Posts tagged ‘Disney resorts free things to do’

Taste the World with Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

"epcot

This year’s International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot is going to be the longest ever! Starting on August 31st until November 13th, the festival will be a record 75 days long!! Moreover, celebrating the 35th Epcot anniversary, the festival will count 35 marketplaces as opposed to 25 global marketplaces in 2016. More to enjoy for your palate!

Disney World has recently released this year’s menu and it will make your mouth water! Come and enjoy food from all over the world coming from places such as Africa, Australia, France, Greece, and even South Korea! You will be able to try out delicious eats, and attend numerous food shows and food and wine related entertainments! Moreover, this year’s bulk of the festival is included in the general park admission; all you need to do is cover the cost of your delicious treats! There are lots of free things to do also if you would like to get your favorite cook book signed or meet culinary experts for example!

You’re a fan of cheese? Attend a cheese seminar and learn about the texture and awesome drink combinations for the perfect cheese plateau! Attend an alcoholic beverages seminar (for adults only..!) and sample the best wines, spirits and beers while learning more about wine making, beer brewing and distilling techniques.

This is a very popular event and hotel spaces book out very quickly, so you’ll need to plan a bit in advanced! Coming with you kids and make them discover a piece of the world through their taste buds is a fantastic idea, but think about renting a stroller from Magical Stroller Rentals to make your experience and that of your children more enjoyable!

World Ocean Day: Get Closer to Wildlife at Epcot

 

World Ocean Day: Epcot

If you live in Florida or going on holiday there, you will most likely marvel at its beautiful beaches and diverse marine life! Thursday 8th, June, 2017 is World Ocean Day and if you are visiting Disney World then, make sure you go to Epcot park to spend sometime learning about, and marveling at the beautiful sea creatures at ‘the Seas with Nemo and Friends’!

Disney World has planned for you a full day of fun and educational activities! You and your family will be able to ask all the questions you might have about the marine ecosystem in Florida, and all the endangered (or not) species you can find along the coast! Sharks, turtles, sting rays, you will be able to see it all, and learn how you and your children can help protecting these incredible creatures and their environment!

A team of education instructors and conservation specialists will be there all day to guide you through the marine wildlife ecosystem and provide fun and educational activities around the park for you and your kids.

If you get hungry, make sure you go to the Coral Reef Restaurant and order the special World Ocean Day dessert, specially made for the occasion! Indulge yourself and your kids with a delicious ocean designed white chocolate dessert. 

Make sure to rent a stroller from Magical Stroller Rentals if you’re going with your little ones to ensure your day and theirs is as perfect as it should be!

Cool-off this Summer with the ‘Frozen Summer Games’

Frozen Summer Games

If you want to cool off during hot summer days, then Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park is the place to be! This melted-down one-time ski resort has transformed into a refreshing and thrilling water park, and is hosting for the second year in a row the Frozen Summer Games!

This is a Frozen-themed event where you will be able to join either Team Olaf or Team Kristoff for many refreshing family fun activities! You and your whole family will be able to part-take in Ice Pail Relays, Snowball Toss, Sky Pole Limbo, and many side races!! If you and your kids are feeling crafty, you will be able to join art and craft project tables, as well as games while a family friendly DJ will set the tone for the whole day!

Brand new to this year’s Frozen Summer Games is the possibility to meet Olaf and Kristoff in person, and take memorable pictures with both characters! This will be the only place in the whole of Disney World Resort where you will be able to greet Arendelle’s ice harvesters!

This is a limited time event that only takes place at Disney’s Blizzard Beach between May 26th and August 13th, 2017! What’s even better is that there is absolutely no cost to participate to this competition as it is included in your park’s ticket price.

New Security Arrangements at Disney World

Disney-Daytime
Disney recently announced the opening of a new screening system at Disney Magic Kingdom.

With the view of improving security and making the whole process more fluid, Walt Disney has moved its checkpoint of its most visited themed park, Magic Kingdom, from its front gate to the Transportation and Ticket center. This means that visitors will go through metal detectors as well as bag check before boarding the monorail or ferry to the Magic Kingdom park. For visitors arriving by Bus another bag check has also been created. The new security checkpoints have opened Monday 3rd April!!

These new security arrangements now make the monorail and ferry services at Magic Kingdom, part of the theme park’s secure zone. Moreover, visitors boarding at the different monorail resorts will have their own security bag checks prior boarding. This new checkpoints lay out will significantly spread the load of people coming through and thus help reduce the wait lines!

This new arrangements means that you will be able to enjoy a fully secure park with your family and spend less time waiting to have your bag checked and more time enjoying the magic of Disney. It is also worth noting that moving the security checkpoints closer to the car parks will allow you and your family to drop forbidden items back in your car, such as selfie sticks, or costumes without having to take the monorail or ferry back and go through the security wait lines all over again!

For those traveling with little ones, carrying your own or rented strollers, this is bound to be a major improvement to your holiday at Disney!

Walt Disney Baby Care Centers: a Peaceful Haven!

 

Disney Baby Care Centre Maps

All parents traveling with little ones know that even if very gratifying, the whole expedition also comes with challenges!
Disney World Resorts are experts in making family travels as easy as possible. Therefore, if you are coming to Disney World with your baby, Baby Care Centers are your allies!

First of all, each theme park is equipped with one Baby Care Center making it practical and impractical at the same time as you could be quite far away from it even if it is within the park. However, the location of each Baby Care Center is marked on each theme park map, so you can easily plan time away from the crowd with your baby. Most Disney Baby Care Centers are located close to the First Aid Center and you can find signs directing you to them.

Each Baby Care Center is equipped with:

  • Air-conditioning
  • Private nursing room equipped with rocking chairs
  • Changing tables with unisex bathrooms
  • A feeding area equipped with highchairs
  • A kitchen with a microwave and oven and a sink.
  • A main room equipped with a television, sofa, chairs and a table.
  • An on-site shop providing various products for purchase such as, formula, diapers, wipes, baby food, sunscreen, over the counter medication, juice and clothing.

All Baby Care Centers are free to use and anyone with small children are allowed to use them.

These are real peaceful havens for you and your baby, where you can step away from the crowd, and noise, take some time to relax and take care of your little one. Baby Care Centers can make a real difference to your holiday, as you will not have to compromise between enjoying the park and being comfortable with your baby. They can transform what could be difficult times, real moments of joy.

Fireworks Make Wishes Come True at Disney

wishes nighttime spectacular Disney

The Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Disney Magic Kingdom is all about making wishes come true!

Come and marvel at the spectacle while the most famous and beloved Disney characters invite you to sing and wish upon a star.
Jimmy Cricket, Cinderella, Pinocchio, Ariel, Peter Pan and many more invite you along to the magnificent Cinderella Castle at 8:00pm for the biggest, most magical fireworks show of all!! You will hear each of them make a wish under the stars: Cinderella wishes to go to the ball, Pinocchio wishes to become a real boy, Ariel wishes to have real legs… You will sing along the most famous Disney songs and you will too be able to wish upon the starts. Will your wish become true? There is only one way to find out!

This is an incredible show about wishes coming true, it is sang and narrated by your favorite characters and boasts spectacular, bright lights upon the Cinderella Castle.  Don’t miss out on Tinker Bell’s flight above the castle and over the park during this breath taking musical as the most extravagant fireworks illuminate the sky at the end of the night. The whole park vibrates with the rumbling thunder of the fireworks, as blazing rockets race and explode into the sky in a multitude of sparkles and glowing colors.

No matter how many times you have seen this show, the magic of it makes it a worthwhile emotional experience for the whole family every single time. Be sure to prepare tissues as it will certainly bring you tears of joy and love, and will leave you with the best kiss goodnight Disney Resort could offer you during your holiday.

It is a free activity that lasts 12 minutes. You can stand in the Cinderella forecourt or surrounded bridges for the best view of the show.

Pro Bowl Arrives at Disney World in 2017

NFL Football

Pro Bowl players will meet Mickey Mouse in 2017!

Big news in the world of football as the joint press conference in June 2016 with Disney, ESPN and NFL revealed that the Pro Bowl would move from Aloha Stadium in Hawaii to Orlando in Florida from 2017! The NFL declared they had made a multi year deal to move the game to Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
Furthermore, the NFL announced that the Pro Bowl game will change from the ‘drafted’ format used these previous years and now return to the ‘conferenced’ format, matching up AFC and NFC players.
This is your chance to witness and experience one of the most exciting events of the year, as many NFL superstars will arrive at Disney World Orlando the week of January 24th 2017 for the Pro Bowl taking place on January 29th.

Festivities will start on Tuesday January 24th at the Wide World of Sports Complex where team practices will be held as well as other exciting events such as a free football themed festival tailored for the whole family, and youth football events.
On January 26th the ‘Pro Bowl Skills Showdown’ will also be taped at the Wide World of Sports Complex and thrilling activities will be help at Disney Springs and Epcot such as the Pro Bowl 5K run.
Hold you breath for the most magical and exhilarating event of all on January 27th as Pro Bowl players, and NFL cheerleaders along with community groups will celebrate the start of the Pro Bowl game 2017 at Disney by marching in an incredible parade down Main Street, U.S.A in the Magic Kingdom Park.

