by Kimberly LaPaglia | Feb 13, 2018 | Disney, Disney Holidays, Disney Springs, Epcot, Holidays, Walt Disney World
Springtime at Walt Disney World
The Florida sunshine is simply gorgeous (and warm!) during springtime at Walt Disney World. Flowers, smiles, and magical experiences are blooming in every park and resort.
And as spring arrives, pastel colors explode! It’s a whimsical time to visit the Happiest Place on Earth.
Stop by Contempo Café for delicious treats!
Also, springtime in Walt Disney World brings the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Spring Break, Easter, and the Star Wars Half Marathon. Plus, Mother’s Day and more!
Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival
Even before the official start of the season, Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival gets underway. I can’t wait to see what’s blooming next year!.
Find out what’s blooming at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
Here, you’ll want to dig into the tasty bites at the Outdoor Kitchens. Or listen to a concert. My favorite part of the festival? The stunning topiaries! This event is fun for all ages.
You won’t want to miss the topiaries at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
Spring Break Brings Crowds
Spring Break is a popular and thus crowded time to visit WDW; this makes the month of March very crowded. You’ll find springtime touring less chaotic from around the second week of April to mid-May. Of course, the timing of Easter is also a factor.
Still, Spring Break is a great time to visit Walt Disney World. If you’re traveling from a colder climate, you’ll really appreciate the warm, Florida sunshine. You can explore the theme parks day and night or opt to relax by your hotel pool. With so many things to see and do, this is a Spring Break location that promises fun for all ages.
Easter at Walt Disney World
Look for treats, eats, and customized baskets. Buy a pre-made basket or build your own! You’ll find Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny greeting guests in the Magic Kingdom. Look for other Easter activities at the resorts.
Purchase pre-made Easter Baskets.
Cookies and Candy for your Easter Baskets!
The sweet aroma will lure you into the Disney bakeries, including Main Street Confectionery.
Don’t pass up the seasonal cookies!
Don’t miss a smorgasbord of shopping, dining, and entertainment at Disney Springs.
Vera Bradley bags are great for Easter and Mother’s Day gifts.
Look for colorful merchandise.
Star Wars runDisney Event
Runners will want to start prepping for this event usually held in April. Get your race on!
Spring Activities at Walt Disney World
Find a place to picnic. We love these outdoor tables at All-Star Music Resort.
- Swimming at your resort pool.
- Visit a water park.
- Have an outdoor picnic.
- Watch an outdoor movie.
- Go fishing.
- Sit by a campfire.
- Watch your resort’s activity schedule for Easter festivities.
- Rent a boat — cruise on a lagoon, go fishing, or take a fireworks cruise.
Outdoor Activities at Polynesian Village Resort
Spring in Walt Disney World is rejuvenating! Are you ready to say goodbye to winter hibernation, boots, and heavy coats?! If so, plan a weekend or week-long stay at the Walt Disney World resort in Central Florida.
What’s your favorite time of the year to visit Walt Disney World? Do you have a favorite spring activity that you must do on every WDW trip?
by Kimberly LaPaglia | Feb 1, 2018 | Celebrations, Disney, Disney Food, Disney Holidays, Disney Restaurants, Walt Disney World
Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World: Romance and Family Fun
Yes, that sometimes-chaotic theme park in central Florida can be a romantic and fun option for the upcoming holiday. Let’s take a look at how you can enjoy Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World!
Opt for family fun, romance, or a combination of both vacation styles for your Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World. As you plan your special day, you’ll find temptations all around the resorts and parks. From red and white festive baked goods to holding hands in the Haunted Mansion, your theme park day is sure to be a memorable celebration.
Of course, you can splurge on special events, magical add-on experiences, or candlelit meals. Or you can keep it simple with a cupcake, balloon, and moonlit walk.
Get your sweetheart a balloon.
Whether you tour with your loved one or the whole family, be sure to get PhotoPass pictures taken to commemorate your Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World on February 14th!
In your planning process, make sure to take the photographic tour of our favorite hotels for couples at WDW.
2018 Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World Details
As with all holidays and celebrations at WDW, the bakeries will showcase specialty treats. Mickey Mouse shaped cookies, Mickey Mouse Rice Krispy Treats, and an assortment of cupcakes will boast colorful sprinkles and frosting. And that’s just for starters. Take a look at these special treats found on a past Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World:
An example of the Valentine’s Day Treats that you may find in Walt Disney World.
If you plan to visit the Magic Kingdom, a visit to the Main Street Confectionery is a must for you and your sweetie(s).
You’ll find shopping, dining, and entertainment at Disney Springs. At Sprinkles, you’ll find new seasonal cupcakes — Raspberry Chocolate Chip or Red Hot Velvet. Or indulge in a scoops of Cherry Vanilla ice cream now through February 28!
Romantic Restaurants at Walt Disney World
If you’re looking to impress, make an Advance Dining Reservation at the five-diamond Victoria & Albert’s restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Other fine dinner choices include the award-winning California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Narcoossee’s with its waterfront real estate at Disney’s Grand Floridan, the unique ambiance of Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, or the Pacific Northwest décor at Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
For in-park dining, consider Monsieur Paul and Chefs de France in Epcot, Tiffins in Animal Kingdom, Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
We loved our meal at The Boathouse at Disney Springs on a previous Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Most restaurants will require booking 180 days in advance, especially for holiday dining. However, last minute cancellations do occur, so keep checking!
WDW Add-On Experiences
Valentine’s Day Spa Package
Created exclusively for Valentine’s Day in Walt Disney World, Senses – A Disney Spa has announced the “Part of Your World” package.
From February 10 – 18, 2018, the package includes a couple’s massage with apricot-infused body oil, a chocolate hand-hydration treatment, sparkling wine served in a chocolate champagne glass and a take-home, custom-blended bath salt.
$340 (plus tax) for 50 minutes and $450 (plus tax) for 80 minutes. A 20 percent gratuity is added automatically. Disney Vacation Club Members (DVC) will receive a 15 percent discount by calling Member Services.
To schedule, call (407) WDW-SPAS or (407) 939-7727.
Dressed up for Valentine’s Day.
Walt Disney World Date Ideas
- Dine at Narcoossee’s, watch fireworks, then stop by Disney’s Grand Floridan Lobby to listen to the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra.
- Stroll around the Boardwalk at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, sip on a cocktail at Belle Vue Lounge, and share an ice cream flight at Ample Hills Creamery.
- Keep your eye out for seasonal flavors at the specialty shops at Disney Springs.
Valentine’s Day Seasonal Flavors at Vivoli il Gelato in Disney Springs.
- Take a moonlit walk outside and look for giraffes. Sit by a wood-burning fire and share roasted marshmallows. Wherever you roam at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you’ll find family fun and romance due to the exotic ambiance.
Beautiful Valentine’s Day cookie treat!
- From Port Orleans Riverside, take a horse-drawn carriage excursion. Reserve your extra-fee ride in advance by calling (407) WDW-PLAY. Afterwards, take the Sassagoula River boat to Disney Springs for more shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Don’t forget to get a treat at Goofy’s Candy Company!
- Dine at a Disney Springs restaurant, then shop for sweets to share back at your resort.
- Play mini-golf before heading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Take the plunge together on Tower of Terror.
- Go horseback riding at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, followed by a dinner and show at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
- Look for Hidden Mickeys — every time you find one share a kiss.
Family Fun on Valentine’s Day
Most of the date ideas above can be customized for family fun. In addition, you may want to try these family-friendly options:
- Guests ages 7 and up can learn archery at Fort Wilderness. Pick up supplies at the Meadow or Settlement Trading Post and have a picnic.
- Visit a water park, then return to your hotel and sip hot chocolate.
- Have each family member choose part of the day’s itinerary. One person can choose where to breakfast, another can pick the afternoon activity, and so on. Finish the day with an outdoor movie at your resort.
- Speaking of movies, why not head to the AMC Disney Springs 24 Dine-In Theatres?!
- Take the monorail or boat from the Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village, and Contemporary resorts. At each stop, choose a favorite or new-to-you snack. You’ll find Dole Whip at the Polynesian Village. Yum!
Valentine’s Day Trivia at Fantasia Market in Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
The options are endless. These are some ideas to inspire you to find your own special magic during Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World.
What’s your ideal date at Walt Disney World?
by Kimberly LaPaglia | Nov 11, 2017 | Disney, Walt Disney World
Families headed to Walt Disney World for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday will find the parks and resorts already decorated in their holiday best.
Disney’s Grand Floridian during the holiday season.
WDW will be immersed in a wonderland of candy canes, ornaments, and catchy seasonal tunes. Remember, you won’t see much décor with pilgrims, the Christmas trimmings will add to the festivities. Yes, you’ll need to embrace the holiday season along with your Thanksgiving meal.
Gratefully, your family won’t go hungry as there will be a bounty of menu options. From quick, casual meals with traditional entrees to table service meals with specialty fixings, your loved ones can easily find a familiar holiday meal on Thanksgiving day.
The “Yacht Club” Club Sandwich at The Boathouse.
