Over the years, we had visited Crystal Palace restaurant in Magic Kingdom for breakfast. It has become somewhat of a tradition for us. The Crystal Palace itself is stunning with its white victorian architecture and numerous windows that allows sunlight to flood in, as well as providing picturesque views of the castle and the Magic Kingdom. Secondly, while the food here is standard breakfast fare, we find it always fresh and delicious; and there is always a variety of offerings. Thirdly, we enjoy the fact that it is a character meal featuring Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger! The Crystal Palace is the perfect blend of elegance for the adults and whimsy for the kids.
On our last trip, we discovered something else that makes the Crystal Palace a terrific spot and start for the day. We booked a breakfast here before the Magic Kingdom opened. When we arrived at the gate, we discovered that there was a separate line for those who had early reservations in the park. After being granted access, we were let into the park and discovered that it was completely EMPTY! It was like having the park to ourselves!
We walked down an empty Main Street; and since we had a few minutes until our reservation, took pictures of ourselves in front the Cinderella Castle without crowds.
After being seated at the Crystal Palace, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast with a table next to the windows facing the castle. Tigger bounced while we tried to take a picture; and Winnie the Pooh acted as my escort. My brother and I finished our meal before our parents, so we left to explore an empty Magic Kingdom. We soon discovered the entrances to the different lands are roped off until the park officially opens; so we took our time walking through the castle and snapping photos.
When it was almost time for the Magic Kingdom to open, we rushed back to Fantasyland where we waited, with a few others who had also had early breakfasts, at the ropes. When the park officially opened, the Cast Members dropped the ropes and then led the way into the Fantasyland as they blew bubbles! Since we needed to get back to the Crystal Palace to meet our parents, my brother and I grabbed a FastPass for Peter Pan's Flight. When getting our FastPasses, the machine gave us bonus FastPasses for Mickey's Philharmagic! We assumed that this was because we were the first guests that day to use the machine.
After meeting back up with our parents, we then enjoyed the morning at Magic Kingdom with minimal wait times, saw many characters, and a little show in Frontierland where characters welcomed guests!
Overall, our early breakfast at Crystal Palace was a wonderful way to kick off a day at the Magic Kingdom, providing us a delicious meal in a beautiful setting and magical experiences and memories.
We stumbled upon a variety of Disney themed house and office decor at our local Hallmark store. We found decorative signs, plaques, desk calendars, snow globes, and coffee mugs with quotes from Disney movies and Walt Disney himself. These items had subtle Disney references and designs so that they still looked professional, perfect for adults. We had never seen these items anywhere, even at Disney World, so be sure to check your Hallmark for them!
Being avid Disney fans, we enjoy finding anything that can put a little bit of of Disney magic in our everyday life. We hope you will enjoy these items as much as we do!
When planning your day at any park in Walt Disney World, the list of attractions, shows, and activities can seem overwhelming! This is especially true in peak season when there are crowds and lines to contend with. So how does one know what not to miss or what they and their family will most enjoy? This post will provide you with a list of priorities for your day at Hollywood Studios so you will know the best of the best that this popular park has to offer.
1. Toy Story Midway Mania: This attraction is probably the most popular in the park right now; and you can't miss it during your visit, especially if traveling with kids. The design and details are amazing; and the 3-D interactive experience itself is blast!
2. Tower of Terror: This is a free fall attraction; but the design and storyline that puts you into a episode of the Twilight Zone television series really makes the ride! The experience can be scary, even for some adults, but brave young guests have been known to ride it over and over after their first time. If you can muster the courage, you MUST ride this attraction!
3. Rock n' Roller Coaster: Located next door to Tower of Terror, this attraction is the only ride in Disney World that goes upside down. It's an indoor roller coaster that catapults you to 60mph in seconds with music from Aerosmith blasting in your ears! Any coaster enthusiast will enjoy this ride'; but be warned that it is very popular so arrive early or use a FastPass.
4. Star Tours: The old ride experience was great; and now a new ride experience and storyline is ser to open May 20th. While we don't know what the new ride will be like, it is sure to thrill and entertain anyone who has seen the iconic Star Wars films. This ride is also a big hit with kids.
5. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular: This is hilarious and action packed stunt show showcasing stunts from the popular classic film: Indiana Jones and the Ark of the Covenant. Even those who haven't seen the film will enjoy seeing the stunts and learning how they are done. This is a great attraction for all ages.
6. Shopping: Hollywood Studios has many unique shops located at the end of their attractions. Be sure to pick up themed souvenirs from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Aerosmith, the Muppets, and Rock n' Roller Coaster in their respective shops.
This post is the second in our series about how to beat bad weather while on your Disney vacation. In our previous post, we mentioned that guests at the parks usually run for cover, leave the park, or don a rain poncho and brave the elements when there is a Florida downpour. However, when we are at Disney, we don't want anything to interrupt our plans for the day so we are giving you ways to fully enjoy your day at Epcot without any interference.
Spaceship Earth: You can't miss this attraction. Literally! Spaceship Earth, affectionately known as "the giant golf ball", is Epcot's icon located at the entrance of the park. It also houses a calm, dark ride attraction by the same name which takes guests on a journey through time to see how communication has improved through history. The attraction has a continual boarding process so the line moves pretty quickly; and the ride itself lasts about fifteen minutes. The line can be long in the morning; but most of the time there isn't a long wait. Because it is indoors and a lengthy ride, this is a perfect attraction to do in the rain; and since it is a must-do on any Disney guest's list, taking time out for it won't interrupt your day a bit!
The Land: This pavilion can be found in Future World and is perfect for a rainy day because it houses several attractions under one roof! The Land is home to Soarin', Living with the Land, an environmental film called the Circle of Life, and Garden Grill, a table service restaurant where Mickey and the gang visit. This is one of the best places in Future World for a meal, a good thing to do during the rain. Also, anyone who visits Epcot needs to ride Soarin' and Living with the Land. In short, this is a place where you will spend a lot of time, whether it is sunny or rainy. However, be warned that this pavilion is often crowded in good and bad weather, especially at meal times and due to Soarin'. While we are trying to avoid crowds, most likely there will be crowds here no matter what. Therefore, if there is a chance for rain during your day at Epcot, grab a FastPass for Soarin' when you arrive and then come back to enjoy it when it storms. The two other attractions here usually don't have long waits.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends: When you enter this pavilion, you will immediately be treated to a gentle Finding Nemo ride featuring beautiful scenery and popular characters. The line for this attraction is usually short. After you exit, you are free to discover a variety of exhibits featuring different types of fish and sea creatures. There is a lot to see at this pavilion; and it is a big hit with kids and adults. You will definitely spend a lot of time here and a perfect time to do so is when the sun isn't shining!
Mexico: The majority of this World Showcase country can be found inside an ancient pyramid. After viewing historical artifacts, you will discover an open air market at sundown with an ancient pyramid across a river and a smoking volcano in the distance. It is truly beautiful in here and there is plenty to do as well. You can browse the market for souvenirs, dine next to the river at the La Hacienda De San Angel restaurant, and ride the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, a relaxing boat ride. This place needs to be explored; and here you can feel as if you are outside when it's too wet to really be.
American Adventure: This highlight of this pavilion is the American Adventure show. Housed in a beautiful, brick colonial building, you may get to see an excellent pre-show performed by live singers in the lobby before being escorted to the huge theater. Here you will be treated to an audio-animatronic show showcasing moments in American history. This is truly one of the best shows in all of WDW! The show itself is about twenty minutes and is yet another attraction you HAVE to visit during your day at Epcot. It also accomodates so many people that typically the only waiting you will have to do is waiting for the show to start so crowds won't be an issue.
If you have walked through Cinderella Castle, you may or may not have noticed five mosaics on the hallway walls telling the story of Cinderella.
As in everything Disney does, these mosaics are incredibly detailed. They were designed by Dorthea Redmond and then tiled onto the castle's breezeway. Beautiful colors were used in this mural, along with actual silver and gold! You will notice that some of the characters here resemble the well known characters in Disney's Cinderella; but some characters do not, such as the prince and the Fairy Godmother and even Cinderella herself. What is consistent though is the heart of the story.
The picture I have shown is the climax of the Cinderella story, where Cinderella is fitted with her lost glass slipper. Be sure to notice the faces of the step sisters. Anastasia's face is shaded red and Drizella is shaded green as they stare scornfully at Cinderella. Also, the faces of the men in this scene are the faces of two legendary Imagineers, Herb Ryman and John Hench. Lastly, be sure to notice the columns on either side of the murals to see carvings of Cinderella's friends.
Next time you pass through Cinderella Castle, be sure to take time to study these majestic mosaics. It is an example of the treasures and details Disney has for us guests to enjoy!
For the past several months, Disney World has been under construction renovating and expanding the existing Fantasyland. The changes have many guests excited, including us at A Glass Slipper Vacation! Disney is bringing us a new Little Mermaid ride called Under the Sea---Journey of the Little Mermaid which is very similiar to the one being built now in Disneyland California. In addition, Snow White's Scary Adventures is being turned into Princess Fairytale Hall, a meet and greet area for Disney princesses, and gaining the Seven Dwarves Mine Train. There will also be a Beauty and the Beast themed area with a Be Our Guest restaurant, Belle's Cottage, Gaston's Tavern, the Beast's castle, and a giftshop. Lastly, Mickey's Toontown Fair is being turned into a Storybook Circus area with a rethemed Barnstormer and an expanded Dumbo attraction.
While we believe that these changes will definitely improve one of the most popular areas in all of Disney World, we want to take a look back at the old Fantasyland.
Our photo above is from the 90's; and as you can see, Fantasyland has undergone quite a few changes even before the recent expansion. The red and white color scheme is different from the pastel colors you find today; and one particular attraction transported guests above Fantasyland called the Skyway. While this ride closed years ago, the chalet style housing for this ride can be still be seen as you enter Fantasyland from Liberty Square or are near "it's a small world" or Peter Pan's Flight. Rumor has it that this structure will be torn down during construction and replaced with bathrooms and another pathway.
Other attractions that you could find in Fantasyland back in the day would be Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, where The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh can be found today; and the Legends of the Lion King, where Mickey's Philharmagic is now. An older attraction that could be found in Fantasyland in the past was the Mickey Mouse Revue, a show where Mickey served as an orchestra conductor and several different characters from Disney films performed songs, an attraction which may have inspired what Mickey's Philharmagic is today? A favorite of mine was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage, where you would board submarines and explore Captain Nemo's underwater world below the waters of Fantasyland.
Fantasyland's history is evidence of how Disney continues to provide us with magical memories year after year; and I believe that the Fantasyland Expansion will only continue this great tradtion.
One of the best attractions in all of Disney World is Kilimanjaro Safaris, found in Africa in Disney's Animal Kingdom. This attraction is about as close as you can get to a real safari in Africa! You will get the chance to see Zebras, Warthogs, Lions, Elephants, Hippos, and much more!
During your safari, your guide will point out what animals you're about to see, where they are, and information about them. All ages enjoy this attraction, including the little guests, because it really is an amazing experience seeing African wildlife roaming free all around you!
Kilimanjaro Safaris really is different than other attraction at WDW because the entertainment is alive! You never know what animals you might see or what they will do, making it a new ride each time. It is also a massive attraction, holding the honor as the biggest in all of Disney World. However, as in every Disney attraction, there is a story line where you must find elephant poachers!
During our last trip in September, we took a ride on Kilimanjaro. While we had rode it several times in the past, this excursion was just as good as any we have had in the past! While the Lions kept out of sight, the rest of the animals were very active. The highlights would inclue getting to see elephants fighting each other, a baby rhino out for a stroll, and friendly giraffes who came right next to our vehicle!
If you have never rode Kilimanjaro Safaris, we highly recommend that you do! This attraction is all about the experience and really encaptures what Animal Kingdom is all about.
Disney World's current special offer granting guests up to 30% off their room price for spring trips to up to 40% off for late summer trips is about to expire. The time frame for the spring offer is most nights between April 28th to June 14th, and for late summer, the offer is most nights from Augst 14th through October 1st. The biggest savings on this offer is for those staying at Deluxe Villas; and the least savings is for those at Value Resorts. The deadline to book with this offer is March 27th so if you are planning to take advantage of it, you better hurry! As for the rest of us, we hope that Disney will release another special offer as soon as this one expires!
We don't know about you Disney fans, but we at A Glass Slipper Vacation are really excited for Disney World’s plans to expand Fantasyland. We are huge fans of the proposed plans for the Be Our Guest Restaurant, the Beast’s Castle, the new Little Mermaid attraction, and the Snow White mine coaster. Personally, we have been waiting for years for Imagineers to put these classic films to use; and we think removing Snow White’s Scary Adventures for a mine coaster ride is a great idea. Anyway, these changes got us thinking of other Disney films that we would like Imagineers to make into an attraction, show, or restaurant at Disney World.
Princess and the Frog: This film has the makings of a great dark ride. Guests could boats where they can float through the Louisiana bayou to see New Orleans at night, paddle wheel boats, Louie the Aligator playing Jazz, Mama Odie's home, and the sky alight with lightning bugs like Ray! It would also be great to have a restaurant named Tiana's, just like the restaurant in the film.
A Bug's Life: This great Pixar film needs more representation at Disney World, perhaps renovating Hollywood Studios' "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" playground to a A Bug's Life themed play area? A gift shop themed after A Bug's Life would be pretty cool too.
Cinderella: With the castle being named after Cinderella, you would think there would be something else for Cinderella at Disney World. This film would also make a great dark ride, like Snow White's Scary Adventures, but with a happier twist and with new technology. I would also like to see a tour take place in the castle, like what Disney had done in a Disney park oversees, but with the focus on Cinderella.
Jungle Book: Animal Kingdom needs to do something with this film, especially since it's based in Asia. We think a coaster would be great, featuring the classic Jungle Book characters and the landscape you see in the film. A restaurant with a Jungle Book theme would be great too, especially if it was based off of the scene with King Louie where you can dine in Louie's ruins and be entertained.
Pocahontas: A ride based off of Pocahontas would be another great attraction for Animal Kingdom; and it could be a log flume/water ride. Guests could board canoes which take them past waterfalls, through the Indian camps, past John Smith's ship, and "Just Around the Riverbend!" A few thrills would be great too, like some dips and drops!
Aladdin: The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is a cute idea; but this great movie needs more! A simulation carpet ride, with Star Tours type technology, would be great; and the Genie is too great of a character not to be used in the parks. An Aladdin show would be cool; or a Cave of Wonder's gift shop! Perhaps an interactive, adventure tour through the Sultan's palace could lead to Jafar's Lair and then to the Cave of Wonder's where we could interact with the Genie, like Epcot's Turtle Talk with Crush?
Are there any Disney films that you would like to see be used in the parks? If so, let us know!
Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel is now on a online video series called
Destination: Disney! The first video debuted yesterday and dealt with Disney's
newest and grandest cruise ship, the Disney Dream! Samantha Brown is sure to
show viewers the best of what Disney has to offer. This series can be found on
Disney Online, be sure to check it out!