Carl Trent

Disney's Polynesian Resort, Orlando

Disney's Polynesian Resort, Orlando

The Disney resorts are famous for their flora and fauna. From the gardens around Disney’s Polynesian Resort in Orlando, to the topiary that welcomes you to one of the parks, Disney gardeners are some of the best in the world. Every spring, when the world comes back to life, Disney welcomes the International Flower and Garden Festival  to Epcot.

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Disney World isn't just for the kids. The most magical place on earth can be a romantic destination for couples as well.

Disney World isn't just for the kids. The most magical place on earth can be a romantic destination for couples as well.

Valentines Day is coming. A day when Disney World turns red. Rose petals are strewn on all the walks. The moat in front of the castle is filled with red water. Every fair maiden that enters the parks is given a beautiful red rose. Dean Martin is singing “That’s Amore” or John Paul Young is singing “Love is in the Air” or the Partridge Family is singing “I Think I Love You“. It’s love American style.

Oh, if it were only so. Valentines Day is pretty much the same as any other day at Disney World. Which brings up the question: Where can you find romance at Disney World? Read More »

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Cinderella Castle, Magic Kindgom, Disney World

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kindgom, Disney World

Walt Disney World has the most visited theme parks in the world. Every year over 15 million guests visit Disney’s Magic Kingdom. And that’s just the Magic Kingdom. This means that every single day there are an average of over 41,000 guests in the Magic Kingdom alone. Crowds are a way of life at the Disney World Parks.

Here are 3 great tips to help you avoid crowds at Walt Disney World.

Crowd Avoidance Tip #1: Visit during the slower times of the year.

Disney World has big crowds when schools have long breaks. That’s natural. The best way to miss the Disney World crowds is to visit when school is in session. From the middle of January to the first week or so of March and from late August until the week of Thanksgiving, crowds at Walt Disney World are normally very manageable. Some days, you can walk on the busiest of rides without standing in line at all.

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Minnie at Liberty Tree Tavern in Walt Disney World, one of the restaurants featuring a special Christmas Day feast.

Minnie at Liberty Tree Tavern in Walt Disney World, one of the restaurants featuring a special Christmas Day feast.

Christmas Day. A day of memories, fun and food. It’s no different at Walt Disney World. Walt Disney loved Christmas. He went all out during the holidays to bring cheer to everyone around him, and his spirit continues at all the Disney parks — especially Walt Disney World.

Christmas Day is the biggest day of the year at Disney World. It has the biggest attendance, the biggest shows, the biggest parties and even the biggest meals (and sadly, the biggest prices). Yes, on Christmas Day, many of the Disney Restaurants go all out and put on a Christmas spread that would make any grandmother proud.

Here are some of the highlights from the parks:

  • The Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom puts on a traditional holiday spread featuring turkey and dressing and all the trimmings almost every day during the holiday season. It’s made all the more special on Christmas Day.
  • At Biergarten in Epcot, the menu is the same, but instead of the great Oompah band playing traditional German drinking songs, Christmas carols and music fill the hall.
  • In Disney Hollywood Studios, 50′s Prime Time Cafe and Hollywood & Vine Restaurant both  have special Christmas Day menus.
  • In Animal Kingdom, the Tusker House (which usually serves African-influenced cuisine) features a more traditional (with a little flair) Christmas dinner menu. Read More »

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Grand Floridian Orlando

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa all decked out for Christmas

Every year at this time you start hearing Andy Williams sing that great holiday classic,“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” And perhaps no where is this more true than at Walt Disney World, where at some point during the first weeks of November, magic happens. Overnight every Disney World park changes and Christmas at Disney World comes to life.

Each of the parks have special events and shows.

The Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom comes alive at the most wonderful time of the year. Every inch of the park seems to have a decoration on it. Events abound starting at Cinderella Castle, where over 200,000 lights create an icy effect that dances throughout the night. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a not-to-be-missed event that happens on selected nights during November and December. All around the park, you’ll see special holiday shows, parades and even a special holiday firework show to complete the day.

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The Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek

The Hilton Orlando Bonnett Creek

Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but there are several non-Disney hotels on Disney Property. Let’s take a look.

The Swan and Dolphin

The most obvious non-Disney hotel on Disney Property is The Swan and Dolphin, a Westin Resort with stunning architecture. The first thing you’ll notice are the huge sculptures that sit on top and around the buildings (they look even better at night). The Swan and Dolphin is renowned for its outstanding rooms, service and unique dining experiences.
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Epcot Center is home to numerous international restaurants at Epcot World Showcase.

Eating your way around the World (Disney World, that is) is not a spectator sport. Even the most nonathletic of us can really enjoy this great activity. Especially because you don’t even have to go to different parks to accomplish it — just head to Epcot’s World Showcase, where you’ll find some of Disney World’s best restaurants serving cuisine from around the world. Sure, you’ll also find good food at some of the hotels, like at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, but you can find ample options at Epcot without having to leave the park.

Epcot’s World Showcase

To start your culinary adventure, head through the International Gate into the World Showcase. (If you’re staying right next to it at Disney Boardwalk Villas, you won’t have to walk far.) The Showcase highlights 11 different countries (Mexico, Norway, China, Japan, Germany, Italy, the U.S., France, Morocco, Canada, and the U.K.) through movies, boat rides, shows, and — of course — food. Each country, except the U.S., has at least one sit-down and one-fast food restaurant dedicated to it. The food at these restaurants ranges from simple to exotic. Here’s a sample: Read More »

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View of the boardwalk as the sun is setting

With fall and winter rapidly approaching and daylight hours waning by day day, here are the top five  things at Disney World that are better after dark.

The Boardwalk

Disney’s Boardwalk Villas and the entire Boardwalk are better after dark. When the lights come on, the music starts and guests come pouring onto the Boardwalk. During the day, you can ride bikes and see entertainers, but after dark this whole area comes alive. The bars open and the party starts.

The Disney World Resorts

Some of the Disney World hotels are actually better after dark.  The Polynesian Resort is better after dark. Right at sunset, a Disney staffer dressed in native garb (ladies, you don’t want to miss this) runs through the resort lighting the tiki torches. The torches bring a magical island touch to the whole place. Also, after dark,  you can hear the luau going on in the distance. The tribal drums and music of the luau give the resort an authentic island feel.

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Goofy at Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Cinderella, Lilo and Stitch, Tigger, Pluto, Goofy … the list goes on forever. Everyone who has ever been a kid has a favorite character or two, and Walt Disney World is the place where they come alive. You can even eat with your favorites, and character dining has become one of the top restaurant attractions in the parks. Some of the most popular restaurants are the one where your kids can shake hands with their characters that otherwise only exist to them on screen.

What is character dining?

At selected restaurants all around the park there are special meals hosted by different characters. For example, at Disney’s Polynesian Resort Lilo and Stitch host Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast every morning. These are meals where a specific group of characters are “hosts” of the meal. Some restaurants have character dining all day and some only have it for one meal.

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Magic Kingdom at Disney World

August is here, which means fall is coming. And yes, believe it or not, fall even comes to Disney World.

Autumn is the time when everything starts slowing down as winter creeps closer. And things slow down at Walt Disney World, too, which makes it a great time to visit the world’s top family tourist destination, see one of the world’s top hotels (like Disney’s Grand Floridian), and enjoy the wonder of Florida in the fall.

What’s so great about Disney World in the fall? Let’s see …

No Crowds

Disney World crowds can be very annoying, and summer means big crowds every day. On a slow day in the summer, 60,000 guests will be in the Magic Kingdom alone. That all changes when autumn rolls around. On typical day in September or October, the Magic Kingdom will have around 35,000 guests. That may sound like a lot, but it’s only half of what it could be.

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