Top 5 Tuesday

Today’s Top 5 comes to us from theduck619 (David).

Top 5 Places in World Showcase to stop and smell the roses

These are five of my favorite places in the World Showcase to stop and relax, catch our breath and get lost in the atmosphere and ambiance of these magical structures.

5.   Impressions de France – France Pavilion

What I love about this place is that it is sit down viewing rather then standing and of course air conditioned for those times when the heat is a factor.  The views of France highlighted in the movie are breathtaking and make me want to visit every time I see it.  I realize that it is a little outdated in terms of the footage but it does a nice job of stirring the imagination.

4.  Maelstrom – Norway Pavilion

            Another great spot to beat the heat!  This is one of those rides that probably needs a little updating but it never fails to have a little bit of a wait when we go.  Again it helps you relax and catch your breath and even escape a crowded EPCOT while you explore Norway.  I really do not mind the pitches at the end trying to get you to visit.  After all that is what the World Showcase allows us to do, just in a less expensive and quicker way.

3.  The shops in the Morocco Pavilion

It never fails that I have a moment or two when I am in the leather or basket parts of the shop and I think I am in Northern Africa!  I think it is a combination of the smells, the music and the close quarters of the walls and shops.  It is also a great spot for a silly hat pic with a fez.

2.  The museum in the back of Japan

            I am not sure it has a specific name, but I think this is a hidden treasure.  I have met very few people who have ever taken the time to walk through it.  On each visit we have seen numerous exhibits ranging from actual samurai artifacts, Japanese baseball history, toys that were popular in Japan and Japanese music styles.  It has been a wealth of culture and education.  If you have not taken the time to walk through it, please do, you will not be sorry.

1.  Boulangerie Patisserie – France Pavilion

            First off I have no allegiance to France.  This is our absolute favorite place to sit back and relax and get lost in a little bit of France.  We enjoy some pastries and coffee and forget that thousands of our friends are on the other side of us.  It is a small quaint area and it draws you to slow down and relax.  It is a great location to rest for those who have spent the morning in the front pf the park.  If we ever cross paths in EPCOT, look for the duck here and I’ll buy you a quiche!

 

Friday Five: Random References & Reflections

1. Check out this great music video, made by the Wolf Family during their June, 2011 trip to Walt Disney World! (And chock-full of DisDad-ish references) (If embedding is still disabled, you can follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXqGRdbQkNI).
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2. Episodes of the Dis Dads Podcast has been downloaded by 1,456 unique downloaders. Please help us get to 1,500. If you haven’t listened yet, give the podcast a listen. You don’t have to use iTunes. You can listen right here on the website. And if you like what you hear, please leave us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes make it easier for people to find us when they’re searching.

3. Thanks to this week’s participating Dis Dads, Steve Bratton (brattosa), Jason Gilbert (jason4024), Matt Birchfield (10dedfish), Mark Pratt (prattpak), and Matthew Wren (ftgriot) on the podcast; Cinderella’s Fella for the Wordless Wednesday picture; and Paul Hajjar (RodBelding) and Nathan Trent (trennr) for Top 5 Tuesday.

4. The Disney Food Blog reports that new items have been added to the Columbia Harbor House and Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe menus. Columbia Harbor House gets Baked Salmon with Couscous, Lobster Roll, Broccoli Peppercorn Salad, and Steamed Fresh Broccoli. And Cosmic Ray’s adds 1/3 lb. Angus Burger, Beef Salad, Vegetable Sandwich, Turkey Sandwich, Deluxe Chili Cheese Dog, and Gelato. These are really nice additions to Quick Service menus, especially leading into free dining promotion periods. Hopefully, this is a precursor to revamps of more Disney World Quick Service menus (Hollywood Studios next please).

5. More good news – TouringPlans.com reported on Wednesday that Walt Disney World has released revised schedules for Fantasmic! First, the scheduled refurbishment period was shortened to January 9 – February 12, 2012. But even better, the every-night Fantasmic! experiment is continuing (at least through March). There are still a few Fantasmic-less nights (listed in the linked TourinPlans.com post), but they are now the exception, rather than the rule.

WDW Shifts Free Dining Package Dates

Walt Disney World has released new dates for Free Dining Packages through March of 2012. The dates are similar to those initially reported here at the beginning of the month, but the blocks of dates have shifted a bit at the edges. If your preferred travel dates were not covered (and especially if you were only off by a day or two), you should double-check the new dates, as Free Dining Packages may now be available for your desired dates. Conversely, if you had dates picked out, but had not yet booked a reservation, you’ll need to double-check and confirm that your dates are still available for a Free Dining Package.

The basic rules remain the same as announced earlier. Free Dining applies to Magic Your Way packages with a minimum 3-night resort stay and minimum of a 2-day ticket. A limited number of Free Dining packages per resort are available for the following arrival dates (package must be booked by October 29, 2011):
2011 – 10/1-10/6, 10/22-11/3, 11/12-11/17, 11/26-12/1, 12/10-12/15
2012 – 1/8-1/12, 1/21-2/2, 2/11-2/16, 3/3-3/8, 3/24-3/29

Value Resort packages include the Quick Service Dining Plan (upgrades to Standard or Deluxe Dining plans are available).
Moderate and Deluxe Resort packages include the Standard Dining Plan (upgrade to Deluxe Dining plan is available).

If you are interested in a vacation starting during the above dates, contact your favorite Fairytale Journeys by DisDads agent for a free, no-obligation quote. If you already have a vacation booked during the above dates, considering transferring the reservation to a Fairytale Journeys by DisDads agent. Your agent can fight the crowd calling Disney to make reservation changes for you, so you don’t have to.

Though booking is open for this deal through October 29, 2011, these discounted packages book up quickly at popular resorts. And, as we’ve now seen, these travel windows are subject to change. The sooner you make a reservation, the more options you’ll have from which to choose.

Christmas in Walt Disney World: Episode 13

Host: Aaron Rittmaster (AJRitz)
Panel: Steve Bratton (brattosa), Jason Gilbert (jason4024), Matt Birchfield (10dedfish), Mark Pratt (prattpak), Matthew Wren (ftgriot)
In Episode 13, the panel discusses Christmas in Walt Disney World. We share thoughts and tips about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party; Christmas Around the World in the Epcot World Showcase; Candlelight Processional; the Osbourne Family Lights; resort Christmas decorations and events, and more. Matt Birchfield takes the hotseat for 10 Questions. And Matthrew Wren previews his return trip to Walt Disney World – his first in more than seven years. Here’s his pre-trip report, currently in process in the DIS Dads forum on the Disboards.