Don’t Miss the Grand Marnier Slush at Epcot

Disney Recipe: Grand Marnier Slush from France Kiosk in Epcot

One of my favorite things at Walt Disney World is the Grand Marnier Slush from the France kiosk in Epcot. This is one tasty treat you won’t want to miss … if you are of age. Please be careful though is this is one of those drinks where the booze is hard to detect and it’s VERY delicious.

You can make this at home too. Here is the recipe for you …

Ingredients

  • 1 part Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1 part Grand Marnier
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • 2 parts Quickway sweet and sour mix
  • Ice

Directions

1.) Mix all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. You can be a little more lenient with some of the alcohol to get it to your liking.

2.) To get the orange coloring such as seen at Epcot, simply add orange food coloring to the blend.

Now indulge!

On the lighter side….Disney’s Ohana Honey Lime Salad Dressing

I absolutely love trying new salads and new salad dressings.  It’s amazing what a difference in the taste of a leafy salad, when you change up the dressing!!!  I’m sharing my favorite Disney salad dressing here today!  I first experienced this at Ohana – located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World in Florida.  A quick monorail ride from the Magic Kingdom, this restaurant is top on my list and well worth the stop!

Honey Lime Dressing

Ingredients

1/2 C honey
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 C cider vinegar
1/4 C lime juice
1/4 C diced onion
1 C canola oil

Method:

Place all ingredients except oil in food processor and blend until smooth. Slowly add oil until it is well incorporated into the dressing. Makes 2 Cups.

Summer Salad … Disney Style!

Summer is upon us!  If you are like me you’re always looking for a new dish to bring to all of your summer gatherings. Well you are in luck! I have one to share with you. And not only can you make this at home, you can also overindulge in it when you dine at 1900 Park Fare at the  at Disney World.

Broccoli Slaw

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb Broccoli florets
1/4 cup Cashew Halves
1/4 cup Cooked/diced Bacon
1/4 cup Red Onion- small, diced
1/4 cup Raisins
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 tbsp Sugar
A Dash of  Salt

Directions:

  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a 4-quart pan.
  2. Add Broccoli florets and cook for approximately 3 minutes or until barely tender. Cool thoroughly in ice water. Darin completely.
  3. Cut bacon into small pieces and cook in sauté pan until crisp. Drain off excess grease and cool.
  4. Add small red onion.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the diced red onion, raisins, mayonnaise, sugar, and cashews.
  6. Add the thoroughly cooked broccoli and cooked bacon.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Mix gently but thoroughly.
  9. Refrigerate until served.

Enjoy!!

 

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of Rum!

What is my favorite ride at Disney World? Easy- Pirates of the Caribbean!! I can’t pinpoint what it is about this ride that makes it my favorite but it is a must do with every Disney visit.  You set sail on a voyage to a time when pirates ruled the high-seas and will escape through a shadowy grotto past the ghostly catacombs of fallen pirates. This ride is for everyone, any age and any height. There is one small drop down a waterfall towards the beginning of the ride so be prepared but after that just sit back, enjoy and sing along with the drunken buccaneers. Jack Sparrow pops up throughout the whole ride so be on the lookout, you just never know what he is going to be up to. When you are at Disney World next, head to Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom and try this ride out, you won’t be disappointed!!

Toy Story Midway Mania by Melissa (almost an expert)

My favorite ride at Disney World and Disneyland is Toy Story Mania!!!

At Disney World, this ride is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  At Disneyland, this ride is located at Disney’s California Adventure Park.

I’m such a nerd that I researched and read up on how to get more points on this fun little ride!!!

Here are a few of the things I have learned about the ride and how to improve your score:
(Most of the high scores involve uncovering the secret targets on each screen)

  1. Hamm & Eggs screen – shoot the fox and the hens, while also shooting the two pigs above the fox.  When the two pigs go down, a cat appears.
  2. Green Army Men screen – in the beginning, two 2000 plates will shoot up in the valleys, hit them both before they disappear.  Higher value plates appear.
  3. Woody’s Shooting Gallery screen – this one is a team effort, Hit the 100 point target to open the 5 more targets, then you have to hit them all.  When you do, the targets pop open worth 2000 points each

Yep, I love this ride and am just a tiny bit competitive….ha ha ha!!!

  

Pandora – The World of Avatar is now open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

Explore Pandora

Exploring Pandora – The World of Avatar – is a must see experience now open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The land itself serves as an amazing attraction for you to explore and interact with, and the area’s two experiences – the thrilling Avatar Flight of Passage and the family friendly Na’vi River Journey – are already wowing Guests. But did you know there are actually many other ways you can have fun throughout Pandora – The World of Avatar?

Here are seven must-do suggestions on how you can have the most immersive experience possible during their next expedition to Pandora – The World of Avatar.

1. Match With A Banshee – Already a favorite experience, the land’s Windtraders Merchandise shop is home to the Rookery, a nook where banshees reside, waiting to be adopted and brought home with you.

2. Visit at Swotu Wayä (“Sacred Place of Song”) – Located in the heart of Mo’ara Valley, you can interact with a collection of instruments fashioned by the Na’vi. They are connected into the moon’s root system and as Guests play the instruments, the area just may respond with music and light.

3. Test Out A Na’vi Translator – Also found in Windtraders, this fun device helps you learn Na’vi words.

4. Dine at Satu’li Canteen – Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Satu’li Canteen offers one of the most interesting menus at the Walt Disney World® Resort. Featuring international-inspired cuisine, vegetarian options and specialty libations, it’s the ideal place to refuel on an expedition through the Valley of Mo’ara.

5. Help Regrow the Flaska Reclinata – One of the largest and most fascinating plants on Pandora, your Clients can help this rare plant “re-seed” itself on Pandora simply through touch.

6. Channel Your Inner Na’vi – Windtraders offers a selection of Na’vi inspired merchandise. Here, you can buy your own set of Na’vi ears or a Na’vi tail. Or get a Na’vi inspired look over at Colors of Mo’ara.

7. Get Camera Ready – Pandora – The World of Avatar is chock-full of unbelievable photo opportunities – from towering floating mountains, to surprising water falls and much more.

Disney Dancing Queens

Disney Dancing Queens

The ASU Dancing Devils is a sports club at Arizona State University. Their club was started 15 years ago and they haven’t traveled outside of the valley (Phoenix/Tempe area). This was a huge step for their club to not only travel, but to travel across the United States to Florida.

“Tammy was a huge part in the success of this trip! We definitely couldn’t have done it without her. She worked with us on finding the best deals for both flights and hotels. Tammy made my life a lot easier by staying very organized, and being able to answer any questions I had!! We appreciate everything that she has done for our team in order for to travel to Disney World!!”

– Megan Bonesteel, President of the ASU Dancing Devils


Walt Disney World – How to Navigate the Happiest Place on Earth

For those who have traveled to Walt Disney World before, it’s evident that having a plan in place for each of your days is a must. Without strategy, the happiest place on earth can easily turn into the crabbiest place on earth. Fortunately, our agents have the personal experience and knowledge and can share some useful tips to help you navigate your parks to optimize your time and experience!

Work your way backwards in the Parks

When you enter the park in the morning, the majority of the crowds are going to stampede to the first attractions they see – optimize your time, and head over to an area that is further from the entrance. For example, when you are in Magic Kingdom, head over to Frontier Land for a morning ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Splash Mountain. Take a ride on the People Mover in Tomorrowland. Most of the crowds are going to rush for the closest attractions, and most of those are in Fantasy Land. This is how I usually work the parks when I am there, and most days, it works incredibly well for myself and my travel companions!

Download Park Attraction Smartphone Apps

There are multiple Smartphone Applications that have the current wait times for Attractions at all four parks – I have used these multiple times on my Walt Disney World vacations, and they have proven themselves to be reliable and valuable. If you see that Space Mountain has a 10 minute wait, head on over!

Take Breaks

For those who don’t have the Park Hopper Option and only have one entrance to the park, it’s important to find a way to rest – fortunately, I’ve found that there are some attractions that allow you to rest and just enjoy the ride. Here are some of my favorites:

Magic Kingdom: People Mover, It’s a Small World, Mickey’s Philharmagic, Pirates of the Caribbean. Tom Sawyer’s Island (accessible by ferry from Frontierland), are all an incredible way to let the kids explore at their own pace, with no lines to stand in.

Epcot: Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land, and any of the World Showcase Rides. Checkout Mexico, America, France, China, and Canada for some really cool shows.

Animal Kingdom: Head over to Dinoland to relax in the Boneyard – this is a great place for the kiddies to play while you catch some shade!

Hollywood Studios: The Great Movie Ride.

Have a Travel Agent put together your trip

I cannot possibly cover everything about Disney in one blog, or even 100 blogs. Fortunately, we have many agents in our agency who can help you navigate these parks and put together your itinerary to ensure that your Disney Vacation runs smoothly. From your flights, to your hotel room, down to the meal reservations, we are here to help you through every step that leads you to an unforgettable vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth.

 

Laurie goes to Disney

I traveled to Walt Disney World in Florida 2016 and stayed at the Grand Floridian.
The hotel is beautiful and right on the monorail system so transportation to the Magic Kingdom was a quick breeze.  I enjoy the slower moving, classic rides and was fun to see the changes in It’s a Small World, the Little Mermaid ride, Pirates of the Caribbean and so forth.  Pooh is still my favorite character but wasn’t able to see him this trip.  Next time hopefully!

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Client Review – Disney Fantasy Cruise

Melissa,

First let me say thank you for all your assistance on planning our family vacation cruise. It was awesome and we all had a marvelous time.

Arrival at Art of Animation – People were great from arrival to departure. The only issue we had was with the bands we wore to open doors and pay for things. It seemed there was a problem with my band in the programming and with the door lock at our room. No big deal but it took 3 calls to get someone to the room to fix the lock which meant that I ended up walking back to reception 3 times to talk to the front desk to find out when someone would get there so we could get in. Total time about 2 hours. This took me away from spending that time with family. Check out was easy and quick.

Happy Limo from Hotel to dock – Jessica was our driver and was on time and friendly. All went well. Baggage staff at the ship were quick, friendly and I felt bad for them as some people were not understanding that they should be tipping these workers as they are not with Disney.

When it came time to board, it went very fast and oh so glad we didn’t have to worry about our luggage. All lines moved quickly and we got our family photo and moved to the lunch area which totally Wow’d us. Could not believe the spread they put on.

Right after lunch our rooms were ready and while others were unpacking, I took the opportunity to visit the Guest Services and sign up for a couple days of wine tasting (awesome) and to check out the ship to locate the primary areas. Let me add this about Guest Services. I stopped by there a number of times with questions and needs and each time the wait was short and the staff were friendly and professional. It was so much fun with all of the staff from around the world which allowed me to practice my Spanish and French. I think they appreciated my effort to speak to them in their own languages.

Back to the rooms. Again…Awesome! Thanks for getting us together with the veranda’s. It really made family time special being able to hang out with a view of the ocean. The beds were so comfortable and having the split bathrooms really did make a difference. We met our wonderful Stateroom Attendant right away and had a long chat with her (Ria). Over the week, she became like family. When we left, we all gave her a loving hug.

The restaurants – I think the Royal Court was the favorite, followed by the Garden and then the Animation. All were great but because we were not sitting where we could have the character interaction, we rated the Animation a little lower. However, the night we had to draw a character and then got to see them come to life was really exciting. At the Garden we were seated over the engine and so there were steady vibrations. We just went with the idea that we were sitting in a massage chair. The food in all was exceptional. One night they served a beef rib bbq which was the best I’ve had. I asked if I could get the recipe and the next night, they had it for me.

Our dining staff (Oppie, Kevin and Witt) were the best. We had so much fun with them all each night. They really work hard but find time to interact with every person at each of their tables. We actually met Kevin when we arrived and had lunch. He was one of the table waiters in the buffet room. He told Oppie that he met this family and hoped that he gets to wait on us. With all of the international staff, it was fun being able to utilize our limited skills in French and Spanish with them during the week. Even the boys were practicing both languages with Kevin who spoke French, Spanish, Dutch, German and English. And each night one of these 3 would do some table magic for the boys. At the table next to ours there was a little girl (9), her mom and grandma. They were from French Quebec, Canada. Each night our family would toast with our wine glasses and on the first night I raised my glass to the little girl and she got embarrassed and laughed as did her mom. On the second night, her mom encouraged her to toast her soda glass with me and by the 3rd night, she was looking over and waiting for our toast. It was so much fun.

The bars – we visited a number of the bars on ship and settled in with two. One was the Pub and the bartender was a guy by the name of Ashley. We had a number of chats and he was very curious about my Stress Management business (I gave him a card the first night). He had lots of questions and so I gave him a copy of my book. I also gave one to Ria along with her gratuity. My oldest son Jamison and his girlfriend Kelly settled in on the upper bar by the adults only area. It became their special place for the cruise.

Rain Forest – everyone liked this place but there was so much activity that we didn’t get to spend all that much time in there. Not sure if I would sign up for this again as there is an adult hot tub on 11 that we used and was usually available. But I did like the sauna’s in the Rain Forest.

The tours – The St. Maarten Tour was probably the best as we actually got to learn something about the island from the driver who was plugged into a loud speaker so we could all hear him. The St. Thomas tour wasn’t really a tour. The driver was great but had no speaker and so we learned nothing about the island. Basically he was a taxi driver who drove us to Coki beach and Ocean World. Ocean world was somewhat disappointing as two of the major attractions were closed that day. The most interesting thing there were the Iguana’s that were running around freely. Everyone liked the beach as there were lots of fish and things to see while snorkeling. We even had a mother chicken and her chics running along the beach. One interesting fact is that Kelly knew someone in our drivers home country that was a relative to the driver. Small world.

Castaway Cay was great. A party event and lots of room at the beach area. The staff did a great job serving everyone.

There was something going on all the time on ship and there is just no way you can participate in all of them. But I think everyone did as much as they wanted to do and the most important is that the boys got photos with the characters they wanted to be with.

The final night after the show and after we were packed and had our luggage out for them to take (another great idea), we had time together on the veranda to just be family. The weather cooperated all week with only the first night having rough water. Now reality sets in as I review our charges. It is great that the charges are broken down by individual card even thought everything was being billed to my room. Weather or not our family would go back, probably not, but would highly recommend it to others. Doing your prep work, being organized, getting signed up early, deciding what is important to do and getting it done early in the trip are just a few suggestions I would have for others. But using you to set things up would be my first recommendation. So thank you from all of us. We truly appreciate what you did for us.

The Happy Limo ride back to the airport worked well. We actually got Jessica again. The whole process of checking out, customs, etc was great. Again, the baggage handlers where right there waiting for you when we got off and did a great job.

Darla & Judy Graduate from Disney’s College Of Knowledge

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Darla & Judy attended a Disney College of Knowledge Education Trip to Disney World in June 2007. They attended classes and visited a bunch of the hotels for site inspections and all the theme parks. They also went over to Port Canaveral to see one of Disney’s cruise ships, the Disney Wonder.

Monday, June 25, 2007 –
We arrived in Orlando and transferred to our hotel, Disney’s Board Walk Resort. We meet up with the rest of our fellow travel agents and headed over to the Coronado Springs Resort for a site inspection. After the Coronado Springs, we headed over to the Caribbean Beach Resort. Then it was on to Epcot for a Welcome Dinner. Then it was a Dessert Party on the UK Terrace where we watched Illuminations. The rest of the evening was on our own and we spent it at Epcot.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 –
After breakfast and morning classes at the Board Walk Resort, we headed out to the Pop Century Resort for a site inspection and lunch. Then it was off to Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Fort Wilderness Lodge & Villas at Fort Wilderness for site inspections. The Grand Floridian was our last site inspection of the day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 –
We had a Character Breakfast at Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy & Chip & Dale were there. From there we did the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at Magic Kingdom. Then we went on to the Polynesian Resort for a site inspection. We then had classes for a couple hours but after that we got to spend time at the Animal Kingdom Park.

Thursday, June 28, 2007 –
After breakfast and classes at the Boardwalk Conference Center, we took a Disney Bus to Port Canaveral where we toured the Disney Wonder. After that we headed back to Disney World and did a site inspection of the All Star Music Resort and Blizzard Beach Water Park. That night we ate at the Sci Fi Dine In Restaurant inside Hollywood Studios.

Friday, June 29, 2007 –
After breakfast we graduated from Disney’s College of Knowledge. Mickey gave us our diplomas!