Monstrous Summer Preview – The Most Amazing Thing EVER Happened At Epcot!

Last week, I was so excited to be in attendance for Disney’s Monstrous Summer Media Preview! After a special Illuminations Dessert Party, we were asked to be at the front entrance of the Park for a special announcement. I had no idea that what was about to happen next would be the coolest thing I’d ever seen take place ON Spaceship Earth! Don’t believe it? Well, have a look at my video below!

How unbelievably AWESOME was that? I’m so excited that I was right there at the front of the action for the special announcement and I sure hope that you will be able to make a visit to one of the three-park all-night parties happening at Magic Kingdom Park in Florida and Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park in California. The parks will stay open from 6 a.m., May 24 to 6 a.m., May 25, 2013, local time.

Keep an eye out on the Disney Parks Blog and the Monstrous Summer site for upcoming details!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Planting Project With The Kiddos

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Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Planting Project With The Kiddos

I’m excited to be heading down to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL to check out Epcot’s 20th annual International Flower and Garden Festival this week! I’m especially excited about seeing the new topiary additions like the Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters University” addition! The brand new illuminated gardens have me intrigued too, I saw that it’s an extra sprinkling of Pixie Dust to end the evening and you all know how I love Pixie Dust! I really enjoy seeing the entire Park in bloom with all the gorgeous colors everywhere you look. There are so many new things to enjoy this year…I can’t wait!

The [extra silly] kids and I worked on a little planting project in our new Mickey Gnome flower pot too…because we’re festive like that! Take a peek on the video below!

This post carries a Level 6 compensation; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own…as always!

Are You Ready For The 2012 International Food and Wine Festival?

Are You Ready For The 2012 International Food and Wine Festival?

I just LOVE visiting the Walt Disney World Resort at any time of the year, but the fall is one of my VERY favorite times to go. There are so many fantastic events going on including one of the most anticipated events of the year, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! I don’t know about you, but I’m always overwhelmed by all of the great events and food booths there and I never know where to start. Well, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is quickly approaching and since it’s the biggest Food and Wine Festival of its kind in the world, it can be overwhelming, even to repeat visitors! But by pre-planning, you’ll be able to choose the parts that are most important to you and create a strategy to make sure you experience them all.

To help you with the pre-planning, I want to tell you about the DFB Mini Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book. It is 160 pages of in-depth information, including significant updates and 35 pages of brand new information! If you were one of the many who bought the guide last year, you know how important these details are. There is a full chapter on What’s NEW at the 2012 Festival, great for veterans and those who have been to the festival before. All of the new marketplace booth menu items, new events, and more are noted as well! Plus, there’s been a brand new FAQ section added answering broad and not-so-broad questions like “Are the booths open in the rain?”, “Are the booths open during Extra Magic Hours?”, and “Is there a way to pay one price for an all-you-can-eat option?” and even more bonus items (including new booth crawls and touring strategies)! Remember, if you only have a few days (or less) to spend at the Festival, you want to be sure you’re making the right choices!

Also included in the DFB Mini Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book is a full schedule of events for every single day of the 46-day Festival! This extremely valuable, exclusive resource allows you to easily flip to the days you’ll be there, see what’s offered, and be ready to book tickets — just like that! This guide is only available in digital format. Use it on your mobile device when you’re at the festival to see what events are happening in real time. You’ll have instant access to menus and food photos from the 2012 World Showcase booths, each booth has its own page, complete with photos of the booths AND food as well as a full menu. By choosing your must-eats before you get to the festival, you’ll save time, money, and all-important stomach space! You’ll also get location, time, and price details for every single event, concert, and seminar at the Festival. The exclusive and customized bonus sections will help make your trip to the Festival your best visit ever. Take a look before your trip to decide what menu items and events your family will enjoy, then book early to make sure you’re one of the lucky attendees! This level of detail, organized by day, can’t be found anywhere else online or in print. Time is money on a Disney Vacation; get the most out of both!

Order today and you’ll get the following FREE Bonuses:

Full, Comprehensive Daily Schedule of Events: Whether you’ll be attending for one day, or visiting the Food and Wine Festival every weekend, we’ve got a full daily schedule of events where you’ll be able to see everything taking place at the festival while you’re there. We haven’t seen this type of comprehensive schedule anywhere, and we’re already using it for reference!

