Posts Tagged ‘Epcot’

SATURDAY SIX: The Six Best Snacks in Epcot’s World Showcase

by on June 6, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Six Best Snacks in Epcot’s World Showcase. By now you know we love theme park snacks. From the iconic Mickey Bar and Dole Whip at the Magic Kingdom to the outrageous Brain Freezin’ D’oh-nut Sundae in Springfield USA, we can’t get enough. Today we are going to the holy land of all dining in Walt Disney World, Epcot’s World Showcase. Yes, you know about the incredible restaurants like Via Napoli and bars such as La Cava del Tequila, but we are going to take a look at the underrated dining aspect of World Showcase: the snack department. Everyone has their favorite, so let’s start off the list with….

# 6 – Hand Twisted Pretzel – (Germany)

No offense to the Mickey pretzel but this is THE pretzel to get in Walt Disney World. A hand twisted pretzel in Germany is in fact almost the perfect snack because it’s; A) Easy to eat while touring the park B) Big enough to share C) Is something almost everyone in your party can enjoy D) Goes great with an ice cold beer. Good news on the last point because as luck would have it Germany is also one of the best places to get a beer in World Showcase. How convenient! While we recommend the Oktoberfest brew, you can’t go wrong with the Grapefruit Beer either.

EPCOTSNACKS_GermanPretzel_glover

Pretzel and beer? Who wouldn’t be smiling. (photo by Brandon Glover)

EPCOTSNACKS_pretzel2_glover

Hand twisted pretzel and Altenmunster Oktoberfest. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Disney World Attractions in Need of a Revamp

by on June 3, 2015

Escape the heat by enjoying the Carousel of Progress.

One of the aspects that I feel truly separates Disney Parks from other theme parks is the presence of “classic” attractions. By classic attractions, I mean those that might not have state of the art technology by today’s standards, or cost the size of a small island, but remain relevant, charming, and downright fun years or even decades later. Attractions like Splash Mountain, The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean are just a few examples of these that come to mind. As brilliant as Disney Imagineers are, there is an occasional attraction misstep from time to time, which is inevitable.

It’s incredibly difficult to determine what’s going to resonate with audiences at any one moment, let alone ten, twenty, or fifty years from now. For a variety of reasons, some attractions just don’t age well and feel outdated rather than classic. Most of the time those attractions are replaced (see most of Disney’s California Adventure) but other times, they remain. Below, I’ve listed some attractions that I believe fit this description. These aren’t outright bad attractions per se, but they are ones that have the potential to be really fantastic with a revamp or retheming.

Without further ado, here are some attractions in need of a “tune up” along with what could be done to make them better and my suggestions for what attractions to go on instead.

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Epcot Introduces New Backstage Tour

by on June 2, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

I love a good Disney tour. It’s so cool getting to go behind the magic and take a look at things that most Guests normally don’t get to see.

So, I’m super stoked about this brand new tour that has been introduced at Epcot called World Showcase: DestiNations. Its goal is to bring culture, history, and Disney magic to life. During this five hour tour, Guests will get to see what inspired the Disney animators in the creation of beloved movie classics. The tour is an all walking tour that highlights the gorgeous architecture and world history, includes a cultural demonstration at one of the pavilions, and the best part is that Guests can also partake in a dining experience at Restaurant Marrakesh.

The cost for the tour is $109 and it takes place daily, departing at 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Park admission is required, and guests must be aged 16 and over. The tour can be booked by calling (407) 939-5277.

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Celebrate World Ocean Day at Epcot

by on June 2, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

The ocean is a beautiful thing; so very vast and often a color of blue that you can’t believe is real (can you tell I’m getting excited to sail that gorgeous ocean soon on the Disney Dream?) Well, did you know that June 8 is World Ocean Day? To celebrate the special day, Disney will actually be holding some special events on Wednesday, June 3.

Guests are invited to head to Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion where they can explore the 5.7 million gallon salt water aquarium, learn about the different sea animals, and play ocean themed games.

Activities will include:

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A First Look at the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

by on May 28, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Is fall your favorite time to visit Walt Disney World? It is mine! Part of the reason is the Halloween festivities, but the other part is the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and this year is slated to be bigger than ever because it’s the 20th anniversary! The festival, which is famous for offering delicious small bites, tantalizing beverages, educational seminars, a concert series, signature dinners, tasting events, and celebrity chefs, will take place this year from September 25 through November 16 and will once again be sponsored by Chase.

To help celebrate the 20th year of the extremely popular event, there will be new wine tastings, rockin’ parties, and culinary experiences built around the 20-year milestone. Oh, and this year, Chef Remy from Ratatouille will invite guests to join a culinary scavenger hunt. How fun!

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The Epcot That Never Was

by on May 28, 2015

(c) Walt Disney Company

Model of EPCOT, (c) Walt Disney Company

Epcot is one of my favorite parks at Walt Disney World. I never get tired of seeing Spaceship Earth, or watching the dancing Fountain of Nations in Future World, or doing a little shopping in World Showcase; but what I’ve recently discovered is that the Epcot that I know isn’t exactly what Walt Disney had in mind when planning Disney World. You see, back in the 1960s when Disney World was being planned, the Magic Kingdom wasn’t what Walt was most excited about. In fact, when Walt introduced television viewers to his plans for Florida, he said that EPCOT would be the “heart of everything we will be doing at Disney World.” Walt also said that it wouldn’t be a park at all, but rather a community of the future where you could live! So what was the Epcot supposed to be like? What happened along the way? Well, keep reading because for today, I’m here to tell you all about The Epcot That Never Was.

Walt’s Original Vision for EPCOT

One of Walt’s many interests was city planning and finding solutions to the everyday problems of the cities of the day, such as traffic, slums, pollution, and crowded conditions. He had learned a lot about planning, building, and construction when creating Disneyland, and he now felt that he could provide some solutions to the problems he saw in the real world in the form of a working community called EPCOT.

EPCOT stood for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and it would be an example to the country and the world for how to build and run better cities. It would also serve as a sort of testing ground for new technology, products, materials, and ideas from America’s industries and corporations that would serve to improve our lives.

EPCOT wasn’t just some idea or possible plan for the distant future of Disney World. Walt fully intended to build it, had many plans and diagrams, and intended it to be the focus of his Disney World on the East Coast where 20,000 residents would live and work. Pretty cool, huh?

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The Amazing Race Around Disney World

by on May 26, 2015

Amazing Race

Three things that my family loves are Disney World, reality TV, and competition. So once a year during our summer Disney World vacation, we combine all of these together into what we affectionately call “The Amazing Race Around Disney World”. In case you aren’t familiar with the popular reality TV series “The Amazing Race“, the basic premise is that teams of two compete in challenges while racing around the world for a million dollars. We follow this same format (minus the million) and create new challenges each year.

Please read on for a complete copy of one of our races and to learn more about how to create your very own “Amazing Race Around Disney World” for your next vacation!

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Daisy Lauren’s Last Best Week Ever

by on May 21, 2015

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. And sadly, yes, the title is true. This will be my last Best Week Ever article! :( Remember that day job that keeps me from posting photos of myself? Well, I’ve been given an incredible promotion that will involve much more travel. While I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity, it will make it impossible to keep up with my weekly updates.

I’m so thankful to all of you that have read over the last year. I’ll still be helping out on the Touring Plans instagram account, so if you miss me you can find me there. (I know I’ll miss you!) And they’ve told me I can still stop by and post when I have time. So it isn’t really goodbye. :) But that’s enough sad stuff, let’s get going with all the theme park goodness from last week!

As you can tell from the photo above, I started this week at Universal Orlando. We don’t make it out that way nearly enough, but we love the parks. Arriving just after opening meant there were no crowds! It was great! I think we enjoyed the quiet morning walk as much as the park itself.

2

So where did we head to next? Why don’t you click to find out? :)

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Where to Find Walt at Disney World

by on May 17, 2015

Walt and Mickey

Walt and Mickey

When comparing the Disneyland Resort to Walt Disney World, one of the biggest differences that always comes up is that Disneyland was Walt’s park while Walt never lived to see Disney World completed. While this is true, that doesn’t mean you still can’t find Walt’s attractions and touches on the East Coast. So keep reading to discover just a few of many places where to find Walt at Disney World!

The Hub: One of the most popular places to take a photo at the Magic Kingdom is in front of the statue of Walt and Mickey with Cinderella Castle in the background. Known as the Partners Statue, it’s appropriately positioned at the center of the park known as the Hub, where paths branch off towards the different lands of the Magic Kingdom. Just seeing the statue at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. and at the park center brings it all back to Walt and his most famous creation, Mickey Mouse.  The Hub has undergone some changes lately, but you can still find statuettes of other characters that contributed to Walt’s success, such as Goofy, Donald, Minnie, and more.

101_3519Main Street, USA: Did you know that you can find Walt even before you enter the Magic Kingdom? When approaching the park entrance, you will probably hear a train whistle and the clang of a bell from up above as a train pulls into Main Street Station. This is because Walt loved trains! The Main Street Train Station, along with Main Street, U.S.A, provides guests not just a look at what Walt’s creations, but what was in his heart. Trains were one of Walt’s hobbies and he spend his free time planning and constructing a miniature train that he and his guests could ride on in his backyard. He called it the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Once you enter the park, you have to pass under the Main Street Train Station; but I encourage anyone who’s interested in learning about Walt to check it out. It’s filled with nods to railroad history and Walt’s passion for this vintage form of transportation. Main Street, USA was inspired after Walt’s hometown of Marceline, Missouri. Walt loved growing up in Marceline and wanted to recreate his memories of the town in his park. He even included a few odes to his family and Imagineers in the names found on the windows above the street. Fun Fact: Walt has two windows of his own. One of them is on the Main Street Train Station and faces out at the entrance while the other is above the Plaza Restaurant and faces Cinderella Castle!

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New Live Entertainment for the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot

by on May 1, 2015

American Music Machine

©Disney

Those who enjoy the live entertainment at Epcot now have one more option to experience!

American Music Machine, (I keep thinking of Miami Sound Machine every time I hear their name…haha), a five member, contemporary a Capella group, will bring performances of current and classic American pop tunes to the America Gardens Theatre stage. If this sounds a bit familiar (kind of like Glee), it should; the show’s vocal arranger, Tim Davis helped with creating it.

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