Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cosmic Reid's Monorail Interruption Contest

Attention all Disney Fans - Our friends over a Cosmic Reid's Starlight Cafe are giving away a free stay at Walt Disney World's Swan and Dolphin and other Downtown Disney Resort Hotels! The Monorail Interruption Contest that began yesterday and runs through March 14, 2011, gives listeners a chance to enter to win each week. 

Here is how it works: Every Monday between January 24th and March 14th tune in at 1pm EST for the Walt Disney World Monorail interrupting a song on their show. E-mail them the name of the song, or the attraction the song is involved with, if you guess it correctly then your name goes in to the draw. The drawing will take place on March 21st and you can enter every week until then. The more times you enter the more chances you have of winning! 

Be sure to head over to Cosmic Reid's for full details!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Disney Dining - Whispering Canyon Cafe

One of my absolute favorite places to dine, whether for breakfast before hitting the parks or dinner after a long day at the parks, is the Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.

This is a fun dining place regardless of your age and takes you back to a time of  rustic, less-civilized dining. No need to watch your manners when dining at this place!

If you ask for a straw you may get 20 thrown on your table or if you ask for a refill on a soft drink you just might get a lot more than you asked for!

Giant jar of water with an extra long straw!
When dining at the Whispering Canyon Cafe, I recommend going with their all you care to enjoy skillets for either breakfast or lunch/dinner! It's a great value and you get to taste all of their delicious offerings.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fantasyland Gets A Makeover

For some time now Disney has vaguely mentioned their plans for a Fantasyland expansion in the Magic Kingdom. Last year we learned that those plans included the closing of Mickey's Toontown Fair and the past few months those of you that have taken a trip to Orlando may have noticed some work being done. Well yesterday, Disney provided us with a glimpse into what the future of Fantasyland looks like.

What they are calling the "largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history" will include the addition of some great new rides that include "The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train" and even a new sit down dinner dining experience called "Be Our Guest." 

I especially look forward to the additions that will be based on my favorite Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast. Disney announced that the Fantasyland expansion will include the Beast's castle, Belle's cottage and Gaston's Tavern. 

Although I'm excited about the new things to come which are said to be completed by 2013, I am sad to see many things go. One of the hardest things I will have to come to terms with is the destruction of Mickey's house. I have an endless amount of memories there as a child (and even an adult). I'll never forget my excitement standing in line, walking through his house to pay a visit to the mouse that started it all. 

To me it is kind of ironic that they are closing Toontown and Mickey's house, after all as Walt Disney once said, "I hope we never lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse."

To read all about their expansion plans announced yesterday, check out the official Disney Parks Blog.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Disney Dining: Via Napoli

After reading for almost a year about the new restaurant that was opening at Epcot's Italian Pavilion, I couldn't wait to try the pizza at Via Napoli

This past December, we were finally able to get a dining reservation (we tend to sometimes do things spur of the moment). I was ecstatic to say the least as I could not wait to try their wood oven pizza (I'm a big fan of Italian food). The restaurant on the inside and out is absolutely gorgeous! You can tell that they put a lot of time in the design of the place with the intricate details you see all around. 

The ambiance was great and the pizza was indeed delicious (we ordered the Piccante, which had spicy ground beef), however paying $40 for the pizza  was too much for me. I will say however, that if you are on the Disney Dining Plan, then it definitely is worth it! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lodging: The Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa

One of my favorite hotels to stay at when traveling to Disney is the Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa. It is rated as a Travelocity 4-star hotel, but in my opinion it is 5 stars all the way, and best of you all you usually will not have to pay the 5-star price (Travelocity usually has great rates starting at $89 and the hotel itself offers those same rates from time to time - both depend on when you're booking of course!).

Located directly across the street from Downtown Disney, this hotel is perfect for both families and couples looking for a little getaway. You don't even have to move your car once you arrive as the hotel provides free shuttle transportation to the Disney parks. 

The staff at the hotel is extremely friendly and most importantly the hotel is super clean (from the minute you enter there is this fresh perfumed smell throughout the hotel). The entire hotel was recently remodeled and the standard rooms feel almost like suites (instead of your typical double beds, their standard rooms come with 2 queen-sized beds or 1 king). 

