Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Disney-Pixar Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales for Wii $9.96 at Walmart

 
 AWESOME SALE!! Walmart.com has Disney-Pixar Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales for Wii on sale for only $9.96 with FREE shipping! While supplies last.



(Thanks Couponing to Disney)


What is a FASTPASS??

   

   What is a FastPass ? Disney's FastPass Service allows you to hold your place in line for an attraction while you continue touring the rest of the park.



   How does it work? You simply look for a FastPass kiosk near the entrance to a ride/attraction. You get in line for one of the kiosks and when it's your turn, simply insert your park ticket or Key to the World Card into the FastPass machine. A ticket stub (your FastPass) will spit out below with the return time stamped on it. Retrieve the stub and don't forget your park ticket. You will need to do this for each member of your family/party, inserting each of their tickets into the machine as well.



   The time stamped on the FastPass stub is the time you can return to the ride/attraction and bypass the regular queue line and head directly to the FastPass queue. Be sure and keep track of the FastPass stub as you will need to show it to the Cast Member at the entrance to the FastPass queue.



   What's great about the FastPass feature is that you can ride other attractions, tour the park or enjoy a meal instead of spending that time in line. And the time stamped on the FastPass gives you a one hour window to return and ride. For example, if the time stamped is 1:10 p.m., you can return to the ride anytime between 1:10 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. (For shows, you will return at the specific showtime indicated on the FastPass).

   Here's a tip if there's a ride you just love and want to enjoy more than once: Pick up a FastPass ticket for later but still get in the regular line to ride it first.

   For example, one of our favorite rides is Toy Story Mania in Disney's Hollywood Studios but it always has a very long line. So, as soon as the park opens and everyone is rushing towards the Pixar Place area, I send my family to the regular line for Toy Story Mania while I take everyone's tickets and get in line at one of the FastPass kiosks. I insert each ticket and get a FastPass for a later time as shown on the clock above the kiosk area. Then I race over to the regular line to join my family. This allows us to ride once and since we love this ride so much (and mostly because my hubby just wants to beat my high score) we are able to ride again later using our FastPasses. We also do this for Space Mountain  in Magic Kingdom and Soarin' in Epcot (a few of our other favorite rides).  :D



   There are a few things you should know:

   1. FastPass tickets are only valid on the day they are issued.
   2. Everyone in your party entering through the FastPass entance must each have their own FastPass ticket.
   3. There's a limit to the number of Fast tickets you may have at one time. The time you can get another FastPass will be printed on the ticket. The FastPass machines will not issue you another ticket until the time stated on your current one has passed.

Here is the current list of rides/attractions that offer Disney's FastPass Service (subject to change):

Disney's Animal Kingdom:

Disney's Hollywood Studios:

Magic Kingdom:

Epcot:

  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Memories: Expedition Everest under Construction

   We were spending the day touring Disney's Animal Kingdom in 2005 when we came across this site:





   The construction of Animal Kingdom's first thrill-ride roller coaster: Expedition Everest. It has since become one of our favorite rides in Walt Disney World.



50's Prime Time Cafe (Disney's Hollywood Studios)

  
   Get ready to blast into the past when you dine at 50's Prime Time Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios. The food is awesome and the atmosphere is even better.



   From the moment you walk in you are transplanted into the 1950's, as you are told to wait in "Dad's Den" until dinner is ready. Soon, you will hear your name called by either your "Mom", "Aunt", "Uncle" or "Cousin". They will then greet everyone in your party and seat you in the dining room. Be prepared to be asked to remove any and all hats and if you have washed your hands before dinner. Be honest, they just might check!



    While "Mom" goes to the kitchen to prepare dinner, you can enjoy old 50's cartoons, commercials, sitcoms and even The Mickey Mouse Club on the retro TVs.


   On the menu, you will find a wide variety of options including: "Dad's Traditional Meatloaf", "Aunt Liz's Golden Fried Chicken", "Mom's Old Fashioned Pot Roast" and many more traditional "home-cooked" meals.



   And if you've eaten all of your veggies, "Mom" will let you have your pick of dessert. There is everything from cheesecake to cobbler to s'mores. If you don't want dessert, then be sure to order a milkshake. They have some of the best milkshakes you will ever taste. The most popular is the PB&J Milkshake. Sounds good, right? Well, it is delicious and if you want to try it out for yourself click here for the recipe: 50's Prime Time Cafe PB&J Milkshake.

