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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Neil Patrick Harris "Wins" Halloween With This Costume!

Guide4WDW.com

by: guide4wdw - Collin


Neil Patrick Harris "Wins" Halloween With This Costume! 

Happy Halloween everybody! If you're entering a costume contest or simply passing out candy, we hope it's been a fun night for each and every one of you. However, after a recent series of Instagram posts from Neil Patrick Harris and family, I don't think any family costume will come close to beating this one! 

The Harris crew pulled out all the stops (as usual) and brought to life the living dead from an attraction that has become synonymous with classic Disney dark rides, The Haunted Mansion! 



From parents to kids, the whole family got involved and I have to say it was nothing short of a spectacular Halloween costume for the whole family. From the hitchhiking ghosts to the classic haunted mansion bride, no detail was overlooked, and you have to see it to believe it! The level of effort put into the production is incredible.  


The caption of the final photo was simple and straight to the point, but there's no doubt the post will go viral in the coming days! The description simply read, "Welcome, foolish mortals. We hope your Halloween is happily haunted, but heed this warning: beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts!" 

     

Neil Patrick Harris himself detailed the process in a little greater depth on his own page sharing the following images. 




So, did this celebrity family "win" halloween? If nothing else, this is the best Dinsey parks themed costume I've ever seen! Would I expect anything else from Neil Patrick Harris? Not at all! Be sure to catch him live during Disney's Candlelight processional if you're in the parks December 3rd through December 6th.   


Your Thoughts

As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you're there, and we'll keep the conversation going in the future. We're not the largest Disney community, but we're one that's there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are!

Need My Help?

Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or free-lance work at Guide4WDW@gmail.com. If you need a landscape or theme park photographer, feel free contact me with photo requests or contracts. All theme park writing and photos will be assessed on a case by case basis. 

For anyone else looking to give me a shout or to have their questions answered by me, feel free to contact me anytime via that same email address! I never charge anyone to answer a question and I do answer all of my emails personally.     

Need a Travel Planner?

If you want or simply need a little bit of planning help to make your Disney vacation dream a reality, check out the quote request form below this article for our friends over at Destinations to Travel. They'll let you do as much or as little of the planning as you'd like and may even save you some money along the way! As always, thanks for supporting those who support us.

Ready to Plan?


Last but certainly not least, if you're starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips? 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets? Check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections and another great way to help us create more content through your contributions at no additional cost to you! You'll probably even save money along the way.       





Monday, October 29, 2018

5 Snacks Under $5 at Walt Disney World - Our Top Budget Friendly Snack Recommendations!

Guide4WDW.com

by: guide4wdw - Collin

5 Snacks Under $5 at Walt Disney World - Our Top Budget Friendly Snack Recommendations!  

As many of you may already know, the food at Walt Disney World is just as important as the attractions for so many reasons. At the same time, it's also no secret that dining at Disney can get expensive. As a result, today I'm sharing our top 5 snacks under $5 at Disney World. 

Dining in the parks and on Disney property as a whole is all about knowing where to go, what to order, and how to make the most of every meal. This is especially true if you're looking to save money. Some guests fall in the expensive dining preferences category while others are perfectly content eating at quick service locations or even quite possibly carrying their food with them into the parks (which I don't necessarily recommend due to extra bags, etc.). When we travel to the parks, I like to think that we bridge the gap of both mindsets. It's not out of the ordinary for us to eat one table service meal a day, but often times we'll also skip a lunch or a dinner after a big table service meal earlier in the day. To us, a good meal can make all the difference in the flow of your day and how you feel throughout the day, especially during those hot summers that Florida has become synonymous with. 



Obviously, when taking that mindset into consideration, we're not necessarily the most frugal travelers, but at the same time we're not spending hundreds of dollars a day on food simply because we've found ways to cut down on costs and only select the most expensive dining offerings for select occasions or one time per trip meals. Snacks fall into a similar frame of thought for us. In general, we don't snack all that much in the parks, but we are notorious about picking up desserts at a bakery or late night ice-cream before heading back to our resort. I share that detail mostly because your idea of a snack could certainly differ from ours so it's something you may want to be aware of along the way.


Over the years, we've come to recognize that often times a snack can help you bridge the gap between a table service breakfast and an early dinner, or any other combination of possibilities simply because we've learned the hard way. No matter what your strategy for touring the parks is, a snack at Disney doesn't have to be a $7 Mickey Pretzel (yep, that's right... they're $7 now!). Snacks come in all shapes and sizes at Disney but knowing what snacks are best and which ones wont brake the bank can really help you out and more importantly help out your budget along the way. 


1. Mickey Beignets ($4.49)  

Believe it or not, beignets at Walt Disney World are still one of the little known hidden gems of the dining realm. For just $4.49, you can grab 3 beignets at Port Orleans French Quarter at the Floatworks dining location. These beignets are, without a doubt, one of the very best snacks on property regardless of the cost. Additionally, at less than $5 they're a must-try treat for every Disney Parks guest. 

You wont find beignets in the Florida theme parks, but the short bus ride or drive over to Port Orleans is well worth it to get the chance to try this budget friendly snack. While you're there. consider trying a fried catfish Po' Boy to complete the experience and to enjoy one of the best all around budget friendly meals on Disney property at one of the most underrated resorts around.       


2. Mousse au Chocolat ($4.50)

While this is essentially fancy wording for chocolate mousse, there's nothing ordinary about this dessert/snack option. This particular Mousse au Chocolate is only sold at one location in the parks over at the France Pavilion in Epcot. France's Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie quick service location is the best little tucked away bakery in nearly all of the parks and resorts. On top of that, it features one of the most budget friendly and best tasting dessert menus in all of Epcot. 



The Chocolate Mousse is certainly a highlight of the experience, but it's also good to note that nearly half of their expansive dessert lineup costs less than $5 as well. So, if mousse isn't your thing, you have a huge variety of other pastries all with a little bit of french flair. 
           

3. Side of Chicken Fried Rice ($4.25) 

If you've every been to Animal Kingdom, you likely know how unique the food can be at times. If you're like me, you may not be the most adventurous eater and that doesn't always play in your favor. However, Yak and Yeti Local Foods Cafe somewhat solves that problem with a simple snack that will keep you relatively full, and appeals to a fairly broad audience, fried rice. I know simply stating fried rice sounds like the opposite of a fun snack, but in all reality this isn't your local Chinese take-out spot's fried rice. Instead, Yak and Yeti adds a variety of flavor to the seemingly simple dish that really sets it apart. If you've never tried the Local Foods Cafe or the table service restaurant next door, I highly recommend it. Not only do you get a quick break from the typical food you can find in other parks, but you also get a budget friendly snack that can tie you over until your next meal.   
  

4. Raspberry Lunch Box Tart ($3.29) 

When this tasty treat was first announced as the details of theToy Story expansion slowly started to trickle out, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hesitant of how good it would be. It looks like a glorified Pop Tart and in essence that is exactly what it is! Perhaps a better explanation is that it's everything a Pop Tart should be... I know that sounds like a stretch but the Raspberry Lunch Box Tart at Woody's Lunch Box is a killer snack or breakfast item that exceeds expectations. The soft pie crust-esque texture coupled with the perfect amount of sweet and fruity filling topped off with the near perfect amount of icing is a treat that will exceed your expectations. I expected to be disappointed by this one and it is, without a doubt, officially on my list of "must-try" snacks at Walt Disney World irrelevant of the price. Speaking of price, it's only $3.29 and is the cheapest item on our list today! If you've not tried one of these, run... don't walk... to Woody's Lunch Box next time you're at Walt Disney World.        



5. Churros in Mexico ($4.50) 

There's a slight caveat to this one because these churros are far more budget friendly than churros other places in the parks. The churros at La Cantina de San Angel are $4.50 opposed to the $6.25 churros other places. It's a huge difference but in all fairness it is a different style of churro and a far different presentation. In my opinion, the churros of the Mexico pavilion are the best churros around and at nearly two dollars cheaper than all the others it is well worth a stop by the outdoor quick service area for a quick snack as you make your way around Epcot. 

The churros here typically come in a small basket with a caramel sauce on the side. The churros themselves are small thin strips that have been curved into an oval shape (which makes them far easier to dip) and you get a few of them in your basket. Additionally, the sauce seems to be a little better than the sauce you typically get in theme parks and it features a thinner consistency. It's the perfect amount of sweet to add to the classic snack.       

While this list could literally go on and list 20+ more items around Walt Disney World, I'll stop myself at 5 offerings for today. However, your list doesn't have to stop there! Be sure to add your top picks under $5 in the comments on your favorite social media platform and we'll consider adding a few of them to our next list of snack recommendations. Above all else, remember that a simple meal can create a story that you'll remember for years on end. I'm a firm proponent of the fact that the simplest of moments yield the most memorable of moments in the parks. If you've not experienced it for yourself quite yet, expect the unexpected and enjoy every moment of your Disney vacation. 


Your Thoughts

As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you're there, and we'll keep the conversation going in the future. We're not the largest Disney community, but we're one that's there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are!


