SOCIAL MEDIA

Friday, January 31, 2014

Chef Mickeys


Chef Mickey's is the quintessential character meal at Walt Disney World. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Narcoosees at The Grand Floridian



Narcoosee's is a signature dining experience located at Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lilo & Stitch: A Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride


I was excited to see the Magical Blogorail's American Tourister giveaway (if you didn't see it the first time check out my American Tourister review) would focus on Disney couples!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Voice Behind Jiminy Cricket


Last Christmas I decided I wanted to learn how to play the ukelele.  My husband got me one with a tuner, some self-teaching books, and music books.  I have recently started to actually give it a go!  I know what you are thinking: “What the heck does that have to do with Disney?"

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The New & Improved Main Street Bakery

Main Street Bakery is now a Starbucks!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall: A Meal Fit for a Princess!


Akershus Royal Banquet Hall was the site of my first dinner at a Disney restaurant in 2006. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Checking out My Disneyside with Magical Blogorail!


Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney Babies Blog and those of you just hopping aboard.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Epcot's Via Napoli!

View looking out from bench at Italy's Via Napoli

I live in NJ.  The Italian food and pizza here is wonderful and plentiful.  It's also my husband's and my favorite.  But, I'm always willing to try new things, so we finally put Via Napoli on our list in 2012.  I love the inside of this restaurant!  It's very large and rustic feeling with hanging lights and marble topped tables. This trip we sat outisde which I love even more.  There is a large awning, so you don't even really feel like you're outside.  


I wanted to try the entrees (check out Laura's pics above of the veal parm and spaghetti with veal meatballs), but was outnumbered by pizza lovers.  I was not disappointed!!  The pizza was so delicious, which is not what I was expecting outside of NJ/NY.  We returned last year and again had the pizza, this time the Metro which is a very large rectangle pizza (there were four of us, and it's thin), and the Arancini (rice balls).  Again, an extremely delicious and wonderful meal.  Our servers both times were excellent with adorable Italian accents.  On our second trip we sat at the very long family style table in the center of the restaurant.  We weren't a fan of this, since we were only a party of 4 and the table is wide so we found even at across from each other, we were sort of spread apart.  But with a large party, this would be super fun since you'd have a lot of space to spread out and share all of the delicious offerings!  If you like Italian you should certainly put this on your Epcot restaurant list!

Zeppoles!

Magical Travels,
Amanda Laczynski

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Flash Giveaway! Anastasia and Drizella Vinylmation!


Want to win this pair of step-sisters? 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Secrets in Epcot's UK Pavilion



When you make your way into the United Kingdom pavilion its easy to get distracted by the delicious food and drinks to be had and the character meet and greets that are often around but there is also history all around you!  Mary Poppins as well as Pooh & Friends have been known to frequent the shops and Alice often sets up shop outside the tea shop in the garden.  All three of these characters from classic English literature were brought to life by the Disney company and fit smashingly in this area of EPCOT!


While you are on a character, or food, or beer line… take a look around you!  The cottage where you can find the tea shop is a replica of the home of William Shakespeare from Stratford-on-Avon.
As you make your way through the area you will also notice that the architecture is built larger on top than the first floor… this represents the medieval architectural design of many homes in England. Since taxes were mainly based on the square footage of your ground floor, citizens often built their second floors larger than the first!


This article was written by Melissa and was first posted on The Disney Moms Blog.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My favorite Animal Kingdom Quick Service: Flame Tree BBQ!


Flame Tree BBQ is our favorite Animal Kingdom quick service spot!

Sunshine Tree Terrace


Being a huge fan of Orange Bird, this was a MUST stop for me last year.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cinderella's Royal Table


The most magical dining location in Walt Disney World is Cinderella's Royal Table.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Fountain – Walt Disney World Dolphin

                                                                                Photo © Jennie Schacher-Rubin
                                                                   


I have a tradition when I stay at the Dolphin or the Swan. First thing I do is check in – the next thing I do is head to The Fountain and order a grilled chicken sandwich. This has been going on for years. I love this little restaurant. Years ago, the wait staff would sing and dance 50s style. They don’t anymore, but I am ok with that. As long as they keep serving up the amazing milk shakes, ice cream sundaes, and tradition 1950s fountain shop food – I am all good with it.

What’s so special about a grilled chicken? For me it’s the perfect food after a morning of travel and an afternoon and evening of hitting the parks before my room is ready. It’s not too heavy after all the travel and it’s just the right energy boost to kick off a second wind. Parks, here I come.

If grilled chicken isn’t your thing, no worries. The Fountain has a great assortment of soups and salads, burgers, specialty sandwiches and “fountain specialties” such as their Brownie Blast Sundae, Caramel Apple Sundae, Chocolate Raspberry Torte Shake, Coco Loco Shake - Chocolate & caramel cappuccino ice creams blended together, topped with whipped cream, malted milk balls & drizzled with chocolate & caramel sauces, Nutty-Chocolate-Covered-Banana-Shake and a wide variety of toppings, ice cream flavors, cake and cone types to make your own sundae, cone, float or shake.

Now when my best friend goes without me, she sends a picture of my old standby lunch – now that’s a true friend!

Contributed by Judy Dulberg

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Alice in Wonderland Themed Baby Shower Games!


Welcome to those of you joining me from Return to Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.  I will be exploring the games and activities at this virtual Alice in Wonderland themed baby shower! 



Monday, January 13, 2014

Aztec Temple in the Heart of Epcot



It’s hard not to notice ziggurat-like (if you aren’t sure what they are, ziggurats are pyramid-like temples that have more stepped design outside than the classic triangle shape of a pyramid and have been found in different parts of the world such as Mexico, South America, and the Middle East) temple in Epcot’s World Showcase Mexico Pavilion.  It towers over the Mexico area and can be seen even from across the park! It is one of the icon of World Showcase!

The temple in the Mexico Pavilion was modeled after the Aztec temple for Quetzalcoatl (pronounced KETS-ull-KOH-ahtl) in Teotihuacan, Mexico.   Quetzalcoatl means “feathered serpent” and he was the the god of wind and air in Aztec religion.  If you look at the front artwork on the pavilion you can see a depiction of Quetzalcoatl front and center!

Here are some depictions of the feathered serpent god found in Aztec society (both found from google image search):
   



By the time Spanish explorers reached the Americas the feathered serpent diety (although going by different names) had been worshipped and venerated even in Mayan culture.  Most historians agree that the Quetzalcoatl figure was a fertility diety with strong connections to agricultural gods and contrasting the war gods also worshipped by Meso-American societies.

So next time you are out and about in the Mexico Pavilion, waiting for your ride on Gran Fiesta Tour, your dining reservation at San Angel Inn, drinks at La Cava de Tequila, or maybe just shopping the marketplace show off your new knowledge of the Aztec temple replica you are standing in and tell everyone about Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent diety!

This article was written by Melissa and was first posted on The Disney Moms Blog.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Win a One Year Subscription to WDW Magazine!


WDW is an awesome e-zine filled with Walt Disney World articles, images, and videos.
"WDW Magazine is all about finding the best of Walt Disney World. The best pictures, the best stories, the best videos, and the best information you need for a Perfect WDW vacation."
This great magazine is jam packed with everything you need to keep you up to date on the newest happenings and help you with your trip planning!


I love that when I log in I can see past issues and refer back to articles which can be helpful for trip planning.  I also love the amazing pictures and videos in the magazine.  I used my iPad Mini and it was great.  I  especially love how you can enlarge the beautiful images  found throughout the issues.  When you read through the issues of this fun magazine you really can tell the care that went into making it unique and special.  There are tips for planning, dining, and even at home projects.  
The "Best of WDW" features are my favorite part of the magazine.  I love Disney history and love articles that explore the different attractions.  

This article on the Carousel of Progress is my favorite so far:

 

Enter below for your chance to win a 1 year subscription to this magical online magazine! :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

TANGIERINE CAFÉ – EPCOT


© J. Dulberg

© J. Dulberg
If you are pressed for time and want the flavor of Morocco, without the sit down service, drop by EPCOT’s Tangierine Café. This counter service taste of Morocco has all of the spice and exotic flavor without the wait-time. The menu is comprised of things like Mediterranean wraps and platters and traditional platters. You may also order side dishes and desserts. The Tangierine Children’s menu is typical American fare, making it easy to try something new with kids in tow.


This counter service gives a real taste of Marrakesh, while leaving plenty of time to explore the beautiful marketplace.  In a rush, but want a taste of Morocco? Try the Tangierine Café. 

© J. Dulberg


Contributed by Judy Dulberg

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cabana Bar and Beach Club– Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Hotel


Image © J. Dulberg

There’s nothing I like better than sitting by a pool and not having to move too far to get a meal! At the Disney World Dolphin Resort you can do just that at the Cabana Bar and Beach Club pool service restaurant and bar.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios



If you love great food and old Hollywood charm, make a reservation at the Hollywood Brown Derby.

Monday, January 6, 2014

St. George & the Dragon in Epcot's Germany Pavilion



The Germany pavilion itself is a classic Bavarian village.  When I set foot in EPCOT’s Germany I feel like I set foot in a fairytale village:  the colors, the music, the glorious fountain.  The fountain is where we tell today’s story.

In the heart of the Germany pavilion you will see the fountain with a statue atop.  The statue depicts the mighty St. George slaying a dragon.  In typical European versions of George’s story he is a crusader.
George’s travels had brought him to Libya where he met a poor old hermit.  The hermit explained to George that their village was under attack.  A dragon had been coming to their land and taking a sacrificial “maiden”.  Day after day the dragon returned, and left killing a beautiful young girl.  Only one fair maiden remained- the king’s daughter. The hermit, explained how distraught everyone was for they needed to find a knight brave enough to slay the dragon.  Furthermore, the king had promised his daughter’s hand in marriage to whomever saved her life.

Being brave and kingly himself, George decided he would attempt to save the princess. The next morning he set out to the dragon’s lair.  He saw all the women leading the princess, Sabra, to sacrifice.  George moved full speed ahead, stopping to reassure the women and the princess, and then entered the dragon’s valley.

As soon as the dragon noticed him he came roaring out at George.  The fearless young crusader threw his spear at the dragon, but on impact it was the spear that shattered.  George was thrown from his horse and rolled under an orange tree.  The tree was luckily enchanged and George could not be harmed by the dragon while hidden here. When he recovered from his fall he charged the dragon.  When he needed a break he ran back for the tree.  Finally, he struck the dragon under its wing where there were no scales to protect it and it fell dead at George’s feet.

With Princesses being saved and saving themselves at so many attractions, St. George’s heroism is a great tale of a man, who comes to be Prince thanks to his bravery.  Theodore, a man who is said in some versions to have accompanied George (and in some other versions it is Theodore, not George, who slays the dragon) can be seen on a statue over in the Italy pavilion as well.

This article was written by Melissa and was first posted on The Disney Moms Blog.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Your Disney What to Wear: Signature Dining



When booking a meal at one of the great signature dining experiences at Walt Disney World Resort one of the things to consider besides the amazing meal you are going to have is dress code.  

There are 10 official signature dining locations with dress codes:

1.  Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge
2.  California Grill at the Contemporary
3.  Citricos at the Grand Floridian Resort
4.  Flying Fish at the Boardwalk
5.  Il Molino New York Trattoria at the Swan
6.  Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge
7.  Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian Resort
8.  Shula’s Steakhouse at the Dolphin
9.  Todd English’s Bluezoo at the Dolphin
10.  Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club Resort


The official dress code from Disney:
“Men: Khakis, slacks, jeans, dress shorts, collared shirts. Sport coats are optional.
Ladies: Capris, skirts, dresses, jeans, dress shorts.
Not permitted in dining room: Tank tops, swimwear, hats for gentleman, cut offs, or torn clothing. While T-shirts are now allowed, the policy remains that T-shirts with offensive language or graphics are not acceptable.”

I have dined at a handful of this restaurants and found people dressed below dress code but I think part of the fun of these amazing meals is the dressing up for a night out so you may as well enjoy it.  
A few things to consider, however:
1.  Women should consider wearing a lighter top with a cardigan over it or to carry with as the restaurants can get cold.
2.  If you are dining at Victoria & Albert's the dress code is more formal and men must wear jackets. 
3.  If you are planning to go from your restaurant into a park this is a perfect opportunity for DisneyBounding! Check out this Anna inspired look that would be perfect for a romantic dinner date:

4.  Remember, even though as far as Disney Dining Plan/Price/Menu is concerned both Le Cellier in Epcot's Canada pavillion and Hollywood Studios' Hollywood Brown Derby are signature dining experiences both adhere to the normal casual dress code throughout the parks.  Additionally, dinner shows and experiences like Cinderella's Royal Table, Hoop de Due Revue, Mickey's Backyard BBQ, and the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show that take 2 table service credits and are more expensive do not currently have required dress codes.  
  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hello, 2014!


2013 was a banner year for Picturing Disney!  I started this photoblog as a creative outlet for my Disney love and now just two years later it has exploded into something more fun then I could have imagined.  This year brought us to 200,000 page views, over 10k followers on Social Networking sites, and collaborations with Disney Consumer Products, Bradford Exchange, LeSportSac, lots of Etsy shops and much more! Additionally, with so much more to cover I am no longer a one woman show and have regular contributors and guest bloggers!

While 2013 was a great year for the site, it was a difficult one for me personally.  I said goodbye to people before I was ready and said hello to new people with a heavy heart instead of happy one....  I lost loved ones but gained weight... I spent more time reflecting & crying and less time sleeping & dreaming... but through it all I have tried to remember that I choose who I keep alive in my heart and that like the famous line in Sleepless in Seattle says "I'm gonna get out of bed every morning... breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out..." I know that when trials and tribulations come our way it is because that is how things were meant to be in God's plan and I try to take solace in knowing I will see all my loved ones again someday, just not yet.  

I am looking forward to refining the content on the site.  I have never tried to be a website that regurgitates news you can find on the Disney Parks Blog or rephrases info from the official site, I have been a place where you can get personal anecdotes and tips as well as find lovely Disney pictures, reviews, and other information like planning advice and a free uncomplicated guide.  I would like to do what I set out to do last year and get some of the more popular columns back up on the site again more regularly (Recipes, Crafts), and expand to some new ones (History in the Parks) as well as hopefully make connections for some Book and Video Game reviews.  

Is there anything you would like to see? I am always open to suggestions! 
Happy New Year 2014, ya'll!

PS- Take a minute to head over to the Picturing Disney Facebook page and tell me your most magical Disney moment of 2013!