Tag Archives: disney world

Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival Presented by HGTV March 5th – May 18th

Heading to Walt Disney World this Spring?

Starting March 5th at Epcot® is the International Flower & Garden Festival Presented by HGTV!


From toddler’s to adults there is something for everyone during the 10 week event.

Topiaries of some of your favorite Disney characters including:

  • Mickey, Minnie and Pluto
  • Disney•Pixar Buzz Lightyear
  • Mater’s Parts, Plants & Play Garden Disney
  • •Pixar Toy Story Characters – Woody & Lotso
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • AND MORE!!

You won’t want to miss the Designer’s Stage where every weekend they have a different  HGTV and DIY popular Network personality!

Some that are lined up already to be there are Vern Yip (one of my favorite!), Chris Lambton, Matt Blashaw, Tanya Nayka and many, many more.  From help with your garden to selling your home, come and learn from these experts!

Plus, no festival would be complete without music!

Flower Power Concert Series will take place every weekend from Friday – Monday at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM.

The music line up includes:

  • Village People
  • Paul Revere & The Raider’s
  • The Grass Roots
  • STARSHIP Starring Mickey Thomas
  • Chubby Checker  The Wildcats
  • Plus More!

PicMonkey Collage

But I think the one thing that I am looking forward to the most is the Outdoor Kitchens!  Walk your way around the countries exploring different treats from around the world.  From afternoon tea’s near the United Kingdom Pavilion, barbecue near the American Pavilion to tacos and fruity drinks near the Mexican Pavilion there is something for everyone in your group.

I have just highlighted a few of the many happenings that will be going on during Epcot®  International Flower & Garden Festival.

For more information on this event and others going on at Walt Disney World Resort on Florida or for help planning your next vacation. Contact me at kim@magicalvacationsbyme.com or find me on Facebook and on Twitter.

Image source: disneyworld.disney.go.com

Disney Vacation Tips and the New Fantasyland Expansion

I grew up in Orlando, Florida and I’m pretty sure that we visited Disney World on a regular basis.  I still remember specific moments from our trips to Disney World and Epcot when I was just in awe.  My favorite ride has always been It’s a Small World and I loved walking through the countries at Epcot.

Now that I am a parent, I know that there are few moments in childhood that will cause the faces of my son and daughter’s faces to light up with as much excitement as the first time they went to Disney World. What better vacation could a kid ever ask for?   Your kids might be over the moon about your upcoming or future Disney World vacation, but when it comes down to planning your trip to Florida, there’s a lot to think about. Where do you stay? Where do you eat? How do you manage to pack in as many attractions, and as much family fun as possible? It’s important for parents to know where to begin.

Snow White at Disney WorldWhen most families think of Disney World, what they really envision is the Magic Kingdom Park, which is actually one of four theme parks that Disney has to offer. But of course, the Magic Kingdom Park is the one that kids don’t want to miss, because it has all the classic Disney attractions. Kids will love Cinderella Castle, It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and all the favorite rides they would expect from Disney parks.
One of the most exciting things to see is the new Fantasyland expansion, which offers two new themed areas called the Enchanted Forest and the Storybook Circus. The Enchanted Forest features attractions and dining options inspired by The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, where kids can meet their favorite characters and adults can feast on gourmet meals. Storybook Circus is inspired by Dumbo and features colorful circus tents and fun attractions adjacent to the Fantasyland Railroad Station. And they’re not done yet! By 2014, Fantasyland promises to be double its size, making it the largest expansion in the park’s history.
Disney New Fantasyland Expansion
Source: wdwnews.com
What other attractions and dining options are at the other Disney theme parks for your family to enjoy?
The most famous is Epcot, where you and your kids can experience attractions and entertainment highlighting different countries around the world, with a bit of Disney magic thrown in. The whole family will also love Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can get up close and personal with many exotic animals, go on your own African safari, and see the most complete T-Rex skeleton in the world.

In order to get the most out of your visit, you might want to consider staying at a Disney resort hotel. The 27 different Disney resort hotels and campgrounds offer a variety of vacation packages to suit your family’s needs, and some even include meals and snacks! Disney resort guests receive complimentary transportation to and from the airport, plus they get to take advantage of extended theme park hours. Some hotels even offer Disney character dining, where your kids can visit with Disney princesses or other favorite faces while they eat.


Disney World Resorts in Orlando

Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Source: disneyworld.disney.go.com

Don’t forget to download the Disney Parks Mobile Magic App before your Walt Disney World vacation! Take it along with you so you have access to GPS, a dining guide, and even wait times for your favorite attractions. With a little planning, you’ll still find out here’s no better way to make the kids smile than Disney.

Share your tips:

Do you have a favorite place to stay while visiting Walt Disney World?  A dining tip or any other kind of tip?  Please share with us in the comments below.

Enjoy your trip to Disney World!

Our Disney World holiday visit and tips for parent & kids visiting Disney World > Part 2

This is a continuation of Part 1: “Our amazing trip to Disney World and a few tips and hints for your next visit – Part 1” post published December 26th, 2009.

Meal Time at Disney World

It was difficult for the 5 of us to agree on a time and place in the Disney World park to eat a meal so I’m glad I brought a large bag of snacks and granola bars (choose some healthy high calorie snacks) to keep their energy up. I think that helped keep my 10 and 3 year old from getting cranky and tired as so many other kids clearly and unfortunately were.

Plan your day at Disney World

  • Take 5-10 minutes when you arrive at Disney World to sit down on a bench with your family and plan out the rides that everyone wants to go in and if there are rides that both of yor kids can’t go on due to height restrictions then plan which parent or adult will go with with child (or kids) on each ride . That way there is no confusion once you reach a ride that you find all of your kids can’t go on.
  • Get Fast Passes. Fast Passes are free, but not all rides offer Fast Passes. “Its a Small World” doesn’t offer Fast Passes so be ready to wait in line.  If there is a parade Scheduled for the day you are visiting Disney World. During the parades at Disney World, lines for popular rides like “Space Mountain” are shorter because a lot of people are watching the parade.
  • Be prepared for moments of crankiness.  Expect your kids to get cranky. Being around so many people can be overwhelming I say the least. Kids can’t reason and accept the fact that they have to wait in line so be prepared to keep calm yourself. Download a couple of exciting new iPhone games (if you have one) that your kids can play while in line to help pass the time quicker.
  • Expect to buy each child one toy. Explain that it’s best to but toys at the end of your day at Disney World so THEY (your kids) don’t have to carry their toy around the while time.
  • Adults may want to wear a backpack not a handbag.  Your shoulders will be very strained with a few hours of walking and standing and you can expect to get sore.

General ride tip:

  • Whenever my 3 year old looked or acted line she was getting frightened on a ride (Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin for example) during dark moments I would point out how I thought the ride was so fun. When we went through outer space during Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin I told her in a very cheery voice that we got to go in space. She was OK then.
  • When she looked like she was getting overwhelmed/green on the Tea Cup ride I slowed our Tea Cup down and had her look down. This only lasted for a moment then she was ready to spin again.

Even though we arrived at Disney World at 9:30, we didn’t get to ride as many rides as we hoped.   Disney World is extremely busy during school breaks, even winter break.  The crowds can be a bit overwhelming especially for kids.  Read my tips on what to bring which will help during these overwhelming times.  The perfect weather more than made up for the crowds though.   I would recommend that everyone go during the holidays at least once to see Disney World beautifully decorated with Christmas Trees, Nutcrackers, and Cinderella’s brightly lit castle.

Did I leave any tips out? Share them with our readers in the comments area below. Thanks!

Part 1 > Read Part 1 of my ‘Disney World holiday trip’ series here

Helpful Disney World official website links:

These links open in a new window or tab in your browser

Our amazing trip to Disney World + a few tips and hints for your next visit – Part 1

As I mentioned in my last post, my 10 year old, 3 year old, sister, Dad, and step-mom went to Disney World last week. I had not been to Disney World during the holiday season and wasn’t sure what to expect, but going during the holidays was the point. We wanted to see the decorations and Christmas parades. We even rode a few rides!

My favorite Disney World rides:

“It’s a Small World”

– It’s a Small World is great for all ages, no scary or dark moments at all. Madelyn LOVED “It’s a Small World”. The wait was minimal, we kept moving until we boarded the ride.

“Carousel of Progress”

– Despite having been on the Carousel of Progress ride many many times over the years, it never gets old even though the changes are minimal every time I go. I loved for my 10 year old son to see the way people lived in the 19th century as well as potential living situations in te future. He actually wanted to go on the “Carousel of Progress” more than once.

“Mad Tea Party”

– Mad Tea Party is one that I don’t think I rode as a child because I was fearful of getting sick. I rode Mad Tea Party when we took my then 3 year old to Disney World and didn’t throw up so I did it again this time with my 3 year old daughter and she loved it!

“Dumbo The Flying Elephant”

– Dumbo The Flying Elephant was so fun! The wait was longer than I would have hoped but it was worth it. The ride is short, it seemed like about 3-4 minutes but that was probably just long enough for Madelyn. She enjoyed controlling how high we went and when. She got a kick out of that.

“Jungle Cruise”

– The Jungle Cruise is great for all ages. It is a boat ride with a humorous ‘tour guide’ during which you go through the jungle and see elephants, rhinoceroses, giraffes, and alligators.

My recommendations for your next or first trip to Disney World:

  • Bring lots of hand sanitizer. It seems impossible for kids if any age to keep their hands off if the rails and then out them in their nose or mouth (fun!).
  • Bring bottled water. You’ve got to keep hydrated!
  • Bring your own stroller. You can rent a stroller at Disney World for $13 a day (price when we went) but their stroller didn’t seem to have any storage room below the seat or any type of cushioning. They might have had cup holders for the adults but I’m not sure.
  • Bring snacks.

General “What to bring” tips:

  • Bring sunscreen even in the winter.
  • Bring bottled water.
  • Bring sun hats.
  • Bring ponchos.
  • Extra clothes or babies and toddlers. Put the extra clothes in a Ziploc bag and squeeze all of the air out of the bag to make the it really small for easy storage in your backpack.
  • Bring wipes to clean up sticky spills on clothes and hands.

Even though we arrived at Disney World at 9:30, we didn’t get to ride as many rides as we hoped.   I would like to be able to go for a couple of days next time we go to Disney World and staying in a Disney Resort would be convenient and appreciated by everyone in your family I’m sure.. so I recommend doing that if you can. 
Disney World is extremely busy during school breaks, even winter break.  The crowds were a bit overwhelming at times.  The perfect weather more than made up for the crowds though.   I would recommend that everyone go during the holidays at least once to see Disney World beautifully decorated with Christmas Trees, Nutcrackers, and Cinderella’s brightly lit castle.

Did I leave any tips out? Share them with our readers in the comments area below. Thanks!

Part 2 > Meal time at Disney World, ride tips, helpful official Disney World website links

Visit the Disney World Magic Kingdom website to learn more about the park, get prices, buy tickets, and more.


I was not compensated in any way for this post.