Thursday, October 28, 2010

Entertainment on the Disney Dream!

So, it's been a tough week here in my household....some things have been quite challenging, but I still wanted to post something for the blog.  Alas, it wasn't what I originally wanted to post, but I needed a little excitement and magic added to my day today...and the thing right now that's getting me most excited is my Disney Dream Cruise in June.

So, Disney posted this new video this week about some of the shows that they will be performing on the new ship.  For those who haven't seen the video, here it is:

So, first of all...I'm super excited to finally see The Golden Mickey's show.  I've heard a lot about it and to know it will be on my cruise ship is fabulous!  And the new additions look amazing as well!  (I can't wait to see The Little Mermaid section). 

I also am anxious to see Villains Tonight.  I had a feeling it would be included on The Dream, since it was just created, but still, you never know.  It looks like a great show as well, and of course, perfect for those who love those Disney Villains. 

As for the third show, Disney's Believe...I'm sure it will be lovely, but it at the moment, it's not doing much for concept.  The use of the idea for Disney Magic Makers to be a focus of a show is one that has potential to end up being great! I'm sure it will be a fabulous show and I anxiously await seeing it as well.

Also, they talked about the Pirates in the Caribbean Party and I have to say, I'm pumped to get the chance to go to Club Pirate, the more grown up portion of the evening.  Although Mickey's Pirates IN the Caribbean Party sounds fun too.  And I cannot wait to see the new fireworks show!  It looks to be a spectacular extravaganza!  (Although, seriously any fireworks show at sea is pretty awesome!)

I simply cannot wait to see what other fun activities they have in store for all of us!  It's getting so much closer to being completed! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

News and Rumors 10/18/10 - 10/24/10

Hello all!!!  Welcome to another week's WDW News and Rumors update!  Enjoy and I hope you all have a great week this week!  


Magic Kingdom

  • It's a Small World reopened from it's refurb.  The only noticeable changes is that the entrance and the exit did indeed switch.  For a video of what it now looks like, click here.
  • The new Tangled play and greet has officially started in the former Storytime With Belle area. 
  • Pooh's Thoughtful Shop will be renamed to Hundred Acre Goods. 
Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • The new Disney Channel Rocks show premiered.  It takes place in front of the Big Hat, right on Hollywood Boulevard.  Showtimes are 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • DAK will be holding a special Halloween events from Oct. 29th - Oct. 31st.  Guests can meet characters in their Halloween costumes over in Camp Minnie-Mickey and also in the Discovery Landing Character Landing.  Also, guests will have the chance to do some trick or treating, mini pumpkin decorating, Halloween arts and crafts, and more over at Rafiki's Planet Watch.
General WDW News
  •  It finally appears that Pleasure Island is slated for redevelopment with the BET Soundstage and (my beloved) Adventurer's Club getting torn down. More information on Pleasure Island's refurb is likely to come out in the next few weeks. 
  • The feature pool at the Boardwalk (the Luna Pool) is currently closed for a few days for refurbishment.  The pool will be closed until Oct. 31st.  Guests may still use the quiet pools or they may use Stormalong Bay at the Beach and Yacht Clubs.
  • A new area in the Once Upon a Toy store has opened called the Wonderful World of Gaming. The store features Disney video games for sale and also allows you to play a few on Wii and Nintendo DS systems.
  • Over at Jiko, it appears the the fillet is no longer served with it's mac and cheese counterpart.  Now, instead Au Gratin Potatoes are served with the meal.  
  • Ocean Spray is now a sponsor of the WDW Resort.  Different Ocean Spray cranberry products will soon be for sale around the resort and the cranberries will now also be used in certain food items as well.  They will also be a sponsor for the 2011 Food and Wine Festival. 
  • The Disney Fantasy will set sail on April 7, 2012.  Bookings are available now. 


  • A new nautical themed restaurant may very well be included in the new Pleasure Island re-do.  It will be placed at the waterfront and is rumored right now to be called Mahogany Bay. 
News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival 2010

As I'd previously mentioned on another blog post, this was my first year going to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival.   I was super excited to experience this event as I've heard so much about it from lots of places in previous years.

After finally getting to experience it, I have to say, I see why so many people look forward to this time of year at WDW!  The Food and Wine Festival was so great!  Pair it up with Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the MK and you've definitely got a time of year that rivals Christmas as one of my favorites!  (Actually, I can't believe I'm about to say may edge it out...although, Christmas is pretty awesome down there...ack!  I don't know which one wins!)

So, the great thing about being down there for the event's opening weekend was that this year we got to go around to the food booths a day early, as they were open for Cast Member previews...but they would sell to anyone still.

Because of that, I got to participate in Food and Wine twice during the busy, busy BOGP Weekend.    (The second time was at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon...which if you read my previous week's post, I discuss in full detail.) Of course, on both trips around the promenade, I didn't try every single booth (to do that, I would have spent a fortune!)  The first time, we started at the Ireland booth (in the UK area of World Showcase) and went around counter clockwise.

Of course, that would mean the first booth I would try was one I was especially excited to eat at and that was the Ireland booth.  I had heard such great things about the Lobster and Scallop Fisherman's Pie.   And trust did not disappoint! It was quite hearty and delicious.  There were decent hunks of scallops and lobster in there too.  Well worth the money at $5.50.  I almost want to make a version here at home...that's how yummy this was!

Next, I tried the France booth.  I thought originally when planning that I would try the braised short ribs in Cabernet with mashed potatoes (which did look good), but something else caught my eye.  Something that is a weakness...whenever I see Creme Brulee...I must eat it.  It is my dessert of choice, overtaking chocolate desserts.  But this creme brulee was not just any ordinary creme brulee.  It was a milk chocolate creme brulee.  Woot!  My two favorite things mixed!!!!

This wasn't a very heavily chocolatey flavored was really just a hint of chocolate, but it was still yummy.  So yummy, I saved my Wine and Dine coupon for it specifically.  (Even though I had to wait in a HORRENDOUSLY long line to get it that night.)

The cost on the creme brulee is $3.75...which, in my book was really fairly priced.  

My next stop was at Australia.  I saw something called Lamington which was labeled as a chocolate covered butter cake and thought, that sounds good.  It wasn't on my radar before, but it just hit me as something I wanted to try. So, needless to say, I was surprised to see it handed to me with coconut on top.  It's a good thing I don't mind coconut.  But it was still a surprise.  (Especially if you don't like coconut at all.)

While I liked this dessert, it wasn't one of my favorites.  I thought the butter cake was really kind of dryish.  To me the best part of the whole thing ended up being the chocolate and coconut coating, which after eating about half of the cake, I ended up just scraping off the top of the remaining half and eating by itself.

The cost of this is $3.00 and while I enjoyed it, I'm not sure I'd get it again.

So that was the end of the first day for me.  On the second day, I only tried a few booths as well.  We started once again in the UK, but this time we went the other direction to hit up that half of the booths first.  Of course, I didn't take many pictures of these items because I just wasn't thinking about it.

The first booth I stopped at was the Desserts and Champagne.  Here I has seen something I was dying to try.  Something that was for sure on my radar as it sounded delicious.  Here, I wanted to try the Dark Chocolate Sensation.  I mean, it sounded right up my alley right?  Too bad it didn't live up to what I thought it would.  It was moderately chocolaty and didn't have a very rich taste to it at all, which is something I expect with dark chocolate.  Also, it was tiny, which is something I guess I should have figured with the cost only being $1.50, but still.  It was like 2 bites, if that.  I definitely don't suggest this one to anyone.  Totally not worth it, to me, in either flavor or size.

