Crush from Disney’s hit animated film “Finding Nemo” is just one of the artful chocolate sculptures at The Chocolate Experience: From The Bean to the Bar Hosted by Ghirardelli in the Festival Center at the 17th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort. The festival, which began September 28th, continues through November 12th. (Kent Phillips, photographer)
Featuring a large music box centerpiece nearly 7 feet tall with Belle and the Beast slowly twirling atop, the Rose Gallery is one of three dining rooms at Be Our Guest Restaurant. Adorned with rose accents, paintings and tapestries, the Rose Gallery features French-inspired cuisine for quick-service lunch. Part of New Fantasyland, Be Our Guest Restaurant will hold its grand opening on December 6th, 2012 in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. (David Roark, photographer)
Lunch was served at 1pm. All the “fans” headed up to California Grill on the top floor of the Contemporary Resort.
The first stop was inside the Napa Room for a photo op with Chip and Dale.
Jeff Alan “The Balloon Master” was on hand sculpting balloon animals for the kids.
Then guests slowly filtered in to the main dining area for a beautiful buffet spread. The cauliflower soup was to-die-for, although I think the standout on the buffet were these Mom’s Panel Fan Cupcakes (strawberry with lemon curd filling and strawberry frosting)
This event was a chance for the Mom’s Panelists to meet face to face with some of the families and fans that they have given Disney vacation advice to. Each and every panelist made the rounds throughout the restaurant mingling and talking with guests while we noshed on amazing food from the California Grill chefs.
We were encouraged to take photos with some of our favorite panelists. I have a soft spot for Mom’s Panelist Deborah B. She’s ELECTRIC!
Here’s a former panelist you may recognize…Suzannah D. dining with guests.
…and the “Pink Princess” herself, Mrs. Laura Spencer…
What a fantastic event! If you or anyone you know is planning a vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort and have questions related to any aspect of your trip visit and chat with the Walt Disney World Mom’s Panel at disneyworldforum.disney.go.com
Three years ago I responded to a tweet from the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Resort which led to a free Ride-Along experience for myself. At the time, my daughter was only 10 years old and was not old enough to participate. She was pretty bummed and I vowed to let her ride as soon as she was old enough. Flash forward to today. My daughter is now 13. That’s her and I above (I know…she’s tall for her age) and I just made good on that promise. Although she is not old enough to do the Ride-Along (minimum age is 14), Drive Petty has implemented a new program that allows her to have an identical experience! The Junior Ride-Along program!
Junior Ride-Alongs are only $59 and are for children between the ages of 6 and 13 years old and at least 48 inches in height. They are offered during the same times as the regular Ride-Alongs and are conducted in basically the same manor.
First you suit up…
Then it’s time to head on out to the speedway for your helmet and other safety gear.
Junior Petty Power ACTIVATE!
Be sure your kids wear closed toe shoes. They will need them to participate.
The reason that the Richard Petty Driving Experience is now able to do the Junior Ride-Along Program is because they had very special child safety harness seats manufactured just for them. If your kid is too tall to fit in that seat (like mine) they can still go in a stock car equipped to handle an adult.
Next, it’s time load up…Dukes of Hazard style!
That’s right…right thru the window.
The safety inspections that the vehicles go thru borders on ridiculous. This company is fanatical about safety and they have never had any injuries out on the course….ever! I’d feel more comfortable letting my child ride in one of these stock cars with an experienced driver over a mini van on the interstate.
After everything has been checked and rechecked it’s time for SPEED!
Here’s the video footage of my daughter’s Ride-Along experience…
As you can see…she had a BLAST! If you’re on the fence about the Ride-Along, you can enter the Walt Disney World Speedway for free and spectate any time you’d like. If you’re ready to book your kid one of the most unique experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort then head on out there and tell em I sent ya! For more info visit DrivePetty.com or call 1-800-237-3889.
Walt Disney World Resort guests were treated to a first look at new castle walls unveiled last week at the Magic Kingdom. The castle walls are part of New Fantasyland, a multiyear project and the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. Grand opening of New Fantasyland is set for December 6th, 2012 with Passholder Previews set for November. (Gene Duncan, photographer)