Taryn & I grabbed booklets to start the Stitch Holiday Gift Scavenger Hunt, which started on Black Friday. The scavenger hunt takes you to every district in Disney Springs, with stops in a few different stores. The idea is that Stitch is Christmas shopping for people on his list, & the goal is to find little cardboard cut-outs of Stitch in various stores, which show the items he is looking for. The booklets have stickers inside, corresponding with the cut-outs, which must be placed in the correct pages in the booklet. Once the booklet is correctly finished, it can be turned in for a Stitch button. Spoiler alert: We spent too much time trying to get this done (partially because we kept forgetting to look for cut-outs inside the stores, & partially because we had to travel all over the Disney Springs area).
Laker & I made our first stop at The Daily Poutine, where we tried poutine for the first time. We got a traditional version with gravy & cheese curds (I HATE that word), & it was okay. Not the best thing I've ever had, but not the worst.
We got to see the sunset over Disney Springs, then stopped to watch the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Disney Springs had chosen a family of the day, & they got to help light the tree. It was a fun little ceremony to watch, with Christmas carolers & decorations (although way too many stilt-walkers were around - another thing I hate - & they also had some sort of creepy Christmas king & queen mascots out).
We all went to the lake area to watch the new Disney Springs Holiday Drone Show (I keep accidentally calling it a droid show, which would be way cooler. Maybe someday). Honestly, it's neat that we're at a point where we can fly drones around as a form of entertainment, but it was not as impressive as I expected. Maybe it was just an off night, or maybe the skies weren't clear enough, but honestly... The Christmas tree was super cool, but the rest of the show just looked like patches of light, or weird constellations. We thought it was supposed to be abstract art until the next day, when I saw that the Disney Springs Instagram had posted (what I assume to be photo-shopped for clarity) a photo of the show, clearly depicting a bird. Emma's boyfriend said he read that you had to be at a certain vantage point to get the full effect of the show, so maybe that was the problem. But I will say - We saw the tree perfectly, & we were also in the area where most people were watching, & where the announcement said to watch. So if there's a better place to watch, that should be clarified. Until then, I'll stick with my opinion that it's a cool technological advancement, but it will probably be much more impressive in 5 years when we've perfected it a bit more.
The Tree Trail, a new Christmas feature this year, was another highlight of the evening. There are 15 Christmas trees, each decorated for a different Disney movie. It was super crowded, so I just put my camera on "auto" & snapped a photo as soon as people were out of the way - So I apologize for the not-so-great quality of most of these. But we loved seeing the details put into each tree's decorations! My favorites, of course, were Beauty & the Beast & Alice in Wonderland, but I also really liked Princess & the Frog. Another fun moment was experiencing the fake snow. I had always assumed, when seeing fake snow in parades & events on TV, that it was just white confetti or something. But it is actually snow! It is cold & wet, just like real snow. How crazy is it that we can make snow now? I also liked seeing the fun chalk art on the trail. Disney is so great with details.
When we turned in our booklets, a very un-enthusiastic guy, probably in his early twenties, flipped through our booklets. I have no idea if he actually had the booklets' answers memorized & was really checking them, or if he was just pretending to check them to discourage cheating. Regardless, he gave us our buttons, & in a monotonous voice, said, "Congratulations." We were super excited (mostly just because we were done) & snapped a selfie before heading out.
We stopped by Sprinkles cupcakes on our way out of Disney Springs. I had a coupon for a free birthday cupcake, & I'm a big fan of Cupcake Wars, so I wanted to give it a try. I got a s'mores cupcake, & bought Taryn one too, to celebrate our scavenger hunt victory. I can't claim to have a 100% accurate opinion on Sprinkles since this is my only time having been there, but based on my one cupcake that I got during this one time there, I would say it's a bit overrated. The ordering system was a bit weird - Although I could see that they had dozens of s'mores cupcakes ready, I still had wait in line to order, then go wait in another long line behind dozens of people waiting for bigger orders to get my two cupcakes. The cupcake itself was not good. The bottom was graham cracker, but it was super salty, to the point that I took it off. The cupcake was chocolate with a thin layer of marshmallow on top (I assumed the whole domed top would be marshmallow, like most frosted cupcakes). The chocolate part was nothing special, & the marshmallow was good, but there wasn't enough of it. However, there was a chocolate ganache inside that was super bitter & not made well (& that I was unaware of), so when I bit into the middle, the entire bitter center came out in one bite. It was chewy & gross, & I actually had to spit it out. My sister didn't like her's either, & was disappointed that it didn't have Sprinkles' trademark dot on top - which isn't a huge deal, but it's part of the fun of going to Sprinkles (Most of the other cupcakes did, so I don't know if they forgot, or just don't put them on this flavor?). It was also just an average-sized cupcake. Definitely not worth almost $5 per cupcake, especially in comparison to the amazing Butterfinger one I got at Disney World a few days later, which was the same price, twice the size, & way tastier...
Anyway, *end cupcake rant* I will say, I would be willing to give Sprinkles another try. We skipped the Cupcake ATM because of its long line, & I would like to see how that works next time!
Overall, it was a busy, fun, eventful night at Disney Springs. I had a lot of fun shopping & seeing all of the holiday festivities. I am excited to see that Disney Springs is still growing & adding new things! It has been fun to see the transformation from Downtown Disney, to the small, one-neighborhood Disney Springs, to this huge shopping area that it is now. It'll be interesting to see where it goes next!