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Category Archives: Epcot

Festival of the Arts Broadway Concert Series

 

The 2020 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts will open January 17th 2020 and run through February 24th.  This festival will celebrate culinary, visual and performing arts.

One of the fan favorites of this Festival is the Disney Broadway Concert Series.  These concerts feature Broadway performers singing some beloved songs from Disney musicals.  We know some of the pairs of artists this year include Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland, Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey, Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee, and Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White.

 

 

The current lineup that Disney has announced today is as follows:

Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White

  • January 17
  • January 20 through 21
  • January 24

Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee

  • January 18 through 19
  • January 22 through 23

Kissy Simmons, Heidi Blickenstaff, Alton Fitzgerald White and Gavin Lee

  • January 25

Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey

  • January 26
  • January 28 through 29
  • February 1 through 2
  • February 5 through 6

TBD

  • January 27
  • January 30 through 31
  • February 3 through 4
  • February 7 through 8


Kara Lindsay, Kevin Massey and TBD

  • February 9

Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland

  • February 10
  • February 12 through 13
  • February 18 through 19
  • February 22 through 23

TBD

  • February 11
  • February 14 through 17
  • February 20 through 21

Ashley Brown, Josh Strickland and TBD

  • February 24

These performances will take place at 5:30 pm, 6:45 pm and 8:00 pm daily during the Festival dates.

 

Dining Packages

 

 

Dining packages are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner at participating EPCOT restaurants.  This reservation guarantees you seating at one of the three concerts held that day.  Dining packages will be available for booking starting November 14th.

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation travel planner who can assist you in booking your trip to the Festival of the Arts!

My Top 5 Snacks Around EPCOT’s World Showcase!

 

EPCOT is a food lovers paradise.  There are so many things to taste in all the 11 countries around World Showcase, not to mention all the additional food and drinks that come along with the four festivals that happen around the year.  But today I am going to focus on my favorite snacks that I have to get on my trip.  Let’s see if any of them are your favorites too!

 

Norway

In Norway there is a wonderful Café which is the Kringla Bakeri Café.  You will find many delicious Norwegian treat and sandwiches.  My choice here is the famous School bread.  This is a sweet bread roll, which is injected with vanilla custard and covered with sweet icing and toasted coconut.  The recipe comes from a classic Norwegian snack, which kids took to school in their packed lunches.

 

China

Here in China I always stop by the Joy of Tea cart to pick up a Bubble Milk Tea.  The tea I love is a sweetened peach flavored black tea with tapioca pearls.  This drink is creamy and decedent and I love to stroll the World Showcase while sipping!

 

Germany

You can smell my next stop before you even see it and that is the Karamell-Kuche shop.  This shop specializes in caramel treats of the maker’s of Werther’s Original Caramels.  The smell just pulls you into this shop and I grab a bag of their fresh popped caramel corn.  The popcorn is made fresh right there as you watch!

 

Japan

It is usually pretty hot in Florida and nothing can beat the heat like a nice refreshing cold treat.  That is why I stop by the Kaki Gori stand in Japan.  Kaki Gori is shaved ice with a sweet flavored syrup.  I always do the add on of the creamy sweetened milk which gives it a creamsicle taste.  Some of the flavors to choose from are strawberry, melon, cherry and tangerine.  If you can’t make up your mind you can ask for rainbow and get a little of everything!

 

France

Fall Festivals, Parties, Concerts & More Return to the Walt Disney World Resort Aug. 25

Here in France is a wonderful ice cream shop called L’Artisan des Glaces.  There are many flavors to choose from and even some special treats like ice cream filled macaroons.  My top two flavors are the Caramel Fleur de Sel Ice cream and Coco-white chocolate.  You cannot go wrong with any of the choices.

 

I hope you enjoyed my top five list and I am sure in the future, I’ll have some new favorites as the chefs are always coming up with new treats for us to try.

Contact you Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner to start planning your next Walt Disney World vacation!

My Top Picks for Quick Service Locations at the Four Disney World Parks

 

In last weeks blog I discussed getting your Advanced Dining Reservations at Table Service Restaurants in Disney World.  In that blog I recommended that you not make reservations for every day of your vacation and to leave some days just to plan as you go and not be locked into any one location at a specific time.  This week I would like to give you my top picks at each park for a Quick Service Dining Option that is still really good food and not typical burgers and fries.

 

Magic Kingdom

In Magic Kingdom hands down for me I always head to Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square.  There are so many of my favorites on this menu.  My personal favorites would be the Trio platter which has fried shrimp, breaded chicken breast nuggets and battered fish served with hushpuppies and choice of green beans & carrots or french fries.  Another fav is the chicken pot pie or some healthy options like the grilled salmon or Harbour salads.  There is plenty of seating in this location.  I always head upstairs and get a seat by a window to people watch as I enjoy my meal.

 

Animal Kingdom

My pick for Animal Kingdom is Flame Tree Barbecue and I have selected it for two reasons, the food and the atmosphere of this location’s seating.  Flame Tree is located in the Discovery Island section of the park and you will easily be able to find it by just following the incredible BBQ smell.  They have ribs, chicken and pulled pork.  I’ve tried them all and love them!  My go to is the smoked pulled pork sandwich served with coleslaw and signature baked beans.  I have heard a lot of rave reviews on their baked macaroni and cheese with pulled pork so this is on my list to try next time.  As for the seating I mentioned, I like that it is outdoors and under nice shaded pavilions.  It is tucked away and I like to head to the area closest to the water overlooking Expedition Everest.  It is so quiet and peaceful down there and is the perfect place to recharge your energy for more exploring.

 

Hollywood Studios

I have to say that Hollywood Studios was always the park that I struggled to find a quick service location that had anything that I would highly recommend.  That was until Toy Story Land opened and with it Woody’s Lunch Box.  The menu here is not large by any means but everything I have tried has been delicious.  My favorite is their grilled three cheese sandwich and the tomato-basil soup.  The smoked turkey sandwich, totchos and BBQ Brisket melt are also good choices.  My only complaint is they need more seating so I recommend having someone stand in line to order while the rest of the family looks around for a family getting ready to leave and then grab it up quick.

 

EPCOT

Okay, I have left the best for last.  EPCOT is a foodie lovers park.  The quick service options here are endless and this is the one park where I have a hard time just giving you one pick, so I will break it down with a pick in Future World and then World Showcase.  In Future World I would head over to the Land Pavilion where Sunshine Seasons is located on the bottom floor.  This is a food court which has many options and you will be able to find something for everyone in your group.  There are different shops  within the court.  You can choose from:  Asian Noodles Shop, Grill Shop, Sandwich Shop, Soup & Salads Shop and of course a Bakery Shop to enjoy a sweet treat.  There is plenty of seating and if you plan your fast passes carefully this is where Soarin and Living with the Land and located.

In World Showcase there are many quick service locations each geared toward the cusine from the Country you are visiting.  Pick your favorite and you can’t go wrong.  I have to say I have had something from each that I have loved but if pressed to pick I’ll have to choose the fish and chips in the UK!

 

I hope you have enjoyed my quick service picks.  If this has made you hungry and wanting to plan your next Disney World trip please contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation travel planner to get started.

My Experience Riding the Disney Skyliner! – Video

 

Walt Disney World’s newest mode of transportation is here! The Disney Skyliner has arrived! The Skyliner has been added to the Walt Disney World Resort transportation fleet alongside, buses, boats, monorails and even Minnie Vans! The addition of the Disney Skyliner now gives guests another option for Disney transportation. This efficient system is helping to alleviate Disney bus traffic by giving resort guests and park goers another way to get around property.

 

 

Not only is the Skyliner efficient and convenient, but it is also so much fun! I rode the Skyliner for the first-time last month and truly felt that this transportation system feels more like a fun ride rather than simply a means of getting from point A to point B. With the Skyliner it feels as though your journey is already a part of the destination! The Skyliner is an attraction in itself!

 

 

For me riding the Skyliner gave me a similar feeling to riding the Disney monorail system. If you have been to Walt Disney World before, then I’m sure at some point you have experienced the famous Disney monorail. The Disney monorails are icons of the Disney Parks and Resorts and I’m sure you agree that riding the monorail is a fun form of transportation and gives you that feeling of being on a ride rather than just a transportation system. I had that same feeling while riding the Skyliner. The way I see it, I am predicting now that soon the Disney Skyliner will be just as iconic as the monorail. I see the Skyliner becoming one of those staples that you think of when you picture Walt Disney World!

 

 

Currently the Disney Skyliner takes flights to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s NEW Riviera Resort opening next month! All Disney guests are welcome to ride the Skyliner. It is not just exclusive to guests staying at the resorts that are on the Skyliner line. In fact, the Disney Skyliner now provides guests a new way to park hop between Epcot in Hollywood Studios. After using the system to park hop between these two parks last month, I would say in my opinion this is now the easiest and fastest way to get between Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

 

 

Now let’s talk about how the Skyliner works. Prior to me riding the system for myself, I didn’t fully understand how the Skyliner operated. I didn’t know if each station had direct flights to all the other stations, or if transfer flights were involved in order to get where you were going. My first day riding the Disney Skyliner I took every line available and fully experienced all aspect of the Skyliner and now I have a full understanding of how this great system operates.

 

 

You can refer to the map above to get more of a picture of how the system functions. All of the lines connect through the station located at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. From the Caribbean Beach station, you will find 3 lines you can go on. The first line takes a flight that stops at Disney’s Riviera Resort and then continues on to Epcot. The Second line at the Caribbean Beach station is a direct line that goes straight to Hollywood Studios. And the third line at the Caribbean Beach station goes directly over to Art of Animation and Pop Century. These two resorts share a central Skyliner Station.

 

 

Disney’s Caribbean Beach is the main hub station for the skyliner where you will catch all your connecting flights. All of the other stations have one flight option which will take you right to Caribbean Beach. With the exception of the Epcot Line because it offers the stop at Rivera prior to continuing onto Epcot. Likewise Disney’s Rivera Station since it is already on the Epcot line is another exception because you have two option here of either catching a flight to Epcot or over the other direction to Caribbean Beach.

 

 

With this knowledge in mind you can now plan out how to get from place to place. For example, if you were wanting to park hop from Hollywood Studios over to Epcot you would get on the line at Hollywood Studios which runs to Caribbean Beach and from there at the Caribbean Beach station transfer to the Epcot Line. Another example, let’s say you want to go from Art of Animation to Epcot. You would get on the skyliner at the Art of Animation station for the flight over to Caribbean Beach where you then catch your transfer flight to Epcot.

 

 

Disney has done a wonderful job with this new transportation system and the Skyliner is very easy to navigate. There are a lot of directional signs everywhere so you know exactly where you are going. And Disney Cast Members are always nearby and happy to help if you have any questions or need directions.

 

 

I have become such a big fan of the Disney Skyliner. I enjoyed my experience riding the Skyliner so much and it fills me with so much joy to know that this system is now open at Walt Disney World. I am excited for the future and what this means for new transportation or even a possible expansion of this system in the future!

 

 

Watch our new YouTube video to hear more in-depth about my experience and thoughts on riding the Disney Skyliner!

 

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next Walt Disney World Vacation!

Epcot Construction Update Video!

 

This year I attended D23, the ultimate Disney Fan event that is hosted every other year at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim California. The convention center is literally right across the street from Disneyland! This event is a Disney fans paradise! This expo has so much fan anticipation every year because this is when Disney officially announces many of their plans that are coming to the Disney Parks in the future!

 

 

This year the big focus was on Epcot! Epcot is currently in the beginning stages of undergoing a massive overhaul that will be bringing many excited new changes to Epcot! We are currently seeing the walls going up already in the park! It is crazy how fast all of this is happening. The future Epcot is on its way!

 

 

I was just in Epcot the other week and I was amazed by seeing all the areas of the park that are getting work done! As a Disney Parks fan and as a huge lover of all things Epcot, I must say this makes me very excited. I stood there at D23 in complete amazement as I watched the preview video of what was coming to Epcot! Seeing these walls makes it all so real that that future is about to take place and become a reality.

 

 

Watch our newest YouTube video for a walking tour of the current construction updates in the park! Let’s get excited for the future of Epcot together!

 

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner today to plan your next vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort!

My Favorite Items of the 2019 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

 

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is an event that I look forward to every year! Just like looking forward to a holiday or birthday, I love the excitement and anticipation that comes before getting to attend this great Epcot festival! I always enjoying getting to feast upon my favorite items that our returning from previous years. I also love the thrill of getting to expand my palate and try something brand new at the event!

 

This year’s 2019 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival started on August 29th and is running this year through November 23rd. I was able to attend this year’s festival on two different trips during this 2019 season. I was in Disney World in August during the opening week of the Food and Wine Festival and I just recently returned from a family vacation to Disney two weeks ago and got to partake in more food and wine fun then!

 

I enjoyed getting to spend time in Epcot on these trips and getting the opportunity to sample a lot of Food and Wine Festival items! So now that I have experience this year’s 2019 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, I am so excited to bring you my list of my favorite items I enjoyed:

 

Baked Shrimp and Scallop Scampi Dip

Festival Marketplace: Coastal Eats

This was an item that was a first for me to try at this year’s festival. I am a big fan of seafood and this Baked Shrimp and Scallop Scampi Dip from Coastal eats was a winner for sure. You get a lot of nice pieces of shrimp and 2 whole scallops in the dip itself making this item a great value. It also was a nice portion size and very rich in flavor making this item great to share. This item was served along with a generous amount of bread slices to accompany the dish. I will definitely be getting this item in the future!

 

Suja Organic Kombucha Flight

Festival Marketplace: Earth Eats

This was an item that was another first for me to try at this year’s festival. It was the Kombucha Flight. I recently was introduced to what kombucha is and have enjoyed buying it to enjoy at home for the health benefits that this drink provides. When I saw that the Earth Eats booth had kombucha at this year’s festival, I knew I had to try it! Earth Eats had 3 variations of kombucha that they sold, a green apple, a pineapple passionfruit and a ginger lemon. You could order these individually or get them in a flight like I did so you can sample all three. They were all excellent but I have to say that the green apple was my favorite!

 

Smoked Corned Beef

Festival Marketplace: Flavors from Fire

The Smoked Corned Beef has been around the Food and Wine Festival since the Flavors from Fire Booth first premiered. I have had this particular item every year since then and it remains on my list as a must get dish because it is that good! This item features corn beef, crisp potatoes, cheese curds, pickled onions and to top it all off – a beer-cheese fondue! All of these flavors accompany each other so perfectly making one unbelievable dish! The beef is always so tender and just melts in your mouth! I love this item!

 

Mala Chicken and Shrimp Bao Bun

Festival Marketplace: China

I am a huge fan of bao buns! I get so excited any time I see a bao bun on a menu. China typically has a bao bun at the Food and Wine Festival each year. Something that I love is that each year they mix it up with a different variation of a bao bun. This year inside the bao bun was a mix of both chicken and shrimp. I really enjoyed this take on one of my favorite food items!

 

Warm Indian Bread

Festival Marketplace: India

I consider this item to be one of the many hidden gems at this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. This item consisted of pieces of delicious traditional Indian naan bread served alongside 3 dipping sauces. If you have ever been to Sanna, the restaurant over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge then you know that they are known for their naan bread that you can enjoy with their selection of sauces. This is one of my favorite things to enjoy on Disney property and this item at the Food and Wine Festival felt like a miniature Sanna bread service experience! The 3 sauces that came with this Indian bread at the festival were a pickled garlic sauce, a mango salsa and a coriander pesto. My personal favorite was the mango salsa!

 

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my highlights from this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation’s Travel Planner today to plan your next magical vacation!

Dinner at Epcot’s Teppan Edo

 

In August, I was fortunate to be in Walt Disney World for my birthday for the first time ever!  I got to wear my birthday button and I enjoyed all the birthday wishes from cast members and guests.  My parents and I spent my birthday in EPCOT and they gave me the option to pick any restaurant I wanted in EPCOT for my birthday dinner.  After contemplating the many wonderful choices, I decided on one of my favorites, Teppan Edo.

 

 

Teppan Edo is located in World Showcase at the Japan Pavilion.  Here you will experience authentic Japanese cuisine during an exciting dining experience that is part a Hibachi style meal and part show.  Here you sit around Hibachi grills where your skillful chef chops and stir-fries your food right there in front of you.  Every seat has a perfect view of the show.  I enjoyed the show that the chefs put on while making your delicious food.  This experience it great for the whole family.  It will even keep your children entertained and excited to eat their meal.

 

 

 

You can select from steak, chicken, seafood and vegetable entrees.  These entrees are served with udon noodles, stir fried vegetables and steamed rice.  Prior to the meal, you also are served a fresh garden salad with Asian dressing.  For my birthday meal I choose the scallops, my mom had the shrimp and my dad had the filet mignon.   All were prepared and served right in front of us and they were all delicious.

 

 

At the end of the dinner, the servers presented me with a surprise piece of birthday cake and a birthday song.  The cake was their green tea cake, which is layers of delicate green tea sponge cake with a fluffy green tea mousse topped with a fresh whipped cream.  All I can say is yummy!  I highly recommend Teppan Edo and look forward to returning again soon.  You can check out my video below for highlights of this birthday dinner.

 

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner to get your next Walt Disney World trip planned so you can enjoy fun experiences like this!

 

Walt Disney World Date Night Ideas – Part 2

 

In Part 1 of my Disney date night ideas I talked about things to do at Disney Springs and on the Magic Kingdom Resort monorail loop.  Today I am going to discuss the EPCOT area and Mini Golf for a little activity and adventure!

 

EPCOT

 

 

The EPCOT Park is a great date night park!  Adults usually love this park because of the World Showcase.  Taking a stroll around the World Showcase and exploring the 11 countries is always a great time.  The food and drinks from each country along with theming and shopping make this a fantastic place to take your special someone.  One of my favorite restaurants is Tepan Edo in the Japan Pavilion.  This is a hibachi style restaurant and the food and show are so much fun!

 

EPCOT Resorts

 

 

After your stroll around World Showcase take the International Gateway over to the EPCOT area resorts.  These resorts are the Boardwalk, Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club.  You will find great restaurants in each hotel along with many different Bars and Lounges to relax.  You will also pass the Ample Hills Creamery, all I can say is yummy!! You have to stop in for a sweet treat to top off your dinner.  If your looking for a little more activity than stop in the Atlantic Dance Hall for some great music and to dance the night away.

 

Monorail Date

 

 

Also know that you can get to EPCOT from the Magic Kingdom on the monorail.  Just take the monorail from Magic Kingdom to the Ticket and Transportation Center and transfer there to the EPCOT monorail.  This gives you the option of starting your date early and playing in the Magic Kingdom for the day and then having a wonderful dinner over in the EPCOT area.  What better way to spend the day together than to park hop!

 

Mini Golf

 

 

Another activity that many couples enjoy is mini golf and Disney has some of the best courses I have played on.  The theming is great at each.  There is the Winter/Summer course, which is located near the Blizzard Beach Water Park.  The winter course is themed to Christmas and Summer is very beachy.  Then across from the Swan and Dolphin hotel you will find the Fantasia Gardens with two courses both based on the movie Fantasia.  The one course is your traditional mini golf course and the other is based more on a professional golf course but in miniature scale.  This course emphasizes on skill versus chance.  You can actually walk here from the EPCOT resorts.  Just head toward the Swan and Dolphin and walk through their grounds and across the street you will find the mini golf courses.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about these date night ideas and it has gotten you excited to plan your next night out!  Check out our YouTube Channel to see the video on Part 2 of Disney date night ideas.

 

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation travel planner to start planning your next visit!

 

Everything you need to know about First Aid at Walt Disney World

 

You never want to think that you will need First Aid care while on vacation at Walt Disney World but it is good to know what is offered and where to find it if the need arises.  First Aid Stations located in the Walt Disney World parks are not just for you basic band aids.  Let me tell you about some of the things that the First Aid Stations can do for you.

 

Say you are in the park and your child is not feeling well and you think they may have a fever, you can just stop in and check.  They have thermometer strips available to give you.  There is an area in the back with beds where someone can lie down for a while if they do not feel well.

 

The First Aid stations will also have samples of medicine for many things that can come up while traveling.  They will have things for colds such as cold medicine, cough drops and even packets of tissues.  If you get a bad headache that you just cannot shake, they can give you samples of Tylenol or Ibuprofen.  If the headache is coming on because of the start of dehydration then you can get some powerade, damp cloths and a cool spot to rest until you are feeling better.  All first aid stations are equipped with Epipens for insect bites and allergic reactions.

 

While on vacation, you may not be eating the same way you would at home which can lead to an upset stomach or indigestion.  The stations will have samples of medicines to help relieve your symptoms.

 

If you get something in your eye someone at the station can help you flush your eye out.  If you are having an issue with your contacts they will also have contact solution for you to use.

 

Probably one of the biggest things you could encounter while in Disney World is blisters from all the walking!  Just stop in if this happens and they will have band-aids and bandages available.

 

 

These first aid stations also offer some special services that might be of use to some people.  Did you know that these stations will store refrigerated medication for you.  That will save you from having to go all the way back to your resort to take your medicine.  You can also come here to do your breathing treatments for things such as asthma, just bring your nebulizer to First Aid and you have a nice private cool place to administer your treatment.

 

If you are a diabetic or require any daily injections a First Aid Station is the place you will want to go.  They will even have special containers for disposal of your needles.

 

 

On my most recent visit I needed to visit the First Aid Station.  I was taking an antibiotic that made me more susceptible to sun exposure.  I had a reaction on my feet that made them so itchy.  I was getting really miserable and happen to be walking by the First Aid Station.  I walked in, they had me sign in, I showed them what I was experiencing, and they handed me a few packets of ointment that made me feel so much better.  It saved the rest of my day!  The staff and facilities were so great!

 

 

Now that you know what is available at the First Aid Stations let me tell you where you can locate each station at each park:

-Magic Kingdom – Located between Crystal Palace Restaurant and Casey’s Corner Restaurant near the restrooms as you are heading toward Adventureland.

-Epcot – Located in the Odyssey Center between Future World and the World Showcase.

-Hollywood Studios – Located in the Guest Relations building on Hollywood Boulevard near the front entrance.

-Animal Kingdom – Located at Discovery Island next to Creature Comforts/Starbucks location.

-Typhoon Lagoonlocated just behind Leaning Palms.

-Blizzard Beach, located beside Lottawatta Lodge.

 

Hope this information helps you if you ever find yourself or a family member in need of a little medical assistance.

If you are ready to start planning your Walt Disney World vacation then contact one of our knowledgeable Kingdom Magic Vacation travel planners who will be happy to help you plan your trip!

Epcot Festival Overviews! – Walt Disney World

 

I love Epcot so much at Walt Disney World! I love the spirit of innovation and technology that can be found in Future World and I love the adventure and discovery that can be found when exploring the pavilions in World Showcase! Every aspect of this Disney Park is right up my ally! Another thing I love about Epcot is that there is always something new and exciting taking place! Much of that is thanks to none other than the Epcot festivals! Over the years, the Epcot Festivals have grown and evolved and we have seen the introduction of brand new festivals with their own unique offerings! Now days, throughout the course of the year there is pretty much always a festival taking place in Epcot with the exception of summer time and the few in between weeks during the year when Epcot sees the transition from one festival to the next.

 

 

This means there is pretty much always something new and additional to enjoy during your Epcot visit! There are currently 4 festivals that take place at Epcot each year! Each event is unique and offers something for everyone! The 4 festivals are the,

  • Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
  • Epcot International Festival of the Arts
  • Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

 

Here is an overview of what each one of these festivals has to offer!

 

Festival of the Arts

This festival is the newest to come to EPCOT.  It is held usually from mid January through mid February. This past year was only the third year and it has quickly become a favorite among guests.  It is definitely now my new favorite.  My family and I made a special trip just to experience it for ourselves because we all love the arts.  We were not disappointed!  There are many artists there doing meet and greets and will sign any art that you purchase.  I got a signed print from Ashley Taylor and enjoyed getting to talk to her for a bit.  Then there is the huge mural that you get to paint.  Just like color by numbers, you will get a brush and a small container of a certain color paint that you will be told to paint 5 squares of a number on the mural.  After you paint it and turn in your brush, you will be given a post card of what the finished mural will look like.  If you are there for a day or two you can see the finished product before a new mural is put up.  This was so much fun!  Another fun hands on experience is drawing with a Disney animator.  This is a 20-minute class where the animator will lead you step by step in drawing a Disney character.  At the end, you have your very own drawing that you can sign and date.  It is a fun free souvenir.  As you walk around World Showcase, there are props of famous paintings that you can jump into and be part of the scene. A photopass photographer will take your picture.  These are great to send to your friends and family back home.  If you love Broadway songs than you will not want to miss the Broadway Series concerts at the American Garden Theater.  Actual Broadway singers will perform the classic Disney hits.  Last but not least let’s talk about the food! The Disney chefs outdo themselves by creating delicious foods that are presented as a beautiful work of art.

 

Flower and Garden Festival

The Flower and Garden Festival is the most stunningly beautiful time of year to visit EPCOT.  It usually begins in early March and runs through May.  The landscape department does a wonderful job of transforming EPCOT with so many colorful flowers, plants and topiaries of the Disney characters.  The pictures you will get will amaze you!  Stop by the butterfly garden to be surrounded by more butterflies than you have probably ever seen before and watch as new butterflies hatch!  Your children will have a blast at the playground while you can sit in the shade of the beautiful garden and relax for a while.  At the American Garden theater you can attend the Garden Rocks concert series for some really fun music from some of your favorite artists.  Once again food will be a highlight at the outdoor kitchens.  Stop by each booth for a tapas size portion of some wonderful food and treats!

 

Food and Wine Festival

The Food and Wine Festival is the longest running EPCOT festival with this year being the 24th Anniversary.  This is also the longest festival giving you many opportunities to plan your visit.  This year the festival will run from August 29th through November 23rd.  This festival is all about food and beverage offerings with over 30 global marketplaces to visit.  You can truly eat and drink your way around the world.  There are many seminars and tastings with top Disney Chefs and renowned guest chefs.  You will also want to stop by the American Garden Theater for the Eat to the Beat Concert series, which will highlight many known musical artists during the course of the festival. This festival is a great way to try new foods from around the world with just tapas size portions.  You may find some new favorite recipes and your kids might even become a little more adventurous.

 

Festival of the Holidays

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays Offerings Begin November 19

This festival will begin this year on November 29th and run through December 30th.  You can stroll around the 11 World Showcase nations and experience their holiday traditions.  Performers will bring to life many time honored customs.  The World Showcase is filled with sights, sounds and flavors of the season.  Stop by the holiday booths for a taste of some wonderful Christmas comfort foods and sweet treats.  At the American Gardens Theater you can attend the Candlelight Processional.  This is the Christmas story told by a celebrity narrator, 50 piece orchestra and a full choir.  This performance always warms my heart and gets you in the Christmas spirit.

 

Check out our new YouTube video to hear more about what each one of these great festivals has to offer!

 

I hope this overview of the EPCOT festivals got you excited to try one out or a new one that you had not attended before.  Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations travel planner to get your next visit planned so you can enjoy these festivals for yourself!

How to Stay Cool At Walt Disney World! – Part 1 – Magic Kingdom and Epcot

 

Florida is known as the sunshine state for a reason! Central Florida, home to Walt Disney World is a paradise, typically having warm weather ALL YEAR LONG! Anytime you visit you may find the temperature are soaring high. But don’t let the heat keep you from the parks! The great thing about Disney is they offer so many great attractions that are all indoors in air conditioning so it easy to duck inside a queue line and escape the temperatures for a bit to cool off!

 

Here is my list by park of great attractions that typically have a low wait time and are great rides to head to when you are looking to get inside, sit down and cool off! Let’s start with Magic Kingdom!

 

Magic Kingdom

 

Enchanted Tiki Room

The Enchanted Tiki Room is a Disney classic! This show can be found in Adventureland. This is “where the birds sing word, and the flowers bloom!” You will enter a tropical paradise and get to sit down in air conditioning and enjoy the show!

 

Country Bear Jamboree

Another Disney classic! The Country Bear Jamboree is another great show that will get you out of the sun. It is located over in Frontierland.

 

Hall of Presidents

Located in Liberty Square, the Hall of Presidents is an amazing presentation that tells the story of the birth of our great nation along with the history of the American presidency. This show is educational and offers a great break inside air conditioning.

 

It’s a small World

We all know and love this Disney classic! It’s a Small world is a Magic Kingdom original found in Fantasyland! This attraction is a nice long boat ride that will give you a great break from being out in the sun.

 

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Also, located in Fantasyland, you can head to Mickey’s PhilharMagic. This 3D show is a lot of fun for the whole family featuring many well-known Disney songs. A great show that gives you a chance to soak in some air conditioning!

 

The Little Mermaid Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

Another great Fantasyland attraction and one of my personal favorites is The Little Mermaid Ariel’s Undersea Adventure! This dark ride typically has a shorter wait and you can get on very quickly, making it a great spot to head to get inside and enjoy a Disney ride!

 

The Carousel of Progress

Located in Tomorrowland the Carousel of Progress is another personal favorite of mine! This show has a rich Disney history that dates back to the 1964 World Fair in New York. The shows main focus is all about innovation and how technology has grown over the years!

 

Now let’s head over to Epcot!

 

Epcot

 

Spaceship Earth

Right at Epcot’s main entrance you will find the Spaceship Earth attraction located right inside the heart of Epcot’s icon! This slow moving dark ride offers a nice long break from the heat!

 

Living with the Land

Inside the Land Pavilion at Epcot you will find the Living with the Land boat ride! This attraction is a great sit-down that gets you out of the sun as you tour Epcot’s greenhouses!

 

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Board a clam shell and tour the ocean with Nemo and his pals in this adorable dark ride that is perfect for all ages! After your ride you will exit into the heart of the seas pavilion which features so many aquarium exhibits that you can visit and watch sea life! It is a great place to hang out and stay cool!

 

Journey into Imagination with Figment

I am a big fan of the Epcot classic character Figment! In the Journey into Imagination with Figment attraction you board your ride vehicle and head off on a scientific tour that soon gets hijacked by Figments antics! It is a fun attraction that typically has a lower wait and offers you a great chance to get out of the sun.

 

World Showcase Movies

Throughout Epcot’s World Showcase there are a few pavilions that have movies that you can watch indoors in the air conditioning. Here is a list of each pavilion that has a film!

  • China
  • American adventure
  • France
  • Canada

 

Gran Fiesta Tour

Located inside of the Mexico Pavilion you will find the Gran Fiesta Tour! This indoor boat ride follows the adventure of Donald Duck and the three caballeros through some iconic parts of Mexico! A great ride to enjoy as you take a break inside from the heat!

 

I hope my list gave you some idea on attractions to enjoy to help you beat the heat next time you are visiting Magic Kingdom and Epcot! Stay tuned for part 2 to learn how to stay cool at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom!

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner today to plan your next visit to Walt Disney World or to any travel destination you are dreaming of visiting next!

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2019 Update!

 

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!

What I Would Do With Only One Day In Epcot!

 

EPCOT is such a fun park to visit.  It has so much to offer and the vibe here changes frequently with all the different festivals throughout the year, so there is always something new to do and explore.  Also, there are so many changes going on in EPCOT with new rides like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ratatouille and new restaurants like the space themed one that will have you dining in outer space and the creperie in France, there will be so many new things to see and do.  Illuminations the iconic nighttime show will be going away soon and there will be a new spectacular, which I am sure will be incredible. This fall we will also have the opportunity to arrive from certain resorts via the new gondola system and park hop from EPCOT to Hollywood Studios on this fun new transportation, which will give us a new bird’s eye view of the Disney World property.  Until these new things are available, I will enjoy my classic day in the EPCOT park.  Let me describe what my day usually looks like while visiting here:

 

 

First upon arriving and walking through the entrance, I am always overcome with a sense of calm.  I love the massive sight of Spaceship Earth and the futuristic music which surrounds you, it always makes me smile.  Spaceship Earth is always a must ride for me so this will be my first stop and from rumors I heard this ride may be getting a refresh soon!

 

 

Next, I am going to head over to Soarin Around the World in the Land Pavilion.  I usually grab a fast pass for this ride so I only have a short wait.  This ride is always so enjoyable as you fly over iconic places around the world and experience all the different scents that go along with what you are seeing on the screen.  This is a must do ride for me!  Then in the same pavilion is another one of my favorites, which is the Living with the Land boat ride through all the ecosystems such as tropics, dessert and prairie.  Then your boat glides through the enormous greenhouse, which is home to so much vegetation, most of which is used all around property in the restaurants.  Twice I have taken the Behind the Seeds tour which takes you on a walking tour through this greenhouse with a knowledgeable  guide who will give you wonderful information on all that they are doing in the agricultural field to become eco-friendly.  I highly recommend this tour if you love gardening and the environment.

 

 

Next stop I will head over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends.  Such a cute ride and then you get off the ride and get to explore the aquarium with all the sea life.  My favorite is watching the manatees.  I could stand there for hours, they are such gentle giants.

 

 

Now I usually walk to the opposite side of Future World to ride Test Track!  Since I already used up my tier 1 fast pass I go to the single rider line for a very short wait and even when I am with other people we usually split up and ride at the same time, sometime you even get lucky and end up in the same car!

 

 

Onward to World Showcase!  Most times, I take the clockwise route starting with a stop at Mexico.  I love the temple with its marketplace that looks like nighttime in an open market.  I have gotten many souvenirs from here.  From here, I will wonder around the World exploring all the shops.  I love all the different cultural merchandise and talking to cast members that are from that country and learning about their customs.  Walking around World Showcase is breathtaking.  I love the attention to detail and the beautiful landscaping.  Along the way, I will enjoy many different food and drink item, especially during the festivals.

 

 

If you are not aware, EPCOT has the Food and Wine Festival in the fall followed by Festival of the Holidays, then Festival of the Arts; which is my new favorite and then the Flower and Garden Festival in the Spring which is a gardeners paradise.  If sampling food around the World is not enough, this is the best park for restaurants.  Each country has fabulous offerings.  I love Via Napoli in Italy and Biegarten in Germany; which also has a fun German Octoberfest show while you eat.

 

 

I always end the night watching Illuminations Reflections of Earth.  I love the musical score to this nighttime show.  Sadly, this show will have its last showing on September 30th after 20 years!  But I look forward to the next show that Disney will have in its place, I am sure it will be incredible!

 

 

So this has been a look at my day in the EPCOT park.  If you would like to experience this for yourself, contact one of our knowledgeable Travel Planners here at Kingdom Magic Vacations.  They will be happy to help you plan an amazing trip to Walt Disney World or wherever you would like to travel.

 

The Nighttime Spectaculars At Walt Disney World!

 

The nighttime shows at Walt Disney World are truly spectacular.  When you visit make sure you stay into the evening hours at each of the four parks to see the wonderful show that each has to offer.  At each park you will experience a very unique display that is sure to take your breath away!

 

 

Animal Kingdom

Since Animal Kingdom added on evening park hours they have added the Rivers of Light show.  This show celebrates the majesty of nature and features special effects and a thrilling musical score.  Eastern festival traditions are combined with technology, which makes for a beautiful nighttime pageant showcasing lantern floats and animals.  This show tells the story of how mankind has been inspired by animals and nature.

 

Hollywood Studios

Located on Sunset Boulevard at Hollywood Studios you will find the gigantic amphitheater which curves around a lagoon giving a great view of the nighttime show Fantasmic.  The premise of this show is you are in a dream Mickey is having where good will verse evil as he becomes a sorcerer’s apprentice with powers to control things like water, color and magic.  This show features many live performers, huge sets, stunning effects, pyrotechnics and thrilling music.  Mickey’s dream turns into a nightmare when the Disney Villains try to take over.  In the end you know that Mickey will win for a happy ending.

 

EPCOT

You will find Illuminations Reflections of Earth located around the World Showcase in EPCOT.  This show has stunning fireworks that celebrates the Earth and all of humanity.  There are also fiery flames all around the lagoon for a dramatic effect.  A 350,000 pound Globe glides out on the lagoon displaying the Earth’s history of humanity and achievements.  The combination of flames, lazers, fireworks, music and storytelling makes this show incredible.  That is why it has been around for 20 years.  Hurry if you want to see it because September 30th will be the last showing before a new show is revealed.  It will be sad to see it go but I am certain that Disney has an even better show ready to wow us.  As was the case when Wishes at Magic Kingdom went away to make way for the current show “Happily Ever After”.  So that brings me to the last park and for me my favorite!  That is why I saved the best for last!

 

Magic Kingdom

9 Must-Do’s For Fall Visits to Walt Disney World Resort

At Magic Kingdom the best way to end your day is with a viewing of the Happily Ever After fireworks show.  Cinderella’s Castle becomes part of the story by having state-of-the art projections tell a story of many favorite Disney animated films.  This show uses more lasers, lights, special effects and fireworks than any in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  The musical score will give you goose bumps and by the end I always have a tear in my eye.  Watch our new YouTube video to see highlights of what this show has to offer:

 

 

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner who will be happy to help you plan your Magical vacation to Walt Disney World or any other destination that you are dreaming of going.

 

Dinner at Biergarten in Epcot – Walt Disney World VIDEO

 

On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World I dined at Epcot’s Biergarten restaurant, located in the Germany Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. I was so excited to dine here, I had been before but it had been several years and I was very eager to get back!

 

This German restaurant is designed to give you the full experience of a traditional German Oktoberfest celebration! From the incredible food, to the live Germany band, the overall atmosphere – everything! Everything is specially put in place to transport you to the time and place of Oktoberfest. No matter what time of day you dine here you will feel as though it is a gorgeous evening!

 

 

The restaurant’s setting is created to simulate an outdoor courtyard at dusk. The ceiling around you looks like the night sky, complete with a gorgeous glowing moon. The seating here at this restaurant is family-style. The restaurant features several very long tables. You will likely be seated next to other families and groups as you dine. Our hostess explained that this seating style is in keeping with German tradition and creates the environment of friendship! We loved chatting with all of our table mates! This dining location truly does create such a warm and welcoming environment.

 

Now let’s talk about everyone’s favorite part, the food! This table service dining location is a buffet. You pay one flat price and can enjoy unlimited buffet trips. The best way I can describe the food is comfort! This truly is incredible, traditional German comfort food. I have a lot of eastern European in my roots and I am very familiar with this style of cuisine. And let me tell you, this food is truly authentic! Highlights for me were the spaetzli and the potato leak soup accompanied by a warm pretzel roll. The buffet includes a salad bar with some cold items, a hot foods section, a carved meats station which offers a wide selection of traditional German sauces and spreads, and of course a variety of desserts!

 

 

As you dine, periodically throughout the evening the German polka band will come out to perform! This completes the overall atmosphere so well and truly puts you in the mood for celebrating! There is a large dance floor and guests are encouraged to come join in the fun if they wish! We had a great time watching all the kids get up and dance to the festive music!

 

Watch our new YouTube video to see our experience at Biergarten!

 

Biergarten, remains a favorite of mine in Epcot’s world showcase. This dining location has everything, great food, great atmosphere, live entertainment and more! Be sure to check this location out for yourself on your next visit to the most magical place on Earth! As always our team of travel planners here at Kingdom Magic Vacations is excited to help you plan your next vacation to Walt Disney World or to any destination you are dreaming of visiting next!

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