+(407) 636-2390 info@myviptour.com
Fall in Love with the Holiday’s at Walt Disney World

Fall in Love with the Holiday’s at Walt Disney World

Fall in Love with the Holiday's

at Walt Disney World

Summer is officially over, which means our favorite time of year is right around the corner. There is truly something so magical about the theme parks during the Holiday season. This year is definitely different than previous years, however, there are lots of new and exciting things to look forward to in the coming months!

Fall & Halloween at Magic Kingdom

News13

    Although Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has been canceled this year, fall is still such a wonderful time to visit the theme parks.
    From September 15th through October 31st, Magic Kingdom will be adorned with beautiful seasonal decor throughout the park. Characters including Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and pals will wave to guests from a special Halloween cavalcade. You may even see some of your favorite Disney villains along for the ride. Disney is also allowing guests for the first time ever to wear their favorite Halloween costume to the parks to celebrate.

New Projection Show for Cinderella’s Castle Starting Nov. 6th 

Each year during the Holiday season, Cinderella’s Castle lights up with over 200,000 beautiful crystal lights that emulate icicles dripping from every angle. This year, in place of the icicle lights, Disney has created an incredible projection show that will run through the evening starting at sun down. According to Disney Parks Blog, “the appearance of the iconic castle will be transformed with a rotating series of designs including a whimsical Christmas sweater and a regal overlay of red, green and gold ornamentation”.  Get your cameras ready! This new addition will make for an incredible Holiday card backdrop for the whole family.  

Character Sitings throughout the Parks

One thing we have truly missed about the parks is being able to meet all of our favorite characters and princesses. This holiday season, however, the Disney parks have created ways for us to see all of our favorites while staying safe with social distancing. Starting November 6th, guests will be able to see special character cavalcades through Magic Kingdom including gingerbread men, elves, reindeer and our personal favorite, the toy soldiers! Guests can also enjoy festive flotillas at Animal Kingdom, Holiday Promenades at Epcot, and Merry Motorcades at Hollywood Studios. Santa Claus will also be available to wave to guests at all four parks and Disney Springs.

Minnie Mouse to Host Seasonal Dine at Hollywood & Vine

We are so excited to see character dining slowly returning to the parks. Starting November 6th, Minnie Mouse will host a seasonal dining experience at Hollywood & Vine located at Hollywood Studios park. Santa Goofy will also be in attendance along with some of Minnie’s other friends. The characters will not be available for personal photos, however will be available to wave to guests and pose for photos.

Celebrate the Holiday’s at Disney Springs

If you are heading to the theme parks this Holiday season, make sure to stop by Disney Springs. Disney has announced that the “elaborately-decorated Disney Christmas trees are spread throughout this retail, dining and entertainment destination”. These beautiful trees will be displayed all throughout Disney Springs, which is perfect for an unplanned afternoon, or evening after a busy day at the parks. Another special addition to Disney Springs this year will be a magical snowfall throughout three of the main areas: The Landing, Town Center, and West Side.

Jock Lindsey Hanger Bar will transform into Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar with returning holiday decor and a limited-time festive menu for guests to enjoy this Holiday season.

    Stay tuned for more Walt Disney World and Universal Studios updates in our October newsletter. You can also stay up to date on all park and resort information by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

     

    Recent Posts

     

     

     

    Cooking Around the World Showcase – Pan Fried Noodles from the Japan Pavillon

    Cooking Around the World Showcase – Pan Fried Noodles from the Japan Pavillon

    Cooking Around the World Showcase - Pan Fried Noodles from Japan Pavillon

     The next stop on my culinary adventures around the World Showcase is Japan. I am not going to lie, this one made me nervous. Would I have the right cooking equipment? Was I going to be able to find all of the ingredients I needed? Have no fear! I am happy to report back that my dish of Pan Fried Noodles was a huge success and a big hit with the family.

