Category Archives: Walt Disney World
- In Italy at Epcot World Showcase, Via Napoli, an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria operated by the Patina Restaurant Group, will feature wood-burning ovens – and will import water from a source that most resembles the water in Naples, Italy, home of some of the world’s best pizza dough. This 300-seat pizzeria will feature a menu inspired by the famous pizzerias of southern Italy. The menu also will feature pastas, salads, sandwiches and Italian wines. The Patina Restaurant Group also operates Tutto Italia Ristorante at the pavilion.
- At Downtown Disney Marketplace, Pollo Campero, an international Latin chicken quick-service restaurant chain, has partnered with franchisee Levy Campero to deliver a new restaurant concept. The restaurant will showcase Pollo Campero’s signature Latin chicken (which features the taste of lime and orange juices, red bell peppers and a special blend of Latin herbs and spices) as well as a new fresh concept named Fresh A-Peel (featuring fresh salads, sandwiches, fruits and healthy snacks) plus vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar-free, low-sodium or organic offerings.
- In Mexico at Epcot World Showcase, an expanded Cantina de San Angel restaurant will feature 400 combined seats with al fresco seating for quick-service meals plus a new, air-conditioned table-service restaurant featuring authentic specialty dishes from Mexico created by the talented culinary team at San Angel Inn, LLC., which has operated the food service at the Mexico pavilion for more than 25 years.
- The one-of-a-kind facility will be able to accommodate up to 270 dogs in a variety of standard and luxury suites, some with private outdoor patios and play yards. The separate “Kitty City” pavilion will be able to house up to 30 cats in two- and four-story cat condos. A special room is also available for the boarding of “pocket pets,” Including pet hamsters and birds.
- The facility, to be operated by Best Friends Pet Care, will comprise more than 17,000 square feet of air-conditioned indoor space plus 10,000 square feet of covered outdoor runs and play areas. It will replace the five existing pet care facilities throughout Walt Disney World Resort and will be open to both Walt Disney World Resort guests and visitors staying off-property.
- The half marathon on Oct. 2 caps a schedule that also includes a two-day expo, 5K fun run and kids races – all during the opening two days of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The full details and registration are at www.disneywinedinerun.com.
- Admission to Night of Joy requires a special ticket, with concerts taking place during the evening following Magic Kingdom closing. Entry also includes the opportunity to enjoy many of the park’s popular attractions. More information is available at www.nightofjoy.com.
- At Epcot, the Eat to the Beat! Concert Series will serve up music as an accompaniment to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. A lineup of recording artists is scheduled to perform Oct. 1-Nov. 14 at America Gardens Theatre. Night Ranger, Boyz II Men, Taylor Dayne and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are among the musically diverse acts scheduled to appear on designated dates (lineup is subject to change without notice). The concerts are included with Epcot admission. More information will be available online this summer at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine.
- The 2010 festival, presented by Vanity Fair Napkins Oct. 1 through Nov. 14, is celebrating “15 years of delicious discoveries” with a focus on outdoor marketplaces where everyone from neophytes to epicures and aficionados can nibble and sip their way around the Epcot World Showcase promenade and across six continents of food and beverage adventures.
- While specific details are still in development for the 15th annual festival, expect talented culinarians from across America and around the world to be involved with the marketplaces as well as with specialty dinners, tequila tastings, seminars featuring cooking demonstrations and wine tastings, and the popular Saturday night grand tastings – Party for the Senses. The festival also will feature the popular Eat to the Beat! concert series each evening.
- Details about the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will be available this summer online at www.disneyworld.com/foodandwine.
- Following Magic Kingdom closing on select autumn evenings between Sept. 14 and Nov. 1, the park reopens for this special-ticket event featuring trick-or-treating throughout the park, “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks spectacular, “Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade” – including Disney characters and the stars of the Haunted Mansion attraction, and the opportunity to experience popular attractions including, of course, Haunted Mansion.
- Information about dates and tickets will be available at www.disneyworld.com/halloween.
- One of the Southeast’s most highly regarded juried art festivals, Festival of the Masters features live entertainment and family-friendly activities each day.
- Admission and parking are complimentary. For more information, guests may visit www.disneyworld.com/artfestival.
- If the latest chapter follows the script of recent decades, it will be filled with drama, as 21 of the last 28 Classics have been decided either by a playoff or a single stroke in regulation.
- 2009 was no exception, as Canada’s Stephen Ames parred the second hole of a playoff with George McNeill and Justin Leonard to win the $846,000 winner’s share of a $4.7 million purse.
- The Classic is the final official-money event of the PGA TOUR season, which means some players in the field likely will be hoping for a paycheck big enough to save their careers on the TOUR. More information: www.ChildrensMiracleNetworkClassic.com.
- This November a new crop of teams will huddle-up at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with one goal: the 2010 Old Spice Classic championship. California, Notre Dame, Temple, Texas A&M and Wisconsin – all of which went to the NCAA’s “big dance” this spring – will be joined by Boston College, Georgia and Manhattan for a Thanksgiving weekend basketball feast that will feature 12 games through three days, Nov. 25, 26 and 28.
- Additional information can be found on the Old Spice Classic Web site at www.OldSpiceClassic.com. For more information about ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, visit www.DisneySports.com.
- They are the members of the 64 Pop Warner Little Scholars football teams that converge at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the Pop Warner Super Bowl each December. To reach the Pop Warner Super Bowl, teams nationwide will battle their way through local and regional tournaments. Teams compete in four divisions based on size and age – Jr. Pee Wee (ages 8-10 yrs.), Pee Wee (9-11 yrs.), Jr. Midget (10-12 yrs.) and Midget (11-14 yrs.).
- In addition to the gridiron action, the spectacle includes hundreds of squads competing in the Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships. For more information, visit www.PopWarner.com.
- The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- The Festival of the Masters art show
- The Children’s Miracle Network Classic for professional golfers
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
If you’re a parent of young twins or even if you have two children who are very close together in age, you know that just going to Target can be something of a logistical nightmare that entails dragging lots of gear, hoping for a cart with two seats and straps that actually work, and doing everything you can to avoid meltdowns in the process, but that’s nothing compared to going someplace like Disney World. The truth is, taking two two-year olds on vacation is not the same as taking a one-year old (who probably can’t walk) and a three-year old (who is probably out of diapers and starting to listen better). You’ll face additional challenges. The extra work required can run the gamut from mere annoyances to real safety issues. But is it worth it? I think so, and with a little planning, you can definitely make the experience easier.
The Stroller Issue:
Probably the biggest challenge you’ll face. Buses are especially difficult, so much so that I just avoid them completely because it’s just about impossible to get two small children (and your other kids, if you have them) on the bus and all while taking everything out of the basket of the stroller, collapsing it, and then loading it on the bus. While it can be done, expect annoyed stares from fellow passengers.
If you’re going to use the bus, carry a backpack that you can put everything into from the stroller basket ahead of time. This will make getting the stroller folded after you take the kids out a lot easier. Definitely don’t try to use the buses if you’re alone. This is a two-person job. Once the kids are out of their stroller, keep in mind that Disney bus stops are very busy, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on them.
You can easily avoid Disney buses if you have your own car. In fact, this is the one time I would absolutely insist on having a car at Disney World. If having a car is not an option, consider staying at a monorail or Boardwalk resort. You can also minimize the number of times you’ll need to take the bus by using the monorail and boats to park hop. You can park hop between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom using the monorail and you can also park hop between Epcot and Hollywood Studios using the Friendship Boats. Both of these options allow you to keep your children in the stroller.
You shouldn’t have too much difficulty maneuvering your stroller around the parks. Most double side-by-side strollers are only slightly wider than a wheel chair and just about everything in Disney World is wheelchair accessible. Keep in mind that you’ll have to take the kids out of their stroller at sit-down restaurants and while waiting in line for attractions and character meet-and-greets. The biggest issue is the bottlenecks that happen in some parks. On a crowded day, it can be nearly impossible to maneuver your stroller around Frontierland and in Tomorrowland, so if possible, try to visit the World during a slower time of year. If that’s not possible, go to the parks early in the day when they are less crowded.
Some twin parents use two single strollers rather than a double stroller. Not only is it easier to maneuver and to get on the buses, it allows you to split up if one twin needs to go back to the resort, for example. Even better, and I’m sure all twin moms know about this, it helps avoid what I call twin fight club: Bored with being in the stroller, they start smacking each other. Come on, you know you’ve been there. It’s a well-known fact that if one twin falls asleep in the stroller the other twin is obsessively compelled to poke and annoy his sibling. The only downside of this is that one parent can’t push both strollers while the other parent does something on her own.
If your kids are still using a highchair, consider getting portable booster seats. They’re small and easy to pack. Most rental houses off site will have one highchair. Ask your agent if your home comes with a highchair; they may possibly be able to give you a second one as well. I’ve never had any trouble finding highchairs in Disney restaurants.
Where are they going to sleep?
Sleep is a big one. My twins sleep in separate rooms at home and the first couple of times we travelled to Disney World with them and they stayed in the same room, it took some getting used to. If your kids are still in cribs, you’ll get a Pack and Play if you’re staying at a Disney resort. These P&Ps are slightly smaller than the ones you’re used to at home, but they are clean and in good shape. They’re fine for kids under two-years of age. Some Disney resorts also have cribs, but they are on a first come, first served basis. Many rental houses will have one crib; again, ask if you can get two. If you need to rent a crib, I’ve had luck with Orlando Crib Rentals. They, like other rental agencies, will deliver the crib to your resort.
Space constraints limit where you can stay. While Disney will give you a P&P for each child who needs one, you won’t be able to fit two P&Ps in a value room and still get around. You’ll need to go with a moderate or larger if you’re staying on Disney property, and even then, two P&Ps will be a tight fit. We stayed at Ft. Wilderness however, and found there was enough room in the bedroom for two P&Ps. A better solution is to stay off site in a rental house, which can actually be a very economical choice. I’ve used AllStar Vacation Homes and been pleased with them. You could also rent Disney Vacation Club points.
Finally, the babycare centers are great. The problem for twin parents is that you can’t bring your stroller inside. This isn’t such a huge issue if you have help, but if you’re on your own, you’re likely to find yourself changing one toddler while attempting to corral another. If you’re a twin mom or you have two kids who aren’t yet at the age where they understand that they need to stay put, this is a pretty stressful situation. In this case, consider using a family bathroom. You can bring the stroller in and one child can sit while you change the other.
Need more information on taking younger children to Disney World? Our own Lisa has a funny and helpful piece on Training Your Baby for Disney World. You might also like this post on general safety at Disney World. You can also check out these posts on my blog (shameless plug) Bringing an Infant to Disney World and another on Childproofing on Vacation.
SpringHill Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Marriott Village offers fourth night free discount to guests in 2010
Guests coming to Orlando for Walt Disney World’s Summer Nightastic event can enjoy unbeatable Orlando hotel specials at SpringHill Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Marriott Village.
Beginning June 6, 2010, Summer Nightastic takes place for the duration of the summer season. Featuring the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade, the stunning Summer Nightastic Fireworks Spectacular at the Magic Kingdom and new additions to the Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, thrill-seekers won’t want to miss this impressive line-up.
Tourists may also find fabulous hotel deals at this hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Throughout 2010, guests who book the following package will enjoy their fourth night free when booking a four-night stay of consecutive nights. With rates from $109 to $179 per room, per night, families will enjoy all that Orlando has to offer, including Summer Nightastic.
The Get a Free Night package also features a Lake Buena Vista suite and complimentary continental breakfast daily, parking and high-speed Internet access. Guests must stay a minimum of four consecutive nights. Free night offer is valid for room rate only.
Be sure that the promotional code PRO appears in the Corporate/Promotional code box when making your online reservation, or call 1-877-682-8552 in the US and ask for promotional code PRO.
About SpringHill Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Marriott Village
As an official Walt Disney World Good Neighbor® Hotel, this extraordinary hotel offers 25% more space than traditional Orlando area hotel rooms. Continental breakfast, high speed Internet access, and on-site parking are all complimentary, while large guest rooms provide an abundance of amenities to reflect the comforts of home. Splash in the spectacular outdoor swimming pool with a children’s play area or relax in the whirlpool during your next Orlando family vacation. The Village Food Court boasts a variety of dining options, like ice cream, pizza and sandwiches. Enjoy convenient, quick access to many nearby attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and Discovery Cove.
For more information or to make a reservation, call 407-938-9001 or visit http://marriott.com/mcolx.
My wife and I have stayed here before and the whole Marriott Village is great. It is very close to Walt Disney World and very clean and comfortable. If you are not staying on property I highly recommend this place!
Mouseplanet is reporting on some construction to the Walt Disney World resort in Florida. Here is a listing of interesting items from paperwork filed with Orange County in the last week:
- Magic Kingdom Tom Sawyer Island – building, electrical and plumbing work.
- Magic Kingdom Frontierland – building, electrical and plumbing work.
- Magic Kingdom Adventureland – building, electrical and plumbing work.
- Magic Kingdom – minor construction work.
- Epcot Ellen’s Energy Adventure – mechanical work.
- Epcot American Adventure – third floor interior renovation.
- Epcot United Kingdom – replace wood floor in shops.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios Backlot Tour Special Effects area – roof repair.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios MuppetVision 3-D Theater – electrical work.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios Fantasmic – carpentry and electrical work.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – electrical work.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Maharajah Jungle Trek – Tiger Forest sign package.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom bus loop – concrete work.
- Downtown Disney West Side planter – electrical work.
- Downtown Disney Pleasure Island – carpentry and electrical work.
- Downtown Disney Marketplace – carpentry work.
- Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Check-in – electrical work, building, if needed.
- Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Building 4 (main building) – elevator mechanical and electrical upgrades.
- Caribbean Beach Resort walkway between Barbados and Aruba – remove and install new deck boards.
- Buena Vista Palace – roof and truss repair.
A special Happy Anniversary goes out to the American Idol Experience. The Hollywood Studios attraction has been delivering up some phenomenal performers for over a year now.
Here is a little bit more about the AI Experience:
Do you have a dream to sing one day and hear the sound of applause from the crowd? At Disney’s “American Idol Experience” you will have a chance to feel what it is like to be a part of the Idol experience. Starting with the audition, right down to hair, make up, even vocal coaches to assist you; these are some of the things you can enjoy. Check out the stage, a close replica of the real American Idol stage, the sets, and lights, everything you.
After auditioning, some contestants will have the opportunity to display their talents on a real stage and perform for thousands of guests each day.
The audience participates by voting for their favorite singer on an interactive keypad.
Votes are counted and the one with the most votes at the American Idol Experience finale show wins a Dream Ticket. This Dream Ticket puts the winner in the front of the line allowing him to make a reservation to sing in front of a regional audition of the American Idol TV show.
The Dream Ticket
Here’s your ticket to show off your talent, let the judges hear your singing skills. With this ticket you bypass preliminary auditions on the regional level and go straight to the judges to show them what you’ve got. This move can increase your chances of getting to the big show in Hollywood.
American Idols Shine
Carrie Underwood feels its a great opportunity and places the potential American Idol candidate on a fast track to making their dreams come true and possibly ending up on the American Idol stage in Hollywood, California. Other former Idols showed up at the attraction to check it out: Ruben Studdard, (Season 2), David Cook, (Season 7), and Justin Guarini, (Season 1).
Contestants 14 and older may audition to sing that day at the American Idol Experience attraction. Audition openings are limited. To audition for the American Idol Experience, go to www.disneyworld.com/idol, or sign up in person.
Check out this Disney Question that somebody asked Chris earlier in the month about the American Idol Experience.