Come and celebrate this once in a lifetime event at Disney World Orlando and combine the magic of Disney with the thrill of Pro Bowl! This is the perfect celebration for the whole family and a fantastic start of this New Year 2017. This is your chance to approach NFL football superstars as well as your favorite Disney characters at the same time in a family friendly, adventurous, and enchanting environment. In addition to buying your Disney World passes for this exciting week, you can buy your Pro Bowl game tickets on the NFL website and make this holiday complete and an unforgettable event for your whole family.

The Tree of Life Awakening!

Tree of Life Awakening

Experience the magic of winter at Disney Resort Orlando with the awakening of the Tree of Life! Situated at its center, the Tree of Life has been the icon of the Animal Kingdom Park for several years! Come and see this impressive 145 foot (44m) high wooden tree inspired by and shaped as a baobab tree, which is typically found in Africa. You will marvel at the view of its 325 carvings of existing and instinct animals on its trunk and roots, but you will have yet to witness the most incredible spectacle that the Tree of Life has to offer.
After the night falls, the Tree of Life comes alive in a captivating show of light and colors, leaving you mesmerized by its beauty. Every ten minutes sparkling fireflies appear on the tree and magically unveil the life of the wondrous animal spirits that are carved into the tree trunk and roots. The projections bring to life both the tree and its animals in a spectacle full of light, vivid colors, and enchanting music. While you watch this marvelous show, memories of some of the most famous Disney movies will surely spring back to you as the imagery has been inspired by some of the Disney classics such as Pocahontas, Bambi, Tarzan, the Jungle Book, the Lion King, and many more!

The Tree of Life awakening lets you enjoy four different story lines throughout the evening, all featuring different animal spirits and sceneries:

  • Gaze upon a charming doe as she starts her exciting adventure accompanied by a friendly hawk.
  • Marvel at two humming birds falling in love in a scenery of beautiful flowers.
  • Follow a lively fox spreading love and friendship to other forest animals in a magical winter setting.

This wonderful projection is bound to be one of your most magical and heart warming experiences at Disney and there is no better time to enjoy it than during the Christmas holiday season. Gather with your entire family and friends, and let the magic transport you on an enchanting journey of love, friendship, and adventures! This spectacular show starts after dark sets in and lasts until the park closes, therefore ensuring you get the most out of all its three thrilling and heart warming story lines.

Free and cheap activities at Disney you don’t want to miss

happy kids roasting marshmallows on campfire

 

There are hundreds of free and cheap activities you can enjoy on your Disney trip. You certainly don’t have to spend a small fortune at Disney and the following Disney activities on a budget are here to prove it:

Go swimming! Almost all Orlando-area hotels will have some kind of pool. All of the Moderate and Deluxe Disney resort hotels include wonderful themed elements, water slides or other features. Some non-Disney hotels, such as Radisson Resort Orlando – Celebration, Swan/Dolphin and Caribe Royale, also have elaborate waterfall pools and slides. Cost: FREE to guests of the hotel.

Play miniature golf. There are two courses: Fantasia Gardens, near Disney’s Hollywood Studios; and Winter Summerland, near Blizzard Beach Water Park.

Go fishing. This is strictly “catch and release.” There are two places to rent cane poles (worms also provided): Port Orleans Riverside (near Ol’ Man Island) or Ft. Wilderness (at the Bike Barn).
Rent a boat! Most of Disney’s Moderate, Deluxe and DVC resorts have a marina where you can rent various types of watercraft.

Visit Tri-Circle D Ranch (home of the draft horses used to pull the trolleys down Main Street at the Magic Kingdom) at Ft. Wilderness. There are a few farm animals to see and pony rides for very small children from 10 am to 5 pm. There is FREE day parking at Ft. Wilderness and you can get from the day guest parking to the farm area by special buses that run only in the “Settlement.”

Sing around the campfire and watch a FREE Disney movie. The campfire program at Ft. Wilderness is open to all Walt Disney World resort guests. It is held every evening, at about 7:00 pm in fall and winter and about 8:00 pm in spring and summer, near the Meadow Trading Post. The program starts with a sing-a-long and marshmallow roast. You can bring your own food or buy it from the Chuckwagon, which sells S’more kits and also offers other food such as pizza and hot dogs. Chip and Dale meet the guests and sign autographs. Then a Disney movie is shown on a large outdoor screen. There is some seating on bleachers and benches, or you can lay out a blanket. No reservations necessary — just show up. Cost: FREE to all Disney resort guests.

A similar outdoor campfire and movie program is offered at Beach Club Resort and at the Grand Floridian Resort. There is a campfire sing-along on the beach, followed by a Disney movie. (No characters attend this one.) Ask at the front desk for a schedule. S’more kits that make enough for about 4 people are sold there. No reservations necessary — just show up. Cost: FREE to all Disney resort guests.

