Category Archives: United States

Experience 2019 Disney Springs Flavors of Florida Now Through September 2

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Summer is here and we’re celebrating in true Floridian, citrus-lovin’ style. Come and experience the 2019 Disney Springs Flavors of Florida with delicious selection of perfectly paired Floridian-inspired plates, cocktails, and brews across 20 dining locations located throughout the popular shopping and entertainment district. 

The 2019 Disney Springs Flavors of Florida event runs now through September 2, 2019. You can even grab a guide to help you discover all of the Florida freshness. Pick it up at any participating location as well as the Disney Springs Welcome Center. See below for a list of all the menu items and restaurants! 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

  • Fountain of Youth Chicken Wings – Chicken wings served with St Augustine Datil Pepper Sauce
  • Florida Rain – Orange vodka, gin, coconut rum, blue curaçao, and sour mix
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

D-Luxe Burger

  • Southern Burger – Signature beef blend patty topped with a fried green tomato, pimento cheese, lettuce, grilled onion, and bacon
  • Orange Crème Milkshake – Vanilla gelato blended with zesty orange flavors and topped with whipped cream
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Amorette’s Patisserie

  • Blood Orange Mousse – Lemon chiffon cake with grapefruit gelée
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The Ganachery

  • Disney Springs Dark Chocolate Bar – Dark chocolate bar with orange
  • Florida Orange Ganache Square – Dark chocolate blended with Florida orange juice and orange zest
  • Key Lime Ganache Pop – White chocolate blended with Key lime juice and fresh lime zest covered with dark chocolate 
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Rainforest Cafe

  • Conch Fritters – Conch fritters served on a bed of tropical slaw with Key lime tartar sauce
  • Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen

Wine Bar George and The Basket at Wine Bar George

  • Frozcato Cookie Sandwich – Frozen pineapple frozcato sandwiched between two house-made sugar cookies
  • Frozcato – Moscato, vodka, and Dole Whip Pineapple
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Polite Pig

  • Smoked Prime Rib Slider – Prime rib served with a citrus aïoli and a green papaya horseradish slaw
  • Florida Mango Frosé – Fresh mango purée, sparkling rosé, and citrus
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

House of Blues – The Smokehouse

  • Key Lime Pie – Key lime pie with graham cracker crust and toasted coconut
  • Sandbar Sunday Islamorada Beer Company American Pale Wheat Ale
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Splitsville

  • Tuna Poke Tower – Seared ahi tuna, spicy crab mix, diced Florida avocado, and Asian slaw stacked and served with crispy wonton chips
  • Strawberry Sake Spritzer – Local strawberries, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur, and rosé-infused sake garnished with a whole strawberry and mint
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

YeSake

  • Fresh Tuna Tekka Don – Fresh, customizable poke bowl featuring sushi-grade tuna on a bed steamed rice topped with avocado, cucumber, seaweed salad, tempura crunch, and a zesty house-made yuzu aïoli
  • Violet Sake Slushie – Japanese sake, prickly pear, and lime topped with konpeito candy
  • Frozen Beer Shandy – Kirin draft beer with fresh-squeezed orange juice topped with frozen Kirin foam
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

T-REX

  • Boom Boom Alligator Tacos – Flour tortillas, fried alligator, and tropical fruit slaw topped with micro cilantro and spicy garlic sauce
  • Sailfish Brewing Co. Tag & Release Amber
  • The Ice Age – Rum, blue curaçao, piña colada purée, and orange juice
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

  • Key West Shrimp Cocktail – Seasoned shrimp hand tossed with avocado, mango, cucumber, and house-made cocktail sauce and served with buttermilk crackers
  • Blood Orange Madras – Blood orange moonshine, freshly muddled strawberries, pineapple purée, and cranberry juice
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill

  • Local Buratta – Buratta made in Pompeo Beach, Florida served with prosciutto, arugula, fresh peaches, and basil pesto
  • Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Paddlefish

  • Crab Ceviche – Blue crab, avocado, bell pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime served with tortilla chips
  • Key Lime Wheat Ale
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The BOATHOUSE

  • Steamed Peel and Eat Florida Shrimp – Florida shrimp dusted with Boathouse seasoning and served with drawn butter
  • Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat Ale
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Pizza Ponte

  • A Zesty Slice of Florida – Pizza bianca with Florida lemon, ricotta cheese, arugula, and black pepper
  • Guyebera Citra Pale Ale
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

STK Orlando

  • Market or Fresh Catch Ceviche – Ceviche with passion fruit, lime, and chilis
  • La Playita Lager
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Paradiso 37, Taste of The Americas

  • Florida Scorpion Shrimp Paella – Colossal gulf shrimp, mussels, pancetta, peas, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, and savory Key lime butter tossed with Calasparra rice and broiled to perfection
  • Sunset Margarita – Tequila, cointreau, and fresh-squeezed Florida orange juice
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Planet Hollywood

