Drinking Around the World at Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

183588_1861566262749_1583702_n

I consider the Germany pavilion to be one of the World Showcases little hidden havens.  There is something about the fountain with the statue of St. George slaying the dragon and the faint sounds of Oktoberfest accordion music coming from the Biergarten buffet restaurant that make me immediately embrace my own German heritage and feel cozy and at home.

Sommerfest is a great stop for lunch and for one of my favorite beers: Altenmunster Oktoberfest.

If you like normal Oktoberfest brews it may not be your first choice, however, and I will explain why.

I first gave this a try as I like beers with a much lighter taste and at the time we stopped I saw the look of the beer the people in front of us had ordered.  I asked what they had and it was love at first sip.

With more of an ale taste, this was a perfect choice to compliment the brats we ordered for lunch on a bright and sunny Florida day.  Next time you are strolling through World Showcase, whether you are a beer connoisseur or just want something to compliment your meal (or the feel of the pavilion) I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Prost!!

 

By profession Melissa is a 9th grade World History teacher, but by nature she is a lover of all things Disney. She has always been a bit of a bookworm and has believed in fairytales since she was a little girl. (Her favorite heroine and princess is Belle.)

Melissa DonaldWhen she isn’t teaching, snapping pictures to post on Picturing Disney on Facebook, updating her photoblog Picturing Disney, or prancing around Disney Parks like a kid, she is lives her life filled with love, laughter, and happily ever after in New York with her husband and their adorable dog.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Girls’s Weekend with Your Best Friend= Disney Magic

Aloha!!!

Aloha means hello and goodbye…. I couldn’t think of a more perfect resort to stay in WDW than the Polynesian for my dear childhood pal Kathy and me to stay . We said hello back in second grade and instantly became life-long best friends and needed to geographically say goodbye almost 10 years ago due to job relocations, marriages, etc. although contact had remainded through emails and phone calls. A recent play of cancelled travel events and a decision to enjoy a mutual Significant Birthday Celebration for us both led its reunion and celebration journey not to the familiar New Jersey beaches we once shared happy days upon, but to the door of Disney World in Florida. This trip to WDW was a true celebration of friendship.

With all of the magnificent themed resorts at Walt Disney World it was quite the challenge to pick the “perfect” place for our Girl’s Reunion and “Significant Birthday Celebration Trip” last week! The Polynesian was the the one for us. Transporting you instantly to the South Pacific setting of lush gardens and waterfalls and softly played Hawaiian music everywhere you go. The main building upon arrival is the Great Ceremonial House with its own tropical gardens and waterfall right in the center – this is where you check in. The resort consists of eleven different buildings called “Longhouses”. Each Longhouse has a unique tropical name and each is surrounded by lush gardens.

We chose to stay Club Level for our trip. (this is the concierge level). We booked a garden view room – outside our balcony stood the most beautiful palm tree we have ever seen!

Upon arrival you are presented with a beautiful lei and staying club level you are wisked away in a golf cart from the main building given a tour of the resort and then are taken to the longhouse“Hawaii”. This longhouse is located at the Volcano pool and a beautiful white sandy beach overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon.

The staff at concierge were extremely friendly, courteous and efficient. After check-in we were presented with yet another beautiful lei and wishes for a wonderful stay! We were escorted to the third floor to our beautiful BIG garden view room. The rooms here at the Polynesian are quite large in comparison to other Disney resorts as The Polynesian was one of the first resorts built at WDW. A noted feature is it’s amazing central location and transportation availability to parks with monorail and boat access. Guests staying club level have access a beautiful lounge . Daily lounge offerings bountied with several flavored coffee, teas and juice selections during continental breakfast in the morning, fresh fruits and cookies during the day and light hors d’oeurvres and hot appetizers in the early evening to include wines and cordials among favorite sampling of desserts that were offered later in the evening.

The Concierge Lounge has a three story wall of windows facing the Magic Kingdom and lagoon with a perfect view of Cinderella’s Castle. Each night guests gather here to enjoy viewing the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle – with the firework display music piped into the room directly from the Magic Kingdom.. We so enjoyed relaxing here each evening after a busy day exploring each park… Truly Magical!!!!!!!

ncluded into this easy chair view of the fireworks is the 9pm Electrical Water Pageant that passes right by the Polynesian on the lagoon!!! A beautiful way to end each amazing day at the parks sitting on the beach or sipping hot chocolate in the lounge!!!!!

This was my friend Kathy’s first trip to my favorite place and I think it has become one of her favorite places to visit now also!! We spent our first morning at Animal Kingdom. The Animal Safari Trek was so exciting. To be so up close and personal with the animals is beyond explanation. I will always treasure my memory of the magnificent lion who was surveying his domain from on top of a huge rock formation. We took in the Lion King Show that day also. Kathy was taken aback by the grandeur of the costumes and glorious music that produced this colorful breathtaking performance.

On our second day we visited The Magic Kingdom. Can you remember the first time that you stepped onto Main Street USA???? Think back, it feels like a great big hug just wrapping you in happiness and excitement. The Haunted Mansion, It’s A Small World, Buzz Lightyear, and Pirates of the Caribbean were just a few of our favorites. Even seeing an outside street performance from the one and only “Capt. Jack Sparrow” up close and personal. After a quick lunch we headed back by boat to the Polynesian. We had dinner reservations at The Artist Point in Wilderness Lodge. If you have never experienced dinner here – it is a must!!! The cuisine is absolutely fabulous. I had a special order cake made for Kathy’s birthday and during dessert our server brought it out to her. The pastry chefs are true artisans and the cake was delicious!!! What a perfect way to end such an amazing dinner. After dinner it was just a hop –skip – and a jump back to the Polynesian for a quick change then on the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom for The Main Street Electrical Parade. This is a spectacle of lights and sounds like you have never seen. Float after float of your favorite Disney characters waving and dancing in the streets. Later that evening we found ourselves right in front of Cinderella’s Castle, directly in front of the bronzed statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse watching the grandest fireworks display set to music that we have ever seen. Truly an amazing sight.

Off to Hollywood Studios the next day. I so wanted to share with her Toy Story Mania. We raced over to the ride and waited 40 minutes. So glad we did – we laughed through the attraction the whole time. Such fun!!!! A trip to Star Tours and The Great Movie Ride rounded out our day. Thought we would leave the Tower of Terror and Aerosmith’s Rock N Roller Coaster to the less faint of heart!!!!

EPCOT – of course, SOARIN first on the agenda!!! The sights and sounds and aromas of this experience are totally off the charts!!!!! As we were walking around we could hear “Mine – Mine – Mine” with our curiosity peaked we found ourselves at The Seas with Nemo & Friends.. Seagulls greeted us at the entrance with their call of “mine” and we ventured onto a Clam Shell fit for two for an undersea adventure with Nemo and his friends which brought both the real world of the sea and the fantasy world of Nemo. Dinosaurs???? Who doesn’t like dinosaurs???? Ellen’s Universe of Energy was our next stop of the day…. You are taken back in time to roam with all types of dinosaurs and saw how the earth’s energy began and how we continue to strive for a better tomorrow.

Included into this easy chair view of the fireworks is the 9pm Electrical Water Pageant that passes right by the Polynesian on the lagoon!!! A beautiful way to end each amazing day at the parks sitting on the beach or sipping hot chocolate in the lounge!!!!!

This was my friend Kathy’s first trip to my favorite place and I think it has become one of her favorite places to visit now also!! We spent our first morning at Animal Kingdom. The Animal Safari Trek was so exciting. To be so up close and personal with the animals is beyond explanation. I will always treasure my memory of the magnificent lion who was surveying his domain from on top of a huge rock formation. We took in the Lion King Show that day also. Kathy was taken aback by the grandeur of the costumes and glorious music that produced this colorful breathtaking performance.

