Posts Tagged ‘Epcot’

25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 22: “Carl’s Combo” at Rose & Crown

by on December 22, 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 TWENTY TWO: “Carl’s Combo” at Rose & Crown (Epcot)

CarlsCombo_UK_glover

A “Carl’s Combo” (half Bass Ale followed by half Bass Ale) at Rose & Crown. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

One of our absolute favorite places to get a drink at Walt Disney World is at the Rose & Crown pub in Epcot’s World Showcase. With a terrific atmosphere and several of our favorite brews on tap, Rose & Crown is the perfect spot for a quick pint and an order of fish and chips. One of the things that separates World Showcase from any other environment in the Orlando theme parks is that the Cast Members are from the specific countries, giving guests authentic interactions with different cultures. While service at Rose & Crown is terrific across the board, bartender Carl is a standout and one of the most memorable CMs on property. With a warm smile, great conversation, and how-did-he-do-that bar tricks, Carl gives just about every guest a magical moment so we are nominating today’s drink in honor of him with Carl’s Combo. On the menu, you’ll find it listed as the Grand Imperial Pint, but longtime Rose & Crown guests know this half Bass Ale/half Stella Artois by its rightful name, Carl’s Combo.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 21: Maelstrom Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

by on December 21, 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 TWENTY ONE: Maelstrom Margarita at La Cava del Tequila (Epcot)

MaelstromMargarita2_glover

You are the not the first to drink this, nor will you be the last. Maelstrom Margarita at La Cava del Tequila. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

One of the biggest stories of the theme park year was Maelstrom being shut down to make room for a ride based on the movie Frozen. News of the change became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter with guests from across the globe posting their own #SaveMaelstrom pics. Opening in July of 1988, many WDW guests have never known an Epcot without Maelstrom. Norway’s neighbor in World Showcase is Mexico, home of La Cava del Tequila. Paying tribute to the beloved attraction, La Cava unveiled the Maelstrom Margarita. This new drink is one of the few bright spots of this entire ordeal, so let’s raise a toast to one of the most unique rides in Disney history. Here’s to the Vikings, trolls, polar bears, oil rigs, and even the six minute Spirit of Norway film most of us walked by without watching. You are all in our hearts forever, and shall not be forgotten.

Ingredients: Premium Ambhar Tequila blanco, mango puree, orange liquor, and agave nectar. Served with blueberries, habanero peppers, basil and Tajin chili powder on the rim. (The rumored secret ingredient of a dash of tears from a Disney fanboy has not been confirmed.)

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Cast Member Chronicles: Melissa’s Disney College Program Experience

by on December 21, 2014

Photo - DisneyMelissa is a friend of mine who completed the Disney College Program in January 2013. She had nothing but wonderful things to say about it, so I decided to pick her brain and ask her to share the experience with all of you. For more information about this program, check out my girl Trista’s post here.

Okay ready? Let’s get started!

Walt Disney World has always held a special place in Melissa’s heart. Growing up, her family made several visits and each time was as spectacular as the last. She first heard about the Disney College Program (or DCP as I will refer to it) from her older sister, who had spent a semester there years previously. With her love of Disney blazing like a hunka hunk of burning love, she made the easy decision to apply.

In the Fall of 2012, she began the application process. Step one involved filling out a general application, mostly requesting education and work experience. There was also a section where she was asked to rate different job roles on a 1 to 5 interest scale. Melissa had experience in the restaurant business, so she felt Food and Beverage would be the best fit. From there, things moved very quickly. Step two was a mere two days later, when a representative from Disney requested an online interview. A few days after that, Melissa had a phone interview. One week later, she was a future employee and student of the Disney College Program!

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 19: La Fin du Monde Ale in Epcot

by on December 19, 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 NINETEEN: La Fin du Monde Ale at the Canada Pavilion (Epcot)

lafindumode3

A La Fin du Monde in front of the Hotel du Canada in Epcot. (photo by Brandon Glover

 

La Fin du Monde is a beer for people who enjoy their beer. With a 9% ABV, La Fin du Monde packs a punch, but is light enough and full of flavor so that you are not overwhelmed. It is a Belgian Trappist-style tripel beer, with aeromatic hints of apple and clove. The taste is champagne-like, with flavors of light bananas, pear, cinnamon, and orange peel. While La Fin du Monde is available at several locations on WDW property, there’s only one place for us, the outdoor beer cart at the Canada Pavilion in Epcot. Why? La Fin du Monde is the premier beer from one of Canada’s most famous craft breweries, and is hard to find out draught even outside of Walt Disney World. So what could be better than enjoying one in it’s native county?  We love to mix it up when Drinking Around The World, as there are so many unique and interesting options across World Showcase, but trust us when we say to order the La Fin du Monde over the LaBatt Blue in Canada each and every time.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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