Day 13: What Kind of Sorcery Is This? [Back To The Magic Trip Report 2013]

Back to the Magic Report Index (and here’s the Pre-Trip Report!)
[Today’s photographs can be found on my Flickr and the whole collection of days can be found here.]

Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf + Disney Quest + Dinner at Bongo’s Cuban Cafe 
August 26th, 2013

Today we visited 3 places we’ve never been to before – Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf, Disney Quest and Bongo’s Cuban Café in Downtown Disney! It made for a great day (although, we did have the rain! )

Having not managed to get a round of miniature golf in on our first trip, it was a ‘must do’ on this visit, and so, bright and early (wanting to beat any crowds) we drove to the Fantasia Gardens course which isn’t too far from the Swan & Dolphin hotels.

We were there a bit too early though, and had to hang around for 20 minutes or so whilst we waited for it to open, but no worries, with the sunshine and the warmth, we just hung out and I took photographs!

Hubs and the boy tried to pull their best “we don’t want to wait” faces…

…and I carried on snapping! I was pretty excited at the prospect of some Disney crazy golf!

A few more people turned up and before long the shutters were opening up and we went to the counter. With our 21 day, ultimate tickets, we were able to play a round of golf at either of the Disney courses for free, once a day, so this cost us nothing! Free is always good!

In addition to the crazy/miniature golf, there is also a mini regular golf, which, to me is no fun haha, I prefer the crazy! Out of the other people that turned up, we were the only people to go and play on the Gardens course, everyone else went to the Fairway.

We then picked our golf balls (mine was purple, of course!) and clubs, as well as a score card and a pencil to keep track. And the game was ON!

I’ve taken lots of photographs of the whole course as we went around – for trip reporting purposes of course! As always, you can see all of the day’s photos on my Flickr!

Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf is based on the film Fantasia, so it has a musical theme to it and the characters from the film too. I love Fantasia and it was fun to see the film brought to life on this course.

The sun was beating down and not having anyone else on the course when we started made for a really pleasant time, and a nice way to slow down the pace. Some of the holes are deceptively tricky! Hole number 3 was one such hole as the steps down made a sound as the ball bounced down each one, like a xylophone. Only Liam managed to do it!

The surroundings are just beautiful too…

As I mentioned before, we do get rather competitive when playing crazy golf, and today was no exception! 

There are 18 holes on the course, so it takes a while to get around, we maybe spent an hour playing? I’d imagine that time would be doubled if it was busy, so bare that in mind when planning your time here. We also lost our golf balls a few times in the surrounding waterways, but you can easily pop back to the start and pick up another one.

There are times when you may get wet when playing at Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf!

The eventual winner was me ^_^ so I bought my boys a consolation Mickey ice cream bar! I had a Mickey ice cream sandwich (yum!) There is nothing wrong with ice cream for breakfast! 

We didn’t have much of an agenda today, we just decided to go with the flow, so we headed to Downtown Disney to go and ride Characters in Flight.

We parked on the West Side near to Disney Quest and walked towards the giant balloon that is Characters in Flight. The weather was bright and sunny and so, we didn’t expect any problems riding – if there is inclement weather (thunderstorms) then the close down the balloon ride for safety reasons. Every time we’ve tried to go on Characters in Flight, this has happened to us…and it happened again! Whilst it wasn’t immediately obvious that bad weather was on its way, they had the ride closed down because it was coming. When it comes to weather prediction in the Orlando area, they are always safe than sorry (in our experience) and more often than not, right.

So with a bit of a sigh, we decided to buy a pretzel and a drink from Wetzles Pretzels ($14.77) and then go into the Vinylmation and Candy Cauldron, because, shopping always cheers me up ^_^

The pretzels were nice, hubs and I shared the cheese and chilli one. Liam had a regular one to himself with a pizza dip and a cheese dip. We also shared a strawberry lemonade. The birds were hanging around wanting to have a bite too!