  
    I'm sure you will love everything about this place, as I do. You can make reservations up to 180 days in advance on disneyworld.com  or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

 

   *I will leave you with one last tip: Keep your elbows off the table when you are dining here. : D




Hidden Mickey Monday #3

   Today's Hidden Mickey can be found in the queue area for Toy Story Mania in Disney's Hollywood Studios. It is hidden among one of Andy's crayon drawings:



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Epcot IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth Video

   If you have never viewed IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot then you are missing a beautiful production and the perfect way to end a night at Walt Disney World. Here is my personal video posted on YouTube. Enjoy!



Candlelight Processional Packages begin booking on July 26th!! Ten things to know before you call!

  
  Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. Eastern you can begin calling 407-WDW-DINE to book your Candlelight Processional packages. There are a few things you should know before booking:

1. The Candlelight Processional package includes: a meal at a participating dine location, guaranteed seating at the corresponding Candlelight Processional and VIP viewing for that evening's presentation of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

2. Your meal includes: an appetizer, entree, dessert (or full buffet) and a non-alcoholic, non-specialty beverage.

3. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and Bistro de Paris will NOT be participating in this year's packages.

4. Due to the popularity of Le Cellier Steakhouse dinner reservations, Candlelight Processional Packages will ONLY be offered during Le Cellier's lunch times.

5. There are corresponding meal times and show times for each Candlelight Processional Package.

   If you plan on attending the 5 p.m. Candlelight Processional, then your meal must be booked between 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.

   If you plan on attending the 6:45 p.m Candlelight Processional, then your meal must be booked between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.

   If you plan on attending the 8:15 p.m. Candlelight Processional, then your meal must be booked between 5 - 6 p.m.

6. The Candlight Processional Package is 2 Table Service entitlements for guests on the Magic Your Way Dining Plan and the Deluxe Dining Plan. It is one meal on the Premium and Platinum Dining Plans.

7. Epcot admission is required and NOT included in the price of the Candlelight Processional Package.

8. Candlelight Processional Packages will NOT be offered for the 5 p.m. show on December 4, 2011.

9. The Candlelight Processional runs nightly from November 25th - December 30th, 2011.

10. You can book your Candlelight Processional package by calling 407-WDW-DINE, beginning at 7 a.m. on July 26, 2011.

  
   I hope these tips have helped your planning. Happy booking!!


Friday, July 22, 2011

My Top 5 SouvenEars from Walt Disney World!

   I love everything at WDW and have purchased a ton of souvenirs but I'd have to say the items I brought home on my last trip were my favorite.



#5: Mickey Mouse Purse

   No, this is not one of the Disney/Dooney and Bourke purses that are between $200-$300. I bought this purse at the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney for about $40. It's really cute and I love the Mickey heads!



#4 Mickey Rice Krispy Treats

   I love these! We had the Disney Dining Plan and accumulated these over the week so I packed them in our bags and brought them home. It was a nice treat to have them during the week after returning, when you are back to reality and homesick for Disney. :(



#3 Mickey Kitchen Gadgets

   My kitchen theme is Mickey (I'll have to post pics one day) so every time I go to WDW I pick up a few more gadgets (or replace those that someone has broken).  : /  This time around I bought a pie cutter, spoon rest, pepper mill and toast press (red). The toast press is really cute, you press your slice of bread with it before placing the bread in the toaster then when it comes out, the face of Mickey appears on it. (Pictured in the background is a Mickey coaster holder and character coasters which was purchased on a previous trip.)



#2 Castle Fleece Blanket

   If you walk into my house on any given day, you will see this blanket strewn across one of our couches (and more than likely a person or dog curled up under it). This was a promo item during our Christmas visit to WDW. When you purchased $50 or more in a particular gift shop you could add this blanket for (I believe) $10 at the register. It is extremely soft and the design is just beautiful.



#1 Pecan-Chocolate-Caramel Apple

   This thing was HUGE!! And SOOOOO GOOD!! I bought it on our last day. We were in Downtown Disney's West Side and came across The Candy Cauldron. It's like walking into Willy Wonka Land. There are so many wonderful-looking treats to buy. I settled on this huge candy apple. It was dipped in a layer of caramel then chocolate and finally rolled in chopped pecans.  It was so hard not to eat it that day but I was determined to bring a Disney treat home for myself. I snacked on it a little bit every day for the next week and shared with no one. :D

  
  Well, I hope you've enjoyed my Top 5 SouvenEars from WDW. You can always check The Disney Store for some of the items sold in the theme parks (such as the kitchen gadgets) and if you can't find them there you can call Disney's Mail Order Merchandise at 407-363-6200.

