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 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 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 in the Christmas 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
I love to golf. My husband and I used to golf nearly every weekend in the summer when we were first married. It was a great time to bond, relax and enjoy the outdoors. However, after our daughter came along it was harder to find time (and a sitter) to make it out to the course very often.
Once she turned about 6 years old, we had the great idea that we’d just teach her how to golf and then we could go back to our weekly golf habit! I know Tiger Woods started golfing at age 3, but we soon learned that taking the average 6 year old on the golf course (even a par 3) is tough. Carrying clubs, walking up hills, and the 4-5 swings needed to make contact with the ball were too draining for her to make it for 9 holes. But over the next three years we persevered, continuing to teach her and from time to time golfing a round with her as scorekeeper in the cart (I think she’d rather drive the cart than golf most times anyways.)
On our last trip to Disney, I felt like we had reached the point where we could try to golf as a family. After some research I was pleased to find a Disney course that was labeled as “family friendly,” which is pretty rare on a regular length course. The age range on the website even listed preschoolers … which made me wonder if it was going to be the equivalent of a mini-golf course with lots of kids running around. As soon as we arrived I realized that was not the case at all. There was an attendant to greet us, take our bags and escort us into the pro shop, which had all the Mickey golf paraphernalia you could ever want!
Since we are annual passholders, our rounds were FREE! Yes, I said FREE! (Greens fees are a benefit for passholders at Oak Trail, but not the other courses.) In addition, our taxi from the resort to the course was FREE! (Complimentary transportation is available for guests from most Disney resorts – check with the concierge desk to confirm.) Free golf and free taxi – – how could we pass that up? To save on the baggage fees at the airport we combined my clubs with my husband’s and I was able to get a complimentary bag at the course as well.
Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom
One of the newer activities at Animal Kingdom is the Wilderness Explorers scavenger hunt. It’s based on the Disney movie Up, and there are several places to sign up around the park. Just keep an eye out for wilderness guides dressed in khaki and an orange neckerchief to get a Wilderness Explorer Handbook and pass initiation into the explorers by learning the special call named the Caw Caw Roar, pledging to be “a friend to all.” The badge guides are standing by at each stop to help the explorers learn about the ways of the wilderness and many of the skills that are required to navigate the woods. There are 31 badges to achieve so it could take as much or as little of the day (or several days) as you’d like.
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:
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!