We bought a new Vinylmation figure and then the rain came…this little squirrel ran to get away from it :P

Not wanting to let the rain beat us today, we decided to go to DisneyQuest, which my son was really up for since he was having some serious Xbox withdrawals! The next photo was when we first walked into Downtown Disney, hence the bluer, sunnier skies!

DisneyQuest is billed as an indoor, interactive theme park, and is a great place to spend a few hours if the rain is stopping play! There are 5 levels of fun, and we all had a fab time in here – better than expected to be honest! With our 21 Day Ultimate Ticket we didn’t have to pay to get in, (again, it may also be free to enter on the other tickets, but I’m not 100% sure) and once inside, pretty much everything is free to play – all the arcade machines, the rides and the activities. 

With games like Q-Bert, Frogger and Pac-Man, it is retro-gamer heaven in DisneyQuest, and we spent a lot of time on the arcade machines! There was also a Fix It Felix Jr game machine, and the fact that, it wasn’t too busy meant you could play for as long as you wanted without running out of money!

As well as tons of arcade machines, there are also rides. We went on a really pants virtual reality thing, the name of which I can’t remember. You wear these huge helmet/visor things and they’re pretty claustrophobic! I was glad to get it off my head!

We went on the Virtual Jungle Cruise where we sat in a rubber dingy and had to paddle our way through the river. There was a big inflatable underneath the boat which made it move about – hilarity ensued! We also went on the Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold which was a lot of fun too. Liam captained the ship whilst Steve and I had to blast the cannons at other pirate ships.

The boy then decided he was hungry, so we gave him some money to go and buy something to eat at FoodQuest. Hubs and I were way too busy trying to beat high scores on arcade machines ^_^

My friend texted me whilst we were in DisneyQuest asking what we were up to today as the rain was pouring. I told her where we were and hoped to bump into her and her family as she said they would try and pop to DQ. Our paths didn’t cross however.

I wanted to go to the Animation Academy to do a little bit of Disney drawing, so left the boys to do their own thing and come and find me when they wanted me.

I had missed the start of a class so had to hang around on this level until the next one was available, so went and tried to make a freaky toy on Sid’s Create a Toy, to waste some time. You can actually buy the toy you’ve created! Why you would want to though… -_- …if you’ve seen Toy Story you know what Sid’s toys look like!

It was then time for the next animation class, so I took a seat at one of the stations – you drawn on a screen rather than with pencil and paper. I couldn’t hear a word the girl that was presenting the class was saying, but I don’t think I did too bad a job of my Goofy! There is an option to buy your drawing, but I just took a photograph for posterity instead!

While I was drawing, Steve and Liam were designing a coaster on CyberSpace Mountain, which they then got to ride virtually as well. The ride does go upside down (if you put loops into your ride!) and you can buy the video of you riding your coaster as well. We watched it on the screen and they got plenty of hangtime on their design – looked like a lot of fun! We didn’t bother buying the DVD though.

After several hours in DisneyQuest we decided to make a move to the outside world. You exit into DisneyQuest Emportium so I bought Liam a Donald Duck cap and a Lotso for me ^_^

The rain had stopped and the sun was shining once again! For whatever reason, we didn’t go back to see if Characters in Flight was open again, and instead started to make decisions of where to go for dinner. The choice ended up being Bongos Cuban Café.

The restaurant wasn’t too busy and we were shown to a table pretty much straight away. There was music on which added to the vibe, and I can imagine this place to be really atmospheric when it’s busy. We were given menus, and once again, there was the option of souvenir glasses when buying a cocktail. As a driver…snooze…the short story is, I asked to have my non-alcoholic cocktail in a bongo glass ^_^ I wanted that bongo glass! Liam got his drink in a light up glass.

After reading through the extensive menu of really delicious sounding foods, we made our choices and placed the order with our friendly waiter.

