Tag Archives: Walt Disney World

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival {Round 2}

I think I’m up WAY too early to write this post. But I’m sacrificing myself for you guys (the 3.5 people that probably read this. Thanks) But let’s move on! Yesterday was another Food and Wine day! And boy was it great!!

So Nicole and I decided to check out the Festival Center first before heading out to the food. It was cool. They had some demonstrations going on with real chefs from some Disney property restaurants. They also had all the merchandise avaliable for the event. Some really cool things there! We grabbed the passports which are really cool. You get a stamp in every country and there is all the foods and wines in all the booths. So you get to keep track of what you had!

One of the greatest things I think Is the reloadable Food and Wine gift cards. Basically you put as much money as you want and when you get to the booths you slide the card and don’t have to worry about dealing with cash or with credit cards. I absolutely love it! So we loaded up $20 each and went out to see how much food we could eat. (Well I had $1.85 left on my card so I had $21.85).

We’re going to call this the $21.85 challenge!

THE CHALLENGE FOOD 

Booth: Brazil
Item: Brazil’s National Dish – Feijoada ($2.75)
Review: This was a really great starting dish. It’s basically a stew of Black Beans and Pork. The Black beans were really good, seasoned well, and you got really big portions of a pork sausage chunk. I thought it was delicious.

Booth: China
Item: Black Pepper Shrimp with Sichuan Noodles ($4.50)
Review: I was really hesitant to pay 4 bucks for some noodles and shrimp but I stood by the booth and looked at the plates while other people bought and it was HUGE, so I was in. You got about 4 shrimp and a hunk load of noodles. Really good. The shrimp were seasoned good. They had a nice pepper spice to them, but it wasn’t overkill. The noodles were tender and were great too.

Booth: Poland
Item: Golabki ($2.75)
Review: This was a pork stuffed cabbage. This was a really good dish for cheap. The pork was really tender and was delicious. You could taste the cabbage but it wasn’t overpowering the pork. Really good.

Booth: Singapore
Item: Beef Rendang with Jasmine Rice ($3.25)
Review: I love this dish. I had it last year. The beef is really spicy but sweet at the same time (I know because of the coconut), but its amazing. I do have to warn you it is SPICY. So if you love that, I recommend this  to you!

Booth: Portugal
Item: Calamari Salad with Fennel, Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil ($2.75)
Review: I absolutely loved this dish as well (then again, I didn’t meet a plate of food I didn’t like) I have to say. The calamari was fresh and delicious. Everything else on the plate was just adding to how great it was. I would get it again.

Booth: Belgium
Item: Guylian Belgian Chocolate Seashell Truffles ($1.75)
Review: These are little Belgian chocolates they give you in a box. I really have to say there were amazing. Really rich in flavor. They had a hint of hazelnut which was an amazing addition.

Booth: Canada
Item: Canadian Chedder Cheese Soup ($3.75)
Review: FAVORITE! It was absolutely amazing. We really passed the booth 3 times and were SO CLOSE to buying it again. It was a thick soup that was just awesome. This was the last thing we ate so it was a great wrap up to the night. Plus it was a little chilly out so the soup was perfect.

Booth: Desserts & Champagne
Item: White Chocolate Macadamia Mousse with Dark Chocolate Pearls ($1.50)
Review: This was also really great. I didn’t want it to end at all. The dark chocolate pearls were crunchy so it was a real great contrast. It worked amazing together.

Everything I wrote about above was purchased with my gift card and I didn’t reload it again. The only thing was I paid $1.90 at the last booth because we ran out of money. But if you think about the amount of food that was purchased with only 20 bucks it was great!

Now There are a couple of things Nicole bought differently that I tried as well so I’m going to write about those next.

NICOLE’S DISHES

Booth: Caribbean
Item: Ropa Vieja ($3.50)
Review: Really good dish. The beef was seasoned really well and was very tender.

Booth: Italy
Item: Ravioli di formaggio all’Emiliana ($4.50)
Review: Baked cheese ravioli with creamy beef bolognese, parmesan, and Mozarella. The portion is HUGE. So if you wanna get full go for this one. It was an amazing dish. Everything tasted really great together.

Booth: Belgium
Item: Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream ($3.00)
Review: This is one of her favorite things here. She didn’t get the berry’s like always (but always asks for extra whipped cream LOL). This is amazing. They make the waffles right there in front of you and it’s just wonderful and fluffy and just all around amazing!

THE CONCERT

Sugar Ray was the show yesterday. It was awesome. We sang and danced along to all our favorite songs.

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A Tale of Trades

Pin Trading

The year is 1999. With the millennium approaching, Disney introduced to the world pin trading. I don’t know if they were aware of how big that would become, or it would fizzle out like other fads. But this one has still stayed strong!

What is so cool/unique/fascinating about pin trading?
With Disney pin trading, you can collect pins from either your favorite movie, Disney attraction, and even character. So your collection can be personalized to what exactly YOU want. Also there are special Hidden Mickey pins that you can only acquire by trading with Disney cast members.

Trading Tips

  • Buy starter packs. Buying single pins can cost you a pretty penny, starter packs give you a little more pins for a grouped price.
  • You can trade with any cast member that has a black lanyard around their neck, or  hip lanyard. Green/teal lanyards mean the cast member can only trade with kids 12 and under.
  • You can only trade 2 pins per cast member per day. For example, you can only trade 2 pins cast member Suzy in any one day. After your two trades with her you can move on to another cast member.
  • You can ONLY trade Disney pins. (Seems obvious enough, but just in case the question arrises.)
Disney has pin trading etiquette available.
Also on their website are pin trading FAQ.

Vinylmation

There is now, a new neighbor in the town of trading. These are Vinylmations. While they are not as easily transported as pins are able to be (Can you imagine trying to carry around like 12 of those of your neck all day?), they are unique in their own way. They are the little Mickey Mouse figures that are designed all differently to represent something else.

Vinylmations come in series, like groups, and they are classified by the specific series they are in. For example one of the “on-going” sets are the Park Series, which, like the name implies, are things taken from the parks. There are 12 different Vinylmations in a series 11 of them being known and 1 mystery chaser. The thing is that the sets are limited, and the mystery chaser is even more limited than the individuals in the set.

How do I know what I got? 

You don’t. Until you open the box, and you can’t open the box until you buy it. So it’s pretty much the luck of the draw. There are also sets that are open box, which means there is a little window in the box so that you are able to see which Vinylmation you are choosing.

How big are these things?

They come in the sizes. The normal series come in 3 inch figures, with each series a couple of 9 inch figures are released, and there are also the Vinylmation Jr. which are 1.5 inches and have the ability to be a keychain.

Can I trade these?

Yes! You can trade the regular Vinylmations and in some places even the Vinylmation Jr.’s. There is no trading on the 9 inch figures.

Soooooooooo how do you trade them?

There are two options for this. Clear and blind box trading. Some stores have these large black boxes numbered. You pick a number and then whatever is behind that door you trade for. Again, luck of the draw. The clear boxes contain 3 different figures that you can see and can pick to trade from.

So who is the better of the two? I can tell you that for years the big breadwinner is the pins, but they’ve also been around for years. I honestly like them both though. I have pins and vinyls. They both are different and unique in they’re own way. For example in pins I collect ALL figment pins, with Vinylmation I collect only the ones that I like or mean something to me. My friend Nicole on the other hand also collects a specific character in pins, Minnie Mouse, and with Vinylmation she likes to pick a set she likes them all and then tries to complete the set. So your collection can vary depending on your specific tastes.

What’s in your collection???

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival {Round 1}

I had the opportunity to attend the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this past week. It’s something I look forward to every year. So much food (and now since I’m old enough so much wine) to try out. Although the weather was still too a little hot during they afternoon hours it’s starting to finally feel like Fall in central Florida. Hallelujah! Hiding in pavilions between eats because of the heat is not a good look!

Last year was probably the first time that I was able to take in the Food and Wine Festival for all the amazingness that it is. And yes, amazingness is a word. Okay maybe just in my mind, but I’m ranting. So anyways, I really tried to go for so many different things and I really enjoyed it so much. This year I plan on going multiple times, and trying things I’ve never had. Isn’t that the whole point? To expand one’s palette?

I plan on going a couple of times, so I didn’t try to overdose myself this one go-around. Our “theme” this year is kind of a vintage travel. But let’s get down to the real business here:

THE FOOD 

Booth: Australia
Item: Shrimp on the Barbie w/ Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze ($4.50)
Review: I thought it tasted really good. It was a mix of spicy and sweet at the same time. A little more on the spicy side though, but I love spices so I found it great!

*No Picture*

Booth: China
Item: Pork Pot Stickers ($3.50)
Review: I didn’t really like them. I found them kind of hard. And I couldn’t taste the pork so much. Eh?

Booth: Germany
Item: Nürnberger Sausage in a Pretzel Roll ($4.50)
Review: I really enjoyed this one! I might do a repeat on this in my next round. The sausage tasted amazing, not spicy though but very good. And the pretzel roll was just right. And all that mustard all together, it was great! Loved it!


 

Booth: Hawaii
Item: Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise ($3.00)
Review: This one was also very good. I thought that it was going to be doused in sauce, but it wasn’t. The pork wasn’t dry either. Just the right mix of everything! Very good!

Booth: Mexico
Item: Flan ($3.00)
Review: This one might be a bit biased because I love flan. But this one was REALLY good! It was very moist and the flavors was awesome…I didn’t want to share this one! Great last dish for the night!

I went late in the afternoon so I didn’t get a chance to try a whole lot, plus I wanted to leave some things for the next couple of rounds. I also didn’t try any of the wine. I plan on doing that in a week or so.

Also if you weren’t aware there is also a concert series that takes place during the Food and Wine Festival. “Eat to the Beat” shows are 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 , at the American Gardens theater in the America pavilion.

The official schedule of artists are as follows:

  • Taylor Dayne: 9/30-10/2/11
  • 38 Special: 10/3-5/11
  • Jon Secada: 10/6-7/11
  • Roger Hodgson formerly of Supertramp: 10/8-9/11
  • Billy Ocean: 10/10-12/11
  • Starship starring Mickey Thomas: 10/13-16/11
  • Sugar Ray: 10/17-19/11
  • The Orchestra starring former members of ELO: 10/20-21/11
  • Howard Jones: 10/22-23/11
  • Boyz II Men: 10/24-26/11
  • Gin Blossoms: 10/27-28/11
  • Sister Hazel: 10/29-30/11
  • Hanson: 10/31-11/1/11
  • The Pointer Sisters: 11/2-3/11
  • Night Ranger: 11/4-6/11
  • Air Supply: 11/7-8/11
  • Richard Marx: 11/9-10/11
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: 11/11-13/11
*Bold artists are the ones I plan on seeing.
That’s about it for the first round of the Food & Wine festival over at Epcot. There’s more to come as the fun unfolds.
What foods do you want to try??
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Take 7 for October

October is here! October is here!

Goodbye summer tourists.

Goodbye 3 o’clock rain showers.

Goodbye 100 degree feeling weather.

I hope you are excited for this month, because I sure am! It’s one of my favorites! All the fun and amazing weather is upon us.

This is my top 7 list of things you should check out / do this October:

