Walt Disney World (FL)

Garden Grill to Start Serving Breakfast and Lunch

by on July 28, 2015

The LandAre you a fan of Garden Grill at The Land Pavilion at Epcot? Well, now you can enjoy two new character meals at the popular Table Service location – breakfast and lunch.

Chip n’ Dale’s Breakfast Harvest Feast will include delights like biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, Mickey waffles, and Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake. (Oh yum…I can feel the sugar coma.)

Lunch will include similar items that are currently served at dinner, like the “Living with the Land” harvest-inspired farmer’s salad, char grilled filet of beef, turkey breast, veggies, and more.

Breakfast and lunch will both be served family-style and will continue to be an all-you-care-to-enjoy meal. Breakfast and lunch offerings will begin on November 8. To make reservations, call (407) WDW-DINE.

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My Favorite Disney World Stores for Unique Merchandise

by on July 28, 2015

Art of Animation Ink and Paint

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Ink and Paint Shop

Is shopping a big part of your Walt Disney World Vacation? It’s a big part of mine! I love browsing the numerous stores throughout the Disney World Resort looking for a piece of the magic to bring home, but have you ever noticed that so much of the merchandise lining the shelves of one store is the same as what you find at the next? I mean, I love plush and pins and t-shirts too, but not when it’s in every store. Fortunately, there are a few places scattered around Disney World where you can discover some hard to find souvenirs which is why for today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite Disney World stores for unique merchandise!

AKL

Animal Kingdom Lodge Pillow for $24.95

Zawadi Marketplace – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort’s gift shop is a big favorite among Disney World guests! It’s large and very open; and in addition to your standard gift shop items, has a selection of handmade African art, collectibles, and even books about wildlife. Some items, including plush toys that I’ve seen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park can also be found here too. Now I’m a big fan of the Disney World Resorts and kind of consider them like second homes, so naturally I love a wide selection of resort exclusive merchandise and Zawadi Marketplace has a lot in the form of tees, cups, magnets, artwork, and even home décor.

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Details on Chase Lounge for Epcot Food and Wine Festival

by on July 27, 2015

Chase Lounge 1Chase is the official sponsor of the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which means that once again, the Chase Lounge will be returning to the American Adventure Parlor at the American Adventure Pavilion. This lounge is found on the third floor,with its entrance found between the attraction and the gift shop.

The lounge allows guests to have a seat, relax, grab a complimentary soft drink, recharge batteries, learn about exclusive perks and benefits of the Chase Visa Card and – most importantly – soak up some much needed air conditioning! (Trust me. Touring and eating around World Showcase can be extremely HOT, especially during those peak afternoon times! Just because it’s September, October, or November doesn’t mean that you won’t feel like a puddle of goo after touring around in the blazing Florida sun.)

During last year’s festival, beer and wine were also available to purchase; however, it is unclear if this will be available at this year’s festival. Also, in previous years guests could obtain preferred viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth as long as wristbands (which were distributed on a first come, first served basis) were available. No word yet on if that will be available for guests, either. I’ll make sure to keep you posted. 

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Guests Can Now Choose To Opt-Out Of Receiving MagicBands

by on July 27, 2015

MagicBandAre you like me? Do you have boxes and boxes of MagicBands? Do you wish that you could opt out of receiving additional MagicBands on subsequent visits? Well now you can!

You see, before, if you had a room reservation or package you would automatically be forced to receive MagicBands, whether you needed them or not. For example, this happened a lot to people who do a lot of split stays. (You’d get a new set of MagicBands for each resort you’d be staying in during your trip.) Many people had expressed the desire to have the opportunity to opt out of receiving subsequent MagicBands.

Well now, Walt Disney World Resort Guests are able to choose to opt out of customizing and receiving a new MagicBand if they already have a MagicBand from a previous visit linked to their account on My Disney Experience. (This can only be done if the existing MagicBand is less than 1 year old, as MagicBands operational lifespan is limited and MagicBands have non-replaceable batteries in them.)

In addition, Guests with more than one reservation during the same visit will only receive one MagicBand for the whole visit if they do not customize a MagicBand for the second reservation.

To opt out, Guests can manage their MagicBand preferences through the ‘Customize Your MagicBand’ section on their My Disney Experience account by either declining a new MagicBand if they prefer to use an existing one or if they choose to reactivate a MagicBand. If you change your mind and decide that you do want the MagicBand sent to you, you will be able to do that.

 

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A Review of the Pirate’s League at Magic Kingdom

by on July 26, 2015

2015-06-24 at 08-53-17My family and I recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World during which we had the pleasure of celebrating our son’s fourth birthday. During the intense, Disney-encouraged planning stages of the trip we were faced with the dilemma of how to make it special…okay, more special than having a birthday at Disney World, which is already kind of a big deal. Since we are character meal fiends, it wouldn’t be special enough just to add another one (although we did a whopping 7 on a 10-day trip, including two on the big day). What we settled on was the Pirate’s League at the Magic Kingdom, something we’ve seen the results of, but never tried ourselves.

Of course, part of the reason we never went total pirate was because we didn’t know how our son would handle the makeup involved in turning into a full-on scurvy dog. The other reason was because our daughter, who is 6, has been asking about the immensely popular Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for some time now. Luckily, that desire was waylaid by the discovery of the mermaid packages at the Pirate’s League, but I’m getting ahead of myself — let’s walk through the experience.

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Disney Introduces New Tour – Escape to Walt’s Wilderness

by on July 24, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Are you a fan of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort? Or do you really enjoy the outdoors? Well, then I have the tour for you with the brand new, Escape to Walt’s Wilderness Tour. This experience gives Guests a glance at the natural surroundings that became the perfect setting to accommodate Walt Disney’s grand dreams.

The adventure begins at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Marina where tour guides will take guests on-board pontoon boats for an eco-history tour of Bay Lake.

After arriving at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, Guests will head to the shore of Marshmallow Marsh for breakfast on the beach beside a giant bonfire and a enjoy camp-style breakfast that will include locally-sourced citrus salad, egg frittata, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, granola, coffee and juice. From there, the group will travel by horse-drawn wagon to the Settlement and Pioneer Hall and then will make their way over take part in an archery opportunity. (It’s time to get your inner Merida flowing!) Guests will also take a walk along the railroad tracks to learn more about Walt’s fascination with trains. Finally, Guests will head to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch horse barn to meet the celebrity horses who live and work at the Walt Disney World Resort.

In addition, A photographer will be on hand to capture photos of the group during the experience and for those who have purchased Memory Maker, those photos will be included. If you haven’t purchased Memory Maker, the photos will also be available a la carte on the Disney Photopass website.

This tour is a unique 5-hour experience that is available twice a week from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on select days and costs $109 per person, plus tax. Participants must be at least 7 years of age and availability is limited.

To book or for more information, call 407-WDW-PLAY.

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The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Dates for 2015

by on July 24, 2015

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Let the rejoicing begin! The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights dates have officially been announced for this year’s holiday season. The unique light show which takes place on the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will occur from November 6, 2015 through January 3, 2016.

Each year, guests marvel as they walk along the street, gazing up at the beautiful lights, made even more spectacular when they start to blink and dance to the musical tracks. It’s great to grab a beverage (my choice is a cup of hot chocolate or coffee…no matter what the temps are…it is Christmas after all) and walk along marveling at the gorgeousness.

In addition,  continuing for 2015, guests who purchase Made with Magic items will see them interact with the lights as these items have been programmed to light up, both matching the colors of your surroundings and flashing to the beat of the holiday music.

For those who are unaware, the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights started modestly in Arkansas as each year, Jennings Osborne and his family set up an elaborate collection of holiday lights. Over time, the collection of lights grew until 1995, when the lights were brought to Walt Disney World Resort and have remained ever since.

Oh and the best thing about this spectacular is that it is included in your park admission!

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MyMagic+ and Last-Minute Trips: Planned Spontaneity Advanced Course

by on July 24, 2015

Spaceship Earth MyMagic+

Sometimes you just need a last-minute trip to Disney World.

If you caught my previous article on planned spontaneity and MyMagic+, there is one flaw you might have noticed – it requires that you know far in advance that you are taking a trip to Walt Disney World. So the question is, “How do you plan for spontaneity when you decide to take a trip in the next 30 days?”

Before I launch into my method for planned spontaneity for last-minute trips, I first want to make one tiny thing clear: you don’t have to plan for spontaneity to be spontaneous on a trip to Disney World. (Don’t be alarmed, you read that right.) If you want to go sans FastPass+ and wing it with restaurants, you will still be able to have an awesome time. I prefer to use MyMagic+ to its fullest, and for me that means planning in such a way that I can go off-book about 50% of the time and have a plan the other 50%.  If you’re a planner like I am, then this should be right up your alley.

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Epcot AtMousePhere: The Music of Future World West

by on July 23, 2015

Copyright 2010 Claire NatWe’re taking things in a different direction in this edition of AtMousePhere. Epcot can be divided all sorts of ways: one way is to divide it into Future World and World Showcase, or you could divide each single pavilion into its own specific section.

For our purpose here, I am going to take a few pavilions at a time and highlight the atmospheric music inside and outside the pavilion. This article is going to focus on the music of Future World West, which includes The Seas with Nemo and Friends, The Land, and Imagination!

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever July 23, 2014: An Evening with Jodi Benson

by on July 23, 2015

Jodi benson best week ever

Spend an evening with Jodi The Little Mermaid Benson in the best Best Week Ever ever! (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

The hyperbolic title of this column is intended to be tongue in cheek, but every so often I truly do experience something that qualifies for the Best Week Ever superlative. Last Sunday night certainly qualifies, since — thanks to a contest conducted by Shelly Valladolid via her Fabulous Disney Babe column on MiceChat.com — I had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet a real-life Disney heroine. Part of Your World: An Evening with Jodi Benson at the Bohemian Hotel in Celebration, afforded 60 guests an intimate audience with Jodi Benson, original voice of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, over an excellent three-course meal, as she told stories, answered questions, posed for photos, and (best of all) performed a mini-concert of songs by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.

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