3 Things I’m Most Excited for At Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot is an annual festival happening every spring.  I attended the festival last year. I’m very excited that I’ll be attending the festival again this year in April.  I’ve been looking over lists of events, exhibits, gardens, and culinary offerings. Next, I’m excited to share with you the top 3 things I’m eager to experience at the festival this year.

Flower and Garden Festival

Food, Food, and More Food

This year the festival is offering more than a dozen outdoor kitchens. Patrons will be able to experience delectable and alluring foods.  These outdoor kitchens are located all around the World Showcase. Therefore, eating your way around the world will be fun! They are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday. Here are the Top 3 dishes I’m excited to try:

  1. Bauermarket: Farmer’s Market:   Toasted Pretzel Bread with Blackforest Ham and Melted Gruyere Cheese.
  2. Fleur de lys:   Macaron au Chocolat en sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop.
  3. The Smokehouse   a. Pulled Pork Slider with Coleslaw b. Beef brisket Burned Ends and smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage Chorizo, Cheddar Cheese Fondue and Housemade Pickle.

There are several other items that I’m excited to try. I encourage you to check out the menus to see what items excite your taste buds! The next thing I’m excited to see will get everyone wanting to be outdoors.

Flower and Garden Festival

Beautiful Topiaries

The Festival is an exciting time to experience the magic of living sculptures. According to Wikipedia, a Topiary is the horticultural practice of training perennial plants by clipping the foliage of trees and shrubs. As a result, this develops and maintains clearly defined shapes. Therefore, if you have never experienced these beautiful sculptures, this is the perfect Festival for you.  The festival is offering more than 20 magical topiaries. Everyone is sure to find a topiary they love. In addition to the topiaries, the Festival is also offering 16 different beautiful gardens and wildlife exhibits.  Lastly, I’m especially looking forward to a Royal Tour!

Flower and Garden Festival

Tours of the Royal Tea Variety

There are 4 different tours available at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival:

  1. Behind the Seeds
  2. Gardens of the World
  3. English Tea Garden by Twinings Tea of London.
  4. Royal Tea Garden Tour

I have reserved a spot on the Royal Tea Garden Tour for the morning that I’m at Epcot. This is a 45 minute guided tour though the English Tea Garden. Your tour guide will lead you through an elegant tea garden. The Tour is approximately 45 minutes where you will explore the garden in-depth. In addition to exploring, you will also learn the artistry and history behind growing and blending tea. The tour ends at the Rose and Crown Dining Room with a treat of tea and scones. This tour costs $18 per person. The tour starts at 9:45 a.m. each morning it is offered during the festival.  Spots fill up fast, therefore the site suggests obtaining advanced reservations to secure a spot.  Lastly, the Festival offers a concert series that I won’t be able to attend.

Flower and Garden Festival

Garden Rocks Concert Series

The Garden Rocks Concert Series is offering performances that are sure to bring the nostalgia back.  From Survivor to Smash Mouth and Rick Springfield to Lonestar, there is music for everyone. Make sure to check out the Concert Series page for the calendar of concerts to take full advantage during your trip.  It’s a bummer that there are no concerts during my stay, but I’m still excited about all that I’ll be able to experience.

 

Thanks Noelle for this exciting post. Can’t wait to hear how your experience was!

 

If you’d like more info on Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival, you can find more great posts here.

 

 

15 Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

15 Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party has kicked off at Magic Kingdom, and a few of us were lucky enough to be at the first party of the year. If you are heading to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, we’ve put together some tips to help you get the most out of the party!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Maximize Your Park Time

This should be a no-brainer, but don’t leave early! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a hard ticket event. This means that you’re paying specifically for the party. That said, you’ll want to make the most of your money spent by enjoying the entirety of the party. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll need every single second! Christmas party ticket holders can get into the Magic Kingdom is early as 4 PM, and if you stay until midnight, you can get in a full day in the park for much less than a regular day ticket. Furthermore, don’t leave too soon! Make the most of your merriment.

Bonus tip – take the morning off from visiting other parks, relax and enjoy a pool day or wander through Disney Springs. Get an early nap, and then head to the park by 3:30, so you can enter exactly at 4pm. You will be charged and ready to party all night long! You can even schedule a few fastpasses before 6pm!

 

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Catch The Second Parade

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade is not to be missed. The parade runs two times during the party, at 8:30 and 11:00 pm. The first parade is definitely more crowded, so bypass that parade and knock out some rides or meet characters. When it is time for the 11pm parade, many of the crowd with young kids have cleared out. Bonus tip – some of the parade floats are scented, so remind your children to be using their noses to sniff the air during the parade!

