Memories from Disney at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Akershus with Belle

Last Thanksgiving, our friends Sheila, Randy, and Jagan invited us to celebrate their daughter’s 15th birthday at Walt Disney World. We were so excited, we had never been to Disney over the Christmas Holiday season, and it was something that we were looking forward to very much. This post is much overdue, but regardless, today seemed like a great day to remember that long weekend with some photos that were taken.

On a personal level, this trip was quite difficult for me because I was suffering from some sciatica issues, and as you know if you have been to Disney, walking is probably job number one while you are there — so it became quite difficult to maneuver through the parks.

I didn’t know that I was going to have this issue, or I would have reserved an ECV beforehand. As a result, I had to request one at each of the parks each day, and hope that they had them. Fortunately, I was able to get one at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but not at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — for that, I had to use a wheelchair. But enough about that, let’s talk about the trip itself!

On Thanksgiving Day, we made a reservation for Akershus, and everyone except me had the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. I had what I always have at Akershus — the Tradisjonell Kjøttkake. This incredible dish is comprised of Norwegian Meatballs served with Mashed Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, and Lingonberry Sauce, and it is something that I love to get when we eat there!

In addition to eating at Akershus, we also ate at The Boathouse for Jagan’s birthday dinner, and at Kona Cafe for breakfast, and Whispering Canyon Cafe for dinner. Some very yummy food was had that weekend!

Throughout it all, though, what stands out most is the memories, the friendships that continue, the friends that are like family, and the laughter we had. It was far too short, but despite my health challenges, it was still a trip that I will never forget.

Take a look, and thanks for stopping by today!

World Showcase

Magical Blogorail: World Showcase at Night

World Showcase

Spaceship Earth at night is a majestic ball of incredible lights!

As far as I am concerned, Walt Disney World is so much more incredible to experience at night.  That’s why my family is always looking for the evening extra magic hours over the morning.  When it comes to specific areas of Walt Disney World that truly shine after dark, I look no further than the World Showcase area of Epcot.  Today, we are going to talk about some of the incredible things we’ve seen here, and you might too on your next visit!

For this hopeless romantic, few locations on Disney property hold the sway that World Showcase does for me after dark settles in.  For starters, I love the way the path just flows from country to country, pavilion to pavilion, all the way around World Showcase Lagoon.  There’s a tranquility there, a sense of calm, a timeless about it that just really strikes home in this writer’s heart.  It takes me back, back to that very first trip to Epcot, in the summer of 1983, when my grandparents took me, and we went with friends of theirs that had their grandson visiting also.  I remember, that was the very first time in a setting that big that I had been allowed to go (with Chris, of course) off without any adult supervision.  But it was Disney, and my Grandparents knew it would be all right.

The charm of the World Showcase at night is that it grabs you, clutches at you, drawing you this way and that, and all the while, the crowds start thinning out because they are heading towards the bus terminals, or their rooms on the Boardwalk, or maybe they’re driving back home; regardless, the night and the park soon feels like you and your special someone are the only ones there.  I remember one recent trip, we were walking around World Showcase, and we came to the drawbridge, and it went up!  We happened to be there when the giant Earth from Illuminations was passing through on it’s way back to where it is stored, and I was able to capture this photo with my phone…

World Showcase

The Illuminations Globe passes by on it’s way to bed for the night.

I had never seen it up close like that before, and haven’t seen it that close since.

Of course, the World Showcase at night also means fireworks!  Namely, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.  This fireworks show to me is incredible, and now, with Wishes closed down over at the Magic Kingdom, is the longest running fireworks show at Walt Disney World.  IllumiNations strikes a great balance between fireworks, laser light affects, narration, and music, and is a great way to kick off the rest of the evening at Epcot.

World Showcase

In the end, the World Showcase at night is about more than a particular attraction; it’s about more than a special fireworks show; it’s about more than getting one last drink before heading out.  World Showcase at night, to me, is all about slowing down, reliving the day with your family and friends, and sharing a special, Magical moment with the one you love most.  That is why I like walking World Showcase at night.  What about you?  Do you like exploring the World Showcase at night? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!


For more ways to enjoy evenings at Disney,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


5 Reasons to visit Walt Disney World in the Fall

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Visiting Walt Disney World in the fall is, in my opinion, one of the best times of the year to visit.  Here’s 5 reasons why we enjoy visiting Walt Disney World in the fall!

1) Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Depending on the time of the season you visit, you may be able to experience the Food & Wine Festival.  This yearly event is held each year in Epcot, and features incredible kiosks of different types of food and wine not normally found at Epcot.  In addition, it also features special presentations from all sorts of celebrity guests.  For 2016, the event runs from September 14 – November 14, almost a full 2 weeks longer than it has ever been, so if you can make it to Walt Disney World to visit, that’s a great time to go.

2) Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Over at the Magic Kingdom, this year Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be held on 29 nights, running from September 2, 2016, through October 31, 2016.  If you are interested in going and dressing up in costume, check out this post from the Disney Parks Blog, it goes into detail some of the changes this year for costumes. Prices vary depending on how close it is to Halloween, so plan accordingly; also, some dates may already be sold out due to the popularity of this event, but I’m certain that there are dates on the schedule that will not be sellouts, but look into it today to help in your planning.

3) Lower Crowds

School is back in session for most kids in September and October, so if you can go during this time, you’re going to find that the crowds are much less than during the summer months or other peak season times. Even October 1, 2016, also known as the 45th Anniversary of Walt Disney World (and Magic Kingdom) is only at a crowd level of 6 out of 10 for the whole resort, and 7 out of 10 for the Magic Kingdom, according to Touring Plans.

4) Great Weather (usually)

Although September and October is still in the heart of the Hurricane Season, generally speaking, the weather at Walt Disney World during these days is absolutely incredible.  This year, the first half of September is looking at temperatures in the high 80s, and mid 70s for the lows; of course, it isn’t Florida without the forecast being Scattered Thunderstorms, but that’s the same during the other months of the year as well, so just be prepared.

5) Fall Decor

The Mickey Pumpkin Lamp post!

The Mickey Pumpkin Lamp post!

I’ve heard of changes to some of the fall decor, but to me, regardless of what the decorations are, I think that they are going to be great!

So, in conclusion, I’d say that if you can make it to Walt Disney World during the fall season, I’d say do it!  You will enjoy it very much, and you might just find a new favorite time of the year to go to Disney!  What other reasons do you have that I don’t have for visiting Walt Disney World in the fall? Please let us know in the comments, and thanks!

Spaceship Earth

Your #DisneyMemory of Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

Over at Epcot, today we are taking a look at what I believe is one of the most recognizable structures in the entire world — the giant “golf ball” known as Spaceship Earth.  This structure, which has stood front and center over Epcot since the park opened in 1982, is an incredible engineering feat, and includes an attraction by the same name.

Spaceship Earth is a slow-moving dark ride that takes us back in time to look at the incredible advances that have been made in communications.  The ride is one of my favorite things to do in all of Epcot, and for today, we are going to take a look at my favorite #DisneyMemory from this great attraction, as well as share some of our pictures we’ve taken over the years of the ride.

Spaceship Earth

At the very front of the entrance to the building is this picture, giving you a tease about some of the things you might encounter on the ride.

Spaceship Earth

Communication has been adapting for eons, as you can see in these two photos.

Spaceship Earth

I think my favorite #DisneyMemory of Spaceship Earth has to do with my daughter Sophie, and the joy that she finds in this ride.  It’s a fun time for us, especially with the new changes that they made a few years back in being able to help plot out our future using the interactive screens on the ride vehicles.  We love Spaceship Earth, and it’s a must ride several times throughout our trip!

Do you like Spaceship Earth, and do you have a favorite #DisneyMemory from this ride?  If so, let us know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by today!

Mexico Pavilion

Magical Blogorail: The Mexico Pavilion!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Green Loop. Today we are taking you on a virtual tour of Epcot’s World Showcase.


Mexico Pavilion

The Mexico Pavilion is housed in an Aztec style pyramid!

The Mexico Pavilion

Welcome, friends, to the Mexico Pavilion, one of the eleven incredible countries depicted in the World Showcase of Epcot!  I’m joining my friends at the Magical Blogorail in talking about each of the pavilions, and I’m going to tell you why I love the Mexico Pavilion, and describe in more detail what you can experience when you visit this country — one of the original countries at Epcot!

The Mexico Pavilion is one of my favorite World Showcase countries.  Featuring a nighttime outdoor market theme, wonderful shops, incredible smells from the San Angel Inn, and the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, this pavilion has it all!

For starters, the structure that is the focal point of the pavilion is the Aztec style pyramid that houses the pavilion.  Inside this structure is the open air market, pictured below, with it’s subdued lighting and aesthetics.  The Disney Imagineers are such incredible storytellers, when we enter the pavilion I am immediately immersed, perhaps even transported, from Florida to a spring evening in Mexico, with twinkling stars and the smell of delicious food wafting through the air.

Mexico Pavilion

The open air market depicted in the Mexico Pavilion is one of it’s biggest selling points!

Aside from shopping, there are many more things to do.  For starters, the San Angel Inn is located in the pavilion; while I have not eaten here, in my mind it is the perfect romantic setting for a wonderful date.  This is because the seating overlooks the launch site for the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros! This ride takes you on a relaxing journey through the heart of Mexico, and you find out that Donald Duck has gone missing — perhaps because of his love of the women?  In any event, your journey follows Panchito and Jose Carioca as they look high and low for Donald so that they can perform their concert!

Mexico Pavilion

Be on the look out for Donald Duck, help Panchito and Jose Carioca find him!

In addition to the San Angel Inn, La Cava del Tequila features appetizers and over 200 varieties of tequila for you to choose from; personally, it’s not my style of hangout, but that’s just me.

Outside of the pavilion is La Hacienda de San Angel.  This restaurant, pictured below, is strategically located on the lagoon for great viewing locations of the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show.

Mexico Pavilion

La Hacienda de San Angel is located outside the Mexico Pavilion on the World Showcase Lagoon.

Additionally, Donald Duck makes his presence known both inside and outside the pavilion.  Perhaps the reason he couldn’t be found on the Gran Fiesta Tour was because he was getting his picture with my daughter?

Mexico Pavilion

Donald Duck signs autograph books and poses for pictures inside and outside the Mexico Pavilion!

Thank you for stopping by today, and taking a stroll into the Mexico Pavilion with us!  Do you like this pavilion?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks!

For more info on Epcot’s World Showcase, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Tour of Epcot’s World Showcase Loop: