Hey Disney family! Welcome to our blog! We talk all things Disney World and beyond and we are excited that you could join us! Be sure to follow us on Instagram at ForLoveOfMouse, on Facebook at For The Love of The Mouse and on YouTube at For Love of The Mouse.
Today we are talking working out in Walt Disney World. Also, make sure you follow us here on ForTheLoveofTheMouse.com so you can be the first to see our posts and get the skinny on the happenings in the Disney World.
If you follow along on our adventures, you know that I am a fitness addict and proud of it. I workout everyday and I love it. I even workout on Disney vacations because, for me, it gets my day started off right. There are several ways to get a good workout in Walt Disney World and we are going to talk about different options for workouts, creative ways to get a quick workout in, highlight some easy, fun and effective workouts and talk about which resorts have the best trails and fitness facilities.
Let’s get physical! (You know you are humming that song now too!)
Let’s start with trails. There are so many great walking/running trails all over Walt Disney World, so where can you go to get a good run in before you hit the parks for a fun-filled Disney day? If you are going to hit the trails, go ahead and download the Charity Miles app (not a paid promotion of any kind) from the Apple Store or Play Store so you can, not only track your miles but also have your workout go to a good cause. With Charity Miles, a portion of the distance you walk, run or bike will be donated to a charity of your choice! Doing good for others while doing good for you!
If you are staying at Wilderness Lodge or the campgrounds or cabins at Wilderness Lodge; there is a trail that comes right out of the front of the resort, back around the bus stops and heads all over the property, including down by the cabins and around to the campgrounds. The trail will take you on about a 2.5 mile run, and you may see some really amazing things that might make you think you are jogging in my home state of Colorado on a beautiful (humid) morning. Also, maybe I took a weird turn but according to my tracker, the run was more like 3.5 miles but I have a habit of not paying the best attention and wandering off on my runs.
You will also see some great views of the lake, maybe some deer, when you are running by the campgrounds you can see the majestic horses in their stalls and maybe stop by and say hi to them. If running in seclusion makes you uneasy, you might want to opt out of doing this alone because running paths in Disney, especially early in the morning, are not crowded most of the time. You may see a few other adventurers but you will most likely have the trail to yourself for most of your workout.
Wilderness Lodge also has a fitness center. The Health Center is called Sturdy Branches and is located in the Boulder Ridge Villas section of the lodge. The facility is free to guests staying at Wilderness Lodge and is available to guests ages 14 and up. The facility includes treadmills, bikes and free weights along with a few other pieces of equipment. It is small but it can definitely provide you with the tools to get a good workout in.
My favorite trail is at Port Orleans. Back in March when my mom and I stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, I would get up each morning and run along the trail that connects Port Orleans Riverside to Port Orleans French Quarter. The total trail is 1.8 miles and I’m not going to lie, one morning, I got lost but it is a beautiful trail that runs along the river and it is pretty quiet, especially early in the morning. I would see a few people out sitting or walking with their coffee or morning beverage but very few runners taking advantage of the trail so it was very serene and peaceful.
This is your only option for a resort provided workout “facility” at Port Orleans as there is not designated fitness center.
Other trails include a short 1 mile trail that connects the Polynesian Resort to the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, a beautiful path that takes you around all of the Epcot Resorts and Swan and Dolphin that equals about 1.3 miles or the Buena Vista Drive run in the same area that is about 2.4 miles. There is also a trail around Caribbean Resort that equals about 1.2 miles and one around Old Key West that totals just around 1.37 miles. For more information on trails around Walt Disney World Resorts, be sure to ask the concierge desks and they can point you in the right direction and may even have a handy map you can follow.
Not every Disney resort, as we’ve already mentioned, has a designated fitness facility but many do. Disney resorts that we know of who offer a fitness facility include The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani Village for sure but we do believe there is one at Jambo House as well). Yacht Club, Saratoga Springs, Contemporary, Old Key West, Boardwalk, Dolphin (not technically a Disney owned resort but still on property) and Coronado Springs. These facilities are open to guests of those resorts and are available for those ages 14 and up.
So, let’s say you are staying at a resort that doesn’t have a fitness facility and you aren’t in a running mood; what could you do? Here are some great, quick, workouts perfect for the hotel room that take up little time and can have a big impact.
First of all, and this is not a paid promotion of any kind, download the Wod Timer app from the Apple Store or the Play Store. This allows you to time your workouts in several different ways, there is a clock, a set timer, a tabata timer and an EMOM (every minute on the minute timer). I use this at home, at the gym and while traveling, I love this app.
For those who are unsure, a Tabata is a type of workout where you work for twenty seconds and get a ten second rest. The workout is eight rounds so each Tabata workout is only four minutes in length. Don’t think you can get a great workout in four minutes? Let me show you. Typically, I string a few of these together to total three to five total tabata rounds. When you hit start, you will have ten seconds to prepare before the first round begins.
You will need for this workout, your phone with the Wod Timer or similar app, a space big enough to lie down flat without banging up your body and if you wish, a towel, to keep your knees from getting raw from the carpet.
Mickey’s Morning Routine
Tabata Style Workout
Round 1: Twenty seconds on, ten seconds off, eight rounds of air squats. Aim to hit between ten to twenty air squats per round. For each squat, your butt should drop below parallel and your knees should not cross over your toes, drive your knees outward and keep your core tight.
Round 2: Twenty seconds on, ten seconds off, eight rounds of situps. Your goal should be to hit around ten situps per round. For each situp, your back should go all the way back to the ground and your head should break the plane of your knees at the top of the movement. Variations include, hands at your side, hands touching over your head at the bottom and in front of your toes at the top of the movement, legs bent, legs in a butterfly position and straight legs. Try to remain consistent through the course of the series.
Round 3: Twenty seconds on, ten seconds off, eight rounds of burpees. Aim to get between four and seven per round. A full burpee is all the way to the ground, (arms, chest and toes) pop up into a squat like position and fully extend to the top. For half burpees, go down into a plank position as your bottom position and fully extend at the top.
Round 4: Twenty seconds on, ten seconds off, eight rounds of pushups. Aim to get between twelve and twenty reps per round. Pushups can be performed as full pushups, chest touching the ground (no worming up, keep core tight to remain in engaged plank position), knees on the ground, incline pushups again a vanity or firm, non-moving surface or decline pushups, feet on bed and hands on the ground.
You’re done! Full body workout in twenty minutes. Between each round of movements take a one minute break. This is one way to get your day started off right! This is my favorite hotel workout and one I do often whenever I need a quick burn.
Donald’s Core Burner
This is a two part workout to burn your core!
Part 1: With a clock nearby, you have five minutes to hold a plank for a total of three minutes. Everytime you come out of the plank push pause on the clock until you work for a total of three minutes.
Part 2: With a running clock, work for one minute and use fifteen seconds to transition into the next movement. Transition between one minute of bent leg situps, one minutes of flutter kicks, one minute of side plank on your right side, one minute of side plank on your left side and one minute of straight leg situps. Repeat for four rounds.
Minnie’s Morning Mashup
This workout is an outdoor workout, find a space of grass near a trail or sidewalk to complete just so that you don’t get complaints from people beneath you.
With the Wod Timer app set to EMOM, work for thirty seconds and rest for 30 seconds for a total of sixteen to twenty minutes.
Alternate the following movements for your working sets for your set amount of time:
Jumping squats (squat with good form, tight core and each squat must go below parallel)
Burpees (full or half)
Daisy’s Daily Burn:
This is a quiet but effective workout designed to be quiet enough for a hotel room but it packs a punch.
For 20 rounds perform the following set of movements
20 air squats
Pluto’s Downward Dog:
There is a funny story behind the name of this workout. We have two dogs and when I am doing burpees at home one of them does them with me. We even have it on video of her sitting and laying down with me as I do burpees and yes, it is the cutest thing that has ever been filmed.
