Category Archives: Special Events

Giant Gingerbread at Disney World

When we went to Disney World last December I expected to see elaborate Christmas decorations everywhere, and I wasn’t disappointed!  What I didn’t expect to see were the giant gingerbread structures, using hundreds of pounds of sugar, chocolates, icing and eggs!  Two of the displays we saw in 2012 were at the BoardWalk Inn lobby and in the American pavilion at Epcot.  They are quite amazing when you consider the sheer volume of ingredients that is somehow whipped together to form giant houses with every tiny detail in tact (not to mention the hidden Mickeys!)  There are even Disney pins depicting the gingerbread houses at the Grand Floridian, Contemporary, BoardWalk, and Beach Club according to the Disney Parks blog.

Gingerbread house at Disney's BoardWalk Inn

Gingerbread house at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Gingerbread house at Disney's BoardWalk Inn

Gingerbread house at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Gingerbread house at Disney's BoardWalk Inn

Gingerbread house at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn


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Christmas Magic at Disney World

One of the best things about Disney vacations is that something unexpected and magical seems to happen on every trip.  Last November, my husband and I went to Disney World to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and we definitely experienced some unexpected magic!

Christmas Minnie and Mickey

Christmas Mickey and Minnie

We planned our trip the week following Thanksgiving, knowing that we would beat the holiday crowds that grow as Christmas break approaches.  Upon arriving at Magic Kingdom, we saw some commotion and a stage set up in the Main Street square, not to mention people lined up along Main Street wearing Santa hats and Christmas-themed attire.  It didn’t take too long to realize something was going on and we soon found out they were setting up to tape the Christmas Day parade that airs on TV Christmas morning — and we were going to be there to witness it!

The timing of the parade happened shortly after the news of Disney taking over Lucasfilm, so there were tons of storm troopers lined up to march in the parade, lead by Darth Vader.

Star Wars Christmas Parade at Magic Kingdom

Star Wars Christmas Parade on Main Street

It was so cool to see the behind-the-scenes instructions given to Vader by the director and it only took a few takes to get the scene right.

Darth Vader Christmas Parade at Magic Kingdom

Darth Vader in the Christmas Parade at Magic Kingdom

Storm Trooper Parade at Magic Kingdom

Storm Trooper Parade at Magic Kingdom

After the parade was over, we made our way up Main Street towards Cinderella Castle.  Once we got there, it was obvious there was going to be a show. Continue reading

Eat to the Beat Concert Series Trivia Answers!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series trivia contest on Twitter!   Congratulations to the lucky winner of the wine cork keychain – @the_real_cho!

For everyone who’s wondering, here are the complete questions and answers:
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Eat to the Beat Concert Series Trivia Contest

Labor Day is over and that means we’re even closer to the start of Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival.  The fall edition of the Mickey Monitor passholder newsletter included the musical lineup for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series lineup and I have to admit, I didn’t immediately recognize all the artists.  So I thought it would be fun to do a Twitter trivia contest to see if people can identify the 19 acts who will be performing this year from clues I’ll put on Twitter.  Make sure you follow @InDisneyBubble to get the clues!

RULES OF THE CONTEST: Revised 9/6 at 6:00PM to make it easier!

  • The contest will run from Friday, September 6, 2013 – Monday, September 9, 2013.
  • Each artist/group will have 2 clues tweeted about them, along with the hashtag #EatToTheBeatTrivia
  • To guess the answer, reply to that tweet so I know which question you’re answering with your answer including the hashtag #EatToTheBeatTrivia
  • At the end of the contest, all who answered a question correctly will be entered in a random drawing to win a wine cork key chain (in honor of the food and wine festival.) Each correct answer is another entry into the drawing!
  • I’ll post the clues/answers along with winners here on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.

Disclaimer: I got of my trivia facts from the artists’ websites and Wikipedia, I apologize in advance for any errors!

Epcot’s Keep Moving Forward Segway Tour

In November 2012, my husband and I went to Disneyworld to celebrate our anniversary.  We wanted to take the opportunity to experience something that we can’t do when our daughter is with us, so after some research on the Disney website I found the perfect activity – a Segway tour!

*Note: as of earlier this year, it looks like the tour has been cancelled.  Hopefully they’ll bring it back someday, because as you’ll read below it was awesome!

I was both excited but hesitant, since the last time I was on a motorized vehicle by myself was Spring Break ’00 when I crashed a moped into a fence in a parking lot in the Bahamas.  I feel I have to explain the crash – it wasn’t as easy as it looked!  The handlebars on the moped controlled the speed, so once I got nervous and started gripping the handles it caused me to speed up and I lost control, flew over a curb and crashed directly into a fence.  After paying $200 in damages, tending to a bruised arm (not to mention my wounded pride) it’s no wonder I waited over a decade to try something like it again!  I was hoping I would fare better on my Segway experience.

Keep Moving Forward Segway Tour

Keep Moving Forward Segway Tour

The tour took place in Epcot and was scheduled for three hours.  We met at the guest relations building and our tour began at 9am.  The group of about 15 people was escorted over to the Innoventions building where the first hour was spent in a combination classroom/hands-on training session to learn the workings of the Segway as well as practicing on the indoor course.  We learned mounting and dismounting, speed control, maneuvering around cones and how to ride up and down inclined surfaces.

Segway practice course

Segway practice course

Segway training

After our training session, everyone was anxious to get on the road and try the real thing.   The tour included breakfast, so the first part of our ride was over to The Land pavilion.  We rolled through a side door that lead into an alleyway with a backdoor entrance to the Sunshine Seasons restaurant.  It was odd to see the back alley since it’s something that is so carefully hidden from guests at Disneyworld.   We had picked our breakfast when we signed in before the tour so once we were seated at the tables, which were reserved just for us in a quiet area of the restaurant, our food was served within a few minutes.  After breakfast the tour was ready to begin!

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Parking behind The Land pavillion

Parking behind The Land pavilion

You might think it sounds kind of dangerous to have 15 inexperienced Segway riders speeding through the crowds at Epcot, but like everything else at Disney, it was completely well organized to keep everyone in check.  Cruising in a single file line, we had a tour guide in the front who spoke to us through earpieces that we each had that hooked around one ear.  Our in-class instructor pulled up the rear shouting ‘Ducks in a row!’ when anyone got out of line.

Segway tour group

Segway tour group

We learned about countries in the World Showcase and how the pavilions were chosen for Epcot.   We learned a few cool tidbits of insider knowledge – the pillars and façade in front of Italy were built from a photo slide and when it was created, the slide was backwards so everything is transposed from the real thing!  Another interesting fact is that if you look across the lagoon at Morocco (you have to be in one exact spot close to the ferry dock), one of the buildings in the pavilion is actually the Tower of Terror!  They painted it to match exactly and you’d never know it was even there because it blends in so perfectly.

Once we maneuvered back and forth through Italy’s pillars the guides set up a coned off area for us to freestyle.  After free time was over, we moved on to Japan for our next obstacle.  Rolling up and down the narrow inclined path around the coy pond and ducking below a tree branch may look easy… well, easy for me, hard for my 6’3” husband!  The tour guide was a lot of fun and he showed us the pavilions in a new way.

Freewheeling in Italy

Freewheeling in Italy

Celebrating 10 happy years at our favorite place!

Celebrating 10 happy years at our favorite place!

Overall the tour was one of my favorite experiences at Disneyworld to date.  Like I mentioned earlier, it’s cancelled as of now, but there is a Segway tour offered at the Wilderness Lodge which I may need to check out at some point.  One of the fun things about going back to Disneyworld time after time is that there’s always something new to learn, see, or do in the bubble!

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