Must Eats and Drinks from Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival 2018

Flower and Garden Festival has definitely grown and changed over the years and it’s for sure been for the better. The addition of food booths with at least one new each year has made this festival become a fan favorite among many. 

We spent several evenings and afternoons the first few days of the festival eating and drinking around the festival booths, and trying out what there is to offer. We love skipping out on Dining reservations and tasting what the festival has to offer for dinner instead.

Let me take you around the world of Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.  

First take a stop at The Honey Bee-step in the Showcase Plaza for the Local Wildflower Honey- Mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses. Y’all I almost skipped out on this and I’m so glad I didn’t. This was delicious and I was solo at the time so I didn’t have to share it which was even better. This has been a Festival favorite this year and I’ve heard they have sold out a few days. 

Next skip on over to the Pineapple Promenade for a  fan favorite and must try the Violet lemonade. This non alcoholic beverage is perfect for a hot day, and super refreshing.  My toddler even loved it and kept asking for a purple smoothie anytime we would pass it. 

 

Here I also love the Pineapple Mana  Whet from Maui Brewing Co. It was my favorite beer of the festival last year and of the few I tried I would say it probably wins again this year. It’s the perfect summer beer and you can buy it in Florida. I also tried new this year the Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale. I had heard some mixed reviews on it but I thought it was pretty tasty. There are several other delicious things to try here like Dole Whip with our without rum and some other pineapple treats. 

My favorite non sweet treat, and non drink item of the festival I last minute decided to try on our last day from La Isla Fresca also in the Showcase Plaza. I’m so glad I did. The Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer had 5 pieces of shrimp, and the rice with coconut lime sauce was a good size serving as well. The shrimp was hot off the grill and perfectly cooked, and even my two year old loved the rice. This is another good sized portion you could add into making a meal around the festival. 

  

I also tried their Tropical Freeze with Mango Rum and it was perfect since it was a hotter day. However it was pretty sweet so I’m glad it was pretty small. You can also get the Tropical Freeze without rum which makes it kid friendly. 

The way to this Kentucky born and raised girls heart is making a mint julep taste delicious. I love bourbon but your traditional mint julep is well not that great. The Twinings Green Tea Berry Mint Julep from the Berry Basket deserves more festival love first off. It’s so good! You can get this with and without the bourbon, so if your of drinking age I suggest with the bourbon or course. 

At Food and Wine festival we always love the China booth for the potstickers so we stopped by the Lotus House to give the dumplings and spring rolls a try at Flower and Garden. I really enjoyed both items and definitely wish there was a little more peanut sauce with the chicken ones because well I kinda love peanut sauce. 

The Ham and cheese pretzel roll at the Bauernmarket: Farmers Market – Germany  was a delicious afternoon treat. It is also a great pairing to a German beer from the booth. The ham is a little on the salty so I definitely recommend something to wash it down.  

I also tried the Hugo-Charles De Fère “Organic” Brut with Elderflower and mint. We had beautiful and cooler weather but I happened to have this on a hot day and it was so refreshing. I love the taste of fresh mint in a cocktail. 

By the time I got to the  Primavera Kitchen ItalyI really wasn’t feeling any food at all. It was the last day and I was solo with my napping toddler so I grabbed the Bellini. Theirs was sparking wine with Peach purée and it was the perfect dry yet sweet taste. It was really refreshing and I loved it. 

It’s so hard to choose a favorite but I could have eaten the Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider so many times from the Smokehouse in the American Adventure. We also tried the Pulled Pig Slider and to me it was just ok compared to the other slider so if you have to choose definitely choose the Burnt Ends and Pork Belly one. 

Of course the Frushi in Hanami in Japan is a must try for me. It definitely became famous on Instagram but honestly it was so good. It is Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry, and Melon rolled with Coconut rice, sprinkled with toasted coconut, and whipped cream with raspberry sauce on the side. I was worried it would be weird but the flavors all flowed so great together and the coconut was the perfect touch. 

While I apparently got the short end of the stick at Taste of Marrakesh in Morocco with their Fried Cauliflower I still want to recommend it. Mine was definitely not fried and didn’t look like any I have seen any other instagram accounts  share. I would say mine was almost roasted but it was still good and I loved the Chili-Ranch sauce was perfect for dipping. It’s supposed to be breaded so needless to say I’ll be giving it another try when I’m there Dapper Day weekend. 

The Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits (sorry the picture was too dark and grainy) from the Florida Fresh booth was one of my favorite savory dishes. I fell in love with the combination of shrimp and grits 8 years ago when we were in Amelia Island Florida celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary. This one had great flavor and was a really good size serving. It definitely has a kick so be prepared for that! 

My absolute favorite treats of the festival are found at the France booth. The Le Vien Rose was one of my favorites of the last two years and is still the same today. I feel like any of the slushes in France are always a big hit but this one is probably one of my absolute favorites around. 

This year the addition of the macaroon pop made France even better. In the 5 days we were there during the festival I probably had the macaroon at least 3 times. Macaroons are the way to my heart lately. I figured this one would be a small macaroon but I was super surprised at its size and the chocolate flavors were so delightful. 

Onto the next stop is the Cider House. Here I tried the the Florida Beer Company Caribè Pineapple Tropical Hard Cider. I like dry ciders but I’m not a big fan of sweeter ones, I think this one was kind of a good meet in the middle. While I don’t think I could drink a big one and thankfully this one came in a small pour. 

We also tried the House Made Potato and Cheddar Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare. While I wasn’t a fan of the Tartarus my husband who is more of a fish person thought it was great. The biscuit however ya I’m going to need the recipe for that! 

At Northern Bloom in Canada we had the Beef Tenderloin Tips with Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes and Garden Vegetables. I’m not really a mushroom fan but my husband is. However on a cooler day this was like true comfort food and was so delicious. 

Now I realize I tried something from everywhere except one place. My goal was one thing from each booth and I got home and realized I left out Jardin de Fiestas in Mexico. I mean Margaritas anyone? We actually tried the new Margarita stand one day and I totally forgot to go back to the festival booth so it’s on my list for my solo trip at the end of the month. 

If your short on time and limited as to what to try here are my top SIX (ok kinda seven)  I would recommend: 

  1. Macaroon Au Chocolat en Sucette – the Macaroon Lollipop & La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush 
  2. Frushi 
  3. The Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider 
  4. Violet Lemonade 
  5. Local Wildflower Honey Mascarpone Cheesecake 
  6. Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer

Have you been to Flower and Garden Festival this year? What has been your favorite? 

Disney Princess Easter Basket Ideas

*This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something off my link at no extra charge to you.

Easter is almost here and I know a lot of Moms are trying to think of last minute items to add to Easter baskets. I like to have some fun with it yet be practical at the same time. 

What do I mean by that? I like to get little things my child will enjoy, but also some things she may need. I would rather do these instead of a bunch of candy she doesn’t need. I’m sure I’ll throw a treat or two in. Below are some of my favorite items for Easter Baskets this year for the Disney Princess in your life. 

With summer around the corner, when I saw this Little Mermaid bubble and sprinkler form Shop Disney I knew it was perfect. Summer and spring things are so great for Easter baskets. We have a Town home and limited space but love to be outside. I love that this piece can blow bubbles or be hooked right up to water hose. I’m sure we have tons of fun with it this summer, you can get it here on Shop Disney or your local Disney store and it’s currently part of their toy sale! 

We are transitioning from winter fleece pajamas right now and of course have outgrown our lighter pajamas. I snagged these fun comic Disney Princess pajamas for $10. We love they are all one piece and zip up. Kids always needs pajamas so it’s always a great gift. There are lots of other great options on Shop Disney and they have always held up great for us! 

Uffys, seem to be the big craze. Every time we walk into the Disney Store my child grabs a few and runs around the store with them. She has realized they are scented and it gets her so excited. They were recently on promo 5 for $20 and honestly they are adorable so I snagged up the Beauty and the Beast ones. I’ll throw one or two in her Easter basket and hold onto the others for random things through the year. There are also others in the collection, and you can check them out here

 

The Disney Princess Animators sets are a great gift idea anytime, but would be super cute in an Easter Basket. We recently grabbed the Moana one as we needed something to leave in the car and take in places when we were out. It’s hard to entertain a 2 year old at dinner and things when you don’t always want to use Electronics. I like to have a few small toys like this in the car for long rides, when we are out to dinner, or ya know March Madness. These come in several princess sets. We currently went with Moana because we love it right now and it seemed to have the least amount of tiny pieces.

Another great toy for the car or when your out are these Little People. They remind me of a big version of Polly Pocket. My daughter loves her Little People so this is perfect for on the go. We did the Belle one at Christmas, and I recently snagged a Little Mermaid one at Target but I haven’t seen it online anywhere. I’m actually starting a little basket for the car for little things like this. With the nicer weather upon us, we will visit local breweries, festivals, dine out and so a variety of entertainment is good. 

This Danielle Nicole crossbody is so cute. It’s perfect for a phone and cards or you can use it as just a wallet. It doesn’t really fit much but if you have a child who likes to just carry cute purses, or maybe an older child with a phone this is so cute. It’s also 50% off.  It would be perfect for a park day where you didn’t need to carry much.

Crayola Color Wonder is my lifesaver! My toddler LOVES to color. But it’s messy. Enter Color Wonder. We get new ones for every single occasion, so of course the Easter basket needs one too. These only color with these markers and on these pages. It’s wonderful! I snagged this one from Target because we have been so into Frozen lately, and it says it glittery so something new. They really have so many great products and whoever created this is pretty genius I must say. This week you can get a $5 gift card when you spend $25 on select Easter basket items at Target. 

I love how there is so much cute Disney stuff these days. What are some things your putting in your kids Easter basket this year? 

Renting a Stroller for Walt Disney World vs. Bringing Your Own

When your going to Disney with a young child it seems like there is so much to bring along. From possibly diapers, a little extra entertainment, snacks, maybe a car seat and a stroller you feel like your packing your entire house. I’m always looking for ways to make everything easier, stroller rental was one of those. 

We have always taken our own stroller when driving and flying. On our last trip when we decided we wanted to take the car seat I was ready to look for the alternative to taking our stroller. I had already ordered diapers to be sent to the resort, so I just needed one more thing to make the trip a little easier. 

I knew I didn’t want to rent a stroller in the park itself. To be honest they are plastic, have no storage and very little shade. I did some research and came across several companies that rent high end strollers like BOBs and Citi Minis. 

I went with Magic Strollers and I could not have been happier. The reservation process was simple, and I needed the stroller past the 4pm return time so they told me to just add one extra day. It was so easy to adjust my reservation, and honestly so inexpensive. 

Our flight left at noon, but at 7:00 am arrival day I received a text from Magic Strollers that the stroller was ready at my resort. When we arrived off the Magic Express I went right to bell services and the stroller was there for pick up, so easy! 

We rented the Citi Mini GT, and we loved it. I’m actually now obsessed with this stroller and on the hunt for a used one because it’s so easy to open and close, and is light and easy to push in the parks. I may never bring my BOB again. Our BOB is great but it has a stable front wheel and is a pain to get on the bus, and even in our car trunk. My toddler loved how she could climb in herself since she is in the I’ll do it stage. 

It was so nice to not hassle with our stroller, or worry about it getting beat up at gate check. I wore my daughter onto the plane, and when we got off the plane on the walk to the Magic Express just to make it so we didn’t have to chase her. 

If you’re looking for one less thing to have to mess with in your travels to Walt Disney World I 100% recommend using Magic Strollers for your stroller rental needs. They also have doubles available if that’s something you need also. Have you ever used a stroller rental company and skipped bringing your own stroller to the parks?

 

*I did receive a FREE stroller rental for this post, however I 100% recommend this company and will use them again in the future.

DIY Mickey Pom Pom Clutch

*This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something off my link at no extra charge to you.

Spring is almost here ( or at least I know so many of us hope so). It’s  time to think about Spring and Summer Style. I love a good straw clutch for Spring and Summer. When I saw these straw clutches at Michaels I knew they were perfect for adding some fun of my own too. 

 

Find the clutch in Michaels stores or on line here

I decided to use Pom Poms for this one to add some Disney Style fun.  You can find Pom Poms at Target, Michaels as well as here on Amazon. Pinks and White are what I went with as I knew it would be perfect paired with several of my Lilly Pulitzer pieces. I debated threading the Poms or using hot glue and just decided to go with hot glue since I have a more industrial hot glue gun. To determine sizes and colors I  laid them out how I wanted them before I made any decisions. These would also be super cute with an assortment of colors. 

Once I had them arranged I added glue to the back of each one going down the line and pressing them down firmly. 

This was packed in my suitcase and easily survived the trip there and back. 

The clutch itself cost me under $6 when Micheals ran them 50% off. The Poms cost me around $3 or $4 and I hardly touched them it feels like so I’ll use them for other projects.  I’m actually going to grab another clutch next time I am in the store and try to make one with assorted color Poms or tassels that will look great all Spring and Summer long. The possibilities are endless as to what you could do. 

I styled it with one of my Lilly Pulitzer (see similar dress here) dresses, Tory Burch Millers, Lillian and Co Bracelets, and Kendra Scott earrings which all tied together perfectly for a little Disney date night with my husband. This is such a fun and easy way to add a little hidden Mickey into your style. What are some little ways you add a little  Disney into your style? 

Five Best Places to Grab a Margarita at Walt Disney World

National Margarita Day is this Thursday February 22nd. I’ve rounded up 5 of my favorite Margaritas on Walt Disney World property worth trying for National Margarita Day or any day in the parks! 

Avocado Margarita – La Cava De Tequila México Epcot 

I was very skeptical about trying this Margarita because it had melon liquor and that didn’t really appeal to me but the Avocado did so I decided to give it a try, and I was not disappointed.  The drink is a mix of tequila, melon liqueur, fresh avocado, agave nectar, fresh lime juice served frozen with a hibiscus salt rim. The flavors all blend wonderfully together and it’s extra refreshing on a hot day Florida day.

 

Rose Gold Margarita Barefoot Pool Bar Polynesian Resort 

All the Rose Gold craze at Walt Disney World makes this one an extra must have on the list. While I have not had it yet, I’ve heard it’s great. If your not staying at the Polynesian you can always visit, we do multiple times each trip  it’s our favorite spot to eat, explore and grab drinks. 

Photo Credit: @kelseymorales13

Italian Margarita- Italy Pavilion Epcot

This is such a nice twist on a Margarita. It’s a smooth combination of Limoncello and Grappa and can be found at Via Napoli, the Gelato Stand and at the Italy booth during food and wine festival. 

Margarita (ANY) at Dockside Margarita Disney Springs

You  can never go wrong with a stop for a Margarita here on a trip to Disney Springs. Dockside has become even better since it’s renovation a just a few year ago. It’s a great spot to grab and go, or sit on the patio listen to live music and watch a beautiful Florida sunset. 

Mo’ara Margarita Pandora World of Avatar Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

This one has become quite possibly my ultimate favorite. While I have a few listed here I don’t usually go for Frozen Margaritas but this one is smooth which makes it enjoyable for me. It’s a combination of strawberry and blood orange flavors and topped with Boba Balls. It’s so refreshing, and a must if I’m wanting an adult beverage at Animal Kingdom. 

You can’t go wrong with any of these Margaritas if your on Disney property. There are so many others I need to try. If your at home and looking for a good recipe to whip up try out my Coconut Water Margaritas. This is one of my favorite at home recipes to whip up. 

 

Valentines Inspired Mickey Mouse Sun Catcher

I’m always looking for new things or crafts for us to do at home. Adding in Disney just peaks my girls interest so much more, and keeps her engaged. What can I say we are definitely a Disney family. 

These sun catchers are something fun for the kids to do. They can hang on the window to catch the beautiful rays of sun in a fun way. If you have older kids they can do most the work, with younger ones like my toddler you will need to do most the work. 

Here is what you need: 

A fun paper plate- these were themed to Valentines Day but you could use anything

Big Pieces of Glitter or Confetti 

Clear Contact Paper 

Scissors 

Mickey Cookie Cutter (you can also just use a cut out) 

Pen or Marker 

Ribbon (optional) 

To start flip your plate over to trace your Mickey head onto the paper plate. 

Poke your scissors through to cut out the Mickey shape. The plates I used were super thick and harder to cut. I might recommend using something a little less thick. 

Cut 2 pieces of contact paper to fit the middle of plate. 

Add contact paper to back side of the plate then flip over and add the glitter or confetti. Once that’s added top with the other piece of contact paper, and make sure to smooth it down really well. 

I decided to add some ribbon but you don’t have too. To add it I just poked a hole with my scissors and strung it through. 

Now you have a fun sun catcher you can make with supplies you probably already have at home. If we could get some Sunshine here so we can use ours that would be great! Make sure to show me all your creations. 

Valentines Gift Guide for the Disney Lover in Your Life

*This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something off my link at no extra charge to you.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Have you got something for that special someone in your life? 

Today I’m rounding up some of my favorite things you can still snag for the Disney lover in your life. Not all of them will arrive in time for the day, but you can always do a super cute I owe you! 

I’ll start with some of my favorite easy to add to your everyday pieces. My go to for this is Lillian and Co. I just love their quote bracelets, and the quality is amazing! They come in Gold, Rose Gold, and Silver and look great mixed together.

I also love their watches! I was gifted their Kingswell Dreamer Watch in Rose Gold for Christmas and it’s probably my favorite watch ever. The stainless steel mesh band makes it’s super comfortable, and it has a great vintage Hollywood vibe with a modern day feel. It’s perfect for casual days and easily dressed up as well. 

For a super sweet everyday necklace head over the Make It Minnie. Her 2nd star to the right necklace is the perfect everyday piece. They are currently back in stock right now, she keeps selling out of them and I always miss them. I can’t wait to get my own. I’ve hinted at my husband about this one, so I’m hoping he is going to make it happen.  I have also seen a preview of some things to come to her shop and they are so cute! 

*picture courtesy of Make it Minnie.

I’ve fallen in love recently with A Girl and the Castle Small Shop which is owned by Ashley from @danggooddisney. She has a variety of cute items in her shop, and each month donates a portion of her profits to a good cause. Currently she is taking that money to give to others to go on a trip to Haiti in August. She has raised money for her part of the trip and now is giving that money back to others. This girl has a heart of gold, so go support her shop! 

One of my favorite items right now is her new shirt, It’s Important to Remember We all have Magic Inside of Us. I just snagged this shirt in the heathered navy color and can’t wait to get it in. These shirts won’t arrive in time for Valentines Day but you should still get one and give an I Owe You!

*picture curtorsey of The Girl and The Castle Website

I’ve recently discovered Evelyn Henson and I’m in love with her work. This one isn’t just Disney and if you have someone who loves art work she has some great gift options. I love her Orlando print we lived there for 4 years and it still is home to me. She has many other cities available as well as her customizable travel print which I’m so in LOVE with. I’m ordering the prints from each place we have lived little by little and I’ve started with the Orlando one and can’t wait to receive it. I love having special artwork like this in my home. If you sign up for her emails you can get a 15% off your first order code as well! 

*picture from Evelyn Henson website

If you have a Disney Pin collector in your life the small shop pins are the way to go. Magical Monograms has the perfect Mermaid heart pin. Lindsayland Pins has also become a new favorite of mine. She has the perfect Dole Whip pin which is currently unavailable , and a Violet Lemonade Pin perfect for Flower and Garden Festival. 

 

Ears are from Pixie Made Ears, I just added the pin

Speaking of Ears, you can never go wrong with the gift of ears for any Disney Lover. I absolutely love Pixie Made Ears, they are some of my favorite ears. She happens to be restocking her shop tonight. Her Ears are also super affordable!

You can also never go wrong with a pin from one of my favorite shops ever Happily Ever Tees. Their Coffee with the Mouse Pin is perfect for the coffee lover in your life, and you can never go wrong with a Happily Ever Tees shirt either. 

Another great little gift for the coffee lover in your life is a coffee cozy, or mug. I love the knit cozies from House of Mouse Hand Made. The Castle one pictured above is one of my favorites that I own. My absolute favorite coffee Mugs right now are my Shellie May mug and the Mickey Memories Mickey Pants Mug for January. You can find both of them on Shop Disney.

I’ll give a little love to my own small shop, before I jump completely out of the small shop thing. Cups, Mugs, Coffee Cozies  are always a great idea. If you have a Rosè lover in your life my Rosè is better than people wine glass inspired by the movie Frozen. I’ve got many other fun items in my shop perfect for the Disney lover in your life. You can shop my store right here.

Disney Style has taken on a whole new world in the last year or two. I love how it’s evolved and how you can add the perfect touches of Disney to your regular everyday outfits. A Danielle Nicole Bag is the perfect gift. I just love these bags, and how fun they are and so will the Disney Lover in your life. You can shop them here on Shop Disney. I snagged this Snow white Cosmetic bag a few weeks ago on Sale and they had an extra 25% off,  it is still on sale online. 

 

Box Lunch Gifts has some great items you can get for the Disney lover in your life. The best thing about Box Lunch is for every $10 you spend they donate a meal through Feeding America. 

 

 

 

They have some super cute bath bombs, and you can never go wrong with a bath bomb as part of a gift. Actually a cup or mug, with a bath bomb is great idea for a small gift if your on a budget especially. 

*photo from Box Lunch Gifts

Box Lunch also carries a different variety of Danielle Nicole Bags, Hats, Shirts, Pop Funko and other Disney apparel. So Gift Some and Give Back.

I have to share these Kendra Scott Earrings that I’m currently obsessed with. These give me the Tangled Vibes but honestly I just love them and they go with so much. The place I could find these Irene Studs Earrings was through Rocks Box. I received these in my first one ( review coming soon) and I looked online to share but they are sold out everywhere. If you would like to try and snag these on Rocks Box use code MEGANABFF31 and get your first month free. It can be cancelled at any time and you have no obligation to buy anything.

 

It is still winter, and whether your throwing something together for your child, girlfriend or loved one you can never go wrong with a cute little Lip Smacker Tsum Tsum chapstick. These can be purchased at Target and Walgreens, or on the Lip Smacker website. They are so cute and fun, and my 2 year old is obsessed with them.

What are you doing for the Disney Lover in your Life this Valentines Day?

Disney’s Yacht Club Ale and Compass Breakfast Review

One of my favorite things to eat at Disney is breakfast! It sounds crazy coming from me, considering most days I hardly eat much at all for breakfast. I’m just not a breakfast person. At Disney I want to fuel up for a day in the parks, plus there are so many great options. 

On our December trip we decided to book a reservation at the new Ale and Compass At Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Let me tell you it did not disappoint. 

Ale and Compass replaced the Captains Grille and the location got a beautiful overhaul. It had a very modern Nautical Vibe to it, and honestly it was super cozy! 

The menu had a lot of great options for breakfast, from your traditional items, to a twist on traditional items and more. 

The location has a Hearth Oven, and at breakfast their Breakfast pie is cooked in the oven. They also have other Hearth Oven Pies at lunch and dinner. 

We ordered a press pot of their Joffrey’s coffee. Joffrey’s is so underrated on Disney property and I would much rather have their coffee over Starbucks.  We love ordering a press pot when we sit down to breakfast, and it’s really not much more than getting a default cup of coffee. 

My 2 year old kept it pretty simple and of course wanted Mickey Waffles and chose to order her own bacon for the first time. She hasn’t really had it much but when the server asked her the girl knew what she wanted. 

I went with the Blueberry and Bacon Pancakes. I dream of these pancakes, they are seriously some of the best I’ve ever had. Knowing that bacon at Disney isn’t anything to special I debated ordering them, but these were the real deal. There were good thick cut pieces of bacon and fresh blueberries in these pancakes, and they were crispy around the edges but still perfectly fluffy in the middle. I seriously can not wait to go back for these. 

My husband ordered the breakfast pie, and again this did not disappoint either. We weren’t sure what to expect but when it came out it was almost like a breakfast pizza cooked in their Hearth Oven. The crust of it was soft yet crispy with that wood fire over taste. It will honestly be hard to choose what to order when we return. 

My husband had to work for a bit after breakfast, so he went over to the Ale and Compass Lounge next door  while my daughter and I ventured to Epcot for a while. He decided to check out the Captains Bloody Mary which is the same one on the Ale and Compass breakfast menu. This one comes with a Lobster Claw and a bacon strip, so of course he says no other Bloody Mary even compares. I am not a Bloody Mary fan so I can’t really compare.

When I returned from Epcot my daughter was asleep so I joined him for a beverage. Ale and Compass Lounge is very easily one of my new favorite Lounges on property to just stop, relax and have a drink. 

I tried their Maple Old Fashioned, it has a very different spin to it and that probably makes it one of my most favorite Old Fashions ever. It’s your typical bourbon and bitters, but instead of just the twist of orange or orange peel they use Orange Juice and Maple Syrup and was so good. We liked it so much we actually stopped by to hang out again on our last day of the trip. 

Ale and Compass gets a 10 out of 10 in my book, from the exceptional service to the food. We are eager to try it out for other meals as well, and hope it is just as good. We would much rather do these nice quiet sit down breakfast than all the character ones. Character meals are fun and we do try and do one a trip, or the ones that have those harder to find characters but we enjoy spending much less, getting fresh food and a little less chaos. 

Do you have favorite breakfast spots at Walt Disney World? 

*Ale and Compass offers Annual Pass Holder, DVC and Tables in Wonderland discounts. The Lounge also takes Tables in Wonderland. 

8 Festive drinks to try at Walt Disney World this Holiday Season

Walt Disney World at Christmas is truly magical, and it’s grown and changed, and evolved over the years. From the addition of Festival of the Holidays, extra festive treats, and beverages. 

There are so many good ones this year to try and here are 8 Festive drinks around Walt Disney World you shouldn’t miss out on! 

1. Hot Cocoa Martini at Disney’s Hollywood Studios 

There are 3 different Hot Cocoa Martinis you can try at Hollywood Studios this season. You can grab them individually or get the flight. If I did it again I would just order the Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Martini. 

The trio comes with The Baileys Salted Caramel, Hot Cocoa Martini, and the Black Cherry Bourbon Martini. We are bourbon drinkers but the Bourbon one was awful. So much so we couldn’t even take more than a sip or 2 each and tossed it. 

 

2. Spiced Rum Punch Slush- Epcot- France Alace Holiday Kitchen Festival of the Holidays 

France always wins for the best drinks in my opinion, especially when it comes to a slush. Whether it’s Food and Wine Festival, Flower and Garden, a regular day at Epcot or Festival of the Holidays they seriously kill it every time. The Spiced Rum Punch Slush consist of Spiced Rhum, Rhum Clement V.S.O.P, Orange and Pineapple Juice with Cinnamon. Just try it, trust me! 

3. Holiday Kir – France Alsace Holiday Kitchen 

This was another favorite of mine. It was simple sparkling wine, topped with Monin Cranberry syrup and would make a perfect Christmas cocktail at home too!

4. Snowflake Margarita – Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs 

The Margarita Bar at Disney Springs has always been a great stop. Ever since it got re done with extra seating it’s even better. Stop by in the evenings and enjoy a nice margarita by the water, and some live music. 

This Snowflake Margarita was surprisingly tasty. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the Blue Curaco in it and was afraid it would be to sweet but it was very balanced and not too sweet at all. 

5. Wine Slushy- Amorettes Disney Springs 

While the Wine Slushy isn’t a seasonal drink, the Apple Cider Flavor is, and it’s delicious. I couldn’t decide on the flavor so I got the Apple Cider Riesling mixed with the Strawberry Syrah and I already can’t wait to have it again. 

6. Poinsettia Punch- Trader Sam’s Disney’s Polynesian Resort 

Trader Sams is one of my favorite stops, and the patio is a great spot if you can’t get in inside. Especially on a nice evening. I tend to always go for a Spikey Pineapple but decided to change it up this time and try something a little more festive this trip. 

The Poinsettia Punch was especially good, and reminded me of a rum punch. It consisted of Myers Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Cranberry Juice, and Falernum with a splash of Lemon Juice. It had the perfect blend of Holiday flavors, and didn’t make me miss my Spikey Pineapple too much. 

7. The Holiday Beer Flight – Epcot American Holiday Kitchen 

It’s always nice to be able to try several drinks in one stop. My husband and I like to split flights like this because then we can try a little extra.  I definitely recommend grabbing the Holiday Beer Flight , it consisted of Orange Blossom Brewing Co Cranberry Kringle Pilsner ( was my favorite of the trio), Shipyard Eggnog White Porter, and JDub’s Season’s Greetings Peppermint Milk Stout. 

8. Plyalinda Sparkling Christmas Coffee Blonde – Festive Center Epcot 

We have a lot of local breweries at home and I’ve fallen in love with Blonde Coffee Beers. When I saw this listed in the Festival Passport I knew it was a must try on my list. I definitely recommend it if you like coffee beers, or something a little lighter.

 

10 Tips for Planning a Stress Free Walt Disney World Vacation

We love going to Walt Disney World, and for me planning it all is part of the fun. However I know for some people it can feel like so much work for just planning their vacation. 

Some people like to plan every second of their trip, however for me I just want to plan the basics. Dining, FastPass+ , any extra things that may require a reservation like Bippity Boppity Boutique and then make a list of things we want to do in each park, or resort we want to visit so we at least have a plan and know what is of higher importance on our list than other things. 

My Top 10 Tips for planning a Stress Free Disney Vacation

1. Know the Dates you can Book the Extras 

The best way to do this is to make sure to have the dates written down. You can get my free printable here that will help you in planning. 

You can book your Dining Reservations 180 days out plus 10 days. Whether you are staying on or off property you can book dining 180 days out. The perk to being on property is that you can book at 180 for years entire stay up to 10 days so you get to do this all at one time. If your off property you have to go day by day. 

FastPass+ can be booked 60 Days out for On Property Stays and 30 days for off property.( which again have to be done day by day) Again just another perk to staying on property. 

 

2. Download the My Disney Experience App 

This is must in your planning and for your trip! It had everything you need from booking FastPass+, to dining reservations and stores all that information for you to see daily in the parks. This is available in the app store for both Apple and Android. 

3. Make it fun! 

This playlist is perfect to listen to while booking dining, FastPass+, packing. Gets you in that Disney Spirit. 

Countdowns also make the process more fun. You can do a board where you change the countdown daily, or a chain. This gets the entire family engaged and in on the fun! Here are 50 great ideas from Sarah Lemp over at All Things with Purpose for your countdowns.

4. Don’t over plan 

Don’t plan every second of every day. FastPass+ and Dining Reservations of course. Ideas of what you want to do and knowing Parade and Fireworks Times most definitely. But don’t plan the time you will be at each ride, character meet and greet etc… I love to plan our trip but I like to be flexible when we are in the park, have an idea but yet go with the flow. 

5. FastPass+ Scheduling 

With FastPass+ one of my favorite things is to book them all back to back. So just as an example I will book 10-11, 11-12 and 12-1.  We will take advantage of shorter lines at opening until about 10:45 and then go to our first attraction, then right to our 2nd FastPass+ and then wait in line for another attraction. Around 12 we will venture to our last FastPass+ and once we scan our bands at the entrance we look to book an additional FastPass+. 

We may not get that FastPass+ until later in the afternoon depending on what’s available but it gives us that option to book a 4th and possibly even a fifth FastPass+ sometimes.  

We are a family that tends to take a mid day break and park hop so this really works well for us and for days at Magic Kingdom. I’ve also found when we don’t book them that way we spend a lot of time figuring out what to do while waiting until our next Fastpass which could be several hours later. 

6. Getting that Hard to find Dining Reservations 

When you get to book dining 180 days out you sometimes get a great selection of choices, however sometimes many families may book less than 6 months out. We often take last minute trips and have found very popular restaurants with a little extra work. Even when I book 180 days out I am really good at changing things when it gets closer. 

In the My Disney Experience app and on the website you can check dining reservations many times a day, and when I want something specific I do that a lot. I also find that upon arrival when we check for reservations they start to pop up in that 24-36hr before hand window. One trip I got a Cinderella’s Royal Table Reservation 3 Days before we were set to arrive. 

Don’t spend so much time obsessing over finding that one reservation (I actually just enjoy looking) that you drive yourself crazy. There are some sites that you can sign up for email alerts when reservations become available. 

7. Use a Disney Travel Agent 

If it’s your first time, or even your 10th time booking and going on a Disney Vacation I totally recommend booking with a travel agent. They will do all the work for you! You can give them free reign to book what they think you will enjoy or you can tell them specifics. They will do your FastPass+, Dining reservations and anything else you need. 

If you need some help I totally recommend Jones Family Travels for all your needs! 

8. Save Money on Your Trip Cost or for Spending Money

Did you know there are various ways to save a little money on your Disney Vacation even when Disney doesn’t have many discounts? 

One way is through saving up all your loose change in jar. This can all add up very quickly and you can cash it in before your trip for extra spending money

Purchase Disney Gifts Cards from Target (with the Red Card), BJ’s  or Sams Club and save 5%. I like to grab one on occasional Target trips and save them up. I will also save Target gift cards from their in store earning offers and use those to purchase Disney gift cards. 

Use cash back apps like Ebates and Ibotta and use those earnings for your Disney fund. I go more into depth about these apps in this post here

9. Shop for fun Disney Outfits and Other Goodies Ahead of Time 

One of my favorite things about planning a trip is planning fun outfits! From planning for myself and my daughter, and yes sometimes even my husband. Of course you can grab shirts and things upon arrival but there are so many great ones you can get from Small Shops and other places. Some of my favorite places to grab shirts for my trips are Target, Happily Ever Tees,  Oh Yeah Apparel, All Things Cute Designs, and Pretty Little Monograms are some of my favorites. There are other shops out there I love that I have yet to order from but definitely plan to do so. Once Upon Apparel, The Lost Bros, and Magical Monograms are on my list for a few future trips. You can find all these shops over on Instagram and I definitely recommend doing so!

Another item I love to add to my Disney wear is ears. To me they are great for any age and I love them both from the parks and small shops! Here are some of my favorite small shops for ears you can find on instagram, Ears Full of Sugar, Bippity Boppity Brooke, Pixie Made Ears,  and Aloha Ears. I also make bow and floral wire ears over in my shop which you can shop up in the shop tab.

 

From shirts to ears, to bags, pins, buttons, shoes there is so much cute and fun Disney things out there these days from Small Shops and other retailers it’s hard to make decisions on what to purchase!

 

10. Purchase Maker

I honestly can’t recommend this enough. It’s so great to get family pictures while on our trips that are high quality, not to mention not having to ask random strangers to take pictures. Just stop at the photopass photographers and get your pictures. I also love getting to enjoy the moments at character meet and greets while the photopass photographer snaps away. I don’t have to worry about getting pictures of my own most places and it is the best. We have it included with our  annual pass and it’s perfect, but I would totally pay for it if wasn’t part of our pass!

You can read about the perks of an Annual Pass and if it’s right for your family here!

For many Walt Disney World can be a Once in a Lifetime Vacation. For others it becomes a Home Away from Home. Take the time and truly enjoy the process of planning, and planning with your family. When the trip comes don’t sweat it if things don’t all happen the way you plan. Go with the flow, enjoy the family time, the magic and what I feel Disney does best bringing families together on a Magical Vacation. Happy Planning!