My Perfect Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Day

This year’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is full of some great new additions, as well as some of my old favorites. I thought I would take you along as I look at what makes a perfect day at the 2013 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

httpv://youtu.be/nLssHT6H_fQ

When you walk in the main entrance to Epcot, it’s hard to miss the new Fab 5 Topiary ‘Party with Mickey & Friends’ as they celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Also as you walk around Spaceship Earth towards Future World, make sure you check out the Phineas & Ferb Topiary.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

I am a big fan of the new ‘Radiator Springs’ interactive play area! Make sure you take a few extra minutes to become a Private Detective with Tow Mater. This area is sure to make the Cars fans in your family happy!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

After taking a stroll through Radiator Springs, it’s a great time to head to the Festival Center. Here you can find all of the great Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival merchandise, see a presentation in the HGTV Theater with some of your favorite DIY gurus, take a class, or even ask an expert a question about your garden at home.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
This year’s Festival Pins!
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
The upcoming release of the Disney Vera Bradley purses are on display in the Festival Center, too!

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Another area that I could spend all day in is Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House. This year Tinker Bell and her friends play host to a wonderful world of butterflies, and if you look closely you might even find some of their Fairy Houses! For a special treat, make sure you stop by around 11:00 am to watch the butterflies emerge from their cocoons.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
One of the many Fairy Houses in Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House.

You can visit the Land of Oz in the new children’s play area presented by the new Disney film ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’. In this area you can play midway games for prizes, take a break and play for a bit on unique play structures, and relax under a hot air balloon.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

While you’re in this area, a fun activity for the little ones is to decorate a flower pot for their seeds from The Land of Oz at the Water Wise Herbs & Vegetable exhibit.

Luckily the Pineapple Promenade is right next to The Land of Oz Play area, so it was time to grab a Dole Whip (I opted to get one without spiced rum) and a Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  What a great treat!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

This year there are 12 food booths around the World Showcase Lagoon offering a Taste of Spring. While these booths look similar to those used for the International Food & Wine Festival in the Fall, that is where the similarities end. For the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, each booth features fresh foods prepared in the booth with plantings around each one of ingredients used in the foods. The Cottage in the United Kingdom Pavilion was my favorite, but the candied strawberries of Lotus House are unique and worth a try!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Shrimp and Grits from the Florida Fresh booth.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
Candied Strawberries from the Lotus House Booth.

 

Also, you will definitely want to pick up one of the Disney Gift Cards on a wristlet to make buying items at the booths super easy! It can be loaded with as little as $5, and is accepted as payment for nearly anything! Plus this year, they are themed to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival! Super Cute! You can get them throughout Epcot at ticket booths, Guest Relations, the Festival Center, and almost anywhere they sell Disney Gift Cards!

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

And it wouldn’t be Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival without topiaries, and both World Showcase & Future World are full of some great ones! I definitely wouldn’t miss…

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

  • The new Disney-Pixar ‘Monsters University’
  • The Moose in the Victoria Gardens of the Canada Pavilion
  • Hook, Tic Toc Croc, and Peter Pan in the United Kingdom Pavilion
  • Beauty and the Beast in the France Pavilion
  • Woody & Lotso in the American Adventure Pavilion
  • Buzz in front of Mission Space
  • The Troll in the Norway Pavilion

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The Backyard Play Garden is full of whimsical touches that you can add to your garden at home (with instructions), as well as a really nice play area for the kiddos. This is a great place to take a break since the kids have a place that is covered to play on with restrooms close by.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
This little guy can be found, with directions, in the Backyard Play Garden

Two of my perennial favorites are the bonsai on display in the Japan Pavilion and the large terra cotta pots of Italy that are overflowing with beautiful flowers.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Now would be about the time to start queuing up for the Flower Power Concert Series performed at the American Gardens Theater near the American Adventure Pavilion. STOP TO AT LEAST HEAR ONE CONCERT! I know that these are older performers, but once they start going you will be surprised to see how many songs you know. We saw Micky Dolenz, of The Monkees, and he was amazing. I am personally stoked for The Village People to perform later in the festival.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

httpv://youtu.be/pejIzkCvWLg

Make sure you take a moment to take in the Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard & Shirley Kinsey inside of the American Adventure Pavilion. This new exhibit allows you to see authentic documents, books, artifacts, and are art including landscapes and flora in one of the largest collections of African American Art. I had the amazing chance to speak with the Kinseys, and their passion for this collection is breathtaking. We are truly lucky to have such an exhibit visiting Epcot!

After you watch Illuminations, a mandatory watching is included in a perfect day at Epcot, make sure you check out the topiaries as they are illuminated and pixie dust powered at night.

And that would be my perfect day at Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival. It’s a great time of year to visit, and I can’t wait to hear what your perfect day at the Festival would be like!

