Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Disney News Round Up

Spice Road Table - the new restaurant debuting in the Morocco pavillion at Epcot has its signage up - but there is not an opening date as of yet.  Disney is saying early 2014.
Beginning on January 21,2014 - through the end of March, the resort line of the monorail will be down for maintenance from 11:30 am - 7pm.  There will still be boats and buses available to transport during those hours. 
Beginning January 26, 2014 Hollywood and Vine character breakfast and lunches will add Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins to their line up.  They will meet along with Jake from the Neverland Pirates and Handy Manny.  Retiring from the meals are Special Agent Oso and June from Little Einsteins.  
Disney has changed the name and some of the inclusions in the Photopass + option.  It's now called Memory Maker and you can save $50 by prepurchasing before your trip via the My Disney Experience app or page.
Beaches and Cream soda shop is now taking reservations.  There is still walk up seating available if you eat at the counter.
Disney has a new snack item - the Cronut (croissant donut) available at the Refreshment Port near Canada in the World Showcase.  Check out the Disney Food Blog for all the latest food news from Disney.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Yak and Yeti

At Disney, the imagineering department makes sure that a ride is never just a ride; that a resort room is never just a resort room; or that a restaurant is never just a restaurant.  Animal Kingdom's Yak and Yeti restaurant is truly not your average table service location.  It has a story.

As you enter, you are transported to Anandapur in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains - and the home of Arjun, a wealthy merchant who has fallen on hard times.  Arjun has turned his lavish home into a hotel and restaurant - Yak and Yeti.  All the decor and artifacts throughout the hotel were collected by Arjun in his travels throughout Southeast Asia.

For this visit we had lunch reservations.  I like to arrive early so that I can really have a chance to look at all artifacts that Arjun has collected.  The restaurant has a really cozy feel with a series of rooms both on the main level and up the stairs (there is an elevator for those who need it).

We like to sit upstairs by the windows - we have a great view and it's fun to people watch.  If you'd like, you could even schedule an early dinner here and have a fabulous (and air conditioned!) seat to watch the Jammin' Jungle parade.

 Food wise, the general flavors of Yak and Yeti are pan Asian.

First - I ordered a Yeti Blast.  There is an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version.  It's like a giant slushie with lime, mango, and strawberry flavors.

We decided to have appetizers - trying the pot stickers and the wok fried green beans.  Oh.My.Word.  The green beans come with this sweet Thai chili dipping sauce - so so good.  I am always a sucker for pot stickers and wontons - so these are a must do every time for my family.  And now.  The wok fried green beans are a must do!

For entrees we had the Malaysian seafood curry (which they can make extra spicy for you if you want!) and the Shaoxing steak and shrimp.

And then for dessert there was mango pie and chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.  Now, I am a firm believer that fruit does not equal dessert.  And that chocolate should not mix with fruit.  So, when I asked them to substitute the raspberry sauce for chocolate sauce it was no problem - and our waitress said that it's actually a pretty common request.

Yak and Yeti is one of our favorite tables services at Disney.  The themeing, the decor, and especially the food make this a stand out! about you?  Have you had a meal at Yak and Yeti? 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Disney News Round Up

After January 5th, the Magic Kingdom's daytime parade will be retired.  A new daytime parade - the Festival of Fantasy will debut in the Spring.  Hollywood Studios' Pixar parade went dark a few months ago and I am hearing that Animal Kingdom's fabulous parade will be retired next year.

The Very Merry Christmas party started on Friday November 8th - and if you are character hunting, here is a great article that tells you about all the special characters - and even has a map telling you where to find them!

Also beginning Friday the 8th is the Christmas overlay for the Jungle Cruise - or now known as the Jingle Cruise.  I love this poster for the ride - and am crossing my fingers that they might actually have prints for it!  I cannot wait to see the decorations, renamed boats, and hear some holiday puns!

Check out the Disney park blogs to see new limited edition pins commemorating the different gingerbread creations at the resorts.  Also - there are dates set so that you can meet the pastry chefs behind the Gingerbread houses!

If you are going to be at Disney for Christmas and have an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - you have new options!  There are wigs from the new movie "Frozen" - along with costumes for Anna or Elsa.  Also, there is a new holiday Minnie dress and headband!

Premiering today - the trailer for Disney's Maleficent!  Will this be part of your summer movie lineup?


Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day!

Happy Veterans Day!  Thank you to all who have served!

Did you know that Disney honors every single day in the Magic Kingdom? Each day at 5pm there is a flag retreat ceremony in the square on Main Street at the entrance to the park.  This ceremony has happened every evening since the park first opened on October 1, 1971.
(Picture credit -
Click here for a great article from a Vietnam Veteran about his experience in participating in the ceremony.  

Another way that Disney honors veterans is with their salute to America park tickets and military discounts.  Please message me for more information on those exclusive discounts!


Friday, November 8, 2013

USS Kittiwake Shore Excursion in Grand Cayman

There are so many great shore excursions in Grand Cayman - it's really difficult to choose which one to do!  There is a great Sting Ray encounter at Sting Ray City.  Or you could go to Hell.  Or a Turtle farm.  There are also some amazing beaches where you could laze in a lounger and wade into the beautiful crystal blue waters of the Caribbean.

My favorite excursions are ones that get me in the water - and especially when I can snorkel.  I love looking at the coral formations and all the gorgeous fish. But when I heard about this snorkel trip where I'd get to see the USS Kittiwake - it just sounded too cool to pass up.

The USS Kittiwake was a US submarine rescue vehicle that was in commission from 1946 - 1994.  In 2008 it was sold to the Cayman Islands.  The government of the Caymans wanted to use it to start an artificial reef near 7 Mile Beach.  It was sunk there in January of 2011 and rests in about 60 feet of water - resting on the sandy bottom.

Our excursion begins with boarding a catamaran right from 7 Mile Beach (in front of the governor's house).  We had a short ride to our snorkel spot.  We could even see our ship!

The day was cloudy and had rained earlier so the water was really choppy.  We had a couple of novice snorkelers onboard who were not able to handle the water.  One thing I do want to point out though is how easy it is to get on and off of a catamaran.  Being a larger person, a straight up and down ladder is really difficult for me to use - but the ladder on a catamaran makes it really easy to get in and out of the water if you have size or mobility issues.

Again, with the water so choppy, the visibility wasn't perfect - but I still got some wonderful shots of the USS Kittiwake.

We spent about 20 minutes here before we all got back on board and we moved a few hundred feet over to a coral reef.  The reef here was really cool in that it had rows of coral next to a sandy patch followed by another row of coral - probably about 20 rows in all.  Made for some fantastic scenery!

So - how about you? Are you a snorkeler?  Is this an excursion that you would try?


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Disney News Round Up

Congrats to the winners of the Villains Make up - Cyndie L and to Jeanine L!

Have I helped you to plan a trip to Disney or with a cruise?  I am taking submissions for my Testimonials page.  Be sure to click on the tab to see what our families are saying about us!

Club Cool in Epcot is going to be experiencing some major changes - they are changing most of the flavors of sodas to be offered.  Staying are the drinks from Japan and Italy (the infamous Beverly!) and the rest will be retired.  New drinks will be from Europe (Fanta Pineapple), Thailand (Fanta Frosty Melon), South Africa (Bibo), South East Africa (Sparberry), Brazil (Guarana Kuat), and Peru (Inca Kola).

Other big news for Epcot beginning November 1st - end of the year (or it may last longer) - is that for fast pass plus - you can only select ONE headliner experience (Soarin' OR Test Track OR Maelstrom OR Character Spot OR Illuminations).  You may need to plan more than one day at Epcot to experience all that you want to do.

Disney Parks celebrates the 20th anniversary of Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" with some cool new merchandise.  Be sure to check out my pinterest page for pictures.

Visitors from the UK - take note that your UK issued driver's license is no longer a valid option for ID when purchasing alcohol in Disney World or DisneyLand.  Be sure to bring your passport for ID purposes!

This is the last week for the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party - with the last party on November 1.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parties begin next week on November 8th - and the first party is already sold out!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Disney Villains Makeup Giveaway!

Let's celebrate Halloween with a great giveaway!  I love Disney Villains - and this month ELF cosmetics teamed up with Disney and Walgreens to put out a line of fantastic villain themed makeup.  In this giveaway, you'll receive an Evil Queen bundle that includes:
  • An Evil Queen make up bag
  • An Evil Queen "Look book" - with eye shadow, mascara, eye liner pencil, and lip gloss
  • Disney villain nail polish.  It's a set of 12 with three colors for each villain (Maleficient, Ursula, the Evil Queen, and Cruella)
  • Evil Queen themed hair ties
  • Evil Queen eye lashes (set of 3 including the glue)
  • And to top it off a bag of Werther's original caramels - filled with apples!

Be sure to like my page on facebook and follow me on pinterest for an extra chance to win.  Also, I am doing a bonus giveaway - if you share my page on facebook, I pool those names and will give away a $25 gift card! (Be sure to let me know here or on facebook that you did this part!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Disney News Round up

Valet parking is coming to Downtown Disney!  Starting October 21, for $15, you can leave your car with the valet on the West side of Downtown Disney - by Cirque du Soleil.  If you are a Tables in Wonderland member with a valid restaurant receipt, your parking fee is free.  The valet will be available from 4pm to 2am seven days a week.  Congestion is high here so hopefully this will alleviate some of the frustration in finding a parking spot!

For the first time, Disney Quest is offering a Halloween party.  Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween party is already sold out for October 31 so this will be a great alternative.  There will be five floors of unlimited games, trick or treating, dance parties, characters, and even a costume contest.  Message me if you'd like to see if tickets are still available - I imagine this will sell out quickly!

The Jungle Cruise is turning into the Jingle cruise in early November!  I can't wait to hear all the new Christmas puns from the skippers when we ride in December.

Rumor Alert!  Kenny the Pirate (who writes a wonderful blog showcasing everything you need to know about finding characters at Disney) is reporting that there may be Fast pass + exclusive character meet and greets at each park.  It's also likely that fast passes will be an exclusive ticket for onsite guests.

In Disneyland's California Adventure - Soarin' over California is about to shut down in February for 6 months while they prepare Soarin' over the World!  I hear that they will be filming over Disneyland resort next week!

Are you headed to Disney with a child on the autism spectrum or with other cognitive disabilities?  Be sure to check out the Special Mouse podcast as they discuss and review the new DAS card.

Do you live in the Chicago area - or are you planning a trip there?  Be sure to check out the Museum of Science and Industry's "Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives!"

At the Town Square in Magic Kingdom - when you meet Mickey - he now talks!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fort Wilderness Cabins

Fort Wilderness is an amazing resort - comprised of both campsites and rustic cabins - with LOTS to do and see.  There are nightly campfire sing-a-longs, movies, nature walks, a beach to see the Electric water pageant, 2 swimming pools, volleyball, biking, boating, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding  - and more!  There are two speciality dining experiences - Mickey's Backyard Bar-B-Que and the Hoop-dee-doo revue, a table service location - Trail's end buffet, and a counter service option.

If you'd like to camp at the resort, spots fill quickly - especially around holidays.

The cabins at Fort Wilderness are categorized by Disney as moderate resort accomodations - and are a great option for families with up to six people - and they are a great option if you want a separate space to relax in the evening after the kids go to bed rather than a traditional hotel room set up.

Each cabin has a parking spot, deck with a picnic table and a grill.

As you enter the cabin, you are in the kitchen and dining area.  It is a full kitchen complete with everything you'd need to make a meal.  And what's really cool - housekeeping will do the dishes for you!

The dining area has a bench plus chairs.

There is a living room - and there is a Murphy bed that pulls down from the wall.

Down the hallway you'll find the full bathroom.

And finally you have the bedroom. There is a full sized bed and a set of twin bunk beds.  You'll also find a closet and the vanity area where you can dry your hair (great idea so that someone else can be getting ready in the bathroom!).

Like all Disney resorts, transportation between the resort and the parks is provided.  However, at Fort Wilderness it's a little more complicated.  Because the resort is so large, there is an internal bus that will take you to either the front of the resort to catch a bus to the parks.  Or, there is a different internal bus that will take you to the marina area where you can catch a boat to the Magic Kingdom.

Rather than wait for the internal bus, you can always walk (but it can be quite a trek), use your bicycle, or even rent a golf cart from the resort.  You can make reservations up to a year in advance and the costs are $59 a day plus tax.  Do note, the cabins sleep 6 guests, but only 4 guests will fit in a golf cart!

So...what about you?  Have you stayed at Fort Wilderness?  Have you visited to take advantage of all the activities there?