Tag Archives: Hidden Gems

The Carolwood Pacific: Fair Weather Route to host a ‘Conversation with a Magic Kingdom Steam Train Specialist’

12 Sep

Nestled inside the The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, is a true Hidden Gem…The Carolwood Pacific: Fair Weather Route.

Now I am sure that the person who showed me this spot is going to KILL me for sharing, but I can’t help it!!!

This quiet and peaceful room is filled with comfy chairs, game tables, and tons of Steam Train Memorabilia!

This was my favorite Oil Painting!!!

This model of the Lilly Belle was made in celebration of Walt Disney's 100th Birthday, and was absolutely amazing!!!

But by far the most amazing thing inside of this space is two actual freight cars from The Carolwood Pacific!!! (I absolutely apologize for the the quality of these pictures. My enthusiasm is greater than my skill for taking photos!)

What I found to be super cool, is that this lounge will be playing host to a ‘Conversation with a Magic Kingdom® Steam Train Specialist’ September 13th and 27th at 11:30 am.

Learn how Walt Disney’s lifetime love of steam trains led to their becoming an integral part of the Magic Kingdom® in this opportunity to talk one on one with a knowledgeable Steam Train Specialist from the Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour. Hear the history of how the Magic Kingdom® Steam Trains came to be the magnificent and massive steam locomotives they are today. We’ll See you in the Carolwood Pacific Room at The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. All Aboard!

It never ceases to amaze me what you are able to find when you slow down and go off the beaten path during your visit to Walt Disney World!!!

If you are visiting the Wilderness Lodge, I absolutely suggest taking a moment to walk down to the Villas to visit this room that pays homage to such an important part of Walt Disney World’s history.


Hidden Gems: Making Earth Day Everyday in Innoventions

24 May

It is really easy to walk by, and goodness knows that I had done it many times,  but you really should stop by Innoventions East and try your hand at making Everyday Earth Day by creating paper!

Some fun environmental facts are on display around the area.

The first step was to scoop up the cellulose with a strainer.

Once the cellulose was placed into a form, it was dunked into another water bath.

As the form was lifted out of the bath, you could see the paper taking shape.

Zoe after she moved her form over to the rolling area.

Getting closer... The vacuum really helped start the drying process.

And now to roll out as much of the leftover water as you can from the 'paper'. Zoe was able to do this part all by herself!!!

And the paper was really starting to take it's shape! It was super soggy at first, but she was able to peel it off of the drying area and ready to be dried some more in an oven for a few minutes.

Zoe and her paper!!! She was soooo proud of all of her hard work!!! 🙂

And now the best part….DECORATING!!!!!

And now a look at the finished product!!!

The whole process did take about 20 minutes, but it was a great break from the heat and the hustle & bustle of a day in Epcot!!!

Hidden Gems – Magic Kingdom – Main Street Philharmonic

22 Nov

So as I was walking through Liberty Square, I heard music to my ears…literally coming from the Main Street Philharmonic.

While I knew that this very talented group of gentleman played on Main Street around the parades ( Sunday – Thursday at 1:35 pm & 3:555 pm), I had NO idea that they played just outside of The Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square!!!

The first set that I caught at 11:00 am featured several Christmas and Holiday songs. Now, these guys do WAYYY more than just play the songs!!! The Philharmonic led the crowd in a sing along, told some awesomely corny jokes, and did their best to get the crowd in the Christmas spirit!!!

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During the second show at 12:20 pm, the Main Street Philharmonic featured more traditional American Marches. For me the highlights were when they played Stars and Stripes and led some of the kids in the audience in a little march with American flags and when they played “When the Saints Go Marching In”.

Here are a few pics of “Stars and Stripes”..

They gathered up the kids and gave them each a small American Flag.

The march to the...well March begins...

After everyone is ready, they take their place among the members of the Philharmonic!

Stars and Stripes Forever!!!

And here is a pretty poor video of them playing “When the Saints Go Marching In”!

I hope that you enjoyed this peek at the Main Street Philharmonic, and maybe even decide to take a detour through Liberty Square to catch them!!!

Hidden Gems: Morocco’s Fez House

21 Oct

I always look longingly at Morocco as I pass it in the World Showcase at EPCOT, because I usually have zero time to explore my favorite pavilion or a child who is at the end of her rope.

Morocco may not have a ride or movie to lure people in, but what it does provide you with is an intimate glimpse into what it may be like to live there.

Over the years, I have found The Fez House to be a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle out on the World Showcase Lagoon.

From the outside the Fez House looks unassuming...

While the outside is plain, once you enter the doorway you are instantly transported to a time and place that is both unfamiliar and comfortable all at once. The walls echo with the sounds of traditional music mingled with the soft flow of water from the fountain, and all around you are details that make you feel like the family that lives there has just popped out to the market.

Just to the left of the fountain is a brass plaque that tells you some details and information about not only the design of the house but of how important homes are in Moroccan culture.

The First thing one should own is a home;

and it is the last thing one should sell. For

a home is one’s castle this side of Heaven.

Moroccan Proverb

If you ever find yourself needing to take a break from it all, I strongly suggest popping into the Fez House to take a moment to reflect on your day.

Hidden Gem of Disney’s Hollywood Studios

24 Sep

I decided that I would do something a little different today on my trip to Hollywood Studios, so I ducked into The Magic of Disney’s Animation to visit my friend Mushu and the creative process.

While the film is definitely dated and offerings greatly reduced from what they once were, I always seem to laugh and enjoy the sneak peek at the upcoming release by Disney Animation.

Right now they are featuring “Tangled”, and the teaser gives a great glimpse of the film and the artwork that is on display outside is amazing.

The "Tangled" mural that is located just outside of The Magic of Disney's Animation

But just around the corner is my favorite hidden gem of Hollywood Studios, and the real reason for my diversion, the Animation Academy.

The column outside of the waiting area for the Animation Academy

This 22 minute lesson in drawing a character, usually chosen by the artist, is a great chance to try your hand at being an animator. The classes are usually pretty packed, so it is best to wait and enjoy a nice break when you get the chance!

Once you enter the room everyone sits at a station, and gets led through the creation of a character through easy to follow directions and encouraging words. Today Ryan let us vote on who we’d draw…and Minnie Mouse won!

Ryan during our lesson drawing Minnie Mouse

While you may not leave with a perfect drawing, you definitely get a unique and free souvenir from your short time at the Animation Academy.

My Minnie Mouse

I don’t think I have a future in drawing, but it sure was a lot of fun!

What is your favorite Hidden Gem at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

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