Caribbean Beach Resort Tips With Kelly Christine

Caribbean BeachA long, long time ago, in a resort category away, I used to stay at non Disney Vacation Club resorts. Alright, I still stay at non DVC resorts, just not as frequently. Before 2008, when I signed my DVC contract, I preferred one and only one resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Even after six years of owning DVC, members of my family prefer Caribbean Beach to the DVC resorts. I completely believe it’s underrated as far as moderate resorts go. For me it’s the perfect location and the best resort for someone bringing new people to experience the magic of Walt Disney World.

Caribbean Beach is one of the older resorts, which opened in 1988. It’s also a massively large resort with over 2,000 rooms, though to me it feels around the same size as Old Key West with a similar ambiance. Despite how large this resort is, I feel as though it’s easy to walk around this resort, though internal buses are available to get around if you prefer to save your feet for the parks. I recommend taking a walk around this resort sometime and checking out what it has to offer.

Here are three tips for you to enjoy the resort a bit more:

Tip 1:384570_10150560277535837_1756910559_n

When staying here, I recommend Trinidad South. I know if you look on the resort map it seems really far from everything but it isn’t that bad. It’s a 10 minute walk to Old Port Royale, it’s usually the last stop before the bus heads to the parks (not always, but pretty regularly), and you have a fantastic quiet pool nearby. My favorite thing to do while staying at Trinidad South is to have a late swim to wind down my day while listening to Illuminations and/or Fantasmic.

Tip 2:

While on vacation I like to get up early and walk around the resort. I recommend bringing your camera and getting shots of the sunrising around the resort. It’s stunning! If you’re lucky, you may also see some hot air balloons traveling around the area.

Tip 3:

Have dinner at Shutters! It’s not a very busy restaurant but has some nice entrees that my unadventurous family has enjoyed. I recommend the short ribs as they are quite delicious and have a nice Caribbean flair.

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Have you stayed at Caribbean Beach? What do you enjoy about it? Do you recommend another area for optimal resort enjoyment?

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Orlando City SC Extend Their Unbeaten Streak

Orlando City SC
Photo: Orlando City SC

Orlando City SC Kevin Molino

Scores Hat-Trick in Lions’ Win over Eagles

Orlando City defeats Charlotte Eagles 3-1 to Extend Unbeaten Streak

 

Propelled by a hat-trick from Kevin Molino, Orlando City SC (8-0-3, 27 points) defeated the Charlotte Eagles 3-1 on Wednesday night at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The hat-trick moves Molino into first place on the USL PRO scoring charts, as Orlando City extends its unbeaten streak to start the season.

“Some of our attacking play was outstanding tonight,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath after the 3-1 win. “But I’m a little bit concerned because I thought that we gave a few too many chances to the opposition.”

Tonight’s match marked the first meeting between both sides since the thrilling 2013 USL PRO Championship match last September that saw the Lions defeat the Eagles 7-4 in front of a record crowd.

Charlotte came close to pulling off an upset in the 2013 final and looked to do the same in Wednesday’s match, as Orlando City, who currently sits in first place in USL PRO, has yet to lose a game this season.

However, Orlando looked dangerous in the early stages of the first half, particularly from set-pieces, and seemed destined to secure a quick goal. In the 11th minute, on City’s third consecutive corner kick, the ball bounced around the box before being cleared out to Defender Bryan Burke, who fired a powerful effort that forced Eagles ‘keeper Brock Duckworth to parry the ball in Kevin Molino’s path.

The Trinidadian international, who leads the teams in goals and points, made no mistake finishing from 10 yards away for his sixth goal of the season, putting him in first place for goals scored in USL PRO.

Molino has been playing arguably his best football since arriving to Orlando and would add a second for Orlando in the 31st minute. The club’s first MLS signing pounced on a poor clearance from the Eagles inside the box and smacked home his seventh goal of the 2014 campaign.

“Kevin has always been an incredible footballer since he’s come to Orlando,” added Heath “But we’ve been pushing for him to take that next step and he’s managed to do that this year.”

Aside from a few half-chances, Charlotte struggled to gain any momentum in the first half as the Lions seemed to be clicking on all cylinders. The Eagles’ best opportunity to find the back of the net came in the 18th minute when Midfielder Drew Yates created space for himself and fired a cracking shot from close range.

Unfortunately for Charlotte, the midfielder’s effort went directly to Gallardo, who was able to push it wide.

The second half was similar to the first 45 as the Orlando attacking players proved to cause ample issues for the Eagles’ backline.

City’s attacking midfielders and full-backs were continuously finding space in behind, and as a result, created multiple opportunities that put Duckworth and the Charlotte defense under pressure.

In the 61st minute, Adama Mbengue came close to providing Corey Hertzog with his first league goal for City. The Senegalese, who was a constant threat all night long, combined nicely with

Alvarez for a one-two before playing a probing ball across the six for Hertzog who placed his effort just wide of the target.

“I thought that Adama was fantastic tonight,” Heath continued. “If Kevin hadn’t scored three goals, he would’ve had my vote for Man of the Match.”

Nevertheless, Molino was able to maintain his excellent form throughout the match and scored his first-ever hat-trick for Orlando City just 15 minutes later. After a poor giveaway from

Charlotte in its defensive third, Mikey Lopez kick-started a counter, which saw City have the advantage in numbers, and played a precise ball to Molino on the back post.

Molino caught Lopez’s cross cleanly on the half-volley, placing home his first-ever professional hat-trick.

Charlotte secured a conciliation goal in the 80th minute when substitute Guiseppe Gentile was able to capitalize on a mistake made by Tommy Redding. The 17 year-old center-half played flawless up until that point but showed signs of being a youngster on that particular play.

With the win secured, Orlando City extends its unbeaten streak in league play to 11 consecutive games. The Lions’ record for most games in a row without a loss occurred in 2012 when the team went 14 games straight without losing.

City’s next match will take place on Friday, May 23, against AS Roma of the Italian Serie A at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Lions will then take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup on May 28 before returning back to league play for a match against the Charleston Battery at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

For more information, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com

Orlando City SC Match Recap

Team                              1    2    Final

Orlando City SC              2    1    3

Charlotte Eagles             0    1    1

Scoring Summary:

ORL- Kevin Molino (unassisted) 11’

ORL- Kevin Molino (unassisted) 31’

ORL- Kevin Molino (unassisted) 77’

CHA- Guiseppe Gentile (unassisted) 80’

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC- GK Miguel Gallardo, D Luke Boden, Tommy Redding, Brad Rusin (Tyler Turner 78’), Bryan Burke, M Darwin Ceren, Yordany Alvarez, Adama Mbengue (Mikey Lopez 76’), Brian Span (Anthony Pulis 62’), Kevin Molino, F Dennis Chin (Corey Hertzog 41’)

Charlotte Eagles- GK Brock Duckworth, D Matt Gold, Bilal Duckett, Ben Newnam, JJ Greer (Richard Dixon 69’), M Fred Sekyere, Drew Yates, Juan Guzman, F Zak Boggs, Jorge Herrera (Tyrone Hall 69’), Wells Thompson

Penalty Summary:

CHA- Bilal Duckeet (Yellow Card) 56’

Match Facts:

Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. EST

Weather: — Clear

Orlando City SC Crest

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. The club will begin play in MLS in 2015, becoming the league’s 21st club. The Lions’ first team has won two USL PRO regular season titles and two postseason championships and will continue play in USL PRO in 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com and www.OrlandoCityYouth.org.

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Theme Park Hack: No Plate? No Problem!

I am always on the look out for Theme Park Hacks that can help make our day in the Park more enjoyable!

You may ask what is a Theme Park Hack?

 

 

A Theme Park Hack is when you take ordinary thing and use it at it is not intended for an extraordinary outcome. This is not about breaking rules or cheating the system, just little quirky things that I like to do.

Theme Park Hack

Theme Park Hack: No Plate? No Problem!

Zoe is really particular about how she eats her food, and her main issue happens when we are grabbing a quick bite to eat in the parks.