On our second day we visited The Magic Kingdom. Can you remember the first time that you stepped onto Main Street USA???? Think back, it feels like a great big hug just wrapping you in happiness and excitement. The Haunted Mansion, It’s A Small World, Buzz Lightyear, and Pirates of the Caribbean were just a few of our favorites. Even seeing an outside street performance from the one and only “Capt. Jack Sparrow” up close and personal. After a quick lunch we headed back by boat to the Polynesian. We had dinner reservations at The Artist Point in Wilderness Lodge. If you have never experienced dinner here – it is a must!!! The cuisine is absolutely fabulous. I had a special order cake made for Kathy’s birthday and during dessert our server brought it out to her. The pastry chefs are true artisans and the cake was delicious!!! What a perfect way to end such an amazing dinner. After dinner it was just a hop –skip – and a jump back to the Polynesian for a quick change then on the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom for The Main Street Electrical Parade. This is a spectacle of lights and sounds like you have never seen. Float after float of your favorite Disney characters waving and dancing in the streets. Later that evening we found ourselves right in front of Cinderella’s Castle, directly in front of the bronzed statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse watching the grandest fireworks display set to music that we have ever seen. Truly an amazing sight.

Off to Hollywood Studios the next day. I so wanted to share with her Toy Story Mania. We raced over to the ride and waited 40 minutes. So glad we did – we laughed through the attraction the whole time. Such fun!!!! A trip to Star Tours and The Great Movie Ride rounded out our day. Thought we would leave the Tower of Terror and Aerosmith’s Rock N Roller Coaster to the less faint of heart!!!!

EPCOT – of course, SOARIN first on the agenda!!! The sights and sounds and aromas of this experience are totally off the charts!!!!! As we were walking around we could hear “Mine – Mine – Mine” with our curiosity peaked we found ourselves at The Seas with Nemo & Friends.. Seagulls greeted us at the entrance with their call of “mine” and we ventured onto a Clam Shell fit for two for an undersea adventure with Nemo and his friends which brought both the real world of the sea and the fantasy world of Nemo. Dinosaurs???? Who doesn’t like dinosaurs???? Ellen’s Universe of Energy was our next stop of the day…. You are taken back in time to roam with all types of dinosaurs and saw how the earth’s energy began and how we continue to strive for a better tomorrow.

Across the lake in EPCOT you will find World Showcase… We set off for our little tour of the countries at EPCOT. The cast members in each country are from that area of the world. You get a true sense of what it is like to visit and live through their eyes. We so enjoyed our tour checking out each and every one comparing the different cultures and wares of each. We had dinner in Italy at Tutto Italia – what a wonderful time!! I felt like I was back in my grandmother’s dining room totally enjoying a most delicious plate of lasagna and cannoli’s for dessert. When the servers realized we were both celebrating a birthday they surprised us with a rousing song of Happy Birthday in Italian and each birthday girl was presented with a beautiful cupcake with a lit candle to blow out– oh yes and I cannot forget our after dinner cordial, Lemoncello, made directly from their represented region of Italy, outstanding in originality!!!!!!

Each evening EPCOT puts on a magnificent firework/lightshow on the lake between Future World and World Showcase. This is a show that will positively give you chills. The Illuminations and music is overwhelming. A perfect way to end an amazing time at EPCOT.

Polynesian Resort Disney waterfall, Polynesian Resort Lobby

As in all fairytales there is a beginning and an ending. So our Once Upon A Time came to an end full of new happy memories to go along with all those of the past. The ones that made us smile and laugh over our long extended weekend we were there together. Two old friends who got to be kids we once were again. No matter what your age while at Disney World time stands still and you are young at heart once more.

As we discovered, Disney and its Magic holds many charms, wishes and discoveries for all ages. It was within a matter of hours that we began to discover a light heartedness overtaking us. The transport of oneself back into a childhood as an adult, is one I strongly recommend for friends, sisters or siblings. It is an awakening of the magic that Walt understood. The living magic not limited to age but into finding the renewed child within ourselves no matter what the age that somehow is lost by everyday life.

Powerful emotions of saying goodbye to our time together overwhelmed and surprised both of us. We were both returning to our homes miles apart but feeling renewed by Walt and his timeless vision. Thankyou Mr. Disney, Thankyou!

We are already talking about when we can go back and enjoy all of the Magic all over again!!!!

