Florida

All posts tagged Florida

Festival of the Masters (FREE!) Begins November 9, 2012

Published October 30, 2012 by Disneyways.com

I’ve been called many things but “refined” and “cultured” aren’t adjectives that have been used very often. That’s probably one reason why the Festival of the Masters has not really been on my radar until this year. One of my friends is really excited about this event because she is a person who really appreciates fine art. She is also an AMAZING artist herself!  So, of course, I will be heading to check out the Festival this year and I am really excited to share this experience with her (and you!) . Perhaps some of her “culture” will rub off on me!

Besides – many activities, as well as parking at Downtown Disney are FREE! That’s a great price if you ask me!

From Disney:

“The 37th Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels is a vibrant, open-air fine arts festival in the Downtown Disney area, held November 9-11, 2012. Featuring award-winning artists, this world-renowned show is a highly anticipated annual event for Guests, artists, collectors and art lovers.
Discover fun for the entire family, including:
Dazzling displays of one-of-a-kind and limited-edition painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more
Hands-on activities for Guests of all ages and interests
Live musical performances
Unique shopping opportunities—from fine art to Disney collectibles

Whether you’re seeking a colorful day amid Disney magic or a spectacular piece for your personal collection, you’ll discover a variety of delightful experiences at Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels.

— Marketplace
• Family Interactive Activities:
o Disney Interactive –Showcasing Epic Mickey and the Power of 2
o Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop – Kids can make their own Sundae magnet.
o LEGO® – Join in the fun as you help a real LEGO Master Builder to construct an 8-ft tall Hulk™ model for the first time!
o Rainforest Cafe® – Experience the joy of watching tropical birds as they perform for you
• NEW! Emerging Masters – Get a glimpse of more than 30 up-and-coming artists as they display their unique talents.
• The Florida Chalk Artists Association – Street Painters from the Florida Chalk Artists Association will cover over 1,000 square feet of sidewalk! The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday at 3pm at the Waterside Stage
• Art of Disney – Our flagship store at the Marketplace full of art from the Disney Masters! Artist appearances will be scheduled throughout the weekend. In addition, this location will present a unique offering by artist Dave Avanzino, giving them the opportunity to have their name made into a custom art using letters found around the Disney Theme Parks
• Michaels® – Make It Take It – Duct Tape Craft – Who knew duct take could be this fun? Visit the Michaels exhibit near the Waterside Stage to create your very own luggage tag take home craft.

Pleasure Island
• Disney Artist Village – This location will be immersed with character art created by our own Disney Masters from Disney Design Group, Yellow Shoes, WDI, Acme Archives Limited and local Disney licensed artists. See original works of art, giclées, prints, one-of-a-kind Vinylmation and the opportunity to meet the artists behind the creativity
• Michaels® Master Mural – It’s your turn to take center stage in the creation of this Disney masterpiece! Join the Michaels team as together we bring to life a masterful work of art…piece by piece!
• Fuego – Come play dominoes! Three custom domino tables will be available for play
• Curl – See several artists create a masterpiece on a pair of TOMS shoes
• Irish Artwork at Raglan Road™ Irish Pub and Restaurant – Check out the designs of Graham Knuttle, a renowned Irish painter and sculptor.

West Side
• Michaels® – Make-it Take-it – Mickey Ear Wood Framing Experience – It’s time to get creative! Design and take home your very own Mickey Ear Wood Frame with a personalized artistic touch. Let your imagination take the wheel with this fun experience designed for families and children of all ages.
• D-Street – Home of Disney Vinylmation; a uniquely shaped three dimensional pallet with creative design from many of our talented Disney artists. Whether you collect or trade, make sure you stop by to see the newest collections
• Cirque du Soleil – Complimentary face painting by a La Nouba artist Friday and Saturday noon – 4pm and live performances by La Nouba performers 4:00pm to 4:30pm
• House of Blues® Folk Art Festival – See grassroots and funk art at its finest, presented by approximately 35 local and national folk artists.
• Disney Art Tent – View a variety of art styles featuring beloved Disney Characters, presented by featured artists.”

For even more info on the festival click here and here.

Frozen Draft Beer Now in Epcot’s Japan Pavillion!

