Dec 12

Dragon Flies Over New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom {Video Proof}

dragon over disney fantasyland magic kingdomI just got back from an action packed trip to Walt Disney World where I toured New Fantasyland, Took a ride on the redesigned Test Track attraction and then rocked out to One Republic, got a peek at “what’s new and what’s next” here at Disney, had lunch and dinner at the stunning Be Our Guest Restaurant and noshed and bowled at the all new Splitsville at Downtown Disney. I’ll be bringing you the skinny on all those things this week!

By far the most talked about moment over the past few days was the dragon sighting on Wednesday night over New Fantasyland. I captured the moment via Instagram but the image did not do the moment justice so I wanted to post this video coverage from the Disney Parks Blog as proof that this wasn’t a projection and yes…the dragon did breathe fire!

Hard to believe that the dragon would only be making a one-night appearance. Where would you like to see him next?

Dec 12

Consider Hilton Bonnet Creek Orlando for Your Disney Holiday Vacation {Here’s Why}

hilton bonnet creek christmasHave you heard of the Hilton Bonnet Creek at Walt Disney World?  It’s this amazing little slice of luxury attached to the Waldorf Astoria Orlando tucked away INSIDE the gates of Walt Disney World and they really “do it up right” when it comes to celebrating the holidays!

From holiday dining to Christmas activities for the entire family to enjoy, you’re sure to get into the holiday spirit at the Bonnet Creek Hilton.

This past weekend my family and I spent two nights at the resort eating, drinking and exploring all of the offerings for Christmas! Let’s take a look shall we?

The Christmas grandeur starts from the moment you arrive at the resort.  Check out the specialty lighting outside the porte-cochère! My picture really does not do it justice.


Disney Hilton Bonnet Creek Christmas Holiday

The lobby decorations are sleek and match perfectly with the elegance of this resort property.

orlando hilton bonnet creek disney christmas holiday

Disney Hilton Bonnet Creek Christmas Holiday

Disney Hilton Bonnet Creek Christmas Holiday

orlando hilton bonnet creek disney christmas holiday

orlando hilton bonnet creek disney christmas holiday

Heading down the grand spiral staircase near the resort lobby will bring you to a magnificent two-story Christmas Tree!

orlando hilton bonnet creek disney christmas holiday

There’s even a tree at the mini water park pool.

orlando hilton bonnet creek christmas holiday pool

…and yes, we did enjoy an afternoon IN the pool IN December. It’s heated…and it was wonderful!

orlando hilton bonnet creek christmas holiday pool

Later on in the evening you and your family can enjoy S’Mores Christmas Fun where you roast s’mores at the poolside fire pits (nominal fee for s’mores kits). Weather permitting.   Or, you can head up to one of the many restaurants and lounges for a seasonal holiday cocktail!  Here’s the Wood -N- Apple (Woodford Reserve bourbon, maple syrup and house-made apple sauce) $14 from La Luce.

la luce wood n apple cocktail bonnet creek hilton holiday

One of my favorites there is not seasonal but is still pretty unique…well the garnish is. A dirty vodka martini with maytag blue cheese stuffed olives! Ask for Chris or Tony!

la luce dirty martini cocktail bonnet creek hilton holiday

But the biggest draw of all has to be the life-size gingerbread house in the main lobby!  From the moment you walk through the front doors, you’ll be greeted by a 7-foot tall gingerbread house that YOU can decorate. A small donation of $5 per shingle will go to Kids Beating Cancer and Make A Wish Foundation.

hilton bonnet creek christmas holiday gingerbread house

hilton bonnet creek christmas holiday gingerbread house

Here are some guest decorated gingerbread tiles awaiting their placement on the house.

hilton bonnet creek christmas holiday gingerbread house

hilton bonnet creek christmas holiday gingerbread house

My family and I truly LOVE this resort and we love it even more during the holidays! For a complete list of Christmas and New Years happenings at the hotel visit HiltonBonnetCreek.com. You can find rates as low as $129 a night for Florida Residents.  If you would like to book a room here please visit http://www.hiltonbonnetcreek.com/ or phone 407-597-3600.

The resort is located at 14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane,  Orlando, FL 32821

I was provided with a discounted media rate at the resort for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own.

Dec 12

Downtown Disney Splitsville Bowling Alley Facts Frame-by-Frame

Splitsville Rendering Downtown disney

  1.  Opening: Early December, 2012 in Downtown Disney West Side at Walt Disney World Resort.
  2. Square Footage: 50,000. Largest Splitsville ever built.
  3. Number of lanes: 30. Nearly twice as many as any other Splitsville.
  4. Lane configuration: 20 lanes second-level, 10 ground-level. First two-level Splitsville of its kind.
  5. Number of bars: Five, featuring the famous Splitsville frozen schooner of beer, specialty cocktails and a wide selection of frozen specialty drinks.
  6. Featured menu items: Hand-cut steaks, mahi mahi with Voodoo shrimp, fresh-rolled sushi, filet sliders, hand-tossed pizza and classic hamburgers made with Splitsville’s special blend of certified angus brisket, short rib and ground chuck.
  7. Number of sushi bars: Two – one on each level where customers can watch chefs roll their hand-made creations and belly-up for a Volcano Roll, Super Tuna or any of the fresh selections.
  8. Other unique features: Lane concierge responsible for delivering shoes and bowling balls to your lanes prior to your arrival; outdoor patio dining on both floors; billiards tables; live music seven nights a week; more than 60 flat screen TVs.
  9. First location: Tampa, Fla. (opened December 2003)
  10. Other Splitsville locations: Tampa; Miami; Fairview, Texas and Fredericksburg, Va.

