Full Review of Andy’s Backyard! The Scoop on Toy Story Land

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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.

13If you follow our past blogs or our vlogs you probably know that Hollywood Studios is not my favorite place in Disney. Hubby has to practically drag me to Hollywood Studios every trip to see the Star Wars stuff that is over there because I just don’t love it. There is no amazing food there right now, much of the park is closed for construction of Toy Story Land (until recently) and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge; it just isn’t amazing right now, or at least it wasn’t until our last trip; when we experienced Toy Story Land for the first time and I got hooked on Hollywood Studios.

9That isn’t to say there was absolutely nothing there before Toy Story Land. I love One Man’s Dream, it always gives me all of the feels and gets me choked up and I love the Beauty and the Beast live show and the march of the First Order is cool but now that Toy Story Land is open, I am happy to say, I love Hollywood Studios.

14Our last minute anniversary trip was booked exactly four days before the trip started. It was the dictionary definition of last minute and it was awesome. A full review of our last minute trip to Disney is coming so stay tuned!

We had very few plans going into this trip just because it was so last minute but we knew we were going to experience Toy Story Land. On our second full day Hollywood Studios had early magic hours so we decided to rope drop for that and really get there early to experience as much of Andy’s Backyard as possible.

24So, we got to Hollywood Studios a little later than rope drop which was fine and hurried straight to Toy Story Land. We fully intended on having to wait in line for Slinky Dog Dash since we had not been able to secure a fast pass for it. When we walked into Andy’s Backyard we were both just floored. The details were just incredible. We are 80’s babies and all of the toys were from our childhood. Tinkertoys and Cooties and Checkers and Candy Land; it transported us back to childhood and it was amazing.

10We got our picture with Woody (the statue not the real Woody) right when we walked in and then right as you walk in, you can see part of Slinky Dog Dash. The colors are vibrant and bold all throughout the land and right past the first merchandise kiosk (we’ll talk merch more in a minute), the end of the line for Slinky Dog Dash started.

Slinky Dog Dash:

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We were a little nervous because it said 70 minutes but we were totally fine with it because, as I mentioned earlier, we fully expected to wait in line and for about an hour or so. Hubby set up the tripod to get some footage of Slinky Dog while we waited but within five minutes I had disappeared around the corner and he had to rush to catch up with me; that’s how fast the line was going.

We ended up only waiting in line for about 45 minutes before our first ride on Slinky Dog Dash and boy was it worth it. It is such a fun ride and the details surrounding the coaster are amazing. You even get a pretty good look at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at one point which is pretty cool. For our first ride, we were in the the very back by chance and our second ride, later that day, we ended up getting the very front. Both were incredible viewpoints but I have to say, I prefer the thrill of the front!

The ride is smooth and at night, it’s an entirely new experience because of all of the lighting throughout the land. It isn’t an intense coaster but it is incredibly fun and we had a blast. The cue line is also really incredible. If you have a fast pass for the ride, you of course, skip the cue line but you do wind up missing all of those incredible details throughout the cue.

Alien Swirling Saucers:

5We were able to secure a fast pass for Alien Swirling Saucers. We thought it was a blast! In fact, we ended up finding a second fast pass on our last day in Disney and rode it again. This ride is not nearly as thrilling as Slinky Dog Dash but we had a great time on it. The cue line had already substantially lessened from the first week by the time we got there and fast passes were not too hard to come by.

The cue line is very similar to that of Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. The same colors and theming were used but the attention to detail is still there. There is more than one ride area so it does help the line to move quickly as well. We got on the ride and you have to click in with a seatbelt and everyone in the car, for us it was hubby and myself, puts on one large seatbelt. Once the ride starts, the aliens swing you pretty rapidly back and forth and the entire ride experience is just about two minutes from what we could tell.

20This ride is towards the very back of the land, in fact, it is back by bathrooms, the large statue of Buzz Lightyear and the wall separating Toy Story Land from Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge whereas Slinky Dog is located in the center of the land.

Merchandise:

4We have heard a lot of fellow bloggers, vloggers and Disney enthusiasts complain that Disney did not put a merchandise shop in Toy Story Land to house all of the land’s merch. While I understand where these folks are coming from, I respectfully disagree. I totally understand that when Pandora, World of Avatar first opened, and also when Toy Story Land first opened, that the merchandise flew off the shelves.

Whenever something new comes out, people clamor for it, which is understandable but we hit up Toy Story Land just a few weeks after opening and there was plenty of merchandise available at the kiosks and in the stores, especially throughout Hollywood Studios and I think that had Disney opened a merch shop in Toy Story Land, for Toy Story Land merch, it would have been a waste of space, because as soon as that initial awe wears off, the merch craze always sees an intense drop off. Good job on not having that designated Toy Story Land merch shop inside the land Disney, way to foresee the future, it’s like you pay people to know what guests are thinking and are going to do or something! (Hint, Disney does pay people to do that).

Toy Story Midway Mania:

12This may shock you. We had never been on Toy Story Midway Mania prior to this trip. It’s true! Mostly because we rarely went to Hollywood Studios before and for the last year, one of the only things to do at Hollywood Studios was Toy Story Midway Mania so the line was crazy and we could never grab a last minute fast pass.

Well Disney family… I was wrong. We should have spent more time at Hollywood Studios because Toy Story Midway Mania is one of my absolute favorite rides. We laughed so hard and I wasn’t completely awful at this game! I almost won actually and will try even harder on our next trip to win!

26Our first time on Midway Mania we waited in standby because it was only a 25 minute wait and the cue line is so cute and detailed. I can only assume it is different that prior to the opening of Toy Story Land but it is definitely cute now! About halfway through the ride, it actually broke down. We came to a screeching halt, the lines came on really fast and we waited about ten minutes before being escorted off the ride through an exit door. No big deal, it was actually kind of cool to see the inside of the ride with the lights on and we took some fun pictures.

21As we were going out of the ride, we were given a fastpass for the day which could be used on anything except Alien Swirling Saucers and Slinky Dog Dash so we waited about an hour and headed back to Toy Story Midway Mania and got the experience the full ride. It truly is a blast! We had so much fun.

 

Woody’s Lunch Box:

7We are actually going to follow this post up with a full review of Woody’s Lunch Box as a separate post, where we will highlight both the breakfast and lunch/dinner options and our thoughts on them. But, we will give a quick review here as well. We experienced Woody’s Lunch Box for both breakfast and lunch and both times it was great. I highly recommend utilizing Mobile Ordering for this as the line gets pretty long.

There are very few decent places to get a bite to eat in Hollywood Studios right now and Woody’s, even though it is pretty simple food, sandwiches, tots etc. it is really tasty. We really enjoyed everything we tried. By far, my favorite thing, I tried were the Pop Tarts. The homemade pop tarts were absolutely amazing. I am pretty sure, I will never be able to go back to store bought Pop Tarts ever again; that’s how good these were.

I really enjoyed the breakfast options as well. We heard some polarizing comments about the S’mores Stuffed French Toast but when we tried it, it was amazing. I would get it again. It had a great amount of filling and it was messy, for sure, so grab extra napkins and if you aren’t a sweets enthusiast, maybe opt for something else, but I thought it was delicious.

It’s All in the Details:

25One of the things that I was most impressed was with Toy Story Land were the details. Everywhere you looked, something you missed the last time you walked by, popped out at you. We heard some complaints from some in the Disney community, that the land looked cheap and that it looked like Disney had cut corners. That isn’t at all what I saw. If you were an 80’s and 90’s kid, like we were, the colors were bright, the toys were big and bright and plastic and they looked exactly like the toys we had when we were kids, just bigger.

I think that the bright colors and attention to detail, to make them, like the toys of this time, have been mistaken for cheap. In reality, these toys are life like and took me right back to my childhood.

17Here are a few fun things to look for on your next venture to Andy’s backyard that I thought were great.

Cooties! I loved Cooties as a kid, and there are giant cooties as you are walking back toward Woody’s Lunch Box from the bathroom.

29When you are walking into Alien Swirling Saucers, be sure to to look up and you can see the box that Buzz Lightyear came in on top of the ride.

14The foliage. Yes, the foliage. If you remember back to when they first started talking about Toy Story Land, the renderings showed that foliage would be put in, to make it look like you were getting lost in the grass and they pulled it off. The foliage in many places looks like giant blades of grass and it is such a neat touch.

Andy’s footprints lead the way through the main area of Toy Story Land. Be sure to check out one of these giant prints in the concrete; definitely a cool detail.

30.jpgAll in all, we think Disney did a great job with the new Toy Story Land. This anti-Hollywood Studios Disnerd has been converted to a Hollywood Studios fan and is proud of it. I cannot wait to get back to Andy’s Backyard!

Be sure to check out our vlog from our first time in Toy Story Land! You can watch it HERE!

Have you been to Toy Story Land? What were your thoughts? What cool details did you notice? What did you think of the rides and the food? We will have more coming on this amazing new land so stay tuned.

Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget that it all started with a mouse.

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Menus Released for 2018 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

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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.

cropped-266.jpgThe 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 wineFood 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!

food and wineFirst, 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.

375The 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.

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Photo courtesy of Disney Food Blog

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.

food wine2Also 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).

canadaOther 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.

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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.

wine bottle efwfWhoa 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.

almond orchard wdwtodayFirst 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.

shrimpchina DFBAt 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.

10Also 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.

hawaii2Hawai’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).

indiaThe 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.

efwfThat 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.

 

 

Holidays at Disney Parks

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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.

20.jpgToday 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.

17Hubby 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.

15Get 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.

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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.

14Be 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.

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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.

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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.

127Stay Calm!

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.

23Be Flexible!

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.

 

 

The Great Magic Kingdom Alcohol Debate

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Hey Disney family! Welcome to our blog! 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

5What 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!

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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.

 

 

6There 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.

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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.

 

 

 

Walt Disney World Celebrates the Opening of Toy Story Land

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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.

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Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Walt Disney World is rolling out the red carpet for the much anticipated opening of Toy Story Land. In case you were not aware, Toy Story Land officially opened to the public on June 30, 2018 to massive crowds.

 

Hubby and I were absolutely glued to YouTube and Instagram Friday night for the soft opening and Saturday for the real opening! It was absolutely incredible. Lines started forming early Friday morning, just in case Disney decided to soft open. Then, it started pouring rain! It wasn’t looking good for a soft opening until the skies cleared and the toys came out to play in Andy’s backyard for the first time.

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Photo of Slinky Dog Coaster courtesy of             Orlando Sentinal

 

Pretty much every YouTube channel we follow and all the locals we know, rushed over to Toy Story Land to get a glimpse and get on Slinky Dog Dash Coaster. It was packed! Both rides were open and both have gotten great reviews and we cannot wait to check them out.

 

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Photo Courtesy of WDWVacationTips

 

There are two rides in Toy Story Land, Swirling Alien Saucers and Slinky Dog Dash Coaster. As was the case in Pandora, one was pumped up a lot more than the other. Slinky Dog Dash Coaster is the must-do ride in Toy Story Land, but from watching all the footage and the reviews we are really excited for Swirling Saucers as well!

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The theming throughout Toy Story Land is unbelievable. You are transported into Andy’s Backyard and become “toy sized”. There are toys that, if you are a 90’s kid, you will transported back to your childhood. Tinker Toys, all of the toys from Toy Story of course, Dominos, the benches are made out of “used” popsicle stick, the new Disney selfie wall has been revealed near the exit of Toy Story Midway Mania, Woody’s Lunch Box is the new quick service meal option in the land and the details to be found in every nook and crany seem endless.

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Photo Courtesy of Disney Tourist Blog

The land is amazing, not only during the day but the magic continues into the night. From the lights being hung by Jessie and Rex to the amazing dimensional lighting blanketing the entire land, it just really comes alive at night.

 

In addition, for those not trying to fight the crowds at Disney’s Hollywood Studios over the weekend or for those just looking to take a break but wanting to stay in the Toy Story mood, Disney has limited time offerings to satisfy your sweet tooth that are themed for Toy Story and we’re going to tell you, they look adorable and delicious!

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Photo Courtesy of Disney Food Blog

Over at Contempo Cafe is quite possibly the cutest sweet option I have ever seen. Barrel of Monkeys looks like a barrel of deliciousness. This banana concoction is encased in a “barrel” of white chocolate. Inside is a banana cake layered with banana cream.

 

 

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Photo Courtesy of Disney Food Blog

 

 

 

Over at Roaring Fork at Fort Wilderness you can get a chocolate brownie topped with a rich chocolate mousse in the form of the Pixar ball. It is super cute and it looks super rich and tasty.

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Photo Courtesy of Disney Food Blog

 

If you are checking out the Epcot resorts be sure to stop by the Beachclub Marketplace for the Toy Story cookie dough cake pops. There are three different designs and they are beyond cute! One is the cloud wallpaper, the Pixar ball and Woody’s plaid shirt complete with his Sheriff badge.

Be sure to check out these sweet gems when you are out and about at the Walt Disney World resorts. Have you been able to experience Toy Story Land yet? What was your favorite part? If you haven’t been yet, what are you most looking forward to?

Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.

 

Top Restaurant in Each WDW Park!

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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.

129We are getting really controversial today folks. We are going to talk about our favorite restaurant (singular) at each park and Disney Springs! Hubby and I are not picky eaters but we do know good food. Yes, I am tooting my own horn here because I’m telling you, if there is one thing we know, it is good food and if we don’t think it is good, we’re going to say so.

There is a lot of great food in Disney, but I’m going to be honest with you , a lot of it is at the resorts and on top of that, there is a lot of just okay or not that great food in Disney as well. As interesting as that is, there are a lot of different opinions regarding what is good and what is a pass but these are what we believe are the top restaurants in the parks and Disney Springs.

Let’s get started!

124We’re going to head to Magic Kingdom first. I am writing this, fully knowing that there will be people who disagree with me but, Magic Kingdom is not the food mecca in any way, shape or form of Walt Disney World. In fact, for me, Magic Kingdom has the least desirable food options of any of the parks at Walt Disney World.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t good experiences. Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table are dining experiences and in my humble opinion, are not representations of great food. The food isn’t bad; it just isn’t great and unless you are on the dining plan, it is most certainly not worth your hard earned money.

20171201_161232I actually have a difficult time picking my favorite food here and I know for an absolute fact a lot of people will disagree with me but it is what it is. Liberty Tree Tavern. I love me some Thanksgiving nibbles and that is what you will get here.

Liberty Tree Tavern is a family style meal that is all you care to enjoy. So if you care to enjoy more than what they bring you, you do you! The menu starts with salad which is tossed with a house made dressing. I liked the salad. I am a salad lover so I enjoyed it; it wasn’t anything special but it was a tasty start to the meal.

The main course is what they call the Patriot platter. This has three different meats; roasted turkey, pot roast and oven-roasted pork tenderloin. I really enjoyed the turkey and Bryson liked the pork; I don’t love pork.

20171201_163709In addition, you also get veggies, mac and cheese, stuffing and you can request cranberry sauce. It truly is a traditional turkey feast. And we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. The best part of the meal is dessert. The sticky toffee pudding. It is amazing. We ordered an additional helping; yep, we sure did and it was worth every calorie and minute on the treadmill I did the next morning.

24

Next up, we’re headed over to Animal Kingdom. To me, this is a really hard one! I love the food at Animal Kingdom and it just keeps getting better. I had to think long and hard about where I would choose here because there is an incredible table service and a really great counter service as well as some fantastic runner ups.

 

In my opinion, the absolute best food at Animal Kingdom is Satu’li Canteen. This is one of the newest eating spots at Animal Kingdom and is located in Pandora. I chose Satu’li Canteen for several reasons. It’s counter service and is competing with an off the charts two dining credit table service restaurant in Tiffins.

27The menu at Satu’li Canteen is healthy and delicious. There are so many different options and numerous sauces and bases for those options. Bases include, greens or rice and you can choose between beef, chicken, fish or tofu with a choice of sauces including an amazing chimichurri. The cheeseburger steamed pods are also great and come with homemade vegetable chips. Be sure to check out the entire menu at Satu’li Canteen and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

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Epcot is next; openly known as the food mecca of Walt Disney World! Where to go here? That’s a tough one. This is going to be another controversial one because there are just so many different opinions here. Our favorite is actually one of the lesser known restaurants and one that often gets overlooked! Although there are a number of honorable mentions for me, Restaurant Marrakesh takes it in my opinion. This is authentic and amazing moroccan food and the portions are out of control!