  1. Halloween Horror Nights: It’s a must, I really insist so. If you’ve never been, I am going to insist it even more! I’ve already been a couple of times and you can find my review here.  TIP: A large group of friends helps you “feel” safer at least, I can’t guarantee it will work though!
  2. Carve a Pumpkin: Okay, it sounds kind of kid-ish. But if you find yourself with some free time I suggest you run to the store and pick up a pumpkin. There are tons of different patterns you can find online. Check out Zombie Pumpkin and Martha Stewert just to give you a couple of ideas. A Google search can suffice if you are looking for something specific.
  3. Dress Up!: Again, not something that everyone likes to do, or even does. But it can be a lot of fun. I like to do it. Whether you are going to a party or heading downtown for the Halloween weekend you need a good costume. You can throw a couple of things together you have in the back of the closet, go thrift store shopping, or ditch the hassel and just buy your costume.
  4. Horror Movie Marathon: What better to do late at nights than catch horror movies? Do you reach for the classics? Do you like newer movies? Will they make ANOTHER Saw? Or you could even grab a group of friends and do trivia on horror movies. Anyone know what happened on Elm Street?
  5. See Rocky Horror Picture Show in a theater: Speaking of movies, if you’ve never seen this movie run out rent it first. Note: The movie is rated R for a REASON! It is a live interactive performance of the movie. I’ve been a couple of times, and I’ve loved it every time.  They do it twice a month every month usually and it is always at the theaters in Universal Citywalk. Also Near Halloween they always do a special show. For calendar and even more details including FAQ check out the Rich Weirdos website.
  6. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Always a fall staple. Food and drinks around the world with a couple of friends is NEVER a bad idea! All of the dishes are sample sized, but run less than $6 a plate. The drinks run about $5-$11 bucks depending on sizes. I find the drinking part a little expensive, so I tend to lean towards the food part. They also have a concert series that takes place during the festival with bands like Starship, Boyz II Men, and Hanson all coming out to Epcot. Look out for my reviews coming soon.
  7. Eat your Favorite Candy: Who cares, try every candy till you find a new one that you like! I think this one might go hand in hand with #6. But whether you are craving Sixlets or you haven’t had Razzles since the 80s go ahead and eat it. You can also dig through a younger family members Halloween night stash to try something out. I won’t tell anyone! =P

Hope you get a chance to try out some of these things, I know I will be doing them!

What other things do you guys like to do during the month of October??

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…And They Lived Happily Ever After

Disney is the place of dreams coming true, and where fairy tales are made daily. So wouldn’t it make sense for it to be an amazing destination for weddings? Yes and yes!

I was lucky enough to be able to attend an open house for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings. It was held at the beautiful wedding pavilion where so many “happily ever after”‘s begin. (cue sigh)

In Franks studio they had a set up of different types of cakes and table settings. Everything ranged from very Disney to very classic. They can basically cater to almost your every need!

They had also some various bouquets available to view.

Inside the pavilion itself they held a question and answer session with specialist from all over, from florists to wedding planners. They answered questions from everyone that was there. Also available were samples of wedding cake to try.

Outside around the fountain they had a couple of modes of transportation that you could use on your big day as well!

They also had a reception area set up in one of the ballrooms at the Grand Floridian so that we were able to see.
In all it was a great open house, we learned so much about everything that Disney has to offer for brides to be (which neither I nor my BFF are. We’re just avid fanatics of Disney as a whole).

Disney weddings can go from simple to all out.

According to the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings site there are 4 choices as to location of various celebrations as in:

  • Florida
  • California
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Hawaii (New)

In the Florida and California sections there are 3 different tiers that your Disney wedding can fall in:

  • Escape
  • Wishes
  • Couture (These weddings were developed with celebrity wedding planner David Tutera)
If you want to look into specifics of what exactly Disney weddings encompass here are a couple of blogs that fall into that category:
  • Ever After Blog: The official blog for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings. Includes spotlights from real Disney weddings, as well as tips, inspiration, and news from anything having to do with Disney weddings. Also something I love, Wedding Cake Wednesdays!
  • The Disney Wedding Blog: Disney bride alumni (Sure, lets go with that saying. You get to be part of an amazing group after all) Carly features Disney wedding spotlights, Disney engagement sessions, vendor information, planning information and tips. I love this blog, so many beautiful features and so much great information available!
Take some time to  check both blogs out. They are great resources for information as well as entertainment!
That about wraps it up for out wedding filled post!
So I’ll leave it wanting to hear from you guys. What would encompass your “dream” wedding (doesn’t necessarily have to be Disney based)?
-Sakina
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{Don’t Overlook} Hollywood Studios Edition

Although I there are so many things to do in any one of the theme parks in a day, everyone always flocks to the big ticket items first and formost. I don’t blame them, they are usually the most promising attractions in the parks for a reason! But there are also a lot of smaller or lesser attractions that don’t get any fame or glory at all.

So this is for the underdogs. I’m writing this series on things that I think are more likely overlooked. So I’m going to highlight a few things and maybe next time you have downtime between attractions you can check out some of these other places as well.

This week we’re going to look at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

When naming off attractions in this park you can usually count the biggest ones using one hand..

  • Tower of Terror
  • Aerosmith Rock N Rollercoaster
  • Star Tours
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Lights, Motor, Action

Those more times than less have a large wait time. (Unless you go to the park during slow season, where no line is larger than 15 minutes)

So let’s go to those attractions that I feel aren’t seeked out as much:

One Man’s Dream

It’s not a crazy roller coaster, or an awesome 3-D show. But it’s the story about a guy, a rather famous one at that. His name is Walt Disney. Sound familiar?

It essentially is a walk-through of Walt Disney’s history. Not only with the parks, but with animation as well. There are tons of models, and pictures, and actual pieces from Disney history.

Old Plushes

Can you guess what this is a model of?

I personally think it’s really great that there is so much history behind Walt Disney World as a whole, I think that’s what sets it apart from a lot of the other theme parks. I’m a big Disney fan, so I love just exploring through the exhibit.

Recreation of the studio filming for the Florida Project

At the end there is a movie about Walt Disney. I think it’s a well put together film, even though some of the things mentioned in the film you’ve probably heard before if you are, again, huge on Disney history. If you don’t want to watch the film and just see the exhibit, you can just walk through the theater and out the side doors.

All in all I think it’s a great exhibit if you have some downtime during the big rides. It’s also a great way to get out of the heat or beat the rain, since Florida weather can be cruel sometimes!

Animation Building

Outside of the building


While it IS getting a little more popular in there recently due to the fact that it is now the meet and greet area for Mickey Mouse, I’m still going to cover it.
I stumbled on that particular fact a while ago. The official place that you could meet Mickey was an empty soundstage a little walk after the Toy Story Midway, which was closed a while ago.

So the way my story goes, it was raining, My boyfriend and I were with my Godson and of course wanted out of the rain. We had just got out of the Playhouse Disney (now Disney Junior) show and ventured over there since it was close by and BAM! we are face to face with the one and only Mickey Mouse! (which, of course, is a HUGE deal when you are 2 years old! Haha)

Not only was Mickey there, there was a slew of other characters as well! The Incredibles, Little Einstein’s, and Handy Manny, just to name a couple. So of course this was the holy grail of character meet and greet spots.

Meeting Handy Manny!

Other than the fact that you can fill up your autograph books in one spot, it also has some great exhibits as well. On display now is some of the work that was done for the Winnie the Pooh movie that just released.  There are even animators working in some booths that you can see through a glass. Some of Disney’s animated films have actually been done here at the studios. If I’m not mistaken one of the cast members told us Mulan was one of them.

Inside there are also a variety of interactive screens with activities having to do with animation. And the Animation Academy, in which an animator teaches you to draw a Disney character. (It’s not always the same I believe, they change throughout the day.)

On the way out there is a shop with lots of collectibles and even drawings of your favorite  characters available for purchase.

So whether you want to get out of Florida weather (I know it seems like a recurring theme, but sometimes it’s just necessity), want to meet some of your Disney friends, or are an animation junkie, I believe the Animation Building has something for everyone!

Honey I Shrunk the Kids: Movie Set Adventure

Entrance sign

While the main group this playground is aimed towards may not have even HEARD of the series that it’s designed after, I believe this is a great for kids and adults alike.

Film slide (literally)

While it is a recreation of the world that was done in the movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids, it also doubles as a playground. So if you have little ones, this is a great way to let them work off some of that excess energy that they mysteriously gain. If you don’t it’s a great place to explore and take lots of interesting pictures, especially if you are a fan of the film.

That about wraps it up for Hollywood Studios. Hope that next time you are in the park you get a chance to check these attractions out!

-Sakina

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