Saturday, November 28, 2015

Shopping at Walt Disney World


By Lisa Green 

Who Goes to Walt Disney World to Shop? I DO!

There are many stores and shops at Disney World that I love.  Many I just browse, but seldom buy make a purchase in – I just think the stuff is great, with no real need to have any of it for my own.  This would include the giftshops at many of the ride’s exits – like Expedition Everest and Tower of Terror – those giftshops are really neat and offer cute and clever attraction-related merchandise.  The one on the way out of Pirates of the Caribbean is a particular favorite as well.  I also love to browse the shops in Disney’s Hollywood Studios – I just seldom find anything there I can’t live without.

Now, let’s talk about where my money goes.  There are four places I go to shop (as in like-an-Olympic-sport shopping) – The Fam is used to this and they know they can either help or get out of the way – I’m good with either of those opptions as long as I have some completely uninterrupted time to carefully select what will be going home with me.

Mouse Gear in Epcot

I love Mouse Gear because of its size, but also the way the store is merchandised.  The place is always bright, clean, well organized and neat as a pin.  Part of what’s so great about it is how open it is – one huge room all on display for my shopping pleasure.  Most recently, Megan and I added to our Shoe Ornament collection with the purchase of three new shoes from Mouse Gear.  If you saw my post on another Epcot store (Mitsukoshi in the Japan Pavilion), it deserves a shout-out here, but unlike Mouse Gear, I don’t always buy something from there.

Disney’s Days of Christmas (Downtown Disney)

Haunted Mansion Mickey Ornament

Disney Christmas ornaments are a must-buy souvenir for me.  The nice folks at Disney’s Days of Christmas will carefully pack my ornament purchases and ship them straight to my house where they will arrive safely unbroken.  Yes, I pay about $25 extra for that, but it’s totally worth it to me not to have to fret over what may happen if I tried to carry all the ornaments with me on the plane home.  As long as there’s room on my 9-foot Disney Christmas tree, I’ll be buying ornaments at this happy holiday shop.

World of Disney (Downtown Disney)
This store is, with regard to presentation, the exact opposite of Mouse Gear.  It’s a little darker and messier inside and divided into many rooms and sections – you could look around in World of Disney for a couple of days, I think, and still not see it all.  Clothing, watches, and souvenirs are the kinds of things I buy here.  It can be really crowded, though, so if you’re serious about shopping here, a little patience and crowd tollerance helps.  Most recently, I bought a tee shirt (for our dog, Junior) from the boys’ section, some Haunted Mansion ornaments (the singing busts) that were not at the Christmas Store, and some small souvenirs for friends back home.  I also bought my new, one-and-only, perfect-for-me Earhat!  (See me wearing it on our Facebook Page – oh, and if you press “Like” while your there, I’d be ever so appreciative since I’m only 20 shy of 1000!)

The Main Street Emporium (Magic Kingdom)

Haunted Mansion Singing Busts Ornaments

All the stores on Main Street’s left side are connected.  So, you can enter the Emporium and shop your way (in cool comfort) down to Casey’s Corner!  It’s the atmosphere of The Main Street Emporium that draws me in.  It’s got great Victorian details and I can find camera batteries, gift cards, and one of my favorite things to buy there, Disney Pins (for collecting and trading).  Yeah, I know they sell pins literally everywhere, but it has become tradition for me to at least attempt to find a pin or two from the Emporium to take with me.

Now it’s your turn – which of Walt Disney World’s stores are your favorite?  What are your favorite souvenirs to buy on every visit?

Disney Christmas Ornaments
Personalized Disney Ornament Dumbo Christmas Ornament Disney Shoe Ornament - Ariel Disney Shoe Ornament - Anna Classic Earhat Ornament

This article was originally posted on Lisa's Living a Disney Life Blog.
She can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Please be sure to check out Lisa along with me and David Hodges on The Disney Exchange Podcast! 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Biergarten Restaurant at Epcot in Walt Disney World

By Nick

If there are 3 things I love, it's food, beer and fun, and these 3 things can be found in abundance at the Biergarten Restaurant located in the Germany Pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.

We've eaten there several times throughout the years, most recently last December. Christmas is a wonderful time to visit, as the normally lovely hall is even more picturesque decked out in holiday finery, and the band plays Carols.

Then of course there is the food! There are several stations featuring a wide variety of options.

Cold items include several salads potato, cucumber, tomato, cabbage, bean, sausage, pasta and mixed greens. Cold cuts and rolls can also be found here.

On to entrees, where you'll find several sausage styles, oven roasted potatoes, a soup of the day, schnitzel, roasted chicken, fish, red cabbage, mac and cheese, meatballs, meat loaf, Spatzle, and ham.


Desserts include apple strudel, Black Forest cake, cheesecake, chocolate roll, and peach-almond cake, fruit, plus much more!

Beer selections include Schofferhofer, Schofferhofer Pink Grapefruit Hefeweizen, Altenmunster Octoberfest, and Warsteiner Dunkel. You can also get a flight with all 4.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

TBT: Walt Disney World November 2011, Part 5

By Nick

Back before I blogged, I participated regularly in the DVC News Forums where I would post trip reports, such as this one from November of 2011. 

Obviously part of today's post contains our side trip to Universal. Please hang in there, we get back to Disney at the end!

Any current commentary will be in italics.

PART 5 : 11/15 & 16/11

Part 4 can be found here

Tuesday, November 15th

We got a cab over to Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure, and were there at opening. It was not very crowded, and we walked right into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We knew we should head right for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, but, wow. Just, I'm still really, really impressed, just looking at our pictures.

Absolutely fantastic.
We took some pics, and then headed for Forbidden Journey, which we walked right on. It was amazing. It also almost made me sick. I really need to find a motion sickness solution.
Barbie and Josh had no issues, and went right back on.

After that, we got Butterbeer. I am now an addict. Throughout the day, I had 4.

We walked around the shops, which look amazing, are beautifully themed, but are very tiny and cramped. In fact, that is a good way to describe most of this area. I'm hearing they are going to be expanding, and that will absolutely get me back in. (Diagon Alley is now open and as wonderfully themed!)

We had an early lunch at the Three Broomsticks. The food was just so-so. I've been told that one central kitchen makes all the food for the restaurants in the park, and it sort of came over. The chicken and ribs were dry. The surroundings were gorgeous, the food looked delicious, but it unfortunately did not live up to the look. (Back to Diagon Alley, the food at The Leaky Cauldron is terrific.)

After lunch, Josh and Barbie went off to ride both sides of the Dragon Challenge, while I had a real beer in the Hog's Head. I was told the beer was made just for there. It wasn't bad, very Killian's Red.

Jill and I walked through the queue of Dragons, which was very nicely themed. But the coolest queue is in Forbidden Journey, and we all walked through Hogwarts. You can walk through the castle to see the very well done effects. We easily spent 40 minutes in there.
I actually watched a teenage girl walk into the room where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are projected, telling you about how to go on your journey, and burst into tears. It is THE Mecca for Harry Potter fans.
It may seem like I'm gushing. Because I am.

By now, it was 1pm, and we headed to other park locales. We eventually made our way around to Spider-Man. Barbie, Josh and I rode, and for some reason, I was fine, so we rode again.
Barbie and Josh rode Hulk twice, and we walked back around for more Butterbeer, before leaving for the day.

That night we had dinner at Trail's End, and Barbie and I had an early evening, as we had to pack.
Josh and Jill went to the pool and hot tub.

Wednesday, November 16th

We were at rope drop for Disney Hollywood Studios, and went right on Toy Story Midway Mania.

Josh and I headed over to Rockin Roller Coaster, while the girls went pin trading, and we got the front row.
We then rode Tower of Terror, and met the ladies afterwards, and had cupcakes for breakfast at Starring Rolls.
Peanut Butter and Red Velvet.

Barbie, Josh and I rode Star Tours next.

By now, it was around 11, so Barbie and I decided to head back. Josh and Jill stayed 2 more nights.
Barbie and I got off at the Wilderness Lodge and I grabbed a burger at Roaring Forks. We had a 120PM Magical Express pick up.

It was a great trip. Thank you for reading!

Thank you for following along on another trip, and Happy Thanksgiving to our readers in the United States.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Disneyland Fall-Winter 1972-1973 Guide

By Nick

Today we'll take a look at the Fall-Winter 1972-73 Disneyland Guide sent to me by my Aunt Sandy.

The booklet is presented by INA Insurance, The Insurance Company of North America.
The cover is of The Country Bears.

Apparently, INA sponsored the “Carefree Corner”, Disneyland’s official information and registration center, located on Main Street, U.S.A.

An explanation of Ticket Books is up next, with a few pages of what tickets cover which attractions.

Then we have a map of each individual land and a list of all the shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Bear Country replaced the Indian Village in 1972, and was changed once again in 1988 to Critter Country.

In the center, an overall map of the park.

Food and Refreshments.

Next we have Shops and Stores, which seems somewhat redundant to me.

Finally, the entertainment calendar.
Back cover, with more information about INA.