20171130_173531The food is here adventurous for some but is really based on a lot of meat, potatoes, rice and veggies. The spices are earthy and hearty. If you are here on the dining plan, come hungry because as mentioned, the portions are large.

20171130_174731Try something new, get out of your comfort zone and take a flavorful trip to Morocco! In addition, there is live music and belly dancers. It’s truly an experience. Be sure to try some different things in each of the countries because there truly are some wonderful dining and flavor experiences to be had in Epcot World Showcase.

 

sci-fi-dine-in-theater-8478Hollywood Studios is our last park stop. And I certainly did not leave the best for last. Sorry Disney, but at the time of this blog, Hollywood Studios leaves a lot to be desired especially in the dining world. Stay tuned though because with Toy Story Land opening this weekend and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening next year we are likely going to get some great themed restaurants coming down the pipeline and hopefully some amazing food items to go with it.

For now though we are going to go with Sci-Fi Dine in Theater mostly because of the cool experience and theming but the food isn’t bad either. It’s a lot of American style comfort food and who doesn’t love that! There is a wedge salad, burgers galore, pasta and even vegetarian selections like a falafel sandwich! The dessert options are great as well from a cinnamon apple glazed doughnut, a homemade candy bar, and a s’mores brownie.

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Deviled Eggs from Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’. Photo courtesy of Disney Food Blog. 

Last but certainly not least we are going to Disney Springs. Disney Springs holds a different spot for everyone. For me, I don’t enjoy the atmosphere or the people but I love the food! Number 1 spot, hands down, in Disney Springs is….drum roll please… Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’! I have never seen a bad review for this place and the food just seems to keep getting better! When you fry everything and put pounds of butter on it, I think that tends to happen.

chnFull disclosure, I don’t love fried food. I don’t. I don’t love the feeling of being stuffed or eating unhealthy food but this food is out of this world. Southern comfort food at its finest.

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is open for brunch on weekends, lunch and dinner daily. They have a hush puppy benedict with fried chicken tenders and a pimento cheese hollandaise on brunch menu and serve traditional southern goodies like deviled eggs, chicken and biscuits and fried green tomatoes.

428The food is amazing. Come hungry, plan to leave full and wear loose fitting clothes. You have been warned.

Well, that does it for this post. Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.

 

 

 

 

Top Tips for Any Disney Trip Part 1

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Hey there Disney family! Glad you stopped by today. 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.

There are some things to remember, regardless of when you are planning your next trip and what you are doing that are MUST DO’s for every Walt Disney World trip. In this post, we are going to break this down so that you can be sure to make the most out of your trip and have the best chance at maximizing your vacation!

414Plan Ahead!

We can’t stress enough the importance of planning ahead for your Disney vacation. You can book dining reservations up to 180 days before your trip begins. You can book fast passes if you are staying property up to 60 days in advance. If you are staying off property, you can book fast passes up to 30 days in advance of the start of your trip.

Develop an itinerary, we know that this sounds daunting but we promise you it will create a much smoother and calmer trip for everyone involved. Of course things change and we have to be amenable to that and we are not suggesting that you plan every minute of your Disney trip because some of the best things happen on the fly but create a general schedule.

39Write down which parks you plan to visit on which days, where your dining reservations are (trying to keep them in the same vicinity, where your Fast Passes are, again make your dining reservations around this same park, it is not advisable to be hopping everywhere, especially with a large group for fast passes and dining.

Also include any off property plans you have in your itinerary, whether it’s pools or a beach day, be sure to have that on your itinerary.

Not saying to stay in one park for the entire day but we do encourage planning so that there is time to enjoy the park instead of spending the day traveling all over to keep plans.

421Get on the Same Page!

If you are traveling with another family or a large group, sit down and talk it out ahead of making reservations so that you have a game plan prior to making Fast Passes and dining reservations. They go fast so you want to make sure you have an idea of what you are booking prior.

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Fast Passes!

When making Fast Pass reservations, link all your Magic Bands to one account if you are able. That will allow for one person to make your Fast Pass selections instead of everyone trying at the same time to get the same thing. It will cut back on confusion, chaos and make the whole thing run a lot smoother.

As long as you talk ahead of time about the timeframe you are looking for, when you will be at which parks etc. you should be able to get a lot of what you are looking for. Be sure to have backup times because there will be thousands of other people online at the exact same time as you trying to get those popular rides.

toy storyFor many rides you will be able to find a wide variety of times for those but for those big whales you are going to want to be flexible and book those first. Those include, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain. Epcot includes Test Track, Frozen and Soarin’. Animal Kingdom big wigs are Flight of Passage and Na’Vi River Journey and Hollywood Studios (in just a few short weeks) will be Toy Story Midway Mania, Slinky Dog Coaster and The Alien Swirling Saucers.

For many of these you will only be able to book one up front if that park is on the tiered Fast Pass system, so know which is your top choice and which is your backup and again have a plan.

113Dining Reservations:

As mentioned earlier, dining reservations can be made 180 in advance. If there are certain reservations your party is looking to secure and those are popular, we encourage you to do that as soon as you are able and on that 180 mark. These dining reservations include character dining experiences because those tend to be the most well attended.

Be Flexible!

Rides break down, kids meltdown, adults meltdown, it rains (it’s Orlando, plan for rain) and plans have to change. Don’t be so stuck on one thing or dwell on one thing that it ruins your day or heaven forbid your vacation. There is so much magic around every corner, go with the flow, plan a backup and continue to make those magical memories.