There are several variations of this workout. All are effective and all are quick burners. For the burpees you can either do full burpees, where your chest goes all the way to the ground or half burpees where you go from standing to a plank and back to standing.
100 burpees for time
:30 seconds of work :30 seconds of rest until you complete 100 burpees
For ten rounds complete the following:
10 lunges or squats
There you have it! Those are just a few suggestions for a quick but effective workout to get your day started or to end it on a high note while you are on vacation in Walt Disney World. Want more suggestions? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you come up with the right plan for your fitness level, resort and time. Have a great hotel workout you want to share? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.
This event is not offered often. The event began in April of 2018 and has only been offered a handful of times. When purchased in advance, tickets are $119 per adult or child, plus tax. If tickets are still available day of (events up to the time of publishing of this blog have all sold out prior to day of) tickets are $124 per adult or child, plus tax.Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members do receive a discount and tickets are $89 per ticket, plus tax.
Guests can access the Magic Kingdom for lanyard distribution at 7 pm on the day of the event. We entered the event right around 8:30 pm and were directed toward entrance locations that were designated for those attending the event. After we checked in, we were immediately handed our lanyards. As of the time of this post being published, there is only one more Disney After Hours event scheduled and it is from 9 pm to Midnight on September 30.
We grabbed coffee at Starbucks on Main Street and then just stepped onto Main Street to watch Happily Ever After. Following the fireworks, we zig-zagged through the throng of people heading for the exit and took the Tomorrowland Terrace to get to Tomorrowland.
Lines for rides were still crazy because as long as a person gets in line before park close or in this case, before the After Hours event started, gets to ride the ride. So, we rode the People Mover while we waited for the crowds to thin a bit.
We were a bit nervous still seeing a lot of crowds because after all, we paid extra for this event and we didn’t really know what to expect but after we got off the People Mover, we went and did the Incredible Summer Photo Pass shots at night and then made our way to more rides.
By this time, it was about 10:10 and the crowds and wait times were starting to thin. As we walked past Tomorrowland Speedway toward the Mad Tea Cups, it was amazing how quickly the crowd dispersed. We walked onto the Mad Tea Cups. Then we went over to Dumbo and walked onto Dumbo.
There were a large number of snack carts open and, get this! Unlimited bottled beverages and ice cream treats all night long. You read that right; and it was amazing.
We rode Little Mermaid, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Peter Pan and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
We also got some amazing photo pass shots! There were a number of photo pass photographers wandering around and there was no line for most of them. Of course, there were a couple of exceptions and one of those was the Tangled lantern photo pass opportunity over near the Tangled restrooms had a line but it was nothing like a typical night at Magic Kingdom; there were maybe five people in the line.
This was, by and large, one of my favorite nights in Walt Disney World ever. We had such a blast. We had been up for almost forty eight straight hours and it didn’t matter, we just had an amazing time.
If you are on the fence about participating in an After Hours event, I highly recommend it. The only ride we really waited for all night long was Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and we waited maybe fifteen minutes for that.
It was absolutely worth it. There are very few times when Disney rolls out the free goodies and this was one of those times. Free bottled beverages and frozen treats is a unique thing at Walt Disney World and that alone might have made it worth it; couple that with the ridiculously short wait on rides, you could say we one hundred percent thought it was worth it!
Have you done an After Hours event? Are you planning to? We would love to hear from you.
If you have any questions about After Hours or Disney in general, leave us a comment and we would love to help you out. We posted a vlog featuring the amazing day we had Disney that ended with After Hours and you can check that out HERE!
Thanks for stopping by. For the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.
Hey Disney family! Welcome to our blog! We talk all things Disney World and beyond and we are excited that you could join us! Be sure to follow us on Instagram at ForLoveOfMouse, on Facebook at For The Love of The Mouse and on YouTube at For Love of The Mouse.
We are doing something a little different today and we are pretty excited about it. We have been getting some great questions from our family here on the blog, over on YouTube and on Instagram and Facebook. So, we decided to split the questions into two categories and doing a couple of Q&A’s to answer your questions.
This post will answer your questions for us and the next installment will answer your questions on how we do Disney and answering some of your great questions on Disney and things we recommend and can’t do without for every trip.
We received some really great questions and always love to answer questions from our Disney family so if you have a question go ahead and leave us a comment or head over to YouTube, Facebook or Instagram and ask there and we will be sure to get you an answer! So, let’s jump right in!
What do you do besides Disney?
That is a great question. As most of you know, we live in Colorado but travel to Disney quite frequently. Although we post all about Disney and are all about that Disney life, we do actually do fun stuff outside of Disney. Both of us are crossfitters and we have been attending the same Crossfit gym together for four years. We love Crossfit and our Crossfit community and actually the family that we are going to Disney with in just a few weeks are a part of our Crossfit family!
We are both Colorado natives and both of our families are located here. We do a lot of stuff with our families, both our families have land, (my family has a much smaller property) and we love to take our beloved fur children to our parent’s houses to run around and live their best outdoor life.
I am a big crafter and I love to do different crafty things for our home and friends and we are also die hard football fans. Come fall on the weekends you can find us at the University of Colorado cheering on our Buffs or cheering on our Denver Broncos!
Have you ever considered moving to Orlando?
Yes. That’s the short answer. There is a lot that goes into that conversation. I actually had an offer from a wonderful company in Orlando several months back! For us, it has to make financial sense and it has to make sense for both of us. Bryson has an amazing job that he has held and worked his way up for some years so one or both of us would need to secure jobs that pay what we get paid here that would allow us to live the life we are accustomed to down in Orlando.
As much as we would love to live in Orlando and go to Disney everyday, we would not move to Disney without jobs for at least one of us that would afford us the living we have here and the cost of living is lower in Orlando than it is here so high paying jobs in our industries are not abundant.
In addition, both of our families live in Colorado and although I have lived in places other than Colorado, Bryson has not, so it is something that we are in constant conversation about. Not to mention our parents health is always a factor as well. But, yes, I am always on the lookout for jobs in the Orlando area and should an opportunity arise we would have a serious conversation about that and would certainly consider it.
Do your friends and family support your Disney obsession?
We have traveled to Disney with some of our family and are about to go with some of our good friends. Most of our friends and family don’t necessarily understand our Disney obsession but no one outright doesn’t support us. It’s our money and our vacation time so typically when people get a little weird about it we just laugh and say, “bet we could change your mind” and while we truly believe that, we don’t ever try to shove our love of Disney down anyone’s throats.
Also, most of our friends and family know that we go to Disney a lot but they don’t know about our blog or our vlog. It’s not something that would interest them so we just don’t bring it up. Most people always say that they would love to come with us on a trip and we always leave that door open for our friends and family to join us on one of our adventures.
Bryson’s parents enjoy Disney and we are thinking of planning a trip with them for 2019 and my mom and I love Disney. We went this year and have been several times before and we are looking to book another trip this spring should everything fall in line.
Where else do you want to travel?
There are so many amazing places on the bucket list. I really want Bryson to experience Australia since I have been there before. I really want to go to Ireland and Italy and Greece and after watching the Bucket List Family go to Giraffe Manor in Kenya! I also want to free dive with whales in Tonga. If you don’t already follow the Bucket List Family, they are an incredible family who lived as a full-time traveling family for the past three years and in their Tonga video, which was the last video on their full-time traveling adventure, I bawled. I sat with Bryson and watched the video and cried, tears streaming down my face, cried. Not ashamed. I also really want to visit Alaska and stay at a country ranch and I want to go to wine country in California and back to Kauai. I love to travel, if you can’t tell from this answer.
How did you two meet?
We met in college. We both were in Greek Life, although I was also an athlete and was not as involved as I should have been, and we had the same friends. We didn’t hang out a ton in college but after college I moved to Washington DC, when I returned to Colorado, we started hanging out, then dating and then Bam! The rest is history.
What do you do for work?
Bryson works in operations and has been with the same company for a pretty long time. I am currently working as a director for non-profit that serves as a day and resource center for the homeless community.
What are your dream jobs?
Bryson wants to be a football coach when he grows up (I keep telling him to go coach at a local high school or something on the side, but it is a big time commitment and he already works a lot of hours); or be his own boss. I want to open a dog rescue and work to save homeless and abused dogs from all over the world and find them homes and own a massive piece of land where they can run and be free. Or, I would love to be the Director of Communications for Disney.
Do you ski or snowboard?
Interestingly enough no. I did both but have not done either since moving back to Colorado. It’s on the list though, I want to get Bryson up there because it really is amazing and fun.
What is your favorite season in Colorado?
Bryson loves fall and spring and I love summer and fall. I actually despise winter. I love Christmas but I despise winter. I don’t enjoy being cooped up in the house. I like to be active and be outdoors but since we don’t ski or enjoy winter sports, I find winter boring and cold. Bryson loves the cool temps in the spring and fall and doesn’t mind winter because the cold doesn’t bother him anyway (see what I did there).
Did you both love Disney before you got together?
I did! Bryson had been to Disney and had enjoyed it but wasn’t sold on Disney as an adult. I loved Disney and my cousin and I convinced our then boyfriends, now husbands, to plan a trip to Walt Disney World and that’s all she wrote. We went to Disney for one week in January many moons ago and before the trip was even finished, we were planning our next trip and now here we are!
Are you going to have kids?
We aren’t sure! We are enjoying our little family of the two of us and our two dogs right now and although we are older (34 at the time of this post) newlyweds, we aren’t in a rush. We enjoy the freedom not having kids provides us but we will see what the future holds. We aren’t opposed to it but we aren’t in a hurry for it to happen.
Did you have a Disney wedding?
We did not! We had a rustic Colorado wedding and it was fabulous. We had a ton of people, over 200, come to our wedding. We found an amazing venue in the foothills and it was rustic and country and mountain themed and gorgeous and it was perfect for us. If we were to do a vow renewal someday maybe we would do that at Disney but we wanted to make sure all our family and friends were able to come and some of our family doesn’t travel so it was a perfect Colorado wedding for a Colorado couple. But, we had two honeymoons, only because our honeymoon was six months after our wedding and we went to Orlando before that so we decided to make it a honeymoon as well! Our regularly scheduled honeymoon was Hawaii!
Have you considered blogging/vlogging about non-Disney things?
Yes! When we started this Disney adventure, we had no idea what it was going to become. We love Disney and we love talking Disney but I have been thinking a lot about also focusing on our daily lives outside of Disney. We never want to stray from Disney but we live in Colorado and it’s fun here too! We’ll just have to see!
That’s it for this post! Do you have a question for us? Ask away! We love to hear from you! Also we love receiving mail so if you would like to drop us a line, here is our PO Box!
Bryson and Crystal
P.O. Box 813
Eastlake, CO 80614
Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget that it all started with a mouse!
Hey Disney family! Welcome to our blog! We talk all things Disney World and beyond and we are excited that you could join us! Be sure to follow us on Instagram at ForLoveOfMouse, on Facebook at For The Love of The Mouse and on YouTube at For Love of The Mouse.
Today, we are going to be doing an in depth review of Cape May Cafe. On our last trip to Walt Disney World, we ate at Cape May Cafe not just once, but twice. The second night was something of a fluke; we were headed to Epcot and Teddan Edo in the Japan Pavilion in World Showcase and a torrential downpour and thunderstorm swept in and we decided to just check at Cape May, since our Minnie Van driver had just dropped us off at Beach Club and low and behold, there was an opening for two and we decided to skip the ponchos and lightning and stay warm at dry at Beach Club.
So, Cape May is a Table Service restaurant at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. It is one table service dining credit on the Disney Dining Plan and is a buffet style meal for breakfast and dinner.
For breakfast, Cape May is a character dining experience. You can visit some of the “Fab Five” here. Most often you will find that Minnie, Donald, and Goofy are there for “Minnie’s Beach Bash.”
Menu’s at Disney are always subject to change but you will find a good spread here. Mickey waffles, breakfast meats including sausage and bacon, eggs (usually scrambled), sometimes, assorted fruits, pastries are always available as well as cold cereal. The specialty dishes are often switched up but can include french toast, frittatas, eggs benedict and more.
Alcoholic drinks including bloody mary’s, mimosas and coffee drinks are available for purchase or with the Disney Dining Plan for those over the age of 21.
Dinner, in my opinion, is where it is at for Cape May Cafe. The selections are numerable and the food was really tasty. I will say, that having gone two nights in a row, we got a really good idea of what was available and what was consistently good from night to night. A seafood buffet is difficult, especially if the food is not popular that evening and sits out.
I don’t love buffets for the most part. I love Tusker House but it still makes me uneasy to go there because I hate being full and I always feel like I have to eat my weight in food in order for a buffet to be worth it because they are expensive; especially at Disney.
I really enjoyed the food here. There was a lot of variety and a lot of different types of seafood. There was boiled shrimp, grilled crab legs, crab claws, mussels in a delicious broth, fried clam strips, fried shrimp, salads including a caesar salad, a southwest salad, a pasta salad, a carving station with beef, several varieties of breads, fruit including watermelon, pineapple and more, and two soups both times we were there. On both occasions, there was a vegetable soup in a broth and a New England style clam chowder.
There were also pasta dishes including an alfredo and then a mac and cheese in what I believe was the kids section, although I saw just as many adults taking advantage of this, including myself and the mac and cheese was tasty! In addition, there was corn, whole red potatoes and green beans and also chicken. Each night, there was a different speciality chicken dish that was available.
Not only was there a wide variety of food offered, but it was by and large well prepared and had good flavor. The crab legs were great and there was an abundance of them. There was actually a castmember behind the buffet throwing them on the grill and monitoring them. We ate a lot of crab legs. They also had claws. I will say this about the claws; I love claws but they can be a lot of work and in truth, they were tough and a little rubbery.
I think this was because most people, at least on the nights we were there, were going for the crab legs and not the claws so they were sitting under the heat lamps for a while and they got rubbery. Now, if you were there on a night when that item was popular, you probably had or will have a very different experience. That is the thing about buffets.
The other seafood dishes were good as well! I am not a fried food person but I tried the fried clam strips and put fresh lemon on them (there was a tarter sauce and cocktail sauce option as well) and I actually ended up going up to get seconds of that dish. I did not try the fried shrimp but hubby did and he said they were good.
The boiled shrimp were plentiful and I thought very sweet and flavorful. They were not peeled so you have to earn your shrimp but I prefer that.
The salads were decent. Salads are a tough one on a buffet because with the dressing already on there, you have a limited window of time when the salad is fresh and crisp before it gets soggy. I enjoyed the salads but just be aware that they have been sitting there for a bit so they are going to get soggy fast.
There were several types of bread on the buffet. There was a what looked like a rosemary foccacia, a sliced baguette, a dinner roll and a couple of other options as well. I took the baguette and dunked it in my delicious broth from my mussels. On our first night at Cape May Cafe, the mussels were my favorite thing on the entire buffet. You can’t beat a good batch of mussels in a flavorful broth and this did not disappoint.
There were also clams! Hubby got the clams; I am not a fan of clams. He ate all of the ones on his plate and said they were very tasty and enjoyable.
There are certainly choices for everyone at Cape May Cafe. Hubby’s favorite things were the crab legs and my favorite were the mussels. Even if you have folks in your party who aren’t huge seafood fans, they will probably find something on this buffet. I will say though, if you have someone who really doesn’t like seafood or a couple people who don’t enjoy it, maybe skip Cape May Cafe and find a place on property that has more of a variety that would offer options for those people because it is certainly seafood centered.
