SamsDisneyDiary #48 – Star Wars Weekend “Galactic Breakfast” at the Sci-Fi

Star Wars Weekend Galactic Breakfast.  Photo Opp

Star Wars Weekend Galactic Breakfast. Photo Opp

Welcome back to SamsDisneyDiary Episode #48.  The official announcements have been made, and the ever popular “Star Wars Weekends” will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios covering 5 weekends from May 15 – June 14, 2015.  Along with all of the Star Wars Weekends festivities, the “Galactic Dine In Breakfast” will also be returning to the Sci-Fi Dine in Theater, and not just during the weekend.  The Star Wars themed character breakfast will run daily from May the 4th through the end of Star Wars Weekends June 14th, 2015.  Every day from 8-11am, the Sci-Fi Dine in Theater is transformed into a cosmic breakfast featuring some of your favorite Star Wars characters.  Reservations are definitely recommended to join in the festivities; the Sci-Fi Dine in Theater goes back to its normal operation for lunch and dinner.
You’ll check in for your breakfast at a podium outside the restaurant.  When your name is called and you enter the building, you know right away that something is different.  You are greeted by none other than Darth Vader and Boba Fett, both waiting for you to arrive.  This is the only time you’ll have a personal interaction with both of these characters, so take your time.   If you have a big Vader fan in your group, make sure you get a picture!  Let them pose solo and then get a group.   Remember, part of the cost of breakfast is for the character interaction.  Don’t be shy, use the Photo Pass photographer.  This will most likely be your only opportunity to see Darth Vader and Boba Fett one-on-one.  Boba Fett will be happy to take a “selfie”, Darth Vader – not so much!

Watch SamsDisneyDiary Episode #48 the video… then keep reading!

Star Wars Weekend Galactic Breakfast.  Breakfast Pastries including Vanilla Cream Turnover, Almond Pastry, and Double Chocolate Muffin

Star Wars Weekend Galactic Breakfast. Breakfast Pastries including Vanilla Cream Turnover, Almond Pastry, and Double Chocolate Muffin

When you finish the character interaction, you’ll head to your table.  Well, if you’re familiar with the Sci-Fi Dine in Theater you know that you’re headed for your car, situated in a 50s style drive-in theater high in the Hollywood Hills.  That’s a topic for another SamsDisneyDiary.  For now, the theater is converted to a Star Wars paradise.  With Star Wars clips and interactive characters including Greedo, Stormtroopers and Jawas walking table to table (or car to car as it is).

Let me be clear, this is a Disney Character Breakfast.  If you’ve experienced any other Character Breakfast, you know that they typically have a breakfast buffet where you help yourself while characters travel table to table.  While it’s similar, Greedo and the others will come to you, there is no buffet.  If you think about it, where would you put it especially with the dim lighting?  Instead, as soon as we sat down, we were greeted with a platter of “Star Wars Breakfast Pastries” all wonderfully themed, Vanilla Cream Turnovers, Almond Pastries and Double Chocolate Muffins.  We were also presented with a menu.  As I mentioned, there is no buffet; however, you can and are encouraged to view this as an “All You Can Eat Buffet – Menu”.

Star Wars Weekend Galactic Breakfast.  The Dune Sea (House Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs, Wild Mushroom Potato Hash with Multi Grain Toast Slathered with Goat Cheese Butter

Star Wars Weekend Galactic Breakfast. The Dune Sea (House Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs, Wild Mushroom Potato Hash with Multi Grain Toast Slathered with Goat Cheese Butter

Pick an Anchorhead Appetizer.  I went with the Greek Yogurt Parfait with Fresh Berries and Homemade Granola (and Yoda garnish), then you can pick an Entrée:  All wonderfully themed to match the Star Wars theme.  Entrees include:

The Dune Sea:  House-Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs, Wild Mushroom Potato Hash with Multigrain Toast Slathers with Goat Cheese Butter

The Kessel Run: Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Baby Spinach with Bacon and Cheddar Custard on a Roasted Tomato and Cheesy Horseradish Potatoes.

Tatooine Sunrise: Scrambled Eggs, Nueske’s Bacon, Sausage Links and Breakfast Potatoes

Imperial Delight: Caramelized Banana-Stuffed French Toast with Caramel Sauce and Strawberry Compote

Ackbar Surprise: Smoked Paprika-Dusted Shrimp Pan-Seared and served with Cheesy Grits

Mos Eisleys Morning:  Egg White Omelet with Shitake Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions, Garlic Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Greek Yogurt with Berries.

