Friday, October 21, 2016

Remy's Ratatouille Hide and Squeak: A Fun (Frustrating) Hide and Seek Game at Epcot

Remy's Hide and Squeak is a hide and seek game available at Disney World during Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. Disney started it last year, and it was so well-loved that they brought it back this year!

We didn't go to Disney World last fall, so this year was our first opportunity to play. My son and I had read a little about it and knew that we needed to purchase a map and search for Remy. We thought we were ready when we headed to World Showcase in Epcot. We initially had a hard time finding the map. We stopped at a Food & Wine kiosk, and they had no idea what we were talking about. Closer to the entrance of the World Showcase, we stopped at one of the Port of Entry Shops and inquired about where to find them. The Cast Member working the counter pulled them from behind the counter, and told me the price--$9.95--and then showed us the six pins from which we could choose once the game was complete.

I purchased the game, and we took it out of the plastic to take a look. There was a map with each country and a sheet of stickers of ingredients that were clearly supposed to go on the map. That was it! I kept looking for some directions. How did we start? Where did we find Remy? Were their clues?

I went back to find the same Cast Member who sold us the map, and she didn't know much about the actual search. Well, we go to find Remy. Surely this will seem logical once we start, right?

Our first stop was Mexico. My son and I looked around outside, inside the lobby, in the market place. We looked high and low with no luck. Finally we sought out a Cast Member working the entrance to Gran Fiesta Tour. She told us that all of the Remy statues were outside! That seems like good information to know! Then she said we should go back out and turn left. No, right. No, left. Left. We went out and walked left. No luck. We walked right. We finally found him on top of the Mexico kiosk. One Remy found.

It would've been terribly helpful if we had known exactly what we were looking for to start with! We didn't know how large Remy was, if he was a statue or a window cling or a sign. We certainly didn't know they were all outside the pavilions.

We continued around World Showcase looking for Remy. Some were fairly easy to find, but most were quite difficult. In more than one country, we had to ask for help from a Cast Member. Luckily, they all knew what we were talking about! Some gave us vague directions; several gave us cute clues! In one country, we were told, "Remy was going to the water, but he got distracted by some flowers." Bingo! Found it!

In France, it was not only outside the pavilion but down below the bridge between France and UK. We would NEVER have found it there without clues from a Cast Member. 

Here's a close up of Remy in France:
Here's what Remy looks like from the bridge. Can you see him? Yeah...neither could we. This was the hardest country. He's toward the end of the second upturned boat close-ish to the water.

By the time we got to UK, we were all done with finding Remy! I reminded my son that we didn't actually have to finish the search--that we could STILL get the pin even if we didn't finish, but he insisted we finish and find that last Remy.

We made our way back to the Port of Entry shops to claim our prize--one of the limited edition Remy's Hide and Squeak pins. My son was quite happy to pick his favorite.

Let's just say it was a lot of work for $9.95 pin!

So, the whole idea is super cute, but more detailed instructions would be very helpful. A photo of what we were looking for and where to look for it would have gone a long way and kept us from being too frustrated.

Would we do it again? I'm not sure. Maybe now that we know what we're doing and where to look for it, but it was seriously a lot of work!

Close up of Remy with some herbs.
Susan Burks is a Disney travel planner at WishdrawalsTravel, a military wife, and a homeschooling mom to a robot-programming, chess-playing, history-buff 11 year old!  

She and her family love visiting Disney World and taking Disney cruises. Having completed seven Disney cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Panama Canal and Norway, she is now preparing to embark on a eighth Disney Cruise on the newly re-imagined Disney Wonder and then the Trans-Atlantic--and planning her next Disney World visit, too!

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Review of Art of Animation's Little Mermaid Rooms

King Triton reigns over the pool!
First, let me say that I LOVE Disney World and its vast array of rides, shopping, dining, and, of course, its resorts and their amenities.  Recently, as part of a pre- and post-cruise resort, we stayed at Disney’s  Art of Animation Resort, located conveniently by Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, and Epcot.

This was our first time at this resort, although we have stayed at Disney’s Pop Century resort, which is just on the other side of  Hourglass Lake.  There is a walking /running path that separates the two properties.  For a bit of trivia, Disney’s Art of Animation wasn’t originally slated to be themed as it is, but was to be a second resort with building clustered by decades similar to that of Pop Century.   However, the building of the second half of the project was put on hold during the aftermath of September 11th, and, as business picked up, new plans were made to adjust the theming of the resort to some of the more popular animated movies.  (As another side note, the bridge that cuts through the center of Hourglass Lake, was to be named The Generation Gap Bridge.)

Friday, September 30, 2016

Another Look at Disney's Memory Maker

Disney PhotoPass is a program that takes pictures on rides and provides photographers throughout the parks (and at some character meals) to take pictures of your family.  Memory Maker is a package that will allow you to download all of the high-resolution that Disney takes during your trip.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Planning a Last Minute Trip to Disney!

Most often, planning a trip to Disney takes months. To get the most sought after dining reservations, you need to be prepared to book a trip to Disney more than six months in advance. Dining reservations can be booked six months out and FastPasses at 60 days out. BUT sometimes, you just HAVE to get to Disney as soon as possible! 

Wishdrawals agents posing with a Viking
after riding Frozen Ever After!
This year I have booked two last minute trips, so it can be done! Well, actually three trips if you count my last minute Disney cruise. I’m by nature a planner, but with Disney I can’t stay away, so sometimes a spur of the moment trip is just what I need!

My first trip of the year was planned in about a month, and it was to ride the brand new Frozen Ever After! The trip was well worth it; the ride did not disappoint! The next trip I planned in about three weeks, and I will be surprising my daughter right before we leave in just a few short days. These types of trips are so exciting!

Here are a few tips to plan a trip to Disney in a very short amount of time:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Top 5 Reasons You Should Attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

Fall is a fantastic time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The weather is cooler, the crowds are lower than summer, and there are lots of fun things to do! In Epcot, the Food & Wine festival is sure to please even the most sophisticated palate. The Magic Kingdom is decorated in beautiful and festive fall decorations, and, on select nights, the Magic Kingdom is transformed into Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! 

But is it worth paying an extra entry fee to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? Maybe not for all families, but certainly for many!  If you have very young children, paying for a party that takes place between 7 pm and midnight may not be worth it for you, but if your family can enjoy those hours, here are five great reasons to make time for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party:

Friday, September 9, 2016

Helpful Tips for Jedi Training Academy

Disney's Jedi Training Academy is located in the Hollywood Studios park.  In order to participate, valid theme park admission is required.  The attraction is only for young padawans ages 4-12, and you can not make advance reservations for it. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Disproving Some Common Myths About Disney... Or Why You Should Ignore Your Facebook Friends' Advice!

So, you're ready to take the plunge--the trip to Disney World. You've done some reading online, found 8,000 chat boards, and 10,000 Pinterest boards. You posted on Facebook and all your friends have opinions and tips for you. You mentioned it at work and suddenly all your co-workers are Disney experts and so is your neighbor! Are you feeling overwhelmed yet?

Who do you trust? While they're all well-meaning, your co-workers, neighbors and Facebook friends may not be up to date on the latest at Disney... but do you know who is? A Wishdrawals vacation planner!

Not convinced yet? Have you heard any of these?

1. When you yell "Andy's coming!" while meeting Woody and Jessie, they'll stop and lie down. Well, not any more! This was cute the first few times it happened, but characters can't be constantly falling on the ground and getting back up! We can, however, tell you where to meet Woody, Jessie and Buzz and when is the best time to do that!
The Royal Sommerhus in Epcot--
where you actually find Anna & Elsa!