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!

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 →

Which Is Better – Pirates of the Caribbean DL or WDW?

“Pirates” at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Since this week marks the 50th anniversary of Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean, we thought we would pose the question of “which is better,” to see if there is an answer. A favorite attraction among many Disney park guests (us included), Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean has been taking people to an underground world since March 18, 1967, opening just a few months after Walt’s passing.  (It is rumored that Walt’s favorite ride was whichever one he was currently working on – so this could be said to be his last favorite).  With the addition of Walt Disney World, another version of this attraction opened in late 1973 in the Magic Kingdom.

There are fans of each park that insist that their favorite is the best.  So with that, we will try to compare the POTC attractions and see if there really is a better version.

Entry into the attraction:  At Disneyland, most of the queue is Continue Reading →

Cinderella’s Castle

The magic of Cinderella’s Castle goes beyond the size and scope of it as a building or the centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom.  It is also the entrance to Fantasyland, a stage for theater, television and movies, a restaurant, a projection screen, and a place to propose.  It is even a joy to photograph!  There are so many angles that natural lighting changes make every few moments a different picture, and the nighttime events add even more magic.

Cinderella's Castle - Magic Kingdom. 189 feet tall.

Cinderella’s Castle – Magic Kingdom. 189 feet tall.

Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom stands second tallest among the six Disney castles at 189 feet, measured from the bottom of the moat.  Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland is only 77 feet, although it carries the distinction of being the oldest Disney castle.  Hong Kong Disneyland has a carbon copy of Anaheim Disneyland’s original castle, also called Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, but it will be undergoing major remodeling where rumors have that it will be completely different, and scheduled to be finished in 2019.  Paris Disneyland’s castle, coincidentally is also called Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, but it tops out at 167 feet, more than twice the size of its sister edifices.  Cinderella gets another castle in Tokyo Disneyland and it comes in just a foot shorter than its Orlando version.  The newest castle is in the Shanghai Disney Resort and is also the tallest at 197 feet, but it doesn’t belong to any one Disney princess.  This castle is called the Continue Reading →

EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival

It’s a foodie’s dream.  Or it could be a gastric nightmare!

Welcomed to the festival by Tinkerbell.

Welcomed to the festival by Tinkerbell.

Why?  Because there is so much great food and so little time (or room in the tummy) to travel this unique world experience and taste it all!  We finally took the plunge to sample Disney’s EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival during a trip to Walt Disney World in October, and it was quite a treat!

Now in its 22nd year, this annual food festival provides Disney guests with an opportunity to taste the many flavors of the countries that line the World Showcase lagoon in EPCOT.  For 2016, it runs every day from September 14th to November 14th.

Whether you crave mild or spicy, domestic or international, sweet or sour, wet or dry, hot or cold, a hungry traveler can find something to satisfy their cravings and even try something new, especially if you don’t have the means to travel abroad.  Countries from Africa to Continue Reading →

Good Bye 60th Anniversary

They say that all good things must come to and end; and after months of great parties and special events celebrating Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, it all ends tonight, September 5, 2016.  The beautiful lights, shows, fireworks, and the make-over of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event will all be just a memory.  With that, we must say “Good Bye” to all that we have come to love over the past year.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle - Disneyland. 77 feet tall.

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle dressed for the 60th Anniversary.

Disney sure knows how to throw a shindig!  This magical celebration ran for more than 16 months, beginning on May 22, 2015, crossing into the actual anniversary date of July 17, 2015 and covering the 61st anniversary in July of this year.

The 60th Anniversary overlay of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle had to have been one of the best we have ever seen.  Every fall, the castle is decorated for Christmas, but nothing like this.  If you missed it, unfortunately it is gone forever and you may have to wait until the 75th Anniversary Continue Reading →