  • Citrus Kale Salad – Superfood blend of kale, julienned broccoli, slivered Brussels sprouts and cabbage, feta, fresh grapefruit and oranges, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and agave dressing
  • Key Lime Martini – Vodka, ice cream, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup with a graham cracker crumbs rim
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Morimoto Asia

  • Orange Gator & Waffle Cone – Tempura alligator wok-tossed with a sweet Florida orange sauce and served in a house-made waffle cone
  • Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA

Come on out and celebrate summer with us and enjoy the 2019 Disney Springs Flavors of Florida. Remember, this event runs through September 2, 2019, and you won’t want to miss it! For more information and to make reservations, visit the Walt Disney World Resort website or call 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463). 

Guide to H2O Glow Nights Food and Drinks at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Get ready to splash into summer with H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. This exciting glow party has returned once again to the water park, bringing even more flashy, splashy, glow-in-the-dark fun! There will also be exciting new H20 Glow Nights food and beverage options that you won’t want to miss.

During Disney H2O Glow Nights, the park transforms into an electric celebration overflowing with splash-tastic surprises like a DJ dance party, shorter wait times for popular waterslides, and an array of fun Toy Story-themed experiences. Guests can even enjoy character greetings with Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Jessie. And of course, no party would be complete without the FOOD! This year’s menu is bigger and better than ever, featuring a variety of colorful and refreshing beverages as well as a few delicious dishes to munch on. There will even be a special adults-only area at The Wharf where adult partygoers can enjoy live entertainment as well as a full bar with refreshing libations available for purchase. 

To help you find all of these yummy items throughout the park, this guide to the H2O Glow Nights food and beverages will give you all of the details! 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

FOOD

  • Western Beef Brisket, Available at Leaning Palms – Beef brisket, fingerling potatoes, and baby carrots topped with pico de gallo and micro greens
  • Pork Kabob, Available at Leaning Palms – Jicama slaw, kumquat preserves, pineapple, and watermelon topped with micro greens
  • Chick Kabob, Available at Leaning Palms – Mojo chicken, jicama slaw, kumquat preserves, pineapple, and watermelon topped with micro greens
  • Surfs Up Chicken Noodle Salad, Available at Leaning Palms, Typhoon Tilly’s, Snack Shack – Bulgogi chicken, noodle slaw, and lettuce topped with sesame seeds
  • Fish Out of Water, Available at Leaning Palms – Baked cod, coconut rice, and baby bok choy topped with lemon butter and micro greens
  • Cheese Party Platter, Available at Leaning Palms, Typhoon Tilly’s – Port Salude, smoked cheddar, fontina cheese, smoked gouda, grapes, and crackers
Photo: Disney Parks Blog
  • Bathtub Party Sundae, Available at Happy Landings – Vanilla ice cream, confetti cake, whipped cream, and chocolate rubber ducks topped with sprinkles and served in a novelty bathtub dish
Photo: Disney Parks Blog
  • Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Milkshake, Available at Leaning Palms – Cotton candy milkshake served in a novelty Woody Boot and topped with whipped cream, edible glitter, and a gummy worm
  • Pineapple Soft-serve with Blue Raspberry, Available at Typhoon Tilly’s and Snack Shack – Pineapple soft-serve with blue raspberry slushy
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

BEVERAGES

  • The Glowing Unicorn (Non-alcoholic), Available at Leaning Palms –Non-alcoholic violet colada  with a glow cube, rainbow whipped cream, edible shimmer glitter, and a twist candy lollipop
  • Tropical Flash Lemonade (Non-alcoholic), Available at Leaning Palms – Tropical smoothie mix with Odwalla Lemonade and a glow cube
  • Glow Fusion Punch (Alcoholic), Available at Leaning Palms – Vodka and fruit-based liqueur with grenadine and pineapple juice topped with rainbow popping pearls
Photo: Disney Parks Blog
  • Green Glowrita (Alcoholic), Available at Leaning Palms – Tequila, Granny Smith Apple syrup, and sour mix topped with blueberry popping pearls
  • Strawberry Glow Lemonade (Non-alcoholic), Available at Leaning Palms and High and Dry – Strawberry smoothie mix with Odwalla Lemonade and a glow cube
Photo: Disney Parks Blog
  • Buzz Blaster (Non-alcoholic), Available at Leaning Palms – Sprite and green apple popping pearls served with a Buzz Lightyear glow clip
  • Galactic Lemonade (Alcoholic), Available at Let’s Go Slurpin’ and Fred’s Dive Bar – Blueberry vodka, blue curaçao, Odwalla Lemonade, and pomegranate juice topped with Sprite and a glow cube
  • Party Time Tea (Alcoholic), Available at Let’s Go Slurpin’ – Tennessee whiskey, sweet tea, and lemonade with a glow cube
Photo: Disney Parks Blog
  • Dream Disco Float (Alcoholic), Available at Happy Landings – Hard orange soda, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and edible glitter
  • Adult Root Beer Disco Float (Alcoholic), Available at Happy Landings – Hard root beer, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and edible glitter
  • Elysian DayGlow IPA Draft (Alcoholic), Available at High and Dry
  • Brut de Peche Champagne (Alcoholic), Available at Fred’s Dive Bar – Served in a LED Champagne
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

