Friday, April 27, 2012

Foodie Friday: What is Kabuki Cart?

This place is brain freeze central, this is the best place in Epcot to get the best snack, in my opinion!
Kaki Gori, that's right, it is finely shaved ice with different syrups to chose from. This is located in Epcot's Japan, at the Kabuki Cart.

You get a fairly large cup overfilled with ice shavings and you can pick your flavor syrup. Now its not your normal grape,or blueberry, it has flavors of strawberry, melon,cherry,tangerine, or my favorite rainbow!

The new cart now has toppings you can add to your Kaki Gori- Sweet milk,sweet cherry, and sweet strawberry. Now, since the upgrade of this cart, then have even more items to chose from.

Perfect for a warm day are Green Tea,Ginger, and Azuki strawberry flavored ice creams. They also have smoothies, steamed edamame,miso soup and you can't forget the plum wine and sake.

This is my favorite spot to get a cool treat, which you will love all times of the year, but especially in the warmer months here in Florida. The cup that they give you only costs $3.50 and I always share it with my hubby. Don't eat it too fast, or you will get a massive brain freeze! The cone pictured here, is how they served it before the remodel.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Who's Who Wednesday: Contributor Adam

Hey everybody! My name is Adam and I'm a 30 year old Disney Junkie. I've been married to my wife Bonnie for almost 5 years. We have a son, Owen who is 2 1/2. I've been to Walt Disney World over 15 times, the first time being when I was 4 years old. My mom brought me and I still have memories, believe it or not, from that trip. I live in Flordia, about 3 hours from WDW, and am an annual passholder. My real love for Disney started when we went for my sons first birthday. Since then we've gone 8 times as a family. I did go once by myself for Leap Day, and let me say, that was really neat, and yes I stayed in MK for the full 24 hours! I have a goal to stay at every resort at Disney World. I'm at 5 so far, I still have a ways to go. I love talking about everything Disney, being at the Parks, watching the movies, learning the history, listening to the music and anything else you can think of. I hope I can help spark some ideas by sharing my stories and thoughts, and maybe learn a thing or two myself along the way. Happy reading and have a magical day!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pirate's League

On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, our son had the opportunity to become a pirate at the Pirate’s League. The Pirate’s League is located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in the Magic Kingdom. This feature of the attraction has not been around as long as some of the other experiences at Walt Disney World.
Participants are welcomed to the event by being assigned a new pirate name. The next step is to have the newly named pirate be “made up” to look like a pirate. When we were there last August, there were six different options for pirates. It now appears that there are four different packages which include the “Jake and the Neverland Pirates,” the “First Mate,” the” Empress” and the “Mermaid”. The entire experience was well themed. From the trunks where extra guests could view the experience to the pirate make-up artists everything worked well. I can imagine that it has only improved with time as they have varied their offerings to appeal to both boys and girls. When we took our son, we had purchased a Jack Sparrow outfit prior to going on the trip to Walt Disney World. This helped with the overall cost of the experience. The prices varied from about $30 to $40 with a professional picture being offered at the end for about $15.
Overall, I would say that this was worth both the time and the money. My son received items including a map, a pirate medallion, a bandana, and an earring in addition to the elaborate face paint that he opted to do. I will say that with the choice he made, he found it to be itchy after a short time. It was Florida in August and he tends to be hot when it is 70 degrees out.
In addition to bringing a costume with you, if you think that will be important to the participant, I would be sure that you have access to make up remover and eye make-up remover. For a couple of days he had the faint remnants of the eye make-up left. I think that it is something that I would recommend to others and possibly repeat again in the future.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Foodie Friday: Disney Recipe Swap- Nutty Little Salad

1/3 c. Roasted Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing (see recipe below) 2 tbsp. Candied Walnuts (see recipe below) 1 - 2 handfuls lettuce mix 2 tbsp. shredded Tillamook cheddar cheese (or any sharp or extra sharp cheddar will work) 6 – 8 oz. grilled chicken breast 1. Prepare Roasted Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing and the Candied Walnuts. 2. Toss the lettuce mix with the dressing in a serving bowl. 3. Top with the shredded cheddar cheese and the Candied Walnuts. 4. Slice the grilled chicken into strips and place on top of the salad.   Roasted Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing 1/3 c. walnuts 1/3 c. honey ½ c. chopped onions ¼ c. white vinegar ¼ c. olive oil salt, to taste pepper, to taste 1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. 2. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. 3. Place everything in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste. Candied Walnuts 1/3 c. walnuts 2 tbsp. maple syrup (you can use pancake syrup, but it is not as good) 1. Preheat oven to 300°F. 2. Toss walnuts to cover with maple syrup. 3. Place a single layer of walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who's Who Wednesday :Tinker Bell: An UN-common Fairy!

Miss Tinker Bell

Tinker Bell began her career fairy-tale career as a sparkle of light in J.M. Barre's 1904 play Peter Pan.

Originally called "Tippy-Toe," Barre changed the name as she was "a common fairy," who mended pots & kettles. Tinkers announced their arrival to towns by ringing "tinkers' bells," and thus her name. Variants on the spelling of her name–Tinkerbell & Tinkerbelle–were settled by pointing out Captain Hook addresses her as "Miss Bell," indicating she has a first and last name.

Walt Disney had no plans to use Tinker Bell after Peter Pan, but advisors warned Walt not to use any of the Fab Five to promote Disneyland, in case the park was a flop. So Tinker Bell and Jiminy Cricket were recruited for the job. Since then, Tink has evolved into "the symbol of the magic of Disney." Her pixie dust opened Disney's TV shows, she has a part in Disney's Peter Pan "dark ride" and the Disney Princess Franchise, and is the central character in Disney's Fairies.

The inspiration for Marc Cavis' distinctive animated character was actress Margaret Kerry. When asked how she should act as Tinker Bell, Kerry was told they wanted to capture her very own personality, so Kerry says "when you see Tink, you see me!"

The first person to fly through the air as Tinker Bell was Tiny Kline, a circus performer who flew suspended 150 feet above the ground from Disneyland's Matterhorn to Sleeping Beauty's Castle to begin the fireworks in 1961. Tiny was 4 feet 10, 98 pounds, and 70 years old. Tiny was Tink for 3 years.

In 2009, Tink became the smallest waxwork figure in Madame Tussauds' House of Wax at 5 1/2 inches small.

Topiary Tink

And to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on September 21, 2010, Tinker Bell received her own Hollywood Star on the walk.

So there is really nothing "common" about Tinker Bell–she is definitely a most UN-common fairy! And thanks to Tinker Bell, you can share in Disney Magic!

Brenda is most like Tink! How about you?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Celebration Cruise

A few years ago, my family was able to enjoy a Celebration Cruise at Walt Disney World. We had gone on a quick trip to Walt Disney World for Labor Day weekend just before school began for the year in New England. My father had just celebrated his sixtieth birthday and the day after he returned from this trip he was to report to the hospital to begin a series of cancer treatments. We decided to treat him to something special and indulge in a Celebration Cruise.
The Celebration Cruise is an incredible opportunity if ever you have the chance. We boarded the boat at the Grand Floridian marina. There were snacks and beverages ready for us on board. Our group of seven fit very comfortably aboard to boat which would accommodate a total of ten guests. The boat had a dedicated captain who was very friendly but not invasive.
We first traveled around the lake and over the water bridge past the Contemporary. The boat took us past what is now the Bay Lake Tower but at that time it was under construction. He took us around what were the remnants of Discovery Island.
Discovery Island used to be a spot where visitors could visit many types of birds, large tortoises and the opportunity to hold a parrot. Visitors would take a boat to the island and leisurely walk around on the paths and through the aviaries. We also went by the old entrance to River Country. This was a popular spot prior to the opening of Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. It has been closed for many years but the turnstiles still sit among the bushes near the dock that would let patrons in and out. We traveled back to an area on the water near the dock for the Magic Kingdom. From this spot we could see the castle and the lights of Main Street. When the fireworks began, the music was piped onto the boat. We had our own special viewing of the fireworks. They were magical.
This experience was fantastic and the night is etched in my mind as a special memory. Almost four years later, we continue to look forward to the new memories that we will make while on our next trip to Disney.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Phineas and Ferb @ Disney's Hollywood Studios

Are you a huge fan of Phineas and Ferb like I am ? Yes, even at my old age of 36, I love them, and Perry the Platypus! So, you know how excited I was when I heard they were making a meet and greet with them! 

There we were, making our way behind the Muppet's area, I looked up and I ran! I will admit it, I ran to get in line. My kids kinda looked at mom wondering why I was so excited to see 2 cartoon guys.

  We got there to see a silly director making a movie and we were on a live set, video camera and all. They were picking people from the line to be part of the live action set with Phineas and Ferb.

 The director was picking parts but darn it, no adults. They were picking kids, and I happen to have some of those! Up went there little hands and my son was chosen to participate in the filming! Yeah!!! 

 Between takes, Phineas and Ferb are signing autographs, which makes the line wait a little more time consuming.

I was a proud momma, as my son held up the G in AGLET for the taping of the Aglet song. As any avid watcher of the show knows, an aglet is that plastic piece at the end of your shoelace, its a very important word, so memorize!

This meet and greet is by far the best and most interactive. It runs daily from 10:30am-2pm, then again from 3pm-5:30pm. So, if your are true fans of Phineas and Ferb, you will not want miss this hidden gem at the back of Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Foodie Friday: Creamy White Asparagus Soup with Crispy Bacon and Goat Cheese

Creamy White Asparagus Soup with Crispy Bacon and Goat Cheese Ingredients: 2 Tsp. Unsalted Butter 1 Medium Yellow Onion (small dice) 2 Tbs. Chopped Fresh Thyme 1 Tsp. Chopped garlic 3 Cups White Asparagus (peeled) 3 Cups Whole Milk 1 Cup Heavy Cream 1/3 Lb. Cooked Applewood Smoked Bacon (chopped) 1 Cup Goat Cheese Salt and Pepper to taste Method: To start the soup, heat up a large pan over medium heat. Place butter, onion, thyme and garlic, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. Add asparagus, milk and cream. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender and fully cooked. Once cooked, place hot soup in a blender and puree. While blending, add goat cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Puree soup until smooth. To serve, place soup in a large pan and heat up. When hot, divide soup in to six warm bowls, garnish with 2 tsp of chopped bacon and enjoy. Recipe submitted by Jenn of Dis Savvy

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Camping In the World

Let me be the first to tell you camping in Disney is the best thing ever! I grew up going camping a lot with my family and we traveled all over the U.S.Not only is camping fun, but also cheaper than say a moderate to expensive resort. Now, some like the indoors, but for those of us who like value and a new experience, than camping at Walt Disney World may be for you.

 We bought our pop up and were so exited to try it out, we had before always used a tent. We pulled into check in at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and a few minutes later, we were on our way to our outdoor home for the week. We arrived at our site, backed the pop up in, unhooked it from the van, and set it up. We also had the tent for the boys.

So, we had plenty of room for the pop up. We placed a gazebo type thing over the door of the pop up and the picnic table, just in case it had rained. We also brought the Christmas lights, yes, Christmas lights! They are the best to light your site up at night, so we sourounded our site with rope lights, which looked really neat, and when we came back from the parks late at night, we knew which site was ours.

 Everyone is very friendly at the campground. It's fun to talk to others about where their from, ect and meet new people that share your love of the magic...its such a friendly atmosphere. The bathrooms were in walking distance from our site, but after midnight you need your key to get in, there is nothing worse than really having to go, to realize your forgot your key. The showers are super clean.

 By the bathroom is a schedule of the weeks activities. There are so many things to do at the campground that the next time we go, we are just going to stay at the campground and not even go to any parks

Near the sites is a tether ball area, playgrounds are scattered through out the property. The last time we decided not to rent a golf cart, but, I will never not get a golf cart again, it's too much for this momma and kids. Spring for the cart, you will thank yourself in the end!

 The new pool area now has a waterslide and a hot tub. This feels so good after a day at the parks. A kiddie spray area is near by, which the kids just love!  They have games going on, archery, crafts, horseback riding, and in the evening campfire sing-a-long with Chip and Dale.

There are campfires on each side of the screen for roasting marshmallows or wieners. Smores ingredients and sticks can be bought at the chuck-wagon that is behind the bleachers. Join Chip and Dale for some pictures and a sing a long . Cast members lead songs and kids are invited up front for some getting dancing and getting their jiggles out, then its time for a movie! Every night is a different movie, sometimes in the summer months two movies are shown. After the movie, you can go down to the beach and enjoy the electric water parade and finish up the night watching Magic Kingdom's Wishes fireworks display!!!

 The camp life is fun and interesting, and a great way to make your Disney memories last a lifetime on a budget!!! Here are some pictures from the last time we went camping...

 So, don't forget the bugspray!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Who's Who Wednesday: Contributor Roger

My name is Roger. I’m closing in on 60, work as assistant manager at a Brooks Brothers Factory Store near my home in Franklin, New Hampshire, and am a professional resume writer. I’ve been married for over ten years to Brenda, My Internet Bride. My first visit to Disney World was in 1975. I still have vivid memories of screaming through Space Mountain, thrilling on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and riding spellbound through “It’s A Small World.” My next visit was 28 years later, on my honeymoon with Brenda.The years had made me less interested in thrill rides like Space Mountain, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was gone, but I still enjoyed “It’s A Small World.” Much had changed in those decades. Paper tickets were replaced with electronic ones, Fast Passes were invented, and three more parks were opened to visit and love. Brenda and I began returning to Disney World for every vacation, eventually purchased Annual Passes, and now are Disney Vacation Club members. We make at least three trips a year now, and still love it. People wonder why we keep going back, when, after all, we’ve already “seen everything.” Of course, you know that’s not true. There is so much to see and do, and there is always more being added (and—alas—subtracted), but we find that our frequent trips free us; we can focus on what we really love, and spice that up with new adventures.We love Disney World’s mindset of cooperation, contribution, and communication. From the ever-smiling cast members, to the constantly delighted guests—everyone goes to Disney World to experience a little magic, and usually ends up adding some magic to the lives of total strangers (who are then friends). (We talk about our new friends on our own blog: We love Disney World’s focus on building one another up—rather than tearing one another down. At Disney World, a grown man well into (some may say well past) middle age, can have a great time drawing pictures of Disney characters. Disney world is a place where magic can—and does—happen. Where sick children and adults can escape the limits of their physical disabilities, and enter a world of imagination and delight. Where families of sparring children can find oases of collaboration, and build bonds of trust and mutual respect. Where lovers—like Brenda and I—can celebrate significant moments as privately or publicly as they please. Pat Williams, in How to Be Like Walt, said Disneyland was to Walt: “… an island of utopian hope and happiness in sea of human despair.” And that:“Walt envisioned people coming to Disneyland, finding happiness there, then going out and widening the circle of happiness around the world.” I think that’s exactly how Disney World works. It changes our attitude. It reminds us of how wonderful life can be when we are kind, friendly, and helpful to one another. I think bloggers help keep the spark of Disney World magic burning bright, and I’m proud and honored to help create a little bit of paradise right here on earth.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Where in the World is Mr. Toad?

Anyone who has been going to Walt Disney World for a long time will remember Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Fantasyland. This ride was replaced in 1998 by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I have enjoyed The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh both as an adult and more recently with my children. Being a person who resists change, I have many fond memories of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Luckily, this ride is still up and running at Disneyland in California. Mr. Toad’s ride is based on the character from Disney’s adaptation of The Wind in the Willows which was titled The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. The ride begins as many other dark rides do in Fantasyland. Passengers board a vehicle, in this case an old fashioned car, which is named after the characters from the story. Once the vehicle turns the corner, the passengers are treated to scenes from the story. The first scene is in the library and the story continues through various near disasters and catastrophes. The twists and turns of the ride lead you through near misses of brick walls, falling objects and even an oncoming train.

This ride can be scary for young children. Although all ages are able to ride, there are a number of scenes that might scare small children. If they close their eyes, most of the fear will be avoidable.

This ride opened in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World on the opening day of the park. For Disneyland this was July 17, 1955 and for Walt Disney World it was October 1, 1971. Other than the vintage style T-shirts that are sold in Walt Disney World with images of the ride, the only other reminder that currently exists is in the cemetery of the Haunted Mansion.