News! 2018 Epcot Festival of the Arts Dates

Mark your calendars for January 12 through February 19, 2018! Those are the dates for the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts!

festival of the arts horizontal

And guess what?! In 2018, the Festival will be running SEVEN DAYS A WEEK! (In its inaugural year, the Festival ran Fridays through Mondays only.)

Screenshot from My Disney Experience app

Screenshot from My Disney Experience app

That’s right! The second annual celebration of the Culinary, Visual, and Performing Arts will return with a bang by running all week long! However, variety will still be the spice of the Festival of the Arts, as there will be “various entertainment offerings planned each weekend.” [Read more…]

Review: Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

Via Napoli, how do I love thee? Shall we count the ways?

Seriously, I would, but it would take too long. Since this Table Service restaurant opened in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion seven years ago, I’ve been among its biggest fans. I love the decor, with those massive pizza ovens named for Italian volcanoes, the huge open space with arches and chandeliers, and the colorful frescoes on the walls and ceilings.

Oh, and did I mention there’s PIZZA involved, too? Via Napoli easily tops my list for serving up the Best Pizza in Disney World. It’s pretty much become one of those spots I visit whenever I have an excuse to do so.

On my most recent visit, we started with a couple of drinks. And there is no shortage of options at Via Napoli. There are cocktails, signature drinks, and, of course, lots of vino.

[Read more…]

Disney World Mac and Cheese Gallery

Mac and Cheese, the go-to meal of toddlers everywhere, has become a bit of a phenomenon at Walt Disney World. Everyone loves it. It comes in a bevvy of styles. And it’s almost always totally awesome.

So here’s a gallery of our favorites!

Mac and Cheese — Polite Pig

The Polite Pig Mac and Cheese is one of the newest additions to our gallery, and it’s divine. We love the shell pasta and how it holds all that tasty cheese sauce. Mmmm.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese Varieties — Eight Spoon Cafe

It’s impossible for us to choose just one of the mouthwatering options at Eight Spoon Cafe in Animal Kingdom, so we suggest getting one of each. The simple Baked Mac and Cheese is creamy and delish, while the Pulled Pork and the Sweet and Spicy Shrimp versions are interesting and satisfying. [Read more…]

Review: Frozen Ever After Dessert Party at Epcot!

These days, if there’s a Nighttime Spectacular at a Disney World park, there’s bound to be a Dessert Party to go with it! These extra-ticket events have become a popular splurge option for guests who want some sweets to go along with the fabulous nighttime shows (not to mention the ease of reserving a prime viewing spot without waiting an hour before the fireworks begin).

Recently I reviewed the Happily Ever After Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom; but the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party kicked off in Epcot in July, so I wanted to get in on that action to relax and unwind after my VERY full day covering the Best of the Fest at the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party

‘Cuz that’s how I roll. Check it out with me!

You may recall that for the past few years, guests could reserve the Sparkling IllumiNations Dessert Party, which also featured a dessert buffet and a reserved area for IllumiNations viewing.

But in July, Epcot replaced the Sparkling Party with the current Frozen theme. Now, look: we know some of you are completely Frozen-ed out. We hear you. But your kid may not be just yet. And this new party includes one neat perk. It still features plenty of desserts, and it still offers a great view of the show. But now, an after-hours ride on Frozen Ever After is included once the smoke clears from IllumiNations! [Read more…]

Five Dining Memories To Make at Walt Disney World

No matter how you vacation at Walt Disney World, the primary goal is always the same: to make memories that you can cherish and share for a lifetime. And with hundreds of attractions, shows, and experiences to try, there’s no shortage of ways to make those memories.

Hello from Disney World!

Hello from Disney World!

But one of our favorite ways to make new and lasting memories is by enjoying special dining experiences in the World. So if you’re officially planning your next vacay (or just daydreaming, as you should!), here are five unique and special dining experiences sure to leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Dine Above the World

Anyone can sit at ground level and enjoy some tasty Fish and Chips or a tray of Chicken Nuggets, but if you want to elevate your dining, you gotta get above the World. And thanks to some thoughtfully placed restaurants, you can do that with ease! [Read more…]

New!! La Cava del Tequila’s Universe of Energy Margarita in Epcot

If you didn’t get a chance to take a final spin on the Universe of Energy, there’s still a way to pay tribute to the classic Epcot attraction.

