Tag Archives: Magic Kingdom

My Ten Must Dos at WDW

Only 34 days to go until we travel to Walt Disney World. It is creeping closer and closer. Yay!

Here are the 10 things I am the most excited about for our trip to Walt Disney World in October:

#10 Riding it’s a small world.  It is my favorite ride!!

#9 Celebrating our unbirthdays with “the dip” (see below) and birthday cupcakes.  Woo hoo!  Happy unbirthday to us!

#8 Exploring EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival.  Looking forward to tempting tidbits of tasty treats.

#7 Experiencing Minnie’s Seasonal Dining at Hollywood and Vine, Halloween Edition for the first time ever.  I mean, Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Daisy in their Halloween costumes! Plus the food looks yummy.

#6 Spending the better part of a day at Disney Springs exploring and shopping.

#5 Eating at Olivia’s Café at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. This is by far my favorite restaurant at Walt Disney World.

#4 Experiencing Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween.

#3 Spending plenty of resort time and pool time at Disney’s Old Key West Resort.  It is, seriously, my Happy Place.  When I’m chilling at Old Key West I can actually feel all stress leaving my body.  It is the ultimate in relaxation for me.

#2 Meeting and greeting Mickey at Magic Kingdom. I am so ready to shake Mickey‘s big, white-gloved hand and get a picture with him and my family.

And the #1 thing that I am excited about…Looking at the faces of my husband and children and their spouses and children and spending some quality time together in this beautiful place.  This will be a family reunion extraordinaire!

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

*The dip: In a pie plate spread 8 oz. of cream cheese.  Next sprinkle 6 to 8 cut-up green onions on top.  Then spread a can of No Bean chili on top.  (We usually make a second dip with Vegetarian chili with lots of beans.)  Finally sprinkle 8 oz. of grated cheddar cheese on top.  (We prefer sharp cheddar.  The shaper the better.)  Microwave for five minutes and serve with your favorite chips.  (We usually heat it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes instead, because it seem to hold it’s heat longer.)

Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater

There are only 39 days until our trip to Walt Disney World now. Each day I get just a little more excited. “Anticipation, anticipa-ya-tion, is making me wait…keeping me wai-ai-ai-ai-aiting…” I’m excited about seeing Emi’s family again. It will only have been five months since I saw them, ten months since Mike, Jake and Eliza saw them. Too long. AND…Emi, James and Ida get to meet Linnie; that’s just the best!

Anyway, this time we got a Fastpass+ to Meet Mickey in Town Square Theater. I’ve always wanted to do this with the family, so this is a real bucket-list item for me. A chance to hug the Big Cheese!

Here’s what Disney has to say about it.

Go backstage as a special guest of your pal, Mickey. 

Master Magician Mickey grabs his cape while onstage at Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom park

Go Behind the Curtain

Mickey Mouse is in his rehearsal room, ready to meet his biggest fans. Discover props and posters from Mickey’s magical career in the theater and maybe even spot a disappearing dove or a rabbit coming out of a hat. The greatest magic of all happens when you get a hug from Mickey Mouse himself.

A mom, daughter, dad and son smile while posing with a magician-themed Mickey at Magic Kingdom park

Bring Home Memories with Character

Let your moments with favorite Disney Characters last long after your visit by purchasing Memory Maker—which features unlimited digital downloads of all your Disney PhotoPass photos and videos!

We do have Memory Maker, too, so I look forward to all those Photographers snapping us! We’ll be looking for those special shots, where characters magically appear in your photos.

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

 

 

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Just 43 days until our journey to Walt Disney World, today’s blog post is about a ride that I’ve never taken before, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I’ve harbored a small resentment to this ride, because it replaced Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, which was a family favorite. But, I guess that’s not Pooh’s fault. Here’s what Disney has to say:

Travel through Hundred Acre Wood in an oversized Hunny Pot and immerse yourself in the stories of Winnie the Pooh.

An illustration of Tigger enthusiastically greeting Pooh at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

A Storybook Come to Life

Glide and bounce and swirl through some of the most popular scenes and settings of Winnie the Pooh. Board a giant Hunny Pot and get lost in the pages of A.A. Milne’s classic tales, as you journey to Hundred Acre Wood.

Magically make your way through a colorful, song-filled storybook illustration and experience a menagerie of kooky adventures, including:

  • A Blustery Day in Hundred Acre Wood
    Get swept up in a gust of wind with Gopher, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo before sliding inside Owl’s House.
  • Bounce with Tigger
    Bob up and down with Tigger during a delightful hide-and-seek adventure at night.
  • Heffalumps and Woozles
    Enter a dream world where singing Heffalumps and Woozles spring up and down, giggle and wiggle, and try to steal honey.
  • A Rainy Place
    Awaken from a dream amid a torrential downpour as Eeyore, Roo, Kanga, Rabbit, Owl and Tigger band together to stay afloat.
  • A Party for Pooh
    Celebrate sunny days and togetherness before leaving the pages of Hundred Acre Wood as Pooh finally gets his paws on some yummy honey.

Gopher shows surprise as he comes up from his hole in Rabbit's Garden

Pooh’s Interactive Queue

Explore Rabbit’s Garden, paint with honey and visit Eeyore’s home at this play space found just past the main entrance. Designed for both the young and young-at-heart, this Hundred Acre Wood-themed spot includes 4 areas of fun and games:

  • Rabbit’s Garden 
    A hide-and-seek game with gophers, vegetables that play music and a crawl-through tunnel formed by stacked crates offer fun for little ones.  
  • Hunny Wall 
    Draw shapes with overflowing honey by running your hand against a wall.
  • Piglet’s House
    Knock on the front door to hear Piglet inside.
  • Eeyore’s Gloomy Place 
    Crawl through Eeyore’s leaning home.

The sign and entrance to Pooh's house at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction

Inspired by the Disney Movie

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is based on the Disney film of the same name. Comprised of 3 previous Winnie the Pooh featurettes inspired by A.A. Milne’s stories, the movie was released in 1977 and includes songs from Disney Legends the Sherman Brothers, known for such Disney classics as “it’s a small world” and “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room.”

Since we have Fastpass+ for this ride, we will pass up Pooh’s Interactive Queue. If Ida wants to play for a bit, then we’ll ask a Disney Cast Member if we can enter after we ride for a little interactive fun.

I must admit, I absolutely love the stories of Winnie the Pooh. He is just such a sweet soul, and somehow represents all that is good in people.

Meet me at the Kingdom.

Donna

Minnie’s Seasonal Dining at Hollywood & Vine

With only forty-six days to our vacation to Walt Disney World, I want to feature Minnie’s Seasonal Dining at Hollywood & Vine. We will dine here for an early dinner on our fifth full day in Florida. This is a Halloween themed buffet dinner, featuring four of the Fab 5 (Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Goofy), plus Daisy, in Halloween costumes. And from various blurbs on YouTube, the buffet of food gets great reviews.

Here’s what Disney has to say:

Mickey and Minnie Mouse are dressed to thrill while standing in front of the Hollywood and Vine marquee

Minnie’s Seasonal Dining

Mingle with Minnie and her friends at delightful dining parties throughout the year.

You’re invited! Meet Minnie and some of her famous pals for lunch and dinner celebrations serving up seasonal deliciousness. Guests can pose for pics with popular Disney Characters, say “hi” to those stopping by and engage in table activities geared to the theme. Plus, the party gifts make great souvenirs!

Don’t miss your chance to attend the following events:

Summertime Dine
June 4, 2018 – September 2, 2018 
Head to Hollywood & Vine for a beach-inspired bash celebrating the sizzle of summer!

Halloween Dine
September 3, 2018 – November 8, 2018 
Visit Minnie’s favorite happy haunt for a spooktacular Halloween feast that’s frightfully delightful.

Holiday Dine
November 9, 2018 – January 6, 2019 
Deck the halls at a dazzling dinner party filled with holiday cheer and the joy of the season!

Reservations at Hollywood & Vine are highly recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit. Please note: All Character appearances are subject to change.

Sounds great, right?

For more on this character dining experience go to Minnie’s Halloween Dining at Hollywood & Vine on YouTube. There are some great videos there. I especially enjoyed the one by Holiday Every Day.

So we are creeping closer to another dream vacation with family. Be still my heart. 🙂 Meet you 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

Artist Point

Forty-eight days to our Walt Disney World vacation. Woo hoo!

On our second full day at Walt Disney World, we are taking a day out of the parks. A day to relax by the pool, scoot over to Disney Springs for a little retail therapy, and generally relax and recover from our travel day. That evening Mike will treat us to dinner at Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Here’s what Disney has to say:

Savor an exceptional menu inspired by the wonders of nature while reveling in stunning waterfront views. 

Oak furnishings, wood beams and large windows with forest views in the Artist Point dining room

Rustic Elegance

Relax in the warm ambiance of a dining room imbued with the spirit of cherished National Park lodges. Ornate iron lanterns—suspended from tremendous timber columns—add to the picturesque charm.

Dine inside while admiring panoramic views of Bay Lake and Copper Creek Falls, or retreat to the outdoor terrace and soak in the beauty of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

TBD

Pacific Northwest Cuisine

Savor regional flavors created with the finest seasonal ingredients available. Our “farm-to-fork” menu is ever-evolving to offer Guests the freshest and most innovative dishes.

Begin your meal with a selection of enticing appetizers, from artisanal cheeses to handcrafted charcuterie to steamed mussels. Soups and salads include smoked mushroom bisque and our Land Greens blend—an exquisite mix of hand-picked lettuce from the Epcot greenhouses, seasonal fruit, seed granola and vinaigrette.

Next, choose from a variety of mouthwatering entrees—with house specialties like wild caught cedar plank king salmon, hanger steak and grilled filet mignon highlighting our diverse Pacific Northwest-inspired menu. For an ideal accent to any entrée, we suggest a side of crispy Brussels sprouts or roasted cauliflower, each featuring their own sophisticated flavor notes.

Guests 21 years of age and up can complement their meals with over 90 carefully selected wines from the Pacific Coast—many served by the glass. Sommeliers are available to offer suggestions for the perfect pairing.

Finally, conclude your culinary adventure on a sweet note, courtesy of rich vanilla bean crème brûlée, white chocolate crémeux or one of our other indulgent desserts.

A chandelier suspended from a wood bean ceiling consists of several identical frosted glass boxes designed in a geometric pattern that hang by chains from concentric iron hoops

Dress Code

Guests are asked to adhere to the minimum dress code requirements at this Signature Dining experience. Dressier attire is also welcome. Please explore the minimum dress code requirements:

Men must wear khakis, slacks or dress shorts and collared shirts. Jeans may be worn if in good condition. Sport coats are optional.

Women must wear Capri pants, skirts, dresses or dress shorts. Jeans may be worn if in good condition.

Not permitted are tank tops, flip-flops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs, torn clothing and t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics.

This is a restaurant that Mike and I have used as a date night place on our last few trips to Walt Disney World. We love the ambience, the food selections, and the location. This is Mike’s favorite restaurant in all of Walt Disney World. [Mine is Olivia’s Café ;)] It’s even fun to get there. We take a Disney bus to Magic Kingdom, then transfer to a boat to ride across Seven Seas Lagoon to Wilderness Lodge. It’s a fun journey to a scrumptious meal. Mike treated Jake, Eliza and me three years ago, and it was so much fun! I am so looking forward to being here with our whole crew this time: Mike, Jake, Eliza, Linnie, Emi, James, Ida and me.

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

 

 

Breakfast at The Crystal Palace

Only 51 days until our vacay. I have got to do more walking now, so I’m not so miserable then. 🙂

On our first morning at Walt Disney World, we will head to Magic Kingdom for breakfast with the characters at The Crystal Palace, It’s our tradition, and we love it!

Here’s what Disney has to say about it:

Feast with some favorite friends from the Hundred-Acre Wood at this whimsical, all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet.

Main dining floor with round tables and banquette tables along the wall

A Buffet with Character

Join Winnie the Pooh and a few of his Pals for a willy, nilly, silly good time!

Inspired by Victorian greenhouses of the late 1800s, The Crystal Palace brims with light, topiaries and tropical palms—and is an enchanting spot to meet some favorite Disney Friends!

Plus, while you dine on scrumptious fare, Disney Characters stop by for laughs, photos and autographs.

Puffed French toast, sausage links, bacon and scrambled eggs on a plate

An All-You-Care-to-Enjoy Experience

Bountiful buffets feature American favorites prepared before you in the onstage kitchen.

Start your day with delicious omelets, freshly baked pastries, fruit and more.

For dinner, choose from mouth-watering favorites like roasted carved meats, freshly prepared pastas, peel-and-eat shrimp and beyond.

Delight in such desserts as warm bread pudding, key lime pie, coconut flan, brownies, fruit cobbler and soft-serve ice cream. It’s the perfect ending to any meal!

It’s a perfect start to a day at Magic Kingdom, and I can’t recommend it enough! Honestly, who wouldn’t want a hug from Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and even Eeyore? It’s a Jarvi family tradition , and I so look forward to it again this trip.

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

Olivia’s Cafe

Well, fellow Disney fans, I only have 52 days until my Old Key West family reunion. Today I want to talk about my favorite Walt Disney World restaurant, Olivia’s Cafe. I will have dinner there on the first night, and probably a breakfast or two there during the following eight days. Here’s what Disney says about it:

Savor hearty home cooking with a taste of the Florida Keys at this hidden gem at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. 

Outdoor patio seating for 4 at Olivia's Café

As Breezy and Relaxed as Key West Itself

A longtime resident of Conch Flats, Olivia welcomes diners with Island-inspired dishes. This nautical-themed eatery has the friendly, familiar feel of a neighborhood institution and is a perennial favorite of many a Guest.

A must-visit spot for breakfast, Olivia’s Cafe serves up traditional favorites as well as several of Olivia’s own specialties: the Sombrero Beach Omelet and the Banana Bread French Toast.

Come in and Conch out
Conch Fritters, Conch Chowder, an array of stacked sandwiches and the signature Duval Street Burger make for a leisurely and fully loaded lunch.

Dinnertime is delicious time with Pan-Seared Sea Scallops, Southernmost Buttermilk Chicken and New York Strip Steak.

If you have any room left, you can’t go wrong with the Key Lime Tart or the warm Banana Bread Pudding Sundae with bananas foster topping.

Olivia’s also offers a cavalcade of Island cocktails for Guests over 21. Wines and draft beers are also available, as are milkshakes, smoothies and glowing character punch— featuring a light-up Disney character.

Reservations are recommended and can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.

A wall filled with photos labeled

Who Is Olivia?

Olivia Farnsworth lived in a small cottage along Turtle Krawl, upwind of the strip. Almost daily, she would invite curious passersby who smelled her cooking to come on in and pull up a chair. People loved her vibrant flavors and earthy personality, and, before long, she found herself setting more tables.

Eventually, Olivia opened the doors to her eponymous cafe, which has been a haven for locals and a must-visit for out-of-towners ever since.

That’s it in a nutshell. I always feel at home dining there, and I have never had a bad meal there. I can’t recommend it enough. I hope you get to try it, and I hope you like it as much as I do.

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

Fasspass+ Victory

We are just 60 days out from our trip to Walt Disney World! This morning I woke up to an email from Stephanie, my travel agent from Destinations to Travel. She  was able to schedule every FastPass+ that I had hoped for. That is major! We scored Frozen Ever After, Toy Story Mania!, Na’vi River Journey, and Peter Pan’s Flight, plus eleven more that we requested. I am beyond excited now!

Sometimes the stars align, or pure luck sets in, or God intervenes and things just fall into place. That’s how today feels. I don’t really know about star’s aligning. I don’t really believe in pure luck. I do believe in God’s intervention. So I’ll just thank God for his mercies. Thank you, Lord!

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna

 

 

FastPass+ Anticipation

We head to Walt Disney World in just 65 days. This means I’m just five days away from scheduling our FastPass+es. We are choosing kid friendly rides so the grandkids can go on them. Rides/attractions like Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Peter Pan’s Flight, Na’vi River Journey and Festival of the Lion King, Frozen Ever After and The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Toy Story Mania and Voyage of the Little Mermaid.

I sure hope we get them all. Although my favorite thing for this trip will be sitting in the same general area as Mike, the kids, their spouses and the grandkids. What a joy it will be! I’m especially looking forward to hanging out at the pool together at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Ahh… Instant stress relief.

Meet you at the Kingdom.

Donna