 

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas PartyMickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Ride Rides

Because a limited number of tickets are sold, you are guaranteed lesser wait times for some of the most popular rides at Magic Kingdom, including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We waited less than 20 min to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and 5 minutes for Space Mountain! Bonus tip – the park crowd really dies down by the end, and as long as you are in line for an attraction at midnight, you are guaranteed you will be able to ride, even if the party is over at midnight.

 

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

See Exclusive Characters

Party times are when Disney pulls out the high demand characters! At various places around the park you can expect to see all Seven Dwarfs, Moana, Jack Skellington as Sandy Claus, Scrooge McDuck, Santa Claus, Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps and more! Check out what characters are where when you arrive at the party, but don’t be upset if they change characters before your turn. Bonus tip – the lines for characters can be very long. If this is high on your priority list, try to schedule character times around the parade or other holiday shows.

Bust a Move

Nothing gets the party started like dancing with characters at the dance party locations! Bonus tip – practice your best silly dance moves and get into a dance off with a costumed character!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas PartyMickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Watch Holiday Wishes!

No one does fireworks like Disney, and Holiday Wishes will definitely not disappoint. It is a beautiful fireworks show set to very festive holiday music. We even got a little teary eyed! Bonus tip – if you can scope out a good spot directly in front of the castle for Holiday Wishes, stay there and catch the 10:30 stage show, and the 11:00 parade.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

 

Catch the Last Stage Show

Enjoy the last stage show of Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration. The crowd will be thinned out and you can score some great pictures up close! Bonus Tip – Pick a spot right behind the partners statue of Walt and Mickey and you will be front and center for the show!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Enjoy Sweet Treats

Stop at all the sweet treats stops and enjoy the yummy snacks that are complimentary! This year they have cookies, snow cones and even soft pretzels, hot chocolate, apple cider and eggnog! Bonus tip – be sure to bring a zip top bag to get extras and save them!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Use Your PhotoPass!

Make sure to stop and get party exclusive photo ops using your Photopass! Bonus tip –  don’t forget to get lots of pictures of you and your family or friends with the frozen castle backdrop and the Main Street Christmas tree! You may even have Tinkerbell added into some magic shots in her holiday finest!

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Catch the Snow!

Enjoy the “Florida snow” on Main Street during the party. It’s so beautiful and so much fun. Bonus tip – tell your kids not to try and catch the snow on their tongue…it’s really soap bubbles!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Shop ’til you Drop

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is the only place you can purchase exclusive party merchandise. Don’t miss it! Bonus Tip – Shop as soon as you get to the party. Party exclusive merchandise has been known to sell out quickly!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Frozen Holiday Wish

Don’t miss out on Frozen Holiday Wish because it only plays once during the actual party. This is THE show where Elsa uses her magical powers to freeze Cinderella Castle. Bonus tip – watch out for Queen Elsa’s other friends to make appearances during the show!

Choose Dinner Time Wisely

Plan dinner around when the first stage show or parade begins. The quick service restaurants will empty out as people move to enjoy the shows and parades. Bonus tip – Fill up on party goodies and choose a kids portion of nachos at Pecos Bill’s for dinner. You can thank us later!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Record Videos and Take Photos

Record videos and take lots of photos then combine them for a fun video you can watch with your family on Christmas Day! Bonus tip –  Take pictures WHILE you record a video on your iPhone by using that magic little button on the left hand side of your iPhone screen!

#VeryMerry

The official hashtag of the party is #VeryMerry. Make sure you are utilizing it on social media!  Bonus tip –  Have fun and upload a picture of yourself in front of the castle after it’s been frozen. You need to show your friends how much fun you are having!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

One more Bonus Tip!

Whether you are attending the Christmas party this year, or have it on your bucket list for a future trip to Walt Disney World, one thing is for sure….Christmas shirts, Mickey ears and even Christmas pajamas are all the rage! You can coordinate outfits and plan for a super cute Christmas card to send out when you get back home!

Have you attended the Christmas party? Have any tips you would like to share with us? Be sure to check out more fun Disney Christmas fun here on blog! For more Christmas party info, be sure to see this post and this post for more general Disney Christmas fun. If you’d like to get crafty then check out this post, and this post, and this post too!

Merry Christmas from The Mouse and the Monorail!

Best Tips for Epcot Food and Wine Festival

If you are a Disney fan and a lover of all things FOOD, then the Food and Wine Festival in Epcot is a can’t miss experience. One of my favorite things in Disney World is the World Showcase in Epcot. With the Food and Wine Festival taking place in the World Showcase, I knew it was something that I absolutely couldn’t miss.

