Epcot Festival of the Arts

New Epcot Arts Show Brings Together the Best of Visual, Culinary and Performing Arts

The all new Epcot arts Show – Epcot International Festival of the Arts, from January 13, 2017 through February 20, 2017 is a unique mix of Visual, Culinary and Performing Arts that Disney World has to offer. Guest visiting the event will be acquainted with the best of global masterpieces, featuring visual arts, Broadway singers, and incredible culinary experiences for six consecutive weekends at the Resort’s most festive driven Park, Epcot. Indeed a never – before experience for your eyes, ears and taste buds all together.

Epcot Arts Fest

Epcot Arts Fest


The special Epcot Event showcases incredible art works from old Disney art experts, such as Mary Blair and Herb Ryman to present day Disney artist – Joe Kaminski and Costa Alavezos. Also guests at the Event enjoy live demonstrations of the whole creative process that leads to such amazing creations. Along with the visuals, guests at the Event also come across some of the greatest culinary offerings ever. All the food lovers! Make sure to visit the irresistible Food Studios where the Disney chefs offer their most tempting creations both for your taste buds and the eyes as well.


Another most exciting feature about Epcot International Festival of the Arts is its unique initiative in showcasing performing arts. The extraordinary Event joins hands with the Disney theatrical to make things even more entertaining at the America Gardens Theater stage. The Event presents phenomenal Broadway talents, such as Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland on Jan. 13-16 and 20-23. The Brown and Strickland pair is followed by Kerry Butler and Kevin Massey Jan. 27-30 and Feb. 3-6, while Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White will share the stage on Feb. 10-13 and 17-20. The different pairings are performing songs from award winning Disney on Broadway shows, including Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Aladdin and Newsies, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and more.

The special Event operates Fridays through Mondays over a period of six exciting weekends with each weekend showcasing new arts from historical and current Disney artists. The performances are scheduled at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. for each evening of the Fest. No extra fee is required to attend. Entry to the Festival is included in the regular Epcot admission.

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

This year, the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival will be bigger than ever, expanding to 90 days, from March 2-May 30, 2016 at Walt Disney World® Resort. Enjoy fresh farm market flavors at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, new Disney character topiaries, interactive play gardens and live rockin’ music during this year’s annual event.

Come see incredible topiaries inspired by your favorite Disney characters! Nearly 100 topiary characters, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, Simba and Peter Pan, will animate the Epcot landscape surrounded by sweeping garden beds and exhibits.

New this year, Donald Duck’s mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, will make their topiary debut with Donald and Daisy at the park’s front entrance garden. Ranger Mickey Mouse in topiary form will also appear for the first time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service launched in 1916 to conserve the country’s natural scenic treasures.

Fresh garden produce, savory bites and sweet treats will be abundant at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens, returning for a fourth year with Guest favorites and new food and beverage offerings along the World Showcase promenade. Get your complimentary Garden Passports stamped as you taste garden- and spring-inspired culinary creations.

For an inside look at the festival and gardening tips you can try at home, visit the Festival Center where Disney gardeners will lead weekend how-to Gardening Seminars. Catch guest experts as they conduct complimentary seminars on a wide range of gardening and outdoor living topics. The Festival Center is also home to signature festival merchandise.

End the evening with pop musical performances spanning four decades during the Garden Rocks Concert Series at the outdoor America Gardens Theatre. Catch these acts on weekends (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. throughout the festival.

  • March 4-6: The Orchestra, starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • March 11-13: STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas, known for their song “We Built This City”
  • March 18-20: Little River Band, known for their song “Reminiscing”
  • March 25-27: Village People, famous for “YMCA”
  • April 1-3: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, known for the song “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”
  • April 8-10: The Guess Who, famous for “American Woman”
  • April 15-17: Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
  • April 22-24: NEW! Brian Howe, former lead singer of Bad Company “Can’t Get Enough”
  • April 29-May 1: NEW! Georgia Satellites, known for their song “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
  • May 6-8: Gin Blossoms, famous for “Hey Jealousy”
  • May 13-15: NEW! Darlene Love “Wait ‘Til My Bobby Gets Home”
  • May 20-22: Night Ranger, known for the song “Sister Christian”
  • May 27-30: The Spinners, famous for “Working my Way Back To You” *This concert series will run through Monday

*Entertainment is subject to change without notice. Please check the daily times guide.

The fun continues after the sun sets! Illuminated topiary and play gardens will glow brightly for an after-dark festival experience.

For more information about the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, visit EpcotInSpring.com. The festival, including all gardening programs and exhibits, is included in regular Epcot admission.

Epcot Blooms with Magical Freshness Every Spring

Flowers, Food and Wine! Oh! My!

Flowers, Food and Wine! Oh! My!

Imagine you, your family and the most magical combination of topiaries, food and the Florida sun. Imagine the experience of enjoying amidst an incredible array of refreshing greens with ample options for fun. Imagine that time of the year when the world’s happiest landscape gets even more fresh and impressive in the eye of Disney fans and theme park vacationers from everywhere.

Spring is one of the most wonderful times of the year, and what better way to celebrate the same at the Epcot Theme Park in Orlando, Florida. The world-famous WDW (Walt Disney World) Park is at its blooming best during the season. Every spring the Park transforms into an ever refreshing sea of blooms and greens. Moreover, the special spring festival here brings to life a never-ending saga of freshness and delights. Packed with an amazing array of exhibits, workshops, marketplaces and live entertainments it tends to inspire guests since inception. In fact the festival is one of the most anticipated events of its kind that WDW has to offer. Thanks to The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival that brings to life the most magical spring celebration ever.

The one of a kind spring event keeps getting bigger and more exciting every year. In fact there is a whole new experience waiting for you every time you visit the event. Whether it’s the ever-increasing and incredible topiaries or those exciting seminars and exhibits on gardening, the mind-blowing concerts and live music shows or the outdoor kitchens and more, the atmosphere at the Fest is just awesome.

The topiaries are among the main highlights of the Event. From top to toe they are the true examples of exquisite sculpting. And I think the act of showcasing nature in such amazing detail is just magical. For the eye of the beholder, they are the most fascinating treats ever. The more you wonder at these extraordinary creations the more you get attracted by them. Each one of them exhibits its own unique appeal. Also it’s exciting to have Anna and Elsa, including Chip and Dale staring the list of Disney topiaries for the first time this year.

When it comes to gardening, the Festival is by far the most suitable occasion to learn and get educated about the various secrets of gardening. Whether it’s about water conservation or information about organic gardening techniques, cues to attract birds and butterflies or more, it’s all available out there at the various workshops and seminars hosted by celebrity experts.

The magical and interactive garden exhibits, including Illuminated GardensButterflies on the Go and Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden make the ultimate setting to celebrate the season at the Festival. Even the food and drink exhibits have taken the center-stage at the Event in recent years. A visit to any of the favorite Outdoor Kitchen here is like treating your senses with fresh seasonal flavors.

Orlando vacations are always expensive. And tickets play a major role in influencing the same. But there are many other options available to help you stay on budget. And I suggest you to visit the authorized agents and brokers for some real savings. If you are looking for discounts on your Disney Tickets and passes to exclusive Orlando attractions and events, including discount Sea World and Universal Studios tickets and other special theme park packages you can also consult WDW recommended Kissimmee based ticket Re-Seller – The Official Ticket Center

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2015

The Festival will run from March 4, 2015 until May 17, 2015

The Festival will run from March 4, 2015 until May 17, 2015

Refresh your sense of spring at the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival—with fresh seasonal dishes, enchanting Disney character topiaries, complimentary presentations and more!

Discover dazzling gardens, seasonal cooking and high-energy entertainment at this spectacular springtime event. Sprouting once again in March, the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be budding with fresh experiences for every age and interest.

A few highlights coming into bloom include:

  • Locally grown topiaries featuring Disney characters
  • Outdoor Kitchens with spring-inspired dishes
  • A variety of vibrant entertainment offerings
  • Freshly picked music at the Garden Rocks™ Concert Series
  • Opportunities to learn how to bring spring at Epcot home

Plus, with so much to see and do, you can return again and again, and find something new every time… ‘cause in 2015, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is so much more than flower and gardens! Continue reading

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival – An Amazing Experience for Foodies

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

If ever there is a place where one can try all kinds of different foods, and pair finest of wines and beers with sweetest and savory dishes against one of the most magically themed backdrops then it is at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Truly this one of the most anticipated WDW (Walt Disney World) events turns the entire Epcot Theme Park into a food paradise.

Visiting the Park during the premier occasion is an amazing treat for all the food and wine lovers from across the globe. At every turn and every stop there is something very special and uniquely delicious for you to taste and try. In fact it puts you right in the middle of a culinary adventure unlike any other. Thanks to Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for such an incredible and unique experience.

Celebrated for its inspired culinary attractions, the special fall attraction offers the ultimate setting to explore the best of cuisine the World has to offer. Whether it’s the amazing food and beverage marketplaces or the lively food concerts, celebrity chef demos or the signature dinners and galas, it promises the most amazing culinary extravaganza ever.

From the moment one enters the park it turns into a never ending journey of food and flavors. Imagine a place where you are exposed to an incredible array of ever-inviting food booths with their all new mouth-watering menus and attention to detail ambiences. Or just think of an experience that puts you right in the middle of some incredible and live music-acts while you are enjoying your favorite foods, wine and beer.

I think for a Disney World fan a visit to this one of a kind event is a must. Being part of the epic celebration will not only make your vacation more special, but also exposes you to the wonderful world of tastes and aromas like never before. And regardless of whether you are attending the event for the first time or a repeat visitor for that matter, there will never be a dull moment at the party for sure. Also the addition of more and more new and innovative culinary attractions every year makes the event even more impressive to attend.

The annual event is having its 19th edition of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this year. And like every year it brings along a host of new surprises for this year too, featuring new marketplace menus (such as the Patagonia Marketplace with flavors of Argentina and Chile) and a host of premium dining experiences and much more. No special ticket is required to attend this unique WDW event. The event is included with the regular Epcot admissions.

For discounts on Disney World tickets and passes to exclusive Orlando attractions and events, including discount SeaWorld Orlando tickets, Universal Studios tickets and other special Orlando packages you can consult authorized ticket Re-Seller – The Official Ticket Center

Hunting Hidden Mickeys Is a Favorite Sport Among Disney World Mouse Lovers

Keep Your Eyes Open... They are Everywhere!

Keep Your Eyes Open... They are Everywhere!

Beyond the magical theme-park attractions and rides the existence of the legendary mouse – ears in ultimate disguise doubles our Disney delights. As a great fan of the Mouse I believe that the concept of Hidden Mickeys plays a unique role in strengthening our connections with the famous Disney World parks every time we visit them. Whether it’s at the Magic Kingdom or the Epcot the opportunities of finding Hidden Mickeys are many. Moreover, being able to figure out the magical ears in their most elusive formats during a Disney vacation is always a rewarding experience for me. In fact hunting for those secret images and shadows of the mouse is an ever-challenging fun opportunity one should not miss while visiting the world’s most beloved theme parks. Continue reading

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival-Where Disney Springs to Life

Epcot is the place to be this Spring!

Epcot is the place to be this Spring!

Every year from March through May Disney World Epcot celebrates spring unlike any other. It is also the time when the entire park area transforms into a unique mix of breathtaking blooms and great marketplaces with fresh and tempting foods. The premier spring event, Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival brings to life the spirit of the season in its most unique and colorful style. Truly, a visit to the place during the occasion is a great opportunity to celebrate the season with inspiring Disney topiaries, magical gardens, exhibits and more. Thanks to the Disney World gardeners in putting together such a beloved and magical spring experience for us.

While rainbows of blooms keep our eye engaged, the fresh outdoor kitchens tempt guests for some all new and delicious marketplace tastes. Though the outdoor kitchens were the newest additions (first introduced in the 2013 event), they had already occupied an important place among fans. I think the introduction of those tantalizing food kiosks is a unique initiative on part of Disney. The availability of fresh flavors in fact had raised the level of our experience at the special event today. And more interestingly, the ever expanding list of menus seems to dominate fans taste at this year’s event also. With farm fresh flavors straight from the gardens there is little for us to resist the temptations. Also the availability of latest marketplace boot such as the Urban Farm Eats enables visitors to try and enjoy lots of new flavors ever tested.

However, your trip to Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival remains incomplete without enjoying the festival’s nearly 100 whimsical topiaries. They are among the major highlights of the event and consist of favorite characters- all inspired from Disney films. Moreover, the addition of new topiaries each year makes the Event more exciting among Disney character lovers. And not surprisingly, the 2014 fest also boasts of two new character topiaries, as Kermit and Miss Piggy join the board. Also the story-book scene of Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck topiaries in their best butterfly hunting actions at the entrance is no doubt a centerpiece attraction the 2014 event has to offer.

Besides the inspiring topiaries and foods, the 700 plus vibrant gardens make the place a center of great fun and surprises. Special gardens, such as the new Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden welcomes you right into the world of a whimsical play-land full of activities and surprises for the entire family. For the flower fans the sights of amazing flower towers, the beautiful butterfly tapestry of flowers, and last but not the least the display of over 30 million colorful blooms is just an experience only Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival can offer.

For discounts on Walt Disney World admissions and passes to exclusive Orlando attractions and events, including discount Sea World Orlando tickets, Universal Studios tickets and other special Orlando packages you can consult authorized ticket Re-Seller – The Official Ticket Center

Tips for Buying Discount Disney Hopper Tickets

Is the Disney Hopper Ticket Right for You?

Is the Disney Hopper Ticket Right for You?

Have you ever been to any of Walt’s theme parks in Orlando, Florida and found yourself either wanting to see more of the other Disney theme parks or that the park you are in is just too crowded? Well you wouldn’t be alone. With all of the different tickets you can buy to see all of Walt Disney World’s world famous theme parks, the one ticket that has been the most popular has to be the famous Walt Disney World Park Hopper Ticket!

Working for the mouse for 8 years I have seen it all and the one thing that I would hear the most was how guests wish that they had bought the hopper ticket when they were planning and buying their passes. The main reason people wished they had purchased the Hopper Ticket was that they had accomplished most of what they had set out to do at a certain park and wished to go over to another park in the same day and finish the evening off at another Disney park. On some nights for example, the Animal Kingdom might close at 6pm. and the Magic Kingdom on that night might close at 12am midnight. When you have a 1 Day Base Ticket, you are closing out your night early at the Animal Kingdom. If you had spent an extra $30 to upgrade your ticket to a Hopper Ticket, you would be spending the evening at the Magic Kingdom or Epcot with everyone else being the hero of your vacation. Most people go in with the mindset that they are going to be content with just spending the day at one park, but you would be amazed at how people’s moods and energy change once they are in Walt’s parks.

The biggest advantage to buying a Park Hopper Ticket in my opinion is that if a theme park gets a little too busy for your taste and it does happen quite frequently, you have the ability to travel over to another park where the crowd is much more manageable. For instance I have personally had my own Disney Park Hopper Ticket and started out at the Magic Kingdom and by 3pm or 4pm the park was an absolute mad house. Having the Park Hopper Ticket I and my guests were able to jump on a Monorail and stop by a Disney Resort for a cold beverage on our way to Epcot. Epcot is my default park to head to for a little elbow room. Epcot also closes every night at 9pm. so it is a great park that stays open semi-late and you do not feel the crowd factor as much as you would at any other Disney park.

To add a little curve ball to this equation, you can also buy a Walt Disney World Water Park Fun & More Ticket or the Premium ticket of all tickets the Park Hopper Water Park Fun & More Ticket. Both of these tickets are Hoppers in a sense. The Water Park Fun & More ticket is NOT a Hopper ticket for theme parks i.e. Epcot, Hollywood Studios etc. but a Hopper ticket from your one theme park that you are allowed to visit in that day, to an “Optional” item of your choice. The “Optional” items are the 2 Disney Water Parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach, Disney Quest, ESPN Wide World of Sports, Disney’s Miniature Golf Courses at 2 locations or a round of golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. So for example with this ticket you could start off at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and stay until 4pm., then you could walk to the front of the park and jump on a Disney bus and go over to Typhoon Lagoon and spend the rest of the day there soaking up the evening sunshine before returning to you humble abode for the night.

Now if you had bought the Walt Disney World Park Hopper Water Park Fun & More Ticket you could do the same thing as the Water Park Fun & More ticket but now you have the ability to Park Hop between theme parks in the same day as well as Hop over to one of the “Optional” items as well. It all boils down to how much money you want to spend, how many days you are going to be here and do you want the ability to change course within you day in order to visit multiple parks. If money is tight and you do not want to visit more than 1 park within a day, or you think that you or your kids will not be able to handle this type of traveling, then stay with the Disney Base Tickets. They are a great ticket and have served many a traveler with just the right amount of Disney Pixie Dust, but if you are the type of person who can handle a little more action in you day then the adventure ticket you are seeking is definitely the Disney Park Hopper Ticket.

To purchase any of these tickets that I have mentioned at a discount, please contact The Official Ticket Center in Orlando, Florida. There are many online ticket brokers, but they are local and have an actual Guest Service location within 5 miles of Disney and other Orlando theme parks.

©Patrick Pulliam 2014

Information & Tips for Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival 2014

Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival Presented by HGTV

Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival Presented by HGTV

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival in Orlando, Florida. Every spring, this Disney theme park dazzles its visitors with high energy entertainment as well as family fun for all. This year’s event will once again open its doors in March and will be brimming with special experiences for all ages and interests.

Here are a few of this year’s Flower & Garden highlights:

• Outdoor Kitchens
• Topiary Displays
• The Flower Power Concert Series
• Interactive Play Areas for Children

This annual event has so much to see and do that you are sure to return again and again throughout the spring!

Outdoor Kitchens: Similar to Epcot’s International Wine & Food Festival, Epcot has integrated this event into their Flower & Garden Festival. At last check, there were 12 food stations throughout the countries. Most dishes will be spring light and cooked just right! Just think tapas size servings that you can eat on the go. Here are a food stations and their menus including drings that will be paired up with each dish:
Florida Fresh
Experience a taste of several fresh Florida ingredients, each grown and produced locally. It’s a perfect opportunity to treat your senses to some of the most delightful fruit and drink the Sunshine State has to offer! Florida Fresh can be found next to the Germany Pavilion.

To eat:
• Watermelon salad with pickled onions, BW Farm baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction
• Shrimp and stone ground grits with andouille sausage, sweet corn, tomatoes and cilantro
• Florida kumquat pie (TRYit!)

To drink:
• Watermelon passion fruit slush featuring Simply Lemonade®
• Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria featuring Simply Lemonade, Florida Orange Groves (St. Petersburg, Florida)
• Garda Italian Wine Blend, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
• Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
• Blonde Ale, Orlando Brewing Company (Orlando, Florida)
• Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Swamp Head Brewery (Gainesville, Florida)
• Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale, Florida Beer Company (Cape Canaveral, Florida) – Festival Exclusive!
• Florida Avenue Blueberry, Cold Storage Craft Brewery (Tampa, Florida)
• Beer Flight – Blonde Ale, Cotton Mouth Belgian Style Witbier, Feast of Flowers Farmhouse Ale and Florida Avenue Blueberry
• Simply Orange

Hanami
Travel near the Japan Pavilion where the annual ritual of admiring springtime flowers is in full bloom. From delectable bites to refreshing beverages, uncover how Hanami’s flavors reflect the season.

To eat:
• Frushi – Fresh pineapple, strawberries and melon, rolled with coconut rice, topped with raspberry sauce, sprinkled with toasted coconut and served with whipped cream on the side
• Temaki hand roll – Sliced Panko fried chicken, curry sauce, rice and pickled julienne carrots wrapped with Nori
• Hanami sushi – A flavorful combination of salmon, scallop and beef-topped rice balls served atop a shiso violet sauce (TRYit!)
• Japanese puffed rice cakes with green tea whipped cream and azuki

To drink:
• Kirin draft beer
• Pinepple Paradise with Yuzu Slushie – Frozen blend of sweet sake, pineapple juice and crème, flavored with a hint of Yuzu citrus juice
• Orange Mango Slushie – Frozen blend of Nigori sake, mango and orange juice

Jardin de Fiestas
Make your way near the Mexico Pavilion where the tapas are spring light and cooked just right. Don’t miss your chance to take part in this festival of flavors, complete with savory tacos and mouthwatering cocktails.

To eat:
• Tacos al pastor – Corn tortilla filled with achiote-marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions and cilantro
• Quesadilla de hongos con queso – Flour tortilla filled with mushrooms and cheese
• Flan de chocolate Abuelita – Mexican chocolate custard

To drink:
• Tecate draft beer
• White Mexican sangria
• Franbuesa (raspberry) margarita on the rocks
• Tequila flight – blanco, reposado and añejo
• Dasani® bottled water

Fleur de Lys
Indulge your senses in extravagance at this tasty milieu influenced by the “flower of the lily.” Once a royal emblem used by the French monarchy, the symbol now serves as inspiration for this decadent stop where you can refine your palate with some of the France Pavilion’s most magnificent culinary masterpieces!

To eat:
• Gnocchi Parisien à la Provençal – Parisian-style dumplings with vegetables and mushrooms
• Confit de canard, pommes de terre Sarladaise – Pulled duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes
• Macaron à la fleur d’ Oranger – Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache (TRYit!)

To drink:
• La Vie en Rose frozen slush – Vodka, Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liquor, and white and red cranberry juice
• Kir Imperial – Sparkling wine, Chambord and black raspberry liquor
• Rosé pamplemousse cocktail – Rosé wine mixed with natural grapefruit syrup
• Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – Fruity white beer with citrus notes

Lotus House
Hit the pavement near the China Pavilion for a garden-fresh take on spring-influenced flavors. Appease your cravings with a wide variety of Chinese cuisine, including popular street foods and bubble tea!

To eat:
• Beijing-style candied strawberries
• Spring pancake with grilled chicken and green apple
• Vegetable spring rolls

To drink:
• Popping bubble tea
• Kung Fu Punch – Vodka and triple sec with mango and orange juice
• South Sea Storm – Guava juice with light and dark rum
• Plum wine
• Tsing-Tao beer
• Lychee aerated water

Pineapple Promenade
Enjoy the Great White North with a tropical twist at the Canada side of World Showcase promenade. Then, get ready to hear your sweet tooth say, “Thank you!” as you bite into all kinds of treats featuring this popular golden fruit.

To eat:
• Pineapple soft serve
• Pineapple soft serve with Myers’s dark rum
• Pineapple soft serve with Parrot Bay coconut rum
• Sweet potato cinnamon waffle with pineapple soft serve (TRYit! selection)

To drink:
• Frozen desert violet lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade (nonalcoholic)
• Tropical Mango Pale Ale, St. John Brewers (U.S. Virgin Islands)
• Once Upon a Vine’s The Lost Slipper Sauvignon Blanc

Primavera Kitchen
Say, “Ciao!” to spring as you set sail for a land of garden-fresh foods near the Italy Pavilion. On your stop, be sure to explore the countryside’s many flavors—caprese, manicotti, torte di ricotta and fine Italian wines.

To eat:
• Caprese – Fior di latte mozzarella, roasted peppers and olio verde
• Three cheese manicotti – Egg pasta stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce and béchamel
• Torta di ricotta – Lemon cheesecake with limoncello-marinated strawberries

To drink:
• Placido Pinot Grigio
• Placido Chianti
• Bosco del Merlo Prosecco
• White peach bellini – Prosecco and white peach puree
• Strawberry rossini – Prosecco and marinated strawberries
• Frozen Italian primavera – Assorted fruit slushy with limoncello and vodka
• Moretti Lager
• Moretti La Rossa

Taste of Marrakesh
Embark on a trek near the Morocco Pavilion and educate your tastes on North African spices. Each unique flavor has been paired with fresh ingredients and can be sampled with Moroccan beer and wine at this garden oasis.

To eat:
• Lamb brewat roll with prunes and sesame
• Harissa chicken kebab with couscous salad
• Baghrir – Moroccan pancake with honey, almonds and argan oil

To drink:
• Mint iced tea
• White sangria
• Guerrouane red
• Casa Beer
• Desert Rose – Sparkling wine with pomegranate liqueur

Urban Farm Eats – NEW!
Honor the earth and all it grows with a refreshing selection from this location’s all-natural menu. Choose from a hearty array of foods and beverages, many of which have been cultivated entirely from the soil!

To eat:
• Pickled beet salad with goat cheese cream, mizuna and pistachios
• Land-grown eggplant “scallop” with romesco sauce and spaghetti squash (TRYit!)
• Ghost pepper-dusted tilapia with crisp winter melon slaw and mint oil featuring The Original Sauce Man’s Kick It Up Rub

To drink:
• Cucumber lemon spa water, finished with a sprig of fresh mint
• The Vegan Vine Chardonnay
• The Vegan Vine Cabernet Sauvignon
• Redbridge Gluten-Free Sorghum Beer, Anheuser-Busch (St. Louis, Missouri)

The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews
Celebrate the truly American tradition of slow-cooked flavors near The American Adventure Pavilion. Sink your teeth into savory barbecue meats and then pair each one off with craft brews from across the country.

To eat:
• Pulled pig slider with cole slaw
• Smoked beef brisket with collard greens and jalapeño corn bread
• Smoked turkey “rib” (TRYit!)
• “Piggylicious” bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch featuring Nueske’s® Applewood Smoked Bacon

To drink:
• Magic Hat #9, Magic Hat Brewing (South Burlington, Vermont)
• Maduro, Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida)
• Fat Tire, New Belgium Brewing Company (Ft. Collins, Colorado)
• Billy’s Chilies, Twisted Pine Brewing Company (Boulder, Colorado)
• Beer Flight – Magic Hat #9, Maduro, Fat Tire and Billy’s Chilies
• The Original Rib Shack Red Wine

The Buttercup Cottage
Delight in elegant afternoon-tea offerings and fresh garden flavors near the United Kingdom Pavilion. Drop by this charming locale to sample scrumptious treats, British teas and beverages inspired by lovely English fruits and fragrances.

To eat:
• Freshly baked potato and cheddar cheese biscuit with smoked salmon tartare
• Field greens with Plant City strawberries, toasted almonds and Farmstead stilton (TRYit!)
• Pork and apple sausage roll with house-made piccalilli
• Freshly baked lemon scones with berry preserves and crème fraÎche

To drink:
• Chilled rose blush lemonade featuring Simply Lemonade with Raspberry (nonalcoholic)
• Twinings® Cold Brewed English Classic with lemon grass syrup
• Berry tea cocktail – Twinings Cold Brewed Mixed Berry Tea with Florida Cane vodka and Plant City strawberry, flavored with raspberry and açaí syrup
• Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvee
• Deloach Pinot Noir

Intermissions Café
Dig into your day or turn over the evening at this charming stop found right within the Festival Center. Pop inside to find all kinds of fine food and beverages—wine, cheese, wraps, salads and more!

To eat:
• Grapes
• Fruit & cheese plate
• Vegan trio
• Southwest chicken wrap
• Tuna salad with pita
• Side salad
• Asian tuna salad with noodles
• Caprese Push-Pop – Tomato, mozzarella and balsamic (TRYit! selection)

To drink:
• Hurricane Class 5 White Sangria, Florida Orange Groves (St. Petersburg, Florida)
• Garda Italian Wine Blend, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
• Rogue Valley Pinot Noir, Quantum Leap Winery (Orlando, Florida)
• Martini Prosecco
• Strongbow Cider, Bulmers Cider Company (White Plains, New York)
• SweetWater Blue, SweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia)

Designers’ Stage Presented by HGTV
If you are a “Do it Yourself” kind of person then lookout for HGTV and DIY personalities that can help you turn your home into a springtime masterpiece.

Listed below are the celebrities that will be attending this year’s event:

• Chris Lambton: March 14 to 16, 2014
• Matt Blashaw: March 21 to 23, 2014 – NEW!
• Matt Muenster: March 28 to 30, 2014 – NEW!
• Taniya Nayak: April 4 to 6, 2014
• Amy Matthews: April 11 to 13, 2014 – NEW!
• John Gidding: April 18 to 20, 2014
• David Bromstad: April 25 to 27, 2014
• Chip Wade: May 2 to 4, 2014 – NEW!
• Genevieve Gorder: May 9 to 11, 2014
• Alison Victoria: May 16 to 18, 2014 – NEW!

Epcot’s Flower Power Concert Series
Find a comfortable spot with your favorite food and drink and rock out to some peace and love at this outdoor musical event! This is a very popular daily event, so make sure to get there early! Listed below are bands that will be performing at this year’s event:

• The Guess Who – March 7 to March 9, 2014
Known for their song “American Woman”
• Gary Lewis and The Playboys – NEW! March 14 to March 16, 2014
Known for their song “This Diamond Ring”
• The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO – March 21 to March 23, 2014
Known for their song “Evil Woman”
• The Lovin’ Spoonful – March 28 to March 30, 2014
Known for their song “Summer in the City”
• Paul Revere & The Raiders – April 4 to April 6, 2014
Known for their song “Good Thing”
• Village People – April 11 to April 13, 2014
Known for their song “YMCA”
• The Grass Roots – April 18 to April 20, 2014
Known for their song “Midnight Confessions”
• Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone – April 25 to April 27, 2014
Known for their song “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
• STARSHIP Starring Mickey Thomas – May 2 to May 4, 2014
Known for their song “We Built This City”
• Chubby Checker & The Wildcats – May 9 to May 11, 2014
Known for their song “The Twist”
• Alan Parsons Live Project – NEW! May 16 to May 18, 2014
Known for their song “Eye in the Sky”

Here are a few basics to insure that there are no surprises during your visit to Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival:

Admission to Epcot is required. While most Epcot Flower & Garden Festival events are included with your theme park ticket, many experiences require a separate purchase or a separate admission fee. Availability is limited for some experiences. Events may be rescheduled or cancelled at any time. To purchase you tickets to this event, please visit www.officialticketcenter.com or call toll free 1-877-406-4836.

How Effective Is Disney World’s New Ride Reservation System?

Will Fastpass+ Work for You?

Will FastPass+ Work for You?

The Official Ticket Center ~ Making products and services easily accessible is an important determinant in the success of a business. And I think Disney is probably the best in capitalizing this very crucial aspect in the theme-park industry today. Being the world’s biggest entertainment conglomerate, Disney is unique in handling both its core businesses as well as the demands of fans since inception. It’s not just a source that enables you to connect with your ultimate dreams, but also understands the importance of making things available in the most hassle-free and convenient way possible. One great example of this amazing quality is the implementation of the new ride reservation system at the WDW (Walt Disney World) resort in Orlando.

Intended to provide more flexibility in the booking of favorite rides and bring improvement in the wait-times is the new Fastpass+ (FP+) system and it comes with many great promises. Unlike the legacy paper Fastpass, the ability to obtain reservations in advance becomes a reality now for all those passionate about Disney World rides. If you are staying at a Disney resort then you are good to have a reservation as early as 60 days prior to your trip.

The new Fastpass+ reservation system also puts an end to the need of visiting a Fastpass machine in person. Guests have the advantage of choosing from multiple reservation options now. Moreover, if you are a Disney resort guest you can obtain reservations right from the comfort of your home at a mouse click, or on a smart-phone or tablet while in the parks. Besides, there exist many new Fastpass+ reservation kiosks as well as staff members to assist, throughout the parks for all guests. Another great feature the new system offers is the ability to change the attractions for which you have the reservations. One can also control the return times of attractions reserved and thus eliminate the risk of losing any reservation times.

However, there are also certain speculations about the latest reservation system that suggest otherwise. It’s observed that unlike its predecessor, the new Fastpass+ program brings discrimination among guests or vacationers. There are fans not as happy since the new reservation system mostly favors a particular section of guests specially, those staying at a Disney owned resort. So chances are if you are staying offsite then you are missing some great features. Again with the old legacy Fastpass one can have the ability to obtain reservation at more than one park per day. But the same is not the case with the new system as guests are limited to obtain reservations at one park per day.

But whatever may be the speculations, the ultimate objective of the new program is to cut wait-times and bring more flexibility to ride reservations. And I believe Disney is always a champion in adding more value to our dream vacations.

For discounts on Disney World admissions and passes to exclusive Orlando attractions and events, including discount SeaWorld Orlando tickets, Universal Studios tickets and other special Orlando packages you can all us toll free at 1-877-406-4836.