Posts Tagged by future world

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dooney & Bourke Bags!

Ok Disney…now you’ve done it!  Do you just want my bank account number so you can take all my money?!?


This September Disney is releasing and all new Dooney & Bourke collection inspired by my favorite event of the year, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival! Unlike some of the other patterns that have emerged from the Disney Dooney & Bourke Collection, I actually really like this!  It is subtle, yet still whimsical.  Well done Disney…


These beauties will be released on September 29th and will be exclusively sold at the Food & Wine Festival.  You will be able to find them (if there are any left!) at the Festival Center which is located in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion between Universe of Energy and Mission: Space in Future World.

Wow…what a coincidence!  I am actually going to BE at the Festival on September 29th!  Maybe this lovely hipster will magically end up in my suitcase 🙂

2014-Epcot-Food-and-Wine-Dooney-HipsterWhat do you think of the new Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dooney & Bourke designs? 

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Registration Opens Today for the 2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend

UPDATE 3/4/14 @ 12:45 pm: runDisney has confirmed that there will be an all new one-time-only fifth anniversary medal for the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon!!


Registration opens today at noon for the 2014 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend!  This will be the 5th Anniversary of this annual “Runner’s Night Out” and I’m sure will prove to be better than ever!  It’s always a good time when you end a races with a Food & Wine Festival, right?!

All running events take place on Saturday, November 8th beginning with Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K at 7:00 am at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  (Here’s a great review of that race from last year!)  Later that morning at the New Balance Track & Field Complex, located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS), are the Kids Races with the dashes starting at 10:00 am and the 1-mile run at 10:45 am.  And if that’s not enough running for one day, the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon starts at 10:00 pm at WWOS.  This nighttime race takes runners through Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and finishes at Epcot…the only Disney Half Marathon to take you through 3 parks!


Other events taking place over the weekend are the Pre-Race Taste and the Finish Line Party.  The Pre-Race Taste is a 2-hour event on Friday, November 7th located at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios and features food from the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and tons of entertainment.  The Finish Line Party has turned into a great event for runners and their supporters.  It takes place at Epcot following the Wine & Dine Half Marathon where select attractions including Soarin’, Test Track, Mission: SPACE, and Maelstrom are open until 4:00 am for those attending the party.  Another added bonus is that all of the Food & Wine Festival kiosks are open during the party!!

Pricing for the events are as follows:

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

  • $185 by April 1, 2014
  • $200 between April 2 and May 13, 2014
  • $215 on or after May 14, 2014

Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K

  • $55 by August 19, 2014
  • $65 on or after August 20, 2014

runDisney Kids’ Races

  • $15 by August 19, 2014
  • $20 on or after August 20, 2014

runDisney 1-Mile Run

  • $30 by August 19, 2014
  • $35 on or after August 20, 2014

Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste Tickets

  • $79 for Adults (ages3 and up)
  • Children under 3 do not need a ticket

Finish Line Party Tickets

  • $75 by August 12, 2014
  • $85 between August 13 and October 28, 2014
  • $95 on or after October 29, 2014

The price tag for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon is a bit higher than other Disney races, but it includes a few extra perks.  You get the usual amazing Disney entertainment on the course, a long sleeve tech shirt, and race medal, but also included is admission to the Finish Line Party at Epcot and a $10 gift card to use at the Food & Wine Festival kiosks!

Packet pick-up will be required at the Health & Fitness Expo held at WWOS beginning November 7, 2014.  Visit the runDisney event page for more information on all of the events taking place that weekend and click here to register for any (or all!) of the events beginning at noon today.

You can also check out some of my recaps for more info on what the events are like:



This is such a fun race and I can’t say enough good things about it.  I’m already registered for this year, so I hope to see you there in November!!!

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Kill, Refurb, Marry: Thrill Rides


This is one of my favorite series from two of my favorite Disney Bloggers, Estelle from This Happy Place and Melissa from Mouse on the Mind.  It’s so fun to see all of the different opinions on what people love and hate don’t love about the Walt Disney World Resort!  It’s also a great way to discover new blogs through the blog hop…so make sure to check those out!

This month we’re taking a look at thrill rides in Walt Disney World.  This is a tough one!  I’m a big fan of most of the WDW thrill rides, particularly because of the high level of detail.  These attractions submerge you into the surroundings and you often forget about the crazy thrills that lie ahead until they are right upon you making it all the more thrilling!  Let’s get started:

Kill – Mission: SPACE

My dislike for this attraction is twofold.  First, it is INSANELY claustrophobic.  From the moment that they close that door (or is it a wall?) until the end of our trip to Mars, I am filled with anxiety.  The screen is too close to my face, I can’t see what’s going on around me and the G-Force is very uncomfortable.  Oh and the fact that an attraction has barf bags never sits well with me.

Second, it replaced my beloved Horizons.  From Jules Verne to Brava Centauri, I loved every moment of this attraction and still lament it’s departure every time I am in Future World.

Refurb – Splash Mountain

When this attraction first opened, I couldn’t get enough of it.  I think at one point in the early 90s I rode it 6 times in one night and was significantly soaked for the trip back to the hotel.

Since the attraction is now over 20 years old, it is starting to show it’s age.  There always seems to be something that isn’t working, the details are fading and it just doesn’t have the pizzazz that it originally did.  Also, the addition of those lap bars have made the seats very small and uncomfortable.  I mean really, were those necessary?!?  Overall, it could just use a complete overhaul to liven it up a bit.

Marry – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Yes, I know this is shocking!  OK, not really…this was an obvious choice for me.  Unlike Splash Mountain, this attraction has only improved with age.  The way it continues to eerily loom at the end of Sunset Boulevard building on your suspense as you approach the attraction.  The dust over the years can only add to the creepiness of the hotel lobby.  The addition of the random drop sequences leaves you anticipating what will come next!  Everything, all the details…it’s just the perfect thrill ride!!

Tower of Terror

I also have a soft spot for this attraction because it is the first one that B and I ever rode together and we got this awesome pic!

Look how young we are!

Look how young we are!

Now it’s time for you to play along!  Here is the full list of all of the thrill rides at Walt Disney World.  What are your choices for thrill rides to Kill, Refurb, Marry??

Also, make sure to check out all of the other awesome bloggers participating in the Kill, Refurb, Marry blog hop or link up your own post!


Friday Feast: Coral Reef Restaurant

001 Coral Reef_SignIf you remember from my New to You series, Coral Reef was on my list of places to try.  Well on a recent trip, I made it a priority and my partner in crime Amanda and I headed there for lunch!

The restaurant is tucked away on the right side of The Seas pavilion.  I had actually never even been over in this area and it was pretty deserted.  Aside from the sign WAY off to the side, you wouldn’t know anything was even over here.

002 Coral Reef_Entrance

003 Coral Reef_Entrance Menu

004 Coral Reef_Entrance Menu2Once you enter the restaurant, the lobby is very impressive!  You are immediately transported to an undersea environment.  I absolutely LOVE all of the light fixtures and the giant octopus at the check-in desk.

005 Coral Reef_Entrance Hallway

006 Coral Reef_CheckIn

Because no one was in the waiting area and it was very quiet, I expected the restaurant to be empty but it was completely full!  My immediate reaction when we walked in the dining area was that it was much smaller than I had imagined.  It is also very dark and the ceilings are VERY low.  I had always imagined that the dining room was large with high ceilings and a larger viewing area of the aquarium.  I have to say, I was underwhelmed and a little disappointed…

007 Coral Reef_Interior1 010 Coral Reef_Interior4 009 Coral Reef_Interior3 008 Coral Reef_Interior2

I do LOVE the little details in the restaurant though.  Look at these lights!

011 Coral Reef_Detail

Since the restaurant was so full, we were seated all the way in the back of the room.  The dining room is tiered, so we still had a view of the aquarium, but we also had this table in the way…  Honestly, I felt like a creepster every time I looked toward the aquarium because it was like I was just staring at this family!

012 Coral Reef_TableWe had a big breakfast at Kouzzina that morning, so I knew I was going light for lunch.  But honestly, there were a lot of things on the menu I wanted to try!

013 Coral Reef_Menu

Click for a larger image

I ordered a Reef Amber while we were looking over the menu.  The waiter told us this was actually the same as the Safari Amber available over in Animal Kingdom…I thought it was just ok.  We were also brought some bread, which was not very good.  Actually, it was so dry that it was kind of inedible…

014 Coral Reef_Reef Amber

015 Coral Reef_Bread

For my meal, I ordered two appetizers…the Creamy Lobster Soup made with Tarragon & Brandy and the Fish Tostadas with Napa Cabbage, Avocado Cilantro Cream & fresh Lime.  YUM!  The soup was very good (not Yachtsman Steakhouse good, but good).  It actually had a a great depth of flavor and I would return just to eat this soup.

016 Coral Reef_Lobster Bisque

The tostadas were also very good.  It’s no secret I love any type of Mexican inspired food, so this was right up my alley.  However, some of the fish, which I can’t recall what it was, was a little too “fishy” and not very appetizing.  But overall, I really enjoyed this dish.

017 Coral Reef_Tostadas

When Amanda decided to go with the Grilled Mahi Mahi with Laughing Bird Shrimp, Hearts of Palm, Jasmine Rice, Cilantro and a Coconut-Lime Sauce, I was super excited!  This is what I would’ve ordered if I didn’t have my heart set on tostadas, and let me tell you…this is a GREAT dish.  The flavors were wonderful and the fish was perfectly cooked.  I think this will be my go to dish if I return to Coral Reef.

018 Coral Reef_MahiAfter we finished our meal, we were too full for dessert, so we decided to study our fish guide.  But then started feeling kind of guilty for all the fish we just ate, so we just took off to ride Living with the Land next door to get our veggie on.

019 Coral Reef_Fish Guide1020 Coral Reef_Fish Guide2

Overall, I have mixed feelings about Coral Reef.  The food was actually quite good, but the atmosphere didn’t live up to my expectations.  I’m glad we went for lunch since the prices are a bit more reasonable and that I didn’t waste a good signature dinner meal here.  I might return, but it’s definitely not at the top of my list.

Have you been to Coral Reef Restaurant?  What do you think? 

New to Me: Epcot’s Future World

Future World

Epcot is probably my favorite park.  I spent so much time here in the EPCOT Center days that I used to be able to recite Journey Into Imagination (the original!) from memory!  Now as an adult, Future World has a retro feel that I love, but it will still never life up to the days of Horizons and World of Motion.  Sigh…

So if it’s my favorite park, how are there things I’ve missed in Future World?!  Well I think it’s because some the attractions can often be overlooked because they are tucked away and when it comes to dining, I always head into World Showcase.  Here are some things that are still New To Me in Future World.

Circle of Life

I don’t think I’ve ever even stepped foot in this theater!  I’ve heard this is a great film, but I am generally not one for films (which you will see when we get to World Showcase!) and head to the unique attractions.  Living with the Land is one of my all time favs, go I generally head straight there when I’m in The Land pavilion.  The last time I was in there, my friend Amanda even tried to get me to go in and I just brushed it off.  This is definitely on the to do list…I mean how can you not love Timon and Pumba?!

Behind the Seeds Tour

Behind the Seeds

Speaking of Living with the Land, did you know you can actually walk around the gardens?!  Well, you have to have a guide with you, but how cool is that?!  This tour is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, but never seem to make the time.  I love fresh vegetables and I find their gardening techniques fascinating, so this is a no brainer for me.  And with the $18 price tag…hello?!?  This is on my priority list for my next trip.

Garden Grill Restaurant

And to round out things that are New to Me in The Land pavilion, Garden Grill Restaurant.  There are 3 things about this restaurant that don’t appeal to me:

1. Family Style Dining.  I’m never a fan of this (well excect for a big breakfast skillet at Whispering Canyon Cafe) as there is generally something I don’t want and it seems like a waste of food because there is always a TON leftover.

2. The Rotating Dining Room.  I know it doesn’t spin super fast, but just the thought of moving during my meal doesn’t sit well with me.

3. The Cuisine.  With a name like Garden Grill, I would expect local, farm fresh cuisine.  But what is on the menu is more like classic, home-style cooking.  There is nothing wrong with that and if I was going somewhere like Liberty Square Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, I would expect that, but not here.  There is so much more they could do with the menu to make it innovative and really showcase all of the wonderful local produce!

Sum of All Thrills

Another attraction that I’ve been really wanting to do for the past few years, but always forget about!  I think this is due to it’s location.  I very rarely walk through Innoventions, so I never think of it.  I think a sign outside would really help!  I’ve done the roller coaster simulator at Disney Quest and loved that…this seems like it would be kicking that up a few notches.  Maybe I’ll set a reminder for myself to do this next time so I don’t forget!

Coral Reef Restaurant

This restaurant has always intrigued me, but the lackluster reviews have always kept me away.  A little secret you may not know about me is that I wanted to be a Marine Biologist when I was younger.  I realized early on that it probably wasn’t the right career path for me, but I still have a love of all aquatic life.  I could stare into the aquarium at The Seas all day.  So dining at Coral Reef seems really cool, I just haven’t wanted to waste a whole meal there if the food isn’t good…you know how important food is to me!  I’ve decided that on my next trip, I’m going for lunch to test it out and check out the atmosphere.  I’m really looking forward to it!

What attractions and restaurants are new to YOU in Future World at Epcot??

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