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Category Archives: Disney Special Events

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Starting November 14, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is presenting an all-new holiday nighttime spectacular called Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Santa Claus is missing, and there’s a search and rescue mission to bring him back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve! The show includes state-of-the-art projections, special effects, snow, fireworks, and an exciting musical score.

dhs_projections

The show is led by two elves, Wayne and Lanny, the duo from the animated special, “Prep and Landing.” This Christmastime adventure features holiday moments from your favorite films including “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” “Bambi,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” to name a few.

A special way to enjoy this new holiday spectacular is with the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! Holiday Dessert Party. Included is reserved viewing, desserts, specialty beverages, a pair of 3D HoloSpex® glasses and more.

This one-of-a-kind holiday experience for your entire family will be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from November 14 through December 31. Don’t miss out on these magical memories.

You May as Well Face It You’re Addicted to Bling

I was running and I had the Robert Palmer Song “Addicted to Love” in my head.  If you replace the word “kiss” with Medal and “love” with Bling, the song really says it all. This is exactly how I feel when I’m ready to hit “send” on my next race registration. It may be my new mantra.

 

Your lights are on, but you’re not home

Your mind is not your own

Your heart sweats, your body shakes

Another medal is what it takes

You can’t sleep, you can’t eat

There’s not doubt, you’re in deep

Your throat is tight, you can’t breath

Another Medal is all you need

Ohh ohhhh

You like to think that you’re immune to the stuff.. oh yeah

It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough

You know you’re gonna have to face it

You’re addicted to BLING!

 

My Bling obsession started out innocently enough.  I had run a few 5ks because it was a way for our family to have some fun together.  I had participated in the Great Aloha Run a few times when we lived in Hawaii. That’s an 8 mile course from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium. Lots of fun.  No Bling.  I decided that my husband and I needed some common hobby that we could do together, maybe travel a little, and have fun at the same time now that the kids are out of the house. So I started training.

I first heard about RunDisney races in 2010. I decided that we needed to sign up for the 2011 Wine and Dine Half Marathon. My husband being the foodie, wine guy that he is I figured this weekend would make us both happy.  Well, long story short, I trained using the Galloway method and was ready and hubby wasn’t able to go.

That was it. I was hooked.  I wore that first medal with such pride and accomplishment but like a junkie I needed more.  I went right home and registered for the 2012 Princess Half Marathon (can you believe I was able to register that late??? Those days are gone).  Since that first race I have participated in 3 princess Half Marathons, 2 Wine and Dine Half Marathons (finally got hubby there), 1 Tinkerbell Half Marathon, 1 Expedition Everest 5k, Royal Family 5K, 2 Castaway Cay 5ks, and Princess 10k. I have my Coast to Coast and a Glass Slipper Challenge medals that I am very proud to show off.  This January I’ll add the Half marathon medal from Marathon weekend and hopefully Dumbo Double Dare and new Coast to Coast medals later in 2015.

I have also branched out to help fill my Bling need when I can’t get to Disney. I have run the Hershey Half marathon (Helloooooo chocolate at mile 11), the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and the Nike Women’s’ Half Marathon where I received my Tiffany necklace at the finish.  Now, that’s BLING!

It’s an expensive habit, but lets face it, there are more destructive things I could be addicted to that would harm more than just our bank account.  I love the RunDisney races and will try to run all of the Half marathons so I can check them all of my ToDo list.  Problem is they keep adding new races.  It looks like my list will never be complete… and I’m ok with that.

Donna's Bling Collection

Donna’s Bling Collection

 

Donna Genco ~ Collector of Bling

 

Guest Blogger – Donna Genco

donna1-199x300Donna is not only one of Kingdom Magic Vacations Independent Travel Planners, she is also a runner and contributor over at Kingdom Magic Runners Facebook Page. She’s participated in numerous RunDisney Events from the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Expedition Everest and more on the East Coast, but she’s also been to Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon as well.  Her passion may be RunDisney races, but she has also participated in other races as well.

The Case of the RunDisney Addict | Kingdom Magic Runners

Hello, my name is Donna and I’m addicted to RunDisney races.  Yes, I have a problem.  I’m currently looking for a 12-step program to help me.  I knew I loved the races but I didn’t know how bad my addiction was until the registration for Disney’s Princess ½ Marathon Weekend opened.

IMG_2069

I found myself actually sitting on my hands, trying to control myself and NOT register for this race.  Here I was, sitting at my computer, watching the registration numbers go up, races booking up, watching the posts on Facebook and various blogs, clients calling me all excited because they got in and now they want to book their packages.  It would have been so easy, just enter your name, address and approximate race finish time.  I was doing all I could to control the urge.  I even had a support system of friends reminding me, don’t do it, don’t do it.  At the same time I was texting my running buddy Wendy, “stay strong, we can do it, it’s almost full, we are almost there”.  She was texting me back “ I just want to log on and see how it’s going.” NOOOOOO I’m “Shout texting” back, “Don’t do it, you’ll be tempted to register”.

Fortunately the Glass Slipper Challenge filled up quickly.  To complete the Glass Slipper Challenge you must finish the 10K and the 1/2 Marathon.  If we were going to go that weekend, we would only do it for the challenge.

Medals from the 2013 Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

Medals from the 2013 Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

It was a long afternoon waiting for the ½ and 10K to fill up. She signed up for a fitness class at her gym so she would be busy and I went for a walk, I just had to stop looking at the computer.  Later that night she texts me, “You know, the 5K still has slots”. Evil temptress.  “No, we are NOT going that weekend” I told her.  Stay strong.  By the end of the day I was exhausted. I felt as if I had run a full marathon.

We did it!  We both made it through the day.  Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Disney’s Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend.  It’s a wonderful weekend, the race is awesome, I love the costumes, the camaraderie and I really like the whole theme of the weekend.  The reason we had to stay so strong is because we are both running the month before in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.  We are also hoping to register for the Dumbo Double Dare later in August out in Disneyland so we can get our Coast to Coast medals.  (Coast to Coast medals are can be received for completing a Half Marathon or Marathon in Disney World, followed by the completion of a Half Marathon in Disneyland during the same calendar year.)  I already have a Coast to Coast medal, but I’m trying to check off all of the Disney ½ marathons and figured that if we were going to go out for that race we may as well do an East Coast race and earn a Coast to Coast Medal.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this obsession.  Once you run your first RunDisney race, whether it’s a 5K, 10K,  ½ marathon or full marathon, you will be hooked!  It’s unlike any other race I have ever participated in and I’m sure will never find their equal.

Sincerely,

Donna Genco, RunDisney Addict

______________________________________________________________________________

Guest Blogger – Donna Genco

donna1-199x300Donna is not only one of Kingdom Magic Vacations Independent Travel Planners, she is also a runner and contributor over at Kingdom Magic Runners Facebook Page. She’s participated in numerous RunDisney Events from the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Expedition Everest and more on the East Coast, but she’s also been to Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon as well.  Her passion may be RunDisney races, but she has also participated in other races as well.

Special New Year’s Eve Celebrations at Disneyland Resort

From a New Year’s Cupcake at Jolly Holiday Bakery in Disneyland park to the Napa Rose New Year’s Eve Bash, the Disneyland Resort will ring in 2014 with something fun for everyone.

New Year's Eve at Disneyland Resort

Let’s start with the Napa Rose celebration. Actually, there are two: an early seating from 5:30 – 7 p.m. with a four-course dinner (think grilled hand-harvested sea scallops and 28-day-aged prime New York beef … Chef Andrew Sutton’s fabulous Wine Country Feast of seasonal classics) and festive decorations. Cost is $125 plus tax and gratuity. The perfect way to start the party early when you have plans later in the evening.

The late seating commences with bubbly at 8:15 p.m. and a dinner dance party with live music – they’re adding a dance floor in the lounge area with hundreds of silver, gold, red and black balloons to create a magical party. Plus hats and party favors, of course.

Napa Rose Restaurant Disneyland resort

Start with honeyed profiteroles with goat cheese and cranberry jam, followed by imported Osetra caviar parfait layered with Skuna Bay salmon tartare, cucumber pearls and crème fraîche. You’ll move on to three more courses before a 30-minute “intermission” for dancing, followed by two more courses (including dessert). It’s all perfectly timed to take you to midnight. Dancing goes ‘til 1 a.m.

The five-course tasting menu is $220 plus tax and gratuity (no children’s pricing), plus $65 for a flight of world-class wines for pairing. Chef Sutton also has a delicious vegetarian menu.

For reservations, call Kingdom Magic at 866-972-6244 or speak to your travel planner. Valet is complimentary.

Flos V-8 Cafe at Disney's California Adventure

Other celebrations, special tastes for New Year’s Eve:

    • Look for menu specials in Disneyland park at Carnation Café on Main Street U.S.A. (surf and turf with shrimp and sirloin steak); at French Market (roasted pork chop with Calvados applesauce, braised greens and sweet potato soufflé); at Blue Bayou (a seafood pot pie); and Cafe Orleans (flat iron steak with bone marrow demi-glace, garlic mashed potatoes and acorn squash).
    • Flo’s V8 Café at Disney California Adventure park will offer meat loaf with Coca-Cola barbecue sauce and two sides.
    • Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel has a prixe fixe, three-course menu for $65 that includes spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette, filet and lobster and chocolate paté.
    • Storyteller’s Café at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has a prixe fixe two-course dinner with with porcini-rubbed rib-eye with scampi-style prawns, mashed potatoes and Cabernet demi-glace, and a duo of dark chocolate and Bailey’s crème brûlée with espresso cookies for $29.99.
  • And who can resist a New Year’s Eve cupcake? Especially the New Year’s Cupcake with dark chocolate cake, Nutella filling, Belgian white chocolate frosting with black and silver decorations, silver disco dust, a chocolate Mickey, chocolate truffle and bow tie? That’s a party on a plate! Look for it at Jolly Holiday Bakery, Fidler, Fifer & Practical Cafe and Pacific Wharf Café at Disney California Adventure park, and White Water Snacks at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

Happy 2014!

Book Your Disneyland Vacation Today!

Singapore Is Still So Misunderstood! – Guest Blog Post

I have a friendly wager with Kingdom Magic Vacations’ Rick Howard.  Not a huge fan of Singapore’s “performance” at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival over the past few years, I think it’s fair to say that Rick doesn’t hold out much hope for their offering in 2013.  Yet, from my perspective, well, you’ve already seen me extoll Singapore’s virtues in this space a month or so back HERE.

Singapore Is Still So Misunderstood!

If you remember, my biggest wish was for Singapore to dump their, for me, unappealing Beef Rendang into the South China Sea.  Well, that they did as they introduce Lemongrass Chicken Curry with Coconut and Jasmine Rice in 2013.  I’m really looking forward to this new offering!

The chicken curry is accompanied by an encore of Seared Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice and “Singa” Sauce.  Introduced in 2012, I rated this particular plate among my Top 10 dishes last year.  By the way, the “Singa” is, more or less, a Thai-style sweet-hot sauce.

Singapores Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice

Back to the bet.  We’ll cover Scotland in more detail later, but I’m convinced that Singapore is going to “out-do” Food & Wine’s rookie kiosk from the U.K.  And, my wager with Rick rests on that happening.  Frankly, by the time the festival is over, I’m convinced that we’re ALL going to agree that Singapore did step it up in 2013 … and I’m CERTAIN that Rick will pick Singapore over Scotland any day of the week!

Singapore Is Still So Misunderstood!

Singapore’s menu finishes with a selection of beverages including:

  • Tiger Beer
  • Marqués de Caceres Satinela (a medium-sweet white wine)
  • Singapore Sling made of Hendrick’s Gin and a Cherry Liqueur and topped with a maraschino cherry)

The Sling has taken a lot of criticism in the past, and I’m not going to argue that those negative comments aren’t without merit.  After all, when I see a recipe that mixes alcohol with all of that cherry “flavoring”, I think immediately of cough syrup.

At the end of the day, however, I think Singapore’s food offering will overrule the unsavoriness of their namesake drink to raise this marketplace in all of our esteem.  I’ll give them a pre-festival grade of “B”.

It’s not too late to book your trip
to experience Epcot’s International
Food and Wine Festival!

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today!


Guest Author Bob SikonGuest Author – Bob Sikon Bob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

5 Reasons We Love Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival

Running from September 27 through November 11, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival opens this weekend with even more flavors to discover – it’s our favorite time of year, and here’s 5 reasons why…

1.  The Food

Epcot Food and Wine Festival - Food Choices

Whether it’s shrimp from Australia or griddled Greek cheese with pistachios and honey, there are so many choices from the 29 marketplaces around World Showcase.   With all those booths, and each booth offering 2 to 4 food choices,  there are dozens of food options to choose from all over the world.

2.  The Beverages

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival - The beverages

From wines to beers, mixed drinks, to aperitifs, the Food and Wine Festival brings us beverage options that are not only tasty and refreshing, but also an eclectic sampling of what the world has to offer.  Only during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival can we sample beverages from around the world all located in one place and many are paired with the food offers at each marketplace.

3.  The Special Events

5 Reasons We Love Epcot's Food and Wine Festival - Events

Epcot’s Food and Wine is not just about the food and beverages at the marketplaces, there are several special events that that you can attend.  Some of the events like “Party for the Senses,””Dessert Dinner Discovery,”and Celebrity Chef Demonstrations, there are several different special events to attend.  Many are free and included with your Epcot park admission, but some do require an extra fee.

4.  The Merchandise

5 Reasons We Love Epcot's Food and Wine Festival - Merchandise

The merchandise available during the Food and Wine Festival is some of the most imaginable and creative that Disney offers all year.  From bottle openers, wine toppers, Mickey Chef Ears, wine glasses, and so many other merchandise options, there something for everyone to take home with them from this amazing event.

5.  The Cast Members

5 Reasons We Love Epcot's Food and Wine Festival - Cast Members

The Walt Disney World Cast Members are always amazing, but there is something special in the air this year, that makes them even more magical.  Each booth has been challenged with keeping themselves energized and you can even hear them all over World Showcase chanting and keeping everyone laughing and having fun.  You can feel the energy all over the festival and it rubs off on you…it’s awesome.

There is still time to get down to Walt Disney World and enjoy all that Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival has to offer!

It’s not too late to book your trip to experience
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival!

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today!

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Argentina – Guest Blog Post

As excited as I am about Brazil’s return to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and the menu it brings with it, I’m equally disappointed by its “sister” South American nation – Argentina.

If you’re a veteran of Food & Wine, I’m sure you’ve just reacted to that sentiment with complete disbelief.  After all, Argentina’s Beef Empanada and Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce (a brightly colored green sauce with parsley, herbs, garlic, and tangy vinegar) and Boniato (a Cuban sweet potato or white yam) Purée are generally recognized as festival highlights!  Aren’t they?

Argentina's Beef Empanada

Argentina's Beef Skewer

Frankly, I was so disappointed after sampling both of them in 2011 that I completely passed them by in 2012.  The empanada was the best of the two but pretty ordinary, in my opinion, and the beef skewer was tough and way overdone.

But, then, this is where my wife spilled a valuable “pearl of wisdom” on me … on any given day with any particular meal or any cut of meat, any chef could have a really bad day.  Or, in this case, make even one bad serving.  The morale of the story?  I should give Argentina another shot.  So, in 2013, I will.

Like Brazil, Argentina won’t be serving a dessert this year, so their menu ends with a collection of beverages:

Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut – bright green and yellow in color, this sparkling wine presents with the essential characteristics of Chardonnay

Terrazas Reserva Malbec – an Argentine Malbec wine characterized by its deep color, intense fruity flavors, and a velvety texture

Terrazas Reserva Torrontes – a white Argentine wine with moderate acidity, smooth texture and mouthfeel, as well as distinctive peach and apricot aromas

Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon – with a deep ruby red color, this wine provides pleasant blackcurrant and cherry notes with a full body and long after-taste

When it comes down to it, Kingdom Magic Vacations‘ own Rick Howard might do better justice to describing the virtues of Argentina’s menu than I can.  For me, I can only grade them as an “Incomplete”.  So, step back and listen to last year’s Argentina-focused episode of the Travel with Rick video-cast.

He’ll tell you just how much you should like their Chimichurri Sauce!

It’s not too late to book your trip to experience
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival!
Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today!


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

5 Simple Tips To Enjoy Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

If you are anything like us, you love Fall and Halloween at the Magic Kingdom and especially Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!  These parties are extra special events where they close the Magic Kingdom to regular park guests and bring in some extra special Halloween decorations and treats that you can only experience at the Party!

Here are 5 tips to help you enjoy these parties and get the most treats with no tricks!

1.  This is a Family Friendly Event  – Like the name implies, this is a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  Unlike other Orlando Theme Parks, Walt Disney World offers a purely family-friendly environment that is suitable for children of all ages.  There are some dark areas, but if your kids loves the Haunted Mansion, that is about as dark as the entire evening gets!

2.  Wear A Costume – Children are always allowed to wear Princess Outfits or Pirate Costumes in Disney Parks, but adults do not have that luxury…except for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties!  As long as you wear a costume that does not cover your face (ie. a full head or face mask) you are welcome to enjoy the party.  Remember, it’s still pretty warm in Orlando during the Fall, so make sure that your costume is lightweight an not too heavy!

5 Simple Tips To Enjoy Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

3.  Trick Or Treat All Night Long – During the party, there are several locations located all around the Magic Kingdom…and you can trick-or-treat as much as you want.  You can return as much as you want and as the night progresses, many Cast Members often become more generous in their treat giving.  We suggest bringing your own bag though…the bags that Disney provides are a little small.

4.  Arrive A Little Early – Even though Mickey’s Party officially starts at 7 p.m., which is when all of the entertainment actually begins, guests can enter with their Halloween Party tickets as early as 4 p.m. This is not something Walt Disney World advertises, but it absolutely is true, and you will see plenty of other guests arriving at 4 p.m., and Cast Members in their Halloween outfits at the turnstiles.  This allows you to enjoy a full 8 hours inside the park, for 1/2 the price!

5.  Make Time to Meet Characters – Haloweentime is one of the best times to meet your favorite Disney Characters, and during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary parties, all your favorite characters are dressed in special Trick-or-treat costumes!  Past favorites are Winnie the Pooh and friends, Snow White, and all 7 dwarfs – they are all not to be missed!!

5 Simple Tips To Enjoy Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Parties are Hard Ticketed events, which means you have to buy a separate ticked for entrance to the party.  The parties run on select nights in September and October from 7:00 pm to Midnight.

Contact your Kingdom Magic Travel Planner when you book your Walt Disney World Vacation and let them know you need tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party today!

Kingdom Magic Vacations Quick Tip – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

This week’s Kingdom Magic Quick Tip shows you how to enjoy Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney’s Magic Kingdom and get the most  thrills and chills out of this not-so-spook-tacular party!

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations to
Book Your Walt Disney World Vacation Today
and Don’t Miss a Minute of the Not-So-Scary Fun!

Check Out All The Marketplaces And Menus For Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Satiate your hunger and thirst with a burst of fresh food, fine wine and craft beers from a host of global marketplaces—this year, at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

Here is the full list of Marketplaces scheduled for this year’s Food and Wine Festival.  There are some new additions this year and more than a few returning favorites!  Which one is your favorite?

Terra

Terra

 

To eat:

  • Trick’n chick’n curry with basmati rice featuring Gardein™ chick’n breast
  • Chili Colorado with house-made chips and cashew cheese featuring Gardein™ beefless tips
  • Chocolate cake with coconut mousse and passion fruit sauce

To drink:

  • Fresh watermelon juice
  • Napa Smith Organic IPA
  • The Vegan Vine Chardonnay
  • The Vegan Vine Red Blend

Brazil

Brazil

To eat:

  • Seared scallop with ragout of tomatoes, peppers, hearts of palm and steamed rice
  • Crispy pork belly with black beans, onions, avocado and cilantro

To drink:

  • Cerveharias Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer
  • Carnaval Moscato White
  • Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça

Argentina

Argentina

 To eat:

  • Beef empanada
  • Grilled beef skewer with Chimichurri sauce and boniato purée

To drink:

  • Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut
  • Terrazas Reserva Malbec
  • Terrazas Reserva Torrontes
  • Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon

Australia

Australia

 To eat:

  • Garlic shrimp with roasted tomatoes, lemon myrtle and rapini
  • Grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies
  • Pavlova (crispy meringue shell with fresh Driscoll’s® berries and vanilla custard)

To drink:

  • Rosemont Estate Pinot Grigio
  • Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay
  • Rosemont Estate Merlot
  • Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz

Mexico

Mexico

To eat:

  • Shrimp taco with purple cabbage
  • Taco de ribeye with salsa de chipotle
  • Rice pudding

To drink:

  • Dos Equis Beer
  • Sangria
  • Tequila Flight
  • Mango-Habanero Margarita

Singapore

Singapore

To eat:

  • Lemongrass chicken curry with coconut and jasmine rice
  • Seared mahi mahi with jasmine rice and “Singa” sauce

To drink:

  • Tiger Beer
  • Marqués de Caceres Satinela
  • Singapore Sling featuring Hendrick’s Gin and Cherry Herring

China

China

To eat:

  • Mongolian beef in a steamed bun
  • Black pepper shrimp with Sichuan noodles
  • Chicken potstickers
  • Silky spun ice with toppings (3 flavors: coconut, strawberry and chocolate)

To drink:

  • Tsing Tao Beer
  • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Riesling
  • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Syrah
  • Kung Fu Punch with vodka
  • Happy Lychee with vodka
  • Lychee-aerated water

South Korea

South Korea

To eat:

  • Kimchi dog with spicy mustard sauce*
  • Lettuce wrap with roast pork and kimchi slaw

To drink:

  • Bohae Black Raspberry Wine – Bokbunjajoo
  • Jinro Chamisul Soju
  • Soju Fruit Slushy featuring Jinro Chamisul Soju

Africa

Africa

 

To eat:

  • Berbere-style beef with onions, jalapeños, tomato, okra and pap
  • Spinach and paneer cheese pocket

To drink:

  • Man Vintners Chenin Blanc
  • The Wolftrap Red (Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier)
  • Porcupine Ridge Syrah

Cheese

Cheese

To eat:

  • Almond-crusted blue cheese soufflé with fig jam
  • Artisan cheese selection (Beechers Flagship Reserve served with honey, La Bonne Vie Triple Cream Brie served with apricot jam and Wijngaard Goat Gouda with Craisin® bread)
  • TBD

To drink:

  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc
  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Fairest Chardonnay
  • Once Upon a Vine’s The Big Bad Red Blend
  • Once Upon a Vine’s A Charming Pinot

Brewer’s Collection

Brewer's Collection

  • Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • BraufactuM Palor
  • BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer
  • Warsteiner Premium Verum
  • BraufactuM Darkon
  • Warsteiner Premium Dunkel
  • Beer flight 1 (Schofferhofer Grapefruit, Altenmunster Oktoberfest, Warsteiner Premium Verum and Warsteiner Premium Dunkel)
  • Beer flight 2 (Radeberger Pilsner, BraufactuM Palor, BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer and BraufactuM Darkon)

Germany

Germany

To eat:

  • Schinken nudel (pasta gratin with ham and cheese)
  • Roast bratwurst in a pretzel roll
  • Apple strudel with Werther’s Original Karamel and vanilla sauce

To drink:

  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • BraufactuM Darkon
  • J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Kabinett
  • Selbach-Oster Mosel Riesling Spätlese
  • J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Auslese
  • Weingut Pitthan Dornfelder Dry Barrique Style

Poland

Poland

To eat:

  • Kielbasa and potato pierogie with caramelized onions and sour cream
  • Zapiekanki (toasted mushroom, caramelized onion and cheese bread with house-made ketchup)

To drink: 

  • Okocim Brewery, Okocim O.K. Beer
  • Frozen Szarlotka (apple pie) featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
  • Temptation Zinfandel

Italy

Italy

To eat:

  • Ravioli de formaggio all’emiliana
  • Salsiccia e ‘papacelli” Napoletani
  • Cannoli al cioccolato

To drink:

  • Moretti Beer
  • Procecco
  • Pinot Grigio Placido
  • Chianti Placido
  • Italian Margherita

Hops and Barley

Hops and Barley

To eat:

  • Lobster roll with lemon herb mayonnaise
  • Griddled lobster tail with garlic herb butter
  • New England clam chowder with a side of Tabasco®
  • Craisin bread pudding with Grand Marnier anglaise

To drink:

  • La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
  • Rogue Chocolate Stout
  • Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvée
  • Samuel Adams® Boston Lager
  • Samuel Adams Octoberfest
  • Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat
  • Beer flight (Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Samuel Adams Octoberfest, Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat and Rogue Chocolate Stout)

Florida Local

Florida Local

To eat:

  • Florida grass-fed beef slider with white cheddar and sweet & hot pickles
  • Florida shrimp ceviche with fire-roasted vegetables and micro cilantro

To drink:

  • Florida Orange Groves Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria
  • Florida Orange Groves Key Limen Florida Key Lime Wine
  • Orlando Brewing, Sun Shade Organic Pale Ale
  • Cigar City Brewing, Florida Cracker Belgium-Style White Ale

Japan

Japan

To eat:

  • California roll (avocado, cucumber, crab, mayonnaise and smelt roe rolled in sushi rice and seaweed)
  • Spicy hand roll (tuna and salmon with chili pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil topped with Kazan Volcano sauce)
  • Teriyaki chicken hand roll (marinated dark meat chicken with sushi rice topped with teriyaki sauce)
  • Youki tofu (topped with miso sauce, edamame, and served with grilled vegetables)

To drink:

  • Sapporo Draft Beer
  • Sake: Junmai Ginjo
  • Green Tea Colada

Morocco

Morocco

To eat:

  • Kefta pocket
  • Harissa chicken toll
  • Baklava

To drink:

  • Casa Beer
  • Ksar White
  • Sangria
  • Mimosa Royale

New Zeland

New Zeland

To eat:

  • Steamed Green Lip Mussels with Garlic Butter and Toasted Bread Crumbs
  • Venison sausage with pickled mushrooms, baby arugula and black currant reduction
  • Lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney

To drink:

  • Kim Crawford Pinot Grigio
  • Mohua Sauvignon Blanc
  • Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay
  • Kim Crawford Pinot Noir

Belgium

Belgium

To eat:

  • Potato and leek waffle with braised beef
  • Belgium waffle with warm chocolate ganache and whipped cream
  • Belgium waffle with berry compote featuring Driscoll’s berries

To drink:

  • Hoegaarden
  • Stella Artois
  • Leffe Blonde
  • Leffe Brune
  • Chilled coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • Beer flight (Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde and Leffe Brune)

France

France

To eat:

  • Escargots persillade en brioche (garlic and parsley snails in brioche)
  • Boeuf bourguignon (braised short ribs in cabernet with mashed potatoes)
  • Crème brûlée au chocolat au lait (chocolate milk crème brûlée topped with caramelized sugar)

To drink:

  • Beer Kronenbourg Blanc
  • Chardonnay, Macon-Villages, La Côte Blanche
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Château Bonnet
  • Sparkling Pomegranate Kir
  • Eiffel Sour Cosmo Slush (vodka, Grey Goose Cherry Noir, Grand Marnier and cranberry juice)

Ireland

Ireland

To eat:

  • Lobster and seafood fisherman’s pie
  • Kerrygold cheese selection: reserve cheddar, Dubliner with Irish Stout, Skellig
  • Warm chocolate pudding with Bailey’s® custard

To drink:

  • Guinness® Draught
  • Bunratty Meade Honey Wine
  • Chilled Irish Coffee featuring Bunratty Potcheen

Canada

Canada

To eat:

  • Canadian cheddar cheese soup
  • Seared rainbow trout with bacon, frisee and maple Minus 8 Vinaigrette
  • “Le Cellier” wild mushroom beef filet mignon with truffle butter sauce

To drink:

  • Moosehead Lager
  • La Face Neige Apple Ice Wine
  • La Face Neige Sparkling
  • Mission Hill Family Estate Syrah

Greece

Greece

 To eat:

  • Taste of Greece: grilled and marinated calamari, hitipiti, eggplant dip, olives and pita bread
  • Griddled Greek cheese with pistachios and honey
  • Chicken gyro with tzatziki Sauce
  • Spanakopita
  • Dannon Oikos® Blueberry Greek Nonfat Yogurt Cup

To drink:

  • Domaine Skouras Moscofilero
  • Domaine Siglas Assyrtiko/Athiri
  • Alpha Estate Axia Syrah-Xinomavro
  • Ouzo by Metaxa

Refreshment Port

Refreshment Port

To eat:

  • Dole pineapple fritters
  • Fried shrimp with Dole pineapple sweet & sour sauce
  • Fried chicken chunks with Dole pineapple sweet & sour sauce

To drink:

  • Orange Dole Whip
  • Orange Dole Whip with Crème de Cacao White
  • Frozen Dragon Berry Colada featuring Bacardi® Dragon Berry Rum

Desserts  and  Champagne

Desserts  and  Champagne

To eat:

  • Chocolate orange cupcake
  • Hazelnut chocolate cheesecake
  • Morello cherry pistachio mousse
  • Guylian Belgian chocolate seashell truffles
  • Dessert Trio

To drink:

  • Pyramid™ Weiss Cream Beer
  • Möet & Chandon Ice Impérial
  • Möet & Chandon Impérial
  • Möet & Chandon Nectar Impérial
  • Nicolas Feuillatte Rosé
  • Frozen S’mores

Scotland

Scotland

To eat:

  • Seared Scottish salmon with cauliflower puree, watercress and malt vinaigrette
  • Vegetarian haggis with neeps & tatties (griddled vegetable cake with rutabaga and mashed potatoes)
  • Scottish banoffee tart with bananas, Scottish whisky toffee, Walkers Shortbread Cookies and sweet cream

To drink:

  • Innis & Gunn® Original
  • Loch Lomond featuring Glenfiddich® 12 year
  • Glenfiddich Scotch Flight (12, 15 and 18)

Hawaii

Hawaii

To eat:

  • Khlua pork slider with sweet and sour Dole® Pineapple chutney and spicy mayonnaise
  • Tuna poke with seaweed salad and lotus root chips

To drink:

  • Kona Brewing Company’s Big Wave Golden Ale
  • Kona Brewing Company’s Pipeline Porter
  • Lucien Albrecht Gewurztraminer Réserve
  • Aulani Sunrise featuring Ocean Vodka

Craft Beers

Craft Beers

  • Dogfish Head Brewery, Namaste
  • Abita Brewing Company, Fall Fest
  • Leinenkugel’s® Seasonal Shandy, (Summer Shandy/Orange Shandy)
  • Florida Beer Company, Devil’s Triangle
  • New Belgium Brewing Company, Fat Tire
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing®, Alchemy Ale
  • Red Hook, Audible Ale
  • Sierra Nevada, Torpedo® Extra IPA
  • Beer flight 1 (Dogfish Head Brewery Namaste, Abita Brewing Company Fall Fest, Leinenkugel’s® Seasonal Shandy and Florida Beer Company Devil’s Triangle)
  • Beer flight 2 (New Belgium Brewing Company Fat Tire, Widmer Brothers Brewing Alchemy Ale, Red Hood Audible Ale and Sierra Nevada Torpedo)

It’s not too late to book your trip to experience
Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival!

Contact Kingdom Magic Vacations Today!

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Hitchhiking Ghost Card Debuts at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

When Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns to Magic Kingdom Park next week, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom fans are in for an additional treat – the chance to pick up an event-exclusive game card!

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Hitchhiking Ghost Card Debuts at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Just in case you’re new to the game, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is an in-park interactive experience that allows guests join Merlin’s quest to defeat Disney Villains who are scheming to take over Magic Kingdom Park. Guests use maps to search for villain hideouts throughout the park, visit magic portals and use spell cards to foil a villain’s plan. The quest begins in the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A., where you can pick up key cards, spell cards and maps (additional cards can be purchased at select merchandise locations).

This special card features the Hitchhiking Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion attraction and lets us “sorcerers” tap into the supernatural power that lies within the Haunted Mansion’s graveyard. Players can use the card to direct poltergeists to scare away any Disney villains they may come across on their journey.

This special event card will be distributed separately from the regular Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card packs (yes, you can pick up both while attending the party). The Hitchhiking Ghost card is available at both the Magic Kingdom Firehouse and the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom location behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe during the party, and guests must register to play with their party ticket and event wristband in order to get one.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens in Less Than a Month – Are You Ready?

Disney Parks Blog has shared some new information about the upcoming Food and Wine Festival and we wanted to share it with you!  Can you tell we’re all very excited?

A little fun news on the beverage front: the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will be among the first venues in Florida to serve wine on tap in 5-gallon kegs under the new Florida law that allows wine to be dispensed from sustainable stainless-steel containers.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens in Less Than a Month - Are You Ready?

Two locations – the Festival Center and Refreshment Cool Post – will be serving from kegs, with a Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir at Cool Post and a Cabernet and Chardonnay in the Festival Center.

“The wines on tap offer guests a fresh glass of wine with every pour,” says Marianne Hunnel, in charge of Content Development for the festival. “They’re good quality, mid-range wines, and when we tasted side by side with the bottle and keg, we couldn’t tell the difference.” From an environmental perspective there is less waste. No need for bottles, cardboard, corks or labels.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens in Less Than a Month - Are You Ready?

On the culinary front, sometimes it’s the little things – we got a taste of the “vegetarian haggis with neeps and tatties” from the new Scotland Marketplace, and it may be our new favorite. In case you’re wondering, in English we translate that as a “griddled vegetable cake with rutabaga (neeps) and mashed potatoes (tatties).” The name of the dish may sound odd to many of us, but the crispy, peppery haggis and mellow veggies are a real treat.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Opens in Less Than a Month - Are You Ready?

Other delightful new-for-2013 bites we tried and recommend: the sweet, griddled lobster tail with garlic herb butter from the Hops & Barley Marketplace; Berbere-style beef with onions, jalapeños, tomato, okra and pap (grits) from Africa Marketplace; and the gooey Scottish banoffee tart (banana-toffee is such a delish combo). On the beverage side, kids are going to love the drinkable Frozen S’Mores from Desserts & Champagne, grown-ups will be lining up for the Orange Dole Whip with Crème de Cacao White.

With more than 40 new dishes and 80 new beverages, it will take a while to work our way around World Showcase Lagoon Septemember 27-November 11.

It’s Not Too Late! 
Book Your Walt Disney World Vacation Today
and Don’t Miss a Minute of Food and Wine Festival 2013

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Australia – Guest Blog Post

What does this land “Down Under” have in store for us in 2013?  Kingdom Magic Vacations‘ own Rick Howard had the answer to that question way back in 2012.

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Australia - Guest Blog Post

Rewind your clock and take a listen to last year’s Australia-focused episode of the Travel with Rick video-cast.  When referring to that marketplace’s Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies, Rick described them as “nibble-to-the-bone good”.  If that’s not a glowing endorsement, then I don’t know food or wine.

Check out the  Australia video from Travel with Rick at last year’s Food and Wine Festival:

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Australia - Lamb Chop

The Lamb Chop from last year’s Australia Marketplace

As I go about preparing my plan for “attacking” Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, I reach out to a number of resources, but I’ve told Rick that his video-cast, in past years, has played the biggest role in the construction of my “menus”.  Now that I have the honor of being included in Kingdom Magic Vacations’ and Travel with Rick’s efforts to bring Food & Wine to you before it even arrives, it’s a whole new (and VERY fun) ballgame for me.

But, back to Australia.  I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of lamb.  In spite of that, I did sample Australia’s lamb chop last year.  Rick’s right.  It IS outstanding.  And, it’s back for an encore in 2013.  Way to go, Australia!

One of the things that pleases me most about Australia’s offering this year is that they’ve kicked their shrimp up a notch.  For the past few years, we’ve seen a simple “Shrimp-on-the-Barbie”.  However, in 2013, we get a Garlic Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes, Lemon Myrtle (a lemon herb native to Australia), and Rapini (broccoli rabe).  An outstanding improvement, in my opinion!

Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Australia - Garlic Shrimp

Way to “step it up”, Australia!

Australia’s upcoming menu is rounded out by Pavlova (Crispy Meringue Shell with Fresh Driscoll’s Berries and Vanilla Custard) and several choices of wine:

  • Rosemount Estate Merlot
  • Rosemount Estate Pinot Grigio
  • Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay
  • Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz
Food & Wine 2013 Scouting Report: Australia - Pavlova

Is this what we have to look forward to?

With the Pavlova, we should expect a crisp crust with a soft, light inside.  It seems to be a step up from the coconut-covered Lamington of the past few years.  However, it is the newly “jacked up” shrimp and the lamb chop’s repeat engagement that highlights Australia’s offering this festival season.

My Pre-Festival Grade?  I’m really optimistic.  Sight unseen and samples un-tasted, I’m going to give the Aussies an “A”!


Guest Author – Bob Sikon

Guest Author Bob SikonBob Sikon is a Cast Member “Wanna-Be”. He fell in love with Walt Disney World on his first visit to Mickey’s Florida home in 1999, and it was all because of the Cast Members. In his words, “The way they take care of you, they make you want to be part of The Magic.” Someday, his dream will come true, and he’ll proudly wear a Cast Member name badge, but, for now, you can find him in Atlanta, GA, planning his next trip to “The World”, and blogging about the place “Where Dreams Come True” at allinwdw.com.

 

Monster’s University Back Returns to Theaters Just for Labor Day Weekend

Are you looking for something fun to do this labor Day Weekend? DISNEY•PIXAR’S MONSTERS UNIVERSITY is returning to theaters this Labor Day Weekend just in time for school to start back up!

Monster's University Back Returns to Theaters Just for Labor Day Weekend

Reunite with Mike, Sully, and the whole Monsters University student body and enjoy some Pixar fun this holiday weekend!

In Case You Missed It The First Time…

Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right.

Friday the 13th Mischief On Both Coasts During Unleash the Villains Event Sept. 13, 2013

Disney’s dastardly villains are ready to unleash some Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks on September 13 — Friday the 13th..

Friday the 13th Mischief Is Bi-Coastal at Disney Parks During Unleash the Villains Event Sept. 13, 2013

Both Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort will stay open until the 13th Hour (1 a.m.).  To celebrate the momentous evening, notorious Disney villains like Maleficent, Capt. Hook, Hades will host a wicked dance party, plus lots more spooky fun.

The hub of the villains’ festivities will be staged “dead” center of Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Hades’ Hangout – the hottest club north of the Underworld.

The “Lord of the dead,” Hades, will host spine-tingling fun while his henchmen, dancers, interactive DJ and hot house band keep the nighttime activities on fire.  Hades’ 13 devilish Disney brutes will be waiting in Villain Encounters surrounding Hades’ Hangout for greetings and autographs with guests.

To celebrate the imminent arrival of the midnight witching hour “Villainy in the Sky” will set the sky ablaze with spectacular fireworks, and keep the party going until the 13th hour.

Friday the 13th Mischief Is Bi-Coastal at Disney Parks During Unleash the Villains Event Sept. 13, 2013

It’s all happening for a limited time only from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. on Friday, September 13, 2013 as part of Limited Time Magic at Disney Parks.  Limited Time Magic features 52 weeks of magical experiences — big and small — ranging from park-wide events to special culinary treats to special moments of surprise and delight.

On this spooktacular evening, villains will take over Disneyland as well. Town Square is transformed for the party where guests may see villains like Captain Hook, the Queen of Hearts, Judge Frollo and Lady Tremaine.  Cobwebs and vines, Halloween-themed projections, lighting effects and an eerie fog set the tone for the evening.  Witches and warlocks will get the dance party started, spinning a mix of upbeat Halloween tunes and Disney-friendly Top 40 hits.

Later in the evening, the twisted celebration spills over to New Orleans Square Train Station with lurking Disney villains ready for the Unleash the Villains Dance Party featuring a lit-up dance floor and raised platforms, spooky décor and lighting effects.  A mischievous station master DJ conducts this party — announcing the arrival of a different ghoulish Disney villain at the 13th minute after every hour.  Villains will be on the prowl after dusk for photo ops and character greetings, plus a few special surprises.

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