NOVELTY ITEMS

  • Light-up Popcorn Bucket – Main Change Popcorn Cart
  • H2O Glow Nights Light-up Souvenir Cup – Various Locations throughout the Park
  • Alien Light-up Souvenir Cup – Various Locations throughout the Park
  • Light-up Champagne Glass – Various Locations throughout the Park
  • Glow Cubes – Various Locations throughout the Park
Photo: Disney Parks Blog
  • Buzz Lightyear Glow Clip – Leaning Palms
  • Woody Boot – Leaning Palms
  • Bathtub Party Sundae – Happy Landings
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

EXCLUSIVE EVENT MERCHANDISE

  • H2O Glow Nights Tumbler
  • H2O Glow Nights T-Shirt

H2O Glow Nights occurs on select nights starting May 30 through August 24, 2019, at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon from 8-11 p.m. Tickets are $59 per person plus tax for adults and $54 per person plus tax for children ages 3 to 9, when purchased in advance. On the days of the event, the ticket price will be $69 per person plus tax for adults and $64 per person plus tax for children. Tickets are not required for children under age 3.

Which H2O Glow Nights food and beverage options are you most excited to try? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Learn About Disney Snacks During Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP Tour

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

If you’ve ever wondered how our Magic Kingdom chefs create the incredible food and beverage offerings throughout the park, then the new Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP tour is for you! Get ready to step behind the counter for this one-of-a-kind backstage tour that includes VIP tastings of our most popular menu items. 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

During the tour, you’ll discover how food memories are made as you taste your way through the kitchens of Magic Kingdom Park. After taking the tour myself, I personally LOVED getting to sample the Mickey-shaped cinnamon rolls and we even tried the Grey Stuff from Be Our Guest Restaurant – it was DEFINITELY delicious! Along the way, you’ll hear stories from some of our dedicated chefs and cast members, as well as your very own VIP Tour Guides, who all help bring our creative and delicious meals to life. From sharing the rich history of Disney Parks food to giving you an insider’s look at the creation of new menu items, our cast will immerse you in the culinary magic of Disney!

The tour also includes exclusive and unprecedented access to a few of our backstage kitchens and working areas that have never before been seen by guests. This behind-the-scenes look will allow you interact with the creative experts and experience first-hand everything that goes into the production of serving millions of guests each year.

And don’t forget to bring your appetite! Throughout the experience, there will be specially curated tastings of our most beloved snacks at Magic Kingdom Park, including savory and sweet items.  You’ll even get a peek into the future and help create the next generation of Disney Parks food with a sampling of an item that’s still in development. How cool is that?

And remember, many of our menus and offerings change seasonally, so you never know what you might get to experience as we’re always looking for new ways to tell our culinary story. A number of exciting updates – including a new backstage experience – are now on the menu!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP Tour is currently offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Pricing is $99 per person plus tax and valid park admission is required and not included in the price of this experience. To book your tour – visit the Walt Disney World Resort website or call 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463). 

All menu items, tastings, and experiences offered during the Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP Tour are subject to change without notice.

Visit Beach Break Cafe at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort- Surfside Inn and Suite

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite things to do while vacationing is to enjoy delicious food and drinks. Universal just shared a sneak peek at the food and drinks you’ll be able to try at Universal’s newest extra-affordable Value Hotel, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, opening June 27.

At Beach Break Cafe, the casual dining food court at Surfside Inn and Suites, you’ll be able to take a break from your adventure in the parks and dig into some surfer-inspired dishes, featuring Southern California flavors and fresh ingredients. Just like surf culture, Beach Break Cafe dares to be different, offering food and drink from around the world in a care-free, cool and exciting setting from early morning to late at night, all within a family-friendly hotel.

This casual dining food court will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Inspired by food trucks, local joints and backyard BBQs, Beach Break Cafe’s menu will be super affordable and offer something for everyone from unique cuisine to comfort food.

Here’s just some of what you’ll find on the menu at Beach Break Cafe.

BREAKFAST

Bacon Egg and Cheese Croissant

Served with Breakfast Potatoes

Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites ESR19 Food Shoot 050918

Breakfast Pizza

Sausage Gravy, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Mozzarella, and Cheddar Cheese 

Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites ESR19 Food Shoot 050918

LUNCH AND DINNER

Italian Ciabatta

Ham, Capicola, Genoa Salami, Provolone, Red Onion, Tomato, Shredded Romaine, Pepperoncini, Red Wine Vinaigrette

Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites ESR19 Food Shoot 050918

SoCal (Southern California) – Cobb Salad

Southern California is a region known for light, clean and unique flavors.

Chopped Lettuce, Tomatoes, Avocado, Blue Cheese, Bacon, Hard Boiled Egg and Avocado Ranch Dressing

Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites ESR19 Food Shoot 050918

Caprese Panini

Tomato, Mozzarella, Fresh Basil, Balsamic Glaze

Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites ESR19 Food Shoot 050918

Pipeline Burger

This burger is inspired by the classic wave — one of the most famous and most photographed waves.

Beef Patty, Topped with Caramelized Onion, Bacon Jam and Provolone Cheese Served with Crisp Lettuce and Vine Ripe Tomatoes on a Toasted BunTofu Power Bowl with Baja Sauce

Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites ESR19 Food Shoot 050918

Tofu Power Bowl with Baja Sauce

If you’re more of a carnivore, you can choose chicken or carne asada for this dish as well.

Cilantro Lime Rice, Quinoa, Kale, Red Cabbage, Pickled Carrots

Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites ESR19 Food Shoot 050918

Planning to spend the day at the pool soaking up the sun or looking to enjoy some refreshing drinks while you hang loose? Throw on your board shorts and head to Sand Bar, the laid-back pool bar at Surfside Inn and Suites. Here’s a taste of some of the drinks we’ll be serving up poolside.

Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn & Suites ESR19 Food Shoot 050918

Orange Surf Board: 

Orange Vodka, Coconut Rum, Triple Sec, Orange Juice and a splash of Cranberry

Tidal Wave

Endless Summer Rum, Peach Vodka, Gin, Peach Schnapps, OJ and Pineapple Juice

Surf En La Paloma

Tequila, Blood Orange, Grapefruit Juice and Soda

Epic Sunset (Frozen)

Vodka, Mango Colada and Strawberry Island Oasis

Toasted Coconut Mango Mojito (Frozen)

Coconut Rum, Mango and Mojito Island Oasis

Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages.

Are you ready to take a Beach Break? In the comments, tell us which dish or drink you’re looking forward to trying.

Complete Guide to New Lion King Treats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Is your stomach roaring for some tasty grub? Well I’ve got some deliciously exciting news for you! There is a whole pride of eats and treats coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park this summer with offerings that celebrate some of your favorite characters and moments from Disney’s beloved tale, “The Lion King.” 

All of the Lion King treats listed below are now available and will run through the end of summer. From latte art and ice cream sandwiches to special cones and more, there are enough treats here to have a feast fit for a (lion) king! 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Simba Ice Cream Sandwich – Available at Tamu Tamu

Vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies and decorated with chocolate tail and an image of Simba

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Simba’s Sunset Dole Whip – Available at Tamu Tamu

Pineapple Dole Whip topped with red syrup made up of watermelon and coconut 

King’s Cooler – Available at Tamu Tamu

Pineapple Dole Whip with rum topped with red syrup made up of watermelon and coconut

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Asante Slush – Available at the Shave Ice Cart Near Harambe Market

Shaved ice topped with watermelon and passion fruit-mango syrup

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Serengeti Sangria – Available at Dawa Bar, Harambe Market, and Boneyard Bar

Red sangria

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Bugs ‘n Grub Waffle Cone – Available at Anandapur Bus and Trilo-Bites

Chocolate soft-serve ice cream in a green cone with cookies and cream “dirt” crumbles, gummy worms, and a chocolate beetle

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

“The Lion King” Novelty Sipper and Popcorn Bucket – Available Later this Summer at various Outdoor Vending Locations throughout the Park

Only available while supplies last

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

“The Lion King” Latte Art – Available at Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.

Special latte art featuring Simba

Lion’s Latte – Available at Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.

Hot or iced latte featuring a decadent blend of espresso, white chocolate and coconut.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Simba Cupcake – Currently available at Pizzafari

Yellow vanilla cupcake filled with white chocolate mousse and topped with buttercream, an edible piece featuring Simba, and a fierce mane of orange and yellow icing

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Simba and Nala Waffles – Currently available at Tusker House (breakfast only)

Kid’s waffles featuring Simba and Nala

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Special “The Lion King”-themed Merchandise – Available at Mombasa Marketplace, Discovery Trading Company, and Island Mercantile

Enjoy these treats in style with apparel including a Long Live the King Black Youth Tee, a Simba Youth Baseball Cap, and a Hakuna Matata Adult Tee

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

But that’s not all – in addition to all of these fun treats, there are a few more ways you can celebrate “The Lion King,” such as our new limited-time dining experience – Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night. This event happens on Wednesday nights throughout the summer and takes you on a flavorful journey inspired by the animated classic. Take a train ride to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, enjoy live entertainment, and graze on hors d’oeuvres featuring authentic African fare plus a variety of other delicious selections. 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Next door at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jiko – The Cooking Place is featuring a limited-time special “Lion King”-themed prix fixe menu. Check out the full menu and more details on my recent blog

For more information on Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and to make reservations, visit the Walt Disney World website or call 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463).

12 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Disney World Vacation

A Disney World vacation can add up quickly for families between the expenses of a hotel stay, theme park tickets, dining, souvenirs, transportation, and more. There are some easy ways that you can cut your costs and still have a magical vacation!

Here are twelve easy ways you can save money on your Disney World vacation:

  1. Skip the park hopper option: If you are concerned about your budget, one of the easiest things to trim is the park hopper option. On a multi-day park ticket, this can save you more than $80 per person which quickly adds up for families!
  2. Stay at a value resort: There are five value resorts at Disney World- Disney’s All Star Sports Resort, Disney’s All Star Music Resort, Disney’s All Star Movies Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. These hotels typically start around $100 per night and still include all of the perks and amenities of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. So, you can take advantage of complimentary magic bands, complimentary transportation to the parks, complimentary airport transfers, and more!
  3. Take advantage of discounts: Disney offers various room and package discounts throughout the year. There are rarely times that there isn’t a special offer available so be sure to take advantage of these to save as much as possible on your vacation.
  4. Travel in the off season: Disney tends to offer the lowest rates in January and September. These times coincide with the lowest crowds so it makes for a great experience all the way around!
  5. Disney gift cards: Did you know that you can use Disney gift cards to pay for any or all of your Disney vacation? It’s true! You can purchase Disney gift cards at a number of retailers and earn cash back on your credit cards or take advantage of discounted prices at wholesalers like Sam’s Club or by saving 5% with a Target red card.
  6. Table service breakfast: If you aren’t purchasing a dining plan, breakfast will be the least expensive meal to purchase. This is especially important if you are planning character dining as you can easily save over $10 per person, just by choosing breakfast over dinner!
  7. Pack breakfast and snacks: Breakfast is a pretty easy meal to pack in a suitcase to bring with you. There are so many choices like cereal, breakfast bars, and even mini doughnuts that can travel well and save a lot rather than having to buy that meal out of pocket. You can also pack snacks to minimize those dining costs in the parks.
  8. Spend a day at Disney Springs: You can skip a day of the parks for some of the wonderful activities available outside of the theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort! You could spend a day exploring Disney Springs, try horseback riding at Fort Wilderness, swim at your resort’s pool, stroll the Boardwalk, and more, all without having to purchase park admission.
  9. Get free ice water and/or Bring a refillable bottle: You can get a free cup of ice water at any quick service dining location in all four theme parks. These are readily available and often waiting on a tray behind the counter. If you don’t love the taste of Florida water (few do), bring a water bottle from home that you can refill in the parks and add your own flavor packet to it!
  10. Bring souvenirs or stop by Character Warehouse: If you can pick up souvenirs from home, whether you go to your local Disney Store, order from ShopDisney.com or even check out the Dollar Tree (or Target Dollar Spot), you can save so much on souvenirs. If you’re looking for authentic park souvenirs, be sure to take the time to visit Character Warehouse at the outlets in Orlando to get discounted merchandise from the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and hotels (and often Disney Cruise Line)!
  11. Bring Your Stroller: Stroller rentals can really add up. If you rent in the parks, single strollers are $15 daily or double strollers are $31 daily. Even length of stay rentals from approved companies can come close to $100 so if at all possible, bring your own stroller with you. Chances are, your kids will be more comfortable in their own stroller, too!
  12. Skip Memory Maker: Memory Maker is available for the discounted rate of $169 when purchased at least 3 days in advance while the cost in the parks is $199. The Disney PhotoPass photographers are happy to take the same pictures on your camera or phone as they do on theirs. The only thing you really would miss are the magic shots and attraction photos.

What are your favorite ways to save money on a Disney World vacation?

7 Exciting New Details About Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal

From the Universal Orlando Resort Blog:

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In just a couple weeks, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – the epic new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade – will open at Universal Orlando Resort. To get you excited for this “story coaster,” Universal has shared 7 details about the ground-breaking coaster technology and all-new environments you’ll be able to experience on June 13.

  1. Journey Beyond the Grounds of Hogwarts Castle
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort Blog

You’ll venture to the edge of the Forbidden Forest and enter ruins that have seemingly been abandoned for centuries behind Hagrid’s hut. The ruins were imagined and brought to life by Universal Creative in collaboration with the Harry Potter films’ Production Designer, Stuart Craig, and Art Director, Alan Gilmore. This is where your Care of Magical Creatures class with Hagrid will begin.

2. All-New Environments and Sets

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Inside the ruins, you will see materials from Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class, including dragon eggs on the verge of hatching and a makeshift nursery where he kept his Blast-Ended Skrewts in a terrarium before they outgrew the chamber.

There will also be a pre-show featuring digital projection technology and special effects, where you’ll encounter Arthur Weasley, Hagrid, and his loyal dog, Fang.

But the experience doesn’t stop there! Once you board your motorbike, you’ll plunge deeper into the Forbidden Forest and closer to some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures.

Here are some additional thrilling fun facts about the experience that will be brought to life with innovative coaster technology:

3. The most launches of any roller coaster in the world – with 7 total launches

You’ll launch up to 50 miles per hour through the Forbidden Forest, past the ruins and more.

4. The first coaster in the U.S. to feature a free-fall vertical drop – dropping you nearly 17 feet

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Prepare yourself because you’ll be dropping quite a distance.

5. The longest roller coaster in Florida, measuring nearly a mile in length (5,053 feet)

Your adventure into the Forbidden Forest is bound to be an exciting one – so keep your eyes peeled for creatures and mischief around every turn.

6. Enchanted motorbikes will take you on an adventure through the Forbidden Forest – and you can ride the motorcycle like Hagrid or board the adjacent sidecar like Harry Potter

942 Hagrids Magical Creatures and Motorbike Adventure 051019 Line Ride Vehicle Interiors Exteriors Scope Shots

I think we should start a poll now – do you think you’ll be team motorcycle or team sidecar?

7. The “story coaster” will catapult you 65 feet in the air at a more than 70-degree angle…then drop you backward in one movement

This will be the time to hold on tight and trust Hagrid to get you through your journey.

Before you know it, the opening of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will be here. Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Share your excitement with #WizardingWorldOrlando on TwitterInstagram, and FacebookPlus, don’t forget to comment below about what you are most excited about!

Top 9 Reasons to Plan a Fall Disney World Vacation in 2019

It’s always a great time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort, but this fall is looking like an extra special time to visit! With some returning favorite annual events and other exciting new grand openings this year, it’s the perfect time to plan a fall Disney World vacation!

Photo: Disney

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be held at Magic Kingdom Park on 36 select nights between August 16 and November 1. The special ticket event will include a new Halloween-themed nighttime show this year featuring state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and dazzling fireworks that come together to tell a not-so-scary story about how anything can happen on Halloween night. Other returning favorites include trick or treating throughout the park, Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween Parade, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show, attraction overlays, and more.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: This annual celebration of cuisine, music and more at Epcot will take place August 29 through November 23. During this foodie festival, the park will brim with marketplaces, culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, specialty merchandise and so much more. 

Photo: Disney

The End of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” and the Debut of “Epcot Forever”: “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” has dazzled millions of guests for almost 20 years as Epcot’s nighttime spectacular with fireworks, fountains and lasers paying homage to the joyful story of humanity and the remarkable achievements of our time. The show’s final performance will be September 30, to make way for an all-new, limited-time spectacular, “Epcot Forever,” which will debut on October 1. “Epcot Forever” will be a celebration of the past, present and future of Epcot featuring fireworks, lasers and choreographed special-effect kites accompanied by a stirring collection of songs celebrating the park.

Photo: Disney

NBA Experience at Disney Springs: Basketball will officially be “in season” at Disney World this fall, after NBA Experience holds a championship-worthy grand opening on August 12 at Disney Springs. This re-creation of a modern NBA arena will give you the opportunity to feel what it’s like to be a basketball superstar through 13 unique interactive and hands-on experiences.

Photo: Disney

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will officially open to guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 29. While visiting the land, you can stop for a drink at Oga’s Cantina or discover rare artifacts at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, among other immersive experiences. The groundbreaking attraction Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will even give you control of the iconic spacecraft as the ship hurtles through space on a smuggling mission. 

Photo: Disney

Disney Skyliner Transportation: A new mode of transportation will be available to guests at Walt Disney World this fall when Disney Skyliner, a state-of-the-art gondola system, begins gliding across the sky. Disney Skyliner will conveniently connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort (planned to open in mid-December).

Photo: Disney

Rivers of Light: We Are One: Animal Kingdom will debut a new version of their nighttime spectacular, Rivers of Light, this summer. “Rivers of Light: We Are One” includes dramatic new imagery and familiar animal characters from Disneynature films along with a colorful tapestry of unforgettable moments from Disney animation.

Photo: Disney

Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort: Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is opening the new 15-story Gran Destino tower this summer, adding more than 500 guest rooms (including suites and concierge-level services) and crowned by a rooftop restaurant. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort has also opened a new waterfront dining and retail shopping area.

10 Year Anniversary of runDisney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend: The 2019 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend will celebrate ten years of running magic when the event takes place October 31 through November 3. This year’s weekend includes a 5K, 10K, half marathon and kids’ races. During the 2019 Disney Fall Feast 5K, you can run, jog or walk your way around Epcot for the first time. Plus, at the November 3 post-race party, you can enjoy after-hours access to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

What are you most looking forward to experiencing at Disney World this fall?

Are you ready to book your Disney World vacation? Contact Siera today at 734-771-1290 or siera@destinationsinflorida.com for more information or a free, no obligation quote. Plus, receive help with dining, FastPasses, discounts, and more!

Top 12 Disneyland Snacks You Can’t Miss

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Disney food is some of the most iconic food out there, from Mickey bars and churros to corn dogs and bread bowls. There’s so much to choose from, and you might need some help picking out those must-have snacks, so you can find the top 12 Disneyland snacks that you just can’t miss below.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

DISNEYLAND CHURROS – CARTS AND KIOSKS

From seasonal flavors to the classic cinnamon sugar churro, these yummy, crunchy sticks are some of the best in town! You can find them at various carts and kiosks located throughout the park.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

MICKEY PRETZEL, MICKEY BAR, POPCORN, TURKEY LEG, AND MORE – CARTS AND KIOSKS

You can never go wrong with a Mickey pretzel, a turkey leg, or even a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar – all found at various carts and kiosks throughout the park. Or if popcorn is more your style, then you can find various popcorn carts throughout the park along with the CUTEST souvenir popcorn buckets to take home with you! And did I mention that all of our Disney Parks popcorn is vegan? How cool is that!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

TIGGER TAILS, CANDY APPLES, AND MORE – HUNNY SPOT AND CANDY PALACE

Our Disneyland Candy Makers are always creating new sweets and treats like Tigger Tail marshmallow wands, candy apples, chocolate-covered pineapple slices, and their famous English Toffee. Check out Hunny Spot in Critter Country or the Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A. to grab some for yourself!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

DOLE WHIP – TIKI JUICE BAR AND THE TROPICAL HIDEAWAY

One of our most popular offerings, Pineapple Dole Whip Soft-serve is the perfect treat for a warm day in the park. You can find this soft-serve snack at the Tiki Juice Bar in Adventureland, served in a cup or in a float with Dole Pineapple Juice. In addition, we also serve a few unique soft-serve flavors at The Tropical Hideaway near Jungle Cruise including pineapple and orange swirl, pineapple and raspberry swirl, or even a Loaded Whip served with pineapple and orange swirl, fruit, and crystallized hibiscus.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

SKEWERS AND JUNGLE JULEP – BENGAL BARBECUE

Also located in Adventureland is Bengal Barbecue, where you can find a savory array of delicious Jungle Skewers. Chow down on chicken, beef, and pork skewers as well as a bacon-wrapped asparagus skewer and a vegetarian skewer with roasted seasonal vegetables. Pair your skewer with a refreshing Jungle Julep slush with pineapple, orange, grape, and lemon juices and you’ve got yourself a snack fit for a Jungle Cruise Skipper! 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

MICKEY-SHAPED BEIGNETS AND MINT JULEP – MINT JULEP BAR

If you’re looking for a Mickey-shaped snack that’s both SUPER delicious and SUPER photogenic, then the Mint Julep Bar is the place to be! Located in the heart of New Orleans Square, right next door to the French Market, this quick-service window serves up freshly-baked Mickey-shaped beignets dusted with a heaping helping of powdered sugar. Sometimes you might even find a seasonal beignet flavor like butterscotch or peppermint! And of course, you can’t take a trip to the Mint Julep Bar without trying the Mint Julep – a refreshing non-alcoholic mint drink with just a hint of lime that has been one of the park’s most popular drinks for many years.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

MATTERHORN MACAROON – JOLLY HOLIDAY BAKERY CAFE

Inspired by the snow-capped mountain that towers above the park, the Matterhorn Macaroon can be found at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe right off the end of Main Street, U.S.A. This yummy coconut cookie is one of my personal favorite snacks, and it also makes for an adorable pic when held up in front the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

CHEDDAR GARLIC BAGEL TWIST AND BOYSEN APPLE FREEZE – MAURICE’S TREATS

Another personal favorite of mine is the Cheddar Garlic Bagel Twist – a freshly-baked baguette-style snack that can be found at Maurice’s Treats, a small cart located across from the Royal Theatre in Fantasyland. You can also grab a Boysen Apple Freeze here for a refreshing slush treat!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

THE GREY STUFF – RED ROSE TAVERNE

Try the Grey Stuff, it’s delicious! Located in Fantasyland, Red Rose Taverne offers casual fare with a French flair. It’s here where you can actually try the Grey Stuff from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The Grey Stuff Gâteau is offered during lunch and dinner, and consists of white chocolate mousse with red velvet cake and a raspberry center.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

POMMES FRITES AND MONTE CRISTO – CAFÉ ORLÉANS

Cafe Orleans is always a must for my trips to Disneyland Resort! This New Orleans Square table service eatery serves up a variety of French Quarter-inspired dishes, including the popular Pommes Frites and Monte Cristo. The Pommes Frites are a great way to start your meal off and come with traditional french fried potatoes tossed in Parmesan, garlic, and parsley served with Cajun Spice Rémoulade. And for your entrée, you just HAVE to try the Monte Cristo Sandwich – sliced ham, turkey, and Swiss fried in a light, fluffy batter, dusted with powdered sugar and served with berry purée. You can also try a Three-Cheese Monte Cristo (my personal fav) with Swiss, mozzarella, and double crème brie. And if you’re wanting to get your fix of a Mint Julep and Mickey Beignet, you can find them on the menu here as well!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

MICKEY WAFFLES, FRIED PICKLES, AND MORE – CARNATION CAFÉ

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and located in the center of Main Street, U.S.A., Carnation Café has a wide variety of classic American dishes with something for everyone. For breakfast, this is the place to order the popular Mickey waffle! This large Mickey-shaped waffle comes topped with your choice apples or strawberries and served with hickory-smoked bacon or sausage links. And for lunch and dinner, you can dine on some crunchy Fried Pickles (dill pickle spears dipped in Parmesan and panko, fried golden brown, and served with a house-made sauce), Baked Potato Soup, or even Walt’s Chili – a hearty chili topped with cheese, sour cream, and fresh tomatoes that was one of Walt Disney’s favorite dishes.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

FRIED CHICKEN, CHARACTER BREAKFAST, AND DINING PACKAGES WITH SPECIAL PARADE VIEWING – PLAZA INN

You haven’t had fried chicken until you’ve had the fried chicken at Plaza Inn. These hearty pieces of chicken are fried to a crisp and served up with savory helpings of mashed potatoes, buttermilk biscuits, and seasonal vegetables. In addition, if you’re looking for a dining fun dining experience to enhance your day at the park, this restaurant offers a lively character breakfast as well as special dining packages where you can enjoy special reserved viewing for the daily parade. 

For more information on all of our fabulous food and beverage offerings throughout the park and to make reservations, visit the Disneyland Resort website or call 714 781-DINE (714 781-3463). Happy snacking!

What are your favorite Disneyland snacks?

Celebrate “The Lion King” at Jiko – The Cooking Place

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Get ready to celebrate the circle of life with a new limited-time prix fixe dining experience inspired by “The Lion King!” Starting June 30, 2019, join us as we toast to the popular film at Jiko – The Cooking Place

Located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jiko transports you to the heart of Africa with its vibrant spices, crackling wood-burning ovens, and a delicious blend of traditional African wines and cuisine, making it the perfect place for this special celebration. Starting June 30, you’ll be able to partake in an exclusive three-course menu crafted as a one-of-a-kind culinary celebration of Simba’s story. As the dinner progresses, wildly talented musicians will join in on the fun with vibrant African melodies as well as live performances of the award-winning movie soundtrack.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

The menu will feature dishes inspired by The Circle of Life: Nants’ Ingonyama, a story celebrating Simba’s journey through life. Each dish follows our lion prince as he grows up, highlighting each stage of his life through unique flavors and spices. You’ll start your meal off with the “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” starter – a dish featuring Young Cedar Creek clam malata, potatoes, pomegranate, and a bone marrow finish. This dish symbolizes the playfulness of Simba’s joyous childhood and his desire to one day become king.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Moving on to the main event: Be Prepared. Choose from two entrées: Bone-In Ribeye with hibiscus, nettles, and fregula or Lobster Sosatie with red shrimp, squid, mussels, and fragrant rice. These dishes are inspired by the eerie elephant boneyard and Simba’s courage to persevere through trials and tribulations. 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

And the third course, Hakuna Matata, celebrates balance as Simba grows up and learns what is truly needed to successfully lead the Pride lands. This dessert features caramelized orange, chocolate choux, and playful foliage.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Finally, finish off the evening with “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and reflect on your journey with a selection of friandeses and teas to cap off your meal.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

This limited-time prix fixe menu will be available during the dinner period at Jiko – The Cooking Place starting June 30 in addition to Jiko’s regular menu. Pricing is $65 per person, tax and gratuity not included, with the option to add your choice of two levels of wine pairings at an additional cost. For more information and to book reservations, call 407 WDW-DINE (407 939-3463) or visit the Walt Disney World Resort website.