Dinner is the evening. So we headed to Epcot because good food is the foundation of genuine happiness – or so say the French. The menu speaks for itself, as do our pictures:
When you enter, you are met with a beautiful spiral staircase and reserved hostesses. We chose the tasting menu to experience everything that France had to offer at that particular moment. We started off with this:
Our kids started off with this:
What is not pictured is the constant bread service – best bread is from France!
Is the experience worth it? Absolutely. You could tell that every morsel that hit your mouth was well made. We also did not leave feeling disgustingly full.
Keep in mind that this restaurant is 2 points on the dining plan as a signature restaurant. They also have many add on options – but if you are here you may as well enjoy yourselves. The greatest part is that if you want to skip dessert, there is a wonderful ice cream spot with artisanal French flavors (16) and macaroon sandwiches.
This is Disney, so you can be a princess anywhere, right? – well yes. But there are certain things that you may NOT want to do while dressed as a Disney Princess. Here are a few rules:
Do not jump in the adult or kiddie pool area while dressed as a Disney Princess. Not only do most of the Resort Pools have rules as far as what you can wear while in the pool, but a pool will certainly damage your princess dress. Disney Resort pools, especially in the kid areas, tend to have a lot of chlorine in the pool. Chlorine ruins clothing. Especially princess clothing. As a general rule: wear a bathing suit, goggles, and plenty of sunscreen. Definitely DON’t skip a frolic in the pool just because you want to keep your princess dress on.
Do Not go on Safari while dressed as a Disney Princess. Most of the safaris on Disney Property are sandy, dusty, and sometime muddy. You do not need your princess gown getting damaged in any way, shape or form. Unfortunately, Disney Cast Members will not hold up your princess train or long skirt for you, so plan accordingly. What should you bring on safari? Long socks, comfy shoes, sunscreen, plenty of water, and a camera.
Do not go on Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids, or any other water ride while dressed as a Disney Princess (see #1 for advice on chlorinated water and princess attire). While you are always not Guaranteed to get covered in water on some of these rides, you must assume that you will be and prepare accordingly. Which also means that you must secure your phone, wallet, and anything else that you may not want getting wet. (Most of these rides have lockers to lock your personal items away. But, if you take off your princess dress and put it in a locker, please be sure that you have on a bathing suit underneath).
Are you an adult? If so, then you MUST NOT wear any princess dress on Disney Park Property. Disney has official rules on this. They do not want people confusing you with actual cast members. You may do something called Disney Bounding. That will be explained another day.
Are you frustrated yet? Are you wondering why you should go to Disney at all if there are so many reasons NOT to wear your princess dress in certain places? Do not call your friends to cancel your trip! Here are some great ways to have fun in your princess attire while on Disney Property:
Go to Akershus Castle, Cinderella’s Castle, and Be Our Guest Restaurant and dine with other royalty. At Be Our Guest Restaurant, you may not meet other princesses but you will surely have the chance to tame a wild beast.
All of the character meet and greets welcome guests dressed as princesses. You will surely be treated the way a princess deserves to be treated. But be careful: If you choose to dress as a Disney Princess and meet another Disney Prince or Princess, they will surely ask questions about your character.
Want to go to a regular restaurant dressed as a princess? Feel free! Also feel free go shopping. Everyone knows that princesses love to shop.
No-one will stop you from sleeping in your princess dress instead of your pajamas but lay down carefully so as not to wrinkle anything.
Do you want to go to the arcade dressed as a Disney Princess? Feel free. But bring a purse for $$ for the game room. Most of the arcades have a machine that requires Disney guests to put $$ on a game card.
I have seen Disney Princesses walk through Orlando Airport. You do not need extra identification to dress as a Disney Princess.
They go bump in the night and send shivers down your spine. Your nightmares. The stairs creak because a ghost is walking. Do these things keep you awake at night? Then you probably shouldn’t keep reading.
Something that feels so right has to be.. wrong, right? Or at least eerily spooky? Disney is so much fun that there have to be some skeletons hiding in the closet, or “secret underworld” that lies behind the scenes.
Ever wonder why the light is kept on in the apartment above the firehouse on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom? No, there are not firefighters in there. That is Walt Disney’s actual apartment. After Walt died, Disney employees tried to turn the light off but it always turns back on..
The Pirates of Caribbean Ride is constructed with real bones, I have mentioned this before. Do cast member still conveniently dispose bodies there? That’s for you to guess and for me to never find out.
Disney’s Main Street is haunted by more than just Walt Disney. A lady in white wonders the streets at all hours. She was killed on Main Street’s grounds before Disney built his empire. She has never been put to rest, and is constantly wandering the streets and checking storefronts for her children. Legend has it that she has been known to have guided actual lost children to the Baby Care Center. Would you trust her with your kids? Instead of telling my kids to look for “the lady in white” I usually make sure that we all decide on a designated area should they get lost.. but that’s just me.
Do you ever ride the monorail? One teenager tried to sneak into Disneyland in 1966 by climbing a fence, a fence that led right to the monorail tracks. He was then decapitated, run over by the same train that was supposed to take him to experience the joy of Disney. If you look closely, more than a few people have spotted him running alongside the train.
Several people report that a small boy stands at the exit of the Haunted Mansion, crying. When a guest or employee tries to speak to him, he ignores them as if they are not there. Well, he is not there. He is of another dimension. Possibly one of the ashes scattered around the Haunted Mansion. Click here to learn more.
Is your spine tingling yet? There are more real life accounts of employees who have passed in very gruesome ways, but I will save these for another day.
“It’s a Small World” is probably the most popular ride- traditionally- in the Magic Kingdom. It is family friendly, for all ages and sizes. But there are still some things you should never do on “It’s a Small World”.
Don’t put your hands in the water while riding the boat. This ride made its mark at the 1964 World’s Fair. I doubt you are riding in filtered water. You could be riding in basically the same water they had in 1964. That is water that is over forty years old! And dirty! Also, we have never heard of an alligator sighting, but be careful – and keep your hands in the boat!
Don’t worry about a Fast Pass (on non holidays). The line for this ride usually moves pretty quickly because there are so many boats. You do not have to run like crazy to get on this ride and beat the crowd. The one perk of a fast pass? Your name MAY show up somewhere along the ride. So do it for that reason only.
Don’t go on this ride looking for thrills and chills. As I said before, this is NOT a scary ride. You do not go fast or upside down. You go on here to relax. There is no screaming on this ride. Please do NOT scream. You will upset people.
Do NOT plan on learning a new language on this ride. Yes, seven languages and twenty five countries are represented on the journey. But you will be so busy looking at all of the beautiful scenery that I doubt you will pick up a language that quickly. If you want to try: English, Portuguese, German, French, Chinese, Spanish, and Italian! The ride can be found at five Disney Parks and Three Continents so go ahead and try.
Don’t be afraid to sing a long. Below are the lyrics to get you started
Finally, DO look up as the ride is beginning. People often hold up signs from the Pinocchio Haus
It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears. It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears.
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all It’s a small world after all It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world
There is just one moon and one golden sun And a smile means friendship to everyone.
Though the mountains divide And the oceans are wide It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all It’s a small world after all It’s a small world after all It’s a small, small world
Also the name of Animal Kingdom’s Signature Dining Experience, “Jiko” is Swahili for “a cooking place.” So “Jiko – The Cooking Place” literally means “A Cooking Place – The Cooking Place.” In true “cooking place” form, Jiko has two wood burning ovens that make you feel as if you are actually standing next to a fire. The chefs prepare offerings in an open kitchen for all to see.
Here are five things not to do if you decide to enter Jiko:
DON’T wear a bathing suit and flip flops. You might be at a Disney Resort, close to the pool level, but this is a Signature Restaurant and there is a dress code. According to Disney, Signature Dining restaurants provide unparalleled cuisine in upscale, elegant surroundings, sampling only the finest fare Disney chefs can prepare. Dress for the occasion! At least cover yourself up!
DON’T expect to see any animals while you dine. Jiko does not have any windows overlooking the African Savannah. Disappointed? Don’t be. The food on your plate will be so delicious and inviting that you won’t be able to focus on anything else.
DON’T forget your wallet – this restaurant is pricey. Two points on the dining plan and anywhere from $70-150 per adult. Don’t worry. No need to bring African currency – the restaurant takes US dollars, credit cards, and Magic Bands! For those who are wondering, US dollars are also very popular in Africa and can usually be used as currency without converting. Many places frequented by the Bantu people also use shillings as a form as currency – but currency throughout Africa varies.
Looking for a red wine to go with your steak? DON”T expect to see Malbec or your favorite French Wine on the menu. Jiko is known for authentic African wines. There are wines that you won’t be able to find anywhere else on property and very few locations across the US outside of Disney World. For you wine fans out there, this is a great opportunity to try and experience new flavors and test your wine palate. If you want to take this experience to the next level, you can schedule a wine tasting that is offered on Wednesdays. You will get to sample wines from the South Africa region along with cheese pairings. The wine pairing experience is by reservation only. For guests over 8, the Wanyami Safari Experience (special reservation through Guest Service) allows time for you on a trek through the African Savannah and then a multi-course dinner with wine tasting is supposed to be incredible!
DON”T be afraid to try new foods – because I guarantee, if you are not familiar with African culture, you will not understand more than half of what is on the menu. But it is tasty, I promise. Start out with the “Taste of Africa” you will see!
DO bring your appetite! We were stuffed after this experience. Because you do not want to miss a bite!
DON’T Forget Eeyore’s birthday. One of Eeyore’s true passions is being remembered on his birthday. He likes to blow out the candles on the cake while his friends join him in the celebrating. Want to mark your calendars for this year? Circle May 10th! Be sure to buy a red balloon! “Thanks for noticing me”
DON’T Ask Eeyore if his house looks like it is falling down. If you ask him, he will FLIP OUT. He is constantly worried that his house is going to fall down. He is always rebuilding his house because Pooh and Piglet built his original house with the wrong kind of sticks – also the woozles are constantly bouncing it down.
If you happen to see that Eeyore’s tail has fallen off, don’t ask Eeyore if you can fix it. That is a job that falls exclusively to Christopher Robin. Are you looking for the tail? Try Owl’s house. Sometimes Owl likes to use Eeyore’s tail as a bell pull. “It’s just a tail”.
Don’t ask if you can ride him – or bounce him. He DOESN’T LIKE TO BE BOUNCED
Don’t ask him to do your Spelling homework. He can’t spell.
DO Ask Eeyore if he would like to eat some Thistles. He will say “Yes”. Also feel free to ask him for help with your garden.
Places to find Eeyore in Disney World: At Walt Disney World, Eeyore can be sometimes be met in the Magic Kingdom next to the Pooh attraction, but not all the time. Eeyore features everyday, all day, at theCrystal Palace Buffet on Main Street. In Disneyland Paris, Eeyore is sometimes near “it’s a small world”, or outside Plaza Inn on Central Plaza. In California, Eeyore can usually be found in Critter Country near the Pooh attraction. In Tokyo Disneyland Eeyore can occasionally be found near the main entrance in World Bazaar, and always at the character dining at the Crystal Palace.
No need to worry if where your are going is as good as we’re you’re been.
Excited about an upcoming Disney Trip? Wondering what you will need?
I’ll speak to those who leave for Disney on a jet, or any type of plane. Those who drive may have a bit more flexibility as far as packing
If you are flying into Disney early, I highly suggest packing on the plane LIGHT, so that you don’t have to worry about leaving a bunch of carry on luggage in the hotel while you walk around waiting for your room. By light, I mean, think about WEARING your bathing suit on the plane. For ladies, I suggest two piece so that you don’t have to have any difficulty heading to the bathroom on the plane! Kudos to anyone bold enough to just wear a bathing suit!! I usually opt for a skirt and top. No need for towels, most hotels have them at the pool.
Are you one of those people that likes to wear their heaviest shoes on a plane? I suggest that you try and change that habit if you are. Not only would heavy shoes weigh you down in the event of any emergency, but it’s hard to relax in small spaces with clunky attire. I suggest flip flops or sandals that are comfortable when walking. You are going to a warm climate. You will be on the plane for a while. You don’t need to be squishing around heavy sneakers in the pool.
Bring one carry on bag, not one for everyone. Pack two activities for the plane. Let’s face it, kids barely use them and every time i TRY to read it never happens. Bring several pairs of headphones, for kids I suggest the noise cancelling one.
Pack an extra change of underwear/ bathing suit/clothes in a ziplock bag. Baby Wipes. Travel Size sunblock.
Bring a snack. Keep in mind that a bag of groceries may get confiscated at security.
As far as suitcase needs: Bring two dresses, two pairs of shorts, about five pairs of underwear. Dress up clothes for the kids. That’s all. There is always laundry somewhere. I wouldn’t even bother with detergent, people usually leave left over detergent in the laundry room. You can just wash your clothes. There is no need to pack a ton of stuff. Trust me. But do pack things you may not want to buy: Toothpaste. Sunscreen(in a safe travel friendly container). Feminine Products. tooth brush. Deodorant. Consider mailing diapers (if you need them) to the resort a head of time. Any bulky items, even groceries, can be mailed ahead of time. Just check with your hotel.
If anything, we have learned that the best way to travel to Disney is Without being weighed down. You want enough room in your suitcase for everything you are bringing back!
No matter what you say now, you will be bringing some things back.
We love the pit pit patter of the rain drops and the buzz buzz buzzing of the bees. But the sound we love best, the very very best, is the sound that the New Toy Story World is bringing to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Buzz is and will always be a major part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. So what makes Buzz tick? Buzz, star command’s best Space Ranger, is obsessed with defeating evil. He is in his 40s, and muscular, with a broad chest and big feet.
Raised by his grandmother Nena Lightyear, Buzz was born on the Planet Morph. (In the Gamma Quadrant of Sector 4). He signed up for the Space Ranger Academy when he was 12 years old and never looked back.
When it opens, guests visiting Toy Story Land will “shrink” to the size of a toy and join in on the fun Woody, Jessie, Buzz, and Andy’s other beloved toys are having in Andy’s backyard. Here, guests can take a ride on Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster Andy has assembled from his Mega Coaster Play Kit and topped off with Slinky and Jessie. (Check out the time-lapse video above of one of Slinky Dog Dash’s first test runs).
Families will also be able to take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, a galactic play set that Andy won from Pizza Planet. Here, adorable little green aliens swirl about in their flying saucers with guests in tow in their rocket ship toys, while “The Claw” hangs overhead.
Looking to waste anywhere from two to three hours? Then wait on line for one of the most popular roller coasters of the magic kingdom. While the lines may seem silly, there are no diamonds at the end – only thrills.
The thrills, though, are very short compared to the regular standby wait. So if you can’t be the very first person of the day, a fast pass is a must. Don’t forget the ride share option. If you have young kids below the height requirement, you and another adult can take turns (and it doesn’t have to be right away, often the ride share ticket is good for a couple of days). So if you have young kids, send another adult running ahead of you – it is WELL worth it!
I just can’t see myself standing for two hours to get on this ride. Ever.
That being said, this is a fun, amazingly detailed roller coaster adventure. From the moment that you walk into the entrance, you are approaching a coal mine.
It’s dark in side. You hear the sounds of iron hitting rocks. Did you know the actual roller coaster is made of steel? Are all roller coasters made of steel now? I doubt it.
There are some cute videos playing of the seven dwarfs telling people how not to fall off roller coasters. And where you should put your bags. And do you see the lights in the photo above? They almost look like real lanterns. Very real setting for a coal mine, from what I can tell.
On the way to the coal mine, there is a small cottage. I’m assuming that is supposed to be the actual home of the seven dwarfs. The cottage could be more realistic. We know it is in the woods, so where are the trees, I only see two? Where is the window ledge. Why is it so close to the mines?
In the dark, I have to admit that I was a bit afraid as I had no idea what was coming. But when I saw the two people ahead of me, my fears subsided.
I jumped over, and about three minutes later the ride was over. I’m not kidding. It is only three minutes. So make the most of it and keep your eyes open!!!
Exceptional properties on the South Shore. Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker at The Corcoran Group