Tag: epcot

Monsieur Paul – A signature dining experience

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:

mozarella sticks and cherry tomato salad

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.

 

GETTING ARTSY AT FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS AT EPCOT

Fascinated by the artistic process? Love Disney themes? Here is a glimpse of a sample of art displayed at the 2019 festival of the arts at Epcot. Keep in mind that on top of the artwork displayed, many booths highlight the artist and may even have the actual artist present.

Here are some great pictures of some of the art displayed, including some handmade bronze statutes:

Music is art! Which is why there is also a Disney on Broadway Concert Series, featuring show stopping songs from Disney musicals.

Performance Artists are also tactfully set up all over Epcot. It’s surely not to be missed and we hope to bring you more inside views of this artfully planned Epcot festival.

 

Top 5 general things NOT to do at a Disney Park

1. Don’t ever go into a souvenir store when your kids are AWAKE unless you have angels for kids😭🙈😭🙈😭🙈

2. If you are traveling with a stroller DONT Park it anywhere but official stroller parking, or it’s sure to be moved somewhere completely Remote when you return, hot, tired and ready to throw your kids in.

3. Don’t expect to get into most restaurants in the Park without a reservation. You’ll be sure to find yourself starving and wolfing down expensive junk food unless you make your reservation 180 days in advance. Mickey popcorn is good, but not that good.

4. Don’t wait more than 20 minutes and time see a character. Nobody in a dress and a wig is worth waiting hours for. You can find characters at most restaurants and the line for others usually dwindles at certain times of the day.

No character is worth an hour wait full of screaming kids and bathroom emergencies

5. Don’t forget – you are supposed to be having fun! You can always come back so relax, don’t throw yourself at the day full force. Take your time and enjoy!

**** And if a sign says do not enter or out of service, don’t enter or use! TRUST US

Who put the kumbucha in Disney?

The short answer is noone. But I think that at some point Disney is going to jump on the kombucha bandwagon. I mean, why wouldn’t they? It’s healthy – and a new craze.  

So what is kombucha? Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a symbiotic mixture of bacteria and yeast. – I know, doesn’t that sound delicious??? But it really is. It has been claimed that Kombucha teas cure asthma, cataracts, diabetes, diarrhea, gout, herpes, insomnia and rheumatism. They are purported to shrink the prostate and expand the libido, reverse grey hair, remove wrinkles, relieve haemorrhoids, lower hypertension, prevent cancer, and promote general well-being. 

 

I definitely see a kombucha cart coming to Epcot, don’t you? Maybe somewhere in the Asias?

 

LIFE ON A LEASH.. SO TIRED OF THIS DRAMA

There’s a great big hunk of world down there, with no fence around it. And beyond those distant hills, who knows what wonderful experience. 

Having a bit of drama in your relationship? Go to Italy. You’ll find olive trees and an authentic wine cellar. We still haven’t tried the food, but I’ve heard it’s delicious.  To stay drama free, Lady and her Tramp are forever perched by Epcot, in Italy. Why Italy? Because the romance of Italy is demonstrated in the Venetian architectures: Bridges, Towers, and fountains.

Side by Side with your loved one, you’ll find enchantment in Italy.  I just wish there were some rides or attractions. Why not a Gondola ride? or a dance? Something is definitely missing.

Did you know: 

  1. Lady from Lady and the Tramp is based on a real live dog named “Lady?”
  2. Tramp from Lady and the Tramp was based on a female dog from the poind that Walt Disney later adopted? 
  3. It took fifteen years to finish Lady and The Tramp, because of WWII
  4. Peggy Lee, the famous singer, was the voice behind those two evil Siamese cats
  5. Walt gave his wife Lillian a puppy in a hatbox, much like the scene in the movie. 

The question remains: Where do Lady and Her Tramp like to grab a bite? They run over the hills on an adventure to the Magic Kingdom, where they have a special table at Tonys Town Square Restaurant – which has become an entire restaurant dedicated to the happy couple.

 

LET THEM EAT… STEAK!!!

The good news is that if we all move to Canada we will eat like kings and queens.

Is steak the national food of Canada? No. But the traditional aboriginal food of Canada was wild game.  So the country in general is very good at preparing meat. 

Poutine is the unofficial national dish. Don’t know what Poutine is? Poutine originates out of Quebec and consists of french fries covered in cheese curds and brown gravy. Does that sound disgusting to you? Well, it’s not!

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Instead of driving about 36 hours north to the Canadian border, we made a reservation at Le Cellier, one of Disney’s signature dining restaurants. This may have been one of the best signature experiences in the Disney Parks (I’ll leave out the resorts, because there are so many great places at the resorts that this restaurant probably equals the signature resorts).  If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, “signature” means it is 2 table service credits.

The Canada Pavilion itself is beautiful. There are flowers, waterfalls, and caverns. A brewery. There is a movie with Martin Short. Benches to sit on. 

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When you walk into Le Cellier, there is a great waiting room that makes you feel as your are in a Canadian loghouse. 

Then you enter the relatively small restaurant. Also, be aware, the bathrooms are not the best bathrooms at Disney. They are small and not family friendly.

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The porterhouse steak for two was the best steak I’ve ever tasted. I mean it. And I have been to some nice steakhouses. 

 

Don’t worry, I did not forget to show you the poutine!!!

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Is Elmer Fudd Canadian? I don’t know but I thought this was appropriate somehow: 

I can’t wait to visit the real Canada again, but for now – this visit made us all very happy.

 

JUST ALWAYS BE WAITING FOR ME

Think you may never run into Peter Pan? Well, NEVER is an awfully long time. 

We had faith.. and pixie dust.. and finally spotted Peter Pan in Epcot.  He was just standing by the English tea garden. What was he doing? Was he looking to see if there were any new lost boys there? 

He told us he was looking for Tinkerbell. But we know he likes to have his tea before his adventures. And he was outside the English Tea Garden. So you do the math! He is a free spirited boy who can fly. He doesn’t grow up. Doesn’t want to grow up. Why would he admit to stopping his adventure through Epcot and having tea? 

There’s not much time to think about the start or the end. But how did it all begin again? Where did Peter come from?   The author of Peter Pan lost his older brother in an ice skating accident, and thought of him as forever young. He then created Peter Pan, who ran away from his parents at a young age when he saw a new baby in the house, thinking his parents did not want him anymore. Any other new baby who falls out of their strollers and isn’t claimed in seven days gets shipped away to Neverland. Does that sound unbelievable to you? Believe it! You have to believe to be able to fly.

Don’t worry, all of this happened before, and it will all happen again.

Peter Pan’s flight is in Fantasyland of the Magic Kingdom. Really popular, because you actually fly through Neverland. The best way to get onto the ride, if you can’t get a FastPass, is to try and get an early breakfast reservation in the Magic Kingdom and then wait in front of the ride right before the park opens. Going through the line is well worth it because you will surely see tinkerbell hopping around – but be careful not to lose your shadow in the process!

You can also meet Peter Pan in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom and on the Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage. This is a boat cruise that departs from The Contemporary and takes you on the Seven Seas Lagoon to sing songs and have fun with your captain. You will then watch Happily Ever After from the boat. 

Searching for questions for Peter should you be lucky enough to run into him? Try these: 

  • Do you need help finding your shadow? 
  • What’s your favorite story?
  • Would you like me to tell you a story?
  • Do you have any pixie dust? 
  • Have you looked in any windows today?
  • Can you teach me how to crow? 
  • Can you crow for me? 
  • Can you teach me how to fight? 
  • Where’s your next adventure?

 

 

 

 

A GRAND FIESTA TOUR IN THE LAND OF THE DEAD!

The most important reason for going one place to another is seeing in between – and we’ve never looked inside Epcot’s Mexican pavilion. What were we thinking? It’s amazing! Lots of cute shops, food, and the dead are everywhere!!

It may have been our love for the new movie Coco that brought us in, wondering if there was an exhibit of sorts. 

And there is! There are several exhibits – you can even stand with Miguel as he gives homage to his ancestors. 

As a grand finale, Donald Duck and his amigos set the scene for a magical boat ride that I think might even top its a small world. The line moves extremely quickly and you won’t be sorry you went.  To be fair to Donald, he was literally #1 here. This ride has been going on for a long time. 

You then ride into Mexico, on a search for Donald. 

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The boat ride itself is about eight minutes. In the back of the pavilion, there was a Kid corner where a cast member helped fill out a drawing and stamped it with the Mexican flag. Don’t miss Mexico!

 

 

 

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH ELSA AND ANNA

If you think that you are seeing double when you visit Elsa (age 21) and Anna (age 18) at the Royal Sommerhus in Epcot’s Norway pavilion, you probably are. Due to the immense popularity of our favorite Norwegian sisters, there are multiple Elsas and Annas at the meet and greet, in separate rooms, of course.  Even though there may not be a long visible line, be aware that the line at the cottage moves somewhat slowly. The hut has a cute interior but there is not much to see. – they keep the back visiting rooms hidden because of the multiple pairs of sisters.

Wait times to see the pair of are statistically much better than they were at the Magic Kingdom. The Frozen Ever After Ride has taken the wait time trophy – with wait times totaling almost two hours. (Take a look at my Royal Akershus Review, here, for a tip on getting into the Frozen Ever After Ride and avoiding the wait.)  As much as I recommend dining here, don’t expect to see Anna and Elsa at Akershus. For reasons I can’t fathom they are not one of the princesses who visit while you eat!!

Speaking of sisters, have you noticed that these sisters are always together?  Even though Elsa is the first ever Disney princess to be crowned on screen, given her strong bond with her sister, she hardly separates from Anna when at the Disney Parks.  Elsa and Anna’s creator actually held a sisterly summit to understand what sisterly relationships were like. That bond is apparent when you meet them.

The movie Frozen is based on the Hans Christian Anderson Tale, The Snow Queen. (Say “Hans”, “Kristoff”, “Anna”, and “Sven” really fast). We highly recommend reading the original. It can be found here:
Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories (Anchor Folktale Library)

In their new home at the Royal Sommerhus, both sisters stay true to character. Anna is spunky and friendly, while Elsa is kind but extremely reserved. If you just want to give the sisters a wave, you can find them at the Festival of Fantasy parade in the magic kingdom – I suggest standing by the Harmony Barber Shop for a good view. There is absolutely no way to meet the characters in the parade.

When you do see Elsa, ask her how she maintains her 420,000 strands of hair so beautifully!! I know I couldn’t do it so well! Ask Anna to tell you about the crocus, Arendelle’s royal crest.

 

Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot – A new fantastic sight to see!

Wasn’t sure quite what to expect when we walked in here – we happened to stop in on our search for Princess Jasmine — but it was beautiful, amazing, entertaining, and quite filling!! We didn’t reserve a table and luckily, there were plenty. The entrance is beautiful, with two hostesses in traditional Moroccan garb in a carpeted and ornate entryway – the children were fascinated.

Visitors have a chance to sample exotic Moroccan cuisine while enjoying Moroccan entertainment (see belly dancer, below – she even came over and invited the kids to dance!). The belly dancer performs once an hour all day.

Surrounded by scents from the mid-east, visitors can sample Bastilla appetizers (meat or seafood baked in a thin pastry with vegetables or almonds), traditional couscous and kabobs are also on the menu. Click here to link with the official restaurant menu on Disney’s site.  Try the appetizer sampler for two and don’t miss the Moroccan Mint Tea. Come with an appetite!! This place is really filling.