Day 7: Magic Kingdom with the Roots

Today was one of the more relaxed, freeform days I’ve been trying to build into our trips since the non-stop action of our Christmas/D23 Magic & Merriment/DISBoards Party trip in 2009.

We slept in and got room service breakfast, which for some reason is my ultimate idea of vacation luxury, even though the food invariably disappoints. Actually, I take that back: This meal was pretty dang good, as I recall.

Build-yer-own Omelette

Eggs Benedict—with extra hollandaise because they're always so stingy with it!

I hired my wedding makeup artist, Patricia LeJeune, to come do my hair makeup that morning because we were meeting the Roots in the Magic Kingdom for a Dole Whip and a few headshots for my blog and PassPorter books. It was so much fun catching up with her after 2 years!

It was also wonderful to see the Roots again. I think we hadn’t seen them since the previous Christmas, so we had a lot of catching up to do with them as well! And where’s the best place at the Magic Kingdom to have a relaxing conversation on a ride? The Peoplemover, of course!

This was a red-letter day. Patrick has been trying to get a good photo of the Progress City model along the Peoplemover track for YEARS, but we just don’t have the equipment. Jensey & Nate, on the other hand, can do this stuff in their sleep, and they got us three fabulous shots!

What I didn’t know at the time is that only a portion of the original model is visible from the Peoplemover today, and it’s been badly maintained over the years. You can read a fascinating article about this with lots of great concept art HERE.

"Aw… lookit all the generic Disney plush sold in Tomorrowland's uber-themed Store Command!"

Space Mountain!

In Space (Mountain) no one can hear you yawn

Suddenly, randomly (maybe it was Space Fever?), things got a little smoochy…

So of course then I had to reapply my lip gloss in the reflection of Jensey’s shades…


"No pictures—NO PICTURES!!!"

A speed ramp is the next-best thing to an escalator

Onward to Autopia! Oh wait—what’s it called in Florida? Tomorrowland Speedway? Hmph!

I don't think Patrick understands the concept…


Yeah, I REALLY don't think Patrick understands the concept…

"Smoochin' on the Speedway? Right on!"

After that we found a really great background for taking headshots—the construction wall around Fantasyland. Here’s some Root Photography behind-the-scenes action for ya!

The Roots took a lot more great headshots that day, but this is the one I went with because I love all the colors!

Here’s Patrick’s shot…

Here’s how far along they were on New Fantasyland on October 14, 2010:

Next stop, the newly dubbed “Prince Charming Regal Carrousel”—the carousel that no longer belongs to Cinderella or even Prince Charming, judging by the lack of the possessive…

One of us did not get the memo on this pose

Let me tell you, trying to smooch on moving carousel horses can be a dangerous affair—someone’s liable to chip a tooth!

Over by the future pile of rubble that was the Skyway Station, Patrick did a little dance just for you!



It’s so weird looking back at these photos now—with that Harrison Hightower facial hair, he looks like he could tie a damsel to the tracks at any moment!

So, if you’re in the market, it turns out that the afternoon light on the Liberty Belle is *great* for headshots…


We could’t pass up an opportunity to ham it up in front of the Haunted Mansion. You’ll get to compare these to the shots we took there in our costumes later on (let’s just say that on this occasion, no one mistook us for entertainment cast members!).

And speaking of hamming it up…

Actually, the moustache is PERFECT for this setting!

So then somebody decided it would be funny to get a headshot with me eating a Mickey Bar. Or maybe I was just hungry for a Mickey Bar…

Behold my new Twitter profile photo!

OK, maybe this is waaaaay too many shots of me eating a Mickey Bar, but I am compelled to document the entire process!

This was our Valentine's Day card, with the tagline "Love means never having to say you're sorry"


Patrick got a little mischievous with his frozen banana…

These two should probably be in a double frame on our mantel… if we had a mantel…

Who wants to go on a train ride?!!

Back to Main Street, U.S.A.!


Patrick’s take on the old “peering over the bouquet” shot…

On the other hand, here's a shot you almost never see in wedding photography!

I loved this area the Roots picked for us, especially all the color!

This shot would be perfect if Patrick wasn't, you know, asleep…

I usually hate how I look in low-angle shots, but those Roots—they really know what they’re doing!

On the same side street we found what Nate ‘n’ Jensey declared to be fantastic light for a headshot.

