Showing posts with label EPCOT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EPCOT. Show all posts

Friday, July 18, 2014

Drinking around the world

Disney World is a fun and magical place for kids… but it can be just as fun and magical for adults!

One of the perks to being a grown-up at Disney World is the chance to have some of the many alcoholic beverages Disney World has to offer.

On a recent trip with several adult family members, I was able to enjoy a few of these beverages (and with the help of said family members; I didn't drink all of these on my own!)  This particular trip took place while the Food & Wine Festival was going on at Epcot, so we were able to try some of the drinks from "around the World"!

First up is the Kir from France, which is a sparkling white wine with pomegranate liqueur.  It was crisp and refreshing, and a hit with many members of our party.

Sparkling Pomegranate Kir
We also sampled the Prosecco from Italy and one of the beer flights from Germany.  The sparkling white wine from Italy wasn't as sweet as I prefer, but still very good.  My brother-in-law is the one who ordered the beer flight and I forgot to take a picture (so photo credit on that one goes to the Disney Food Blog!), but the beers we sampled were: Schofferhofer Grapefruit, Altenmunster Oktoberfest, Warsteiner Premium Verum, and Warsteiner Premium Dunkel.  I don't know much about beer, but I do know I prefer a pale ale over darker ones.  Not many members of our party liked the Dunkel (in fact, I think it was only the guys who did!) but the Grapefruit and Oktoberfest were enjoyed by all.

Beer Flight
At Hollywood Studios, we headed over to High Octane Refreshments where I had the Banana Cabana.  This yummy concoction is made with Cruzan Mango Rum, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Bols Creme de Banana, Pineapple Juice, and Grenadine.  And it was easily my favorite beverage of the trip!

Banana Cabana

Another drink sampled while at Hollywood Studios was the Magical Star Cocktail.  This is actually one of Disney World's signature cocktails and is available at most table-service restaurants, and I had mine at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.  The Magical Star Cocktail is also a rum-based beverage, with pineapple juice and passion fruit liqueur… but what's fun about this one is that it includes a souvenir glow cube that changes color! 

Magical Star Cocktail

Outside of the parks, many of the Disney Resorts have at least one table-service (sit-down) restaurant. One of these at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is Boma, a favorite dining place of my family's. It was there that I tried the South African Wine Flights.  Featured Raats Unwooded Chenin Blanc, Beyond Sauvignon Blanc, and the Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc.  You may have noticed that crisp, fruity, white wines are a favorite of mine, and these did not disappoint!

South African Wine Flight

Another beverage from a Disney Resort restaurant is the Lapu Lapu.  This one can be found at the Disney's Polynesian Resort.  This is another rum-based beverage but what makes it super fun is that the Lapu Lapu is served in a hollowed-out pineapple!

Lapu Lapu
Inside the Lapu Lapu
So there you have it: a few of the many unique drink selections you can find at Disney World.  Which one would you like to try?

(Written by: Shannon Rogers, travel agent at A Time to Treasure Travel)


Monday, October 1, 2012

Epcot's 30th Anniversary - a look back in time to 1986

Today is EPCOT's 30th birthday!  And to celebrate, I was part of a series of blog posts over at DisTherapy as we counted down the 30 years over thirty days.  If you click the icon, you can see all the posts and learn so much about the history of this fantastic park!

30 Days to 30 Years

Below is my story from 1986:

I was born in Winter Park, Florida - a small town just outside of Orlando - and I feel like I grew up at Disney World.  I had lots of family members who worked at the park - including my uncle John who sold popcorn on Main Street.

And that connection to Disney.  Well.  It gave my family some incredible perks.  Like being part of a test run of the Magic Kingdom BEFORE it opened to the public.  Or never having to pay for tickets.

 (The above two photos were taken at the Magic Kingdom in September of 1971 - a few weeks before the official opening!  And that is little ol me with each of my parents.  Gotta love how far the characters have come!)

Then when I was 7, we moved to Atlanta - and our time at Disney greatly diminished.  We might go and visit family in the summer.  And we might spend a day at the Magic Kingdom.  But it wasn't the same.

Then, the summer of 1986 arrived.  I turned 16.  And my family decided to spend a week visiting my grandparents in Winter Parks.  And we'd do 2 days at Disney - one at Magic Kingdom - and we'd get to go to EPCOT for the very first time.

I was so excited to go.  But I was also a teenager.  So I convinced my parents that spending time with them would be much easier if I had a friend.  And that is how I got to bring my best friend Andy with us!

In anticipation of our trip, my mother bought all of us matching t-shirts.  I remember being so mortified that we were all going to ride down to Florida in these Bloom County shirts - but my friend Andy just thought it was the best thing ever.  And somehow, I don't have a picture of our whole gang in those shirts!

Our first day in Orlando was spent at the Magic Kingdom.  We stayed the entire day - and it was well after midnight before we had the last of the fireworks and our drive back to Winter Park.

Our second day was at the brand new (relatively - and certainly new to us!) EPCOT Center.

 (This was taken from the monorail - our view as we approached Epcot)

Our first stop was the "Living Seas."  I vividly remember being "transported" below the sea - but knew we really weren't going anywhere - just that the floor vibrated and there were tons of bubbles in the water around us.  I also remember the divers in the airlock.  Unfortunately, I also recall not being impressed.

 (Who else remembers the black swans at Epcot?!)

Next, we headed over to the Kodak "exhibit" to the ride with Figment.  There was a huge line (well before fast passes!) and while we waited, my younger brother enjoyed dodging the leaping fountains.

 (squint so that you can see the water over his head!)

(Are those still there?!).  We waited out in that sun for more than an hour - and when we got to walk through the doors into the blessed air conditioning, I think we all had a huge sigh of relief!  We all loved the ride.  (And really loved that it was so long and we could cool down and rest our feet!).

Next up?  Captain EO with Michael Jackson. I thought the movie was great - but I had no idea that Michael Jackson's voice was that..ummm...squeaky?

 (Me with my parents and younger brother)

We then headed to the pavilions of the World Showcase - beginning with Canada.  We saw the 360 degree movie - "O Canada" - and wow - having never seen a movie like that before, we just thought it was amazing.  However.  After a full day on my feet at Magic Kingdom.  And walking and standing in line at Epcot - my 16 year old feet were just done and I so wanted to be able to sit down!

We meandered our way through England, France, and Morocco.

 (I swear they were happy to be there!)

And we finally stopped in America where we ate dinner.  I know, crazy?  But at the time, we didn't know any better!  But the highlight of this stop was stopping and taking off our shoes and soaking our feet in the fountain.  I suppose we looked like we were 61 instead of 16!

(Who else remembers the omnibus that took people around the World Showcase?  Actually - I don't remember it at all!  I had to look it up and see what this was in my picture!!)

After our soak, we pressed on.  And then.  It began to rain!  We bought ponchos in Germany - and then the soles of my shoes split in half by the time we reached China.  I loved telling people that my shoes wore out on my long walk from Germany to China!

(A note about the above "trip report" - almost all of the detail was taken from the scrapbook I kept of our trip - not well detailed journaling - but not too shabby for notes of our adventure from my teenage self!)

Even though my feet were dying - we really did have a fabulous time.  It was fun to explore Disney with my friend (and my family) - especially since it would be 10 years before I was able to go again.  And now that I have my own teenagers - we go quite often - and I love that I have instilled the value of growing up at Disney World!  We will be at Epcot's 30th anniversary on October 1st - and I can't wait to take part in the next 30 years!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

England's Red Phone Booths in Epcot's World Showcase

The red phone booth is one of the many iconic images of England - and you can find a set of three of them in Epcot's World Showcase.  It's a must do photo-op!
But those phone booths - they are more than a photo-op - they are an opportunity to spread some Disney magic.  And this is magic that you can spread from home!
All you have to do is call the phone booths and see if someone at Disney answers.  I like to call and wish people a magical day.  Ask them if they have seen any princesses yet.  Or if they have had a chance to grab a beer at the Rose and Crown pub.  
We have these numbers programmed into our cell phones - and it's fun to call while you are there at the parks, too.  Surprise a child playing in the booth with a phone call.
Here are the phone booth numbers:
  • Right Booth: 407 827-9861
  • Left Booth: 407 827-9862
  • Center Booth: 407 827-9863
If you'd like to see more Disney photos around the letter E theme, please check out Deb's Focused on the Magic!

So...what about you?  Have you ever gotten a phone call in the red booth?  Are you going to go and spread some pixie dust?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Ziti Sisters show in EPCOT's Italy

There are some great shows around the world showcase in Epcot.  Like Miyuki in Japan.  Or Serveur Amusant in France.  Or the Dragon acrobats in China.  For my younger daughter, the Ziti Sisters are a can't miss experience.  Because every time we've seen them, she's also managed to become part of the show.

The Ziti sisters are Carmella, Katia, Rosalia, Paulina, and Teresa - and they appear most days for five shows in Epcot's Italy pavillion.  (Be sure to check the times guide as you arrive in the park to get the times for your date.)
 (above photo, © Disney)

Led by the sister on the accordion, the sisters "teach" about high Italian traditions such as music, fashion, dance and art.  And as they teach - they get the entire audience involved.  
Here, they are teaching about music and dance:

And here we have a lesson on art (or as they say - ar-tay!)

The show is great fun - and very funny!  So...what about you?  Do you have a favorite show in Epcot?  Have you ever seen the Ziti sisters?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

30 Years in 30 Days - Epcot 1986

Epcot will have their 30th anniversary on Monday October 1st - and to celebrate, DisTherapy is doing a retrospective of each of Epcot's years.  Today's post looks at the year 1986 - and was written by yours truly.  It is full of teen angst.  Sore feet.  High school best friends.  Glasses.  Braces.  And some 80s hair.  Oh - and of course - memories of my day at Epcot when I was 16.  Come by and say hello!

30 Days to 30 Years

So...what about you?  When was your first trip to Epcot?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Epcot's Mitsukoshi Department Store (or why Iove Japan in the World Showcase, part III)

Why I love Japan in the World Showcase Part II

One of the best stores in all of Disney World - ranking right up there with World of Disney and Mouse Gears - is the Mitsukoshi department store located in Epcot's Japan.  It is a must do for our entire family - and I don't think we've ever walked out without purchasing something. There is truly something for everyone inside.

The store itself is divided into "boutique" areas.  And when you first walk in, your first area is for Hello Kitty.  (I so wish I could understand the appeal. And did you know that there is a whole Hello Kitty house in China?  Go ahead, google it.  I'll wait for you to come back...)

And just across from Hello Kitty, we have Pokemon land.  I find it interesting that my girls need to peruse both of these areas!

There are also areas with anime "things"that I don't know anything about - well, except that they are anime "things."

Then, the very loud part of the store includes the pick a pearl.  This is a really fun and inexpensive experience.  For about $15, you can choose an oyster - and with a grand production (including drums!) they will open your oyster to reveal your pearl.  (Tip:  The best pearls are supposed to be inside the ugliest, hairiest oysters!)  The pearl isn't expensive, but some of the settings can be a bit pricey.

Further into the store you'll find Japanese t-shirts, shoes, socks (we love to get flip-flop socks here), purses, and even berets.

There is an entire room of Kimonos for all (women, men, children) including some gorgeous accessories like hair clips or even parasols.

You can find bonsai trees, books on calligraphy, home decor.  Hundreds of different styles of chopsticks.  Tea sets.  Dishes.

And then we get to one of our favorite parts - the grocery section.  And what a treasure trove it is.  My girls always have to get a box of Pocky (though we are thrilled that we can find it at our grocery and Target now!).

And they really like to get gummy candies.  We try to find flavors that they have never heard of.  Like "mangosteen."

Another unique item is the drink - Ramune.  It's a carbonated fruity drink - but in order to drink it, you have to push a marble through the top and then it rattles in the glass while you drink it.  You have to practice the way you drink it so that the marble doesn't clog the flow of the liquid as you try to sip it!  This one also has a lot of unique flavors - and my girls like to keep the interestingly shaped bottles as souvenirs.

There are all kinds of other unique food offerings.  They have bags of dried crabs. Still in the shell.  Shrimp chips (not a fan!).  Wasabi flavored dried peas.  Dried octopus.  But I suppose the most sought after is candy.

We always try to get something new each time.  And we especially like getting something where we have NO idea as to what it is.

So...what about you?  Have you shopped at Mitsukoshi?  What did you buy?!