Halloween Trading Pins Are Out At Walt Disney World!!!

It is my favorite time of year again…time for Halloween Merch at Walt Disney World!!!

I was beyond excited to find Halloween Trading Pins and Holiday Lanyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last night!!!

I am in love with the Duffy Pin!!!

I hope you enjoy this first look at the 2012 Halloween Trading Pins and Lanyard!!!

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Creating a Tinkerbell Autograph Book and Giveaway!

I have always taken a lot of care and pride in creating Autograph Books for Zoe to use on our visits to Walt Disney World, and it was time to make a new one so I thought I would share my love of Disney Crafting with you!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bor1BRuaL0g

And now for the fun part! If you would like to win a customized Autograph Book, please enter our Giveaway by Midnight on July 27, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disney’s Water Parks Dive Into Summer 2012 with New Entertainment, Eats and More

From the Desk of The Walt Disney World Resort:

Typhoon Lagoon Packs in New Seasonal Offerings, Both Parks Offer Extra Magic Hours Through Late August

 

Summer 2012 brings a splash of fun for the whole family at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach water parks, with new entertainment and dining options at Typhoon Lagoon and Extra Magic Hours at both parks.

New Entertainment

The relaxing atmosphere at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is enhanced with new sounds of summer. For the first time, Calypso band “Tropicals” brings Caribbean steel drums to the park from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Friday through Sunday until July 15. The band can be found near the Crush ‘n’ Gusher water coaster pool area. Returning this year every day through September 8, characters Lilo and Stitch can be found just outside of the High N’ Dry sundries shop at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon; at Disney’s Blizzard Beach, guests can chill out with Goofy, who can be found roaming the water park.

New Dining Option

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon guests looking for summer fare beyond the normal park offerings may visit Tropicalamity. The new temporary food and beverage tent, located near Crush ‘n’ Gusher water coaster pool area, features a variety of eats, including chicken jerk pita wrap, citrus chicken salad, hot meatball sub and cold Italian sub. 

Summer Extra Magic Hours

Guests staying at Walt Disney World resort hotels can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours on select days and times at both Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach through late August.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

  • Currently, Wednesday mornings before the park opens, from 8-9 a.m. through August 22.
  • Starting July 7, guests can take advantage of additional extra magic hours Saturday mornings before the park opens, from 8-9 a.m. through August 18.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach

  • Currently, Thursday mornings before the park opens, from 8-9 a.m. through August 23.
  • Starting July 3, guests can take advantage of additional extra magic hours Tuesday mornings before the park opens, from 8-9 a.m. through August 14.

About Disney’s Water Parks

Walt Disney World guests visiting Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park escape to a tropical paradise left behind by a storm. Surfboards, fishing gear, boats, including the iconic shrimp boat, Ms. Tilly, once strewn about by a typhoon, add to the ambiance.

Guests visiting Disney’s Blizzard Beach will discover a melting wonderland where a freak snowstorm hit Florida. Icicles, ski gear and steep slopes grace the ski resort landscape, home to some of the most thrilling water rides in the United States.

For more information about Disney’s Water Parks, guests can visit disneyworld.com/waterparks.

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Videos of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Fourth of July Fireworks

Last night several of us attended the fireworks show for the Fourth of July at Epcot, called Heartbeat of Freedom. This special tag for Independence Day at Epcot, directly followed Illuminations and was set to patriotic music. It was one of the most amazing fireworks displays I’ve ever seen. The video I took does not begin to do this show justice, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. I apologize for the shaky quality as I didn’t have a tripod. Also is video Shalon took from the night before of the Magic Kingdom’s Fourth of July fireworks called Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky. We hope that you too can someday experience these gorgeous nighttime spectaculars for July 4th!

httpv://youtu.be/a2SP55iCF88

httpv://youtu.be/3E3U1yIm7_U

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Voices of Liberty Fourth of July Concert

Yesterday was the first time I had ever spent July 4th in any of the Disney parks, and it was only for a few hours, but it was absolutely amazing! Some of you may or may not know that I am a bit of a sap and that I love the Voices of Liberty at Epcot. I knew when I heard that they were going to be performing on Independence Day that I had to go see them! It was one of the most incredibly beautiful and moving shows I’ve ever seen them perform. They sang a variety of patriotic songs including My Country Tis of Thee, This Land Is Your Land, Golden Dream, God Bless the U.S.A., an armed forces medley of The Caissons Go Rolling Along, Anchors Away, Semper Paratus, The Air Force Song, and The Marines’ Hymn, Battle Hymn of the Republic, Taps and the Star Spangled Banner. At first I just teared up a bit, but then moved into full on tears streaming down my face. My family has a long military history and it is days like this that remind me of the sacrifices all who have served have made to keep our country safe and free. I only hope that you get to experience this performance by the Voices of Liberty in person someday, but in the meantime, here are some pictures and video of yesterday’s show.

 

httpv://youtu.be/QLbKQd3fUYY

httpv://youtu.be/2_O_7La353Q

httpv://youtu.be/GaOKMU4ppLc

httpv://youtu.be/1q0UbRS4N2g

 

 

 

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My Favorite Restaurants At Walt Disney World

We haven’t really focused much on food specifically and thought it was about time we explored this huge part of most guest’s Walt Disney World vacations. Dining in the parks and at the resorts ranges from Uncrustables to hot dogs, sandwiches and other typical park fare like burgers and fries to some of the finest dining in the world. Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite signature restaurants at WDW. If you have a Tables in Wonderland membership you are able to save 20% (with an automatic 18% gratuity added back in) at these restaurants. The other great feature of the TiW card is that it allows you complimentary valet parking at the Disney resorts with validation showing you used your Tables card on your dinner receipt.

5. Todd English’s Bluezoo (Walt Disney World Dolphin) The restaurant sits on the lower level of the Dolphin at the bottom of the escalator. The decor reminds me of an upscale club or bar, but more subdued with subtle lighting and lots of blue accents. I’ve only been here once back in November of 2009, but the food was fabulous. My mom and my brother treated me to dinner for my 30th birthday, and it was amazing. The seafood seemed so fresh and the service was great. We started the night off with the zooberry (a twist on the blueberry martini). They were so fresh the perfect way to begin our meal. We shared the beet salad and the classico flatbread for appetizers. For an entree I had the teppan seared jumbo sea scallops, which were magnificent and perfectly cooked. The dessert was a lemon meringue pavlova and was complimentary for my birthday, which made it taste even better.

4. Flying Fish (Disney’s Boardwalk Inn) Situated on the Boardwalk, Flying Fish is decorated with whimsical fish flying through the air with parachutes. The resort’s atmosphere reflecting early 20th century seaside fun with rollercoasters and ferris wheels is carried through the restaurant as well. The first time I experienced the restaurant it was August of 2009, and more recently I returned in February of this year. So, the two times I’ve been here I ordered the same exact things for appetizer and entree and was so full that I didn’t get dessert. The cheese platter changes in the featured cheeses, but was great both times. I guess I really like the scallops in the Epcot Resort area because I have ordered the oak-grilled Maine diver scallops each time. Scallops aren’t even my favorite seafood, but I absolutely love them from here.

3. Citrico’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) Featuring a Mediterranean theme, Citrico’s is located on the second floor of the Grand Floridian between Mizner’s and Victoria & Albert’s. The decor and the menu reflect the influences of Italy and Greece and are both aesthetically and gastronomically pleasing. Of the restaurants on my top five list, this is the one I have been to the most, having been more than five times, and most recently in the beginning of March. Each time I have been the food has been absolutely fabulous. One of my favorite seasonal appetizers, which they didn’t have this last time, was the gateau of crab. This past time we had a nice cheese and cracker amuse bouche to start our palates on our dining adventure. I tried something new for my entree and was not the least bit disappointed. The Madeira-braised short ribs were so tender, they were falling apart. Wild mushroom ragout and trofie pasta accompany the short ribs along with a truffle creme fraiche. For dessert I did repeat one of my favorites in the seasonal berry gratin with a champagne – Grand Marnier sabayon. It was just as incredible as when I had first had it in November of 2010.

2. Jiko – The Cooking Place (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge) This is the restaurant I have honestly been craving the most above all others on property. I love the atmosphere here with the gorgeous blue ceiling, setting sunset and beautiful (fake) birds flying overhead. It is an eclectic menu and I like to try different things each time I go. The first time I went was in July of 2008, when I first stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I remember having the ostrich filet as an appetizer and the Kenyan coffee barbecue braised short ribs (another favorite of mine apparently). They were both so tender and falling apart in my mouth as I took each bite. On subsequent visits I have had the Taste of Africa bread and dipping sauce service, kalamata olive flatbread, duck and stonefruit salad, oak grilled filet mignon with mac and cheese, and seared barbarie duck breast. I can say that each of the three times I’ve been, the last time being in November of 2010, the service and the quality of the food have been nothing short of fantastic.

1. Victoria & Albert’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa) Ah, la creme de la creme. Victoria & Albert’s is a 13 time AAA Five Diamond award winning restaurant. I’ve only been here once, and would love to go back if someone else is paying. This is not to say that the price isn’t worth it (I want to say it was about $475 for two with the wine pairing and gratuity included AFTER my Tables in Wonderland discount), it is. I’d just prefer to have someone else pay, and I’d like to do chef’s table next time. But I digress. This meal is easily within my top five, if not top three meals I’ve ever eaten. The service was beyond impeccable. Situated on the second floor of the Grand Floridian, Victoria & Albert’s is hidden behind large wooden doors with frosted windows. The decor is a refined elegance not to be found elsewhere at a Disney restaurant. It is one of only a few Five Diamond restaurants in the state of Florida. I went with my mom for my 29th birthday present in 2008 and it was an incredible dining experience. There were amuse bouche, palate cleansers, about seven courses, coffee, dessert, and the aforementioned wine pairing to go with each course. This is most definitely a culinary experience, not simply a meal. You need every bit of the three plus hours they warn you about when you book. One of my favorite aspects of the pre-arrival communications with the restaurant is the conversation about your allergies, likes and dislikes. This is so the restaurant can customize your menu to you so you are not being served something for hundreds of dollars that you do not enjoy. I don’t recall the specific menu items, as there were so many, but there wasn’t one I didn’t like. I’ve included a picture of the general menu for the evening. Each guest also receives a personalized copy of their menu to take home, which I am unable to locate at the moment.

 

Have you been to any of these restaurants? If so, what were your thoughts? Do you have any favorites?

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Celebrating The Fourth Of July At Walt Disney World

Patriotic fireworks displays, a rock ‘n’ roll concert, traditional outdoor activities, or your favorite characters in Patriotic Costumes, there’s a way for any and everyone in the family to celebrate the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World.

I will apologize now for the utter and total lack of pictures!!! Last year was our first Fourth here, and we stuck close to Celebration for the Fourth of July!!! But this year we are going to fix that since there are soooo many ways to celebrate at Walt Disney World!!!

Magic Kingdom Park – Disney’s Celebrate America! – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky. This special pyrotechnic show, taking the place of Wishes on both July 3rd AND 4th, will light up the sky above Cindarella’s Castle. These fireworks are AMAZING!!!!! Last year we chose to view them from a different perspective! We had an early dinner at Kona on July 3rd, and then headed out to the Polynesian Beach to enjoy them. It’s important to know that both the Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts strictly enforce entrance to guests staying there or with dining reservations! Also, if you are thinking of watching from the beach you may consider bringing your own beach towel or blanket since towels are strictly for resort guests!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – What do you get when you mix traditional fireworks with the all-new Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration? A Fourth of July that is a cut above the rest! (Sorry for the bad landscaping pun…) Get your groove on at the Sorcerer Hat, aka BAH, with a DJ starting at 6 p.m. Then at 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Mulch, Sweat & Shears take Guests on a musical road trip through America. Rock ‘n’ Roll hits from Memphis to Motor City will all lead up to a special fireworks presentation at 9:45 p.m. I am always a fan of Morris and the Boys taking the stage near the BAH and Fireworks in the Studios!!!! My best advice is that if you love the band, make sure you get there super early to get a great spot near the stage. However if you want a good view of both the band and fireworks, I really suggest grabbing a spot towards the center to back of the BAH area between the two lighting towers. This is an amazing spot, because you will really get to take in the spectacle that is the Fourth of July at Hollywood Studios!!! Don’t worry if you are lining up a little late, make sure you head over near the American Idol Experience jumbo screen since they typically will put video of what’s going on up there!

Epcot – Discovery Experiences at American Adventure present a bit of American history and heritage. From 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Guests may meet with Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross and Disney characters adorned in patriotic dress. An afternoon of live entertainment kicks off at 12:30 p.m. in the America Gardens Theater with the Voices of Liberty 4th of July Concert. This holiday special is a harmonizing partnership of the 8-part a capella Voices of Liberty, Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps, and Disney characters. In the evening, the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series takes the stage with four performances from Slippery When Wet – The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute. The grand finale to these classic beats is The Heartbeat of Freedom, a special tribute in the sky following Illuminations: Reflections of Earth at 10 p.m. We’ll be spending our Fourth of July in Epcot this year, and I am beyond excited to catch all of these great experiences…especially the Voices of Liberty Fourth of July Concert!!!!

It’s also important to note that both Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney will not feature fireworks.

Two resorts that really get into the spirit of celebrating the Fourth of July are Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge! If you are a guest staying at these resorts, you may want to consider joining in the fun while you are there!!!

The schedule for activities at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground on July 3rd is as follows:

  • 10:15-11 a.m.: Patriotic Craft
    Show off your creativity with this fun Independence themed craft. Meet at Pavilion at Meadow Swimming Pool.
  • 11 a.m.-noon: Acorn Toss Dodge ball
    Join us in the field by Meadow Swimming Pool for our fun twist on Dodge ball.
  • 1:15-2 p.m.: What’s in your beach bag?
    Bring your beach bags and get ready for an exciting poolside game!
  • 2-3 p.m.: Giant Board Games
    Oversized games mean twice the fun! At Meadow Swimming Pool.
  • 3-4 p.m.: Pool Party
    Our daily poolside party! Games, dancing, fun and prizes!
  • 4-5 p.m.: Splash Ball
    All the fun of baseball with a soaking twist!
  • 6-9 p.m. Independence Eve Beach Party at Clementine Beach:
  • 6-7 p.m.: Sandcastle Building Contest – You provide the tools and creativity and we’ll provide cool prizes!
  • 7-8 p.m.: Dance Party – Celebrate America’s Birthday by dancing the night away!
  • 8-9 p.m.: BINGO – Free BINGO on the beach!
  • 9 p.m.: Disney Celebrate America! – A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky!
    A special Independence Day fireworks celebration at the Magic Kingdom Park visible from Clementine Beach
  • 7 p.m.: Red Light, Green Light
  • 7:30 p.m.: Campfire Lighting
  • 8 p.m.: Chip and Dale Campfire Sing-a-Long
  • 8:40 p.m. Movie – National Treasure at the Chip and Dale Campfire Sing-a-long

The schedule for activities at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground on July 4th is as follows:

  • 11 a.m.-noon: Red and Blue Noodle Races
    Join us at the Meadow Swimming Pool for fun relay races in the water!
  • 1-2 p.m.: Design your own Kites ($5)
    Create your own cool kite then fly them in the field nearby. Meet at the Bike Barn.
  • 2-3 p.m.: Goofy Bingo
    Can you match the all the Disney characters? Get five in a row for a chance to win fun prizes.
  • 3-4 p.m.: Pool Party
    Our daily poolside party. Games, dancing, fun and prizes!
  • 4-4:30 p.m. Chalk Art
    Meet at Meadow Swimming Pool to create a red, white and blue display.
  • 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Make Your Ice Cream ($4)
    Shake your way to a super delicious dessert! Meet at the Bike Barn.
  • 7 p.m.: Corn Toss
    Meet at the Campfire theatre for this fun tailgating game.
  • 7:30 p.m.: Campfire Lighting
  • 8 p.m.: Chip and Dale Campfire Sing-a-Long
  • 8:40 p.m.: Movie – Homeward Bound
  • 9 p.m.: Golf Cart Parade
    Register at the Bike Barn by 7 p.m. Parade will travel down Fort Wilderness Trail toward Pioneer Hall.

The Fourth of July activities at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge look super fun!!!

  • 1 p.m. Patriotic Craft – Come on over to the party cart by the pool, and make a patriotic memory to take home.
  • 2 p.m. Red White and Blue Pitchburst – Join us for our very favorite hot weather game. Hit the target to break a giant water balloon over a volunteer’s head.
  • 3 p.m. Big Blast Pool Party – Join us by the party cart for lots of fast paced poolside holiday fun and a treasure box prize.
  • 4 p.m. Big Beach Party Begins!!!
  • 4 – 4:45 p.m.: Sand Castle Contest (awards from 4:45-5:00).Bring your team (or join one on the spot) and show us your creativity and construction skills and maybe even win a prize!
  • 5 – 6:30 p.m.: Make Your Own Ice Cream. Join us on the beach for this super sweet deal! We will show you how to make your own ice cream. In a matter of minutes you can mix, shake and eat!
  • 6:30 – 7 p.m. Splash and Score This is another fun hot weather game. Come show us your skills!
  • 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Campfire Fourth of July tradition means a campfire on the beach! Come on down and join us for campfire fun, followed by fireworks and a patriotic movie on the beach.
  • 9 p.m. – Fireworks Enjoy the movie, “National Treasure”, immediately following the fireworks.

However you decide to spend the Fourth of July, we hope that you have a very safe and fun holiday full of food, fireworks, and great memories!

We’ll be tweeting pictures and information about the festivities starting on July 3rd, so make sure you follow us on @onthegoinmco and like our Facebook page for all the fun!!!

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Celebrate Canada Day at Epcot

On July 1st, Epcot will host a celebration of Canada Day in World Showcase’s Canadian pavilion. The festivities will be from 11am to 5pm and will be located at the Kidcot Fun Stop. Guests will be invited to learn more about this holiday, which was formerly known as Dominion Day and dates back to 1867. This “Discovery Experience” is open to guests of all ages and all will receive an award certificate once they complete the experience.

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