On our way out of the park, Nate lost a lens.

Diabolical Hightower Patrick found this terribly amusing…

We didn’t have the fortune to get a completely empty monorail car like a recent Root wedding couple did, but we still got some nice shots.

The first time we met Nate was when he did our engagement portraits at the Polynesian, so we had to grab a few shots for old times’ sake…







We bid the Roots farewell until our date for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party a few days later. I’m always glad when we can meet up with them more than once during a trip, because we always have more catching up to do than fits in one meeting!

Getting all dolled up and running around the Magic Kingdom in the sweltering heat had been my idea of a good time, so Patrick got to pick what we did for the rest of the day. That turned out to be going into Epcot to play with the new wide-angle lens I’d bought for shooting event spaces. Patrick was absolutely smitten with the thing, and you’ll notice that rather than his usual plethora of detail shots, this trip was all about the wide shot for Patrick…


There was something going on over at World Showplace, and judging by the diversity of costumes, it was a crowd scene for a low-budget move!

Genie Housing Project

I got very excited when I spotted them opening the backstage gate for a wedding party and made Patrick document the procession. Sing out if you or someone you know is in these pictures!

Back to Wide-Angle Fest ’10…

We bravely ventured into the Mitsukoshi Department Store, knowing full well that it could mean the loss of our entire souvenir budget.

I really wish I had the money and a reason to buy one of these!

Look out! The "cute things dressed as other cute things" trend has finally hit Fake Japan!


We made a quick stop at Via Napoli for some photos. Our reservation here wasn’t until the last day of the trip, so the review will have to wait a few more days (and in Carrie Trip Reporting Time, that could be MONTHS!)…

These ovens are named after the three active volcanoes in Italy: Huey, Dewey & Louie

As night falls on the Bavarian train set, cooler temperatures send the Gargantuan Killer Lizards scurrying back to their dens as the populace breathes a sigh of relief…

Before our reservation at Bistro de Paris, we stopped in at the Karamell Kuche to pick up dessert. (I have a longstanding tradition of smuggling dessert into the Bistro because they like to sully their desserts with fruit.)

I ended up choosing the chocolate version of their mile-high cupcake and found it to be a combination of dry cake and super-sweet, gritty frosting just like the vanilla one. And not really all that chocolatey—go figure!

Sorry about all the Duffy photos—but remember, he had just (re)debuted in Florida, and we were fascinated by seeing this memento of our Tokyo Disney trip, like, EVERYWHERE…

For reasons that I don’t understand, I am perpetually drawn to the Guerlain and Givenchy boutiques in the France Pavilion. There is no way I would ever pay full retail for their overpriced products, and all their perfumes smell the same to me. I’m not interested in playing with the makeup because the displays are perpetually mobbed and the manhandled testers are gross. So what is it about these shops that makes me stop every time I pass by? Maybe the interior architecture?

Now this attraction is one I understand…


Don’t tell him I told you, but Patrick loves sniffing all the soaps in France!

Caught in the act!



Finally it was time for our reservation at Bistro de Paris.

Inside, the restaurant feels like the classic French bistro… of 1982. I like it, but I wonder if it’s like stepping into a time warp for people who actually live in France.

So many glasses, so little time…

We got a table for two right by the window, just like on our honeymoon, which meant we’d be able to see IllumiNations. True, it’s not, like, the greatest view ever (they turn on big lights aimed right at the window about halfway through the show, plus you have trees in the way), but it’s awfully nice to be able to watch the show from the comfort of your table while you eat a swanky dinner.

Our view inside the restaurant wasn’t too shabby either: Seated behind me in a semi-private corner of the restaurant was the entire D23 team! Patrick and I got into a heated-but-whispered debate when he thought we should go over and get a picture with them that I could tweet. I thought I would rather die. The idea of approaching a celebrity for a photo or an autograph makes my skin crawl, so the idea of fawning over a bunch of real people just trying to eat their dinner made me feel like crawling under the table. We dithered so long and so increasingly loudly that I’m sure Steven Clark was about to stand up and shout, “Oh just come over here and take a picture already!!!”

Finally Patrick’s appeals to my journalistic sensibilities prevailed (what…? Tweeting is just reporting on a micro level!) and we sidled over to hover until there was an awkward pause in their conversation. Carmen very kindly put me at ease by smiling at us and offering to take our picture with Jeffrey (he must’ve drawn the short straw to become the sacrificial lamb for camera-toting fanboys). I was also surprised when she remembered my name, although this could be due to my sending her a marked-up copy of the second issue of Disney Twenty-Three Magazine that bled red ink, along with the suggestion that they hire an additional copy editor…

Mission accomplished, we scurried back to our table.

"Now that wasn't so bad, was it?"


This was our amuse bouche, and I’m afraid I don’t remember what it was. Green… flavored soup? I think it was prolly tasty though!

We started with an appetizer of Sauteed Jumbo Shrimp with Parsley & Garlic, Crab & Sesame Seed Croquette, and Cocktail Sauce. It was very, very tasty! I could have eaten the parsley and garlic sauce on my entire dinner…

Sauteed Jumbo Shrimp with Parsley & Garlic, Crab & Sesame Seed Croquette, and Cocktail Sauce

For dinner we split the Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon, Stuffed with Mushrooms, Truffles Pasta Gratin, and Morel Sauce. I was a little worried about the pasta because “truffles” is usually code for “truffle oil,” which is gross and tastes nothing like real truffles. Also, “gratin” can sometimes be code for “dried out cheese sauce,” but this stuff was pretty good. The tenderloin was very nice, but not as good as the one at California Grill.

Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon, Stuffed with Mushrooms, Truffles Pasta Gratin, Morel Sauce

IllumiNations started before our entrée arrived. It’s easier to get pictures before the big lights on the roof of Chefs de France come on.



My eyes!!!!

For dessert, I had my contraband Karamell Kuche cupcake and Patrick had Bistro de Paris’ assortment of sorbets and fresh fruit. I don’t remember what the flavors of sorbet were, so I will make them up: Oeil de Newt, Orteil de Grenouille, Laines de Batte, and Langue de Chien.

Assortment of Sorbets and Fresh Fruit

By then the park had been closed almost an hour, and the restaurant was emptying. On their way out, the D23 team jabbed Jeffrey and he bid us farewell. We waved and called out, “You can’t escape us that easily!”

I always love leaving Epcot well after closing time. It’s such a beautiful and peaceful walk out. The last few times I’d done it, I’d been alone on the phone with Patrick telling him what he was missing. So this time I made sure I appreciated getting to be there with him.

Up Next: 3D – Disney Dessert Discovery Party + D23’s Sip ‘n’ Stroll Begins!

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31 Responses
  • Vikki Bradly
    December 12, 2013

    I LOVE reading all your trip reports, and they’re really getting me excited for our holiday in February. It’ll be the first time back to WDW since my CRP finished over years ago!!

    Do you happen to have any more pictures of the guys hanging around outside world showplace? You were there just a couple of weeks before I started my CRP (UK Food & Beverage), and was wondering if I might know anyone, but all the UK F&B people are too far back in the picture here!

    Keep up all the amazing trips, and their reports… and also a HUGE thanks for writing the WDW Wedding Passporter book. 😀 Going to be a huge help when we finally save enough to have the wedding of our dreams!


    • Carrie
      December 16, 2013

      Hi Vikki! Shoot… I put basically all the photos I had into this post—sorry I didn’t catch any of your pals! I’m so glad you like the trip reports and the book. Keep me posted on your plans! And be sure to join the DIS Brides Facebook group when you start working on the wedding!

  • Laura E
    May 30, 2013

    I love the dress you have on. Wondering where it was from? Not only the ruffle v neck, but the color and pattern is so great.

    • Carrie
      May 31, 2013

      I think it was a DKNY or Anne Klein dress that I got on clearance at Macy’s. I usually can’t wear orange, but with all those other colors in there, the print was just too gorgeous to pass up!

  • MichelleD
    February 13, 2013

    I do not know any of the people in the wedding, but I can identify one of my favorite managers, Matt, in the photo of the event at World Showplace. He did a brief stint with the Conventions group for a term. It’s cool to see where he went, and that he wasn’t really on a super secret spy mission as I thought. He and his wife are two of the happiest managers I have known, so thanks for this pick me up.

    • Carrie
      February 13, 2013

      Hey, that’s cool! Glad I could “reunite” you guys!

      • MichelleD
        February 13, 2013

        Oops. I feel dorky for realizing that I typed “we” instead of “he.”

        • Carrie
          February 13, 2013

          Oh, here – lemme fix that for you…

  • Kaylin
    October 18, 2011

    Whats up with the photoshopped out ladys head in karmel kuche her heads like invisible?????????

    • lurkyloo
      October 18, 2011

      Whoa, that IS weird! I hadn’t noticed that. The only thing I did to the shot was a ham-fisted brightness/contrast fix in Photobucket. I wonder if she moved her head really quickly and that’s what the camera caught. Either that or I have photographic proof of ghosts!

  • Wendy
    July 15, 2011

    So what was it like being served by a headless German fraulein in Karamel Kuche? LOL!

    The Genie lamp comment was hilarious.

    • lurkyloo
      July 15, 2011

      It was freaky, let me tell ya! I tried to act natural like I didn’t notice anything, but it was super-distracting!

  • Shoshanna
    July 14, 2011

    you two are too adorable! I love reading your trip reports….so clever!

    • lurkyloo
      July 14, 2011

      Gosh, thanks! 😉

  • Kelly
    July 11, 2011

    *sigh* I just canceled my Bistro reservation for my solo trip because I thought Mexican counter service and a margarita sounded like more fun…now I want it back!!!

    • lurkyloo
      July 11, 2011

      Oh, that’s funny! It’s so hard to know in advance what you’re going to want to eat, isn’t it?

  • Mindy
    July 11, 2011

    We just booked the Roots for our wedding and seeing your new photos makes me even more excited.

    • lurkyloo
      July 11, 2011

      Oh cool! What locations are you using for your wedding?

      • Mindy
        July 11, 2011

        Disneyland Hotel Rose Court Garden for ceremony and Grand Californian ballroom for reception 😀

        • lurkyloo
          July 11, 2011

          Oh my gosh, I cannot WAIT to see their take on a Disneyland wedding! Let me know if you need any help meeting a guest count. 😉 Patrick and I are just as hammy as Disney’s “Uninvited Guests” but we don’t cost any money!

  • Kate
    July 11, 2011

    Oh my goodness. That horse that Patrick was riding on the carousel is my favorite horse. When I was 3 my parents took me to Disney World for the first time and my mother and I rode the carousel on that horse. And from that day on I have never even sat on another horse on the carousel. Seeing the beautiful pictures of it brought a tear to my little eye!

    • lurkyloo
      July 11, 2011

      What an adorable story! I’ve never thought about that before—that one might have a favorite horse on the carousel. Did you name it? 🙂

      • Kate
        July 11, 2011

        I’ve never named it, no. I still have the picture of my mother and I on it from all those years ago. There are times when I have almost had to push unsuspecting children out of the way to claim him.

        • lurkyloo
          July 11, 2011

          BWAAAAhahahahahahaaaa! 😀

  • WaltSentMe007
    July 11, 2011

    I love your Trip Reports and I had to comment on this one too because I LOVE Mitsukoshi. I spent such a long time in there last trip that my fiance said really loud “They should give you a preferred shoppers card for this store” which prompted many guests standing around us to laugh. That store definitely eats up all of my souvenir budget!

    Added Bistro De Paris to our list for the next trip after our wedding 🙂

    • lurkyloo
      July 11, 2011

      That is hilarious! Well, if they ever do give you a preferred shoppers card, let me know how to get one too!

  • Claire
    July 11, 2011

    Glad its not just me who sniffs the soap in shops.

    • lurkyloo
      July 11, 2011

      You just have to! Even though they say right on them what they’re supposed to be! 🙂

  • Elizabeth
    July 11, 2011

    OMG…must have Hello Kitty dressed as alligator!!! (For what purpose I don’t know, but…must.have.) Go Gators!

    And the genie housing project? HILARIOUS!

    Finally, regarding your comment on the 1980s feel of the Bistro…I thought the EXACT SAME THING a few weeks ago when I was watching Impressions de France. I actually wondered if the poor French guy who had to introduce it was tempted to shout out that France and its citizenry really don’t look like that anymore and they actually have computers and cell phones and new cars! LOL!

    I also think this every time I watch the film in Norway. FWIW

    • lurkyloo
      July 11, 2011

      Me too! The other thing I often think in Impressions de France is, “Those kids in the flower market are all grown up now… and that granny is DEAD!!!”

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