Tag Archives: Epcot

12 Week Reward

Well, after all the whining in my last post…IT HAPPENED! Twelve weeks and I made that 20 pound loss mark, 20.2 pounds actually. I am so beyond jacked!

I have four more weeks in my initial Noom registration. In that four weeks my goals are to lose five more pounds, to increase my two daily walks by 10 minutes for an extra 20 minutes a day, and to investigate some new diabetic-friendly recipes that are also calorie-friendly and Noom-friendly.

Anyway, today has been a very good day. Thanks for following along this journey, Dear Readers.

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

PS. I am booked at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter for my 65th birthday. Finally plan to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the Candlelight Processional at EPCOT. It’s something to plan for, and something to help me stay on the straight and narrow.

Turning 65 at Walt Disney World

I’ve been thinking about turning 65 years old and becoming eligible for Medicare. It’s a year and a half away for me, but I’d like to celebrate it at Walt Disney World. I turned 60 there, and it just seems like this next milestone would be fun to be there, too. We wouldn’t be using our DVC points, because we’re saving those for Disneyland Paris in 2021. but I’ve always wanted to stay at Port Orleans French Quarter, and this may be the right opportunity to do so. Here’s what Disney has to say about it:

Revel in the romance and pageantry of New Orleans’s historic French Quarter at this Moderate Resort hotel, where cobblestone streets, gas lamps, wrought-iron balconies and fragrant magnolia blossoms evoke the Antebellum era and colorful Mardi Gras characters and jazz keep things lively.

We would take in the holiday sites, and go into EPCOT for one day so we could experience the Candlelight Processional.

A candlelight processional at Holidays Around The World at Epcot

Hear the stirring story of Christmas as told by a celebrity narrator, and accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir. 

The rest of the time we would wander our resort, walk around and explore Disney Springs more thoroughly, book dining reservations at places we’ve never been before, and chill.
Sounds like fun, right? It’s something fun to think about anyway.
Meet you at the Kingdom.
Donna
P.S. I finally reached the 10 pounds off mark. It took nearly four weeks. It’s a hard win. This is the toughest weight loss ever for me. Perhaps in the long run, it will be the best. Here’s hoping.

Elegant EPCOT

We spent our day today at EPCOT. What a blast we had! Emi and James surprised us with gift cards which we were able to use at all the food booths at The Food and Wine Festival. So we ate our way around World  Showcase Lagoon. Well, it was delicious and such a blast. There was very little cloud cover and scorching hot for us northerners. We kept downing water and searching for shade.

Our Fastpasses today were: Turtle Talk with Crush (totally tubular, Dude), The Seas with Nemo and Friends (Ida loved seeing the fish and especially the manatee) and Frozen Forever (which scared and delighted both Ida and Grandma).

The Guinness and Baileys Shake and the Irish Soda Bread with Cheddar Cheese Dip were my favorite things of the festival. However, after more than ten years of planning to try the School Bread at Norway’s Kringla Bakery og  Cafe today that mission was accomplished. It was a cardamom biscuit with coconut on top, and a delicious cream center and topping. We had to pick some up to take back to our villa for  breakfast tomorrow. Delectable!

What an incredible day! Meet me at the Kingdom. Disney’s Hollywood Studios tomorrow.

Donna

Final Vacation Itinerary

Gosh! There are only five days now until we head for Walt Disney World. Our itinerary (see below) looks very busy, but actually it gives us plenty of time to chill out by the pool at Old Key West, or head to Disney Springs to wander and shop and nosh. Today I will do laundry, so I can get my clothes into the suitcase and be mostly packed to go. I have so much stuff in my huge suitcase, that Mike may need to pack some of my clothes. But that means I’ll have plenty of room once I unload everything at our villa. My suitcase will be much lighter on the way home. 🙂

Final Plans for Walt Disney World

Day 1

  • Travel to Florida
  • Eat at Good’s Food to Go

Day 2-Magic Kingdom

  • Breakfast at Crystal Palace
  • FastPasses-
  1. Peter Pan’s Flight
  2. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  3. Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Dinner at Olivia’s Café

Day 3

  • Dinner at Artist’s Point

Day 4-Animal Kingdom

  • Lunch at Yak and Yeti’s in Animal Kingdom
  • FastPasses-
  1. Na’vi River Journey
  2. Kilimanjaro Safari
  3. Festival of the Lion King

Wednesday, October 24-EPCOT

  • EPCOT-take advantage of the Food and Wine Festival for lunch
  • FastPasses-
  1. The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  2. Turtle Talk with Crush
  3. Frozen Ever After

Thursday, October 25-Hollywood Studios

  • Dinner at Minnie’s Seasonal Dining at Hollywood & Vine
  • FastPasses-
  1. Toy Story Mania!
  2. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-along Celebration
  3. Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Friday, October 26

  • Breakfast at Olivia’s Café
  • This evening we will attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
  • Dinner at Be Our Guest

Saturday, October 27-Magic Kingdom

  • Lunch at Tony’s Town Square
  • FastPasses-
  1. Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
  2. Jungle Cruise
  3. Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Sunday, October 28

  • Breakfast at Olivia’s
  • Travel home

Meet me at the Kingdom!

Donna

Taste Your Way Around the World

Eleven days remain before I fly to Orlando International Airport and catch Magical Express to Disney’s Old Key West Resort. There are just eleven days now until I get to be in the same room with both of the kids, their spouses and their daughters. I’m starting to get butterflies in my stomach now. I always do when I have a flight coming up. And the excitement is way over the top!

Today I received the three “Taste Tour Way Around the World 2018” trays in the mail. I ordered them in advance so we can hit the ground running at EPCOT. It will be a handy way to carry our food and drink choices while we nosh and imbibe our way around EPCOT World Showcase. Cool, right?

I don’t know if we’ll all hang together at EPCOT after our Fastpass+ rides, or if we’ll divide and conquer. Our vegetarians may go one way, our newest parents may go another, and Mike and I may blaze our own path. It doesn’t matter, because we ‘ll start out and finish up at the same grand villa every day. But won’t it be fun to try some new (to us) international flavors? Oh, yes, it will!

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

 

2018 Food and Wine Festival Picks Recapped

Just 22 days now until my Walt Disney World vacation. Woo hoo! When I last visited WDW in 2015, I spent only one day at EPCOT, and the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. I had a lunch reservation at San Angel Inn Restaurante. Well, once I’d had my lunch, I was too full to enjoy any of the festival booths. Lesson learned. This year I have no meal reservations for my EPCOT day. I am going to enjoy the food booths this year!

Thanks to DFB (Disney Food Blog) Guide to the 2018 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, I was able to make some choices in advance. Listed below are the booths and foods that I will choose from.

  • Wine & Dine Studio-Butternut Squash Ravioli
  • Active Eats-Loaded Mac and Cheese
  • Hawaii-Kahlua Pork Slider
  • Refreshment Port-Beef Brisket Poutine
  • Canada-Canadian Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup served with a Pretzel Roll
  • France-Crème Brulee
  • Belgium-Belgian Waffle
  • Hops and Barley-New Brunswick Slider
  • Germany-Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll
  • Brazil-Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Tomato and Onions
  • Canada-Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon
  • Italy-Cannoli
  • Ireland-Roasted Irish Sausage

That’s a lot of choices, but the portions are small, and Mike and I will split everything. It’ll be just enough to get a taste of each item. This is so exciting! We will eat around the world. 🙂

I also found in the DFB Guide to the 2018 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival a Vegetarian Crawl. We have three vegetarians in the family so I thought it was worth a look. Here’s what they suggest:

  • Chocolate Studio-Sweet Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart with Whipped Cream
  • Earth Eats-IMPOSSIBLE “Burger” Slider with Wasabi Cream and Spicy Asian Slaw on a Sesame Seed Bun
  • Active Eats-Active Eats Energy Bar Bites: a mixture of Chocolate, Nuts, Dried Fruit and Dates
  • Cheese Studio-Maple Boursin Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Cream, Caramel and Pecan Crunch
  • India-Warm Indian Bread with Pickled Garlic, Mango Salsa and Coriander Pesto Dips
  • Greece- Vegan Loaded Greek “Nachos”: Pita Chips, Meatless Sausage Crumbles and Vegan Tzatziki
  • Ireland-Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread
  • Belgium-Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream
  • Africa-Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew with Vegan Yogurt and Quinoa
  • Brazil-Pao de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread

The featured photo for today is from three years ago. We’ve been through a lot since then, but through God’s grace and blessings, we are more ready than ever to enjoy this vacation/family reunion. Bring it on!

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

PS. Make sure to check out Disney Food Blog (DFB). It is my absolute favorite Disney blog, and I look forward to every post. If you are at all a Disneyphile, then please look for it online. And special thanks to AJ from DFB for never disappointing!

School Bread (Skolebrød)

Twenty-five days from today our Walt Disney World family reunion vacation begins. It’s just over three weeks away now. Wow!