365Fireworks!

If you have a large group or even a small group and you are wanting to take in fireworks or a nighttime show at a specific park, be sure to know when that show is happening and where you want to catch it so you can be sure to get a good spot. Some of the best spots for the nighttime shows, particularly Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom and IllumiNations at Epcot have prime spots that allow for optimal viewing and those spots fill up quick.

To ensure a great spot, have a plan for when you want to stake it out and plop down for a wait. Many of those amazing viewing spots fill up early. Also, be sure to check with castmembers to make sure that the spot you want to claim is going to be allowed. They always keep walking paths open during the shows so just ask if the place you are eyeing will be okay.

24Unplug!

Put your phone away and be present on your vacation. Your friends and family will still be there when your vacation is over so be present on your vacation and soak in all of the Disney magic around you.

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So there you have it! Part 1 of our tips for your next Disney vacation. Be sure to stay tuned for part 2 coming at you really soon!

Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget that it all started with a mouse!

 

 

 

Remembering a Disney Icon

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Hey Disney family! Thank you for stopping by. 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!

richard3Today, we are talking about a true Disney icon and following that up with some thoughts on those castmembers who truly live Walt’s dream and vision and work incredibly hard to bring that to life for everyone who visits Walt Disney World or any Disney park.

Richard Gerth began his Disney career in 1991 when he relocated to Orlando after the passing of his wife. It didn’t take long for this incredible man to become a Disney staple for many whenever visiting Walt Disney World. His signature smile, tip of the hat, willingness to chat and open up and share his Disney stories, non-Disney stories and love of the Walt Disney company made him one of the most well-known castmembers in all of Walt Disney World. On June 7, 2018 Richard Gerth, passed away at the age of 92.

For many in the Disney community this was the loss of a true Disney icon and an incredible man.

richard6For those of us who had the chance to meet and speak with Richard, I can say with certainty and from the bottom of my heart that he will be missed but I know he is in an incredible place and is welcoming people to a new magical place as we speak.

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This incredible drawing is making its way around the internet and brings tears to my eyes. For those of us who knew and looked forward to seeing Richard this just absolutely warms my heart. I take no credit for this drawing but am not sure where it originated. If you know, please leave a comment so I can credit the artist for this heartfelt piece.

laughterWalt said, Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever.

Richard was the true embodiment of this Walt Disney quote.

Each time we go to Walt Disney World, we come to expect a certain level of service, and time and attention to detail but I think a lot of times we forget that these castmembers, are not only paid to provide that service but they know what they are getting into when they take these jobs and they welcome this opportunity to provide magic and a true experience of a lifetime every single day.

richard1Richard is one of the incredible castmembers who make up this vision of Walt’s that was created by him but is carried out each and every day by the wonderful people at Walt Disney World.

Although he is no longer a physical presence at the Grand Floridian, his spirit will always be there. He will always be remembered in our hearts and our memories and that is the true magic of Disney.

Walt still remains with each and every one of us when we enter the Magic Kingdom and feel the magic wash over us. When you see Spaceship Earth for the first time in a trip or in your life, when you go on a safari, take a picture with Mickey or step onto It’s a Small World. He’s there. Walt is always with us because he poured his heart and soul into creating this incredible world for us to escape to, for us to enjoy and appreciate.

visionJust as Walt is always with us, Castmembers like Richard never leave either. He will always remain and never be forgotten.

So, next time you are at Walt Disney World and you see a castmember going above and beyond, thank them because although it is their job, they are helping us to make memories and experience the magic just as Walt would have wanted and so many go beyond doing a job to create the magic and those one-of-a-kind Disney experiences.

Thank you Walt, thank you Richard and thank you to all of the Disney castmembers who embody the spirit of Disney and who look at this as more than a job. Thank you for continuing the magic and for bringing to life, the words of Walt. That laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever.

Thank you for stopping by. Do you have a favorite memory of Richard or another wonderful castmemeber? We would love for you to share that with us. leave a comment and share your memories with our Disney family.

For the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.

River Country Resort is Coming!…Maybe

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Hey Disney family! Welcome to another blog post! 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!

Let’s jump right in because the Disney rumor mill was once again all abuzz with potentially exciting news!

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Photo of permit location courtesy of Ziggy Knows Disney

On March 5, Disney filed permits that showed intention of geotechnical borings for the are located near Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, more specifically very near the site of Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. Typically these type of permits are filed when trying to establish whether a parcel of land stolportis suitable for major construction.

The permits also include sections of Disney’s abandoned River Country. River Country was Disney’s first water park and was operational from 1976 to 2001.

These permits also incorporate sections of STOLport or Short Takeoff and Landing Port, which at one time was a private airstrip. Walt’s dream was to link Walt Disney World directly to guests and to have the ability to shuttle them in from other airports around Florida. Construction for STOLport was started back in 1970S. STOLport was  the first phase of Walt’s aviation vision to build the “Airport of Tomorrow” which would connect the south entrance of the EPCOT center that he envisioned to housing communities in Celebration. This project never came to fruition and the project was eventually abandoned; the area is now only used for storage.

105The permits filed on March 5 included 30.2 acres and environmental engineering documents for the area were attached at the time of filing. These permits were filed by Disney Parks & Resorts with the South Florida Water Management District and were for the purpose of what is being called “Project 89”. 

So what is Disney planning to do here? We have no idea. However, many reports were circulated this week throughout the Disney community that contractors have actually already been chosen for construction of a new DVC/ Walt Disney World Resort to be built here!

How exciting! But, before we get too excited let’s pause for a second because we have no solid evidence or confirmation from Walt Disney Company confirming that any construction is moving forward on this site, much less a hotel. However, on May 9, Disney did file an additional permit for the site citing a large plot of the land that would be used as a temporary stockpile of dirt. Hmmmmmm.

Several online sources are citing confirmation from inside sources at Disney that contractors have been selected and some have even gone so far as to state how many rooms will be included in this resort.

38Various outlets reported just last week that International design firm WATG has been chosen to lead the design of this new resort. WATG has a history with Disney resorts as they were the designing force behind Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Reports also state that Balfour Beatty has been selected as the construction manager for the project. This resort is expected to include upwards of 900 DVC bays, which, as I just learned is the technical industry term for a standard size room and to include 1,340 total bays.

Sources also claim that this project is supposedly going to cost roughly 350 Million dollars. One thing that I found interesting in my research though was that this dollar amount was released because I attempted to thoroughly research the cost to build other Disney resorts and it doesn’t appear that Disney readily releases that information. So I will admit that seeing that, when Disney appears to go to great pains to keep that info under wraps, gives me pause here. However, those numbers could simply be industry estimations for what a project of this size could cost or typically costs.

River-Country-PermitIt would make sense for Disney to be building yet another resort and I’ll tell you why, because some of you may be reading this and thinking, “Crystal, they are building the Riviera AND the new Star Wars hotel AND the new tower going in at Coronado Springs! How many resorts do we need?!” Let’s be real with each other for a second; the Star Wars Hotel is going to be literally out of this world, and most likely booked up to several years in advance, especially in the first few years, because, after all, it is the first hotel in the world of its kind!

So, the rest of us mere mortals who are unable to secure this divine reservation will need a place to stay, and Disney resorts aren’t getting any less popular. So, with the opening of Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, updates to Epcot and so much more, new resorts make a heck of a lot of sense.

133A resort would also make transportation sense in this location. You already have the waterway and boats going to and from Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge and it probably wouldn’t be too difficult as there are already resorts and therefore roadways in this area for cars and bus transportation.

So that is what we know and that is what we are hearing! What are your thoughts on a new Walt Disney World Resort going in where the abandoned River Country stands? Do you think Disney should build yet another resort or would you rather see something else go into this spot? 

Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse!

 

Disney Dessert Parties! All you need to know!

432Walt Disney World recently announced that as of May 28, 2018, the price for the Fireworks Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom will go up for both children and adults. Dessert parties occur throughout Walt Disney World but what are they? We are going to get you caught up on all things dessert parties at Disney World.

365Dessert parties generally revolve around fireworks shows and are extra ticketed events. This means that you will need to purchase a ticket for the dessert party as well as purchase a park ticket. Naturally, this can get pricey. So, is it worth it? It really depends on if this experience is worth extra money to 151you.

Hubby and I have done several dessert parties and they are really fun and a really great way to get a sugar high in Disney and would recommend that if your budget allows, everyone try at least one.

Dessert parties allow you to take in all of the sweets that you want and not have to fight the crowds for a prime viewing spot for fireworks. To some, this alone is worth the price of admission. But let’s get into the nitty gritty of each dessert party to see if it is worth it to you. For all dessert parties, prices for children are for ages three to nine. Over that age, are considered adults. Children under the age of three are free.

For all dessert parties, we recommend you arrive as early as possible to get the most out of the party. The castmembers will continue to replenish food until the party is over but often there are exclusive photo pass opportunities available and you may get a better seat if it is a dessert party where you aren’t relocated for the fireworks themselves, if you arrive early.

78We will start with the Fireworks Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom. There are two different options for this particular dessert party and both take place on the Tomorrowland Terrace located between Main Street USA and Tomorrowland. There is one package for seating on Tomorrowland Terrace for the fireworks show and a second option for Plaza Gardens seating. Pricing varies for this depending on which package you select.

  • The Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace, which includes special seating on the terrace is currently priced at $79 per adult but will increase to $84. Prices for children are currently $47 per child but will increase to $50.
  • The Fireworks Dessert Party with viewing in the Plaza Gardens area is currently priced at $59 per adult and will increase to $69. Prices for children are currently $35 per child and will increase to $41 per child.

507The Fireworks dessert party will get you prime seating for the Happily Ever After Fireworks Show at Magic Kingdom. You will be able to get all kinds of wonderful treats as well as sparkling cider, coffee and tea. The treats change depending on when you go but there are mini cupcakes, cookies, usually a make your own sundae bar, fruit and more. The party treats are all that you care to enjoy.

It is important to remember that there is no alcohol served at this or any of the Magic Kingdom dessert parties.

81If you choose seating on Tomorrow Terrace you will remain there for the fireworks show. If you choose seating on Plaza Gardens, you will be escorted to the Plaza Gardens viewing area which flanks Main Street after Casey’s Corner and Plaza Ice Cream. The price for this selection is higher but the view is better.

star wars dessert

 

Next up is A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Hollywood Studios. This extra ticketed event is currently being offered every night through July 31, 2018. Often Disney will only release dates a few months out so if you are interested in this dessert party for a date after July 31, be on the lookout for that availability as Disney may release more dates at any time. 

starwars dessert
Photo courtesy of Allears.net

The price for this dessert party is $79 for adults and $45 for children. There is alcohol available for this dessert party. This dessert party is located inside the Star Wars Launch Bay and then before the fireworks show begins, guests are escorted out to the reserved viewing area for the spectacular. Most of the food options, especially dessert are themed to Star Wars and there are savory options available for this party as well including veggies, hummus and bread. It is important to note that the food options are subject to change. 

354Heading over to Epcot, we are going to talk about the Frozen Ever After Sparkling Dessert Party next. The cost of this dessert part is $79 for adults, $47 for children and includes an exclusive ride on Frozen Ever After after IllumiNations. I loved this dessert party! I loved the Frozen themed treats, even the blue velvet cupcake that turned my tongue and lips blue! There is alcohol available at this party as well.

134The line can get long to get into the party itself so like the other dessert parties, we recommend getting there early. The location of this party is inside World Showcase, next to and behind the Disney Traders merchandise shop before you reach the Mexico pavilion. Seating is preassigned and if you are in a smaller group, expect to be seated with people you don’t know but everyone is guaranteed a seat.

419You will get 3-D goggles for this that you can use during IllumiNations to give parts of the show more of a Frozen theme. It’s really quite cool! Then, after the show, you will be escorted to Frozen Ever After in the Norway Pavilion for a special VIP ride on one of the most popular rides in Walt Disney World. I truly believe that this, more than any other dessert party, is worth the money.

One of the newest additions to the Disney dessert party lineup is Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise. This exclusive Happily Ever After viewing experience cruises along Seven Seas Lagoon where you will enjoy desserts, drinks and savory snacks before getting a unique viewing of the Happily Ever After fireworks show. 

137This dessert party was started December 1, 2017. Not available on many dates. Only about two a week. The vessel you will board if you choose this dessert party, is the General Joe Potter, one of the Ferryboats used to transport guests to Magic Kingdom from the Transportation and Ticket Center. The hightop tables, bar and dessert tables are added for the festivities. There is very limited seating for this dessert cruise, only 150 per night so it is imperative to reserve your spot in advance in order to ensure seating. 

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Photo Courtesy of Disneyworld.com

Guests are situated for a great viewing of the Electrical Water Pageant and then also positioned for viewing of Happily Ever After. One might think that the views for Happily Ever After would be obstructed but most people state that they are actually positioned really well for a great view of the castle and the fireworks! Admission for this dessert party is $99 for adults and $69 for children.

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!

That’s it for this post! Thank you for stopping by and checking out our post highlighting all of the Dessert parties throughout Walt Disney World. Stay tuned closer to the holidays as we highlight the dessert parties that are available during the holiday season. For the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.

Best Vegetarian Options at Walt Disney World

130Hey Disney family welcome to another blog post! 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!

108If you follow our blog you know, we love to eat at Disney so we consider ourselves quite qualified to talk about all of the amazing food that is available throughout Walt Disney World. Although we are not vegetarians, we respect a good veggie-filled meal and are here to tell you where you can find some of the best vegetarian friendly options on Walt Disney World property.

95First off, be sure that you always check with your server or a castmember at counter service and table service locations. If things seem vegetarian, there is always a chance the item is cooked using chicken broth or cream so it is always best to double check.

Another tip, explain any dietary restrictions to the castmember or server and they will will with you to find items that fit those needs. Disney is amazing with food allergies or restrictions and always goes above and beyond to work with guests to provide a magical experience.

433One of your best bets will always be the buffets. There are always options for every taste and need at the buffets and the items are all that you care to enjoy, so you can fill up on most anything your heart desires.

486If you are at Magic Kingdom and are able to snag a dining reservation at Be Our Guest you will have the option to try the layered ratatouille. Quinoa, layers of summery vegetables and tomatoes in a tomato based sauce, make this dish a worthy and hearty option for vegetarians and meat eaters alike!

Other Magic Kingdom offerings include caprese pizza and salad choices at Pinocchio Village Haus, Waffles, fresh fruit and pastries at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, there is a roasted vegetable rice bowl at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, a vegetarian chili that is pretty tasty at Columbia Harbor House and a noodle salad and curry vegetable stew at Jungle Skipper Canteen.

181Additionally, the infamous dole whip and Mickey pretzels are vegan at all Disney locations! Be sure to check out other menu’s too because Gaston’s Tavern, Plaza Ice Cream Parlour and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe all have vegetarian and/or vegan options.

If you are at any park or restaurant on Disney property that offers the famous Mickey waffles, ask to speak to the chef or tell your castmember about your dietary needs and they will offer to make you “allergy friendly” Mickey waffles. Disney offers vegan/gluten-free versions of this famous treat. Along those lines, the potatoes are most meals are vegan.

Typically a chef will take you on a tour of the buffet if you are at a buffet restaurant or at a family-style restaurant, you will usually receive your own special meal that meets your needs.

13If you are at Epcot, the food mecca of Walt Disney World, you have several options available to you including Garden Grille in the Land which will always provide you with a family style offering that fits your needs. If you are not able to secure a reservation at Garden Grill, head over to Sunshine Seasons. This is a great choice for eaters of all types because there are so many options and types of food available here.

holaWorld Showcase has several great choices for you as well! In Japan, you can get several things including a vegetarian “sushi” roll, in France, there is a tartine provencale, and a quiche florentine, Morocco has a few items including a falafel wrap and a vegetarian platter, the nudel gratin in Germany is one of my favorite dishes and is vegetarian (not vegan) friendly, in the American pavilion you can get a vegetarian chick’n sandwich and in Mexico, head over to Choza de Margarita for one of my absolute favorite items in all of World Showcase, the guacamole!

Those are just a few things that are available to you in Epcot and just as in Magic Kingdom, be sure to check menu’s or talk to castmembers about additional options.

If you are in Epcot during one of the amazing festivals, be sure to get yourself a festival passport because all of the food items are available at every kitchen will be laid out in the passport and vegetarian and vegan items will be highlighted within the booklet.

