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Disney Magic: Epcot

International Gateway at Epcot

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There is a really nice fringe benefit when you are staying in one of the hotels near the Boardwalk at Walt Disney World.  You see, there is a rather unused back entrance at Epcot for the guests at those hotels.  It is called the International Gateway. Every time we have been there, we just walk right up, get our bags quickly checked, and then go right on into the park with no waiting whatsoever. So early on Sunday morning we took the leisurely walk from the Yacht Club to Epcot’s back door.

You can see how few people were there.

(Three of those folks are part of my family.:))

1 walkway to Epcot

When I was a child, the first things I noticed as we rode the monorail over to Disney’s Magic Kingdom were the topiaries sculpted to look like animals and Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters. I wanted my dad to get out the hedge clippers when we got home and turn our front yard boxwoods into Mary Poppins.:)(It didn’t happen.)  Even as an adult, I am still blown away by the gardens at Disney.  So when our son told me that his birthday weekend at Walt Disney World would be during the opening weekend for Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, I was thrilled!  Those topiaries I remember from my childhood days at Magic Kingdom? Well they don’t hold a candle to the ones at Epcot for the festival!

Just take a look…

1  Epcot World Showcase PavilionThe Frozen display at the World Showcase Pavilion

(Yes, those are topiaries!:))

Epcot is set up with two distinct areas bordering a lake…Future World and World Showcase, and World Showcase is set up as pavilions representing different countries.  Each country has buildings full of shops, some restaurants, and some attractions for you to see (rides or films.)

If you enter the park through the International Gateway you come into World Showcase between Great Britain and France.  I am going to take you on a tour around that area first, but I am backtracking just a little and starting with Canada.  Oh, and I want you to enjoy the flowers and the architecture in each of these “countries,” so you will see buildings and other things as we go.  Got all that?:) Alright, let’s start with Canada.

Epcot Canada Complete with a waterfall.:)Epcot Canada waterfall

 Loved these hanging baskets with their red geraniums.

Epcot Canada hanging basketsCanada’s topiary was this cute one of the animals from Bambi.

Epcot Canada BambiThe next region we came to was Great Britain.  It was by far my favorite with its English tea garden complete with tea cups!

Epcot England areaEpcot English tea gardenEpcot England tea garden

Now just look at those amazing topiaries designed to look like characters straight out of Peter Pan.Epcot England Peter PanThere was the evil Captain Hook…Epcot England Capt Hookand Peter Pan himself – up on the roof.Epcot England Capt Hook and Peter Pan

Now we will travel into my daughter’s favorite area – the French Pavilion.  Here is a view of it from the water.

Epcot view of France

And now some of the charming architecture (with wonderful places to dine there.)

Epcot FranceThe topiaries for this region were of characters from Beauty and the Beast.:)

Epcot France Beauty and the BeastEpcot France Beauty and the Beast charactersMoving on around the circle of countries in World Showcase, you pass through Morocco and Japan and then enter the American Adventure.  I did not photograph much from those, but I did get a shot of the cute topiary in the American area.  If you are a fan of Toy Story, you will love this one.:)

Epcot America Toy Story Woody

Another great thing about the Flower and Garden Festival is that there are great food carts set up in all the different countries. (There is a very good barbecue cart behind Woody up there.) You can purchase snack size servings of many different things to try out.  In fact, you can graze your way all the way around the World Showcase area. (Check out all the food cart menus here.)  Grazing is precisely what our sons did, but because my husband is not much of a “snacker,” he and our daughter and I opted for a sit-down lunch in the next country… Italy.

Epcot Italy

There are two dining choices in that region, the casual Via Napoli Pizzeria and the more formal one – Tutto Italia. We chose the more formal one since my husband had previously eaten at the pizzeria.

Epcot Tutto Italiasource

Epcot Tutto Italia dining roomThey brought us an assortment of breads with fresh olives and olive oil before our meal. yum.. Then we tried three different entrees between us, and I believe my daughter’s ravioli was the best.

Epcot Tutto Italia lunch entreesFor dessert we shared an order of tiramisu and this fabulously rich chocolate gelato.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Epcot Tutto Italia choclate gelatoItaly had two topiaries:

Miss Piggy

(Do you suppose that one was chosen for all the food that is consumed there??)

