Category Archives: Walt Disney World Resort

The Wave

Just before Christmas my husband and I decided to do the monorail circuit on the Seven Seas Lagoon and visit the three resorts on it and see their Christmas decorations.  Disney always does it up really beautifully.

We made a reservation for The Wave at the Contemporary resort for 7:40 pm.  We arrived very early and decided to board the monorail and go to the Polynesian resort to see the decorations.  You can actually board the monorail inside of the Contemporary resort which I still think is pretty cool.  The seven seas lagoon monorail circuit has stops at the Contemporary Resort, The Ticketing and Transportation area, the Polynesian Resort and The Grand Floridian Hotel and Resort.  The monorail has availability to EPCOT at the ticketing and transportation center where you can board a monorail for EPCOT.

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From the monorail deck (4th floor) at The Contemporary Resort.

 

 

We arrived at the Polynesian resort and it was lovely.  Christmas trees among the lush Polynesian gardens which inhabit the hotel.  WE had our picture taken with Surfer Minnie and Mickey  So cute.  After we went out to the lagoon beach, it was a bit chilly, and they were showing Lilo and Stitch on a blow up screen out on the beach.  After we took the monorail all the way back around to The Contemporary Hotel where we got off and headed to dinner at The Wave.

 

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The Wave at the Contemporary Resort.

 

We got a lovely table for two in the first third of the restaurant and were given a food menu, a drink menu and a wine list.  My husband  chose some type of local draft Beer and I chose a Wavesicle.   (4 Orange Vodka, Cointreau, and Nonfat Yogurt with a splash of Orange Juice) Which was delicious.

With his dinner my husband has  Cobb salad and for his entree he had the  Gremolata-crusted Ashley Farms naturally Raised Chicken Breast.  I had the dry rubbed Flat Iron Steak with Potato leek Gratin and winter veggies.  Both were delicious. I recommend my steak for sure.

 

The service was good although we had two servers because one was being trained.  I thought the one being trained was better than the one doing the training.  The trainer had some snarky stuff to say to us regarding his trainee.  I didn’t like that but let it go.

The Wave is a moderately priced Disney restaurant (compare to The newly renovated California grille where I have eaten twice and hope to eat at again one day,) with entrees from $15 to $29.95 for each adult.  Drinks are Disney expensive.

The Wave Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.  I highly recommend The Wave as a great place to eat.

 

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013

The time is nearly upon us for the 2013 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. The festival will run from September 27 until November 11, 2013.  Once again you can taste your way around the world showcase delighting in the cuisines of many countries.  You can hobnob with celebrity chefs, join a Party for the Senses, sample international marketplaces and receive a first-class education in wine.  

Or try out a sweet treat event. A trio of sweet treat events focusing on the most decadent deserts.  Yum!  Go to a demo or seminar, learn about wine, cheese, deserts and wine pairing. 

 

Be sure to stop by the Festival Center located way in the front of the park off to the side next to the Energy building and Mission: Space rides. Her is where you will find the culinary demos, the wine classes, wine school,  mixology seminars, cheese classes as well as celebrity cooking demonstrations.  The festival center also has unique souvenirs of the Festival in the gift shop area.  Also you can find any bottle of wine that is available at any of the kiosks or pavilions for sale right here in the festival center! (also some limited beers and spirits). Check out what’s coming here! (also see)

Besides the food, my favorite part of the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is the Eat to the Beat Series. I’m excited about many of these.  Some I have seen before and some are new. Concerts this year are:

STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas (always great!)
September 27 to September 29, 2013

Go-Go’s* (New)
September 30 to October 1, 2013

Air Supply
October 2 to October 4, 2013

Sister Hazel
October 5 to October 6, 2013

Sugar Ray
October 7 to October 9, 2013

Edwin McCain*(NEW)
October 10 to October 11, 2013

The Manhattan Transfer* (NEW)
October 12 to October 13, 2013

Wilson Phillips* (NEW)
October 14 to October 15, 2013

The Pointer Sisters
October 16 to October 17, 2013

Night Ranger (still fabulous)
October 18 to October 20, 2013

Boyz II Men
October 21 to October 23, 2013

Survivor (Still rocking!)
October 24 to October 25, 2013

.38 Special
October 26 to October 27, 2013

Smash Mouth
October 28 to October 30, 2013

Spin Doctors* (NEW)
October 31 to November 1, 2013

Christopher Cross* (NEW)
November 2 to November 3, 2013

Hanson
November 4 to November 5, 2013

Dennis DeYoung (original member of STYX)(Still amazing. saw him last year)
November 6 to November 8, 2013

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
November 9 to November 11, 2013

 

What to know before you go.

  • Admission to the Park is required.
  • All food samples are tasting size and will cost you anywhere from 2.50 to 6.50 for a tasting portion.
  • There are always several options at each kiosk for food and drink.
  • The park will be busy.
  • Pick up a festival brochure before heading to the kiosks.  Or look at the menu here
  • If you are worried about spending too much during your visit. Gift cards with wrist hangers are available at Guest Services outside or inside of EPCOT, The Magic Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom as well as Downtown Disney (on the Marketplace side).  You can preload them with your budged limit and enjoy the food.

Whatever your situation is, come on down to the Epcot Food and Wine festival.  You won’t regret it.

Walt Disney World Resort Guest Relations

Did you know that you could chat with a guest relations  representative at the Walt Disney World Resort  in addition to emailing or calling them?   I found this out today when I discovered that I have misplaced my MyMagic+ pass.

I think chatting is much easier and much faster than emailing or calling the Disney World resort.

To try chatting with a representative go to:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq

and select “Chat” and ask your questions.

I have found that there is no charge to replace your MyMagic+ pass and I can get a new one at the ticket window since I’ve already upgraded.  At least that’s what the guy on the chat said.  We shall see when I get to the park to get my new pass.

MyMagic +

On my last weekend off, my husband and I went over to EPCOT to claim our new MyMagic+ passholder tickets.

We went to the Odyssey Center that is next to Test Track because that is where they were doing the swap out.  I had never been in there before because it’s just a space for conventions and special events (like cooking classes during the food and wine festival) so that was a treat.   What’s inside the Odyssey center?  Looks like a restaurant with a bunch of different spaces in it.  Not that bright either.   But whatever.  We were immediately escorted to one of the several long tables set up with computers on them manned by cast members.  We presented our current passes and photo ID’s and we were done in less than five minutes (for both passes)

We were given a short presentation on our way out about what kinds of benefits these new passes will afford us now and in the future.

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Our passes

First these great new passes are plastic and we had a choice of four characters to choose from: Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy . We chose Goofy and Minnie respectivelyThis new pass offers easier and quicker entrance to the main entrances to the parks.  All the parks are currently set up with this new “touch to enter” technology.  I am guessing that alternate entrances such as the back entrance at EPCOT are not yet available but will be in the future. We tried it on our way out of the Odyssey Center and I didn’t even have to take it out of my wallet!!

Later this year Disney anticipates a new and exciting feature for pass holders, regarding obtaining Fastpasses for the most popular rides at the parks.  In conjunction with the new Mobile App My Disney Experience or online you will be able to reserve up to three fast passes in one park for one day before you get to the park or even when you first get there.  That’s exciting. You’ll be able to reserve access to even more attractions—plus shows, parades, fireworks and Character Greetings!  The mobile app also allows you to make resort and dining reservations and coordinate your Disney experience with family and friends who also have the mobile app.

Soon there will be Magic Bands available.  These bands are lightweight and flexible. connect you to all the vacation plans you make using My Disney Experience. MagicBands can be used to enter Walt Disney World parks, access FastPass+ attractions and more. MagicBands will be provided to Passholders whose passes provide admission to Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Magic bands are not yet available but soon we will have more information regarding them.  A bonus only pass holders will enjoy! They will come in many colors.  They look like this.

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Magic Bands

You can start exchanging your paper passes now.   Through May 19 the only place to do this is at EPCOT’s Odyssey Center.  EPCOT is an easy monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom and a short boat ride away from Hollywood Studios. Just bring your paper pass and a photo ID and it will be easy as pie to get your new MyMagic+ pass.   Conveniently, this is going on during the Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT so come on down and enjoy the beautiful flowers and fauna at EPCOT today!

Osbourne Family Lights

It has become a tradition for my husband and I to go every year since we got married and even a year before that to see the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in the backlot on New York street at Disney Hollywood Studios. ( which will always be MGM to me) Sometimes we go with friends and sometimes we go by ourselves.

This is always an amazing and wonderful experience. Christmas music, twinkling lights, and soap bubble snow. It really puts you in the Christmas spirit.

There were a few different things this year than last that I noticed. Such as the waving stuffed near I. The windows and the train the windows. They also added new and updated songs with some of the old favorites mixed in.

Merry Christmas

For concessions this year in addition to the hot chocolate and cookies that they usually serve, they had an amazing and very dense cupcake available. We usually get the cookie but we decided to get the very expensive ($7.50/ ea) but very good cupcake. It was ginger bread cake with cream cheese frosting. On top of that they placed a red and black white chocolate Mickey and a glowing ice cube (like you get in the drinks at 50’s Primetime diner at Hollywood studios). The cupcake was AMAZING! Almost too much and very rich. Amazingly the hot chocolate sips between each bite cuts down on the richness of the cupcake.

Cup cake. Gingerbread with Creamcheese icing

If you haven’t experienced the Dancing Lights, you should at least once. It’s included in park admission and begin around 6:30 pm. Do be prepared to be herded to where they let you in. Unlike many years past there is only one way in.

Secrets and tips- Epcot Food and Wine Festival

If you get the opportunity to check out Epcot’s food and wine festival please do. Its an amazing cornucopia of food, drink amd music.

My husband and I were there for opening night and this past Friday. We learned some things with this past visit.

1. On your way in, stop by the festival center and check out the festival shop, and the Ghirardelli exhibit. There you will find a great history of the company and how they make their amazing chocolate. Try some of their divine “liquid chocolate.” You won’t be sorry. The festival center is located adjacent to the Universe of Energy building.

2. While you are at the festival center and you are a Chase credit or Debit card holder check out the Chase festival lounge. Exclusively for Chase customers, this lounge offers comfy couches and hot and cold refreshments. Also, we were told if you arrive early enough you can receive priority seating for the Eat to the Beat concert of the day. That’s pretty awesome. Although…

3. You need not wait in line to get into these concerts. The theater is large enough that a seat can usually be found. If the theater should fill up at a more popular concert you may sit along the sides of the theater on the concrete planner boxes they offer a great view of the stage and space to dance if you like. Watching from the back of the theater is also an option as the music is loud and the stage is viewable from that vantage point.

4. Stop by Terra kiosk for a tasty meatless portion. They are absolutely delicious. This kiosk is new this year and worth a stop.

5. The first food kiosk next adjacent to the craft beer kiosk is the Hawaii kiosk. This is also new to the festival this year. They offer and amazing pork slider the pineapple chutney as well as a tuna poke. Delicious.

7. On all Fridays and Saturdays Epcot both the world showcase and Future World are open until 10 pm during the festival.

6. On your way out, stop by the festival center again to purchase bottles of any of the wine you sampled while at the festival.

I hope these are helpful tips to help you enjoy your time at Epcot’s food and Wine festival 2012

Magic Kingdoms New Fantasy Land

Who loves Fantasy Land at the Magic Kingdom?  I know I do.  It has changed a little over the years with rides and attractions coming and going with some old favorites remaining and upgraded.  Fantasy land is expanding!

New Fantasyland is opening in phases for the largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom park, offering more immersive enchantment and interactive experiences! When it is completed Fantasyland will double in size.  There will be two more themed areas: Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus.

Begining December 6, 2012, you will be able to venture through lush landscapes, discovering roaring waterfalls and royal castles along the way.  There will be two new castles added to the landscape. Beast’s Castle, which houses Be Our Guest Restaurant, and , Prince Eric’s Castle, which tops off the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction.  Also in the Enchanted forest:

Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include:  Enchanted Tales with Belle: Become part of a lively retelling of the “tale as old as time,” hosted by Belle and Lumière and  Ariel’s Grotto: Take photos and get autographs with everyone’s favorite undersea princess.  More information about these attractions

The Storybook Circus is now open.  “Step right up to the classic American circus! Inspired by the Disney animated feature Dumbo, Storybook Circus transports Guests to another era—a period in time when the colorful big-top tents attracted audiences from far and wide with astonishing stunts, majestic animals and spectacular entertainment.”

attractions:

  • The Barnstormer: Take to the sky with The Great Goofini on spiraling stunt plane adventure high above the Storybook Circus grounds.
  • Dumbo The Flying Elephant: Soar high above Storybook Circus with Dumbo on a ride that puts a new twist on an old favorite—and offers twice the fun!
  • Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station: Adjacent to the Fantasyland Train Station and area restrooms is the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station, a circus-themed water play area where Guests can enjoy cooling refreshment.
  • Fantasyland Station: Delight in the newest addition to Walt Disney World Railroad!

More information about Storybook circus

In the future, Fantasyland will include:

  • Princess Fairytale Hall: Scheduled to open in 2013, this elegant royal court is home to Disney princesses who are ready to meet their subjects
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: Embark on an exhilarating journey inspired by the classic Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

I am excited about Disney again with all the new  stuff they are doing.  This is sure a great time to be a passholder!

2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Menu and Prices « Adventures with Jen Cook

It’s that time of year again.  The EPCOT Food and Wine Festival begins tonight.  My husband and I are passholders and go multiple times during the festival.  It is so enjoyable.

There is always amazing food. Although a little pricy at times.   Everything is served tapas style (or appetizer portion) and range anywhere from $2.00 to  around $6.50.  Many countries around the world are represented at this festival in addition to the normal compliment of countries normally in the World Showcase.  My favorites are the Kefta pockets in Morocco, the Kielbasa & Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream from Poland, The Beef Empanada from Argentina,  the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup at the Canada pavillion (be sure to have an ICE WINE – amazing!) I also love the  Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll from Germany.  There are so many of the offerings that I love!

They serve many many types of wine and beer and they several years they offered Moet Champagne.  Beer lovers will be quite happy as will wine lovers.

Read on to Jennifer Cooks blog for the menu and pricing for the EPCOT FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL

2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Menu and Prices « Adventures with Jen Cook.

via 2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Menu and Prices « Adventures with Jen Cook.

Another Great feature of the food and wine festival is the EAT TO THE BEAT  Concert series.  There are a few new bands as well as some old favorites like Starship.  Heres’ the Lineup.

  • September 28 – 30, 2012   Night Ranger (always a great show)
  • October 1 – 3, 2012    Sugar Ray
  • October 4 – 7, 2012   Starship  (always a great show)
  • October 8 – 10, 2012  Boys to Men
  • October 11 & 12, 2012  Smashmouth
  • October 13 & 14, 2012  Javier Colon, winner of The Voice – NEW!
  • October 15 – 17, 2012  Air Supply
  • October 18 & 19, 2012   Gin Blossoms  (I saw them once when they opened for Toad the Wet Sprocket in the early 90’s)
  • October 20 & 21, 2012   Survivor  (always great)
  • October 22 & 23, 2012   Hanson  (looks like the Um, Bop boys have grown up)
  • October 24 & 25, 2012  The Pointer Sisters
  • October 26 – 28, 2012   Sister Hazel
  • October 29 – 31, 2012   Billy Ocean
  • November 1 & 2, 2012   .38 Special
  • November 3 & 4, 2012  Howard Jones
  • November 5 & 6, 2012  Blues Traveler
  • November 7 & 8, 2012  Dennis DeYoung (of Styx)  I adore his voice!
  • November 9 – 12, 2012  Big Voodoo Daddy.

We are going tonight to see Night Ranger and sample some of the delicious food offerings. I cant wait!

Unfortunately, the Festival requires park admission.  Current One day Magic Your Way  pass is $89.00  (ages 10 and older) and $83.00 (ages three to 9)Florida residents one day ticket is also $89.00 .  A three day (non park hopper- one park per day) option for $169.00. (Blackout dates apply).

Parking at the Walt Disney Resort is free for passholders but the cost for non passholders is

  • Automobile, taxi, limo or motorcycle: $14.00
  • Camper, trailer or RV: $15.00
  • Bus or tractor trailer: $18.00

for all parks.