379At Hollywood Studios, especially given the current state of things, items will be far more limited but as always, check with a castmember to find options that fit your needs. Rosie’s All-American Cafe has a black bean burger, Backlot Express has a grilled vegetable sandwich and ABC Commissary offers a couscous quinoa and arugula salad. Mama Melrose and Prime Time Cafe will also be able to work with your requests.

Animal Kingdom is the final stop for this post. Tusker House will be a great option for vegetarians and vegans and like before, be sure to let a castmember know so that a chef can come out and walk you through the buffet selections. There is actually a vegetarian cart at Animal Kingdom that has an entire menu of vegetarian friendly items! Mr. Kamal’s has Samosas, Hummus with veggies, an asian noodle salad and a falafel sandwich. Pizzafari has a vegetable pizza and Restaurantosaurus has a black bean burger option.

128If you are headed to Disney Springs you will be sure to find options around almost every corner that will delight your tastebuds but we are not going to go over all of those options in this post. If you have a favorite item or restaurant that really fits the needs of vegetarians or vegans be sure to leave a comment on this post so others can delight in your find as well!

That is it for this post! Please remember that menu’s at Disney are constantly changing so the items may be different when you visit the parks. Please let us know in the comments if there are other options that you love that we did not highlight in this post or if a menu has been changed and an item is no longer available.

Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started, with a mouse!

 

 

Disney is going Resort Crazy!

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Hey there Disney family! Welcome! 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!

Riviera resortIt appears that Disney is all about adding new resort options to go along with the new lands and attractions already in the works and that are set to begin in the near future and we think this is great!

We already know that Disney has begun construction at the first DVC Resort to be a part of a moderate resort. Disney’s Riviera Resort construction is well under way and is set to open sometime in 2019 (we are thinking it could likely be around the time of the Star Wars Land opening). You can read all about what we know about Disney’s Riviera Resort HERE!

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Stars Wars Hotel photo courtesy of Disneyparks.disney.go

Then of course there is the highly anticipated Star Wars resort. Very little information has been released regarding this resort and I think there is a very good reason for that. This will be more than a hotel, this will be an immersive experience, that much we know. You will not be staying at Walt Disney World, you will be a part of the Star Wars story and will be immersed in the theme, the life, the legacy of this epic series.

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Photo of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge courtesy of Disneyparks.disney.go

The Star Wars hotel will be a part of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. As Disney has said on their website, this new immersive-resort will be a “seamless transition” to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and will be a “first-of-its-kind resort.”

When checking into the Star Wars Resort, guests will take a journey into space and embark on a journey that will last several days, we understand there will be a minimum stay to ensure maximum immersion into the experience. Guests will even have the option to dress in Star Wars themed attire during their experience!

127Those resorts we know are coming to Walt Disney World but there are rumors swirling of two other resorts coming to Walt Disney World! It seems that Epcot could be the home of Disney World’s first in-park hotel. This would not be the first in-park resort for Disney as there is an in-park resort at both Disneyland Paris and Disneyland in California but it would be a first for the largest of the Disney properties, Walt Disney World.

92If true, the resort could possibly be placed at the entrance to Epcot near the Monorail stop at Epcot OR it could be located in what is currently a backstage area for Epcot that sits in between the Land and the Seas pavilions. I believe that putting the resort at the front of Epcot would make the most sense logistically but that is one outsider’s opinion.

91If true for this location, the resort may replace the Leave a Legacy plaques that are located beyond the entrance before Spaceship Earth. We already know that Future World is going to be home to a number of refurbishments in the coming years with the addition of the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride where Ellen’s Universe of Energy once was and the possible addition of a space-themed restaurant that was just recently confirmed to be going between Mission Space and Test Track.

If this resort is going to happen at the entrance of Epcot, would it make sense for it to be done in tandem with these other confirmed improvements? If this is to happen and the goal would be for the resort to be open in time for the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World in 2021? If so, we should expect confirmation on this resort quite quickly.

130.jpgOne sign that we soon will receive said confirmation is that on May 9 Disney filed 30 permits with Orange County, 27 of those permits were for the Avenue of the Stars, which is the perimeter road that encircles Epcot. All of the permits filed named Buena Vista Construction Company as the contractor for the work. The work highlighted in the permits was, as usual, very vague and did not reveal much to the nature of the work.

However, with the span of the permits being quite vast, it would make sense that the permits would be for the rumored Epcot resort! We may soon find out!

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River Country photo courtesy of Orlando Weekly

Last but not least there is another rumored resort Disney is considering. Back in March, Disney filed several permits for the abandoned River Country water park. This plot of land has been virtually untouched since the water park was closed but is prime real estate for another deluxe resort on Bay Lake.

133.jpgThe permits that were filed were for a variety of exploratory items including “geographical borings”. Our assumption is that Disney is testing the soil to see if it is even viable for a resort. It is possible that this plot of land is not sturdy enough to support a resort. Project 89, which is what the permits were filed under is already near two existing Disney resorts, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Project 89 could potentially be an expansion of these existing resorts or Disney could be wanting to go in an entirely new direction. This rumor is the one we know the least about and the one Disney has not mentioned at all so at this point, we are purely speculating.

128Those are the confirmed and potential resorts coming to Walt Disney World. We know for a fact that the Star Wars Resort and Disney’s Riviera Resort are underway and scheduled to be open within the next few years. Disney has filed permits for the what we believe to be these other resorts but as with all things Disney, they like to keep us in suspense and the truth about why these permits have been filed will be made known when and only when Disney is ready to confirm them.

That’s it for this post! Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse!