Click here to see the video of the entire ride through of the newest ride at Walt Disney World!
There is a wonderful experience to be had at Magic Kingdom. It is not widely known, it is small and intimate (which is a shocker anywhere at WDW), and it is relatively inexpensive (another WDW shock)!
The Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party!!
Now that I have experienced this twice, I feel like I can write about it for my fellow Disney lovers. This is a great experience to add some magic to your trip. Reservations are difficult to get because it only holds a limited number of guests and they now accept reservations 180 in advance like the other restaurants. It is not on the Disney Dining Plan, so you will be paying out of pocket for the experience. The price is around $22-26 for adults (ages 10 and over) and $12-14 for children 3-9. This does not include tax and can vary depending on the time of year, more expensive during the holiday peak seasons. You will prepay for this when you book and they accept cancellations up to 48 hours in advance.
You are given a time to arrive about an hour before the fireworks – you arrive at 9:05pm for a 10:00 viewing of Wishes. After you check in at the desk and receive your wrist band, you will be shown to your reserved table. This isn’t first come first serve, so it isn’t worth queuing up in a line an hour before your scheduled arrival.
Once you are seated, you are welcome to go to the self service, all you can eat dessert buffet in the back of the restaurant. There are 2 stations full of items and drinks in the middle. The buffet includes: tarts with fruit, key lime, apple pie, banana creme, and chocolate peanut butter; Full sized chocolate chip and sugar cookies, Crisped rice treats, Chocolate dipped strawberries, Itty bitty cannolis, tiny cups of cheesecake, chocolate mouse, creme brulee, & tiramisu, mango shooters, build your own sundae station and fresh cut fruit. The little mango shooters are a favorite of my family. The drink options are lemonade, raspberry lemonade, iced tea, milk, coffee and tea.
The desserts on constantly refilled during that hour between your arrival and the fireworks. The cast members come to clear your place on regular basis. My daughter wouldn’t give up her 6 mango shooter cups and straws as a symbol of her triumph.
You can see the Main St. Electrical Parade from this location, but it is definitely from a distance. They also pipe in the music for the parade for you to enjoy. The castle light show is very enjoyable but you don’t get the same angle you have from Main St. and the hub.
The most spectacular thing is the flight of Tinkerbell from the Castle to the roof of Tomorrowland Terrace. (Tried and failed to get good pictures of this!).No one in our group believed that this really happened until the live Tinkerbell was directly overhead waving to us.
Overall, this is completely worth the experience. Would I do it every trip? No…but I would as a special surprise or treat for the family. Most of our group of 14 said that this was their favorite experience of the entire trip. I think that $26 per person is worth the experience of the fireworks, all you can eat desserts, NO crowd jostling you around…and Tinkerbell smiling directly at you!
Goodbye my old friend Fastpass…Hello FastPass + and My Disney Experience!
I have to say that I am nostalgic about the old system because most of us frequent WDW visitors had that down to a science. But as of this month, the old fastpass machines at the entrance to the most popular rides are no more! Instead, all guests are now expected to take part in the new My Disney Experience, My Magic+, Magic Bands and FastPass + (FP+) online system.
Things work differently depending if you are staying on property or off site.
This is the same for all guests:
- You select (and can change) your return time for the ride/experience.
- You can only choose 3 FP+ per day
- You can only get your 3 FP+ in one park each day
- FP+ includes character experiences and seating for fireworks & parades
- You can change your FP+ selections at any point, even during your return time(if you get to your ride return and see no line, you can adjust your FP+ at the entrance for a different ride) Continue reading
UPDATE: The surprise was a success! They had no idea even though a few people (including myself dropped the ball a few times). Little did I know how crazy a time it would be. We had a blast and it was a little more crowded than expected. The end of May is probably not the best idea for me with school ending 2 weeks later along with final dance recitals and a festival to follow. It has been an exhausting few weeks and I have been a complete slacker when it comes to my blog. Summer is here and I am back in action. Watch for posts on all the amazing experiences we had while at Walt Disney World!
Today is the day we are surprising the kids with a trip to Disney. We have been keeping this a secret for 3 months and they still have no clue. So many people, myself included have blabbed right in front of them and neither have picked up on it. The fact that I am the Mouse Ear Momma and constantly talk Disney with people has helped tremendously, I think they are immune to the word Disney. My 5 year old keeps telling me it is time to plan another trip, wait until she hears she is leaving today! We decided to pick up the 2nd grader and then have my husband on the porch with a sign and ear hats waiting for us. I will post pictures of the surprise as soon as we are on our way
For you Star Wars fans out there, tomorrow is the big day…May the Fourth be with you! Now that Disney owns Star Wars, they are capitalizing on this popular day among the geeks. (No offense, this includes me too!) As part of this year’s Limited Time Magic, tomorrow Hollywood Studios will be celebrating “May the Fourth be with you”. The plans are special Star Wars entertainment, merchandise, dance party and fireworks (which are a rare occurence in Hollywood Studios).
There will be Star Wars characters greeting guests and even riding on Star Tours occasionally. I can imagine what my kids would do if we went to sit on Star Tours and Boba Fett was sitting there! Characters will appear from 9-7:30 and expect to see Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett and many more surprises.
Jedi Training will also be changed for the day with parents being able to join their children on stage (ages 4-12) for training and fighting the Empire. Oh, how I wish I could be there to wield a lightsaber at Darth Vader! Shows will be every 30 minutes from 9-7:30. Get to the park before opening to sign up for Jedi Training.
After dark, a Star Wars themed dance party will take place with DJ Lobot from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Expect Star Wars characters to be dancing as well. This will be from 6-7pm & 7:45-12am.
The day will be capped off with a special Star Wars themed fireworks show at 9:45.
So, put on your best Star Wars gear and head out to Hollywood to celebrate May 4th. This is a good way to pump yourself up for the upcoming Star Wars weekends!
The success of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom has led to a new interactive experience, A Pirates Adventure: Treasure of the Seven Seas in Adventureland. This was supposed to be open in the spring but has been bumped to an ambiguous “summer” opening. This looks even better than Sorcerers when you watch the video from Disney Parks Blog. Some are saying that this is a way to keep park guests busy and happy while waiting for their fastpass return times with the new Magic + system. If this is true, then I am happy that they are trying to find a way to entertain the masses between rides.
Are you trying to think of ways to bring home souvenirs that won’t collect dust and you won’t have the urge to throw away after a year? I discovered the penny press a few years ago as a way to keep the kids busy while my husband was collecting the stroller. After digging into my wallet for 2 pennies and 4 quarters, I let each kid press one penny. They were so enamored with the process and the different options it kept them happy and involved for longer than it probably should have. After pressing one penny each, they continued to ask to look at it the entire trip. I didn’t think anything of it until I started to notice penny pressing machines everywhere around the parks and hotels. In a gift shop, I found a book to hold your pennies next to the autograph books.
Now, I purposely pack a roll of pennies and 2 rolls of quarters from our Disney Fund. The kids each has a baggie in the backpack with their coins and are allowed to stop at any machine they want. They hunt high and low for penny presses. Hotels, outside bathrooms in the parks, at rides…penny press machines are everywhere and it is a fun and inexpensive thing to collect and bring home. Each penny costs 50 cents and a penny to press. They also have quarter press machines, but that is too rich for me so I just stick to the pennies.
Here is a site that can give you a list of where to find the penny press machines and what they have for the hard core collectors. I am not so hard core yet, but that may change as the kids get older…
We watched Wreck It Ralph yesterday during our snow day and when you pause the movie they show you the scenes that contain characters from well known video games. I thought that was so fun and then I came across this post this morning! Big fun for any Disney fan. Thanks Kenny the Pirate!
Here is a scene from Hunchback of Notre Dame: There is a character from Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Lion King in this street scene!
It’s that time of year again to start looking towards springtime with longing. Well Walt Disney World does it up right with the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival starting March 6 and ending May 19. There is everything here to get you ready for spring, beautiful gardens, DIY and HGTV personalities presenting home improvement seminars, spring inspired food and drinks and outdoor concerts.
I can’t wait to go (though I am in it for the food and drinks more than the DIY)! Here is the schedule of events for the Festival.
UPDATE: Here is a review of the festival food and drinks from The Disney Food Blog! Also this year, they are giving passports when you enter the festival as well. In these you can check off what you have tried on the menu and notes on your food and drink. You can also collect stamps at each booth you visit.I think it is a fun addition to make it more interactive!
UPDATE: If you traveling on the Disney Dining Plan, I have also noted which of the food items are available as a snack credit!
The HGTV and DIY Network Personalities:
NEW! Chris Lambton of HGTV’s Going Yard March 8 – 10 NEW! Chris Grundy of DIY Network’s Cool Tools March 15 – 17 NEW! Egypt Sherrod of HGTV’s Property Virgins March 22 – 24 Brandon Johnson of HGTV’s My Yard Goes Disney March 29 – 31 Meg Caswell of HGTV’s Meg’s Great Rooms April 5 – 7 Jason Cameron of DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves April 12 – 14 NEW! Sara Peterson of Editor-in-Chief, HGTV Magazine April 19 – 21 Carter Oosterhouse of HGTV’s Million Dollar Rooms April 26 – 28 NEW! Casey Noble of HGTV’s Design on a Dime May 3 – 5 Dan Faires of HGTV’s Design Star and HGTV.com’s DanMade May 10 – 12 NEW! David Bromstad of HGTV Design Star, Color Splash, Design Star All-Stars May 17 – 19
Flower Power Concert Series at the America Gardens Theatre, Friday – Sunday: 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM, 8:00 PM
Micky Dolenz of The Monkeez March 8 – March 10 Chubby Checker & The Wildcats March 15 – March 17 The Guess Who March 22 – March 24 Nelson March 29 – March 31 The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie April 5 – April 7 Paul Revere & The Raiders April 12 – April 14 The Village People April 19 – April 21 The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO and ELO II April 26 – April 28 Tommy Roe May 3 – May 5 Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone May 10 – May 12 Starship Starring Mickey Thomas May 17 – May 19
The Garden Marketplaces will be serving up delicious food and drinks while you enjoy the Festival. Some items will be a snack credit as well, if you are traveling on the dining plan. There are also items that are part of the new “TRY IT” menu as part of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living initiative, to encourage children (and adults) to try come common foods in a new way.
UPDATE: If you traveling on the Disney Dining Plan, I have now noted which of the food items are available as a snack credit with a asterisks **
FRUITS BY THE GLASS – World Showcase Plaza
Watermelon Passion Fruit Cocktail Wild Berry Slush – Non Alcoholic** Sea Dog Blue Paw Wild Blueberry New Planet™ 3R Raspberry Ale (Gluten Free) Florida Orange Groves, Mango Mama, Mango Wine , Blueberry Blue, Blueberry Wine DeLoach Vineyards Heritage Reserve Chardonnay & Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir
Watermelon Salad with pickled Red Onions, Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese** Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Zellwood Corn, Tomatoes, & Cilantro** Angel Food Cake with macerated Florida Berries Florida Orange Groves, Hot Sun, Tomato Wine & 40 Karat, Carrot Wine Orange Blossom Pilsner Strawberry Slush** – Non Alcoholic
JARDIN DE FIESTAS – Mexico
Pork Tacos topped with Tamarindo salsa, served on a flour tortilla with Chicharrón ** Crab tostada served with Chipotle Mayo and Valentina Salsa** Guava Flan** Conga Fruit Punch – Non Alcoholic** Corona Light Draft Beer Rosita Margarita Organic Tequila Flight
LOTUS HOUSE – China
Beijing-Style Candied Strawberries** Spring Pancake with Grilled Chicken and Green Apple** Pan-Fried Vegetable Bun** Peach-Oolong Bubble Tea** Kung Fu Punch (Vodka and Triple Sec with Mango and Orange Juice) South Sea Storm (Guava with Light and Dark Rum) Plum Wine Tsing – Tao Beer Lychee Aerated Water Peach Aerated Water**
BAUERNMARKT: Farmer’s Market – Adjacent to Germany
Savory Bread Pudding with Spring Peas and Wild Mushroom Ragout** German Meatloaf Sandwich with Sweet Mustard and Fried Shallots** Potato Pancakes with house made Apple Sauce** Florida Avenue American Wheat Ale Krombacher Hefeweizen Goose Island Brewing Company’s Honker Ale Blue Point’s Toasted Lager Beer Flight Hugo – Charles De Fere “Organic” Brut with Elderflower and Mint Krombacher Hefeweizen
PRIMAVERA KITCHEN – Italy
Asparagi con Aragosta all’Ortolana** (Green asparagus, lobster, garden cocktail sauce) Lasagna Primavera** (Spinach Lasagna, green peas, zucchini, mushrooms, broccolini, béchamel and fresh tomatoes, with garlic and basil leaves) Panna Cotta al Limoncello** (Limoncello flavored Panna Cotta, wild berries) Fontana Candida Pinot Grigio Castello di Querceto Chianti Bosco del Merlo Prosecco White Peach Bellini Strawberry Rossini Italian Primavera Birrificio Del Ducato – Nuova Mattina (Spring Saison Ale) Birrificio Le Baladin – Nora (Specialty Ale) Birra Del Borgo – Rubus Lamponi (Specialty Wild Fruit Ale) Beer Flight
THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews – The American Adventure Courtyard
Pulled Pig Slider with Cole Slaw** Smoked Beef Brisket with Collard Greens and Jalapeño Corn Bread ** Rocky Road Brownie Mousse** Mama’s Little Yella Pils (Czech style Pilsner) Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company Red Ale from Orlando Brewing Blackwater Porter The Original Rib Shack Red Wine & Beer Flight
Frushi** (Fresh strawberries, pineapple and cantaloupe rolled with coconut rice, atop a raspberry sauce sprinkled with toasted coconut and whipped cream) Chirashi Hanazushi** (Grilled Salmon, cooked shrimp and crab stick served over a bed of fragrant ginger rice with Volcano and Dynamite sauce) YakiSoba Pan** (Fresh grilled carrots, onions and cabbage with Japanese noodles and teriyaki sauce served on a bun with mayonnaise and Beni Shoga) Green Tea Flan** (Silky custard with macha green tea and caramel glaze) Yuzu Rita Fruit Sake Hana Awaka Frozen Kirin Ichiban
TASTE OF MARRAKESH – Morocco
Spiced Lamb Kebab with Vegetable Couscous Salad** Harissa and Lamb Confit Chicken Drumettes with Chermoula and Cucumber Salad** Baghrir** (Moroccan pancake with honey, almonds and Argan Oil) Desert Rose White Sangria Guerrouane Red Casa Beer Mint Iced Tea
L’ORANGERIE – France
Tarte a la ratatouille** Country style pâté served with baguette and cherry compote** Caramelized peaches and rosemary and light vanilla cream** Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain liquor with White and Red Cranberry Juice Muscat Pétillant, Sparkling Muscat Charles de Fère Chardonnay, White Burgundy, Macon Village Georges Duboeuf Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux Beau-Rivage Kronenbourg Blanc 1664, (Fruity White Beer with Citrus Notes)
THE COTTAGE: Savories, Trifles and Tea – United Kingdom
Potato, Chive and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour Cream** Baked Goat’s Brie with Kumquat Chutney** Waterkist Farms Heirloom Tomatoes with house-made Mozzarella, Minus 8 Vinegar and Basil** Chocolate Trifle** Berry Trifle** Ginger and Tea Trifle** Trio of Trifles** Hot Teas** (Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Lemon Green Tea, Jasmine Green Tea, Spiced Apple Chai, Pumpkin Chai, Mixed Berry Black Tea, Pomegranate and Raspberry, Camomile Honey & Vanilla, Honeybush, Mandarin and Orange, Pure Peppermint, Lemon & Ginger) Peach Cold Brewed Iced Tea Mixed Berries Cold Brewed Iced Tea** Poema Cava Brut Rosé Chilled Rose Blush Lemonade
PINEAPPLE PROMENADE – World Showcase Promenade – near Canada
Dole® Whip Dole® Whip with Siesta Key Spiced Rum Pineapple Upside Down Cake featuring Dole® Pineapple Dole®** Dole® Whip Dole® Whip** Pineapple Fruit Cup** Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade Samuel Adams® Cream Stout
INTERMISSIONS CAFE — Festival Center Beet Lollipop Grapes Fruit & Cheese Plate Vegan Trio Southwest Chicken Wrap Tuna Salad with Pita Italian Salad Asian Tuna Salad with Noodles New Planet™ 3R Raspberry Ale Blue Point’s Spring Fling Florida Orange Groves: Mango Mama, Mango Wine, Blueberry Blue, Blueberry Wine DeLoach Vineyards Heritage Reserve Chardonnay, Heritage Reserve Pinot Noir Poema Cava Brut Rosé