However, that wasn't the first item I'd tried that night.  Pam's daughter Hanna had gotten the Spanakopita from the Greece pavilion, which is a spinach and cheese pastry.  She offered me a bite and I thought this was pretty good.  I'm not really a spinach eater, though I will eat spinach artichoke dip, so while I did notice a little bit of a spinachy taste to it, it's wasn't so bad.  I could definitely try it again and probably would since it only cost $4.00.  (Although, next time, I'm going to have to get the baklava too!  Love baklava!)

The next booth I decided to try was one that I thought, I'm gonna be bold and try something a little outside my comfort zone.  Argentina had a cheese and corn empenada that sounded like it could be good.  (Yep...this is outside my comfort zone for me...I'm so!)  I like cheese and corn...I thought, what the heck!  I would regret those words.  This was terrible!  I was wondering where the heck the cheese was!  I thought for sure there would be a nice filling of cheese, but instead it was mostly filled with a corn mixture (mixed with some stuff, I have no idea what it was).  This was the driest thing I have ever eaten.  Seriously, it needed WAY more cheese to make it better.  The corn mixture did have a distinctly Latin flavor to it though (I know you're thinking huh? Latin flavor?  It just tasted like something I'd get in a Latin restaurant.) Even if this were free, I wouldn't eat it again, unless the changed the amount of cheese inside.  (It really cost $2.75).

The last place I got the opportunity to dine was the South Africa booth.  This was something that was on my radar and I was anxious to try.  The Seared Beef Tenderloin in a Mango Barbecue Sauce and Sweet Potato Puree.  The Tenderloin was quite delicious.  Very juicy and the barbecue sauce was very flavorful and had a bit of a kick to it.  (To me, though I have a really sensitive palate.)  The Sweet Potato Puree though was only ok.  It didn't seem like there was anything mixed in it...just straight up sweet potatoes.  I didn't hate them...just thought they weren't very flavorful, especially after eating the extremely flavor filled tenderloin.  Cost of this dish was $4.75.

There was one glaring issue that I noticed while I was walking the promenade and that was a distinct lack of tables.  I don't know if it has changed since that first weekend, but many times we were stuck standing there holding our plates and all the other items we had, trying to eat.  There were very few tables around, many being tall pub table type set ups, but they were few and far between.  Often times, we were forced to sit on the ground to get a spot to eat.  I saw many people stopping and eating on the tops of trash cans too, just because there were so few tables around.

I would really suggest adding a lot more tables around the whole promenade because it really was annoying trying to juggle multiple things.  Especially when trying to eat something like the tenderloin, which needed to be cut. 

With that being said, I definitely walked away excited for Food and Wine and excited to come back next year.  It really is one of those events where I can see the appeal of it now and definitely get the repeatability factor that's associated with it.

As I'm sure everyone can attest to, there were definitely some things that I didn't get to try either that I'm wishing I had.  One thing is for sure though, I will be back next year, as long as I can make the finances work for me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

News and Rumors 10/11/10 - 10/17/10

Hello everyone!!!  So...every time we have a live show, I always forget I have a blog to write the same day.  Inevitably I remember the next morning and think...oops!!!  But here we are again...the News and Rumors recap for the week!!!  (Though it does appear to have been a very slow week indeed!)



  • Duffy the Bear is officially greeting guests.
  • The Candlelight Processional guest narrator list has been updated.  Here it is as it stands now:   Nov 26 - 28 Isabella Rossellini
    Nov 29 - Dec. 1 John O’Hurley
    Dec 2 - 4 Corbin Bernsen
    Dec 5 - 6 Susan Lucci
    Dec 7 - 9 Jodi Benson
    Dec 10 - 11 Whoopi Goldberg
    Dec. 12 - 15 Steven Curtis Chapman
    Dec 16 - 18 Thomas Gibson
    Dec 19 - 21 Trace Adkins
    Dec 22 -23 Brad Garrett
    Dec 24 - 27 Edward James Olmos
    Dec. 28 - 30 Marlee Matlin / Jack Jason

