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Menu Monday: How to Order the Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert

by on November 24, 2014 2 Comments

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Looking for a way to make a special meal at a Disney World restaurant even more magical? How about something to commemorate a birthday, anniversary, proposal, or milestone? If so, this Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert may be just what you’re looking for! What is it? It’s a perfectly royal way to satisfy your sweet tooth and to celebrate a special occasion at Disney World. It consists of a chocolate shell shaped as Cinderella’s famous glass footwear, along with a few other sweet compliments and a personalized message tailored to your celebration. Find out how to order the Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert for your next special event at Disney World.

Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert

Chocolate Glass Slipper Dessert

Location Read the rest of this entry »

Menu Monday: Birthday Fun at Teppan Edo with Review

by on November 24, 2014 3 Comments

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Photo - Tammy Whiting

For those of you who don’t know, Teppan Edo is a delightful restaurant found in the Japan Pavilion located in the World Showcase at Epcot. That was a mouth full, wasn’t it? Here you can enjoy teppan-yaki-style cooking prepared right at your table by a talented Japanese chef. It’s not just a meal, but a fun and unique experience. Trust me, it’s something to put on your culinary bucket list!

Teppan Edo is my favorite place to eat in the World Showcase for two reasons: the memories and the overall experience. The first time my husband and I went to Disney World together, it was our favorite dining experience of the trip. We were with my parents and Michael’s aunt and uncle. Michael had raved about this place as he had been there once before. With such positive reviews coming from a Disney Curmudgeon, I knew this was definitely a place I had to try.

Following our arrival, we waited in the “lobby” for a short time before being seated. As we walked down a long hall way, I could peak into each room to see wait staff and chefs tending to their guests. I couldn’t wait to get started!

Now, the grill is centered around family-style seating so if you’re an introvert, you may have to keep an open mind. My parents could talk to a wall, so they plopped right down next to a middle-aged couple from New York. Yes, they had a New York accent. Yes, I couldn’t get enough of it. We soon learned that they were teachers like my mom, so they all had plenty to gab about. Read the rest of this entry »

Sensible Budgeting for Souvenirs

by on November 23, 2014 2 Comments

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My wife walked into our study – so-called the Yankees room – adorned with retired jerseys, souvenirs from baseball games, and posed figures clutching bats and blocking home plate. As she does before mentioning something that she likes, she led with a phrase meant as more than subtext, “I know I shouldn’t be mentioning this…,” and she referred me to the Disney online store where new souvenirs from the Haunted Mansion collection had just been launched. I have a terrible habit of keeping a record of everything my wife mentions that she even has a slight interest in, and putting it in the cart. By ‘putting it in the cart,’ I mean ordering it as soon as she leaves the room – to be delivered for our next Disney trip. In contrast, this time she was adamant that I absolutely not order the really great new shirts emulating the cast members. One was a maid, and the other was the ghost host. So this time, I needed to wait until the next morning to look it up. By then, the shirt had sold out, and my continued checking found it unavailable. Frankly, this was an item that even I really wanted, and although the ghost host shirt remained, it was available only in a men’s small that certainly wouldn’t fit my frame.

Immediately, I was dismayed. Not at the loss of the item – but knowing that if I really wanted to find it, I would probably have to wait months to find it in the new Memento Mori shop. As a reforming hoarder (code: still really terrible hoarder), I constantly need to remind myself to slow down and relax. Even if I couldn’t immediately find an item, more than likely something pretty great would come down the line.

Comic Collector's hoard

Comic Collector’s hoard

I come from a nasty collector’s history. I started collecting comic books in middle school, and really read like crazy during the era when comic book values had been skyrocketing over demand. Nearly any book with a hot character could be relatively assured to increase in price if just held for a few years. My spare nickels all went into a fund for comics, and my collection took over my spare space. I later categorized them by value. Like nearly everyone else, I went to college, causing my spare nickels to disappear. My comic habit eventually stopped. The collecting industry as a whole dried up, and values plummeted. Nearly every hoarder dumped entire collections onto the public, and outside of a few key issues, values dropped. When I returned to check years later, it turned out that only a few books retained any value, and the industry had changed drastically. Comics, like many other industries, were now producing books for the collectors: limited editions, variants, hidden gems. The old practice of holding onto a book for a few years had nearly disappeared – outside of a few key elements. I started collecting again, and my mentality of ‘owning it all’ came back again.

