Posts Tagged ‘Epcot’

My Disney World Christmas Vacation Traditions

by on December 17, 2014

The most magical place on earth gets a little more magical around this time of year when the parks and resorts deck the halls with holiday finery and give Disney fans a reason to take one more Walt Disney World vacation! My family and I love to take a trip to Disney World around the holidays, and we have created a few festive traditions over the years. Check out a few of my Disney World Vacation Christmas Traditions.

Downtown Disney's Days of Christmas Store

Downtown Disney’s Days of Christmas Store

Buying a New Ornament

It just wouldn’t be right to leave Disney World around Christmastime without a new ornament to add to our tree. My favorite place to shop for ornaments is the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe at the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square. I love how it feels like we’re walking through an old, colonial home. For a wider variety of Christmas décor, we like to drop by Disney’s Days of Christmas Store at Downtown Disney, where it really does feel like Christmas all year round.

Holidays Around the World

Epcot’s World Showcase is one of my favorite corners of Disney World, and I especially enjoy Holidays Around the World this time of year, where performances educate guests about the different holiday traditions of their respective countries. It’s a lot of fun to hear and see how other countries celebrate the holidays. Our favorites would be Father Christmas at the United Kingdom and the Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers at the American Adventure. The special holiday treats and the chance to do a little Christmas shopping is pretty great too. After all, there’s no chance that what you’re buying as a gift is something someone already has when you shop at the stores in the Norway or China or Morocco pavilions.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Ring in the New Year at Walt Disney World

by on December 16, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

The time is upon us when we are close to bidding yet another year goodbye. Those who are lucky enough to be in Walt Disney World on December 31 can bring in the year 2015 with style by celebrating the festive holiday at either the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Each park has different fun and exciting activities that will help everyone to celebrate good times. (Come on! Let’s celebrate! Kool and the Gang? Anybody?)

Let’s start at the Magic Kingdom, which will be offering New Year’s Eve fireworks on not one, but two nights! Guests can catch the special fireworks extravaganza, “Fantasy in the Sky” at 11:50 p.m. on both December 30 and 31. (Holiday Wishes will also be performed at 7:30 p.m.)

Over at Epcot, you’ll be able to celebrate in World Showcase, with bands, DJs, and more! Dance under flame effects and a smoke-billowing dragon in China; dance to a British blast to the past in United Kingdom; jam to Euro-pop and watch as lasers fly in Italy; on the America Gardens Stage, groove to a Latin band or party with a DJ; finally, enjoy a DJ and light show at the Future World Fountain Stage. The evening will wrap up with IllmiNations: Reflections of Earth. There will be two showings of the fantastic show: one at 6:00 p.m. and one at 11:40 p.m. The 11:40 p.m. showing will also feature a special tag and countdown to ring in the New Year.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Video: 2014 Epcot Hanukkah Celebrations at the American Adventure

by on December 16, 2014

2014 Epcot Hanukkah

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with the 2014 Epcot Hanukkah show (photos and video by Seth Kubersky)

Whether you call him St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, or Pere Noel, there are plenty of opportunites at Walt Disney World to get up close and personal with Santa Claus, especially during Epcot‘s Holidays Around The World event. I love all of the extra seasonal entertainment Epcot adds to World Showcase each year, but as a “member of the tribe” I was especially excited to see the 2014 Epcot Hanukkah celebrations at the American Adventure pavilion.

This year, Epcot’s Hanukkah entertainment includes a storytelling show about the Festival of Lights, staged outside the American Adventure pavilion. This year’s Hanukkah show features new songs, and you can get a free “gelt” chocolate coin at the end!

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

What’s the Strangest Thing Sold at Epcot?

by on December 9, 2014

There’s plenty to love about shopping at Epcot’s World Showcase. I can’t get enough of the cheery Japanese candy, friendly German Christmas ornaments, or cheeky British tee shirts. And then there are the World Showcase merchandise items that leave me scratching my head. These are the things that leave me thinking, “Who approved that addition to the merchandise list?” “What is the demographic profile of the typical buyer?” and “Has anyone actually ever purchased this item at Epcot before?”

So that you can be as perplexed as I am, here’s a tour of just a few of Epcot’s oddities.

MEXICO

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with vanilla extract. I have several bottles in my pantry standing ready to be called into service for holiday baking. But who goes to a theme park and decides that’s what they’re going to bring home?

IMG_9403

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 6: Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

by on December 6, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY SIX: Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila (Epcot)

LaCavaStacydrinks

Jalapeño margarita (left) and Avocado margarita (right) at La Cava del Tequila. (photo by Stacey Lantz)

 

Epcot’s La Cava del Tequila is hands down one of our favorite places on Disney property to get a drink. Located inside the Mexico pavilion’s incredible pyramid, La Cava’s dark, intimate, cave-like atmosphere is off the charts. There isn’t much food at La Cava (although of the limited menu, we do highly recommend the chips and guacamole,) but that doesn’t matter because you’re here for the widest selection of margaritas and tequila shots in the theme park universe, not to mention, the best. For Day 6 of the countdown we are spotlighting the Avocado Margarita, a drink so popular it seems to have formed its own cult following within the Disney community. While technically a frozen margarita, the actual drink is more akin to a smoothie, with a smooth taste that is almost impossible to describe. However, we promise you’ll be back for more. The servers at La Cava are also some of the most knowledgable at WDW, so be sure to ask them recommendations based on your personal preferences.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Review of a Disney’s Beach Club One Bedroom DVC Villa

by on December 4, 2014

While Disney World offers a vast variety of different resorts to choose from for guests staying on property, the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Villas offer even more options and experiences, particularly when it comes to room sizes! During my last few trips to Disney World, I had the opportunity to enjoy stays at several different DVC Villas; but today, I’m zeroing in on Disney’s Beach Club Villas in this review of a Disney’s Beach Club One Bedroom DVC Villa. 