Epcot Italy Miss Piggy

and Lady and the Tramp.

Epcot Italy Lady and the TrampAfter that heavy meal we needed to walk some of it off.  So we headed on around to Germany.

Epcot Germany PavilionEpcot Germany model trainSnow White and the Seven Dwarfs were standing around in that country.

Epcot Germany Snow WhiteAnd the characters from The Lion King were between Germany and the China pavilion.

Epcot Lion King topiaryThe last country we toured was Norway.

Epcot NorwayEpcot Norway buildingsAnd then it was time to walk over to Future World.

Epcot Future World

Here are just a few of the gardens from there.

Epcot Mission Space Buzz Lightyear

Buzz Lightyear outside Mission Space
Epcot Cars by Test Track
Cars near Test Track

11 Epcot Truck by Test Track
Epcot Farmer Mickey and Minnie

Farmer Mickey and Minnie between Future World and World Showcase

And that completes our tour of Epcot. All those flowers made me wish that spring would hurry and arrive for good so that I could get busy in our yard, (but I am sure there won’t be any Disney topiaries popping up in our flower beds!) Weren’t they amazing?! Which one was your favorite?

We’d love to know.:)

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Debra - March 12, 2015 - 8:24 am

I wonder why Belle was the only character without a face?
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That IS a good question! I have no idea.
Kelly

Linda - March 12, 2015 - 8:42 am

Loved them all, thanks for the tour. It does make me want to get my flowers planted also.
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Doesn’t it though? All those geraniums were very tempting to me!!
Kelly

Arlene@Nanaland - March 12, 2015 - 8:44 am

What a fun getaway Kelly! It has been so dreary here that I want to run away to some place magical!!
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I’m sorry you have had such dreary weather. Epcot had gorgeous blue skies when we were there on Sunday. You need to be there Arlene!
Kelly

Donnamae - March 12, 2015 - 9:11 am

Thanks so much for the tour! It’s been about ten years since we’ve visited…my favorite pavilion was Germany. We usually had beer and a sausage…delicious….then would walk over to France for dessert! It was sort of a tradition…my reward if you will, for keeping up with three young boys in Future World! The gardens are beautiful…and I love all the topiaries…there aren’t any in my future either! ;)
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If you haven’t been there in 10 years, it is time for you to go back Donnamae! Germany seemed to be the most popular of all of the pavilions when we were there. Yum to the idea of France for dessert! That little French bakery has moved into a larger building, and they have a ton of delicious items.
Kelly

Garden, Home and Party - March 12, 2015 - 11:45 am

Kelly,
I’ve always heard Epcot was wonderful but to visit during the garden show, that would be the best. The topiaries reminded me so much of the items in our annual rose parade. I volunteered one year to help decorate the USC and UT (Texas) floats since my son went to USC and my daughter-in-law went to UT. It was fascinating to see what goes into creating detailed characters and such. I loved each of the areas you shared from your trip. The English Tea Garden was my favorite from what I could see. Yes, my mouth was watering at the pictures and descriptions of food! :-)
xo,
Karen
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How fun to help with the Rose Parade! I know I would love seeing how creative they are with that. :) The English Tea Garden was just beautiful..and one that I feel could be recreated at home. The snapdragons in it were amazing!
Kelly

Sue - March 12, 2015 - 12:05 pm

I am so enjoying your Disney posts Kelly. We have taken our grandchildren {and their parents} a few times. Our most recent trip was in December for me to see the Christmas decorations. Our trips are heavy on rides:-) so I look forward to a leisurely stroll through the worlds at Epcot some day. It looks like the time to go is during the flower festival. Your pictures are just beautiful.
Thanks for sharing one of my favorite places.
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Oh Sue! I have always wanted to see the parks and resorts decorated for Christmas. I know I would love that!! Lucky lucky you! My daughter says the crowds are tremendous at that time, so I am not sure I would enjoy that. Glad I could help you stroll around Epcot today. :)
Kelly

Ruth - March 12, 2015 - 12:26 pm

While at Epcot, be sure to try the famous orange slushy!!! It’s an alcoholic slushy that is so popular, it has it’s own fan page online. I was searching for a recipe, and came across a Disney-sponsored page with all of the drink recipes from WDW. Might have food recipes, too, but I was looking for that particular drink recipe.
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I didn’t know about that drink Ruth. Darn it! But I did try a pineapple ice cream though. :) We’d love to know what page your drink recipes are on. Can you share?
Kelly

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Given below is a link to the webpage with all the drinks. For the orange slush recipe, navigate to the section on EPCOT, and within that, to the section on the France exhibit. It’s near the bottom, under “Featured at the Drink Stand.” It’s called the Gran Marnier & Grey Goose Orange Slush:
http://www.partythroughtheparks.com/epcot-drink-recipes/

My husband went to WDW for a conference late last spring (I couldn’t accompany him :( ), and he called me from the slushy line, which he said stretched on and on, everyone abuzz about this cult favorite. So many people have inquired about purchasing a slush machine that WDW, always alert for a retail opportunity, offers them for sale!
Ruth
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Thanks Ruth!
Kelly

L J - March 12, 2015 - 4:55 pm

I agree with another reader–seems Epcot visit during garden festival would be a fantastic idea. I too marvel at WDW topiaries (how’d they do that?)but they won’t appear here in my garden–I really like red geraniums and have about 5 pots filled with them–can’t have too many–and here where I live it’s relatively easy to keep them alive all year–from one year to the next.
Favorite? my vote goes to non-topiary hanging baskets of red geraniums.
cheers–have a terrific weekend.
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I loved those hanging baskets,and I even lifted up the white flowering plant below the geraniums to see what they were planted in. All of them were in peat pots. (Just in case you would like to know. :) ) I am jealous that you already have so many geraniums AND you can keep them alive year round!
Kelly

Nana Diana - March 12, 2015 - 6:59 pm

I love your Epcot pictures. When we go I never seem to take time to take photos like this. Yours are perfect. Your daughter’s favorite is also my own….France!
Beautiful post- xo Diana
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Thank you Diana. I wish I had gotten more photos when we were in the Magic Kingdom, but we were pretty much going from one ride to the nextand never really stopped for photos.
Kelly

Megan - March 12, 2015 - 7:32 pm

Hi Kelly,
We were lucky enough to stay at the Yacht Club as well a few years ago, and took advantage of the back entrance. What a wonderful hotel! I loved seeing all of the topiaries and gardens in your pictures – so beautiful!!
Thanks for sharing your trip!
Megan
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We enjoyed Yacht Club too Megan. Glad you are enjoying all the posts on our Disney trip. Isn’t that back entrance to Epcot just wonderful? (Although you have to really hustle if you want to get to Soarin first.)
Kelly

Kim @ Vintage Pretties - March 13, 2015 - 7:31 am

We love, love love Disney, especially Epcot! A trip to Disney is so nice this time of year, when it seems like winter won’t end. It would be wonderful to see the garden show — I love your photos. We stayed at the Boardwalk Inn (just wonderful!) and also took advantage of the “back door” to Epcot.
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I think everyone who has endured this winter’s storms deserves an early spring vacation to Disney! The Boardwalk is a great hotel, and I love that whole area around it. Glad you had the fun of staying there Kim!
Kelly

Becky in 'Bama - March 13, 2015 - 2:27 pm

Follow up to your March 10 post: my husband and I last went to Disney 7 years ago…and stayed at the Wilderness Lodge. We were there the week between C’mas and New Year. Thinking we’d have magical weather, imagine our dismay to have 40 degree temps most days with a stiff north wind. Thankfully I took a jacket, but my husband made it through with only a sweatshirt. COLD sitting in the shade at the large stadium where we watched the crazy stunt cars. Sitting on those metal bleachers at 40 degrees I thought my bottom would freeze to the seat. LOL. Overall, it was a wonderful trip and the Wilderness Lodge was super-amazing. The day before we departed, all the Christmas decorations went ‘poof’ over night. How DO they do that? Love Disney and marvel at their tireless work.
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Florida is not always warm and sunny,is it Becky? We had a chilly day Saturday, but it certainly wasn’t 40 degrees. I would have been miserable in that.
Amazing how they can take all the decorations down soooo fast! (But taking down does seem to be MUCH faster than putting them up!)
Kelly

Jane C. - March 13, 2015 - 4:21 pm

How beautiful! Even though WDW & all its properties are practically in my backyard (about 40 miles away) we rarely get to go. Some day, when I win the lottery, I want to go and pull out all the stops! A few years ago, we did get to go at the holidays and took the launch from Disney World to the Grand Floridian to see the life size gingerbread house in their atrium. So gorgeous! After being to other area theme parks, no one does it better than Disney. They really have cornered the market on hospitality.

