Fall at Walt Disney World

Fall at Walt Disney World

Fall at Walt Disney World
The fall decorations at Walt Disney World are incredibly cool!

Visiting Walt Disney World in the Fall!

The cooler temperatures. The crisp sky. The decorations. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. These are just some of the reasons why visiting Walt Disney World in the fall can be an absolutely incredible experience for you and your family.

This year — shoot, next week, people! — my wife, daughter, and I are going to be doing just that! We will be staying at The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort from Thursday – Sunday, and visiting with our friends from California! Such an exciting time, and full of some experiences that many of them have never encountered before!

How’s this for a list of firsts:

  1. This will be the first time we have stayed in a Wilderness Cabin.
  2. For everyone except me, this will be the first time we will taking in Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!
  3. For everyone except me, this will be the first time they will have been to Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure.
  4. For my family, we are taking this trip also to explore schools in the area, so this will be the first time we have done that.

For all of those firsts, there are a lot of things that we have done before. We have been to Walt Disney World in the fall before, and absolutely love it! This will be another great reunion of our two families, and we are so excited about it. Also, it is a great time to remember what living is all about, and to give thanks for all of our blessings that we have been given.

So, what about you? Do you have any travel plans coming up that you want to talk about? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thanks for stopping by! Last thing — get ready for a contest with a super awesome prize (at least, it is in my mind, hopefully you agree!) in the next couple of days!

Springtime at Disney

Exploring the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing some of the magic you can expect at the 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.


Flower & Garden

Lightning McQueen stands watch over the Flower & Garden Festival (2011)

Over at Epcot at Walt Disney World, each year the creative geniuses turn out two major events that are a highlight for those that attend.  In the Fall is the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and in the Spring is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  Today marks the start of the 2017 edition of the Flower & Garden Festival, and the festival runs until May 29th.  If you are lucky or fortunate enough to be able to visit and enjoy the festival, that’s great, but the good thing is that many of the topiaries will be around Epcot even after the festival has concluded.  The picture at the top of this post was taken in June 2011, some weeks after that festival ended.

I’ve not actually been to Epcot during a Flower & Garden festival before, it’s one of those things that I’m looking forward to enjoying one year, but so far we haven’t been able to do so because of school schedules.  So at this point I’ve got pictures that were shared with me from my friend Alicia, and my imagination will take me the rest of the way.

I really love the topiaries, and look forward to seeing them one year.  What I’m most looking forward too, though, is being able to take my wife Cindy to Epcot on her birthday and experiencing it first hand.  Tomorrow is her birthday, so we would be right in line with seeing the start of the festival.  Here’s how I picture it in my mind’s eye.

It’s an absolutely incredible spring-like day.  The sky is a brilliant blue, with a few wispy clouds  dotting the landscape.  Cindy and I are staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, a resort that we’ve visited before but have never stayed at.  For Epcot, it’s a great resort because you can just walk to the park, enter through the International Gateway, and take in the festival. In fact, on this day, that’s just what we did.  We visited all of the pavilions that we enjoy, Canada, China, the American Adventure, Norway, Italy, Germany, France, Mexico.  In fact, we visited them all because today was a special day, a day when it was just Cindy and I, walking hand-in-hand, enjoying being at Walt Disney World, and sharing our love for each other with those we encounter.

Everyone has a smile on their face, because when you are at Disney, that’s what you do most of all — you smile.  You take everything in, and you don’t worry about anything because at Walt Disney World, everyone turns into a version of their childhood once again.  After we walk around the festival, we ride some of our favorite rides: Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, and we remember fondly those attractions that aren’t around anymore, like Maelstrom.

The reality for me is this. Visiting Walt Disney World and Epcot during the Flower & Garden Festival would be great because it would mean that I am able to visit Disney with my wife once again, something we haven’t been able to do for a while now.  It would mean that things are much better than they were, and when we go to Walt Disney World next, it will truly feel like this is the first time we have been.  What are your thoughts about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival? Please share them with us, and make sure you check out the rest of the posts from this loop.  Thanks for stopping by!

For more of what you can expect at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Red | 2017 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival Loop:

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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!

Liberty Square Riverboat

50 Days: Liberty Square Riverboat

Liberty Square Riverboat

The Liberty Belle is the name of the vessel that is the Liberty Square Riverboat!