Index of Everything New at the Festival in 2012: We’ve compiled a list of every new International Marketplace booth menu item, signature event, seminar, demonstration, concert, and more. If you’ve been to the festival before, check this out to see what new items there are to try.

Eleven World Showcase Booth Crawls — a great activity for a group of any size or a solo adventurer: We’ve mapped out eleven World Showcase Booth Crawls that will take you from booth to booth to sample some of the incredible menu options at the Festival Marketplaces. Choose from eleven fun themes — or do a new one every day! There’s even one for the kids!

Food and Wine Festival Customized Touring Strategies: Will you be visiting the Festival for only one day? Only a half day? Are you going to be there with kids? Want to do the festival on a budget? We’ve developed customized touring strategies for these circumstances and more!

Eat to the Beat! Mp3 Playlist: Let the music of the festival stoke your excitement for October to finally get here! We’ve put together a playlist of favorite songs by the Eat to the Beat Concert headliners and included links so you can get them quickly and easily!

Food, Wine, Beverage, Winery, and Beer Indexes with Dates and Locations: These indexes give you the opportunity to quickly scan menu items, wines, beers, and even wineries at the festival to find out where your favorites can be found. We even include dates for when certain wines, beers, and wineries appear at festival seminars and demonstrations!

Chef Index and Chef Spotlight Bios: Find out quickly where your favorite chef will be presenting, and read up on bios of the celebrity chefs who will be appearing at the Food and Wine Festival.

Are you excited yet? I’ve already read my DFB Mini Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book and my family has three weekend trips planned during the Festival this year!! Woo Hoo!!!! The goodies I’m really looking the most forward to are the Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki at the Greece Booth, the Beef Empanada at the Argentina Booth, the Frozen Dragon Berry Colada at the Caribbean Booth, and finally the Chocolate Covered Cannoli at the Italy Booth!! Please let me know in the comments which are your faves!

I’ve got some more great news for you too! Right now, Disney Food Blog is having their grand launch of this fantastic guide and, for a limited time, if you use the code CHEFS when you make your purchase, you can save an additional $3 and get the e-Book for only $11.95!!! Well, what are ya waiting for?

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. If you make a purchase using that link, I will make a couple dollars toward keeping this site up and running! This post carries a Level One compensation.

The 2011 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is upon us! Are you ready?

The 2011 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is upon us!
Are you ready?

I absolutely love this time of year at Walt Disney World for a number of reasons. The EPCOT Food & Wine Festival is one of the big ones and it is quickly approaching! This year’s Festival goes from September 30th through November 13th and the theme is “Passport to a World of Flavors”. It’s the biggest Food and Wine Festival of its kind in the world and can be overwhelming, but with a bit of pre-planning, you’ll be able to determine what events, demonstrations, and menu items are most important to you, and create a strategy to make sure you experience them.

I’m excited to be heading down twice in October and even more excited that I’ve had a chance to read the 2011 Disney Food Blog Mini Guide to the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival! The last time I went to the Festival, I didn’t do any of the special events, I didn’t know what to expect at all. After the quick 2 days I spent there, I felt like I’d missed everything. It doesn’t have to be that way and you can make the very most of everything if you’re prepared, even if you only have a couple of days. This guide is a MUST-HAVE if you are attending and here’s why:

*Included in the 2011 Disney Food Blog Mini Guide to the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival e-Book is a full schedule of events for every single day of the Festival! That means that you’ll be able to easily flip to the days you’ll be there, see what’s offered, and be ready to book tickets — just like that!

*You’ll have access to menus and photos (including many food photos!) from the World Showcase booths. You’ll also get location, time, and price details for every single event, concert, and seminar at the Festival. The exclusive and customized bonus sections will help make your trip to the Festival your best visit ever. Take a look before your trip to decide what menu items and events your family will enjoy, then book early to make sure you’re one of the lucky attendees! Time is money on a Disney Vacation; get the most out of both!

*Now in its 16th year, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is well-known for high quality presentations, celebrity chefs, and fantastic food. But each year the event gets bigger and bigger, and it becomes more difficult to simply pop in for the day and see everything at the event. Don’t get shut out of popular events, and don’t wait in endless lines! DFB has had years of experience with the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, and is excited to bring you all of their tips and tricks!

Remember, if you only have a few days to spend at the Festival, you want to be sure you’re making the best of it!

