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Category Archives: Dining

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!

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!

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!

 

 

5 Favorite Things about Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Bay Lake Tower Room Tour

 

Staying on property at a Walt Disney World Resort truly adds a whole new layer of magic to your Disney vacation! The Disney Resorts provide you with luxury, world class hospitality and of course magical perks! Staying at a Disney World resort hotel you receive many benefits exclusive to guests staying on Disney property, such as the 60-day out FastPass booking window, extra magic hours to enjoy the park and complimentary Disney Transportation!

Every Disney Resort is different and offers something unique in the ways of theming, atmosphere and perks! Today I am going to share with you my experience staying at Disney’s Bay Lake Tower located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort! I fell in love with this resort and can’t wait to stay their again in the future. Here are my top 5 reasons to love Disney’s Contemporary Resort!

 

  1. Location, Location, Location!

Of all the Disney Resorts the Contemporary is the resort with closest proximity to the Magic Kingdom! This is actually the only Disney resort that you can walk to Magic Kingdom from! From the balconies of the resort that are facing towards Seven Seas Lagoon you will have incredible views right into the Magic Kingdom park! You will feel like you can reach out and touch it! This also means you have a front row seat for the fireworks! I have watched the fireworks from Disney’s Contemporary many times and it is such a unique viewing location! You get a birds-eye view of the park and the fireworks appear at eye-level! It is truly breathtaking! From the balconies on the opposite side of the resort, facing Bay Lake you will enjoy magnificent views of the naturally formed Bay Lake along with sights of Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom all in the distance. You can catch the fireworks from Epcot and Hollywood Studios on this side of the hotel!

 

  1. Monorail

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is located on the monorail loop in the Magic Kingdom resort area. You can take the Disney Resort Monorail directly from your resort to the Magic Kingdom park! The Disney Monorail actually drives right through the center of the hotel then pops back outside. It is an incredible engineering marvel! This fun mode of transportation will get you to the park in a breeze! Also from the Contemporary you can take the monorail one stop over to the Transportation and Ticket Center, then transfer monorails to go directly to Epcot!

 

  1. History

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the original resort on all of Walt Disney World property. Fun fact! Even though Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort both opened on October 1st 1971, Disney’s Contemporary is still the original because it officially opened its doors about 2 minutes before Disney’s Polynesian!  As the original Disney World Resort Hotel this place is filled with history! One of my favorite details is the Mary Blair mosaic mural. You can get a great view of this work of art from anywhere within the Grand Canyon Concourse, the area that serves as the hub of the resort. Mary Blair was one of the first women to become a Disney Imagineer and she is also the creative drive behind “It’s a Small World.”

 

  1. Dining

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is full of wonderful dining options! They have everything from casual table-service dining at The Wave, to quick-service dining at Contempo Café, to fine dining at the California Grill. I love all these locations but my favorite will forever be the California Grill! This is the spot to go when you are looking for a very special and memorable meal! This signature dining location can be found on the top level of the resort, on the 15th floor. The restaurant is encased with floor to ceiling glass windows that showcase the breathtaking views. The 4 observation decks that bookend every corner of the restaurant are great spots to watch the fireworks!

 

  1. Theming

I will be honest I always thought the Contemporary looked cool but of the 3 resorts located on the Magic Kingdom Monorail loop, (Contemporary, Polynesian & Grand Floridian) I always thought I would like the theming of the Polynesian and Grand Floridian more than the Contemporary. Then I stayed here and everything changed! I fell in love with the unique theming the Contemporary provides. Staying here made me stop and more closely appreciate all the details of the beautiful resort. It is sleek and modern, yet retro at the same time. It is futuristic while still grounded in its heritage. Most importantly all throughout the resort and the rooms, there is pixie dust and little Disney touches that can be found in the most unexpected places!

 

Watch our NEW YouTube video for a room tour of a studio room at Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!

 

 

Disney’s Contemporary is now one of my all-time favorite Disney World properties! I am dreaming of the next time I get to stay at this amazing resort! I highly recommend giving this Disney Resort a try on your next Disney vacation, then you will see exactly what I mean about this hotel having something truly special and unique!

 

 

Plan your next adventure today to Disney World or anywhere in the world by contacting your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner!

Disney’s Saratoga Springs 2 Bedroom Villa – Preferred Room Tour! Walt Disney World

 

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort at Walt Disney World is a gorgeous deluxe property! I have personally stayed here twice and have had a wonderful experience both times! This resort ranks as being one of my all-time favorites and I am excited to share with you why I enjoy it so much!

 

 

Saratoga Springs is themed to the historic Saratoga Springs that existed in New York in the late 1800’s as a well-known retreat that was known for its spas and horse racing! The theming throughout the resort sets this scene! Everything from the rooms, to the lobby, to the grounds is detailed to transport you to that time and place! This Victorian-style resort sits in-between Village Lake and the rolling greens of the golf course!

 

 

This may be a turn of the century-themed resort but it is stocked full of every modern luxury you want! There are also wonderful amenities located right on the resort’s property such as Senses Spa and Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. When you are looking to grab a bite, you will love the onsite dining locations! You will find everything from grab-&-go and quick-service meals at The Artist Palette, to gourmet dishes at the Turf Club. The resort features a main pool area as well as several quite pools located throughout the entire property! The grounds are tranquil and serene. It is a great place to be if you are looking to relax!

 

 

What I love most about this resort is its location! Saratoga Spring is location directly across the lake from Disney Springs! You are so close you can actually walk straight from the resort over to Disney Springs by the connecting walkways! There is also boat transportation that will take you over! This close location is super convenient for being able to just pop over to Disney Springs to grab a drink, get a bite to eat, shop or just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. Disney Springs is a great spot to hangout and unwind after a day in the park. However, having to take bus transportation to Disney Springs after a long day in the parks might hinder you from coming over every night. That’s why staying at Saratoga Spring is so wonderful! Being walking distance from Disney Springs you have the ability to enjoy this awesome spot in a more relaxed way and much more often.

 

 

I recently got to stay in a 2-bedroom villa here at Saratoga Springs. This villa was incredible and very spacious! Join us on a room tour in our new YouTube video!

 

 

Have you ever stayed at Saratoga Springs? Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel planner to plan your next magical vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort or to any destination that you are dreaming of next!

 

Spirit Of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Walt Disney World VIDEO

 

I always say that the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels are vacations within themselves! From the amenities to the details in the resort’s theming, the Walt Disney World Resort can truly immerse you in a whole other vacation destination within your current vacation destination! This is absolutely the case at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort located on the Magic Kingdom Resort monorail loop! At this resort you will be convinced you are in the islands! Just strolling the resort’s grounds you will be in awe by how the lush greenery and tropical plants transport you to a serene paradise!

 

It is here at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort that you will find one of the most popular dinner shows on all of Disney World property, the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show! This authentic Hawaiian luau is so much more than just a great meal and show, it is an entire experience!

 

 

This meal is a true feast, served family style to your table! Your server will keep refilling your plate with whatever you would like to enjoy more of, so you can help yourself to all your favorites! Select alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine are also included for free for guest old enough to enjoy them.

 

 

The show at the luau is so fun and entertaining while also being filled with a ton of heart. You will walk away knowing having learned more about the spirit and culture of Hawaii! You will have a deeper appreciation for the meaning of Ohana, the Hawaiian word for family!

 

 

The first half of the show is filled with exciting dances and even some fun crowd interactions. The second half of the show then really heats up! Literally! One will see an incredible Hawaiian fire dancer! This act is something you have to see to believe! During this section of the show every eye in the the house is just fixated on the stage anticipating what this talented fire performer will do next! During this section of the show there is also some more traditional Hawaiian hula dances and songs. It is a beautiful presentation that is authentic to the Hawaiian culture!

 

 

The Spirit of Aloha Dinner show is sure to be a hit with everyone in your party! This is also a very special experience if you are looking for a unique way to celebrate a milestone at Disney and want to do something extra special. My family and I did this experience to celebrate my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary! Disney made the experience so magical. When cast members heard what we were celebrating they presented my grandparents both with special Hawaiian leis. The entire evening made for a truly incredible family memory!

 

I hope you will check this show out with your own Ohana very soon!

Watch some highlights from the Spirit of Aloha Dinner show in our new 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 your are dreaming of traveling next!

 

NEW IllumiNations Dining Package Coming to Epcot’s Rose & Crown! Walt Disney World

 

2019 is going to be a very big year for Walt Disney World! There are many new and exciting attractions and experiences coming to the park THIS YEAR! One of the new changes that we can look forward to seeing later this year is the brand-new Epcot night-time spectacular! I personally am so excited to see what this new show will bring to Epcot. However, the bitter-sweet part about this is that the well-loved current Epcot show, IllumiNation: Reflection of Earth will be ending later this year to make way for the new replacement show. I will be sad to see IllumiNations leave, I have many memories watching this show and singing along to it’s amazing soundtrack after a fun-filled day in Epcot!

 

 

I am definitely going to be sure to catch IllumiNations as often as I can in these next few months before it is gone. IllumiNation: Reflection of Earth will be ending its run before the end of this summer of 2019 to make way for Epcot’s new night-time spectacular. If you also want to catch IllumiNations before it leaves the park later this year then you are in luck because Disney has announced a great new dining package that will give you the chance to enjoy a great meal and take in the show from an incredible vantage point!

 

 

This new dining package is offered at The Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room located in Epcot’s United Kingdom Pavilion. The package will include a meal with seating on The Rose & Crown Pub’s patio! From the patio of this restaurant you will enjoy a fantastic view of IllumiNations! The perspective of the show that you get from this location is breathtaking! You are so close to the lagoon and can feel like you are immersed in the show! Another pro to getting this special reserved seating is not having to wait hours to get a perfect view anywhere else in the park. IllumiNations is a very popular show and crowds are sure to be even larger these next few month as it is the last few presentation of the show. Many guests will plan to get an up-close spot hours before the show begins. Due to this you may have a hard time finding an unobstructed viewing area to watch the show. You can choose to wait far in advance for that perfect fireworks spot but everyone knows your time on vacation is so valuable that’s why a package like this is a wonderful option to help you make the most of your time in the park!

 

 

This dining package includes a prix fixe menu which features Rose & Crown favorites AND unlimited alcoholic beverages (for guests 21 and over) as well as a wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages! The meal offerings for the IllumiNations Dining Package features your choice of a Scotch Egg or the United Kingdom Cheese Platter as your starter.

 

 

For your entrée, your choices include Rose & Crown’s signature Fish and Chips, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Pan-roasted Scottish Salmon, or Bangers and Mash. For dessert, you will enjoy a Pudding Platter Trio featuring Sticky Toffee Pudding, English Trifle, and Chocolate Nougat Bar.

 

 

As always Disney has thought of everyone in the party! Kids can get their own prix fixe package. This kid’s meal will offer soup or salad with their choice of Cheese and Turkey Flatbread, Turkey Meatball Pasta, Cheesy Pasta, or Fish and Chips as well as either Fruit Salad or Trifle for dessert.

 

 

Bookings will open on January 17th for reservations starting on January 18th. The price is $85 for adults and $35 for children (tax and gratuity included). I am so excited about this new offering and definitely want to check this experience out for myself! As I mentioned before this is a great way to guarantee you will get an incredible view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth so that you can see it to its fullest before the replacement show comes later this year.

 

 

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

Lunch at Ale & Compass – Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Walt Disney World

 

During my most recent trip to Walt Disney World my family and I experienced a Disney first for all of us! We dined at a restaurant we had never tried before, Ale & Compass at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. We were all filled with so much anticipation to check out a brand new restaurant that none of us had been to yet! I am very excited to tell you that our experience here did not disappoint! I actually proclaimed that our lunch here at Ale & Compass was my favorite meal of that trip!

 

 

The menu features New England style comfort food including many classic seafood dishes! The restaurant’s decor is themed to be reminiscent of a cozy lighthouse. This table-service dining location perfectly fits into the overall atmosphere of Disney’s Yacht Club Resort!

 

 

For my entree I choose the the white clam flatbread! White flatbread pizzas are my favorite variation of flatbreads and I do love clams! However I have to say I was skeptical what the combination of the clams on top of the flatbread would be like. Curiosity got the best of me so I asked our waitress about the dish. She was wonderful and very knowledgable about the menu. She told us that the white clam flatbread was actually her favorite item on the menu! I knew I had to give it a try!

 

 

This meal was incredible! As I said before this ended up becoming my favorite meal of the vacation! I can’t wait to get back here again to this restaurant! Another great thing about Ale & Compass is it is located at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort which is in the Epcot Resort area. The resort can be accessed from Epcot through International Gateway the park’s side entrance! From Epcot’s International Gateway you are just a short walk or boat ride away from the Yacht Club! I would definitely recommend making a reservation here during a day at Epcot. This would be a great way to have a short mid-day break from the park and relax with a nice meal before hitting the theme parks again in the evening!

 

 

I filmed my experience checking out this restaurant for the first time. You can watch the video on our YouTube channel:

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next visit to Walt Disney World or to whatever destination you may be dreaming of next!

How to Eat for FREE at Walt Disney World! All About Disney World’s Free Dining Offer 2019!

 

2019 is off to a very exciting start here at Kingdom Magic Vacations! Our team is ready to make your vacation dreams come true! One of the most anticipated Walt Disney World promotions has just been released! This offer is none other than Disney’s Free Dining offer!

 

 

 

Everyone knows that one of the most expensive parts of any Disney vacation is the cost of feeding your family during the trip. This is why this free dining promotion is so popular and highly anticipated. The free dining package gives you and your family one of the Disney Dining plans included complimentary in your vacation package! This offer is available for bookings made now through February 10th, 2019 for travel dates most nights from July 5th through September 30th, 2019, while offer supplies last. This is a very popular offer so for the best selection contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner right away to take advantage of this great promotion!

 

 

The dining plan gives you a set amount of meal and snack credits for every member of your party to use during your vacation. Disney offers a selection of dining plans. There is the Quick Service Dining Plan, the Standard Disney Dining Plan, and the Deluxe Dining Plan. Each level of the dining plan offers a series of different meal types and varying numbers of credits. There is a plan for the needs and wants of every family! The Quick Service Dining Plan is great for families who love to be on the go enjoying all the parks have to offer! The Deluxe Dining Plan is perfect for families who enjoy table service meals and are looking for more flexibility when it comes to choosing between both quick-service and sit down meals. You can get the best of both worlds!  Out of the 3 plans there is sure to be one that best fits exactly what you are looking for. Let’s take a look at what each Disney Dining plan includes:

 

Quick Service Dining Plan

  • 2 quick-service meals
  • 2 snacks
  • 1 refillable mug

Standard Disney Dining Plan

  • 1 table-service meal
  • 1 quick-service meal
  • 2 snacks
  • 1 refillable mug

Deluxe Dining Plan

  • 3 meals (any combination of table-service and quick-service)
  • 2 snacks
  • 1 refillable mug

 

 

Like I said there is definitely a plan that will best fit exactly what you and your family are looking for. The Disney Dining plans are always available as an add-on when planning your Walt Disney World Vacation. However, with this special free dining offer you will receive a Disney Dining Plan included in your vacation package for FREE!

 

 

The Disney Dining Plan that you will receive with your package will vary depending upon which hotel you will be staying at. Select hotels are eligible for the different levels of the dining plan. Here is a full list of which hotels fall under the varying plans.

 

Disney Deluxe Villas – Standard Disney Dining Plan

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

 

Disney Deluxe Resorts – Standard Disney Dining Plan 

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

 

Disney Moderate Resorts – Disney Quick Service Dining Plan

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

 

Disney Value Resorts – Disney Quick Service Dining Plan

  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – (Family Suites Only)
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort

 

 

Once your trip is booked you can relax knowing that your entire vacation is already budgeted! Your package will already include your hotel room, park tickets and your meal plan. Everything will be taken care of with one package rate, that is an incredible value!

 

 

With a deal like this now is the perfect time to start planning your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation! Make 2019 extra special by making memories with the ones you love at the Most Magical Place on Earth! Our team here at Kingdom Magic Vacations is ready to help you plan the vacation you are dreaming!

 

5 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World!

Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise Returns

 

New Year’s Eve is one of the most exciting nights of the year! It is a time when we gather with friends and loved ones to be together and join in the countdown as we anticipate the new year and new opportunities ahead of us! It is a time of great excitement and many people love to look for festivities and events to make their celebrations truly memorable! Spending your New Year’s Eve at the Walt Disney World Resort is a great way to kick of the brand-new year! Let’s just say, Disney knows how to create magical celebrations!

 

 

I was at Walt Disney World last year during New Years and it was the best New Year’s Eve I had ever experienced! Across all of Disney World property there was an energy and excitement that filled the air! Other guests all talked about the plans they had for the big night! Throughout the Disney parks and resorts there are some different entertainment and event offerings that guests can experience! There is a wide variety of locations to choose from when it comes to planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Most Magical Place on Earth! You will find everything from offerings with a party atmosphere to celebrations that are more intimate and relaxing! Here is my list of 5 ideas for ways to ring in the New Year at Walt Disney World!

Magic Kingdom Fireworks

Probably one of the most iconic festivities taking place at Walt Disney World on New Year’s Eve is the Magic Kingdom New Year’s fireworks show! This specialty fireworks display begins about 10 minutes before midnight. The presentation is dazzling and truly lights up the night sky. The presentation featured 360 degrees of fireworks that will surround all of the Magic Kingdom park! The finale of the show is the countdown to midnight! The voices of Mickey and the gang countdown from 10 until we reach the stroke of midnight. During the countdown, the fireworks in the shapes of the numbers 10 – 1 are casted into the air! You have to see it to believe it! To top it all off the voices of your favorite Disney characters sing the classic New Year’s anthem, auld lang syne as fireworks fill every inch of the sky!

Fireworks Boat Cruise

My next idea to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World is how I celebrated last year, a fireworks boat cruise to view the Magic Kingdom specialty fireworks! This is a wonderful option. The cruises dock on Seven Seas Lagoon, the body of water out front of the Magic Kingdom park. The cruise itself is a very fun experience and you can get one of the best views of the fireworks show! Additionally, you won’t have to deal with the stress and congestion of actually being inside Magic Kingdom for the show. This is a popular event and the park typically reaches capacity on this night. Getting to take in the show from the comfort of your very own pontoon boat that leaves from the marinas of one of the Magic Kingdom resorts is a very enjoyable option! Included in your cruise is a selection of snacks and soft drinks. Also included for those 21 and over is a champagne toast at midnight!

 

Fireworks Viewing from the Magic Kingdom Resort Beaches

Another great option if you want to catch the incredible Magic Kingdom fireworks but don’t want to deal with the crowds in the parks is to watch the fireworks from one of the beaches at either Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. My recommendation for the evening would be to make a dinner a reservation at the resort you are planning to watch the fireworks from. Both the Polynesian and Grand Floridian are home to many amazing dining locations! Watching the fireworks from the resort beaches while not nearly as crowded as the inside of Magic Kingdom can still become a popular spot so be sure to grab a spot early and then just kick back and enjoy the amazing atmosphere of the resort as you wait for the show!

Epcot

If you are looking for an exciting party spot then look no further then Epcot! The park is filled with DJs and dance parties everywhere you turn. Many of the pavilions in World Showcase get into the spirit with exciting offerings and celebrations that represent each country’s culture! This park is also home to a spectacular New Year’s firework show to ring in the big moment! If you are looking for a more intimate setting to view this show there are also Epcot fireworks cruises available for bookings. These leave from the Epcot resort hotels.

 

Fine Dining

What better way to ring in the start of a new year then with a great meal with family and friends! Disney World has so many wonderful restaurants to fit whatever you and your party are looking for! From an elegant signature restaurant to a fun character dinner there is something for everyone. During New Year’s Eve some restaurants actually have special meal and dining options created just for the memorable evening!

 

However your choose to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World you are sure to enjoy a New Years that you will remember for a lifetime. Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner today to plan the adventure that you and your family will take in 2019! Happy New Year!

New Plant-Based and Vegan Menu Offerings at the Universal Orlando Resort!

 

The Universal Orlando Resort is now proud to offer several new plant-based menu offerings that will be served at restaurants across the Universal property. This is very exciting news for those who are looking to eat vegan during their time at Universal. Universal Orlando has introduced six new vegan menu options. These meals are available now at select restaurants in Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay. The offerings are all very vast, so there is something for everyone! Whatever your preference may be you are sure to find something you will enjoy. Let’s take a look at some of these new menu offerings!

 

 Tomato Pesto Cresto de Gallo

Available: Mythos Restaurant (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

This meal is made with vegan chicken, sundried tomato, roasted mushrooms, Kalamata olives and fresh basil.

 

Penne Genovese

Available: Lombard’s Seafood Grille (Universal Studios Florida)

This dish is made with vegan sausage roasted broccoli, cherry tomatoes and basil oil.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Available: Louie’s Italian Restaurant (Universal Studios Florida), Café 4 (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

This Bolognese sauce is made with vegan Italian sausage crumbles.

 

Chipotle Sausage with Orzo

Available: Confisco Grille (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

This dish features vegan Italian sausage crumbles, roasted red peppers, chipotle pesto, arugula

 

Chick’n & Avocado Sandwich

Available: Mel’s Drive-In (Universal Studios Florida), The Burger Digs (Universal’s Islands of Adventure), Bambu (Universal’s Volcano Bay)

This is a new take on a classic sandwich! Made with vegan chicken and vegan cheese

 

Impossible Burger

Available: Richter’s Burger Co. (Universal Studios Florida), Captain America Diner (Universal’s Islands of Adventure), Kohola Reef (Universal’s Volcano Bay)

Universal has made the impossible possible with this delicious vegan burger!

 

In addition to Universal’s new plant-based options, let’s not forget about their already existing plant-based meals:

Spaghetti and Marinara: available at Louie’s Italian Restaurant, Café 4, Comic Strip Café, The Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous

Veggie Pad Thai: available at Confisco Grille. Mythos Restaurant

Veggie Kebabs: available at Oasis Cooler

Vegan Burger: available at The Burger Digs

Falafel Pita or Salad: The Burger Digs

Rice Bowl: Thunder Falls Terrace

Tropical Baby Greens Salad: Kohola Reef

Veggie Roll Sushi: Kohola Reef, Whakawaiwai Eats

Veggie Wrap: Kohola Reef

 

Now, if you or a member of your party has a specific dietary need there is no reason to stress about where to eat or what to order when dining at the Universal parks. There are so many new options! You will find a choice that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner to book your next vacation to the Universal Orlando Resort or to whatever destination you are dreaming of visiting next.

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

Holiday Treats and Beverage Offerings at The Universal Orlando Resort!

 

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

 

 

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

 

Holiday Treats!

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Festive Sips

 

 

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

Cranberry Margarita

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

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

Pumpkintini

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

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

 

 

Apple Cider Irish Mule

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Walt Disney World

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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