EPCOT A New Experience Awaits

When Walt Disney spoke about a new theme park coming to Florida, aside from the Magic Kingdom, he spoke of a new kind of theme park where he envisioned a new type of community. A utopian city of the future, EPCOT, Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, opened October 1, 1982. Unable to get funding for this project with out the start of the Magic Kingdom building along with his passing his dream for EPCOT was never realized.

“EPCOT will be an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that will take its cue from the new ideas and new 
technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that 
will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems. And EPCOT 
will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise.” – Walt Disney
As it opened, EPCOT, consisted of two areas, Future World and the World Showcase. Each area had Pavilions, Future World consisted of Journey into Imagination Pavilion, The Land Pavilion, Communicore East, Communicore West, Universe of Energy Pavilion, and World of Motion Pavilion. And of course Spaceship Earth, which has become the focal point of the park. Each area had it’s form of attraction, whether E-ticket or not. Most pavilions only had films and a display from the area’s sponsor. For example the Land Pavilion had the Listen to the Land attraction which was sponsored by Kraft.
While over in the World Showcase we found ourselves in 9 different countries. All of which are still here today. Canada, United Kingdom, France, Japan, The American Adventure, Italy, Germany, China and Mexico. Morocco was added in 1984 and the last addition Norway was added in 1988. All are the same as when they opened, a few shops, a video which shows views on their country and a restaurant or two.  Other than adding an attraction or two and updating the exterior and interior of  some of these countries not much else has changed, until now.
Two changed had previously been announce and already in full force on becoming complete. One being Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and the other Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. But that wasn’t where the new EPCOT would end. During D23 this year it was announce that multiple changes would be coming to EPCOT. Let’s start in the front of the park, there would be no more Future World. The EPCOT Future World as we once knew it was now going to have 3 different neighborhoods, World Discovery, World Celebration and World Nature.
World Discovery will now house the new Guardian’s of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction, the new Play Pavilion, this is was previously the Wonder’s of Life Pavilion, a New Space themed restaurant called Space 220. Along with things already in the area as Test Track and Mission: Space. The next area is the main entrance which will now be World Celebration. If you are in need of discount Disney tickets or any other central Florida theme park tickets, please contact local ticket broker, The Official Ticket Center for the best prices around.

 

Walt Disney World Resort Skyliner Issues and Can They Be Fixed?

As frequent Walt Disney World visitors can tell you, transportation to and from the parks seems to be lacking. Traffic is bound to happen when there are over 52 million visitors per year! Because of that Disney has decided to do something to help alleviate some of the congestion, Disney’s Skyliner. Once a attraction in the Magic Kingdom, now this was to be a mode of transportation from select lucky resorts and 2 theme parks. Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s newest DVC resort, Riviera , would be sharing the Disney’s Skyliner to take guest to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.

 

Visiting these parks is now made to be easier. While bus transportation to these parks will still be available, Disney’s Skyliner adds a magical experience. After recently riding in one I can say it will now be my favorite mode of transportation to and from the parks to my resort. Each ride can vary but expect 15-20 mins from the time you jump onboard to the time you transfer, if you need to, to the time you reach your destination. Of course this is not including wait times to get onto Disney’s Skyliner, it should make it easier for you to get there. In my recent experience I rode from Disney’s Pop/Disney’s Art of Animation station going over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

 

Coming onboard was easy. These are continuously moving, although at a slow speed. If someone in your party is in a wheelchair or has a mobility issue there are special cabins that are pulled aside for easier boarding. They are beautifully wrapped, some in bright colors, others in various Disney Characters. Each Disney’s Skyliner cabin fits 10 people. Most of the concern was to be the lack of air conditioning, once onboard we realized how cool it actually was inside. The breeze from the Skyliner moving is enough to make you feel very comfortable in the 15 to 20 minute ride. However if your Skyliner does come to a complete stop it will get warm quickly. We very much enjoyed the views from up high. The first part of our trip was short, going from Disney’s POP/Art of Animation station to Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort station.

 

At the transfer station, where we would transfer to either EPCOT or Hollywood Studios, signs are clearly posted letting you which Skyliner you will be wanting to board. It is a quick process to board and deboard and board again. The process goes pretty quick same as when you first board. The ride is quiet and peaceful. Great for children, but if there is a fear of heights you may not want to look down. Once arriving at Hollywood Studios. It is easy to get to the front gate!

 

If you are staying at one of the resorts with access to the Disney Skyliner, then you have a great advantage to get to and from Hollywood Studios and Epcot! And I greatly recommend them. Fast and efficient and they cut down on bus time as well!

 

If you are planning on visiting the Walt Disney World resort and need discount Hollywood Studios tickets, please call us today toll free at 1-877-406-4836 to purchase your tickets.

Batuu, A Galaxy Far Far Away

In August of 2015, Disney CEO, Bob Iger made an announcement that had every Star Wars fan excited. There was to be a Land created in both Disneyland Park in California and Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Black Spire Outpost in Batuu was to be the location we were set off to visit in the Star Wars Galaxy. While it was not a known area of many fans, people were still excited for it. Construction began and we began to become more excited for it. For 3 years we waited and now in August of 2019 it finally opened. For the newcomers of Star Wars or ones who had never seen a movie this is a land that everyone can to enjoy.

 

Setting foot in Batuu you can feel the change in the atmosphere. You are no longer walking around a Hollywood Studios, but in a different Galaxy. Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge to be exact. “Bright Suns” you’ll hear from the local Batuu residents, all of which are eager to show you their favorite things in the land. From special merchandise items only found in the land to amazing food and drinks. You can spend plenty of time walking through the marketplace. Don’t forget to try the blue or green milk! Looking around you see X-wings, Droids and their parts, a Tie-Fighter in an area you know is meant for Empire. You can interact with your favorite Wookie, and make sure you keep an eye out to see another known Rebel around, as well as one not so known. They are happy to take you around and show you some hiding spots from those pesky patrolling Storm Troopers.

 

Once you get deeper in the land you see the one thing everyone who is a Star Wars fan has always wanted to see, the Millennium Falcon, and here in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge you get that chance. It’s the best hunk of junk you’ve ever seen. Looking at her you know it’s exactly what you thought it would look like in real life. She’s big and beautiful. It doesn’t stop there. You can actually board her and take her for a spin! Who hasn’t dreamed of pulling that lever and going into lightspeed? Or being a gunner on the ship? That’s exactly the experience you’ll get onboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. On a cargo run for the rebellion, you’re on a mission and on the run from the Empire knowing they’ll do what they can to stop you. Walking on to the Falcon you can see and feel like you’re actually on the real one. Be aware if lights and sounds start blaring make sure you hit the red button!

 

All in all, Star War’s Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios takes you out of the normal Disney theme park and into a fully immersive land where any kind of Star Wars fan can appreciate it.

 

If you are planning on visiting the Walt Disney World resort and need discount Hollywood Studios tickets, please call us today toll free at 1-877-406-4836 to purchase your tickets.

5 tips for your first trip to Orlando

 

 

Serving up an irresistible combo of good times and warm sunshine, Orlando is the perfect place for a family vacation. But with so much fun stuff to see and do near Disney, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are five tips to make sure your first trip to Orlando runs without a hitch!

 

Plan ahead – but don’t try to see it all!

 

Should you spend your whole vacation at Disney, visiting each of the different parks? Or should you focus on trying to see a few key attractions, with days off for shopping and water parks in between? There’s no right or wrong way to tackle a trip to Orlando, but whichever approach you decide to go for, it’s important to plan ahead.

 

Try to draw up a rough plan before you go, with the whole family’s ‘must-see’ attractions high up on the list. To make sure you have enough time (and cash!) for these, you might want to buy your attraction tickets in advance. It’s also a good idea to look at one of the many crowd calendars available online, so you can see which days tend to be busiest at each theme park.

 

Once you’ve ticked off the top sights, you can then work some of your second-choice attractions and activities into the time you have left. Walking around the theme parks and waiting in line can be surprisingly tiring, so it’s worth leaving some time over for chilling by the pool. You’ll be thankful for it when you come home feeling rested and relaxed!

 

Stay somewhere special


Not thrilled by the idea of staying at a dreary motel on International Drive? Well how about something completely different? The Disney area is packed with fun and unusual places to stay, including private villas that come with their own outdoor swimming pools.

 

At some of the best vacation rentals, like those offered by local experts Top Villas, you’ll have the chance to enjoy incredible private amenities. Guests can test their skills in zany game rooms, spend the night in beautiful themed bedrooms, and kick back in front of Hollywood blockbusters in their very own multi-seater movie theaters.

 

Staying at one of these high-end mansions isn’t just for the super rich; if you’re sharing with a few others, the per-person rates are often better than you’d get at a run-of-the-mill motel!

 

Get off the tourist trail

 

It’s famous for its tourist attractions, but you shouldn’t forget that Orlando is a living, breathing city. And there are loads of opportunities for getting off the tourist trail in and around the City Beautiful, without needing to break the bank.

 

Fans of golf will want to make a beeline for TopGolf Orlando, a local hangout that combines a high-tech driving range with an arcade, a restaurant and full-service bar. If you’re more into music and the arts, and you fancy getting a glimpse of Orlando’s creative underbelly, time your visit to coincide with the annual Immerse festival (mid October). Alternatively, for breweries, offbeat shops and independent restaurants, head to Downtown DeLand Historic District  – it’s a 45-minute drive north of downtown Orlando.

Take a couple of day trips


To get a feel for Florida life beyond the theme parks, make time for a couple of day trips. If you base yourself near Disney and have your own vehicle, you’ll be within easy reach of some of the state’s best beaches and state parks. You’ll also be within striking distance of some quirky coastal towns, many of them perfect for surfing, seafood and sunset cocktails.

 

One of the best day trips you can make from Orlando is to the Blue Spring State Park, where you have the chance to go kayaking, snorkeling or tubing in the crystal clear springs. You might also spot some of the manatees that congregate here from November to mid-March. It’s around an hour’s drive northeast from the Magic Kingdom.

 

If you’re up for a longer excursion, try the 100-mile round trip to the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s east coast. Time your trip just right and you might get the chance to meet a real astronaut – or even catch a rocket launch!

 

Pack carefully – but don’t bring too much!

 

The Sunshine State is usually warm and err… sunny, but sometimes it can rain. Even though these downpours tend to be short-lived (unless you arrive during hurricane season) it still pays to pack a poncho or two. These can also be handy if you’re planning to check out some splash rides but don’t fancy staying wet for an hour or two afterwards.

 

And just because it’s usually hot in the daytime, that doesn’t mean you might not get a little cold at night. This is especially true during the winter months, so pack a couple of sweaters just in case. Remember that you can bring too much, though! And who knows? Forgetting something might just give you the perfect excuse to check out some of the awesome outlets in Orlando…

It’s Time to Celebrate Mardi Gras and Carnevale at Disney Springs!

Feast of Carnevale

The end of February and beginning of March marks the time to get together with friends and celebrate Mardi Gras.

The end of February and beginning of March marks the time to get together with friends and celebrate Mardi Gras. While famously celebrated on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Disney Springs® is offering up its own spin on this favorite holiday complete with food and entertainment that will have your Guests “jazzed” to celebrate!

No celebration is complete without a pair of ears and Mardi Gras-inspired Minnie Mouse ears make for the perfect party accessory! They feature all the fun colors and patterns of Mardi Gras. Your Guests can find these ears in the newly renovated World of Disney store at Disney Springs Marketplace.

And for foodies, there’s no shortage of specialty and limited-time eats on the menu at favorite restaurants. Look no further than House of Blues Restaurant & Bar for classic New Orleans favorites such as Steak Po’Boy (made special for this event!), Jambalaya, Gumbo and Bourbon Bread Pudding. Your Guests can grab all of these dishes at the Smokehouse grab and go window now through March 5, 2019. In addition to delicious bites, there will be live music, drink specials and prizes March 1-5 in the House of Blues Courtyard. With no cover or reservations required, this is a celebration Guests won’t want to miss.

Over in The Landing, Carnevale is back at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante! This annual festival began in Venice, Italy and commemorates the joyous gathering of family and friends to eat, drink, dance and celebrate life together. If booked by March 5, 2019, you’ll get a front-row seat to live entertainment including singers, stilt walkers, jugglers, mimes, face painters, folk dancers and more all while indulging in signature Italian cuisine. During this limited-time engagement, your Guests can enjoy the prix fixe “Feast of Carnevale” selections or order a la carte from the regular menu. Reservations are recommended and can be made online or by calling (407) 560-8466.

If you are planning a trip and are in need of discount Disney tickets, please contact local authorized ticket agent at www.officialticketcenter.com for current prices and discounts to the parks.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2018 Set To Go

 

Are you a fan of delicious foods and tasty wines? Are you a fan of the Walt Disney World Resort? Well if you answered yes to both questions then Epcot is a must for you! Every year towards the end of August, Epcot puts on one heck of a festival that includes wines, gourmet tapas dishes and art from around the world. It’s called the International Food & Wine Festival and has been going on for years.

This is a festival for the connoisseurs and foodies who enjoy taking a tour of the world right in the comfort of Disney. For a few months out of the year Epcot puts on a party of parties all day long. For the price of a daily admission ticket you can enjoy the sights, sounds and flavours as you explore the different cuisines from around the world. Vineyards and breweries from around the globe are center stage during this once a year event.

Executive chefs from the Walt Disney World Resorts prepare regional dishes while pairing up wines and beers that make your experience one to savour! As you wander through the theme park you will encounter different cuisines at different locations. As an example if you are in France or Germany, you will be a guest of that country and served local dishes that represent their country all the while being able to sample their regional wines and beer.

The downside is that this isn’t free and can get quite costly. The best way to approach this is to stop at the very first food kiosk and get yourself a prepaid wristband and preload it with as much money as you see fit. I normally will put $50 on mine and that will get me to at least the America pavilion which is the halfway point on the World Showcase at the back of the park. By this time you are feeling pretty good and might want to just put another $50 onto your wristband again to finish strong!

This event is a event worth Uber-ing, staying on property like at the Boardwalk, Swan or Dolphin which are staggering distances from the back entrance of Epcot. If your partake in the fermented beverages you will not want to be driving believe me. This is a great event to share with friends and families and probably should not be a festival that you would want to bring your kids to as people at this event can get pretty happy to say the least but in a good way. Here is a link to their current 2018 menu so have a look and see what you think ~ Epcot Food & Wine Menu 2018 

If you plan on attending this event and need Epcot tickets or Disney World tickets please visit our website at www.officialticketcenter.com or by calling us toll free at 1-877-406-4836.

Guardians of the Galaxy Lookin Good at Epcot

 

Have you drove by Epcot in the past few weeks and noticed a big o’le building to the left of Spaceship Earth? Well that big thing everyone is looking at and talking about is the all NEW Guardians of the Galaxy ride and I can’t wait to experience it! Epcot was kind of in a rut for awhile and many visitors were asking if Epcot had just become a Festival theme park. Seems they were only rolling out the carpet a few times a years for their Wine & Food Festival as well as their Flower & Garden Festival. To be honest it was getting kind of stale and really did not offer anything new until now.

The area where the new ride will be is over where Ellen was next to Mission Space. That area was like a place where if you wanted to go take a nap and not be bothered by anyone, this was the place to do it. Now it has become something very busy and looks to be just more than a ride, maybe even a small little land into itself. I know Walt would be pleased with this space aged addition as he dreamed of this whole park being like that and not what it has become.

Guardians of the Galaxy is nothing new but it is so hot right now as Mugatu would say so hopefully nothing knocks it too far back to where visitors will be like what the heck is a Groot? I’m pretty positive that this will not be the case and this little corner of Epcot will be everyone’s newest favorite piece of the park. I am really hoping for some new eateries keeping in line with the whole space theme and maybe a sit down restaurant.

All in all this is going to be a much needed addition to Epcot that is for sure! If you have been over there within the past decade, you will agree that nothing has been added to the theme park and if you have been reading any Disney related blog, people have been demanding that something be added to Walt’s treasured park for quite some time. I’m glad to see it finally happening. If you are planning to visit anytime soon be sure to check out “The Official Tickets Center” for all of you Disney tickets and discounts.

 

Countdown to Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios

 

 

 

If you have been paying attention lately, you would notice a great disturbance in Walt Disney World’s Force. If one would look for a minute over at Hollywood Studios, you would see a major Pixie Dusting taking place in the form of a huge expansion of Toy Story Land. For the past few years Hollywood Studios has been going to the extreme of updating this once not so popular theme park. Guests have been waiting patiently for this and Disney is guaranteeing a home run with this newest addition!

Over the past few weeks guests have been privy to a soft open of this new land. You won’t hear about it but you can sure read about it as Disney has been slowly and quietly bringing in media and bloggers to start building the excitement for what it hopes to be a big winner for their park. I have seen pictures and videos of the rides and food stands, but I have yet to go myself. Next week will be their official media event and yours truly will be there reporting on everything.

I am a huge Disney fan and I hope to be able to see all of my favourite characters as well as shrink down to what is the end idea of being one of Andy’s toys. The whole gist of their new land is to be one of Andy’s toys and for the guest to be able to enjoy a day in Andy’s backyard. I have seen the a few of the rides like Slink Dogs rollercoaster as well as a few walk up eateries and I can’t wait. It has been long overdue and I hope that Disney hits a homerun with this much needed addition!

Disney has great visions for all of their theme parks but Hollywood Studios I have a feeling will be a new diamond on Mickey’s crown especially after they add the much anticipated Star Wars Land. Once they have these two new additions they will be a Force to reckon with no pun intended…lol The only thing that I would have added if I were Disney is possibly a Toy Story Resort. Could you imagine how cool that would be for the kids? Hopefully they read this and make it happen. Stay tuned for after party reports and if you should every need discount Disney tickets to any of the parks, please visit The Official Ticket Center for all of your ticketing needs.

 

Toy Story at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Set to Amaze Guests in 2018

Here in the U.S., Toy Story Land is set to open to guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on June 30, 2018. This land will bring with it all the fun, imagination and beloved characters from the “Toy Story” films.

Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios

When it opens, guests visiting the land will “shrink” to the size of a toy and join in on the fun Woody, Jessie, Buzz, and Andy’s other favorite pals are having in Andy’s backyard. Here, guests can take a ride on Slinky Dog Dash, a roller coaster Andy has assembled from his Mega Coaster Play Kit and topped off with Rex and Jessie, while Slinky serves as the coaster vehicle. (See photo above for a new look at the track).

Families will also be able to take a spin on Alien Swirling Saucers, a galactic play set that Andy won from Pizza Planet. Here, adorable little green aliens swirl about in their flying saucers with guests in tow in their rocket ship toys, while “The Claw” hangs overhead.

Guests can also walk through a new carnival game box to experience Toy Story Mania!, which has been a guest-favorite attraction at the park since it opened in 2008. Now expanded with a third track, the popular attraction will put even more guests in the action taking aim at 3D objects – using everything from baseballs to cream pies – in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games.

Woody’s Lunch Box will serve up tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats from a walk-up window setting. The entire land will serve as a visual celebration of toys, with Crayons, Cooties, Green Army Men, Rubik’s Cubes, Tinkertoys, and other familiar toys and game pieces incorporated into the land’s design.

Bob also shared this amazing behind-the-scenes video that shows the progress that’s being made on Toy Story Lands at both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Shanghai Disneyland. (Toy Story Land at Shanghai Disneyland will include three attractions – Rex’s Racer, Slinky Dog Spin and Woody’s Round-Up – and is on track to open on April 26, 2018). Take a peek at both in the video above.

Which attraction are you most looking forward to experiencing when Toy Story Land opens this summer at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – or will you make the trip to Shanghai Disneyland? Tell us in the “Comments” section below! To purchase your discount Disney tickets, please call our office at 1-877-406-4836.

Epcot Back in Blooms: The 25th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Returns

Walt Disney World Resort

Some say Florida doesn’t have an official “Spring” season, but I beg to differ.

Spring most definitely begins in Florida when the more-than-30-million blooms come alive at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

This year is the Festival’s 25th year, and the park again is overflowing with the brightest plants, flowers, trees and topiaries adorning both Future World and World Showcase.

Here are some of the top things you shouldn’t miss at the Festival:

  • Gardens, Gardens and More Gardens: In addition to all the natural flora throughout the park, the Walt Disney World horticulture squad has curated some truly breathtaking gardens for our guests this year. New garden destinations this year include “The How-To Garden” and “The Imagination Play Garden” which are perfect for adults and kids to enjoy together. Returning favorites include “The Goodness Garden Butterfly House” and “The Water Wise Garden,” which showcase environmental responsibility as well as just being fun!
  • Outdoor Kitchens: What would an Epcot Festival be without fun food and drinks? 15 Outdoor Kitchens this year grace World Showcase, with the newest being “The Honey Bee-Stro,” which features Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Purée; Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese; and Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses. These dishes were created to showcase multiple honey varietals in creative and exciting ways. Returning Outdoor Kitchen favorites include “The Berry Basket” (featuring a lamb chop with quinoa salad and blackberry gastrique) and “THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue and Brew” (featuring a pulled-pork slider and warm chocolate cake with Bourbon-salted caramel sauce and spiced pecans). YUM!
  • Spike’s Pollen Nation Exploration: One of the beloved characters from Disney animated short cartoons, Spike the honeybee, has been “pollen-nating” throughout the Festival. In this springtime scavenger hunt, gardeners of all ages can follow Spike on his pollination trail around World Showcase, where he will “bee” busy collecting nectar and pollinating gardens at Epcot. To get started, purchase your map and stickers at Port of Entry. Available while supplies last.
  • Garden Rocks Concert Series: Each Friday through Monday of the Festival (what we like to call a “Disney Weekend”), favorite artists from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s will rock out at the America Gardens Theatre. Night Ranger kicks off the series March 2-5, and Rick Springfield, Survivor and Lonestar are just some of the popular rock and rollers in the lineup. Each night, there will be three performances – 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. – and guests can pair a wonderful meal at several of our Epcot restaurants with reserved concert seating in a nice package. Click here for Garden Rocks dining package availability or call 407-WDW-DINE.
  • Character Topiaries: Locations throughout the park feature some of the most beloved Disney and Disney•Pixar characters including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and The Tramp and Buzz Lightyear.
  • Merchandise: Guests will find a wealth of hats, T-shirts, mugs and other fun Festival merchandise throughout Future World and World Showcase. I can’t resist anything with Figment on it; so you KNOW I’ll be buying some.
  • Tours: One of the great ways to get the “inside track” on the Festival or the latest in gardening techniques is to take one of the tours offered during the Festival. There are tours of The Land pavilion greenhouses and the “Gardens of the World – Spring Edition.” There is also the daily Royal Tea Garden Tour at the United Kingdom pavilion that includes a tea tasting. Guests can find out more about the tours here or call 407-WDW-TOUR.

If you’re coming out to this year’s festival, plan on more than one day to see, smell, hear, touch and taste everything. You surely can’t do it all in one!

For more information about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, call us at 1-877-406-4836 or for discount Disney tickets to this event.

 

Happy gardening!