Here are this week's Quick 5!
Top 5 Reasons To Love Disney in September!
1. Low Crowds! - No brainer that since schools are in sessions, there are a LOT less crowds! Wait times for rides are so nice and short. (But be aware then that this is also when refurbishments might be scheduled and there are shorter operating hours...)
2. Fall Decorations Start Going Up - the Fall decorations at Disney World are spectacular! You don't even realize its still 90 degrees!
3. Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party - Starting September 2nd the Magic Kingdom hosts the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. It is one of the most fun experiences at Disney World. The rare characters are enough to get me there!
4. Epcot's Food and Wine Festival - Beginning in Mid-September you can eat and drink your way around the world at over 30 kiosks in the World Showcase, not to mention the tons of special events such as Party for the Senses and Food Tastings.
5. Eat to Beat Concerts - Beginning at the same time as the Food and Wine Festival, Epcot's Eat to the Beat Concert will transport you to the 80s and a 90s and you won't even mind! In 2016 you can revisit classics by Wang Chung, Air Supply, Fuel, and Sugar Ray!
**Eat to the Beat Photo Courtesy of FLICKR user Sam Howzit
Here's my quick five for the week!
What to wear to the Magic Kingdom for a summer day!
1. T-shirt or Tank Top. Its hot. I highly recommend a lightweight, cotton tee! And there are so many cute disney options out there, so I always try to have a bit of fun with mine.
2. Shorts. Just comfortable shorts.
3. Hat and Sunglasses - With the summer sun beating down on your, make sure you have your sunglasses and a way to shield your face. You will be thankful for that sunburn you didn't get because of your hat.
4. Jewelry - Ok so I usually am a NO JEWELRY person at Disney. I don't like it getting sweaty and sunscreeny. That said, there are now so many cute Disney options for women that how can you not get in on the Disney fun?
5. COMFORTABLE SHOES. There was a whole Modern Family episode about this one! Don't wear the stilettos or clogs. Wear something that is supportive and will allow your feet to breathe. I love the sketcher go walks, but a good worn-in sneaker will do!
Epcot - The Perfect Date Night!
No one disputes that Disney World is centered on the kids in the family, yet over the past few years Epcot has made a tremendous push to draw in the big kids with their focus on gourmet food and drink selections at their signature restaurants and with the food carts that are open during Food and Wine Festival and the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.
Their push has certainly worked on us! Whenever we are in Disney World my husband and I make it a priority to have alone time to eat and drink at Epcot. Soon we will have eaten at every fine dining location in the World Showcase!
With so many options it is hard to go wrong, but if I had to pick, here would be my ideal date night at Epcot!
First Stop: School Bread in Norway
Located on the left side of the World Showcase Lagoon in the Kringla Bakeri, the School Bread is one of the most hyped Disney deserts (And I guess it should really be at the end of my date night...but its the first one on my path!) Most people either love or hate it. I happen to love it. The flavorful combination of savory cardamom roll with the sweet coconut and frosting makes this a huge hit with me! My husband always orders a Carlsberg beer to go along with it. Not the best pairing in the world, but we like it!
Second Stop: Prosecco in Italy
Following the Lagoon, my next stop is always to get a glass of Prosecco in Italy! Where we actually buy my glass just depends on the weather. If the weather is nice and its not too hot, I prefer to buy from the stands, sit and enjoy the people watching! But another great option is hop into the Wine Cellar. Ask for the couches! There is an area to the right of the entrance that has 4 or 5 secluded couches that are perfect for a flight of wine and a cheese plate. This is a great choice for rain or if its just too hot! (Side note - the cannoli at the Wine Cellar is the best in Disney World!)
Third Stop: Le Cellier Steakhouse
OK - Any of the signature restaurants will do here. I love Monsieur Paul's and San Angel Inn, but my favorite is Le Cellier Steakhouse. Designed to feel as if you are eating in a wine cellar in an exclusive Canadian chateau, Le Cellier is warm and comfortable. By far the best thing to eat here is the steaks and the poutine. Admittedly, I have had a strange obsession with poutine since I was 13 years old, but any restaurant that has 4 different poutine offerings is bound to be my favorite. The steaks here are all perfectly cooked! Did I mention they have poutine?? Order that...
Fourth Stop: L'Artisan des Glaces
While the desert options at Le Cellier and other restaurants look great, pretty much nothing can keep me from the Pressed Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich at L'Artisan des Glaces. Officially named the Crogue Glaces, this ice cream sandwich is a warm, chewy gloriousness pressed together right in front of you! The take the freshly baked brioche, fill it with ice cream, smother it in sauce (chocolate or raspberry), press it together and cook it inside a press. The end result is a warm and crispy brioche oozing with still cold ice cream. Try it! It will not disappoint.
Fifth Stop: Anywhere you'd like!
At this point if you are not unflatteringly full of food, then the world (showcase) is your oyster. The sangria in Morocco or the pretzels in Germany, whatever it is that sounds good to you - HAVE AT IT!
Have we missed your favorite date night spot in Epcot? Let us know!
With young kids you can absolutely not go wrong by scheduling a character meal or two during your stay. They provide such a great way for children to interact with the characters at a more leisurely pace without having to stand in line or use a precious Fast Pass. While many of the great character meals are geared toward the Princess-lovers, there are still some great choices for the Princes (or the Stitches) in your family! Here are a few of my top recommendations!
Littlest of Boys? – the Crystal Palace
Whether you have boys or girls or both, Winnie the Pooh’s Character meal at Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom is a winner. This is a great choice for infants and young toddlers because the atmosphere of the Crystal Palace is very calm and the characters take their time with each child. The best time to go is breakfast! If you have a breakfast reservation, then you can enter the Magic Kingdom a bit earlier and have the chance to roam Main Street and the areas near the castle without the crowds! This is the perfect time for photos! CHARACTERS: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore
Mix of Boys of Girls? – 'Ohana or Chef Mickey
If you family has both princes and princesses, try out either 'Ohana or Chef Mickey’s
'Ohana is located in the Polynesian and is appealing to everyone because of the great mix of characters. The food is served family style instead of buffets like most. The food is very good and the atmosphere is a bit livelier than Crystal Palace, but still calmer than others. CHARACTERS: Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto.
Chef Mickey’s is also a great choice located at the Contemporary Hotel. This one has to be the loudest of the character meals I’ve ever been to, but the kids love it! There is also a classic bunch of characters that appeal to boys, girls, and varying ages. CHARACTERS: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto
All Boy? – Mickey’s Backyard BBQ or Tusker House
Even if your boys are about dirt, sticks, and mud, there are still some great options. Mickey's Backyard BBQ and Tusker House.
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ has to be one of the most fun things Ive ever done at Disney World. I went in thinking it was going to be so hokey and yes at times it was, but it was still great. The food was so-so, but the band was fun and the kids loved dancing with the characters. The interaction was so much more personal and fun than with traditional character meals. My kids loved the cowboy and lasso tricks and the all you can eat Mickey Bars! CHARACTERS: Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale
Tusker House is one we have done several times. Located in Animal Kingdom is a great spot to eat better than average buffet food while enjoying the Air Conditioning! My kids love the safari themed characters! CHARACTERS: Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy. I suggest doing this one for lunch since it best to get on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride as early as they will let you! The animals are so much more active in the morning when they have just been fed.
Share what character meals your boys have liked!
What's In Your Park Bag?
Here's my quick five for the week!
SO whats in my park bag?!?
1. MY BAG! - I don't mess around with purses if I'm at the parks (exception - date night at Epcot and then just a wristlet!)
2. Magic Bands - These are your lifelines! They are your tickets, your credit card, your identification if you loose your child, and for some they are their hotel room key. Don't forget these!
3. Sunglasses - Its sunny even in the winter in Florida. Bring your sunglasses!
4. Medicines - Every person's medicine bag will be a bit different. But I don't leave without some necessities that you don't want to chase down all over the Magic Kingdom.
5. Portable Battery - With the increased attachment and dependence on my cell phone for the My Experience App, checking wait times, looking for fast passes, and watching the weather, my cell phone battery dies SO FAST! This is the perfect answer!
Tara is a Disney-obsessed Mom of two active boys!