Season’s Eatings

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Photo courtesy of WDWinfo

The halls are decked and now guests will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the special, hard ticket events that Walt Disney World has to offer this time of year.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, at the Magic Kingdom, offers guests the chance to watch special Christmas shows, fireworks performances and even witness snow falling on main street.

While Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween has trick or treat stops, there are special cookie and hot chocolate stops at the Christmas party.

In the past, you could go to one of the many treat stops to receive a snickerdoodle cookie and hot chocolate in addition to allergy safe treats.

This year Disney decided to mix things up by offering different treats at the various stops.

Here is a list of treats that have been added at the different treat stops:

  • Snow cone and snowman sugar cookie –Friar’s Nook, Fantasyland
  • Eggnog and gingersnap molasses cookie — Heritage House, Liberty Square
  • Spiced apple cider and snowman sugar cookie– Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Storybook Circus
  • Hot chocolate and peppermint bark cookie–The Launching Pad at Tomorrowland.

As it was in the past, for those who have a food allergy can also opt for apple slices, gluten free cookies or juice.

There are also additional snacks available for purchase that are also full of holiday cheer.

The Main Street Bakery have a peppermint cupcake and a Holiday Wish Cupcake.

Gaston’s Tavern doesn’t want to be left out in the cold. The eatery will have a Holiday Tree Cupcake (with spiced cinnamon, clove and star anise), Sleepy Hollow, in Liberty Square, will have a pumpkin spice waffle with ice cream.

 

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Photo courtesy of WDWinfo

 

To help wash down all of the cupcakes Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café is offering Very Merry Strawberry Lemonade Slush.

Which treat would you be more excited to try at this year’s “Very Merry Christmas Party?” Leave your answer in the comments below.

 


Celebrities Ring in the Holidays at Epcot

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Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World goes above and beyond for the holidays.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom offers a wonderful party that has a lot to offer for families.

Epcot’s World Showcase allows the countries the share their traditions with guests, and new this year, there will be food booths that tailor their favorite foods from their cultures.

Another tradition that Epcot embraces every year is the Candlelight Processional.

Performing at the America Gardens Theater at Epcot (in the American pavilion) the nightly special event offers the audience a taste of holiday music lead by a celebrity narrator.

The schedule of narrators for this year is:

  • Nov. 25-27: Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Nov. 28-Dec. 1: Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 2-3: Whoppi Goldberg
  • Dec. 4-6: Edward James Olmos
  • Dec. 7-9: Anthony Mackie
  • Dec. 10-12: Robby Benson
  • Dec. 13-15: Meredith Vieira
  • Dec. 16-18: Jim Caviezel
  • Dec. 19-21: Joe Morton
  • Dec. 22-24: Ming Na Wen
  • Dec. 25-27: Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 28-Dec. 30: Cal Ripken, Jr.

In addition to seeing the performance, guests can make the event extra special by partaking in the Candlelight Processional dining packages.

Dining packages can be for lunch or dinner and include either a three course dinner or a buffet. To make a reservation, calling 407-WDW-Dine.

Each evening features three performances, 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.

Seating is based on a first come, first serve basis. However, those who sign up for the dining package will have guaranteed seating.

There will also a sign language interpreter during the performance.

Which narrator would you be more interested in seeing? Leave your comments below.

 

 

 


Toddling Plans: New Fantasyland

 

 

Having a plan before you head into the parks at Walt Disney World is so important.

If you don’t figure it out, at least loosely, you will spend a lot of time running from attraction to attraction wasting a lot of time. Plus, you will also want to plan ahead so you can take advantage of Fastpass+

When you plan your trip you will also want to make sure that there is enough time for down time. No one wants a cranky toddler

So my suggestion is to start out at rope drop in the morning (as soon as the park opens) and take a break midway to go back to the hotel and recharge and then come back around dinner time.

Getting there?

The new section of Fantasyland is located at the very back of the park.

You can either go right through Tomorrowland or go straight around the castle to the middle section of Frontierland.

My suggestion is to take the train, right at the beginning of the park in Main Street U.S.A.

The train will take you on a tour through Adventureland and stop at the Fronteirland stations before you get off at the new Fantasyland station.

Here you will be right in the area that is home to Pete’s Silly Show, Dumbo and more.

Fastpass+ selections

You need to make your Fastpass selections based on the personality of your toddler. If your Mousekatot likes thrills, you will have to get a Fastpass for The Great Goofini.

If your little one loves the characters, you will want to checkout Pete’s Silly Sideshow.

 

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Memory Maker photo

You will also want to look at possibly getting a Fastpass for Dumbo, what toddler wouldn’t want to take a ride on Dumbo?

Must visit attractions

While there are a lot of attractions, there are also a lot of time wasting traps. For example, there is a cute little splash area right outside of Pete’s Silly Sideshow.

Your toddler can spend a lot of time splashing around here. However, if you are not careful you can spend most of your time here.

In my opinion, here are the must visit attractions for toddlers in new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom:

  • Dumbo
  • Pete’s Silly sideshow
  • The Great Goofini
  • Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

 

There is a height requirement for mine train of 38 inches.

If your child is tall enough, and brave enough, you will want to get a Fastpass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

If not, then you will want to get a Fastpass for Enchanted Tales with Belle and The Great Goofini.

Dumbo has a great feature that is an indoor playground that your toddler can play in while they wait in line. You will be given a pager to let you know when it is your turn to for the attraction.

Don’t forget to work in some time to grab a quick snack. Gaston’s Tavern and Maurice’s Popcorn Cart are two great places to grab a bite to eat.

The number one thing to remember when you are planning your day is that you are on vacation and to take your time and really enjoy yourself. Your vacation is about making memories and sharing time with your loved ones.

What are your tips for visiting the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom? Leave your comments below.

 

 

 

 

 


Menu Announced for PizzeRizzo

Earlier in the year Walt Disney World Resort announced that they would be renaming and remodeling the then current Pizza Planet restaurant located near the Muppets 3D attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The restaurant that would be replacing Pizza Planet was to be named PizzeRizzo and would be themed after the sarcastic, but loveable, Muppet rat Rizzo.

 

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Photo courtesy of WDWMagic

 

With the restaurant scheduled to open Nov.18, the menu has been released according to Orlando Theme Park News, and it looks like there will be plenty to eat on the menu.

Entrees

  • Vegetable Pizza (mushrooms, peppers, onions and tomatoes served with Caesar salad) $9.99
  • Peperoni Pizza (served with Caesar salad) $9.99
  • Cheese Pizza (served with Caesar salad) $9.49
  • Meat Lovers Pizza (served with Caesar Salad) $10.69
  • Meatball sub (served with Caesar salad) $9.99
  • Antipasto salad (ham, salami, pepperoni, Kalamata olives, mozzarella, tomatoes, chopped romaine and Italian vinaigrette) $10.49

Kids Meals

  • Cheese pizza (includes applesauce, carrot sticks and choice of small lowfat milk or small Dasani water, Minute Maid juice box, small Nesquik chocolate milk or cookie substituted upon request) $5.99
  • Mini chicken sub (includes applesauce, carrot sticks and a choice of small lowfat milk or Dasani water. Minute Maid juice box, small Nesquick chocolate milk or cookie substituted upon request.) $5.99

Kids’ Mickey Check Meal

  • Kids’ Mickey Check Meal — Power Pack (Dannon Danimals yogurt, apple wedges, carrot sticks, Goldfish crackers, apple-cinnamon snack bar and choice of small lowfat milk or small Dasani water.) $5.49

Desserts

  • Tiramisu $4.59
  • Cannoli $4.99

Beverages

  • Assorted fountain beverages (regular) $3.29
  • Assorted fountain beverages (large) $3.69
  • Dasani bottled water $3
  • Coffee $2.79
  • Hot tea $2.79
  • Hot cocoa $2.79
  • Minute Maid apple juice $3.29
  • Milk $3.29
  • Nestle Nesquick chocolate milk $3.29
  • Non-alcoholic peach Bellini $4.99

Alcoholic beverages

  • Wild berry basil Limoncello lemonade $9.75
  • Moretti Blond (20 oz draft) $9
  • Bud Light (20 oz draft) $7

What items are you most interested in trying? The veggie pizza and Caesar salad sounds very yummy.

 

 


Who Will be the Newest Disney Cast Member?

Last night, citizens of the United States cast their ballot for the 44th President of the United States. This is an election that was one full of passion and will be one for the history books.

Since I write the blog the afternoon before it posts I have no idea who the winner of the election is. (Who knows, it could be like the Gore vs. Bush election where we first heard the phrase “hanging chad” and the winner may not be decided.)

While this person will become the leader of the free world and will become the figurehead of one of the most powerful nations of the world, but let’s talk about something more important: who is going to be the 44th addition to the Hall of Presidents attraction in Walt Disney World?

 

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Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

 

Disney has already planned ahead for the newest addition to “the prez posse” by already announcing the attraction’s closure from Jan. 17 through June 29, to install the new president.

In honor of this newest addition here are some fun facts about the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World.

  • The theatre can seat up to 700 people and features three huge projectors
  • The film that is shown during the attraction, was created by a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian
  • Walt Disney himself originally had dreams to include all of the presidents in one of his earliest attractions. Unfortunately, the technology of the day was not available and the animated wax figures that Disney had envisioned did not quite work the way he had hoped. He worked hard with his imaginers to develop the realistic animatronics that are seen today and were a part of the “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” attraction that was part of the 1964 World’s Fair (along with “It’s a Small World” and “Carousel of Progress.”)
  • Since the show runs constantly, you will need to check the clock hanging under the marque that will let you know when the next performance will take place.
  • There is an urban legend that one of the monks in the Bible transcription scenes of Spaceship Earth at Epcot broke down. The imaginers ended up replace him with the Truman animatronic at the Hall of Presidents.
  • Inside of the oval office of the White House and inside of Hall of Presidents in Walt Disney World are the only two places where the presidential seal is on display.
  • Before you head into the theater, make sure you look around the lobby, there are lots of authentic artifacts in protective glass cases.

Is the Hall of Presidents on your list of must do attractions? Leave your comments below.

 


Hidden Culinary Treasure

Finding places to eat to please all the pallets in your group can be challenging. Some people don’t like spicy food, others don’t like Chinese and sometimes you just can’t eat one more burger and fries combo.

In our circumstance, my husband and I are both full time vegetarians and part time vegans, it can be hard for us to find something to eat.

Back home, we have to usually ask for grilled chicken salads with out the grilled chicken or order a sub without the meat (crazy I know.)

So we were really looking forward to enjoying all the wonderful vegetarian/vegan options available.

The meal that I was looking forward to the most was located in one of the most surprising places for a non-meat eater: Trails End Café at Fort Wilderness.

Situated at the campground at the Walt Disney Resort, Trails End is in Pioneer Hall which is only a short walk from the boat dock that takes you from the Magic Kingdom to the resort (this is the way we arrived to the campground.)

While the restaurant is a buffet that would please any meat-eater, it is surprising that this is a vegan haven.

Chef TJ has been recognized for his commitment to keeping those with food allergies safe. Because, not only does chef TJ work with those who are vegans he is also the person that helps people with food allergies.

The great thing about him is that he really goes above and beyond to make the meal extra special for those with dietary restrictions.

When we went to the restaurant Chef TJ was super busy that day. He had a bunch of people with dietary restrictions so he asked us to be patient and was so nice throughout the meal. He showed us to the buffet and told us what we could eat, which was pretty much limited to a few salad items and a baked potato, but he said he would bring the rest of the food to us.

The very first course were delicious vegan samosas.

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They were crispy with a little bit of spice brought on by the filling and also the tangy sauce on the outside. To add a little bit of a tang, a balsamic reduction was drizzled over top.

The second course were delicious vegan nachos.

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This picture isn’t doing justice to how delicious these nachos were. I am pretty sure that these were rice nachos because they were lighter and a little crispier than traditional nachos.

On top there were grilled peppers and onions, the delicious balsamic drizzle and homemade vegan cheese.

We have made vegan cheese at home with cashews and it always comes out delicious, but also kind of heavy. This recipe was light but also had a cheesy taste with an excellent cheese-like mouth feel.

Just, when I thought we were going to get our main course, Chef TJ comes out with a delicious mushroom soup.

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I am not sure how it was done, but the mushroom soup was so creamy without any dairy products. You have to really like mushrooms to enjoy this soup. Luckily, I do love mushrooms so this was the perfect soup.

Right when I was starting to feel pretty full, Chef TJ comes out with our main entrée.

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Not only was this meal beautiful, but it was so delicious. It consisted of grilled zucchini, squash and portabella cap toped with an onion. There was also baked tofu and stir fry rice drizzled with a mesquite sauce.

I might have been pretty full but there was no way I was going to not enjoy this meal. It was delicious, with a yummy grill flavor. The rice was not salty, which can sometimes be the case with stir fry rice, and the grilled vegetables had the perfect crispy texture.

To end the evening’s eating events, Chef TJ, brought out this amazing dessert tower and proceeded to drizzle chocolate syrup all over it.

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In this dessert tower was vegan ice cream sandwiches, bananas, strawberries, a strawberry compote, gummy worms, a whole apple and sprinkles.

To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. The fact that Chef TJ takes the time to create something so special for vegan guests just blows me away. While, all of the Disney restaurants do a wonderful job taking care of their guests with special dietary needs, Chef TJ takes it to a whole new level.

His friendliness also puts you at ease. For me, I hate to have a fuss made over my food. I always feel like I am putting someone out. But, Chef TJ never once made me feel like that.

So if you are looking for a great place to dine for anyone with special dietary needs, you need to check out Trails End at Fort Wilderness Resort.

 


Mom & Dad Spotlight: AbracadaBar

While Mousekatots is usually about enjoying Walt Disney World as a family, it is also nice if Mom and Dad can sneak away for a few minutes for a nice date night to enjoy the resort’s nighttime offerings.

While Disney Springs is a great place where you can go to a bunch of different lounges and restaurants in one night and try your hand at bowling or go to a movie, the various resorts at Disney also offer unique wateringholes.

During our last vacation to Walt Disney World, we stayed at the Beach Club Resort for the first time (this turned out to be my favorite resort, ever).

Being so close to the Boardwalk, we walked over to the resort one night to check out the AbracadaBar.

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Just like with all Disney restaurants and night spots, AbracadaBar has an interesting “story.”

This place was the former hangout of magicians, illusionists and their assistants. After every show they would gather together to share laughs, tricks and friendship until the early hours of the night.

No one knows what happened, but one night the magical hotspot just disppaeared, along with everyone in it.

Recently, the hot spot has been rediscovered and has been opened to the public.

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The mystery behind the AbracadaBar

The lounge is decorated just like how the magicians would have left it complete with their posters, some tricks on the wall and beautiful lighting and wallpaper.

The menu is small, to be expected, but it has a bunch of different drinks.

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Side-by-side menu

After looking over everything I opted for The Conjurita, “a colorful margarita that never reveals it’s secrets! Gran Centenario Plata Tequila, Cointreau, Simple Syrup and Lime Juice. (It even comes with a magic trick!)

Here is a live review of what I thought of the drink. (Please excuse how dark the video is. It was very dark inside the lounge.)

Kevin ordered the Elixir, the same drink the magicians were drinking when they disappeared. “The mysterious cocktail that may have made a room of magicians vanish into thin air … Lucid Absinthe and Water.” Yep, you heard that right, absinthe, the green fairy.

While today’s absinth doesn’t have wormwood like the kind that was drunk by bohemium poets, it still packs a bit of a punch.

Here is Kev’s review.

If you have the opportunity to checkout AbracadaBar, I highly recommend it. The drinks were great, and strong, and it is such a fun atmosphere.

Will this lounge be on your radar next Walt Disney World visit? Leave your response in the comments below.