Count characters in bloom at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival

I don’t garden or tend flowers, don’t cultivate a single square foot of my property, and certainly neither of my thumbs would be mistaken for green. Instead, I’d rather get that green fix at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival. It’s all the beauty of gardening without the hours toiling away in the yard and the inevitable disappointment when the local rabbit population decimates my veggie plot.

A recent springtime trip to Epcot found our sunny days filled with lush gardens, explosions of color, favorite Disney characters in bloom and — very important here — the delicious outdoor kitchens that sustain us throughout our touring. We made our way from Future World to World Showcase checking off the character topiaries on our Garden Passports — which made for a fun activity for the kids and a cool souvenir as well. Here are some of our favorites (clockwise from top left: The Three Caballeros hot pepper garden in Mexico, Phineas and Ferb at Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure kiosk in Future World, the Seven Dwarfs in Germany and the new FIgment sculpture near Spaceship Earth.). (more…)

Fill a passport with new flavors at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

It’s a menu, super souvenir, and a kid’s geography lesson all rolled into one: the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Marketplace Discovery Passport! (That’s a mouthful, huh? And yes, pun intended.) These handy checklists detail the ethnic offerings – including food and complementing beverages – at more than 30 vendors arranged around World Showcase during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Our family goal is to fill one of these passports with as many unique stamps from the vendors as we have room for in our stomachs. Here’s where it will actually help that there are six mouths to feed – one bite each of these sample-sized portions will leave us plenty hungry for more. We likely won’t collect all the stamps, but we’ll have a delicious time trying.

Voted most delicious by our family for the 2016 International Food & Wine Festival: (more…)

Star Wars™ Weekends return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Star Wars™ Weekends are back at Disney’s Hollywood Studios May 16 – June 15, 2014! The event, which takes place Friday – Sunday, is jam-packed full of special entertainment, characters and dining experiences celebrating the popular Star Wars films and the television series Star Wars™: The Clone Wars. (more…)

Classic Upgrade: Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

MH star tours 2.0 disneylandAt the risk of being branded blasphemous, I’ll admit I was slow to notice all the differences between the original Star Tours attraction and its 2011 revamp. Yes, I get that the entire film itself is brand new. I’m fully aware that eleven randomized scenes have been installed. I applaud the addition of the randomized scenes because they amount to a possible 54 different journeys through classic Star Wars communities and interactions with beloved Star Wars characters.

My main excuse for such ignorance is that I hadn’t ridden the original attraction in nearly a decade before riding the upgrade. The traits I remembered from the original were still present in the new film: our Starspeeders lurching to and fro, explosions rattling us in our chairs and C-3PO hysterically bumbling about. (more…)

Celebrate Easter at the Walt Disney World Resort

magic kingdom easterGiven that our Mouse Holiday Family wilts at the thought of such crowds, we have never ventured even in the general direction of the Walt Disney World Resort too close to Easter. As we don’t have the luxury of visiting as often as we’d like (a major understatement), we tend to schedule our trips when attendance is low. This totally wouldn’t be the case if we were locals. We’d take the crowds in stride if we could experience these special Easter activities:
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TRYit! to find new favorite flavors at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival

My mouth is watering as I read about all the new menu items at the 2014 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. It was only six months ago that our Mouse Holiday Family was pushing our way through the toasty World Showcase, sampling as much of the Food & Wine Festival as the kids would tolerate – but I am so ready for more delicacies! Noshing on small portions from the various ethnic Marketplaces was a wonderful way to encourage the kids to try new foods. The Flower and Garden Festival likewise features booths arranged around World Showcase – Outdoor Kitchens, in this festival’s parlance – offering fresh flavors themed to their corresponding countries. Special “TRYit!” dishes have been specially created to appeal to kids, combining both familiar and new flavors in an attempt to expand often picky palates. (more…)

Christmastime at the Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks

Twice each night during the holiday season at the Magic Kingdom, Queen Elsa employs her powers to transform Cinderella Castle into her sparkling ice palace. A Frozen Holiday Wish was near the top of our own wishlist on a visit to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We were down in Walt Disney World in early December thanks to the casual suggestion of my dad, who was planning to attend a convention in the area, that our family might meet him there. Of course, being the Disney nut that I am, I immediately took that to mean, “Buy your tickets and pack your bags”. (more…)

Highlights of the Holiday Season at the Walt Disney World Resort

Could there be a more magical place to celebrate the holiday season than the Walt Disney World Resort? The theme parks and resort hotels are simply at their merriest! We’ve highlighted some of our favorite traditions throughout the parks and resorts that really speak the season to us: (more…)

4th of July at Walt Disney World (plus a week at the beach!)

4th of july walt disney worldThough I’ve long been a total Disney junkie, I always vowed I wouldn’t go near the place during the month of July. The combination of the heat and crowds I’d heard so much about just sounded too daunting. And after having taken numerous trips during the temperate, much less attended months, I had no interest in making sweaty, miserable memories while trying to convince the kids to wait in yet another everlasting line. (more…)

Trick-or-Treat throughout the Magic Kingdom

My suspicions were confirmed the first year we attended: if we had let the kids have their way, we would have been purchasing an additional suitcase to tote their haul of candy home from Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. I was not up for doing that. I also wasn’t up for eating three meals of candy a day for the remainder of the trip just to get rid of it. Therefore, limits had to be set, right? A few tips to pass along if you’re planning to trick-or-treat your way around the Magic Kingdom  during the Halloween party:
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