Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Everything Guide to the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

It is time! The 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival has begun today, March 4, and run through May 17th.  This is the Festival's 22nd year.  Each year the Festival offers beautiful gardens, topiaries, butterfly gardens, celebrity presentations, the Garden Rocks Concert Series, food booths, and much, much more!
Today, I present to you this full guide to experiencing the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

What's New?

Every year brings about some new items and this year. This year they include:

  • Topiary versions of Elsa and Anna from Frozen. They will be found in the World Showcase Plaza.
  • The fantastic food booths, known as Outdoor Kitchens are back. This year brings the Botana Botanico booth, which will be located between the France and Morocco pavilions and will features Cachapas with Farmer's Cheese, a sweet yellow corn pancake, as well as a Coconut Tres Leches. Beverages will include a non-alcophic punch, La Tizana, but for those who want an adult version, they can choose to add a spash of orange liquer.
  • The front entrance garden will feature topiaries of Chip and Dale in the “Goofy About Spring” floral vignettes. Topiary Goofy, Daisy and Pluto will also be in on the fun topiaries will be Chip and Dale taking a star turn in two whimsical Epcot front-entrance “Goofy About Spring” floral vignettes. Topiary Goofy, Daisy and Pluto will be in on the fun
    Other brand-new Disney character topiaries will be Chip and Dale taking a star turn in two whimsical Epcot front-entrance “Goofy About Spring” floral vignettes. Topiary Goofy, Daisy and Pluto will be in on the fun. - See more at:
    Other brand-new Disney character topiaries will be Chip and Dale taking a star turn in two whimsical Epcot front-entrance “Goofy About Spring” floral vignettes. Topiary Goofy, Daisy and Pluto will be in on the fun. - See more at:
  • The Flower Power Concert Series transforms into the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Artists will now include acts from the 1960s-1990s. New acts will include the Gin Blossoms, Pablo Cruise, En Vogue, Jon Secada, Taylor Dayne, and Little River Band.
  • Ten new mini-gardens will be added to the festival. They are:
    • Prehistoric Plants
    • Trial Garden
    • Disney’s Inside Out Emotion Garden
    • Health and Healing Garden
    • Pepper Fire Garden
    • Pizzeria Garden
    • Japanese Mini Garden
    • Pollinator’s Paradise
    • Bold Bromeliads
    • Shakespeare Garden
     There will also be a southwest garden showcasing dessert landscapes.


The topiaries are always my favorite part of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.  These plants, which are sculpted into wonderful works of art, are always stunning and so incredibly detailed.  It's amazing how they take different plant substances to make these creative pieces.  

Here is a look at which topiaries will be found in 2015 and where:  

Topiary Description
Farmer Mickey and Minnie
Between Future World and World Showcase
Buzz Lightyear
Mission Space
Mater/Lightning McQueen
Test Track Walkway
Phineas and Ferb
Oddysey Bridge
Mike and Sulley
Monsterous Garden
Future World West
Butterfly Topiaries
Behind Spaceship Earth
Bambi and Friends
Canada Pavilion
Peter Pan and Captain Hook
United Kingdom Pavilion
Winnie the Pooh
United Kingdom Pavilion
Cinderella and Prince Charming
France Pavilion
Beauty and the Beast
France Pavilion
American Adventure Pavilion
Lady and the Tramp
Italy Pavilion
Miss Piggy
Italy Pavilion 
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Germany Pavilion
The Lion King
Year of the Ram
China Pavilion
Norway Pavilion
Goofy About Spring
Main Entrance

Garden Rocks Concert Series

The Garden RocksConcerts feature bands from the 60s through the 90s.  Performances take place at the American Gardens Theater at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the Festival.  The concerts are included with your Epcot admission.  New artists for this year include the Gin Blossoms and Pablo Cruise. Here is the complete schedule for 2015:  
  • March 6-8: Gin Blossoms (Hey Jealousy) 
  • March 13-15: Pablo Cruise (Love Will Find a Way)  
  • March 20-22: En Vogue (Free Your Mind) 
  • March 27-29: Starship (We Built This City) 
  • April 3-5: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO (Evil Woman) 
  • April 10-12: The Village People (Y.M.C.A.) 
  • April 17-19: Jon Secada (Just Another Day) 
  • April 24-26: The Guess Who (These Eyes) 
  • May 1-3: Taylor Dayne (Tell It to My Heart) 
  • May 8-10: Little River Band (Lady) 
  • May 15-17: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone (I’m Henry the VIII, I Am)