Like more than one?  Try one first, then you can switch to something else.

Star Wars Weekend Galactic Breakfast.  The Kessel Run.  Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Baby Spinach with Bacon and Cheddar Custard on Roasted Tomato and Cheesy Horseradish Potatoes

Star Wars Weekend Galactic Breakfast. The Kessel Run. Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Baby Spinach with Bacon and Cheddar Custard on Roasted Tomato and Cheesy Horseradish Potatoes

While you’re enjoying breakfast, the Hollywood Hills Drive-In will feature a wide array of Star Wars clips.  There is something from all of the movies to date, providing a common bond between generations.  Disney has also produced some original clips specific for the breakfast and dug deep into the archive to bring back clips from the “Star Wars Holiday Special” 2014.  It was the first time it had been shown since 1978 – and when you see it, you’ll know why.  Maybe most interesting is that it includes the first appearance of Boba Fett, almost 5 years before the Empire Strikes Back was released.  I captured lots of video and included about 15 minutes of it in the SamsDisneyDiary Video #48.

The additional character interactions can be quite entertaining… If you’re just after a picture with Storm Troopers, Jawas or Greedo, you can do that.  But, they are willing to “play along”, and you can make

Bobba Get Selfie

Bobba Get Selfie

the interaction quite interesting.   Ask Greedo, did he shot first?  Turns out, Stormtroopers can be very funny, and the Jawa’s love to barter…that’s what they do.  If you have something loose on the table such as a camera, button, pin or even a pencil, they will reach into their bag and try to trade.   It can be quite interesting and entertaining.  I was able to trade a dead AA battery (I mean a Power Generator) for a Chuck-E-Cheese token.  If you’re going, take something shiny or something inexpensive, maybe a string of beads or a glow stick (since the theater is dark, and they light up nicely).   Most of all have fun with it.  You’re here for the experience, so take advantage of it.  If you’re here just for breakfast, it’s the wrong place.

Be sure to check out the video of my experience.  Thanks for watching, reading and listening.  Be sure to follow me on twitter @SamsDisneyDiary, Instagram www.instagram.com/SamsDisneyDiary,  www.facebook.com.samsdisneydiary and check out the Disney Nerds Podcast subscribe in your favorite RSS reader here.

Categories: Galactic Breakfast, Hollywood Studios, SamsDisneyDiary, Special Events, Star Wars Weekend | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SamsDisneyDiary #47 – Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin – Score the MAX!

You too can be a Galactic Hero, scoring the maximum 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Don’t tell anyone, it’s our little secret!

Need to Help? Check out the video below… and good luck Space Ranger!!

Thanks for watching…

Score the Maximum on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (999,999)

Score the Maximum on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (999,999)

When Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom opened “Buzz Light Years Space Ranger Spin” (November 1998), the world of video games and dark rides collided.  Buzz Light Year is the original, leading the way to Buzz Light Year of Star Command (Disneyland) and Toy Story Midway Mania (California Adventure/Hollywood Studios) and countless shooting games at amusement parks across the country.

If you want to score the Max, you better be ready, the first 100,000 point target, the largest, is in the first room! Look for the BOXOBOT.  The big points are inside the robots left hand.

The story behind Buzz Lightyear is simple.  You are the newest “Star Command” recruit and are on your way to defend the “crystallic fusion cells” needed to power the space vehicles of the “Little Green Men”.   The “Evil Emperor Zurg” is looking to steal the “crystallic fusion cells” for his own use against Buzz Light Year.  It’s your opportunity to become a “Galactic Hero”.

One of the three Secret 100,000 Point Targets

One of the three Secret 100,000 Point Targets

With any game comes a score and with a score comes a competition….all friendly, of course.  The largest wager is usually a Dole Whip but mostly bragging rights.  If you’re like me, you want to have that high score.   At some point though, you start to notice your children’s scores are starting to rival yours.  Then that fateful day…your children pass your score!!!  If you have that high score every time, you can stop reading and don’t need to watch the video.  You rock, and no one will ever catch you.

If you’re still reading, I can help!!!  It’s time Mom and Dad get the 999999 Galactic Hero rank.  What’s the secret?  The secret is all in positioning.

