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.
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:
Bauermarket: Farmer’s Market: Toasted Pretzel Bread with Blackforest Ham and Melted Gruyere Cheese.
Fleur de lys: Macaron au Chocolat en sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop.
The Smokehousea. 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.
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!
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.
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.
Today’s topic is in full bloom! From topiaries to tips, we’ve got you covered. This episode is perfect for everyone, so whether you’re always at Disney or going for your first time, don’t miss this episode!
As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Did we miss something? Please share your story with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!
If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know. For more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and dont’s… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.
We’re back and having fun talking about all the fun games to be played while at Walt Disney World. That’s right, Disney isn’t only rides! From sorcerers and secret agents, to exploring the wilderness (ca-caw, ca-caw, ROAR!), we’re going to be talking about it all! Which Disney parks game is your favorite?
Today’s topic is all about the unique, beautiful, and almost always delicious festivals that Walt Disney World’s Epcot hosts throughout the year. From the International Festival of the Arts and the International Flower and Garden Festival to the ever-popular International Food and Wine Festival, we’ve talking about it all. This episode is perfect for everyone. So whether you’re always at Disney or going for your first time, don’t miss this episode!
As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! Did we miss something? Please share your story with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!
One thing you probably don’t think about when you hear Walt Disney world is beer. Me, on the other hand, the beer is one of my favorite parts about the trip. You can get brews from all over the United States and even the world. There is something for all the beer fans out there, you just have to know where to find them.
Top Beers at Disney World
That is where I come in. Here is a list of some of my favorites, from Epcot all the way to Pandora.
6. Black and Tan – Rose and Crown, England Epcot World Showcase
A mix of all kinds of goodness. A Black and Tan is a mix of two different type of beers. In my case, it was a Guinness and Harp. Besides being able to get this brew in my favorite park at Disney, this amazing concoction is very tasteful and is great company while rocking out with British Revolution. (You know, that British “rock band” that plays in the back of the England pavilion?) That being said, the Black and Tan is #6 on my list of favorite brews. Plenty more goodness to come!
5. Dole Whip and Coconut Rum – Animal Kingdom
Now this next one is not a beer but, I think everyone is a fan of a good ole Dole Whip from Disney. Add coconut rum to the mix though, and it makes it even better. I had no idea that this glorious drink existed until stumbling upon it at the Animal Kingdom. Tamu Tamu Refreshments is now a definite pit stop of mine at the Animal Kingdom.
4. Hawkes’ Grog Ale IPA – Pandora The World of Avatar Animal Kingdom
First off, this was my first time to Pandora since it had opened. I was pretty blown away at the awesomeness of the floating mountains and sounds of the Banshees from the tops of them. So what to do in that atmosphere you ask……. That is to get you an ice cold Hawkes’ Grog IPA from the Satu’li Canteen and enjoy the sights and sounds of Pandora World of Avatar. For the IPA lovers out there, this is a good one to put on the list to try. Not too much bite to it with fruity flavors thrown in, with a little bit of wheat at the end ( It’s also green people ). I am a big fan of this brew, I’m sure you will be too.
3. Funky Buddha Floridian Hefe – Art Smiths at Disney Springs
Brewed right in the state of Florida, this German-style wheat beer should be at the top of every wheat beer fan’s list This brew packs in the flavor while not being too heavy at the same time. With flavors like banana and citrus, the Funky Buddha pretty much encapsulates Florida. This brew is just as great as the food at Art Smiths…. ( I recommend the fried catfish and the Moonshine Flight)
2. Tri Wishes Grand Irish Red – Raglan Road at Disney Springs
Folks, Raglan Road is definitely at the top of my list of pit stops at Disney. This place has all things that make me happy…. Irish music, Irish dancing and cold brews. Brewed by Crooked Can Brewing Company in Florida the Tri Wishes Ale is a bit on the lighter side and has a combination of American and European hops. This brew really put out a lot of flavor and goes great with the Fish and Chips and Irish tunes in Raglan Road.
