November 15, 2017

Winter at Walt Disney World!

Hello friends!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, it already is in Walt Disney World! Today I’m sharing all of the things that are special about visiting Walt Disney World in Winter! This time last year I had just gotten back from my trip, and while I don’t currently have a trip planned (*sniff*), I do have lots of information to share and once again my most recent pictures are relevant again!  The holiday season is magical in the parks, and it’s definitely one of my favourite times to visit! Just like I did with Fall, let’s dive in to some of the cool things available during winter at Walt Disney World!

Winter at Walt Disney World

the decorations

Disney goes ALL OUT with he decorations, and I love it! Even the background music in Magic Kingdom changes to Christmas music. From the minute you walk in to the park, you have to appreciate the holiday spirit! The massive Christmas trees, the toy soldiers, the Mickey wreaths, and the lights on the castle are all amazing to see in person! I may or may not have teared up the first time I saw the castle lighting show! Speaking of which, make sure to not miss the castle lighting! It usually takes place around 7pm, and you probably guessed it, it takes place right on the stage in front of the castle!

Winter at Walt Disney World

the treats

Who doesn’t love a special holiday treat! You can find treats in the parks and resorts starting in November. One of my favourite touches? The red and green Disney designs on the drink cups everywhere!

mickey’s very merry Christmas party

Last year I shared 10 Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, so you can check that post out here! This is a special ticketed event in Magic Kingdom that runs on select nights in November and December. With free cookies and hot chocolate, to a special parade and fireworks, it’s a really fun time! I also vlogged it on our last trip, so if you want to see more you can check out the video below!

candlelight processional

This seasonal show at Epcot is hosted by celebrities *cough*Neil Patrick Harris*cough* and tells the story of Christmas with a full choir and orchestra. I’ve never seen it in person, but it sounds like it would give me goosebumps! Dining packages are available to get you reserved seating, and you can find more information about that here.

Winter at Walt Disney World

holidays around the world

In World Showcase at Epcot you can learn about the different traditions around the world while walking from country to country! It would be interesting to hear the different holiday traditions each country has, and I hope to have the chance to see these soon!

Winter at Walt Disney World

jingle bell, jingle bam!

At Hollywood Studios, this firework and projection show is themed after the cartoon Prep & Landing, and is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! Reserved seating is available through the dessert parties, and you can find more information here.

Winter at Walt Disney World

NEW: Sunset Season’s Greetings!

Hollywood Studios is getting even more into the spirit this year! With a new projection show on Tower of Terror, and SNOW on Sunset Blvd! This is the only place for you to experience snow outside of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! There are also special holiday treats available, and from the pictures I’ve seen this looks pretty amazing! You can find more information here.

Winter at Walt Disney World

decorations at the resorts

We just started to see the decorations going up in the resorts near the end of our trip last year. We made a special trip to the Grand Floridian to see the gingerbread house being built, and it was pretty amazing to see! Another notable resort is The Boardwalk! But all of the resorts usually get a tree, and the tree is themed to the resort! It would be fun to spend some time looking at all of the decorations.

Winter at Walt Disney World

the assembly of the gingerbread house last year!

Hollywood & Vine: Minnie’s Holiday Dine

At Hollywood Studios, head to Hollywood & Vine to dine with Minnie and friends, with a decked out holiday meal! You can enjoy this holiday meal from November 7th- January 7th, and you can find more information here! I love the outifts Mickey & friends get to wear!

Thank you for joining me today as I share some of the many things to enjoy in winter at Walt Disney World! I will do a post toward the end of next month with what you can expect at Walt Disney World in January and February, as it’s a little different from the holidays!

I enjoyed our trip in November of last year for many reasons, but getting to see the decorations at my favourite place was at the top of the list! Below is one of my favourite pictures from the trip! I have my sunglasses on because I was crying because it was our last day. But I was still happy to be standing there!

Winter at Walt Disney World

What’s your favourite thing to see during the holidays? Let me know in the comments!

Kelsey
August 30, 2017

Fall at Walt Disney World!

Hello friends, I hope you are all well! Today I thought I would share some of the things you can look forward to at Walt Disney World this fall! I plan on doing a post like this before each season, so look for those posts over the next little while. I’ve only been to Walt Disney World twice during the fall, but one of those trips included Christmas decorations, so it doesn’t count! I will try and hunt down some pictures to put in this post. Okay, let’s get started!

fall at walt disney world

Decorations and Shows

Mickey Pumpkins are probably one of the best decorations you’ll finds throughout the parks in the Fall, and they make me so happy! Additionally the people of Main Street USA, who happen to sing and dance on the trolley change their songs and such with the seasons. Also Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire changed a little bit seasonally! The ambiance changes slightly with the seasons, and I love it!

fall at walt disney world

picture via Walt Disney World website

Seasonal Treats!

Halloween cupcakes, Spooky Cinnamon Roll and Pumpkin Ice Cream are available from Aug 25th- Nov 1st in Magic Kingdom. If you’re going to treat yourself, you might as well make it a holiday themed treat!

Special treats available during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party:

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake dome
  • Jack Skellington Panna Cotta
  • Haunted Mansion desserts
  • Pumpkin Mickey Waffle
  • Worms and Dirt
  • Halloween themes Rice Krispies and Brownies!
fall at walt disney world

picture via Disney Food Blog

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

I just did a post a few weeks ago with 10 Tips for the Food & Wine Festival, so if you are going to the festival make sure to check that out! If you’ve never heard of this festival, there are booths set-up all around World Showcase in Epcot, where you can purchase sample-sized food from all around the world! It’s one word: delicious!

Food & wine

Free Dining!

Free Dining is probably the most popular discounts you can get at Walt Disney World, and it generally happens every fall. Room rates are increased so it doesn’t really work out to “free” dining, but if you stay at a participating Walt Disney World Resort, you get the dining plan for “free”. Value Resorts & Moderates get the quick service plan for free, while Deluxe Resorts get the regular dining plan. I plan to do a post all about Free Dining at some point, but there is one thing to note. Dining reservations are going to be even harder to get during Free Dinning promotions, because the parks are BUSY. As is the promotion tends to sell out. So if you are planning on taking advantage of this promotion, you need to be prepared.

 

mickey’s not so scary Halloween party

I’ve actually never been to a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, but I hope to soon! (I should have had that in my Disney Bucket List!) When I do go, you can expect a blog post sharing some tips :). It’s a special ticketed event held on specific nights at Magic Kingdom, where the whole family can dress up and trick-or-treat in the park! With a special parade and firework show, it’s a full night of fun! For more information, click here.

fall at Walt Disney World

The only Fall picture I have! Via my blackberry in 2011!

I know it might not seem like a lot when listed in a blog post, but Disney goes all out for Fall! I love how they decorate for the seasons, and I hope to go back in the fall soon. Ethan and my wedding anniversary will be in the fall, so potentially we may visit often in the fall! Not that I’ve thought about that or anything.. 🙂

Lastly I just wanted to say my thoughts are with everyone impacted by Hurricane Harvey, and I hope that any of my readers and their families are safe! If you want to help you can donate to the American Red Cross, and locals can donate. Stay safe everyone!

Thank you so much for joining me today! I definitely love Fall at Walt Disney World! When it starts to get colder here, it’s nice to get a bit more summer, because it’s still hot in Florida! Look forward to posts for each of the different season within the next while!

Kelsey
August 16, 2017

10 Tips for Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival

Hello friends! I can’t believe it’s almost that time in Walt Disney World once again, and even earlier than ever! We are just about two weeks away from the start of the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot! It’s one of my favourite times to visit Walt Disney World, so I thought I would share ten tips and things I’ve learned after attending the festival a few times! If you’re heading to Walt Disney World in November, check out my 10 Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as well! Okay, let’s get started!

The Food & Wine Festival runs from August 31st- November 13th, 2017.

Food & Wine Festival

1. get a passport

These handy little things list all of the dishes that are available at the festival, and list them by country (or booth). The idea behind it is you sample everything then stamp (a sticker that comes in the book) the country once you have completed it. it’s really nice to see everything in one place and get organized. The passports are free and are available at most if not all, booths. The passport will also list if a dish is vegetarian which I found really helpful!

2. know what you want to try

Lines can get long, and it can definitely get busy, so it’s nice to have an idea of what you want to try! Whether you put a star next to the item, or just make a mental note, it’s nice to know what is a priority!

3. if from Canada (or another country) take picture of actual passport

We learned this the hard way at our hotel when we went to go to Trader Sam’s, and even though Ethan, his brother and I are all over 21 by at least a few years, we needed to show our passport or a picture of it (not drivers licence) to get in. I don’t want to have to carry my passport around the parks, so I took a picture and used that when buying my margarita at F&W (yum!). Just make sure to delete the picture after your trip!Food & Wine Festival

4. avoid on weekends

If I lived in Florida, I would visit the Food & Wine Festival all the time! So you can imagine, weekends are busy at Epcot! I made sure that we hit Epcot before the weekend at first, and then only spend a few hours there on the Friday morning before we hopped to Hollywood Studios. You could definitely tell the difference in crowds between the Tuesday and Friday!

5. gift card or certain amount of cash

With so many things to try, the Food & Wine Festival samples can add up fast. In World Showcase you can purchase Disney gift cards that come with a wristband to 1) limit spending and 2) be easily accessible on your hand! I would purchase a gift card for a certain amount, and when that runs out I’d be done! But you would be surprised how quickly it can add up!

6. spend an afternoon or two, hopefully Monday-Thursday

I think one of the best ways to do Food & Wine is in small portions (just like the samples!;) ) Spending an afternoon during the week wandering World Showcase is a perfect way to spend a day at Disney in my opinion! I love spending time wander World Showcase any time of year, but something about Food & Wine holds a special place in my heart.

7. Booth open at 11am!

Booths get busy, so don’t forget that World Showcase opens at 11sm! Beat the lunch rush by heading to some booths early, and you won’t regret it!Food & wine

8. Other offerings

Eat to the Beat concert series, and seminars, and tastings! There is actually much more to the Food & Wine festival. From the Eat to the Beat concert series (where I’ve seen Boyz II Men), to seminars and tastings, there is tons to do! Seminars and tastings you can book in advance here, and there are dining packages available that provide reserved seating for the evening show. Also there’s the Remy’s Hide and Squeak Challenge that is back this year! For $8.99+tax you get a map and have to find the Remy statues around World Showcase! Once completed you get a special edition pin.

9. be smart in using snack credits!

If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, the Food & Wine Festival can be a great use of snack credits! Just look for the dining plan symbol beside items on the menu. Try to use your credits for the most expensive items (like the lobster roll) to get the most out of it!

10. Booths everywhere!

The number of booths increases every year, and they are getting closer and closer to being through the entire park, not just World Showcase! Don’t forget the booths that are near the entrance to world Showcase, and actually in Future World!

Food & Wine

The items I sampled last year!

Since I’m not going to the Food & Wine Festival this year, I thought it would be nice to reminisce on what I tried last year and what I thought of it! You can see a list of the items available this year here.

The Chew Collective Booth

Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli with Rustic Tomato Sauce*

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mouse with Caramel Drizzle

Refreshment Port

Cronut* (available here year round)

Mexico

Taco de Camaron: Battered Shrimp Taco with purple cabbage and chipotle mayo

Hops & Barley

New England Lobster Roll*

Carrot Cake*

Morocco

Spicy Hummus Fries*- the highlight for me last year! Definitely give it a try!

*also available this year.

 

If you want to hear about the 10 tips instead of reading, check out the co-ordiating video below!

What are you looking forward to at the Food & Wine Festival this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you so much for joining me today!

 

Kelsey