Walt Disney World (FL)

The Best of Walt Disney World for Adults

by on September 27, 2017

The Best of Walt Disney for Adults

Welcome back to Part 5 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babiespreschoolersgrade school kids, and teens. Next up are the young-at-heart adults. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the adults surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

Read the rest of this entry »

Every New Item at the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Reviewed

by on September 26, 2017

With so many items available at the 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, it can be overwhelming to know what new dishes to skip or sample. That’s where I come in – as TouringPlans’ resident food reviewer, I’m continuing my tradition of sampling every new dish at the festival this year so you don’t have to! Below, you’ll find reviews and photos of all of the new food, and at the bottom of this review, you’ll find rankings of how I’d categorize each dish (skip, try, must-try, or Best of the Fest). Be sure to use the quick links below to navigate through this guide!

The Food
Epcot Legacy Showplace
Flavors From Fire
Light Lab
Active Eats
Coastal Eats
Cheese Studio
Almond Orchard
Hawai’i
Farm Fresh
Greece
Thailand
Mexico
China
India
Africa
Spain
Italy
Japan
France
Ireland
The Rankings
Best of the Fest – Top Ten New Dishes
Definite Must-Try Dishes
Try If You Have Time
Skip And Save Your Appetite

 

The Food

 

 

Epcot Legacy Showplace

  • Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich

Epcot Legacy Showplace's Zesty Macaroni HandwichI wanted to love the handwich so much. The nostalgia. The pure cheese of it all (literal and figurative). But alas, it was not truly cheeseburger macaroni as I expected upon reading the menu. This had only about one or two kernels of beef in here, and was mostly just mushy, far overdone macaroni with a touch of red pepper shoved into a Cozy Cone cone. Unfortunate execution of a fun idea.

  • Chilled Scotch Egg Wrapped in Sausage with Mustard Sauce

If you’ve ever had a true scotch egg (even from Rose & Crown), this cold offering won’t particularly impress you, but it’s a decent stab at bar food in a location focused primarily on selling craft beers. I wish it hadn’t been cold – it would’ve been far better warm, as the sausage around the egg became a bit mealy as a result of the chill.

  • L’Orange Cotton Candy: A Mixture of Lime and Orange Cotton Candy (V)

Epcot Legacy Showplace's Scotch Egg, L'Orange Cotton Candy, and Bright HorizonsHard pass here – this is just a giant bag of lime and orange cotton candy pieces. There’s no reason to buy this unless you have kids genuinely in search of cotton candy.

  • Bright Horizons: Sprite with Multi-Flavored Boba Pearls (non-alcoholic)

The redeeming quality of this drink is that it comes in a very nice light-up cup that makes a decent souvenir. The boba pearls are multi-colored and pretty, but consider how much you’re paying for a cup of (likely flat, like mine was) Sprite – there’s truth in advertising here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Attraction Overview: Gran Fiesta Tour + Video

by on September 26, 2017

It’s Attraction Overview Day!

Today, enjoy a video all about the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros.

This attraction is found inside the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase.

Have fun!

Read the rest of this entry »

Hurricane Irma Bounceback Effect May Be Increasing Wait Times At Disney World

by on September 25, 2017

For the second year in a row a hurricane interrupted operations at Walt Disney World. Last year, Hurricane Matthew forced the closure of Disney Parks in early October, after which we saw a slight bump in attendance when guests returned. This year, the bounceback as guests return after Hurricane Irma may be more significant.

Crowds are up since Disney World re-opened after Hurricane Irma

In the 90 days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Irma the Disney World Crowd Calendar correctly predicted the crowd level at Walt Disney World within 1 index point most days. Occasionally, the crowds would come in at a 2 point difference. Last week we saw a three-day stretch between Monday and Wednesday when the parks were two points higher than predicted each day. This could be an indicator that something is different. It may be that most visitors affected by Irma chose to rebook their vacations immediately after the storm passed.

Or, this may be a random fluctuation in crowd patterns. On Saturday (and Sunday) we noticed that the crowd levels were within the normal range for this time of year.

Regardless, we wanted to share what we have seen so far and let you know that we are monitoring the crowds daily and will announce if we decide to make any further adjustments to the crowd levels going forward.

Question: Were your travel plans affected by Hurricane Irma? 

 

Creating Your Own Custom Pin Art: A Tutorial

by on September 25, 2017

Rapunzel Pin Art

A great way to showcase your pin collection is by making pin art!

As far as souvenirs go, Disney pins are pretty high on the list for unique and fun merchandise. They have pins for characters, pins for rides, pins for special events and anniversaries, and pins for everything in between. Chances are you’ve seen a wide variety of pin offerings on your trips to various Disney locales. I love Disney pins. My husband and I are always quick to buy pins for special events and to mark specific trips. If we stay at a new resort, we’ve got to get the pin. If we visit during Food and Wine or Flower and Garden, we’ve got to get the pin. This is one of our traditions, and it isn’t one that will be going away any time soon.

The big question then becomes – what do you do with all these Disney pins? As someone who uses the pins to remember our trips, it is important to me that they don’t end up packed in a shoe box under the bed, never to see the light of day again. Enter my crafty side. Through trial and error (the first few attempts were NOT GOOD) I came up with a method for creating pin art. This is a fairly simple craft project that just about anyone can do. (Truthfully, the hardest part of this process is laying out the pins and getting them situated just right in the artwork.) This tutorial will walk you through the entire process and gives tips and lessons I’ve learned in creating a few of these over the years. (Spoiler alert – I learned a brand-new lesson with the pin art I created for this tutorial!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Disney World Preview — Week of September 23

by on September 21, 2017

Special Events

  • Those hoping to eat breakfast at Satu’li Canteen will now only be able to do so during peak times. Lunch will now start at 10:00am.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Nights is returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios! This after-hours event begins December 16th and includes Star Wars entertainment, character meet and greets, exclusive merchandise, and more. This event sold out quickly last Spring, so book ASAP.
  • Through September 30th, Florida residents will be offered a FREE appetizer AND valet parking with each adult dinner entrée. This is featured at the following restaurants:
    • Jiko
    • Flying Fish
    • Citricos
    • Artist Point
  • Are you a Tables in Wonderland member? Through September 30th, you can receive a 30% discount at the following restaurants:
    • Note: Discount is only available before 6:30pm or after 8:30pm

Read the rest of this entry »

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter: Part 2 + Video

by on September 19, 2017

I’m back with another video dedicated to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter. 

Today, I’m talking about the resorts’ pool, dining, transportation and recreation.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Best of Walt Disney World for Teens

by on September 18, 2017

The Best of WDW for Teens

Welcome back to Part 4 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babies, preschoolers, and grade school kids. Next up are those thrill-seeking teens. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the teens surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

Read the rest of this entry »

SATURDAY SIX Investigative Report: Walt Disney World Pet Peeves

by on September 16, 2017

On any given week here at the SATURDAY SIX you’ll find us looking at our favorite attractions, hotels, or food in the theme park world we all love so much. However, sometimes we have to go even deeper. This week we are going to look at a subject that many guests think about, but often keep to themselves: Walt Disney World Pet Peeves. Like you, Dear Reader, I consider myself a relatively patient man who just wants to enjoy his time at Disney. That said, on rare occasions, I witness actions by other guests that are completely insignificant in the Big Picture Of Life, but absolutely drive me bananas. Today we are going to look at some of the things in which I felt wronged – imagined or otherwise –  starting with…

# 6 – “Reserving” Lounge Chairs

For this one, I am going to have to begrudgingly give the offending perpetrators some credit. While most of us are relaxing and sleeping in on our vacation, there are a dedicated few who wake up at the crack of dawn just so they can go to a resort’s pool and put their stuff on lounge chairs. This is not just a WDW “thing” as I also witnessed it on the Disney Cruise Line (especially on sea days). Now, there are signs everywhere that specifically say you can’t do this, but finding a Cast Member who enforces this rule is rarer than seeing a working Yeti at Expedition Everest.

“Sorry Ma’am, these are all taken.” (photo by Brandon Glover)

A walk around any WDW pool will show a sea of reserved lounge chairs, many of which are being held for family members who don’t even end up going to the pool. How to solve this may be tricky, but as a Floridian I think I have the solution. Because the state of Florida doesn’t require cars to be inspected, you’ll never go a day on the highway (or I-4) without seeing a car just left on the side of the road. Generally speaking, if you leave your car on the side of the road you have about two hours before it is towed by the state (at your expense.) Disney could have Cast Members “patrol” the pool area, taking notes of chairs which have clean, folded towels reserving them. If a guest doesn’t come back to the chair within, say, 30 minutes, the towels are picked up and the chair goes back into rotation for guests who are actively looking for one.

Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Disney World Preview — Week of September 16

by on September 14, 2017

Special Events

  • Epcot is kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month with Fiestas Patrias. On September 16th from 11:00am – 5:00pm, head to the Mexico Pavilion for a scavenger hunt celebrating Mexican culture!
  • Through September 30th, Florida residents will be offered a FREE appetizer AND valet parking with each adult dinner entrée. This is featured at the following restaurants:
    • Jiko
    • Flying Fish
    • Citricos
    • Artist Point
  • Are you a Tables in Wonderland member? Through September 30th, you can receive a 30% discount at the following restaurants:
    • Note: Discount is only available before 6:30pm or after 8:30pm

Read the rest of this entry »