Let’s talk dessert. There was a dessert table right when you walked into the restaurant. In fact, there were two. But, I’m not going to lie, I was really disappointed in the desserts. There were several mini cupcake offerings including a lemon, a red velvet and a chocolate raspberry, there was a mini apple pie and a no bake cheesecake. They were all fine; there was nothing wrong with any of them and I ate them but they were typical desserts, nothing special, nothing to write home about. We were actually celebrating our anniversary on this trip; and our next trip as well but that’s a whole different story so we were given an anniversary cupcake. It was cute, it wasn’t that tasty, but it was cute.
I’m a big dessert fan and these were just there, kind of like an afterthought, no real thought put into it but they put a lot of thought into the actual buffet so maybe they have found that people get too stuffed on dinner to pay that much attention to dessert. So, skip dessert here, it’s not great and go to Beaches and Cream instead.
Last thing I want to touch on is the decor. The decor is so amazing! I absolutely loved it. At each booth, around the restaurant there were beautiful beachy murals painted on the walls. Each one was different and looked vintage. On the columns around the restaurant that surround the buffet, croquet mallets are attached up and down the entire column; it is a really cool touch and one of my favorite parts of the restaurant. On the side of the restaurant that flanks the walkway to the pool and Beaches and Cream, there are large sandcastles in glass cases that are very theme appropriate and detailed. The colors are beachey and calm in tones of tan, sand and pastel blue.
Have you been to Cape May Cafe? What did you think? What was your favorite part or what are you looking forward to at the restaurant? We’d love to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.
Hey Disney family! Welcome back to our blog. We talk all things Disney World and beyond and we are excited that you could join us! Be sure to follow us on Instagram at ForLoveOfMouse, on Facebook at For The Love of The Mouse and on YouTube at For Love of The Mouse.
Food and Wine Festival is upon us again! It is, my personal favorite festival. I love that it is in the fall, even though it is still 100 degrees in Disney and I love that each year there are just more and more amazing options added.
That being said, it can be incredibly overwhelming. What time should you get there? Where should you go? How much time should you dedicate to it? What about dining reservations?
So many questions and we, here at For Love of the Mouse, have the answers. Or at least the guidance for you to reach the answers for yourself.
First and foremost the 2018 Food and Wine Festival runs from August 30 through November 12. You do not need an additional ticket to partake in the kitchens of Food and Wine Festival which, for the most part, are all around the World Showcase, with a few exceptions spilling out of World Showcase toward Spaceship Earth.
You will want to grab a Festival Passport which will be your pocket guide to Food and Wine. Festival passports can be found upon entering the park prior to Spaceship Earth, in the gift shops, the festival center and also at each kitchen. Your festival passport will show you what is at every single booth for Food and Wine, where the extra ticketed events are and when those are held and it will include a stamp for each and every booth that, as you check off the booths, you can stamp your passport for that county’s kitchen.
We recommend taking some sort of writing utensil so that you can make notes on what you order. We are of course, taking photos of everything, but we also like to mark off things we try on our passport and if it is one of our favorite items, we will mark it with a start, so we remember how much we enjoyed it. That way you can get it if you return this year and can remember some of your favorite’s for next year as well.
The Festival Center is located in Future World East and is where you will find the Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar, all the Food and Wine merchandise, where some special events and culinary shows will be held. Last year, Ghiradelli hosted a space in the center where you could sample chocolates and look at amazing chocolate sculptures depicting various Disney movies; those were amazing.
A must for us, at every festival is to purchase a festival gift card. These gift cards can be found at any of the merchandise shops and festival shop kiosks. They are small, cute gift cards, themed to match the festival and can be worn around your wrist. One of the main reasons we do this is to track how much we spend at the festival. It is easy to think you are just getting one thing here and a couple things here, but trust us, they add up and the next thing you know, you are $400 deep in Food and Wine.
Typically, we put a couple hundred dollars on our card. That may seem like a lot, and it is, but we try so many things so that we can review them and also because we like to eat. Also, important to remember, Food and Wine can easily fill up your meals for the day, so what you spend here, you won’t be spending at restaurants around the park.
Set a budget for yourself or for your group and put that amount on your gift card. At every kitchen, the castmember will tell you how much you have remaining the gift card so you will know what you have spent and how far you have left to go.
That leads us in to our next point. Dining reservations. One way your food can really add up during a festival is if you make the mistake of making dining reservations on the day(s) you are heading to the festival. This festival is food and drink, and there is a ton of it. There is no need to make a dining reservation at Epcot for the day(s) you are partaking in the festival, if you are planning on eating around the world. That is way too much food, and coming from us, that is saying something.
For us, we will grab a coffee at Starbucks when we first get to Epcot, ride a few rides while we wait for the kitchens to open and then hit it full force.
Since the kitchens don’t open until 11, maybe grab a pastry at Les Halles if you can’t wait until then to get food in your belly but we wouldn’t recommend getting a massive meal before the big event and always important to remember that you need to cancel a dining reservation 24 hours in advance in order to not be charged so if you have a big meal planned at any point in the day, you are not going to be able to fully enjoy Food and Wine.
There is a ton of festival specific merchandise available every year and this year is no different. Disney has given us a preview of the merchandise that will be available and it includes amazing ears that have a burgundy bow and wine cork inspired fabric, a festival inspired jersey, various clothing items, there is usually a food tray that some people find really handy for going from kitchen to kitchen and so many other items including pins, exclusive event specific wine, magic bands and more.
One tip for merchandise is if you see something you really want; get it. Disney doesn’t keep restocking for the entire festival and sometimes once an item is gone, it is gone for good. My mom and I visited Flower and Garden last spring and there was a coffee mug I really loved and walked by it probably a dozen times and was like, I’ll get it next time. Well next time came and they were sold out and it was gone so I missed out. So, not saying you should buy everything in sight but you do you; but if you really want something and it’s in stock, get it, because it won’t get cheaper (unless it shows up at character warehouse, but there is no guarantee of that) and it will likely sell out.
Making a Plan:
There are certain booths at Food and Wine that will always have long lines. These include, Canada, Ireland (people want that Guiness shake), Italy, France (Slushies duh) and a couple of others. If those are on your list, try to hit them up first thing.
Disney Food Blog made an amazing map, shown here, that shows you where each of the kitchens for this year’s festival will be located. When you get to the event, your passport will have a map as well that will show you where everything is too but this map is really handy and will really help you to get a game plan in motion.
Side note, if you are not a big planner like we are and you just want to go and have a good time, you do you. This is your vacation and if planning your kitchens stresses you out, don’t do it. This is more for those of us who like to have a game plan in place and more tips on how to get the most of your festival day.
We like to schedule all of our Fast Passes for as early in the day as possible. Spaceship Earth, Soarin’, Test Track, Frozen, Living with the Land; get your three fast passes out of the way if you can. If you can’t, get two out of the way and then schedule a third for mid-day when you may want a break from the food and wine festivities. More on that in a bit.
If you are going to be coming from the rides in the Land or in that area or from the Festival Center, you might want to make your first stops at Earth Eats, Coastal Eats, Flavors From Fire, Active Eats, Wine and Dine Studio and the kitchens in that area.
From that area, you will walk straight into the entrance of World Showcase which will put you at Islands of the Caribbean, Hawai’i and the Almond Orchard. I would grab what you want from those and then head towards Canada and the UK. Be sure to get in line at Canada for the cheddar cheese soup and filet, and also the Guiness Bailey’s shake is rumored to be one of the top choices from the festival this year and that is at the Ireland kitchen.
From there, you are just going to keep heading around. One thing we like to do is once we get about halfway, we like to schedule a fast pass. We do this for a couple reasons. We have just eaten a whole heck of a lot of food, it is usually really hot and we could use a break. If we don’t have a fast pass scheduled we might head out through International Gateway and take a little break with some resort hopping at Yacht Club, Beach Club and Boardwalk, maybe sit on the beach for a little bit and just relax.
