Welcome!

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m&dTo those who have come to our new website, we say “Welcome.”  We are brand new to blogging, but we are “old” Disney fans.  Since we have raised our girls and now find ourselves as empty nesters, we are rediscovering all things Disney in a new way.  And with that, we have started this blog site to share our experiences with you, and to hear from you about finding that “Disney Magic.”

The first few posts will be going over some of our past Continue Reading →

Contests and Drawings

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We will make this a permanent fixture on the front page, and will update it as we find new contests that become available. The list of link(s) are provided for your convenience and our listing does not imply any warranty, endorsement or sponsorship.  You must read and follow the sponsor’s rules and instructions for entry.  You may be required to sign up for memberships or email lists.

Below are some other contests you may be interested in, listed in order of expiration:

Enter to win a 4-night Orlando vacation for 4 from Redbook.  Grand Prize includes round-trip airfare, hotel accomodations, 5-day parkhopper tickets to Walt Disney World and more.  Expires 10/31/2018.

Win a 4-night trip for 4 people to Orlando including airfare and hotel accommodations and 20 1-day/1-park tickets to Walt Disney World from GoGosqueeZ.  Expires 10/31/2018.

Win one of 5 grand prizes of 4 nights in Orlando for 4 people.  Includes airfare, hotel, rental car, and 8 one-day tickets to either Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or SeaWorld Orlando.  Sponsored by VisitOrlando.com.  Expires 1/3/2019.

EPCOT Food & Wine 2018

We were a little late to the party this year, but better late than never!  We have mentioned in previous posts that Disney appears to be turning EPCOT into a “festival” center, and we are certainly good with that, with all the unique activities and experiences of the International Festival of the Arts, the Flower & Garden Festival and finally the International Food & Wine Festival.  What could they do to fill in the gaps?

The official passport to the world of food.

Disney continues their summer-to-fall tradition with the 2018 International Food & Wine Festival and they have not held back on the quality or variety of their offerings.  Since EPCOT is an international experience, it is wise not to start on this world-wide food tour without a passport.  When attending this culinary festival, stop by almost any kiosk and pick up this handy guide (pictured right).  In it you will find the various food, drink and dessert offerings, experiences and presentations as well as a page of stickers to “validate” your passport as you travel the world.  While there are 11 countries represented around the Showcase Lagoon, Disney has even added Continue Reading →

Incredibles 2 Movie Review

After a 14 year hiatus, The Incredibles has hit the big screen with their sequel to the 2004 box office success, amassing and even larger opening weekend than Finding Dory, which was a box office record.

It’s amazing that after 14 years, Jack-Jack hasn’t aged a day!

Before we proceed with this review, we think it disappointing that we must issue a couple of warnings regarding a Disney animated movie.  First and most important, there are several scenes with flashing lights that could trigger an epileptic episode to those with this medical condition, or any medical condition that can be made worse with flashing lights.  Second, while many kids today have heard a lot of inappropriate language, this PG rated movie has a couple of scenes with stronger language than we believe is necessary for the plot.

The Incredibles is now back in theaters with their sequel. (©Disney/Pixar)

The Incredibles 2 picks up where it left off with the Underminer attacking the city and the supers attempting to catch him.  The pursuit leaves the city in shambles and causes a huge political uproar against them, so much so that the entire department is being shut down and their trusty government friend, Rick Dicker is being retired.  But a wealthy businessman and his sister want to hire them to Continue Reading →

EPCOT – Spaceship Earth

Have you ever wanted to take a ride inside a golf ball?  A giant golf ball?  This iconic object sitting at just past the entrance to EPCOT can easily be described as just that – a giant golf ball.  But it is more than just something to catch your eye or be the anchor to a theme park.

Spaceship Earth as seen from the World Showcase Lagoon.

Actually, this golf ball is called Spaceship Earth and it contains a fun, educational ride that takes you back to the dawn to man and follows him through the development of communication to today, then allows you to create your own future right on the screen of your time-travelling machine.

This complete geodesic sphere was designed with the assistance of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury.  It is 165 feet in diameter and tops out at 180 feet and took Continue Reading →

Festival of the Lion King

Friends have been “gently encouraging” us for quite a while to go see the Festival of the Lion King at Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.  After many delays, we finally got the chance to see it, and we are very sorry we didn’t make it a priority earlier!

Simba overlooking the festival.

The story of this theatrical production is not how a young lion can’t wait to be king, but instead is about a festival that takes place after Simba has been crowned king of Pride Rock.  He is joined by Timon, Pumba and their other friends from the African Savanna in the celebration.  It combines a multitude of human actors, actors in costume, acrobats, fire dancers, flying performers as well as animatronics all singing and Continue Reading →

Tea – Who Knew?

One of the interesting things about the World Showcase is experiencing the different cultures in language, food, architecture and shopping found around the lagoon.  Among these is the Twinings Tea Company which has a Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom land in EPCOT, complete with a garden of tea shrubs, herbs and spices.  During the International Flower & Garden Festival,

English Tea Caddy & Tea Garden

they are hosting daily tours through their tea garden.  In this short, informative tour, guides retell the history of the Twinings Tea Company from its foundings in 1706 to present day.  Its continuous operation makes Twinings the oldest business still in operation in London and being in business over 300 years obviously makes them experts in their field.  Look closely at their packaging.  You will notice a crown – this represents the fact that they are the official tea of the English Royalty – a tribute to their expertise and longevity.

While the average consumer has their favorite tea brand and/or flavor, and even whether they prefer it hot or iced, sweet or plain, most of us know very little about this little leaf that brews the second most popular drink around the world.  Tea is Continue Reading →

EPCOT Flower & Garden 2018

Figment the Dragon

The 25th anniversary of the International Flower & Garden Festival is officially underway in EPCOT.  This 3-month long event runs February 28th to May 28th and showcases everything flora, and even combines it with Disney magic to create some very special displays.  It is not much unlike the Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, where the floats are made entirely of organic materials; but unlike the Rose Parade, most of these displays are made from living and blooming plants, so they will stay in color all spring long.

While the topiaries are spectacular and most of them depict Disney characters, the grounds around EPCOT are planted in blooming flowers and garden displays.  Even an enclosed garden with butterflies in all stages of growth is available for Continue Reading →

EPCOT Festival of the Arts – Dave Avanzino

Disney’s EPCOT is becoming a land of festivals, and 2018 brought the second annual Festival of the Arts; and as they get more experience hosting these events, they are continually making significant improvements which enhance the guest experience.

The five-week long festival running from January 12th to February 19th, saw opportunities galore for exploring your artist within, from culinary arts to musical performances, artist lectures, hands-on learning opportunities and just chances to meet and talk with a number of Disney artists and legends.

Dave Avanzino

Many of these opportunities were presented in a class-like setting.  Most were free or had a small fee for materials.  There were a few “premium” events that ran in excess of $250.  This year, 3D artist Dave Avanzino came to EPCOT to teach his technique for creating unique works of art.  We jumped at the chance to learn from one of our favorite Disney artists (ok, who are we kidding – he IS our favorite Disney artist!)  His ability to create a work of art and make it Continue Reading →

Peter Pan Anniversary

Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought – sometimes it isn’t much, either.” – Walt Disney

Over the weekend, the official Disney Fan Club – D23, held a “Magical Screening” of Peter Pan celebrating its 65th Anniversary.  Screenings were held at the Animation Studios in Burbank and the AMC Theater in Disney Springs in Orlando,

Screen shot of event title.

where we are currently visiting.  Events like these are a lot of fun and what keep us renewing our membership!

There is a lot of history about this movie that few know.  Peter Pan took many years to get to theaters; even though Walt obtained the animation rights to the story in 1939, it didn’t make it to the big screen until 1953 due to many circumstances involving finances and America entering into World War II.

The event was hosted by Steven Vagnini, the only D23 Cast Member in Florida, who has now been promoted to Walt Disney Imagineering and will Continue Reading →

We’re Back!

It seems that it has been quite a “dry spell” since our last post.  We have had a lot going on that took time away from normal trips to a Disney park.

Savannah Linn

We welcomed our newest “Princess” into our family last fall.  Savannah Linn was born on September 8 in California.  Shortly thereafter, we helped her mom and dad move cross country to the east coast and helped them get resettled into their new home and life.  Then came the holidays and time with family.

So finally, 2018 has arrived and life is returning to “normal,” or something that resembles it; and we find ourselves back at Walt Disney World.

So much is going on this spring at Walt Disney World with the Epcot International Festival of the Arts; and it will be quickly replaced by the International Flower and Garden Festival on February 28th.  We will have new experiences, visit new lands and savor new foods which we will certainly tell you about and give you ideas for your next Disney adventure.

If all goes as planned, we will be back in Disneyland in May before we head east again and start our training to run the Wine and Dine 10K in November – our first in almost 3 years.

So bear with us and keep checking for updates and information!

Halloween at Disneyland!

The Disneyland Resort has gone all out this year in bringing Halloween to the California Adventure Park, even giving it a new name: “Haul-O-ween!”

Entrance to Disney’s California Adventure

In addition to the usual decorations in Disneyland, the imagineers have expanded on the experience by adding elements and designs to its sister park.  This is the first year they have decorated this park so extensively.  Most of the decoration is in Cars Land with Mater and the gang getting in on the action, but Buena Vista Street gets into the festivities as well as the Carthay Circle Restaurant and the corner of Buena Vista and Hollywood Boulevard with the Headless Horseman.

And around both parks you will find Continue Reading →