Disney's Beach Club Resort

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

First of all, the Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s own timeshare program where members purchase and use points for their vacation experiences. It can be difficult to understand, but Disney Vacation Club (DVC) 101: What is DVC? can help fill in the gaps. If you are not a Disney Vacation Club Member, the good news is that you can still stay at a DVC Resort! You can do so by booking through Disney, just as you would any other resort; however, other guests like to rent points or even buy points from other members, but you definitely want to make sure that the seller is legitimate and reliable.

Earlier this year, my family and I booked a stay at one bedroom DVC Villa at Disney’s Beach Club. This resort is very popular and has one of the best locations at Disney World in that it’s next door to its sister resort, the Yacht Club, as well as the Swan and Dolphin Resort. Across the water, there is the Boardwalk Inn Resort and the Boardwalk itself with it’s dining, shopping, and live entertainment to take advantage of. But wait! It’s get even better! The Beach Club is also a short walk from Epcot, and a somewhat longer walk, or boat ride, to Hollywood Studios. In fact, during my stay, I could see the fireworks from Epcot’s Illuminations from the Beach Club grounds.

The Beach Club features a light and airy, beach theme with a vintage flair. Pastels and little seaside details can be found all throughout the resort, from the carpets to the light fixtures; but one of the things the Beach Club is most known for is it’s pool, Stormalong Bay. Many say it is the best pool on Disney World property and I would agree!

The smallest villa offered at the Beach Club Villas is a Deluxe Villa, which sleeps up to four adults. It’s similar to a standard resort room, just with more amenities. The next size villa is a one bedroom, which is what I’m focusing on today. This villa can also sleep up to four adults, but it offers more space than a Deluxe Villa. Finally, the largest villa offered at the Beach Club is a two bedroom villa, which can sleep up to eight adults.

My family and I had stayed at the Beach Club before, but never in a villa so we were excited to enjoy a whole new experience at this gorgeous resort.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: December 4, 2014

by on December 4, 2014

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’re popping into the Magic Kingdom and Downtown Disney for quick updates, exploring the Christmas decorations at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resort, then wrapping up with some holidays around the world at Epcot. Sounds like fun, right? Well then let’s get started! :)

About five years ago I decided to have Thanksgiving lunch in the Magic Kingdom. After spending almost an hour fighting to park and catch the monorail over, I vowed never to visit on the holiday again. Well, with the park open until 1am that night I broke down and decided to give it a try this weekend. I was pleasantly surprised, it was crowded but not too bad. We were able to hop on a couple rides with FastPass+ and noticed the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas show was already playing during regular park hours! This show is always offered during the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but it was nice to see it without paying for the additional ticket. It’s a cute show that I recommend! Want to see what else is new this week? Be sure to click below the photo to read more.

1

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 12/3/14

by on December 3, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve brought you the Newsworthy Notes, but now I have a whole bundle of new small Walt Disney World news pieces to share with you all! So, let’s jump right in and get to it.

  • For those who will be in the Magic Kingdom during the beginning of next week, you’ll be able to catch the taping of the Disney Christmas Day Parade. (I mean the Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration.) The parade will be filmed on Monday, December 8 and Tuesday, December 9.
  • Guests can now make Advanced Dining Reservations for the Morocco Pavilion’s Spice Road Table. In addition, the restaurant has seen an updated menu; while most of the tapas options are still offered, now as appetizers, the restaurant is also serving full entrees as well. The new entrees include: Mix Grill Skewers – Beef and Chicken skewers; Coriander-crusted Rack of Lamb; Yellowfin Tuna; All Natural Roasted Chicken; and Mediterranean Vegetable Platter. Hopefully these changes will cause more guests to visit this fledgling Epcot restaurant.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 2: Grand Marnier Orange Slush at Epcot

by on December 2, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY TWO: Grand Marnier Slush at Les Vins des Chefs de France (Epcot)

25DrinksOfXmas_GranMarinerSlush

Grand Marnier Orange Slush. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

Who doesn’t love a good Slurpee/Slush Puppie/Squishee? Well, it turns out you can make these frozen drinks even better by adding just one more ingredient…alcohol. Available at the Les Vins des Chefs de France kiosk in Epcot is the tasty Grand Marnier Orange Slush. Similar in taste to an orange sorbet with just the right mix of Grand Marnier and Grey Goose vodka, this slush is absolutely delicious and the perfect drink during a hot touring day at Epcot.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Enjoying Disney World While Pregnant

by on November 30, 2014

Photo - Angela DahlgrenWhile five months pregnant with our baby girl, my husband and I decided to celebrate with a “baby moon” at Walt Disney World in July 2013. I was nervous at first, but quickly realized there are so many ways to enjoy Disney with a baby bump!

Note: Make sure you check with your doctor before embarking on your Disney vacation. Ask about any restrictions and advice they may have. Your health and safety comes first!

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

I can’t stress this one enough. Florida, especially in the Summer, is HOT (well, hot for this Minnesota native), so it is imperative to make sure you’re drinking enough water. Whenever you see a water fountain, take a drink! Carry a water bottle with you at all times. Ask your wonderful husband or partner to “spring” (pun intended) for a cold bottle of water available all around the parks. Getting enough H2O is crucial for you and your little one.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print