We have been to EPCOT many times now, and every time I have wanted to try School  Bread from Kringla Bakeri og Cafe in the Norway pavilion. This is it, folks. This is the trip where I pick up some School Bread and take it back to Disney’s Old Key West for a treat, or maybe for breakfast the next day.

Here’s what Disney has to say about it:

School Bread

Sweet Roll filled with Custard and dipped in Coconut
Short  and sweet, right? Now check out this fantastic review by  The Disney Food Blog, my favorite Disney blog! Thank you, AJ! Check out her blog. Seriously, it is just the best!
School Bread has long been a beloved snack for many Walt Disney World visitors, and more guests are being introduced to its deliciousness every day. This treat, found in Epcot’s Norway pavilion at Kringla Bakeri og Cafe, is actually pretty simple. A sweet bread roll is injected with vanilla pudding or custard, then covered with sweet icing and toasted coconut. The School Bread recipe comes from a classic Norwegian snack (properly titled “Skolebrød”), which kids took to school in their packed lunches or parents sold at bake sales.
The description aside, this is one of those Disney World snacks that actually isn’t too sweet! Which is possibly why so many people love it. This yummy treat won’t knock you on your kiester for the rest of the day — at least in my experience — so it gives folks a good “rest” snack before moving on with the rest of their Epcot touring!
Regarding taste and texture, the bread here is a cross between a cinnamon roll and a dinner roll. It’s not super moist — more springy. But the sweet vanilla custard is extremely smooth and abundant (my big worry before trying this snack was that there wouldn’t be enough custard — not a problem). And the basic icing and coconut on top give it just enough extra sweetness.
While you can eat this snack while walking, I highly recommend getting a table in the little covered area behind Kringla Bakery and taking a seat while snacking. It’s a great opportunity to relax, and trust me — you’ll want to remember this experience!
Now do you understand why I want to try this? Kringla Bakery og Cafe, here I come!
Meet me at the Kingdom.
Donna

Frozen Ever After

Now it’s just 40 days to go until our Walt Disney World trip. It’s so fun to experience it creeping closer.

Another new ride for us is Frozen Ever After at EPCOT. We rode it when it was Maelstrom, and it was an EPCOT favorite of mine. But since we were last there, it has changed to a Frozen theme. This will be fun! Here’s what Disney has to say about it:

Hoist the sails in Arendelle aboard an ancient Norwegian vessel as you set out into the wondrous wintery world of Frozen! 

A smiling Princess Anna hugs a little girl

Embark on Adventure in Arendelle

Come and celebrate a very special “Summer Snow Day” with Queen Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and friends.

Welcome to Frozen Ever After, an unforgettable adventure where you’ll be whisked away for an on-the-water journey through Arendelle—one set to the tune of your favorite songs from Frozen!

Let It Go All Over Again

The adventure begins on the docks of Arendelle, as seen in the classic animated film. After finding a seat aboard your boat, feel an Olaf-inspired smile frost across your face when the lapping waters take you right into the frozen willow forest.

Soon, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with some “boulders”—a.k.a. Kristoff’s family from Troll Valley—before bracing for the cold. High up in the icy blue world of the North Mountain, Queen Elsa’s enchanting ice palace awaits! Behold the wonder… and keep an eye out for a few more Frozen friends too.

Finally, hang on tight as you glide back down into the Bay of Arendelle and conclude this “Summer Snow Day” celebration in style—complete with many of your favorite Frozen tunes!

Princess Anna and Queen Elsa sign an autograph book for a girl

Royal Sommerhus

“For the first time in forever”—you’re invited to meet with Anna & Elsa inside a cozy summer cabin. Located at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot, Royal Sommerhus is the perfect place to pose for pics and share a warm embrace with the royal sisters from Frozen before heading on to other amazing adventures!

I hope the grandbabies enjoy Frozen Ever After, too. It does take place in a fairly dark environment, so I hope that doesn’t scare them. I wish them only delight in the sights and sounds of Disney World.

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

P.S. Two families that we know will be in WDW while we’re there. I hope we run into them to say, Hi!”

Turtle Talk with Crush

In 41 days we head to Florida and Walt Disney World. It’s a comin’ fast now. Woo hoo!

One of our new experiences at EPCOT will be Turtle Talk with Crush, that lovable sea turtle from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. I’m so excited for this new adventure!

Here’s what Disney has to say about it:

Gather ’round a window to the ocean for a real-time Q-and-A session with your favorite totally tubular turtle. Righteous! 

Dory, a friendly Pacific regal blue tang fish with a short memory

Starring Pals from the Disney•Pixar Films

Join Crush as he welcomes a few underwater friends from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory!!

