A First Trip Made Easy - Saturday, June 04, 2011
by Tom (Pogo) Henry
So…. You’ve never been to Walt Disney World before and don’t know where to start? Start here of course!
OK…. you’ve made your mind up. We are going to Walt Disney World. Now what? First of all….. it’s a vacation. Relax! Here are some of my tips for making the most of your first trip to Walt Disney World.
There are several ways to make your reservations for your trip. You can book it directly from Disney via their website. You can use AAA or you could use one of the many travel agents out there. You could book a package deal from your favorite air carrier too.
A great way to book your first trip is by using a travel agent that’s been there, done that themselves. They will know the best deal for you and your family. Of course we are here on the forums to help with your questions too.
Which is my favorite, you ask? The one here on this site, “Off to Neverland Travel” and here is the reason why. Off to Neverland Travel has all the experience to assure that your family will have the best vacation to fit your budget.
You tell them when you’d like to travel and they will use their experience to guide you along. They know when the best deals are offered and they will handle all the reservation details for you. That is one big problem solved and will relieve you from the stress. And it doesn’t cost you any extra money. They get paid by Walt Disney World, not you. How cool is that?
Are you close enough to drive or do you need to make flight reservations? Let’s assume you need to fly.
Start looking at your favorite air lines web site for deals about six months before your trip. You can use Expedia, Orbitz, or one of the many other travel sites if you’d like, but you won’t get a better deal than you will if you make your reservations directly with the Air Line web site.
When Patti and I fly to Orlando from Rochester, we like to leave here in early morning so we can be at our favorite park in early afternoon. We’ve found that if we arrive at Orlando at noon, we will be at our resort, checked in and at our favorite park by 1:30 to 2:00 PM.
Our return flight always departs Orlando after 6:00 PM so we can enjoy the Magic Kingdom before we leave. But it is easy for the two of us, because we do not have little children to consider.
That leads me to transportation questions.
Transportation from the Orlando airport to your resort and back to the airport at the end of your vacation is part of the package if you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort. The Magical Express bus service that is included with your package. There is no need to rent a car or the added expense of a taxi. This is the best “free” service I’ve ever used.
When your travel agent makes your package reservation for you they will ask about your flight details. You tell them what airline, when you arrive and depart, what flight number, and about a month before your trip you will receive an envelope from Magical Express with vouchers and bag tags. Before you leave home, you put the yellow bag tags on each “checked” bag and they magically appear in your room at your Disney resort about two or three hours after you arrive. It’s that easy! If you are not using a travel agent its easy just ask how in the forums.
Your package also includes all your transportation to and from the parks by bus, water taxi, or monorail, depending on where you are staying and which park you are headed.
Many off-site resorts offer transportation to the parks and if you are renting a condo and need more information please go to the forum for your questions.
OK…… which park and on what day is best? Every one that I talk with has a different opinion about this. We like to go to the Magic Kingdom first…… because….. I’m like a ten year old kid there. I can’t wait to see Cinderella’s Castle. If you have children with you I’d suggest this as a first day park.
As soon as our trip is booked, I get onto the Walt Disney World web site and look at the park calendar for each park and try to decide which day we’d like to visit each park. We take into consideration “Extra Magic” hours. Each day one park either opens early or stays open late for guest staying at a WDW resort, another reason for staying at a Disney resort. We try to use the EMH to our advantage. These hours are subject to change and do change frequently so remember to check back to make sure the park hours are still the same as your plans.
One question I get asked a lot is…. do we need reservations for dinner while there? And the answer is…… it depends. If you want to eat a sit down dinner at a Table Service restaurant, then yes, you do. And you need to make the reservation at the 180 day mark before you are going to be there. Some restaurants fill up extremely quickly. All of our friends here at Mouse-aid can help you with advice on dining options. We have information regarding special dining needs such as food allergies, picky eaters and more.
Park tickets can also be a mystery to somebody that has never been to Disney. Once again, your travel agent can give you all the options and help you decide. Patti and I usually have tickets for the number of days we’ll be there with the Park Hopper added on. That allows us to visit two or sometimes three parks in one day. But you might want the Water Parks and more options for your family. This allows you to visit Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach for some water slide fun. Remember members here can help you with your ticket questions.
When in doubt about any thing concerning your trip, visit our forum often and ask lots of questions. This site was put together by some very experienced Disney travelers and we are all anxious to help.
Relax…. It’s only a vacation! But it is the best vacation we’ve ever taken by far.
Helping Children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy - Sunday, September 26, 2010
Helping Children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Mouse-aid members have raised 54 bottles of water to help children with SMA.
Thanks to all of the members who helped in our fundraiser to help children with SMA to help raise money for water for their upcoming WDW convention. BUT we still need more so please ask your friends to sign up because we willo have another fundraiser soon. Remember these kids and families need our help. Many struggle to attend to bring their child to WDW and yes though small the water is a heartwarming token to help parents struggling with this horrible disease. Unfortunately many children will lose their battle before they are eligible for other programs so the water on a hot day will remind the families that you care. Remember too that these medically fragile children can not take the risk of putting tap water in a bottle on a hot day.
Starting post count= 23,520 ending post count = 23981 which equals461 posts and with donations for water we raised 59.22 that will be used to purchase water in June 2011 but we need a lot more.
For those who didn't read the orginial article:
Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (FSMA) and Mouse-aid have teamed together to help these children and their families by donating water to help defray a small portion of the cost of their trip next summer...
Beginning Oct. 1 and continuing for 7 days Mouse-aid will donate 2 cents for every public post made on the .... Watch the post count change. Mouse-aid forums
Starting Post count: 23,520
Do note that the posts do not include posts made in private forums. Post count will be marked at midnight Oct 1, 2010 central time and continue for 7 days ending next Friday October 8th 2010 at midnight central time.
Give a Day, Get a Disney Day - Saturday, February 13, 2010
Walt Disney World 2010: ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’
Anchors a Year of New Beginnings, Many Happy Returns
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – With a turn of the calendar comes a twist to the celebrating: In 2010, Disney Parks will join in the celebration, saluting those guests who devote their hearts and hands to make their communities better places. One million people who perform volunteer service for a participating organization in 2010 will receive a free one-day admission ticket to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park.The program, called “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day,” anchors a year when ground will be broken on the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history, Disney sports becomes more invigorating than ever, Disney Cruise Line introduces new entertainment and activities, and Walt Disney World theme parks and Downtown Disney present 2010 editions of popular festivals and events.
Here’s a brief look …
“Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” (beginning Jan. 1) – Disney hopes to inspire families to volunteer in their communities during 2010 through this first-of-its-kind program that “rewards” volunteer service with admission for a day to a Disney theme park. To enable people to sign up for an eligible volunteer project, Disney is working with HandsOn Network, the nation’s largest volunteer network. Starting Jan. 1, 2010, guests can go to www.DisneyParks.ca www.DisneyParks.com for the United States and Puerto Rico or for Canada to search for volunteer opportunities available in those areas through HandsOn Network and sign up for a day of volunteer service. Many of the opportunities will be for projects that entire families with children age 6 or older can participate in together.
Disney’s Honorary VoluntEARS Cavalcade (beginning Jan. 8) – Each afternoon just before the daily parade at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom (and at Disneyland Park in California), Muppets characters and parade dancers will join special floats and vehicles celebrating volunteerism and presenting Honorary VoluntEARS serving as Grand Marshals of the parades. Kermit, Miss Piggy and Sweetums will be part of the merriment, while the dancers will be donning outfits that celebrate the work of volunteers.
Fantasyland expansion – An early-2010 groundbreaking will mark the beginning of a three-year construction project that will result in a vastly expanded Magic Kingdom Fantasyland. When the project is completed (tentative timetable is 2013), guests will be able to:
visit a Disney princess in her castle, cottage or chateau to share a dance with Cinderella; celebrate Sleeping Beauty’s birthday with the Good Fairies; or join Belle in an enchanting story performance in the Beast’s castle library.
“Be Our Guest” and dine in one of three enchanted rooms inside the Beast’s castle.
Fly with Dumbo high above brand-new circus grounds, twice the size of the existing attraction with a new interactive, three-ring circus tent.
Journey under the sea with Ariel, the Little Mermaid, in her very own attraction.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex relaunch (February 2010) – A re-imagining project involving ESPN and the Disney sports complex, the leading multi-sport venue in the nation, aims to create immersive and entertaining sports experiences for athletes, coaches and fans by incorporating signature elements of ESPN in ways that will connect athletes and coaches with their favorite ESPN programs, personalities and elements. Guests will discover a new welcome center, a digital center where video captured by 44 cameras across the 220-acre sports campus is edited for display on 40 video screens and two “jumbotrons” throughout the complex as part of a veritable “Wide World of SportsCenter,” and the new ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, technical staff will continue work in the Innovation Lab to develop ground-breaking ESPN on-air products – using the action throughout the complex as a real-world testing environment.
Disney Cruise Line Castaway Cay enhancements (by summer 2010) – Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island paradise in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, is getting an extra dose of pixie dust – providing guests with more water-based family-fun, additional conveniences and a slice of beachside luxury all designed to complement the idyllic island setting. Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store:
Guests can slide and splash at a new water feature called Pelican Plunge, a 2,400-square-foot floating platform located within swimming distance from shore and featuring an enclosed corkscrew waterslide, a 140-foot-long open waterslide, a giant water-filled “bucket dump” and four water cannons.
A brand-new, 2,400-square-foot water play area called Spring-a-Leak helps guests cool off while immersing
The Castaway Family Beach is being extended by more than 700 feet for families to enjoy the pristine white sand, build sand castles, relax in the shade under an umbrella and take a dip in the warm azure waters of the lagoon. Dotting the expanded Castaway Family Beach are 16 new family cabanas offering the privacy and luxury of a deluxe beach retreat.
(March 27 premiere) – The first full-scale musical production dedicated to the Disney villains, the show is a family-friendly, fun-filled musical extravaganza that places these famous characters in some irreverent funny moments. “Villains Tonight!” features a “Who’s Who” of the Disney villains, including Disney’s newest crook, Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog.” The show also features classic divas and scoundrels such as Ursula (“The Little Mermaid”), the Evil Queen (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), Captain Hook (“Peter Pan”) and Scar (“The Lion King”). The revue-style show initially will be showcased on the Disney Magic and then will delight guests aboard the new Disney Dream cruise ship in early 2011. Disney Cruise Line spectacle “Villains Tonight!”
Disney Cruise Line European Season Port Adventures (summer 2010) – To help families better explore the culture and wonder of Europe, Disney Cruise Line is working closely with local tour operators to create family-friendly Port Adventures for 10- and 11-night Mediterranean voyages and 12-night Northern Europe cruises in summer 2010. Developed specifically for Disney Cruise Line guests, these adventures feature Disney touches designed to entertain and inspire both children and adults while providing an impeccable level of guest service that pays close attention to the special travel needs of families. While every port of call will offer Port Adventures for families to enjoy together, many tours integrate separate activities for children and adults. While kids are engaged in age-appropriate activities supervised by youth counselors from the ship, parents are given the opportunity to explore cultural sites and points of interest in greater depth. Examples, depending on voyage:
at t A Prince and Princess Ball in St. Petersburg, Russia, he majestic Catherine Palace hosted by Disney princesses such as Cinderella, Snow White and Belle. Arriving by horse-drawn carriages, the princesses and their princes will entertain guests in the gilded Grand Ballroom. Live musicians and royal courtiers resplendent in period costumes and powdered wigs add to the ambiance and lead guests in song, dance and regal revelry.
Sidi Bou Said Treasure Hunt in Tunis , a family-friendly quest that brings to life the culture, sites, sounds and flavors of this destination by following a series of clues. During this adventure, families visit a traditional Tunisian house, learn about the origin of Sidi Bou Said from a local storyteller, receive a hand-painted henna tattoo, bargain with local merchants for a keepsake water vessel, sip freshly prepared mint tea and get their name written in Arabic as a souvenir.
Tuscan Cooking School in La Spezia, where an Italian chef provides one-on-one instruction and guides the hands-on preparation of an authentic Tuscan meal. Guests enjoy their culinary creations such as antipasto, grilled meats, pasta, focaccia and cantucci – traditional Tuscan almond biscotti – while sampling wines bottled onsite at the farmhouse.
Walt Disney World “signature” events and festivals (throughout 2010) – The 2010 editions of eight guest-favorite theme park special events and the longest-running Walt Disney World special event, at Downtown Disney, plus the return of marquee sports events will dot the calendar throughout the year. In fact, there will be at least one special event happening on more than 160 days. Guest celebrities – from horticultural gurus to culinary wizards to national recording artists to stars of the stage and screen to heroes of courts and fields – will participate in events such as ESPN The Weekend, Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Star Wars Weekends, Night of Joy, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Holidays Around The World. More than 100 award-winning visual artists from across the country will “show off” at the 36th annual Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney. Disney’s iconic “big cheese” will host Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on select evenings. Stars from the top tier of professional baseball, professional golf and college basketball will compete when Walt Disney World Resort plays host to the Atlanta Braves’ baseball spring training, the Children’s Miracle Network Classic for PGA TOUR players, and the Old Spice Classic college basketball tournament.
The Holiday Season and Events - Saturday, January 09, 2010
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Trees glisten and Cinderella Castle sparkles. “Snow” flurries flutter, adding a sprinkle of magic to the scene. The stage is set for the holidays at Walt Disney World Resort – complete with the debut of a “very merry” stage show and several new Candlelight Processional celebrity narrators, plus the return of grand seasonal traditions. To welcome the winter wonderland season, Stitch, Buzz Lightyear and Mike Wazowski will host a rockin’ Christmas party in the new stage show “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas!” as part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on select evenings at Magic Kingdom. This interactive musical revue features “songs of the season” in the style of today’s hottest Radio Disney hits. For a more traditional holiday celebration, guests can get in the spirit with the Candlelight Processional at Epcot where Vanessa Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Anika Noni Rose and Isabella Rossellini will join the lineup of 12 celebrity narrators who will retell the joyous Christmas story on select nights. By late November, themed décor will blanket the Vacation Kingdom as Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney and 24 resorts unwrap their sleighs full of yuletide gaiety. Here’s a closer look at the transformation into a winter wonderland ... Castle Dreamlights! – During this year’s “ at Magic Kingdom What Will You Celebrate?,” guests can behold twinkling lights of one of Disney’s newest holiday traditions – Castle Dreamlights! – beginning Nov. 10 at Magic Kingdom. Donning their holiday finest, Cinderella and friends take to the Cinderella Castle stage daily for a dream-come-true, light-the-night moment. With 200,000 sparkling, jewel-like crystals adorning the iconic castle, the glistening light-show spectacular signals the beginning of Disney’s seasonal merriment.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Nov. 10 marks the first of 19 select evenings when the theme park hosts the long-running Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. During this popular special-ticket event, guests are treated to the new stage show “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas!,” “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” “Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” fireworks spectacular, plus special shows featuring Disney characters decked out in their holiday finest, carolers, festive tree lightings and more. Magic Kingdom’s newest stage show, “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas!,” features Stitch, Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski and a jubilant cast of party-goers who discover the true meaning of the season during their annual Christmas party. at Magic Kingdom
The “ Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” celebrates the festivities with dancing snowflakes, marching toy soldiers, a horse-drawn sleigh, enchanting floats and spirited characters all proceeding through the streets of the theme park in a merry and melodic cavalcade.
During “ Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season,” Cinderella Castle beams brightly as the evening is capped with eye-popping fireworks orchestrated to classic holiday tunes. Select attractions also are open throughout the evening. And while forecasters predict the first snowfall of the season will swirl a winter-like effect down Main Street, U.S.A, guests can take heart: there’s hot cocoa and cookies to add a warm spirit, plus apple slices and apple juice as the perfect trimmings for a not-to-miss outing for the whole family. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates are: Nov. 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29 and Dec. 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18. Advance tickets are suggested as some nights are expected to sell out. Advance tickets and information for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are available now by visiting www.disneyworld.com/christmasparty or by calling 407/W-DISNEY.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Bathed in bulbs of brilliance, the Streets of America glow with millions of dancing lights and animated displays Nov. 10 through Jan. 4, 2010 (except Nov. 22).Amid gently falling snow, guests will bask in the glow as twirling carousels, melodic angels, colorful wreaths, marching toy soldiers and Santa and his reindeer move to high-energy music and 3-D effects, creating a dazzling symphony for the senses. The spectacle actually starts behind the scenes while the summer temperatures are still on the rise in Florida as dozens of Disney “elves” begin their meticulous work on more than 10 miles of rope lights, 130 angels, 44 snow machines and more.
Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney. There are enough toys to fill up Santa’s sleigh at stores such as Once Upon a Toy, the World of Disney store, Team Mickey Athletic Club and LEGO Imagination Center. Guests can finish their holiday shopping at this one-stop mecca featuring something for everyone on their list – Tren-D, the newest designer boutique; Basin bath and body shop; Arribas Brothers; Disney’s Days of Christmas holiday shop; Fuego by Sosa Cigars and more –and enjoy the dazzling light display, holiday décor and special entertainment that adorns the Downtown Disney streets Nov. 17-Jan. 3, 2010. At Downtown Disney Marketplace, guests can meet Santa himself Nov. 17-26 from 5 to 10 p.m. and Nov. 27-Dec. 24 from noon to 10 p.m. (subject to change).
And starting Dec. 25, guests can pose with Santa Goofy through Jan. 3 at Santa’s Chalet from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Confections Sweeten Vacation Kingdom – Each holiday season, Disney chefs deck the halls in fanciful fashion, creating larger-than-life displays from edible ingredients all across Walt Disney World Resort. The sweet scent of gingerbread fills the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where a life-sized Victorian gingerbread house is constructed for the holidays. To create the 16-foot-high dream house, Walt Disney World pastry chefs use 1,050 pounds of honey, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 800 pounds of flour, 140 pints of egg whites and 180 pounds of apricot glaze. Meanwhile, at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, a life-size carousel silently spins in the lobby, featuring ponies made of , giant candy cane poles, handcrafted poinsettias and hand-painted portraits of famous Disney characters. chocolate and fondant
Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line Santa’s wish list could include a cruise on the Disney Magic or the Disney Wonder, both decked “to the rafters” with holiday cheer. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to both ships, with traditional “turkey day” fare to Christmas feasts, “snow flurries” and New Year’s Eve galas. Beginning Nov. 21, special stem-to-stern events on both ships include: nightly King Triton’s Tree Lighting of a glittering, three-deck-tall tree; family crafts such as decorating stockings, making holiday cards and creating animation cels; storytellers sharing tales of diverse holiday traditions; feasts in Disney’s three themed dining rooms; and “Til We Meet Again,” a special seasonal edition of Disney Cruise Line’s cheerful farewell on the final night of each cruise.
Epcot Presents Holidays Around the World– International holiday traditions unfold throughout World Showcase Nov. 27-Dec. 30 when storytellers such as Pere Noel in France, La Befana in Italy and Santa Claus in The American Adventure share the traditions of the season and spread the message of goodwill.As a “nightcap” to each day, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” – a kaleidoscope of lasers, lights, fireworks and music – takes on a spirited holiday finale. Candlelight Processional at Epcot A heartfelt holiday tradition led by a mass choir and 50-piece live orchestra showcases the reason for the season Nov. 27-Dec. 30.Presented at America Gardens Theatre at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. nightly, Candlelight Processional features celebrity narrators who retell the joyous Christmas story.The narration is interspersed with memorable music.
World Showcase Packs Culinary Punch - Saturday, November 28, 2009
World Showcase Packs Culinary Punch
Sept. 25-Nov. 8 at 14th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival From Barcelona to Buenos Aires, Dozens of ‘Foodie Cities’ Serve Blissful Bites
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Epcot kitchens turn up the heat for a global tasting experience worthy of every palate Sept. 25-Nov. 8 at the 14th annual Epcot International Food &Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort. During the six-week, entertainment-packed event, park guests can taste fine cuisine and wines from top “foodie” cities of the world.
Festival guests can enjoy the flavors of more than 25 international marketplaces dotting the World Showcase promenade highlighting tastes from cities on six continents, including Bologna, Italy; Bangkok, Thailand; Wellington, New Zealand; Santiago, Chile; Marrakesh, Morocco; Shanghai, China; and, from the United States – New Orleans. Tapas-sized portions of regional specialties run $2 to $7 each, and recommended wines and beers make perfect pairings at each kiosk. Puglia, Italy, returns as a sponsor this year, presenting culinary demonstrations with regional chefs and showcasing Adventures of Pasta and Olive Oils.
Festival highlights include:
·Daily wine and beer tastings.
·A series of special culinary programs featuring a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers participating in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.
·New programs like Culinary Adventures in Signature Dining and Celebrating Family and Friends in the Kitchen.
·Popular returning events such as French Regional Lunches at Bistro de Paris in the France pavilion, Epcot Wine Schools, Food and Wine Pairings and Sweet Sundays.
·Some 250 chefs including Disney chefs and guest chefs from across the country. Guest chefs scheduled to appear are Warren Brown, Cat Cora, Jamie and Bobby Deen, Keegan Gerhard, Jeff Henderson, Robert Irvine, Art Smith, Jacques Torres, Alan Wong, Andrew Zimmern and many other culinary stars.
·Weekly Party for the Senses grand tasting event with tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment – this year, for the first time, with a different theme each week.
·Festival Welcome Center, with a Champagne and Wine Bar, educational wine seminars, celebrity chef book signings, and festival keepsakes including exclusive festival pins and an official festival cookbook.
Epcot’s live regional entertainment is scheduled throughout each day along the promenade and the festival’s signature Eat to the Beat! concert series kicks the party up a couple of notches – featuring acts from many musical genres including classic rock, jazz, R&B, funk and soul. Concerts are performed three times each evening at America Gardens Theatre along the World Showcase lagoon.
Scheduled to appear on the Eat to the Beat! stage this year are such hit makers as Richard Marx (“Hold On to the Nights”), Billy Ocean (“Caribbean Queen”), En Vogue (“Free Your Mind”) and Boyz II Men (“Motownphilly”). ( Entertainment, performers, dates and times are subject to change.)
Included with Epcot Admission :
Samuel Adams beer seminars, Authentic Taste seminars and Authors without Borders programs with special book signings at the Festival Center, Eat to the Beat! concerts, culinary and cultural adventures, and all attractions and park entertainment are included with regular Epcot admission.
Special Programming by Reservation :
The Party for the Senses grand tasting events, Food and Wine Pairings at select Epcot restaurants, Signature Dining, Epcot Wine Schools, Sweet Sundays, and other special wine and culinary programs require reservations and separate event admission.
Guests can call 407/WDW-FEST (939-3378) for information and to make reservations for special events and programs. Festival details are available at disneyworld.com/foodandwine.
New La Cava del Tequila Serves Up Tastes of Mexican Tequila Heritage - Saturday, November 28, 2009
New La Cava del Tequila Serves Up Tastes of Mexican Tequila Heritage
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Tasty tequilas and mouthwatering margaritas are on tap at La Cava del Tequila, a new offering for Epcot guests to explore the heritage and tradition of tequila-making in Mexico.
Tucked away in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot, La Cava del Tequila beckons guests with more than 70 types of authentic tequila, ranging from the simplest to the rarest of them all, aged to perfection and made from the finest distilled spirits from the agave plant. Tequilas range in price from $8 to $50 for a specialty tequila.
Amid warm décor, art work and original artifacts all celebrating the Mexican heritage, a “Tequila Ambassador” is on hand to educate Walt Disney World guests on the history of tequila-making.
Also on the drink menu: Exotic and uniquely blended margaritas, introducing a variety of flavored salts, spices and tropical fresh fruits masterfully prepared by experienced mixologists. A variety of quick tastes, tapas style, will be available, including freshly made guacamole and ceviche as well as mahi mahi tostadas with diced mango and avocado and blue crab tostados with chipotle mayo and Valentina sauce.
The 30-seat La Cava del Tequila is open from noon until Epcot park closing time. It is connected to the famous San Angel Inn as part of the Mexico pavilion, a popular stop for Walt Disney World guests.
Hot Air Balloon Ride at Downtown Disney - Friday, June 19, 2009
TINKER BELL VIEWS: Downtown Disney guests get lofty, Tinker Bell views of Walt Disney World Resort and beyond as they soar to rarified heights in a new attraction now open every day (weather permitting) at Downtown Disney West Side near Pleasure Island.
TINKER BELL VIEWS: Downtown Disney guests get lofty, Tinker Bell views of Walt Disney World Resort and beyond as they soar to rarified heights in a new attraction now open every day (weather permitting) at Downtown Disney West Side near Pleasure Island. Characters in Flight, operated by Aerophile, is a bright yellow tethered gas balloon with whimsical appliques featuring a dozen of Disney's animated flying characters in silhouette such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Dumbo. Characters in Flight rises into the Florida sky carrying up to 30 passengers to an altitude of 400 feet. Tickets are $16 adults and $10 for children ages 3-9. Availability is on first-come, first-serve basis.
UP, UP AND AWAY!: Characters from the Disney-Pixar animated comedy "UP" land at Disney's - Monday, June 15, 2009
UP, UP AND AWAY!: Characters from the new Disney-Pixar animated comedy "UP" made a surprise visit May 14, 2009 to Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The three characters -- (L-R): Russell, an eight-year-old Wilderness Explorer; Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old balloon salesman; and Dug, a dog -- pose in front of the park's Sorcerer Hat icon. Beginning May 15, the three characters will make regular meet-and-greet appearances for guests inside the theme park's "Magic of Disney Animation" attraction. "UP," the 10th film from Disney-Pixar, debuts in U.S. theaters nationwide on May 29, 2009. (Gene Duncan, photographer)
Pirates League - Sunday, June 07, 2009
THE PIRATES LEAGUE: Magic Kingdom guests of all ages will be transformed into swashbuckling pirates when The Pirates League makes a Summer, 2009 debut at Walt Disney World Resort. The transformational experience in Adventureland bestows new names on pirate recruits, puts them through a pirate makeover including beards and eye patches and steeps them in the pirate ways, including access to a secret pirate treasure. Boys, girls and grownups ready for the pirate life start the process by calling 407/WDW-CREW beginning May 11. Packages start at $49.95 plus tax. Walt Disney World Resort is in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Earth Takes Center Stage - Saturday, May 16, 2009
EARTH' TAKES CENTER STAGE:
Guests of the 2009 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort can see amazing creations made entirely of sand to celebrate the new theatrical release "Earth," presented by Disneynature, debuting nationwide April 22, 2009. The 16th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival takes place March 18-May 31, 2009. Amid a colorful tableau of flowers, plants and topiaries, Walt Disney World guests of all ages can explore myriad exhibits and activities geared toward gardening and outdoor fun. (Photo by Mary)
Free Dining Plan - Sunday, April 19, 2009
Walt Disney World Guests Can Celebrate with "Free Dining Plan" Vacation Package Offer
Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will have extra reason to celebrate with a great vacation offer that features the popular Disney Dining Plan for free.
Guests buying a five-night/six-day room and theme park ticket package for stays most nights from Aug. 16 to Oct. 3, 2009, can enjoy the Disney Dining Plan for free. The plan includes one quick-service meal, one snack and one table-service meal at up to 100 restaurants for each night of the package stay.
With this special offer, a family of four can get a five-night stay at a select Disney Resort and a 6-day Magic Your Way base ticket (with free dining) for as little as:
$1,390 in a standard room at a Disney Value Resort
$1,764 in a standard room at a Disney Moderate Resort
$2,276 in a standard room at Disney's Wilderness Lodge or Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
$2,586 in a studio at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort or Disney’s Old Key West Resort.*
Guests taking advantage of this offer will find even more to celebrate during their visit. Throughout 2009, Disney Parks asks guests "What Will You Celebrate?" and guests of Walt Disney World can revel in new attractions, entertainment and services that allow them to turn their personal milestones into magical Disney experiences.
The package can be booked now through June 21, 2009 at disneyworld.com or by calling 407/W-DISNEY (407/934-7639) or their local travel agent and asking for package code RYH.
* Prices are based on two adults, one junior (ages 10 to 17) and one child (ages 3 to 9). The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets are for one theme park per day and must be used within 14 days of first use. No group rates or other discounts apply. Excludes gratuities.
Celebrity Chef Cat Cora To Open New Walt Disney World Restaurant - Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Celebrity Chef Cat Cora To Open New Walt Disney World Restaurant
L AKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 17, 2009) -- Chef Cat Cora and Disney are joining together to open an exciting new family dining restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort. Kouzzina by Cat Cora will feature a menu of Mediterranean-style cuisine that pays tribute to the chef’s Greek roots.
The restaurant, to be owned and operated by Disney, is scheduled to open by fall 2009 in the space currently occupied by Spoodles.
“I am pleased to welcome Cat Cora and her engaging new concept for Kouzzina to the Walt Disney World Resort,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “This collaboration between Cat and Disney represents a significant step in our ongoing commitment to offer unique culinary experiences and choices for our guests.”
As a Mississippi native born to a family of Greek restaurateurs, Cora grew up immersed in two different and flavorful cultures , and has taken from that unique background the kitchen “know-how” handed down through generations. The cuisine at Kouzzina (Greek for “kitchen” and pronounced “koo-zee-nah”) will showcase Mediterranean cuisine and Chef Cora’s philosophy to create simple yet sensational meals.
Cora said that the new restaurant will feature “time-honored recipes passed down from my ancestors, as well as my favorite Greek and Mediterranean dishes that my family loves.”
She began working with Disney in 2008 by creating a Disney Video on Demand series to showcase ways to help families develop more healthy eating habits. “I’m extremely excited about this latest extension of my relationship with Disney,” she said. “Together, we’re going to develop a truly amazing contemporary Mediterranean restaurant.”
The first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network's hit show “Iron Chef America,” Cora is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She also is Executive Chef for Bon Appétit magazine. In addition to hosting the instructional cooking demonstrations for Disney Video on Demand, Cora has been a featured chef at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and at Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival at Disneyland Resort.
BLOOMING GOOD TIMES: - Tuesday, March 17, 2009
BLOOMING GOOD TIMES:
The 16th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort takes place March 18-May 31, 2009. Amid a colorful tableau of flowers, plants and topiaries, Walt Disney World guests of all ages can explore myriad exhibits and activities geared toward gardening and outdoor fun. (Gene Duncan, photographer)
2009 EPCOT's International Flower and Garden Festival - Tuesday, March 03, 2009
BAMBI IN A FIELD OF FLOWERS -- A Bambi topiary stands in a field of wildflowers during the annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Plant material is placed artfully and manicured carefully to create original topiary displays. Elsewhere in the park, Epcot blooms with more than 30 million colorful blossoms, fanciful Disney-themed topiaries, interactive activities for kids, musical concerts and gardening workshops during this annual spring festival.
more info and discussion
Disney's Marathon - Monday, January 19, 2009
SEIS!: Brazil's Adriano Bastos breaks the tape at the finish line Jan. 11, 2009, amid a sea of confetti in celebrating his fifth straight Walt Disney World Marathon. The victory gave Bastos his sixth Disney Marathon win overall. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
Holiday Wishes - Sunday, January 11, 2009
“ Holiday Wishes” fireworks, the boldest and brightest pyrotechnics show at Disney, takes place at 8:30 p.m. capped with the grand finale “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks at 11:50 p.m. On Dec. 31, the park is open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Ice Castle - Monday, January 05, 2009
Enchanting Tradition - Friday, November 21, 2008
Festival of the Masters - Thursday, November 06, 2008
ARTFUL MOUSE: Pictured is a piece of artwork created for the 2008 Festival of the M asters art festival. The lakeside setting of Downtown Disney beco mes the backdrop for more than 150 artisans displaying original creations during the 33rd annual Festival of the Masters at Walt Disney World Resort, Nov. 7-9, 2008. Festival of the Masters, presented by Sharpie, is a nationally recognized art show which is ranked among the country’s best outdoor art festivals each year. Festival hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. each day of the festival. Admission is complimentary. For more information about Festival of the Masters, guests may contact 407/824-4321 or visit www.disneyworld.com/artfestival.
Fairy Meet and Greet - Thursday, October 30, 2008
A FAIRY FUN TIME: To celebrate the animated film "Tinker Bell," Disney's most famous fairy and four of h er best friends are featured in a mee t-and-greet experience in Mickey's Toontown Fair at Magic Kingdom. To meet Tinker Bell and her fairy friends, guests enter a magical forest called "Pixie Hollow," a special place deep in the heart o f Never Land. Tinker Bell (center), made famous in the 1953 Disney animated classic "Peter Pan," for her "hostess" role in Disney television specials and for "flying" ab ove the Disney theme parks, is joined inside Pixie Hollow by four fairy friends: Iridessa (left), a light fairy; Fawn (second from left), an animal fairy; Rosetta (second from right), a garden fairy; and Silvermist (right), a water fairy. (Diana Zalucky, photographer)
Lively Louisiana -- at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival - Thursday, October 23, 2008
Lively Louisiana -- Guests enjoy the fast tempos of Cajun zydeco as southern Louisiana's own Zydecane performed during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort. The rich heritage and uniqueness of the state is represented in regional fare, entertainment, art, and storytelling throughout the six-week fest. Louisiana serves up a musical gumbo with the following bands slated to perform: Oct. 19-22 Dixie Tradition, Dixieland jazz; Oct. 23-26 Professor Porkchop, New Orleans jazz and keyboardist; Oct. 27-Nov. 1 Pine Leaf Boys, Cajun band; Nov. 2-5 Bagasse Boyz, bluegrass band; and Nov. 6-9 Judy Davis and Kenny Acosta Band, blues/jazz and New Orleans street beat. The Epcot Internationa Food & Wine Festival continues through Nov. 9 with food and wine tastings, seminars, concerts and more.
T-Rex Dining - Wednesday, October 22, 2008
ICE-ASAURUS: A replica Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil greets diners in the Ice Cave dining area of "T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, A Place to Eat, Shop and Discover" at Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 600-seat restaurant, operated by Landry's Restaurants, combines table-service dining and retail in an interactive prehistoric environment built around water, fire and ice. Guests at "T-Rex" can enjoy life-size animatronic dinosaurs, cascading waterfalls and bubbling geysers while choosing from a menu including appetizers, salads, pastas, sandwiches and desserts. (Gene Duncan, photographer)
UNDER THE SEA - Wednesday, October 22, 2008
UNDER THE SEA: Larger-than-life replicas of prehistoric sea creatures combine with giant aquariums of exotic fish in the lounge area of "T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure, A Place to Eat, Shop and Discover" at Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 600-seat restaurant, operated by Landry's Restaurants, combines table-service dining and retail in an interactive prehistoric environment built around water, fire and ice. Guests at "T-Rex" can enjoy life-size animatronic dinosaurs, cascading waterfalls and bubbling geysers while choosing from a menu including appetizers, salads, pastas, sandwiches and desserts. (Gene Duncan, photographer)
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2008 - Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – When the Disney characters dress up for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this September and October, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be debuting a whole new look. Mickey has traded his scarecrow costume for stunning purple and orange eveningwear fit for a Halloween ball. Not to be outdone, Mickey’s best girl, Minnie Mouse, exchanged her witch costume for a party dress to complement Mickey’s attire.
For Mickey, it’s a top hat and purple tails. For Minnie, it’s a party dress with a purple hat with an orange ribbon – bright and colorful, befitting the fun on 26 evenings between Sept. 5 and Oct. 31 when Magic Kingdom hosts the popular after-hours party.
Guests are invited to dress up as well for the 7 p.m.-midnight party which features two scheduled entertainment extravaganzas guests can see at no other time: the “Boo-to-You” Halloween parade and the bewitching “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks spectacular. There’s trick-or-treating galore and also a chance to experience popular attractions throughout the evening.
Parties are slated for Sept. 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 28, 30 and Oct. 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, 16, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31. To purchase advance tickets, guests can call 407/W-DISNEY or visit disneyworld.com/halloween.
Happy HallowWishes - Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Red Stick Animation Festival - Thursday, March 12, 2009
Disney to promote film, animation at Baton Rouge festival
Walt Disney Studios plans on being in Baton Rouge and Louisiana a lot more in the coming months in anticipation of its Christmas Day release of The Princess and the Frog, an animated film set in New Orleans. The movie trailer may possibly make its debut at this year's Red Stick Animation Festival, set for April 22-25, says Emily Hoppe, a Disney marketing executive. Hoppe, who was the guest speaker today at a Red Stick Animation Festival lunch, says Disney filmmakers will teach younger students about animation as well as review and critique portfolios from university students. Festival events will also feature a prominent Disney theme. Stacey Simmons, director of the animation festival, said the relationship with Disney will help grow interest in animation in Louisiana and help generate sponsorships for the festival. “It’s huge the movie being set in Louisiana,” she says.
is part of Disney’s return to its two-dimensional animation roots. The movie may also help export The Princess and the Frog Louisiana culture around the world. Hoppe says research shows international audiences don't know much about the South. Along with the animation festival events, Disney will have a presence in New Orleans later this year. The “Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studio” exhibit will begin at the New Orleans Museum of Art in November and run through mid-March 2010. —Anna Thibodeaux (Baton Rouge Business Report)
Discussions and comments..
Welcome to the Mouse-aid travel info page. Here you will find our directory of travel articles provided by professionals on Mouse-aid that address a variety of travel needs and information. If you have an article you would like to submit please send it to: Beth@mouse-aid.com or Angel@mouse-aid.com. Your pictures are welcome too.
2008 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Kiosk Checklist - Saturday, October 04, 2008
The following tables are provided to assist in your planning for the 2008 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. We can not be responsible for changes in prices or menu items.
Beef and Corn Casserole
Grilled Beef with Chimichurri Sauce
Bodega Norton Chardonnay
Bodega Norton Torrontes
Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec
Bodega Norton Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
Queen Victoria Market
Pepperberry Prawns on the Barbie
Chilled Barramundi Fish with Fennel Slaw
Grilled Lamb Chops
Green Point Shiraz
Cooralook Pinot Noir
Foster's Lager (12 oz) $11.50 (22 oz)
Montreal , Canada Kiosk
Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
Maple Glazed Salmon w/Roasted Corn &Arugula
Maple Custard Topped w/ Almond Crumbs
Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard
Chateau des Charmes Vidal Icewine
Chateau des Charmes Riesling
Chateau des Charmes Merlot St. David's Bench Vineyard
Moet & Chandon Imperial
Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial
Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial
Moet & Chandon Nectar Imperial
Shrimp with Cilantro Sauce
Spicy Beef Empanada
Dulce de Leche
Montes 'Limited Selection' Sauvignon Blanc
Montes 'Limited Selection' Cabernet-Carmenere
Montes Classic Series Chardonnay
Montes Alpha Syrah -
Shanghai , China Kiosk
Caramel Ginger Ice Cream
Chicken Sha Cha
Pork Pot Stickers
Dragon's Hollow Chardonnay
Green Tea Plum Wine Cooler
Mango Fu-Te-Jia Slush
Athens , Greece Kiosk
Kourtaki Mavrodaphne of Patras
Vatistas Cabernet Sauvignon Agiorghitiko Blend
Lyon , France Kiosk
Escargot Persillade en Brioche
Quiche au Fromage de Chevre
Creme Brulee Chocolat au Lait
Merlot Bordeaux Rouge, Chateau Haut Mondain
Vouvray, Michel Picard
Sparkling Pomegranate Kir
Chardonnay Macon Villages Georges Duboeuf
Munich , Germany Kiosk
Regensburger Sausage w/Saurkraut in a Pretzel Roll
Spaetzle with Creamy Mushroom Ragout
Beck's Beer (12oz)
S.A. Prum Blue State Riesling Kabinett
S.A. Prum Essence Riesling
S.A. Prum Riesling Spatlese
Schloss Reinhartshausen Riesling -
Brewers Collection Hosted by Anheuser Busch
Parmesan and Garlic Pita Chips
Sun Dried Tomato Pita Chips
Mustard and Onion Pretzel Crisps
Hoegaarden - (12 oz) $11.50 (22 oz)
Stella Artois (12oz) $12.50 (22oz)
Staropramen - (12 oz) $11.50 (22 o
Boddingtons - (12oz) $12.50 (22oz)
Tennents Lager(12oz) $12.50 (22oz)
Harbin Beer(12 oz)
Tiger Beer(12 oz)
San Juan Puerto Rico
Pastelon de Amarillo
Frozen Pina Colada
Hops & Barley Market Kiosk
Boston Crab Cake with Corn-Lentil Salad
New England Lobster Roll
Samual Adams Beers:
Black Lager (12oz)
Honey Porter - (12oz)
13th Annual Festival Beer
New Delhi , India Kiosk
Samosa with Tamarind Sauce
Shrimp in Red Curry Sauce over Rice
Sula Sauvignon Blanc
Sula Chenin Blanc
Kingfisher Premium Lager
Cork , Ireland Kiosk
Potato Leek Soup with Dubliner Cheese Stick
Boxty w/ Bacon Chips & Kerrygold Garlic & Fresh Herb Butter
Irish Cheese Plate & Brown Bread with Apple Chutney
Frozen Irish Coffee
Bologna , Italy Kiosk
Pizza with Sausage
Sartori Pinot Grigio
Tokyo , Japan Kiosk
California Sushi Roll
Spicy Tuna Roll
Seaweed Salad w/Shrimp & Oranges
Takara Plum Wine
Kirin Ichiban Draft Beer
Ozeki Dry Sake
Hana Raspberry Sake
Ocha Gyokuro Iced Green Tea
Authentic Pistachio Baklava
Manti w/ Yogurt Sauce
Meze (Eggplant Puree, Bostana & Turkish Black Olives w/ Pita Bread)
Efes Pilsner Beer (6oz) $5.50 (12oz)
Kavaklidere Cankaya White
Kavaklidere Selection Beyaz White
Kavaklidere Selection Kirmizi Red
Kavaklidere Yakut Red
Marrakesh Morocco Kiosk
Kefta (Beef Pocket)
Bodegas Pinord Moscatel
Mint Iced Tea
Wellington , New Zealand Kiosk
Kiwi Meringue Tartlet
Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc
Villa Maria Private Bin Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot
Villa Maria Private Bin Unoaked Chardonnay
Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling
Cajun Style Crawfish Etouffee
Praline Bread Pudding, Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Abita Amber Beer(12 oz)
(22 oz Souvenir Stein - no refills) $12.50
Beef Goulash with Bacon Dumpling
Leth Gruner Veltliner
Poland Kiosk (last year’s menu)
Cabbage Roll with Spiced Beef
Kielbasa and Potato Pierogies
Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel
Kasztelanski Honey Wine
Nalewka Babuni Raspberry Wine
South Africa Kiosk
Bobotie with Mango Chutney
Durban Spiced Chicken on a Skewer
Spice Cake w/ Chocolate Sauce
Fairview Goats do Roam White
Fairview Sauvignon Blanc
Goats do Roam The Godfather Red Blend
Fairview Pinotage -
Barcelona , Spain Kiosk
Chilled Tomato and Garlic Soup
Seared Tuna Loin with Roasted Red Peppers
Churro with Chocolate Sauce
Bodega Don Olegario Albarino
Poema Cava Brut
Bodegas Julian Chivite Gran Feudo Rose
Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial -
Mexico City , Mexico Kiosk
Quesadilla con Chorizo
Capirotada (Bread pudding with White Chocolate)
L.A. Cetto Chardonnay
L.A. Cetto Petite Sirah
L.A. Cetto Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Dos Equis Beer
Agua de Horchata
San Francisco, California
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
Seared Beef Medallion with Cheddar Cheese Polenta
California Strawberry Shortcake
Rosenblum Cellars Kathy's Cuvee Viognier
Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Dynamite Vineyards Merlot
Mouse Catch --Cheese and Wine Pairings
Asiago Pressato , Italy
Manchego , Spain Dorothea, Holland
Duo of Cheese
Trio of Cheese
Asiago Pressato and Martini & Rossi Prosecco
Manchego and Marques de Caceres Roja Crianza
Dorothea and Heinekin Beer
By: Beth Blancher, M.A.
Find out more about the feelings that parents, children and siblings who live with autism or Asperger’s rarely share.
Join Beth as she shares the misadventures of families traveling to Disney Parks with Adult ADHD.
By Collette Bonvillain
Collette a young navy wife shares her pregancy experience at WDW. Check it out
By:If you are traveling with a disabled or ill child then Hayden's Corner is a must read. Follow along with ..Kyle ..Jones Hayden's dad as they explore the Disney Parks providing critical information for families. Hayden was a who's short life was enhanced by a wonderful trip to WDW. Hayden's dad, Kyle, shares their experience. make a wish child