  Comment if you'd like to tell us some of your favorite SouvenEars. :)





Friday's Fun Fact: The Tree of Life


   Did you know that there are 325 birds, reptiles and mammals carved into The Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom?


  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sleepy Hollow: Funnel Cake Recipe

 


 Hidden away in the Liberty Square area of Magic Kingdom is one of our favorite stops
for a snack and a chance to sit down and cool off: Sleepy Hollow.
And although they have a variety of yummy treats on their menu,
we go there for only one reason: Funnel Cakes!

  It'll be a while before my next venture to WDW but I don't have to wait that long to bite into this delightful dessert. I can make it at home and with the following recipe so can you!

***Warning***Do not wear a black shirt when eating this sugary treat!!!***

Sleepy Hollow: Funnel Cake Recipe
*makes about 6 large funnel cakes
Ingredients

1 & 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 & 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
vegetable oil
powdered sugar (for sprinkling)

Directions:

  Mix eggs, sugar, vanilla and milk until well blended. Slowly add the flour, salt and baking powder a little at a time, stirring well. Mix until batter is smooth. If you have a funnel, that will work best but if not, you can pour some of the batter into a measuring cup or bowl that has a spout on one side (this method will make a slightly thicker funnel cake). You can also use a ladle.

  Heat 1-inch of vegetable oil on medium-high in a deep pan. While waiting for the oil to heat, prepare a plate covered with several layers of paper towels to soak up the oil after frying. Also, have the powdered sugar ready to sprinkle on the hot funnel cakes. You can use a sifter or just a large spoon.

  Once the oil is ready, drop a tiny blob of batter to see if it sizzles. If it does, then it's ready. Using your funnel, ladle or measuring cup, pour the batter into the hot oil making a thin circular outline. Quickly fill in the outline, overlaying the batter making sort of a spider web looking shape. The batter should puff immediately.

  Using a pair of kitchen tongs, quickly turn the funnel cake over as soon as one side is golden brown. After the other side has cooked, remove it from the oil and place it on top of the paper towel-lined plate. Immediately sprinkle it with a heavy layer of powdered sugar. Repeat these steps until there is no more batter. Your creation should look like this:


   I like my funnel cake with powdered sugar only but Sleepy Hollow also serves them topped with strawberries and whipped cream. And if you want more of a Churro flavor, you can sprinkle the cake with cinnamon-sugar instead of powdered sugar. Wipe off your shirt and enjoy!! :D


***UPDATE!! You can now watch this recipe being made on The Disney Diner's YouTube Channel. Click below to watch:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Like Us on Facebook!!

   Keep updated with each new post from The Disney Diner by clicking the Like button on our Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Disney-Diner/125187150902441

Lights, Motors, Action! Goodbye Herbie, Hello Lightning McQueen!!


   Herbie the Love Bug has been a part of Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show in Disney's Hollywood Studios since it debuted in 2005. But now due to the popularity of Disney/Pixar Cars and the recent release of Cars 2 in theaters, Herbie has been replaced by Lightning McQueen, star of both films.




  He debut was actually today and can be seen in this uploaded video on YouTube.


The following info is courtesy of Disney Parks Blog:

   Look for his cameo when the stunt show director sets up a highlight reel dedicated to “one of the greatest race cars of all time.” But just as the crew leaves to set up for the next stunt demonstration, the highlight video feed is interrupted with a distress call from Mater, Lightning’s rusty sidekick. He warns the audience that secret agent Finn McMissile has issued a report of enemy spy activity at “these here coordinates.” Lightning McQueen speeds in to calm the audience down and explains that Mater is probably just telling tall tales again.

   Just then, a mysterious black automobile appears on the stage. I don’t want to give away all the details here, but let’s just say what follows is quite an animated game of cat and mouse.

   Guests who wish to meet Lightning McQueen and Mater before or after the show can do so at the Winner’s Circle (formerly Luigi’s Garage), which features larger-than-life trophies and posters that depict famous races from around the world. Be sure to check out Lightning McQueen’s upgraded international look, too.

