There is a new tour being offered at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival this year called the Royal Tea Garden tour. Being an avid tea drinker I knew this was one tour I wanted to try. This is different than the free English Tea Garden tour which is still offered daily in the afternoons. It is a $15 tour and goes more in-depth about the history of tea and history of the Twinings tea company. We were given tips on brewing tea and learned about the different tea blends and how they are made. Our tour guide, Jack, was fun, very knowledgeable, and made our tour very enjoyable. I loved all the new information and facts I received the on the tour.
The tour began at 9:30 am. We were told to check in by 9:15 am at the UK beer cart located by the Rose and Crown Pub.
Shortly after 9:30 am we were greeted by our tour guide, Jack, and headed over to the English Tea Gardens where our 45 minute tour began.
Following the tour of the garden we were escorted into the Tea Caddy shop where we were served 2 different kinds of scones and our choice of hot tea. I tried Buttermint which was a peppermint tea with a hint of vanilla. I enjoyed the calming flavor. It was a wonderful way to end the tour.
There is an old saying"there are only two kinds of people in this world, the Irish and those who wish they were". St. Patrick's Day lets us all celebrate like the Irish and Disney World is no exception. My first St. Patrick's Day at Disney World I celebrated at Rose & Crown in Epcot. There was plenty of green beer and a specifically drink called the Leaping Leprechaun (run, vodka, Irish whiskey, melon liqueur, sweet and sour, topped with Sprite) pair that with that with the corn beef and cabbage in the dining room and you'll have a great Irish celebration.
This year in Magic Kingdom at Casey's Corner on Main Street they are getting in on the fun by adding a new Irish inspired hot dog topped with corn beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and whole grain mustard.
For Dessert you can find a variety of St. Patrick's Day cupcakes: Contempo Cafe at Contemporary Resort, Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom, Fountain View at Epoct and Sprinkles at Disney Springs all have a seasonal cupcake. If chocolate is what you are craving the Ganachery at Disney Springs has 3 special flavors available until March 18th: Irish stout ganache, Irish cream ganache, and Irish whiskey ganache.
Goofy's Candy company had a variety of St. Patrick's Day treats.
Even the Daily Poutine got in on the Irish fun with an Irish inspired poutine!
Our tradition the last few years has been to celebrate at one of our favorite Disney World restaurants, Raglan Road at Disney Springs. When you step inside this authentic Irish pub with the live Celtic music, Irish dancers, and very delicious pub fair food you'll see why this is such a popular spot.
For St. Patrick's week Raglan Road has a Mighty St. Patrick's Festival. This year it is being held March 16th-19th. The craic (gaelic for fun) has a full line up of fantastic live music with featured bands, the always wonderful Raglan Road Irish dancers, face painting and delectable Irish cuisine by Irish chef Kevin Dunbon. Please note that on the actual St. Patrick's Day they are not taking reservations, it is a first come first serve basis, and there is $10 cover charge per guest over the age of 18.
Ah, Spring is in the air and it is once again time for one of our favorite Disney Events: Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival. Happening March 1 through May 29, 2017, the festival is full of fun experiences for all ages. There is so much to see and do including stunning, vibrant garden and flower displays, Disney themed topiaries, in the festival center there are exhibits and seminars, outdoor concerts series, butterfly exhibit called Butterflies on the Go, Epcot's annual Easter Egg Hunt and of course outdoor kitchen kiosks offering a wide variety of foods and drinks it is easy to see why we like this festival so much.
First up I want to highlight the topiaries and flowers after all as the name suggests this is a flower and garden festival and Disney goes all out on their garden displays with their vibrant, beautiful gardens and their fun Disney topiaries. This year there are 23 unique topiaries around Epcot!
Disney also has a few wildlife habitats. My favorite is Butterflies on the Go. This unique exhibit lets you see butterflies emerge from their cocoons . I love being able to see so many different types of butterflies fluttering around.
Next up lets talk about a subject near and dear to my stomach, the festival's outdoor food kiosks. There are 15 unique outdoor kitchens with delicious food and drink options.
Last but certainly not least I want to talk about my favorite scavenger hunt that Epcot does: the Egg-Stravaganza. This is an Easter egg hunt done Disney style. You can purchase a map at various locations around Epcot and then hunt for Eggs around the World Showcase, placing the sticker of the egg you found in that country. After all of your eggs are found, return your map to the Disney Trader store located at the beginning of the World Showcase to select your reward for completing the hunt!
***Spoiler alert the slideshow below shows some of the eggs we found. They could be hints on where to find these so skip if you don't want to ruin your surprise if participating in the egg hunt this year!
As Epcot's Festival of the Arts Festival comes to a close I wanted to share a workshop I attended the final weekend of the festival. The festival had a wide variety of interactive workshops to choose from including drawing classes, macrame, watercolor, calligraphy, even a class to blend your own spices. I chose a workshop on floral design. The workshop was held in the Odyssey building.
When we arrived all of our supplies were set up in our work area for us.
There was an instructor at the front of the class giving us step by step instructions as well as additional instructors walking around the class offering assistance and getting additional supplies if needed. Everyone was very nice, helpful and made it a fun, relaxing environment.
This workshop was a great way for me to end Epcot's Festival of the Arts. I really enjoyed this festival and I really hope we can look forward to many more Festivals of the Arts to come.
We were lucky enough to attend a soft opening of Animal Kingdom's Rivers of Light this last weekend. We have been waiting almost year to see this show since it was supposed to open May of 2016. My thoughts on this show? Don't miss it! It was visually stunning and the music was beautiful. I am so happy they have added nighttime elements to Animal Kingdom because it has become one of my favorite parks to see when the sun sets.
There is a short pre-show when they bring out the lotus flower floats. I was a little confused since I thought this was the start of the show and there wasn't much going on other than a couple of animal projections on the trees and the flowers moving around on the water. When the actual show starts there is nothing uneventful about it. There is a lot going on!
Living in Orlando we have our pick of fancy signature restaurants for a romantic Valentine's dinner but every year I pick the same place, Beaches & Cream at Disney's Beach Club. I personally feel there is something very romantic sharing a hamburger and sundae with my Valentine. I love the nostalgic soda fountain atmosphere with the jukebox playing oldies.
We attended the opening day of Paddlefish, formally known as Fulton's Crab House, at Disney Springs. The restaurant has been closed for months as it underwent renovations both inside and out. It was worth the wait! The inside is stunning! With the neutral colors everything seems bright, fresh and relaxing. We were given a table next to one of the many windows with a peaceful view of the water. Every staff member we encountered was very friendly and our food was phenomenal. We had a great first impression and enjoyed the changes.
After months of being closed for renovations Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs has finally reopened as what is now officially called Planet Hollywood Observatory . We decided to try it for lunch. The outside has been redone to fit in with the Disney Springs theme.
The three story interior has been updated as well. While movie memorabilia can still be found on the walls the restaurant now has a modernized, less cluttered feel. (I personally did not mind the cluttered look).
The menu has not been left out of the updates either. You will still find old favorites like the L.A Lasagna (a delicious fried lasagna with Bolognese meat sauce, yum!) but there are plenty of new options as well. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri has added his culinary artistry to the menu with his Big Bite Burgers and Knuckle Sandwiches. We each decided to head to flavor town and pick items from Guy’s creations.
I’ve looked forward to seeing the new dessert menu since coming soon ads have been showing outrageous looking shakes for months! We choose the Super Nova Shake in the Strawberry Big Bang. Oh My! Let me tell you not only was the wow factor of this dessert out of this world, but the flavor was amazing as well!
One of our favorite "Disney Dates" is miniature golf. Disney offers two different miniature golf courses: Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland. Today we went to the Winter Summerland Golf Course. It is located adjacent to Disney's Blizzard Beach water park so you could easily include it into a water park day.
Winter Summerland offers two courses to chose from: a sand course named "summer" and a snow course named "winter". Both courses are 18 holes and equal in difficulty. We love the themes and creativity of the courses. Don't forget to pick up a candy cane as you turn in your clubs at the end of your game!
If you happen to beat the best score of the day be sure to let them know. Not only do you get to add your name to the board and have bragging rights for the rest of the day but you'll also be given a certificate to keep as a souvenir of your day being the king/queen of the miniature golf course!
This last weekend we attended Epcot’s Festival of the Arts. This is the inaugural year for this festival and we hope there will be many more years to come. We enjoyed the offerings the festival had but didn’t feel overwhelmed trying to do everything in one day. The festival which currently runs Friday-Monday Jan 13th through Feb 20th celebrates all forms of art: Colors (there are many paintings you can view and purchase often with the artists making appearances), performing arts, hands on seminars, workshops and even delicious works of art. They even have a “be the painting” where you can become part of a classic work of art with Photopass photographers on hand to capture your poses. Next month we plan on attending one of the Disney on Broadway performances and attending one of the workshops so we will cover those on a different post.
Paint by number is something the whole family will enjoy. You are given a paint color of a specific number and a sponge brush. There is a giant mural hanging you find the corresponding number on the mural and paint 5 squares your matching color. We had a lot of fun doing this. Be sure to pick up a postcard after you are finished painting. It shows what the finish work of art will look like. We painted the colors we used on the back of our postcard to remember what colors we contributed to the project.
It wouldn’t be an Epcot festival without food booths and the Arts Festival is no exception, however the foods you will find here are as pleasing to the eyes as they are to the taste buds! They take the time with each plate to make it a creative, edible work of art.
Figments Brush with the Masters Scavenger Hunt
If you are familiar with past Epcot scavenger hunts, Remy’s Hide and Go Squeak or the annual Easter egg hunt, Figments Brush with the Masters is very similar. It is a paid ($6.99 plus tax) scavenger hunt. You receive a map, stickers and a goal to find Figment hiding in art around the World Showcase countries. As you find him place the corresponding sticker in the frame of that country. After you have completed the map return it to the Disney Traders shop located at the front of the World Showcase for a prize. We enjoy the scavenger hunts Epcot offers and this one was no exception. We may need to return and get 3 more maps to complete our prize collection!
Warning: Spoiler of the Figment Scavenger Hunt and prizes below!