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Dinner at Chefs De France in Epcot’s France Pavilion! Walt Disney World Video!

 

On my recent Walt Disney World Vacation my family and I dined at Chefs De France, one of the restaurants in the France Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase. It had been years since I last dined at this table-service restaurant so I was very excited to experience it again! We choose to make this dining reservation at the last minute, we were in Epcot with a free agenda and wanted to dine somewhere exciting! We were thrilled to see the Chefs De France reservation pop up as available for that evening on the My Disney Experience app!

 

 

We headed to the France Pavilion and were soon escorted to our table. We were so happy to get seated in the front dining room facing the World Showcase Lagoon, as Epcot’s nighttime spectacular IllmiNations – Reflection of Earth was about to begin! Tall panoramic glass windows stretch around the entire perimeter of the restaurant, offering incredible views of the France Pavilion as well as Epcot’s World Showcase. Our location in the restaurant made for the perfect spot to watch the fireworks and lasers of IllmiNations! Due to this first-floor restaurant being slightly elevated we actually had one of the best views of the show I had ever seen! We could see all the fireworks including the lower ones right on the water!

 

 

In addition to the breathtaking views, the restaurants overall ambiance is also gorgeous! The classic French design and décor creates an elegant and romantic atmosphere! This is a very good date night restaurant! You will feel truly immersed in the French culture making this meal a true experience!

 

 

Now let’s talk about the food! The menu offers traditional French Fare while still being approachable. Everyone in your party is sure to find something they will enjoy, from the pickiest eater to the most adventure food connoisseur! There is something for everyone!

 

 

Chefs De France’s menu offers a wide selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts that can all be ordered a la carte. Additionally, the restaurant also offers a prix fixe menu which allows you to choose an appetizer, entrée and dessert all for one fixed price of $39.99. My party and I all choose to do the prix fixe option as we found this to be an incredible value for everything you got!

 

For my appetizer, I went with a French classic, the Soupe à Poignon Gratinée. A.K.A French Onion Soup! This soup was topped with delicious gruyère cheese. It was a winner and a very large portion size for being an appetizer!

 

For my entrée, I went for the Poulet fermier à la Layonnaise, pomme purée – which was Lyon style roasted chicken served with tomatoes and vinegar sauce, mashed potatoes. The chicken was so tender! It melted it my mouth! Very delicious and once again, a very generous portion size!

 

Now for everyone’s favorite part… dessert! I chose the gateau au chocolat –a Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Sauce, and Mint Chocolate Ice Cream! This was SPECTACULAR! The chocolate cake was rich and decadent! The mint flavor from the mint chocolate ice cream enhanced the dish without being too overpowering. I loved everything about this dessert and would order it again in a heartbeat!

 

 

After our meal, Epcot was actually closed for the night so we got to experience an empty park as we made our way out and back to the monorail. We got to enjoy a leisurely stroll and take in the sights of the World Showcase pavilions and Future World all with no crowds! This allowed us to really take in all the details and beauty that Epcot has to offer! This is also the perfect time to take some amazing photos with no one else in the background!

 

 

I filmed my experience dining at Chefs De France. You can watch it on our YouTube Channel:

 

I look forward to my next dining experience at Chefs De France and trying other items from their delicious menu! Be sure to check this restaurant out on your next Walt Disney World Vacation! As always, our knowledgeable team at Kingdom Magic Vacation is ready to help you plan the trip you are dreaming of!

Holiday Treats and Beverage Offerings at The Universal Orlando Resort!

 

The holiday season is upon us! This season is filled with decorating, celebrations, parties and of course… FOOD! Food plays a big role in many of our holiday celebrations and festivities! What better way to rejoice in this wonderful season than spend time with those you love and enjoying some of your favorite treats! You get the picture! Holiday foods and goodies are an iconic part of our holiday season and Universal Orlando Resort has you covered!

 

 

Let’s take a look at the festive food and beverage offerings now available for the holiday season at Universal Orlando! These items can be enjoyed now through January 6, 2019!

 

Holiday Treats!

 

 

A popular holiday treat this year is the Red Velvet Yule Log. The red velvet adds a fresh twist on this holiday classic!  You can find this treat in Universal’s Islands of Adventure at Croissant Moon Bakery. You can also find this festive favorite in Universal Studios Florida at Beverly Hills Boulangerie and San Francisco Pastry Company.

 

 

For many apple strudel hot from the oven is a holiday staple! Universal has put a spin on this holiday classic by putting it on a stick and adding a drizzle of frosting! Be sure to try this treat for yourself in Universal’s Islands of Adventure at Croissant Moon Bakery. You can also find it in Universal Studios at Beverly Hills Boulangerie and San Francisco Pastry Company.

 

 

Additional treats include reindeer cupcakes, waffles on a stick, cheesecakes, ribbon pastries and an array of classic sugar cookies! All of these goodies can be found at multiple locations throughout the parks!

 

 

Festive Sips

 

 

With all these amazing holiday treats, you are going to want a festive beverage to wash it all down! Here are some of the new holiday drinks that have premiered this year.

Cranberry Margarita

First up we have the Cranberry Margarita. This holiday margarita can be found at Finnegan’s Bar & Grill in Universal Studios and at Mythos over at Islands of Adventure.

Ingredients: Tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and cranberry juice shaken and served on the rocks. Garnish with a lime wedge, fresh cranberries and a sugar/salt rim.

Pumpkintini

Next up is the Pumpkintini! This fun pumpkin martini can be found at Mythos in Islands of Adventures.

Ingredients: Dark rum, orange liqueur, apple cider and pumpkin puree garnished with a cinnamon sugar rim.

 

 

Apple Cider Irish Mule

Another favorite, the Apple Cider Irish Mule! This can be found at Lombard’s Seafood Restaurant in Universal Studios.

Ingredients: Irish whiskey stirred with apple cider, topped with ginger beer and a cinnamon stick and apple slices for garnish.

 

You can also find a Harvest Margarita with great pumpkin and apple flavors when visiting Confisco Grille! Find an Apple Pie on the Rocks – a blend of vanilla vodka, apple juice and cinnamon at Finnegan’s. Discover the Jack Frost with vodka, prosecco mixed with lemonade and a sugar rim over at Lombard’s and Confisco Grille.

 

 

Universal also has some festive non-alcoholic drinks. Guests can enjoy the Candy Cane and Eggnog frozen beverages, hot cider or hot chocolate! These beverages are all served park-wide at all the food & drink carts.

There are so many delicious treats to discover this season at the Universal Orlando Resort! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to plan your next visit!

2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Walt Disney World

 

 

Get ready to kick off the new year with the first Epcot festival of 2019, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts! The return of this Epcot festival will run for 39 days this year, from January 18 to February 25, 2019! This festival celebrates art in all forms from visual arts, to culinary arts and even performing arts! Like with all the Epcot festivals this event is a truly international affair! Guests will be able to enjoy art from around the world, and take in pieces, cuisines and performances from all cultures! The Epcot International Festival of the Arts offers creative activities for the entire family, from specialty entertainment offerings and interactive seminars to immersive art experiences and world-class food and beverage offerings.

 

 

We have exciting news for theatre lovers, new in 2019, festival visitors can now enjoy the very popular Disney on Broadway Concert Series seven days a week! In previous years, these concerts were only offered over the weekend. Now guests can enjoy daily showings at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. every day! This concert series is a must-see experience! Stars from Disney Broadway shows perform for guests at the America Gardens Theater in World Showcase!

 

 

Each week you can see different pairs of Disney on Broadway stars as they sing your favorite songs from award-winning Disney on Broadway productions. The lineup rotates regularly, featuring music from shows such as “The Lion King,” “Frozen” and “Beauty and the Beast.” The lineup features:

  • Kerry Butler (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Kevin Massey (“Tarzan”)
  • Meredith Inglesby (“The Little Mermaid”) and Steve Blanchard (“Beauty and the Beast”)
  • Arielle Jacobs and Adam Jacobs (“Aladdin”)
  • Heidi Blickenstaff (“Freaky Friday”) and Gavin Lee (“Mary Poppins”)
  • Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”) and Josh Strickland (“Tarzan”)
  • Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White (“The Lion King”)

 

This incredible concert series is included with park admission! We recommend arriving early to guarantee a seat as these shows are very popular. If you want to skip the long wait then be sure to book a Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package! This package gives you access to reserved seating. The Dining Package allows you to make a breakfast, lunch or dinner reservation at a participating Epcot restaurant and later enjoy priority seating at a show!

 

I have done one of these Epcot Dining Package during the Candlelight Processional that takes place during the International Festival of the Holidays! I highly recommend the dining package! When planning your day in the parks you are probably planning on enjoying at least one table service meal anyway so you might as well book this dining package. It is an incredible value and allows you to enjoy more time experiencing the park and the festival rather than waiting hours in line for a guaranteed seat.

 

 

 

We have discussed preforming arts, now let’s talk about the culinary art! The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will be home to 13 Food Studios this year! In addition, there will also be more creative and savory offerings around Epcot with an expanded menu of tastes and sips! Stop by The Artist’s Table for beef wellington with mushroom bordelaise, fennel cream and roasted baby vegetables, or enjoy smoked salmon and cream gâteau with egg yolk cream, paddlefish caviar and micro-herbs at The Painter’s Palate. Pop Eats! will serve up almond frangipane cake with raspberry and chocolate, while red wine-braised short rib with parsnip purée, broccolini, baby tomatoes and aged balsamic will be available at Cuisine Classique.

 

 

The list of culinary creations goes on and on! There is something for everyone! All of these dishes have a creative and artful flare to them! Making these festival items true stand-outs for Epcot festival offerings!

 

 

You will also find experiences that will inspire artists of all ages! Let’s take a look at a few activity highlights:

  • All guests are invited to grab a paintbrush and participate in creating a wall mural along World Showcase Plaza.
  • At the Artful Photo Opportunities, guest can step inside masterworks of art and take some very fun photos inside of the artwork!
  • The Paint with a Disney Artist program allows guests to learn from a professional! (offered select Fridays and Sundays, including continental breakfast, for an additional fee).
  • Performing artists are scheduled throughout the festival! These acts demonstrate gravity-defying feats of strength, acrobatics and many other amazing skills!
  • International musical and variety acts will perform for guests, including the return of Bodh’aktan to the Canada stage and Delta Q, a new group performing in Germany!
  • Search through the park during Figment’s Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt! Guests can participate by purchasing a map at select merchandise locations in Epcot.
  • A wide selection of workshops taught by professionals will teach different artistic techniques, such as floral design, ink and paint, mixed-media art and more (offered Friday-Monday for an additional fee). As a memento of what they learn, guests will take their creations home with them! Talk about an incredible souvenir to remember your trip!
  • Complimentary 30-minute seminars will provide guests with instruction for producing their own artwork at home!

 

 

I am so ready to attend the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the arts! I am a huge fan of the Epcot festivals that take place throughout the year in the park. The Festival of the Arts is the only festival that I have yet to see in person and that is about to change this coming year! I will be attending the Epcot International Festival of the Arts for my first time during this upcoming 2019 season! I am beyond thrilled to get to see this event for myself! When the International Festival of the Arts first made its debut in 2017, I remarked that I felt this particular festival was made for me!

 

 

I love all things art! Some of my favorite hobbies include painting and crafting. I am a foodie and enjoy cooking and baking. And I have a passion for the theatre and all things involving live entertainment! As we talked about, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts covers, visual, culinary and performing arts! So, this festival checks all the boxes of things I love! I can’t wait to attend for my first time this year and experience first-hand this wonderful art in all the mediums it is presented in!  Be sure to follow along for future blog post and videos of my time at the event!

 

 

You can experience the festival for yourself as well! Now is the perfect time to plan your 2019 Walt Disney World visit! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to book your next magical vacation!

NEW Marvel Character Dinner Experience at Universal’s Islands of Adventure! Universal Orlando Resort

 

We all love super heroes! They are the definition of bravery and inspire us each and every day! Many of us have a special place in our hearts for these heroes, which is why you will be so excited to hear that you can actually dine with Marvel super heroes during the brand-new Marvel Character Dinner experience at Universal’s Islands of Adventure at the Universal Orlando Resort! The Marvel Character Dinner is held inside Cafe 4. This experience allows you to meet several marvel characters as you enjoy your meal! It is the best way to guarantee you get to meet with all the characters you want during your vacation and you can enjoy the convenience of not having to wait in line! The characters come to you throughout your time in the restaurant!

 

 

Here are a few tips to make the most of your experience at the Marvel Character Dinner!

 

  1. Start taking it all in the moment you arrive!

As you head towards Cafe 4 from the entrance of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you are first greeted by the roar of The Incredible Hulk Coaster! The perfect sight to get you in the Marvel spirit! Throughout the Universal theme parks you can enjoy many Marvel attractions such as The Incredible Hulk Coaster and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man!

 

  1. Get ready for your super hero welcome!

Make sure you pick up your tickets at the park entrance before you make your way to the main entrance of Cafe 4. Upon arrival, you and the other guests of the Marvel Character Dinner will have the restaurant all to yourselves. You will soon be greeted by some amazing and enthusiastic Universal Team Members who will be ready to help start your super hero-filled night! This dining experience offers a variety of seating times available for you to book. Make sure you reserve your dining early to guarantee you get the seating time that works best for you and your party.

  1. Get settled and prepare for some amazing food and awesome drinks! (Adults…you can even enjoy a “grown up” beverage!)

Your waiter will help you begin your super meal with a variety of great beverage choices! Your server will also guide you through an overview of the buffet offerings! From an assortment of pizzas, pastas and salads to giant meatballs, cupcakes, cookies and so much more, you will be sure to find something for everyone in your party! As always, the wonderful Universal culinary team is always ready to help with any special food requests that you and your family may have. The buffet is all you care to enjoy so you can help yourself to as many plates and trips through the buffet line as you like!

 

  1. The BEST part! The Marvel Super Heroes!

You will be so amazed by the amount of meet-n-greet time you and your group will have with your favorite Marvel Super Heroes! This quality character time is worth the price of admission alone! The Marvel Super heroes don’t just stop by to pose for a quick picture, they truly take their time to stop and chat and laugh with you and your party! You are sure to be best friends with all the heroes by the end of the meal! Remember to bring your autograph books and any merchandise you would like the Marvel super heroes to sign for you! Make sure your camera and phone batteries are fully charged so you can capture every amazing moment with the characters! These interactions are truly memorable and something you will want to look back on! You can also plan to take advantage of ‘My Universal Photos.’ With this service, Universal Orlando’s professional photographers capture all the fun of your super hero encounters for you! Later, you can view, purchase, download and share these high-quality memories! Included with your Marvel Character Dinner, you will receive one free digital photo download!

 

  1. Take a ride!

The fun doesn’t stop once your meal is over! After your dinner is the perfect time to hit up your favorite Marvel attractions like, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride! Depending on what time your meal ends, the rides may be closed. However, you can still always end your fun-filled evening by taking some last-minute photos in Marvel Super Hero Island!

 

You are sure to have a SUPER time at the Marvel Character Dinner! This is an incredible way to meet the most characters possible all while enjoying a great meal! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner to start planning your next visit to the Universal Orlando Resort or to whatever destination you are dreaming of next!

 

Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, to Open July 2019 along with 2 new Disney Restaurants!

 

 

Disney’s Coronado Springs resort is a popular Disney World Resort Hotel choice for both Convention guests and vacationers alike! This Disney Moderate Resort offers luxurious amenities and is themed with Spanish influences! The resort is themed to transport guests to the shore of Lago Dorado. The resort pulls design inspiration from the influence of the great Spanish explorers, artists, writers and architects. Capturing that same adventurous spirit in the resort’s details, Disney Coronado Springs will make you feel like you are on a tropical vacation within your vacation!

 

 

Soon there will be even more to love at Disney’s Coronado Springs! Soon the resort will welcome the addition of a new tower, as well as a new full service dining location! Along with the addition the resort will also receive a complete remodel of the current resort rooms! With the changes, Coronado Springs has now moved to the top of Disney World’s Moderate resort price category range. This means that out of all the Disney World Moderate resorts this one is now the closest to a Deluxe resort, making it a great option for someone looking for more luxury but wanting to stay in a budget.

 

 

 

A while back Disney shared artist renderings of Coronado Springs exciting expansion! The expansion project is currently underway at the resort! This week, the Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman with Disney Parks, Bob Chapek revealed more exciting details about the reimagining! The first detail being the name of the new 15-story tower that will soon become the centerpiece of the resort. The tower will be called the Gran Destino Tower.

 

 

The Gran Destino Tower, will be complete in July of 2019! This summer! The Gran Destino Tower will become the new main entrance for guests as they visit the resort. This new tower will bring the addition of 545 new guest rooms, including 50 suites to the Coronado Springs! The tower will feature a beautiful two-story lobby! I personally am most excited for the themed table-service restaurant that will be on the top floor of Gran Destino Tower!

 

 

The restaurant will be home to delicious food and incredible views of the Walt Disney World Resort property! One of my favorite restaurants in all of Walt Disney World is the California Grill which sit on the top floor of Disney Contemporary Resort. The California Grill not only has amazing food but the views from the restaurant are absolutely perfect! You can see directly over to the Magic Kingdom and you can enjoy the best spot in the house to have a birds-eye view of the fireworks! From the description of this new restaurant that will sit high atop the Gran Destino Tower, I am very much reminded of California Grill! This has me very excited to check this place out as soon as it opens. I have a feeling the views will be breathtaking! This will give a birds-eye view of a whole new area of Disney property. Coronado Springs is close to Epcot so I have a feeling this new dining location will serve as a great spot to watch the new nighttime show that will be coming to Epcot in 2019!

 

 

In addition to the restaurant on the top floor of the Gran Destino Tower, a second new restaurant is planned to open at the resort as well! This restaurant will sit on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, Lago Dorado, with new walkways stretching across the water, making it convenient to access no matter where guests are staying at the resort. A new and fresh color palette will bring the entire resort experience together and blend the new and the newly reimagined! At the reimagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort guests will discover a blend of both classic Spanish influences along with imaginative Disney touches and modern comforts!

 

 

Bookings are now available for the Gran Destino Tower for stays beginning in July of 2019! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to book your next vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort or to whatever destination you are dreaming of next!

 

 

 

2018 Jingle Cruise at Magic Kingdom! Jungle Cruise Christmas Overlay! Walt Disney World

 

If you have ever visited the Magic Kingdom then I’m sure you have visited the Jungle Cruise! Everyone loves this classic Disney Parks attraction! After all it is called the “World Famous Jungle Cruise” for a reason! In this original attraction guest board a boat and embark on a voyage through the jungle. The tour is being guided by your own boat skipper who tells some very cheesy jokes! It’s these goofy lines such as “If you don’t believe me you’re in de-Nile” and “The backside of water” that make the attraction so iconic and beloved by millions of park visitors!

 

 

Did you know that during the holiday season the Jungle Cruise is transformed with a fun holiday overlay?! That’s right! During the most magical time of the year, the Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World becomes the Jingle Cruise! The Jingle Cruise receives holiday decorations in both the queue line and inside the attraction itself. One of the most notable differences that makes the attraction a whole new experience is that the script also changes! Now your Jingle Cruise skipper tells jokes and punch lines themed to the holiday season!

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as you enter the attraction’s queue line you will find holiday decorations everywhere you turn! I love the Christmas tree made out of bamboo when you first enter the standby line! Your time waiting in line feels like it flies by because there are so many details to look at! Be sure to look around and appreciate the references and jokes in the skipper’s holiday decorations! One of my favorite details was a chalk board where the skippers wrote their New Year’s resolutions. One skipper’s resolution was to ‘achieve a 75% passenger return rate!’  Another funny holiday detail to look for is the names of each of the Jingle Cruise boats. The boats themselves get holiday overlays to their names. A few of my favorite included the Brrrrr Bertha, Mistletoe Millie, Yulelog Lolly, and the Icicle Irma!

 

 

 

 

Once onboard your festive boat you will continue to notice more holiday decorations throughout the ride such as packages floating in the water, Santa hats on the gorillas, elf hats on the monkeys and more! Your boat’s skipper will narrate your cruise with holiday themed jokes! This is my favorite part of the attraction overlay! Even if you have been on the Jungle Cruise hundreds of times, the ride will feel brand new to you with the new script and storyline that the Jingle Cruise brings!

 

 

Some of my favorite jokes include the reference of the big bugs in the rainforest scene being referred to as “bah humbugs!” I also love the group of natives getting ready to attack your boat being referred to as a group of holiday carolers! If you have been on the Jungle Cruise before then you know at the very end of the attraction you will find Trader Sam, the ‘head’ salesman of the jungle. Well during the Jingle Cruise, he is deck out in his holiday best like Santa Claus and referred to as Trader Sam-ta! He is also offering special holiday promotions but take warning they don’t sound too appealing!

 

 

Watch this year’s 2018 Jingle Cruise now in our new YouTube video!

 

Give the gift of family memories this holiday! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to plan the vacation of your dreams! Give the ones you love a present they will always remember and cherish!

 

NEW Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill Now Open at Disney Springs! Walt Disney World

I love Disney Springs for all of the wonderful, shopping, dining and entertainment offerings that call Disney Springs home! There is a huge selection of stores and eateries to choose from, giving you endless options for a fun day or night out! And now I am excited to share with you that the list of places to check out at Disney Springs just got even longer! This past week Disney Springs welcomed Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill to their lineup of amazing restaurants!

Chef Wolfgang Puck has a name well known around Disney Springs! Chef Wolfgang Puck’s Counter Service location, Wolfgang Puck Express, located in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs has remained consistently open. In addition to his success at this popular quick-service location, the chef has had other Disney Spring’s eateries! If you visited Disney Springs a few years back or even when the area was known as Downtown Disney, then you may remember his previous restaurant that was located over on the West Side, Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe and Dining Room. Also on the West Side the famous chef also previously had a quick-service location which also closed in August 2017. (Fun Fact: The former location of Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe will soon be home to Jaleo by Chef José Andrés.)

 

Now we are very excited that Wolfgang Puck has a brand-new restaurant in a new location in the Town Center section of Disney Springs, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill! Here the celebrity chef will be serving up his signature California cuisine with a new twist!

 

The restaurant is located in the Town Center of Disney Springs. You can find it in between the Town Center indoor shopping complex and the Coca-Cola Store. It is directly across from Guy Ferrari’s Chicken Guy. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill has a much different atmosphere then the previous Wolfgang Puck Café. When you enter the new restaurant you immediately pick up on the very modern, fresh vibe that this new location has! It is very sleek and gives the Wolfgang Puck name a whole new identity.

Once inside Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill you will notice accents of red contrast against a pallet of neutral tones. There is a wide array of different seating arrangements including a space to host large party sizes! In addition to the crisp and clean colors, there are plenty of details that add visual appeal to the restaurant, from exposed wood beams to intricate lighting pieces. The location features many large windows giving the space a very bright and open feel. On the walls of the restaurant you can find many black and white portraits that bring a very personal touch into the space! Some of the black and white art is of fresh produce used to highlight the fresh ingredients you will find in your dishes.

 

All of these touches are great however, the true focal point of the restaurant is the on-stage kitchen where all of the culinary artistry is taking place! When you enter the restaurant to your left-hand side the first thing you are greeted by is the pizza kitchen! Chef Wolfgang Puck is known for his gourmet pizzas, so this is an appropriate welcome to the restaurant! Located in the back of the restaurant you will find the main open kitchen where all of the other wonderful dishes are coming to life!

Now here comes the part that I personally am most excited for, there’s the Gelato Bar! This Gelato bar is connected with the bakery area. You can find it to your right as you enter Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill! Not dining in at the restaurant but in the mode for dessert? Then good news, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill has you covered! You will also be able to get this gelato from the restaurant’s walk-up window! I will definitely be checking out this gelato bar on my next visit to Disney Springs!

 

So now let’s talk about the restaurant’s food! Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill menu has received a very fresh makeover when compared to the chef’s previous dining location, while still retaining some well-loved classics. This menu of “California cuisine,” offers a wide selection of options. Everyone in your party is sure to find something they will enjoy!

 

I will definitely be making a dining reservation to check out Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill on my next vacation to Walt Disney World this February! Looking at their menu I am looking forward to trying either the Basil and Shrimp Pizza or the Sea Bass! Be sure to check out this great new restaurant yourself next time you are in Disney Springs! Plan your next vacation now by contacting your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner! Our team is always ready to use their knowledge and expertise to help you plan your perfect vacation!

 

Attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival During the Last Day of the Festival’s 2018 Season!

I have talked in blog posts before about how attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is an annual tradition for me and my family! We look forward to this time of year in Epcot all the time and always get excited to have new experiences at our favorite Epcot festival! This year we got to experience an Epcot Food and Wine festival first… attending the festival on its last day! That’s right this year we visited the Epcot International Food and Wine festival on November 12, 2018, which was the last day of the festival during this 2018 season!

 

 

Being at the festival on its final day for the year was a very cool experience. It gave us the perfect opportunity to try all of the food items that we did not get to sample during our visits to the festival on our vacation the previous month. The festival has so many items to try! So after a visit to the International Food and Wine Festival I always wish I would have had more time to try the items I missed! Being able to catch the last day of the festival gave us the opportunity to do just that! Another cool thing we got to experience was the transition that was taking place between Food and Wine decorations and Christmas decorations! It is rare to see the park with a mix of both and it was an awesome sight!

 

 

We landed at MCO, hopped on the Magical Express, headed to Disney’s All Star Sports Resort, then caught the bus straight to Epcot! The first festival item we sampled was from Earth Eats! This Festival Marketplace was home to an item that had made my top 5 items during our first visit to Food and Wine, the Impossible Burger gets its name because it is a 100% vegan burger! The Impossible burger was delicious and made my top 5’s because it was delicious, flavorful and maintained the same char-grilled taste of a real burger! After loving the Impossible Burger from Earth Eats I was excited to try another item from this marketplace! I got the Steakhouse Blended Burger! It was incredible, I enjoyed it even more then the Impossible burger because of how it was doctored up! This burger is a blend of beef and wild mushrooms accompanied by brie cheese fondue, arugula, truffle and blue cheese potato chip all on a brioche bun! My favorite part was the brie cheese fondue! So delicious!

 

 

The next item I tried was the Steamed Green Lip Mussels! This was the item I was most excited to try on this day! I tried mussels for the very first time during a vacation at the beach this past summer and ever since then I’ve been a mussel fan! I then became very excited to try the mussels from the New Zealand Marketplace at Food and Wine! These steamed green lip mussels are served in a garlic butter and topped with toasted breadcrumbs. This was my favorite item I tried on this day! The 3 mussels you get in the portion are very large. I was a little skeptical because sometimes larger mussels can be chewer, however that was not the case with these! These mussels were cooked to perfection and melted in your mouth! I am so glad I got to try them this year and I will absolutely be getting them for every year that they return!

 

 

Our next item we tried out was from the Brazil Marketplace. The item we tried was hands down the most popular item among festival goers! We got the Brazilian Cheese Bread! This item has been around for a few festivals now and I have always heard so many rave reviews about it! I had not tried it yet and was very curious to do so. I see now why this item is so popular, it was very unique and the perfect savory snack! After my first bite, I instantly thought that the cheese bread had a familiar taste! We determined it reminds us of a combination between a crescent roll and a mozzarella stick! Definitely so unique! You have to try it for yourself!

 

 

The last item we tried during our festival visit for this 2018 season was the Short Rib Tostada from the Mexico Marketplace. This is a brand-new item that just debut at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival this year! This tostada is a fried corn tortilla that is topped with short ribs, black beans, salsa verde and spring onion. This was the winner for me at the Mexico Marketplace this year! All of the accompaniments paired so well on top of the crunchy fried tortilla! I have a strong feeling that this item will be returning during the 2019 festival!

 

 

I vlogged our experience of attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival during the last day of the festival’s 2018 season! You can watch our new video on our YouTube channel:

 

And on that note… that was the conclusion of our time at this year’s 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. And now I can’t wait until 2019! Let the countdown begin! You can start planning your vacation now with one of our experienced and knowledgeable travel planners today! Our team is excited to make your vacation dreams a reality!

FESTIVE FUN FACTS About Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s at the Universal Orlando Resort!

 

This past week we celebrated Thanksgiving! I am still enjoying the leftovers now! I don’t know about you but for me and my family a holiday tradition for us is to always watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade! This is a tradition for so many families that look forward to seeing those dazzling musical performances and towering character balloons each year! If you have ever dreamt about going to watch the parade live but don’t want to fight through the New York City crowds or deal with the frigid winter conditions then I have great news for you! You can experience a version of the Macy’s holiday parade all season long at the Universal Orlando Resort in sunny Orlando Florida!

 

 

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s guests can look forward to experiencing light snowfall, twinkling lights, joyful music and a mix of both merry and mayhem! This parade made it’s debut last year in 2017 and was an instant hit with park-goers! The festive parade will return as part of Universal’s resort-wide Holidays celebration, running Nov. 17 – Jan. 6. The parade’s theme is inspired by beloved childhood memories and brought to life by many popular Universal characters!

 

Despicable Me, Shrek, Madagascar and Holiday Favorites Spread the Cheer in the New Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

 

Here are a few festive fun facts about Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s:

 

  • The parade will travel a grand total of more than 26 miles as it makes its way down the Universal Studios Florida streets each night!

 

  • There is no question that the highlight of the parade is its 15 intricately hand-crafted floats featuring characters from Despicable Me, Madagascar, Shrek and more. And these floats are MASSIVE. You can’t miss them!

 

  • The float featuring Shrek, Fiona and Dragon rivals the size of two large African elephants. This float Weighs in at about 30,000 pounds and measures 35 feet long! Also thanks to Dragon’s 16-foot wingspan, it’s also one of the widest floats!

 

  • It’s not a holiday parade without those classic Macy’s star balloons! The star balloons in the parade measure 24 feet wide! That’s the same size as the width of five taxi cars!

 

  • Piloting floats and balloons of this size requires a lot of practice! Training begins each summer for Universal’s team of nearly 300 people, including float operators, balloon handlers and parade escorts!

 

  • Guests will see more than 100 dancers and characters during the parade! They are all dressed to impress in their holiday best!

 

  • Last year, over 220 gallons of snow machine fluid were used to create a special Florida snow flurry during the parade’s finale!

 

Watch our videos from last year’s Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s:

 

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s is a dazzling experience that you have to see for yourself! There is still time to plan a last-minute getaway to the Universal Orlando resort this holiday season! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner today!

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 20th Year Dedication – Disney World Christmas 2018

Disney World flagship resort, the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is home to one very special holiday tradition! The Grand Floridian Gingerbread house has been an annual Christmas tradition at the resort. Guests come back year after year to marvel at the life-sized gingerbread house that sits in the resort’s grand lobby! This year the Gingerbread house celebrated an exciting milestone! 2018 marks the 20th anniversary for the house at the Grand Floridian!

I personally always make a special trip over to the Grand Floridian when I visit Disney World during the Christmas season just to see the house! This year my family and I happened to be visiting the resort during a very special time, we got to see the dedication ceremony of the house! The ceremony was very special, all of the chefs who helped bring this massive and beautiful creation were all in attendance along with the resort managers and cast members. A cast member sang “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” and everyone watching joined in! The moment was filled with so much cheer. As a big fan of the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House it was incredible to be here for this special occasion. You could feel in the air the passion that all the chefs and cast members have for this Grand Floridian tradition, as well as how beloved the tradition is for all the guests who were in attendance.

To top the celebration off, Mickey and Minnie arrived wearing their holiday best and one lucky family joined them to help cut the ribbon and officially open the Gingerbread House for the 2018 season! The inside of the gingerbread house actually serves as a retail location where guests can purchase gingerbread and seasonal treats! The most popular item sold here would have to be the gingerbread shingles. They are identical to the shingles that are on the gingerbread house!

This year they have moved the gingerbread house to the center of the lobby just beneath the orchestra. In years past the gingerbread house’s location was always off center in the corner of the lobby. I love the new location! It definitely makes the house a main focal point of the grand lobby, a position that this piece of art truly deserves! Also, the new location has helped free up space around the house this year making it easier to view the house and give the line to purchase your holiday treats a much nicer flow! This open space around the house now includes a pathway lined with poinsettias!

I felt so honored to be in attendance for the opening of this year’s Grand Floridian gingerbread house and so happy to get to celebrate the 20th year for this special tradition! I filmed the entire ceremony and I am excited to share the festivities with you in our new YouTube video!

The Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is one of the many holidays attractions and experiences that you can enjoy at the Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday season! There is truly extra magic in the air throughout the Disney parks and resorts at Christmas time! There is still time to plan a holiday vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today!

Details on NEW Experiences Coming to the Disney Parks Announced at D23’s Destination D Mickey Mouse Fan Celebration!

This past week Disney’s Contemporary Resort hosted Destination D! This is an exclusive Disney Parks news and updates event put on by D23. D23 is Disney’s official fan club! The event released many exciting announcements that will be coming to the Disney parks in the coming years! I am so pumped for the year ahead and all the new experiences to be had in the parks! I am excited to share with you what we now know that we can look forward to in the world of Disney news!

 

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Galaxy’s Edge is a brand-new land that will immerse guests into the world of Star Wars. This new land will be coming to both the Disneyland Resort in California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at the Disneyland Park this coming summer of 2019. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Hollywood Studios in Disney World in late fall of 2019. At Destination D Disney has now revealed the names of the 2 attractions that will call Galaxy’s Edge home!

 

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

One of the new attraction’s in Galaxy’s Edge will be, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. This attraction will allow guests to take control of the Millennium Falcon in “one of three unique and critical roles.”

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

The Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction will bring guests right into an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance including a “face-off with Kylo-Ren!”

 

New Disney Resort Hotel – Reflections

During the presentation, more details where revealed about a brand-new Disney Resort Hotel coming to Walt Disney World. The Resort will be called, Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge, a deluxe, nature-inspired resort coming to Walt Disney World that will feature more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas.

 

New Epcot Spectacular Replacing IllumiNations

Epcot will be receiving a brand-new spectacular planned to open in the park in 2020 as part of the multi-year transformation of Epcot! The new nighttime spectacular will celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world. The new show will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers. Also before this new show debuts, there will be a limited-time experience Epcot fans will not want to miss! This limited time show will be called “Epcot Forever,” which will debut in fall 2019 and will feature classic Epcot songs!

 

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

This new nighttime show is not the only excitement coming to Epcot. At Destination D it was revealed that the Ratatouille experience that will be coming to the France pavilion will be named Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

 

“Beauty and the Beast” sing-along

Along with Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the France pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase will be welcoming another exciting new experience! In addition to the popular Epcot attraction “Impressions de France,” a brand new “Beauty and the Beast” sing-along is set the debut. The sing-along was created by Don Hahn, producer of both the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films.

 

Mickey!

In 2019, there are many exciting new experiences coming to Disney Parks – all inspired by Mickey Mouse! Mickey has always been the parks icon and now it is so exciting that Mickey will be the focus of actual park attractions!

 

New Nighttime show at Hollywood Studios – Wonderful World of Animation

At Destination D it was announced that a brand-new cinematic nighttime show called, “Wonderful World of Animation,” will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in May 2019. The shows opening will coincide with the park’s 30th anniversary celebration. The show will use state-of-the-art projection technology. The show will take guests on a magical journey through over 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey himself.

 

Mickey’s Soundsational Parade Return

Over at the Disneyland Resort in California we now know that the popular Mickey’s Soundsational Parade is set to return to Disneyland park in January 2019!

 

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Imagineers have been working hard to create Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new ride that will be taking the place of where the Great Movie Ride once was will use breakthrough technology to transform a two-dimensional cartoon into an amazing real-world experience. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be the first-ever ride-through attraction that will be themed to Mickey Mouse! As a big Mickey and Minnie Mouse fan I am so excited Mickey and Minnie will have their very own attraction! The new attraction will feature a brand-new original story and a lovable theme song as it takes guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts.

With all this excitement, now is the perfect time to plan your next Walt Disney World Resort Vacation! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Planner today and let our knowledgable team help you plan the vacation of your dreams!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Look at Universal Orlando’s NEW Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites

The way time is moving, summer 2019 will be here before we know it! We have many reasons to be excited for the upcoming Summer including the opening of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites! This summer Universal’s newest resort hotel will welcome its very first guests. The resort will have a fun surf theme! Guests at this new Universal resort can expect exclusive Universal Orlando theme park benefits. Universal’s Endless Summer Resort will also have the most affordable price point of any Universal resort! The theming and details at Surfside Inn and Suites will make you feel like you are right in the ocean surf. Universal has stated that they are excited to bring the same level of detail and authenticity that guests see in the parks to the design of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort. Here’s a first look at the surf-inspired guest rooms at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort!

As soon as guests step into their room they will notice the beach vibe everywhere. The vibrant design features were inspired by being inside the barrel of a wave, surrounded by cool blue waters. Other details include a full-sized surfboard, colorful artwork, bright pinstriped rug runners, and tie-dye curtains. This resort hotel will be a wonderful retreat for families!

The Endless Summer resort will also feature suites! 2 bedroom suites allow the whole family to all stay together! Forget about connecting rooms because at the Endless Summer Resort the whole family can stay in one suite! These 2 bedroom suites can sleep up to six people with a separate bedroom allowing adults to have some privacy. There is also a beachy picnic table and kitchenette area, the perfect spot for the whole family to hang out and enjoy a meal together. Another benefit of the suites are the spacious bathrooms. With two sinks and a separate shower area, the entire family can get ready quickly and be able to hit the Universal parks in time for Early Park Admission (a perk of staying at a Universal Orlando Resort.)

That’s right, when staying at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort you will receive all of the exclusive benefits that come with staying at a Universal Orlando hotel. This includes Early Park Admission, free transportation to CityWalk and the parks, and resort-wide charging privileges with your room key. You can look forward to all these Universal theme park benefits plus the quality of a Universal Orlando hotel at this incredible price point!

Rates for a seven-night stay start at just $73 per night for a standard room, and $111 for a 2 Bedroom Suite. In the future Universal’s Endless Summer Resort: Surfside Inn and Suites will also have a sister property, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites.

Bookings are now available for Universal’s Endless Summer Resort: Surfside Inn and Suites! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to book your perfect stay at the Universal Orlando Resort!

Dinner at Cinderella Royal Table at Magic Kingdom – Walt Disney World

Dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table is an experience you will never forget! This restaurant is actually located inside of Cinderella’s Castle inside of the Magic Kingdom Park! Not only during your meal will you enjoy the atmosphere of dining inside of Walt Disney World’s most recognizable icon but this meal is a character dining experience! During your time in the restaurant you will meet many Disney princesses! Exploring the castle, meeting royalty and enjoying a delicious meal all combine for an unforgettable experience!

I dined at Cinderella’s Royal Table for the first time for dinner during my most recent Disney World Vacation! Through a little Disney Magic we were able to grab this coveted reservation at the last minute! This was something we all always wanted to do so we were filled with excitement!

Once we checked in at the downstairs podium located on the backside of the castle we were soon escorted inside the castle were we got to meet Cinderella herself as our first princess of the night. We got the chance to chat with Cinderella and then take a family photo with her! The other princesses in attendance will vary from day to day so it is a surprise who you will get to meet but Cinderella is always a guarantee. It is her castle of course! After meeting Cinderella we got to sit in the grand foyer as we waited for them to call our party’s name. As we waited we got to take in the details of the beautiful castle! Everywhere you look the architectural details are regal and elegant! Of course there are magical touches as well such as Cinderella’s mice friends Jaq and Gus peaking down from the rafters!

Soon the chimes rang and our party name was announced. We were then escorted upstairs to the dining room! It is absolutely breathtaking! You truly feel like royalty! The menu is a prefix, you get to select an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert. For my appetizer I choose the Castle Salad, with Citrus-marinated Buffalo Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomatoes, Mixed Greens, Parmesan Crisps, and Balsamic Reduction! It honestly was one of my favorite salads I’ve ever had! For my entree I picked the Beef and Shrimp, delicious Beef Tenderloin and Buttered Shrimp, Fingerling Potatoes with Nueske’s Bacon and Blue Cheese, Summer Vegetables, and a Shallot-Herb Compound Butter. For dessert I choose the Clock Strikes Twelves, a Dark Chocolate Mousse with a Dark Chocolate Ganache served with a Raspberry Coulis! We all agreed this was the best dessert!

Soon the princesses began arriving! After each princess was announced they made their way around to each table. This is a great way to meet a lot of characters at once without having to wait in line! The characters come to you and you get more time to chat with them and also the opportunity to take pictures! If meeting characters is an important part of your vacation, character meals are a great way to guarantee seeing lots of characters!

We were first visited by my personal favorite Princess Ariel! Followed by Sleeping Beauty herself, Princess Aurora. Next we got to chat with Jasmine and then Snow White! Another very special part of our meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table is the Wishing Star Ceremony! When you are seated at your table everyone receives a wishing star. Princesses receive a wand and Princes are given a sword. During the wishing ceremony you are instructed to hold your wand or sword over your wishing Star and make a special wish! When you open your eyes the ceiling is twinkling with pixie dust! It is a magical Disney moment!

This is such a popular and sought after dining reservation, you will want to try to secure this restaurant 180 days out from your vacation, as soon as you are able to begin making your dining reservations.

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World or to any destination your are wishing to explore next!

 

Staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa! Walt Disney World Resort

Last month I got to have a brand-new Disney experience that I had dreamed about for years! I stayed at Disney’s flagship resort the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa! I have always been infatuated with the Grand Floridian and have enjoyed visiting the resort for years to simply walk the grounds or dine at one of their many wonderful restaurants. Even prior to actually getting to stay here myself, I would already say that the Grand Floridian was my favorite Disney Resort just because I enjoyed being there so much when visiting. So the dream of being able to actually stay here as a resort guest had been on my Disney list forever! Well my dream came true last month when I checked into Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa for my very first time!

I knew that our stay was going to be incredible, but this resort stay exceed my expectations! There truly is magic in the air at the Grand Floridian! The overall feeling of relaxation and luxury that comes over you while there is a feeling like no other! I thought I knew the Grand Floridian so well from years of always just popping over for a walk around, but staying here I discovered so many little nuances that made the experience brand new to me! I had so many stand out moments and favorite things from my time at the Grand Floridian. Things that set this deluxe resort apart from the rest and make staying here a truly magical experience. The amenities and accommodations allow you to make the most out of your vacation! Here is my list of favorite things from my stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa!

Location, Location, Location!

The Grand Floridian is located on the monorail loop in the Magic Kingdom Resort area! You are literally footsteps away from the Magic Kingdom Park. From the hotel, you can see Cinderella’s Castle as well as many other icons from the Magic Kingdom skyline. Talk about a great place to watch the fireworks! You are so close you can even hear the sounds coming from the Magic Kingdom! Every once and a while from our room we could hear the gentle whistle of the Walt Disney World Railroad train! It is all these details of the Magic Kingdom that make you feel like you are still inside the magic of the park even when you have left for the day! This for me was everything!

 

The Views!

Wherever your room is located you are sure to have one priceless view! Rooms at the Grand Floridian overlook the Magic Kingdom Park, Seven Seas Lagoon, the gorgeous resort pools or the peaceful resort gardens. All of the rooms have balconies allowing you to soak in your breathtaking view. I absolutely loved the view from our room’s balcony! We had a lagoon view that looked out over seven seas lagoon. We could see the ferry boats coming and going from the transportation and ticket center and watch the monorails go around and around! I spent so much time out there taking it all in that I actually learned the monorail schedule! I could tell you exactly what colored monorail would appear where and when! I was one proud Disney fan! Our room also had a great view of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and a beautiful direct view of Disney’s Wedding Pavilion! There was always some exciting action to watch! Once again even though you are back in your room you still are right in the middle of the Disney magic! There is no better feeling!

 

Proximity to Magic Kingdom

Staying at the Grand Floridian you are a stones-throw from the Magic Kingdom Park, you might as well say you and Cinderella are next-door neighbors. Not only is this awesome for the spectacular views but your commute to the Magic Kingdom park takes mere minutes! You can step aboard a monorail right from the 2nd floor of the Grand Floridian lobby or cruise right over to the park by boat! Until staying here myself I had no idea just how wonderful this convenience was! All other hotel guests not in the Magic Kingdom Resort area have to use bus transportation to get to Magic Kingdom or if traveling by car have to park at the ticket and transportation center and then take the monorail or ferry boat from that point. Due to this Magic Kingdom has always been a park that you need to allow yourself time to get to. Staying at the Grand Floridian the park is literally in your backyard, making the commute so easy! We got to Magic Kingdom the earliest I had ever been to the park. We just woke up and were there in minutes! Being able to so easily get to the park earlier, we were able to maximize our time and make the most out of our day! I had never seen the park so empty! Early morning is the best time to be in Magic Kingdom to beat the crowds. Due to the lower crowd level we were able to walk right on to many popular attractions!

 

Taking Breaks Mid-Day

With being so close to the park you are also able to get back to the Grand Floridian very quickly! This is wonderful when you are tired after an action-packed day of fun in the park! It is also wonderful when you may want to take a break mid-day and go back to the resort to rest and enjoy the amenities such as the amazing pools. Since other resorts are farther away and most require bus transportation, it can eat up a lot more of your time if you wanted to go back to your resort mid-day. The convenience of close proximity to the park that the Grand Floridian gives you can add a whole other layer to your vacation.

 

The Pools

Speaking of relaxing by the pool, one of my favorite amenities at the Grand was getting to take advantage of their luxurious pools! There is a large pool called the Beach Pool, complete with a water fall and even a water slide. Next to this main pool you will find a fun splash play area for kids themed to the Mad Hatter. Then there was our favorite pool the Courtyard pool. This pool is a zero-entry leisure pool. We loved grabbing a drink from the pool bar and laying in the shallow-end! As we laid there with our drinks a complete feeling of peace and happiness rushed over me as I looked around at the gorgeous architecture of the Grand Floridian buildings and the lush courtyards and landscaping, all while I could still hear those amazing sounds coming from the Magic Kingdom! Absolute bliss!

 

Transportation to Epcot

Not only is your commute to Magic Kingdom practically non-existent but you also have a very fun and easy commute to Epcot! All you have to do to get to Epcot is hop on the monorail straight from the Grand Floridian to the Ticket and Transportation Center. From there you can transfer monorails and hop on the direct line to Epcot! It is so easy, fast and also fun! Something about monorail transportation is just more exciting than any other form of transportation! Epcot is my boyfriend and I’s favorite park so we loved being able to so quickly run over to Epcot even just for an afternoon!

 

Dining

The Grand Floridian has the best restaurants to fit whatever you are looking for! Everything from quick service and casual dining to signature dining and even a 5-diamond restaurant! A personal favorite for me is Grand Floridian Café, located just off the main lobby the atmosphere is relaxing and the food is outstanding! I highly recommend the Café sandwich! I get it every time I go, even though I try to convince myself to try something new I love this sandwich too much! A place I found a whole new appreciation for this trip is Grand Floridian’s quick service location, Gasparilla Island Grill. The food here is a step above any other quick service location. They actually deliver some entree items to your table after you place your order at the register. The menu has a wide select of delicious offering for breakfast lunch and dinner. You can also find pastries, snacks and grab-and-go items here as well. Something I loved was that they have a full-service Joffrey’s Coffee shop inside of Gasparilla’s! We loved getting frozen coffee to start the morning! Another amazing convenience is that Gasparilla’s is open 24 HOURS A DAY! So whatever time you get in from the parks or if you find yourself wanting a late night snack you can count on Gasparilla’s!

 

These are a few of the many reasons I fell in love with the Grand Floridian even more after staying here! I felt like a princess living in a castle! This is something you have to experience! When Disney releases discounts the savings percentage is always greater on the deluxe resorts such as the grand Floridian and we have some incredible promotions going on right now to make your travel dreams a reality! Our knowledgeable team at Kingdom Magic Vacations is excited to help you plan your next trip. Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to start your next adventure!

Find the Perfect Christmas Gifts at The Universal Orlando Resort!

We are entering into the most wonderful time of the year… Christmas time! I love the holiday season and while we may not be in December just yet we all know how hectic the holidays get, and how fast time can fly this time of year! That’s why right now is a great time to start your holiday shopping! The Universal Orlando Resort is home to a wide selection of merchandise! You are sure to find something for everyone on your list! Let’s take a look at a few of our picks!

 Hogwarts House Robes

The Harry Potter fan in your life would love a Hogwarts Wizard robe with their very own house logo on it! The robes are available in all 4 of the Hogwarts houses on them, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. These robes are great for fans to enjoy in the park and at home they make for a great cozy accessory to keep warm this winter!

 

Despicable Me Unicorn Pillow Plush

If you are a fan of the Despicable Me movie you will remember the stuffed Unicorn that the girls declared was “SO FLUFFY!” Well now you can purchase this adorable pillow plush for someone in your life! This fluffy unicorn is sure to bring a smile to someone’s face on Christmas morning!

 

Collectible and Interactive Wands

Every Harry Potter fan wants a wand of their own, and Universal has you covered! They sell a wide selection of collectable wands including replicas of the wands the characters in the films had! There are even interactive wands for sale, these wands allow wizards to practice their spells in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and make some magical surprises happen!

 

E.T. Plush

Everyone loves E.T.! This 15-inch-tall plush is soft and cuddly! E.T. is even sporting his hoddie! So cute! This plush is sure to be a favorite for kids of all ages!

 

Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans

Harry Potter fans will recognize this wizarding treat, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans! Inside every box there are 20 different jellybean flavors ranging from marshmallow and tutti-frutti to grass and soap! This is a very fun gift for someone adventurous in your life! This silly item is sure to make a great stocking stuffer!

 

Jurassic Park Hooded Sweatshirt

This hooded sweatshirt is adorned with the Jurassic Park logo from the original film. A great gift for a movie lover! This pull-over hoodie also has a hand-warmer pocket, making it perfect for cold winter days!

 

Despicable Me Minion Plush

We all love those playful and mischievous little yellow minions from the Despicable Me film series! These plush minions come in a variety of sizes and make for the perfect sidekick on any adventure!

 

Chocolate Frogs

These items are another one that Harry Potter fans are sure to appreciate! These Chocolate Frogs come inside of an intricately designed box and each box includes a wizard card! You can buy boxes individually or purchase a four-pack that guarantees you will receive a wizard card depicting each one of the Hogwarts founders.

Giving the gift of a Universal Orlando Vacation can give your family the most valuable gift of all, the gift of time spent together and memories made as a family! Our team at Kingdom Magic Vacation can help you plan the vacation that you are dreaming of! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today! Happy Holidays!

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