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2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus Released

by on July 20, 2017
Filed under: Epcot, Recent News 5 Comments

©Rikki Niblett

With the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival beginning earlier than ever this year, this year’s festival is going to be here before we know it. Of course, one of the biggest parts of the festival are the International Marketplace and the menus for this year’s event look fantastic!

This year there will be 35 booths to choose from! (Some of the new booths for this year will include Flavors from Fire and Coastal Eats.) That’s going to be a lot of great food and beverage options! Standby favorites will be returning like cheddar cheese soup from Canada and the Kalua Pork Slider from Hawaii, and new dishes, like the Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich!

So, let the planning process begin. I’ve got my list started! Here’s what you can expect to experience this year at the Marketplaces for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival:


Epcot Legacy Showplace

  • Chilled Scotch Egg wrapped in Sausage with Mustard Sauce
  • Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich
  • L’Orange Cotton Candy: A mixture of Lime and Orange Cotton Candy (vegetarian)
  • Bright Horizons: Sprite with Multi-flavored Boba Pearls (non-alcoholic)
  • M.I.A Beer Company 305 Golden Ale, Doral, FL
  • Playalinda Brewing Company Blonde Ale, Titusville, FL
  • Florida Beer Company Passport 35 Triple Chocolate Milk Stout, Cape Canaveral, FL
  • JDub’s Passion Wheat, Sarasota, FL
  • Central 28 Trekkerbier Farmhouse Ale, DeBary, FL
  • Cigar City Guayabera Citra Pale Ale, Tampa, FL
  • Eastern Florida Flight
    • M.I.A. Beer Company 305 Golden Ale
    • Playalinda Brewing Company Blonde Ale
    • Florida Beer Company Passport 35 Triple Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Western Florida Flight
    • JDub’s Passion Wheat
    • Central 28 Trekkerbier Farmhouse Ale
    • Cigar City Guayabera Citra Pale Ale

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Walt Disney World Preview – Week of July 22nd

by on July 20, 2017
Filed under: Transportation, Trip Planning, Walt Disney World (FL), Weather 13 Comments


It’s almost Friday! Let’s get into that weekend mindset a day early with your weekly Walt Disney World preview! Read the rest of this entry »

Universal Orlando Resort Preview – Week of July 22

by on July 20, 2017
Filed under: CityWalk, Park Hours, Trip Planning, Universal Orlando Resort, Weather

The Universal Orlando Preview is brought to you by Storybook DestinationsStorybook Destinations specializes in Disney and Universal travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.

Hi again! I’m back with your weekly Universal Orlando update. It’s the dog days of summer, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting out and having fun at the parks.

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In-depth Look and Review of Disneyland’s MaxPass

by on July 19, 2017
Filed under: Disneyland (CA) 51 Comments

MaxPass is now available at Disneyland Resort. The $10 per-a-person-per-a-day add-on grants the user the ability to make FastPass reservations on their phone, as well as access to PhotoPass downloads taken by Disney photographers or on select rides. Is it worth it? How does it work? Take a look at our review of Disneyland’s MaxPass to find out.

When you open up Disneyland’s official app you will see an option labeled “Get FastPass.” If you do not see this option then there’s a chance your app is out of date. It’s a good idea to update the app before you leave home, just in case cellphone coverage isn’t great when you get to the parks. Also remember to have your Disney account created and your ticket or annual passport linked in the app. Before moving on, all regular FastPass rules apply to the new MaxPass system. See our Disneyland Resort FastPass page for more information.

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Ask It: Ready for Your DCL Close-Up?

by on July 19, 2017
Filed under: Disney Cruise Line, Just For Fun 3 Comments

Confession time: I had thought about doing “What D23 announcement are you most excited about?” but by Saturday night, I knew that there was no way to fit all possible options in a week’s worth of polls! Instead, I thought it best to go with something completely different.

On the Disney Cruise Line ships, a private photography company handles the professional photographs on board. From the “Just take my picture so I can get on the ship” embarkation photo to the “Wow, we all clean up good” formal night pictures and everything in between, it is possible to get a variety of pictures taken during your cruise. One drawback is that these photos don’t come cheap. A single photo can run you $15-20, and packages can run several hundred dollars. Yet photos do provide a great way to keep memories for future years.

This week we’re asking:

When you take a Disney Cruise, do you buy the professional photos taken on board?

