Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival 2013

It's almost that time of year again! March 6 - May 19, 2013 brings us the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV at Walt Disney World Resort!

In all, more than 100 topiaries, 240 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers and sweeping beds of multi-colored blooms will add floral splendor to the park landscape.

New this year:
  • Garden Marketplace culinary creations ranging from smokehouse barbecue and shrimp with grits and Zellwood corn to sweet “frushi” made with fresh fruits and coconut rice. Chefs are perfecting menus for marketplaces that will include Florida Fresh at World Showcase Promenade, Smokehouse Barbecue and Brew at American Adventure courtyard, Primavera Kitchen at Italy showcase, Hanami at Japan showcase and eight others. Around the World Showcase promenade
  • Garden Marketplace refreshing libations with a kick like Hot Sun Tomato Wine from Florida Orange Groves Winery and Dole Whip with Spiced Rum, as well as non-alcoholic drinks like Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade and Wild Berry Slush. Beverage specialists will feature brews and beverages at food marketplaces and at Fruits by the Glass and Pineapple Promenade. Around the World Showcase promenade
  • A new, circus-like “Land of Oz” play area based on the Disney fantastical film adventure “Oz: The Great and Powerful” to be released March 8, 2013. The interactive children’s play zone will feature play systems adorned with giant flowers and designed to stretch kids’ imaginations and muscles. Midway-style games, red-and-white circus-themed tents and the “Oz Movie Garden” of intriguing plants will capture the spirit of the upcoming film. Also on tap: photo opportunities and the “great and powerful Oz’s” crashed hot-air balloon. Imagination Walkway
  • Larger-than-life Fab Five Disney character topiary. Floral versions of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck (with Daisy Duck in a cameo) star in a celebratory cookout scene in living topiary color. The 14-foot-tall Goofy topiary will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms. Epcot Front Entrance
  • Illuminated Gardens in the park’s Future World and World Showcase will twinkle and glow over the festival’s world-famous Disney gardens and topiaries each festival evening. Epcot Future World and World Showcase

More festival highlights include:
  • “Monsters University” topiary: Floral representations of Mike and Sully from the hit Disney-Pixar film “Monsters, Inc.” and stars of Disney-Pixar’s June 2013 release, “Monsters University,” will join the festivities as new topiary family members. On the Future World Walkway
  • Phineas and Ferb topiary: The popular Disney Channel animated celebs limit their shenanigans to go green for a family photo-op. Behind Spaceship Earth
  • “Radiator Springs” interactive play zone: Race car Lightning McQueen and tow truck “Mater” of the Disney-Pixar film “Cars 2″ will be the well-maintained topiary stars of this play area. On the Test Track Walkway
  • Flower Power Firsts: 1970s top disco band The Village People (April 19-21) and 1960s singer-songwriter Tommy Roe (May 3-5) bring on the Flower Power beat when they take the concert stage. At America Gardens Theatre
  • Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House: Eight fanciful fairy topiaries of Pixie Hollow, including Tinker Bell, Fawn, Vidia and Terrence, take over the Butterfly House this year where hundreds of colorful winged beauties flit to life. On the Imagination Walkway

Every Friday through Sunday, HGTV design celebrities will host Festival Center seminars.

March 8-10: Chris Lambton, Going Yard 
March 15-17: Chris Grundy, DIY Network’s Cool Tools
March 22-24: Egypt Sherrod, host of Property Virgins 
March 29-31: Brandon Johnson, My Yard Goes Disney
April 5-7: Meg Caswell, Meg’s Great Rooms
April 12-14: Jason Cameron, DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes and Man Caves
April 19-21: Sara Peterson, Editor-in-Chief, HGTV Magazine
April 26-28: Carter Oosterhouse, Million Dollar Rooms
May 3-5: Casey Noble, Design on a Dime
May 10-12: Dan Faires, HGTV.com, DanMade
May 17-19: David Bromstad, HGTV Design Star, ColorSplash, Design Star All-Stars

In addition to the HGTV design celebrities, the Flower Power concert series will also be happened every weekend

March 8-10: Micky Dolenz
March 15-17: Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
March 22-24: The Guess Who
March 29-31: Nelson
April 5-7: The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie
April 12-14: Paul Revere & the Raiders
April 19-21: The Village People (new!)
April 26-28: The Orchestra, Featuring Former Members of ELO and ELO II
May 3-5: Tommy Roe (new!)
May 10-12: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
May 17-19: Starship starring Mickey Thomas

The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Right now there is a fantastic discount for most dates right over the festival!  You can save up to 30% on your Walt Disney World Resort hotel room, plus when you had at least 4-day Magic Your Way tickets, you'll receive a ticket discount as well!  Contact us today for a no-obligation quote

Friday, January 25, 2013

Interactive Games at Walt Disney World

Last year we told you all about the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, which has now been re-themed into Agent P's World Showcase Adventure (from Phineas & Ferb).

Building on it's popularity Disney recently launched Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom where you join Merlin's elite squadron of apprentice sorcerers to defeat the Disney villains. Using Merlin's map you embark on missions throughout the various lands of Magic Kingdom, unlocking Magic Portals using your Sorcerer Key card, and then challenging Hades and other villains using your Spell Cards.

And now another game, called "A Pirate's Adventure: Treasure of the Seven Seas" will be debuting this spring in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom!

All of these games are included in your theme park admission.

What do you think of these interactive games? Have you played Agent P's or Sorcerers?

Monday, January 21, 2013

MyMagic+ - coming soon to Walt Disney World!

Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, explains more details on MyMagic+ and how it will enhance the Guest experience:

At Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, we continually push the boundaries of creativity and innovation to deliver the best possible experience for our Guests. We're always looking for ways to take what we do and do it even better. Over the past few years, we've devoted considerable time and resources to create a more immersive, more seamless and more personal experience for each and every Guest who spends time with us. I know there's been significant speculation about these efforts among our fans, so we're pleased to give you a glimpse into the work we are doing to take the entire Disney Guest experience to the next level.

Some of these initiatives are more apparent and can already be seen by our Guests - like our interactive queues at Walt Disney World Resort and the Enchanted Art on our cruise ships - while others are more behind-the-scenes and are focused on "how" visitors plan, access and enjoy their experiences with us. Over the next several months, we'll be rolling out a collection of tools at the Walt Disney World Resort called MyMagic+ that will give Guests more opportunities to customize and personalize their entire visit.

Like most people who visit Walt Disney World Resort, my family and I have our "must-do" attractions, and as the father of three boys, those attractions often end with the word "mountain." Now, rather than dashing as a group, or even splitting up to gather FastPasses, imagine booking guaranteed ride times for your favorite shows and attractions even before setting foot in the park. With MyMagic+, Guests will be able to do that and more, enabling them to spend more time together and creating an experience that's better for everyone.

A major component of MyMagic+ is the new My Disney Experience website and mobile app, which gives Guests planning their trip the latest information on all Walt Disney World Resort has to offer. We know that some people like to plan every aspect of their Disney vacation in advance while others like to plan very little, letting their day unfold spontaneously. No matter where Guests fall in that spectrum, My Disney Experience gives them the flexibility to plan as much or as little as they'd like to create the exact Disney experience they want. They can book dining and other experiences and reserve times for their favorite attractions, shows and more through an enhanced FastPass system,FastPass+. Once they arrive, they can use their smart phones to spontaneously change their plans in the moment, exploring our parks at their own pace and getting the most out of their visit.

Linking the entire MyMagic+ experience together is an innovative piece of technology we developed called the MagicBand. Worn on the wrist, it will serve as a Guest's room key, theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPasscard and optional payment account all rolled into one. We've began testing certain aspects of MyMagic+ in Florida last month and the early reactions we've gotten have been fantastic.

This collection of tools is another step forward in the ongoing evolution of our Guest experience, giving us even more ways to help friends and family create the unforgettable Disney memories that they want most. We'll be testing, adjusting and adding features to MyMagic+ and My Disney Experience over time and will continue to make improvements based on our Guests' feedback. We look forward to sharing more with you in the months ahead!

We will share more news as we hear it!  Be sure to subscribe to our blog, or Like us on Facebook to stay on top of the latest Disney news!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue

by Jennifer Dowling

The Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue is a dinner show located in Pioneer Hall at Fort Wilderness in Walt Disney World.

We have been able to experience this fun show 3 times now, with our most recent being this past March. It has become a favorite for our family. The show has catchy tunes....though the ever popular "Hoop Dee Doo" song has now been replaced by another song that is similar....decent food, and corny jokes.

When you arrive at Pioneer Hall, you will check-in outside and you have the option to have your picture taken as well. We always pass on this, as it is an extra cost to purchase the picture package.
Often they choose a child to be the bell ringer to open the doors. My daughter, Claire, had that privilege in 2008.

Everyone is then let in and seated. There is no need to rush to the doors to be the first one in. Your table has been pre-assigned prior to you even arriving.

Once seated, you are able to start with the first course of the meal, which consists of cornbread and butter and a salad with a vinaigrette dressing. Drink orders are taken as well. Several soft drink options are included as well as beer,wine, and sangria.

Soon the show starts and the Pioneer players arrive and come in through the back door singing. They perform for a bit and include the audience as well. They come right out into the dining room and will talk to tables and include them in their songs...often asking what state your are from or if you are celebrating something. Again, we have been picked for this a few times as well, and it's great fun. My daughter sometimes is embarrassed by it at the moment, but then grins ear to ear after.

Dinner is then served after the first show segment. Dinner consist of chicken, ribs, corn, cowboy beans, and mashed potatoes. We enjoy the food. It's not the best on property, but still a good meal. I will say, our family is NOT a fan of the cowboy beans. They are not your average baked beans and seem to have an off taste to us.

After the main course is close to being done, the Pioneer Players once again come out and sing and dance some more. They also pick a few guests out of the audience to help them perform a skit. It is usually quite comical.

Dessert is delivered by all the servers coming out on stage with a tray of strawberry shortcake and they sing a song called "Strawberry Shortcake". This is the best part of the meal for me! I am not a huge fan of strawberry shortcake in the real world, but something about this version is so tasty. Even though I am extremely full at this point I usually try to get a little bit of this down because it tastes so heavenly.

The show ends with everyone getting a washboard to rub a spoon on while the Pioneer Players sing and exit out the back where they had arrived from in the beginning.

A few things to note: the restrooms are not located in the same building. You need to exit out the back side door and the restrooms are off to the side in a connecting building.  There are 3 shows performed nightly, check with your Mouse World Travel Agent to find what the exact times are for your vacation.  There are 3 tiers of seating, each tier slightly different in pricing.  Your servers tip is included with this meal.  This meal takes 2 Table-Service Credits from the Dining Plan and often you are placed in Tier 2 or 3, though for the late show you can be placed in Tier 1.  Pricing ranges from $29.99 to $34.99 on average for children 3 to 9. For adults, $58.99 to $67.99 on average.  Your tickets will be available to pick up at your Disney resort prior to the show or at the will call window located next to Pioneer Hall.  Disney transportation (buses) will be waiting to take you back to your on-site resorts after the last 2 shows. Be forewarned that the buses get extremely crowded. If you drove to Ft. Wilderness, you will have to park at the front of the campground and internal buses will take you back to Pioneer Hall. If you are confused, just ask any bus driver where you should get off. They will then shuttle you back to the front after the show as well.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Save on Travel to Walt Disney World this Spring!

One Special Offer - Two Great Ways to Save!

Travel Dates: February 18-March 23 and April 2-June 14
Limited availability March 24-April 1

Deluxe Villa Resorts
Old Key West, Boardwalk, Beach Club, Saratoga Springs-Save 30%
Wilderness Lodge-Save 20%

Deluxe Resorts
Yacht & Beach Club, Boardwalk, Animal Kingdom Lodge (Standard View)-Save 30%
Polynesian Resort, Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridan, Wilderness Lodge-Save 20%

Moderate Resorts
Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside, Cabins at Fort Wilderness-Save 25%

Value Resorts
All Star Sports, All Star Music, Pop Century-Save 20%
Art of Animation - Family Suites-Save 15%

Plus, extra savings on packages!
Add a minimum of a 4-day theme park ticket to your room, to make it a package, and enjoy a savings on your room AND tickets!

Book by March 7 for travel February 18 through March 23.
Book by March 31 for travel April 2 through June 14.

Contact us today for more information and a quote!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Disney Cruise Line® is ringing in the new year with some great offers!

Kids Sail Free from Galveston
New sail dates added! Kids 17 and under sail free on most 4-, 6- and 8-night sailings departing from Galveston Jan. 12 – April 26, 2013. To take advantage of this offer, kids must travel with two full-fare Guests in the same stateroom in categories 4A – 11B. Government Taxes and Fees not included.

Kids Sail Free from Miami
Disney Cruise Line is celebrating its inaugural season in Miami with a special Kids Sail Free offer on most 4- and 5-night cruises departing Jan. 14 – Feb. 25, 2013. Kids 17 and under must travel with two full-fare Guests in the same stateroom in categories 4A - 11B. Government Taxes and Fees not included.

Early Fall Savings on Disney Dream
Get a great lead rate – plus an onboard credit up to $100 – when you set sail on a 3- or 4-night cruise aboard Disney Dream departing from Port Canaveral Aug. 25 – Sept. 26, 2013. This offer must be booked by Feb. 28, 2013.

Contact us today for a no-obligation quote!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A new year brings exciting news...

Happy New Year!

We are very excited to announce that Mouse World Travel has been designated as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner!!!

We have been given this designation by Disney Destinations based on our strong support in selling Disney vacations. With extensive training, and first-hand experience, on Disney Destinations theme parks, resorts, cruises, vacation packages and more, Mouse World Travel is able to provide you with personalized assistance in planning your custom Disney vacation.

Thank you, to you, our clients, for helping us obtain this wonderful designation!