Go Back 2 School with Disney!

   I just checked The Disney Store online and they are having a sale on Back to School backpacks and lunch totes. They are adorable!




   The backpacks are on sale for $15 and the lunch totes are marked down to only $8! Click here to go to http://www.disneystore.com/back-to-school/mn/1000904/ Happy shopping!!


Tuesday's Travel Tip: Pressed Penny Packing

   If you are looking for inexpensive and fun souvenirs at Disney World consider the many pressed penny machines located in each park and resort. Your kids will love hunting for these hidden treasures and collecting the wide variety of characters and designs. The best part is that it will only cost you 51 cents!


   It is a very popular trend and the gift shops in WDW even sell pressed penny books with protector pockets to display your collection.




   So if you decide you or your kids would like to start a collection you will need to carry a load of change into the parks and that's where Tuesday's Travel Tip comes in. Believe me, you don't want to carry a bunch of loose change at the bottom of your backpack or purse just to have to dig them out every time you run into one of these press machines.

   That is why you will need a few of these:


   M&M's Minis?? I know what you're thinking. What do M&M's Minis have to do with anything? Well, these M&M's Minis tubes are just the perfect size to carry a stack of coins. And the best part is that you will have to eat all the M&M's first!!

   This is how my boys carried their coins. They each had a tube in a different color, then every morning in the resort I would fill the tube with the coins in this order: 2 quarters, 1 penny, 2 quarters, 1 penny, 2 quarters, 1 penny, you get the idea. Why? Because the press machines cost 50 cents to operate and you need the penny to be pressed. So every time they came upon one of these machines they simply pulled out their own tube and didn't have to wait for me or my hubby to dig out the money.

   You can even get a little creative and decorate the tube or wrap it with Disney-themed paper. I hope you enjoyed today's tip!!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Memories: Winning a Year of a Million Dreams Prize!

  We visited Walt Disney World in 2007 during "The Year of a Million Dreams" promotion, where guests were surprised every day by "The Dream Team" with everything from FastPasses to a night of stay in Cinderella's Castle in Magic Kingdom.

  We had just entered Magic Kingdom and made a stop at Main Street Bakery. I went through the line ordering our favorites: Cinnamon Coffee Crumb Cake (Me), Cherry Turnover (Hubby), Apple Turnover (Matt) and Chocolate Chip Cookie (Drew). Well, after taking our order I noticed the Cast Member place a giant cookie on our tray. I thought to myself: Oh no, I meant a small cookie. I bet that one is over $10!

   As we got up to the counter to pay, I opened my mouth to explain the mistake but I was interrupted by two Cast Members saying in unison: "On behalf of Walt Disney World and The Year of a Million Dreams, we present you with this dream cookie." I was so surprised and my son was ecstatic with his giant chocolate chip cookie. It took him three days to eat it. lol. Here's a pic:



Hidden Mickey Monday #2

  This week's Hidden Mickey is pretty obvious. Take a look:


  But can you guess where this Hidden Mickey is located?



   It's located inside The Stage One Company Store in Disney's Hollywood Studios. This is the gift shop situated at the exit of Muppet Vision 3D. Enter the store and walk directly to the shelves with hats. Standing in front of the paint-spattered shelves look down and you will see the above Hidden Mickey splatter. Actually, it looks more like a Hidden Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, doesn't it? :D


Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Fantasyland UPDATE: Beauty & The Beast & The Great Goofini

    I cannot wait until the Magic Kingdom expansion is complete and the New Fantasyland opens with new attractions and dining! Here is the latest information on the progress.

We just received a fresh batch of images from our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering depicting attractions and experiences planned for New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. While specific details are yet-to-be-announced, we couldn’t wait to share them with you.


The Be Our Guest Restaurant will welcome “Beauty and the Beast” fans in royal style inside Beast’s Castle.


The Enchanted Tales with Belle experience will allow guests to enjoy a re-telling of “the tale as old as time.”


