Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where in the “World” is Jiminy - Part 2

By Beth Skarp

Beth and her sister recently visited Walt Disney World, and took a friend along. She invites you to guess where in Walt Disney World Jiminy Cricket is posing for photos. 

Part one of Where in the "World" is Jiminy can be found here. - Nick

 The side of a cart in Animal Kingdom by the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

Wait...this isn't the Dumbo ride. This is in DinoLand!

I've gone waaaaayyyyy back in time. 
 I wonder if I can be purchased here. 
 This is the courtyard of the gift shop in DinoLand.

At Adventurer's Outpost in Animal Kingdom, where you can meet Mickey and Minnie!

A small cart, located in Africa at Animal Kingdom. Yes, the bananas are real.

Okay, they were all at Disney's Animal Kingdom, now we are going to jump around the World a bit!

Outside Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom.

 A statue of poet Patrick Kavanagh outside Raglan Road, Downtown Disney.

 NO!! not the dreaded claw!
This is at the photo opportunity spot across from Toy Story Mania, at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

No, sadly Jiminy was not at the opening ceremonies of Walt Disney World. 
The cast member of One Man's Dream placed Jiminy here and asked me to quickly take a shot.

Mmmmmm, what grand place is this? Disney's Grand Floridian Resort!

  Bonus round. Can you guess where in Walt Disney World these photos are from?

 Pop Century waiting area for Magic Express (inside the lobby area).

Thanks for playing! How many did you guess right?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Planning for the 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

By Nick

The dates for the 2014 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this year are September 19th- November 10th.

I usually check out what the Disney Parks Blog, the Disney Food Blog, the Food Festival Blog, and The Tips From the Disney Divas and Devos, where I am a contributing writer, have posted for the latest information and tips for planning.

There are several tastings, seminars, and special events, many of which require reservations. The phone lines to book these experiences opened for Annual Passholders, DVC Members and Golden Oak residents on Friday July 25th.
Chase Disney Visa card holders can start booking tomorrow, July 29th, at 7am.
Booking for the general public starts 7am July 31st, so check ahead as to what you would like to attend, and be prepared! Premium events may be reserved by phone at 407-WDW-FEST (407-939-3378).

This year, our Food and Wine visit time will be very short, so planning will be extra important. We are only going to be in Walt Disney World one day before going on a 4 day cruise on the Dream, and then we are staying one evening when we return from the cruise.

But on a year when we visit for a week, my plan of attack goes like this:

First I check out park hours during my visit. I'm a morning person, so the plan is to go to one of the other parks with early Extra Magic Hours, have lunch at that park, and take an afternoon break. We'll then visit Epcot during the evening. If possible, we avoid the weekends. That's when a lot of locals go and it gets VERY crowded.
On 2 days, usually Friday and whichever day Epcot has early EMHs, we'll hit the food booths early, and visit another park in the evening.

Also, as soon as the menus come out for the booths, we'll go through it and decide what interests us.
I make a copy of this paired down list, and pair it down even further by highlighting the must haves.
Pacing yourself is key, for a variety of reasons, which is why I pick those must haves

Financially, this is an expensive event if you plan to try a bit of everything. Sure, on the surface, $3-$7 for a sample may not seem like much, but this adds up quickly!
As for paying at the booths, we get gift cards. It's quicker than cash, and an easier way to keep track of what you are spending. Barbie has very generous family members who usually give us gift cards for birthdays and holidays, and we save them for this event.

Then there is the alcohol, which can add up even faster than the food.
I have tried the suggested food and wine pairings in years past, and then had a beer or 2, and then a mixed drink. This is a bad idea. Trust me!

I hope you enjoy the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival as much as we do every year!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Flea Market Finds–Donald Duck Matchbox Car

By Barbie

This little Flea Market find is marked Matchbox Disney Series No 2 (c) Walt Disney Productions made in Hong Kong 1979, Lesney Prod & Co Ltd. It is a small die cast 2 1/2" long 1 1/2" wide 2 1/2" high car, but Donald is the real reason I bought this piece. Look at his adorable little face!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Where in the “World” is Jiminy

By Beth Skarp

If you have been following along on this blog, you will know that my sister and I recently traveled to the World with Jiminy Cricket. Our goal was to let Jiminy not only have adventures, but to show things that we, who are much taller than Jiminy, would tend to overlook. We took several pictures of things that no doubt the average guest to the World would  also overlook. So, where in the World is Jiminy in these shots? 

Sometimes, Jiminy was just too small or the object too tall for Jiminy to reach. 

Can you guess where these pictures were taken?

No peeking at the answers which are directly below the photo!-Nick

 This is the clock at Enchanted Tales with Belle. 
The basket lowers partway for the quarter hour and reaches its full extension at the half hour. 
At a quarter of, it begins to raise back up and at the hour, it is right underneath the clock. 
Who pays attention to this? 
I never did.

 This is the stage where Big Al comes out to sing at Country Bear Jamboree.

This is the stone wall, just outside of the gift shop from Star Tours.

This is a backdrop located along the walkways in Hollywood Studios. 
How often do you walk past and not admire the opportunities to stop for a candid shot?

 Waiting in line at Disney's Hollywood Studios Backlot Tour.

Do you think they may have a room for me? This is on the Streets of America at DHS.

 How about this hotel, or wait, where am I again? Oh yeah....Muppet Vision 3D!

 Wait, who is that...

 It's DiVine at Animal Kingdom! Sorry this picture is so blurry, I got jostled just as I took the shot.

I hope you had as much fun looking at the pictures as I had taking them.  

Please stop back soon for more Where in the "World" is Jiminy!-Nick

Friday, July 25, 2014

Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival Beer Pairing

By: Nick
2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Culinary Demonstrations and Beverage Seminars can be booked by Annual Pass, DVC, and Residents of Golden Oak starting today! Visa Card Holders can start booking on July 29th, and the general public on July 31st.

Let's take a look at an event I attended last year

I have 2 hobbies. Disney and beer. I don’t mean any beer, I mean really good, craft beer. So when planning our trip to Walt Disney World last year, and, more specifically scoping out the beer selection at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, I was very happy to see that there would be a Food and Beer pairing at Italy during my visit.

These events will be held every Tuesday during the festival at Via Napoli, located in the back of the Italy Pavilion in World Showcase from 1:30 pm-3:30 pm.

When I did did it, the experience was from 1:30-4pm.

Another change from last year is the price. It has now gone from $55 to $76!

Let's take a look at my review from last year's event, which I originally posted on the Tips From the Disney Divas and Devos Blog, where I am a contributing writer.

I attended the tasting on 10/1/13 with my friend Tom.We arrived at about 1:15 and checked in at the podium, where we were asked if we had any food allergies. I said I was allergic to shellfish, and this was noted next to my name. We were told they would be calling us all at 1:30 pm, so, while we waited, we had a beer to “prime the pump,” so to speak, at Tutto Gusto, located next door, where they have a small, but wonderful selection of craft beer.

Tip:  The beer at Tutto Gusto is expensive, and you want to enjoy what you order, so ask for a sample first, they are more than happy to give you one, and also ask for a description of what you are drinking.
But back to the event! We waited in the courtyard until exactly 1:30 pm, when we were all called by name by the manager, Gabriele, and brought in one group at a time and escorted to our table in the main dining room.

Gabriele gave us a short introduction to our beer expert, Jacquelyn, and explained that this event is usually held in the glassed in area off the courtyard, but it is being refurbished, and we were told behind schedule, as it was supposed to be completed in time for this event.
The table setting :

The menu for our event: Note: The event menu changes each week! I found a site that has these menus, but of course, these are subject to change.

We were at a table for six, with 3 seats one side, and 3 booth seats. I wound up in the middle booth seat.
Tip: Avoid a middle booth seat if possible! I’m not sure if it was because the angle was awkward for the servers to pour, but I seemed to get a short pour each time. They were fairly good about quick refills upon request, but they were busy, and I was often empty. 

The first beer served was the Nuova Mattina from Birrificio del Ducato, a Saison Farmhouse style ale, which was paired with Minestra Maritata (Minestrone soup).

Jacquelyn came around to each table and explained the characteristics of the beer, how to taste the beer properly, where it was made, and how and why it paired with each food.

I’m going to be honest. I read Draft Magazine, a magazine for “beer enthusiasts” but I am by no means a beer connoisseur, just as I don’t consider myself a foodie, but I know what I like, and Saisons are one of my favorite beer styles. It paired wonderfully with the soup.

The second beer was My Antonia from Birra del Borgo, an Imperial Pilsner, which was served with the Pizza Margherita con mozzarella bufala (Margherita Pizza with Buffalo cheese).

This was very hoppy beer, which paired with the sweetness of the tomato sauce. I am not a big hops fan however, so this was my least favorite of the 4.
Next up was the PVK from Birrificio L’Olmaia, a wheat beer. I’m a wheat beer fan, and this was my favorite of the group.
Before the dish was served, Gabriele came to our table and told me that because the next course contained clams, that I would be served a veal cutlet. I said that would be fine. To be honest, I am not allergic to clams, but as I felt they had gone out of their way to accommodate me, I went with it.
The table was served the Pesce allo Tiano (all’Acqua Pazza), which I was told was very good, and paired well with the beer.
My veal was terrific. I really wasn’t concerned by what paired with what at this point, as I was feeling pretty good!
As I said, I’m a wheat beer fan, and I hope to find PVK at a local beer store!
We finished strong with my second favorite beer, Runa Bianca by Birrificio Montegioco, a Witbier, and a really delicious dessert, Mele Fritte (Bigne di Mele al Rum) (fried apples with rum). Since I’m no expert, I really can’t tell the nuances between a witbier and a wheat beer. This was a little sweeter than the PVK, and was excellent with the apples.
It was now time to say goodbye, and the head chef, Charlie, came around to each table to ask how everything was.
Gabriele thanked us all for coming, and asked us to applaud the staff that made this event memorable.
So, is this event worth the $55+ tax price tag? Tom and I absolutely think so. If you enjoy good beer and good food, this is a total winner. It’s also one of the more reasonably priced of all the special Food and Wine events.
If you are not a beer lover, then you probably wouldn’t be interested in this event. I say probably as opposed to definitely because at our table there was a couple where the wife didn’t like beer, and her husband drank her pours. I actually thought this was a good idea at the beginning of the meal, and regretted not bringing my wife along. But by the end, I couldn’t imagine drinking THAT much. I’m in no way judging the other person, they could clearly handle their alcohol better than me, but I would say you’d be better off not attending this event unless you like beer.
So, now that the price is $76, is it still worth the price? I honestly don't think I would attend again, but if it is a first visit to this event, and you are a beer lover, I would likely still go. It is a really wonderful experience.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Merry Christmas?

by Gaylin

While it might appear to be the wrong time of the year to think about Christmas cards, if you want to make your own card and happen to visit Downtown Disney, there is a perfect spot to make that happen.

At the entrance to the market side of DTD, right by the Christmas store is a set of character figures that are there year round and with a click of a camera, you can have the perfect Christmas card photo.

Don't be surprised if you have to wait a moment or two to get a photo taken here, this is a very popular photo op.