Sara’s Snippets – February 19, 2015 – Happy (Lunar) New Year

Greetings fellow Mouse Fans!

In Korea, China, and Vietnam, this week marks the start of a New Year. This is a huge celebration in Hong Kong Disneyland but is also celebrated state-side at the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World resort! 

Disney California Adventure will be serving Asian treats at Bayside Brews and the Lunar New Year food cart. The Paradise Gardens area will be transformed with music, dancing, craftsm and character appearances featuring Mickey, Minnie, and friends in their New Year's best. 

At the China Pavilion in Epcot at Walt Disney World, special acrobatic performances and New Year's crafts will be available. 

"Happy New Year!"

Be well and make magic wherever you go!

Sara Varney
Travel Planner

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Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

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Sara’s Snippets – February 18, 2015 – Richard Petty Driving Experience to Close

Greetings fellow Mouse Fans!

The Richard Petty Driving Experience and the Exotic Car Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World® Resort will be closing in late June 2015. The closures will make way for new unspecified transportation improvements. (Oooooo… let the speculation commence.) 

To make reservations for one of the driving experiences before they close, call 407-WDW-PLAY!

Be well and make magic wherever you go!

Sara Varney
Travel Planner

2 stock cars covered with decals including “Petty” and “Walt Disney World” race on the speedway

Photo Courtesy of Disney®

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Sara’s Snippets – February 12, 2015 – Freedom of the Seas Dining

Greetings fellow Mouse Fans!

Once I had finished running around the ship snapping pictures of the activities, it was time for some grub! Dining options abound onboard Freedom of the Seas. During our cruise, I had the chance to sample items from the specialty dining locations – Giovanni's Table, Chops Grille, and Sabor. I also had the chance to dine in the Main Dining Room, Leonardo's for both lunch and dinner. And I enjoyed Windjammers and Jade (the buffets) on multiple occasions! The food was excellent. Highlights included the guacamole at Sabor, the sushi at Jade, amd the salad bar at Leonardo's. 

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Deck 11 Dining onboard Freedom of the Seas

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Coke Freestyle Machines in WindJammers Buffet

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The elegant Leonardo's Dining Room

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Sabor serves authentic Mexican cuisine including table side guacamole. Yum!

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The espresso machine is slightly intimidating but very beautiful at Giovanni's!

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The open kitchen a Giovanni's Table

Be well and make magic wherever you go!

Sara Varney
Travel Planner

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Sara’s Snippets – February 11, 2015 – Freedom of the Seas Activities

Greetings fellow Mouse Fans!

As I mentioned last week, I recently had the opportunity to cruise on Royal Caribbean's newly refurbished Freedom of the Seas. Upon boarding the ship (and big kudos to Royal Caribbean for their organized boarding procedure!), we began to race around the ship trying to see absolutely everything in less than 48 hours. I headed straight for the upper decks to check out the pools and the fantastic outdoor activities. 

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The H2O Zone on Deck 11

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The "FlowRider" on Deck 13

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The Rock Climbing Walls on Deck 13 (Fearless MEI-Travel Agent Kim Niblett tackled the the wall!)

Up tomorrow, dining onboard the Freedom of the Seas!

Be well and make magic wherever you go!

Sara Varney
Travel Planner

 

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Sara’s Snippets – February 5, 2015 – Freedom of the Seas

Greetings fellow Mouse Fans!

Along with a group of fellow MEI-Travel agents, I recently had the opportunity to spend two nights onboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line recently refreshed Freedom of the Seas. This was my first time on a Royal Caribbean ship in over 20 years, so I was thrilled to get a chance to experience a new cruise line. (Especially since I was on the Disney Dream immediately prior to my Freedom of the Seas cruise.) It was a great opportunity to compare the ships side by side.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my experiences onboard both of the ships! But for now, here is one of my favorite photos from the Freedom – cupcake decorating at the Cupcake Cupboard! 

Be well and make magic wherever you go!

Sara Varney
Travel Planner

Photo Courtesy of Rebekah Mahnken. MEI-Travel Agents: Front Rov: Sandy Myers, Sharla Manglass, Sue Passauer, Robin Norrell, Natalie Puhala  Second Row: Kim Niblett, Lori Rogers, Sara Varney, Brock Taylor

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Sara’s Snippets – February 4, 2015 – Be Our Guest Changes

Greetings fellow Mouse Fans!

Disney has been testing a FastPass+ system for lunch at Be Our Guest restaurant over the last few months. That test will be ending on February 24, 2015. Advanced reservations will be available for lunch and dinner beginning February 25, 2015, although lunch will remain "fast casual" and be a counter service credit on the Dining Plan. Guests can pre-order their meals up to 30 days in advance on My Disney Experience. 

Be well and make magic wherever you go!

Sara Varney
Travel Planner

Magic Kingdom Guests Dine in Splendor at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Photo Courtesy of Disney®

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Disney’s Beach Club Resort Undergoing Renovations

Disney's Beach Club Resort is currently undergoing a 16 month renovation of all guests rooms and many of the public spaces. They began on the 5th floor with a whole new look to the concierge lounge. The guests rooms on that floor are now complete and as of a week ago they were working on the 4th floor. Check out some pics of the beautiful new hallways and rooms.

The hallway colors are much more rich with an upscale feel

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Standard size room with day bed

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Plenty of new electric & USB outlets between beds and at desk

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The bathroom features & tile have all been completely replaced 

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This room configuration is 2 queen beds without the daybed. 

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At last check the hours of renovations are between 10 am to 4 pm. If you don’t plan on being in the room during that time, you shouldn’t hear or see to much of an impact while they work on the guest rooms. You may be sent to a different elevator etc. to avoid the work areas. If you do plan to spend time in your room for kids naps, or your own… you may want to request a room that is not directly under the area that is being renovated that week. Just in case.

I stay several weeks a year at Disney's Beach Club Resort. Mainly due to the location and ease of getting to the parks where we frequently have events. Frankly I was never a big fan of the overly light pastel shades in the rooms. Personally I am drawn to the dark colors and rich interior over at Yacht Club which I have been told is next on the list for a makeover, 

However with this new update, Disney's Beach Club Resort just may move ahead on my preference list.What do you think?

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Sara’s Snippets – January 22, 2015 – Garden Rocks Concert Series

Greetings fellow Mouse Fans!

The 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be held March 4 – May 17, 2015. This annual event includes gorgeous gardens, whimsical topiary displays, gardening demonstrations, and HGTV star appearances. This year, the Garden Rocks concert series will be held in the America Gardens Theatre on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. Shows will be at 5:30, 6:45, and 8:00 pm. Here is the current line-up (subject to change):

March 6-8: Gin Blossoms
March 13-15: Pablo Cruise
March 20-22: En Vogue
March 27-29: Starship
April 3-5: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO
April 10-12: The Village People
April 17-19:Jon Secada
April 24-26: The Guess Who
May 1-3: Taylor Dayne
May 8-10: Little River Band
May 15-17: Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone

Contact your Mouse Fan Travel Planner to plan your spring vacation to Walt Disney World. There is a Spring Offer available right now available select dates during the Flower & Garden Festival!

The Snippets will be on vacation next week! Be well and make magic wherever you go!

Sara Varney
Travel Planner

Character Topiaries at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: Goofy, Donald and Daisy

Photo Courtesy of Disney®
 

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Sara’s Snippets – January 21, 2015 – 2015 Food and Wine Festival Dates Announced

Greetings fellow Mouse Fans!

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is a highlight for many Walt Disney World visitors. This year the Festival will be held from September 25 – November 16, 2015. The Festival includes kiosks around Epcot's World Showcase serving tasting plates and drinks from around the globe. In addition, there are seminars, special events, live entertainment, celebrity chef demos, and more! 

And in case you need to work off some of those calories, runDisney hosts the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, November 6-7, 2015! (Check with your Mouse Fan Travel planner for great hotel rates for this event!)

Be well and make magic wherever you go!

Sara Varney
Travel Planner

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Photo Courtesy of Disney®

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Sara’s Snippets – January 15, 2015 – Expanded Offerings at Remy On Board DCL

Greetings fellow Mouse Fans!

Onboard the Disney Fantasy exclusively, Remy is hosting Pompidou's Pattiserie Dessert Experience. This event is held on sea days during your Disney Fantasy cruise and is $50 per person. Guests can indulge in tastings of six desserts while Remy Chefs share information and inspiration about each dish. The price also includes a glass of champagne, wine or a cocktail. 

For true foodies, from November through February, Remy onboard the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy will be offering a seasonal truffle menu. Each of the six courses are infused with truffle. This menu is $250 per person. 

And for the ultimate in indulgence, guests can now choose from an a la carte caviar menu while dining at Remy. All caviar selections are served with a bottle of Krug Grand Année champagne. Prices range from $99 to $360 per 1-ounce tin.

Be well and make magic wherever you go!

Sara Varney
Travel Planner

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Photo Courtesy of Disney® 

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