Big Changes Coming to EPCOT

Big Changes Coming to EPCOT

Disney announced some very exciting news and changes coming our way for EPCOT in the next few years!

A brand new Play Pavilion (currently unnamed) is coming to the old Wonders of Life Pavilion! It’s so excited to see something new and permanent coming to that space.

And while it may be a popular opinion…I’m a little sad to see the Leave a Legacy tiles being moved. The new space DOES seem really beautiful though!!

Here are some of the other exciting Epcot experiences we’ve shared:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy-themed roller coaster in Future World
  • Epcot Forever, a 2019 limited-time nighttime experience over World Showcase Lagoon set to classic Epcot tunes, followed by an all-new nighttime spectactular debuting in 2020
  • Space-themed table-service restaurant adjacent to Mission: SPACE
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction in the France pavilion, patterned after the number-one family attraction at Disneyland Paris
  • Circle-Vision 360 film for the China pavilion and updated O Canada! 360-degree show
  • Signature Dining experience inspired by the natural beauty of Japan
  • “Beauty and the Beast” sing-along in the France pavilion, showing in addition to the pavilion’s current film, Impressions de France.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort 2019

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort 2019

In February of 2019 my daughter and I spent 4 days at Disney exploring new (to us) restaurants and attractions as well as Festival of the Arts and Early Morning Magic at Toy Story Land and Magic Kingdom. Part of whirlwind trip was our first ever stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach. This resort has never been high on our list due to the large number of bus stops (EIGHT), separated lobby and regular housekeeping complaints. In the Fall of 2018 Caribbean Beach went through several renovations including the demolition of several buildings (for the new Riviera Resort), a brand new lobby and more! I am so excited to share with you more about our stay…and stay tuned to see if it’s now a recommendation of ours!

We arrived around 10 a.m. and like I expected, our room was not ready. We opted to not stick around very long, so after a few photos and dropping our things at Bell Services (located right outside Port Royale) we took off for the bus stop. It’s important to note that the buses always travel in the same direction and the stops don’t change. The bus stop at Port Royale is stop #2 for all parks, Disney Springs, etc.

We spent some time in the parks before returning to the resort, despite the fact that we hadn’t gotten a text stating our room was ready. At check-in I discovered they were granting ALL my room requests but that room wasn’t ready yet. Since I had been up since 1:30 am. I asked if they had ANY room ready. We quickly were given a room on the second floor in building 25 of the Martinique section.
I had stopped this resort in the fall to check out the grounds and the lobby. It’s just so gorgeous!

Our room was less than a 5 minute walk to the main building and pool. The BEST part (ok maybe not best put pretty cool), was that we had a freestyle Coke machine IN OUR BUILDING. Even though the walk wouldn’t have been too bad, it was great coming back each night and only having to walk downstairs to grab a drink!

The only complaint…if I had one at all, was the rooms could use a refresh. There was nothing inherently wrong, but I’ve come accustomed to the newer style of rooms at Disney without carpet and with updated bathrooms.

The view from our room was pretty great…although as a reminder, the window of these rooms looks out on public walkways so unless you want everyone seeing in your room, the view doesn’t mean much. We were able to catch part of Illuminations one night as we grabbed drinks!

In the end, I have to say this resort really impressed me! It liked it much more than I expected and I can’t wait to return with my whole family!! The location of our building played a huge part and I will definitely pay to book a preferred room at this resort. Martinique is the first bus stop and even though there are now six stops, resort-wide, we typically were through all of them within 10 minutes or so.

While we did have a quiet pool nearby, my daughter opted for the Pirate Pool (Sandcastle pool with nearby Pirate Splash Pad). The pool is one of the more impressive on property AND for a moderate resort! It has a zero entry area, 2 water slides and the Splash Pad.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kungaloosh/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kungaloosh/

I’d highly recommend this gorgeous resort, and it will be interesting to see how traffic of buses and people will work once the new Gondola system opens. We definitely have a new favorite moderate in our rotation!

Outdoor Kitchens at the 2019 Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival

Outdoor Kitchens at the 2019 Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival

Arbor at The Gardeners Terrace – NEW!
Take a culinary journey through a choice of delicacies, nurtured into a full bloom of taste sensations!

Food

Fried Green Tomatoes with Blue Crab-fennel Salad, Remoulade and Smoked Paprika Oil
Smoked Salmon Stack with Avocados, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Caviar and Focaccia Crostino
Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake, served with Apple Cider Sorbet (V) (GF) (KA)

Beverage

Original Sin Brewery Black Widow Hard Cider, New York, NY
Florida Beer Company Caribé Strawberry Rose Hard Cider, Cape Canaveral, FL
3 Daughters Brewing Key Lime Apple Hard Cider, St. Petersburg, FL
Karbach Brewing Lemon and Ginger Radler Houston, TX
Seadog Brewing Company Sunfish Ale, Clearwater, FL
Shipyard Brewing Company Grind the Rind Watermelon IPA, Portland, ME
Cider Flight
Beer Flight

Flavor Full Kitchen Hosted by AdventHealth – NEW!
Discover the many flavors of healthy cuisine in this delightful eatery, featuring vegetables straight from the garden!

Food

Citrus-poached Salmon with Ancient Grain Salad, Roasted Vegetables, Citrus Greens (GF)
From the Garden: Roasted Beets, Cashew Cheese and Micro Herbs with Lemon-oil Dressing (GF) (V)
Mickey Tart Peanut Butter Mousse with Strawberry Jam and Boba Pearls (V) (KA)

Beverage

Blood Orange Aqua Fresca (non-alcoholic)
Cookie Butter Worms and Dirt (non-alcoholic) (KA)

Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market
Venture to Germany for Bavarian bites sure to sate foodies of all ages—every dish is köstlich!

Food

Potato Pancakes with House-made Apple Sauce (V) (KA)
Potato Pancake with Caramelized Ham, Onions and Herb Sour Cream
Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese (KA)
Warm Cheese Strudel with Mixed Berries (KA)

Beverages

Stiegl Brewery Radler Zitrone, Salzburg, Austria
Paulaner Original Munich Lager, Munich, Germany
Köstritzer Schwarzbier Black Lager, Bad Köstritz, Germany
Hugo Cocktail with Sparkling Wine, Elderflower and Mint
Beer Flight

The Citrus Blossom – NEW!
Treat your taste buds to the subtleties of lemon, orange and lime—turning delicious dishes even more delish!

Food

Lobster Tail with Meyer Lemon Emulsion and Grilled Lemon (GF)
Tuna Tataki with Spicy Yuzu Glaze, Mango, Avocado and Pappadam Crisp
Crispy Citrus Chicken with Orange Aïoli and Baby Greens (GF) (KA)
Citrus Shortcake: Orange Chiffon Cake, Lemon Curd, Mandarins, Whipped Cream, Citrus Crumble (V)

Beverage

Orange Cream Slushy in a Souvenir Orange Bird Sipper Cup (non-alcoholic) (KA)
Islamorada Beer Company Coconut Key Lime Ale, Fort Pierce, FL
First Magnitude Brewing Lemon Hefeweizen, Gainesville, FL
Heavy Seas Brewery TropiCannon Citrus IPA, Halethorpe, MD
Orange Sunshine Wine Slushy
Beer Flight

Fleur de Lys
Indulge in haute cuisine and boissons that’ll make you fall in ooo-la-la-love with this palate-pleasing Parisian pop-up!

Food

Vichyssoise aux Concombres: Chilled Cucumber Soup (GF)
Tarte au Chévre: Goat Cheese Tart with Caramelized Onions on a flaky Pastry Crust (V)
Canard Confit à la Provençal: Braised Duck Confit with Tomatoes and Olives on Polenta
Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop (GF)

Beverages

La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy: Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice
Kir Framboise: Sparkling Wine and Monin Raspberry
Cabernet Sauvignon, Maison de France
Kronenbourg Blanc 1664

Florida Fresh
Enjoy sweet ‘n’ tangy treats from our own Sunshine State-station, nestled between the France and Morocco Pavilions.