Hello everyone, and welcome to #Day50 of our #DisneyWorldCountdown!  Can you believe that we have already counted down halfway through our list of 100 things to do at Disney World?  It’s crazy how fast time flies, and before I know it, we’ll be on the road to Florida!

Today we are taking a look at an attraction known as the Liberty Square Riverboat, which features the Liberty Belle, named after Walt Disney’s wife Lillian, as the vessel that will take you around the Rivers of America on your journey.  This is a fun, relaxing, “take me back in time” type of attraction, one that you can get on, look around the ship, see some parts of Walt Disney World that you don’t normally see, and just relax for a while.  After a long day of going all throughout the parks, there are certainly times when this attraction is the perfect respite to ease your tired feet!

In addition to the daytime operation of the Liberty Belle, you can also appreciate the Liberty Belle after dark when you are watching Wishes.  As you probably know, the Liberty Belle stops running in the evening in order to prepare for the famous fireworks show.  However, the string lights are still lit, and it can be fun to get a tranquil look at Liberty Square and the Liberty Square Riverboat after hours too!  Just check out this photo I took some years back.

Liberty Square Riverboat

For a unique perspective on Wishes, take some pictures from over in Liberty Square!

One night a couple of weeks ago I was thinking about the Liberty Belle and how cool it would be to be able to take a ride on it after dark.  That got my imagination going, and I started thinking, wouldn’t it be neat if the Imagineers made some sort of special run of the Liberty Belle — perhaps during one of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party — and operate the Liberty Belle as a special “Ghost” ride?  I think it would be quite the setting for an evening of fun — who knows, maybe they could even turn it into a special dinner show type event.  I know I’m rambling a bit, but those sorts of ideas excite me.  What do you think about them?

Do you and your family enjoy the Liberty Square Riverboat, or do you pass it on by?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Lightning McQueen

The 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival runs from March 6 – May 19, 2013, and is one of the special events that you can visit at Epcot.  Featuring incredible flower displays all throughout Epcot, along with special events and guests, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is a highlight for many people in their Disney Vacation plans!

My family has never been to the Flower & Garden Festival before, but this is certainly one thing that is on our bucket list of things to experience!  In addition to the incredible topiaries, flower displays, and other incredible gardening exhibits, Epcot also has their Flower Power Concert series throughout, and HGTV, as one of the sponsors of the event, has special hosts at their pavilion throughout the Festival’s run.  Here is the list of HGTV hosts that will be on hand during the Festival’s run:

  • March 8-10: Chris Lambton of HGTV’s Going Yard
  • March 15-17: Chris Grundy of DIY Network’s Cool Tools
  • March 22-24: Egypt Sherrod of HGTV’s Property Virgins
  • March 29-31: Brandon Johnson of HGTV’s My Yard Goes Disney
  • April 5-7: Meg Caswell of HGTV’s Meg’s Great Rooms
  • April 12-14: Jason Cameron of DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves
  • April 19-21: Sara Peterson of Editor-in-Chief, HGTV Magazine
  • April 26-28: Carter Oosterhouse of HGTV’s Million Dollar Rooms
  • May 3-5: Casey Noble of HGTV’s Design on a Dime
  • May 10-12: Dan Faires of HGTV’s Design Star and HGTV.com’s DanMade
  • May 17-19: David Bromstad of HGTV Design Star, Color Splash, Design Star All-Stars

Are you interested in attending the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this year?  If so, then Pixie Vacations has a great deal for you if your travel dates fall between April 7 – 14, 2013.  If this is the case, then you can get a 5-night, 6-day vacation for an astounding deal!  Included in your trip will be accommodations at one of these incredible Disney resorts:

  • Disney’s All Star Movies Resort (Value Level Resort)
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside (Moderate Level Resort)
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort & Spa (Moderate Level Resort)
  • Disney’s Polynesian Resort (Deluxe Level Resort)
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort (Deluxe Level Resort)

Additionally, you will receive Magic Your Way tickets, Disney’s Plus Dining, and a free Disney Water Park or DisneyQuest ticket for each person of your party.

If you are interested in booking this trip, you have until March 7, 2013 to do so, so don’t delay!  You can call me at 919-606-6725, email me at Mike@PixieVacations.com, or you can go to the Pixie Vacations website and request a quote.  It’s that simple!

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