Non-traditional things to do in the Disney Parks

non traditional things to do at the disney parks

There are tons of fun things to do in Disney World that everyone knows about – however, one of the great things about the theme parks is that there are so many hidden treasures that not everyone knows about!  If you’re visiting Disney World but you want to check out what else there is to do aside from the headliner rides and restaurants, here are some suggestions – hopefully you can discover something new on your next trip!

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Make a wish at Cinderella’s wishing well – it only takes a moment, but it’s like a private little magical moment.  Find Cinderella’s wishing well, pull out a penny, and make a wish!  This is something fun to do with kids, but it’s also sweet with couples or even just by yourself.  After all, it’s Disney World – if you wish hard enough, it’s sure to come true!

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Ride those rides you absolutely never go on – everyone has them.  Maybe you’ve never done some attractions, or maybe it’s just been awhile since you went on them.   Instead of heading straight to Space Mountain or Toy Story Mania, take a moment to enjoy Astro Orbiter or Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream.

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Spice Road Table review

spice road table review

I will first up admit that this review will be a little difficult to write – the food we had was all very good, but the portion sizes were super small and just didn’t seem worth the price to us. But it was new and we wanted to try it out, so we headed here for lunch last February.

The seating area, out on the patio, is very nice. I love the look of it – it’s well decorated and you do of course have a great view out over the lagoon. We got lunch around 11:30 and it was almost completely empty at that point.  I imagine a table right on the water would be really nice, as you get an awesome view of the Lagoon.

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I decided to try the white wine flight, which has three different types of wine that you can see below. These glasses were pretty tiny.  I enjoyed them and found them all to be pretty light and pleasant. I don’t think one really stood out to me as a big favorite, but they were nice.  My husband had a red wine that was described as very sweet, called the “King of Hearts”.  He liked it, it was very smooth, but not as sweet as he was hoping. He enjoys a really good sweet red wine. JamJar sweet shiraz that we had at Jiko is his favorite wine of all time.

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Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2014

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This year was my very first time attending the Food and Wine festival, and I was so excited!  I didn’t get to try as much as I would have liked, but hopefully there will be future trips.  Due to being sick for half a day that I was planning for F&W, I also lost a little time.  But I still wanted to share with you all the things that I did try and what I thought of them.

Australia

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Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies – $6.25

Yum!  Everything about this dish was delicious.  The lamb was cooked well, and I loved the mint pesto (that might have been the best part).  The potato crunchies also added the perfect level of crunch and texture.  Definitely one of my top dishes from the festival!

Belgium

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Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream – $3.50

This was the perfect dessert treat.  The waffle was very warm and right out of the waffle maker.  I loved the berries and whipped cream too.  Relatively simple, but very good!

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Kill, Refurb, Marry: Food and Wine Booths

I’m excited about this Kill, Refurb, Marry because I just came back from visiting Food and Wine for the first time!  I didn’t get to try as much as I was hoping due to a couple of things, including getting sick during my trip and being mostly on my own for Food and Wine, so I didn’t have someone to share things with for a lot of it.  My stomach can only hold so much!  I’m sure that my Kill, Marry, Refurbs might be different if I had tried everything, but from what I experienced here were my choices:

Kill – Africa

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When I made my master list of everything I would want to try and Food and Wine if I had an unlimited budget and stomach, there were only three booths that held no appeal to me whatsoever.  Those were New Zealand, Africa, and the Refreshment Port (hardly even a “booth” since it’s there all the time).  When I went back and looked at the menus again, Africa is the one that I really don’t think I would enjoy.  There are two food items, which contain mushrooms and/or onions, both of which I hate.  Even walking past the booth it did not smell appealing.  And there were a few drinks, none of which seemed special.  Africa could have some great flavors, but maybe it needs to be more focused.  Kill Africa and give us a Madagascar booth, or a South Africa booth, instead of lumping a whole bunch of countries into one booth.

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Farewell, Maelstrom

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As many of you Disney fans probably know, Maelstrom in Epcot’s Norway pavilion closed on Sunday, October 5th, 2014.  I was in Epcot that day and was lucky enough to ride it one last time.  The lines were crazy long all day.  I had originally made a fastpass, but due to being sick in the morning I slept through it.  I ended up waiting over an hour to get on it later in the day, but it was definitely worth it.

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What can one say about Maelstrom? It had a little bit of everything, really – boats, Vikings, polar bears, and trolls.  While it wasn’t my favorite ride, it was one I enjoyed and one that I will definitely miss.  While I do think a Frozen ride is something that Disney should have, I definitely don’t think that Norway is the place to put it.  It definitely makes me sad to see Maelstrom gone.

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Bucket List: Drink around the World in Epcot

bucket list drink around the world

During our December Disney trip, we decided to tackle that often talked about bucket list item that’s popular with Disney adults – drinking around the “World” in Epcot.  If you’re not familiar with the term, what it means is that you stop in every country in the World Showcase for a drink.  There’s 11 countries, so that’s 11 drinks in one afternoon or evening.  What makes this so much fun is the fact that a lot of the countries have some really unique drinks that you don’t normally get a chance to try!

We decided to spread them out throughout the day so that we wouldn’t be stumbling around or anything.  Plus we made sure to have plenty of food and snacks!  We started in Mexico and made our way over to Canada by the end of the evening.  If you’re curious, here’s the low down on what we tried in each country.

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Mexico: La Cava del Tequila

Mexico is known for their margaritas, so we had a try them here!  We each got a different flavor – cucumber, blood orange, and passion fruit.  I loved mine (passion fruit) because it had a great sweet and tangy flavor – and I’m not usually a big margarita drinker!  They are high quality and delicious with a ton of flavor options, but they are also pricy – $13 per drink here, plus tip!

Norway – Akershus

We had dinner reservations at Akershus, so when we started around the World in the afternoon we skipped Norway and then came back to it, figuring we’d have our drinks with dinner.  There aren’t a lot of other options to have drinks in Norway.  We enjoyed the Stavanger (frozen blend of Raspberry, Vodka, and Linie Aquavit) and the Prince of Norway (blend of Apricot Brandy, Sloe Gin, Sour Mix and Orange Juice).

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Kill, Refurb, Marry: World Showcase Counter Service Spots

One of the great things about Epcot is how many counter service spots it has to grab lunch or a quick dinner.  Especially opposed to, say,  Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.  But even then there are places around the World Showcase that could certainly be improved!  Here are my thoughts on this month’s Kill, Refurb, Marry topic.

Kill: Yorkshire Fish Shop


This photo of Yorkshire County Fish Shop is courtesy of TripAdvisor

I feel like this barely counts for a counter service spot.  It only serves one thing, which is fish and chips.  Which is great and all, but if you want to try any other kinds of British food you have to have a reservation for the Rose and Crown.  I wouldn’t want to take away a counter service spot for the UK, but I’d kill this fish and chips stand and build something completely new that has some more options.  While you’re at it, how about something quick for Canada too?

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