When I first travelled to Disney World, my searching-for-the-souvenirs mentality came back. I decided to focus on only a few items – like the Star Wars themed Mr. Potato Head toys. Seeing it as limited set of five toys, I thought I could buy them and then ‘be done.’ Of course, the line returned to an old collector/hoarder’s worst enemy: retirement. Read the rest of this entry »

SATURDAY SIX: Six “Easter Eggs” at the Universal Orlando Resort

by on November 22, 2014 1 Comment

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six “Easter Eggs” at the Universal Orlando Resort. The Universal theme parks are filled with extraordinary features, from the incredible dragon atop Gringotts bank in Diagon Alley, to the hilarious games of chance in front of The Simpsons Ride, but my favorite ones are the subtle – almost hidden -details that most guests don’t even notice while touring the park. I like to think of these details as Easter eggs, similar to the ones most of us are familiar with in movies (and, in Hollywood, no one is better than Disney Pixar.) Now, some of these details are almost impossible to find unless you know where to look for them, while others are hidden in plain sight, but all of them, whether consciously or subconsciously, add to the overall immersion at Universal.  Today we are going to look at six of these Easter eggs, several of which even longtime Universal fans may have not noticed before. Remember that clicking on any picture will bring it up in full size, keep your head on a swivel, and let’s start counting down…

# 6 – Mickey Ears in Twister… Ride It Out

Our first stop is at an attraction that may not be around for much longer, Twister… Ride It Out. Based around the movie Twister from 1996 (and one of your humble authors favorite guilty pleasures,) the attraction’s pre-show has guests walking through a house that has been ravaged by a tornado. One of the pieces of debris inside the house is a car coming through the roof. If you look closely at the passenger side front tire of the vehicle, you will see a pair of the iconic Mickey Ears.

Universal_EasterEggs_Twister_MickeyEars

Twister… Ride It Out at Universal Studios Florida. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of November 21, 2014

by on November 21, 2014

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In Case You Missed It!

In Case You Missed It!

Wow! What a fun (and cold) week! I’ve been here at Walt Disney World all week and let me just tell you, thank gosh for hand warmers! (Seriously, the best purchase you can make.)

So, this week, I found some fun things, like facts to honor Mickey, who celebrated his birthday this week, Easter Eggs from Big Hero 6, and more!

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

If you will not be at Destination D this weekend, I bring good news! You can catch a live stream of the Carousel of Progress presentation! I’ll be watching for sure.

Want to know the only resort in Orlando to receive AAA’s Five Diamond rating? Hint, it’s on Disney property. Take a look to see the answer. Read the rest of this entry »

Will Last Saturday’s Surprise Crowd Repeat Tomorrow at Magic Kingdom?

by on November 21, 2014 10 Comments

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We don’t think so, but be prepared with a back-up plan just in case.

Our prediction for the crowd level last Saturday, November 15, was among the 1% of all our predictions that missed by more three index levels on our Crowd Calendar. There are a number of possible explanations, so it is difficult to pinpoint the correct one.

We have no days on record other than last Saturday where Magic Kingdom had a three day stretch that went like this:

  • Thursday with a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
  • Friday with a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
  • Saturday with evening Extra Magic Hours

So, it may be that this specific combination of park hours and schedules drives up attendance on the Saturday. If so, we may see similarly large crowds tomorrow. That contradicts what we normally see on a Saturday in mid-November, which is why our crowd calendar estimate remains at a level ’2′ for Magic Kingdom tomorrow.

We are cautiously sticking to our prediction for tomorrow until we have sufficient data that suggests a new trend has arrived but we encourage Liners and TouringPlan-ers to have a back up plan just in case. You can make sure to arrive early, be prepared to park-hop, have lunch at a monorail resort, plan a longer mid-day break and use your Lines App to re-optimize your touring plan while in the park.

Remember, a touring plan is the single best way to beat the lines, no matter how crowded it is, and they especially offer great insurance against surprise crowds.

