With the current status of the world today amongst the recent COVID-19 outbreak, most of you are already going stir crazy inside of the house. It can be a very depressing time, so we came up with a few fun ideas that are bound to lift your spirits. We hope these ideas will put a smile on your face when you are missing walking down Main Street!
1. Break out the Mickey Waffle iron! If you do not have one yet, it is time to treat yourself. While we love our Mickey waffles during our Disney vacation, they are not always just for breakfast. Why not spoil yourselves and create a waffle ice cream sundae and watch a Walt Disney movie you have never seen before?
2. It's time to dust off your old vacation photo albums, your scrap books and character autograph books. Enjoy looking through years past of your family's Walt Disney World vacations. Doing this together will bring back good memories which in return will bring back good feelings. Talk about what your very favorite memory is and what you are looking forward to doing next time you get to go back.
3. Did you know there is a very easy recipe to recreate your favorite Disney dessert, the Dole Whip? You can use your imagination to come up with different Dole Whip desserts just like our Maleficent Waffle cone here from Storybook Treats! Just utilize Google, you will find tons of them.
4. This is one of our favorite things to do! We LOVE burning our favorite resort scented candles and melting wax melts to fill our house with the scent of the Beach Club! There are so many options to choose from, your favorite resort scent, Pineapple Whip (hey burn this when your making your homemade Dole Whip form above), Mickey Waffles and more! I can assure you they all smell spot on! We always get ours from Fandoms And Fairytales who has generously extended an offer to all of our Starstuff Travel fans for an extra savings (look for the info at the end of our blog).
5. Commit to a Disney puzzle. Depending on the age range, choose a puzzle that is slightly challenging to keep it fun. When your finished make sure to glue it together using puzzle glue so you can have it to look back on. We are all going through a historic period right now, one day you can tell your children and/or grandchildren about the time you were stuck in the house and all worked on a puzzle together!
These are just a few of many neat Disney focused things to keep our mind off of what is going on in today's world. Please feel free to comment with any neat crafts, recipes and ideas you may also have to offer, right now we can all use it! Thank you to Fandoms And Fairytales who is offering our readers 10% off of their purchase on their site by using the discount code of STARSTUFFTRAVEL at check out until the end of April 2020! Click here to access their site. Thank you also to JP Mulhearn Photography for their photograph for our blog. Another great thing to do while missing WDW is to head over to their Facebook page and check out their awesome pics by clicking here.
We have visited Walt Disney World so many times, and although we love it dearly, we needed something new to enjoy. This past week we took part in the 7 hour Backstage Magic tour which is run by two Adventure By Disney guides. If you are not familiar with Adventure By Disney as a whole, they provide group guided family vacations to various domestic and international destinations under the Disney brand. The guides on those adventures are top notch, so it was quite a treat to have two of them for our 7 hour tour.
The tour itself is currently $275 per person and includes a table service lunch as well as all the bottled water and snacks your little heart desires while on the motor coach (our snacks for this tour were allergy free chocolate chip cookies). The tour does not require park admission and children must be 12 years of age or older to attend.
We met at the front of Epcot where they went through some housekeeping like no photography allowed (they take photos for you in specific areas) and then we boarded the motor coach. They drove us behind the scenes to the American Adventure. For those of you who have not yet been behind the world showcase, the drive alone is very neat. We also had access before the park was open so we were able to see how many cast members get ready for the day. Outside of the American Adventure we learned some of the many tricks the Imagineers used by forced perspective to create the three story building image to look as though it was five stories tall. Our guide then took us behind the scenes of the actual show as we learned all about the system used to manage the attraction (which by the way is still from the 70's) and we even got to touch a real animatronic!
Our next stop was over at Creative Costuming which is exactly as wonderful as you could imagine it would be. I was in full blown little girl, princess mode when we walked in! You learn a lot about how the costumes come to be for the front line performers, the entertainment performers and of course the animatronics. You also get to see the Cast Members in action which is very cool and lastly you get your picture taken.
We then headed back on the motor coach and drove over to the Animal Kingdom for a private lunch at Tiffins with a special menu where we learned more secrets about the park and the restaurant. I have always been a fan of Tiffins so this was a real treat.
After we finished our lunch we were brought to a hidden marina where the lotus and animal barges are prepped for the Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular. It was so incredible to see exactly what the barges look like up close but even more so how they are cared for. Then we were walked inside for an exclusive visit to see what happens with the technology portion in the control room. These are really things you just never think about when you are watching the show.
After finishing up with the Animal Kingdom we were escorted back to the motor coach and driven to Central Shops. This is where Imagineering actually builds and maintains Disney Park ride vehicles, props, and animatronics. We learned exactly what happens when maintenance needs to be performed on a ride vehicle as well as how they can build rides from scratch. While we were there we saw Tomorrowland Speedway cars, pirate ships from Peter Pan's flight, a tea cup from Mad Tea Party and so much more. We watched Cast Members mold faces, work on signs, paint, weld, you name it, they were doing it. We then visited the audio animatronic area and were able to to see an original bird from Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room, but even more exciting, we got to see the large polar bear that was once used in my favorite Epcot ride The Maelstrom! #BringtheMaelstromback
Our next and final stop was the one most of us had been waiting for......the infamous Utilidors of the Magic Kingdom! We learned how and why the Magic Kingdom was built the way it was and why they built the utilidors. They showed us the mapping of it, where the ambulance area was, how cast members managed not getting lost in such a vast area and much more that I will not spoil for you. One of the neatest things was they actually did not play Disney music in the utilidors, I remember hearing Whitney Houston. Our guide said this was to give the Cast Members a break when they had stepped away from the park. You can only listed to It's a Small World so many times a day. After our time here the motor coach drove us back to Epcot where we started earlier that morning. It was a long day, but a day we will never forget. The guides were so full of information and you could tell they really loved what they did for a living. The tour was pure perfection and really great for those who are frequenters to Walt Disney World and need something new and fresh to enjoy. It is also great for people who enjoy learning all about how a big business works behind the scenes. It left us wanting to book another tour!
If you are ready to book your next Walt Disney World tour, reach out to your Starstuff Travel Planner today!
Right in the heart of the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot, you will find this new BBQ Quick Service dining option named after Sam Eagle of the Muppets. Before even entering the establishment you can smell the fragrant summer time BBQ essence of something being smoked. The outside area surrounds a large smoker and a bunch of picnic tables for generous outdoor seating.
The outdoor bar and patio offers an extensive drink menu that features a number of craft beers and ciders from across the country on draft, as well as wines from the west coast, fountain beverages and specialty regional cocktails you can now add to your "Drinking around the world" bucket list.
We visited Regal Eagle smack dab in the middle of lunch time and were pleasantly surprised that we barely waited to order. They have a nice selection of BBQ items from all over the south, along with some great sides that you would imagine pair nicely with these types of dishes. After ordering you gather your food, stop at the soda fountain machines to gather your beverage if ordered, as well as your silverware. There is no need to look for napkins in this area, they have a full napkin roll holder right in the middle of your picnic type table.
Our choice for lunch included Kansas City Smoked Half Chicken which was $13.99 and came with a choice of one side (we opted for the beans), North Carolina Chopped Smoked Pork Butt Platter with a side of fries at $12.49, and lastly a BBQ kids Chicken Leg meal with two sides (we chose mac and cheese as well as creamy coleslaw). They also have selections for Gluten/Wheat allergy, Egg allergy, Milk allergy, Peanut allergy and Soy Allergy/friendly options. I was pretty impressed at how extensive those menus for allergy option guests really was. We are giving this new Quick Service option the thumbs up for the ample amount of inside/outside seating and the friendly menu items. They could give bigger portions but the quality of the food was pretty decent for the price.
To book your next Walt Disney World vacation, reach out to a Starstuff Travel Planner here!