To start, we shared a platter called Bongo’s Combo which had fried stuffed potatoes (papas rellenas), pork tamale (tamal de carne de cerdo), Cuban mojo marinated fried pork (masitas de Puerco) traditional Cuban ham croquettes (croquetas de jamon) and stuffed yuca cups – one with shrimp Cuban criolla and one with minced beef (yuca rellena de picadillo o camarones) The menu says this serves two, but I reckon you could split this between 3 or 4 of you if you fancy a starter.

Since the boy is fairly fussy with food, we asked the waiter what he’d recommend and he suggested the Cuban style Milanese chicken breast (Pollo a la Milanesa) which is a Cuban breaded chicken breast topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. It comes with fried sweet plantains and white rice, but we were able to switch those for fries.

Hubs and I shared a main course dish called The Cuban Tour (El tour Cubano). It’s not listed for two people to share, but we made a good judgement on it as there was a lot of food to be had! On the platter was roast pork, shredded seared beef and shredded chicken, served with fried green plantains, white rice, black beans and three sauces – chimmi churri, homemade mojo and a cumin mojo.

My memory has faded here, but I do recall us being able to make some switches and have chips instead of rice, which we gave to Liam and we had his rice, and then we added a salad on the side…which was an avocado salad. Whatever way we did it, we managed to all have a really nice main course!

Saving room for dessert (there’s always room for dessert!) we ordered a chocolate ice-cream for the boy, hubs had tres leches (a milky cake with cream on top) and I had flan (like crème caramel). The tres leches tasted soooo good, that I swapped my dessert with Steves :P And, because we’re greedy gannets and because I felt we must have churros, we ordered churros to share. They were delish and came with 3 different sauces – which I forget now!

After dinner, (which came to $184.24 – shockingly high, I know, but the souvenir glasses were really expensive) we went for a wander around Downtown Disney. We went back into Candy Cauldron to buy some sweet gifts to take home and when the rain started to spit again, decided to call it a day and drove home.

Read about the previous day: Day 12 – Singing In The Rain: Hollywood Drive-In Mini Golf (City Walk) + Islands of Adventure + Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill 

Read about the next day: Day 14 – Happy Feet: SeaWorld + Dinner at Red Lobster 

Read ALL the days! Back to the Magic Trip Report Index 2013

  • Hellies Corner

    Oh I love Disney and Orlando, always something to do. Now I want to go away for some sun :-( but not mini golf, I’m hopeless at it. Never mind, summer is only 5 1/2 months away!!

    • Michelle Ordever

      I agree – it’s our favourite place to go on holiday now – couldn’t imagine 2 weeks on a beach!! I’m willing the sun to make an appearance long before 5 1/2 months :P

  • mummyoftwo

    We didn’t do the golf when we were last there. It looks like great fun – will definitely look out for it when we go again next year!

    • Michelle Ordever

      It’s free if you have the ultimate tickets (7, 14 or 21 days) as I’ve since found out, so it’s worth a visit when it’s free!! Going early means avoiding crowds so you can get around a course in about an hour, leaving the rest of the day free! Going to do the other Disney course when we go back again in August!

  • Nicola Meredith

    It amazes me the work that must go into maintaining everything as perfectly as they do – everything looks new, fresh and cared for!

    • Michelle Ordever

      They have so many staff at Disney I’m not surprised everything looks so amazing. I think if I ever find things out of sorts I’ll be in a state of shock!

  • Style Me Sunday

    It looks great and looks like you guys had a fantastic time, I could really do with some sun right now.

    • Michelle Ordever

      I can just see the sun peeking from behind a cloud – hope it comes out to stay sooner rather than later!

  • Amanda Fisher

    It all looks amazing!! I love crazy golf… who wants mini regular golf? I’m with you on that one! But the Fantasia theme has to be the greatest looking mini golf course I’ve ever seen!

    • Michelle Ordever

      I’m biased, but everything in Walt Disney World is amazing!! Crazy golf is such fun and we had a great time playing through a very fun course!

  • Laura @ Kneadwhine

    You remind me that I still need to write up our visit to Disneyland Paris which was great. I’d love to go to the one in America – your pictures are so great that I spent ages looking through them!