The new Barnstormer will feature Goofy as the Great Goofini, a true daredevil pilot in the skies.
Source: Disney Parks Blog

  I am most excited about the "Be Our Guest Restaurant", since Beauty & The Beast is my favorite Disney movie! Which attraction are you most excited about?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pic of the Week: Beast

  Here is a pic of Beast (Disney's Beauty & The Beast) I took during Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade at Magic Kingdom. He waved right at me! :D


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Scrapbooking with Character Autographs

   When my son was smaller he loved collecting the autographs of the Disney Characters. And when we got back home from our first trip I was trying to capture our memories of that trip in my first Disney scrapbook. I wanted to add the autographs but I didn't want to ruin his autograph book, then I realized that I could place his book on my scanner/copier and copy the autographs onto paper. I was then able to cut them out in any shape I wanted, glue them into my scrapbook and he still had the originals in his book. Here are two pics showing the copied autographs in my scrapbook:

  
  Hope you enjoyed today's tip. Feel free to comment if you have some tips of your own you'd like to share!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pre-Order Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at Amazon.com

  Jerry Bruckheimer just Tweeted this today. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will be available on DVD/Blu-ray beginning October 18th. I'm so excited! I love the entire POTC series (and Captain Jack) but I especially loved this last film. If you haven't seen it I suggest you head to the theater right now AND go ahead and pre-order the DVD as well because after seeing it I know you will definitely want to add it to your Disney collection.

Pre-Order Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at Amazon.com

NEW Kingdom Keepers Quest at Magic Kingdom

    My son loves The Kingdom Keepers book series by Ridley Pearson. It's a youth adventure series based in Walt Disney World. And now life is imitating art in this new program in Magic Kingdom .
  
  
   I am excited to announce the addition of a new Disney Youth Programs self-guided learning opportunity for youth groups of 10 or more – the Kingdom Keepers Quest! The program, which was developed around the Kingdom Keepers book series and was written by author Ridley Pearson himself, involves problem solving, visualization, observation, creativity, math skills, language arts and critical thinking. Students will have the opportunity to work together to solve puzzles throughout Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort — just as the Keepers do in the first book, Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark. Do you have what it takes to be a Keeper?

Here is a look at the program:

Source: Disney Parks Blog



The Crystal Palace: Puffed French Toast Recipe (and Video)

  
 Yum, Yum, Yum! If you've ever eaten at The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom then you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's sort of a cross between French Toast and a Doughnut/Fritter (depending on what part of the country you are from). It's very easy to make and a wonderful way to bring a little Disney Magic to the breakfast table. Enjoy!

The Crystal Palace: Puffed French Toast Recipe
Serves 8

Ingredients:

2 whole eggs
2  1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk
2 cups  all-purpose flour
1  1/2 tablespoons baking powder
8 slices Texas Toast (or other thick-sliced bread), cut in half diagonally
oil for frying
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Optional toppings: powdered sugar, maple syrup, fresh fruit, fruit preserves, whipped cream


Directions:

   First, pour the 3/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon into a shallow glass dish. Stir well and set aside.


   Next, cut each slice of bread diagonally into two triangles (making a total of 16 triangles).


   In a large bowl, mix eggs, remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, vanilla and milk with whisk until well blended. Slowly add the flour, salt and baking powder and stir until lumps are gone and batter is smooth. It will be appear similar to pancake batter.

  
  
   Heat 1-inch of cooking oil in a deep frying pan. Test the oil by dropping a tiny bit of batter into it, if it begins sizzling it is ready.

  Now, before you begin you may want to form an assembly line (that's what I do) to make it easier. Here is the order: the plate of bread slices and batter on one side of the stove, near the frying pan. Then on the other side of the pan (for after frying) place an empty plate with a layer of paper towels, the dish of cinnamon sugar, and another plate for serving.

   Take a bread triangle and dip it into the batter, turning to coating both sides. Then carefully drop it into the hot oil. (Please be warned! This cooks extremely fast. Do not step away from it or it will burn.) Using kitchen tongs, flip the bread over as soon as it puffs and turns golden-brown. Once the other side has cooked, remove it with your tongs and place it on the empty plate with paper towels to let it soak up any excess oil. Then quickly move it on over to the dish of cinnamon sugar and roll it or sprinkle with your hands until completely coated. Now move it to the servinge dish/plate. Repeat for all slices of bread.

   Once all bread has been fried, sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve on individual plates and top with warm maple syrup, fresh fruit or preserves and whipped cream.

I hope you've enjoyed today's recipe. Have a Magical Breakfast!!


UPDATE!! You can now watch the video featuring this recipe on The Disney Diner's YouTube Channel. Click below to watch:

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