*Photos Courtesy of DowntownDisneyHotels.com

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Holidays at Disney - A look back in pictures

Here is a small snapshot of my trips to Disney during the 2010 holiday season. There really is no place like Disney for the holidays...

The Christmas show during "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party"

The Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios
With Mickey & Minnie during "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party"

A rainy & cold December dat at Epcot

With Santa and Mrs. Claus

Friday, January 7, 2011

Disney Dining: La Hacienda de San Angel

On our New Year's trip to Disney last weekend we finally had the opportunity to eat at La Hacienda de San Angel, Disney's newest restaurant in the Mexico pavilion at Epcot. After a couple of months of trying to get dining reservations there, we were finally able to do so on New Year's Day!

I couldn't contain my excitement!
I for one love authentic Mexican food (and non-authentic as well), and La Hacienda de San Angel serves just that. You won't find just beef tacos and quesadillas on their menu. In fact the only tacos found on the menu are as appetizers and in the kids menu.

They start off by putting chips and salsa at your table (as do most Mexican restaurants). As an appetizer, my boyfriend and I ordered  the queso fundido. It was absolutely amazing! I strongly recommend going with this appetizer. As our main course we ordered "La Hacienda" Parrillada (serves 2 people for $49.95), which was a great deal and endless amount of delicious food. "La Hacienda"  is served on an cast iron platter and brings flank steak, chicken al pastor, chorizo and vegetables. It is served with beans and rice on the side.

Although all the meats in the platter were to die for, my favorites were the chicken al pastor and the chorizo (both were served in a chutney glaze).

So if you like authentic Mexican food, then La Hacienda de San Angel is just the place for you to dine at while at Epcot. Make sure to make dining reservations in advance as it fills up quickly and it is only open for dinner (starting at 4pm). If you'd like to look at their complete dinner menu you can do so here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

40 Years of Magic at Walt Disney World

As many of us were ringing in the New Year, Walt Disney World was preparing to release tons of new merchandise in celebration of 40 years! It was in 1971 that the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida first opened its doors. and 2011 marks exactly 40 years of bring magic and fun into the lives of all those that visit. 

Although they haven't said too much yet, on January 1st, the merchandise celebrating 40 years was already out throughout the parks. Merchandise includes laptop cases, snow globes, various ornaments, notepads, mugs, shirts and for you Disney Pin Traders, event exclusive pins that I'm sure we'll become collector's items.

I started off with an ornament, but I'll be back for more. I really love the old feel that they went with to mark this milestone that includes the old logos and paraphernalia of the 70s and 80s. 

I can't wait to see what special celebrations Disney is planning for this year!

The main logo for the 40 year celebration 
This classic picture of Walt is seen throughout the merchandise
The logo of each park with the year it opened is also found on the merchandise

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Arrival of the Disney Dream

The Disney Dream made it's debut today at Port Canaveral and it was nothing less than spectacular as expected.

 The Disney Dream Arrives at Florida's Port Canaveral

For those of you looking to book your summer vacations early, look no further than the Disney Dream, the latest ship in the Disney Cruise line family. This ship has it all...and best of all it's extremely adult friendly. If it's just you and your significant other, there are plenty of things for couples to do on this ship as it is in my opinion the most "adult-friendly" of the three.

As a Disney fanatic that has yet to experience a Disney cruise, you better believe that I plan on making the Disney Dream my first!

For complete coverage of the Disney Dream's arrival be sure to head over to the Disney Parks Blog for more pictures and video.

A Disney Bridal Show

For those of you Disney fans that got engaged over the holidays and have always dreamed of a Disney wedding, I have a treat for you!

Disney's Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons has announced their Bridal Showcase 2011 taking place at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa March 18th-20th. Brides-to-be will have the opportunity to mingle with celebrity wedding planner David Tutera and editor-in-chief of The Knot, Carley Roney.

The Bridal Showcase will give brides a chance to visit planning booths, take a site tour of various ceremony and reception venues, and even have lunch with with David Tutera!

Admission for the Bridal Showcase & Luncheon is $75. For those that just want to attend the Bridal Showcase the cost is $25. To register click here.