Category Archives: Walt Disney World Resort

Complete Guide to the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Food

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Grab those paintbrushes and get ready to please your palate with the colorful flavors of the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Highlighting the visual, performing, and culinary arts, the festival runs from January 18 to February 25, 2019, and features 13 Food Studios along with other festival-exclusive dishes served at various locations throughout the park. From sweet and savory to spicy and scrumptious, this year’s menus are decorated with a whole gallery of items including returning favorites as well as new items that will dazzle your taste buds. This colorful fare paints a yummy picture of culinary perfection presented throughout Future World and World Showcase.

In addition, guests can savor show-stopping cuisine with a side of sizzling Disney Broadway hits with the Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages. You can feast on the finest fare from around the world at participating restaurants before enjoying guaranteed seating at one of three concerts held the same day. For more information and to book a dining package, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website or call 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463). Bookings are available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

As for the menus for the wonderful Food Studios sprinkled throughout the park, here’s your complete Guide to the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts food!

GF – Gluten-Friendly
V – Vegetarian

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The Deconstructed Dish (Located in Showcase Plaza)

Food Items:

  • Deconstructed Reuben with Shredded Corned Beef, Thousand Island Dressing, Pickled Red Cabbage, and a Rye Curl
  • Deconstructed BLT with Crispy Pork Belly, Tomato Jam, and Soft Poached Egg
  • Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake: Whipped New York Style Cheesecake with Fresh Florida Strawberries, Sugar Cookies and Micro-basil

Beverages:

  • Pop-Artsicle: Red, White, and Blue Frozen Slushy (Non-alcoholic)
  • Deconstructed Breakfast: Twinings® Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake garnished with Maple Syrup, a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon (Non-alcoholic)
  • Imagery Sauvignon Blanc, California
  • Mad Genius Red Blend, California
  • Deconstructed Breakfast: Twinings® Spiced Apple Chai Tea Shake with Cream Bourbon garnished with a Waffle Crisp and Candied Bacon
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The Artist’s Table (Located in The American Adventure)

Food Items:

  • Beef Wellington with Mushroom Bordelaise, Fennel Cream, and Roasted Baby Vegetables
  • Pan-Seared Scallop with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, and Parmesan Crisp (GF)
  • Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie

Beverages:

  • Sipping Chocolate Flight: White, Milk, & Dark Chocolate (non-alcoholic)
  • Saugatuck Brewing Co. Neapolitan Milk Stout, Douglas, MI
  • Lexington Brewing Company Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale, Lexington, KY
  • Lindemans Framboise Lambic, Belgium
  • Barrymore Rosé, Monterey County, CA
  • Carmel Road Drew’s Blend Pinot Noir, Monterey County, CA
  • Symphony in Chocolate Flight: Mozart Cream Liqueurs paired with Sipping Chocolates
  • Chocolate and Beer Pairing Flight
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Cuisine Classique (Located in the Germany Pavilion)

Food Items:

  • Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Purée, Broccolini, Baby Tomatoes, and Aged Balsamic
  • Seared Corvina with braised Ratatouille and Lemon-Thyme Beurre Blanc (GF)
  • Saint-Honoré Tart: Caramel Cream Tart with Caramel Glaze topped with Cream Puffs
  • Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie

Beverages:

  • Angry Orchard Rosé Hard Cider, Walden, NY
  • Concrete Beach Brewery Rosé Ale, Miami, FL
  • Frozen Rosé
  • Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva Art Series, Logrono, Spain
  • Domaine Savary Chablis, Burgundy
  • A Play on Rosé Flight
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Pop Eats! (Located in Showcase Plaza)

Food Items:

  • Sous Vide Chicken Roulade with Apples and Sage served with Warm Brie Fondue, Blueberry and Beet Gel and garnished with Apple and Beet Chips (GF)
  • Shrimp Ceviche with Lime Mint Foam (GF)
  • Almond Frangipane Cake layered with Raspberry Jam and Callebaut Belgian Chocolate (V)
  • Pop Art Tart: Modern-designed Sugar Cookie with Strawberry Filling (V)

Beverages:

  • Blue Sky Black Cherry Boba Freeze (non-alcoholic)
  • #RainbowSherbertGlitterDreamAle by Playalinda Brewing Co., Titusville, FL
  • Popping Bubbles Cocktail
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Masterpiece Kitchen (Located in the Canada Pavilion)

Food Items

  • Wild Mushroom Risotto, Aged Parmesan, Truffle Shavings and Zinfandel Reduction (V)
  • Charcuterie Palette with Artisan Cured Meats and Cheeses featuring Nueske’s® Applewood Smoked Beef
  • Vanilla, Rose Water and Pistachio Panna Cotta

Beverages:

  • Weihenstephaner Original Lager, Freising, Germany
  • Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque Brut Champagne
  • The Meeker Vineyard Winemakers’ Handprint Merlot, Sonoma County, CA
  • Pinord La Dama Reserva Familiar Brut, Spain
  • Pinord La Dama Reserva Familiar Brut Rosé, Spain
  • Classic Sidecar with a Chocolate Twist
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Painter’s Palate (Located in the Odyssey Festival Showplace)

Food Items:

  • Smoked Salmon and Cream Gâteau with Egg Yolk Cream, Paddlefish Caviar, and Micro-herbs
  • Trio of Savory Croissant Doughnuts:
    • Whipped Boursin® Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese with Fresh Herbs (V)
    • Chicken Salad with Shaved Fennel and Fresh Herbs
    • Spicy Tuna with Wasabi and Seaweed Salad
  • Gallery Bites: A Trio of Hors d’Oeuvres
  • Chilled Shrimp with Cucumber Cream Cheese on a Crostini
  • Traditional Deviled Egg with Candied Bacon
  • Crispy Truffled Risotto Ball with Truffle Aïoli (V)
  • Pop Art Tart: Abstract-designed Sugar Cookie with Strawberry Filling (V)
  • White Chocolate Figment Puzzle on an Artist Palette
  • Mickey and Pluto White Chocolate Painting with Chocolate Easel (GF) (V)
  • Festival of the Arts White Chocolate Painting with Chocolate Easel (GF) (V)

Beverages:

  • North Coast Brewing Co. Scrimshaw Pilsner Style Beer, Fort Bragg, CA
  • M.I.A. Beer Company Jazz IPA, Doral, FL
  • Central 28 Beer Company Miss Mary Brown Oatmeal Brown Ale, DeBary, FL
  • Popcorn Pairing Flight
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Decadent Delights (Located in Showcase Plaza)

Food Items:

  • White Chocolate and Purple Sweet Potato Mousse, Caramel, Coconut and Maple Meringue
  • Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Pretzel Crunch
  • Lemon Blood-Orange Tart
  • Artist Palette Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookie

Beverages:

  • 3 Daughters Strawberry Blonde Nitro, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Breckenridge Nitro Vanilla Porter, Breckenridge, CO
  • Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, England
  • Biagio Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont
  • Florida Orange Groves Winery Black and Blue Port, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Cold Fashioned Coffee Cocktail
  • Neapolitan Beer Flight

Refreshment Outpost (Located between the China and Germany Pavilions)

Food Items:

  • Chilled Shrimp, Quinoa, Layered Vegetables, Spiced Yogurt and Red Pepper Coulis

Fife and Drum (Located in The American Adventure)

Food Items:

  • Musical Float: Layered Strawberry, Lemonade and Blue Raspberry Slushy with Vanilla Ice Cream and White Chocolate (non-alcoholic)

Block and Hans (Located in The American Adventure)

Beverage Items:

  • Ciderboys Grand Mimosa Apple Orange Hard Cider, Stevens Point, WI
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Refreshment Port (Located in Showcase Plaza)

Food Items:

  • Lobster Chips: Lobster-topped house-made Chips with Lobster Bisque Cheese Sauce, pickled Jalapeños and Citrus Cream

Beverages:

  • Glazed Pork Belly Bloody Mary: Classic Bloody Mary with Absolut Vodka garnished with Maple IPA Glazed Pork Belly, Pickled Carrots, Celery, Stuffed Olives and Cherry Tomato
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Taste Track (Located in Future World East)

Food Items:

  • Lobster Bacon Macaroni & Cheese served in a Warm Bread Cone
  • Paintbrush Churros: Cinnamon Sugar Churros Dipped in Colorful White Chocolate

Beverage Items:

  • Pancake Milkshake (non-alcoholic)
  • Banfi Rosa Regale Sparkling Red, Piedmont
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

L’Art de la Cuisine Française (Located in the France Pavilion)

Food Items:

  • Crème de Brie en Petit Pain: Warm Creamy Brie in a House-made Bread Bowl
  • Dariole de Saumon à la Provencale, Sauce Beurre Blanc, Fleuron: Salmon Terrine with Zucchini and Tomato, Beurre Blanc Sauce, Puff Pastry Fleuron
  • Moelleux Aux Chocolats Valrhona: Molten Chocolate Cake with Pure Origin Valrhona Chocolates

Beverages:

  • Crémant de Bourgogne Veuve d’Ambal Expression: French Sparkling Burgundy Wine
  • Alsace, Riesling Reserve Willm
  • Bordeaux, Château Prignac, Medoc, 2014
  • Frosé: Frozen Côtes de Provence Rosé Wine with Grey Goose Vodka and Peach Purée
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Mosaic Canteen (Located in the Morocco Pavilion)

Food Items:

  • Spiced Beef with Pine Nuts and Dried Cherries, Hummus and Pita Chips
  • Mediterranean Flatbread with Zaatar, Olive Oil Artichoke, Olives, Mozzarella and Feta Cheese
  • Chebbakia: Hand-twisted Strips of Fried Dough coated with Honey, Rosewater and Sesame Seeds

Beverage:

  • Casa Beer
  • Bonassia Red, Meknés, Morocco
  • Embrace the Arak: Massaya Arak, Orange Juice and Grenadine
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

El Artista Hambriento (Located in the Mexico Pavilion)

Food Items:

  • Sopes de Chilorio: Slow-braised Pork marinated in Ancho Chili Paste served on Fried Corn Dough with Black Beans, Queso Oaxaca, Crema Mexicana and Salsa Verde
  • Callo de Hacha en Salsa de Jengibre y Habanero: Two Seared Scallops with Ginger-habanero Sauce atop Yucca Purée
  • Chocoflan: Creamy Mexican Custard and Chocolate Sponge Cake topped with Cajeta and Hazelnuts

Beverages:

  • Allende Mexican Craft Beer
  • Frida Lychee Margarita: El Velo Blanco Tequila, Lychee Purée, Botran Rum, and Fresh Lime Juice
  • Diego Dragon Fruit Margarita: Bruxo Mezcal, Dragon Fruit Purée, Ginger Cordial, and Guanábana Liqueur
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Takumi Table (Located in the Japan Pavilion)

Food Items:

  • Taiyaki: Fish-shaped Japanese Sweet Stuffed Pastry with Red Bean Paste and topped with Whipped Cream and Sesame Custard
  • Sushi Donut: Donut-shaped Sushi featuring Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp, Avocado and Masago accented with Citrus-soy Gelée and Wasabi on the side

Beverages:

  • Sapporo Draft Beer
  • Masu Sake in a Traditional Personalized Wooden Cup
  • Melting Snow Cocktail: Sake, Peach Schnapps, Cranberry Juice, and Japanese Calpico
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The Painted Panda (Located in the China Pavilion)

Food Items:

  • Crystal Mooncake with Fruit Filling and garnished with Toasted Coconut
  • Dragon and Phoenix: Spicy Sautéed Shrimp with Spinach Noodles
  • Plum Infused Cherry Tomatoes

Beverages:

  • “Panda” Bubble Tea: Classic Milk Tea with Black and White Boba Pearls (non-alcoholic)
  • Jasmine Draft Beer
  • Fortune Cookie: ByeJoe Spirit, Amaretto, Coconut and Pineapple
  • Kung Fu Punch: Vodka, Triple Sec, Mango Syrup, Orange Juice and Soda Water
  • Tomato Plum Cocktail: Plum Wine with Plum Infused Tomatoes
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

L’Arte di Mangiare (Located in the Italy Pavilion)

Food Items:

  • Barbabietole Dolci, Caprino Fritto: Roasted Candied Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Fritters
  • Costine di Maiale Aceto Balsamico: Sweet & Sour Balsamic-glazed Pork Ribs
  • Spuma al Miele d’Arancio: Orange Honey Mousse with Peaches and Mint Marjoram Cream

Beverages:

  • Peroni Nastro Azzurro Pilsner
  • Moretti La Rossa Double Malt Beer
  • Prosecco, Villa Sandi
  • Moscato Fior d’Arancio, Montegrande
  • Corbinello, Montegrande
  • Pinot Grigio, Bosco del Merlo
  • Merlot, Montegrande
  • Amaretto Bellini: Amaretto, White Peach Purée and Prosecco
  • Vodka Rossini: Vodka, Strawberry Purée and Prosecco

Funnel Cakes (Located in The American Adventure)

  • Salted Caramel Funnel Cake
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company

  • Future World East: Espresso-nist Latte – A shot of Joffrey’s Italian Espresso mixed with rich Baileys Espresso Crème Liqueur, topped with Steamed Milk and Whipped Cream
  • Canada: Starry Night Latte – A delicious shot of Joffrey’s Italian Espresso mixed with Creamy Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, topped with Steamed Milk and Whipped Cream
  • Showcase Plaza: Surreal Cinnamon Latte – A shot of Joffrey’s Italian Espresso mixed with RumChata and Cinnamon Whisky, blended with Steamed Milk and Whipped Cream
  • The American Adventure: Bourbon Brushstroke Latte – A shot of Italian Espresso mixed with Bourbon Whiskey Cream liqueur, blended with Steamed Milk and Whipped Cream

For more information on the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website.

10 Easy Ways to Earn Money for a Disney World Vacation

A Disney World vacation is often seen as a rite of passage for most families who want to experience and share that “Disney magic” with their kids. However, with prices increasing each year, it may feel out of reach to come up with enough money to take that vacation. So, today, I want to share with you ten easy ways to earn money for a Disney World vacation, mostly from the comfort of your own home!

Swagbucks: My #1 favorite way to earn money for vacations is through Swagbucks! Swagbucks is an incredible resource where you can complete surveys, watch videos, and make purchases to earn money in the form of SB which can be redeemed for cash back (through PayPal) or a number of gift cards, including Visa, Target, Amazon, and more! You can sign up for Swagbucks here and earn a 300 SB ($3!) bonus.

Ibotta: You can use Ibotta to earn money back on purchases that you’re already making at your local grocery store. Ibotta has so many rebates available, including a $0.25 rebate for purchasing ANY ITEM almost every week. You can sign up for Ibotta here to get started with a $10 welcome bonus.

Shopkick: Shopkick is an easy app to use while you’re out and about. You will earn “kicks” for opening the app inside of a number of stores like Target, Marshalls, and Carter’s. You can also earn extra kicks for scanning barcodes on select items in the stores and even more for purchasing those things. You can sign up for Shopkick here.

Ebates: Ebates is an easy way to earn cash back on almost all of the purchases that you make on-line. All you need to do is go through your Ebates account to earn cash back at participating online retailers. You can sign up for Ebates here.

Receipt Hog: You are paid by Receipt Hog just for scanning your receipts! You can scan receipts from grocery store, department stores, and more to earn coins which can then be redeemed for PayPal, Amazon, or Visa Prepaid Card. You don’t have to activate any offers or purchase any specific brands to earn coins, either. You can download the Receipt Hog app here.

Fetch Rewards: Fetch is a newer (to me) app, but seems really easy so far. When you download the app, you can select all of your favorite brands (or brands you may ever purchase) and then earn points for every receipt that you can. You will earn bonus points just for scanning your first few receipts. You earn points for so many different brands that the points seem to add up pretty quickly and then can be cashed out for as little as 3,000 points which would give you a $3 gift card. You can download the Fetch Rewards app here. Enter my referral code, V8UFM at the sign-up screen and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points ($2.00 in points!) when you complete one receipt.

Dosh: The Dosh app is another way to earn money on purchases that you’re already making. When you link a credit or debit card, you will earn money back on purchases made at a number of retailers. Once you download the app, you can view all participating locations near you. There are places like Hungry Howie’s, Payless ShoeSource, Pizza Hut, gas stations, and more. You can sign up for Dosh here.

Checkout 51: Checkout 51 has a number of rebates available on items like groceries, healthy and beauty, and more. New offers are added each Thursday so be sure to check each week to see what is available. You can sign up for Checkout 51 here.

Bing: You can earn Microsoft Reward Points by using Bing as your search engine. It’s a really quick and easy way to earn points which can be redeemed for gift cards. You can earn up to 150 points per day for searches on your desktop and 100 points per day for searches on a mobile device. Plus, you can even earn bonuses for completing other activities and searching daily. They have a variety of options to redeem your points for like Target and Starbucks gift cards. You can sign up for a Microsoft rewards account here.

Saving Star: Saving Star is another rebate app with offers from popular companies like Kellogg’s, Pillsbury, General Mills, and more. Just be sure to activate the offers before your purchase with Saving Star. You can sign up for Saving Star here.

What are your favorite ways to earn money for a Disney World vacation (or any vacation)?

19 Reasons to Book a 2019 Disney World Vacation

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2019 is going to be an amazing time at Walt Disney World Resort, with so many new and exciting things happening all year long. You’ll travel to a galaxy far, far away and experience zany fun aboard a runaway railway. You can MousekeDance yourself silly and play basketball like the pros. Or maybe you’ll want to take in beautiful views while you dine 15 stories high atop a new resort hotel tower or glide across the sky in a gondola.

So let’s get to it! Here are 19 reasons to be excited for a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in 2019:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

1. Anything Can Happen at Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration – Starting January 18, Magic Kingdom Park is honoring those true originals, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, now, more than ever with new entertainment, merchandise and specialty food and beverages. The new “Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party” will parade up Main Street, U.S.A. several times daily, while you can meet Mickey and Minnie together – wearing their new birthday outfits – in Town Square Theater.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

2. Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios – On May 1, Walt Disney World Resort will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The park is honoring this achievement all year with a new 30th anniversary logo and other fun and excitement (see below!).

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

3. Say a Fond Farewell to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – After nearly 20 years of delighting Epcot guests through music, fireworks, fire torches and more, this nighttime spectacular will be ending in the second half of this year. Now, more than ever you’ll want to spend another evening around World Showcase Lagoon to celebrate this classic show that has entertained millions since its October 1999 debut.

4. Jaleo Cooks Up Fresh Tastes at Disney Springs – Chef José Andrés will bring the spirit and flavors of Spain to Disney Springs with his new Jaleo restaurant, opening this winter. The tapas experience will offer a lively setting befitting its name, which means “revelry.”

5. Party with Pixar Pals at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Starting Jan. 18, celebrate the park’s 30th anniversary with The Incredibles, who will host a dance party at Pixar Avenue (where you can also meet the one and only Edna Mode!). A door to the monster world will open at Walt Disney Presents, where Mike and Sulley from Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” will be greeting you. And Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and the rest of the gang are ready to welcome you into Andy’s backyard at the new Toy Story Land.

Photo; Disney Parks Blog

6. Disney on Broadway Concert Series Expands During Epcot International Festival of the Arts –This celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts returns Jan. 18-Feb. 25. This year, the Disney on Broadway Concert Series will expand to seven days a week, so you can bask in live Disney magic more than ever. The festival also will feature 13 Food Studios, a variety of workshops led by professional artists, interactive exhibits and activities, and much more.

7. “The Lion King” Roars Again at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney Pictures’ animated classic “The Lion King.” To mark this occasion, starting Jan. 18 Rafiki and Timon will lead you in dances and games during the “Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party” on Discovery Island.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

8. Take in the Topiaries During Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – Welcome spring’s arrival with this popular festival, which returns March 6-June 3. This year’s event will feature delectable bites at outdoor kitchens, as well as dozens of world-renowned, Disney-themed topiaries. In addition, the Garden Rocks Concert Series will include three shows a day for all 90 days of the event.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

9. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy Speeds into Disney’s Hollywood Studios – When this new show experience opens this spring, you’ll come face to face with racing legend Lightning McQueen, who will teach you about racing from his years of experience on the track. This will be the untold story of Lightning McQueen … as told by Lightning McQueen!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

10. H2O Glow Nights Return to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – These evening beach parties happen Thursdays and Saturdays from May 30 through Aug. 24, transforming the water park into a new nighttime experience through special music, lighting and food. Come party with friends from Pixar’s “Toy Story” films during the 30th anniversary summer of Typhoon Lagoon!

11. New Cinematic Nighttime Experience Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – As part of the theme park’s 30th anniversary, Wonderful World of Animation will debut May 1. The show will use state-of-the-art technology to take you on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey.

Photo; Disney Parks Blog

12. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort to Open New Tower – This summer, the resort will complete a total reimagining, including the new 15-story Gran Destino tower featuring a rooftop restaurant and 545 new guest rooms. A second new restaurant will be located on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, while all of its existing 1,800-plus rooms have been fully updated with new fixtures and furnishings.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

13. NBA Experience Will Be a Slam Dunk at Disney Springs – This brand-new destination will allow you to participate in your own scouting report, take you through pregame preparations and let you step onto the court to make clutch shots and highlight reel-worthy slam dunks. By participating in 13 unique and innovative hands-on activities, you’ll feel like a star player.

Guests snap a selfie after grabbing new Guinness Baileys Shakes from the Ireland marketplace during the 23rd Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Held Aug. 30-Nov. 12, 2018, the event features more than 30 global marketplaces showcasing edible and drinkable delights. (Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

14. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Will Spice Up Fall – The aromas and flavors of global marketplaces will welcome you to the 24th year of this renowned festival. You’ll have a chance to meet celebrity chefs, try new food and wine pairings, and listen to great music during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.

15. Major Youth Sporting Events Return to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – The Jr. NBA World Championship will return to the complex, showcasing top boys and girls basketball teams from around the world. In December, the 63rd Pop Warner Super Bowl will bring hundreds of young football players to Walt Disney World to compete in national championship games.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

16. Explore Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Live your own Star Wars adventure when this deeply immersive land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this fall (and this summer at Disneyland Park in California). You’ll explore Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, where you’ll find all manner of new sights, sounds, smells, tastes, characters and creatures from a galaxy far, far away. The land will also feature two thrilling new attractions: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

17. Take a Ride on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Opening later this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this will be the first ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. It will feature a new original story and lovable theme song, taking you on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. New technologies will transform the two-dimensional cartoon world into an astounding multi-dimensional experience.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

18. Glide Through the Air in the Disney Skyliner –Disney Skyliner will offer Tinker Bell views later this year as guests float in gondolas to either Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios on roundtrips from Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Inspired by the European grandeur Walt Disney experienced in his travels along the Mediterranean coastline, Disney’s Riviera Resort is projected to open in fall 2019. This proposed resort will be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property. (Disney)

19. Disney’s Riviera Resort Will Be 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort – Scheduled to open by the end of this year, Disney’s Riviera Resort will reflect an elegant early 20th-century design, inspired by Walt Disney’s travels to the Mediterranean. The deluxe DVC resort is slated to offer approximately 300 family-friendly vacation home units.

How to Add a Day at Universal to Your Disney World Vacation

Many guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels or Orlando area hotels want to spend a day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Orlando Resort. Disney does not provide transportation to Universal Studios from any of the Disney Hotels, so how do you add a day at Universal without a car? The most convenient and affordable way to add a day at Universal to a Disney World vacation is by purchasing a Universal ticket that includes a round-trip shuttle!

We offer a one or two day park to park ticket that includes roundtrip shuttle transfers from any of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. The shuttle transfers are through Quick Transportation. It is an easy process. After you book your ticket, you call at least 24 hours before you are visiting Universal Studios to schedule your pickup time. Then, you are picked up from your hotel for your day at Universal Studios.

Once you are done playing at Universal Studios, you call the same number to schedule your pickup time to head back to your Disney Hotel. The shuttle can run until 2 AM, which means that you can stay and play at CityWalk after your day at Universal Studios and then take the shuttle back to your resort.

The shuttle transfers saves you from $90 on transportation from Disney to Universal Studios. Plus, this ticket is also saving you $10 per person off the regular gates prices.  One more HUGE perk, you do not have to wait in line at the ticket windows.  You walk right up to the electronic kiosks to pick up your tickets.  This can easily save you 30 minutes!

We can even add Universal’s unlimited Express Pass to these tickets to help you enjoy as much as possible during your day at Universal by skipping the line at most attractions! Plus, if you book your tickets by March 14, 2019, you’ll get two days FREE with the purchase of a two day ticket!

Call Siera today at 734-771-1290 or email her at siera@destinationsinflorida.com to book your day (or two) at Universal Orlando Resort so you can experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Five Ways to Celebrate and Connect with the Navi in Pandora- the World of Avatar

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Since Pandora – The World of Avatar opened earlier this year, Walt Disney World Resort guests just can’t get enough. Whether it’s taking a wild adventure atop a mountain banshee at Avatar – Flight of Passage, traveling down the Na’vi River Journey to spy the Na’vi Shaman of Songs, or gazing in amazement at the intricacies of Pandora’s amazing floating mountains, there’s so much fun to be had.

And of course, there are many ways guests become even more immersed in Pandoran culture during their visit. Here are five ways we suggest celebrating and connecting with the Navi in Pandora – The World of Avatar:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

1. Create & Personalize Your Own Avatar Action Figure – The ACE Avatar Maker at Windtraders uses state-of-the-art facial scanners to grab your image and create a human/Na’vi hybrid figure. After the image is captured, guests are free to personalize their avatar’s eye color, facial striping pattern, hairstyle and more.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

2. Visit Colors of Mo’ara – Colors of Mo’ara helps guests see themselves as one of the Na’vi by giving them Na’vi-inspired face painting with authentic Pandoran markings.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

3. Headbands & Tails – What Na’vi look would be complete without accessories? Windtraders carries an assortment of Na’vi inspired headbands, tails, hooded jackets – and even shoes and walking sticks that interact with the land at night.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

4. Banshee Matching – A milestone in the life of a Na’vi is when he or she is matched with a Banshee. Head into Windtraders, where cast members are ready to help you find your perfect match.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

5. Dine at Satu’li Canteen – Stop into the land’s former RDA mess hall to try a fast-casual menu that’s been inspired by Pandora’s natural abundance.

How do you plan to celebrate and connect with the Navi in Pandora- the World of Avatar during your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

Five Ways to Celebrate the New Year and Ring in 2019 at Disney World

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Five Ways to Celebrate the New Year and Ring in 2019 at Disney World

Looking for a great way to ring in the New Year? We’ve got you covered! From dancing and dining to midnight toasts and fireworks, there’s a whole host of celebrations happening at Walt Disney World Resort to help you celebrate the New Year and ring in 2019 at Disney World!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

New Year’s Eve at Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk

If you’re looking for a night full of family, friends, and elegance, then Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk is the New Year’s event for you! Celebrate with a multi-course, prix fixe menu with dishes such as Aged Cognac Lobster Bisque, Wild Alaskan King Blue Crab, Chilean Sea Bass, and more. For dessert, you’ll love the Cocoa Beach (chocolate hazelnut cake with warm ganache) or the Florida Sunset (vanilla custard with lemon broth, segmented fruits, and white chocolate).

This event is available for booking via phone only. To book an available seating, call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463. And for more info on this event, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

New Year’s Eve Bash at Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk

For tons of fun and a swinging late-night party, you should definitely come on out to Atlantic Dance Hall for the New Year’s Eve Bash! Kick off the brand-new year with rockin’ music, tasty treats, and a dash of Disney magic as you count down to midnight. This festive holiday celebration includes fabulous views of the Epcot fireworks, a live DJ, party hats and horns, a mouthwatering light-bite menu, two beverage vouchers, and a Champagne toast at midnight. On the menu is assorted antipasto and charcuterie, cheeseburger spring rolls, pork pot stickers, vegetable samosa, a create-your-own slider and taco bar, and a dip station including veggies, chips and salsa, pretzel bites, assorted flatbreads, and more. For those with a sweet tooth, you’ll enjoy a selection of desserts including mini-cupcakes and macarons.

Guests must be 21 and older with a valid ID to attend this event. This event is available for booking via phone only. To make reservations for this event, call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463. And for more info, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Special New Year’s Eve Dining at Monsieur Paul at Epcot

Make a visit to the France pavilion at Epcot for an experience to remember at Monsieur Paul! This acclaimed gourmet restaurant will be open for lunch on Dec. 31, 2018. For this special lunch, Monsieur Paul presents braised ribs with bordelaise sauce, roasted halibut with beurre blanc sauce, roast turkey, and more. There is also still some limited availability for the 8:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. dinner seatings. Don’t forget to browse the delectable list of appetizers and side dishes, as well as a special New Year’s Eve dessert that will give you sweet memories throughout 2019!

For more info, seating times, and to make reservations, call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463 to book an available seating or visit the Walt Disney World Resort website.

New Year’s Eve Dinner at World Show Place Pavilion at Epcot

On Dec. 31, bid adieu to 2018 at the World Show Place pavilion where a wonderful New Year’s Eve dinner buffet awaits you. Start your meal with a selection of savory soups and a selection of salads, including an amazing antipasto salad with basil, grilled vegetable and bean salad, roasted Ruskin tomato basil soup, and creamy seafood-and-corn chowder. A smorgasbord of enticing entrees is guaranteed to please any palate – from seafood mac and cheese with butter-toasted panko and fried chicken breast with corn gravy to gluten-friendly options like oven baked cod with tomatoes, olives and peppers, demi braised beef with mushrooms and pearl onions and apple cider brined pork with roasted apples and cherries. Kids can dig into chicken fritters, meatballs with red sauce and other tasty plates. Don’t forget to save room for an incredible selection of desserts – fresh cut fruit with berries, key lime raspberry glitter tarts, snow-dusted hazelnut-stuffed chocolate Bundt cakes, assorted cookies, cheesecakes and macarons and much more. Enjoy every morsel while listening to classic Disney tunes, then strike a pose by any of the unique vignettes for a fun photo op commemorating the occasion!

For more info and to make reservations, call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463 to book an available seating or visit the Walt Disney World Resort website.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort Beach Dessert Party

There’s a party goin’ on at Clementine’s Beach on New Year’s Eve, and you won’t want to miss it! Kick off your evening at the beach with delectable sweets and eats including an assortment of yummy desserts, seasonal fruits, flavorful cheese, and refreshments including beer and wine. You’ll also have to opportunity to watch the stunning Magic Kingdom fireworks display from across Seven Seas Lagoon and toast to the New Year at midnight.

For more info and to make reservations, call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463 or visit the Walt Disney World Resort website.

2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts to Offer 39 Days of Artful Fun

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

You can kick off 2019 with the return of the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts – a 39-day celebration of visual, culinary and performing arts from around the world. Beginning January 18 and running through February 25, 2019 the festival offers artful activities for the entire family, from special entertainment and interactive workshops to immersive art experiences and world-class cuisine.

New in 2019, guests can now sing along to their favorite Disney Broadway tunes seven days a week during the popular Disney on Broadway Concert Series, with daily showings at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Each week, different pairs of Disney on Broadway stars will take the America Gardens Theatre stage to sing favorite songs from award-winning Disney on Broadway productions. The lineup will rotate regularly, featuring music from shows such as “The Lion King,” “Frozen” and “Beauty and the Beast”:

  • Kerry Butler (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
  • Meredith Inglesby (“The Little Mermaid”) and Steve Blanchard (“Beauty and the Beast”)
  • Arielle Jacobs and Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
  • Heidi Blickenstaff (“Freaky Friday”) and Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins”)
  • Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) and Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
  • Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)

The concert series is included with park admission; reserved seating is available by booking a Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package, which allows guests to make a breakfast, lunch or dinner reservation at a participating Epcot restaurant and later enjoy priority seating at a show. Dining package reservations open Nov. 8, and for more information, visit Disneyworld.com or call 407-939-3463.

Speaking of food … Epcot International Festival of the Arts will feature 13 Food Studios, plus other creative (and savory!) offerings around Epcot with an expanded menu of tastes and sips. Drop by The Artist’s Table for beef wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables, or enjoy smoked salmon and cream gâteau with egg yolk cream, paddlefish caviar and micro-herbs at The Painter’s Palate. Pop Eats! will serve up almond frangipane cake with raspberry and chocolate, while red wine-braised short rib with parsnip purée, broccolini, baby tomatoes and aged balsamic will be available at Cuisine Classique.

Guests will also find activities to the inspire artists of all ages. Here are a few fun highlights planned for the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts:

  • Everyone’s invited to grab a paintbrush and help create a wall mural along World Showcase Plaza.
  • At the Artful Photo Opportunities, you can step inside masterworks of art and take photos with friends.
  • The Paint with a Disney Artist program invites guests to learn under the tutelage of a professional (offered select Fridays and Sundays, including continental breakfast, for an additional fee).
  • Performing artists are scheduled throughout the festival, demonstrating gravity-defying feats of strength, acrobatics and many other skills.
  • International musical and variety acts will share their talents with guests, including the return of Bodh’aktan to the Canada stage and Delta Q, a new group performing in Germany.
  • Guests can join in the fun of Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt by purchasing a map at select merchandise locations.
  • A variety of workshops led by professionals will teach different artistic techniques, such as floral design, ink and paint, mixed-media art and more (offered Friday-Monday for an additional fee). As a memento of what they learn, guests will take their creations home with them. Details on workshop registration
    will be released soon.
  • Complimentary 30-minute seminars will give guests helpful instruction for producing their own artwork at home.

Now, more than ever is the time to start planning your visit to the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts.

Disney After Hours Events Now Available at Three Parks

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney After Hours events have been a huge hit with Walt Disney World Resort visitors. As a result of the success of Disney After Hours, more event nights are now set for Magic Kingdom Park, and for the first time ever, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will join in on the fun!

Disney After Hours events are an opportunity to experience the magic of a Disney theme park for three hours after regular park hours, which means little-to-no wait for attractions, experiences and character greetings! You can even enter the park early – at 7 p.m. on your event night – before Disney After Hours begins. Ice cream, popcorn and select beverages are also included in your Disney After Hours admission, which is a separately priced ticket from daytime park admission.

Here’s what to expect at each park:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Magic Kingdom Park
Enjoy classic favorite attractions from Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain as well as newer favorites like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, plus many more. Event nights will run on: Dec. 3, 10, 2018; and Jan. 7, 17, 24 and 28, 2019; Feb. 7, 14, and 28, 2019; and March 7, 2019.

Tickets are currently available for Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park at DisneyWorld.com/DisneyAfterHours.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Imagine having little-to-no wait for newly opened Toy Story Land attractions, including Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and other attractions will also be available. Select quick-service food & beverage locations will also stay open for purchases throughout the night. Event nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be: Dec. 8, 15 and 22, 2018; and Jan. 5, 12 and 19, 2019; Feb. 2, 9 and 16, 2019; March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2019; and April 6 and 13, 2019.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Enjoy the best Disney’s Animal Kingdom has to offer at night, including heart-tugging Tree of Life Awakenings, the adventures within Pandora – The World of Avatar and more. Select quick-service food & beverage locations will remain open throughout the night for purchases. Dates at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are: Dec. 4, 12 and 18, 2018; and Jan. 8, 16, 22 and 31, 2019; and Feb. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 26, 2019; and March 5, 20 and 27, 2019; and April 3, 2019.

Tickets for Disney After Hours events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are now on-sale through the Disney Reservation Center by calling 407-939-7795.

All Disney After Hours event tickets cost $125 + tax for advance purchase and $129 + tax for day-of purchases. Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders do receive a discounted price $95 + tax.

Top Five Things to Do During the Holidays at Disney World

Believe it or not… the Walt Disney World Resort truly does become more magical during the holiday season. With special events throughout the parks, beautiful decorations throughout the parks and resorts, it is one of the best time of year to visit. 

Here are the top five things to do during the holidays at Disney World: 

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: This separate ticket event is held on select nights in November and December from 7 pm to 12 am at Magic Kingdom Park. Although there is an added cost for this experience, you get to enjoy unlimited hot cocoa, apple juice, cookies, and apple sliced throughout the evening; Once Upon a Christmastime Parade; a Frozen Holiday Wish; the Jungle Cruise transforms into the Jingle Cruise; Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular; two dance parties; rare character meet and greets and so much more!

Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: The Hollywood Tower Hotel transforms with projections and even “snow” along Sunset Boulevard during Sunset Seasons Greetings where guests can enjoy four stories about some of our favorite Disney characters. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam is a fun nighttime show projected onto the Chinese Theater. Wayne and Lanny from ABC’s Prep & Landing need our help to save Santa Claus and bring him back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Day!

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays: The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays includes holiday kitchens featuring seasonal recipes, Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree scavenger hunt around the World Showcase, Candlelight Processional, and more. Candlelight Processional is always a guest favorite, featuring a celebrity narrator reading the Christmas story and accompanied by a fifty piece orchestra and full choir. Even with three readings nightly, this event fills quickly so we do strongly recommend the Candlelight Processional dining packages to reserve your spot.

Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs: 2016 was the first year that Disney created the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs and it has grown each year since! With twenty-five trees planned for 2018, all inspired by our favorite Disney movies and characters, this is a great place for photo opportunities or even a little inspiration for your Disney decorated trees at home.

Resort Decorations: All of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels decorate for the holiday season with Christmas trees, wreaths, and more. However, some have over the top decorations that you just have to see for yourself! The most incredible is probably the life size gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Although you won’t want to miss the life size gingerbread carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Resort or the gingerbread castle at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, either. There are even sleigh rides through Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground!

What are your favorite things to do during the holidays at Disney World? 

Call Siera today to book your Disney World vacation at 734-771-1290 or email her at siera@destinationsinflorida.com anytime with questions or a free, no obligation quote! 

Top 5 Holiday Experiences at Disney World to Book for your Vacation

From the Disney Parks Blog:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

From glittering holiday decor to special entertainment to tasty seasonal treats, spending the holiday season at Walt Disney World Resort can’t be beat.

Here are five holiday experiences at Disney World you can book right now that can help you make the most of your holiday visit:

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park – Experience the holiday party of a lifetime at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Taking place on select nights in November and December, this guest-favorite annual holiday event includes a special “Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” “Holiday Wishes” fireworks, snow on Main Street, U.S.A., and much more. Pick up tickets now before they’re gone. You can also plus up your party experience with special dining options that are only available on party nights, including the Holiday Wishes Fireworks Holiday Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace and Holiday Wishes Fireworks Holiday Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party – Reservations just opened for this brand-new F&B offering at Magic Kingdom Park. This experience begins at 9:30 p.m. on Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights, and includes a tasty hors d’oeuvres and a dessert buffet at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. At 11 p.m., you’ll have access to a special reserved viewing area for the truly enchanting “Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade” as it makes its way down Main Street, U.S.A. Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party continues until 12:30 a.m., even longer than Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Both a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party ticket and reservations for Tony’s Most Merriest Town Square Party are required to attend. More details and bookings here.

Presented in the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot, Candlelight Processional is one of the most beloved holiday traditions at Walt Disney World Resort. Featuring a joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a glorious mass choir, this festive performance takes place annually in November and December. Show times are at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. Epcot is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

“The Candlelight Processional” Dining Packages at Epcot – “The Candlelight Processional” is a holiday tradition for many Disney guests and families. See the show with ease thanks to a “Candlelight Processional” dining package, which gives you breakfast, lunch or dinner at a tasty Epcot restaurant plus priority seating for the show. Each meal includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert or one full buffet or family-style dining (where applicable), along with a non-alcoholic beverage. Check out this year’s list of narrators – which includes newcomers Auli’i Cravalho and Alfonso Ribeiro, as well as returning favorites Neil Patrick Harris and Gary Sinise – here.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Not only does this delicious dessert party dish up mouth-watering sweets, but dessert party reservations give you priority viewing for not one, but two of Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ nighttime shows – “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” and “Disney Movie Magic,” as well as a greeting with a Disney character! Sneak a peek at the delicious menu and make your reservations here.

New Year’s Eve Celebration Reservations – Three unforgettable New Year’s Eve experiences – Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve CelebrationDisney Countdown to Midnight: A New Year’s Eve Celebration, and Disney Ink & Paint Club – are already on sale. Don’t miss out!

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

And, last but not least … no trip to Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday season would be complete without picking up an adorable holiday Minnie Snowflake Ears Headband or Santa Mickey Mouse Ear Hat. Several new styles were just released this fall. Grab them now at ShopDisneyParks.com before they’re gone!