    Pan Fried Noodles

    Japan Pavillon
    Teppan Edo

    Out of the three sit down dining options located in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, Teppan Edo, Tokyo Dining, and Takumi-Tei, Teppan Edo is truly the star. Teppan means “iron griddle” in Japanese, so the name is very fitting for this hibachi style dining experience.  My family and I have been dining here for as long as I can remember. It is especially my husband’s favorite as he studied Japanese in college. Depending on the size of your party, you will be seated alone, or with a combination of other families all around a large flat top grill. Here your chef will cook your dinner with flair and serve an amazing meal along with a show. The recipe I used to recreate Teppan-Edo’s delicious noodles is by Dinner at the Zoo and can be found here.

    Ingredients:
    4 servings

      

    • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    • 1 cup shredded carrots
    • 1/2 cup white onion
    • 1/2 cup green onions 
    • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 12 ounces cooked fresh noodles 
    • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 1 cup bean sprouts
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

    Directions:

     
    1. Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat in a large pan. Add the carrots and white onions to the pan. 
    2. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
    3. Add the green onions and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the vegetables from the pan, and cover to keep warm.
    4. Rinse the noodles under hot water to separate them.
    5. Heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil in the pan. Add the noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned and crispy on the edges.
    6. Add the vegetables back to the pan.
    7. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water.
    8. Add the bean sprouts to the pan, and toss to combine.
    9. Add the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until sauce has just thickened and bean sprouts have wilted.
    10. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and additional green onions if desired, then serve.

     

    Since this meal did not require too much cooking on the stovetop, my little ones were able to be a lot more hands-on, which they loved!

    The veggies that this recipe calls for are shredded carrots, white onion and bean sprouts. I chose to shred the carrots and onions at home with my grater. However, you can buy them pre-shredded at the grocery story if you prefer.

    The kids got to shred the carrots and onions and mix together all of the ingredients for the sauce. Mom stepped in when it was time to start cooking.

    One tip I found online that turned out to be my saving grace was buying precooked noodles, which you can find in the international isle of your grocery store.

    Since these noodles come precooked, all you need to do is rinse them and throw them in the pan and voila! The longer you keep the noodles in the fry pan, the crispier they get. The texture is needed in this dish so that everything is not too soft.

    The best part of these noodle is that it can easily be a side dish or a main course! We decided to cook up some chicken to mix in with the noodles for the first night. For night two, we had the noodles as a side dish.

    To make your Japan experience even more authentic, open a bottle of sake and bring out the chop sticks! We have sets that we purchased from the gift shop located directly underneath the restaurant.

    All in all, this dish was much easier to make than I anticipated. Cooking it myself may not have been quite as fun as watching it made hibachi-style at Teppan-Edo, but this recipe is definitely one we will be making more often.

    I planned on making the green tea mousse cake from Teppan-Edo’s dessert menu as well, however, it was not as easy or as successful as the noodles. It is The Japan Pavilion that has had me conceding that I am a much better cook than I am a baker!

    Enjoy! (Tanoshi!)

    Follow us on social media so you can follow our Cooking Around the World Showcase journey. Next week, we are recreating a special dish from Italy! Can you guess which one we chose?

    About Me
    Hi everyone! My name is Kara and I am so excited to help you plan a magical Disney vacation. My love of Disney started during my very first trip there in March of 1994. Disney quickly became my family’s “happy place”. There was never any question, when it was time for a vacation, we packed our bags and headed to the most magical place on Earth. Nowadays, it is extra special for me to experience the Disney magic again through the eyes of my 4 year old son, Liam, and 2 year old daughter, Jennie. Seeing their eyes light up when Mickey and Minnie pass by and seeing their faces all sticky from Mickey ice cream bars make special memories that only Disney can bring. I can’t wait to help you build those memories together as a family!

    Recent Posts

     

     

     

    Cooking Around the World Showcase – Baklava from the Morocco Pavillon

    Cooking Around the World Showcase – Baklava from the Morocco Pavillon

    Cooking Around the World Showcase - Baklava from the Morocco Pavillon

    Next stop – The Morocco Pavilion! Located within the World Showcase at Epcot, this pavilion can be easy to overlook. There is no giant landmark that draws attention, no movie or ride found within, and no street performers. Without the bells and whistles of the other pavilions, guests can often walk right on through. If this is you, you are missing out on a plethora of unique merchandise, delicious tastes and smells and architecture that makes you feel like you’re wandering through a bazaar.