Once you have taken your break, you will be ready to hit up the second half of the booths. Germany, Italy, Hops and Barley, India, China, Spain and more. Then, I will stop back at Hawai’i for that Passion Fruit Cheesecake again. Maybe next year we will have a passionfruit sparkling wine to look forward to as well? Hint hint Disney.
Another great tip for not only saving a bit of money but also saving more room for more tasty treats is to get a couple dishes and share. Hubby and I do that a lot. We will each get a dish at a kitchen and then will share them. That way, we each get to try but will also save room for trying new things and things from other places.
Scope a Table:
Hubby and I will sometimes, if it is really busy, send one of us to the kitchen to get the food and the other person will scope out a table or trash can (yes trash can) so that we have a place to film and enjoy our food. There is often not a ton of cabaret tables for the amount of people so you may have to hover. As for the trash cans, castmembers are constantly cleaning off the top of the trash can, so if you think about it, they are probably just as clean, if not cleaner than the tables that are constantly gunked up.
If you and your party are wanting different items from different kitchens in a similar area, don’t wait in line with your friend or family member who is wanting something from a different kitchen. Go get in line at the kitchen you want to try and meet up at a table with your goodies. This also works for sharing because then you can each get stuff from both place with only waiting in line at one. Win win.
Food and Wine is awesome and yes, wine is in the title and there is a lot of wine to be had. The truth of the matter is, the lines are long, the weather is hot and it takes a lot of work to get drunk at Food and Wine on a busy day. But it isn’t impossible and Disney is watching for overly intoxicated and obnoxious people. If you get caught overly intoxicated or get pulled over for a DUI on Disney property, you are banned from Disney. Additionally, who wants to be hammered in Disney? Have a good time, drink away but keep those water bottles full and continuously drink water. Every kitchen will have water bottles for sale but if you take your own bottle like we do, there are water fountains all over the park. Or go to a quick service location and ask for a cup of water, they will give you one free of charge. Stay hydrated out there so you can keep the good times rolling.
Another good tip for Food and Wine is to spread it out. If you are able to and have either an annual pass or a park hopper, hit up Food and Wine on multiple days. That way you can try a number of different things but maybe not all at once. That’s a good suggestion if you don’t want to dedicate just one day to eating and drinking around the world.
That’s the for this post. What are some of your tips and tricks for Food and Wine? We’d love to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.
Recently, Disney released a new VIP event for annual passholders (AP), called VIPassholder. The event is free with your annual pass and allows AP’s to get exclusive access to certain parks on certain nights after the parks close to the general public.
Disney is communicating these events via email to AP’s and interested parties must register in advance. If you are looking to take advantage of this opportunity be sure to be regularly checking the email you use for Disney purposes.
Spots must be secured prior to the event and guests are allowed in at 4 pm the evening of the event to get wristbands. The event runs from 10 pm until midnight.
The event dates that have been released at the time of this article being published are as follows:
The first event was held at Magic Kingdom and officially began at 10 pm. Disney actually has a pretty good system for getting folks out of the park who aren’t involved in the event. For extra ticketed events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, castmembers line up at certain points throughout the park and check every single person’s wristband who is trying to get into that part of the part. If a person doesn’t have a wristband they are not allowed in that part and eventually it ushers them to entrance of the park.
For smaller events where only rides and certain drink and snack kiosks are open, everyone must show their wristband before entering the queue line after the official close of the park and people eventually show themselves out since there are no rides to go on.
We had no idea what to expect before this event because August 5, the event we attended, was the first of its kind and very little information has been released by Disney prior to the event.
When we entered Magic Kingdom around 3 pm, we asked a castmember when wristbands would be available and we were informed that wristband distribution was not going to be available at the entrance of the park but over in Adventureland and at Stitch’s Great Escape in Tomorrowland. The lines were insane. When we got in line at 3:30 pm, the line was stretched about halfway over the bridge that connects Stitch’s Great Escape to the Hub. By 4 pm, the line stretched all the way in front of the castle.
It took us over an hour to get through the line to get wristbands; it seemed quite confusing as though Disney wasn’t quite sure how the distribution was going to go or maybe didn’t expect as many people to get in line right at 4. Hopefully these issues will get ironed out before the next VIPassholder event that will take place at Epcot.
Once we got through the line we had a few hours before the event actually started but we met up with several of our vlogger friends in the park after the fireworks to get the party started.
One of the things we were really unsure about was whether or not we would get any complimentary treats. It turns out there are no complimentary treats available at this event; but important to remember that this is not Disney After Hours and is an event complimentary to AP’s.
We decided to see how many rides we could do in the two hours of the event. We were able to get six! We did People Mover, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Big Thunder Mountain. We hit up a lot of the more popular rides so I think we definitely could have done more rides but we rode a ton of popular rides and didn’t wait in long lines.
The average line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was around 45 minutes to an hour from what we could tell. There were no restaurants open for the event, which we expected. Several kiosks were open to get popcorn, ice cream and drinks. Those were not complimentary, which would have been awesome but again, not expected.
It was really interesting for us because the night before we had purchased tickets and gone to Disney After Hours which was also at Magic Kingdom. There will be a separate review of After Hours but I will say that you absolutely get what you pay for and although yes, we pay for our annual passes to Walt Disney World, we did not pay any additional money to be at the event so it was essentially just extra magic hours that was capped at a certain number of people and only available for annual passholders; which is still pretty darn cool.
Important to remember about VIPassholder, is that it begins at 10 pm and ends at midnight. Up until 10 pm, guests without wristbands can get in line for rides, it isn’t until after 10 pm, that castmembers will not allow people without wristbands to enter the line so it will take a while for the line to go down but once it does, the lines are significantly shorter for the rides than during normal park times.
There are photo pass opportunities available during VIPassholder. There was even a special VIPassholder frame available in front of the castle.
The best part of VIPassholder for us, was getting to experience a fun, less crowded and more exclusive night with our Disney friends. Bryson and I have rarely done Disney with other people but to experience it with people who do the same things we do, vlog and blog and post on social media all about Disney and who are just all self-proclaimed Disnerds, was a really special night for us. Be sure to check out our vlog HERE! Also check out some of the amazing people we hung out with on that night and their awesome YouTube Channels. Bob and Ashley, Tip of the Ears, DisLyfeofOurs, and Spokesmayne! We truly enjoyed it and reinforced for us, our love of Disney and of this Disney community we are a small part of.
That’s it for this post. Are you heading to a VIPassholder event? Did this help with your expectations? We would love to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.
Oh hey there Disney family! Welcome back to our blog! We’ve got more Food and Wine for you, oh yes we do! Be sure to follow us on Instagram at ForLoveOfMouse, on Facebook at For The Love of The Mouse and on YouTube at For Love of The Mouse.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our preview of the 2018 Food and Wine Festival HERE! This year’s festival will run from August 30 – November 12, 2018. Many of the booths and events from last year will be returning including the ever popular Active Eats and Flavors From Fire which made their debut at the 2017 festival.
Today, we are going to touch on the highlights! What are we looking forward to most at Food and Wine this year! New or old, we’re covering our must eats at this year’s festival!
Hubby and I go for very different vittles at Food and Wine and I am the champagne expert in our duo while hubby may imbibe in one drink or so but would prefer the food over the drinks.
Let’s start with some of the most popular booths from last year. Active Eats, Coastal Eats and Flavors From Fire. We want to give the Smoked Corned Beef with Warm Crispy Potatoes, Pickled Onions and Blonde Ale Beer Fondue another try this year because the corned beef option from last year received rave reviews but when we tried it, it was extremely salty and we couldn’t even eat the whole thing because of that, and I am a fan of salt. So, I’m excited to give that another shot. I also really want to try the Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak on a Smoked Corn Cake with Pickled Vegetable Slaw and Cilantro Aïoli. Both of these can be found at Flavors From Fire.
Over at Coastal Eats, hubby is really excited to try the Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Avocado-lemongrass Cream. Last year, the Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip with Sourdough Baguette was really popular but we didn’t try it so maybe this will be the year. We will absolutely be getting the Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers and Green Onions at Active Eats this year because it sounds like what was inside of the Handwich last year over at Craft Beer, which was our hands down favorite dish from the festival and is NOT returning this year.
The Steakhouse Blended Burger at Earth Eats is another must try. I love things that burst with flavor and this sound like it absolutely will. The burger itself is blended beef and wild mushroom and it is accompanied by brie cheese fondue, arugula, truffle and blue cheese potato chip (WHAT!), all on a brioche bun.
At The Almond Orchard, the Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Pulled Chicken, Toasted Blue Diamond Almonds and Parmesan Cheese served with Nut Thins® Crackers sounds great to accompany the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Rosé Champagne I am absolutely going to be trying out.
Over in Brazil, one of the things I am most looking forward to at the whole festival is the Moqueca, which is a Brazilian Seafood Stew featuring Scallops, Shrimp and White Fish with Coconut-lime Sauce and Steamed Rice. It sounds absolutely out of this world and I will be washing that down with a Frozen Caipirinha also from Brazil.
No trip to Food and Wine is complete without a stop at the Canada booth. Both the Canadian Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup served with a Pretzel Roll and the Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce are on the menu for the kitchen this year and are taken right from the table service restaurant in the Canada pavilion.
Thinking back, I don’t think we made a stop at the Cheese Studio last year; nothing jumped out at me but this year is different. I am really excited to try out two of the dishes at this kitchen this year! Braised Beef Stroganoff comes with egg noodles, wild mushrooms and a Boursin cheese sauce. Additionally, I am excited to try out the Maple Bourbon Boursin Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Cream, Caramel and Pecan Crunch. This sounds delicious and I am not even a cheesecake person.
Sticking with cheesecake, I can never pass up the Hawaii kitchen. Mostly because I adore tropical flavors. One of my favorite dishes from last year is back and I am so excited to get the Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Toasted Macadamia Nuts (you know I am a sucker for passion fruit!). There is also a Mai Tai at the Hawaii kitchen this year, and I think that will compliment the cheesecake well and send me right to the tropics!
At the Wine and Dine Studio, I will definitely need to give these two great sounding dishes a try. First off there is a Seared Scallops, Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms. I believe, if I remember correctly, this or a version of this was here last year and it was my favorite scallop dish, I think so I will be giving this another try and hopefully it’s as great as I remember. I also want to try the Butternut Squash Ravioli. According to those who were invited to the media preview for Food and Wine Festival, this dish was really rich and deep with flavor. There is a strong cheese flavor inside the ravioli and then it is topped with a brown butter vinaigrette, parmesan cheese and seasoned pumpkin seeds. To me, this sounds like the embodiment of fall flavors!
Over in Ireland, we are eagerly anticipating the Guiness Bailey’s Shake. I’m hoping that hubby will give this guy a try because I am really not a fan of Guiness but I think this will be a popular option at the festival this year so I’m hoping he gives it a try so I can have a sip.
If you hit up the New Zealand booth, be sure to check out the Steamed Green Lip Mussels served in a garlic butter sauce and topped with breadcrumbs and there is a great sounding cocktail that I think will compliment this dish perfectly and that is the Frozen Wine Cocktail which features Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. I actually really enjoy Kim Crawford and I really like it with mussels. Full disclosure, I am really picky about where I eat mussels and sitting in the ninety-five degree Orlando weather in nine million percent humidity does not sound like prime mussel eating weather to me but it does delicious so if you aren’t weird about your mussel eating conditions like I am, be sure to give this one a try.
No trip to the 2018 Food and Wine Festival will be complete without bellying up to the Mimosa Bar inside the Festival Center. I am loving what Disney is doing with this; I adore mimosas and I cannot wait to hit up this area. There are several different mimosa options including a Tropical Mimosa with Sparkling Wine and Pomegranate, Orange and Grapefruit Juices, a Key Lime Mimosa with Key Lime Sparkling Wine and Cranberry Juice, a Blood Orange Mimosa with Sparkling Wine and Blood Orange Juice and a Fromosa which features white claw lime hard seltzer in a frozen version of this popular brunch drink. Also be sure to check out the Frozen Apple Pie here which is non-alcoholic.
Some honorable mentions for the festival this year would be the Beijing Roasted Duck Bao Bun served with hoisin sauce from China. Sticking to China, last year, they were serving full-sized drinks at the China kitchen. Some of the same drinks are returning including the Happy Peach and also the the Honeydew Bai Jiu Cocktail sounds great and we are interested to see what size those return as for 2018. The Twinings® Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Frozen Cocktail with Caramel Vodka… because Pumpkin Spice duh. The La Passion Martini Slush is back in France and this drink made quite a splash last year. Over in Greece, the Taste of Greece sounds amazing. It includes, chicken souvlaki, feta cheese Dip with warm pita and lamb sausage with a dill tomato ragu.
Don’t forget to check out the merch! Disney is not disappointing with the Food and Wine merch this year! There is a wine colored spirit jersey that is sure to be a hit. The shirts and kitchen gadgets are great and the theming is fanstastic. I think my favorite thing so far that I have seen are the ears! Disney is stepping up the ear game this year; check out these babies!
Maybe one of the things I am most excited about is that Remy will be doing a meet and greet this year and he will be joined by Emile. Watching all the people meet Remy and Emile in Disneyland gave me so much FOMO and I am thrilled they are bringing it to Epcot this year for the festival. He is the mascot after all! I’m sure the line for this will be out of control but I still thinks it sounds amazing.
That’s it for this post! What are you most excited to try and what are you looking forward to trying again if you were able to partake in past years? We’d love to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, it all started with a mouse.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is right around the corner! The dates have been released as well as the new additions to this year’s party and what popular events are coming back as well! The first party will take place on August 17, 2018 and the last party will occur on October 31, 2018.
Important to Note:
MNSSHP does not take place every night and is only available on select dates. Also important to note is that this is an extra ticketed event. In order to get in, you must purchase the special ticket for this event. Entry is not for the entire day. If you are not an annual passholder or do not have a park ticket for that day, you will be able to enter Magic Kingdom at 4 pm.
Prices for this year’s MNSSHP start at $75 per person, for adults and go all the way up to $125 per person, for adults. Prices for kids start at $70 and go up to $120. Discounts are available on certain dates for annual passholders and DVC members.
Costumes are permitted and encouraged for MNSSHP but rules do apply and Disney reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone or to confiscate aspects of costumes such as weapons, accessories that resemble weapons, masks and more. Some of the guidelines and restrictions for costumes include:
For guests ages 14 and up:
For guests ages 13 and under:
For guests entering prior to 4 pm, wristbands can be obtained at designated locations. In 2017, these includes the entrance to Stitch’s Great Escape and Mickey’s Philharmagic. Guests entering the park after 4 pm, will receive their wristband upon entry into the park.
There are no Fast Passes available for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but guests can get in to the party at 4 pm, book Fast Passes up until the start of the party, if that is your wish and then enjoy the party festivities once MNSSHP starts.
New for 2018:
This year, the Mad Tea Party will receive updates specific for this party. According to Disney Parks Blog, lighting and effects will be added to this ride that will give guests a “new spin” on the teacups.
Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain will also get an update for the season. Space Mountain will feature a new soundtrack and Pirates will see the addition of new pirates on the hunt for “Gunpowder Pete”.
A new dance party will be coming to Storybook Circus and will feature some favorite Disney Junior characters.
