The Flower & Garden Festival is one of the most beautiful times to visit EPCOT each year. In addition to all of the gorgeous plants, gardens, and topiaries, the Festival offers a great concert series that you can enjoy as you travel around the World Showcase.
Beginning March 4th, guests will be able to hear musical talent ranging from internationally recognized artists to local Orlando bands. Best of all, this is included with admission! Who are you most excited to see?
Here is the schedule per Disney:
March 4-5 – The Guess Who
March 6-7 – Rick Springfield
March 11-12 – Melina Leon – NEW to Garden Rocks
March 18-19 – Mike DelGuidice, currently on tour with Billy Joel – NEW
March 20-21 – Kool & The Gang – NEW to Garden Rocks
March 25-28 – The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
April 1-2 – The Spinners
April 3-4 – The Pointer Sisters
April 8-9 – Blue October – NEW to Garden Rocks
April 15-16 – Tommy DeCarlo, singer of the band Boston – NEW
April 17-18 – Don Felder, Formerly of The Eagles
April 22-23 – STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas
April 24-25 – Claudia Leitte – NEW
April 29-30 – Berlin
May 1-2 – TobyMac
May 6-7 – Blood, Sweat & Tears
May 8-9 – The Commodores – NEW to Garden Rocks
May 13-14 – Ambrosia with Peter Beckett – NEW
May 20-21 – A Flock Of Seagulls
May 22-23 – Collin Raye – NEW
May 27-28 – Thelma Houston – NEW
May 29-30 – Little River Band
June 3-6 – Simple Plan
June 10-13 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
June 17-20 – Plain White T’s
If you would like to guarantee your spot, you can reserve a Dining Package that will gain you entrance to the show. All others will be first come, first served and as long as you get there early enough, there are usually seats.
The music can also be heard through many of the surrounding countries.
If you are interested in visiting during the Flower & Garden Festival, contact me today! I am happy to offer my complimentary planning services and we can start planning your Spring getaway!
In 2020, I am going to be doing monthly updates via Facebook Live. I am aiming for the second Sunday of every month but that may change in the case of a holiday (or a research-based Disney Trip). I would love for you to join me.
I will gather the information I learn directly from Disney each month and then hop on Facebook Live to share it all, answer questions, and explain anything that may need an explanation. It is a great way for you to keep up on updates, closures, refurbishments, discounts, and more.
Thanks to a very busy October with the gift card giveaway I ran, I have been crazy busy dedicating my time to new and current guests and unable to update my blog as much as I like. I wanted to do a little recap of all the things I would have posted about.
Disney Villain After Hours
The Disney Villains are returning to the Magic Kingdom in 2020 for more Evil Evenings at After Hours. This Extra-Ticket event is a fantastic time in Magic Kingdom. Lines are short, entertainment is fabulous, merchandise & food is themed after your favorite villains and you never know who you may run into! Treats such as popcorn & soda are all-you-care-to-eat at this event as well so you will not go hungry!
Hades & Meg will be leading a stage show that will showcase some other Disney greats. Hades & Meg! Where else do you get to see these guys?!? So exciting. With this After Hours ticket, you can enter the park as early as 7 pm – this means you can catch the fireworks before heading off to enjoy attractions and Villainous fun! The events will take place select evenings from February 7th – July 10. This is a great add-on to any vacation package. You can get SO much done in the time you have because of the lower crowds.
If you are traveling during this time and would like to discuss adding it to your vacation package, contact me today!
After Hours dates for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom have been released for next year. Here are the dates that are currently available –
January 23, 27 & 31
February 3, 10, 17 & 24
March 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
April 5, 13, 20 & 27
May 5, 11, 18 & 25
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
April 1, 7, 14 & 22
May 2, 9, 16, 19 & 26
This event also allows guests into the parks at 7pm, has lower wait times, and provides complimentary ice cram novelties, popcorn and select beverages.
runDisney Race Calendar
Dates have been released into 2021 for your favorite Disney Races. Below you will find Disney’s graphic with dates including when they go on sale.
These race entries can be added to a Disney vacation Package. If you are interested in an upcoming race, contact me and we can discuss putting this together with a resort stay & ticket package.
Disney Wonder Update
The Disney Wonder has added new spaces for guests to enjoy and they look fantastic. The French Quarter Lounge is a new space for families to enjoy. This lounge brings your favorite Bayou Princess to life and has several nods to “The Princess and The Frog”. If you are looking for an “adult only” area, cafe cove is the newest spot added to the ship. In addition, Disney’s Teen guests will enjoy a club exclusively to them at Vibe. Here is a short video that discusses these wonderful new enhancements:
In Holiday New, Disney World & Disneyland both came out with some great announcements:
Disney World – Magic Kingdom
Mickey’s very Merry Christmas Party is a truly magical event that begins in just a few short days. This year, a new Fireworks show will debut! “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmas Fireworks” will have you swept up in Holiday magic with an amazing projection show set to some of your favorite holiday classics. This is a great way to get into the Christmas Spirit!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will take place select nights in November and December. Let me know if you would like to add this event to your vacation!
In just a few short days, the Festival of Holidays will begin at Disney California Adventure. This festival celebrates the holidays by sharing the festive culture of Southern California. There will be dance parties, a Holiday Foods Marketplace, Live Music, and so much more. This runs through January 6. I will be visiting this weekend and will be sure to report back!
Lunar New Year and Food & Wine Festival – Returning in 2020
This year from January 7 – February 9, come celebrate the Year of the Mouse with beautiful decor, delicious cultural cuisine, multicultural performances, and a crowd favorite; “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession”.
February 28 – April 21, Guests can experience Food & Wine Festival at California Adventure. Live entertainment, culinary seminars and delicious bites & sips await you at this annual festival. Kid’s can get in on the fun with a “hands-on” cooking experience with chef Goofy!
If you are planning a trip to Disneyland, these dates are a great time to travel there. One of the many festivals or experiences can just add that much more magic to any vacation!
October Gift Card Giveaway
Drum roll Please!!! Miss Kristen Mayle, you have won a gift card for your vacation in 2020. Thank you for trusting me to reserve your trip and help you plan!!
That is all for today! I will be traveling to Disneyland this weekend with the Agency I work for and look forward to sharing all that I learn and see with you!
Yes, it is only August but the Winter Holiday Season will be here before we know it – especially at Disney where the Christmas Season starts before Thanksgiving!
We are a big fan of the parties offered in Magic Kingdom. It is often difficult for me to answer which is my favorite when guests ask. I truly do love them both for very different reasons. Either way, I highly recommend both if you happen to be at Disney World when they are taking place.
The Very Merry Christmas Party is a beautiful and fun way to ring in the season. The entertainment, decor, music, and characters will have you feeling like it is Christmas Day. One of the very special offerings is set to return again this year – a Christmas Party at Tony’s Town Square.
This Holly, Jolly Christmas Party offers tasty food, holiday beverages, festive music & decor and entertainment – including a visit from Tony, himself. Guests are free to come and go as they please throughout the night. With admission to this party, you will also receive reserved seating for the 11 P.M. showing of “Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade”. This is a great advantage and lets guests enjoy shorter wait times on favorite attractions while the earlier, more popular showing of the parade is performed.
This party runs from 9:30 PM 12:30 AM (a half hour after the Very Merry Christmas Event closes!!) and reservations are open now! Contact me today to add them to your Disney Holiday Vacation Package.
Since I shared what is new in Disney World this Halloween season, I wanted to also relay what would be new in Disneyland!
Disney California Adventure Park will present Oogie Boogie Bash! This will be a separate ticket event that offers special entertainment, food, characters, and trick or treating.
An awesome new version of World of Color will be shown. “Villainous!” will be hosted by Oogie Boogie himself and is sure to provide some screams. Other Halloween entertainment will include a Descendants Dance Party, Mickey Stage Show, Frightfully Fun Parade, Trick or Treating on immersive treat trails and a new interactive trail provided by Disney Villains.
Guests are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Halloween Costume. This Bash will start on September 17th and take place on 20 select nights. Get your tickets now, as they will sell out!
To plan a trip to Disneyland and add this Spooky event to your itinerary, contact me today!
It is hot, hot, hot out there. I hope everyone is
enjoying their Summer, spending time by the pool, lake, or ocean!
Let’s think some cool thoughts and Celebrate A Very Merry
Disney Christmas in July! I know its
still 5 months away but it always manages to sneak up on me anyway!
12 Days of Christmas posts will include hints, tips, recipes, and suggestions on how to make your Holiday Season a Magical Disney Holiday Season.
On the First Day of Christmas, Mickey gave to Me::
Traveling for the Holidays
This is a fantastic time of the year to head to any Disney Destination. Everywhere you look, there are beautiful light displays, holiday treats, and wonderful experiences to share with those that you love.
Today we will look at what it would be like to be at the Magic Kingdom during the holiday season.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is an amazingly magical event that takes place in the Magic Kingdom. There are holiday ride over-lays, special merchandise, delicious holiday treats (all you can enjoy Hot Cocoa and Christmas Cookies) and, ok yeah, about half the typical amount of guests that are usually in the parks. This is an after-ticket event and Disney controls how many tickets are sold. You will find the lines for your favorite rides to be a fraction of what they usually are. It is an amazing and magical time and I highly recommend it! Tip: Tickets say enter at 7pm but get in as early as 4pm! That is three bonus Hours in Magic Kingdom!!
Giving a Disney Destination as a Gift for the Holidays
My kids have so much “stuff”. There really is nothing that they need. To eliminate a bunch more “stuff” we have been giving a trip as a gift for the last few years. They have received Disney World quite a few times and this year will be a Disney Cruise. These trips are for later in the year and it is something we can look forward to together all year long. GOOD GRACIOUS does this make my holiday shopping easier.
I wanted to offer a few different ways to “wrap up” a Disney Destination to put under the tree. One of my favorites is to fill a wrapped box with Disney Balloons. Now, with the Husband being an air condition/heating technician, I had him bring home the biggest A/C Box he could find. Y’all, this box was big enough for me to walk into! So we wrapped it in a really fun Mickey Christmas Paper (thank you, Dollar Tree) and inside we put an extra large mickey balloon and several star and round balloons. We put it out a week before Christmas and it drove them NUTS!! When they finally opened it all together on Christmas Morning, it was like Christmas Magic. Inside, I also put our family countdown that we always use, and a few different planning documents that we enjoy going over together. It was so much fun and we did enjoy talking about it until the following October when we actually traveled.
Looking to add a little Disney Flair to your Holiday Desert? One of my Favorites would be Rice Crispy Mickey Heads!
Make Rice Crispy Treats as per the cereal box
Use the Mickey Head sandwich shaper or free form a mickey head
Dip the ears and top of head into melted baking chocolate
Use green and red sprinkles to decorate the chocolate
(can obviously use any colors for a fun treat for any holiday)
If you are looking to travel during the 2019 Holiday Season or if you would like to look into purchasing a trip to gift to your family this Holiday Season, contact me today! It is the fastest and easiest holiday shopping you will ever do and I am happy to help with all the fun and cheery details. Also, qualifying reservations will receive our Minnie Box! Our gift to you that arrives on your doorstep prior to your departure for your trip. It is filled with magic and excitement and is tailored to your travel party. I look forward to hearing from you and helping you plan your Holiday Magic soon!
We got engaged at Disney, we Honeymooned there – it was time for another milestone trip. Our first trip in 10 years without our littles for our 10th Anniversary.
We arrived late afternoon to our home away from home for the weekend – the Polynesian. This was our first time staying here. We absolutely loved it and may or may not be thinking of joining DVC because of our stay here. The experience, amenities, and customer service were definitely elevated at this resort.
From the moment you check in and you get your Leis, you feel like part of their Ohana. We left our bags will Bell Services and went to check out our room. We had a balcony on the third floor in the Fiji Building (which was exactly what I requested when I called Disney with my room preferences; yay for Travel Agents!). It was beautiful. It was diagonal from the Great Ceremonial House where the restaurants, shops, & Monorail Platform are. Super close! Our view was of Bay Lake, the beach, and gardens. I spent each morning reading on that balcony and we sat out there one night to watch a beautiful storm pass through.
We enjoyed the beach & view of Magic Kingdom. Two of the nights we were able to watch the Fireworks over Magic Kingdom from the beach. Once was Happily Ever After and the other was the 4th of July Fireworks. We also saw the Electric Light Parade which I have enjoyed since I was a young child and I am SO glad they still show it each night.
We took full advantage of what the resort had to offer. We shopped in both shops at the resort. Between the two they have a wide selection of clothing, jewelry, accessories, toys, as well as things you would need that you may have forgotten at home, drinks, snacks, and more. The one thing I was looking for that I couldn’t find (a certain pair of earrings), a cast member looked in their inventory and found them for me at a shop in Epcot and had them for me the following day. Amazing service! We swam in both pools but we preferred the Lava Pool. The Oasis pool was beautiful but much more quiet. We liked the buzz and excitement of the Lave pool more. It is great that there are both options though! As for lounges & restaurants, we experienced Tambu Lounge, Capt. Cooks, & Trader Sam’s. The food and experiences were great at all 3 but my favorite would definitely be Trader Sam’s.
This is a must see for sure! We got right in without a wait which surprised me. The wait staff reacts differently to each item ordered off the menu and it becomes an experience the entire lounge takes part in. Between that and the decor, I could have spent hours there. Tip: Try to sit on a bar stool instead of on one of the couches – they have a fun surprise! Then there was transportation. I have not stayed at a Monorail resort in many years. In my opinion, it was worth every penny for that perk. It was super easy to come back for a swim mid-afternoon and took almost no time. It was great to visit other quick services and lounges along the Monorail line. We also had table service reservations at the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary so it was really nice to be so close to those. The buses for Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom were frequent so no issue there either. Transportation at the Polynesian is on point!
Just the general feel and environment that this resort offers is so great. We felt relaxed and as if we were on a beautiful lush island while staying there. It was very immersive and I hope to take the littles back on a trip in the not-so-far future.
We spent the first evening snacking and sipping our way around Disney Springs. Our first stop was the DockSide Margarita Bar. We were drawn right in by the music. There was a gentleman playing all kinds of fun music. He was quite talented and especially shocked me when he started playing the conch shell as an instrument. He was great!
We headed over to Paddlefish. Formerly Fulton’s Crab House, this large (docked) paddleboat is a great place to stop for food & drinks. I highly recommend heading to the rooftop. The view from up there is great and they have some amazing Ice pops!
The Hangar Bar was next on the list – Inspired by Jock Lindsay, Indiana Jones’ Pilot. We love the fun decor and all the nods to the movies and Jock’s travels. We always stop here for the pretzel – it comes with some great beer cheese & tasty mustard. Its a nice little snack that we like to order and snack on. We sit out on the dry-docked boat that looks like it is straight out of The Jungle Cruise. There, we listened to the music at the near-by stage and watched the Amphicars come and go.
Winebar George is a great little spot. This time we stopped at “The Basket” which is basically like a little grab-and-go window. You can get the Frozcato as well as the Dole Whip so it is worth a stop!
From there we needed a bite to eat. Figuring we would check out something new, we stopped in at D-Luxe Burger. Fairly typical quick service – you order at a window, get a pager and wait for your food. In the meantime you can help yourself to a number of amazing dips for your fries and burgers. They let you add on toppings-i.e. bacon, at NO CHARGE. I was kinda shocked honestly. So we got a bunch of dips and waited for our food to arrive and guess what? These. Burgers. Rock. Oh good gracious, it was tasty – stop there if you are looking for a delicious but quick burger. You will not be disappointed!
I wanted to show the Husband some of the neat places I learned about on my most recent training trip. I took him down the hidden staircase for Enzo’s. We grabbed a quick drink here (wishing we were not so full because this Italian food looked and smelled fantastic) and then I took him through the “secret” back exit. Once through there we arrived in the Basement of The Edison. It was super crowded and the house band was real good. After that, we called it a night – wouldn’t you?!
This is the weekend before 4th of July so this place is hoppin’! However the new fastpass+ system seemed to do a fairly decent job of spreading everyone around. We were able to do all the mountains and all the attractions we wanted to do (along with a meet-up with my favorite Princess) and we were out of there by 4! It all comes down to the way you spend your Fastpasses and which itinerary you follow. Using a few tips and tricks, it is not hard to see all that you want, even on a Holiday Weekend. One of my favorite parts of helping guests plan their trips is maximizing their time in the parks. It is kind of a Disney Science and I like to think I am not too shabby at it!
Construction is in full swing for Tron. They were not actively working during the day but so much progress has been made in just the few months since I was last here. I am getting super excited about it!
Delicious Bites worth Noting:
Loaded Waffle Fries from Golden Oak Outpost
Loaded Tots from The Friar’s Nook
Spicy Chicken Waffle from Sleepy Hallow
The only part of Animal Kingdom that felt crowded was Pandora – No surprise there. We avoided Pandora because we fastpassed Flight of Passage for later in the day and went out on one of the first Safari’s of the day. I think we will try to do each trip going forward. There was SO much animal activity. We were even chased by an ostrich and the driver had to drive straight through the next habitat to get us away from him. My favorite was watching a lion and lioness play. It was like watching two furry kittens – they were having a lot of fun.
It was my mission to find and smooch on Kevin-The Snipe from Up. He can be found roaming the Kingdom. Well, he actually found me and came right up to us and pointed to our Anniversary pins and clucked a bunch. Nothing like a congratulations from a Snipe – my vacation was complete.
Delicious Bites worth Noting:
Mac & Cheese with Pulled Pork from Eight Spoon Cafe
Haystacks from Zuri Sweets Shop
We also found a neat little Nook over by Dinosaur! It is a Paleontologist’s Tent with some fun decor. The mixologist we encountered was fun and really knowledgeable. It seems to be more of an adult place but it did not say children couldn’t come in. We just liked the quiet and laid back vibe with the great theming as a background.
As usual, I took my stroll around the tree to see what new animals I could spot. I found what I think are reindeer! I will be doing my Christmas in July soon so I thought they were fitting!
Pandora was amazing, as always. It is quite breathtaking when you sit back and just consider your surroundings. Grab a beverage at Pongu Pongu and have a seat and take it all in. It is so worth taking the 5 minutes to do so.
We got to the park 20 minutes before it opened and wound up very close to the opening line that they stop you at. We dropped back a bit because I insisted on going into the Trolley Car Cafe! We walked back to Toy Story to ride Midway Mania (already fastpassed Slinky Dog Dash for later). Wait was 5 minutes and when we came off, it was still 5 minutes. Swirling Saucers had no wait but Slinky was already up to 25 minutes. If you do not have a fastpass, go there first!
The highlight of the day was watching one of the Star Wars stage shows while facetiming our littles. We had a front row spot and I had a storm trooper come up to within a half-inch of my face. It scared the kids from 5 states away – but they loved it. I am excited to return in September and see what additional characters we can meet up with other than what they currently offer. My daughter would lose her mind if she could meet Rey and the same goes for me if I could meet Darth Maul. Can’t wait!
Delicious Bites worth Noting:
Peanut butter Crunch Cupcake at Trolley Car (OH my word…)
BBQ Brisket Melt at Woody’s Lunch Box
Chocolate Hazelnut Lunch Box Tart at Woody’s Lunch Box
We had a Fastpass for Test Track so we got to the park about a half hour after opening and went right to Soarin’. It had no wait. The park was still quiet so we were able to get in a few more rides before our first Fastpass.
We caught not one, but two showings of The Jammitors. They do not perform the same act so you can see something different each time. If you have never stopped to see this short sidewalk show, you should! They are my husband’s favorite so we always see at least one showing. They give out fun little stickers that say “Junior Jammitor” which the Husband proudly wore the rest of the day…goof.
We finished up in Future World and headed for the Countries in World Showcase. We really went in depth into each country. We saw the inside of buildings and shops that we had not been able to enter for years because of impatient littles.
Special Places to check out –
La Cava in Mexico – the Guacamole is fantastic and it is a neat little spot off the beaten path
The walkways in China around the water are very pretty and they are full of fish and polywogs
The Fountain in Italy – a quiet and shady spot that is a peaceful spot to rest – note the grape vines full of grapes!
The Bazaar in Morocco – walk through all the different shops, they are so neat and different
The fountains & shops in France
While I have tried the phone booths in the United Kingdom as have several others, I have not gotten them to do much of anything in the past few years. While messing around with the phone, a Cast Member came up to us and said, “No, you are trying the wrong numbers. Call this number.” So we turned around to dial it and when we turned back, he was gone. We were soon delighted with a congratulatory message from Mickey and Minnie on our anniversary. THAT was some crazy Disney Magic! I love when it isn’t planned and just happens. I teared up a little.
We returned to our resort that evening to find the Magical Express folder on our door. What a sad sight! HOWEVER! We took advantage of our in-room bounceback offer and are already booked to return in September. This way I can visit Star Wars and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and relay any and all information I learn! If you have questions about where to find these offers, reach out to me!
If you would like me to assist in planning your Dream Vacation, contact me today and let’s get started!! My services are free of charge and I can help save you time and money! My passion and knowledge of Disney can really save you some stress and make your trip more enjoyable. Plus, qualifying reservations receive our Minnie Box! Our special thank you gift that is sent to you prior to departure for your trip. It is full of surprises and Magic and other wonderful things to enhance your stay.
No, but really, it has officially been added to the Disneyland Guidemap! Here is your sneek peek!
This is said to be one of the most immersive lands to ever be added to a Disney Park. When it opens tomorrow, guests will have an experience of a lifetime and use all 5 senses to explore this 14 acre land.
The adventure that you will be able to have while in this land will be unforgettable and you will truly feel that you are in Batuu. In addition to the innovative attractions (Just Smuggler’s Run to start off, Rise of the Resistance to open later this year) guests will eat, drink, & interact as true explorers of the Galaxy.
I can’t wait for guest’s photos of this land and their experiences to start rolling in. Please share any photos and/or experiences and opinions you may have about the land. I will not get to Disneyland’s until November unfortunately but I will be at the opening week of Disney World’s and I am super excited to report back. Enjoy!
Not only do they have this amazing new show coming, but it’s not replacing Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular or Fantasmic! Hooray for adding new things
Beginning today, May 1st, ‘Wonderful World of Animation’ will debut at Hollywood Studios. A beautiful display of projections, fireworks, and our favorite Disney Movies will be displayed on the Chinese Theater. Movies will range from Cars and other Pixar favorites to the classics like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. The spectacular will showcase over 90 years of animation at Disney Studios
This is definitely a new cinematic nighttime experience that you will not want to miss! This is a great video from the creators. I cannot wait!
To visit Hollywood Studios & the rest of Walt Disney World or any Disney Destination, contact me for a no-obligation quote!
Hallowishes was a fantastic Fireworks display and was one of my favorite parts about the Disney World Halloween party. Disney has decided to replace it this year with an all new Spectacular and I think it is going to be amazing.
For those of you who have had the opportunity to see “Happily Ever After”; the Magic Kingdom night time show that leaves guests with goosebumps and the happiest kind of tears, this will be modeled after that. It will add projections on the castle as well as the lasers, special effects and of course, a beautiful fireworks display. The story will be about Mickey and his friends as they go on a Trick-or-Treating adventure and some of the not-so-scary things they can encounter. We are attending in early September so I will report back about the new show!
In addition to the new show, your favorites will return including the famous “Boo to You” parade, character dance parties, meet & greets with rare characters and of course, trick-or-treating!