Disney's Animal Kingdom

  • Primeval Whirl will be down for a long refurb, from Jan. 17th - April 5th.
  • Also, Kali River Rapids will be down for refurb from Jan. 3rd - Jan 30th.  
  • More info has come out about the new Wild Africa Trek.  Reservations are now open by calling 407-WDW-TOUR.  The trek will last about 3 hours long.  If you book between Jan. 16th and Feb. 26th, you'll be able to get an introductory rate of $129 per person.  These treks will take place multiple times a day and no more than 12 guests will be able to participate at a time.
General WDW News
  • The new ambassadors have been named for Walt Disney World.  Norman Vossschulte and Jennifer Mason were named as the 40th Walt Disney World Ambassador Team and will serve from Jan. 1, 2011 – Dec. 31, 2012 
  • The Paddock Leisure Pool at Saratoga Springs will be having a refurbishment from Dec. 3rd - June 30th. 


  • Rumors are floating around that the Snow White Mine Coaster that was originally planned for the Fantasyland expansion, but was cut, may now be back in.  And of course, as I'd previously mentioned, it's still being said that Snow White's Scary Adventure may be going by the wayside.  Also, Goofy's Barnstormer may be keeping it's name, but will be given a circus theme instead.  
News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    A Trip To Remember

    So I know it has taken me a while to write this...and that's only because the BOGP Treehouse Event/Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend (otherwise known to many in the Disney community as Epic October) was just so AMAZING that I've had such a hard time putting into words just how truly incredible my trip was. 

    The weekend went by in such a blur.  I literally walked around some days purely by the magic in the air!  (God knows it wasn't because of the amount of sleep I was getting!  That was certainly in short supply!)  It was a vacation that I truly never will forget (which I know I say a lot about these trips like this...but honestly, it's true!) as it was a vacation that was surrounded by friends.

    As I have previously written about, going to Disney to partake in meets, while at first, is a great deal scary, when all is said and done, once the trip is over it is a very rewarding experience.  You leave with new friends that you can't wait til you can see them again and you get to reconnect with "family" whom you haven't seen in a while.  Honestly, weekends like these, are, in a nutshell, a BLAST!!!

    Even for someone like me who was "alone" this trip, no husband, no mom, no one but me, I never truly felt alone.  I was always surrounded by friends in the end.

    As for this weekend, there are so many things to talk about!!!  So where shall I start...I guess the beginning is a good place.  :)

    So, we should start with the big kick off of the big party weekend and at the was the BOGP Treehouse Meet!  Honestly...this is one of those moments where I am still humbled.  I know I said this trip was hard to put into words....but truthfully...this event right here is the hardest to put in words.  Over 70 people showed up to meet the 4 of us and get to know other friends who listen to the show!  70 people in a Treehouse...that is a LOT!!!  I am so honored that everyone (and I do mean everyone, we had Len from WDW Today and The Unofficial Guide, Mom's Panelists, well known bloggers, and of course, just Disney fanatics in general) all decided to come to our happy Treehouse.  I actually think someone asked security at one point where the Be Our Guest Podcast Treehouse was and they knew exactly what this person was talking about!  We had people from at least 4 different countries all in one place!  Truly, truly incredible!

    We also recorded a live show...though I hate the fact that we couldn't talk to the listeners as much as we wanted.  Definitely gonna work on that for next time.

    We had an amazing set up as well!  Pam did awesome with the decorations!  And Jay...Mr. S'chmoe!  He was our Smore man...and boy...did he deliver!  They were incredible.  (I'm so craving smores right now!)  If I had only done this event the whole weekend would have been fulfilled.  But guess what?  There was more!!  Much more!

    We also did a meet with YeHaa Bob over at Port Orleans Riverside.  If you have never seen Bob's NEED to get over there!  It is seriously like nothing else on Disney property!  He sings, he plays an incredible piano, he hoots and hollers...he is just a ball of energy!  And he gets the crowd into it.  And with a group as big as us (we took up almost the whole back half of the bar), he was bound to make us do some silly things.  For example, he constantly called us on stage to help in his number...had Pam help him with a special song...and had Mike leading some weird conga line! 

    But guess what...I'm not done...the weekend is still getting started...we have only just finished up with Day 1's events!  The next day was Saturday and after staying out kinda late the night before, I was cursing myself having to wake up at 5am.  Why are these races so ungodly early?!

    Grudgingly I got up...because I needed to cheer on the 5K runners.  And there were a lot of you who were a part of the BOGP Family!  So, the BOGP chEARios were out in full force and we were so proud of all those running and so happy we could help motivate people to keep going to the finish.  It was so much fun being a spectator for this race, though, I really would have liked to have had real spots to cheer from, not ones we made for ourselves in the grass.  (Stupid red ants and getting bit on the foot!)

    But this day as only just getting started as this day was a day in which, minus a small nap, I was up for almost 24 hours!

    So after cat napping, we had the Attention to Detail Scavenger Hunt!  And OMG...this thing was a BLAST!!!!  Team EO (my team) had so much fun running all around the MK resorts looking for the little details that make up Walt Disney World.  (It may have also been fun "interfering" and ribbing the other teams a little bit).  After getting back first...and reading the "secret" clues written on the back...we were sure that we were going to win the race.  Unfortunately...a horse at the Grand Floridian had us loosing the crown (we took a picture of the right style horse...he was just facing the wrong direction).  Still, despite loosing by such a close margin...I can't wait to do the event again next year! 

    From there, we had a quick bite over at Beaches and Cream, then headed to the Wine and Dine After Party.  This was like a roller coaster of an event.  It started kinda low.  For some reason, the tickets weren't working when we tried to get in the gates, so they had to check everyone in manually.  Then the night went up a bit.  It was great getting to visit the Food and Wine booths with very little wait.  Crowds were light-ish and the thought was, this is a great set up.

    How wrong that thought would later be...because once those runners started pouring in (and I do literally mean pouring 1 am, they were EVERYWHERE!   It was difficult to move!)...things took a turn for the worse.  The runners, whom I'm told were forced to stand for at least 30 minutes to wait for bags after their run...started dropping like flies.  I literally had to catch one who fainted.

    The lines for the food got to be atrocious at this point too.  I was standing 30 deep, just to get some milk chocolate creme brulee.  

    I talk more about this after party on this week's episode of the podcast, (Episode 272 - Food & Wine Weekend Wrap-up) but this event turned into utter chaos quicker than you can say Wine and Dine!

    Sunday, the last day of festivities saw me going to one of my favorite things Disney does...Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!  I had the time of my life!  We had a group ride at Pirates (where we seriously capsized a boat!  I got SOAKED!), went trick or treating, saw Hallowishes, had a costume contest (which was SO super hard to judge!), and got to see one the best parades on Disney property, the Boo To You Parade!  (Candy, Trick or Treat, Candy....).  Oh...and of course we rode the Haunted Mansion!  You have to during these parties!  Some of my favorite moments of this evening is spending time with good friends just having a ball doing attractions and getting together for meets.  This was one of my favorite things from the whole weekend!

    Alas, Monday came and it was time to go home...but needless to say, after burning the candles at both ends, I was ready for another vacation as soon as I got home!  I think I'm just now catching up on all the sleep I lost!

    Of course, as I said, it's hard to put everything that happened down on "paper".  It would take entirely too long!  Other memorable parts of the weekend were me being so exhausted I took a nap at the Poly on my arrival day, setting up the equipment and getting the Treehouse ready for guests on Thursday with the gang, dinner at Kona, getting a preview of the Food and Wine Festival (which I learned I loved the Fisherman's Stew from Ireland and the Milk Chocolate Creme Brulee from France.  The Beef Tenderloin from South Africa wasn't bad either) going to The Disney Food Blog's meet and getting to talk with a bunch of great Disney folks, trying Via Napoli for the first time (it's forget your husband's name good!) and sitting around at the Beach Club on the beach waiting for the Wine and Dine After Party to open.  Plus somehow a joke about dropping a Piranha got started and was repeated continuously throughout the rest of the trip....though please don't ask how...I'm sure though you can infer what it means.  (And if you can't, it rhymes with art).

    So, I hope you can see, that meets like this are well worth coming for, because everyone is so great and it really is like traveling with old friends.

    For those who want to see all the pictures, please, check out my Facebook page.  I have lots and lots of images there for your viewing pleasure!  And you too can see the first hand fun that was had this weekend.

    And for those of you thinking...enough is enough...I've missed out on the fun for too is time...I'm ready to do a group meet, you can!  There is still some availability to join the Be Our Guest Podcast Family on our first cruise in June 2011 and of course, I have a strong feeling that the BOGP will be back, once again, next Food and Wine Marathon Weekend...we would love it if you would be there too!

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    News and Rumors 9/27/10 - 10/10/10

    Hi everyone!!!

    So, sorry it took me a while to get back to the blogging...but the vacation just sort of continued into my personal life for a I wanted to be able to really focus my attention, so...alas, I'm a little later than I said.  But with that being said, I had an AMAZING time on my trip!  Great to meet so many of you!  It's amazing how great the Disney online community truly is!

    On with the show!


    Magic Kingdom
    • Grad nights will be April 29 & 30 and May 6 & 7 for 2011
    • The Mad Tea Party is seeing a new roof being put on 
    • Disney is going to be adding interactive queue elements to the Haunted Mansion.  Word is they have removed the gravestones.  No word on if they'll be put back.  Also the queue is going to be extended towards the water in an effort to widen the queue for the use of wheelchairs.
    • The Rapunzel Play and Greet experience has apparently been pushed back to Oct. 25th.  (I am hearing that some soft openings may occur sooner than that.)
    • Splash Mountain will have it's annual winter refurb from Jan 3rd - 31st. Rumored to be included in this refurb is the inclusion of lap bars.
    • El Pirata Y el Perico is walled off for refurb.
    • There is a new projection on the back of your Doom Buggy at the end of the Haunted Mansion pointing you towards the unload platform.  
    • The Mickey's Magical Milestone Tour will no longer be offered as of Nov. 20th.

    • Karamelle-Kuche, the new caramel store in Germany, is officially open.  (which, as a side note...I was there opening smells amazing in there and the caramel corn is really good!)
    • Though Future World is now officially open from 9 am - 9 pm, it has not changed the operating schedule of the attractions.  The attractions that previously closed at 7 pm still do.  
    Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • The American Idol Experience has changed it's show schedule.  Now showtimes are:  12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, with the finale at 6:30pm.

    General WDW News
    • Camp Kidani, over at Animal Kingdom Lodge has been discontinued.
    • There are now set hours for Downtown Disney, though individual locations may differ in hours.  They are as follows:  Marketplace: 8:00am - 1:00am. Pleasure Island and West Side: 8:00am - 2:00am.
    • The are definitely working on Old Key West rooms for refurb (I say this because Debbie and I were asked at 11:00 am on the day of our check out if we would be leaving soon from construction workers who were taking that building as soon as everyone as checked out) 
    • Kouzzina will be down for refurb from Nov. 29th - Dec. 14th. Additions will include new signage, new outdoor seating and a new merchandise area. 
    • Next year's Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend will take place Sept.  29th - Oct. 2nd.
    • Parking is restricted to only hotel guests, those attending a convention, or guests with reservations at the Beach Club, Yacht Club and Boardwalk until Nov. 14th.  This is because of guests wanting to park at these resorts to go to the Food and Wine Festival.
    • Doors are being put on the trams now.  Animal Kingdom is first and has a few more trams to finish, DHS will be next, and then they will move onto the other 2 parks.  It is expected to be completed by Jan 2011.

    • I'm hearing that all film projectors that are used on various shows and attractions around Disney property are going to be changed to digital video projectors instead. 
    • A Tangled makeover session is more than likely coming to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
    News and Rumors are gathered from various different websites. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such.