Travel, Uncategorized, Walt Disney World

Three Disney Experiences I would Love to Do!

To say our family loves Disney World is an understatement.  But for as many times as we’ve been to Walt Disney World, there are several experiences I haven’t done but would love to do one day.  Part of the reason I haven’t done these experiences are lack of time and often the cost.  It’s no secret that visiting WDW is quite expensive.  It’s also a very large resort with so much to do and usually time is extremely limited as we are usually only there for a week.  From the parks, Disney Springs and the many beautiful Disney resorts, the activities are endless.  Even with the time and money restraints, hopefully one day I will be able to experience some key Disney dining adventures and wonderful tours that look absolutely fabulous.  The first three on my list to do are the following:

  1.  Behind the Seeds Tour: at the “The Land” Pavilion in Epcot.

    agriculture basil bunch cultivation
    Photo by Jatuphon Buraphon on Pexels.com

    This is a walking tour of the greenhouses, hydroponics and fish farm you see while riding “Living with the Land” boat tour.  This tour is fairly reasonably priced at $25.00 per person in addition to your park ticket, it seems they run about every 45 minutes between 10:30 and 4:30.  This is one of the tours that I just haven’t taken the time to do yet.  I’m so intrigued by the unique plantings and vertical growth designs that you see while on the boat tour.  These greenhouses also provide food for some of the Disney restaurants.  I would really enjoy this tour!  

  2. Highway in the Sky Dine Around: This is a Disney style progressive dinner.  The evening starts with appetizers at the Contemperary Resort.   You then board the monorail and travel to the Polynesian Resort for more unique appetizers.  Once finished at the Polynesian, the guests travel to the Grand Floridian for artisinal cheeses or charcuterie offerings as well as the main entree at Citricos.  The evening finishes up back at the Contemporary for coffee and desserts as well as a private area to view the “Happily Ever After” fireworks show at Magic Kingdom.
    photography of disneyland
    Photo by Makenzie Kublin on Pexels.com

    Doesn’t this sound fun?  Drinks are included in the evening but the pricetag is quite steep at $170 per person.  One day I do hope to do this with my husband…one day…

 

3.  Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy: I REALLY want to do this one… Christmas and Disney AND going backstage?  Yes, please.  This is a 3 1/2 hour tour of the behind the scenes Holiday decor and what it takes to get the park ready for a magical Christmas at Walt Disney World. The tour starts in Epcot where guests board a bus and travel to different warehouse locations where the massive array of Disney holiday decor is stored. thumbnail-2The last stop is usually a place to get a tasty treat and the tour concludes with each guest receiving a special Yuletide Fantasy souvenier.  This tour is $139.00 per person and each participant must be at least 12 years old.

If you’ve ever done any of these three events, please let me know how your experience was!

 

 

 

 

 

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Travel, Uncategorized

Three of my favorite Quick Service restaurants at Epcot’s World Showcase

IMG_4233Yorkshire County Fish shop – $11.49
There is only one entree option at this quick service restaurant but it’s a great one. The fish and chips are crispy on the outside, flakey on the inside and fabulously greasy straight out of the fryer… Certainly nothing healthy about it, but well worth the risk.  Just make sure to walk off all those extra calories – that should’t be a problem at Epcot! The fried fish is served with extra large steak fries and an assortment of condiments. Probably my favorite thing about this place is the outdoor patio seating. The tables are located to the right of the restaurant on the water. It provides a beautifully manicured view of the water and England Pavilion, just beware of the insanely hungry ducks and egrets lurking under every table. This is a nice stop for a quick snack to share with someone or enjoy for lunch or dinner. Our trip is not complete unless eating our beloved fish n chips at the England pavilion in Epcot!IMG_3276

Pro: Good food and ambiance
Con: Hungry birds galore!

IMG_4413Les Halles boulangerie patisserie: located in the back of the France pavilion in Epcot. It opens in the morning to provide a wonderful breakfast option. Add a piping hot cup of coffee or espresso and your in business. We usually eat here for a late afternoon “pick me up” snack. My favorite snack here is the mousse which costs $4.50. The mousse is chocolate, decadent and absolutely divine, it has a perfectly rich consistency and is absolutely delicious. The seating is not ideal at this quick service location in my opinion. It is an extremely popular restaurant and is usually very crowded. The inside seating area lacks some of the Disney ambiance that we have become accustomed to. You’re essentially dining in the France Pavilion gift shop. It’s quite difficult to even score a table at the eatery, it’s not unusual to have people pacing and waiting to lunge as soon as those with a table swallow their last bite. There are some quaint outdoor tables which provide a better Disney dining experience and has the beautiful Disney “esque” theming that we all know and love. This restaurant also offers a wide variety of sandwiches, quiche and an assortment of breads and cheeses as well.

Pro: Opens early with park opening – Most of World Showcase is closed until later in the morning but Les Halles opens early to provide a wonderful breakfast option.
Con: Seating is limited and difficult to obtain

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La Cantina de San Angel, located in the Mexico Pavilion: My favorite go to menu item here is the Tacos de Pescado – Seasoned Fried Fish, Homemade Corn Tortillas, Mexican Rice, Refried Black Beans, Slaw, and Habanero Aïoli – $12.50.  The portion sizes are not super huge, but definitely big enough for a decent lunch. The tacos taste fresh and the entree comes with all my favorite sides. I love the location, the tables are outside and several are right on the water with spectaculars views of the World Showcase Lagoon.  It’s a great location to watch the fireworks show, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth”, if you can time it just right and land the perfect table. The lines can get very long at this quick service restaurant and tables are sometimes hard to come by but If you love Mexican food, you can’t go wrong here.

Pro: Great location on the lake and for watching fireworks
Con: Long lines to order

Travel, Uncategorized

Best of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for 2018!

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thumbnail-2One of the best memories of our families Disney World trips over the years has to be taking our boys to “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” at the Magic Kingdom park. We have done it a couple of times and it is phenomenal. This is a special ticketed event and runs on select evenings throughout the holiday season. There are several special event entertainment options, character meet and greets and food and merchandise that can only be purchased at MVMCP. The tickets start at $99 per person, see Disney’s website for event dates and complete ticket information. As I mentioned in earlier blogs about the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween event, you are able to enter the park starting at 4:00 p.m. even though the official party does not start until 7:00. I recommend doing this so you can get some of your favorite rides out of the way (most rides are running during the event as well) and enjoy the park while you still have some daylight.

Top 4 MVMCP Exclusive Shows and Entertainment:

Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration is a castle stage show that runs four times throughout the evening which includes Mickey and many of his friends, check your event brochure for showtimes.

A Frozen Holiday Wish: the spectacular lighting of the castle is performed at 8:15.

Once Upon a Christmas Time Parade: catch the early parade at 8:30 or wait for the crowds to thin out and see the later parade at 11:00, but don’t miss this.

Holiday Wishes Fireworks Show: this is a 360 degree show around the castle which uses the former “Wishes” theme hosted by Jiminy Cricket and is set to all the favorite holiday classics. This is one you definitely won’t want to miss, there is only one show at 10:00.

thumbnailBest in Food during the MVMCP!

Complimentary Food Items can be found throughout the park during MVMCP. Just look for the large inflatable peppermint sticks at each participating location or check your park map to find the “all you can eat” treat stations. Here is a list of all the delicious complimentary holiday drinks and foods:

Hot Chocolate
Apple Cider
Red Santa Mickey Sugar Cookie on Main Street
Assorted Cookies throughout park: Chocolate Chip, Molasses, Sugar and Peppermint Chip
Snowcones
Pretzels
Chocolates
Food allergy options as well

If you are still hungry, there are plenty of party exclusive foods and sugary treats on the menu to help you get into the holiday spirit at several of Magic Kingdom’s popular restaurants:

Main Street Bakery:
Chocolate Yule Log with MVMCP candy on top
Mickey’s Ornament Gingerbread Cookie

Cosmic Rays:
Holiday burger with cheese, stuffing, turkey and cranberry sauce on a burger with Texas toast and fries. I have not had this, but I’ve heard it’s actually quite good.

Pecos Bill:
Three Caballeros Spiced Chocolate Yule Log
Feliz Navidad Nachos

Gastons Tavern:
Vanilla Fruity Pebbles Eclaire

Sleepy Hollow:
Santa Clause Dessert: fondant toy bag with cinnamon spiced cake inside
Red Velvet Waffles Sundae

Storybook treats:
Scrooge Mc Duck Eggnog Custard Dessert
Peppermint Sundae

See Disney’s website for dining plans, dessert and fireworks party reservations or Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party Buffet from 9:30 – 12:30 with reserved viewing area for parade.

thumbnail-1MVMCP Disney Character Experiences:

All the delightful Disney characters will be available during the celebration dressed up in their holiday attire. Don’t miss an exclusive meet and greet with Jack Skelington dressed up like Sandy Claws accompanied by Sally for the first time. This is a very popular meet and greet so get in line early for this one if you want to meet these beloved characters! Don’t forget Scrooge Mc Duck and all of The Seven Dwarfs will be on hand for the perfect holiday picture.