If you ever get to the beaches in the area, let me know. I just got back from our beautiful Playalinda beach a few minutes ago!
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You are THAT close, and you rarely go Jane?? Man. I am glad you got to see the gingerbread house at Christmas. I hope I get to do that one year (and see all their holiday decorations in the park.) I will let you know if we get to the beaches near you, and I will check out Playalinda.
Kelly

Debra - March 19, 2015 - 8:59 am

Oh Epcot! It looked wonderful and that food too! Ugh! I won’t dare share this post with my third daughter. Epcot is a bit of a sore subject at our home, (more like an tease). Years ago my sister and I took the two youngest, (of my four children) to Disney World. It was June and we were only there for four days/3 nights. Well, trying to cram as much as we could in, we did not make it to Epcot. I have not heard the end of it from my daughter. She wanted to go to Epcot the third night and I chose to take the kids back to Magic Kingdom for more rides and the evening parade. There is so much there and besides having our room at the Caribbean, with the pool to utilize. Have been to both Disneyland and Disney World, twice. It was years ago, when they were small. America’s treasures. Your daughter is so lucky to be there. The fact that you live close enough, being in the south, makes it a little more convenient. Lucky family!
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Yes, your daughter is right. Epcot needs to be seen! I do understand wanting to see more rides and parades at the Magic Kingdom though. Our daughter is certainly lucky to be there – although she had a small fender bender there a week or so ago. She does NOT like the traffic. But with that many people traveling there, it is to be expected.
Kelly

Disney Magic: Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney Wilderness Lodge waterfallThere are many things to enjoy at Walt Disney World…the rides, the shows, the atmosphere.  One of the main reasons our oldest child goes to Disney is to enjoy… the food!   You are probably thinking…What??  That counter service stuff in the parks?? That’s just ordinary fast food! And you might be right about some of it, but not all of it is ordinary.  Some of the park food is tasty – especially at Epcot.

Disney Wilderness Lodge exteriorWhere our family really likes to go for the food is the resorts. So on Saturday, after we made sure there was no way to get into Be Our Guest for lunch, we hopped on one of the Disney buses and made our way from the Magic Kingdom over to Wilderness Lodge.

Disney Wilderness Lodge lobbyI had never been in it before, so this was a fun little excursion for me. The lodge is designed to look like a National Park lodge in the Northwest at the turn of the century.

Disney Wilderness Lodge lobby seatingIt reminded me of the Ahwahnee, a lodge we visited in Yosemite National Park a few years ago.

Disney Wilderness Lodge totem poleSaturday was cloudy and cool in Orlando, so I was glad to see that fire burning in the fireplace.:)

Disney Wilderness Lodge lobby fireplaceNeedless to say, that huge lobby with the towering logs and overscale furniture was quite impressive!

Water was even flowing in the interior!

Disney wilderness lodge interior riverOne of the highest rated restaurants in all of Walt Disney World is Artist Point there in Wilderness Lodge.

Unfortunately, they do not serve lunch, but I did wander inside to get a photo of it for you.:)

Disney Wilderness Lodge Artists Point restaurantWe chose to dine at Whispering Canyon Cafe instead. It is a fun spot to enjoy what I call “cowboy food.”

(Just don’t ask for ketchup…They will bring you 12 bottles…truly.:()

Whispering Canyondisneyworld.disney.go.com

I didn’t get good photos of everyone’s meal because we were hungry and ready to dig in, but I did get a shot of our daughter’s pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries…

Disney Wilderness Lodge barbequeAnd my barbecued rib plate.  It was very meaty!

Disney Wilderness Lodge ribs

After lunch, we took the bus back to the Magic Kingdom, watched a couple of shows, and rode a few more rides.  Then it was time for another meal.:)

Disney Animal Kingdom lodge exteriordisneyworld.disney.go.com

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge

Because this trip was to celebrate our son’s birthday, we had made reservations at Boma, one of the best restaurants in WDW.  To get there, we caught a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Disney Animal Kingdom lodge animalsAnd yes, there are really animals on the grounds around the lodge!