Published October 23, 2012 by Disneyways.com

“Frozen

Photo from Disney Parks Blog. 

Frozen Kirin draft beer?

It’s very popular in Tokyo, Japan, and sold at more than 650 locations. However, you can only find it in one spot in the continental U.S. and that is  the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

(It’s also sold in Honolulu). You canl find the frozen Kirin in the Garden House, the Kabuki Cafe and in the Tokyo Dining restaurant!

That swirl on top isn’t soft serve ice cream. It is actually a light frozen topping made of beer that is reported to keep the draft  cold for about 30 minutes. The swirl actually tastes like beer! It actually keeps the beer cold so you can enjoy it a little slower in the Florida heat.  But who wants to do that? This frozen Kirin draft beer will set you back $8.

Here’s what they had to say over at Disney Food Blog:

“While the beer underneath is completely liquid at all times, the head on the glass is essentially super aerated and chilled — a frozen foam of beer, pretty much. This protective foam works as a mini-refrigerator, keeping the liquid beer beneath colder for longer.

The head slowly melts back down into liquid beer if you wait long enough, but it does stay in tact for about 10-20 minutes in my experience.

It’s a bit hard to work around to get a sip of the liquid beer (if you’ve had butterbeer in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, you have an idea of the phenomenon); but it doesn’t alter the taste of the brew.”

Have you tried it? What did you think?

 

New at the Grand Floridian!

Published October 12, 2012 by Disneyways.com
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, seen ...

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, seen from the monorail station at the Magic Kingdom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New offerings at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

It’s really hard to pick – but the Grand Floridian may just be my favorite resort. Sure I may look ridiculous, red-faced and sweaty…wearing Mickey ears over my wild blonde hair that’s been frizzed out by the humidity. It really doesn’t matter. When I walk in to the Grand Floridian – I am welcomed by the waft of refreshing A/C, and maybe my friend Christine the harpist playing a beautiful tune. All of a sudden I become a classy, refined, lovely lady from the Victorian Era…well…in my own mind that is.

Could they really make this place any better?

Walt used to say he wanted to “plus” things. He loved taking his work just a step further to really delight Disney guests.  I think it may be in that tradition that the Grand Floridian has added some enhancements recently.

The new Beaches Pool Bar and Grill is an outdoor quick-service location with style. After you place your order at the window, a Cast Member will deliver your made-to-order meal to you. This added convenience allows you to lounge by the pool or watch your children splash in the new water activity play area instead of waiting in line for food. Take THAT Tomorrowland Terrace.

Not just your average pool bar, everything at Beaches is made fresh, completed after you place your order. Looking for an adult beverage? Let’s go visit the pool bar, equipped with a TV, signature drink selections and the option to order food from the grill. Soon, the bar also will offer local and micro brews. Beaches Pool Bar and Grill is open 7 a.m.-11 p.m., offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Times and offerings are subject to change.

Nearby, our kids (48 inches or less) can splash in the new “Alice in Wonderland”themed water activity play area. This zone, with lifeguards, features a metallic green dump bucket fashioned after the Mad Hatter’s top hat; it pours gallons of water over the jungle-gym structure and children playing on and around it. Two slides, three pull-string sprayers and a shallow pool complete the water wonderland. This area is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m., with operation times changing seasonally.

Perhaps Alice and Wonderland with all her fanciness and Tea over in the Garden View Tea Room (also located in the Grand Floridian) is the one that inspired things to  continue to get “curiouser and curiouser” all through the fall and winter seasons. Soon we will see additional refurbishment of Sandy Cove Gifts & Sundries merchandise location, Gasparilla Grill & Games quick service spot, and the Courtyard Pool.

Pinkies up ladies!! Now if you’ll excuse me – I’ve got to take my refined self to the ladies room and straighten my Mickey ears.

Do you work for Disney? No, but I used to.

Published September 12, 2012 by Disneyways.com

My Disney Story

I grew up and have never lived any where but in Orlando. Walt Disney World has literally been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember. My parents would take me there as a small child, and I would cry every time we left because I just didn’t know how soon I would be allowed to go back. The parents of my childhood best friend both worked at Disney World, so I can remember going to the cast member parties at a pretty young age. Back in 1993 Disney used to have Grad Nite and I remember that magical evening at the Parks as being one of the highlights of my senior year in high school.

I think it was 2007 when I spent 3 months or so actually working at Disney. I don’t know what came over me. My siblings all worked there when they were young, but I was a very busy adult with a husband and 2 children by this time. Even though I was gainfully employed as a dental assistant in Winter Park Florida 4-5 days a week, apparently I wasn’t busy enough. So, I threw in buying a house for good measure, you know, since we had nothing else to do.

Even though I had 13 years of customer service experience, (5 years of  that customer service experience with a little company called AT&T) and absolutely no food service experience…at all…ever…the Disney casting center thought I’d be a good fit as a hostess at the Garden Grill over in Epcot. I really didn’t understand it – but I didn’t care! I just put on my little farmer’s outfit,  my Disney required non-skid shoes, and my tiny little fake diamond stud earrings. Then I made my long journey to work at the happiest place on earth. It was a long way from sucking spit at the dental office all week, and I loved it.

Little did I know that just a few short years later I would own my own company – and begin taking calls for Disney dining from home!

“Thank you for calling Disney dining, my name is Krista. How can I help you celebrate today?”

It was something I am pretty sure I said in my sleep. The calls were constant and there was no time to breathe in between. It was all the fun of working with Disney and it’s guests on a global scale – without ever leaving my little home office. Many times I was still wearing my PJ’s! I just did it, and I loved every minute.

In fact, Disney dining was a big part of my life for 3 years, so that little stint at the Garden Grill gave me some invaluable inside knowledge about how Disney dining works. I took a month long class about booking resort stays too. In spite of never working as a travel agent, I am a graduate of the Disney College of Knowledge. These are just some of the skills and experiences that I get to draw from as I spend time with my Disney friends all over the world via social media and my online radio shows. I am on an awesome journey – building a financially sound company and career out my love of the Disney Parks. I feel so very privileged and blessed to be able to share my lifetime of living near the Disney magic with you.

Thanks for reading my blog, facebook posts, and tweets! I hope you have a magical day – and I’ll see YOU in the Parks!

Talking Turkey at Disney with Andrew Zimmern

Published July 9, 2012 by Disneyways.com

What’s with the ubiquitous Disney snack – the turkey leg?

They are a really big deal! Just like a rock band – they even have T-Shirts! You can find the shirts right in the shops of  Main Street at Disney World.

It’s one thing that probably won’t be in my wordrobe any time soon. I enjoyed this article in the Orlando Sentinel. It goes a little deeper into why a turkey appendage could possibly be a big deal at Disney, and what Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods thinks about it all. It looks like the author and I share a lot of similar feelings on the matter.

Here’s a link if you want to read more.

Pulling some strings at Disney World… with Harpist Christine MacPhail

Published May 19, 2012 by Disneyways.com

You know how sometimes in life you are lucky enough to meet some REALLY great and interesting people? Well, that’s what happened to me the day I met Christine MacPhail. Christine is not only a wonderful person, she has (in my opinion) one of the coolest jobs EVER.  No office grind for this lady! Christine owns her own business and has made her living  as a harpist for the past 25 years. One of her favorite places to play is Disney World.  Specifically she has played the harp for Victoria and Albert‘s in the Grand Floridian Resort, and for dozens of Disney weddings all over the property (not to mention the state of Florida).  I asked Christine what she loves most about Disney weddings. She was happy to answer, and even threw in some advice for Disney brides.

“I really love what I do,” said Christine. “It is an honor to be part of the special moments in people’s lives. At Disney the weddings always have that extra magical touch. It seems the excitement and anticipation that children have about visiting Disney World comes alive again in the bride and groom!  The Wedding Pavillion is lovely, and I really like the small intimate weddings at locations such as the Boardwalk or the Yacht Club.  I really enjoy seeing the little Disney touches, such as glass slipper place card holders or Mickey and Minnie cake toppers! Most of the couples request Disney music which is always fun for me. “When You Wish Upon a Star” is a perfect recessional song!  My only advice would be that after all the preparations have been made, just relax and enjoy your special day!”

To listen to some of Christine’s Disney music, click here, scroll down mid-page, and choose a song.

Here is a great shot of Christine at Disney’s Boardwalk (click to enlarge).

You can see the bride and groom through the strings.

Photo credit: Misty Miotto

How does one get into the business of harping? When Christine MacPhail was 6 years old she was in a museum with her family and saw a harp there. Her father ran his fingers along the strings and she was hooked! She started taking lessons and has not stopped since. When she was in college a few friends asked her to play her harp for their wedding ceremonies, and that grew into a business. Fast forward 25 years and Christine is still doing what she loves…and talk about talent?!  She can play all sorts of music genres that you might never have imagined coming from a harp. She will amaze you with some of her facebook posts on what she calls “Music Monday” You can like her fanpage on facebook here so you don’t miss a note!

***To learn more about Disney Weddings click here***

***To Download your own Disney Wedding Brochure click here***

I think I’m a little Orange Nerd…

Published April 21, 2012 by Disneyways.com

He’s the talk of the Disney blogs! He doesn’t sing or speak, his thoughts just go up in an orange puff of smoke over his head! Is he your ideal husband? No! He’s the Little Orange Bird!

Here is his full story if you are interested:

Now if I can just get the song out of my head! 🙂  It’s just so cheesy and wonderful.

The “Art” of hearing music under water

Published April 12, 2012 by Disneyways.com

I am so excited about Disney’s Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World that is opening soon. This will be a much needed addition to the line of “value resorts” which are often quite full due to the fact that we don’t all want to mortgage our house just to stay on Disney property! Yesterday I heard that the Art of Animation Resort will have the biggest pool on all of Walt Disney World, except for the water parks. It will be called the Big Blue – a nod to the Fining Nemo movie. I have seen some Walt Disney World resort pools, and let me tell you, none of them are what I consider small. I have a feeling the Big Blue is going to live up to it’s name. There’s another thing…we will be able to hear music when we are under water in the Big Blue. How cool is THAT?

The Finiding Nemo themed family suites will be opening first on May 31, 2012, followed by the Cars family suites on June 18, 2012, and the Lion King suites on August 10th. If you have a smaller party and don’t need all the space a suite provides, you will want to wait for the Little Mermaid standard rooms opening September 15th. It is still sweaty, sticky hot in Florida in September so make sure you leave some time in your schedule to enjoy the Big Blue. You can book your stay right now! I checked yesterday and amazingly – they are showing availability for certain dates.

Here’s a link so you can practice singing the song under water if you want to – your secret is safe with me!

Official “Hidden Mickeys” to look for in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Published April 9, 2012 by Disneyways.com

Looking for a something different and fun to look forward to?

How about making a dining reservation now for either The Whispering Canyon Cafe or Artist Point over at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge?

wilderness-lodge-resort-00-full

 

You do not have to have park tickets or be a guest at any Disney resort if you want to get your Disney fix. Make a reservation for Whispering Canyon Cafe or Artist Point by calling 407-WDW-Dine.. When you arrive at the resort, you can park for free. Just let the guard know you have a dining reservation and he will wave you through. Before or after your delicious meal – you can pick up a park map at the front desk, enjoy the Lodge’s version of “Old Faithful”, gaze at the sparkling pool, sit on a comfy couch in the lobby – even catch some classic Disney cartoons playing on the hidden TV in the lobby.  If you are like my sisters…you will want to take a nice walk after your meal. Here’s a fun activity for your walk…you can look for some of these OFFICIAL Hidden Mickeys! This is EXTRA fun if you have kids in tow. Tip: Print this and take your list along!

There are 14 individual hidden Mikeys located in the common areas alone, including one in a fireplace screen:

  • Artist Point, right-hand mural—coloration of lower right-hand tree varies creating shape
  • Artist Point—cloud in the distance of the left-hand mural
  • Lobby—in a key on display between the front desk and Mercantile merchandise shop
  • Lobby—right-hand side of fireplace just below the red rocks
  • Mercantile—outside, the bus driver on the sign showing the resort transportation location
  • Outside entrance—right, inside support post below iron band at top
  • Outside entrance—right, outside support post below iron band at top
  • Territory Lounge—colored area on rear end of a pony in mural on ceiling
  • Territory Lounge—map at the entrance, one of the pots about two feet from the bottom
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe—in bottom ironwork of fireplace in back room
%d bloggers like this: