Saturday, July 31, 2010
While this is a little off topic for a Disney blog, we're all busy all the time, so why not make life a little easier between trips?
1 pound (give or take) round steak
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pack dry onion soup mix
1/4 cup water
Sour cream to taste
Slice the round steak into strips. I like to cut mine while it's still slightly frozen so it slices more easily. Place into your crock pot. Top with remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Stir a little sour cream into the portion of the mixture that you'll be eating immediately. Leave the sour cream out of the portion that will be frozen. I serve it over rice, but potatoes or egg noodles would be good too.
Freeze the leftovers in quart-sized freezer zipper bags, pressing out as much air as possible. The amount you'll put in each bag will depend on how many people you need to feed. These were set up for two adults. Be sure to label and date the bags. Lay the bags flat in a cake pan and freeze until solid. The frozen bags stack really nicely in your freezer. This trick works great for all sorts of recipes: soups, sauces, taco meat, etc.
When you are ready to serve, open the bag a little to vent and microwave it for about a minute. Once it's thawed enough to break apart with your hands, transfer the mixture into a saucepan and heat thoroughly. Before serving, stir in a little sour cream.
In the picture, I've served this with what I call Italian green beans and Granny's carrots. Both are also freezer-friendly. I'll cover them in a future post if this one goes over well.
Freeze ahead cooking requires a little planning but it pays great dividends. It's wonderful to know you can have a homecooked dinner on the table in the time it takes to cook rice. And since you've done all the real prep and cooking on another day, the clean-up is minimal as well. Just what you need as you're readjusting to the real world.
Please check out our other recipes and home ideas.
Carrot Cake Cookies
L.A. (lower Alabama) Caviar
Beat the Heat Tacos
Ribbon Window Valance
Christmas Card Display
Friday, July 30, 2010
The tapas sized portions of food available at the festival are just right. Sometimes you will wish they are larger but remember there are lots of things to try. As I have said in a previous post, one thing that is a must-have is the fisherman's pie at the Ireland booth. It really is one of the most flavorful items I have ever tried. In fact when I went last year with my cousin, he and I each ate a fisherman’s pie and then looked at each other and got in line to buy another. The makeup of a fisherman's pie is scallops, shrimp and lobster in a creamy red stew that is topped with mashed potatoes not unlike a shepherd's pie. Another favorite is the Kerrygold cheese selection. Unique to Ireland is the Bunratty Meade which is a honey wine and something you just don't see every day.
With Ireland out of the way, a little info that I am sure has and will be covered, mentioned, alluded to, and possibly driven in to the ground, is there will be 27 individual booths representing countries and cuisines from around the world. However I do have a personal disappointment to report. There will be no seminar or tasting by Sam Adams this year. They are still bringing in nine selections including the 15th anniversary brew only available at the festival. *sigh* Can’t stay the same forever I guess.
One of the greatest aspects of the food & wine festival is the fact that it gives adventurous eaters access to foods that might not normally be available to them, at least not without some difficulty. One example: ceviche. Ceviche is a seafood dish prepared without heat. The seafood used is usually some combination of shrimp, scallops, and fish. Then added are some fresh seasonal vegetables and everything is left to marinate. The citrus juice used chemically cooks the seafood. I can't even begin to describe how good it actually is. Another item I wouldn't have normally tried is Escargots Persillade en Brioche. Butter and garlic roasted escargot served up on a piece of French bread. MMMM. Yeah, these are good too.
What are you looking forward to most-- an old favorite or a new taste sensation? Let us know.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
(click on map for larger view)
We started going to the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival many years ago when our Daughter was in the College Program at WDW. She was working during the F&WF and told us about it. I don’t remember if we came that year or not, but once we started going it has become an annual family event. With both Amy and Ridge attending with us (this year her husband has to stay behind and work) it is fun to vacation at WDW with our adult children and now with our granddaughter. We have been to the F&WF so many times that it was almost strange to walk around the World Showcase this past April without the food booths being there. I told my son as we walked past where the Canadian booth normally sits that “I’m supposed to be able to get Cheddar Cheese Soup right there.” Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup is one of my favorite “don’t miss” food items at F&WF. (See our Team post on this years favorites here.)
While the F&WF offers so much in the way of dining events throughout the Festival, my favorite is the International Market places we call “food booths”. A stroll around the World Showcase takes you literally around the world in food. A salad course in Greece, a soup course in Canada, a cheese course in Ireland and dessert in Belgium with entrees thrown in from around the world and you have eaten your way around the world. It costs about $3 to $8 for each selection, but it is well worth it. After all, how much would it cost to fly to Greece for a salad and then to Canada for soup?
Each of the booths also has wine and beer representative of the county. I don’t know much about beer or wine, but I usually try the Sam Adam’s beer they create for the F&WF. This year it is called 15th Anniversary Festival Beer Coastal Wheat Light. Canada usually has an icewine. This year it is Vidal Icewine and of course they have Moosehead Beer. Ireland has Guinness and Meade.
Watch for posts from the F&WF from Amy & Ridge as we do research for the blog in October. Let us know if you are planning to attend this year and what is your favorite part of the F&WF.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Canada: Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
Ireland: Kerrygold Cheese Selection
Hops and Barley" Boston-style Crab Cake with Cabbage Slaw and Remoulade; New England Lobster Roll; Pecan Bread Pudding
Brazil: Shrimp Stew with Coconut and Lime
Poland: Kielbasa and Potato Pierogies with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream
United States: Bison Chili with Wild Mushrooms, Cabernet and Pepper Jack Cheese
|Me & Stella. Long story. |
I'm sure Mom is horrified I published this.
Amy: What am I most excited about in this year's festival? Taking Tink! She's a pretty good eater, well, other than meat. I'm curious to see what she'll like. For myself, two of the new marketplaces sound interesting, South Korea and Belgium. South Korea-Lettuce Wraps with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw. I've heard of kimchi but never tried it. I'm an adventurous eater and have yet to find anything truly challenging at the festival. Everything at the Belgium marketplace sounds good: Steamed Mussels with Roasted Garlic Cream; Freshly Baked Waffles with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream; Stella Artois; Godiva Chocolate Iced Coffee. The Disney Vacation Club is sponsoring Marketplace Discovery Passports, available at the Festival Welcome Center and the DVC informational booths in Epcot. This is new this year. The Festival Guide says you can have it stamped with a unique design at each marketplace. I am curious to see what this is all about. Dad and I went to the Food and Wine Pairing at Morocco a few years ago. It was delicious and fun but I don't think we're going to do any of the special events this time around. I'm sure we'll catch a few demonstrations. A couple of decent bands will be a part of the Eat to the Beat! Concert Series during our visit. While I really enjoyed Sister Hazel in 2008, if I don't catch the acts performing this time, I am ok with that. With a toddler, I have to keep my expectations low and my plans flexible.
Ridge: There is a learning adventure of gastronomic proportions on the horizon. The 15th Annual International Food and Wine Festival will soon be upon us and some old favorites are back as well as a few new entries. What am I excited about? Some old favorites. Chile and the Shrimp Ceviche. France and Escargots Persillade en Brioche. Australia with Grilled Lamb Chop with Roasted Potato Salad and Red Wine reduction. The Hops and Barley booth in America with the Crab Cake, Lobster Roll and Sam Adams Beers. Also exciting is the Sam Adams seminar and tasting. One fantastic item that is going to be back is the scallop and lobster fisherman's pie from Ireland. Pair this up with a pint of Guinness and you have something special. These are just a few of the classic dishes I am looking forward to. New on the menu are South Korean roast pork and kimchi slaw and United States bison chili with cabernet and pepper jack cheese. Belgium has steamed mussels with roasted garlic cream, which sounds outstanding to me.
What are you most excited about in this year's festival? Are all your old favorites still on the menu? Are you attending any of the special events associated with the festival?
Monday, July 26, 2010
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place about a pint of small tomatoes in one layer in a large baking dish. For cherry tomatoes, I leave them whole. I had some romas that were an impulse buy at the farmer's market and cut them each into eight pieces. Top with a few good gulgs of EVOO. Add in whatever you have that sounds good. Tonight I added some bell pepper cut into small pieces and some whole black olives. Add a good sprinkling of salt and fresh ground pepper and then pop it into the oven until the tomatoes are well cooked. Stir it occasionally during the cooking process. My tomatoes needed about 45 minutes tonight. I had some fresh garlic on hand but that was being roasted, so I added a little jarred chopped garlic to my sauce with about 10 minutes to go. Those tiny pieces will burn if they cook the whole time. Once it's all cooked, you can adjust the salt and pepper to taste and add any other seasonings you like. Fresh basil is good but I'm not growing it this year so I used a little dried basil. I serve this over angel hair pasta.
Not the fanciest meal (or blog post) but it's really good.
Let me know if this inspires you to try something new in the kitchen.
|My husband enjoying the Ireland Marketplace|
The wine portion of the festival allows you to try wines, beers, and specialty drinks that have been expertly paired with the food. You might find a new favorite, but if not, at least you aren't out the cost of a whole bottle. And don't worry if you don't drink alcohol, some of the booths offer teas. My last visit to F&W was while I was pregnant with Tink and my mom doesn't drink at all and we both had a great time.
TIP: If you can, try to go during the week. This event is very popular and the locals will be there in larger numbers on the weekend.
|The Jammin' Chefs|
The Festival Welcome Center is located in the former Wonders of Life Pavilion in Future World, which sits between Universe of Energy and Mission Space. The welcome center is home to book and bottle signings and both free and paid seminars. Oh, and of course, there is shopping and a cafe.
TIP: If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you are able to use your snack credits for most of the food items at the festival. Just look for the DDP logo on the menu board. Be sure to check the one in the booth and not the one on the sidewalk. For some reason, they don't normally put the logo on the sidewalk signs.
I feel like I could talk about the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival for hours, but I'll keep this to a brief overview. In the coming months, I'll share more favorites, tips and photos related to the festival.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Here are a few of the things I've learned so far as a blogger. This process has made me a much better consumer of social media.
1. Blogging is hard work. If you read blogs on any topic, please know that author has a true passion for that topic and spends hours writing, designing, and promoting.
2. Blogging gives you the chance to meet some great people. Through the process of spreading the word about the blog, I have come in contact with some great Disney fans in multiple countries. How cool is it that I can chat with another Disney fan in England who also calls her daughter Tink?
3. Bloggers love feedback. I get excited when someone shares their own story in the comments section of the blog, or on Facebook or Twitter. Now I make an effort to provide feedback and/or share things I've read.
4. Bloggers need to be organized. Trying to publish 5 days a week and promote those articles has required some real organization. My hat is off to the big sites with tons of content. Wow, you must be busy!
5. Readers of blogs need to be thanked regularly. I once learned in a journalism class that the easiest thing to do is just stop reading. Thank you to the readers of our blog that you've stuck with us and are making this a better place all the time.
6. Those who support such a project need to be thanked regularly. My husband has been very understanding of the time it takes to keep this blog going. Thanks Andy! I'd like to thank my brother Chris AKA Ridge and my father AKA DisneyDad for coming along with me on this project. They love to talk Disney as much as I do, so it didn't take much arm twisting. I've also met some people who have been very supportive and willing to suggest the blog to others or pass along a specific article. Thank you so much for helping to spread the word. You are vital to our success. I hope I can also help others get more readers as we must lift up others to move forward ourselves.
I just wanted to let you know that I am working hard for you but am enjoying every minute. THANKS!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I've started the page with links to Disney's official site for the festival. I'll be combing the web and reaching out to other bloggers to compile a one-stop shop for your EIF&WF information needs.
This page will be available throughout the festival, so check back regularly for the addition of new articles and, once the festival begins in October, reviews and photos from this year's event.
If you are a blogger writing about the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, I'd love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com to have a link to your article included in the festival research center. Thanks!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
(By the way, we don't discuss these topics before we write, nor do we see each other's answers before we write our own. We just usually eat together.)
My favorite place for quick service dessert is Kringla Bakeri og Cafe in the Norway pavilion. Their Sweet Pretzel with Almonds one of my favorites and is large and enough to share for a snack (or to save room to share a School Bread, a Cloudberry Horn, a tart, or Danish too!)
Ridge: I think my favorite counter service spot is the Tangierine Cafe in Morocco. The rustic old world styling, the sights and smells from Morocco are unlike that of any other pavilion. The menu is Mediterranean, serving lamb, chicken and falafel. I enjoy the shawarma platter with lamb. Each platter comes with hummus, tabouleh and tangerine couscous and fresh Moroccan bread. The wraps also come with the same sides. If you want a combo you can get the Mediterranean sliders combo that has three pita pockets with lamb, chicken and falafel. For the non-adventurous kids, burgers and chicken tenders are available. The seating area is outside and shaded and has a nice view of the lagoon. Its a nice place to stop and people watch for a while. If you are looking for just a quick sweet treat, I think my family would all agree with going over to Norway to the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe. Everything is good here but the Kringla Sweet Pretzel is supreme. Then for something sweet with a little bite there is always the caramel ginger ice cream in China at Lotus Blossom Cafe.
Amy: My favorite place for a quick lunch is Sunshine Seasons, located in The Land pavilion. This food court has hot options ranging from soup and sandwich to Asian fare. I tend to prefer the cold grab and go selections, such as sushi, fruit and cheese, and yummy specialty salads. We usually get a few items and share them. The downside of this restaurant: it's a little loud, almost always busy, and strollers are not allowed. I guess that last item is a plus for some.
A new favorite is Tangierine Cafe at the Morocco Pavilion. On our trip in April, Ridge and my husband and I had dinner here one evening. We ordered a
Monday, July 19, 2010
The Growing Up Disney team is going to Walt Disney World this October and we'll be blogging throughout the trip. We love the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. I made some ADRs (advance dining reservations) today for lunches. We'll be dining at Kona Cafe, Yak & Yeti, and Sci-Fi. I'm keeping the plan simple this time to allow for flexibility with Tink and to allow for lots of eating at the festival.
FASTPASS allows you to save a place in line while you go enjoy something else. When you come back at your "return time," you'll have little to no wait. The more popular attractions and some shows offer FASTPASS. It is a service offered at Walt Disney World for all park guests and is complementary with your park admission. Check the guidemap at the park you are visiting to see where they are being distributed and for which attractions. According to Disney's web site, this is the current list:
Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park:
Kali River Rapids
Disney's Hollywood Studios Theme Park:
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Toy Story Mania!
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Magic Kingdom Theme Park:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Peter Pan's Flight
Epcot Theme Park:
Mission: SPACE Pavilion
"Honey, I Shrunk the Audience"
How do I get a FASTPASS? When you approach the FASTPASS distribution area, look up and you'll see what return time is currently available. The one-hour time period showing is what will print on your ticket and is when you should come back to this attraction and enter the FASTPASS queue. If this time works for you, choose a FASTPASS machine and enter your park ticket. A FASTPASS will be generated and your park ticket will be returned to you. NOTE: The official policy on FASTPASS is that you have to return during the one hour window on the ticket. Unofficially, many attractions will honor them later as long as you don't try to come back before the FASTPASS time. You're taking your chances on that one, so if you're late, they technically can refuse to honor the FASTPASS, although it is unlikely. (UPDATE MARCH 2012: Disney is now enforcing the time printed on the pass within a few minutes either way.)
Can I have more than one FASTPASS at a time? Once you obtain your FASTPASS, take a look at the bottom of the ticket. It will tell you at what time you'll be eligible for another FASTPASS. The time period you need to wait varies based on the crowd levels on that day. Once that time arrives, you are free to go to another FASTPASS distribution area and get an additional FASTPASS.
FASTPASSes are only valid on the day they are issued, so please don't buy them on EBay. There are only so many given out at each attraction per day. Once they are gone, your only option for that attraction is to wait in the stand-by queue. Be sure to spend some of your wait time checking out the details the Imagineers put into those areas.
TIP: You can send one member of your party ahead to get FASTPASSes for the rest of the group once everyone is in the park. Just make sure that person has everyone's ticket. This is especially important at rope drop for very popular attractions. In October 2008, I was the designated FASTPASS person at park opening for Toy Story Mania. Me, 4 months pregnant, running ahead with 3 able bodied young men (hubby, brother, cousin) lagging behind. =) Since thrill rides were not an option for me, I kept their tickets and later on got them FASTPASSes for Tower of Terror while they were riding Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.
FASTPASS is a great service that can really help you maximize how much you can see and do in a day at the parks since you spend your wait time somewhere other than in line.
RIDER SWAP If both parents want to experience an attraction for which the kids are too small, you also have the option of Rider Swap. This allows for one of you to ride and then swap with the other adult without waiting in line twice. The procedure varies from attraction to attraction, but essentially, if it has a height restriction, they will offer Rider Swap. Check with the Cast Member at the entrance of the attraction for details. Sometimes you are given a FASTPASS-like ticket and other times you'll be asked to wait in a certain area. If you already have FASTPASSes for an attraction, Rider Swap is unnecessary; you'll just take turns entering through the FASTPASS line.
Friday, July 16, 2010
So I have told of Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, now on to my other favorite luncheon spot in the Magic Kingdom, Columbia Harbour House. There have been a few changes to the menu in the last couple of years but it is still worth a stop by for a bit to eat and a moment of peace in the cool (both for the surroundings and the ambient temperature.)
Columbia Harbour House (CHH) is located in Liberty Square, which as previously discussed in the Hall of Presidents post, is arguably one of my favorite locations in the park. CHH is situated right on the edge of Liberty Square before the transition to Fantasyland across from Haunted Mansion. The outside of the building matches up with the other architecture in that land and has the feeling of walking into a tavern from the 1790s, or Disney's approximation. It is much cleaner, better lighting, air conditioning and has an industrial kitchen behind it. All that aside, use your imagination and you'll know what I mean.
Inside dark woods abound, sailing implements adorn the walls and right in the middle of the main room is the order station. Now when my sister and I first really started enjoying this spot was when I had just started college and we took our first trip down without our parents. We both had annual passes and a four day weekend so we made some last minute reservations at All Star Music and went to play like the big kids we are. This is also when we found out that even though I am a big guy the Captain's Plate was big enough to share and we did so on every trip after.
If you haven't been to Columbia Harbour House in a while, I do have a little disappointing news, the chicken fingers are gone and in their place are chicken nuggets. I guess this was an attempt to both cut cost and appeal more to the kids. Also as I said before the menu has changed a little, the Captains Special which consisted of two pieces of fish and two chicken strips and fries is now two pieces of fish, chicken nuggets and fries and isn't called the Captain's Special any longer; now it is just simply "chicken breast nuggets and fish.” In an attempt to be a healthier option you can now get apple slices instead of fries. We were hit with this change back in 2007 so it has been long enough to get over it, but we'll always remember the good times. The food here is on par with everything else in the park at a quick service location. We tend to stick with the same menu items here, but I have heard good things about the rest of the offerings. For a look at an updated menu check out www.allears.net/men_chh.htm. Or for you folks with iPhones, the WDW Dining app is awesome; I will be reviewing iPhone apps soon.
Now for my tip on CHH, the upstairs seating area is almost never as crowded as it is downstairs. Caveat: Everywhere is crowded if it is a really busy time of the year, which we try to avoid these days. Even then we will alter our lunch time to miss some of the standard middle of the day screaming kids (and adults.) My sis and I have made a ritual of getting the same table upstairs near a window that looks out over Haunted Mansion. The second floor is almost always quiet and there are condiment stations so you don't have to load up on all of that downstairs and juggle malt vinegar on a slippery tray. There are also a set of restrooms upstairs which are also usually not busy.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Discovery Island was home to 140 species of animals and 250 species of tropical plants until Disney's Animal Kingdom opened. It was accessable only by boat so many guest bypassed it. An area of AK is named in honor of it. Here is Ridge in 1991 with some "OLD" friends on Discovery Island.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Today our team discusses our favorite character meals at Walt Disney World.
Amy: For breakfast, my favorites are Chef Mickey's and The Crystal Palace. We took Tink to Chef Mickey's breakfast for her first birthday. It was a good meal, a fun atmosphere, and I like the chef costumes for the characters. You can't beat a ride on the monorail to start the day. For my full review, click here.
I worked at The Crystal Palace during College Program, so it's a sentimental favorite. The food is really good here and the team replenishes it often. The characters are Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet. You'll see them lead a parade with the kids once or twice during your meal. I love this building with all its windows, curlicued decor, and Magic Kingdom location. I think dinner is the best meal here but come hungry because it's not cheap. It's now $32.99 per adult for dinner. Kids 3-9 are $15.99.
My other dinner pick is The Garden Grill. This restaurant is in The Land pavilion at Epcot. It rotates very slowly so the view changes throughout your meal and sometimes you overlook scenes from "Living with the Land." Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale are the characters you'll meet. The Garden Grill is only open for dinner now. The meal is served family-style with steak and turkey for the adults and chicken and mac and cheese for the kids. Some of the produce is grown in the greenhouses at The Land pavilion. This location is a few dollars cheaper per person than The Crystal Palace.
Ridge: I have to say that character meals aren't really my thing at this point in my life. As far as the characters are concerned, The Crystal Palace would have to be a favorite of mine since I am being asked to choose. T-i-double G-er has to be one of my favorite characters, right after Mickey Mouse, of course. At The Crystal Palace we have always had good luck with having the right amount of time and getting the pictures we wanted. It also doesn't hurt anything that the food here is also really good. But if you want to see the HC (Head Cheese) himself, you really can't beat Chef Mickey's. It was a real cavalcade of characters and only took about 45 minutes in the rotation to see them all. Here's a tip, if you are in a spot where the characters rotate off stage, because they only stay on the floor for about 15 minutes before "rotating," keep an eye out for their handlers. We were seated right at the point where our Chefs were rotating and it is easy to get overlooked because the replacement might confuse where his/her counterpart left off. If you accidentally get missed, just ask one of the handlers and they'll steer the character back your way.
It looks like our team has similar opinions again. Other character meals we've had over the years that didn't make our favorites include 1900 Park Fare breakfast, Liberty Tree Tavern dinner (discontinued), Olivia's breakfast at Old Key West (discontinued), and Donald's Breakfastasaurus (now similar meal at Tusker House).
Cinderella's Royal Table (formerly King Stefan's Banquet Hall) used to be a family favorite, however, the restaurant started changing in the early 2000s. Our last visit there was in 2005. We might go back someday if Tink insists, but in my opinion the elegance of the place is gone now that it is a character dining location. It's also very pricey and VERY hard to get a reservation. I realize I am in the small minority here and if you have never had a meal in the castle, then this is a treat.
I would like to try the character breakfast at Tusker House. Our lunch there was wonderful. For my full review, click here.
Cape May is not on my to-do list. We ate dinner once when we stayed at Beach Club and I wasn't impressed. Since we usually stay at Old Key West, this restaurant would not inspire me to make the journey over there.
Akershus Banquet Hall is a must-do once Tink gets a little older. Most of the princesses will greet you at this character meal. The breakfast was so popular that it's now a character location all day, so if you don't want to get up early for breakfast, you can still meet Belle at lunch or dinner. Breakfast is traditional breakfast fare while lunch and dinner feature a Norwegian menu with hot entrees and a cold salad/herring bar. Chris and I had lunch here once and enjoyed the food.
For me, the jury is still out on 'Ohana. I love breakfast at Kona Cafe, but 'Ohana just seems chaotic to me. Lilo and Stitch are here in the morning. Maybe someday I'll brave this one.
What are your favorite places to dine with the characters? Do you have a character meal that you just must have each trip? Any that you don't want to repeat? Please leave your comments below.
(Check back because I just might scan some pics of me in the oh-so-lovely Crystal Palace costume...)
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The building was the Walt Disney World Preview Center. Here we were able to see what Mickey and Walt had planned for the Florida Project. The Preview Center featured a video that had aired on The Wonderful World of Disney with Walt Disney telling us his plans for this wonderful vacation world in central Florida. It also included clips of the construction of the Magic Kingdom attractions. There was also a large miniature display of the entire Magic Kingdom. Lights would spotlight different places in the Magic Kingdom as a hostess described the attractions awaiting us once the park opened October 1, 1971.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Can you imagine being at the Magic Kingdom for the park opening on Christmas Eve now (or any other day for that matter) and not seeing anyone other than cast memebers on Main Street? 1973 was a little different!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Here are the supplies I packed in the diaper bag and some notes on what did and didn't work.
- applesauce cup--maybe used one that week
- bibs--disposable bibs are great at WDW! I had Pampers bibs.
- birthday cards for characters etc to sign (separate post coming)
- burp cloth--multi-purpose
- change of clothes--never needed this. Next trip she'll be 18 months, so I'll carry a onesie for an emergency. If something crazy happens, then I have a great excuse to go shopping. If we were visiting in the warmer months, I'd take a change of clothes to allow for playtime in the fountains.
- changing pad
- diaper garbage bags--I always have the version of this without the duck in our diaper bags. (Thanks Keri!)
- diapers--I packed about 8 but didn't need nearly that many.
- extra tote bag--One of the reusable shopping bags that folds into a very small pouch. This came in handy several times.
- formula--Tink was having formula at meals and at bedtime, so I carried two of the single packs that make 4 oz each.
- pen for characters
- poncho--I carried one of the tiny emergency style ones this time.
- snacks--These little apple snacks are fabulous! I got Mickey and Princess packs. They have lots of other fruits but we've only tried the apples. The Gerber yogurt drops were fantastic on the bus.
- spoons--the take and toss kind
- ziplocs--Two large and two medium. One of each to hold items in the diaper bag and then another to hold dirty items. This helped me know what needed to be washed each night.
Update: October 2013 Please check out my article on my Disney diaper bag now that I travel with my preschooler and toddler.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
On behalf of the Growing Up Disney team, I wish you a happy and safe Independence Day! I am thankful for this great country and all the brave men and women (and their families!) who have protected her all these years.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Frontierland is where you will find Big Thunder Mountain, Tom Sawyer's Island, a little something called Splash Mountain and of course Pecos Bill's. Now who among us except the very young don't know who Pecos Bill was? Well for you youngsters, Pecos Bill is a legend of the Old West; he was raised by wolves and could lasso a tornado and ride it in to the sunset. So head in and take a load off while I load up a story for you. Step on to the porch, stroll through the swinging double doors of an old west saloon and make your way over to the counter to order. Here you can find a good burger, a decent barbeque sandwich and a chicken wrap that is pretty standard for Disney counter service. The item that sets me off is the taco salad. It’s delicious and a great value. For the burgers and taco salad, you have at your disposal a fixin’s bar, with lettuce and tomato, salsa, cheese, pickles for your burgers, peppers, salad dressings, onions (raw and sautéed), mushrooms and still more tasty toppings.
The front of the restaurant looks how you would imagine a saloon from the days when the cowboys were taming the wild frontier. Inside are hardwood floors that seem old and dusty and creak under your feet. The transition to the dining area becomes tile floor and the exterior is in a Spanish style that would have been popular from Texas to California. The two story stucco façade includes a balcony that protrudes over the outside seating and looks towards Splash Mountain. Other noticeable construction cues are the wooden fence that surrounds the outside seating and the lamp posts that use lanterns at the top. As with everything that the Disney does, theme of the area is to the extreme so take a moment and scope out the area before throwing away your trash and running off to the next ride.
Next week I will talk about my other favorite Magic Kingdom counter service restaurant, Columbia Harbor House.