Posts Tagged ‘Epcot’

Adventures at Epcot with Walt Disney World Annual Passholder Advance FastPass+

by on March 21, 2014

Walt Disney World regulars rejoiced last week, as the rollout of advance reservation FastPass+ features finally reached all WDW annual passholders. That means that all Disney World annual passholders should be able to access the My Disney Experience website or mobile app and make FastPass+ bookings up to 30 days ahead of time. Previously, I shared my experiences using FastPass+ as an annual passholder making same-day reservations using in-park kiosks, as off-site guests still must do (at least for now). Now, I’m going to detail my personal adventures with week #1 of Annual Passholder advance FastPass+ reservations.

Getting Started with Annual Passholder Advance FastPass+

First of all, if you haven’t already, log into MyDisneyExperience.com and set up an account. Be sure to link your account to your valid annual pass using the ID number on the back of your pass, or voucher number if you have not yet redeemed an online purchase.

Next, visit the Magic Band page to customize your RFID wristband. You can select a color and name, verify your shipping address, and receive confirmation that your order has been received.

According to the webpage, Magic Bands should start shipping to annual passholders shortly.

Until your Magic Band arrives, you can continue to use your RFID-enabled credit-card-sized annual pass to enter the parks and activate FastPass+ sensors.

If you carry a smartphone in the parks, be sure to download the Apple or Android app. The iPad app is probably the most efficient platform for scheduling and adjusting FastPass+ reservations, but the website and phone apps work fairly well.

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A Trip Around The World: Canada

by on March 10, 2014

This is it! The grand finale we’ve all been waiting for, Canada! I have to tell you guys I’m a little sad to see it end, but I’m so excited to show you the Canada pavilion! If you haven’t been able to join us until now, why not take a look at Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, ItalyAmericaJapanMoroccoFrance, and the United Kingdom? You can take a world tour and still be home in time for dinner! (Anyone who caught that obscure Muppets reference, please leave a comment. We should really be best friends.)

10a

I always like to start with a wide shot of the land, but if you were leaving the United Kingdom and heading towards Canada, the view wouldn’t be quite so glamorous. You’d come to the park entrance to the old Millennium Village. This area hasn’t been open to the average guest since 2001, and it’s now used mostly for convention space and private events. The photo below gives you a peek at what it looks like inside today.

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In the Parks with Morgan: A Flower & Garden Primer

by on March 7, 2014

Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival is an 11-week event that transforms the park into a showcase of spring. With nearly 100 custom-grown topiaries, 11 outdoor kitchens with original snacks and beverages, gardening and design workshops and presentations, and specialty gardens, the festival is a vacation in itself. Flower & Garden is ongoing during normal park hours from March 5 through May 18 this year and, excepting some specialty offerings, is included with the price of admission to the park. The Festival Center, where you’ll find all the information you need to enjoy the event, is located between Ellen’s Energy Adventure and Mission: SPACE and is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Be sure to stop into the Festival Center for continuous shows of “The Making of The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival” in the HGTV Theater, gardening pointers, and your copy of the Festival Guide as well as your Festival Passport.

Epcot is in bloom as Flower & Garden opens this week.

Epcot is in bloom as Flower & Garden opens this week.

There are some general tips for Flower & Garden that will help you plan your trip no matter what you plan to see and do there. First, stock up on Disney gift cards. They can be used at all of the kiosks and shops and are really convenient if you’re trying to stay on a budget or don’t want to carry cash. Disney gift cards can be purchased at a discount at retailers like Target (using your REDcard and stacking pharmacy discounts you can get up to 10% off!), Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesalers. Second, go on a weekday if it’s possible. Local traffic increases significantly on weekends and can make seeing all you want to see a bit difficult. Third, take sunscreen and don’t forget to hydrate. Sunscreen and water may seem like intuitive things to put on a list of recommendations, but the Florida sun can be particularly potent and so can the drinks at the outdoor kitchens. You want to fully enjoy the festival and sunburns and hangovers are not the way to do it.

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The Everything Guide: 2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

by on March 4, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

It’s here!  This year’s annual Epcot Flower and Garden Festival kicks off March 5 and will run through May 18. Its purpose is to celebrate everything that’s wonderful about horticulture and spring. This year marks the 21st year of the Festival and it’s sponsored by HGTV.

Each year the Festival offers guests the opportunity to delight in beautiful gardens, topiaries, butterfly gardens, listen to celebrity presentations or the the Flower Power Concert Series, enjoy garden-themed food booths, and much, much more! I thought that since the Festival has arrived, I’d combine everything into one sort of giant “guide” for touring during this time of year.

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is really one of the most gorgeous times of the year to visit.  The park is FULL of color. There’s a magic in the air (some would say it’s because it’s the first sign of life we’ve seen since Fall…goodbye Winter!) It is simply a glorious time to be visiting Epcot in general.

