Tammie’s Take Thursday: Why I Love Fall at Walt Disney World

I know Fall doesn’t officially start until September 21st,  but with the kids headed back to school and football starting up my mind just goes there.  Fall at Walt Disney World is one of my favorite times of the year  to be “Home”  as the crowd levels and temperatures begin to “FALL” from the peak summer months making a visit much more enjoyable. Here are some of the other reasons I love Fall at Walt Disney World…

As I write this blog entry, Fall decorations are going up. There is something inviting in the Fall tones of browns and oranges.  The parks are brought to life with fall leaves (yes in Florida), pumpkins, scarecrows and the spook-tacular decour needed for one of my favorite celebrations…

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP).  If you have never been to the party, you need to.  It is a special event ticket held on select nights at the Magic Kingdom Park.  It offers family friendly trick or treating, character meet and greets, Mickey’s Boo-to-You Holiday parade and a special Happy HalloWishes fireworks display, plus it’s a great way to bring out your inner child as everyone is encouraged to wear costumes and participate in the fun.  Wanting a more “adult” adventure then check out…

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival held during the fall months.  During this entertainment packed event guests can taste fine cuisine and wines from more than 30 locations from around the World in addition to separately ticketed events like food & wine pairings, specialty dinners, culinary demonstrations from award winning chefs and food seminars.  Also, you can rock to some of your favorite 70s-80s-90s musical talents with the Eat to the Beat Concert Series…

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For those interested in running Disney, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend happens in the fall…why absolute favorite race weekend of the runDisney series.  There is a distance for everyone, including the popular kids races!

And no Fall season should ever go without a few seasonal inspired treats…

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How about a pumpkin spice waffle sundae? I should really dedicate a complete article to the delicious and amazing treats available only during the fall season from candy corn ice cream, skull apples and pumpkin cupcakes to Jack Skellington caramel apples and Ghost Marshmallows.

I know you will “Fall” in love with Walt Disney World in the Fall like I have.  It’s never too late to plan a trip for this Fall…I know just the right Disney Vacation Planner who can help you experience the Fall Magic.  Contact Me Today and lets get planning…

For More Exciting Fall Information Check out the Disney Parks Blog.

#(almost)wordlesswednesday: Celebration

It’s Wednesday, so that means I am linking up with  Focused on the Magic  to share my #DisneySide through pictures with #(almost)wordlesswednesday, since nothing for me is ever wordless with me. This week’s theme is “Celebration”…

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It started as simply justification for a girl’s trip to Walt Disney World, but turned into one of my greatest personal challenges and CELEBRATIONS because in 9 months I went from the couch to completing runDisney’s Tower of Terror 10-Miler and discovered that I like this running thing!

 

There is no better way to challenge yourself and then celebrate your success than to do both during a runDisney race weekend at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. What are you waiting for there is a celebration at the end of the race that leads directly to your favorite attraction. If I can do it (and go on to 2 more and soon to be 3 more runDisney race weekends), so can you!

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Bringing the Magic Home Monday’s: Beauty & the Beast

Everyone loves a Disney Movie, even ones that are from “A Tale as Old as Time…”

One of the things we did as a family to excited for our first family trip to Walt Disney World was hold a Family Movie Night each week before our trip, after all unlike Mr. Grumpy and myself our children did not grow up with Sunday nights and the Wonderful World of Disney.  With over 450 titles Disney movie titles available, we had a lot of catching up to do…thankfully we a whole closet full of Disney movies (mostly VCR, lol) thanks to Grandma.

The premise of Disney Family Movie Night was simple, create a themed meal together around the movie, maybe throw in a little craft or activity and watch the movie of the week together.

One of our first movie nights was Beauty and the Beast…which holds a special place in my heart since Mr. Grumpy took me to the movie when we were dating MANY MANY MOONS ago.

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Oh, my look how little they were…

“We started out the day with a trip to the library to return some books and select a few more to bring home.  This was a weekly outing for us, like Bell our family loves books.  Ab goes through a book a day!  We made it for story time with our favorite librarian, Mr. Pat, but I forgot my camera.  It is always a pleasure to listen to him read.  We returned home and painted mugs, referring to Chip in the movie. 

For dinner, we had Chicken Cordon Belle, Enchanted Forest Trees with Herbed Rice, French Bread and for dessert Enchanted Rose Strawberry Shortcake.”

Since that night Walt Disney World has gone onto building the Beast’s Castle in Fantasyland, complete with one of my favorite dining locations, Be Our Guest.

And on menu is a DISNEY MUST TRY dessert, the Grey Stuff! It is one of my most favorite things to eat at Walt Disney World.

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Disney has also turned the animated feature into a live action movie starring our favorite wizard (the perfect birthday gift from my daughter), plus has brought the Grey Stuff to Disneyland (for a limited time) with the retheming of one of Fantasyland’s quick service dining locations into Red Rose Taverne.

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It was love at first bite for my boys this past March when we dined at the Red Rose Tavern, so much so that last night we brought back a new edition of Family Movie Night and made our own Grey Stuff.

Link to RECIPE Compliments of the Disney Diner

And you don’t have to ask the dishes, cause #monsterchild will tell you that it is delicious!

Thinking about a Disney Vacation?  I can help you with that, plus ow about starting your own Disney Family movie nights?  I have a list of movies associated with many of the attractions and rides you will encounter, plus lots of ideas to “Bring the Magic Home” while counting down your trip!  Let’s start planning today, contact me for your Free, No Obligation Disney Vacation Quote and remember my concierge level planning services are COMPLIMENTARY when you book your Disney Vacation with me!

#(almost)WordlessWednesday: Nostalgia

It’s Wednesday, so that means time together with Focused on the Magic to blog hop, link up and share our #DisneySide through pictures with #(almost)WordlessWednesday, since nothing for me is ever wordless with me.

This week’s theme is “Nostalgia”, a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.  Being a child of the 70s my biggest Walt Disney World or Disneyland association that reflects nostalgia stems from watching the opening of The Wonderful World of Disney.  I remember vividly the scenes of in that opening segment…

YouTube:  Wonderful World of Disney Opening

The one scene I remember the most is that of the Jungle Cruise and on my first visit to Walt Disney World it was one of the attractions I knew I had to visit.

 

Since then, my own children have discovered the Jungle Cruise and it is one of their favorite rides, for the jokes and they spend hours afterwards reciting jokes they heard and laughing hysterically with each other.  I was totally blown away by their recall after 1 ride.

Link:  Jungle Cruise Jokes

The Jungle Cruise is always on the top of our lists to visit each time! What Disney attraction brings up nostalgia for you?  Please share in the comments and tell your own story!

#(almost)Wordless Wednesday: My Favorite View

#(almost)WordlessWednesday is going to be a day early as we are off for a mini vacation back East for the next week. This week’s topic from Focused on the Magic is “My Favorite View.”  Looking through my pictures my favorite view is necessarily a specific location but is a thing…

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FIREWORKS! Even better if the fireworks have the castle in view or enjoyed with a dessert or a glass of bubbly wine!

After all when you see Disney fireworks, you know that Wishes do come true!

Friday Fives: 5 (+5) Favorites from 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

x1Okay, I admit it…I did a little happy dance this week to burn off a few calories anticipating one of my favorite things to do in Epcot’s World Showcase, Eat & Drink Around the World because Disney released the menus of the Festival Marketplace Booth menus for this year’s International Food & Wine Festival.  During most visits to Epcot my quest to experience the flavors of the World is done in 11 eat & drink stops, but from August 31 to November 13, Disney adds 35 new stops during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival.

Guests visiting Epcot this fall will be treated to an amazing culinary adventure exploring a wide array of cooking techniques and flavors from chefs from all over the world.  This is a “foodie” paradise with tasty dishes both savory & sweet, fine wine, craft beer, spirits and other beverages.

In honor of the menu release, I am looking back at my 5 favorite flavors & sips from 2016 (and a few I will get to experience again this year in addition to all the new yummies)…

Favorite Flavors

  1. Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel from the chocolate studio
  2. Beijing Roasted Duck in a Steamed Bun with Hoisin Sauce from China
  3. Piggy Wings (Fried Pork Wings) with Korean BBQ Sauce and Sesame Seeds from Craft Beers
  4. Duck Confit with Creamy Polenta and Fire-roasted Salsa from Greenhouse Guru
  5. Spicy Hummus Fries with Cucumber, Tomato, Onions and Tzatziki Sauce from Morocco

Favorite Sips

  1. Twinings Pumpkin Chia Tea Frozen Cocktail with Caramel Vodka from Ireland (Bonus flavor- Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard from Ireland)
  2. Caposaldo Peach Moscato Sweet Sparkling Wine from Italy
  3. Frozen Spiked Chai Latte with Baileys Irish Cream
  4. Frozen Brown Elephant from Africa Outpost
  5. Frozen Szarlotka Apple Pie featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka from Poland (not sure that was a favorite but it was certainly interesting…like drinking literally an apple pie, chunks of apples and all)

DISCLAIMER:  I ALMOST ate and drank at every Marketplace Booth…BUT I did run a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon this weekend plus this food was consumed over the course of several days, so my rolling and teetering Around the World in a Food Coma doesn’t seem so bad.

It is NEVER too late to plan a Food & Wine or even run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon (5K or 10K) this year…I can help you with your booking and plans just email me or respond in a comment to this post!  I would love to help you discover your inner foodie. 

For more information on Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, follow this LINK

Friday Fives: 5 Ways to Get Around Walt Disney World

From the moment you step off the plane at Orlando International Airport,  Walt Disney World has your transportation covered. There is no need to rent a car to cover the 45 miles of property. Here are 5 ways to get you where you want to be and most are accessible to guests with disabilities or need who need special assistance…

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Tip:  If traveling to the Magic Kingdom from the TTC, walk over to the Polynesian Resort and hop on the monorail this will save you time and avoid the crowds waiting to take the ferry across to the Magic Kingdom or waiting for the Express monorail to Magic Kingdom. 

2. Bus-You can reach all theme parks, water parks and resort hotels by bus. Buses start running 45 minutes prior to park opening and 2 hours after park closing.  While this being the most accessible form of transportation it is also the most crowded, avoid the  bus immediately after posted park closing times and evening shows.  Disney has recently installed wait time boards at each bus top and are fairly accurate to give an idea when the next bus will arrive.  No matter the resort you stay at, there will be bus issues from time to time depending on traffic conditions, so be patient and kind to your bus driver.

Tip:  Give yourself ample time to get where you are going, I always allot at least 60 minutes to get to my destination. Avoid crowded buses by waiting until the next bus arrives, it should not be too long or be prepared to stand.

3. Boat/Ferry-Not my favorite or most efficient choice for travel but it will get you where you are going.  From the TTC to Magic Kingdom you can take the ferry across the Seven Seas Lagoon.  From each of the monorail resorts (the Polynesian, Contemporary and Grand Floridian plus the Wilderness Lodge) you can take a water taxi across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the Magic Kingdom and back again.  There is also a boat from the World Showcase Plaza to Germany and Morocco. Epcot, Epcot Resorts (Boardwalk, Beach/Yacht Club, Swan Dolphin) and Disney Hollywood Studios are connected via the Friendship Launch located directly outside the International Gateway of Epcot.  Port Orleans Riverside & French Quarter as well as Saratoga Springs Resort and Old Key West are connected to Disney Springs via boat.

Tip:  While not the fastest transportation option, it can be the most relaxing and peaceful.  Take the either the ferry or one of the water taxis during the Happily Ever After show in the Magic Kingdom for a breathtaking view of the fireworks.

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4. Feet-A few resorts are accessible via the old-fashioned method of walking.  Guests at the Contemporary Resort can easily walk to the Magic Kingdom.  If you are staying at one of the Epcot Resorts (Boardwalk, Beach/Yacht Club, or Swan/Dolphin) both Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios are within walking distance and you will find your feet are faster than other modes of transportation.  Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter are just a minute walk apart along the River.

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Even after a long day at Disney Hollywood Studios, my boys were able to muster enough strength to have a light saber battle while walking back to the Boardwalk.

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5. Uber/Taxis/Mears Shuttle-If you want to cut your time in half and don’t mind spending a little money Guest Services at your resort can call for a taxi or shuttle.  Save even more time (and a few dollars) by booking yourself an Uber ride.

All modes of Disney transportation are efficient to get you where you need to be, but take time.  Best of all, except for #5 free to guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort.  So, sit back and let Disney do the “driving.”

Getting around is easy, if you are familiar with transportation from your resort.  As part of my complimentary planning services when you book your Walt Disney World Vacation I will provide you with all the information you need to get to your destination the most efficient and fast way possible.

#(almost)Wordless Wednesday: Disney Food (New Orleans Style)

We made it to Wednesday, which is one of my favorite blogging days, (almost) Wordless Wednesday where I link up with Focused on the Magic.com and other Disney bloggers to share our #DisneySide through a themed picture blog hop.  This week’s topic is probably my favorite…Disney Food.

When people think of dining at a theme park they think of hamburgers and hot dogs with a side of salty fries, but Disney shatters that vision and brings theme park dining to a whole new level and place…

One of my favorite meals from last November was at

(or the makeshift location as renovations were still in the process at that time to this location) located in the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, because while you are in Rome, err New Orleans, you must do as the Cajuns do, right?

Lunch consisted of the finest that New Orleans has to offer or that I wanted to try…

a hearty bowl of Gumbo and a Shrimp PoBoy Sandwich. I wish I would have known how big that PoBoy was before I ordered because I certainly we would have split one!  The gumbo was a bit underwelming, but the PoBoy was awesome (and those homemade chips, AMAZING).  No meal at Disney is ever complete without dessert and in this case you had to get the beignets!

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Fresh from the fryer, definitely messy but oh so worth be coated myself in powered sugar.

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And no celebration New Orleans is complete without a little beverage, for that we went to Mardi Grogs pool bar and had “All that Jazz.” A layered adult beverage with the green Gata-Melon Juice on top, the orange Front Porch Freeze in the middle, and the purple-red NoLa Cola on the bottom. The colors make a very fun and fitting Mardi Gras effect. I sure wish I had more time to lay around the pool and sip on a couple of these all afternoon.

The “Happiest Place on Earth” , Disneyland, is where Disney New Orleans dining began…

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located in the New Orleans section of Magic Kingdom.  Last March I took the boys on a fact finding mission for my first Disneyland client and our first meal was atI had been dreaming of this since we had booked our trip and in my true Disney form knew exactly what I was having…

Monte Cristo Sandwich with Pomme Frites. They were as good as the reviews and oh that dipping sauce on both items…let’s just say the #monsterchild and I fought over who was liking the bowl.  My boys love dessert as much as I do…

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and loved getting powered with these fun Mickey shaped beignets.  I wish Walt Disney World’s beignets were Mickey shaped, because after all Mickey shapes taste even better.

There are so many places that Disney dining will take you…