Just stop by La Cava del Tequila in the Mexico Pavilion!

Just like in fall of 2014 when La Cava honored the Maelstrom with a specialty margarita (which you can still get today!), the Universe of Energy has received a nod with the Universe of Energy Margarita!

This tribute-in-a-glass features Mezcal, Senorio Blanco, Liquor Ancho Reyes Verde, Guanabana Liqeuer (which is made with the Guanabana fruit [aka soursop] and rum and has flavors of strawberry and pineapple), fresh apple and lemon juice, and agave nectar.

Universe of Energy Margarita on Cava del Tequila Menu

Universe of Energy Margarita on La Cava del Tequila Menu

It’s served on the rocks, as you can see here. [Read more…]

Review: New Drinks at La Cava del Tequila in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot

We’ve sure been doing some talking about Epcot lately, what with the 2017 International Food and Wine Festival starting in less than a month (!!!) and some sneaky peeks happening over the past few weeks.

But lest we get lost in a sea of future Marketplace Booths, there is plenty happening in the here and now, too. And one of the places it’s ALWAYS happening is La Cava del Tequila inside the Mexico Pavilion of World Showcase.

This cave full of liquor features one of my absolute favorites with the Avocado Margarita, which remains near the top of my Drinking Around the World list. It’s creamy, surprisingly refreshing, and fully satisfying on a hot day. But if you’re looking to stray outside the list of tried and true favorites, with over 70 types of tequila you can easily find something new-to-you!

So let’s head on down to La Cava, inside the Mexico pyramid. And remember, you can queue up to grab your drinks To-Go; or you can wait for a table to open up at this cozy little spot.

Entrance into La Cava del Tequila

Entrance into La Cava del Tequila

But if you do choose to sit a spell, you can’t beat the atmosphere. Low lighting, lots of stone and brick work, beautiful murals showcasing the tequila-making process, and carved chairs help this place feel right at home in the beautiful Pavilion while still having a vibe unique to anywhere else in Disney World. It’s a great little getaway. [Read more…]

News: Gluten Free Eats at the 2017 International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot!

Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival kicks off on August 31 with an epic and record-breaking number of food booths — 35 — representing cuisines and lifestyles from around the globe.

2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Banner

And as part of the Festival’s on-going commitment to providing awesome eats for guests of all kinds, many of the booths are featuring Gluten Free options! We expect to see lots of signage indicating the GF dishes. And of course cast members can also answer your food allergy questions.

[Read more…]

Mission Space Restaurant and Ratatouille Ride Coming to Epcot, Tron in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland, and MORE!

We’re reporting live from the D23 Expo and there is a TON of incredible news about the future of Walt Disney World!!

Mission Space Restaurant and Ratatouille and MORE Come to Epcot

First up, a brand new restaurant is slated to open in the next couple of years. This Table Service restaurant will be located adjacent to Mission: SPACE and will offer an “amazing dining experience in the stars”!!

RH5_4678

We’re sure the view will be out of this world ;-D. And we look forward to having a SERIOUSLY amped up dining option in Future World. This venture will be run by the Patina Restaurant Group (which operates spaces such as Via Napoli and Morimoto Asia).

Also, a Ratatouille ride has been officially announced for Epcot’s France! This will open in a space behind the Eiffel Tower in the France Pavilion — a completely new section of the pavilion. This will approximate the Ratatouille ride already operating in Disneyland Paris, in the sense that guests will “shrink to Remy’s size and scurry to safety in a dazzling chase across a kitchen with the sights, sounds and smells of Gusteau’s legendary Parisian restaurant,” according to Disney. [Read more…]

News! 2017 Disney World Candlelight Processional Narrators and Dining Packages Announced

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Too soon? ;) Well, not really… not if you’re planning to spend part of the holiday season in Walt Disney World. If that’s the case, we’ve got some great info for you about one of the most popular holiday events at Disney World. Booking is now officially open for the Candlelight Processional Dining Packages! AND we also have the preliminary list of narrators!

Neil Patrick Harris Narrating the Candlelight Processional

Neil Patrick Harris Narrating the Candlelight Processional

You can make your Advance Dining Reservation NOW by booking online at disneyworld.com, or by phone by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).

The Candlelight Processional features the retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator. The reading is accompanied by a robed choir and a full orchestra performing Christmas carols. [Read more…]