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Author Archives: Megan Przychodzien

What I am Most Excited for at the 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! – Walt Disney World

 

 

Spring has officially sprung at Walt Disney World! The 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is now in full swing! This annual event transforms Epcot into a springtime paradise! Everywhere you turn you will find Disney character topiaries and gorgeous floral displays. In addition to the many breathtaking landscapes you can also taste the flavors of springtime with the many outdoor kitchens that can be found throughout Epcot! The Flower and garden Festival is one of my favorite festivals that Epcot puts on. You have the culinary element with the food booths, the visual element with all the breathtaking displays and so much more to discover!

 

 

This year’s festival runs from March 6, 2019 to June 3, 2019! This festival has a nice long duration and there is still time to plan an awesome springtime getaway to Walt Disney World to experience the event for yourself! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner today to talk about package options! I personally just booked my visit and I am so excited to attend this the Flower and Garden festival during its 2019 season! From what I have seen online there have been some incredible additions added to the festival offerings this year! Today I am excited to share with you my top 5 things I am looking forward to at the 2019Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!

 

 

1. New Outdoor Kitchens!

 

I always love the food and beverage offerings available from the outdoor kitchens during the Flower and Garden Festival! This year four brand-new outdoor kitchens are being introduced for their very first festival season! The new outdoor kitchens are:

  • The Citrus Blossom
  • Flavor Full Kitchen hosted by AdventHealth
  • Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods
  • Arbor at The Gardeners Terrace

These four new booths making their festival debut will each bring many new offerings to the event! At The Citrus Blossom, I am most excited to trying the Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion and Grilled Lemon! From Flavor Full Kitchen, I am looking forward to trying this booth’s featured sweet treat, the Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse with Strawberry Jam and Boba Pearls. Trowel & Trellis is hosted by Impossible Foods and will feature many vegan and vegetarian options. I am most interested in trying the Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread. From Arbor at The Gardeners Terrace I want to try the Fried Green Tomatoes with Blue Crab-fennel Salad, Remoulade and Smoked Paprika Oil. Each of these new outdoor kitchens look like they will become instant fan-favorites at the festival! I love all the unique offerings that each of these new booths is bringing to the event!

 

 

2. Returning Outdoor Kitchens with New Offering and Old Favorites

 

So I’ve mentioned how excited I am for the 4 new outdoor kitchens but I also can’t wait to revisit with the returning booths that are festival icons! From looking over the menu offerings from these outdoor kitchens, all of these returning booths will be returning with a twist! Many of the menus have received an update with brand new offerings for guest to enjoy! I always love when there are so many new items added to experience for the first time! This year we are in luck because there seems to be new food and beverage offerings practically everywhere! Here’s a quick list of a few new items I am going to be sure to get my hand on!

  • From: Jardin de Fiestas – Beef torta: Braised Beef served on a Crispy Sourdough Roll with Queso Oaxaca, Avocado, Pickled Onions and Jalapenos in a Spicy Habanero Sauce
  • From: Lotus House – House-made Crab and Cheese Wontons
  • From: Primavera Kitchen – Pomodori Verdi e Mozzarella: Fried Green Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese, Balsamic Reduction
  • From: Taste Track – Violet Blueberry Vanilla Croissant Doughnut

 

 

In addition to trying all these new items I am equally as excited to get to enjoy many returning favorites! If you attend the festival each year than you will know exactly what I am talking about! We all have those classic favorite items that we love so much and wait all year to get to enjoy it again! Here’s a few of my go-to items that I am thrilled to see back on the menu!

  • From: The Honey Bee-stro – Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, Charred Vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream and Micro Citrus Greens
  • From: The Honey Bee-stro – local Wildflower Honey-mascarpone Cheesecake with orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses and Petite Lavender Shoots
  • From: La Isla Fresca – Caribbean Conch Salad with Mango, Papaya and Pickled Red Onions
  • From: Hanami – Frushi: Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice garnished with Whipped Cream, Berry Sauce Drizzled and Toasted Coconut
  • From: Pineapple Promenade – Frozen Desert Violet lemonade

 

 

 

3. Topiaries!

 

The incredible character topiaries are the heart of the Flower and Garden Festival! Over the year the food booths, concert series and all the other favorite activities associated with the event became exciting additions. The festival beginnings stem back to being all about showcasing the incredible work of the Disney floral team who create topiary masterpieces that resembled different Disney characters. These topiary displays are beautiful! Over the years, the topiaries themselves have become more and more defined and detailed, and the displays around the topiaries have become more and more elaborate each year! These floral displays are always a festival highlight for me! These pieces are works of art and so creative!

 

 

From the pictures I’ve seen online this year, I think Disney just dialed it up 10 more notches when it comes to incredible displays! There are brand new characters such as Kermit the Frog, Miss piggy from the Muppets and Bo Peep and her sheep from Toy Story! From the pictures I’ve seen it appears many of the returning topiaries have been given even more elaborate backdrops and details! For example, Lightning McQueen looks like he is driving down an actually road that is made up entirely of flowers! Also, Lady and the Tramp who can always be found in the Italy Pavilion have been given a new backdrop down by the gondolas on the terrace part of the Italy pavilion! It looks absolutely beautiful!

 

 

 

4. Festival Merchandise

 

This year’s merchandise is the cutest I’ve ever seen! One of my favorite items to enjoy at the Flower and Garden Festival is the Desert Violet Lemonade! This frozen drink complete with an edible flower on top is a fan-favorite at the festival and because it is so photogenic it is probably safe to say it is the most Instagrammed festival item!

 

 

Disney knows how much us guests love or Dessert Violet Lemonade and they have actually created an entire line of merchandise inspired by the drink! You can rock some dessert Violet Minnie Mouse ears, a spirit jersey and more!

 

 

There are also some very adorable items featuring this year’s festival logo! I love to collect the Disney Dooney and Burke bags and this year they have an exclusive flower and garden print available in multiple bag styles! The design is set on a white backdrop and features butterflies that are styled after many classic Disney character! I think that might just have to come home with me!

 

 

 

5. Springtime!

 

Finally, I am simply just so excited to enjoy this beautiful time of year in my favorite place Walt Disney World! Spring always comes early in beautiful sunny Florida! As I type this I am currently up north where I am looking outside at pile of snow! Planning a getaway to Disney World this time of year is the perfect way to experience the beauty of spring that we are all so ready for! The Flower and garden Festival does the most incredible job of capturing the beauty and excitement of springtime! This festival has such a happy and fresh atmosphere! After all, Disney does give this event the slogan and hashtag, #FreshEpcot

 

 

Are you ready for springtime?! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner to book your next visit to Walt Disney World or to any destination that you are dreaming of visiting next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date Night Ideas at the Universal Orlando Resort!

 

The amazing thing about the Universal Orlando Resort is that there is truly something for everyone from children, to families, to couples! Universal Orlando is the perfect backdrop for date night! Here are 6 date ideas perfect for couples visiting Universal Orlando!

 

1. Forever Young!

You and your significant other can enjoy letting loss and embracing your inner-kids at Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone! We are all kids at heart so this can be such a fun date night idea!