Nov 12

Hilton Bonnet Creek Offers Up Christmas Dinner to Disney Guests

hilton bonnet creek disneyGuests of the Hilton Bonnet Creek at Walt Disney World Resort have a few options for their home-away-from-home Christmas Dinner next month.

My favorite Hilton will be dolling out holiday fare at both La Luce and Harvest Bistro.  A special a la carte holiday menu will be available at La Luce by Donna Scala. Harvest Bistro is featuring a special buffet complete with traditional holiday fixings and a delightful dessert buffet. Adults $39 Children 12 & Under $19. Reservations are required.

Here’s a preview of the Christmas Dinner menu at Harvest Bistro:


Spiced Butternut Squash
Leek & Potato Soup

Charcuterie, Cheese, Fruit & Salad

Fresh Fruit Tray
Mediterranean Cured Meat & Cheese Display
California Pasta Salad with Fresh Vegetables, Sweet Corn & Bell Pepper Salad
Variety of Mixed Garden Greens
Floridian Potato Salad
Sliced Tomatoes & Red Onions with Basil & Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ice Bar

Shrimp Poached in Lemon, Fennel, White Wine Broth & Chilled


Honey Baked Ham with Whole Grain Mustard
Roasted Turkey with Gravy & Cranberry Sauce
Onion & Sage Stuffing

Entrée & Sides

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Penne Pasta, Spinach Cashew Nut Pesto, Shaved Parmesan
Grilled Swordfish on Sautéed Bokchoy with Chive & Lime Butter
Orange & Honey Glazed Carrots
Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic & Lime Roasted New Potatoes
Sautéed Beans with Roasted Red Peppers
Cranberry Rice Pilaf

Fabulous Dessert

Pecan Pie, Apple Pie, Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding,
Cookies, Bailey Irish Cream Pudding, Jello,
Carrot Cake, Eggnog Parfait, & Cheesecake

Kids Corner

Dino Nuggets, Garden Salad, Mac & Cheese

You don’t have to be staying at the Hilton Bonnet Creek to indulge in Christmas Dinner there. For reservations at Harvest Bistro call 407-597-3670.  For La Luce Reservations call 407-597-3675.  The Hilton Bonnet Creek is located at 14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane  Orlando, FL 32821 and is within the gates of the Walt Disney World Resort. For more info visit http://www.hiltonbonnetcreek.com/ or phone 407-597-3600.

Nov 12

Dates for the 2013 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

20th epcot flower and garden festival 2013

The Fab Five are having a party, and everyone’s invited to join the fun during the 20thEpcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 6-May 19, 2013 at Walt Disney World Resort.  Colorful, whimsical topiaries of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck will welcome topiary Daisy to their Epcot front-entrance celebratory barbecue.  The 14-foot-tall topiary Goofy will bobble an anniversary cake while Donald and Daisy play badminton, Mickey fires up the grill, Pluto swipes a link of hot dogs and Minnie chills out on a colorful blanket of blossoms.

And that’s just the festival opener.  New topiaries, gardens, children’s play areas and interactive gardening seminars will set the stage for 75 days of festival fun as Disney’s horticulture team revs up for its 20th year of beautiful blooms and creative whimsy.

For the first year ever, Mike and Sully from Disney/Pixar “Monsters Inc.” will join the festivities with their Disney/Pixar “Monsters University” topiary on the walkway from Future World to the park’s World Showcase.  A new Disney/Pixar “Cars” playground– Radiator Springs–brings favorite movie characters to life in topiary on the Test Track Walkway.  And 2013′s Fawn’s Butterfly House flits to life with hundreds of butterflies and eight fairy topiaries including Tinker Bell, Fawn, Vidia and Terrence.

The opening weekend Flower Power Concert Series at America Gardens Theatre will present fan favorite Micky Dolenz (“I’m a Believer”) March 8-10.  Other pop acts set to perform include Chubby Checker & the Wildcats, The Guess Who, Paul Revere & The Raiders and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone.

More than 100 topiaries, 240 floating mini-gardens, dozens of flower towers and sweeping beds of multi-colored blooms will add floral splendor to the park landscape.  Daily hands-on gardening seminars, HGTV celebrity presentations, and other Festival Center events will offer innovative ideas, design tips and gardening know-how to park guests.