It is that most magical time of year again at the Magic Kingdom and along with all the festive decorations comes an annual event not to be missed and that is the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. This party is a special ticketed event held on select nights now through December 22nd. The Magic Kingdom closes for the evening and ticket holders can start to enter Magic Kingdom at 4:00 p.m. with the official party beginning at 7:00 p.m. and lasting until midnight.
Let me tell you a little about the party so you can decide if this is something you would like to add on to your holiday trip. First, let’s talk about treats! Party guests will enjoy a variety of complimentary sweets and treats located at various treat stations throughout the park. Also, note that there are healthy and gluten-free options that will be available upon request. You will get to fill up on many different yummy cookies, pretzels, eggnog, hot chocolate, apple cider and fanta drinks. There will also be special holiday treats for purchase that are only available during the party!
At this wonderful time of year, Cinderella Castle transforms each night by Queen Elsa as she gives everyone their Frozen Holiday Wish! Christmas magic will surround you with carols and even snow coming down on Main Street!
Then there is the Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade which features costumes and floats that are themed to Winter Wonderland, Christmas Sweets and of course Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The parade happens twice at 8:30 p.m. and 11:00 pm. Just a little tip, the second parade is often easier to get a better seat.
Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom are always special but the Christmastime Fireworks are not to be missed! This year debuts a brand new fireworks show called Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks and is presented at 10:00 p.m. on party nights only.
There are many other party events happening through the night like fun dance parties, Christmas songs performed by a cappella group and special holiday character meet and greets. All of this fun, not to mention the rides and attractions you can enjoy with much shorter waits.
So if you and your family want to partake in all this festive Christmastime fun, contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation travel planner today!
It’s that time of year again! The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is about to officially kick off its 2019 season NEXT MONTH! Just this past week park goers have already been spotting some of the festival booths popping up around World Showcase and Future World! A sure sign of just how close we are to the festival’s opening day!
This year the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival kicks off on August 29, 2019. Fun Fact: This happens to be the same day that Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens over at Hollywood Studios! This is going to be one very exciting day across all of Walt Disney World property!
The 2019 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival runs this year from August 29 through to November 23, 2019. This is the longest run for the festival ever! This long stretch for the festival gives you a great window of opportunity to plan your visit to Walt Disney World to catch this amazing event!
This year the Food and Wine Festival will be home to more festival booths than ever before. Two of these booths are brand new for the 2019 season! The first new booth is The Alps, this booth will feature Swedish inspired food and beverage offerings. The second new both this year is the Appleseed Orchard. Here one will find many exciting food and drink items featuring apples. I am personal most excited to try the Caramel-Apple Popcorn!
In addition to experiencing an array of flavors from around the world at the various festival booth marketplaces, during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival you can also experience culinary demonstrations, hands-on activities, the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, specialty merchandise and more!
I am very excited to be attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival next month! Check out our new YouTube video to hear some of the highlights I am looking forward to experiencing this year!
Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next trip to Walt Disney World to experience all this exciting new magic for yourself!
After years of anticipation from us Disney fans the wait is about to be over! Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge is opening NEXT MONTH at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida! The opening date is August 29th of this year, 2019! This brand new Star Wars themed land is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios park and will be the largest single-land expansion in theme park history!
Star Wars fans all over the world are filled with joy to now finally be able to travel into the Star Wars universe. This incredibly immersive new land will make guests feel as though they have stepped straight into the Stars Wars story themselves! Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will feature state-of-the-art attractions, dining experiences, shopping and one of a kind immersive opportunities!
You can pilot the Millennium Falcon in Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run! You can try the iconic Blue Milk for yourself at the Canteen! You can create your own droid to take home with you. And even build your very own lightsaber!
I am so excited to announce that I will actually be in attendance on the opening day of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge! I am so excited!!! I have for years said that one day I would love to be in the Disney Parks as part of an opening day event! The mega Disney fan inside me is on cloud 9! I am so excited to be able to one day say how I was at Disney during a historic occasion such as this!
Check out our latest YouTube video to hear everything I am most excited for with this incredible experience!
Be sure that you are following us on our Social Media channels to see live updates from the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in Walt Disney World!
Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next visit to Walt Disney World or to any destination you are dreaming of traveling next.
It is the middle of June which means we are just about 2 short weeks away from July! Which means guess what? CHRISTMAS IN JULY! That is just a roundabout excuse for this Christmas-loving girl to talk about my favorite holiday! But in all seriousness now is the perfect time to start thinking ahead to your Christmas season travel plans!
Walt Disney World is a wonderful destination to visit year round but during the holidays the magic increases even more with festive decorations in every inch of the parks and resorts as well as special Christmas events and holiday offerings! I always love planning a visit to the parks around the holiday season, which in Disney typically begins the first week in November and runs through the first week of the new year! During this time you can take in all the breathtaking holiday decorations at both the parks and resorts as well as take part in some of those special Christmas offerings I mentioned!
A fan favorite holiday event at Disney year after year is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! This is an extra-ticketed special event that takes place on select nights at the Magic Kingdom Park during the Christmas season. During the event you can enjoy a plethora of special holiday themed entertainment offerings and experiences! You will receive complimentary treats and refreshments throughout the park! Enjoy a special Christmas parade and wonderful holiday stage show and more! One of the main events during this festive evening is the specialty Christmas fireworks show!
This year a brand-new Christmas fireworks show will premiere as part of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! The new show will be called, “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks!” That’s right! This brand-new fireworks spectacular, will light up the skies above Magic Kingdom during Christmas Party nights!
This new show will be hosted by Minnie Mouse herself and feature medleys of Christmas songs like “Joy to the World,” “Deck the Halls,” “Up on the House Top,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas!” What a perfect way to celebrate the season!’
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes place this year on select nights from November 8 – December 22, 2019. If you are interested in a special way to experience this new show, consider adding on a fireworks dessert party. This experience gives you the chance to enjoy sweet treats all while enjoying a special reserved viewing area to take in the show!
Be sure to contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel planner today for more information and to start planning your holiday travels! For now, Merry Christmas in June!
I recently got back from an incredible trip to the Walt Disney World Resort! This spring time trip was extra exciting because we visited during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! This annual festival takes place every spring in Epcot! The event puts Epcot in full bloom with floral displays covering every inch of the park, character topiaries and some incredible outdoor kitchens offering springtime inspired food and beverage items!
Last week I took you on a tour of some of the beautiful and detailed character topiaries that could be found around the festival! Now this week I am excited to show you more about the outdoor kitchens at the Event! Let’s dive into the culinary offerings at this year’s 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!
On our first visit to the festival of this trip we made our first outdoor kitchen stop at Trowel and Trellis! This booth was hosted by Impossible foods. Everything at this outdoor kitchen is vegetarian and vegan. From here we tried our first festival food item, the Grilled Street Corn on the Cob! It was a 5 out of 5! The corn was cooked to perfection and popped right off when you ate it. The corn was doctored up with a savory garlic spread that added the perfect amount of flavor without being too overpowering.
The next festival booth we stopped at was the Bauernmarkt in Germany! Here we had the Toasted Pretzel Bread. The pretzel bread was topped with black forest ham and melted gruyere cheese! YUM! It was the best comfort food! Declared this to be another 5 out of 5!
As we continued a lap around World Showcase we then stopped off in America for The Smokehouse! Here we got 3 festival items! The first was The Pulled Pig Slider that was accompanied with coleslaw on top. Then we had the Beef Brisket Burnt ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider which also featured garlic sausage, chorizo, cheddar fondue and a house-made pickle. The third item we got here was the Shredded Beef Brisket which featured a smoked potato, chorizo fondue and green tomato relish! All of these items were excellent! The Smokehouse always hits it home year after year at this festival! The Beef Brisket Burnt ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider ended up being my favorite out of the 3 items with tried here! The barbecue sauce had a bit of sweetness to it and accompanied the cheddar fondue so well!
The next day that we visited the Flower and Garden Festival we began with a stop at The Honey Bee-stro! This was my favorite booth during the previous 2018 festival so I was so looking forward to stopping here this year! It lived up to my year long wait! We got the Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread which featured white cheddar cheese, charred vegetables, clover honey sour cream, and micro citrus greens. This was my favorite item of the festival! I loved it! The second item we tried here was the Roasted Cauliflower which featured a buckwheat honey carrot puree, wild rice pilaf, asparagus, honey-blistered grapes, sunflower brittle, and coriander flowers. We also indulged in a dessert item here, the Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake! This dish is so decadent and delicious! It features orange blossom honey ice cream garnished with fennel pollen meringue kisses and petite lavender shoots. This item is a must-try!
Next we made our way over to The Citrus Blossom. I had one very special item in mind that I know I wanted to get here, the Orange Cream Slushy! This slushy taste just like an orange creamsicle and it is served in a souvenir orange bird sipper cup! I am a huge Orange Bird fan so this item was a must for me! It is the perfect refreshing treat!
From the taste of Marrakesh booth in Morocco we tried the Harissa Chicken Kebab. It was served with a dried fruit couscous salad! Another big hit for this year’s festival!
The final item I enjoyed at this year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival was a festival icon! The Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade! The Violet Lemonade is a very popular Instagram phenomena! It is a pretty purple color and is adorned with an edible flower! This item has been a must-get beverage for me at the flower and garden festival year after year! I am not the only one who loves this very photogenic drink! People love this item so much that this year it was actually used in a lot of the Flower and Garden Festival merchandise designs! Everyone loves this drink! Be sure to check it out!
You can watch my full festival journey in our new YouTube video!
I hope you enjoyed this 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival culinary tour! Be sure to contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner today to plan your next trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth or to any destination you are dreaming of traveling to next!
This week I am coming to you live from the Walt Disney World Resort! My family and I are spending the week enjoying a family vacation at the most magical place on Earth! Visiting Disney World in the spring has become an annual tradition for us! One of our favorite things about vacationing at Disney World this time of year is that the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is in full bloom! (Literally!)
During the International Flower and Garden Festival, Epcot is transformed into a springtime paradise with beautiful floral displays covering practically every inch of the park. There are even special topiaries crafted by the Disney horticulture team to represent several Disney characters! Additionally at the event you will find a variety of delicious food and beverage items at the outdoor kitchens and can even jam out at the Garden Rocks Concert series.
There is something for everyone at this incredible event! One of the best parts about the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is that it is fresh every year! Each year Disney finds a way to add some new experience or offering to the festival! Over the years I have loved seeing how the event evolves and changes.
Check out our new YouTube video to hear what I am most excited for at this year’s 2019 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival!
Be sure to check back next week to hear all about my experience at the festival and what my highlights were from this year’s event! I am excited to take you along on this adventure! When you are ready to plan your own next adventure be sure to contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner!
Disney World has announced an exciting brand-new After Hours Event! If you are a fan of the Disney Villains then get excited! This new After Hours Party at Magic Kingdom will revolve around all things Disney Villains! Tickets for this new event will go on sale on April 29. This wickedly fun special event will be offered on select nights this summer from June 6 to August 8!
On these select evenings a dark magic will take over Magic Kingdom Park! You will be invited to run amuck in the Villains’ scary world! The party DJ will get this event lit, by energizing the castle stage with wicked beats. This show will transform the entire Central Plaza of the park into a villainous club scene! As the party gets going, the DJ will introduce your “Caretaker” for the evening, the Lord of the Dead, Hades. Hades arrives in a burst of blue flames in this brand-new stage-show, “Villains Unite the Night.”
Meg from Hercules joins Hades to host this show. Hades sits atop his dark throne awaiting the alignment of five planets, following a prophecy that states when the five come together he will be able to rule the universe. However, like any good story this dastardly plan doesn’t go quite as planned! An entire assemblage of Disney Villains interrupts his party! In this villainous crew, you will see Jafar, The Queen, Dr. Facilier and Maleficent arrive with henchmen in tow. These Villains are prepared to demonstrate their powers with some thrilling displays of skills. These gang of Villains have also heard the prophecy and believe THEY are the ones who will rule all.
As you can image the story will get very intense with this twist! The brand-new show is going to be more than 20 minutes long! This will be one incredible stage show! Villains Unite the Night will have three showings during each event, giving all party attendance the opportunity to watch these Villains rule the stage!
If you have been to Magic Kingdom Park during the daytime recently then I am sure you have seen Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade! This happens to be my favorite parade Disney has ever done! If you are familiar with the Festival of Fantasy parade then you will know that one of the floats is a gigantic Maleficent Dragon! During this special after hours event, the Maleficent Dragon from Festival of Fantasy, will be let loose at night for the first time! She will be breathing fire as she creeps through the park with her minions as she makes her way to join the party at the Central Plaza!
Past the castle forecourt, ominous lighting and music will be found throughout various areas of the park. There will even be attraction overlays! In Tomorrowland, the Villains will invade Space Mountain, taking brave travelers on a villainous trip they are sure not to forget. This overlay will feature a new music underscore and the vilest Villains taunting you as you whiz by. I am very intrigued to find out what this exciting overlay will consist of!
Meanwhile over in Adventureland you will find a live crew of scurvy scalawags having invaded Pirates of the Caribbean in search of treasure. This reminds me of what Disney did at Pirates of the Caribbean during last year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! During the event, they had live actors in the attractions queue as well as in the attraction itself! This was a highlight for me at the Halloween Party, so I am very excited Disney is doing something along these lines during this brand-new after hours event!
No party is complete without great food! Disney Villains After Hours will feature some wickedly good food and beverage offerings! Additionally, you will be able to find special event merchandise made specifically for this brand-new party! Another perk of Disney Villains After Hours will be the low wait times at more than 20 attractions and experiences across the park! Just like with the other after-hours events and parties there are a limited amount of tickets sold, meaning you can enjoy the parks with limited crowds! All of this excitement and thrill adds up to a one-of-a-kind party!
Tickets for Disney Villains After Hours will be available for purchase on April 29. The cost is $139 plus tax in advance or $144 plus tax on the event night. This party sounds like such a unique and fun new offering! I can’t wait to check it out!
Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your summer vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort so you can experience Disney Villains After Hours as well as all the other summer fun for yourself!
This July Disney’s Animal Kingdom will introduce a brand-new, family-friendly progressive dinner. This meal will be a one-of-a-kind dining experience and is sure to be the perfect enchantment to your day at Animal Kingdom! The new dinner will be called, ‘Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night.’ This meal takes inspiration from African cultures and will celebrate The Lion King! The dinner will also honor some of the most majestic and endangered African animals.
This progressive dinner will begin at the Wildlife Express Train Station where you will enjoy a welcome reception! Part of your war-welcome will include a ride on the Wildlife Express Train over to the train station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch!
The reception party will feature light hors d’oeuvres, snacks, and beverages. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will be included. During this welcome reception, you will enjoy some wonderful acoustic musical stylings. Once you step off the train and arrive at Rafiki’s Planet Watch you will discover even more light bites and drinks! Here at Rafiki’s Planet Watch you will find Timon and Rafiki! These two lovable character from Disney’s Lion King will be available for character meet and greets and photos!
Your dinner will then continue over at Harambe Market! Here you will be greeted by a selection of both sweet and savory dishes, all paired with unique beverages. There will also be a celebration of The Lion King and the Big Five game animals: the African elephant, the rhinoceros, the Cape buffalo, the leopard, and our host animal the lion here.
During your evening you will have the incredible opportunity to learn more about the importance of the Big Five and the challenges they face around the world. You will also get to learn how Disney is working to protect them! Such an amazing cause to be a part of!
The ‘Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night’ dinner will begin on July 24, 2019, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Pricing is $125 plus tax for adults and $99 plus tax for children ages 3-9. Separate park admission is required. Reservations are now available for this amazing new dining experience!
Call your Kingdom Magic vacations Travel Planner today to learn more and to plan your amazing summer vacation at Walt Disney World!
If you are a fan of Disney Pixar’s Incredibles than you need to head over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to experience the Incredibles Celebration at Pixar Place! This exciting new area in Hollywood Studios is themed to Municiberg, the city the movie takes place in! Here you will find unique character meet and greet opportunities, delicious treats, photo ops and dance parties!
Pixar Place is the section of Hollywood Studios that was previously the entrance to the Toy Story Mania attraction. The area was themed completely to Toy Story with the ‘Barrel of Monkeys’ monkeys strung across the street and green army men roaming around. When Toy Story Land opened the entrance to Toy Story Mania was rerouted into the new land and Pixar Place was walled off as a backstage area.
Upon this transition, many theories and rumors began to swirl around regarding what Disney was going to do with the future of Pixar Place. Would it remain behind walls forever as a backstage area or would the area be used for a new experience? Well it didn’t stay behind walls for long! Pixar Place is back and now is dedicated to celebrating all things Incredibles! Here are some of the things you can look forward to in the new, revamped Pixar Place!
You can show off your best dance moves during a dance party hosted by an emcee. The party features fun music, interactive games and special appearances by Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible and Frozone. This is a great time to meet these popular characters that you typically don’t see in the parks and have the opportunity to take pictures with them as well!
Edna Mode Meet-and-Greet
Here in Pixar Place you can meet Edna Mode, the stylish and very sassy fashion designer from the Incredibles films! Your experience will begin by visiting Edna Mode’s Super-Suit Gallery. As you wait in line you can see some of the famous designer’s most popular creations! Then you get to actually meet Edna herself and take some incredible photos!
Throughout Pixar Place you can find food and beverage items themed to the Incredibles! There are some amazing snacks that can be had here including my personal favorite the Num Num Cookie! If you are a fan of the Incredibles films then you will know that the “Num Num Cookie” is also Jack Jack’s favorite treat! The characters often use the famous “Num Num Cookies” to reward Jack Jack or bribe him! Now you can try a Num Num Cookie for yourself! These cookies are massive, they are definitely sharable! The cookie is served warm, it truly melts in your mouth!
I recently stopped by Municiberg at Pixar Place for myself and had a blast! My highlight was hands-down that Jack Jack Num Num Cookie! It is delicious! I love that they serve it to you warm and fresh! I will be back for more! I vlogged my experience at Pixar Place, you can watch the video on our YouTube Channel:
A few days after visiting with my family I actually went back to the area with two of our INCREDIBLE Travel Planners, Alyssa and Karen! We had a blast taking photos with the fun photo ops that the area has!
There are so many new and exciting experiences to be had every day at the Walt Disney World Resort! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner today to plan your next visit! Our team is ready to make your next vacation INCREDIBLE!
Last fall Rafiki’s Planet Watch closed down at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. At the time of the closure we were unsure if the closure would be permanent or if it was just a refurbishment or if the area would be reimagined to a brand-new land! Disney was very quiet about the closure of this area and many of us Disney park-goers quickly became very curious as to what was going on!
Rafiki’s Planet Watch is an oasis within Animal Kingdom Park, this area can only be accessed by train. Guest board the Wildlife Express and make the peaceful journey over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Along the way, you get to see many of the backstage areas of the park including many of the animal’s housing areas! Once you pull into the station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch you walk down a pathway lined with trees and beautiful foliage. Along the way, you can take in many exhibits with various animals!
Towards the end of the pathway you will come to Conservation Station. This building is home to many exciting things from meet and greets with Disney characters to encounters with a variety of different animal species. Throughout the day, Disney Wildlife Experts will bring out everything from birds to snakes and allow guests to get up close with these amazing creatures! What is really incredible about this hidden gem at Animal Kingdom is the fact that Conservation Station is connected to Disney’s on site veterinary hospital. If guest want they can have the opportunity to watch the Disney veterinarians work in the labs and operating rooms through glassed in viewing areas. In addition to these many educational opportunities Conservation Station is also home to many interactive activities and animal exhibits!
Another amazing area of Rafiki’s Planet Watch is the Affection Section! This area is a giant petting zoo where guest can interact with all animals from goats to donkeys! This is so much fun for visitors of all ages!
As you can see Rafiki’s Planet Watch is a really special place within Animal Kingdom, that’s why many became so curious when the area was closed down last fall. Well now we know what is happening! Disney has made it known that the area is not going away and in fact guests will be able to start visiting it again very soon! There are some exciting enhancements that will be added to Rafiki’s Planet Watch upon it’s reopening!
This past week Disney made the announcement that Rafiki’s Planet Watch, the Affection Section and the Wildlife Express will fully reopen this summer! The area will feature a few new enhancements and join the celebration of all things “The Lion King.”
Rafiki’s Planet Watch will still include the animal encounters that we all love, as well as new experiences that will draw from Disney’s rich heritage of wildlife animation, featuring a celebration of “The Lion King.” I am very interested to see what new features and offerings will be added into Rafiki’s Planet Watch for this Lion King celebration! I am excited that Rafiki’s Planet Watch will be back for guests to visit, this place is so special and serves as a great spot where our guests and cast members can connect to the magic of nature and see the importance Disney places on animal care and conservation!
Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner to plan your next visit to the Walt Disney World Resort or to any destination that you are dreaming of visiting next!
Toy Story Land is the newest land to be added to the Walt Disney World Resort! This new land completely immerses you into Andy’s backyard! Every detail of this land has been designed to make you feel scaled to the size of a toy yourself! Toy Story Land is home to three attractions, two of which just debuted with the land’s opening!
Toy Story Mania
Toy Story Mania has been around at Hollywood Studios for several years and is loved by so many Disney Park-goers! Now with the opening of Toy Story Land, Toy Story Mania has been rerouted into the new land! This 3-D interactive ride takes you through a variety of carnival scenes featuring favorite midway games. Using your toy blaster you get to actually aim at targets and earn points! One scene you are throwing darts at balloons, the next you are throwing rings at those little green aliens! This attraction is so interactive and it is fun to compete against your friends and family to see who will get the best score!
Alien Swirling Saucers
The Alien Swirling Saucers attraction is one of the brand-new attractions to open along with the opening of Toy Story Land. This attraction is an adorable whip style ride featuring those lovable little green aliens, and of course… THE CLAW! As you spin and whip around in your rocket you will hear some of your favorite Toy Story songs played in a techno style!
Slinky Dog Dash
Slinky Dog Dash also made its debut along with the opening of Toy Story Land! This attraction has become an instant fan-favorite with guests! This family-friendly roller coaster looks as though Andy has crafted it himself using a dash and dodge coaster set and then attached Slinky Dog! This coaster is vibrant and filled with child-like wonder! You can ride it again and again and find new details!
In addition to these great new attractions, Toy Story Land is also home to new entertainment offerings and character meet and greet opportunities! With all the exciting new things to see and do in Toy Story Land it is safe to say that this brand-new land has been extremely popular with Disney guests! Since the land’s opening the attractions have consistently had long wait times. Fastpasses for the Toy Story Land attractions are extremely hard to achieve even for those staying on-property with the 60-day out booking window. Your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner is always happy to help you try to score one of these coveted Fastpasses as soon as your booking window opens, but it can never be guaranteed due to these attraction’s popularity. Everyone wants to experience what Toy Story Land has to offer! However, we have some exciting news about how you can guarantee to enjoy everything in Toy Story Land and take in the new attractions with practically no crowds what so ever!
Early Morning Magic
Disney has recently added a new hard-ticketed event, Early Morning Magic in Toy Story Land! When purchasing a ticket to this special early morning event you get to go into Toy Story Land an hour and a half before the park opens and regular day guests are allowed in! Disney only sells a limited amount of tickets to each event, this way participants get to experience Toy Story Land with EXTREMELY LOW crowd levels! The event also includes a wonderful breakfast which features a selection of entrees as well as a buffet-style breakfast, all included with your ticket!
Some of our awesome Kingdom Magic Vacation’s Travel Planners and I recently attended Early Morning Magic in Toy Story Land for ourselves! We had the best time and all agreed that this experience is a wonderful value for the experience that you get! We were able to do every attraction in Toy Story Land multiple times! With less crowds, we were able to take in all of the details that can be found in Toy Story Land! We also enjoyed an awesome breakfast that was included in our ticket! All around we had the best time together! You feel like true VIPs getting exclusive access to Disney World’s most popular experiences!
You can enter the park at 7:00 and enter Toy Story Land itself at 7:30. With this event you get to enjoy being among the only people in Toy Story land from 7:30 – 9:00. Breakfast is served from 7:00 to 10:00. Our best advice that we found was to go to Toy Story Land first and spend the full amount of time in the land until regular day guests get to come in at 9:00. Then at 9:00 breakfast is still served for another hour so you can use this time to go eat and not feel like you are rushing through your meal.
We arrived to Hollywood Studios bright and early! We were able to enter the park a little before 7:00. We took our time to enjoy a very empty Hollywood Boulevard, a very rare sight to behold! We took a lot of awesome pictures with the help of some very fun cast members! They even took some selfies!
Once 7:00 hit, Cast Members were directing that we could head to the Backlot Express to start enjoying breakfast or wait by the Chinese Theatre to be allowed into Toy Story land at 7:30. If you remember our tip to spend the full time in Toy Story Land first, then I’m sure you can guess that is just what we did! We headed to the waiting area to get into the land and they actually let us in at exactly 7:17 rather than waiting until 7:30. Another reason to head to the land first!
Once in the land we went straight back to Slinky Dog Dash, the attraction we all were anticipating the most! After our first ride on Slinky we got straight back in line and by 7:30 we were already riding Slinky Dog Dash for the second time! Both times we didn’t even stop walking through the cue line the entire time! We were able to walk straight to the loading dock every time!
After our second time on Slinky Dog we then walked around the land taking in the many wonderful details! We also took tons of photos with no one in the background! The area was empty!
Next, we headed to Alien Swirling Saucers! Just like with our experience at Slinky Dog we walked right to the loading area with NO WAIT!
After Alien Swirling Saucers, we road Toy Story Mania! We had a blast all competing to see who would get the best score!
After our ride, we stopped off in the rides exit area to take photos next to the popsicle stick wall and the checkerboard wall! These are both popular Instagram spots! With the limited crowds, we were able to take our time and snap a lot of photos!
Next, we did a character meet and greet with Buzz Lightyear! No one was in line to see him and we were able to just walk right up! We got a big group shot with him as well as everyone in our party got their own pictures with Buzz! Since we were the only guests at the meet and greet at the time, Buzz was really able to take his time with us and it made for a very special experience!
Our Travel Planner Karen even asked Buzz if he could switch into Spanish Mode and he proceeded to flamenco with her! It was such an incredible interaction! We got great photos and videos from the moment which you can see in our new YouTube video!
After meeting Buzz and taking more picture throughout the land we headed back to Slinky Dog dash and rode the attraction for our third time! After that ride, we hoped right back in line and rode Slinky Dog Dash a fourth time! Just like before we had no wait and walked straight to the front of the line!
As 9:00 neared we decided we wanted to do Alien Swirling Saucers again! We headed back over to Alien Swirling Saucers and rode it for our second time that day!
Once we were finished riding Alien Swirling Saucers it was 9:00 and day guests were now being let into Toy Story Land. We then made our way out of the land and over to the Backlot Express for our complimentary breakfast! With this meal, you get to order an entrée as well as enjoy a buffet style breakfast featuring pastries and fruit. We found out you can actually order as many entrees as you want all included, so you can try everything if you really wanted to! Fountain drinks, juices and coffee are also included.
Our meal was incredible, I order the Avocado Smash Toast with a Baked Egg as well as the Fried Chicken and Doughnuts! Everything was delicious! The fact that this great meal is included in the price of your early Morning Magic Experience makes Early Morning Magic a great value!
We all agreed that Early Morning Magic in Toy Story Land was so worth it! The experience of having the land practically to ourselves made us feel so special! This offering is a great way to avoid the crowds and hours of waiting so that you can get to truly experience and appreciate every aspect of Toy Story land!
We filmed our experience during Early Morning Magic! Watch our new YouTube video to join us for the fun and all the laughs! Our Travel Planners love to work hard and play hard!
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!
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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!
This past Monday February 25 marked the final day of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts for this 2019 season. This year was my first time getting to attend the event and now I am counting the days until the 2020 Festival of the Arts! I loved every aspect of this festival and have so much I am excited to share. So far here on our blog I have loved showing you our search for Figment during Figment’s Brush with the Master Scavenger Hunt and sharing my recap of my top 5 favorite moments from the festival! Now I am so excited to take you on my full journey at the festival from the beginning all the way through our vacation! In the coming days, here on our blog and on our YouTube channel I will be sharing my full Festival of the Arts experience in video form!
I vlogged each day that my family and I visited the 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Arts and from all the footage I am going to share each moment with you through a multi-part video series. Here is what you will see in part 1:
On our first full day of our trip my family and I were ready to take on our first ever day at Epcot’s Festival of the Arts! We entered Epcot through the International Gateway entrance, this is a side entrance to the park that will bring you right into World Showcase! We had spent our morning at Disney Springs so we decided to take a bus to Disney’s Boardwalk Resort located in the Epcot Resort area and then walk to the park through the International Gateway. Since most of the offerings for this festival can be found around World Showcase, this entrance was a great way to dive right into the action!
First before starting anything else we stopped to grab a festival passport as soon as we came in the gate! The festival passport is a staple item at every festival that Epcot puts on. Inside this little booklet, you will find a guide to all the offerings that the event has to offer. You will see information on entertainment offerings, full menus for each festival marketplace and more! Once we grabbed our passports we made our way into our first World Showcase pavilion, the United Kingdom! Alice was in the middle of her Meet and Greet and this was when I spotted one of the first sights of the festival! Alice was greeting guests next to an easel that had a canvas with a painting of the White Rabbit! During festival of the Arts all of the characters who meet throughout the World Showcase will have a piece of art with them! It makes for a very cute photo op!
Speaking of photo ops, this brings us to one of the next festival offerings we came across, the “Artful Photo Ops!” Throughout Epcot you can find special photo ops that depict many famous works of art. You and your family get to step inside these masterpieces and become part of the work of art yourself! It is so much fun! The first festival photo op we came across was located between the United Kingdom Pavilion and the Canada Pavilion. This set up looked like an open storybook with scenes from Peter Pan. One page was the Mermaid lagoon and the other page was Skull Rock! Also while we were in the United Kingdom we came across our first visual art decal. These decals can be found throughout World Showcase, they create the impression that they have been painted on the side of the building! They are great pieces of visual art!
We continued our walk around World Showcase and soon came across our first Art of Disney stand! Throughout all of Epcot you will find tents set up selling wonderful art pieces! Throughout the festival, the artists themselves will come to do signings of their work and meet guests. The first art gallery we came across was the WonderGround Gallery. We had a very magical moment happen here because this very first gallery we came upon happened to have an artist there right then! As we approached closer I realized it was Ashley Taylor! Ashley creates incredible Disney Inspired Art and I love her work! I was able to purchase a print and get it signed by her. She was so sweet and lovely to chat with!
We explored a few more galleries and then made our way to the Expression Section: A-Paint-by-Number Mural! This massive mural is a larger than life paint by number that comes to life through the help of Epcot guests! All guests can do their part in painting this work of art! We got our paint and were assigned 5 squares to paint. After my family and I painted our squares we turned in our paint and paintbrush and the cast member handed us a postcard that showed the finished product of what the mural will look like upon completion! It is a very fun keepsake to take home with you and remember your vacation!
After painting we began getting hungry and were ready to explore the culinary arts sector of the festival! We continued our walk around World Showcase and looked at the multitude of festival booths we saw along the way. We ended up trying our first two food items from ‘Cuisine Classique’ located by the Germany Pavilion. From here we tried the Red Wine-braised Beef Short Rib with Parsnip Puree, Broccolini. Baby Tomatoes, and Aged Balsamic. We also tried the Seared Corvina with braised Ratatouille and Lemon-Thyme Beurre Blanc. Spoiler Alert! We gave both of these dished a 5 out of 5 on our rating scale! They were delicious and plated with such artistry and attention to detail!
We found some more art photo ops including The Birth of Venus, The Scream, The Mona Lisa and Washington Crossing the Delaware! We also spotted several more of those fun art decals including Timon and Pumbaa, Pascal and more!
From The Artist’s Table in the American Adventure Pavilion we tried our next two festival food items. We had the Beef Wellington with Mushroom Bordelaise, Fennel Cream, and Roasted Baby Vegetables. We also had the Pan-seared Scallop with Chorizo, Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, and Parmesan Crisp.
We then took a walk through my personal favorite shop in the World Showcase, Japan’s Mitsukoshi! Inside the store they had some special merchandise displays for Festival of the Arts! We then explored more of the festival gallery tents including a stand devoted to pop-up cards. We also looked at the festival merchandise which featured a lot of Figment! I love Figment, he is a classic! So I am very happy with all the fun Figment merchandise!
Stay tuned for part 2 of our journey at Festival of the Arts!
Now is the perfect time to start planning for the 2020 Epcot International Festival of the Arts! Our team here at Kingdom Magic Vacation is always ready to help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World or to any destination that you may be dreaming of next!
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!
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!
I recently returned home from an incredible visit to the Walt Disney World Resort! It was magical! This vacation had a lot of first for me, I had never visited Disney World in the month of February ever before. It is not a month that my family and I typically travel but this long weekend trip in February was planned for a very specific reason, we choose to visit this time of year to attend our very first Epcot International Festival of the Arts!
2019 marked the third year for Epcot’s Festival of the Arts and up until just a few day ago this was the only Epcot festival that I had not personally attended. As an art lover, I was filled with so much anticipation and excitement going into my first Festival of the Arts! Let’s just say all of my expectations were exceeded and then some! I LOVE THIS FESTIVAL! Be on the lookout for many upcoming post about my experience at this wonderful event! I have so much that I can’t wait to share!
Today I want to share with you a fun activity that you can participate in at the Festival of the Arts, Figment’s Brush with the Masters! This experience is a scavenger hunt challenge that takes place in each pavilion throughout World Showcase. If you are familiar with Remy’s Hide and Squeak during the Food and Wine Festival or Egg-stravaganza during Easter it is similar to these scavenger hunt experiences! You are on the hunt to find famous paintings throughout World Showcase and must use your map and sticker sheet to match each painting to the corresponding country you found it in.
There are several locations throughout Epcot that you can purchase your map. You can choose to also pick up your prize right then or wait to redeem it after you have completed the challenge. My family and I had a blast doing this experience! I found that by having something you are hunting for in each country, it makes you to stop in each pavilion and truly appreciate the details that are all around you! I was noticing things in each country that I had never noticed before!
Figment’s Brush with the master challenge would be perfect for kids because it gives them something to do while parents might want to spend time sampling some of the many wonderful culinary offerings that can be found at the festival! We saw so many kids enjoying the challenge and excited to explore each pavilion and find Figment!
If you want to see what Figment’s Brush with the Masters is all about, join me in our new YouTube video! I vlogged my family experience hunting for Figment! I hope you have as much fun watching as we had searching each pavilion! You are sure to get some laughs at us circling back to pavilions when the quest got challenging! Enjoy!
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