Thursday, February 28, 2013

Epcot World Showcase Scavenger Hunt

Today I've got a challenge for all you Epcot lovers: it's a brand new Disney World Scavenger Hunt!  In the past I've posted scavenger hunts for Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, and this one is dedicated to World Showcase.  I'll have to do another one just for Future World!

And if you're looking for a Magic Kingdom Scavenger Hunt, be sure to check out my eBook on Amazon!

Ready?  Try to name the location of all these Epcot details from memory, or print out the list and bring it along on your next trip. :) These are not in any particular order, so keep on the look out!

1. Where might you find this beautiful balustrade with its fine stone and rosy bricks and tiles?

2. Looking for a telephone?  Find this sign!

3. These birds aren't from the tiki room, but they are here every day - you can even take one home with you!  (Don't they look like they might be related to Jose?)

4.  Find some baskets spilling over with colorful yarns...

5. Need more cowbell?  Not to worry, there are lots of different bells in this display.

6. This pretzel is king!  Do you know where to find it? (Hint: there are lots of tasty treats to be found inside!)

7. Look out for some lovely lotus tiles and pretty windows somewhere in World Showcase.

8. Post any letters here!

9. Find a sign for Quilted Northern.

10. This is going to be a tricky one!  Somewhere in World Showcase there is a little owl statue sitting in the rafters to scare of all those pesky seagulls.

11. Which country will you find a graceful angel statue standing in?  (And is it just me, or does she look ever so slightly menacing?)

12. There's a mini "backeri" along the railway tracks...have you seen it?

13. When it's time to take a break, just make your way to this peaceful garden.

14. As Jane Austen says, "What are men to rocks and mountains?"  Here's a hint: these rocks may or may not be covered with flowers when you visit!

15. Above some display cases there is a landscape of steeples and sailing ships - do you know where it can be found?

16. Look for a tower atop a castle turret!

 17. Peek across the street at the Plume et Palette.

18. Finally, to the victor goes the spoils: find yourself a colorful chilly drink like this one! ;)

Find the answer key and more fun Disney World detail hunts here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Probably the Most Colorful Dessert at Disney

The Disney Dessert of the day this week is going to be a Disney classic.  One of the few desserts that is themed after a resort.  Do you know which one I'm talking about??

How about now - recognize this food court?

We're at POP CENTURY!  (I bet you know where I'm going now...)

Sometimes the food courts at the value resorts can be a little lackluster, but I'm a fan of Everything Pop.  They have some lovely sandwiches, and just check out the above dessert case!  Don't those croissants look tasty?

Someday I want to try these brownies - they look pretty delish, and $2.39 is not too bad considering the size (and that it's Disney food!).

Now we come to the main attraction.  And's not the king cupcake (someday I'm going to have to try that, but the idea of bacon in my cupcake just doesn't get me excited).

I am talking about the TIE-DYED CHEESECAKE people.  I have been a fan of this forever.  Whenever we have planned a trip that included a stay at Pop Century, I would immediately get excited that I was going to get this dessert!  It just seems so quintessentially POP.

Somehow there is something really exciting about having your dessert be all colors of the rainbow.  I always carefully look over all the ones in the case to select the best tie dye!

Not only does this dessert look stellar, it tastes great.  The red velvet cake on the bottom always seems to be nice and moist, and the cheesecake on top is nice and light and tasty.

I bet Tinkerbell comes into the kitchen every week with a supply of pixie dust to make those colors in the cheesecake just right!

And in case you were wondering, this does count as a snack on the dessert plan (or a dessert with your CS meal).  At $3.59 it's a fairly good value for a snack, although there are some snacks that are more expensive...the best value I've come across was a chocolate-covered rice krispie treat for $4.95 at the Confectionery.

One last picture from POP to brighten up the day.  Because who doesn't love some Mickey?

Totally Random Tidbit: Speaking of Disney desserts, don't forget you can get the Cupcakes of Disney World poster (and other items in my etsy shop!) for 15% off through March 5...use the code PIXIEDUST15.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fathoms Below: Ariel's Corner of New Fantasyland!

Put on the Little Mermaid soundtrack, guys, because TODAY we are going to go under the sea and have a look at the bits of New Fantasyland dedicated to Ariel and friends!

You walk through Belle's village (I know! I need to post pics of that soon too!), and you find a GORGEOUS sandcastle-esque palace rising up on your left.

Soon you'll see the shipwreck that marks the spot - the entrance to the new Journey of the Little Mermaid Ride.

While I think the Ariel on the prow of the ship looks very pretty, and I generally approve of all things Disney princess, I find it a little odd and every so slightly creepy that she's stuck there as the figurehead of a ship that has been wrecked.  But this is Disney, so I guess she could swim away if she wanted, she just wants to welcome all her guests...

I absolutely fell in love with this castle...I think I might like it even better than Belle's.  You see, the Beast's Castle looks so small perched up there in the mountains, but I feel like they got the size more right with Prince Eric's - it feels more real.

Because Ariel's castle is larger, it's easier to admire all the details!  Like that adorable little tower on the left, the balcony in the middle, and a secret staircase you can only see after you've exited the ride, winding up to the castle (that door looked like it was too small for a person...but I wonder...).  Also note the waves on the railing just above the door.  Doesn't it look like it would be SO fun to have a party on that patio, with Ariel and Eric hosting?

This little tower was so cute.  I wish I could live there.  It seems to have so much character.  If that tower could talk it would have fun things to say, I can just tell.

Don't know if you can tell from this pic, but the little emblem on that balcony railing on the left has an "E."  I know it's for Eric, but it could stand for Emma too, right?? ;)


I'm trying not to overwhelm y'all with photos, but it's hard to leave anythign out - it's all so pretty!  These two are views from entering the ride (on the right) and leaving the ride (on the left).

You walk beneath the sandstone arches of the castle's walkway as you make your way through the line.


Those masses of people up beyond the waterfall were in the stand-by queue.  Just that sight alone will make you sigh with relief that you got a fastpass.  We whizzed through the fastpass line, and the stand-by was never less than 60 minutes.  It is a continuous loader like Buzz Lightyear or Finding Nemo, so I bet the line will be better when the ride is less new, but for now fastpass is the way to go.  Fastpasses for Journey of the Little Mermaid are available in front of Philharmagic, so make sure you stop by there before you head into New Fantasyland.

You may find yourself skipping through the empty fastpass queue.  This is perfectly acceptable.
And if, by the time you've entered the seaside castle, the skipping has become dancing and singing along to "Under the Sea," that's perfectly ok too.  lol, I was clearly a little excited when I first rode this!
These little fishies atop the columns were dancing along with me, I just know it.
As magical as the exterior of the castle is, it's just as lovely when you enter into the cool hallways.  It's dark and dusky, but beyond you can see the pink light of sunset over the sea.

So the idea is that you go through the castle and then go "outside" again when you get on the ride - only this is the magical outside that takes you into the world of the Little Mermaid!  Can you spot her sitting on a rock out at sea?

Totally Random Tidbit: Those cliffs from on the left remind me of the cliffs from the movie in the France pavilion.  I'm probably only noticing this because I'm going to visit those cliffs (the cliffs of Etretat!), but it made me wonder: what country is the Little Mermaid set in?  Eric's Castle does look vaguely French and there's the French cook.  But the original Little Mermaid story (written by Hans Christian Anderson) was set in Denmark or some say Croatia.  I googled it, but there didn't seem to be much consensus.

LOL.  Sorry, that TRT was fairly long.  Back to the ride!

Let's hop aboard our shell!

I see Ariel and Flounder!

The Prince Eric statue in Ariel's grotto is rather like the Mona Lisa...he never stops watching you!!

This-a-way to the PAR-tay!

Ariel swinging to that under-the-sea beat!  The moving characters in the ride were neat, and I think I'll get used to them, but there was just something a little off about Ariel is certain scenes. Maybe because her eyes were so huge? Still enjoyable, just interesting to notice...
Conga Line!  The Under the Sea scene was probably my favorite one!
Ursula was pretty scary.
...and they lived happily ever after!
When you exit Journey of the Little Mermaid, instead of coming out in a dump shop, you find yourself right next to Ariel's Grotto!
Just a few last details to share to wrap up this post.  Loved the little sea grass lamps and the seahorse heralding Ariel's meet and greet spot.  And take a close look at that piece of's shaped like a conch shell!