Best Tips for Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Traveling and eating are some of my most favorite past times, so being able to “eat my way around the world” in one day filled me with such excitement. I knew that I had two trips to Disney World already planned for this year, so I purchased an Annual Pass. In trying to make the most of my Annual Pass, I planned a quick trip to take my brother for his very first time. I figured that a trip to the Food and Wine Festival would be perfect for his first time in Disney World. Keep reading to for my best tips for Epcot Food and Wine Festival.Epcot's Food & Wine Festival is an incredible experience! It can also be very overwhelming. Follow these best tips to plan your trip and enjoy all the festival has to offer.

Research, Research, Research

There is a plethora of information on the internet about the Food and Wine Festival. From the menus and reviews of the food and beverages, to maps of the kiosk locations around the World Showcase, planning your Food and Wine experience is easy.Best tips for Food and Wine Festival

Make Lists

The menus posted online made making my “must haves” list very easy. Reading the reviews online also helped me remove items from the list that I wanted to try, but that overall had poor reviews. In one instance, I ignored the reviews and ended up disappointed. (Thanks Belgium!) I plan to return in just a few weeks and will not make that mistake again.

Use the Festival Map

If you’ve never been to the World Showcase, it’s a big circle. When you come up to it, you can begin your tour of the world by going left or right. In planning your Food and Wine experience, it will be very helpful to plan your attack in order of the kiosks. This way, you’ll eliminate wasted time skipping around to different kiosks.

Hang on to Your List

If you plan to have a drink or two at the festival, having a detailed list will really come in handy. I speak from experience. If I didn’t have my list of “must haves” with me after having two drinks, I would have become lost in what I wanted to do. This is important in making the most of your festival trip.

Have a Budget

Most food items are between $3.50 – $8.00. It can be upwards of $10.00 for drinks. My brother and I had the Disney Dining Plan, and we used 1 quick service credit and 4 snack credits. 1 Quick Service credit can be turned into 3 snack credits, but you can do this only at one kiosk. This is a good option when you want multiple items at one kiosk. Snack credits are best used for the most expensive items, but cannot be used on alcohol. My brother and I budgeted $200 for the festival. This does not count the dining credits we used. We visited only 9 kiosks out of the 35 featured. We shared everything we purchased ,and we were full almost to the point of busting when we left. With that said, we spent all of the $200 we had budgeted.

Best Food Kiosks

Favorite: Hawaii

Everything we tried at Hawai’i was amazing. My favorite was the Kalua Pork Slider. The most talked about Teriyaki-glazed SPAM Hash lived up to the hype. I can also speak very highly of the Grilled Tuna Tataki. The drink we tried from here was the Mai Tai featuring Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, which was very delicious. Even though there is still so much more I want to try, I plan to visit Hawaii again when I return in a few weeks.

Least Favorite: Belgium

Gouda is my favorite cheese, so when I saw that Belgium was featuring a Beer-braised Beef served with Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes it instantly went on my “must haves” list. Even though I read several poor reviews of this dish online before going, I was hoping that they just weren’t true. To my dismay, they were. The dish was bland and the potatoes weren’t the right consistency for mashed potatoes. I cannot speak for the other dishes at the Belgium kiosk, but this one is a dish you can totally miss.

Designated driver

Finally, my last tip for making the most of your Food and Wine Festival experience is, if you are planning to drink, please have a method of transportation planned ahead. From the monorail and resort buses to the Minnie Van Service and Uber, there is no excuse for drinking and driving while on Disney property. Plan for alternate method(s) of transportation in your budget, and your conscience will thank you later.

I hope that I have helped you prepare to make the most of your Food and Wine Festival experience. I can’t wait to return myself, so I can share my new favorites with you!

Must Have Halloween Treats at Disneyland

Now that Halloween time is in full swing, I can share with you the best Halloween treats at Disneyland! In just the few weeks these special foods have been available, I’ve created a list of my top favorites.

Must Have Halloween Treats at Disneyland

Nearly every dining location has some special Halloween treat, so there’s a lot to choose from.Halloween Time at Disneyland is so much fun! One of the best parts is the food! Check out our list of the best Halloween treats at Disneyland so you'll know before you go!

Pumpkin Spice Brittle

If you’re a fan of peanut brittle and pumpkin seeds, then this is the treat to you! Each 6 oz. bag is available in Disneyland and DCA, and annual pass discounts are available! This is a great treat on the go or to take home as a souvenir to enjoy later!

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Milkshake

I found out about this treat through a post on Instagram and instantly knew I had to try it! Because my friend likes caramel, I had extra added to the shake. Regardless, this is a sweet treat for all pumpkin spice and caramel lovers alike! You can find this shake at Ghirardelli and annual pass discounts are accepted!

Pumpkin Spice Churro

Pumpkin spice churros are a great Halloween treat at DisneylandIn case you haven’t caught on, I love pumpkin spice and apparently so does Disney! There are definitely a large number of pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavored treats! Disney churros are already the best, so you can imagine how delicious these pumpkin spice ones taste! These can be found at the Cozy Cone Motel along with many other amazing goodies! Unfortunately, annual pass discounts are not accepted at the Cozy Cone Motel.

Campfire S’mores Funnel Cake

Smore's Funnel Cake is a delicious Halloween treat at Disneyland.You didn’t think everything would be centered about pumpkin did you? This delicious funnel cake combines the best aspects of S’mores and a traditional funnel cake! It’s great for sharing with your family and friends! You can find this funnel cake at the Stage Door Café! Annual pass discounts are accepted at this location!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Halloween treats at Disneyland include pumpkin cheesecake.This is my last pumpkin item, I promise! I thought this would be my number 1 item as this has been my favorite treat in prior years! My favorite dessert is cheesecake so naturally pumpkin cheesecake is my go-to! I found this cheesecake at the Jolly Holiday Bakery, but it is available around both parks! Also, annual pass discounts are accepted!

Spider Silk Ice Cream Sandwich

Spider Ice Cream is a cool Halloween treat at Disneyland.This was very tough decision between the top 2 treats! This ice cream sandwich is composed of a black macaron with charcoal-tart cherry spun ice cream topped with popping candy and raspberry sauce! It was almost too pretty to eat! This delicious treat can be found at Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream; which is where you can also find the Kitchen Sink sundaes referenced in my Ice Cream blog! Annual pass discounts are not accepted here!

Spoke-y Cone Macaron

Drumroll please, my favorite treat of the season can be found at the Cozy Cone Motel! The Spoke-y Cone Macaron is filled with marshmallow buttercream and candy corn. I was afraid it was going to be too sweet, but after my second one, I was sold! This was definitely number one! I highly recommend you try this macaron! As mentioned, Cozy Cone Motel does not have annual pass discounts.

Although, this is a very small taste of the food offerings at the Disneyland Resort. I hope this helps guide you if you are unsure of what to try! I have not been able to try any of the savory treats, but some of the items on my radar were the “Ghost”-ly Pepper Nachos, Bison Blue Cheeseburger, and Dragon’s Breath Tacos! Click here for a full list of the Halloween foods offered at the Disneyland Resort! I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and have the chance to try some of these items on your next visit!

News for 10.27.15

Hey everyone!! It’s time for your weekly Disney news roundup!

 

•Hey Amy, this one’s for you! There’s a new game out called Disney’s Dream Sweets and just might make fans of candy crush drool. This game had me, (obviously a big Disney parks fan if I’ve been blogging about them for over 2 yrs lol) from the opening screen! You get to customize the game to your family and the levels are various restaurants around the world. And I don’t mean just around WDW, since some refer to it as such, I mean the entire world! There are levels from Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris. And since I’ve only play around 22 levels, I can only assume that in the following 108 levels we’ll visit more Disney destinations. My girls loved the customization part too. And the animation of them eating the treat once they make the correct amount of matches is quite funny. “Hahahaha! Mommy, Daddy just ate 9 Dole Whips!!” Lots of fun for kiddos!  Check it out here. Or better yet, just go download it here (ios) or here (droid).

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•Starting November 27, you will be able to experience the holidays around the world in Epcot’s World Showcase. This event looks like something you won’t want to miss if you’re vacationing during its run. There will be lots to choose from including live music and opportunities to learn and experience how different cultures celebrate their holidays.

 

•Okay, so I don’t wanna sound crazy but this one is KIND OF a big deal. You can now visit the Retail MagicBand on Demand store to create your own custom magic bands! They’ve even got the most desirous yet elusive purple magic band! Check this post out for all the details.

 

 

• The Grand Floridian’s Victoria and Albert’s restaurant placed 6th in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveler’s Choice awards.

 

 

•Pretty sure I’m most excited about this one: The Disney Cruise Line has just released a little bit about the Disney Infinity experience that they’re premiered yesterday aboard the Disney Dream. I know for a fact my kids are going to LOVE standing on a huge infinity base and becoming a real infinity character! And the fact that you get to download all of the exclusive content (including custom toy boxes you make while onboard) is the best part!! SO very cool!

 

•Speaking of the cruise line, the DCL blog released special rates for military personnel today!

 

•Chef Rick Bayless to Open Frontera Fresco Restaurant at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

 

•Now that you’re done with the news, why not take a crack at the parks blog’s quiz:

 

I think that’s about it for this week. Stay tuned for more fun this week including some glow in the dark nails and a fun Disney countdown calendar! ~Meredith ºoº

News for 10.5.15

Hey howdy hey! Here’s your Disney news roundup for this week!

 

• The parks blog shared a bit of magic on how they’ve made Maximus come to life for the new Tangled show coming to the Disney Magic in November of this year.

 

•Speaking of the Disney Cruise Line, the sailings’ (both the Dream and Fantasy) iteneraries for this past weekend were altered to avoid hurricane Joaquin. Below is a video from one of the Fantasy’s passengers on board on October 1st. As of now, both ships and all passengers and crew were safe and sound though it is unclear if the Fantasy encountered some technical difficulties. The Fantasy’s debarkation time was pushed back.

 

•The Disney Conservation Fund awarded $3 million in grants.

 

•A whole new menu for the Magic Kingdom’s Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe premiered featuring Tex-Mex cuisine.

 

•The Lava Shack at Disney’s Aulani resort is now serving up some delicious Pineapple Soft serve!

 

•The parks blog featured a little video sharing how to use the new Shop Disney Parks app.

 

•Downtown Disney has transitioned and is now officially renamed Disney Springs.

 

•Oktoberfest is in full swing at Min and Bill’s Diner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios featuring seasonal items to celebrate the holiday.

 

•Reservations are now being offered for Thanksgiving day at Disneyland.

 

Morimoto, a pan-asian restaurant by famed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, had its grand opening at Disney Springs a week ago today.

 

•Disney updated their annual pass selections and pricing for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. For more details contact Sarah, Amy, or myself.

 

Looks like that’s it for this week. Stay tuned to our fb and instagram social accounts to stay up to date with all the magic that Sarah and her family will be experiencing this week at Walt Disney World including the Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! ~Meredith ºoº

News for the Week of 9.21.15

Here’s this week’s news!

•Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party returned on the 15th and will run on select nights through Nov. 1, 2015.

•This year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is featuring a Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and it looks spooky! Lots of great villains have moments with the Sanderson sisters.

•You can find more about the Sanderson sisters fun here.

 

•Disney premiered a new Boutique collection. You can find the Boutique collection offerings at select Disneyland and Walt Disney World resort locations as well as on the Shop Disney Parks app.

•Disney also announced new merchandise for Halloween!

 

•Starting today and running through the 27th, Disney will also be featuring Sanderson Sisters merchandise! Check out more info here.

•The parks blog also featured some fun make-up tutorials.

 

•Reservations are now available for Narcoossee’s for their waterfront brunch.

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is set to open on the 22nd on a first come, first served basis.

 

•This one’s not directly Disney-related but I couldn’t resist (after one of my good friends shared it with me) including this in today’s news! Not sure if I could actually eat them, they’re so cool! You can check him out on instagram or youtube.

And that’s all I have folks. Stay tuned to hear back from Amy and her exciting trip report from her trip on the Disney Dream! ~Meredith ºoº

News for 9.14.15

Here’s our weekly news roundup for you! Lots of great stuff this week! Y’all ready for this??

 

A Night of Joy was a night to remember for American Idol finalist Colton Dixon at this year’s annual special event at Disney’s Magic Kingdom held this past Friday and Saturday. This year’s event was sold out for both nights! You can see the full lineup of who performed when here.

 

•The winner of Walt Disney World’s Best Grandparent Contest Winner was announced. The contest was held to celebrate Grandparent’s Day and the announcement included an excerpt from the winner’s entry.

 

•The Disney Parks blog also released a sweet video of grandparents giving their own WDW advice and it’s the just the best.

 

Sarah covered this week’s announcement all about the Halloween Treats to be available beginning tomorrow at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party. The event runs through November 1st of this year. Ticket prices start at $68 and can be purchased directly through the WDW website or by contacting your Disney travel agent. For me, this is one of my very favorites. It’s such a fun and different way to experience the Magic Kingdom and it’s worth it to see the MK transform for a night. And if I haven’t already said it enough on here, the fireworks are the BEST of any fireworks show there. ‘Nuff said! And I can’t wait to see and hear about Sarah’s MNSSHP experience next month!

 

•The parks blog also featured a “Complete Guide to Eats During Halloween time at Disneyland resort.”  This post includes a long list of seasonal items and not only do they list it all out and entice us, they include where you can find it all too! These yummy-looking pumpkin twists can be found at the Cozy Cone Motel.

 

 

 

•Hong Kong Disneyland celebrated 10 years on Friday. The celebrations included special fireworks and an announcement that Fairy Tale Forest will be coming to Fantasyland. The concept art looks a bit familiar, could it be this new area will be akin to the Tangled bathrooms at WDW’s Magic Kingdom?

 

•This Halloween time, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is also getting into the season’s fun with a special Minnie Mouse transformation. This looks adorable and will be perfect for parents looking to attend the Halloween party but don’t necessarily want to make or buy a costume and either return to the resort to change, or carry the costumes all day long and change in the park bathrooms (People do this. I know, I did it with my girls haha!)  It also looks as though you’ll be able to ask for just the hairstyle only during your child’s transformation in case she wants a Princess dress, but the fun Halloween ribbons. Reservations are HIGHLY recommended and the sooner you book, the better!

 

•The photos taken from this year’s Disneyland’s Half Marathon are awesome and can be found here. The Walt and Mickey couple was super cute, but I think I have to give it to the running churro for best running costume!

 

•It was announced that this year will be the finale year for the Osborne Family of Lights.The Merry & Bright Dessert Party (Nov. 6-Dec. 30) and the Merry & Bright Dinner Reception (Jan. 1- 3), both overlooking The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, are now available to book to celebrate the spectacle one last time.

 

•In case you missed it, last night this year’s Miss America was crowned and aired on ABC, But did you know that the contestants actually visited the WDW resort last month as part of their preparations? And can I just say, they picked the perfect CM’s for this video?! Tiana was spot-on and Belle’s voice was near perfect.

 

• Jonathan Frontado of Disney Cruise Line posted his six tips for dining with kids on Disney’s cruise line. Looks like he’ll be back next week too, to share a day-by-day dining guide!

 

•Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular is set to be replaced by a new stage musical starring none other than the Frozen sisters.

 

•Disney is releasing a new cookbook celebrating 20 years of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. As per the parks blog, “The recipes go all the way back to 1996 and include dishes that represent the festival through the years.”

 

The Pepper Bacon and Mac free recipe they included in the post is looks delicious!!

 

•The parks blog is also hosting a Not So Scary blog party tomorrow night, September 15.

 

•A special dining experience is coming to Disneyland’s Blue Bayou! A new premium Halloween dining experience hosted by Dr. Facilier is coming to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland park: Mystical Spirits of the Blue Bayou. The evening begins at 7 p.m., with an intimate, spooky dining experience with a themed three-course menu.

 

•A new dessert cruise is debuting at WDW too on October 5. Ferry Tale Wishes: A Dessert Cruise will feature sweet selections from several of the Deluxe resorts located on the Seven Seas Lagoon.

 

•And last, but certainly not least, beginning tonight PBS will be airing a two-night, 4 hour special about Walt Disney as part of their American Experience series. The special will air Sept. 14 and 15, starting at 9/8c.

 

Wow!! So many exciting things to report this week. What are you excited for? ~Meredith ºoº

Star Wars Weekends refresher

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I’m going to take today to recap what both myself and Sarah have experienced while at Star Wars Weekends the past two years. SWW, to say the least, is a super fun experience and any fan of the series should go at least once. There’s so much to see and do, it really is incredible. I was able to attend last year and Sarah went this year. It seems as though they’re always adding more fun things to see and do. Check out all we were able to see and what I thought about the experience here and here and then (ICYMI last week) check out Sarah’s fabulous recap of their 2015 trip here. Additionally, if you have any questions regarding going or what to see and do while there, be sure to comment or send us a message/email. We’ll be happy to share all we can about this most out of this world event! And be sure to check back tomorrow for something I haven’t attempted on this blog before, but is not only going to be super fun AND Star Wars related, but it’ll include a giveaway too!! ~M ºoº

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Star Wars Weekends Experiences

Hi everyone! I’m back to tell you all about the actual experiences Star Wars weekends has to offer. I’ll start by saying, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out yesterday’s post. It details some of the things you need to know before going. And remember, you have to have a valid park admission to get into Disney’s Hollywood Studios to access all things Star Wars!

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There are loads to do at SWW and every year they add something new and special. From the dining experiences to the fireworks, the days are loaded with all things Star Wars. As a family of 4 that includes 2 young girls (then 2 and 6), you’d think that this event wouldn’t really appeal to us. But you’d be wrong! My girls loved almost all of it!

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If the girls had been interested in the Jedi Training Academy, we would’ve headed there first! This experience is available throughout the year and is fun because it allows kids to become a Jedi and battle Darth Vader and his stormtroopers live on stage. However, the Jedi Training experience during SWW also allows for padawans (jedis-in-training, a.k.a your kids) to be selected to participate in the actual SWW themed parade for that day! My girls though, were just a bit stage shy and didn’t seem into it. So, we headed first thing over to Darth’s Mall.

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Darth’s Mall was setup as a special place (indoors and air-conditioned thankfully!) that had all of the special SW related merchandise. It is also the place where you can meet Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Darth Goofy, and Stormtrooper Donald! They even Admiral Akbar’s Snackbar where you could purchase snacks and drinks in specially themed cups and containers. If you plan on buying anything SW-related while there, this is the place to go. And while they do sell some SWW merchandise in the Tattooine Traders gift shop (you know, the gift shop that the Star Tours ride conveniently exits you through), I would recommend purchasing from Darth’s Mall because not only is it not as crowded because they control how many people are allowed in at any given time, but the selection is much better. Not to mention, the Tattooine Traders gift shop is tiny anyway, and gets congested very quickly on SWW days.