Some of the Specialty MVMCP Merchandise:
MVMCP Pins
Alex and Ani Bracelets
Holiday event T-shirts
Holiday event Magic bands
MVMCP Mugs

Last but not least: Enjoy some Florida snow on Main Street and meet Santa clause in the Candy Cane Garden close to guest services, you will also see him in the parade.

There is so much more to see and do…If you are thinking about going to this magical event…get your tickets now before it’s sold out! You will not regret it, there is no better way to get into the Christmas Spirit than at Magic Kingdom with Mickey Mouse and all his friends for a heartwarming experience with your family and friends! Check out disneyworld.disney.go.com for all the details you will need to plan your fabulous time at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!thumbnail-4

Travel, Walt Disney World

Top 10 Things to Do at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

If you find yourself in the wonderful world of Disney during the end of August and months of September and October, you will most certainly want to check out Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. This event is absolutely fabulous! The decor and overall ambiance is top notch and the Florida weather is much more agreeable if you go later in the season. Decide which of the selected nights work for your schedule and experience Halloween the way Disney does it! Need I say more? So, let’s get started…

10. GET THERE EARLY: The party starts for ticket holders at 7:00 and lasts until midnight BUT if you have a ticket you can arrive as early as 4:00 and start enjoying the park. You will be given a wrist band by a cast member that only event ticket holders will be given. There are a few rides that will not be available to ride after 7:00, so make sure to ride those first. After 7:00 anyone in the park that does not have that band will not be able to enjoy the rides and activities of the park. This event does require a separate ticket from the general admission. Try to get parked and be in Magic Kingdom by 4:00 to be able to spend as much time as possible enjoying the Disney magic!

9. Dress up like your favorite Disney character and go trick or treating: Cast members will provide treat bags for trick or treating at several locations around the park. You will find signs at each treat locations but make sure to get a map because they will also provide the locations for your convenience. Be prepared…you will get A LOT of candy!

8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Enjoy a new enhanced spooky experience with live pirates interacting with guests in the queue area as well as the ride loading area. Once on the ride you will also stumble upon the pesky pirate “Gunpowder Pete”.

7. Mad Tea Party: This ride has new lighting and a fun soundtrack just for Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party. If you are unsure about riding a spinning ride (like me) you can ride or simply watch it. Whether watching or riding, you will not want to miss this.

6. Haunted Mansion: While the Haunted Mansion provides us with happy haunts all year long, Disney kicks it up a notch for Halloween. Rumor has it that a few of the ghosts have escaped the mansion and are hassling guests in the queue area. The overall lighting and ambiance outside the mansion will be sure to get you in the spooky spirit!

5. Character meet and greet: Prepare to enjoy unique meet and greet and character experiences. Most character meet and greets start at 7:00 but a few will start a little earlier. Popular characters like Jack and Sally will be available early, lines get very long for these two so make sure to see them first.

4. Boo to You Halloween Parade: There are two parades, the first one at 9:15 and then 11:15. Find a spot about 15 to 20 minutes before the 9:15 parade starts, if you decide to see the second parade it will be less crowded and may not require you to get a spot as early. The ghostly parade will showcase many rare characters including the headless horseman!

3. Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular: This show offers three showings: 8:30, 10:45 and 12:00. Join the Sanderson sisters as well as a few other Disney villains for some thrilling Halloween fun. If you decide to end the evening at the last showing, it will actually extend your time in the park as it ends a little after the park officially closes.

2. Happy HalloWishes Halloween Fireworks Show: If you’ve ever seen a Disney laser and fireworks show, you will know they are spectacular. The Happy HalloWishes Show does not disappoint. There is only one show at 10:15, so plan the evening accordingly. Along with the fireworks, the fun villain music and projections, this unique show is simply amazing!

1. Space Mountain: This is our families’ favorite ride at Magic Kingdom anytime we visit the park. During Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party, the ride is completely dark. Every light is turned off which creates an entirely new and hair-raising ride experience. In addition to the lack of lighting there is also a new soundtrack just for this event. If you can only do one thrill ride during the party, this is the one to do!

If you are lucky enough to be able to attend this party, make sure to take advantage of each of the rides and entertainment included on this list. This is a very family friendly event, it has been one of our favorite things we have done at WDW over the years. To find more information on event dates, times and tickets see disneyworld.disney.go.com.