So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at what exactly is new for this year’s Festival:

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A Trip Around The World: United Kingdom

by on February 28, 2014

Greetings from the United Kingdom! Can you believe we’ve already toured Mexico, Norway, ChinaGermanyItaly, America, Japan, Morocco, and France? We’ve almost seen the entire World Showcase, with only two stops left on our world tour. If you recall when we left off in France we were crossing a long bridge. At the end of this bridge you have two choices. You can head towards your right into the United Kingdom, which will look like the below photo.

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If you turn left, you’ll head towards the International Gateway, which exits the park towards the Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan, Dolphin, and BoardWalk resorts. This makes it an easy walk to Beaches & Cream, which is one of the most fun restaurants on all of Disney property. (Seriously – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click that link. You don’t want to miss this place! Okay – now back to our regularly scheduled world tour.)

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The Kinsey Collection To Expand in the American Adventure Pavilion

by on February 24, 2014

The Kinsey Collection

©Disney

Last year, Epcot introduced us to ”Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection”.  This relatively new exhibit, added to the American Heritage Gallery at the American Adventure Pavilion, features artifacts that celebrate the history of African American achievements and contributions. The exhibit features the private collection of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey and is themed around five major areas: hope, belief, courage, imagination, and heritage.

It appears that this spring we’ll see some brand new antiquities added to the exhibit. New pieces have are already on display, and additional pieces will be added throughout the season.

New objects joining the exhibit will include:

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A Trip Around The World: France

by on February 20, 2014

Bonjour, mes amours – and welcome to France! I hope you’re ready for one of the most beautiful lands around the entire World Showcase. The day I went for photos was just perfect. The weather was crisp and sunny and the crowds weren’t too bad. I could almost hear the soft music from France before I crossed over from Morocco. When coming from this direction the first thing you will see on your left is Les Chefs de France. I haven’t eaten here in ages! Does anyone love it or hate it? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

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When entering France on your right you will see Crepes des Chefs de France. It’s just a little cart, but the crepes are yummy. We pop by this cart pretty often. It’s sort of like a year round Food & Wine Festival cart.

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Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Dates Announced

by on February 19, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Well, we are just arriving to Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival (which takes place March 5 – May 18), but Disney has already announced the dates for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that takes place during the fall.

This year will see an even earlier start to the Festival, giving guests an unprecedented total of 53 days! The 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will start one week earlier than normal, beginning on September 19 and lasting until November 10.

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival features such highlights as Food & Wine Festival Marketplace Booths (mmm….delicious food and beverages), the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, celebrity chef demonstrations, signature dining experiences, and much, much more!

More details for the event will be released closer to summer, so I’ll be sure to let you know when they do!

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Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchen Menus

by on February 17, 2014

Disney

Disney

They’re here! The menu offerings for this year’s Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Outdoor Kitchens have been released! This year there are some fantastic new dishes, mixed in with some favorites from last year.

For those who don’t know, this is the Outdoor Kitchens’ second appearance at the Flower and Garden Festival. They were introduced last year under the name, “Garden Marketplace Kiosks.” These Kitchens serve up delicious, fresh food and beverages that gather their inspiration from springtime flavors.

Earlier, Disney told us which booths would be at the Festival. This year, a new booth known as Urban Farm Eats will debut, and it appears that the Intermission Cafe in the Festival Center is officially included in the fun. It will offer up quite a few tasty treats, too!

Here are the full menus for each of the Outdoor Kitchens:

Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico Pavilion) – this booth offers tapas that are spring light and cooked just right.

  • Tacos al pastor – Corn tortilla filled with achiote-marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions and cilantro
  • Quesadilla de hongos con queso – Flour tortilla filled with mushrooms and cheese
  • Flan de chocolate Abuelita – Mexican chocolate custard
  • Tecate draft beer
  • White Mexican sangria
  • Franbuesa (raspberry) margarita on the rocks
  • Tequila flight – blanco, reposado and añejo
  • Dasani bottled water

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Raytheon to Celebrate National Engineers Week at Epcot

by on February 13, 2014

©Raytheon

©Raytheon

Did you know that February 16 – 22 is National Engineers Week? To celebrate, Raytheon (the sponsor of Sum of All Thrills) will bring park guests closer to the action and showcase that science really can be fun. At Epcot’s Innoventions West, from February 17 – 21, guests will get to participate in hands on experiments led by real scientists in a show called Raytheon’s “Science Thrills Live.”

During this interactive stage show featuring the host of “The Dr. Erika Show,” guests will get to participate in science experiments such as nucleation-triggered eruption (explode soda), conservation of angular momentum (go head to head against each other in a giant tug of war), thermoplastic recycling (melt milk jugs), and more.

Showtimes are at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. The presentation is free to park guests and will last approximately 20 minutes.

Bonus! Everyone who visits will walk away with a giveaway. Once guests have participated, they can then head over to Sum of All Thrills to utilize more science in an effort to design and experience their own thrill ride.

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