Fun Fact Friday- Tower of Terror Part 2

Have you ever noticed that you can see the Tower of Terror from Epcot’s World Showcase?  If you’ve never noticed don’t be alarmed, the Imagineers didn’t really want you to!  With a ride that tall it was inevitable that you would be able to see it from quite a distance.  With that in mind the Imagineers chose a color palette that would blend in.  When you view Morocco from across the World Showcase Lagoon you can see the Tower of Terror in the distance, so they picked a color that would blend in to the already existing Morocco.  This makes it less obvious that the tall building isn’t just a part of the scenery.

Tower of Terror as seen from World Showcase Lagoon

Tower of Terror as seen from World Showcase Lagoon

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Day 7 in review

We are to the point in our trip where we’ve pretty much done most things at the park that we enjoy doing at least once.  We headed back to Epcot this morning and it was our first morning time at Epcot.  We had fast passes for Soarin, Spaceship Earth, and The Seas with Nemo and Friends.  We’ve really enjoyed taking this years trip at a more relaxed pace.  We are not rushing around because our trip is spread out, and that gives us a lot more time to take it all in and enjoy!


After we got of The Seas with Nemo and Friends, we headed to the world showcase starting with the Canada side.  We decided to watch the 360 degree circle vision movie “Oh Canada.”  I haven’t seen that since I was in 6th grade, and my husband had never seen it!  Sometimes the circle vision movies make me a little motion sick, but I was okay this time!  After Canada we headed to the UK for Craig to get his Boddingtons at the Rose and Crown Pub, and then to France for a Grand Marnier slush for me!  We had lunch at the pastry shop in France, and then decided it was time to head back to the hotel for napping and packing (we are transferring to the Pop Century resort for two more nights after tonight).

After napping (more napping and less packing) we headed to the magic kingdom! Our first stop was a fast pass kiosk. Here we were able to secure a fast pass time for haunted mansion after dinner. Before dinner we had just enough time to watch Mickeys Philharmagic… My favorite 3D movie at the parks!


We enjoyed dinner at the Crystal Palace. This was was our first time eating dinner there and I was not disappointed! We met pooh and tigger the other morning at park fare and we lucked out that Eeyore and Piglet were the two we met during dinner rather than duplicating!

After dinner we headed to our haunted mansion fast pass where the coolest part of our day happened! I noticed a cast member looking at the mansion when we got off and I went to look at his pins (I ended up trading for a really cool flounder pin). And we started chatting! He actually told me a secret about something that’s coming which I hope to share when it’s gone public). We chatted for about 10 minutes and he made our day Sooooo magical!!! He gave a special fast pass to ride anything because he had “kept talking so long.”


We had certainly enjoyed talking to him and it was a pleasure, but it was a nice magical touch that made our day just a little more special!

So after that we went to the fast pass kiosk (saving our magic fast pass for later) and got a fast pass for dumbo! I highly recommend riding this one at night or dusk because it’s beautiful!


Afterwards we headed to space mountain with our magic fast pass and it was down!!!! No worries though we were able to walk onto the people mover! And the cool thing was when we went through space mountain on the ride, the lights were on! You could see the inside of space mountain with lights on!!!!


Space mountain was still down, so we rode small world. As we were getting off Small World, we saw the that Space Mountain was still down but that Enchanted Tales with Belle was only a 10 minute wait, so off we went.  All I can say is WOW!!!! Well done Disney!  I highly recommend this experience for all ages! (I will do a full blog post on it at a later time)

  
By the time we got out of Enchanted Tales, Space Mountain was back up and running.  We headed there with our magic fast pass in hand!  So awesome!  It was the perfect ride to end our evening!  We headed back to the resort and got a cocktail at the Scat Cats Lounge.

What a great day 🙂  Today’s Step Count-

  

30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 18 “Favorite Disney Memory”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

Okay, this may be one of my absolute silliest Disney stories that I have, but it is one of my favorite memories!

During my husbands very first Disney trip, in 2008 we only had 2 days to visit the park, and knowing that we only had the two days, I selected Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  I knew that my husband would love the World Showcase and seeing all the cultures, so we spent a lot of time in each country.  We started in Mexico and eventually made our way to Canada.

We were crossing the bridge between France and the United Kingdom (Fun Fact, the water under that bridge is representative of the English Channel!!!)  As we were crossing the bridge we passed a Father and a little boy who I would estimate to be about 8 years old.  As we passed the little boy exclaimed “Daddy I farted!”   Craig and I stifled our laughter until they were out of ear shot, but we just thought it was so funny!  Now EVERY single time we cross the bridge between France and the UK we look at each other and say “Daddy I farted.”   Is it a dumb thing to remember yes, but it makes us laugh 🙂

Bridge between France and UK at Epcot

Bridge between France and UK at Epcot

30 Day Disney Challenge- Day 12 “Favorite World Showcase Country”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

Within the 1.2 miles of the World Showcase at Epcot there are 11 countries, and something for just about everyone.  There are shows, attractions, live music, shopping, and enough food and drink to make anyone want to be rolled out of Epcot!

For me, I love just about EVERYTHING in the World Showcase, and think that each country’s pavilion is special and unique in its own way.  This maybe the hardest decision I’ve made yet in the 30 day challenge.  My top two finalists are Mexico and Japan, and after much consideration, I’ve concluded that Mexico is my favorite pavilion.

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There are several reasons that Mexico is my favorite-

* There is a ride.  Many of the pavilions do not have a ride, rather a movie or other attractions.  The ride may be a little cheesy, BUT it’s one of my husbands favorites, and I just love watching him get excited about it!  (Added bonus there is never a line for the ride!)

* The inside of the pavilion is just beautiful.  I love the feeling of the open air market and how it is set up with individual “puestos” or stands.

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* There are two amazing table service restaurants, as well as a quick service restaurant in this location. (To read my review of San Angel Inn and La Hacienda de San Angel, Click Here)

* La Cava del Tequila offers the best margaritas on Disney property (at least in my opinion!)  I love love love margaritas.  They are probably my all time favorite libation.  They have an amazing pineapple margarita that I look forward to on every trip!  They offer flights of tequila and small plates (for a more intimate experience check out “Wind Down” at La Cava del Tequila.)  AND Neil Patrick Harris is a semi-frequent visitor at La Cava.  It is my dream to meet him there sometime haha!

* Inside La Cava del Tequila there is a really cool mural that shows the process of how Tequila is made, and there is a representative from Tequila Mexico on hand who will explain the process of how tequila is made from the agave plants.  I think it is fascinating, and a great cultural experience.

mural

* In addition to all the fabulous things you can see inside there pyramid, there are additional puestos outside as well as meet and greets with Donald Duck (my hubby’s favorite character) and live mariachi music.

I think this is one of the most well rounded countries in the world showcase!  There is so much to do and see!  Amazing food, amazing drinks, culture… this pavilion has it all!

Disney Challenge- Day 1 “Favorite Disney Park”

Confessions of a Mouskaholic's 30 Day Disney Challenge

Confessions of a Mouskaholic’s 30 Day Disney Challenge

For many I think this would be a hard question- “What is your favorite Disney Park.”  All of the parks have their great qualities, however, Epcot is without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite Disney park.

I love everything about it!  I love the learning is available there, I love that you can experience many cultures in one place, and I love the FOOD!

Epcot is special to me as well because that was the first Disney park that my husband ever got to experience.  On our way to my best friends wedding in Siesta Key, we stopped in Orlando for only one day, and could go to one Disney park.  I choose Epcot for him to experience, and now it is his favorite park as well!

2010 Trip to Epcot

2010 Trip to Epcot

If you’re interested in booking your own trip to Epcot and the other Magical Parks at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, be sure to contact Ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com for your free quote!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

Restaurant Review- Dining in the World Showcase: Mexico

Let this be said about me, I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD!!!!!!  I mean seriously, there is a restaurant near our house and we eat there EVERY Wednesday.  There are even times that we eat there twice in one week because we love it so much.  With that being said, eating in the Mexico pavilion at the world showcase is almost a given on any trip of ours.  The difficulty with this is choosing between the two table service restaurants- La Hacienda de San Angel, and San Angel Inn.  La Hacienda is the newest restaurant having been added to the pavilion in 2010.  We have dined at both restaurants and they both have amazing qualities.  Here are my thoughts on both-

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn

San Angel Inn is located inside the pyramid in the Mexico Pavilion.  I love love love the atmosphere of this restaurant.  The entire inside of pyramid is set up to be like a nighttime open air market place in Mexico.  The restaurant is situated between the market and the river that houses the “Gran Fiesta Tour” ride.  The setting for this restaurant is quiet, romantic and peaceful.

Your meal starts out with chips and salsa, and I love the salsa at this restaurant, it has almost a smokey quality.  The food is good, but not great.  When I choose this restaurant it’s mainly for it’s quite romantic atmosphere.

San Angel Inn Dinner Menu

San Angel Inn Dinner Menu

La Hacienda de San Angel is located directly across from the pyramid.  While a beautiful new restaurant, the setting isn’t nearly as romantic or intimate as the atmosphere at San Angel Inn (just my opinion, feel free to disagree!)

La Hacienda interior

La Hacienda interior

While the setting isn’t as spectacular, the food is much better.  I like their food selection as the taste of the food.  (I had the Tacos Camerones and they were AMAZING!!! It was served with refried black beans with a crumbled cheese and I couldn’t get over how delicious they were!)

La Hacienda de San Angel menu

La Hacienda de San Angel menu

The prices of the two are comparable and a good value on the Disney dining plan.  While the setting isn’t as intimate, La Hacienda does have a very nice view of the World Showcase Lagoon.  If you plan your reservation accordingly and are willing to wait for a seat by the window you can have an incredible view of Illuminations.

There are definitely perks to both locations, so whichever you would choose, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!  Be sure to get your dining reservations, as you will need them at either location!

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

If you are planning your own Disney trip and would like help planning or booking, be sure to contact Ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com !  She can help with all of your Disney planning needs, including dining reservations!

Making the Most of the Disney Dining Plan- Part 3- Tuesday’s Tip

Do you enjoy flavors from around the world?

Tuesday’s Tip- Think about using your snack credits at Epcot’s world showcase!

I know from personal experience that the portion sizes on many Disney entrees are quite large.  My husband and I often end up sharing a snack, if and when we get them at all.  Don’t let those snack credits go to waste though! There is no stipulation on how and when you use your dining credits.

So let’s say you’re doing a 5 night, 6 day stay for 2 people.  Between the  two people you’ll have 10 snack credits (at minimum with the quick service plan).  You can use all 10 snack credits in one day if you wanted to.  Using those snack credits in the world showcase can not only be a  good value for your snack credits, but can also allow you to indulge in  the flavors from around the globe!

You can use your snack credits at many locations.  Just look for this logo, which indicates that it’s a snack on the dining plan

Snack Credit logo

Snack Credit logo

Here are some of my favorite snacks from the different countries-

Mexico- Churros with caramel sauce !!!!  At 3.99, that is a solid use of a snack credit!  These are available at La Cantina De San Angel

Norway- The sweet pretzel with chocolate is the best value at $4.49, but one of my favs is the School Bread.  It isn’t a great value as a snack credit at $2.69, but it sure is tasty! If you’re looking for something a little healthier, you can also use a snack credit on a salad with a $3.99 value. All of these options are available at the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe.

Norway's sweet pretzel

Norway’s sweet pretzel

China-  I am not a fan of Egg Rolls ($3.99), but this is one of the few options if you’re looking to use a snack credit in China.  You can also use your snack credits for iced and hot tea if you’re thirsty.  Prices on the tea range from $3.19 to $4.25.

Germany- You’ve got to do the Authentic pretzel in Germany!!!  Super yummy!  The price of $4.29 makes it another excellent value for the snack credit.  These are available at both Sommerfest and the pretzel carts.

Sommerfest Menu

Sommerfest Menu

Italy- Unfortunately there isn’t anything that I’ve seen that you can use the snack credit on here.  If you really want to try eating or drinking something here, you’ll pay out of pocket, but the gelato, cannoli, or a glass of wine would be my pick 🙂

The American Adventure- This one is easy for me… I’d have to go with the Jalepeño cream cheese stuffed pretzel!  The price of $4.29 makes it a great value, and so many other pavilions have sweets as their snack credits that this one is a nice change!  You can find this at the Fife and Drum Tavern.  If you want even more bang for you buck on a snack credit go with the chili cheese fries at Liberty Inn.

Japan- Mmmmmm sushi!  There are three sushi options all coming in at $4.98.  Yummy and an excellent snack credit value, found at the Kabuki Cafe.

Sushi at the Kabuki Cafe

Sushi at the Kabuki Cafe

Morocco- has one of my favorite snacks in the world showcase, the tangerine cous-cous salad.  I know it sounds weird but you can order this side dish and its super yummy.  Unfortunately, no snack credits are accepted in Morocco.  They also offer tabouli and hummus.  It’s a real bummer that they don’t take the snack credits, but out of pocket these snacks are only $2.99.

France- Welcome to the mother load of snack options!  The lobster bisque is the most valuable use of a snack credit as it is $4.90, but one of my favorites is the bacon and cheese roll.  There are TONS of snack options here, and you really can’t go wrong.  Everything is wonderful!

England- What would a trip to England be without Fish and Chips?  The fish and chips aren’t a snack credit, but you can get just the chips with the snack credit.  Only $2.69 it’s not the best snack credit value, but sure is tasty with some malt vinegar!

Canada-  There is no quick service restaurant in this pavilion and there is only one snack cart.  There you can use a snack credit on pop corn, but it isn’t unique to Canada.  My recommendation is to go in the gift shop and look for unique Canadian candies or treats that are imported.  Remember to look for the logo that indicates that it is a snack credit!