Eat to the Beat Lineup Announced

It is hard to believe that Fourth of July is almost here and plans are already in motion for the fall at Walt Disney World.

One of the highlights at Epcot during this time of year is the Eat to the Beat concert series that is included in the price of admission.

These concerts, running from Aug. 31-Nov. 13 often feature interesting acts that you might have to pay a pretty good price to see elsewhere.

If I lived down in the Florida I would be making frequent trips to check out a lot of these concerts.

This year’s concert series will feature 32 different acts who will take to the stage at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. each day.

This year’s festival includes:

Aug. 31-Sept. 1 — Delta Rae “Bottom of the River”

Sept. 2-3: The Hooters “And We Danced”

Sept. 4-5: Baha Men “Who Let the Dogs Out”

Sept. 6-7: Fuel “Shimmer”

Sept. 8-10: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”

Sept. 11-12: Lauren Alaina “Road Less Traveled”

Sept. 13-15: Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah”

Sept. 16-17: Sister Hazel “All For You”

Sept. 18-20: Air Supply “All Out of Love”

Sept. 21-22: David Cook “Light On”

Sept. 23-24: Everclear “Santa Monica”

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Everclear (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World.) (As a side note, in my other life I had the chance to interview the lead singer of the band for my work. Really nice guy.)

Sept. 25-27: Sugar Ray “Every Morning”

Sept. 28-29: 38 Special “Hold on Loosely”

Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Mark Wills “19 Somethin”

Oct. 2-3: American Authors “Best Day of My Life”

Oct. 4-5: Christopher Cross “Sailing”

Oct. 6-8: Devon Allman “Ragged and Dirty”

Oct. 9-11: Dennis DeYoung: The Music of STYX “Come Sail Away”

Oct. 12-13: Taylor Dayne “Tell It to My Heart”

Oct. 14-15: Jeffrey Osborne “One the Wings of Love”

Oct. 16-17: Postmodern Jukebox Various Hits

Oct. 18-20: 10,000 Maniacs “Because the Night”

Oct. 21-22: Toad the West Sprocket “Walk on the Ocean”

Oct. 23-24: Kenny G “Songbird”

Oct. 25-26: Billy Ocean “Get Outta My Dreams”

Oct. 27-29: Tiffany “I Think We’re Alone Now”

Oct. 30-Nov. 1: Hanson “MMMBop”

Nov. 2-3: Blue October “Into the Ocean”

Nov. 4-5: Living Colour “Cult of Personality”

Nov. 6-8: Boyz II Men “End of the Road”

Nov. 9-11: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy “Go Daddy-O”

Nov. 12-13: Squeeze “Black Coffee in Bed”

If you want to make the concert a complete event there are also 15 popular Epcot restaurants that you can eat either breakfast, lunch or dinner at and will give you confirmed seating for a same day performance.

Which concert are you most interested in? Leave your comments below.

The Unthinkable Happened

Our daughter is such a picky eater. Not just a little picky and will turn up her nose at broccoli but loves hamburgers. No, she only eats cereal, waffles, pancakes, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, carrots, green beans, peas, quesadillas and that is pretty much it. Maybe mac and cheese or bananas, but that is on a good day.

So today the unthinkable happened.

I am off work on Fridays so Lily and I get to spend the day together.

I had some left over kale from salads for the week so I told Lily we would make “dino chips.” (AKA Kale with nutrtional yeast on them.)

The first step was preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

While we were waiting for the oven to reach temperature, Lily helped by stripping the leaves from the stems. We didn’t have to rip the kale because it was already in little pieces because I bought a bag already prepared for salads.

Then I tossed the kale with olive oil while Lily sprinkled the yeast on top. (Actually, it was more like dumping then sprinkling.)

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Making Dino Chips with curlers in our hair

I then spread it out over two cookie sheets and baked it for 10 minutes.

They turned out great and very crunchy and had a great cheesy flavor from the nutritional yeast.

It was a little bit of a fight to get Lily to at least taste it. But, when she did, she said it was really good and then continued to eat it.

I was so happy with this little victory.

I guess we can add another food to the short list of what she will eat. Baby steps.

Is your little mousekatot a picky eater? How do you get them to try new foods? Leave your comments below.

All the Comforts of Home

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For a lot of people after deciding when to visit Walt Disney World, the next big choice is deciding where to stay while you are on vacation.

The way Walt Disney World’s resort system is broken down is there are different tiers of resorts that are based on how much you want to spend. They are value, moderate and deluxe.

Value Resorts

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Pop Century Resort

The most economical category of resorts are the value resorts. This includes Pop Century, All-Star Music, All-Star Movies and All-Star Sports. The Art of Animation would also qualify as a value resort, but the price point, in my opinion would put it in the more moderate category.

The value resorts are pretty similar to each other. Each features outside hallways, oversize design features like a huge can of Playdough at Pop, or a giant Lady from “Lady and the Tramp” at All-Star Movies.

The value resorts have only one place to get food and that is at a large cafeteria style restaurant that you can find options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The resort pools are large and are the center piece of the resort.

All transportation is done by bus and there is only one area to catch the bus and that is at the front of the resort. If you drive yourself it isn’t as bad because you can park near your building if they are situated toward the back of the resort.

Typically the cost per night at a value resort is around $100 a night, give or take.

Moderate Resorts

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Port Orleans French Quarter

The moderate resorts are right in the sweet spot between value and deluxe categories. They offer some of the am entities of a deluxe resort while being more cost friendly.

Resorts in the moderate category include the two Port Orleans resorts (French Quarter and Riverside), Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach Resort. The cabins at Fort Wilderness are also semi in the moderate category.

The moderate resorts have a more cohesive theme whether it is the Caribbean or New Orleans the theme is carried throughout often into both the quick service and table service restaurants.

Speaking of the table service restaurants, one of the biggest differences is that the moderate resorts offer a table service (a place where a server comes to your table to take your order) where as the value resorts don’t.

Also, the pools usually have an additional feature, like a water slide.

If you want a better themed hotel, with more dining options, then you will want to check out the moderate resorts.

Typically it costs between $200 to $300 a night.

Deluxe Resorts

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The Beach Club Resort

The deluxe resorts are the primo accommodations at Walt Disney World. The resorts include: The Boardwalk, The Beach Club, The Yacht Club, The Contemporary, The Polynesian Village Resort, The Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the different Disney Vacation Club areas that are a part of the different deluxe resorts.

If you are looking for high quality table service restaurants, spas and mini-water parks at the resort, then you will want to upgrade to a deluxe.

Another benefit of this category is that many of the resorts have alternative ways of getting to the park such as monorails or boats. (Tip: If you and your family are big fans of Epcot you will want to stay at either the Beach or Yacht Club resorts because you are within walking distance to the World Showcase entrance.)

Typically it costs $400 to $500 a night.

Which category do you and your family prefer or what is one resort you would love to stay at that you haven’t tried yet? Leave your comments below.

If you are looking for more tips on planning your Walt Disney World vacation for your family and your little ones pick up a copy of “Mousekatots”.

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Fishy Fun

Because of my job I am off on Fridays so Lily and I get to spend time together through the day.

After we have a little snuggle time and breakfast I try to work in a little learning activity.

This past week since it was Read Across America week and Dr. Seuss was honored, we did an activity from the wonderful website Totschooling.

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This pack was great. It had math and verbal components, plus it included colorful goldfish crackers.

The math sheets included sequencing, numbered fish to count to 20 and counting out goldfish.

The verbal included putting the fish in the corresponding colored bowls and finding the color word on a sheet of paper.

Lily seemed to really love the math components where she could cover up the numbers.

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She loves to sort things and put them in groups so doing the goldfish bowls by color was right up her alley.

While this does have a Dr. Seuss tie-in it can be used any time.

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If you are looking for any type of preschool or totschool activity for your little one I can’t recommend totschooling.com enough. The activities are cute and really engaging with the kids.

Do you have any favorite learning activities that you like to use with your little one? Leave them in the comments below.

 

Bonus Days

Living in southwestern Pennsylvania means that the middle of February is usually cold, windy and snowy.

This past weekend, and continuing through this week we have had wonderful weather that included temperatures in the 60s and sunshine.

We wanted to take advantage of this beautiful weather and decided to head to the playgrounds.

On Saturday we went to Morgantown to do some antique shopping and to visit some retro game stores. (We have become obsessed with playing old Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo games. That is a story for another day.)

While we didn’t find any antique stores, we did have fun exploring Seneca Center (where the tea room is located) and we found some interesting murals and one particular antique of our own.

We did a little shopping and sight seeing and decided to take Lily to the playground and let her burn off some energy and enjoy this bonus day of beautiful weather in the middle of February.

We were so tired after a big day of playing that we slept all the way home.

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On Monday, we decided to take her to a local school’s playground to let her enjoy the fresh air since we both were off from work.

Did you have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful weather this past weekend? Leave your comments below.