Goodbye Maelstrom!

Long time no blog!  I haven’t written a post for a while, but it’s not because I haven’t been thinking about Disney World – I just couldn’t find time to get it down on paper.  I’ve been having a lot of fun co-hosting on the weekly WDW Fan Zone podcast that airs live every Friday night at 11pm – catch up on past episodes here!

I’ve been ready to get back to blogging over the past few weeks and I found out some news over the past few days that I knew I had to write about – my beloved Maelstrom will close next month!

Maelstrom

Maelstrom

According to Disney Parks Blog the Maelstrom in Epcot’s Norway pavilion is being replaced with a Frozen-themed ride! Continue reading

Be Our Guest lunch review

One of my top priorities on our last trip to Disney World was to get a reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant.  I was really hoping for a lunch reservation because we had the free quick service dining plan, but I would have taken any reservation I could get.  After going online daily and even calling a few times, we arrived to the Disney property with no reservation.

I had heard a rumor about a website that would allow guests to use a FastPass+ credit towards dining and I had tried that as well in my efforts to get a reservation, but when I tried to go to the site it asked for a code (which I did not have.)  So I was disappointed, but still figured we could bite the bullet and wait in the loooooong line.

This is kind of how I felt about the outcome of my efforts:

IMG_3851

We went about our vacation, leaving our dining options open.  Then, on the second or third day of the trip, we got a magical email from Disney INVITING US TO USE FASTPASS+ FOR BE OUR GUEST!!!!  I could not believe our luck and we immediately booked our reservation and menu selections online for lunch.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, knowing that the restaurant was used for both quick service (lunch) and table service (dinner) but I was excited just to walk across the bridge to get to the entrance of the castle.

Entrance to Be Our Guest

Entrance to Be Our Guest

With the FastPass+ we went straight to the front of the line and since we had already placed our order online when we booked the reservation, there was nothing to do but enter the castle and find a seat!

This meal was by far the best quick service I’ve had!!  Here are some of the highlights: Continue reading

#MagicalMondayMinute #4 – Campfires at Disney World resorts

Magical Monday Minute is a weekly quick Disney tip to help you enjoy your Disney vacation even more!

If you want to see the video version, I’ll post it on Instagram on Mondays with the hashtag #MagicalMondayMinute.  Follow me there so you don’t miss out on valuable Disney hints!

Today’s tip: If you’re staying at a moderate or deluxe resort, be sure to check out the daily campfires at the resort.  There are plenty of marshmallows for roasting and it’s FREE if you’re staying at the resort!

 

Campfire at Port Orleans Riverside

Campfire at Port Orleans Riverside

#MagicalMondayMinute #3 – Rain Jacket at Disney World

Magical Monday Minute is a weekly quick Disney tip to help you enjoy your Disney vacation even more!

If you want to see the video version, I’ll post it on Instagram on Mondays with the hashtag #MagicalMondayMinute.  Follow me there so you don’t miss out on valuable Disney hints!

Today’s Tip: Purchase a rain jacket before your Disney vacation.  The plastic ponchos in the parks can work in a pinch, but they don’t fit well and don’t last very long.  A $20 jacket from Target has lasted me several Disney vacations and it is easier to put on and wear than a one-size-fits-all poncho.  When the rain hits (and it WILL) you’ll be glad to have a rain jacket instead of a giant piece of unmanageable plastic!!

Me wearing a poncho before I knew better

Me wearing a poncho before I knew better

 

Epcot Passport

Epcot is sometimes known as the Disney park that doesn’t have a lot to offer kids, but I couldn’t disagree more! In addition to the popular rides, Future World has Innoventions, which is a fun interactive play area that can keep kids entertained for a few hours!

One well known activity for kids in the World Showcase is the Kidcot stops, where kids can color a character on a wooden stick (Duffy Bear or Agent P) and then take their character to each country and get a stamp, along with a special hand-drawn symbol representing that country.

Kidcot Fun Stop at Epcot

Kidcot Fun Stop at Epcot

Agent P Epcot

Agent P Epcot

It’s fun for younger kids, but not always exciting enough to keep an older kid’s attention.  However, on our last trip, we stumbled upon a new fun way for kids to explore the World Showcase – the Epcot Passport.  For around $10, the stores sell an authentic-looking passport that comes with stickers that look like stamps – including the flag of each country and a few of the sights from each country of the World Showcase.

Continue reading

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