Food

Carne Guisada with Black Bean Cake and Cilantro Lime Sour Cream
Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish
Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue (KA)

Beverages

Watermelon Cucumber Slushy (non-alcoholic)
Tampa Bay Brewing Company Twisted Strawberry Fest Fruit Ale, Tampa, FL
Big Top Brewing Company Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat, Sarasota, FL
First Magnitude Brewing Monarch Milk Stout, Gainesville, FL
Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Key Lime Wine, St Petersburg, FL
Watermelon Cucumber Slushy with Gin
Beer Flight

Hanami
Journey to Japan for innovative plates crafted with culinary Zen—each delish dish is a Festival favorite!

Food

Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice garnished with Whipped Cream, Berry Sauce Drizzle and Toasted Coconut (V) (KA)
Chilled Soba Noodle Salad with Pan-seared Tuna and Wasabi Dressing
Karaage with Nanban Sauce: Japanese-style Fried Chicken served on a bed of Shredded Cabbage and topped with a Soy and Vinegar-based Dressing (KA)

Beverages

Kirin Draft Beer
Sayuri “Little Lilly” Nigori Sake
“Ichigo Sun” Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail with Sake, Strawberry Purée and Lemonade

Jardin de Fiestas
Take a food-tastic tour of the Mexico Pavilion… these tantalizing tastes will add some spice to your day!

Food

Tlacoyo: Blue Corn Masa topped with Black Bean Spread, Ground Chorizo, Queso Fresco and Mexican Cream
Beef Torta: Braised Beef served on a Crispy Sourdough Roll with Queso Oaxaca, Avocado, Pickled Onions and Jalapeños in a Spicy Habanero Sauce
Tres Leches: Milk-soaked Sponge Cake topped with Cajeta Whipped Cream and Almond Powder

Beverages

Cerveza: Allende Golden Ale Craft Beer served with a Liqueur Floater
Damiana Flower Margarita: Damiana Flower Liqueur, Blanco Tequila, Agave Nectar and Citrus Juices served on the rocks with a Black Ant Salt Rim
Oaxacan Gin & Tonic: Smokey Gin, Black Currant Liqueur, Vermouth, Lime Juice and Tonic Water
Rosé Sangria: Withers Rosé Wine, Tequila Blanco, Elderflower and Ginger Liqueur, Pineapple, Cactus Pear and Ginger Juices

La Isla Fresca
Nibble on Caribbean-seasoned dishes that’ll send appetites swaying to the island beat!

Food

Jamaican-braised Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice and Micro Cilantro
Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut-Lime Sauce
Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple (KA)

Beverages

Tropical Freeze (non-alcoholic) (KA)
Golden Road Brewing Tart Mango Cart Wheat Ale, Los Angeles, CA
Tropical Freeze with Cruzan Mango Rum

Lotus House
Sink your teeth into authentic Chinese eats filled with morsels of good fortune!

Food

Szechuan Spicy Red-braised Beef Shank over Rice
House-made Crab and Cheese Wontons
Vegetable Spring Rolls (V) (KA)

Beverages

“Panda” Bubble Tea: Classic Milk Tea with Black and White Bobas (non-alcoholic)
Jasmine Draft Beer
Pirates of the China Sea: Dark Rum, Peach Syrup and Piña Colada Mix
Kung Fu Punch: Vodka, Triple Sec, Mango Syrup and Orange Juice
Plum Wine Cooler

Northern Bloom
Please discriminating palates with fantastic fare from our Great White North neighbor… O Canada!

Food

Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon (GF)
Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables (KA)
Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato featuring Burton’s Maple Syrup (KA)

Beverages

Maple Popcorn Shake (non-alcoholic) (KA)
Unibroue Éphérmère Apple Wheat Ale, Chambly, Québec
Unibroue Blanche de Chambly Belgian White Ale, Chambly, Québec
Unibroue Lune de Miel Amber Ale, Chambly, Québec
Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky
Beer Flight

Pineapple Promenade
Get your tropical fruit fix from tart ‘n’ tangy to the sweetest frozen treats!

Food

Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Plantain Chips
Pineapple Soft-serve (V) (KA)

Beverages

Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (non-alcoholic) (KA)
Pineapple Soft-serve Ice Cream with Fanta® (non-alcoholic) (KA)
Coastal Empire Beer Co. Coco Piña Gose, Savannah, GA (flight)
Maui Brewing Co. Pineapple Mana Wheat, Kihei, HI (flight)
SweetWater Brewing Company Goin’ Coastal IPA with Pineapple, Atlanta, GA (flight)
Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale, Titusville, FL
Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Pineapple Wine, St. Petersburg, FL
Pineapple Soft-serve Ice Cream with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum
Pineapple Beer Flight

Primavera Kitchen
Mangiare hearty helpings of Old-Country dishes served with a glass of vino… now that’s amore!

Food

Pizza Toscana: Rustic Italian Flatbread with Sweet Sausage, Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Asiago and Parmesan Cheeses (KA)
Pomodori Verdi e Mozzarella: Fried Green Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese, Balsamic Reduction
Tri-Colored Cheese Tortellini, Sage Butter and Chicken Veloute (KA)
Zeppole: Ricotta Cheese Fritters, Powdered sugar, Raspberry Sauce and Chocolate-hazelnut Drizzle (KA)

Beverages

Peroni Nastro Azzurro Pilsner
Moretti La Rossa
Placido Pinot Grigio
Placido Chianti
Villa Sandi Prosecco
Montegrande Corbinello
Fior d’Arancio Montegrande Moscato
Bellini: Sparkling Wine and Peach Purée
Frozen Italian Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila

Taste of Marrakesh
Intoxicate taste buds with the exotic flavors of this North African mecca—mysterious Morocco!

Food

Harissa Chicken Kebab with Dried Fruit Couscous Salad
Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley and Chili-ranch Sauce
Walnut Honey Baklava

Beverages

Desert Rose: Sparkling Wine topped with Pomegranate Liqueur
White Sangria
Casa Beer
Larroque Chardonnay, Meknes

THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brews
Saddle up for slow-cooked specialties and a mighty fine selection of craft beer—at the American Adventure Pavilion!

Food

Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw (KA)
Shredded Beef Brisket with Smoked Potato, Chorizo Fondue and Green Tomato Relish
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle
Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-Salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans (V)

Beverage

Frozen Simply™ Lemonade (non-alcoholic) (KA)
Central 28 Brewing Company Sunshine Greetings Orange Hibiscus Wheat Ale, DeBary, FL
3 Daughters Brewing Phantasmas Spicy Double IPA, St. Petersburg, FL
Shipyard Maple Bacon Stout, Clearwater, FL
Boneshaker Zinfandel, Lodi, CA
Frozen Simply™ Lemonade with Firefly Blackberry Moonshine
Beer Flight

The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board™
Quell cravings with an incredible menu of all-natural food and drink infused with the nectar of the gods!

Food

Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Purée, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey-blistered Grapes, Sunflower Brittle and Coriander Flowers (GF) (V)
Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, Charred Vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream and Micro Citrus Greens
Local Wildflower Honey-mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses and Petite Lavender Shoots (V) (KA)

Beverages

Honey-peach Cobbler Freeze (non-alcoholic) (KA)
Goodwood Brewing Company Brandy Barrel Honey Ale, Louisville, KY
Florida Orange Groves Winery Orange Blossom Honey Wine, St. Petersburg, FL
Honey-peach Cobbler Freeze with Blueberry Vodka

Trowel & Trellis Hosted by IMPOSSIBLE™ Foods – NEW!
Delight in some of your favorite foods—created from innovative recipes with some impossibly delicious twists!

Food

Grilled Street Corn on the Cob with Savory Garlic Spread (GF) (V) (KA)
Farmhouse Meatball with Lentil Bread, Spinach, Marinated Vegetables, Creamy Herb Dressing (V)
Chocolate Pudding Terrarium with Avocado Cream, Matcha Crumb, Pomegranate and Baby Herbs (GF) (V)

Beverage

suja® Organic Cold Pressed Juice: Noon Greens™ (non-alcoholic)
suja® Organic Cold Pressed Juice: Vibrant Probiotic (non-alcoholic)
Bloomin’ Blueberry Lemon and Ginger Tea featuring Twinings of London® (non-alcoholic)
Playalinda Brewing Company Tropical Wonderland Wheat Ale, Titusville, FL
Bloomin’ Blueberry Lemon and Ginger Tea featuring Twinings of London® with Tito’s Handmade Vodka served in a Mason Jar

Specialty Coffee Carts Hosted by Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company®
Wet your whistle with Festival-inspired beverages and adult libations at coffee carts across the park!

Future World East – Pedal to the Meadow – Frozen Cappuccino topped with Vodka and Kahlúa Liqueur
Canada – Cold Clover – Cold Brew Coffee with Irish Cream Syrup and topped with Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur
Showcase Plaza – Goose on the Loose – Frozen Passion Fruit and Le Citron Vodka topped with Iced Tea
The American Adventure – Bee’s Buzz – Frozen Lemonade and Coconut Syrup topped with Pineapple Rum

Please note: alcohol will only be served to Guests 21 years of age and older. Food and beverage offerings are subject to change without notice and are available while supplies last.

Magic Kingdom Early Morning Magic

Magic Kingdom Early Morning Magic

In a previous post I shared a bit about our experience at Toy Story Early Morning Magic, but today we are going to talk about the more popular Early Morning Magic that happens at Magic Kingdom in Fantasyland!

While buses do run pretty early in the morning, I knew we had to be on top of it to make sure we got the earliest bus possible. Early Morning Magic starts at 7:45 a.m. and I wanted to leave enough time to get through security and walk to the main gate with a 4 year old in tow. At 6:35 a.m. we were ready to walk out the door. The app had a time of 7:06 for the Magic Kingdom bus to arrive so we were actually ready early…little did I know HOW early! The Magic Kingdom bus was delayed and we didn’t end up leaving our bus stop until 7:27 a.m. and boy was I anxious that we were losing time that we paid for. Luckily everything was very quick and we made it the Magic Kingdom, through security and the main gate JUST as they were letting guests in at exactly 7:45 a.m.



In the midst of the rushing, we didn’t get our wristbands. Luckily we hit a checkpoint as we headed into Fantasyland and quickly got our bands!

As soon as we had our wristbands we headed straight for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. We basically walked right on! Despite my daughter’s pleas to going on again, I wanted to hit up a few other rides in Fantasyland. The rides and attractions available are:

We spent the next hour riding Under the Sea, Peter Pan, It’s a Small World, Winnie the Pooh and Seven Dwarfs TWO more times!! Check out these pictures of an empty Fantasyland.

 

The last time we went on Seven Dwarfs it was 8:58 a.m. and the stand by line was already queuing up! Almost instantly the stand-by wait time was 65 minutes!

We snuck over to Storybook Circus to ride Barnstormer before heading to breakfast (it’s open until 10 a.m.). We walked right on even though the park had already opened.

We had lunch at 1 p.m. so we didn’t want to wait any longer to have breakfast (but remember you have until 10 a.m.). Breakfast is at Cosmic Rays in Tomorrowland!

Breakfast includes a platter of eggs, potatoes, pancakes, sausage and bacon PLUS a drink.

Then there is another station with pastries, fruit, Cheese and cured meats, yogurt and granola (plus various condiments). It was a TON of food for 2 of us and in hindsight I would have grabbed one platter.

On select Sundays and Tuesdays, the newly expanded Disney Early Morning Magic offering will take place from 7:45 AM to 10:00 AM. Admission is available for $79 per adult and $69 per child (tax not included). You will also need admission to Magic Kingdom for the day.

Overall I would not only say this was well worth it BUT I would pick this early morning magic over Toy Story Land if I had to pick one. Yes it’s an added expense, but it also allowed us to see and do so much in a very short amount of time. And can you beat this expression?

Check out this video that was taken LIVE the morning we attending Early Morning Magic!