Aim for the bottom of Zurg’s Ship, it’s worth 100,000 Points

There are at least 2 targets worth 100,000 points each, and if you position yourself correctly you can hit them at least 5 times each.  You find them and get 999999 – Galactic Hero.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin Floor Plan with 100,000 point targets

Secret Blue Print to the Big Points (Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin)

Secret Blue Print to the Big Points (Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin)

First tip:  You want to be the first into the vehicle because the first 100,000 target is on the left of the vehicle (traveling forward).  If you’re on the right, you may be blocked by the person in the car in front of you and there are no points for the back of their head.  The first target comes up quickly, so be ready.  Second tip:  You need to control the spinner (which should be easy early in the ride).  Turn the vehicle slightly left and look for the first robot (Boxobot).  The target you want is the inside of his left hand.  If positioned well, you could hit this target 8 times, and that’s 800,000 in the first room.

You’ll find a 50,000 point target on top of the volcano in the second room, the second highest point total of any target.

The second 100,000 point target is in the third room located at the very bottom of Zurg’s ship.  It’s a little tricky to position, but you should be able to hit it before and after passing the ship.

Three targets, and that’s all you need to master Buzz Light Year Space Ranger Spin and become a Galactic Hero!

Don’t forget to check out www.SamsDisneyDiary.com and follow me on twitter, @SamsDisneyDiary, get a daily picture at www.instagram.com, like be on facebook and catch all the videos by subscribing to SamsDisneyDiary on Youtube.

Categories: Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SamsDisneyDiary #46 – Magic Kingdoms Secret Recharging Station – No, It’s not that one!

SamsDisneyDiary #46 Recharge Station Story Book Circus 4If you’re like me, your electronic devices have become absolutely essential at Walt Disney World. Cameras to capture memories, phones for keeping in touch with others in the park, or smart phones for making last minute dining reservations or Fast Pass Plus changes.. We are lost without power! Finding a place to charge your devices can be a challenge…
SamsDisneyDiary #46 Recharge Station Story Book Circus 3Recently I found the perfect location in the Magic Kingdom; no, not the “Tangled” themed rest rooms that everyone talks about, but the secret spot over in Story Book Circus!
It is the perfect spot for a quick recharge, both for your devices and YOU! Located next to Pete’s Silly Side Show and behind Big Top Treats, the location is a perfect spot to sit in the shade and enjoy a treat from the Big Top.

SamsDisneyDisey Episode #46

SamsDisneyDiary #46 Recharge Station Story Book Circus 1The location was the Fast Pass distribution location for the Dumbos and Barnstormer (Featuring the Great Goofini). When the classic Fast Pass locations were closed, this location became a hidden gem. There is really no reason to venture into this back corner of the Magic Kingdom, making it a perfect hideaway. Complete with seating, couches and lounges you just can’t get any better… As long as you have a nice cold treat from Big Top Treats that is!

The location is occasionally used for character meet and greets, specifically during special events – Like Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but is typically wide open! Take advantage of it while you can!SamsDisneyDiary #46 Recharge Station Story Book Circus 2

Remember – Keep it our secret.

Thanks for watching! Be sure to check the youtube channel for all of my videos www.youtube.com/samsdisneydiary and check out www.thedisneynerds.com!

Categories: Disney, Fantasyland, Hidden Walt Disney World, Recharge Station, SamsDisneyDiary, Storybook Circus, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #45 – New Year’s Eve at Hollywood Studios

New Years Eve Fireworks at Hollywood Studios

New Years Eve Fireworks at Hollywood Studios

New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World… if you’re like me, you’ve always wondered what it would be like… the countdown, the fireworks, the special events!   It’s on my bucket list, and I will get to see the events in person someday.  Until then, this may be the closest I can get…. A birds eye view of the New Year’s Eve Countdown at Walt Disney Worlds Hollywood Studios!

Thanks for watching!   Be sure to check the youtube channel for all of my videos www.youtube.com/samsdisneydiary and check out www.thedisneynerds.com!

Categories: Disney, Fireworks, SamsDisneyDiary, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #44 – Lumberjacks Invade Epcot’s Canadian Pavilion!

The Mill Stage is the home for the Canadian Lumberjacks

The Mill Stage is the home for the Canadian Lumberjacks

After nearly 17 years of continuous performances, Off Kilter, the Canadian Celtic-Rock Band played its last set at “The Mill Stage” on September 28th 2014.

The Canadian Lumberjacks

The Canadian Lumberjacks

The Mill Stage was quickly updated and opened just 7 days later on October 5th, 2014.  This time the sounds of Celtic Music were replaced with the sounds of Chain Saws.

I just happened to be in Epcot for the first day of soft opening; in fact, it was the second show ever.  I had my camera and captured the moment.  I was a little surprised and didn’t have my tripod, but I did my best.  I know Off Kilter has some diehard fans, and many were upset by their removal from the Canadian pavilion.  Only those on the inside know exactly why the decision was made; regardless, here is the second ever “Lumberjack Show” from Epcots Canadian Pavilin.

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #44 – Lumberjacks Invade Canada!

Thanks for watching, Follow me on Twitter @SamsDisneyDiary like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/samsdisneydiary and be sure to check out “The Disney Nerds Podcast” subscribe to the RSS feed here and drop me a line at SamsDisneyDiary@mail.com.

 

Categories: Canada, Epcot, Walt Disney World, World Showcase | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #43 – Star Wars Weekend 2014 – “The Premiere Theater”

Star Wars Weekend 2014 - Premiere Theater

The Premier Theater is a hub of activity at Star Wars Weekends. See one you like? Get a fast pass!

For years now, Star Wars Weekend has taken advantage of the space provided by Hollywood Studios “Premiere Theater”. The space, behind Muppet Vision 3D near the Streets of America, was originally used for the Beauty and the Beat Stage Show (1993-1994), then the Spirit of Pocahontas (1995-1996), then The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996-2002), and most recently the Frozen “First Time In Forever Sing-Along” (July 5th 2014 – today) and has been used seasonally for special events including Star Wars Weekends (2008 – now). The recent closing of the American Idol in the “Superstar Television Theater” has many people speculating that the Frozen Sing Along will move to the bigger venue in early 2015, allowing Star Wars Weekend to once again utilize the Premiere Theater.

 

SamsDisneyDiary #43 a look inside the Premiere Theater during Star Wars Weekend!


The Premiere Theater provides an indoor facility for some of the most interesting Star Wars Weekends presentations. The presentations change each weekend based on the celebrities attending and new for 2014, they all have Fast Pass+ reservation options. The “high-energy” shows available the weekend I attended included:

  • Behind the Force: Stars of the Saga

    Behind the Force: Stars of the Saga

    Behind the Force: Star Wars Rebels (Listen closely as host Ashley Eckstein-the voice of Ahsoka Tano-and some special guests take you on a behind the scenes “sneak peek” of the new television show Star Wars Rebels.

  • Stars of the Saga: Join Star Wars Weekends celebrity host James Arnold Taylor as he puts on this entertaining 30-minute, Star Wars- themed talk show. Experience the fascinating life and movie- making adventures of Star Wars celebrities.
  • Obi-Wan and Beyond Staring James Arnold Taylor: Feel the force flowing as Star Wars Weekends celebrity host James Arnold Taylor takes his audience on a fun and fascinating journey into the world of voice acting. In this Star Wars Weekend exclusive, James performs over 200 popular and iconic characters.

 

Each of the shows happened once a day each day of the weekend. While all of them had a Star Wars theme, I found the last show, Obi-Wan and Beyond as the most entertaining of the three. I would call this show high energy – James Arnold Taylor put on a masterful performance of characters ranging from “Obi-Wan” to “Fred Flintstone” to a “Pop Tart”. Voice Acting is an amazing art that is easily overlooked, and James brings a human and humorous touch to the art. This episode of Sams Disney Diary features the best of that session. Hope you enjoy!!


Thanks for watching, Follow me on Twitter @SamsDisneyDiary like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/samsdisneydiary and Instagram www.instagram.com/samsdisneydiary and be sure to check out “The Disney Nerds Podcast” subscribe to the RSS feed here and drop me a line at SamsDisneyDiary@mail.com.

Categories: Hollywood Studios, James Arnold Taylor, Premiere Theater, SamsDisneyDiary, Special Events, Star Wars Weekend, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #42 – Star Wars Weekend 2014 Recap

StarWarsWeekend2014 (8)Yep, I’m a Disney Nerd – and I’m a Star Wars Nerd!  It should be obvious based on past blog posts, Star Wars Weekend 2013 and Star Wars Weekend 2012.  I was able to attend Star Wars Weekend 2014 this past June, and while the blog is overdue, it feels like yesterday!  Being a Star Wars Weekend veteran, my focus this year is on what’s new:  The “Feel the Force Premium Package”, the Symphony in the Sky Fireworks and the Galactic Breakfast in the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.

With so much happening at Star Wars Weekend, it was impossible to get everything in a single video.  This episode is all about what’s new for 2014.   Star Wars Weekend expanded to 5 weekends in 2014, extending the traditional event by a full week.  I attended the final weekend, June 13-15, with celebrity appearances featuring Star Wars Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.  It also happened to be Father’s Day weekend, and Disney introduces some cool Star Wars father related t-shirts including “The Galaxy’s Best Dad” featuring Darth Vader.

Legends of the Force Celebrity Motorcade.

Legends of the Force Celebrity Motorcade.

Darth’s Mall was back in Sound Stage 1, its original location.   I was just in time for the introduction of the limited edition Star Wars Weekend Magic Bands – available in Green (Yoda) and Red (Darth Vader), they introduced a bonus feature.  Within Hollywood Studios, when you return for a Fast Pass using a Darth Vader Magic Band, the kiosk lights up red and you hear Darth Vader breathing!!!  Cool – I can also verify that the Magic Bands only work at Hollywood Studios and were still working in October 2014 (Yes, this blog is a little late).  Check out the video!

Star Wars Weekends are full of Star Wars related activities.  James Arnold Taylor, the host of Star Wars Weekends, re-caps the day’s events on the main stage right after the celebrity motorcade… Hope you enjoy the preview and future episodes of Star Wars Weekend.

 

Shortly after returning from my Star Wars Weekend trip I spend some time on “The Disney Nerds” podcast talking about the experience, you can listen to it here.

The Disney Nerds Podcast Episode #38:

The Disney Nerds Podcast Show #38 – Star Wars Weekend 2014

Thanks for watching, Follow me on Twitter @SamsDisneyDiary like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/samsdisneydiary and be sure to check out “The Disney Nerds Podcast” subscribe to the RSS feed here and drop me a line at SamsDisneyDiary@mail.com.

 

Categories: Hollywood Studios, SamsDisneyDiary, Special Events, Star Wars Weekend, TheDisneyNerdsPodcast, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #41 – Hidden Epcot Surpirse, be a Canadian Ranger!

You never know exactly where the clues will be, I found Justin in the hat display.

You never know exactly where the clues will be, I found Justin in the hat display.

When I tell my non-Disney Nerd friends I’m headed back to Walt Disney World, I get the same reaction and puzzled look, again? My answer is always the same, “Yep, again!” I’ve given up trying to convince most of them. It does bother me to know the only experience some of them will have is a single hot summer day in the Magic Kingdom with huge crowds, no Fast Passes, no dining reservations and no pre-planning. Ouch! That’s not Disney World at all! Everyone reading this knows exactly what I mean!

So why go back? No matter how many times you visit, you’ll discover something new. Case in point, after dozens of trips into Epcot’s Canadian pavilion, I discovered something I hadn’t noticed before… At the top of the steps next to the totem pole on the left, you’ll find the Northwest Mercantile, a sleepy little gift shop that’s a little out of the way (a little being at the top of the steps). Inside that small shop you’ll find a hidden adventure that isn’t publicized. You won’t find it on any park map, and you’ll have problems finding references to it on the internet. In fact, you’ll need to ask a cast member or find one of the clues to complete the adventure and become an Honorary Canadian Forest Ranger!

SamsDisneyDiary the Video Episode #41 – Canadian Adventure 

The best of the hidden Canadian secrets required to be an honorary park ranger?  Justin Beaver!

The best of the hidden Canadian secrets required to be an honorary park ranger? Justin Beaver!

You may have noticed some of the clues last time you visited, but just didn’t ask the next question. There is a series of 6 hidden stuffed animals with small Canadian references hidden throughout the store. Best part, they are NEVER in the same place… they are moved by guests and by cast members throughout the day. Can you find all of the animals and name them? The only thing that will give them away is the name tag they are wearing. Look up, look down, look behind things… they are in the store someplace, sometimes in plain sight.

I’ll give you my favorite, but you’ll need to find the others…

Justin Beaver. You’ll need to find them all. Who could the others be? Make that part of your next adventure in Epcot, and maybe a reason to check out a part of the Canadian pavilion that you may not have explored otherwise! Way to go Canada, ah!