Festival Center

The Festival Center is the hub for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.  This location (which is the former location of the Wonders of Life Pavilion) holds special gardening workshops where you'll be able to hear tips from Disney gardeners.  You'll also be able to shop for Festival merchandise, and more. The Festival Center will only be open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Each weekend features hands-on presentations at the Greenhouse Stage at 11:00 a.m. and at 2:00 p.m. and live demonstrations on the Fresh Epcot Stage at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. 

In addition, guests can stop by the Intermissions Café, which features a fine selection of wine, cheese, wraps and salads.  

Fun Fresh Weekends

Each weekend will be known as the Fun Fresh Weekends, but select weekends will also include a special extra theme.  They are:  
  • March 13-15: Spring into Spring Weekend Presented by Joffrey’s Coffee
  • March 16-17:St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the American Adventure
  • March 27-29: Art in the Garden Weekend – From 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., see nature through the eyes of “Plein Air” artists, along with one-of-a-kind works of art in our Guest Artist booths—all located throughout World Showcase.
  • April 17-22: Earth Day Weekend – April 17 through 19, meet specialists from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Then on April 22, hear about conservation efforts to protect coral reefs, sea turtles, sharks and more at The Seas with Nemo & Friends and see the grand reveal of the finalized sand sculpture based off the Disneynature film Monkey Kingdom.
  • April 24-26: Florida Fresh Weekend – From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., head for the Festival Center and discover why Florida is one of the top agriculture producing states in the nation!
  • May 1-3: See a stunning display of hibiscus in a wide array of colors at the Hibiscus Show.  

Educate Yourself

  • Epcot Gardens of the World Tour
    Be treated to fanciful floral displays on this 3-hour tour held only during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival on Monday, Tuesday, Thusday & Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. A disney Horticulturist will be your host on a tour of special displays and award-winning international gardens. The tour costs $64.00 per person, ages 16 and up. To book, call 407-WDW-TOUR (939-8687).
  • English Tea Garden – Presented by Twinings
    Enjoy the history and art of tea blending during a guided 20-minute tour of an elegant English Tea Garden, featuring some of Twinings finest tea blends. To register, sign-up in The Tea Caddy at the United Kingdom Pavilion.

Outdoor Kitchens

Last year was the first year for the Outdoor Kitchens (which were known as Marketplace Kiosks).  These Kitchens focus on serving small bites of delectable treats and beverages with a focus on fresh ingredients. 

The booths are similar to what you would see at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. There will be 11 kitchens total, found throughout World Showcase.

Here is the full list of all the Outdoor Kitchens that will be featured during this year’s festival:

Jardin de Fiestas (Mexico Pavilion) - Enjoy flavors like savory tacos and fruity cocktails.

  • Tacos al pastor – Corn tortilla filled with achiote-marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions and cilantro
  • Quesadilla de hongos con queso – Flour tortilla filled with mushrooms and cheese
  • Flan de chocolate Abuelita – Mexican chocolate custard
  • NEW! Tecate Draft Beer with Patrón Citrónge
  • Mexican sangria
  • NEW! Blueberry Pomegranate Margarita on the Rocks
  • NEW! Tequila Liqueur Flight (flavored tequilas)
Candied Strawberries ©Disney
Lotus House (China Pavilion) -  Dine on a variety of Chinese cuisine, like popular street foods and bubble tea.

  • Beijing-style candied strawberries
  • NEW! Kung Pao Chicken Bun
  • Vegetable spring rolls
  • Oolong Peach Bubble Tea
  • Kung Fu Punch – Vodka and triple sec with mango and orange juice
  • South Sea Storm – Guava juice with light and dark rum
  • Plum wine
  • Tsing-Tao beer
  • Honey Mango Wine Cooler

Florida Fresh (Germany Pavilion) - Savor fresh Florida ingredients that are grown and produced locally.

  • Watermelon salad with pickled onions, BW Farm baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction
  • Shrimp and stone ground grits with andouille sausage, sweet corn, tomatoes and cilantro 
  • NEW! Florida Blueberry and Lemon Curd Tart
  • Watermelon passion fruit slush featuring Simply Lemonade
  • Key Lime Sparkling Wine
  • Blonde Ale, Orlando Brewing Company
  • Channel Marker Red Ale
  • Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale, Florida Beer Company
  • Jai Alai
  • Beer Flight: Blonde Ale, Channel Marker Red Ale, Jai Alai, Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale
Feast of Flowers ©Disney

Watermelon Salad ©Disney
Shrimp and Grits ©Disney
Primavera Kitchen (Italy Pavilion) - Sample some of this country’s many flavors like caprese, manicotti, torte di ricotta and Italian wines.

  • NEW! Fior di Latte, Prosciutto e Pane di Casa — Pinwheel of Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Ciabatta Bread
  • Three cheese manicotti – Egg pasta stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce and béchamel
  • NEW! Limoncello Panna Cotta — Lemon custard, limoncello liqueur, raspberries
  • Placido Pinot Grigio
  • Placido Chianti
  • Bosco del Merlo Prosecco
  • Corbinello
  • White peach bellini – Prosecco and white peach puree
  • Strawberry rossini – Prosecco and marinated strawberries
  • Frozen Italian primavera – Assorted fruit slushy with limoncello and vodka
  • Moretti Lager
  • Moretti La Rossa
The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews (American Adventure Pavilion) - Celebrate the truly American tradition of barbeque, paired with craft brews from across the country.

  • Pulled pig slider with cole slaw
  • NEW! Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños
  • NEW! Smoked Debreziner Sausage with House Made Kraut and Mustard
  • “Piggylicous” bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch featuring Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Billy’s Chilies, Twisted Pine Brewing Company
  • Floridian Hefeweizen
  • Category 3 IPA
  • NEW! Maple Bacon Stout
  • Beer Flight
  • The Original Rib Shack Red Wine
  • NEW! Frozen Lemonade (with Palm Ridge Reserve Whiskey Optional)
  • NEW! R.C. Sweet Tea made with Twinings Cold-Brewed English Classic Tea
Piggylicious Bacon cupcake ©Disney

Pulled Pig Slider ©Disney

Hanami (Japan Pavilion) - Hanami is a traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers.  Take in the gorgeousness while enjoying delicate bites and refreshing beverages.

  • Frushi – Fresh pineapple, strawberries and melon, rolled with coconut rice, topped with raspberry sauce, sprinkled with toasted coconut and served with whipped cream on the side
  • NEW! Teriyaki Curry Bun — Steamed bun filled with chicken, vegetables, curry and sweet sauce 
  • NEW! Osaka Salmon Sushi – “Hako-sushi” Box style Sushi with Salmon and Rice, topped with Dynamite, Volcano and Eel sauce
  • Kirin draft beer
  • NEW! Strawberry Nigori
  • NEW! Daishichi Kimoto Sake

Taste of Marrakesh (Morocco Pavilion) - Discover the tastes on North African spices which will be paired with fresh ingredients, as well as Moroccan beer and wine.

  • NEW! Falafel Pocket with Cucumber Tomato Salad and Tahini Sauce
  • Harissa chicken kebab with couscous salad 
  • NEW! Pistachio Baklava
  • Mint iced tea
  • White sangria
  • Guerrouane red
  • Casa Beer
  • Desert Rose – Sparkling wine with pomegranate liqueur

NEW! - Botanas Botánico - Items with a South American Flair

  • Seafood Ceviche - Shrimp, Scallops, and Grouper with mango and avocado
  • Cachapa con Queso
  • White Corn Arepa with Braised Beef and Chayote Slaw
  • Coconut Tres Leches
  • Polar Beer
  • La Tizana
  • Monte Paschoal Reserve Tannat
  • Monte Paschoal Natural Brut White Sparkling Wine

Fleur de Lys (France Pavilion) - Indulge your senses in France’s most magnificent culinary masterpieces.

  • Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal – Parisian-style dumplings with vegetables and mushrooms
  • Confit de canard, pommes de terre Sarladaise – Pulled duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes
  • NEW! Macaron Guimauve à la Fraise, a Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron
  • NEW! Ice Pop Combination of French Peach Iced Tea, Grand Marnier Peach Raspberry Liqueur, and Vodka.
  • La Vie en Rose frozen slush – Vodka, Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liquor, and white and red cranberry juice
  • Kir Imperial – Sparkling wine, Chambord and black raspberry liquor
  • Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – Fruity white beer with citrus note 

Pineapple Promenade (Canada Pavilion) - Eat up (quite literally) as you try all kinds of treats featuring delicious and juicy pineapples.

  • NEW! Pineapple Dog – Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Sriracha Mayo
  • Dole Whip
  • NEW! Pineapple Soft Serve with Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut Flavored Rum
  • Dole Whip with Parrot Bay coconut rum
  • NEW! Ace Pineapple Hard Cider
  • Frozen desert violet lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade (nonalcoholic)
  • Sparkling Pineapple Wine, Florida Orange Groves Winery, St, Petersburg,FL
  • Berry Tea Cocktail with Twinings Cold-Brewed Mixed Berry Tea
Berry Tea Cocktail ©Disney

Urban Farm Eats - Taste treats from this booth’s all natural menu, with dishes that have been cultivated from the soil.

  • NEW! Kale Salad with Dried Cherries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese with White Balsamic Vinaigrette 
  • NEW! Quinoa Vegetable “Naanwich” with Arugula Pesto and Oven-Dried Tomatoes
  • Ghost pepper-dusted tilapia with crisp winter melon slaw and mint oil featuring The Original Sauce Man’s Kick It Up Rub
  • NEW! Urban Mary: Spicy Tomato Juice, Lime Juice, and Worcestershire, with shot of Vodka (optional)
  • Cucumber lemon spa water, finished with a sprig of fresh mint
  • Hess Shirtail Creek Vineyard, Chardonnay
  • King Estate Acrobat Pinot Noir
  • Crispin Blackberry Pear Cider

Don't forget to pick up your Garden Passport. This is a special booklet that you should get stamped as you visit the Outdoor Kitchens.  Passports can be picked up at the Festival Center, at any DVC Information Booth, or at the Outdoor Kitchens.  

Fun For Kids

The kiddos aren't left out during this event.  Quite a few new additions have been added that will appeal for the entire family. 

They include:  
  • Cactus Road Rally with Mater and Lightning McQueen: Play at this exciting stop located at Test Track Walkway.
  • Mike & Sulley's Monstrous Garden: Scare up some fun at this vibrant play area on Imagination Walkway.
  • Butterflies on the Go: Don’t miss the chance to catch a glimpse of gorgeous butterflies as they flutter about at this magical stop.


There will be quite a few areas where guests can pick up a fun gardening or Epcot Flower and Garden Festival trinkets. Special Festival merchandise is created exclusively for this event. Items include plush, mugs, ears, shirts, wind chimes, pins, and artwork.  Consult your Festival Guide Map for shopping locations. 


There are also a few odds and ends you should know about.  The Illuminated Gardens and Topiaries are back.  Each evening, enjoy your walk around World Showcase just a little more as the topiaries are illuminated and twinkle.  

Look for a new mini Disney Gift Card that is exclusive to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. The neat thing about the card is that it has a bungee cord so you can wear it around your wrist and simply swipe to pay for food and more. The card can be reloaded as many times as you want at most festival kiosks. 

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is such a great event.  It's the sign that Spring is just around the corner and it really gets me in the warmer weather mindset.  There's a ton of things to offer everyone and it just amazes me how much bigger this event just seems to be getting year after year.  

What do you look forward to experiencing at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.  Let me know in the comments or on the Facebook page!  

If you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word!  Share it on Twitter or the photos on Pintrest, hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our Facebook page and find me on Twitter, I'm @RikkiNibs!    

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 2/23/15 - 3/1/15

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 


Magic Kingdom
  • Pirates of the Caribbean will see a lengthy refurbishment this summer from May 11 through September 25.
  • Parts of the new hub have opened, with new grassy areas, sidewalks, fountains, new seating for Casey's Corner and the Plaza Restaurant, and more. In addition, a new fireworks FastPass+ location has opened, in the new Main Street Plaza Gardens, which is adjacent to Crystal Palace.
  • The dates for the 2015 Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties have been announced. Tickets will go on sale in April. Dates are: 
    • September 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27
    • October 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31
    • November 1
  • Dates for the 2015 Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party have been released. Tickets will go on sale in April. The party dates are
    • November 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29
    • December 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18

  • The Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt will be returning to World Showcase.  For $4.95, guests can purchase a special map that includes stickers that correspond to the actual eggs that can be found in each of the the parks.  Guests must search the park and put the character egg sticker on the map where the actual character egg was found! Once all the eggs have been located, guests must return their map to the redemption station for a prize.  
  • The 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival will be held from March 2 through May 15.  

Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show will be closed for a refurbishment from April 20-24. 
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid will be closed September 7-10.

Disney's Animal Kingdom


  • New Avatar concept art was released.  
  • On March 5, at Rafiki's Planet Watch, guests can learn about amphibians and conservation with the "Spring Forward" special event.

Downtown Disney 
  • Havaianas has opened in The Landing section.
  • Planet Hollywood will be seeing a re-design with the Disney Springs refurbishment. The restaurant will be called Planet Hollywood Observatory and it will receive a new facade, featuring brick on the outside, plus an outdoor bar and expanded terrace. Inside there will be a high-tech planetarium with stars and constellations on the ceiling, as well as Hollywood props and costumes and Hollywood movie features. In addition, a new menu will be rolled out.  
  • At the Marketplace Co-Op, the WonderGround Gallery, which sells unique artwork, will be moving into a spot being vacated by the Beautifully Disney makeup location. In addition, The Sign Shop, which will offer Disney Parks-inspired signs for sale, will take the place of the WonderGround Gallery’s former space.
  • The Village Causeway recently opened, as well as a few new kiosks. They include:
    • Kate and Leo:  a charming cart features children’s toys, travel games, magnetic story boards, beautiful art supplies and more,
    • Icon Jewellery by Bico: Offers jewelry for men and women, featuring iconic and inspirational designs focusing on concepts like love, protection, strength, and luck.
    • Flour and Sugar: This shop offers fresh-baked, all-natural gourmet cookies with Florida flavors like coconut, key lime, strawberry and more.
    • Florida Bath Company: Specializes in unique, Florida-themed bath products such as bath bombs, salts and soaps, made with home-grown ingredients including organic vegetable juices and essential citrus oils.
Disney Resorts
  • For the Easter week, 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort will be offering a special brunch buffet from March 29 through April 5. Menu items will include breakfast and dinner options.


  • Polynesian Volcano Pool could open by the end of this month.
Download the all NEW Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining!  Read about all the fantastic delights the parks have to offer!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Detailed Review of the 2015 Walt Disney World Ticket Prices Increase

It's February, which means it's time for Walt Disney World to increase ticket prices once again! 

So, how did tickets increase?  Well, first, a one day Magic Kingdom base ticket increased by $6, to the unprecedented total of $105. Disney has also decided to increase ticket pricing for Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom, however they will see cheaper rates than the Magic Kingdom.  The cost to get into those three parks will be $97, a $3 price increase.

It wasn't just One Day tickets that increased though.  Instead, all Magic Your Way tickets have increased an average of about $11 per ticket option.

In addition, both the Park Hopper Option and the Water Park Fun and More option have increased by $4 each.  Also, the dual option where guests get the Park Hopper and the Water Park Fun and More increased by $4.  This year, Disney discontinued the option to purchase the No Expiration option, however, if you already have tickets that are No Expiration, you are ok and able to use those.

One Day Theme Park Ticket Options
TicketAges 10+ Ages 3-9
Single Day Magic Kingdom Ticket$105$99
 Single Day Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Ticket$97$91

Magic Your Way Ticket Options
Number of DaysBase Ticket
Optional Add-Ons

Ages 10-upAges 3-9Park Hopper®Water Park Fun & MorePark Hopper® & Water Park Fun & More
10 days$365
($36.50/day) increase of $11
increase of $11
$64  increase of $4
$64 (10 visits) increase of $4
$90 (10 visits) increase of $4
9 days$355
increase of $11
increase of $11
$64  increase of $4
$64 (9 visits) increase of $4
$90 (9 visits) increase of $4
8 days$345
increase of $11
increase of $11
$64  increase of $4
$64 (8 visits) increase of $4
$90 (8 visits) increase of $4
7 days$335
increase of $11
increase of $11
$64  increase of $4
$64 (7 visits) increase of $4
$90 (7 visits) increase of $4
6 days$325
increase of $11
increase of $11
$64  increase of $4
$64 (6 visits) increase of $4
$90 (6 visits) increase of $4
5 days$315
increase of $11
increase of $11
increase of $4
$64 (5 visits) increase of $4
$90 (5 visits) increase of $4
4 days$305
increase of $11
increase of $11
$64  increase of $4
$64 (4 visits) increase of $4
$90 (4 visits) increase of $4
3 days$275
increase of $1
increase of $1
$50 increase of $1
$64 (3 visits) increase of $4
$90 (3 visits) increase of $4
2 days$192
increase of $4
increase of $4
$50 increase of $1
$64 (2 visits)  increase of $4
$90 (2 visits) increase of $4

Base Ticket: One theme park per day
Park Hopper: Can hop between more than one theme park on each day
Water Park Fun and More: Allows guests a specific number of visits (between 2 and 10 depending on the number of days of your ticket) to choose between the Disney Water Parks, DisneyQuest Interactive Theme Park, Disney’s Oak Trail golf course, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Disney’s Winter Summerland.
No Expiration: Allows you to use your tickets at any time, with no expiration date. (Tickets are only good for 14 days after first day's use, unless this option is purchased.)

In addition, Annual Passes have increased in price as well.  Both adults and children pay the same price for their Annual Pass. There is no separation of pricing like the Magic Your Way tickets offer.

Annual PassPrice
Annual Pass (Pass gets you into all four theme parks for 365 days.)$654 increase of $20
Premium Annual Pass (Pass gets you into all four theme parks, Disney’s two water parks, Disney’s Oak Trail golf course, DisneyQuest, and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.) $779 increase of $25

One of the things that I've never done, but think it's interesting to take a look at is the general rise of ticket prices.  They have especially increased since they changed over to the Magic Your Way system, which was done in 2005.   Now, do keep in mind that prior to the Magic Your Way system, there were quite a few years where ticket prices increased twice in a year...both increases were small, but when added together, they were significant enough...the graph reflects the total price raised in a year, not each individual increase.  (With the exception of 2006, when there were two increases and I did show them both on the graph.)

It is staggering to see though that in the course of 15 years, ticket prices have increased to almost double.  When looking at the increases over the 10 years prior to 2000, while tickets increased yearly, it was still at a moderate rate.


What are your thoughts on this latest increase?  And what are your thoughts of the increases that have taken place since 1990?  Let me know in the comments section.

If you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word about A Disney World After All!  Share it on Twitter or the photos on Pinterest, hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our Facebook page and find me on Twitter, I'm @RikkiNibs!      

Monday, February 23, 2015

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 2/16/15 - 2/22/15

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 


Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Some of the first details for Star Wars Weekends have been released.  Once again, James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: Clone Wars” will be returning to host each and every weekend.  He's the host of the "Stars of the Saga" talk show, which, for this year, will occur in the Theater of the Stars (where Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage is performed). Darth's Mall will be moving to near the Streets of America.  Finally, as part of the evening’s events, there will be the “Summon the Force” celebration, where favorite characters will assemble and social media moments will be shared. The evening will end with the “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks extravaganza.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • Flame Tree Barbeque's refurbishment has been extended.  It will now take place until April 22.

General Walt Disney World News
  • Walt Disney World ticket prices have increased. The cost for a one day, Magic Kingdom ticket is now $105 for those ages 10 and up. The cost for a one day ticket for Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, or Disney's Animal Kingdom is now $97 for adults ages 10 and up. In addition, all other Magic Your Way ticket prices increased. Other changes include a one day ticket for the water parks will now allow guests in to both Disney's Blizzard Beach and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon in one day, when both parks are open.  Finally, Disney has removed the No Expiration option for guests to purchase, which means that from here on out, guests will no longer be able to purchase that option. Those who have purchased No Expiration tickets in the past are still valid.  For more information about the ticket price, read my post from
  • Disney is testing a direct route to Disney's Typhoon Lagoon from a few different hotels. The routes are:
    • Wilderness Lodge/Contemporary Resort to Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
    • Polynesian Village Resort/Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
    Buses will operate approximately every 20 minutes, with service beginning 30 minutes prior to park open and ending 1 hour after park close.
Downtown Disney
  • Sound Lion has officially opened.
  • Erin McKenna's Bakery has officially opened.


  • Is Aloha Isle closing to make way for the upcoming restaurant refurbishment at the Adventureland Veranda? Also, could the theme be centered around Princess and the Frog? 
  • Epcot will likely be offering a new show in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot themed around Tokyo’s Harajuku, a neighborhood known for attracting Japanese teens and young adults and their unique fashions. 
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Be Our Guest Restaurant - Is It Worth The Hype?

Be Our Guest Restaurant has to be, hands down, the most popular restaurant at Walt Disney World, at this point. It is super hard to get Advanced Dining Reservations for dinner, they created a FastPass+ system for the counter service lunch, and the standby lines for lunch were crazy long!  Which is why the Magic Kingdom restaurant will be switching over to an all reservations for lunch system.  You see, beginning next week, on February 25, all guests visiting the Magic Kingdom can book a reservation via their My Disney Experience account to enjoy this restaurant's counter service option.

Guests be able to make reservations 180 days out and guests will need to submit a credit card to hold the reservation.  The card will not be charged unless the guest does not show up.  Also the restaurant will allow for walk-ups, if by chance they are available.

The question Be Our Guest Restaurant worth the hype?  Is it worth the trouble to get in just to dine there?

I would arguably say yes!  It actually is.  I've tried both dinner and lunch here (I was lucky enough to get a lunch FastPass!) and I have been consistently pleased with both options.

For dinner, I enjoyed the thyme-scented pork rack chop with the au gratin macaroni and cheese and seasonal veggies for $23.99.  While the meat was delicious, what I especially enjoyed was the au gratin macaroni and the green beans! The au grain was super cheesy and the green beans were nice and crisp.

For lunch, I sampled the braised pork, which consisted of slow-cooked pork with vegetables and bacon served with mashed potatoes and green beans jardiniere for $12.99.  Holy cow!  This was the best counter service meal I've ever had at Walt Disney World.  The meal was dinner quality was fantastic and that price was incredible.  The pork was fork-cuttable, the green beans had great flavor and the mashed potatoes were great too. 

Of course, I also had to have dessert both times.  At dinner, I tried the Triple Chocolate cupcake and for lunch, I had the Master's Cupcake. While both were chocolate and delightful.  I found the Triple Chocolate one took the cake....literally!  The best part...these cupcakes are also relatively reasonably priced!

Of course, part of what makes this restaurant so popular, is the fact that it's themed around the classic movie, Beauty and the Beast.  But to me, that isn't enough...I mean, look at another movie-themed restaurant, Tony's Town Square, in the same park.  Tony's should be extremely popular!  It's based off a great movie, however, the food is clearly lackluster. (I don't know how anyone manages to screw up pasta, but boy they certainly found a way!)

Overall, the Magic Kingdom is sorely missing the mark on restaurants.  I mean, there isn't a stand out period that guests are really excited for, for the most part.  (Many enjoy Crystal Palace...though the cost is insane, especially for dinner. Oh and for those who claim the price is justified due to it being a character meal, Be Our Guest does allow you to meet the there is a character component...even if it isn't advertised as a character meal.)

But honestly, if you want to dine at a great restaurant and you're at the Magic Kingdom, you're better to head to the Magic Kingdom Resorts instead. Every meal at the Magic Kingdom, is lackluster or stupidly expensive (or both) at best.

That was until Be Our Guest came along.  Be Our Guest changed things because not only do they offer food that actually is delicious and unique, but it's also not ridiculously priced.  Now I know that many will disagree with me, but I find both lunch and dinner costs to be pretty darn on the mark for a good Disney restaurant.

Yes, lunch costs more than a lot of other counter service locations, but I feel you are getting a much higher quality meal and some of those options are worth paying more for.  (Like my braised pork....honestly...that was more along the lines of something I would have had for dinner.  I could have eaten that for lunch and had either a very light dinner or snacked the rest of the evening and been happy...for under $15!  That's a bargain, especially for Disney!)  However, they also offer sandwiches that are more unique than you'd typically see at most other Disney quick service restaurants.

As far as dinner is concerned...I find the quality, again to be top notch, but when compared to something like Liberty Tree Tavern, which I find yummy, let's face it, isn't the most high-class cuisine you can have.  And ALL of the meals at Be Our Guest currently cost LESS than Liberty Tree Tavern's feast.  (Granted LTT's meal is also all you can eat, but still....I'm not typically getting more than one plate anyway.) 

Of course, with all the success, I'm actually rather shocked that Disney hasn't attempted to make this a signature meal.  Of course, with the rumored Adventureland Veranda restaurant coming, maybe they are using that to relieve the pressure off of Be Our Guest and once that one opens, will change Be Our Guest to signature dining.  (I'd actually bet pretty good money on that one.)

So, yes, Be Our Guest Restaurant is absolutely worth the hype...because it's honestly the only hypable restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.  I just hope Disney learns from the success of this restaurant and eventually applies it to some of the other Magic Kingdom restaurants too.  (Again...I'm looking at you Tony's Town Square. don't have to change much...just start serving edible food!) 

What do you think?  Is Be Our Guest Restaurant worth the hype?  I know many will agree, however quite a few of you will strongly disagree, so share your thoughts on the Facebook page or in the comments section! 

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Walt Disney World News and Rumors 2/9/15 - 2/15/15


Magic Kingdom
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment has been pushed back to April 27-30.
  • Construction permits have been filed for the Adventureland Veranda, furthering the rumor that it will be turned into a restaurant once again.
  • The Tomorrowland Arcade has closed officially as of February 9.
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin will be closed for two days, March 4-5.
  • Peter Pan's Flight will also be closed for two days, March 5-6.

Downtown Disney
  •  Sanuk has officially opened in The Landing section.

Disney Resorts
  • Las Ventanas Restaurant at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort will be open now for dinner. 

General Walt Disney World News
  • The Richard Petty Driving Experience will be closing at the end of June. 
  • Eligible Guests staying in a Walt Disney World hotel will now have the option to go directly to their hotel room once it is ready, without the need to stop at the Front Desk, seamlessly streamlining the Guest check-in process. To be eligible for this optional offering, Guests must have the MagicBands for their current stay shipped to their home, as well as completed the Online Check-In process including paying for their reservation in full or establishing a credit card and PIN.  They also must provide a method of communication--either text or email.  Once Guests have created their MagicBand and had them shipped to their home, they will receive an email making them aware of the service and providing information regarding the other steps they need to take. If the Guest has completed all eligibility steps, they will receive a message via email and/or text prior to their arrival notifying them of their room number and that they have the option of going directly to their room.  Upon arriving at the hotel, the Guest will be greeted by Curbside Cast and the Guest can to choose to use the traditional check-in method or  to go directly to their room.  This process is being slowly phased to all resorts.  The schedule is as follows:
Now Available:
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (including Jambo House, Kidani Village)
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort (including Bay Lake Tower)
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts
February 25
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn (including Boardwalk Villas)
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (including Grand Floridian Villas)
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (including Wilderness Lodge Villas)
  • Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts (including Beach Club Villas)
March 10
  • Disney’s All-Star Resorts
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground implementation is to be determined.

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