Mickey Magic: Planning your Visit to Walt Disney World

Hey Guys! I really cannot believe that the year is almost over. It’s literally almost 2020! Whew! Thank you again to each and every amazing person who likes, shares, or subscribes to my blog, the love and support is greatly appreciated. Anyone who knows me knows that I truly am a Disney fanatic and I’ve had several friends and loved ones reach out to me regarding planning their perfect and most memorable trip to Walt Disney World, that I decided to do a blog about it. I truly hope that this is both helpful and informative to any and every person that reads and can assist you in creating long lasting memories at the most magical and wonderful place on Earth! Let’s get started!

Walt Disney World Vacation
Me at Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2019

 

  • Best time of year to go: The peak times of year with the highest amount of traffic is going to be during your summer months (May- mid September) Also, surprisingly I found out even on the holidays as some people after eating Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner or on New Years Day like to go with family members to have a little fun and get out the house. Magic Kingdom will always have the highest volume of visitors so if you’re planning on having a multiple day, multiple park visit get there as close to opening time as you can to maximize your time spent and be able to see more attractions. Epcot is traditionally the busiest during festival times (Food and Wine Fest, Flower and Garden Festival, Festival of the Arts, and Festival of the Holidays) Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios tend to have the more moderate traffic but with the addition of Pandora in Animal Kingdom, and Toy Story Land and the Star Wars theme in various areas around Hollywood Studios tends to collect larger traffic patterns so keep that in mind as well when you you make your visit accommodations.
  • Should I stay on site or off site? : This all depends on whether you’re planning to rent a vehicle, your budget for planning the trip, and the proximity of your hotel/ lodging/resort locations to the parks. If your budget is slightly more liberal,  and you want to maximize time and efficiency at the parks, often staying on site offers amenities/benefits such as access to Disney transportation or shuttles that will assist you in getting to the parks. In addition, during certain dates and times of the year the parks host Extra Magic Hours that are available to guest of Disney resorts to be able to enjoy the park for either one hour prior to opening or closing. Check https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ for additional information regarding qualifying resorts and dates. If you elect to stay off site check with the hotel/resort you’re arranging your accommodations through, to see if they are a Good Neighbor hotel and offer complimentary shuttles to the parks or have scheduled pickups via Disney transportation. Also, factor in travel time to and from parks when planning your days out as well.
  • Can I skip the line? What is a Fastpass?: Fastpasses enable you to skip the line for a desired attraction on a given day. You are able to get up to 3 Fastpasses per day and Fastpasses are available up to 30 days with the purchase and linking of your admission ticket and 60 days in advance if you elect to stay on a Disney property. You will definitely want to use these for the more popular attractions (more on this later) to help you save time and maximize your experience. Check out https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/fastpass-plus/ for more information on Fastpasses and how to link to your ticket and/or Magicband. Fastpasses are your friend and can save you anywhere from 45 min to up to 2 and 1/2 hours standing in line for more popular attractions.
    Walt Disney World Vacation
    My family and I last Christmas (2018) at Magic Kingdom. The picture does this no justice as to how beautiful it is at night.

THE GOOD STUFF

  • Parks:  People often ask me my favorite park and that’s a hard question because I love all of them for different reasons. Let’s start with where the MAGIC began, with Magic Kingdom.
  • Magic Kingdom: Magic Kingdom is a place that will never get old because it transports you back to the time when you were a kid and saw your first favorite Disney movie.  It also reminds you of when you were introduced to the world’s two most favorite and adorable mice: Mickey and Minnie of course! Many of your favorite storybook classics will be found here with the iconic Cinderella’s castle, opportunity to meet Cinderella herself, amongst other Disney princesses (Snow White, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, just to name a few) ride the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain and so much more!  If you’re bringing your kiddos along, you also can take advantage of making your little prince or princess feel royal for a day by purchasing a package through the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique located in Magic Kingdom where there are turned into a literal prince or princess for a day! There is also an additional location located inside Disney Springs if you are not able to get a booking through Magic Kingdom.  Top 5 fave attractions at Magic Kingdom? While I’m a huge fan of the parades and character picture spots my top 5 attractions that are my personal fave are: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train( definitely a must ride and recommended Fastpass option) It’s A Small World, Haunted Mansion, Mad Tea Party, and Space Mountain.  I also love just strolling down Main Street USA getting lost in the luster of it all.. takes me to another land… Speaking of other lands…… lets head to….
    Walt Disney World Vacation
    Mommy and Me with Pluto at Pete’s Silly Side Show
  • Epcot: To me,  when Epcot was created it was created for adults with serious wanderlust and a desire to be like Peter Pan,  and never grow old in mind. I love the festivals here, some of the best food is here, and it’s a great place to learn about different countries, cultures, and ways of living. In addition to being able to immerse yourself  in the customs of various countries (Epcot is literally a big circle centered by Spaceship Earth) you become strongly entrenched in the idea of being a global citizen, as at the welcome gate you are able to grab passports and complete activities of tasting food and drinks from around the world as you journey through World Showcase. As a foodie, I literally flip every time just thinking of what new creations might be in store for me next. Top 5 Fave attractions at Epcot?: Spaceship Earth, Soarin Around the World, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Frozen Ever After, and Journey into Imagination with Figment. There are also character picture spots and well as great photo opps throughout Epcot (the landscape at Epcot is beautiful year round) and much more! Epcot is literally a place that is designed for exploring as I see something new every time I return so there’s a little something for every member of the family. Another park that features a little of everything for the family is….
    Walt Disney World Vacation
    Me at Epcot Food and Wine 2018
  •  Hollywood Studios:  Hollywood Studios is charming because it combines the idea of classic Hollywood with Disney’s best in box office and Pixar based films. From the very minute you walk through the gates up until you leave, you will feel like you are on the set of a movie or inside of a movie or show. Whether you’re strolling down Hollywood or Sunset Boulevard every moment feels showbiz worthy, including the iconic Hollywood Studios entrance sign, and the renowned Chinese Theater. Another park full of opportunities to have great photos for memories and my favorite part each time is watching The March of the Storm Troopers and Darth Vader. Literally the crowd clears the way for them and park guests are casted (invited) to participate in the march and it occurs multiple times throughout the day straight down Hollywood Boulevard towards The Chinese Theater. Top 5 Fave Attractions at Hollywood Studios?: Alien Swirling  Saucers, Slinky Dog Dash, Rock N Roller Coaster, For The First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-A-Long Celebration, and Voyage of the Litttle Mermaid. At the time of this blog, I have not had a chance to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge but I am greatly anticipating some wild adventures there… speaking of wild adventures…
    Walt Disney World Vacation
    Storm Trooper Love but not quite lol
    Walt Disney World Vacation
    Mommy and me…. In front of The Chinese Theatre…. May the Force be with you!
  •  Animal Kingdom: Animal Kingdom is part theme park, part zoo feeling but no less full of thrills and excitement. Journeying through the park entrance all the way up to The Tree of Life, you’ll feel as though you’ve been dropped into a rainforest or jungle of sorts. As you make your way through Asia, Africa, Pandora: The World of Avatar, Dinoland U.S.A., and Discovery Island much like Epcot, this park is centered on exploring, conservation of our world’s resources, and respect for creatures all over. While the African dancers are amongst my favorite joys when visiting Animal Kingdom, The Tree of Life and Rivers of Light are definite must sees for night shows when visiting the park.  You can even get the kiddos involved as there are several check points through the Wilderness Explorers program throughout the park  that will educate children on outdoor environments and various animal and plant life. Top 5 Fave Attractions at Hollywood Studios?: Avatar Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, Kilamanjaro Safaris, and Festival of the Lion King,  and the Na’vi River Journey.
    Walt Disney World Vacation
    Mommy and Me in Front of Tree of Life
    Walt Disney World Vacation
    Inside Avatar Flight of Passage, quite possibly my favorite ride in Pandora
  • Transportation: In addition to the Disney buses, other transportation to and from the park is available including The Minnie Van (cutest vans ever decorated like the world’s most fabulous female mouse) , water taxis available to guests at select Disney resorts, as well as water ferry, and the ever famous monorail. You definitely want to take advantage of the transportation between parks if you’re planning a multi-day multi-park stay as it is efficient and a great way to get around and save time.

FOOD

  • In my personal opinion you get the most bang for your buck in terms of quality and pricing for food at Epcot and Hollywood Studios although Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Swan and Dolphin Hotels have world class dining options from various renowned chefs, but I will list a few of my favorites from each park below. Don’t forget you can always bring your own snacks (small coolers are allowed) as well as backpacks but keep in mind all bags must be checked at security and time is of the essence.  Throughout the parks there are various novelty snack items that are fun to try out as well as the classic Mickey ice cream bar, pretzel, popcorn (if you purchase a container you can it bring back to the park throughout your stay for refills under $4) turkey legs, as well as many other tasty treats.
    Walt Disney World Vacation
    Mommy and Me in front of the Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Hollywood Studios: Hollywood Brown Derby is great for a nice sit down dinner but lunch will be your most cost effective choice if you so choose. 50’s Prime Time Cafe and Hollywood and Vine (a diverse yet fresh buffet for breakfast and lunch) are going to be great choices for another option if you’re looking to get out of the heat and/or are tired and want a wholesome meal. The ABC Commissary has great options for a quick sit down meal that goes beyond a lot of the traditional kiosk or quick grab options throughout the park of a burger or chicken tenders. Fairfax Fare also is a great quick grab option.
  • Epcot: Sunshine Seasons offers a variety of quick options for various tastebuds and is largely based off things that have been grown and locally sourced from the property. Most of my experience eating at Epcot has come from trying the various food offerings throughout each country based off the festival that is going on at that time, so if you’re able to plan your visit around the time of a festival, it is there that you will really get a chance to taste the best of what each country has to offer.
  • Animal Kingdom: Rainforest Cafe offers a casual sit down experience with a variety of product offerings and the restaurants inside Pandora offer flavorful yet fun offerings closely based on the movie Avatar.
  • Magic Kingdom: Crystal Palace also offers a beautifully designed backdrop to a diverse yet fresh buffet for lunch and breakfast that is great for meeting characters if you’re bringing your kiddos with you. Pinocchio Village Haus is great for a tasty quick bite for pizza, flatbreads, salads, pasta, and chicken tenders. Most restaurants in Magic Kingdom are geared towards quick grab and eat. Be Our Guest is still on my personal list of must see and try but I’ve heard great things about the lunch menu and once you get reservations you’re allowed to venture throughout Beast’s Castle.
    Walt Disney World Vacation
    Tigger and I at the Crystal Palace inside Magic Kingdom
    Walt Disney World Vacation
    Mommy, my precious niece and nephew, and Tigger inside Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom

Fireworks

Disney is known for their ability to produce some of the most beautiful and awe inspiring pyrotechnic shows, so make sure that you take advantage at any of the four parks. My favorite is Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom and what will soon be going away to be replaced by Epcot Forever is Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.  Honestly as long as you get a good view from any of the parks the fireworks are the best and most beautiful way to close out your day.

 

Character and Photo Spots

Walt Disney World Vacation
My niece and I with Mickey at Epcot Character Spot
Walt Disney World Vacation
Mommy, Big Sis, my niece and I meeting Tiana at Magic Kingdom at Princess Fairytale Hall
Walt Disney World Vacation
Pluto and I at Legacy Plaza West
Walt Disney World Vacation
My family and I with Edna Mode at Pixar Place

Keep your eyes peeled for characters that pop up throughout the parks that are not housed in specific buildings for meeting characters,  as well as cast members that will take pictures of your magical moments for you to scan, and download to your mobile device via either a picture card given by the photographer or linked to your Magic band.

Walt Disney World Vacation
My family and I at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Disney is a place that will forever be special to my family and I as the Florida girl that I am, and I hope that this blog helps you share in and create some special and magical moments of your own! If you have comments, questions or even just want to share, please feel free and as always I love you guys and TRULY appreciate the support! I’d love to hear from you so drop me a note in the comments!

Walt Disney World Vacation
Kisses from Hollywood Studios

Adventures at Magic Kingdom with Quarterwear

Hey guys! It’s May can you believe it? This year is literally flying by! The magic continues literally lol I wanted to share with you some of my recent adventures to Magic Kingdom and this great brand of purpose focused apparel that I discovered and have the amazing opportunity to check out some of their pieces, Quarterwear.

Quarterwear is a casual and comfort clothing brand that raises awareness, support, and capital for the world’s greatest causes and those who address them. Added plus? EVERY SALE impacts 25 lives through a partnering nonprofit. How awesome and life changing is that?!

In my recent trip to Magic Kingdom I wore their Merci shirt which is super comfortable,  cute and can easily be paired with your favorite jeans (which I did in the below photos) or your favorite shorts, or other bottoms. Check them out at www.quarterwear.org  Their current Merci collection benefits Feeding Children Everywhere. Now to jump into the magic at the happiest place on Earth!

Disney and Quarterwear
Pluto , Mommy, and I in front of Main Street USA
Disney and Quarterwear
Let the fun begin!
Disney and Quarterwear
Walt and Mickey Statue
Disney and Quarterwear
Cinderella’s Castle!!!!
Disney and Quarterwear
Me adjacent to Cinderella’s Castle
Disney and Quarterwear
Back of Cinderella’s Castle
Disney and Quarterwear
This took several shots to get right! Lol
Disney and Quarterwear
Finally got the castle in! The photographer was doing a lot zoom shots lol
Disney and Quarterwear
Mommy and I in front of Cinderella’s Castle
Disney and Quarterwear
Quite possibly the most magical and happiest place on Earth!
Disney and Quarterwear
End of the day pics! We were beat!

 

My favorite attraction of the day was Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, absolutely positively worth every minute! I enjoy every Disney park equally and it frees me and lets me get in touch with my inner child! What are your favorite attractions at Disney? Do you have a fashionable and conscious business that you love that has awesome items? What are your favorite places? (Obviously Disney makes my list of top seven) Leave me a comment below! I love hearing from you guys and  every time I come here I am extremely grateful for all my followers on this amazing journey!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival 2018

It’s been a few weeks but I’ve been a little busy little bee and have been out exploring my world and I have so many wonderful things to share with you so here we go! I visited Epcot for another splendid festival and magical time! This time around it was for the 2018 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Let me just say if you love sensory details and being outside or are an outdoorsy type, this is a dream come true. I enjoyed every minute of it from beautiful flower and garden displays to Disney infusing a little magic into each area as only Disney can! And as with every Epcot festival plenty of yummy treats and drinks to spare! This festival puts you right in the mood for spring with all of the beautiful flowers and especially with all the recent cooler temperatures we’ve been experiencing this spring. Awesome start to the season!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Entrance to the Festival!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Tres Amigos are super cute!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
By far one of my favorite displays. Butterflies are such a symbolic symbol of spring and nature, with the transition of one season to another.
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Daisy Duck is ever the lady!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Butterfly Garden. One of my favorite attractions for this festival. The butterflies were so beautiful and peaceful to watch.
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Cocoons up close and personal. So amazing!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Chia Pet like pups! So adorable!

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Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Honey peach cobbler freeze! You could taste the honey in it! And even better everything was made from a local honey bee farm! Yay!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Everyone’s favorite friendly bear from The Hundred Acre Wood!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Piglet and Eeyore!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
My absolute favorite dwarf Dopey! So cute!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Lady and The Tramp! So cute! Such great artistry!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Not a flower garden but still impressive! Amazing street trapeze artist!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Tigger! My spirit animal!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Timon and Pumba!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Our favorite Arendelle royalty, Elsa and Anna!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
Not in Epcot but thought this was a beautiful spring arrangement in front of Hollywood Studios paying tribute to Fantasia!
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival 2018
And of course concluding with some beautiful flowers!

 

Such a fun way to kick off the spring season and so much amazing artistry showcased! What is your favorite way to enjoy the Flower and Garden Festival? Favorite exhibits or areas? Special memories? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you!

Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2018

Hi Guys!

Can you believe that the month of February is almost over? We were just in January and now we are more than halfway through February on the cusp of March. How crazy is that? Time flies when you’re having fun!

These past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind but I am so excited to share my time at the Epcot International Arts Festival with you. I recently visited the Epcot International Arts Festival which ran from January 12th to February 19th.  It was so cool to watch Spaceship Earth turn into a living palette of color, awesome food, performers/ artists, and visual displays. Truly a magically artistic time that at some point every one should partake in and that I am excited and grateful that I had the chance to enjoy.

 

Here are some highlights from my trip!

 

epcot international arts festival
At the entrance to Spaceship Earth!

 

epcot international festival of the arts
International Arts Festival time! 
epcot international arts festival
Amazing chalk art!
epcot international arts festival
Acrobatic artists!
epcot international arts festival
Frose! So yummy!

 

Some awesome posters from the Expo Hall where you could take arts classes, try out arts inspired hors d’oeurves, and enjoy some custom Disney inspired art

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epcot international arts festival
Art Inspired Treats!
epcot international arts festival
Gallery Bites! So good!

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epcot international arts festival
In true Epcot fashion, a passport to unlock the fun!
epcot international arts festival
Metal Statue 1
epcot international arts festival
Metal Statue 2
epcot international arts festival
Figment’s White Chocolate Puzzle! So cute! Love it!

 

This was such an amazing festival! Epcot has an amazing way of organizing some awesome festivals that are fun for the entire family! What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy Epcot festivals? What is your favorite Epcot festival? What is your favorite Spaceship Earth moment or memory? Let me know! I would love to hear from you! Leave me a note in the comments!

 

 

Florida Girls take Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival 2017

This past weekend I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the Epcot Food and Wine Festival with my mommy and sister. Talk about amazing! I am a Florida girl and visit Disney quite a bit but had never experienced it quite like that. So much good food and so many good drinks! Overall a cultural and sensory party and a great way to spend time to with loved ones. I will definitely be returning! The only recommendation I would make is to get there as early as possible so that you can enjoy all that all of the continents has to offer.

After paying for admission you can either buy the gift card and load on the desired amount you want to spend, buy a sampler set of 8 tickets and in your party do a sampling of everything that sounds appetizing or you can buy everything a la carte or a mix of the three.

Now here comes the highlights of my trip!

 

Epcot and Food Wine 2017
Top of the Morning at Disney entrance
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Parking at Epcot heading in
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
What’s a morning without Starbucks?And it’s even better at Disney!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
The Mouse himself giving us a warm welcome amongst this beautiful garden!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
First Continent Stop: Mexico!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Down Under! First food stop that made it on camera! Australia! Grilled Lamb T-Bone with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies. So flavorful!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
On to New Zealand! Seared Vension Loin with Wild Mushroom Marsala Sauce and Kumara Puree
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Next Stop! Canada! “Le Calier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
O Canada! Cheddar Cheese Soup with Pretzel Roll
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Le Slush! Le Passion Martini Slush! My fave! Hello Paris! Bonjour France!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Pit Stop in Japan!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Hops and Barley New England Lobster Roll!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Kalua Pork Slider and Mai Tai! Yummy!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
A beautiful fountain and set of potted plants in the Caribbean Islands!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Mojitos from the Caribbean!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Some of the most TENDER chicken nuggets I’ve had in a while, Pineapple Rum Ice Cream, and the BEST croissant doughnut ever!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Artisan Cheese Trio!
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Loaded Mac N Cheese
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2017
Till next time Epcot Food and Wine!

It was so much fun literally eating and drinking around the world, I literally rolled myself out to my car. If you get the chance definitely check it out! It is quite the dedicated foodie dream!