  • Reconnect with your childhood favorites (like Barney and SpongeBob SquarePants)
  • Ride the rides
  • Watch the delightful Animal Actors on Location!
  • Check out Curious George Goes To Town and other play areas

One of our favorites spots has to be Curious George Goes To Town! The front section of this play area is a water playground and the back section is the Man in the Big Yellow Hat’s Ball Factory. Here you and your partner can challenge each other by throwing and blasting soft foam balls at each other! This date will definitely give you nostalgia and is sure to bring out the silly side of your relationship!

 

2. Old Hollywood!

Get ready to step back in time into the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood! Feel like an A-List couple as you enjoy the Hollywood portion of Universal Studios Florida together. Explore the streets and experience these fun activities during your vintage date night:

  • Cuddle up at Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show
  • Enjoy a meal at Mel’s Drive-In
  • Take photos with some classic 50’s characters
  • Grab ice cream sundaes at Schwab’s Pharmacy
  • Browse the shops

 

3. Mystical Date!

If you and your date are into horoscopes and Greek mythology then you are sure to enjoy a date night in the Lost Continent in Islands of Adventure:

  • Discover what is written in your stars at Star Souls – Psychic Reading
  • Visit Mythical Medals and get matching, custom-made coin medallions
  • Enjoy an incredible dinner at the award-winning Mythos Restaurant
  • Explore the ancient temple ruins at Poseidon’s Fury

A fun hidden-gem in this section of the park is the Mystic Fountain! When awaken, the Mystic Fountain will talk and joke around with you! Make a wish together and toss a coin in this fountain, but be careful because you might get splashed by this playful fountain!

 

4. Bay and Night!

Are you and your special someone looking for an exciting overnight getaway?! Universal has you covered – their “Bays” are sure to wow your bae! Plan a stay at Cabana Bay. Have your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner request a room with a view overlooking Volcano Bay! Here’s a fun list of things to do!

  • Go bowling at Galaxy Bowl or enjoy the Game-O-Rama arcade! Both are located right inside the hotel!
  • Get some beauty sleep in this awesome resort!
  • Rise, shine and enjoy a romantic walk to Volcano Bay right from your hotel!
  • Chill, thrill or both – couple’s choice!

If you really want to go all out, book premium seating or a private cabana at Volcano Bay! With shaded reserved space, food and beverage service, and comfortable places to cuddle up, you and your bae will absolutely love this amazing water theme park!

 

5. Night Above the Town

Every couple love a good night on the town, but you know whats even better? A night above the town! That’s exactly what you can look forward to at Aventura Hotel’s Bar 17 Bistro! This incredible location can be found on the rooftop, 17 stories up! From Bar 17 Bistro you and your significant other can take in amazing views of the Universal Resort as well as the greater Orlando area. This is also a great spot for a double date!

  • Put on your date night finest and grab your favorite couple friends
  • Grab one of the comfy outdoor couches
  • Order some incredible food and drinks
  • Visit Aventura’s Virtual Reality Game Room for some friendly competition
  • Dance the night away thanks to the live DJ
  • End with the “Almost Sangria” – the perfect date nightcap

 

6. Classic with a Twist

At Universal’s CityWalk, you have a plethora of classic date night options all in one place: dinner, movies, mini golf, karaoke, dancing, dueling pianos, clubs and more! The list of options goes on and on! But if you are looking for an added twist, check out Blue Man Group! Grab dinner, see the show, then add any (or all) of the following for an incredible night of entertainment and a super fun date night:

  • Enjoy a friendly competition with some mini golf
  • Sign your date up for karaoke at Rising Star
  • Grab a drink at Fat Tuesday
  • Sing along with the entertainment at Pat O’Brien’s
  • Watch a movie at Universal Cinemark

 

We hope these ideas have inspired your next Universal Orlando date night! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next trip to the Universal Orlando Resort or to any destination that you are dreaming of travel next!

 

Opening Dates Announced for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World & Disneyland!

 

Today Disney made the announcement of all announcements! The news we have all been waiting for… the exact opening dates for Star Wars: Galaxy’s edge at both Disneyland and Disney World! After months of us Disney fans speculating and crafting our own theories and opening day predictions, we now know officially when we will be able to journey to this galaxy far far away!

 

 

Galaxy’s Edge will be a brand new land that will completely immerse guests into the Star Wars universe! The land will feature two brand new, revolutionary attractions, unique food and beverage offerings, character interactions, specialty merchandise and more! The new land will be coming to both the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida! Galaxy’s Edge will be groundbreaking for the Disney Parks!

Alright so now lets talk about the opening dates! Drumroll please! ………..

 

Galaxy’s Edge: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort – Anaheim California

May 31, 2019

 

Galaxy’s Edge: Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort – Orlando Florida

August 29, 2019

 

These opening dates were an exciting surprise! Prior to finding out the official opening dates this morning, the rumor going around was that the opening dates were going to be much later in the year. Thats why so many including myself our beyond thrilled that the opening are a lot closer than we expected! These opening are just right around the corner!

 

 

Lets take a look at some of the fun you can look forward to in Galaxy’s Edge!

 

Attractions!

 

 

Galaxy’s Edge will be home to two brand new state-of-the-art attractions, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run andStar Wars: Rise of the Resistance! These attractions will be first of their kind and introduce new technology never before seen in theme parks!

 

 

In Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests will find themselves right in the middle of an epic battle between the Resistance and the First Order! From the information we know this attraction will hold the longest duration for a Disney attraction! The experience will actually have multiple rides within the same attraction! This is a first for the Disney Parks!

 

 

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, will be very interactive and allow guests to take the controls of the fastest ship in the galaxy on a special mission! How you perform your task during the mission will actually effect the outcome of your missions success! We know that there will be multiple ride sequences and everyone time your ride the attraction will be a different experience!

 

Food and Beverage Offerings!

 

 

Galaxy’s Edge will be a complete immersion into the Star Wars Universe! Every aspect of the land will be fully themed and that includes the food and beverage offerings! There will be many unique items that guest can taste!

 

 

You can visit Oga’s Cantina which will be a great place to grab a drink and catch up on the latest gossip while R-3X, formerly the Starspeeder pilot on the original Star Tours, DJ’s a collection of new music! Throughout the land you will find everything from quick-service meals to specialty drinks and snacks!

 

 

SO MUCH MORE!

 

 

In addition to world-class attractions and galactic culinary offerings there will be so much more to discover in Galaxy’s Edge! You can shop for specialty Star Wars merchandise that will be exclusive to the land! An item that will know will be very popular is the create your own light saber experience!

 

 

Throughout the land you will also get to have many exciting character interactions with your favorite Star Wars characters! Not only will you get to interact with characters but you will get to become a character in the story yourself! Depending on how you perform during such attractions such as Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run you will gain a reputation that you can get asked about during your visit in the land! This technology will be groundbreaking and truly give you the experience of being fully transported into the Star Wars Universe!

 

 

To hear more about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge check out our new YouTube video!

Watch our new YouTube video:

 

Rooms are filling up quickly now that we know the opening dates so be sure to contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner today to plan your next vacation and get to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for yourself!

NEW! TODAY Cafe Coming to Universal Studios Florida Inspired by the TODAY SHOW!

The TODAY Cafe is coming to Universal Orlando this spring! This café is inspired by NBC’s popular morning show, TODAY! This brand-new cafe will make guests feel like they have been transported right onto the TODAY show’s set! The café will feature unique theming and specialty menu offerings. TODAY Cafe will be located at Universal Studios Florida. You will find it right inside the Universal arches. It will be right across the street from the Universal Studios Store. TODAY Cafe will be the perfect spot to grab breakfast, lunch or a snack before or after enjoying the theme parks for the day. Universal’s creative and culinary teams have both teamed up with TODAY to create one-of-a-kind experiences! Let’s take a look at what’s in store!