    • Michelle Ordever

      Our first Disney experience was at Disneyland Paris in 2010 :) We had a great day – you can read about it here if you like :) We visited as a last minute thing during an anniversary trip to Paris. Will look forward to reading about your visit! I love a trip report!

  • lisa prince

    Wow amazing pics and experience thanks for sharing x

    • Michelle Ordever

      Thank you, and thank you for reading x

  • Charly Dove

    Wowsers! Sounds utterly amazing Michelle and what wonderful photos – just beautiful :)

    • Michelle Ordever

      Thank you – it’s my happy place! x

  • Eileen Teo

    wow! that is amazing! love the food photos!

    • Michelle Ordever

      I take a LOT of food photos!

  • fritha strickland

    lovely pics! looks like you had an amazing time! x

    • Michelle Ordever

      Thank you! It’s an amazing holiday to have x

  • hannah staveley

    So many nice pictures , so want to take the kids hope to go when they are a little older .x

    • Michelle Ordever

      It’s such a fab holiday – we love it! Can’t imagine holidaying anywhere else! x

  • Manneskjur

    Looks awesome, I bet you made many great family memories there (I may be in love with the thought of cheese and chilli pretzel now!)

    • Michelle Ordever

      The cheese chilli pretzel was goood! So many great memories – looking at the photos always brings them flooding back x

  • Laura Halls

    Oh I love Disney only been Florida once in 2011 Hubby and I took our ten 3 kiddies for December and we got wed in the Hard Rock Cafe I loved it so want to go back

    • Michelle Ordever

      Aww, how lovely! We were there in 2011 too! x

  • jbmumofone

    Beautiful photos. I am super jealous as would so love to visit Disneyworld! I also would KILL to play proper PacMan again. That is really showing my age LOL.

    • Michelle Ordever

      It’s my happy place! PacMan was harder than I remembered!! Or maybe I’m just older :P

  • Aisha Isabel Ashraf

    Hmmm, worst ‘we don’t like waiting’ faces eh? I could think of worse places to wait… bus-stop on a rainy day anyone? Looks like you had a fab time – thanks for sharing your day.

    • Michelle Ordever

      Tell me about it lol – it was all in good fun though, I assure you :D

  • Wild & Grizzly

    looks like you guys had a great day and the weather for it too! I love a bit of crazy golf, i think it’s the only game I can beat my husband at :) My boy is a fussy eater so I know the drill but that chocolate icecream would have went down a storm x

    • Michelle Ordever

      Oh how the weather changes in Florida though – gorgeous one minute and a downpour the next! I wouldn’t change it though x

  • Vicky Wombwell Kuhn

    Oh dear God – what amazing photos! Can you adopt me? Please? Looks like you had a fantastic time – and the food pics are making me hungry. :-)

    • Michelle Ordever

      Thank you! I am really pleased with my photos this trip – they always bring back so many wonderful memories x

  • Twinsplustwo

    OMG I love Pretzels so much. I wish we could take our kids to Disney, they would love it!

    • Michelle Ordever

      If you ever get the chance although I’m biased, GO!! You would all love it!

  • Emma Smith

    Wow that food looked amazing, I’m still catching my breath at the price though!

    • Michelle Ordever

      Tell me about it! It’s not a cheap holiday for us, but it can be done on the cheaper side x

  • Kirsty Hornblow

    Disney really goes to town doesn’t it?! Even the golf looks stunning and what amazing weather!!

    • Michelle Ordever

      They don’t call it the most magical place on earth for nothing lol – I love all the Disney themeing x

  • Ruth Davies Knowles

    This looks like lots of fun! :-)

    • Michelle Ordever

      It was! Lots of fun x

  • Louisa

    Wonderful photos, they make me crave a bit of sunshine

    • Michelle Ordever

      Me too!! Can’t wait to go back x

  • Emma V

    Wow, looks amazing. I really want to go back. x

    • Michelle Ordever

      Do you have plans to go back soon? We’re back there this summer – I couldn’t wait two years!! x

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