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After finishing up at Darth’s Mall, we headed back out to get us a spot for the Legends of the Force Motorcade. The SW motorcade is a fantastic SW-themed parade that is led by Jedi Mickey himself. This is also the parade that features your padawans! If you’re a SW fan, you’ll appreciate just how many characters they have represented in this parade, from storm and sand troopers to droids to sandpeople to Darth Vader himself, you’ll get to see them all. They even include the newer generation of SW characters from the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series! This is also where you’ll get to see some of the actors and voice talents for past SW movies and series. This is definitely one of the must-see experiences during your day at SWW.

After that, it was time for some lunch, and while we didn’t do the SW-themed dining because our trip was a last-minute decision, I’d encourage you to try out what they have to offer! You can check out the dining options by visiting Disney’s own website here.

After refueling, it was time to enjoy some of the other meet and greets as well as the actual Star Tours ride. Be sure to keep an eye out all around you because as you walk around the park, they have certain characters patrolling and perusing. We got our picture with some and my husband and 2yo got to see the Mos Eisley cantina band! Also, be sure to check your special park map for the locations of the special meet n greets. They range from Ewok Chip and Dale to Chewbacca to the “real” Luke and Leia.

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Can you tell Boo wasn’t so sure about this Gamorrean Guard? ^_^

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We just missed out on Leia as she switched with Luke just as it was our turn. It just so happens though, that Luke was fantastic with the girls! He chatted with them all about moisture farms!

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After riding Star Tours a couple of times (thanks to child swap since Belle wasn’t tall enough to ride yet) we headed back to Darth’s Mall to see if we could get a photo with Jedi Mickey and Leia Minnie. They too swapped out for Darth Goofy and Stormtrooper Donald right before our turn earlier that morning. Thankfully, this time we got it!! The look on Boo’s face when she saw Leia Minnie was unlike any other Minnie Mouse meet and greet for her and I’m so glad we went back!! She could NOT stop hugging her! <3 And while you’re there, if you’re a fangirl, then don’t miss out on Ashley Eckstein’s (she’s been a voice talent on Star Wars the Clone Wars as well as more recently, Sophia the First!) Her Universe merchandise. She had some really fun shirts, dress, hoodies, and jewelry there last year and I’m sure she won’t disappoint this year. (Note: If you’re also a whovian, you can check out her Doctor Who merchandise in the UK pavilion at Epcot!)

There are also opportunities to get autographs by some of the Star Wars celebrities and I HIGHLY recommend getting in line for these first thing that morning. Now, I just have to stress to you how you should NOT miss James Arnold Taylor!! If you don’t know him chances are you’ve heard him and didn’t even know it, so for your own reference here’s his website. We actually got to meet him and he even talked to the girls in Obi Wan Kenobi’s voice! He’s a super nice guy and amazingly talented. We caught his stage show, called Obi Wan and Beyond, and it was worth every second of the around 20 minutes we waited to get in. Seriously, don’t miss this! You’ll be entertained, captivated, and completely in awe of how talented he really is. Even our littles loved the show!

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You can watch our GoPro video of the motorcade if you skip to 22:47 (anything before that is from the day prior when we partied for 24hrs in the Magic Kingdom!). This is also includes the video of us meeting James Arnold Taylor, meeting Luke Skywalker, a good portion of the Obi Wan and Beyond show, and the entire Symphony in the Stars fireworks show!

And to end the night off right, a day at Disney wouldn’t be complete without some amazing fireworks! Symphony in the Stars fireworks is a fantastic fireworks display set to the wonderful music of John Williams. It’s a great way to end the evening! If you’d like even more detailed info on specifically this year’s SWW, then be sure to check out this website.

 

And there you have it! I hope you all go and get to experience all the fun! And if you do, please share with us either here or over on our fb page! ~M ºoº

6 Things to Know About Star Wars Weekend

Hey there folks and thanks for supporting our blog and our new name! I’m here today to talk about Star Wars Weekends coming up in May at Walt Disney World. This year’s event is longer than ever running from May 15 until June 14. Here’s 6 things to know and remember when planning a trip to WDW for Star Wars Weekends.

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1. The SWW events only occur on weekends!
This is a special event that is held every spring at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And unlike some other special events (like the flower and garden festival and food and wine) the special features of this event ONLY OCCUR ON THE WEEKENDS. That’s one thing that seems to confuse some people. If you head to WDW expecting to experience SWW, be sure that you’ll be visiting DHS on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
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2. Expect large crowds.
This one really should be understandable considering the events are only on the weekends and there are so many people that plan their WDW vacations to coincide with this event. Be prepared to stand in lines and don’t fret if it takes a little longer to ride Star Tours!

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3. Plan only to experience things unique to Star Wars Weekends.
Do your homework by researching what exactly is going on and plan to only do and experience the things from your list. Don’t however, expect to get all your Star Wars stuff in AND hit the usual rides and attractions. If you’re going for SWW, really make the best of it by doing as many of the attractions that interest you as possible.

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4. Get there early!
As I mentioned earlier, the crowds are heavy and they don’t sleep in til midday. The rope drop show is unique and in the past has included Storm Troopers! BUT, you can only experience this if you get to the park at least a half hour before park opening. The lines for the Jedi Training Academy, celebrity autograph signings, and most all of the SW character meet and greets also fill up fast and if you’re looking to do any of these, it’s best to head for those first.

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5. Get your Star Wars themed dining experiences booked early!
This year, there’s not only the Sci-Fi Dine In Galactic breakfast, but there’s also a new Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine. The Hollywood and Vine one is even being offered with a Fantasmic Dining plan! I would highly recommend that you get your ADR of choice in as early as you can to ensure the experience and time you’d like.

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6. Be sure to get your parade and fireworks spots early.
With the sorcerer’s hat officially gone this year, seating and space for the fireworks might be a little easier to get, but in both cases, it’s best to get your spot early. Especially considering the parade route has, in the past, only run from the park entrance down Hollywood Boulevard.

 

And that’s my list for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with a list of actual experiences being offered and tips on how best to experience and plan for them!! So be sure to check tomorrow!! ~M °o°

What’s New and Star Wars Weekends

Hey howdy hey, what a week it’s been!!! There have been so many exciting new announcements, a media event for the opening of the last part of the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history, and DHS’ 25th anniversary celebration. So today, I’m just going to take a minute to discuss a few of those and then I’d like to chat about the most exciting thing coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to round out our coverage of that park. So, let’s get to it!

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Disney Infinity 2.0 edition

First off, let’s gab a minute on something that I’ve discussed several times already; Disney Infinity! If you follow us on fb, you’ll have seen my posts leading up to Disney Infinity/Marvel’s big google live event where they had special stars like Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg introduce some of Disney’s and Infinity’s top guys. And their big announcement?!? MARVEL(!!) is coming to Disney Infinity in August and they’re calling it Disney Infinity 2.0 edition Marvel Super Heroes.  This is HUGE and will expand the Disney Infinity world tremendously including new figures, power discs, and most importantly, NEW PLAYSETS! Check out the trailer below:

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Next, yesterday was the special media event for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and while we weren’t there, there’s plenty online to share about it all here. Disney also posted their own POV ride-through video, though it doesn’t include everything and Disney has asked that that portion of the ride be saved for when you’re actually riding it. So, I’m not going to spoil it for myself or anyone else either. (Though I’m sure if you dig enough on the internets, you would be able to find it).

They’re having an official dedication today and are live-streaming the event over on the disney parks blog!

 

 

Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ 25th Anniversary

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of DHS and naturally Disney had a big party. Looks like that was loads of fun! You can read all about it here.

Other notable announcements include: Harambe Nights at Animal Kingdom, and The cast of the new Star Wars movie was revealed.

 

Now, for part 2! Star Wars Weekends!!

This is for anyone who will be visiting WDW from May 16-June 15 and my connection to our week’s Hollywood Studios theme since it takes place in the studios. This event ALWAYS draws crowds, (or so I’ve heard. I’ve not been able to go myself, though it’s on my WDW bucket list for sure!) so be sure to plan accordingly for the studios. There will more than likely be larger crowds there and that means even longer wait times. Be sure to get your fastpasses scheduled well in advance for any rides you don’t want to miss.

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And for all you jedis and siths, there’s loads of information about all that star wars weekends has to offer for those of all ages over on their website here. From encounters with THE Boba Fett (both the actor AND the character that may just target you from within the crowd) and other notable actors including Peter Mayhew, Warwick Davis, Billy Dee Williams, and wait for it… Mark Hammill himself! Here’s a great run-down of the actors and the dates they’re scheduled. There’s also amazing entertainment like a special fireworks show, star wars editions to the glow with the show, a special parade, and patrolling stormtroopers in addition to the regular star wars attractions like Star Tours and Jedi Training. Here’s a video from last year’s parade:

So, don’t miss out on this special event!! I would totally be there if I could. And be sure to check back next week when my fellow MMMoms take a break and let me chat all about Boo’s Disneyside birthday party we had last month. I can’t wait to share it all!! 🙂  ~M °o°