 

 

The Dining Experience

The café’s venue is designed to make guests feel as though they have stepped right onto the set of Studio 1A in New York City where TODAY broadcasts daily. You will see bright orange awnings and large floor-to-ceiling windows that will line the outside of the café. There will also be an outdoor seating area designed to look like the TODAY plaza. Inside the café guests will be able to step into the stage lighting and TODAY’s vibrant orange theming with a modern and sleek design. When guests sit down to enjoy their cup of coffee and food, they can catch up on top headlines from TODAY’s live broadcast which will be playing inside the cafe!

 

 

Eat & Drink

The TODAY Cafe will have its own specialty coffee blend that has been made exclusively for the venue! This special blend will feature locally-roasted private label coffee! Guests will have the opportunity to sip handcrafted cappuccinos, espresso, lattes, iced coffee and more while enjoying pastries, made fresh on-site daily! This combination makes for the perfect breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up! Guests will also be able to enjoy unique and healthy menu options including avocado toast and an organic acai bowl, as well as sandwiches and salads! One of the standout features of the TODAY Cafe menu will be seasonal dishes inspired by a TODAY personality!

 

Classic Italian Sandwich

Porchetta, spicy capicola, coppa, provolone cheese, roasted tomato, arugula, basil aioli on a baguette

 

Avocado Toast

Fresh avocado, tomato, cucumber, artichokes, grilled red onion, roasted red pepper, tomato aioli, spring mix on toasted farmer’s white bread

 

Asian-Inspired Chicken Salad

Baby arugula, napa cabbage, radicchio, shitake mushrooms, daikon sprouts and wasabi cashews topped with soy peanut vinaigrette

 

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Brussel sprouts, arugula, farro, avocado and prosciutto topped with lemon olive oil vinaigrette

 

Vegan Sandwich

Oven roasted Portobello mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, carrots, vegan jalapeno cheese, sundried tomato pesto on cranberry artisan bread

 

Inspired by the fourth hour of the TODAY show, the café will have wine and beer on tap, as well as a delicious cheese platter for two!

 

We are so excited for this new addition to Universal Studios Florida! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next visit to Universal or to any destination that you are dreaming of visiting next!

Part 2 – 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts VIDEO – Walt Disney World

In today’s blog post I am excited to share with you part 2 of my experience at the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! If you read my previous post then you know how excited I was to be attending this festival for my very first time in person! This was the one festival that I had yet to experience for myself and now having returned from my vacation I can say that this festival just might be my favorite Epcot festival! The event encompasses everything from visual arts to culinary arts and even performing arts! Every corner of the park had something new and fun to discover!

 

 

I filmed my entire experience at Festival of the Arts and you can watch it all in our new video series on our YouTube Channel! Join me on part 2 of my Festival of the arts journey! Here’s what you will see in part 2:

 

We continued our first day at the festival by making our way to the Morocco Pavilion where we found “Mosaic Canteen,” the festival marketplace in Morocco. Looking over the menu I was instantly drawn to the Mediterranean Flatbread with Za’atar, Olive Oil Artichoke, Olives, Mozzarella, and Feta Cheese. This dish received a 5 out of 5 on my rating scale! It had a little kick of heat but the creaminess of the feta cheese definitely cut the spiciness. This flatbread was packed full of flavor and was such a unique item!

 

 

It was then time for our Frozen Ever After Fastpass! We changed up our path around World Showcase and backtracked toward Norway to get to our Fastpass. Along the way, we stopped to look at a few more of the art booths and some of the vendors. You can definitely make multiple laps around World Showcase and always end up coming across something new! We stopped to admire and browse through many of these art galleries. I found a table that I absolutely loved! This table’s base was made up of beautiful sculptures featuring characters from the Little Mermaid! Ariel has always been my favorite princess so I was fascinated with this beautiful work of art!

 

 

We then took a detour from festival activities to ride Frozen Ever After in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion, followed by a ride on the Grand Fiesta Tour in the Mexico Pavilion. After enjoying these two attractions it was time to experience the Festival of the Arts offering that I had been anticipating the most… the Animation Academy! If you have been a Disney parks fan for the past few years or more than you will most likely remember when the Animation Academy was a year-round attraction with a permanent home at Hollywood Studios. In this experience, you get to participate in a 20-minute-long drawing class with a Disney animator! By the end of the session you will have completed your very own Disney character drawing that you get to take home. My family and I always loved this experience! In the days back when Animation Academy was at Hollywood Studios we would at times go around and around, getting back in line and taking the class over and over again! Over the years, we brought home enough sketches to make our own gallery! A few years back Animation Academy at Hollywood Studios was replaced by Star War Launch Bay. Here’s the good news, the Animation Academy lives on at Festival of the Arts! During the event, you can visit the Animation Academy over at Epcot’s Odyssey Center! The class is structured exactly the same as when the experience was at Hollywood Studios! I was so excited to be back at the Animation Academy! We did two classes back to back. During our first class, we drew Pluto and during our second class we drew Chip from Beauty and the Beast!

 

 

After our class at Animation Academy we ventured into Future World to explore more of the offerings for Festival of the Arts. Over by Test Track we found “Taste Track,” a festival marketplace. There was one item here that I specifically wanted, the Paintbrush Churros! These are Mini Cinnamon Sugar Churros Dipped in Colorful White Chocolate! Be sure to snap a picture of these before enjoying them because the presentation is too cute! The churros are served to you inside of a paper cone. The tops of each churro features cascading colorful white chocolate that gives the look of paint running down a paintbrush! It is adorable and it taste incredible! A churro is a classic theme park treat and the white chocolate just enhanced it to a whole new level of deliciousness!

 

 

After enjoying those delicious churros, it was time to head out of the park for the night and back to our resort. We made our way to the front of Epcot, but before heading to catch our resort bus we made sure to stop and admire the Festival of the Arts display at the front entrance of the park! We had entered early this day through the entrance at International gateway so this was our first time seeing the beautiful and colorful festival display that is at the front of the park! The display featured a topiary of figment holding a paintbrush and all around him were rainbows and splashes of color!

 

Watch our YouTube Video:

 

We then said goodnight to Epcot and caught the bus back to our hotel, but this was just the begin for our time at the Festival! Stay tuned for part 3, when we come back for our second day at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts!

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to plan your next trip to the Walt Disney World Resort or to any destination that you are dreaming of visiting next!

Part 1 – 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts VIDEO – Walt Disney World

This past Monday February 25 marked the final day of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts for this 2019 season. This year was my first time getting to attend the event and now I am counting the days until the 2020 Festival of the Arts! I loved every aspect of this festival and have so much I am excited to share. So far here on our blog I have loved showing you our search for Figment during Figment’s Brush with the Master Scavenger Hunt and sharing my recap of my top 5 favorite moments from the festival! Now I am so excited to take you on my full journey at the festival from the beginning all the way through our vacation! In the coming days, here on our blog and on our YouTube channel I will be sharing my full Festival of the Arts experience in video form!

 

 

I vlogged each day that my family and I visited the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts and from all the footage I am going to share each moment with you through a multi-part video series. Here is what you will see in part 1:

 

On our first full day of our trip my family and I were ready to take on our first ever day at Epcot’s Festival of the Arts! We entered Epcot through the International Gateway entrance, this is a side entrance to the park that will bring you right into World Showcase! We had spent our morning at Disney Springs so we decided to take a bus to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort located in the Epcot Resort area and then walk to the park through the International Gateway. Since most of the offerings for this festival can be found around World Showcase, this entrance was a great way to dive right into the action!

 

 

First before starting anything else we stopped to grab a festival passport as soon as we came in the gate! The festival passport is a staple item at every festival that Epcot puts on. Inside this little booklet, you will find a guide to all the offerings that the event has to offer. You will see information on entertainment offerings, full menus for each festival marketplace and more! Once we grabbed our passports we made our way into our first World Showcase pavilion, the United Kingdom! Alice was in the middle of her Meet and Greet and this was when I spotted one of the first sights of the festival! Alice was greeting guests next to an easel that had a canvas with a painting of the White Rabbit! During festival of the Arts all of the characters who meet throughout the World Showcase will have a piece of art with them! It makes for a very cute photo op!

 

 

Speaking of photo ops, this brings us to one of the next festival offerings we came across, the “Artful Photo Ops!” Throughout Epcot you can find special photo ops that depict many famous works of art. You and your family get to step inside these masterpieces and become part of the work of art yourself! It is so much fun! The first festival photo op we came across was located between the United Kingdom Pavilion and the Canada Pavilion. This set up looked like an open storybook with scenes from Peter Pan. One page was the Mermaid lagoon and the other page was Skull Rock! Also while we were in the United Kingdom we came across our first visual art decal. These decals can be found throughout World Showcase, they create the impression that they have been painted on the side of the building! They are great pieces of visual art!

 

 

We continued our walk around World Showcase and soon came across our first Art of Disney stand! Throughout all of Epcot you will find tents set up selling wonderful art pieces! Throughout the festival, the artists themselves will come to do signings of their work and meet guests. The first art gallery we came across was the WonderGround Gallery. We had a very magical moment happen here because this very first gallery we came upon happened to have an artist there right then! As we approached closer I realized it was Ashley Taylor! Ashley creates incredible Disney Inspired Art and I love her work! I was able to purchase a print and get it signed by her. She was so sweet and lovely to chat with!

 

 

We explored a few more galleries and then made our way to the Expression Section: A-Paint-by-Number Mural! This massive mural is a larger than life paint by number that comes to life through the help of Epcot guests! All guests can do their part in painting this work of art! We got our paint and were assigned 5 squares to paint. After my family and I painted our squares we turned in our paint and paintbrush and the cast member handed us a postcard that showed the finished product of what the mural will look like upon completion! It is a very fun keepsake to take home with you and remember your vacation!

 

 

After painting we began getting hungry and were ready to explore the culinary arts sector of the festival! We continued our walk around World Showcase and looked at the multitude of festival booths we saw along the way. We ended up trying our first two food items from ‘Cuisine Classique’ located by the Germany Pavilion. From here we tried the Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Puree, Broccolini. Baby Tomatoes, and Aged Balsamic. We also tried the Seared Corvina with braised Ratatouille and Lemon-Thyme Beurre Blanc. Spoiler Alert! We gave both of these dished a 5 out of 5 on our rating scale! They were delicious and plated with such artistry and attention to detail!

 

 

We found some more art photo ops including The Birth of Venus, The Scream, The Mona Lisa and Washington Crossing the Delaware! We also spotted several more of those fun art decals including Timon and Pumbaa, Pascal and more!

 

 

From The Artist’s Table in the American Adventure Pavilion we tried our next two festival food items. We had the Beef Wellington with Mushroom Bordelaise, Fennel Cream, and Roasted Baby Vegetables. We also had the Pan-seared Scallop with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, and Parmesan Crisp.

 

 

We then took a walk through my personal favorite shop in the World Showcase, Japan’s Mitsukoshi! Inside the store they had some special merchandise displays for Festival of the Arts! We then explored more of the festival gallery tents including a stand devoted to pop-up cards. We also looked at the festival merchandise which featured a lot of Figment! I love Figment, he is a classic! So I am very happy with all the fun Figment merchandise!

 

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of our journey at Festival of the Arts!

 

Now is the perfect time to start planning for the 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Our team here at Kingdom Magic Vacation is always ready to help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World or to any destination that you may be dreaming of next!

 

My Top 5 Favorite Things During my Visit to the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Walt Disney World

 

Just a few days ago I returned from an amazing vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort! Every visit to Disney is special but my family and I all agreed that this trip in particular was one of our favorites! We were blessed with such a perfect trip and got to see and do so much during our time in the world. This trip was very different for us. We typically travel to Disney World for a week-long stay at a time, however this trip we came for a long weekend arriving on a Thursday and returning late Monday. Even though this trip was a quick one, we did SO MUCH during our time at Disney and every moment was filled with magic! Prior to this vacation, February had never been a typical time for us to travel to WDW. However, we planned this trip around this time frame for a very specific reason, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts!

 

 

2019 marked the third year for this annual Epcot festival and until last week this festival remained the only Epcot Festival that I had not personally experienced. That all changed during this vacation and now that I have experienced Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts, I have so much to share!

 

 

The International Festival of the Arts celebrates art in all mediums, with a focus on everything from visual arts, to performing arts and culinary arts! I am an art lover! In my free-time I love oil painting and drawing. Going to see shows and the theatre have always been something I enjoy. And I am a foodie and love getting to try new culinary creations! From the Festival of the Arts beginning I remember remarking that this festival sounded like it was made for me! Every aspect of this event was either a hobby of mine or something I loved! That is why getting to attend my first Festival of the Arts in person was such an incredible moment for me! Here are 5 of my favorite experiences from my time at this year’s 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts!

1. Animation Academy

You may remember a few years back Hollywood Studios was home to a little thing called the Animation Academy. In this experience, you got to participate in a 20-minute drawing class instructed by a Disney animator and by the end of the class you have created a Disney character and get to take your masterpiece home with you. This was always one of my family and I’s favorite things to do at Hollywood Studios and there were many days when we would go around and around again and take several classes in a row! To this day, we have a collection in our house of all the drawing we brought home from Animation Academy over the years! We were sad to see this experience go when the Animation building at Hollywood Studios was reimagined into the Star Wars Launch Bay. However, I have good news… the Animation Academy lives on! This experience is alive and well during the Festival of the Arts! That’s right, inside of Epcot’s Odyssey building you will find the Animation Academy! The class structure is just like the experience that once was at Hollywood Studios and I could not be more thrilled! We did the class twice during our time at the festival, the first time we drew Pluto and the second time we drew Chip, the teacup from Beauty and the Beast! This experience is unlike anything else and I am so happy that they have brought Animation Academy to the Festival of the Arts!

2. Meeting Ashley Taylor!

Visual arts have a big presence at the Festival of the Arts, throughout World Showcase and Future World you will find pop-up tents featuring paintings, sculptures, prints and more! All of this art is actually available to purchase and take home with you. I spent a lot of time checking out these art tents. My family and I all collect Disney prints and love filling our homes with Disney artwork. Bringing Disney art home is a great way to remember your vacation and your happy place! What is so cool about these pop-up art tents is that each day different artists come to do meet and greets and signings!  I had a very magical moment as soon as we walked into Festival of the Arts! I met Ashley Taylor! Our first day attending the festival we actually came in though Epcot’s International gateway entrance and the first pop-up booth we came across was located over by the Canada pavilion. I saw this booth happened to have an artist there signing her work. As we got closer I realized it was Ashley Taylor. I am a big fan of her art so the fact that we got to see her on our very first day at the festival, at the very first booth we came across was such a perfect timing moment! I purchased a print and got it signed by Ashley and enjoyed chatting with her for a bit! This aspect of the festival is one that I think is so original and so special! The fact that you can have a personal meeting with a Disney artist and get a piece of art personalized by them is so cool!

3. Food!

As I said before I am a proud self-proclaimed foodie! I love getting to try new dishes and cuisines. The Epcot Festivals are a great way to expand your palate! What I love about the food and beverage offerings at all of the Epcot festivals are that the portions are all tasting sizes, allowing you to try multiple items during your visit and never fill up on just one dish. This is a great way to try new things as well! This is how I found out I like escargot (aka snails)! A few years back at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival I got brave and ate a snail! I LOVED IT! Here’s the thing, if it wasn’t for the festival portions the only chance I would have had to try escargot would have been ordering a full entrée of it somewhere and I would have never done that being unsure if I liked it or not. That is the great thing about the festival, you get those opportunities to try new things you wouldn’t typically try! That is why I was so excited to check out the culinary offerings available at this event! The Festival of the Arts food and drink items stand out on their own from the culinary items found at any other Epcot festival. All of these items are truly unique and original. For the Festival of the Arts the food dishes all have a big emphasis on the artistry that goes into the dish! You will notice that the plating of these festival items is incredible! The food and drink offerings all look too good to eat! I recommend when you order from the market places be sure to watch the chef actually plate your dish because it is done with so much attention to detail and artistry! A stand-out item for me was the Sous-Vide Poulet Rouge Chicken Roulade from Pop Eats! For dessert, I loved the Paintbrush Churros from Taste Track! They were such a novelty and so cute to take a picture of!

4. Disney on Broadway Concerts!

I have always enjoyed the theatre and going to see shows! So for me another big highlight was the Disney on Broadway Concert Series! Every night during the Festival of the Arts performers from Disney Broadway Shows will perform Disney Broadway songs and share stories with guests about their experience working for Disney on Broadway! It has always been my dream to see a Disney on Broadway production in New York City and I was able to get a taste of what is in store right in Epcot! The performing artists that Disney brings in are so talented! Throughout the festival’s run they will rotate through a few pairs of Disney on Broadway performers. During our visit, we got to see Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee. They were incredible! Heidi is known for her role in Freaky Friday and best known for playing Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Broadway! Gavin originated the role of Bert in the West End and Broadway’s production of Disney’s Mary Poppins! He was nominated for both an Oliver and Tony Awards! These performances showcasing the incredible Disney on Broadway talents happen a few times a night at Epcot’s American Gardens Theatre! Be sure to check the times out when you visit, these shows are a must do at the festival!

5. Art Everywhere!

This is the Epcot International Festival of the Arts and for this event Disney truly goes all out with immersing you in the world of art everywhere you turn in the park! The next aspect that I want to share with you is how art is happening live time around you everywhere and it is so magical! What is really cool about this event is that you are not just admiring completed pieces of art but you also get to watch the creation of many works of art and even participate in bringing some of the art to life for yourself! One of my favorite acts we got to see was an artist on the Fountain Stage in world showcase who painted to music! You had to see it to believe it. He danced to modern pop music as he painted and within minutes created a work of art featuring a Disney character! This performance is called “Visual Art in Performance.” What I think is really neat is that after the artist is done his masterpiece on stage the painting is then brought over to a festival pop-up tent and you could get the opportunity to purchase the piece you just saw created onstage! Talk about a cool conversation piece to have in your house!

Another awesome visual art component of the festival is the chalk art! Every day chalk artists come to Epcot and created both 2-D and even 3-D masterpieces on the ground using chalk! This is so cool because once again not only do you get to admire the finished product but you also get to enjoy watching the progress of the artist creating their work! We enjoyed seeing the artist starting their work in the beginning of the day and then checking back later on to see the end result! My personal favorite was the 3-dimensional chalk art! It blows me away how they create these pieces that actually look so realistic and like you can reach out and touch them! These also make for some very fun photo-ops!

Another great part of the art happening around you is that there are opportunities for you to get hands on and make art as well! I loved the Expression Section: A Paint by Number Mural! With this experience, you received a paintbrush and a cup of paint with a number on it. You are then assigned so many squares that you get to paint that has your corresponding number. It is so cool to be a part of something so big! After you paint your squares and hand in your paint a cast member will present you with a postcard that shows what the end mural will look like so you can see what you are helping contribute to! This makes a great keepsake to bring home from your trip!

These were just a few of the reasons I loved the Epcot International Festival of the Arts! This year’s event runs through February 25th 2019. I am already dreaming of next year’s festival! I think Festival of the Arts may now hold a top spot as one of my favorite events that Epcot puts on, it has everything, food, entertainment and tons of creative energy everywhere you turn! Now is the perfect time to plan a visit for the 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today!

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – NEW Attraction Opening THIS SUMMER at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort!

 

This has been an exciting week for Universal Orlando! The Universal Orlando Resort has now shared details and concept art about their brand-new Harry Potter roller coaster that will be opening THIS SUMMER inside of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Let’s check it out!

 

For some time now we have known that a new coaster was under construction at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, in Universal Orlando. However as far as details of the coasters theme and backstory, we really didn’t know much! Well now that has changed! We now know that guest will get to join Hagrid on a coaster that shares a great resemblance to his bike with the side car that he first gave Harry Potter himself a ride in! From the look of the concept art it will appear that we get to step right inside of the movie! I am so excited!

 

In this brand-new attraction, we will get to join Hagrid and fly far beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle! During this thrilling roller coaster ride we will plunge into the paths of some of the Wizarding World’s rarest magical creatures. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal’s most highly themed coaster opens June 13, 2019! I am so excited that this coaster’s opening day is just around the corner! You can find the new ride only at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, in Universal Orlando!

 

Now is the perfect time to plan your summer vacation to the Universal Orlando Resort! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today!

Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White! NEW Disney World Character Dining!

 

There is now a new character dining experience to be found at the Walt Disney World Resort! Many Disney fans are filled with joy about this brand-new character meal addition! Character Dining is a staple experience at the Disney Parks! During a character meal, you get to meet your favorite Disney characters all while you enjoy the culinary offerings that Disney is known for! A character meal provides a unique and very exclusive way to meet the Disney characters. You get to skip the long lines and wait times that are typical for some of Disney’s most popular meet and greets, plus – you get more quality time to spend interacting with the characters in a much more laid-back setting! Booking a character meal gives you a guarantee that you will meet those characters during your vacation!

 

 

For these reasons, Character Dining is a very sought after experience at Disney World! Character Dining reservations get filled up very quickly, that is why fans are rejoicing over the fact that another character meal experience has been added to Disney World’s Character Dining line-up! This new character meal can be found over at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. Artist Point has received a new whimsical overlay and been transformed into Storybook Dining at Artist Point. Storybook dining features characters from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!

 

 

On my most recent Disney World visit I met up with two of our amazing Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planners, Alyssa and Karen and we went to check out everything that Storybook Dining had to offer!

 

 

This Dining experience is only one table service credit if you are on a Disney Dining Plan making it an incredible value for everything that you get and the interactions you get to have with the characters! If you are paying for the meal outright, it is a set price of $55 for adults and $33 for children ages 3-9 (tax and gratuity not included).

 

 

We checked in for our reservation at Artist Point and were soon escorted into the Enchanted Forest! The attention to detail in this restaurant is incredible! Beautifully lighted tree branches cascade down from the ceiling making you truly feel like you are in a fairytale world!

 

 

Let’s talk about the food! I have been to several other character dining experiences at Disney and this meal by far was my favorite for food quality and selections! Artist Point is known to be a signature dining location and that definitely shows in the menu offerings put together for Storybook Dining! You will first enjoy a selection of creative appetizers! These appetizers are all served family style to your table. Each person gets their own perfectly plated portion! Here is a list of the appetizers your will receive:

  • Hunter’s Pie – with chicken, black truffle, and stone fruit preserve
  • Winter Squash Bisque – with caramel loli and granola served in a black cauldron
  • Wicked Shrimp Cocktail – with soy, miso, avocado, thai chili, and greens

My personal favorite was the Hunters Pie!

 

Kids have their own special selection of appetizers that they will love! Our waiter was so kind to bring us over one of the children’s appetizers so we could see what it included. This restaurant truly has something for everyone. Artist Point had every member of the family in mind when crafting this incredible menu!

 

 

Now it is time to talk about the entrees! As part of your pre-fixe meal each guest gets to select one entrée. There is a very wide array of entrees offered here! Everyone in your party is sure to find something that they love! Here are the selection of entrees:

  • “Cottage” Seafood Stew – Shrimp, Bay Scallops, Mussels, Tomato, Fennel
  • A Stroll through Nature – Butternut Squash, Arugula, Gnocchi, Sage, Parmesan
  • Magic Mirror Slow-braised Veal Shank – Celery Root Mashed, Wilted Winter Greens, Jus
  • Royal Prime Rib Roast -Horseradish Mashed Potato, Hay-smoked Carrots, Popover, Jus
  • Brother’s Grimm Roasted Chicken – Confit Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Apples, and Chestnut Butter
  • Bashful’s Butter-poached Snapper – Root Vegetable Risotto, Wild Mushroom, Citrus-Butter Sauce

I ordered the snapper based off of our waiter’s recommendation and I LOVED this meal! The fish was fresh and that citrus-butter sauce made this dish in my opinion! I really enjoyed this meal! Alyssa and Karen both also enjoyed their entrees! We cannot rave enough about how fantastic the food is at this restaurant!

 

 

Now for the best part… dessert! Just like with the appetizers the desserts are also served family style as part of your pre-fixe meal. This was another major highlight for me! Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • The Miner’s Treasure – sponge cake, chocolate gems, and buttercream icing
  • Fairy Tale Gooseberry Pie – with meringue.
  • “Poison” Apple – white chocolate apple mousse with a sour center.

 

 

Soon after being presented with these three delicious goodies our waiter then presented us with, “The Hunter’s Gift to the Queen” the presentation here is amazing! Have your camera ready because this box of treats comes out steaming with smoke! A very cool effect! Inside the box, you will find crackled maple popcorn and ganache hearts!

 

 

Now that you know about the incredible food to be enjoy here let’s talk about the characters! During your meal, you will get to meet Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy and the Evil Queen. Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy all come around and visit every table. While the Evil Queen makes her grand arrival and then stays in her location in the center of the restaurant as an optional meet and greet that you can partake in after your meal. This is a great set up. This way children who may be scared of the evil queen will not have to see her unless they want to.

 

 

The character interactions that we had were wonderful! Each character truly took their time to interact with us and take lots of pictures. Intermittently throughout the meal music will begin to play and the characters will dance around the restaurant! It is very cute and so fun to watch!

 

If you would like to join us on our journey into the Enchanted Forest you can do so by watching our new YouTube Video!

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to book your next adventure!

 

 

Best Universal Orlando Vacation Tip! How to get Universal Express Unlimited Pass For FREE!

 

Are you looking for a way to take your Universal Orlando Vacation to the next level?! Well do we have the Universal Vacation tip for you! This Universal vacation tip is a game changer! It will enhance your visit in ways you never thought possible, we are talking about getting Universal Express Unlimited pass for FREE! That’s right! It all starts by contacting your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner and booking your next stay at any of the amazing Universal Orlando Resorts! Staying at a Universal Orlando Resort gives you many benefits and perks! One of the amazing perks that comes with staying at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel is that you get a FREE Universal Express Unlimited pass!

Universal Express Unlimited is free when you stay at one of these three hotels:

  • Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Portofino Bay Hotel - Universal Studios Orlando Resort Hotel

  • Hard Rock Hotel Orlando

 

  • Loews Royal Pacific Resort

    5 Hidden Gems At Loews Royal Pacific Resort

You may be wondering, what is a Universal Express Unlimited pass? It’s a pass that lets you skip the regular stand-by lines to almost all of Universal’s rides and attractions! The best part is, the pass is UNLIMITED! You can ride your favorites again and again never having to wait in line! For example, if you want to ride Revenge of the Mummy more than one time, you can use your Universal Express Unlimited pass to skip the regular line, as many times as you want! It’s that easy! All you need is a stay at one of the three hotels we mentioned and use your hotel room key.

 

 

To get you excited for your next visit here are just a few of the rides you can ride with Universal Express Unlimited:

  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

 

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

 

  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong

 

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure

 

  • MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack

 

These are just a few examples of some of our favorites! The list of rides goes on and on!

 

So now all you have to do is plan your next visit to the Universal Orlando Resort. Your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner can help you choose the Universal Resort that is right for you and assist you in planning your perfect getaway!

 

 

 

 

Figment’s Brush with the Masters at Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts 2019!

 

I recently returned home from an incredible visit to the Walt Disney World Resort! It was magical! This vacation had a lot of first for me, I had never visited Disney World in the month of February ever before. It is not a month that my family and I typically travel but this long weekend trip in February was planned for a very specific reason, we choose to visit this time of year to attend our very first Epcot International Festival of the Arts!

 

 

2019 marked the third year for Epcot’s Festival of the Arts and up until just a few day ago this was the only Epcot festival that I had not personally attended. As an art lover, I was filled with so much anticipation and excitement going into my first Festival of the Arts! Let’s just say all of my expectations were exceeded and then some! I LOVE THIS FESTIVAL! Be on the lookout for many upcoming post about my experience at this wonderful event! I have so much that I can’t wait to share!

 

 

Today I want to share with you a fun activity that you can participate in at the Festival of the Arts, Figment’s Brush with the Masters! This experience is a scavenger hunt challenge that takes place in each pavilion throughout World Showcase. If you are familiar with Remy’s Hide and Squeak during the Food and Wine Festival or Egg-stravaganza during Easter it is similar to these scavenger hunt experiences! You are on the hunt to find famous paintings throughout World Showcase and must use your map and sticker sheet to match each painting to the corresponding country you found it in.

 

 

There are several locations throughout Epcot that you can purchase your map. You can choose to also pick up your prize right then or wait to redeem it after you have completed the challenge. My family and I had a blast doing this experience! I found that by having something you are hunting for in each country, it makes you to stop in each pavilion and truly appreciate the details that are all around you! I was noticing things in each country that I had never noticed before!

 

 

Figment’s Brush with the master challenge would be perfect for kids because it gives them something to do while parents might want to spend time sampling some of the many wonderful culinary offerings that can be found at the festival! We saw so many kids enjoying the challenge and excited to explore each pavilion and find Figment!

 

 

If you want to see what Figment’s Brush with the Masters is all about, join me in our new YouTube video! I vlogged my family experience hunting for Figment! I hope you have as much fun watching as we had searching each pavilion! You are sure to get some laughs at us circling back to pavilions when the quest got challenging! Enjoy!

 

Plan your next adventure by contacting your Kingdom Magic vacations travel Planner. Our knowledgeable and passionate team is ready to help you plan the perfect trip that encompasses everything you are looking for!

VIDEO TOUR – The Art Corner! – NEW SHOP now open at Disney Springs – Artistic Talent Group – Walt Disney World

 

On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World I just so happened to visit Disney Springs on a very special day! I was strolling through Disney Springs on the opening day of The Art Corner, a brand-new shop run by Artistic Talent Group! Talk about being in the right place at the right time! This trip I was staying at a Disney Springs Resort Area Hotel and upon checking in my family and I first decided to head over and explore Disney Springs for a bit before making our way to the parks for our evening plans.

 

During our walk through the Marketplace side of Disney Springs we spotted The Art Corner! This new store took the place of where LittleMissMatched used to be. Having not recognized this new shop we wondered inside and were instantly amazed by all of the creativity that is flowing through this incredible new place! We were greeted by many smiling faces who were so kind to talk to us about everything that The Art Corner has to offer! Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to see inside!

 

 

Artistic Talent Group has brought a brand-new retail and entertainment concept to Disney Springs! This shop specializes in interactive art of all kinds! Visitors to the store can expect to see a wide selection of unique artistic mediums brought together inside of The Art Corner!

 

Opening!

The shop opened February 7th 2019 at Disney Springs. The store brings an exciting and original new pop-up concept to Disney World’s bustling shopping, dining and entertainment district!

The Art Corner serves as the first brick-and-mortar retail shop of its kind at Walt Disney World, The Art Corner brings together in one location the work from a variety of talented artists!

 

What’s inside!

The Art Corner showcases talented artists producing original work including classic watercolor caricatures, ground-breaking digital caricatures, hand-drawn names and artistic marbling. Caricatures have been a guest favorite at Walt Disney World for decades! Now brand-new, digital caricatures offer an innovative twist on this classic art form.

 

 

 

Name Works, the popular provider of personalized artwork, also has a new location inside The Art Corner, complementing its other locations across Walt Disney World! At Name Works, hand-drawn names are created and personalized with illustrations of guests’ favorite things, including select animated characters!

 

 

After a successful debut at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts in 2018, the interactive, hands-on artistic marbling activity now has a year-round home inside The Art Corner. This customizable experience allows guests to learn the ancient art form of Suminigashi, working along-side a professional artisan to create custom-made silk items. Each piece is designed with specific colors and patterns that the guest themselves get to select!

 

 

Inside The Art Corner you will also find a unique “Coffee & Canvas” gallery by Steven Mikel. Steven is an artist from Coconut Creek, Florida who is represented by Artisitic talent Group. This artist’s work adds a very original touch of whimsy to the store. Focused on revealing the overlooked or unnoticed beauty tucked away in the details of the world around us, Steven paints exclusively using different varieties of coffee!  Every painting often requiring between 60 to 150 brewed cups! The “Coffee & Canvas” gallery helps define the unique niche this gallery/merchandise location brings to Disney Springs over the course of its one-year engagement.

 

“Our goal is to continue Walt Disney’s vision of bringing smiles to the faces of every guest who visits our store, just as they do when they visit Walt Disney World Resort,” said Barbara and Keelan Parham, owners of Artistic Talent Group. “We are thrilled to open our doors and bring The Art Corner to life at Disney Springs!”

 

I had the privilege to Interview The Art Corner’s Owner, Keelan Parham. He was so kind to welcome us into his shop and take us on a tour throughout the store to see everything that The Art Corner has for guests to enjoy! Watch the tour on our YouTube Channel:

 

 

Artistic Talent Group

Artistic Talent Group (ATG) is a talent agency representing visual artists for the special events industry. ATG divisions include Caricature Connection, who have been drawing caricatures and other products on Disney property for over twenty-five years, and Name Works, who create personalized pieces of artwork featuring guest’s names.

 

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner to plan your next vacation!

7 Reason to Love Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort!

 

Do you enjoy catching festive beads from colorful parade floats, feasting on authentic New Orleans cuisine and rocking out to some of the biggest names in music?! If so, Mardi Gras at the Universal Orlando Resort is an event you must see! Let’s look at 7 reason why you will love Universal’s Mardi Gras!

 

  1. Live concerts featuring some of the biggest names in music!

On select nights of Mardi Gras, some very popular artists will perform live at the Music Plaza Stage in Universal Studios Florida! These acts are INCLUDED free as part of the event! Here’s a look at the lineup:

February 9 – BUSH

February 16 – Gavin DeGraw

February 17 – Dan + Shay

February 23 – Macklemore

March 2 – Sabrina Carpenter

March 9 – Becky G

March 10 – Sean Paul

March 16 – Steve Miller Band

March 17 – Ziggy Marley

March 23 – NF

March 24 – Pitbull

March 30 – Bazzi

March 31 – To be announced

 

  1. Universal Mardi Gras Parade

Every year the Universal Mardi Gras Parade features a new original theme. This year’s theme is –  Party Animals! Guests can look forward to seeing returning fan-favorites along with many new vibrant floats! The float will feature fun characters decorated to depict animals from around the world including the jungle, arctic, swamp and more. Get ready to catch beads by the handful during this exciting parade!

 

  1. Enjoy N’awlins-style food

Located in the New York area, you will find the French Quarter Courtyard. Here you will find some delicious N’awlins-style favorite food and drink offerings! You can look forward to trying many Cajun classics such as jambalaya, shrimp gumbo, andouille sausage, sugary-sweet beignets, and more! This year all of the food offerings are severed as tasting size portions to give you the opportunity to try multiple food and beverage items!

 

  1. Mardi Gras Drinks

With all the amazing food items to try you need a refreshing beverage to wash it all down! Guests will be able to enjoy Mardi Gras themed specialty drinks, featuring slushies, a wide variety of craft beers and wonderful cocktails including the Ragin Rumbalaya, Carnival Cocktail and Vicious VooDoo!

 

  1. Live Entertainment and Performers

Over at the French Quarter Courtyard you can become part of the Mardi Gras celebration as you interact with stilt walkers, dancers, vibrant parade characters and more who can all be found wandering the streets! Remember that not only do the Mardi Gras characters carry extra beads, but they also love to talk to guests and take photos with you! These photos make for great memories!

 

  1. Big Easy Music in the French Quarter

Also in the French Quarter area at the event you can catch the musical stylings of many authentic Big Easy bands! This can’t be missed! Here is the band lineup:

February 9 – 17: Dirty Bourbon River Show

February 18 – 27: Naughty Professor Brass Band

February 28 – March 18: Free Agents Brass Band featuring Honey Bannister

March 19 – April 4: New Breed Brass Band

 

  1. Have the best time ever!

Whether you are heading to Mardi Gras for a night full of family-friendly fun, or planning to visit with friends for a wild night out, you are sure to have the time of your life! There is something for everyone at this party! Best part, this event is included free with the cost of your admission to Universal!

 

 

We hope you plan to visit Mardi Gras this year at the Universal Orlando Resort! Your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner is always ready to help you plan your next adventure to Universal Orlando or to any destination that you are looking to travel to next!

 

Disney’s Grand Floridian Cafe Video! Walt Disney World Restaurant

 

Disney’s Grand Floridian Café is a hidden gem, located at Disney’s luxurious Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at the Walt Disney World Resort! This table service restaurant can be found just off of the resort’s main lobby. It is quite, tucked away and truly grand! The restaurant’s décor and atmosphere is themed in an elegant and Victorian style just like the rest of this beautiful resort. The menu here has something for everyone. It is classic comfort food done in a sophisticated style! My personal favorite that I get every time is The Café Sandwich. This hot sandwich is served open-faced with ham, roasted turkey, bacon and tomato. It is then topped with a creamy boursin cheese sauce and served with a side of freshly made onion rings. Other popular items here include the Lobster ‘Thermidor’ Burger, the Buttermilk-fried Chicken and Miso-glazed Salmon.

 

 

During breakfast and lunch this restaurant features the same brunch-style menu. A well-known item here is the restaurant’s benedicts! They offer eggs benedict in several variations including the Traditional Eggs Benedict, the Spicy Chorizo Benedict and the Lobster Benedict! If you can’t make up your mind you can go for the Benedict flight which has all three of these signature benedicts!

 

 

I recommend this dining location as a great place to escape Magic Kingdom mid-day to come have a wonderful meal. You can easily access the Grand Floridian from the Magic Kingdom via a boat or monorail. Your commute over to the resort from the park take only a few minutes so coming here for a meal is a great time to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks. You can sit down and relax at one of Disney Worlds most peaceful resorts and allow yourself to refuel and be refreshed to then head back into the parks for an awesome night!

 

 

If you want to see my most recent experience at this wonderful restaurant then check out our most recent YouTube video!

 

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort or to any destination that you are dreaming of visiting next!

Best Places to Propose at Walt Disney World! Disney Engagement!

 

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner this is the perfect time to talk about love! Love brightens our days and fills our lives with joy! One of the best places to celebrate love is Walt Disney World! The Disney parks are known as a wonderful family destination but it is also a very romantic destination. There are so many things at Disney for couples to enjoy! From Food and Wine Festivals to recreation of every kind, the date ideas are truly endless! After all Disney teaches us in so many of their stories that true love conquers all! So many places within Disney World provide such a beautiful romantic backdrop, that’s why Disney World is one of the best places to get engaged!

 

For any Disney loving couple a Disney proposal will be a fairytale come true and the perfect start to your very own happily ever after! Once you have decided to pop the question in Walt Disney World, it is time to decide where exactly you want to get down on one knee. Everyone know that the Walt Disney World Resort is huge, with 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Springs and over 30 resort hotels, you have a wide array of proposal locations to choose from. Wherever you choose to get engaged it is sure to be a very special and magical moment! If you are looking for some ideas here are 5 proposal locations suggestions!

 

  1. California Grill

The California Grill is a signature dining restaurant located on the top floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The restaurant is beautifully decorated in a sleek, modern style. Floor to ceiling glass windows encase the restaurant, perfectly showcasing the breathtaking views that makes this dining establishment an icon! From the Cali Grill, you get a birds-eye view of the Magic Kingdom Park! You can watch the sunset over Disney’s Seven Seas lagoon and watch the monorails wiz past below you. On the opposite side of the restaurant you can watch the Disney watercrafts cruise around Bay Lake and in the distance, see the icons of Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom! This restaurant has 4 outdoor observation decks, one on each corner of the restaurant. From these decks you can truly appreciate those jaw-dropping views. These decks are also one of the best spots on property to watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks! Seeing the show from this unique location is very romantic! The California Grill is an amazing proposal spot! You can choose to propose over dinner or make the moment more intimate by going out on one of the observation decks!

 

  1. Grand Floridian or Polynesian Beaches

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are both beautiful deluxe Disney Resort hotels that sit just off the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon (the body of water that leads across to the Magic Kingdom.) Both of these resorts feature gorgeous white sand beaches that are very peaceful and romantic. Take your loved one for a walk down to the beach, find a quite spot and pop the question! These beaches are a wonderful proposal spot because they are secluded yet still in the middle of the Disney magic! From any of the beaches you can see Cinderella’s Castle in the distance! So Magical! This location is also a great spot to view the Magic Kingdom fireworks. If you want you could even plan to propose here at nighttime during the fireworks!

 

  1. In front of Cinderella’s Castle

If you are looking to make more of a public proclamation of your love you can do the classic showstopper and get down on one knee right in front of Cinderella’s Castle in the heart of the Magic Kingdom! Proposing in front of the most iconic location in all of Disney World always grabs the attention of a large crowd. I have seen proposals in front of the castle before and all the surrounding guests always stop in their tracks to cheer for the newly engaged couple! This proposal idea is definitely an energetic one and a great one if you are looking for the theatrics of it all! You will absolutely make your partner feel like royalty! If the pomp and circumstance isn’t necessarily your thing but you still want to propose by Cinderella’s Castle there are some more intimate alternatives. To the right-hand side of the castle there is a pathway that has a wishing well. Proposing here is a little more private than right in front of the castle but yet you still get that castle backdrop!

 

  1. Epcot’s World Showcase

World Showcase at Epcot allows you to travel the world without a passport! You can visit pavilions that represent countries from all over the globe! If you have visited Epcot before then you know how beautiful the World Showcase is! There is so much to explore and so many great tucked away spots that could make for a perfect proposal setting. I would suggest taking a stroll around the world showcase together and when you find that perfect spot that it just right, make that the moment you get down on one knee! To give you a couple location ideas there is a beautiful waterfall that is hidden away at the very top of the stairs in the back of the Canada pavilion. There is also a bridge in front of the Italy Pavilion near the gondolas that is typically a quiet and beautiful location overlooking the World Showcase Lagoon. Sometime you may even get lucky and there is a Disney PhotoPass photographer in this area who would be able to capture the moment!

 

  1. Disney Transportation

No, we are not talking Disney busses or monorails, we are talking about a more personal and private transportation experience. Did you know you can book a romantic carriage ride at either Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground or Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort! How romantic would an evening carriage ride be around the grounds of a beautifully landscaped Disney Resort for your special moment! Another Disney transportation experience would be to book a Disney fireworks boat cruise! This experience can happen at either Seven Seas Lagoon for the Magic Kingdom fireworks or at World Showcase Lagoon for the Epcot fireworks. This would make for a very romantic and intimate setting to propose.

 

Hope these suggestions get you inspired for your own Walt Disney World proposal! As always, your Kingdom Magic vacations Travel Planner is ready to help you plan your Next Disney Vacation! Our knowledgeable team can help you make arrangements for reservations or other proposal details and extras!

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