Easter Happenings At Walt Disney World

This week at Walt Disney World guests will find an array of events for the Easter Holiday. From special dining offerings at select restaurants, to activities at the resorts and in the theme parks, Disney has you covered, even down to religious services. With options available across property, Walt Disney World has taken strides to make guests feel at home in celebrating the holiday while on vacation.

As they do for Christmas, Walt Disney World is providing the Fantasia ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort to hold Easter services this Sunday morning. Catholic Mass will be held at 8:00am and 10:15am, while Protestant services will be at 9:00am. If you are looking for other religious services, contact the concierge at your resort and they can assist you in finding the nearest location for your denomination or religious preference.

Restaurants are also joining in the celebration by offering special menus. Participating restaurants include: Captain’s Grille (brunch) at Disney’s Yacht Club, Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, The Wave (brunch) at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Cape May Cafe (dinner) at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Garden Grove (dinner) at the Walt Disney World Swan.

In the theme parks you will find a variety of entertainment options:

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom the Yak & Yeti DJ Dance Party will take place 4:00-8:00pm April 4 & 5 and 3:00-7:00pm April 6-14 in Asia. Africa will play host to Bourdicka April 4-14 at 3:10, 4:35, 5:30 and 6:30pm.

Epcot will have Easter Egg Hunts and Relays inside the UK pavilion of World Showcase for children ages 3-9 and 8-12 respectively. There will also be a smaller section for children under 3 to participate in their own hunt. The Easter Egg Hunts will be every 10 minutes from 11:00am – 3:30pm and the Relays will be every 40 minutes between 11:40am and 3:40pm. Also on hand will be Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny to greet guests from 11:30am – 4:00pm. Space is limited for sign ups for the hunts and relays with registration starting approximately half an hour before each hunt. Future World East will be having Easter Egg Hunts as well for children 3-9 in addition to some Easter themed games. The hunts will take place on the quarter hour starting at 10:00am and ending at 4:00pm.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a special dessert just for the Easter holiday from April 6-17. The pineapple coconut Easter cupcake will be sold at ABC Commissary, Backlot Express, Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls and Studio Catering Company. Additional outdoor beverage stands will also be added around Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, The Hollywood Brown Derby, Mama Melrose Ristorante Italiano, and 50’s Prime Time Cafe. Sweet Spells will have several other holiday related treats, including some Kosher offerings.

The Magic Kingdom will have a meet and greet with Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny until Sunday in the garden to the left of City Hall in the Tour Guide Garden.

On Easter Sunday, all Disney Resorts will have special activities of their own including Easter Egg Hunts, special arts and crafts activities, pool games themed around Easter, dance parties, and you can even meet some of your favorite Disney characters in their Easter costumes. There are even in room celebrations that you can order from Disney Florist. See this recent post on the Disney Parks Blog regarding Easter baskets you can have delivered for your family.

No matter how you choose to celebrate with your family and friends, it seems like Disney has something for everyone. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend and enjoy!

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Meeting Samantha Brown

As are many people, I am a HUGE fan of Samantha Brown (@samanthabrown) from the Travel Channel. I remember the first time I ever saw her on tv. I was at my friend Suzanne’s house and she just happened to have the tv on the Travel Channel as background noise while I was visiting with her and her triplets. An episode of Great Hotels came on, the one about the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago (yes, I even remember which episode it was from a over a decade ago), and I was instantly captivated. There was just something about Sam (as she often refers to herself, making her immediately more accessible) that sucked you in. It is a certain je ne sais quoi, but I will try to articulate. She reminds me slightly of my best friend in that she is very approachable and friendly. Sam has an affable quality and isn’t afraid to laugh at herself or others when the situation warrants. She doesn’t mind making a fool of herself and likes to have a good time. On tv, she appears to be about one of the most down to earth people that you just want to be friends with, and she is in person too. I know because I had the pleasure of meeting her in the fall of 2010. And it all happened through the magic of twitter.

So Sam was one of the first celebrities I followed on twitter. I love following her globetrotting adventures as I have watching her numerous series from Great Hotels to Girl Meets Hawaii, Great Vacation Homes, Passport to Europe, Latin America and China, as well as all of her specials on the Travel Channel. I still think the Great Hotels series is my favorite since she visited WDW on more than one occasion to cover episodes on the Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge. On top of this Sam has had more than a handful of Disney specials and continues to work with Disney on a regular basis cover the launches of the new cruise ships, Aulani and co-hosting the Disney Parks Christmas Parade in 2011. She is very endearing and can talk to just about anyone.

Anyways, I would tweet her every once in a while and never got a response until I realized that my account was set to private and she couldn’t see my tweets since she doesn’t follow me. Then, one day, after my friend Mary Jo Collins (@mojodisney) got a response from her, I decided to tweet Sam. Amazingly I got a reply! I couldn’t believe it. I was actually interacting with my favorite tv personality. I was in seventh heaven. Of course, I didn’t just let it go at a simple one time chance tweet, so I continued to tweet with Sam every so often and then, it happened. She confirmed she was coming to Disney World to film for a special. Here is how the conversation went:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that is how it all came about. Through the wonders of social media I was able to meet one of the coolest and nicest people. For her to take time to say hi to me from her busy shooting schedule for the filming of the special Best Places I’ve Ever Been: Disney Memories, was completely amazing. Sam was very gracious and did keep me posted, just like she said she would. As she was escorted in by Cast Members and producers, a line quickly formed in the UK to meet her. I had been hanging out with one of my twitter friends, Susan (@marypoppins68), whom I had just met merely minutes before, when I got the message and we headed to the UK. If it weren’t for Susan, I wouldn’t have the awesome picture of me and Sam because I couldn’t get my silly blackberry to stop tweeting to be able to take a picture. I was next in line and then the CMs tried to whisk Sam away, but I protested (politely) telling Sam that I was @floridamingo with whom she had been tweeting. Immediately, Sam said to the CMs that she had a few minutes and insisted on getting a picture with me and we spoke for a few minutes. I couldn’t believe she did that just for me! After we met, she did have to get back to work and I snapped a few pictures of the filming. When she and her friend were on a break I approached Sam again and mentioned a few drinks she might like since it was during the International Food & Wine Festival and we all know she occasionally enjoys an adult beverage. She seemed to appreciate the tip and I went on my merry way with my mission accomplished.

I set out to meet Samantha Brown and I did just that. Despite the fact that I had two other trips planned for later that month, I booked a trip just for this opportunity. No, I’m not a stalker, I swear, but I really appreciate producing quality entertainment that is also somewhat educational and lets the rest of us live vicariously through it. It was an awesome experience and I actually spoke with Sam on another occasion as a call in guest during a fundraiser by the Be Our Guest Podcast crew. To be able to speak with her again was very cool and she even seemed to remember me (or at least pretended for my sake). For someone to put forth that effort for there fans is rare and I respect how gracious and friendly Sam was during both our in person and phone conversations. I can’t wait to see the next series or special that she has coming up as well as her continued association with Disney.

Here is a link to the special Sam filmed that day. She is up first so don’t be scared by the length:

Best Places I’ve Ever Been: Disney Memories

Pictures from that day of the filming:

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Holiday Resort Hopping – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort And Spa

This year I thought it would be fun to go Holiday Resort Hopping, since it was something that we had always wanted to do during our holiday visits but could never find the time.

I thought I would start with Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, because we ran through it last year and I wanted to take a better look at the decorations throughout the Main Building.

Nothing says Christmas at the Grand Floridian like the smell of gingerbread that hits you as soon as the doors to the lobby open! I found so many little details on the super-sized gingerbread Victorian House that I missed last year!!!

I am in LOVE with the all little period details and opulence of the trees and wreaths spread throughout the hallways and walls of the building.

I hope you enjoy some of my favorite pictures of the decorations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Carolwood Pacific: Fair Weather Route to host a ‘Conversation with a Magic Kingdom Steam Train Specialist’

Nestled inside the The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, is a true Hidden Gem…The Carolwood Pacific: Fair Weather Route.

Now I am sure that the person who showed me this spot is going to KILL me for sharing, but I can’t help it!!!

This quiet and peaceful room is filled with comfy chairs, game tables, and tons of Steam Train Memorabilia!

This was my favorite Oil Painting!!!
This model of the Lilly Belle was made in celebration of Walt Disney's 100th Birthday, and was absolutely amazing!!!

But by far the most amazing thing inside of this space is two actual freight cars from The Carolwood Pacific!!! (I absolutely apologize for the the quality of these pictures. My enthusiasm is greater than my skill for taking photos!)

What I found to be super cool, is that this lounge will be playing host to a ‘Conversation with a Magic Kingdom® Steam Train Specialist’ September 13th and 27th at 11:30 am.

Learn how Walt Disney’s lifetime love of steam trains led to their becoming an integral part of the Magic Kingdom® in this opportunity to talk one on one with a knowledgeable Steam Train Specialist from the Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour. Hear the history of how the Magic Kingdom® Steam Trains came to be the magnificent and massive steam locomotives they are today. We’ll See you in the Carolwood Pacific Room at The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. All Aboard!

It never ceases to amaze me what you are able to find when you slow down and go off the beaten path during your visit to Walt Disney World!!!

If you are visiting the Wilderness Lodge, I absolutely suggest taking a moment to walk down to the Villas to visit this room that pays homage to such an important part of Walt Disney World’s history.

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