1. ( And the WINNER is ) Einstok Icelandic White Ale – Norway Epcot World Showcase
Brewed by the Einstok Beer company in Iceland, this White Ale would be picked by any Viking. This beer is brewed with pure Icelandic water with all the flavors of a classic whitbier. Norway is always my first brew stop when drinking around the world, and usually my last. I found this brew my first trip back to Disney a few years ago, and it quickly became my favorite. So, if you happen to find yourself cruising around Epcot World Showcase. Do yourself a favor and stop off at Norway and pick you up and ice cold Einstok Icelandic White Ale.Enjoy folks and May The Brews Be With You….
Many thanks to our contributor, Michael, for this brewtastic post!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
We’re back and ready to dish all about our our favorite foodie festival! Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is a a favorite of ours and we’re excited to be experiencing its offerings this coming November. Furthermore, our friend Noelle was lucky enough to check it out this past September and is here with us to share some of her likes and dislikes. Be sure to listen through this episode which includes some great tips on all things Food and Wine, especially with regards to what’s specifically available in 2017. So whether you’re wondering about portion size, participating countries, pricing, or which drinks are the best, this episode has it all! For more info on Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival contact your travel agent, or refer to Disney’s website. Lastly, don’t miss out on all of our own Food and Wine blog posts!
As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! What are your favorite items Food & Wine? Share with us! Post to our facebook page or tag us on instagram!
What Would You Do With One Day at Walt Disney World?
It’s Official! You’re going to Walt Disney World for one day only.Okay, so not really. Let’s pretend for a minute we are though, and will have one solo day at Walt Disney World. What would you do with a single solo day? Join Sarah and Meredith as they discuss how they’d approach planning a solo Disney day. If you want to check out the links we mention in this episode, you can find them here, here, and here.
As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! What would do with a single solo Disney day?
It’s Official! Epcot’s Ellen’s Energy Adventure and Hollywood Studios’ The Great Movie Ride are now closed for good. Join Sarah and Meredith as they bid a fond farewell to these two attractions by discussing Five Fun Facts about each. If you’d like to see the photos we mention in this episode, you can find them here.
As always, please share with us if you’ve got something to add to our discussion! What was your favorite thing about these attractions?
Far too often, Epcot is the least popular park for parents that are planning with kids in mind. It is often overlooked due to the opinion that it is not a kid friendly park. Guests miss out on so much when they skip this park. There are many fun opportunities and learning experiences at Epcot. Here are some tips about Epcot that could change your mind about this amazing park.
Kid Friendly Rides
Rides are, often, important to most kids and Epcot does not disappoint. The park offers many unique ride experiences. I could talk about the rides all day, but here are just a few that are on the top of our list.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends is a bright, colorful ride followed by an aquarium populated with lots of sea life. Even very little ones will get caught up in all there is to see. Older ones can learn about the animals on display, as well.Soarin’ makes a lot of “top 10 Disney rides” lists. We didn’t get to ride it yet, but it’s definitely on the list for our next trip!
Test Track is a favorite for older children. Design your test car and get feedback on how it performs while you ride. Don’t miss the chance to create a free downloadable commercial featuring your own custom vehicle.
Do you have a Frozen fan? Then Frozen Ever After is definitely a must. I have a little Frozen fan that can not stop talking about this ride.
Kid Friendly Activities
I love that Epcot offers so many hands on opportunities for the kids. They are learning but they are having way too much fun to realize it.
Colortopia, located in Innoventions East, is a multifaceted exhibit that is all about color! There is a short movie, various color-themed activities, and a room sized coloring page!
Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure is an interactive activity for kids old enough to read or that have a little help from someone older. The adventure takes your little agent throughout the World Showcase where they will help solve cases (and learn a little about the world, too).
Turtle Talk with Crush is an amazing interactive audience participation show, akin to the laugh floor at Magic Kingdom. He even takes you through the many uses of the word “dude.”
Make sure to pick up a cardboard Duffy the Disney Bear. The kids had a blast decorating their Duffy and visiting each Kidcot Fun Stop for stamps, signatures, and information about each country.
Unique Character Meet and Greets
Remember that scene in Big Hero 6 where everybody hugs Baymax? Here’s your chance. The huggable, non-armored Baymax is ready and waiting for a fist bump.Belle is in her classic blue dress in the World Showcase. She is located next to the water in France. The water provides such a pretty backdrop for photos.
Joy and Sadness are ready to bring a little cheer (or tears) into your life. Unfortunately, Fear was too scared to show, Anger was too mad to meet with anybody, and Disgust heard that there might be broccoli pizza.
There are plenty of opportunities to meet Donald Duck throughout the parks but the only place you can see him in his caballero costume is in the World Showcase.
We enjoy Epcot so much that we are doing two park days there for our next trip. What is your favorite kid friendly fun at Epcot?
Thanks to our contributor Beth for this post and photos!
It’s been long enough. It’s time for Sarah, Amy, and Meredith to once again talk about one for our favorite Disney topics: food! And for today’s 60th episode, we’ve got our Top Ten Quick Service locations at Walt Disney World. Whether you’re using the dining plan or not, you’ll be surely need a good counter service options for your vacation and we’ve got a little bit of everything from covered. From the parks, to the resorts and even to Disney Springs, we’re going to talk about it all! The best thing about these counter service offerings, aside from how delicious they are, is the fact that you don’t need a reservation for any of these!! That’s right. Go eat! Whenever you want! So sit back and enjoy our Top Ten Quick Service locations in Walt Disney World.
More ways to enjoy the Mouse and Monorail
If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please let us know and be sure to include what your favorite WDW quick service location is!And for more Disney tips, tricks, tutorials, packing lists, dos and don’ts… Okay, you get the picture. We’ve got a blog! www.mouseandmonorail.com You can also find us on the following socials: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, & YouTube.
We are roughly 200 days away from our next Disney trip, and I’m coming to you today because I need advice! I can’t make up my mind about what we should do on our next trip. Who else should I turn to but our trusted Mouse & Monorail readers for their input and opinions. So here goes…
We are taking our family on another Disney cruise in late May 2017 for our son Roo’s 6th birthday. It will be my husband, our 2 sons (ages 10 and 6) and myself. I know that there is simply no way I can cruise from Port Canaveral and NOT visit Walt Disney World. The question then turns to, “what do I want out of our next Disney trip?” We are wanting to be there for a couple of nights before our cruise, and we don’t want to break the bank. Here are a few options I’m tossing around:
Option 1: Stay in a value or moderate resort, perhaps Pop Century or Caribbean Beach. We would purchase a 1 day water parks and more tickets and visit Magic Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon. We haven’t visited the WDW water parks yet, so this would be fun and new for us. The boys love water parks, and I think with their ages there would be plenty to do to keep us all happy.
Option 2: Once again stay in a value or moderate resort, and purchase 2 day tickets. We would visit Magic Kingdom and either Epcot or Animal Kingdom. I would like to see the new Animal Kingdom light show when it comes out, but a date hasn’t been set for that. The kids would probably enjoy Animal Kingdom (especially Expedition Everest) more than Epcot, but Jeremy and I fell in love with Epcot on our last trip. I’d love to really explore Epcot more, and allow them to see all the fun things around the World Showcase. And hello, Soarin’ and Test Track!
Option 3: Skip the parks all together and splurge on a savanna room at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This resort is on my bucket list, and I would absolutely be in heaven waking up and seeing the giraffes outside my room. If we picked this option, we would probably explore the resort, eat at restaurants we’ve never tried, play in the pools and visit Disney Springs. We might even get tickets to La Nouba by Cirque de Soleil. It would truly be 2 days of relaxation enjoying the resort amenities to the fullest. I’d also like to do the starlight safari at Animal Kingdom.
So those are a few of my ideas. What do you think? Which option would YOU pick if it were your trip? Feel free to throw out other ideas in the comments. I’m truly open to all suggestions, and can’t wait to hear which choice you would pick. Have a magical day! ~Amy ºoº
So it’s mid-July now and with school starting back in less than a month, I’m trying to squeeze in all the summer fun I can. Finding good games that your family can enjoy together can sometimes seem difficult when there’s SO many choices out there. Today I’ve got a list of my favorite Disney games. Whether you’re looking to find that perfect new board game for family game night or wondering what gaming options are available in the Disney parks, this post is for you!
Most people wouldn’t think too much about playing games while on vacation, especially at theme parks because they’re always rushing to their next favorite ride. In reality, there are quite a few super-fun interactive games within the parks (beyond the game-based rides like Toy Story Midway Mania and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin) that’ll keep you having fun and give you something new to try. Note: Games marked with an * require an additional fee to play. All other games listed here are included with your park admission ticket.
•Innoventions – You’ll be surprised at how well you and your family enjoy the interactive fun within this Epcot attraction located in Future world. From getting caught in a storm or designing your own thrill ride, to learning how the colors of the rainbow brighten our world, there’s something fun to learn for everyone! You can even download the Colortopia app (iOS/android) to unlock even more fun! Find out more about Colortopia here.
•Kidcot Fun Stops – While not really a game, this fun adventure is like letting your little ones take a Grand Tour (if people still did those) with Disney’s cuddly and well-traveled Duffy Bear. Just look for the Kidcot signs within the showcase pavilions.
•Wilderness Explorers – This conservation and culture learning game lets you explore Disney’s Animal Kingdom and earn badges just like Russell from Up would! To begin your experience, stop by the Wilderness Explorers stand as you exit the Oasis. The wilderness must be explored! Ca0caw, ca-caw! ROAR! This is one of my favorites for kids as it lets them explore and enjoy the park without worrying about what ride to race to next. Don’t miss it!!
•Animation Academy – While not technically a game, this instructive course allows you to learn how to draw favorite Disney characters from Mickey himself to newer characters like Agent P.
•Sorcerers Workshop – While you’re at the Animation building, be sure to experience the Sorcerer’s Workshop where you can create your animations (not just drawings) as well as discover which Disney character you’re most like by answering questions with an enchanted book from beast’s library!
•*Games of the Boardwalk – Styled after classic Disney and Pixar franchises, these boardwalk games are loads of fun for the family.
•Redwood Creek Challenge – If hiking, climbing, and challenges are your thing then this one is perfect for you. Located in Disney’s California Adventure, you may even discover your animal spirit in the process!
Disney Cruise Line
•Midship Detective Agency – You can enjoy this interactive game (very similar to the Sorcerers of the MK) aboard the Disney Dream and Fantasy cruise ships. I highly recommend for those cruising with kiddos!
•Pictopia – We got this one for Christmas and it’s super fun for the whole family. And even better, it has a companion app (iOS/android) that you can play along with the board game OR play alone when on the go!
•Eye Found It! – This board game is great for families, especially those with preschoolers because it encourages your family to play as a team (you all win or you all lose) and doesn’t require participants to read in order to play. And for all you Star Wars fans, there’s even a SW edition!
•Disney Hedbanz! – Guess which Disney character you are before your friends and family do and look totally stylish with the super cool Mickey ears headbands.
Check out all the fun Disney versions of classic board games too!
•Disney Infinity – Available for most consoles this gaming system combines story-based gameplay with open-world creative building and makes playing with your favorite Disney characters an absolute delight.
•Disney Magical World and Disney Magical World 2 (due out Oct 16 2016) Set out on your own theme park adventure with this Nintendo DS game. My kids (8 and 5) have loved this game and can’t wait for the new one to be released!