Typically food is served in paper baskets, and since she is not the neatest of eaters she usually knocks over the basket a few times spilling stuff everywhere.

So instead of taking the food out and placing it on the tray or on napkins, here is how I like to make a plate out of a paper basket at Quick Service Restaurants!

If you look at the corners of the basket, you will notice that they’re just glued together.

Theme Park Hack

Gently (and carefully depending on how full of food your basket is), separate the corners.

Smooth them out, and BAM! you’ve got yourself a plate!

Theme Park Hack

Pretty simple, but it has been a great trick for our family that has made meals on the go easier!

Do you have any Theme Park Hack that you or your family uses? We would love to hear about them!!!

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Welcome Home Wednesday

Welcome Home Wednesday

For DVC members there is a weekly event at Atlantic Dance Hall called Welcome Home Wednesday.

Since its been a very long time since I’ve been, Shelley, Kelly and I decided to go and check it out.

Welcome Home Wednesday

You are asked to show your DVC member ID when you enter and you are given a ticket to fill out, on the ticket is a snack ticket that you can tear off easily.

Photo May 14, 2 10 29 PM

Photo May 14, 2 10 48 PM

Photo May 14, 2 10 40 PM

In the small entrance many perks are featured such as  your discounts on Sammy Duval’s Water Centre and Disney Florist and Owners locker.  After you enter the snacks and lemonade are over at the corner bar for you to get.

Welcome Home Wednesday

The event started with a slinky game, one of the contestants was named Walt so there were many disney jokes. Everyone who played received a pin,  Then after there was a feature on membership perks. One of the audience was sad that most of the perks information has gone online*, but we were reminded that DVC members can get restaurant savings when they join Tables In Wonderland.

Welcome Home Wednesday

The next game was that you had to guess the answer that your partner would guess.  Kelly and Shelley volunteered to play, unfortunately they didn’t win but everyone got a pin.

Welcome Home Wednesday

The next game was building a snowman with golf balls, one contestant got very close, again both people won a pin.

The final game is that you had to try and get a cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands, one person won, again both contestants  got a pin.

The last giveaways they used a basket to pick winners of prizes, the prizes were:

  • A mug with flowers from the Disney Florist
  • A gift certificate to Sammy Duval’s for parasailing
  • A gift certificate to Senses Spa
  • A year membership Owner’s Locker
  • A ride along at the Richard Petty Speedway

Welcome Home Wednesday

After that the event was over, you were given an Animal Kingdom Lodge Hat.

We had a lot of fun playing games and laughing! Welcome Home Wednesday is a great way to spend some time outside of the park with fellow Disney Vacation Club Members.

* note the perks link above requires you to sign into your Disney Vacation Club account online

 

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Radiator Springs 500 1/2 Only On Disney Movies Anywhere

Radiator Springs 500 1/2 Disney Movies Anywhere App

Radiator Springs 500 1/2 races to premiere exclusively on Disney Movies Anywhere!

Radiator Springs 500 1/2 is an all new Disney•Pixar short that is available for free, and is an exciting first installment in the “Tales from Radiator Springs” series.

httpv://youtu.be/puqOCv9Fnqc

Featuring Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen and directed by Rob Gibbs (“Mater’s Tall Tales”), Radiator Springs 500 1/2 tells the story of a “leisurely drive” planned in honor of Radiator Springs’ town founder, Stanley, which turns precarious as Baja pros descend on the town and challenge Lightning McQueen to an off-road race. Meanwhile, the townsfolk, led by a Stanley-costumed Mater, enjoy the planned “leisurely drive” to retrace Stanley’s original frontier route. Thinking they’re on the same course, a wrong turn sends McQueen and the Baja pros on a treacherously wild bid for survival. The misunderstanding leaves the racing professionals in awe of the “legend” of Stanley: the Original Off-Road Racer

Disney Movies Anywhere Radiator Springs 500

Go to Disney Movies Anywhere to find out more about buying, watching, and collecting your favorite Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies anywhere!  http://www.disneymoviesanywhere.com or download the App at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/disney-movies-anywhere-watch

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Cher Lloyd Rocks Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras This Weekend