In fact, you’ll find 28 dining locations offering a full buffet or special plated meal of traditional turkey day cuisine. Some of the places that your family can feast are:
• Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – Lunch and dinner
• Biergarten Restaurant – Lunch and dinner
• Chef Mickey’s – Dinner only
• Coral Reef Restaurant – Lunch and dinner
• Jiko – The Cooking Place – Dinner only
• Le Cellier Steakhouse – Lunch and dinner
• Olivia’s Cafe – Lunch and dinner
• The Wave… of American Flavors – Lunch and dinner
• Whispering Canyon Cafe – Lunch and dinner
Carving Board Dinner at Port Orleans Riverside.
More festive flavors will be offered at:
- Magic Kingdom’s Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café – turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and gravy.
- Plus, Pinocchio’s Village Haus has Thanksgiving-inspired flatbread that is offered all month. The menu boasts cheese, turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce drizzled in gravy.
- Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons – turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce for lunch and dinner.
- Animal Kingdom’s Satu’li Canteen will feature the Na’vi’s version of a holiday meal. On Pandora, wood-grilled roasted turkey breast with gravy, apple and sage stuffing, green beans, orange marmalade glazed sweet potatoes with candied pecans, mashed potatoes and cranberry boba pearls will be served; available in both adult and kids’ portions. You’ll find a delicious pumpkin cheesecake mousse for dessert.
- Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ at Disney Springs is offering a Thanksgiving roast turkey special.
Or… you might want to make the holiday even more memorable by noshing on a turkey leg or a decidedly non-traditional meal like Via Napoli’s Italian offerings in Epcot’s Italy pavilion.
Pizza at Via Napoli.
Suggested Thanksgiving Itineraries
- Reserve a carriage ride. Dine at your hotel food court. Take a walk around your resort. Visit Disney Springs for dessert. End your evening with miniature golf.
- At Epcot, take in some of the shows around World Showcase that you’ve skipped on other trips. Collect photographs with characters. Stop by the Liberty Inn for dinner; get cobbler for dessert.
- Go horseback riding at Fort Wilderness and then have a take-out meal/picnic from P&Js Southern Takeout. Take the boat to Disney’s Contemporary Resort to check out the holiday decorations. Board the monorail and visit the Polynesian Village and Grand Floridian resorts; pose for family photos in front of the holiday trees for your Christmas cards.
- Find a football game on in one of the resort lounges before going to dinner at your resort hotel. Take a walk around the BoardWalk, then get ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery.
Take a walk around the boardwalk from Beach Club to BoardWalk.
Go shopping at Disney Springs, graze at the quick service spots, then go see a movie. I love the idea of having an appetizer at one place, entree at the next, and finishing up with dessert at another location.
See a movie.
Thanksgiving Day Planning
If you’re just planning a last minute trip to Walt Disney World, don’t despair. While most restaurants are booked to capacity, you won’t go hungry. Some restaurants still have availability and many quick service venues offer delicious meals. Next year, plan 180 days in advance to secure your first-choice Advance Dining Reservations.
The most popular restaurants, including Liberty Tree Tavern, offer traditional meals in a memorable atmosphere.
No reservation? Think of an alternate plan; for example, try Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square. Get your meal, then dine upstairs on the second floor.
Find quaint seating on the second floor of the Columbia Harbour House.
Thanksgiving Touring Plans
Your Thanksgiving touring plans should accommodate the crowds. Utilize FastPass+; checking for last minute availability as some families will decide they are too tired to tour after their holiday feasts. Plan to use single rider lines.
Eat a holiday meal at your reserved restaurant. Hit up a park and ride the overlooked attractions that have little wait. How long has it been since you’ve seen Carousel of Progress or rode the train around the Magic Kingdom? Finish the night with a caramel apple on Main Street U.S.A.
Finish your holiday with an old-fashioned treat.
Look for information on the Thanksgiving Parade of Bands. This mass marching band performance includes award-winning bands from around the country, along with the Boston Brass. They have performed traditionally at 2PM in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Finally, don’t forget about Black Friday at Disney Springs! Arrive around opening time at Disney Springs for an uncrowded experience and some fun deals. Crowds pick up around 11AM.
Plan some time at Disney Springs.
Walt Disney World Holidays are always fun. With our tips you’ll find navigating Thanksgiving at WDW to be memorable. Turkey dinner has a variety of options; look for quick service meals featuring a traditional menu or full service restaurants offering special plated entrees.
From carriage rides, movies, and fishing to shows, rides, and shopping, Walt Disney World serves up a bounty of Thanksgiving fun!
We’ll be in Walt Disney World for the Thanksgiving week. We hope you’ll follow our holiday explorations; we plan to dine at Tusker House for our holiday dinner!
Share your Thanksgiving holiday experiences at WDW with us.
by Kimberly LaPaglia | Nov 5, 2017 | Disney, Epcot, Europe, Paris, Travel, Walt Disney World
Paris Travel Theme
Bienvenue à Paris – welcome to our Paris Travel Theme.
An iconic landmark.
You’ll never forget your first trip to Paris. Steeped in romance and indulgence, the streets lined with bakeries and boutiques are sure to delight your senses. Around every corner, history and art merge in memorable architecture. And if you love the Eiffel Tower (and puzzles) as much as I do, try the Eiffel Tower 3D Puzzle!
Arc de Triomphe.
Paris will likely stop you in your tracks — countless times as you explore this very special city. From the labyrinth hallways at The Louvre to the awe-inspiring, sky-scraping Eiffel Tower, there are sights to take in all around you. Step inside the treasured buildings for jaw-dropping scenery.
Inside Notre Dame.
Paris captures hearts and makes you fall in love with architecture, history, art, food, and wine.
Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
While the splendors of Paris are difficult to duplicate elsewhere, travelers can find a small taste of Paris while vacationing in Las Vegas. At Paris Las Vegas you’ll find the excitement of the City of Lights. There’s even a crepe stand inside. YUM!
A small dose of Paris in Las Vegas.
Full hotel review — coming soon!
France Pavilion in Epcot
Walking through Epcot’s France pavilion, Walt Disney World guests can sample Parisian food and wares.
View of France Pavilion in Epcot.
From the bakery to the ice cream parlor to the crepes on the street, Epcot’s France pavilion serves up plenty of sweet treats. Table service dining is a huge draw here too. Ever since Chef Bocuse first opened Les Chefs de France at Epcot in 1982 (it was the first and only Bocuse-affiliated restaurant in the U.S.A.), guests have been savoring the sips and bites at this family-friendly location.
We always start our meal with the French Onion Soup.
Baked to perfection!
Bonus Paris Travel Theme: LEGOLAND
Even built with LEGOs, Paris themes are recognizable.
LEGOLAND California features The Paris Las Vegas Hotel among the other hotels on the Las Vegas strip. Want to impress the kids? Take them to a LEGOLAND park!
Paris Hotel built from LEGOs.
Paris Las Vegas Hotel at LEGOLAND Florida.
Paris is love at first sight. Travel to Paris via France, Epcot at Walt Disney World, or Las Vegas!
What’s your favorite place to tour in Paris? Do you have a Paris themed travel idea to share?
by Kimberly LaPaglia | Oct 30, 2017 | Disney, Walt Disney World
Halloween Tips for WDW
It’s never too late to get prepared for your Disney vacation and today we have Halloween Tips for WDW. Walt Disney World celebrates the seasons with unique parties, festive decor, and yummy treats all year long. During the fall months, the Magic Kingdom features not-so-scary fun for the whole family.
Planning for 2018? My favorite outside ticket source is Undercover Tourist. You can save $59 on a 6-Day Disney World Park Hopper Ticket; check out the ticket options.
While you’ll find plenty of costume choices and seasonal bakery items, store shelves are also filled with Halloween wares for your home.
Haunted Mansion Hatbox Ghost.
Trick or Treat!
Decorate your home for Halloween.
Halloween Costume Tips
Keep your costume comfortable, family-friendly, and weather appropriate. Visits earlier in the season should plan for an outfit that can be comfortable in the Florida heat. Yes, even after dark, you’ll be sweating (or glistening!) from the high humidity. For truly unique Disney styles, head to The Dress Shop at Cherry Tree Lane.
Haunted Mansion items.
Read the guidelines. Plan your costume ahead of your vacation to save money on last minute shopping or higher prices at Walt Disney World.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Since August 25, 2017, families have been enjoying Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on select nights at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. The event is held from 7:00 PM to midnight.
Kids of all ages have been seen trick or treating throughout the park. We spotted some terrific costumes on our fall visits. If you are lucky to attend one of the last parties of the season or have plans to visit in 2018, don’t plan your costume until you read over the Halloween costume guidelines. Parties end November 1st giving the park time to transform for the Christmas celebrations including Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Adult ticket prices started at $74 for the earlier parties and went up to nearly $100 for the late October/early November events. Book tickets early for popular dates including Halloween night on October 31st.
Reserve party tickets early for popular dates!
We love this family friendly party.
Don’t forget to line up early for character greetings as long queues are the norm.
Line up early to meet Jack.
These adorable dwarfs love the Halloween party. Well, maybe not that Grumpy one. 😉
Seven Dwarfs at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Tip: Arrive at 4PM and Cast Members will allow entry with your party ticket. We recommend resting earlier in the day so that you can take full advantage of the late night hours. Boo to You!
Seasonal Halloween Treats
Many Halloween treats can be found throughout the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs. No trip down Main Street is complete without a detour through the Main Street Confectionery. Tip: Visit bakery hot spots prior to closing time to avoid long lines while your tummy is rumbly.
All-Star Music filled their bakery case with sugar cookies with orange and black sprinkles.
Seasonal sugar cookies are delicious.
Mouthwatering treats add doses of deliciousness to the Halloween festivities in Walt Disney World.
Grab a seasonal cupcake!
Of course, Rice Crispy Treats take on holiday designs too. These Candy Corn Rice Crispy Treats make great snacks and gifts.
Rice Crispy Treats make great gifts for friends back home!
At All-Star Music, we spotted guests showing off their Halloween spirit with this fun window display.
And make sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay tuned to more holiday Disney magic.
The Magic Kingdom’s festive decorations make fall an extra fun time to visit.
Fall decor at the Magic Kingdom
One of our favorite seasonal stops in the Magic Kingdom is the Main Street Confectionery.
Main Street U.S.A. never disappoints — love the fall decorations.
Main Street U.S.A.
Magic Kingdom is family-friendly at Halloween, even the scarecrows are fun not frightful.
Even DinoLand U.S.A. surprises guests with whimsical Halloween decorations.
Disney Springs was spooktacular too with tasty treats and fun photo ops.
Halloween at Disney Springs.
Shop til you drop!
Shop til you drop during Halloween time.
World of Disney can be crazy busy so stop by on a weekday morning or evening for a less chaotic experience. The seasonal decor is stunning.
Halloween Decorations at World of Disney.
At Vivoli il Gelato, the seasonal pumpkin gelato is my husband’s favorite flavor.
Why choose only one flavor of gelato?
Do you have any Halloween Tips for WDW? What did you wear to Walt Disney World’s Halloween Party this year? Contact Us or Follow Us on Facebook and share your photos!
by Kimberly LaPaglia | Oct 29, 2017 | Disney, Disney Springs
Cherry Tree Lane
Based on the upscale London address in Disney’s Mary Poppins, Cherry Tree Lane is a source of must-stop shopping fun at the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World.
While the square footage of this store is small, there are a lot of tempting items for purchase lining the shelves. From pricey Dooney & Bourke handbags to unique jewelry, Cherry Tree Lane is THE place to splurge on a souvenir or gift.
You should stop by Cherry Tree Lane!
The Dress Shop at Cherry Tree Lane
The Dress Shop is a collection of nostalgic Disney designs for adults. Perfectly created for grown ups, dresses and accessories feature designs from popular Disney attractions.
Look for designs inspired by Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, “it’s a small world,” The Haunted Mansion, and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Other creations showcase classic Disney characters, including Minnie Mouse, Snow White from Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” and Alice from Walt Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
Inspired by The Hollywood Tower Hotel.
Dresses range in sizes from XS-XL. There are some styles that go up to 3XL, so keep checking for your favorite dress pattern.
Haunted Mansion items.
Vera Bradley Handbags
Also, Disney designs are offered on Vera Bradley bags.
Choose from several Vera Bradley Disney patterns.
Dooney & Bourke Handbags
Next, you’ll want to peruse the Dooney & Bourke handbags with beautiful Disney patterns. On my recent visit, I spotted this Bambi bag. It’s adorable, right?!
Adorable Bambi bag by Dooney & Bourke.
The stock changes frequently, so stop by when visiting Disney Springs.
Dooney & Bourke displays are nestled within The Dress Shop items.
Stop by Cherry Tree Lane and look at the Dooney & Bourke collection.
Pet Merchandise for Your Dog
Even your favorite furry pal can find stylish accessories at Cherry Tree Lane!
Accessories for your dog!
This is one of my favorite places to shop at Walt Disney World!
Author P.L. Travers brought magic to 17 Cherry Tree Lane with the arrival of Mary Poppins to this fictitious address in London. Shopkeepers at The Dress Shop at Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op of Disney Springs send shoppers on their way with nostalgic outfits.
Cherry Tree Lane Tips
- Annual Passholders get a discount here. Don’t forget to show your AP!
- Avoid weekends; browse on a weekday morning.
- Check out shopdisney.com for at-home shopping.
Contact Us, Follow Us on Twitter, or comment below. What dress or accessory is on your wish list?