This guide is only available in digital format. Once you purchase, you will immediately receive a link to download a PDF file with over 125 pages of great information.

Plus, if you order today, you’ll also get the following FREE bonuses:

*Full, Comprehensive Daily Schedule of Events

*Index of Everything New at the Festival in 2011

*Five Brand New World Showcase Booth Crawls

*Food and Wine Festival Customized Touring Strategies: Will you be visiting the Festival for only one day? Are you going to be there with kids? Want to do the festival on a budget?

*Eat to the Beat! Mp3 Playlist

*Food, Wine, Beverage, Winery, and Beer Indexes with Dates and Locations

*Chef Index and Chef Spotlight Bios

And here’s the kicker, Disney Food Blog is having a Birthday Blowout Sale this weekend! ALL e-books are discounted through Sunday, September 4th! Use the code BIRTHDAY when you purchase any of the three available books (see my sidebar under “Must-Have Planning Tools” for the others.

This amazing, picture-rich Guide has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If after you’ve made your purchase, you don’t feel that the Guide was worth the price, just let the Disney Food Blog folks know within 30 days of your purchase and your money will be refunded…no questions asked. I am confident that you’ll be thrilled with the Guide and get many times your investment back in time-savings and vacation enjoyment!

So, what are you waiting for? Get yours now by clicking the link below!

Disclosure: This post has a compensation Level of 1. Please see Jackie’s Full Disclosure page for more information.

Jamie Deen at EPCOT’s International Food & Wine Festival

The folks from the Disney Parks Blog were here in Savannah recently catching up with Jamie Deen at his mom Paula Deen’s famous restaurant, The Lady & Sons.

We have not had the opportunity to eat there since we moved here, but one of these days, I’m hoping to experience it! I hear that you have to get there to line up pretty early in order to secure a spot as they don’t accept reservations for parties under 8 most days of the year. Click here for more information on reservations. Maybe when the weather cools down again, we’ll give it a try!

If you’re traveling down to the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival down at Walt Disney World this fall, look for Jamie Deen’s culinary demo at 1pm and 3pm on Saturday, October 22nd in the Festival Welcome Center. The cost is $13 for the 45-minute session.

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: A Day of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living ~ Part Two

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011
A Day of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living ~ Part Two

After spending a fabulous afternoon playing at EPCOT, we headed over to World Showplace for a special Magic of Healthy Living press event and dinner. I also had the privilege of attending an informative question and answer session with some of the Disney Channel Stars as well as some other folks involved with the MOHL campaign.

While there, we learned that Walt Disney World has fed over 440,000 guests that have a food intolerance of some sort. We also learned that WDW is changing their options in restaurants to offer more healthy choices to guests. Alyson Stoner joked around saying that cake is an important part of a healthy diet. Then on a more serious note, explained that health is not an appearance but a lifestyle, rather than a fad.

There was also a young lady on the stage named Katie Stagliano who had lots to tell us about gardening at home. She was literally a book of knowledge about growing your own vegetables, entertaining kids while teaching them to eat healthy, and using food as a vehicle to talk about history, science, and culture. I had a chance to speak with her after the session and she was truly an amazing girl. She donates a lot of the vegetables she grows to local food kitchens. She even has her own website called Katie’s Krops! You should really check out her site and read her story!

In between the press conference and dinner, we had a chance to mingle with the celebrities. Our kids have been HUGE Wizards of Waverly Place fans for years and they were INSANELY excited to meet and have a picture with Jennifer Stone, who plays Harper on the very popular series. You can tell how excited Zach is simply by his smile, teeth showing and all!

Next, we met Daniel Curtis Lee, who plays Kojo on The Disney Channel’s Zeke and Luther! Sorry about the blurry/dark pics! They were taken on my blackberry with no flash, but, you get the idea!

The tables for dinner looked so beautiful and each had a gorgeous flower bouquet in the center.

This was our menu for dinner:

Heirloom Tomato Water with Basil Essence and White Balsamic

Fregola, Lentils, Quinoa, and Burgundy Amaranth

Watermelon Radish, Rainbow Carrot, and Quick Pickled Cucumber Summer Roll with Ponzu Sauce

Pan-Seared Poulet Rouge Breast with Heirloom Beans

Paired With

Slow Poached US Wild Caught Striped Bass with Preserved Lemon and “EPCOT The Land” Harvested Greens

Mickey Mouse Polenta with Toasted Flaxseed

House Made Multigrain Baguette with Edamame Hummus

I have to admit, when I saw this, I was a bit scared. I didn’t really *get* what most of it was.

Our kids ate the Mickey Mouse Polenta and their carrots but that was about it. My hubby and I picked at some of it, but it wasn’t really our cup of tea. So, we went and grabbed a quick service meal at La Cantina De San Angel on our way out to the Illuminations Dessert Party location, but not before Mickey and his friends came out to play with the Disney Channel Stars for a bit!

After all of the dancing was finished and people were starting to head outside, Molly spotted Kenton Duty who plays Gunther from The Disney Channel’s Shake It Up and made a new buddy for the rest of the evening!

We were excited to go to the special Illuminations Dessert Party where they had all sorts of healthy choices that were really good! Every time I looked for Molly, she was standing in the middle of a group of the Disney Channel Stars, but RIGHT next to Gunther always!

We have always enjoyed Illuminations at EPCOT and this night was especially wonderful! What a great way to end another fabulous Disney Social Media Moms Celebration!

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010: Private Party, Joe Jonas, & Demi Lovato

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010:
Private Party, Joe Jonas, & Demi Lovato

 

We were having such a great day that we just couldn’t believe it could get any better! Our itinerary said that we had a “private dinner and live entertainment at Epcot. This will be a mix-in with the media in attendance for the day’s big events”. What we did know for sure was that Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato would be performing. I loved how we could see the tables that were set up for us as well as the back of the stage! This was our view from where we were waiting to get in:

We had also caught a glimpse of Chef Robert Irvine so many of us thought he was the one preparing our dinner for that evening. It turned out that he was not, but it was sure fun thinking that for a little while anyway! He was running around like crazy just like we’ve all seen him do on “Dinner Impossible”. It was pretty cool!

The food was really fun also because it was served in cute little individual-sized portions. Desserts were yummy too! Especially the teeny tiny push-up cheesecakes! I felt so special to be at EPCOT for a private party, it was really amazing!

We had our own private concert that evening and it was just awesome! I’ve never been to an event like this before and it was very surreal for me.

What a magical evening!

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010: France, Friends, & Podcast

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DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010
France, Friends, & Podcast

 

Continuing on with my story from the 2010 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, here goes…

After getting over our disappointment of missing the dis-mantling of the can structure, we realized that we were footloose and fancy-free until our private party at 6:00pm! What were we to do with all our free time and so many of us?

Well, it just so happened that Lou Mongello was walking through World Showcase ALL ALONE at the same place we were when our paths crossed. We were all pretty excited to see him! So, we stood around chatting for a little bit and then he said that he was going to park it somewhere and record a podcast for WDW Radio and asked if we’d like to join him and pipe in with our experience thus far! Of course, we were all thrilled to hobnob with Lou! What Disney fanatic wouldn’t be?

First, we had to take a group photo…

From left to right there was Lynne, Aurora, Amanda, Traci, Jen, Lou, me, JL, Maria, Debbie, and Squirrel!

We proceeded to walk over to the France Pavilion where we went all the way into the back and tucked into a corner around a table and talked Disney!

Amanda, JL, Traci, and Lou

Sorry the pic is blurred…it was the only one I had at the table! It was truly one of the many highlights of this trip! If you’d like to listen to the podcast we recorded that day, click here.

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010: Friends & Parades

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010
Friends & Parades

 

After lunch, we started to head back over to Epcot’s World Showplace to help with dis-assembling the can structure and packing the cans into boxes to be donated. When we got there, we were shocked to find out that there were so many volunteers that day that all the work had been done already. We could only stand outside of the gates and see that there was some very important filming going on. We were all pretty crushed…but…we persevere! The gates were blocked by this very fun truck!

There was a crowd gathering so we decided that it might be a good idea to stay put. There was a whole big group of us hanging out. It appeared as though something fun was about to happen and sure enough, Disney’s Honorary VoluntEARS Cavalcade started heading out! By golly, it was a parade!

This parade was adorable! It lasted for all of about 10 minutes. I loved it! Nothing beats a Disney parade. Nothing! Well, maybe fireworks…or Cinderella Castle….or….oh, who am I kidding? It’s all wonderful!