Back by popular demand:
The Boo to You Parade will of course be returning. This is one of Walt Disney World’s best parades and as many of you know, the only nighttime parades at Walt Disney World currently are for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Highlights of Boo to You are the villians who are very prominent during this event. The gravediggers are always fun and the parade starts off with an amazing appearance by the Headless Horseman!
The Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular is of course returning as well. This incredibly popular event takes place on stage at Cinderella’s Castle. There are multiple showings of this event during each party and those take place at 8:30, 10:45 and 12.
Trick or Treating is of course back! Because…candy! Duh! When you get your wristband you will be given a bag for trick or treating. Just know, those bags are for ants. Bring a pillowcase, if you don’t live in Orlando, take a pillowcase from your room (make sure to bring it back and if asked, you did not get this tip from For Love of the Mouse), or go to the Emporium and ask for the largest bag they have at the counter and use that. Disney does not skimp on the candy;Disney doles it out by the fist full.
Hallowishes is coming back! Hallowishes is the Halloween version of the nighttime fireworks spectacular and it is awesome! To be completely honest, and this is just personal opinion, it is not as good as the Christmas/Holiday fireworks show, but, full disclosure, and if you follow our blogs you already know this, we prefer Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) as a whole to MNSSHP. However, the fireworks show at MNSSHP is an absolute must if you are at the party; it really is amazing.
Other Happenings at MNSSHP:
Happy Hallowishes Dessert Party. If you like dessert parties, there is one during the MNSSHP. Here is the thing about these dessert parties. If you attend a dessert party during a special ticket event, you are not only purchasing the ticket for the event, you are purchasing a ticket for the dessert party as well so it can definitely add up price wise but you are guaranteed a seat either in the hub grass or at Tomorrowland Terrace and there are plenty of yummy treats that are all you care to enjoy included in those.
Character Meet and Greets! As with MVMCP, there are rare character meet and greets at MNSSHP. This is one of the rare times you can get a photo with all seven of the Dwarfs, Jack and Sally, Moana, Lotso, the Hundred Acre Wood gang is decked out in their Halloween best which includes Eeyore in a clown costume which is beyond adorable, Cruella De Vil and more.
Magic Shots! There are always some really great magic shot opportunities available with Photo Pass Photographers throughout Magic Kingdom during the parties. In 2017, there was an opportunity to take a photo with the dancing skeletons from Disney’s Halloween Treat show (from way back when), a photo with Hitchhiking Ghosts, several photo opportunities with props, be sure to scope those out because they are really fun!
It will be fun to see what awesome photo opportunities are available this year and which return from previous years!
Specialty Treats! There are always great options for spooky delights during the extra ticketed events and MNSSHP is no different. In 2017, there were tarts inspired by our favorite Haunted Mansion characters, a pumpkin cheesecake dome, a Rice Krispie treat dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with Halloween sprinkles and more.
This year Disney is truly looking to outdo themselves! From a Not so Poison Apple cupcake which will be available daily through October 31, to a Pumpkin Cheesecake that will be exclusive to MNSSHP, Candy Corn soft serve is back (it is vanilla but swirled to look like candy corn), the Cider House will feature a Caramel Stuffed Pretzel, (yeah, that’s happening) cider of course and Cinammon Donuts that will be MNSSHP exclusive. Madame Leota and the Hichhiking Ghosts will be debuting their own spooky and sweet treats available only for MNSSHP nights and more! Check out Disney’s post HERE for all the details on the sweet and savory items coming to WDW this fall!
Overall Spectacular Calendar:
Be sure to check out the Disney World website for more on this spooktacular event and to get your tickets.
Have you been to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party? Are you going this year? We’d love to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.
The time has come Disney family, to once again, talk Food and Wine Festival! The time of year when foodies of all shapes, sizes and taste buds, descend on Epcot in Walt Disney World to experience flavors from all over the world in various custom made shirts discussing their excitement to consume food and drink from every corner of World Showcase and beyond!
Food and Wine Festival is almost here folks and on July 31, menus were released for this monumental event and boy are we excited! Can’t you tell?!
Full disclosure, I have been checking sources daily for the release of this year’s menus to be released and they finally have been! For this post, we are going to give a full overview and then in posts we will dive in to the ones we are most excited about, new and returning and highlight some things that have really stood out to us this year.
Let’s get started!
First, let’s talk logistics. This year’s festival will run from August 30 – November 12, 2018. Many of the booths and events from last year will be returning including the ever popular Active Eats and Flavors From Fire which made their debut at the 2017 festival.
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival is the “start” of festival season at Epcot. Food and Wine is the most popular and the original festival in the park and is followed directly by Festival of the Holidays and two more festivals after that. Food and Wine includes exclusive merchandise highlighting the event, a concert series that is included with park admission and the center of the festival are the booths or kitchens.
The kitchens are located all over the World Showcase and in the past couple of years the kitchens have begun spilling over into the other areas of Epcot. This is good for a few reasons; this means more booths, more options and more options mean that the lines may be shorter at the booths meaning you can try a wider variety of tasty treats.
If you are familiar with the booths from last year, most are returning for another year with a few surprises and there are some new and exciting things coming to this year’s festival, so of course, we are going to start with that.
New for 2018 is the Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar! Yep, you read that correctly! A mimosa bar is coming to Food and Wine and I am really excited. Several varieties of this popular brunching beverage will be available including a key lime version and a blood orange version. You can find me here, if you me, this booth is where I will be. The kitchen will also feature several varieties of pastries and a take on the Frozen Apple Pie, which for those who remember, was an option at the Polish kitchen several years back.
Also new this year, Taste Track, the kiosk over by Test Track will be transformed for the festival and will feature cronuts and, get this, a pancake milkshake.
Old favorites will be returning to some veteran booths including the Happy Peach drink at the China pavilion; if you are looking for a full-sized beverage and to get a little more bang for your buck, this is a popular beverage at the festival and is full-sized (or at least it was last year).
Other returning favorites include the Loaded Mac and Cheese from Active Eats, the cheddar cheese soup served with pretzel roll from Canada which is probably one of, if not THE most popular dish at the entire festival year after year. Also in Canada is the Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce, which is an incredibly popular dish at the Table Service restaurant Le Cellier in the Canada Pavilion.
The Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip is returning to Coastal Eats for the second year, the Smoked Corn Beef and Piggy Wings are returning to Flavors From Fire and have no fear, the Passion Martini Slush will be coming back to the France Pavilion. Another favorite coming back for an encore in 2018 is the Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel from the Chocolate Studio.
Whoa whoa whoa hold the phone, stop the presses, Houston WE HAVE A PROBLEM! There is no handwich on this menu. There has to be some mistake! The Handwich was hands down, hubby and my favorite thing from Food and Wine in 2017 and it is not on the menu. Disney, you brought back the RGB from the Lightlab but got rid of the handwich! This can’t be! You all are going to have to give me a minute while I deal with this catastrophe.
Ok, I’m back. Still shaken, but I am back.
So, I guess I am going to have to find a new favorite this year. Let’s take a look at some options.
First off, don’t forget to stop by the Almond Orchard for some Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Rosé Champagne. I will absolutely be having one of these, as champagne is my jam. A standout for me at the Brazil kitchen is the Moqueca: Brazilian Seafood Stew featuring Scallops, Shrimp and White Fish with Coconut-lime Sauce and Steamed Rice. That sounds amazing! Also in Brazil, you can wash that down with a Frozen Caipirinha which is a super refreshing alcoholic drink that will taste amazing on a hot Orlando day.
At the China pavilion, the Black Pepper Shrimp with Garlic Noodles sounds full of flavor and is another returning dish. New this year from Earth Eats will be The Steakhouse Blended Burger, which is a blended beef and wild mushroom slider with brie cheese fondue, arugula, truffle and blue cheese potato chip on a brioche bun. That sounds like a awful lot of deliciousness to stuff into one little slider.
