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)
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.
While 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.
Now you can add an attraction to your Disney and Universal touring plans while reading the ride’s description in our Lines mobile app.
We’ve updated the attraction pages to show whether the attraction is already included in a touring plan. A new button on the page allows you to add the attraction to a touring plan:
On the next screen, you’ll choose whether to add the attraction to an existing touring plan or new plan. If the attraction is already a part of a plan, you’ll have the option to add or subtract multiple rides:
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.
While the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios have already started celebrating the holiday season with their special events, we are just two weeks away from the holiday festivities beginning at Epcot. Each year, Epcot celebrates in its own unique way, showing the global reach of Christmas (and other related holidays).
The premiere portion of Epcot’s celebrations is the Candlelight Processional. This incredibly beautiful performance includes a mass choir, a 50-piece orchestra, and a celebrity narrator who all combine in a gorgeous manner to share the story of Christmas. This year’s celebrity narrators include some favorites (Neil Patrick Harris…some day I will see you perform this) and some newbies (like Jonathan Groff, the voice of Kristoff from Frozen). Here is the full list of celebrity narrators:
I was absolutely over the moon when I got the email from Touring Plans asking if I wouldn’t mind attending the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The truth was I’d been on the fence about going the first night, but the tickets sold out before I pulled the trigger. So let this serve as a warning to all of you to not delay picking up those party tickets! But what if you can’t make it this year? Well, no worries! Just click to read all about it.
Walt Disney World is not only magical, it’s also delicious. Disney World offers dozens upon dozens of restaurants and snack stands throughout the parks and resorts to tempt your taste buds and to keep you full; but my favorite dish is anything sweet! Most guests visiting the Most Calorie Laden Place on Earth who have a sweet tooth like me, tend to gravitate towards the traditional Disney treats, like the Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars and Mickey-shaped Candied Apples and those giant Mickey lollipops. I know anything Mickey-shaped is hard to resist, but there’s a whole other world of delicious treats to be discovered at Disney World that don’t resemble everyone’s favorite mouse. So take a look at a few of my favorite Disney World treats that don’t have ears!
This treat is a creamy, savory sweet treat topped with chocolate stripes, just like a Zebra! Naturally, this dessert can be found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma Restaurant as part of the dinner buffet. Boma is a popular dining destination for many guests and is priced around $35.99 per adult and $16.99 per child. If this doesn’t fit your budget, there is still a way you can enjoy delicious Zebra Domes. Animal Kingdom Lodge’s food court, The Mara, offers packaged Zebra Domes in the refrigerated section for $3.99!
Unfortunately, this new flag-waving act didn't fare any better in my estimation than it did in Daisy's. As a fan of drum and flag corps, I was really looking forward to this show. But while there were a few impressive tricks, overall I was deeply disappointed with this troupe's poor performance quality.
While the lead performer (who executes an amazing foot-juggling solo) was excellent, the rest of the group was sloppy, unenthusiastic, and shockingly unprofessional, chatting casually with each other during the show.
While the show I witnessed gathered and retained a slightly larger audience than when Daisy saw them, it seemed singnficantly smaller than what the Ziti Sisters used to attract. Without some serious improvements to show quality, I can't see it lasting very long.
The weather could not have been more perfect this weekend. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the air was cool and crisp. It was even cold in the evenings! If you take a look at the photo on the left you’ll notice the fountain in front of Spaceship Earth isn’t working. It actually hasn’t been for a while. Our joke has been it’s the mosquito breeding exhibit. Hopefully they’re able to repair it soon.
Want to see more exciting updates like this from around Disney World? Click to read more!
Another act has officially debuted for Epcot’sWorld Showcase: a new Moroccan performance group called B’net Al Houwariyate. The group is an internationally-acclaimed ensemble of female performers, who play traditional instruments while dancing and performing songs that are based on Moroccan traditions. Musical styles include Berber chants, urban Marrakesh beats, and Andalucian rhythms.
B’net Al Houwariyate will appear on the stage located at the Morocco Pavilion on Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Shows last for approximately 20 minutes and will take place at 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 5:45 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7:45 p.m.
The musical group replaces MO’ROCKIN, who could previously be found playing in the Morocco Pavilion.
This is the third act to debut in the shake up of World Showcase performers; the first act is known as the Canadian Lumberjack Show, debuting on October 5 at the Canada Pavilion, and the second was a flag throwing troupe called Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro,who began performing on October 17 in the Italy Pavilion. The fourth and final act set to debut is a Celtic folk music ensemble for the United Kingdom Pavilion. There is no official debut date currently set for this performance troupe.