Need My Help?

Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or free-lance work at Guide4WDW@gmail.com. If you need a landscape or theme park photographer, feel free contact me with photo requests or contracts. All theme park writing and photos will be assessed on a case by case basis. 

For anyone else looking to give me a shout or to have their questions answered by me, feel free to contact me anytime via that same email address! I never charge anyone to answer a question and I do answer all of my emails personally.     





Need a Travel Planner?

If you want or simply need a little bit of planning help to make your Disney vacation dream a reality, check out the quote request form below this article for our friends over at Destinations to Travel. They'll let you do as much or as little of the planning as you'd like and may even save you some money along the way! As always, thanks for supporting those who support us.


Ready to Plan?


Last but certainly not least, if you're starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips? 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets? Check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections and another great way to help us create more content through your contributions at no additional cost to you! You'll probably even save money along the way.       

   


                   



Sunday, October 28, 2018

What to Do at Disney's Boardwalk - An Underrated Piece of the Magic

Guide4WDW.com

by: guide4wdw - Collin

What to Do at Disney's Boardwalk - An Underrated Piece of the Magic

Disney's Boardwalk resort is one of those unique "hidden in plain site" places on Disney property that are getting more and more difficult to find. I'm even somewhat hesitant to write this article in order to keep it a "hidden gem" for as along as possible, but at the same time it's inevitably going to become more popular as the Skyliner project draws more and more guests to the International Gateway rear entrance to Epcot. 

For years the Boardwalk resort and Crescent lake have been our escape from Epcot. Sometime the crowds are heavy or we need to escape the heat for a short while, the Boardwalk was and is the ideal "escape" in the perfect location. For some reason or another, the resort doesn't feel quite as crowded as other Disney resort locations and for that very reason it's a place that you can go and find a tucked away seating area, a comfortable chair on the balcony of the main lobby, or even the perfect grassy spot for kids to run around while the adults enjoy the sights and sounds of the boardwalk experience.


So, why is this spot so underrated? Simply put, so many guests are so enthralled with the Magic Kingdom resort area (and rightly so) that they tend to overlook the Epcot resort area simply because they don't quite realize how incredible it really is. Additionally, very few guests realize that the Boardwalk is less than a 10 minute walk from the back entrance of Epcot. If you're one of those guests or have been hesitant to take the time out of your park days to head to the Boardwalk one night, consider giving it a shot because it may exceed your wildest expectations.
             

Grab A Late Night Snack

The Boardwalk and snacks just go hand in hand. Grab a pretzel, a funnel cake, some fried ice cream, or even a bakery treat from the Boardwalk Bakery and the surrounding food stands. Late at night you'll find a vast variety of live, family friendly, entertainment which develop the perfect "dinner with a show." (Please tell me I'm not the only one that calls a slice of pizza or even a Mickey shaped pretzel "dinner" at Disney from time to time...) If you're looking for a few more snack or dessert options, be sure to check out the Screendoor General Door to find a full array of fresh baked snacks behind a large glass counter.      



Enjoy the Details

If you take the time to walk into the lobby, you're instantly surrounded by a bit of real life history. From the scale model Illions Carousel (which comes to life each hour), or the Lucy the Elephant Scale Model, to the creepy chairs tucked away by the fireplace, the Boardwalk harkens back to the days of old school Boardwalks readily overlooked in today's fast paced world. The little details make the experience and truly take a nice resort and turn it into a surprisingly and vastly memorable experience that will exceed your wildest expectations. 

Catch a Sunset 

Enjoying a sunset at the Boardwalk has become a must do for me on nearly every trip to Orlando. There's no way to describe it, but at the same time as you sit there on the wooden planks of the boardwalk, and as the glowing lights start to light up the night, there's a surprising calming effect that unfolds around you. The night life and music from Jelly Rolls and the Atlantic Dance Hall aren't quite playing songs, and for a brief few moments the sky opens up with those classic Florida sunsets. 

I know it sounds strange but there really is just something about this portion of Walt Disney World that sets the stage for the most incredible sunsets you'll ever experience. From the reflections off of the water to the subtle sounds of the boats moving across Crescent Lake to the colored building setting the backdrop for the sky above, it's simply impressive in the grandest of ways.

As an added bonus, it's an escape from the crowds of the parks, a great place to relax and recharge for a night in the parks, or the perfect spot to enjoy after a dinner at one of the many incredible offerings in the Epcot resort area.            