Downtown Disney Parking Garage Opens at Walt Disney World

by on November 21, 2014 2 Comments

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That sound you hear is the cheering of thousands of guests (ok, maybe I’m the only one and I’m cheering really loudly) – part of the first Downtown Disney parking garage is open! This means that for the busy holiday season, Downtown Disney parking hopefully won’t be the catastrophic nightmare it has been.

The new garage is located on the West Side portion of Downtown Disney. Currently there is a pathway that you can take to and from the garage to the shopping district located near the Downtown Disney AMC.

photo 4

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Things to Do at Disney World outside the Parks

by on November 21, 2014 2 Comments

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It can be easy sometimes to forget just how much there is to do outside of Disney World’s four theme parks and two water parks. With so much contained within the parks, it might not even cross some guests’ minds that you could actually spend a whole Disney World vacation without ever going to the parks. Although I personally wouldn’t suggest skipping the parks entirely, you could do it and still have a great vacation. Maybe it’s the last day of your vacation or maybe you just want to explore the property a little to see what else Disney has to offer. With that in mind, here are just a few of the many things to see and do without ever having to pay for a park admission ticket.

Disney World Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf

Golf

Disney World wouldn’t be much of a resort destination without golf. With three courses (four if you include the onsite Four Seasons course) and one nine-hole walking course, there’s a wide variety of play options for fans of the sport. Even if you think you’re terrible at golf or you’ve never tried before, this is a good place to start. Resort courses are notoriously less punishing than most courses (people don’t need a stroke on vacation) and even if you do play horribly, at least you’re still in Disney so you can’t be that upset. If the full-fledged sport still seems like too much of an undertaking, Disney also offers two thematically different mini golf courses. Fantasia Gardens (located near the Boardwalk) is themed after its namesake film and even features a more traditional putting green course for those who want to just work on their short game. Winter Summerland Miniature Golf is located at Blizzard Beach and has two courses themed after winter and summer. For those concerned about having to purchase a water park ticket to play here, no need to worry. The mini golf course may be located at Blizzard Beach but it’s actually outside of the Blizzard Beach entrance. Read the rest of this entry »

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: November 20, 2014

by on November 20, 2014 10 Comments

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Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’re taking a look at resort decorations at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, then heading to the Magic Kingdom to check out the Jingle Cruise, and wrapping up with meeting Baymax at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  We might even sneak in a little mini golf! :) So let’s get started! Anyone that’s read before knows that I normally try to start with a smaller photo, but this one was too good to shrink. This is the new Frozen gingerbread display for this year at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It replaces a gingerbread tree with a more colorful Small World theme from years past. Want to hear more about it? Click “read more” just below the photo. 1 Read the rest of this entry »

You Could Be a Part of the “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration”

by on November 20, 2014 1 Comment

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The holidays are such a magical time of the year, with loved ones getting together to celebrate. However, for some, unforeseen circumstances keep families and friends away from each other.

This year, during the annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade (which will be called “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration”), distance and circumstances won’t matter! You see, a few deserving families who want the opportunity to reunite with their loved ones will have their wishes granted!

A nationwide casting call is searching to bring families and friends together for this year’s parade special, who, for whatever reason, are separated from the important people in their lives. It could be because finances have made travel difficult; or a spouse is in the Military and they are stationed far away; or some of your family or friends may not live in the same part of the country as you. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance is, all kinds of stories are welcome!

Participants who are selected to take part in this special surprise will be reunited at either one of the theme parks or even potentially on a Disney Cruise, all expenses paid, and they will be filmed enjoying their time together. The entire story will end up on the “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” which is set to air on Christmas Day, December 25.

Frozen_Flyer_2

So if you’ll be separated for someone you love this Holiday Season, submit your family for a chance to be reunited. Or, if you know of a family who would be deserving of this special opportunity, make sure to nominate them!

But wait…how do I submit an entry? All you’ll need to do is send an email to frozen@gmvsound.com with who you would like to be reunited with, a contact number, a photo, and the ages and locations of the participants.

Keep in mind that time is of the essence! If you would like the chance to possibly participate, you must get your entries in before Thanksgiving!