    Baklava

    Morocco Pavillon
    Spice Road Table

    There are 3 dining options in The Morocco Pavilion:
    1. Restaurant Marrakesh: a table service restaurant tucked away in the back of the pavilion with live music and belly dancers.
    2. Tangierine Cafe: a quick service location offering casual Moroccan fare such as Mediterranean shawarma, kebabs, and hummus.
    3. Spice Road Table: a table service restaurant with a beautiful indoor/outdoor setting located on the lagoon.

    This week I created Baklava, which is a rich and sweet pastry that can be found on the dessert menu at Spice Road Table. I found a really great recipe posted online by Back To Our Roots, which I have included below.

    Baklava Ingredients:
    Serving Size: 1 9″ x 13″ pan

     

    • 1 lb raw, unsalted nuts
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp each of the following spices:
      • ground nutmeg
      • ground cloves
      • mace
      • ground cardamom
      • allspice
    • 1 16oz package phyllo dough at room temperature
    • 1 cup melted butter

    Baklava Directions:

     

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
    2. Chop the nuts very fine and mix the ground spices into them.
    3. Unroll the phyllo and cover it with plastic wrap and then with a damp cloth.
    4. Place 4 to 6 sheets of phyllo in the bottom of your baking dish and brush generously with the melted butter.
    5. Sprinkle 5 to 6 tablespoons of the nut mixture evenly over the phyllo.
    6. Add 2 more sheets of phyllo dough and brush with butter.
    7. Continue to layer the nuts and phyllo sheets, brushing the sheets with butter as you go, until you have used all of the nut mixture. For the top layer of phyllo, use 6 to 8 sheets, buttering each one.
    8. Using a very sharp knife, cut the Baklava all the way through, into 4 long rows. Then cut diagonally to make diamond shapes.
    9. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown.

    I will admit, this recipe called for a run to the grocery store as it features many spices that I don’t normally use. However, now that I have them in my pantry, I will certainly find more recipes that call for Mace, Cardamom, Cloves and Nutmeg.

    The recipe did seem a bit intimidating at first, but I actually found it quite simple to put together. First, I chopped up all of the nuts. I did this by hand with no problem, but if you have a food processor it would definitely make this step easier and quicker!

    I then alternated layers of well buttered dough and the chopped nuts.

    I decided to use puff pastry dough instead of the traditional phyllo dough, which is why my baklava looks slightly different. They came out a little fluffier and delicious!

    After cutting my Baklava into diamond shapes and placing it in the oven, I got started on the syrup.

    Syrup Ingredients:

     

    • 1 cup packed sucanat or brown sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • The peel from 1 orange – washed, cut in strips, and pith removed
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 6 whole cloves

    Syrup Directions:

     

    1. Combine the brown sugar and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
    2. Add the honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange peel and return to a boil.
    3. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
    4. Remove and discard the cloves and cinnamon sticks. The orange peel is now “candied”.
    5. Add the lemon juice and the vanilla and mix well.
    6. Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
    7. After removing the Baklava from the oven, immediately spoon the syrup over the top. Allow the Baklava to cool completely before serving.

     

    The syrup is what really brings this dish together and makes each bite melt in your mouth! With brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, cloves and orange peel, I could have just dunked my spoon in it all day.

    The best part of my baklava making experience was that my whole house smelled like Christmas! With your baklava fresh, you can now cuddle up, put on Aladdin, light some incense, and feel like you are back exploring Morocco.

    Follow us on social media so you can follow our Cooking Around the World Showcase journey. Next week, we are recreating a special dish from Japan! Can you guess which one we chose?

    About Me
    Hi everyone! My name is Kara and I am so excited to help you plan a magical Disney vacation. My love of Disney started during my very first trip there in March of 1994. Disney quickly became my family’s “happy place”. There was never any question, when it was time for a vacation, we packed our bags and headed to the most magical place on Earth. Nowadays, it is extra special for me to experience the Disney magic again through the eyes of my 4 year old son, Liam, and 2 year old daughter, Jennie. Seeing their eyes light up when Mickey and Minnie pass by and seeing their faces all sticky from Mickey ice cream bars make special memories that only Disney can bring. I can’t wait to help you build those memories together as a family!

    Recent Posts

     

     

     

    Cooking Around the World Showcase – French Onion Soup from the France Pavillon

    Cooking Around the World Showcase – French Onion Soup from the France Pavillon

    Cooking Around the World Showcase - French Onion Soup from France Pavillon

     

    As we continue along Epcot’s World Showcase in our weekly Cooking Around the World blog series we find ourselves at the France Pavillon. After passing over the Pont des Arts inspired footbridge you will be met with cobblestone lined streets, flower carts, streetside artists and of course, a replica of the Eiffel Tower. This week I decided to recreate a dish from Chefs de France, which is one of our favorite restaurants to book for our families within the France Pavillon. And what better menu item to cook than their delicious French Onion soup!

    French Onion Soup

    France Pavillon
    Chefs de France

    French Onion Soup is a well-known classic. With a combination of sweet caramelized onions, rich beef broth and a delicious cheesee crusted top, this is the ultimate comfort food. Thankfully, it is super easy to make as well! The recipe I chose to follow was found on Spend With Pennies and it turned out amazing. Follow along below to see the process!

    Ingredients:
    6 servings

     

    • 3 large onions, peeled and sliced
    • ½ teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
    •  cup butter
    • 8 cups beef broth
    •  cup dry white wine
    • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 baguette
    • 3 cups gruyere cheese
    • 6 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese

    Directions:

     

    1. Slice onions ¼” thick then cook them for about 30-45 minutes while stirring occasionally over low heat in melted butter until golden.

    2. Add wine, beef broth, bay leaf, thyme, black pepper and worcestershire. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Remove bay leaf and thyme and discard.

    3. Meanwhile, slice bread and brush with olive oil. Broil 2 minutes per side or until golden. 

    4. Ladle soup into ceramic bowls. Add 2 slices of bread in each bowl. Divide cheeses over bowls and broil until golden and bubbly.

     

    The first step is to cut up all of your onions. If your eyes typically water while cutting an onion, try placing it in the freezer for about 5 minutes before cutting and make sure you’re using a very sharp knife when slicing.

    It is important to cook the onions slowly and keep a watchful eye on them to ensure they do not brown and instead become soft and golden. If you would like to prep your onions the evening before to save some time, you can caramelize your onions in a slow cooker instead.

    After my onions were the perfect color and texture, I added in the rest of the ingredients. This is when it became time to play the waiting game!

    In order to successfully achieve all of those decadent flavors that make French Onion Soup so special it requires about an hour of simmering. Once finished the broth should be transparent with some caramel coloring. 

    This next step is super important! Putting the sliced pieces of baguette in the oven and broiling them before adding them to the soup helps ensure that they do not immediately fall apart. 

    I kept them in there for about two minutes per side and made sure they were perfectly golden. Having toasty bread is vital for the overall texture and structure of your soup.

    Finally, I poured the soup into oven safe bowls, added the bread, placed the cheese on top and broiled it until it started bubbling. While any and all cheese combinations are acceptable, I highly recommend using gruyere as suggested – it is extremely flavorful and gives the soup a delicious, creamy texture on top.

    All ovens are different, so be sure to watch your soup closely while broiling to ensure the cheese does not burn!

    Overall, while this was the easiest recipe I have recreated so far, it was also one of the most flavorful. All of the ingredients really came together into a perfect and delicious combination. I thought my little ones (ages 2 and 4) would be skeptical to try this dish, as they are not the biggest fans of onions, but they surprised me by finishing their bowls clean! I can definitely see myself making this recipe again in the near future.

    Follow us on social media so you can follow our Cooking Around the World Showcase journey. Next week, we are recreating a special dish from Morocco! Can you guess which one we chose?

    About Me
    Hi everyone! My name is Kara and I am so excited to help you plan a magical Disney vacation. My love of Disney started during my very first trip there in March of 1994. Disney quickly became my family’s “happy place”. There was never any question, when it was time for a vacation, we packed our bags and headed to the most magical place on Earth. Nowadays, it is extra special for me to experience the Disney magic again through the eyes of my 4 year old son, Liam, and 2 year old daughter, Jennie. Seeing their eyes light up when Mickey and Minnie pass by and seeing their faces all sticky from Mickey ice cream bars make special memories that only Disney can bring. I can’t wait to help you build those memories together as a family!

    Recent Posts

     

     

     

    Cooking Around the World Showcase – Scotch Eggs from the UK Pavillon

    Cooking Around the World Showcase – Scotch Eggs from the UK Pavillon

    Cooking Around the World Showcase - Scotch Eggs from United Kingdom Pavillon

     

     After our Canadian dish last week, the next stop along Epcot’s World Showcase brings us to the United Kingdom pavilion, which celebrates the cultures of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. With the Tudor style gift shops and thatched roof tea shops, you may feel as if you have stepped back in time. This week I wanted to create a dish unique to these cultures, that can be found on the menu at the Rose and Crown Pub. After searching the menu I decided that the Scotch Egg would be the perfect test of my cooking skills (and patience)! 

    Scotch Eggs

    United Kingdom Pavillon
    Rose & Crown

    A Scotch Egg consists of a hard or soft boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, coated in breadcrumbs and then baked or fried to breakfast perfection. You can find many recipes online, however I followed the one from Nerds With Knives. While the ingredients are simple, this recipe is a labor of love, so make sure you have space, time, and patience!

    Ingredients:
    Makes 8 Scotch Eggs

    • 10 extra large eggs
    • 1 lb. pork breakfast sausage, raw, removed from casing
    • ¾ lb. ground pork
    • ¼ cup chopped mixed herbs (chives, sage, parsley and thyme)
    • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
    • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
    • Vegetable oil
    • Coarse sea salt (optional)

    This specific recipe calls for 8 eggs to be made, but since we are a small family and not hosting any dinner parties during quarantine, I decided to make just 4. Because of this, I opted out of the additional meats and stuck to just the mild Italian sausage. I also did not have nutmeg, so I used cinnamon instead.

    Directions:


    1. Boil eggs and peel.

    2. Mix the sausage, ground pork, herbs, nutmeg, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and divide into 8 balls.
    3. In a shallow bowl, beat the two raw eggs with a tablespoon of milk. In a second shallow bowl, add the flour and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the breadcrumbs to a third bowl. Arrange in an assembly line in the order of flour, egg, breadcrumbs.
    4. Put each meatball in the middle of a square of plastic wrap, then place another square of plastic wrap on top. Roll out meat until large enough to cover eggs.
    5. Roll each egg in flour, then place in the center of the meat and cover. Dip each covered egg in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then egg and then breadcrumbs.
    6. Fill a pot a third full of vegetable oil and put on medium-high heat. Fry the eggs two at a time for 5-7 minutes.

     

    After boiling and cooling the eggs, I started with the sausage mixture. 1 pound of sausage is just enough for 4 perfectly sized portions.

    Each sausage ball is to be rolled thin enough to wrap around each egg. I used saran wrap, which can be a bit tricky to manipulate. Parchment paper would be a great substitute as it is easy to handle and you can still see the sausage you are rolling out.

    Once each egg is wrapped up and covered in the flour, egg and breadcrumb mixture, it is time for the fryer. If you do not own a fryer you can fill a large pot with at least 3 inches of vegetable oil and fry 2 eggs at a time.

    To get the oil to the perfect temperature wait until breadcrumbs turn golden, yet not burnt within a few seconds.

    If the oil becomes too hot, the eggs will crisp on the outside, but the sausage may not cook through on the inside. Make sure the temperature is around 350 degrees for the perfect even cook.

    My scotch eggs needed a little extra time so I decided to place them in the oven for a few moments to make sure the rest of the sausage was cooked through.

    I couldn’t be happier with how these Scotch Eggs turned out. They were crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and the perfect savory addition to any breakfast (or lunch, or dinner)! My 2 year old couldn’t stay away from them, so this is definitely a dish that I will be making again. 

    Add a black and tan and put on a British Disney inspired movie like Mary Poppins, and you would think you were right there in the UK yourself!

    Follow us on social media so you don’t miss out on the next delicious Disney recipe!

    About Me
    Hi everyone! My name is Kara and I am so excited to help you plan a magical Disney vacation. My love of Disney started during my very first trip there in March of 1994. Disney quickly became my family’s “happy place”. There was never any question, when it was time for a vacation, we packed our bags and headed to the most magical place on Earth. Nowadays, it is extra special for me to experience the Disney magic again through the eyes of my 4 year old son, Liam, and 2 year old daughter, Jennie. Seeing their eyes light up when Mickey and Minnie pass by and seeing their faces all sticky from Mickey ice cream bars make special memories that only Disney can bring. I can’t wait to help you build those memories together as a family!

    Recent Posts

     

     

     

    Epcot’s Park Preview Experience

    Epcot’s Park Preview Experience

    Epcot's Park Preview Experience

    Walt Disney World Resort closed mid-March due to Covid-19. Four months later, we are thrilled that all four theme parks are now open! Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opened their gates to all guests on Saturday, July 11th. Hollywood Studios and Epcot open this Wednesday, July 15th. Follow along with us as we document everything you can expect at Epcot for your upcoming visit!

     

    Entering the Park

    Parking 

    Upon entering the Epcot parking lot, cast members direct cars to park in every other row to allow space between each car. If you are planning on driving to the park, we would recommend factoring in additional time not only for parking, but also for walking up to the main entrance as trams are not currently running. You may travel to Epcot by either resort bus or driving directly to the park. The monorail is unavailable to and from Epcot at this time.

    Temperature Screenings/Security 

    As you approach the front of the park, Disney cast members will direct you to the temperature screening area currently run by employees from AdventHealth. A representative will quickly scan your forehead to make sure that your temperature is under 100.4 degrees. If your temperature reads above 100.4 degrees, you may take a few moments to cool down in a cooling tent before being screened again.

    Security cast members will then direct you to walk straight through the metal detectors. There is no need to stop or open any of your bags as required in the past, this makes for a much quicker and safer process.

    Turnstiles

    Once you are through temperature screening and security, you will arrive at the turnstiles queue, which will have separated markers on the ground to promote social distancing. At the turnstiles, a cast member will scan your park ticket or Magic Band. Guests are no longer required to use their fingerprint to enter the park to minimize contact.

    Masks

    Rules

    All guests over the age of 2 are required to wear face coverings during their time in the parks. In order to enter the park, you must be wearing a face covering with ear loops that cover both your nose and mouth. The parks do allow guests to remove their masks to eat or drink. To view Disney’s complete lists of rules regarding masks click here.

    Relaxation Stations

    Disney has added mask-free “Relaxation Stations” throughout the park to cool off throughout the day. These small, roped-off areas allow guests to remove their masks and take a break. Cast members only allow a small number of guests in at a time to ensure that everyone is at a safe enough distance.

    Epcot’s Relaxation Stations can be found at the following locations:

    • Outside the Yorkshire County Fish Shopper in the United Kingdom (World Showcase)
    • In between Test Track and Mission: Space (Future World)
    • Inside Akershus restaurant in Norway (World Showcase) as an air-conditioned option

    Ride Experience

    Attraction and Experience Updates

    Despite previous plans for a two-year long renovation, we are so excited that Spaceship Earth is open for guests returning to the parks. This gives guests the opportunity to experience the attraction one last time before any changes take place. Renovations for Spaceship Earth are delayed to a later date.

    Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak also returned on July 13th. Guests who are interested in this fun activity can purchase a scavenger hunt map from guest services for $7.99 and find Remy figurines hidden around the World Showcase.

    Queues

    All attractions throughout the park have new floor markers which indicate where each group should stand in order to be 6 feet apart. Most rides have added plexiglass shields as an additional barrier in areas where the line wraps around or are close together.

    All interactive elements found in queues such as Project Tomorrow at Spaceship Earth, and the design stations at Test Track are currently roped off and are not operating at this time.

    Safety Procedures

    All Disney cast members are permitted to wear face coverings throughout the park.

    Most attractions have plexiglass shields in between rows or reserved, empty seats to separate guests. For example, Soarin’ Around the World is currently seating guests in each row, however, plexiglass separates parties from one another. Guests may ride in groups of two or four. 

    Ride vehicles are deep cleaned and sanitized by cast members every two hours. We recommend bringing your own sanitizing wipes if you would like some added reassurance before boarding rides.

    Characters

    Sightings

    Epcot is one of our favorite parks on Walt Disney World property to meet characters and Princesses. Even though character meet & greets are unfortunately not currently available, we are so excited that there are still so many characters to see around the park!

    Throughout the park previews, Anna and Elsa have been noticed welcoming guests to the park. Around the World Showcase, you may see Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Goofy as well as Disney Princesses making their way from country to country. Joy, from Disney’s Inside Out, as well as Winnie the Pooh, have also been seen frolicking through grass areas in the World Showcase.

    Dining Experience

    Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

    Due to Epcot closing shortly after the Flower & Garden Festival began in March, Disney has decided to blend the event together with the annual International Food & Wine Festival. Guests will see a handful of Flower & Garden topiaries placed around the park as well as more than 20 global marketplaces to sample cuisine from around the world. Appropriate social distancing will be mandatory at all marketplaces and high top tables will be offered for a mask-free dining experience. Click here for more information on the Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

    Quick Service Restaurants/Mobile Ordering

    While Mobile Ordering on the Disney Experience app is not a new concept, it is now required for all Quick Service restaurants. This includes the new Regal Eagle Smokehouse located in America at the World Showcase and Sunshine Seasons in Future World. The process is relatively quick and easy! After you select your restaurant and food, you will be asked what time you would like to pick it up. A cast member will greet you and direct you to the correct pick-up window. Plenty of seating options are available and spaced out appropriately.

    Table Service Restaurants

    Many of Epcot’s table service restaurants located around the World Showcase are not currently open, which is more of a reason to visit the global marketplace booths included in the Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Several restaurants in Epcot are owned by third party companies and do not currently have set dates to re-open. Restaurants that are currently closed include Chefs de France, Monsieur Paul, Nine Dragons Restaurant, Restaurant Marrakesh, Takumi-Tei, Teppan Edo, Tokyo Dining, Yorkshire County Fish Shop, and more.

    We were extremely happy to see that character dining became available at Garden Grill located in Future World. Here you can see Mickey Mouse, Chip ‘n’ Dale and Pluto.  Princess dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall will remain closed for now.

    All of the restaurants at Epcot have spaced their tables out six feet apart and will be utilizing paper menus.

    Shopping

    Stores

    Many souvenir shops located in the countries around the World Showcase are currently closed. If you are looking to do some shopping on your upcoming visit to Epcot, we recommend visiting MouseGear, temporarily located at the end of Innoventions East building, where you can find a wide variety of gifts and souvenirs for the whole family.

    Markings and signage are found throughout the stores to inform shoppers of health procedures as well as which direction to walk in. Dressing rooms were blocked off and will remain closed for now. Similar to the rest of the park, plexiglass shields are located at all of the check-out counters and contactless payment is encouraged.

    Overall, it was a dream to be back in the parks experiencing the Disney magic we have been longing for! While there were many changes from our last visit, we still thoroughly enjoyed our day and felt so fortunate to be part of the lucky Annual Passholders that could experience the day. Due to all of the new safety procedures and the Cast Members implementing them, we felt super safe as we explored the park in the “new normal”.

     

    Recent Posts