Let's start this week off by looking to the future- 2018 is just over a year away (WHAT?!) but Disney Cruise Line has your vacations covered. New itineraries have been announced for 2018 with the Disney Wonder, which is undergoing a massive refurb (that the Magic had enjoyed a couple of year ago), will spend Winter (January-March) 2018 sailing the Southern Caribbean from San Juan with a new port of call Bonaire. Once April comes, the Wonder will return to San Diego for April and May voyages to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. The Disney Magic will continue to sail from Miami on Bahamian and Caribbean itineraries. The Disney Dream will continue to depart from Port Canaveral on alternating 3- and 4-night Bahamian cruises. The Disney Fantasy will also set sail from Port Canaveral on Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Want to head out on these amazing adventures- make sure to speak with an MEI Travel agent because booking early will save you money!
Another nice addition to the Disney Cruise Line ships is the Royal Court Royal Tea! This has been available on the Disney Fantasy, and will come to the Dream starting on November 4 sailings, the Wonder starting with November 10 sailings, and the Magic on December 11. During the Royal Tea, princesses will be crowned and knights will be dubbed as the Disney Princesses come to visit guests during their tea time. If you're interested, make sure to visit the Planning Center on disneycruise.com or stop by Guest Services on the first day of your cruise, but plan ahead if you want to ensure a spot at the royal court.
This week also brought a big announcement for Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. With a lack of fanfare for the 45th Anniversary, many fans were speculating that there would be upcoming changes to the park in the next few years ramping up to the 50th Golden Anniversary. We finally got a change coming to Magic Kingdom with the announcement of a new projection show on Cinderella's Castle: Once Upon A Time will replace Celebrate the Magic, which normally took place before the fireworks on a nightly basis at the park, and will debut on November 4, 2016. This new show, with a similar title to the ABC show, was inspired by a show of a similar name at Tokyo Disneyland Park. This show will be "hosted" by Mrs. Potts as she tells Chip a bed time story, and will feature stories from Cinderella, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Guests will fly along with Peter Pan from London to Never Land, enjoy a mad tea party, and witness an intense duel between Gaston and Beast!
Also debuting in November is the newest eatery in Hollywood Studios- PizzeRizzo, featuring everyone's favorite rat muppet. The menu includes 4 different pizzas- cheese, meat lovers, pepperoni, and vegetable- as well as a meatball sub and antipasto salad. The desserts are where it's at though with cannoli and tiramisu to tickle your taste buds and non-alcoholic Peach Bellini, as well as a Wildberry-Basil Lemonade Limoncello, along with other beer and wine for adults.
Another debut will occur at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party- Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps will be available during the party for a character meet and greet where guests can see this crime fighting duo. While the pair have been seen at other Disney parks, this is their first character meet and greet at WDW. Be sure to get your tickets for the party and we will be there December 6!
If you happened to miss out on Food and Wine Festival this year, don't worry- Epcot has got you covered with additional food and drink offerings during their Holidays Around the World, set to kick off on November 25 through December 30. Over at Prost! in Germany, one can find an artisan cheese plate or sauerbraten with red cabbage and spatzle. Drinks will include alcoholic ciders, hot Williams Punch, Caramel Kiss and a house-made hot spiced wine called gluwein. Head to the American Holiday Table for such offerings as: slow-roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce or seared pork tenderloin with green bean casserole, roasted sweet potato wedges, and a champagne demi-glaze. Drinks will include Shipyard Eggnog White Porter Aged on Bourbon, Firenog, Great American Wine Company Red Belnd and Chardonnay, hot chocolate, eggnog, and Cocoa Candy Cane (hot chocolate with peppermint Schnapps). The Alpine Haus between Morocco and France will offer duck confit, dumplings and roasted Brussels sprouts with a fig reduction; cheese fondue in a bread bowl with fresh steamed vegetables, and sachertorte (a chocolate cake with apricot jam and dark chocolate glaze). Here one can find Frozen Winter Spice Hot Chocolate featuring Twinnings of London Tea with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions available, as well as Weingut Stadt Krem Gruner Vetliner White Wine and Heinrich Red Blend. Near World Showcase Plaza- head to Seasonal Southern Delights for hoppin' john (black eyed peas, ham hocks and kale with rice and cornbread crumbles); blackened catfish with white cheddar grits with okra, tomato, and onion stew; and chocolate pecan tart. If you missed the Frozen S'mores being at Food & Wine- you can find it here, as well as Central 28 beers. Also near World Showcase Plaza, the Feast of the Three Kings Feast pays homage to the Three Kings Day widely celebrated in Spain, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Offerings here include shredded beef tamale with avocado crema; roasted pork with mashed yucca and picked green bananas, and Three Kings bread. To drink, one can enjoy Coquito (coconut milk) and Coquito with rum floater. All around World Showcase, guests will be able to find other hot and cold drinks, as well as holiday sweets, including Mickey Santa Hat cupcake (Fountain View restaurant), chocolate honey baklava (Morocco), panettone (Italy), gingerbread ice cream and buche de Noel au choclat (Christmas cake shaped like a log- France), pai cha (Beijing-style fried dough twist with sesame-China), and guava tamales (Mexico)- Happy Eating!!