Dory has been stopping by Crush’s “Human Tank” for a while… but these days, the tubular sea turtle may also be joined by Marlin, Nemo and Squirt! Plus, in addition to his chums from Finding Nemo, Crush is stoked to introduce you to some of his dudes from Finding Dory too—including the whale shark Destiny, Bailey the beluga whale and Hank the octopus… well, “septopus” actually, now that he’s lost a tentacle along the way.

So come along and visit Crush today! You never know who you’ll meet from his growing pod of iconic ocean pals.

Crush waves to a family of 4 silhouetted against the screen at Turtle Talk with Crush

Shoot the Breeze from Under the Seas

Got a burning question for Crush? This intimate 15-minute conversation is your chance to ask him! Using his high-tech “hydrophone,” Crush can communicate directly with little dudes and dudettes about literally anything that’s on their minds.

Enter the Turtle Talk theater and take a seat in front of the window into Crush’s ocean world. Watch as he swims up to the underwater mic, looks you in the eye and even addresses you by name! Pick his brain about marine biology, his friends from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Nemo, his favorite food, life in general—it’s totally up to you.

Each show is unique, improvised and a barrel of laughs—definitely a good time for little dudes of all ages, and the parentals as well. No two shows are the same, so you can keep coming back again and again. Sweet!

Loggerhead sea turtle swimming near sea grasses

Where to Find Sea Turtles

Experience the wonder of 250-pound sea turtles cruising the deep blue, and you’ll be like…Whoa!

Sea Turtles at Walt Disney World Resort
Guests can see our green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) at the The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot. (We will also ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends this time.)

Disney Conservation Efforts
The Walt Disney Company is passionately committed to the protection of sea turtles and their ocean habitats. Find out what Disney is doing for marine turtles—and how you can help, too!

“I have learned from the animal world, and what everyone will learn who studies it, is a renewed sense of kinship with the Earth and all its inhabitants.” – Walt Disney

This is one of the things I love about Walt Disney World. There is always something new to see. Plus it it will be a chill few minutes in air-conditioned comfort on a warm day. Can’t wait!

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

Yak & Yeti Restaurant

Happy Labor Day! There are only 47 days until our trip to Walt Disney World!

On our third full day in Florida we will go to the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival. No restaurant reservations that day. Click the link to check it out:   https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-food-and-wine-festival/?CMP=KNC-FY18_WDPR_WDW_ACT_EROC_WorldProduct_EFW-EXACT|BR|G|4181003.WW.AM.01.01|NA_NA_NA_NA&keyword_id=kwd-314822540590|dc|epcot%20food%20and%20wine%20festival|274602075041|e|5084:3|&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIi-iRiZif3QIVARtpCh1bpw-XEAAYASAAEgIQcfD_BwE&s_kwcid=AL!5084!3!274602075041!e!!g!!epcot%20food%20and%20wine%20festival&ef_id=UpEK6wAAAEDUVH3i:20180903155050:s&dclid=CKe1oIuYn90CFY_CwAodVukI1w

On our fourth day we’ll head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It will be fun to check out the new Avatar section of the park, and to ride Na’vi River Journey, a boat ride through Pandora. We are scheduled for lunch at Yak & Yeti Restaurant. Here’s what Disney has to say:

Travelers can relax and replenish with a pan-Asian feast in this beautiful Nepalese-style restaurant. 

Another perspective of the restaurant with more Asian artwork

Family-Friendly Feast

Discover exciting pan-Asian cuisine at a quaint village home that’s been transformed into a restaurant. At the base of Expedition Everest sits Yak & Yeti Restaurant, a table-service eatery serving delicious dishes from various regions across Asia.

Decorated with the proprietor’s collection of Southeast Asian artifacts, this eclectic eatery offers a menu of sweet-and-sour chicken, ahi tuna nachos, pork pot stickers and Kobe beef burgers. Vegetarian options abound, as do kid-friendly choices like egg rolls, cheeseburgers and chicken tenders.

Unique alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages include cocktails, chilled sake, Asian beers, wine and an assortment of hot teas. Those with a penchant for exotic tastes might try a specialty drink from our full-service bar. 

Be sure to save room for one of our sumptuous desserts—chocolate cake, mango pie or fried wontons served with fresh pineapple and ice cream.

Reservation Information Reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit. Please note that reservations can be booked online until one hour prior to closing.

We ate there three years ago and really enjoyed it. That Mango Pie is no joke. It is absolutely delicious!

I have spent a total of approximately eleven hours in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in my life, so I’ve spent many more hours in the other three parks. I am so excited to put in another day here!

So, that’s it for today. Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna