Friday, July 13, 2018

Fireworks & Nighttime Shows at Walt Disney World

For many  who visit Disney World, seeing one--or more!--of the amazing nighttime shows is a huge part of their experience. There are so many opportunities to see evening shows, and there is something in every park! 
Magic Kingdom Park
Happily Ever After – This 18-minute spectacular has fireworks and projections on the castle and is truly breathtaking. Happily Ever After has a new musical score but also features some iconic moments from classic Disney films such as The Little  Mermaid and Aladdin plus modern favorites like Moana, Tangled, and even Pirates of the Caribbean.

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Disney Family Sails Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas!

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is one of the largest cruise ships in the world and is packed with family and adult fun for almost everyone. In recent years, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has come on strong in the cruise line industry with their offerings of diverse ports of call, novelty options on board (ice skating, rock climbing, flow riders, zip lines, etc.), and a price point that generally far less than some of the more acclaimed cruise lines. The Oasis of the Seas offers a great value with a lot of amenities that will appeal to the most stringent of budgets.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Update on Changes at Disney World Caribbean Beach Resort (Part 2)

Last week I talked a bit about some of the construction at Caribbean Beach Resort. Today, we're going to cover the dining options coming soon to the Old Port Royale area of Caribbean Beach and cover the third major phase of construction here.

A view of the construction at Old Port Royale.
First, let’s talk dining. Shutters, the table-service restaurant located at Caribbean Beach Resort, has been closed during the resort's renovations. At this time, Caribbean Beach does not have a table-service option. The re-imagined Shutters will be a Caribbean-inspired restaurant located on the waterfront in the Old Port Royale complex. Shutters is named for the large open shutters on the window which will give the restaurant an open air feel.

During the renovation, Centertown is located in this tent!
Centertown Market, the resort’s food court, will also be expanded and refurbished. The re-imagined Centertown will be themed to look like an indoor street market offering many options for guests to enjoy a quick service meal as well as grab-and-go options. During the renovations at Caribbean Beach, Centertown is a buffet located inside an enclosed tent. The temporary Centertown is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and counts as one quick-service credit per person for guests using a Disney dining plan. In addition to the Centertown buffet, there are also food trucks located near Centertown during breakfast and dinner hours that offer some grab and go options to guests staying at Caribbean Beach during the renovations.

Banana Cabana pool bar is temporarily located in this (very un-beachy) trailer
As with all Disney resorts, Caribbean Beach will also have a bar located near the resort’s main pool. The Banana Cabana bar, which is temporarily located in a trailer during the resort’s renovations, will also re-open with the expansion of Old Port Royale. This bar offers many of the same beverages found at all Disney pool bars as well as some Caribbean-themed specialty drinks.

The resort's gift shop is temporarily located in this truck.
Of course, it would not be a Disney resort without a gift shop! Also located in Old Port Royale, the Calypso Trading Post will offer guests Disney merchandise such as trading pins, pool gear, and many other souvenirs as well as any essentials you may have forgotten to pack like sunscreen, toiletries, and basic over-the-counter medication. During the renovation, Caribbean Beach has a small gift shop located in a pop-up truck outside of what will eventually become Old Port Royale.

Disney Riviera Resort will be the newest Disney Vacation Club property.
The last construction project that is affecting Caribbean Beach Resort is the addition of Disney Riviera Resort right next door to Caribbean Beach. Disney Riviera Resort will be the newest Disney Vacation Club resort and will be located adjacent to Caribbean Beach – it will also be one of the stops on the Disney Skyliner route. It's also the first DVC property to be located at or nearby a Moderate resort! While the Riviera Resort is not technically a part of Caribbean Beach, this construction is very visible to guests staying there. This resort is expected to open in late 2019.

Spyglass Grill is a new counter service option
at Caribbean Beach.
While it may look like there is no end in sight when it comes to the construction at Caribbean Beach Resort, one of the projects has recently been completed! Spyglass Grill, a small counter service restaurant located in the Trinidad South village, opened in Spring 2018. This is a welcome addition to the resort. Caribbean Beach is one of the largest resorts at Walt Disney World, and Trinidad South, where the very popular Pirate-themed rooms are located, is quite a hike from the other food options at the resorts. Adding a counter-service option in Trinidad South makes it quicker and easier for guests staying in that village to grab a quick bite to eat. Spyglass Grill is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it offers familiar options such as burgers and sandwiches as well as Caribbean specialties such as Cuban sandwiches and fish tacos. My husband and I grabbed lunch at Spyglass Grill while we stayed at Caribbean Beach, and everything we ate was delicious. This open-air restaurant is located by the water, and while right now the view includes the Skyliner construction, this will be a lovely spot to enjoy a quick meal with a beautiful view once the construction at Caribbean 

Despite all the construction, Caribbean Beach is as beautiful as ever

While I would not hesitate to recommend Caribbean Beach Resort to anyone, it is definitely important to know what to expect if you plan to stay there during the construction. Since there are three construction projects going on at once, that is triple the construction noise, and triple the eyesore. If you plan to spend the majority of your time in the theme parks, this will not affect you as much since the majority of the work is being done between dawn and dusk. However, if you plan on taking a lot of breaks and spending time at the resort during the day, you may see and hear some of the construction as you are walking around the resort. Due to all of the construction projects going on, Caribbean Beach tends to be the least expensive Moderate resort to stay in right now, so if you don’t mind the construction, you can save some money on your Disney vacation by staying there. 

Overall, there are many exciting additions coming to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and I have no doubt that it will be a contender for one of the best resorts on Disney property once everything is open!

Special thanks to our Guest Blogger, Katie Forsyth, for her series on Caribbean Beach Resort! Katie has been a Disney fan since childhood, and she and her husband enjoy visiting Walt Disney World as often as possible! Her favorite park is Magic Kingdom, her favorite attraction is Avatar Flight of Passage, and her favorite Disney restaurant is 'Ohana. Contact Katie if you're ready to book a fabulous Disney World vacation!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Update on Constructions & Changes at Disney World's Caribbean Beach Resort

My husband and I recently enjoyed a six-night stay at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, one of Walt Disney World’s moderate resorts. Caribbean Beach is - as you have probably guessed - Caribbean-themed, with different villages of the resort representing some of the various islands in the Caribbean, such as Jamaica, Aruba, Trinidad, and Martinique. This resort is beautiful with brightly colored buildings, lush landscaping, and hammocks placed throughout the resort invoking a relaxing, tropical vibe.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Events Available to Book Now!

Photo Credit: Walt Disney World
So many of us look forward to Epcot's Food & Wine Festival each year. The food, the wine, the beer, the's such a great experience. 

However, many people don't realize that there are some signature events available to book, too! Yes, they carry an extra expense, but these are unique, one of a kind opportunities and might be worth the splurge!

Here's what is available to book this year:

Mexican Tequila Lunch  at La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexico Pavilion)
Great authentic Mexican cuisine paired with the fiery taste of tequila! This is a must-do if you're a tequila fan!
  • $85 per person, plus tax (gratuity included).
  • 12:00-1:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 30, 31
  • Sept. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
  • Oct. 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31
  • Nov. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9

Friday, June 8, 2018

Traveling with Baby to Disney World: What Can We Ride at Animal Kingdom?

Wishdrawals Agent Susan's son at the entrance to Animal Kingdom. 
Animal Kingdom was the fourth and most recent park to open at Walt Disney World, and this will finish up our series of discussing attractions for babies and toddlers at Walt Disney World!

Animal Kingdom opened on Earth Day, April 22, 1988, and just celebrated its 20th anniversary! This park is themed around the natural environment and animal conservation and is accredited by the Associated of Zoos and Aquariums.