Thanks for watching, and I hope to see you at the 2014 Food and Wine Festival!!! Follow me on twitter @SamsDisneyDiary for details!!

Categories: Epcot, Epcot Food and Wine, Hidden Walt Disney World, SamsDisneyDiary, TheDisneyNerdsPodcast, Walt Disney World, World Showcase | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #40 – It’s almost time, for Food and Wine! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2013 - My Favorite, Lobster Roll and a Samuel Adams

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2013 – My Favorite, Lobster Roll and a Samuel Adams

I’ve said it many times, Epcot is my favorite Walt Disney World Park.  In my opinion, Future World and World Showcase provide the perfect blend of edutainment, culture and family fun although I may not have realized it during my first visit as a teenager.  Epcot’s World Showcase also provides the perfect backdrop for special events.  The two most notable, The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival (I covered the 2012 Flower and Garden Festival back in Episode #11), and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (every Fall) fit perfectly.  And better yet, the festivals provide “another reason” to visit Walt Disney World.  Add to that the emerging “Holidays around the World”, and you have 3 new reasons to visit.  As if I need another reason.

Each Fall Since 1995, Epcot has been host to the International Food & Wine Festival.  Epcot is transformed into a culinary festival with experiences featuring everything from samplings and demonstrations to celebrity book signings and festival themed merchandise.

I could spend all day in the festival center… but the main draw of the food and wine festival are the 30 kiosks surrounding Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon.  Each features a unique cuisine from around the world, and all are designed to extend and complement the existing World Showcase countries.  Kiosks include countries like: The Caribbean, Argentina, Scandinavia, Poland, Singapore, New Zealand, Belgium, Ireland and Greece just to name a few.  A culinary cornucopia, the Discovery Passport is your guide to all of the flavors of the festival.  Make sure you get the pocket guide in the Festival Center or at most of the kiosks themselves.  The small plates are perfect for a sample of the countries’ cuisine as you stroll around the lagoon.  The only question is, where do you start?

Check out SamsDisneyDiary Episode #40 – The Video Below.

 

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2013 - Festival Center

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2013 – Festival Center

The Discovery Passport is a pocket guide listing all of the Kiosks along with their menu; a great way to create your must do list.  Each kiosk also has a “stamp”.  The idea is to collect the stamps in the Discovery Passport.  You don’t have to purchase anything to get the stamp, just have your passport ready and ask one of the cast members.  When you get them all, head back to the Festival Center for your “Completer Stamp”.  The Passport also includes the full Eat-to-the-Beat concert line up and highlights of events in the Festival Center.  Looking for items the kids might like?  Look for the try it logo.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2013 - Tasting my way around the World

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2013 – Tasting my way around the World

In addition to the Discovery Passport make sure you grab the Event Guide, the map with full event details.   The maps are updated every week and feature the full list of Festival Center events.  Some of the events including: Wine/Beverage Seminars, Culinary Demonstrations, Mixology Seminars, Book Signings, The Chocolate Experience, “Seasons of the Vine”, the Intermission Cage, the Stock Pot Shop and the Art of Food and Wine.   Everything you could possibly think of is listed and available in the Food & Wine Festival Center.

In addition to the Festival Center, you will find event merchandise all around World Showcase, and be sure to look for the Chase Lounge.  In 2013 the Chase Lounge was located in the VIP section of the American Adventure Pavilion.  The Lounge featured lots of places to relax, great views of World Showcase from the top floor of the pavilion, places to charge your devices, free snacks (cookies) and a freestyle Coke machine.

Everyone has their favorite Kiosk.  I have mine, and you will no doubt have yours. For more details on some of the food offerings, check out The Disney Nerds Podcast Show #40 when Jimmy, Ed, Jennifer and I do a walk around World Showcase for the 2013 Food and Wine Festival.  You can find the show on itunes, via stitcher, at thedisneynerds.com and at the official RSS Feed http://thedisneynerdspodcast.podbean.com/feed/

Thanks for watching, and I hope to see you at the 2014 Food and Wine Festival!!! Be sure to listen to the Disney nerds podcast for more details on our October 4th and 5th Epcot Meet-up!   Follow me on twitter @SamsDisneyDiary for details!!

Lots, and Lots, and Lots of Pictures form Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2013!

Categories: Epcot, Epcot Food and Wine, Food and Wine, Food and WIne Festival, TheDisneyNerdsPodcast, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #39 – “FIFA World Cup 2014 at Walt Disney World” (June 2014)

World Cup Brackets as seen at the ESPN World Cup "Odyssey Center"

World Cup Brackets as seen at the ESPN World Cup “Odyssey Center”

Are you a FIFA World Cup Fan?  Not sure where to watch the games while visiting Walt Disney World?  Disney has you covered, and covered in a big way!!  Every game will be broadcast in the United States on a Disney owned network (ESPN, ESPN2 & ABC).  Not only does Disney have you covered now, they had you covered during Epcots Flower and Garden Festival this past fall.  Remember the “Soccer Goofy” topiary that premiered at Flower and Garden?  Well, it turns out that topiary is tied directly to the FIFA 2014 World Cup.  While all of the other topiaries have been removed, Soccer Goofy is still in place and is directing guests to the 2014 World Cup Headquarters located at the “Odyssey Center” in Epcot.   The Odyssey Restaurant is the building located on the bridge between Test Track and Mexico, best known for the first-aid / baby care location and restrooms.

SamsDisneyDiary Episode #39… the Blog Continues after the video

World Cup Merchandise Selection at the Odyssey

World Cup Merchandise Selection at the Odyssey

Of course, I had my camera and did my best to capture the ESPN FIFA 2014 World Cup Walt Disney World Headquarters.

The Odyssey Restaurant is now the “Odyssey Center”, and it’s been converted to the ESPN FIFA 2014 Brazil World Cup Headquarters.  The Odyssey has been converted into a World Cup Heaven, with multiple HD TVs, a big screen projection, couches, tables, outlets, a bar and snack bar.  The Odyssey is the place to watch World Cup action.   The Odyssey is open for every World Cup match, from June 12th through the final on July 13th.   Check ESPNFC.com for times once the round of 16 starts.   The Odyssey is just the beginning for viewing options.  If you are staying at a Disney resort, you’ll find every game on your in-room TV: ESPN (Channel 19), ESPN2 (Channel 20) and ABC (Channel 8).   You can leverage Disney’s Park internet access and use

The former Odyssey Restaurant has ben converted to the Odyssey Center, the ESPN FIFA WDW Headquarters

WatchESPN.com or download the app, or leverage the good ole AM radio with ESPN Radio 580.   If you’d rather watch with a crowd, you’ll find viewing locations all over Walt Disney World property, check with the front desk of your resort.  Every property has at least one viewing location, most with multiple locations.  In addition, you’ll find viewing locations at select bars and restaurants at Downtown Disney, and ESPN Wild World of Sports.   Looking for merchandise?  You got it, and you’ll find it at select locations including the Odyssey, Mouse Gear, Epcot countries, Pop Century, the All-Star Resorts, Downtown Disney, ESPN Club and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.   You can also test your soccer skills at the Disney soccer experience near Germany in world showcase.

Draft Beer Selection at the Odyssey during FIFA Matches, Samuel Adams Seasonal (Summer), Florida Lager, Racer 5 and Safari Amber

Draft Beer Selection at the Odyssey during FIFA Matches, Samuel Adams Seasonal (Summer), Florida Lager, Racer 5 and Safari Amber

The main attraction is the Odyssey Center in Epcot.  I can’t think of a better place to get out of the heat, grab a snack, and take in some World Cup action.  The snack bar is a little limited with basic snacks such as Mickey Pretzels, popcorn, roasted almonds,  pecans & chips, a sandwich and wrap.  Remember, you can always grab something (Mexico is nearby) and bring it in.  I did find the beer selection interesting, Samuel Adams Seasonal (Summer), Florida Lager, Racer 5 and Safari Amber.    Safari Amber being the “Animal Kingdom” special lager, I’ve never seen it served outside of Animal Kingdom.

Keep in mind that the Odyssey is only open during World Cup matches.  Download the schedule at ESPNFC.com and relax with a lager watching the World Cup right in the middle of Walt Disney World.

Thanks for watching, reading and listening.  Be sure to follow me on twitter @SamsDisneyDiary, Instagram www.instagram.com/SamsDisneyDiary,  www.facebook.com.samsdisneydiary and check out the Disney Nerds Podcast subscribe in your favorite RSS reader here.

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