for you: groin injury

I like to sit. I like to nap. And I like to sit. I’m fifty.

8:30 AM – I guess that’s about as late as I ever sleep in, so that will have to do. The wife is awake too, although she is hoping and expecting to go back to sleep.

11:00 AM – Wife is up and making me pancakes and bacon for my birthday breakfast. Sounds pretty damn good to me.

We have nothing planned until we head to the Magic Kingdom in the late afternoon. I am guessing there may be another soak in the jet tub for me in the not-too-distant future. With wine. And snacks.

You only turn 50 once and I am damn sure going to take advantage of it.

So, yes, about 1.5 hours in the bath, with my iPad and a pretty great bottle of wine. That’s a pretty decent afternoon, especially since the evening is going to be spent at the Magic Kingdom, with my birthday dinner at Be Our Guest!

Screenshot 2019-11-23 14.34.10

3:15 PM – Ready to go and spend a wonderful evening in the Magic Kingdom. I cannot imagine anywhere else I would rather be, or anyone else I would rather be with, to celebrate my 50th.

Got a “Happy Birthday” text from a friend who complained that is is only 2 degrees back home right now. I will not complain that is it only 27 here now 🙂

First up, we head to Guest Services and get Tracey a ‘disability pass’. This is something that Disney offers for guests who might have trouble standing in long lines. It basically works as a virtual queue; you show up at a ride, and get a return pass that is good later in the day. How much later depends on how long the line is; if there is an 80-minute line, then your return pass is valid starting in 80 minutes.

It’s an excellent system; the downside is that it is no-questions-asked, so you know that there are some scumbags out there abusing it. Oh well, it certainly helped us tonight.

We head into the park and knock off all of our Fastpass rides: Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion and Ariel’s Undersea Journey. A little sightseeing here, a little shopping there, and it’s getting close to our dinner reservations. On the way to the restaurant, we stop at the queue for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – the only ride we wanted to experience this trip but could NOT get a Fastpass for – and get return passes. Pretty perfect timing, as they will be active just about the time we are done with our dinner.

8:15 PM – Finally time for our dinner reservations at Be Our Guest. This is a beautiful, immersive experience, that really seems to be taking place in the Beast’s castle. We don’t come here just for the experience, though, the food is universally good.

It used to be a la carte, but apparently too many people booked reservations just to come in and have virtually no food but get a picture with the Beast, so a couple of years ago they changed to a prix fixe menu. $62 per person for dinner, three courses.

Tracey’s order:



Given what we were ordering, this seemed like a logical choice off of their improved-but-still-moderately-small wine list.

Screenshot 2019-11-24 09.01.26

And, then dessert. This is the same for everyone, and EVERYTHING on this plate (except for the candle) is edible. Even the paper. Which, ironically, tasted a bit like paper.

Raspberry Macaroon, White Chocolate ‘Chip’ cup with The Grey Stuff, and Dark Chocolate Truffle

The Grey Stuff is delicious. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.

Just superb.

After dinner we head to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride and hop in the car……and why are we still sitting here?? Uh-oh, both of the operators are on the phone.

ANNNNNNNNNNND, the ride just went down while we were next to go. One of the cast members mentions that she doesn’t think it will be an extremely long delay, so we wait around. She was right, we get to re-board in about 10 minutes. No huge deal. It’s a spectacular ride, and well worth the wait.

10:30 PM – It’s late, we are tired, so time to head home. Down Main Street we get a ton of great pictures.

We came here at this time of year for several reasons. Sure, my 50th birthday, but we could have just as easily gone to Disneyland for that. The Epcot Food and Wine Festival, yes, but we didn’t really know how excellent that was going to be.

To be honest, we came here for this. The Magic Kingdom, after dark, during the Xmas season. And it did not disappoint.






That is one huge, beautiful tree in the background. How huge?


Tracey doesn’t even reach the BOTTOM of the tree!

What a perfect, perfect way to celebrate my 50th birthday.

As we head out of the park, we are feeling a little melancholy as, although we are back at the MK one more time this trip, it won’t be during the evening, so we won’t see these incredible decorations lit up again. Well, not until our next trip here, anyway…..

Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, something I forgot to mention. You remember when I ordered that crazy expensive glass of 1908 Madeira at Victoria & Albert’s? Well, it was a toss up between ordering that and a bottle of water. Yes, water. They had water from a 5000-year old Norwegian glacier. The price?

$129 a bottle.

Next time.

That’s it for tonight; tomorrow is Sunday and we are going to relax at the resort, which a boatload of football and drink some great wine. Stay tuned!


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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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