Posts Tagged ‘Epcot’

Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 3/25/16

by on March 25, 2016

Spring is here and the busy Spring Break season is upon us! That means we have a few news notes that I need to share with you all to make your upcoming trips better. Here are the details you should be aware of, especially if you’re traveling to Walt Disney World this weekend:

 

  • Looking for an Easter-inspired cupcake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? You’re in luck! Guests can pick up a white chocolate raspberry Thumper specialty cupcake at the following locations through April 14:
    • ABC Commissary
    • Backlot Express
    • Catalina Eddie’s
    • Fairfax Fare
    • Rosie’s All-American Café
    • Starring Rolls Café
    • Trolley Car Café
  • Guests who would like to play Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at Epcot will now have the option to use their own smartphone. Guests may still opt to receive a F.O.N.E. or Field Operative Notification Equipment to help maneuver through their mission as well, if they choose, but for the first time, Guests will have the option.

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Disney Haiku Challenge

by on March 11, 2016

"Disney Haiku"

“Disney Haiku” (yes, that’s really what it says)

I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve always found haiku to be a fun little creative outlet. My law school roommate and I would often sit in the back of our Estates & Trusts lectures and compose absurd haiku as a way to pass the time. This might explain why neither of us do estates and trusts as a part of our practice, by the way, but that’s a discussion for another day.  

Anyway, as a reminder for those of you that have not encountered it since elementary school, haiku is a form of short Japanese poetry that follows a particular format: a traditional haiku is 17 syllables in three phrases that follow a 5-7-5 pattern.*  In other words, the first phrase is 5 syllables, the second is 7, and the final phrase is 5 syllables.  To the extent that it requires you to wedge your thoughts into a small number of words and still convey something worth reading, you can almost think of it as an ancient version of Twitter (minus the abbreviations, emoticons and vitriol).  Alas, I digress.

Haiku have traditionally been used to convey very Zen-like observations regarding the serenity of the natural world.  Accordingly, the juxtaposition of this simple, beautiful form of poetry and its traditional use, and different subject matter — like the decidedly un-serene and not-particularly-natural Disney Parks — can lead to some wonderfully absurd results.  Soooo, here’s a challenge for all of you — come up with some Disney park haiku and share them in the comments below.

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runDisney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Sees Major Changes

by on March 11, 2016

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

©Rikki Niblett

Last year, was my first year running the Wine and Dine (Half) Half Marathon. It was an interesting experience (especially since they halved the race due to weather, so I only had to run 7 miles, instead of 13), but what makes it more interesting is that it was also the last time, it appears that this race would be run at night.

You see, today, Disney has announced that they have made some major changes to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend. The first change being that the Wine and Dine Half Marathon will now be run in the morning, just like the other runDisney races currently are. The Wine and Dine will now take place on Sunday, November 6.

But I know what you’re thinking…what about the after race party that took place following the race? Well, the good news is that the Post Race Party will take place Sunday evening for those who ran the Half Marathon at the Epcot to celebrate the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, with the evening finishing with exclusive runner access during the later hours. After experiencing the Wine and Dine, I can say that this is a good change because after running last year, with how late it was by the time I finished, I wanted nothing more than to just go to sleep; I had zero energy to head back into Epcot to party. It will be nice for those running to actually be able to ENJOY the party.

But wait! That’s not all! Those aren’t the only changes occurring with this race weekend!  The popular holiday-themed 5K called Mickey’s Holiday 5k, will now be moving to Friday morning, November 4. In addition, the weekend will now include the first-ever Disney Wine & Dine 10K on Saturday, November 5 with Chef Remy as the host.

Of course, with a 10K added to the Half Marathon Weekend, this also means that Wine and Dine Weekend is now a Challenge Weekend. For those who run both the 10K and the Half, you will therefore be participating in Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge where runners will receive two inaugural finisher medals as well as the half marathon medal!

This race weekend just got even better! I know I’m excited!

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Meet Joy and Sadness from Inside Out at Epcot

by on March 9, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

If you love meeting Disney characters, you’re going to love this news. The Epcot Character Spot in the Innoventions area is a wonderful place to meet some of your favorites. At the original Epcot Character Spot location, Guests can meet Disney staples – Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. Recently, Disney expanded the Epcot Character Spot across the Breezeway recently, so that Guests could meet Baymax from Big Hero 6!

Well soon, Guests will have the chance to meet up with a couple of the characters from the Pixar film, Inside Out. Joy and Sadness will soon found in Headquarters and are excited to meet you!

Of course, Joy and Sadness are two of the emotions that help to guide Riley through life. To access these two, Guests will journey through Riley’s long-term memory, catching a glimpse of her Islands of Personality before they meet at the console in Headquarters.

The Epcot Character Spot is located on the side of Future World West. (Same side as The Land, The Seas, and The Imagination Pavilion.)

Guests will be able to meet Joy and Sadness beginning next month. Stay tuned to the blog for more details.

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Characters from Finding Dory to Appear in Turtle Talk with Crush

by on March 2, 2016

Turtle Talk with Crush

©Rikki Niblett

Dude! Look at all the humans in the Human Tank! Soon, Crush won’t be the only sea creature from Finding Nemo to appear in the window of the Human Tank. Beginning in late spring, at Turtle Talk with Crush in both Epcot in The Seas with Nemo and Friends and in Disney California Adventure at the Animation Academy, Crush will be joined by some brand new friends from the upcoming film, Finding Dory.

Guests will soon be able to meet Destiny, the wale shark, Bailey, the beluga whale, and Hank the septopus. (Hank only has seven legs!) Guests will also be able to see some of their favorites from Finding Nemo too, including Squirt, Marlin, and even Nemo.

These new characters will be swimming into the attraction beginning early May. Finding Dory enters theaters on June 17, 2016.

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A Preview of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Passport

by on March 1, 2016

Epcot Flower and Garden FestivalIt’s here! It’s here! The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is finally upon us! This year’s festival kicks on Wednesday, March 2 and will last for 90 whole days, until May 30!

There’s lots to see and do including trying fresh dishes at the Outdoor Kitchens; catching a Garden Rocks concert featuring your favorite performer from the last 40 decades; and hunting for the intricate topiaries that are incredibly gorgeous. Oh plus there’s the ability to explore the different gardens; letting your kids play in the awesome playgrounds or learn about butterflies in the butterfly garden; and catching a seminar about some horticultural lesson (ask me what I learned about bamboo or chickens…both seminars I sat in for and enjoyed last year.) Really, there is a plethora of things to enjoy for those with a green thumb and those like me, with a brown thumb!

So how on earth do you manage it all? Well, you can take a peek at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival Passport! This handy guide will allow you to find out where the topiaries can be found, showcases all the gardens you need to see, and best of all, get stamps of which Outdoor Kiosks you’ve tried. (It is a passport after all!) Take a look in order to create a good action plan and in addition, make sure you pick up a hard copy in the park during your visit.

What are you most excited about experiencing during this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival? I’m excited to be heading there this weekend and enjoying all the festivities myself and you can bet I’ll have my passport ready to go too! (Let’s see, first I want to see Ranger Mickey in topiary form in Future World East, then I’ll want to head to the Butterflies on the Go house in Future World West, and of course, I have to stop and try the new Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-Salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans at the Smokehouse, and then I’ll end the night catching The Orchestra with the Garden Rocks concert series. Plan made! What about you?)

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The Best of Walt Disney World for Babies

by on March 1, 2016

TouringPlans logoWelcome to Part 1 of my new blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions, entertainment, and experiences for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks.

How is this going to help me with my planning, you ask? Great question! Here’s how…Maybe you’ve always traveled to “the most magical place on earth” as a couple and now you’ll be taking your new baby, maybe this time grandma and grandpa will be joining you, or maybe this is your very first visit. No matter who you’re traveling with, I’ve got you covered with The Best of Walt Disney World series! And here’s how it will work…In each post, I’ll give you a rundown of the must do’s from each park along with some key information about that particular attraction or experience and a link in case you are looking for even more in-depth details.

Now that we’ve gotten all of the basics out of the way, let’s begin Part 1 of The Best of Walt Disney World with the tiniest of travelers – babies!

So if this is your first time taking a baby with you to Walt Disney World, you may have heard people say there is no reason to bring them. They won’t be able to ride anything! Let me reassure you that is simply not the case. There are plenty of things for baby to experience at Walt Disney World. In fact, as long as there isn’t a height restriction, your little one is permitted to ride. My youngest son has been enjoying a wide variety of attractions and shows at the parks since he was just six months old. Please read on for a full list of The Best of Walt Disney World for babies!

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Dates Announced for 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

by on February 17, 2016

Epcot Food and Wine FestivalIt is time. Time for details to start trickling out about the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Ok, so we don’t have a lot of information, but we do have a very important, key piece of information and that is the dates for this year’s festival.

This year, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival will run for an additional two weeks…that’s right, two extra weeks of delicious food and beverages, for a total of 62 days! Guests can experience the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival from September 14 through November 14.

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival not only features incredible new and favorite dishes at the marketplace kiosks, but guests can also experience seminars, concerts, events, private meals, celebrity chefs, and more.

The Festival is a blast each year! As more details get released, I’ll make sure to let you know them!

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The Basics: Meeting Characters at Epcot

by on February 15, 2016

Character Meet and Greets

Nothing is quite so magical as meeting Mickey for the first time!

This is a continuation of our Back to Basics Series. Scroll to the bottom to see our other Basics posts.

One of the quintessential Walt Disney World experiences is participating in Character Meet and Greets. That magical moment when your child meets Mickey for the first time is right up there with their first spin on Dumbo or the first time blasting off on Space Mountain. Like most Disney adventures, I would also caution those adult-only travelling parties not to overlook character experiences as just for the little ones – you can still have a magical experience with Mulan or Aurora even if you’re in the over-18 set!

This is the first article in my series on Character Meet and Greets, in which I will tackle every park and give you a run-down of who you can meet and where. I’ve decided to start with Epcot (this is traditionally the first park we visit on every trip – why not begin at the beginning?!), so buckle up for a tour of Future World and World Showcase and the characters who live there!

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The Egg-Stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt Returns to Epcot and Disneyland

by on February 12, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

It’s almost that time again. It’s almost time to celebrate Easter in Walt Disney World and Disneyland. For the past few years, Disney has rolled out a special Easter egg hunt which allows guests to search around either Disneyland Resort or the Walt Disney World Resort, trying to find eggs that are uniquely designed to look like Disney characters. This year, the fun will take place at Epcot in Walt Disney World and at Disney California Adventure, Disneyland, and new for 2016, Downtown Disney in Disneyland Resort. Guests will be able to participate in this egg-cellent from March 2-27 (or while supplies last.)

Here’s how it will work: Guests will be able to purchase a map for $5.95, plus tax. With each map stickers are provided that match up with the actual character-themed eggs that can be found in each of the the parks (or Downtown Disney.)  Guests are then able to search via the map’s general locations and when an actual egg is found, the Guest will then place the character egg sticker on the map where the was located. Once all the eggs have been discovered, Guests should return their map to the redemption station for a fun prize.

Here’s a glimpse of what the maps will look like:

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