Port Orleans-Riverside offers a seasonal “Campfire on de’ Bayou” with stories and sing-alongs around a fire at the Ol’ Man Island Fishin’ Hole. (No characters attend this one.) It usually runs in the winter, from Halloween through sometime in March, and only a couple of nights a week (most recently, Sunday and Thursday), weather permitting. Ask at the front desk for a schedule. S’more kits that make enough for about 4 people are sold there. No reservations necessary — just show up. Cost: FREE to all Disney resort guests.

Take a stroll. There are lovely walkways or nature trails around almost all of the resorts.

At night you can wander along the Polynesian’s beach, sit in a cabana and watch the Electrical Water Pageant and the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom. Walk through the tiki-torchlit gardens between the Great Ceremonial House and the beach. It’s all very romantic. (Please keep in mind that the beach and particularly the cabanas are primarily intended for guests of the Polynesian, though there is nothing to prevent the general public from using them.)

Watch the Wishes Fireworks from the Grand Floridian boat dock. Narcoossees restaurant is nearby and receives the audio soundtrack from the Magic Kingdom, so you can enjoy the fireworks synchronized to the music. There’s a little bit of delay due to the distance, but it still works. Seeing the fireworks reflect off of the lake is beautiful.

From the Boardwalk, meander up to the back gate of Epcot, or over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios around closing time and enjoy the music and perhaps a glimpse of IllumiNations or Fantasmic!. The bridge that goes over to the Swan and Dolphin sometimes has nice views at that time.

During the day, explore the woods from the Wilderness Lodge to Ft. Wilderness.
Stroll from the Grand Floridian to the Wedding Pavilion and poke your head in. (Unless there’s a wedding in progress, of course!)

At Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can walk out to the viewing areas and see the exotic African animals roaming free. Note that the animals come out around dusk — you won’t see any during the day. (Please keep in mind that hotel guests’ rooms open right out onto the viewing areas, so quiet is very much appreciated.)

Visit the Butterfly Garden located behind Acadian House in Port Orleans Riverside’s Magnolia Bend section.
Cost for all of the above ideas: FREE.

Rent a bike and explore the trails around one of the resorts. Every Disney resort hotel has some kind of trail, but the trails around Wilderness Lodge and Ft. Wilderness are especially nice.

Rent an old-fashioned fringe-topped surrey at Disney’s BoardWalk. Bicycle around the pier and visit Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts and the Swan and Dolphin. Also available for rent at Old Key West. Surreys can accommodate two to four people.

Watch the Electrical Water Pageant. This floating parade is visible nightly, usually starting at 9:00, from Disney’s Magic Kingdom-area resort hotel docks and beaches. The pageant takes about an hour to move slowly around the lake, stopping at each resort in order: Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Ft. Wilderness and Contemporary. Cost: FREE.

Make the rounds of the Disney resorts and collect something! You can make your own scavenger hunt for little or nothing:
Make a list of every Hidden Mickey you can find
Get a pressed penny or a pin for each resort.
Have a drink in the lounges and save the swizzle sticks (some of them have fun themed designs).
Go on a bargain hunt. Most of the resort hotel shops have at least one shelf or table of marked-down items. You might find a great deal.

Investigate special kids’ programs at your Disney resort hotel. The Deluxe resorts usually have kids’ recreation programs such as coloring, crafts, pool games, Hidden Mickey searches, and storytelling at various times. Cost: FREE to guests of the hotel.

FREE and Cheap Stuff to Do at the Disney resorts

Disney resorts

Every one of the Disney hotels is themed and some of them are literally breathtaking. All of the Moderate and Deluxe resorts, especially, have extraordinary themes and are well worth a visit. You can take Disney transportation from any of the four theme parks to any of the resort hotels. If you drive to one of the resorts, you can get a FREE 3-hour parking permit from the gate attendant.

The pools are amazing: at Coronado Springs the pool looks like a Mayan ruin; the Stormalong Bay pool at the Yacht/Beach Club includes a huge “shipwreck” that contains a slide; the pool at the Wilderness Lodge starts as a “spring” in the lobby, passes under a bridge, then cascades down a waterfall into the pool and ends in a geyser that goes off once an hour! (Note that use of the pools is for the hotel’s guests only, but you can certainly walk around and “ooh and ahh” for a few minutes.)

The Deluxe resort lobbies also have amazing elements and displays that fit with the theme, and a few (including the Grand Floridian) sometimes have a pianist performing.

If you’re looking for a fun photo opportunity, consider visiting the All Star resorts or Pop Century. These hotels feature enormous “pop culture” icons. Take a family photo in front of a 35-foot Buzz Lightyear!

Several of the resorts, including Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, and Yacht Club, offer FREE tours that are open to any Disney resort guest (whether you are staying at that particular hotel or not). Some of the tours require a reservation, so inquire in advance.