For all you Kombucha folks out there, Earth Eats will be where you will want to go to get your Kombucha fix. They are featuring several varieties including pink lady apple and beet-lime.
Also be sure to stop by the Festival Center Wine Shop for the Bloody Mary Seafood Cocktail. a combo of shrimp, bay scallops, mussels, olive salad and crisp lettuce in a bloody mary vinaigrette.
Hawai’i is bringing back the Kalua Pork Slider with sweet and sour DOLE® Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise. Fun and random fact about Hawaiian pineapples, they aren’t DOLE, Maui Gold pineapple is who produces almost all of the pineapples consumed on the Hawaiian islands!
A couple of other highlights for this year’s festival include the Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread and Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard both from Ireland and the Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas and Basmati Rice from India (everything from the India kitchen was amazing last year).
The Frozen Mojito from Islands of the Caribbean is a must try but don’t get it right at 11:00 am when the kitchens open because it typically isn’t quite frozen yet. Last but not least, head over to the Wine and Dine Studio for the Seared Scallops, Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms featuring Melissa’s Produce and the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Parmesan Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds.
That is our initial preview of the 2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We are so excited to experience the festival here in a few weeks and almost as excited to check out everyone else’s reviews of this amazing festival. What are your thoughts on Food and Wine Festival? Are you going to be experiencing he 2018 festival? What are you most excited to try? We would love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for more posts coming soon for this year’s festival! Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget that it all started with a mouse.
Today we are talking about holidays at Disney Parks. Not holiday seasons, actual holidays. It is a whole other beast to spend an actual major holiday in Walt Disney World. The crowds are crazy, the lines are long, the crowds are crazy, the days are long and did I mention that the crowds are crazy?
When we say holiday, we are talking July 4, Christmas, Halloween, New Years, Thanksgiving and special events, like openings of new land’s or big marketed events. Those are the major holidays that typically fill to capacity, the lines start to form for the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom about three hours prior to the start of the show; the lines for attractions that don’t usually have lines, magically get to 45 minutes and more.
Hubby and I don’t do holidays in Walt Disney World. We do holiday seasons in Walt Disney World but we typically stick to live streams and having major FOMO (fear of missing out) for the major holidays.
If you are going to brave major holidays at Walt Disney World, we are going to give you some tips and tricks on how to navigate the parks on some of the busiest days of the year.
Get there early! On the busiest days of the year, there is always a chance that these parks will fill to capacity. Get to the park of your choice early and have a plan. Then throw that plan out the window if need be and take the day in stride.
Get your Fast Passes! It is really important to be on top of booking fast passes, 60 days out from the start of your trip. This is the first opportunity that you have to book your fast passes and these holiday times will go fast and furious right at 7 a.m. EST. Set an alarm, turn that computer on, have the website site and have a plan. Have a plan for the entire trip; know what park is planned for what day and know which fast passes are top priority.
Be sure to also know if the park you are booking at does tiered fast pass so you know whether or not you can only book more than one tier one, or really popular ride, at which park. Know which tier one’s you want and get that done as quickly as possible.
For us, we have a plan for which days we are doing which parks and go after the most popular rides first. For example, if we are doing Epcot on day 1, Animal Kingdom on day 2, Hollywood Studios on day 3 and Magic Kingdom on day 4. We will book Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom first, I will take one park and hubby will take the other. If I take Animal Kingdom, I will go directly for Flight of Passage or Nav’i River Journey and at Hollywood Studio we will grab Slinky Dog Coaster.
Book Your Dining!
As we’ve mentioned in numerous other blog posts, dining can be booked out 180 days prior to the first day of the stay. If a person is looking to book a popular character meal or restaurant be sure to be on that as soon as that option becomes available. These high profile reservations include Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table, ‘Ohana, Tusker House, Chef Mickey’s and Garden Grill.
There are going to be a lot of people in the parks; the lines are going to be long for everything. Things that don’t typically have a wait, will have a wait. Be patient, stay calm and go into it with the mindset that everyone else is fighting the same crowds, you made this decision to come during the busiest times of the year and you are still at the happiest place on earth so enjoy it.
I know that I keep stressing that a plan is a must and that is true! But, stuff can happen. Rides can breakdown, rain can happen (and probably will), people have meltdowns so be flexible and be willing to change the plan and go with something else. There is so much to do in Disney World; so many things that are off the beaten path and that maybe weren’t taken into consideration when the original plan was made.
So, that’s it! I hope that this helped in the planning of your next Disney trip! Be sure to check out our other posts that may help in your planning journey! Thank you for stopping by, and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.
Today, we are going to discuss whether or not serving alcohol in all of the Disney parks, particularly in Magic Kingdom, dampens, ruins or enhances the magic of Disney. The recent decision made by the Walt Disney Company to serve alcohol in all of the table service restaurants at Magic Kingdom has created quite a stir among Disney followers and many in the Disney community. Some believe that serving alcohol at Magic Kingdom does nothing to diminish the magic of Disney while others are of the belief that there is absolutely no need for alcohol in Magic Kingdom; the magic is intoxicating as is.
We took a poll on our social media platforms and asked what people thought of alcohol being served at Magic Kingdom and at the other parks. We were actually quite surprised that the majority of people who responded said that they were disappointed in Disney’s decision to serve alcohol at Magic Kingdom but that they did like having an alcoholic beverage or two at the other parks.
We happen to agree! We enjoy going to Epcot and having an adult beverage in the World Showcase. It is really fun during festivals to go to the various kiosks and try the different drinks there and when festivals are not going on, it is fun to head into the different countries and grab a margarita in Mexico or get a grapefruit beer in Germany or a champagne in France.
Here is our thing about bringing alcohol to the Magic Kingdom. Why do you need alcohol in Walt’s backyard? Walt didn’t believe in bringing alcohol to the Magic Kingdom and we feel like he is looking down from that giant Disney in the sky and he is NOT thrilled with this decision.
What does alcohol do to enhance your Magic Kingdom experience? We are honestly curious. Also, for those of us who are judging this decision. Why do we care? Unless someone is stumbling wasted around Cinderella’s Castle disrupting our Disney experience, this doesn’t affect our lives right?
Also, why is it that none of us seem to have an issue with the alcohol being sold in other parks but when it comes to Magic Kingdom, some of us are all up in arms? Let’s discuss. Magic Kingdom is the place where Imagination has no age, where we are all transported back to our childhood; where we can wear matching shirts with giant mickey heads and eat giant ice cream sandwiches and ride Peter Pan and meet Belle and it doesn’t matter how old you are, because everyone is allowed to be a kid in Disney. And kids can’t drink!
Now, let’s talk about the flip side. If an adult wants to consume alcohol in a place where consuming alcohol is allowed and is sold, why do we care? Unless the person are actively disrupting ours or anyone else’s experience; being disrespectful, obnoxious or overtly annoying, then it doesn’t affect the magic of my vacation and the percentage of adults who will be disruptive is minimal so the likelihood of this alcohol consumption having a negative impact on the majority of Walt Disney World vacation goers is slim.
There are some amazing adult beverages in Disney; at the resorts, at Epcot, at Animal Kingdom, so experience them and report back on your favorites!
We do want to point out that if you are going to get wasted in Disney and Disney decides you are no longer acting appropriately they will remove you from property and you will be banned for the rest of your life. If you get a DUI on Disney property, the same fate awaits you so just be careful as you imbibe and always do things responsibly.
Bottom line, drink responsibly, let the magic of Disney intoxicate you and not the alcohol. There is absolutely nothing wrong with consuming adult beverages at Disney! Just be mindful of the place we are at; respect the vision of the man himself and respect the vacations and days out of all of the other guests who are paying just as much to be in the happiest place on earth.
That’s it for this post! What are your thoughts on alcohol in the Magic Kingdom? Have you imbibed? Do you plan to? Also, what are some of your favorite alcoholic beverages in Disney, if you consume alcohol? Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget that it all started with a mouse.