If You Are Going to Play at Disney All Day, Spend Some Time at the Gift Shops After Closing

The craziest lines I have seen at Disney World? The lines to get on the boat and the monorail at Magic Kingdom closing time are just crazy. I am not claustrophobic, but looking at these lines could surely make me.

Mouze Kateerz tip? If you are going to push yourself to stay until closing, hang out for a little while longer as the parks empty out. [Read more…]

The Disney Vacation Club? How It Has Wrecked My Home Life

What is the absolute worst part about a Disney vacation, assuming your car doesn’t break down, you don’t catch the flu, and you do not lose your wallet? The worst part is definitely coming home. After-Disney Depression goes by many unofficial clinical names.

  • IMDS – I miss Disney Syndrome
  • DDS – Disney Depression Syndrome.
  • DVES – Disney Vacation Ending Syndrome
  • PDS – Post Disney Depression

Different names – same outcome. You simply miss Disney, and it’s depressing to ponder when you’ll have enough money and time off from work to make it back to the Mouse House.

My family has been Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members since 2009, and our home base is at Bay Lake Tower in Orlando. Coming home from Bay Lake Tower is rough. I’m going to show and tell you why the DVC has wrecked my home life. [Read more…]

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, What is the Grandest Disney Resort of ALL?

Grand Floridian, Grand Fkloridian Resort and Spa, Disney's Grand Floridian, Disney hotels, Disney resorts, Seven Seas Lagoon

By Teri.

“Mirror, Mirror On The Wall… What’s the Grandest Resort of All???”

In all of Walt Disney World, you will see, The Grand Floridian is the place to be. [Read more…]

Which Disney World Tour Can Teach You the Ins and Outs of 3 Theme Parks? This One!

By Roger and Brenda.

The Disney World Backstage Tour is a wonderful way to learn some of the secrets that create the magic at Walt Disney World. You will receive Backstage Magic badges and the Backstage Magic pin, which cannot be purchased and are only rewarded to Backstage Magic Tour participants.

You tour three parks: Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom. [Read more…]

10 Ways to Save Time at the Walt Disney World Theme Parks, because Time is Money!

Main Street at night, Wishes fireworks, Disney fireworks, Disney Main Street

You hear this frequently in the job market: time is money.  Here are 10 ways to save, ya know, time, at the Disney theme parks, which at the very least can save you valuable time, and at the most, can help you maximize your Disney dollars, because your vacation will be pricey.  So let’s get to it and not waste any more…time. [Read more…]

How the New-gen FASTPASS System at Disney World Could Affect Your Vacation

New Fastpass, FASTPASS, Disney Fastpass,

By Lisa.

On our recent trip to Walt Disney World, we had the opportunity to take part in the trial of the new FASTPASS system. When we arrived at the airport and checked in to the Magical Express, they asked us if we would try it. Having already heard it was coming out ,we decided to give it a try. [Read more…]

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Don’t Overlook These FREE Activities at This Fabulous Resort

Wilderness Lodge, Wilderness Lodge activities, Disney's Wilderness Lodge

By Teri.

AMBIANCE:  The mood, character, quality, tone, atmosphere. That which surrounds or encompasses the environment.

When it comes to Disney Resorts, the word “ambiance” comes vividly to my mind.  Each resort on Disney property has it’s own tone, atmosphere, and most of all, character.  Upon arrival at our resort we all immediately check in, drop our bags in our room and take off for our favorite park.  We come back to our resort happy, tired, and ready for a good night’s sleep, so that we can pop up and take off in the morning again! [Read more…]

If I had $100 to Spend, What Would I Buy at Walt Disney World?

I can’t walk into a Disney Gift Shop without wanting to drop about $500 instantly. There is a ton of fabulous Disney merchandise to feast your eyes on. But let’s get real…we don’t all have that kind of cash just sitting around. If I spend that money, we’ll be eating Pop Tarts and cold cereal for the next month, for nearly every meal. But $100 spread out over the course of a Disney vacation, now that might not get me disowned by my kids and handed divorce papers by my husband. What would I do with a $100 Disney Gift card? Let me tell ya… [Read more…]