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras

Celebration Continues

With Cher Lloyd Performing This Weekend

 Chery Lloyd Universal Orlando Mardi Gras

Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration continues this Saturday night with a live performance by multi-platinum British singer-songwriter Cher Lloyd, best known for her for her smash hit “Want U Back.” Lloyd is also getting ready to release her sophomore album “Sorry I’m Late” on May 27. Before the concert, guests can catch colorful beads by the handful during the festive Mardi Gras parade, which features 12 vibrant floats, including three new additions celebrating Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days.” Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

Universal Orlando Resort Mardi Gras Cher Lloyd

Universal Orlando’s “N’awlins”-inspired, family-friendly version of Mardi Gras runs select nights through June 7. The excitement of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.

 

2014 Mardi Gras Talent Line-Up
Mardi Gras Event Dates Headliners

(performing in the Music Plaza)

May 24 Cher Lloyd
May 31 Huey Lewis and the News
June 7 Robin Thicke

 

Schedule of Events for Saturday, May 24:

  • 4:00 p.m. – French Quarter Courtyard Opens
  • 8:15 p.m. – Mardi Gras Parade Starts
  • 9:00 p.m. – Live Concert Begins

 

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Disney on Ice Presents Frozen At The Amway Center

Feld Entertainment, Inc., Brings the #1 Animated Movie of All Time to Life

with Disney On Ice presents Frozen in Orlando

 Disney on Ice Presents Frozen

Tickets On Sale June 3 for Touring Skating Spectacular
Featuring Dynamic Sisters Anna and Elsa, Appearing for the First Time in a Live Production

 

Feld Entertainment, Inc., the worldwide leader in producing live touring family entertainment, today announced that its 34th Disney On Ice spectacular will bring the Academy Award®-winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, to life.  Disney On Ice presents Frozen visits Orlando from September 5 to September 7 for seven performances at the Amway Center; tickets go on sale June 3 at 10 a.m.

Disney on Ice Presents Frozen

The Academy Award® winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, capturing the dynamic between two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa.  Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to remain secluded as she finally feels free to test the limits of her powers.    Rugged mountain man Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven, the lovable and hilarious snowman Olaf and the mystical trolls help Anna along the way in this story about love conquering fear.  Audiences will get to sing along with such musical masterpieces as “Let it Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Fixer Upper.”

Disney on Ice Presents Frozen

“In our more than 30 years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like this,” says producer Nicole Feld.  “While it might seem obvious that Frozen is well suited for the ice, this Disney On Ice production will touch audiences emotionally through innovative show elements and world-class skating.”

Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee add, “Seeing audiences around the world embrace Frozen has been the experience of a lifetime.  And to now have the chance to consult with the talented team at Feld Entertainment and watch their creation come to life on ice, is thrilling.”

Disney on Ice Presents Frozen
Behind the scenes look at Producer Nicole Feld with the white model concept of the Disney On Ice presents Frozen set that will immerse families in the winter world of Anna and Elsa.

In Disney On Ice presents Frozen, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse take the audience through the magical story based in Arendelle, with special appearances by beloved Disney princesses and favorite characters from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King, who come together to prove that true love is the greatest power of all.  Director Patty Vincent says, “Our goal is to showcase these heartwarming characters in a way that allows the audience to cheer and sing along throughout this emotional journey.”

To create a completely immersive experience for the audience, the set design will encompass the space from the ice surface up through the air, drawing everyone into the story and closer to the characters. Families will feel that they are trekking up to the North Mountains with Anna, Kristoff and Sven, and they will tangibly experience the storm inside Elsa.  Elsa’s magic will be enhanced by state-of-the art special effects while her emotions will be conveyed through powerful skating.

 

Disney on Ice Presents Frozen

Performance Information

Amway Center – Orlando, Florida

Where: Amway Center, 400 West Church Street – Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32801

Dates and Times of Performances:          

Friday, September 5 at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 6 at 11:00 a.m.3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 7 at 11:00 a.m.3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices and Purchase:

Tickets start at $16.  $65 Front Row, $39 Premium, $30, $22, $16

(Ticketmaster service charges and facility fees not included.) All seats are reserved, and tickets are now on sale to the public.  Tickets are available at www.DisneyOnIce.com or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone for information only: 407-440-7900).  For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.

For a complete list of tour dates, visit the Disney On Ice website (http://www.disneyonice.com) and stay current on the latest developments through social media, including instructions on how to access presale codes for tickets as early as May 20th:

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Jiko, The Cooking Place presents May Wine Dinner

Jiko Logo

 

Jiko – The Cooking Place is pleased to announce the following Wine Dinner

 

A Pinotage Tasting – Thursday May 15, 2014

 

The following details apply to this event:

6:00PM Reception Sunset Lounge Disney’s Animal Kingdom

6:30PM Dinner Dress Code – Business Casual Evening Attire

$160 inclusive of tax and gratuity.

 

Please see below for Menu Offerings for the Dinner

For reservations please contact Victoria Thompson at Victoria.j.thompson@disney.com

This event is limited to 40 guests. This event is a credit card guarantee, and there is a 3 day cancellation policy.

 

Reception

Moroccan Rock Shrimp Tagine

Grilled Seitan, Delta Asparagus Jus, and Kenyan Style Mashed potatoes

Smoked Pork Belly and Green Mango Atjar

Boekenhoutskloof Semillon, Franschoek 

 

First Course

Butter Poached Lobster, Delta Asparagus, Chipolini Onions and Heirloom Potatoes

Southern Right, Pinotage, Hamel-en-Aarde

 

Second Course

Fiddlehead Fern Salad, Rocket, Duck Crackling, and Dark Cherry Vinaigrette

M*A*N Family Wines Pinotage, Coastal Region

 

Third Course

Egyptian Stuffed Squab, Liver Pate, Prunes, and  Dates

Spice Route Pinotage, Swartland

 

Fourth Course

Burundi-style Coffee Crusted Veal with Roasted Spring Baby Vegetables, and Ramp Emulsion

Side by Side tasting of Fairview Pinotage, Paarl

 

Dessert

Tasting of Seasonal Peaches Local and Beyond with a White Peach Sphere

Fairview La Beryl Blanc Late Harvest Chenin Blanc, Coastal

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WWE Performance Center Hosts Team Florida In Unified Training Day

 WWE Performance Center Hosts Special Olympics Team Florida In Unified Training Day

WWE Performance Center

The WWE Performance Center played host as WWE Superstar Xavier Woods, WWE Diva Eva Marie, and NXT Superstars got the opportunity to train with some Special Olympics athletes from Team Florida, and we were honored to be able to follow them on their exciting day!

WWE Performance Center

WWE is a Founding Partner of the 2014 Speical Olympics USA Games to be held in New Jersey from June 14-21, 2014. The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games will have nearly 3,500 athletes competing in 16 Olympic-style team and individual sports with the support of coaches, volunteers, and anticipated 70,000 spectators! The The 2014 USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement, promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport and showcase the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities.

128 athletes from Team Florida will be traveling to the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games to represent the Sunshine State, and will be competing in aquatics (swimming), basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, golf, powerlifting, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

WWE Performance Center

The five Team Florida athletes were first greeted by WWE & NXT Superstars and Divas, and started their day with a behind-the-scenes look at the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center where the WWE & NXT athletes train.

WWE Performance Center

Alongside WWE Performance Center trainers and WWE & NXT Superstars and Divas, the Team Florida members had a unified training session. They completed several circuits of workouts, and it was amazing to see their determination!

WWE Performance Center

WWE Performance Center

WWE Performance Center

WWE Performance Center

After their workout, they were treated for two matches from NXT Superstars!

WWE Performance Center

WWE Performance Center

WWE Performance Center

  Adam Rose and Corey Graves then took some questions from the Team Florida Athletes.

WWE Performance Center

WWE Performance Center

The day wouldn’t be complete without lots of well wishes for their upcoming competition.

WWE Performance Center

The entire experience was an absolute joy! Watching these athletes working together was great, and I hope that you enjoy a look at what I experienced.

httpv://youtu.be/5zzmZhS0ec0

For more information about Special Olympics of Florida, please visit https://specialolympicsflorida.org. To keep up with the latest at the WWE Performance Center, make sure you check out their Facebook Page. Make sure you are following our adventures on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook!

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A Disney Wedding Site Visit

My fiancé, Cliff, and I are currently in the middle of planning a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding. Weddings at Disney are planned in a unique way. Even if you know what date and venues you want to use, they can’t be booked until exactly a year out. So, even though Cliff and I got engaged in May of 2013, since we wanted a December 2014 wedding we had to wait until December 2013 to make it official.

There are a few things couples can do in the meantime. At 16 months out, Disney will pencil you in for the date and venues that you want. If more than one couple want the same times and venues, there will be a lottery process so it’s important to come up with a few back-ups just in case. You can also schedule a site visit with a sales consultant to check out up to three venues available for wedding events. The way we approached that was to narrow down our choices and check out as many venues as we could on our own. For example, we considered having our wedding ceremony at the Yacht Club Gazebo, which can easily be seen at any time. That way we saved places for our site visit, which were not generally accessible to the general public. We decided that we wanted to see the Living Seas Salon in Epcot, American Adventure Parlor in Epcot, and the Attic at the Boardwalk Resort.

Yacht Club Gazebo
Yacht Club Gazebo

You may remember my previous wedding planning post about Franck’s Bridal Studio. That is where we began our day by meeting with our assigned sales consultant. First, we discussed generalities of what we were planning for our wedding, like the size of our guest list. We then found out that we wouldn’t be able to see the Living Seas Salon that day because it was booked for another event. We did get to see some photos from past events that gave us a pretty good idea of the space and we decided that it would probably be too big for the number of people we would be having.

Soon it was time to drive to our first location: The American Adventure Parlor. Our site visit was before Chase Bank used this location for their lounge during Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, so neither one of us had seen this space before. The best part about going to see this location was getting to drive through backstage! We entered backstage near Test Track and drove around to the back of the American Adventure. We walked through the gates next to the pavilion (between America and Italy).

Entering Epcot
Entering Epcot

American Adventure

At that time, we had no idea that the elevator to take us up to the Parlor existed.

Elevator
Elevator

Inside, there is a room with tables that would be used to our brunch. We liked the main parlor area with the windows looking out onto the promenade. Over all though, we decided that the space wasn’t right for us.

Tables Hallway Parlor Left Parlor Center Parlor Right Landing

On to our next destination. We drove over to the Boardwalk Resort, went up to the 3rd floor, and walked down a loooooong hallway of guest rooms to reach the Attic, which is located directly above Jellyrolls.

Boardwalk

IMG_3498

 

Let me just say, when we walking into that room, I immediately knew that I wanted our reception there. It had the atmosphere we were going for. We wanted our reception to be a more laid back, family gathering rather than a party. We weren’t having a DJ or anything like that. This was perfect. It was filled with antiques and looks like parlor in your grandmother or great aunt’s house.

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And the view overlooking Beach Club (where we had our first date) and Epcot (where we would have said our vows just a little bit ago) just really tied everything together.

This view.
This view.

 

Soon it was time to head back to Franck’s to finalize our venues. When we got there, we were given the opportunity to check out the wedding pavilion on our own while our consultant looked up the answer to a question we had about one of the locations.

Wedding Pavilion

The Wedding Pavilion is absolutely gorgeous and I can easily see why it’s so popular. It has the traditional chapel feel, a view of Cinderella’s castle, and it’s air-conditioned!

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That concludes our Disney Weddings site visit. Here are a few tips in case you have one in your future:

Do as much research beforehand as you can so you can narrow down the places that you may want to see. The Disney Weddings website was recently redone and has a lot of great pictures. Focus on sites that you wouldn’t be able to check out on your own. Make a list of questions to ask your consultant, they are a great resource and in our experience, very helpful!

Now you’re probably wondering which venues we chose. Our ceremony will be held at Italy Isola and our reception in the Attic!

Italy Isola
Italy Isola

We had a couple of backups for dates and venues in case there was a lottery. We did end up having to move our date up one day because the Attic was booked. We got really lucky though so it wasn’t a big deal. Up next is our planning session, which is held at around 6 months out. We will meet our planner and go step-by-step through our wedding day. We’re really looking forward to it – especially the cake tasting portion!

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Raglan Road Irish Pub Presents: The Summer Solstice Signature Dining Experience

Raglan Road Logo

Raglan Road Irish Pub Presents: The Summer Solstice Signature

Dining Experience with Master Chef Kevin Dundon

Date: Thursday June 19th 2014

Time: 6.30pm

Dress Code: Smart Casual

Price: $95.00, plus tax and gratuity

Tables in Wonderland Discount Accepted

To book your Reservation please call 407-938-0300

 

Master Chef Kevin Dundon of Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant has created a tantalizing menu incorporating fresh seasonal flavors for a special Summer Solstice Signature Dinner which takes place on the 19th of June. Enjoy a sumptuous four course menu paired with the finest wines that have been expertly chosen to complement and enhance the delicious flavors of each dish. Chef Kevin adds his unique style and flair to the menu combining his passion for freshness and simplicity.

 

The Summer Solstice marks the official start of the summer in the Northern Hemisphere and has long been associated with ancient summer customs and traditions. It is often the time of the first harvest and when plants and herbs planted during the spring equinox were collected hence a celebration of nature’s bounty. In ancient times the Summer Solstice was hugely significant; it was a time when the power of the Sun was at its highest and crops & fields were blessed to ensure a good harvest.

 

Celebrations take place across many parts of Europe dating back thousands of years. Most involve festivals, maypole dances, lighting of bonfires, feasting and celebrations. The Summer Solstice is such a joyous and magical occasion celebrated for centuries. We hope you can join us for a truly memorable dining experience. 

For more information, please visit http://www.raglanroad.com/summer-solstice-signature-dinner

 

Menu Offerings:

Appetizer

Classic Irish prawn cocktail

Chateau Minuty, Rose, Provenance, 2013

***

Soup

Summer inspired chilled melon soup

Cape Mentelle, Sauvignon Blanc- Semillon, Margret River, Australia, 2012/13

***

Main Course

Spit roasted baby lamb with a rosemary salt crust,

minted pea jelly & fondant potatoes

Campo Alegre, Toro, Spain, 2010

***

Dessert

Fresh Strawberries & white chocolate mousse

wrapped in a picnic blanket

Domaine Chandon, Etolie Rose, Napa, MV

***

Tea/Coffee/Petit Fours

 

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Girl’s Day in St Cloud

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I love finding small towns to visit that have wonderful historic downtowns, with fun places to shop and eat. St Cloud is one of those places for me. It’s a bit further out from where I live, so I like to try a different place each time I visit, especially on girl’s day! So this time I went to a cafe based on my friend’s recommendation that she had been to before. Diane’s Tea Room is located on New York Avenue in the heart of downtown St Cloud.

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In the front of the cafe is a gift shop featuring collectibles, decor and gifts that you can peruse while walking through to the cafe at the back.

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If it’s not too busy you can chose where you would like to sit, and really with all the cute decorations they have, you can’t really pick a wrong table!

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They do feature some specials for dinner, and for lunch they had a good variety and had some vegetarian options too.

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I decided to go with the homemade quiche that came with fruit and a choice of side. The quiche was brie and broccoli and it was so fresh and delicious I actually wanted more! I loved the presentation of the food, especially the chocolate covered strawberry! The plates used gave a warm homey touch to all the food.

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They feature some delicious flavored iced teas, and their hot tea was very tasty too, which again, was presented very nicely in your personal tea pot and cup with a saucer.

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For dessert we had to try the scones as they make them fresh and I was told they are so soft and melt in your mouth! The other desserts featured that day sounded great too, but the scones just sounded too tempting, especially when I saw they come served with fresh made Devonshire cream! Delicious!

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I am already looking forward to the next time I visit Diane’s in St Cloud, as there were many other items I would love to try! I also loved how when you go to the bathroom, you walk through the back of the restaurant and into the foyer of the Hunter Arms Hotel. It had such cool decor, and I read afterwards that its known to be haunted, by a ghost named Vivian?! So if you’re into that kind of thing then maybe this is somewhere for you to visit! I just thought it looked like a cool historic hotel lobby!

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After we ate, we walked around the antique stores and gift shops, and they have some lovely stores there that I always end up spending money at!

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At the moment, the downtown area of St Cloud is under refurbishment, as they are removing the asphalt on the roads to expose the original historic bricks underneath! I didn’t even know you could DO that, but I’m sure its going to look beautiful once its finished! At the time of writing this I’m not sure how far they have gotten, hopefully they may have even completed it by now! I can’t wait to see what it looks like!

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If you would like to visit Diane’s Tea Room, it is located on 1023 New York Ave in St Cloud, and you can also friend them on Facebook to look for their weekly specials.

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Preakness Celebration at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

DSCF7944On Saturday, May 17th, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa will host another fun activity day in honor of the Preakness Race.

Most of the crafts and games will take place around the High Rock Spring Pool, with some also occurring at the Paddock Pool or in Community Hall.

The first activity is at 1pm at High Rock Spring (main pool) with Triple Crown Trivia and Disney Horse Trivia at the Paddock Pool.

At 2pm the main pool will have a Cupcake Eating Contest and the Paddock Pool will start their pool party.

High Rock Springs will have a Dance Party at 2:45pm, followed directly by their pool party at 3pm.

The Paddock Pool is having Carousel Horses at 3pm, then Paddock Pony Party at 3:30pm.

Over at the main pool at 4pm guests can make their own mint julep ice cream.

At 7:30pm there will be s’mores at the High Rock Spring Pool, and the movie under the stars at 9pm will be Secretariat.

Community Hall will have The Preakness Youth Art Contest.

As always, times and activities are subject to change. We hope you get to check out some of these special activities just for Preakness. Saratoga Springs seems like the perfect place to celebrate horse racing at Walt Disney World.

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Disney’s Kidani Village – Welcome Home with Kelly Christine

KidaniLast week I shared my love of Old Key West and shared some tips that I hope would improve your time at my favorite resort to rest my head. While Old Key West is my favorite resort on Walt Disney World property, my home resort is Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village. As with any other place you may call home, I have a fondness for this resort that cannot be compared. While there are a similar amount of rooms and size of rooms, the setup of Kidani Village is quite different. All rooms are in the same crescent shaped building with self parking underneath. About half of the rooms face the large savanna while the other half of the rooms face the front of the resort. I like to call the animals in the savanna my “pets” as with my Disney Vacation Club annual dues I pay for their food and care.

Every time I have visited Kidani Village, I have had a fantastic experience. The rooms are beautiful, regardless of what your balcony view may be. The detail in all decor is delightful, with the bathrooms being a highlight for me. Across the tiles in the bathtub in most rooms is a view of the savanna from the Lion King with most of the characters from the movie. It’s a nice touch to remind you that despite feeling like you’re on another continent, Disney is with you. I really encourage staying at this resort with younger children. Despite its distance from the parks, there’s so much for them to enjoy and do from sunrise to sunset.

If I may suggest a few things while staying here:

Tip 1:

Have a meal at Sanaa! I was a bit wary of trying this place as it’s out of my comfort zone, but I absolutely loved it. I tend to go a little nuts on the bread service and I highly encourage you to do the same.

Tip 2:

Check out the pool at this resort! It is probably the shadiest pool I have been to at Walt Disney World. The majority of the chairs around the pool are underneath trees, which makes those summer days a little easier to enjoy. Their splash area for younger ones is also my favorite on property; it’s fun for all ages.

Tip 3:

Take your time and enjoy the lobby and all it has to offer. I had an amazing day at Kidani last week with no need for park time. I enjoyed the pool for the majority of the day and spent my evening using night vision goggles that were provided at the savanna outlook to see the animals during the evening. It was a perfect relaxing day.

 

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A while back, Betsy visited Kidani Village and spent an afternoon enjoying the resort. You can read about her day here. Have you been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village? What are some of your favorite things about this resort?

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