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Cooling Off at Winter Summerland – Summer Course

One of my favorite activities outside the parks is playing miniature golf at Walt Disney World. There are four courses between the two miniature golf locations: Winter Summerland with the Winter and Summer courses and Fantasia Gardens with the Gardens and the Fairways courses. You can see some great pictures here that Shelley took of the Winter course from when we played last year. I have played all four of the courses at WDW, but the Summer course is definitely my favorite. It is a great place to escape the parks to slow down and enjoy a nice afternoon with family or friends. Now that the miniature golf courses are included in the Water Parks Fun & More option (before 4pm only), it makes it even easier to sneak away for a quick 18 or even 36 holes. Course hours are typically 10am to 11pm, weather permitting, so please call ahead if it looks questionable. Regular fees are $12. ages 10 and up and $10. for children 3 – 9. There are also great discounts for Annual Passholders and Cast Members at 50% off as well as half off second rounds if anyone wants to play another 18.

Disney does theming and attention to detail better than almost anyone else, and this is a huge part of what makes this miniature golf experience even more magical than your average putt putt place. The course is designed by Santa’s elves and themed around some of your favorite summer activities like fishing, going to the beach, surfing and building sand castles. Each hole has a sign introducing it with a clever tip with instructions on to how to best attack the hole to get the best score. Some of my favorite details are the names on the surfboards and inner tubes, as well as the bumper stickers on the “elfstream” trailers. I think it is great that the Imagineers took the time to put such great care in to creating these courses.

Each time I visit the Winter Summerland courses it makes me feel a little bit cooler, and happier (jollier?) with the great Christmas theme, even if I’m playing the warmer themed Summer course. I imagine the Christmas music playing in the background doesn’t hurt in setting the mood. This is one of my favorite things to do on a warm summer evening and I have a feeling I’ll be sneaking off for a round sometime in the very near future. Have you ever played these courses or Fantasia Gardens? Do you have a favorite? What are some of your favorite details? Let me know.

httpv://youtu.be/g4_TdshI26o

I’m including the gallery of pictures as well if you want to click to see some of the details a bit better. Enjoy!

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My Storybook Circus Day In Pictures

So I have a new obsession, and that is visiting Storybook Circus!

I have been almost everyday since it opened, and Betsy and I have take a ton of pictures which you can find on the On the Go in MCO Facebook page.

But I thought that I would post a few pictures I took yesterday since I got to talk about my obsession on Magic Mornings on Magic 24.7 Radio!

I hope that you enjoy these and make sure that you follow @onthegoinmco for daily pictures and updates from the parks!!!

 

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TrenD Report – January 23, 2012

It’s time for another TrenD Report!!!

One thing that I have noticed since my last visit, is that there really has not been a lot of new Disney items added to the store, but the amount of Toki Doki and Betsy Johnson Betsyville has definitely increased! It is starting to feel more like a Juniors Department rather than a Disney Couture Boutique. I hope that this changes in the future, but among the regular stuff I was able to find a few Disney gems!!!

I love how shimmery the print on this Minnie tee looks in the sun!

 

The 80's feel of this sweatshirt is fantastic!

 

I love the design of this Tinkerbell Tea Pot! The wings add such a nice touch of whimsy!

 

I love the saucer of the matching Tinkerbell Tea Cup!

 

This Tinkerbell frame is adorable!!!

 

Piggy Bank!!! Shopping Fund inside!!!

 

I might be obsessed with this oversized LoungeFly canvas tote!!!!

 

You HAVE to get the matching wallet!!! The quality of these LoungFly purses and wallets is amazing!

 

The Disney Couture Jewelry line has had a bit of a refresh, and it now has a very Juicy Couture feel to it in terms of size and design.

 

More of the Disney Couture Jewelry Line...

 

An Alice in Wonderland Blingtastic mug!!!

 

The foil touches and rhinestones of these mugs are just right! Sassy Tinkerbell Mug!

 

The Mickey made of fabric ruffle is adorable in person!

 

Another LoungeFly purse!

 

The Muppets OPI collection has arrived at TrenD!!!

 

This Tiana t-shirt is super flirty!!!

 

Old School Minnie? Yes, please!

 

This purse is perfect for Valentine's Day!!!

 

There are finally some new buttons!!!

 

And before you leave, don’t forget to find this bad boy…

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Taking it Easy at the Magic Kingdom!

It is sooo easy to get carried away in the Magic Kingdom, and before you know it you are roaming the parks with a glazed look in your eye and a fist full of fastpasses.

But on this beautiful day, John, Betsy, and I decided to take is slow and focus on enjoying ourselves and taking some photos of our favorite things.

So here is are some of the photos that I took from our day around the Magic Kingdom.

By law, you are required to take this picture every time you visit the Haunted Mansion! Look it up...Google it! 😀
And you HAVE to take this picture, too!
The twins are my favorite busts!
This makes me giggle every time!!!
It isn't a ride on Haunted Mansion without paying your respects to Master Gracey.
The Captain
I could stay here all day...even though I don't get the rhymes right all the time...
The back of the Poetess' crypt.
Campbell is my maiden name...
I love this shot of the head stones!!!
Madame Leota
The new chicken out sign at Haunted Mansion!
It's Country Bear Jamboree time!!!

How do you not love this little guy....errrr bear?
I love Country Bears and I don't care what you say!!!
This is Betsy's favorite part of the show.
Big Al
Country Bears Finale!!!
I love this little spot outside of Pirates of the Caribbean!!!
A larger picture of La Fuente Serena.
They have added some POTC 4 portraits to the Pirates gift shop.
Pirate Tutorial
I love how this sign just blends in with the theming.
That is quite an interesting mailing address...
You have to look closely for this guy...
Inspiration Falls
How can you tell we are in Africa?
Time to go to the watering hole.
1971 Impalas
FYI, you really can't out run a rhino!
Ginger and Smiley
Almost...
Hungry, Hungry Hippos!
I love these guys!
The backside of water.
Good thing I caught this guy with his trunk on!
Any way you slice it or dice it...
One of my favorite plants here in the jungle...
Rum and Hennessy...what else do you REALLY need on a jungle trip?
I love this board as you exit the Jungle Cruise!
I can't leave without at least one castle picture!
Celebrate Today...Indeed!!!
And a Dole Whip at Captain Cooks is the perfect ending to a perfect day!

Thanks for joining us on our slow, but relaxing trip through the Magic Kingdom.

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Girls Day at Magic Kingdom!!!

I am sorry that I have been MIA from the blog, but I have been lucky enough to have had my Mother in town!!!

My Mom’s favorite park is the Magic Kingdom, so we decided to spend her last full day in town taking on the Kingdom!

Be warned…I took a lot of pics…

Still lots of tarps over Main Street...
Make way for Mickey!!!
Still working on the Confectionery...
It was a pretty busy day...
There was a lot of banging and saw dust coming from the bridge construction.
Just in case you didn't know...
As you walk through, the sounds of the natives are drowned out by the sounds of construction.
The new Princess Meet & Greet entrance with a posted wait time.
And this is the exit...
Ariel and Eric have been been meeting in this gazebo area, too

Our first ride is ALWAYS the Jungle Cruise!!!

The Girls!
Our Skipper
The Backside of Water!!!

The Tiki Room is still boarded up from the fire…

Then we decided to take in a new/old favorite.

Then it was time for my Mom to take Zoe on her first ride again, and for me to snap a few pics of the Fantasyland Expansion from my trusty Dumbo…

The gals in their pink Dumbo...

It looks like the Tigger area of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh queue is still touch and go…

It was a nice touch having these guys around this area, because it seemed so vacant and dead.

Don’t look behind this big, green wall…seriously it will make you sad…

It looks like they are really making progress on the new track on the speedway.

We decided to finish the day with two of our favorite rides…The Peoplemover and Carousel of Progress!

Zoe is making a super silly face with Mom!

I hope that you have enjoyed joining us on our Girl’s Day Out!!!

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The Magic Kingdom…Now with More Walls!!!

I have been spending a ton of time at EPCOT lately, so I decided to head over to the Magic Kingdom to see what I could find…

Main Street USA is buzzing with activity, as there are still several buildings behind themed skrims…

As you turn the corner to enter Adventureland, you get the immediate sense that there is a lot going on around here!

While the bridge at the entrance to Adventureland is undergoing a complete makeover, a smaller walkway is being used.

Over near the exit to the Swiss Family Treehouse, the stroller parking area is getting a facelift!

The last bit of skrim is still up between the Tortuga Tavern and Pecos Bill’s…

Walking over near Splash Mountain, I caught a picture of the new logs in action! I had the opportunity to ride Splash a few days ago, and I can only hope that they are able to work out the timing issues that the new lap bars have caused at loading.

The Liberty Square Riverboat is being refurbished…

There wasn’t much to see, but I headed over to Hanunted Mansion to see if anything was buzzing. The ongoing work is still going on behind these walls…I can’t wait to see it when it reopens…

Tomorrow I will be taking a look at Fantasyland, Toon Towns last days, and Tomorrowland.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this look around the Magic Kingdom!!!

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Today’s Walk Around the Magic Kingdom

You can definitely tell the busy holiday season has passed, because the walls and scrims have returned to much of the lands of the Magic Kingdom!!!

Come along with me as I take a peek at all the work going on in the Kingdom…

[slideshow]

And if that wasn’t enough…here are two bonus pictures!!!

First up is the 40th Anniversary Viynlmation for the Magic Kingdom! It looks like this series will be an open box, which I totally support!!!

Second, at Downtown Disney the Lego store is about to undergo a lengthy refurb so they are putting up this temporary store between Once Upon a Toy and Earl of Sandwich.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this look around with me!

If there is anything else that you’d like to see pictures of, let me know in the comment section!!! 🙂

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It’s a Walled World After All…

I decided to take a walk around the Magic Kingdom to take a look at all the construction going on in the Magic Kingdom.

I even rode Dumbo! 😀

The last few pictures are of the Haunted Mansion construction are from the bottom deck of the Liberty Belle.

Also, I got a few cool shots of Big Thunder…which NEVER happens.

Enjoy!

 

10-7-10 MK Update
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