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 →

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 →

We Wants The Redhead!

Disney has announced that there will soon be a significant change to the beloved “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction.  Sometime in 2018, the most iconic scene “Auction, Take a Wench for a Bride” will be redesigned to a new one which depicts the Redhead as part of an auction crew where they want you to “surrender yer loot.”

“We wants the redhead” will soon no longer ring out across the river.

Even though Walt said Disneyland would never be complete as long as there is imagination, there are many who are upset with this change as it appears that it is being done for “politically correct” purposes.  The auction scene as it currently stands has been in existence since the attraction’s inception, even surviving the changes that took place in the late ’90’s where some of the scenes depicting pirates chasing women were changed to imply the men are now chasing food.

Some changes have been Continue Reading →

Tour of Mark Twain Riverboat

The last stop on our tours from our trip in February was a guided tour of the Mark Twain Riverboat sitting still on the Rivers of America in Disneyland.  For a little more than a year, the Mark Twain has been sitting dockside in Frontier Land while the Rivers of America was undergoing a reroute to make room for the new Star Wars Land.

The Disneyland Mark Twain Steam Paddle-wheeler.

It is one of the few remaining attractions that was a part of the opening day in 1955, and has fascinating past.  The paddle-wheeled steam boat is a 5/8 scale replica of actual steamers on the Mississippi river.  The hull was built at the shipyards in San Pedro and the decks were built at WED (Walt Elias Disney) Enterprises in Burbank.  The 105 foot boat was assembled at Disneyland and was operational on opening day.  When corporate funds fell short, Walt funded the completion from his own pocket.

While the boat is in “drydock,” guests can Continue Reading →

Which Is Better – Enchanted Tiki Room DL or WDW?

Welcome to Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room!

This unique attraction was designed to be a restaurant, the original “Enchanted Tiki Room,” at Disneyland is where for more than 50 years Jose, Michael, Pierre and Fritz have been entertaining guests with their familiar “In the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room…”

When the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World opened in 1971, it had its own version of the Enchanted Tiki Room (originally called the Tropical Serenade).  The Enchanted Tiki Room in the Magic Continue Reading →