Enjoy a Movie On the Village Green  

Enjoying a movie with your kids or even with other adults at a Disney World deluxe resort is one of those memories that will stick with you for years. Most nights, the resorts will set up an outdoor movie screen, set up a viewing area and create a one of a kind movie under the stars for guests of all ages. Of course, the movie tends to be a kid focused movie, but who doesn't love a classic Disney movie? 

The schedule for the event at each resort does vary from time to time, but you don't necessarily have to be staying at the resort to visit and enjoy the experience. The Boardwalk resort is perhaps the best place on property to enjoy the nighttime movie as a non-resort guest. The viewing location is typically right in the middle of the Village Green grassy area and the cast make it obvious that anyone hanging out on the Boardwalk is welcome to wander over and enjoy the movie. It's not out of the ordinary to see families sitting on blankets or sitting on the fairly comfortable artificial turf enjoying the atmosphere and a classic film.      

Enjoy the Night Life 

Nightlife is likely the only thing on this list that pops into the mind of most resort guests when the Boardwalk is first mentioned. Honestly, the nightlife is quite interesting and enjoyable, but it's far from what the Boardwalk is all about. JellyRolls is the true, long time, "go-to" nighttime entertainment venue at Walt Disney World. The entertainers at this legendary piano bar are truly incredible and many of them have been sharing music and unique compilations with guests for years on end. 

As Disney Springs continues to grow and develop, the nightlife has certainly developed along the way as well. While that has put JellyRolls and the other Boardwalk nightlife on the metaphorical "back burner," it's still well worth looking into if you're looking for something to do long after the parks close for the night.     

Roast Marshmallows 

Similar to the movie offering listed above, if you're willing to walk a short distance around Crescent Lake to the beaches of the Yacht and Beach Club, you'll find a nighttime campfire for roasting marshmallows at select times. The schedule does vary so be sure to ask at the resort for the time for that particular day.



Once again, roasting marshmallows at a Disney resort is the perfect way to disconnect from the fast paced days in the parks. In a similar way, gathering around a campfire with other families is just one of those things that takes you back to simpler times and simpler forms of entertainment. I'm reminded almost daily how lucky I am to have grown up in a time period right before technology really took over our lives. Kids today and adults alike are constantly surrounded by tech. I'm the first to admit that I love technological advancements and the "next big thing," but at the same time getting away from it all is a huge blessing at times. 

In my opinion, that's the huge benefit of this simple experience. Gather around a fire with friends or family and you may be suprised at how much your kids enjoy it and more importantly how such a simple experience can help you disconnect from the fast paced world that we experience day in and day out.        


Relax In The Lobby

At this point in the list you may be noticing a trend on our list. Everything about the Boardwalk resort area encourages a slower pace and a softer presence of entertainment when compared to the parks. It's different in a near perfect way and offers just enough to keep you entertained for a few hours while offering up a quiet spot to enjoy.

As you journey inside the resort itself, the lobby offers comfortable seating, brilliant decor, and even a few tucked away gems of Disney's past. Just off the side of the lobby, near the restroom, you can find a piece of Disney history hiding in plain site from the retired Penny Arcade that once held a prominent place on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. The hidden gem decoration appears at first to be a simple decoration. However, if you take the time to look carefully you'll discover the antique Mutoscope is still in functioning order and set so that any guest can walk right up and interact with the vintage machine. A Mutoscope is comparable to those little flip books you've likely seen at hobby stores or made yourself at some point in time. However, a Mutoscope often plays a classic cartoon as a a viewer pears into the viewfinder and turns a small crank on the side of the machine. It's not a thrilling experiencing but for the nostalgic of the group it's well worth taking a few brief moments out of your day to go and see for yourself. 


Your Thoughts

As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don't hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you're there, and we'll keep the conversation going in the future. We're not the largest Disney community, but we're one that's there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are!


Need My Help?

Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or free-lance work at Guide4WDW@gmail.com. If you need a landscape or theme park photographer, feel free contact me with photo requests or contracts. All theme park writing and photos will be assessed on a case by case basis. 
For anyone else looking to give me a shout or to have their questions answered by me, feel free to contact me anytime via that same email address! I never charge anyone to answer a question and I do answer all of my emails personally.     



Need a Travel Planner?

If you want or simply need a little bit of planning help to make your Disney vacation dream a reality, check out the quote request form below this article for our friends over at Destinations to Travel. They'll let you do as much or as little of the planning as you'd like and may even save you some money along the way! As always, thanks for supporting those who support us.


Ready to Plan?

Last but certainly not least, if you're starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips? 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets? Check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections and another great way to help us create more content through your contributions at no additional cost to you! You'll probably even save money along the way.







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