  • No photos for me (46%, 95 Votes)
  • Maybe a couple pics (38%, 79 Votes)
  • I'll take a whole package! (16%, 33 Votes)

Total Voters: 207

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The poll is open here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results on the blog next week.

Ask It Results: Do You Pin Trade?

by on July 19, 2017
Filed under: Just For Fun, Merchandise 3 Comments

In the Fallout video game universe, bottle caps are used for currency in a post-apocalyptic world. I’m guessing that in the post-apocalyptic Disney World, pins would likely become some sort of currency, right? They’re shiny, they have varying rarities, and people could wear them as armor for Mad Max-type races along the remnants of I-4. (Hey, I think that’s a more sane idea than having Tim Burton directing a live-action version of Dumbo, right?)

Anyhow… Disney pins. Unless you have no love for anything Disney, odds are good that everyone has seen at least one in their trips to Walt Disney World that they think is cool. For some people, it’s not so easy to stop as one. Some people start collections based on characters, attractions, styles, or just ones that they like. Others love the thrill of the hunt, searching countless Cast Member lanyards for “that perfect pin” to add to their collection. Pin trading at Walt Disney World was a huge experience around the turn of the millennium, but is it still something that people do? This week we asked you:

Do you still do Disney pin trading?

With more than 2,100 votes, here’s your results.

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Updates For August 2017 and Beyond

by on July 19, 2017
Filed under: Crowd Blog, Disneyland (CA) 4 Comments

Fantasmic! is back at Disneyland Park after a year-long hiatus. Early reaction to the new features of this popular show are positive so we expect crowds to increase at Disneyland for the rest of the summer. In particular, when summer blockout dates end in August we expect a large influx of annual passholders wishing to check out the new show. So, a new update to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar is in order.

Southern California (and Southern California Select) passholders will have their first chance to see the new Fantasmic! show on August 21. The Disneyland Crowd Calendar expects crowds to be elevated at Disneyland Park between August 21 and Labor Day on September 4. Most passholders who want to see the new show will have done so by then. Crowd levels have increased for those days by as much as 6 index points. Disney California Adventure crowd levels remain unchanged.

If you have a trip planned for late August, don’t panic. Although this update represents a large increase in crowd levels on some days we believe the crowds will be mostly afternoon visitors coming in specifically to see the new show. So, if you arrive early and follow a touring plan you should be fine. It is also likely that the increased crowds will be mostly focused in Frontierland, where the show takes place.

There are very few updates to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar beyond August and almost no major changes. You will see some days change by a point or two but nothing more than that. Most days remain unchanged.


Last Minute Disney Trip Checklist

by on July 18, 2017
Filed under: Trip Planning, Walt Disney World (FL)

last minute Disney trip checklist

So you have decided to go to Walt Disney World…and it’s totally last minute! Perhaps it’s a holiday, a long weekend, a business trip, or maybe you just need a Disney World fix. Maybe you’re trying to catch Ellen’s Energy Adventure or the Great Movie Ride one last time before they close for good. Even though many folks spend months planning a trip, you can plan yours in as little time as you have, as long as you’re organized. This article will take you through the planning and decision-making process step by step for a truly magical last-minute Disney trip.

Questions you need to be able to answer up front before you start your planning:

  • Who? (Who is going? Who is organizing?)
  • What? (What’s my budget? What am I hoping to accomplish?)
  • When? (When would I like to go, and when do I have to go home?)
  • Where? (Where am I staying? Where am I getting my transportation?)
  • Why? (Is there something special I am making this trip for that I need to factor in?)
  • How? (All those pesky logistics that we’ll be brainstorming here.)

Ready to get planning? Let’s get started!

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Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: Pools, Dining and Recreation

by on July 18, 2017
Filed under: Resorts, Trip Planning, Video, Walt Disney World (FL) 2 Comments

Photo - Angela DahlgrenWelcome back to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside!

Back in Part One, we talked theme, rooms and room views. Today, I’m covering the pools, dining and recreation.

PS. There’s no singing in this episode. I thought you all deserved the break.

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate Día de los Muertos with New Event at Disney California Adventure

by on July 17, 2017
Filed under: Disney California Adventure, Recent News

Disney California Adventure will be celebrating the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos, otherwise known as the Day of the Dead, with a new seasonal offering from September 15 through November 2. This immersive celebration will include special entertainment including musicians and dancers, interactive activities, like a representation of Mexican folk art and special décor and food inspired by this Mexican celebration of family.

Día de los Muertos at Disney California Adventure



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