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby ceilingI had also never visited this lodge before, so this was another treat for me! Animal Kingdom lodge was designed to include elements of African architecture, and it houses one of the largest collections of African art in the United States.

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge seatingBoma is an interesting restaurant designed to look like an African market.

Boma dining areadisneyworld.disney.go.com

The African inspired food is served buffet style (all you can eat) from multiple stations – a few carving stations with meats that have been cooked over an open fire, a vegetable station with a variety of African (and American) vegetables, a soup station (with some unusual flavored soups), a salad bar, a station with a choice of breads, and…

Disney Boma buffettwo dessert stations.:)

Everyone raves about the zebra domes, but they had a tiny coffee flavored tart in a chocolate shell that I could have eaten 20 of!

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Boma dessert buffetThis was my dessert plate.  The zebra domes are at the top, followed by a guava something.  I am not sure what that next fruit dessert was, but it resembled an apple cobbler in flavor. Then you see those luscious coffee flavored tarts and finally 2 key lime cheesecake bites.  (They were very rich!) And yes, I ate it all (even though I am not supposed to be eating any chocolate right now.:()  Sorry, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Disney Boma dessert plateOur sons really loved all the African foods – especially the soups.  My husband loved the beef and mashed potatoes, and my daughter and I both thought the desserts were the best. Something for everyone, right? Have any of you dined at Boma? It was all tasty and a unique experience, but I think I enjoyed the food at Fulton’s Crab House from our recent Disney trip more. Probably because I am more of a riverboat girl than an African safari girl.:)

Would you believe I am still not finished sharing our Disney trip with you?  We’ve looked at the Yacht Club, the Beach Club, Wilderness Lodge, and Animal Kingdom Lodge so far.  Next time, we have some gorgeous gorgeous gardens to see!

I hope you will be back.:)

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L J - March 10, 2015 - 6:59 pm

Keep ‘em coming, Kelly. It’s like a visit to WDW without leaving home. :-))
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Too funny! There are more coming. :) Glad I could take you along.
Kelly

Garden, Home and Party - March 10, 2015 - 7:08 pm

Kelly,
I really must get to Disney World. Due to real estate constraints, our Disneyland in Anaheim doesn’t offer the scope of what you’ve shared. There are some really great restaurants on “Downtown Disney” which is outside of the gates of both theme parks [Disneyland and California Adventure].
Those desserts looked delicious and I would have cleaned my plate as well!
I’m still thinking about the incredible bathroom in that Yacht Club.
I love this tour, thanks for sharing.
xo,
Karen
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Yes, you must Karen! And bring your grandkids. At least your Disney has claim to being the first. :) I am glad to know I am not alone in the clean my dessert plate club. (That gelato was oh my goodness delicious!)
Kelly

Jackie M. - March 10, 2015 - 7:26 pm

I’m loving all of your Disney posts — one of our favorite places to visit! Boma is one of our must-dos on every trip — I am dying for some Zebra Domes now — lol! We’ve never ventured over to Wilderness Lodge, though — now I am putting it on our next-time list. :)
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I’m so glad you are enjoying the posts Jackie. Boma certainly has a wide variety of foods from which to choose. Those zebra domes were very good, but I will still prefer the coffee tarts over them. Definitely make a visit over to Wilderness Lodge next time. It is a short bus ride from the Magic Kingdom.
Kelly

Pinky at Designs by Pinky - March 10, 2015 - 7:54 pm

I have wanted to go to the Wilderness Lodge for YEARS!!! Hopefully one day I will get there. I love African art! The food sounds great too. Thanks so much for taking us along on this journey with you!
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I had wanted to go for years, too, Pinky. Since we could not get reservations there, I knew it was going to have to be a visit for lunch…not a bad time to check it out. :) I hope you get to visit it on your next trip.
Kelly

Town and Country House - March 10, 2015 - 9:08 pm

Great post, Kelly! We love Artist’s Point–it is really beautiful at night. I’ve never been to AK Lodge, so I will have to add that to our list. I’m impressed with how much you fit into one weekend! It makes me want to go back already. :)
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My husband and son have dined at Artist Point, and they are going to have to take me the next time we are there. :) We really try to pack a lot in when we go…which was quite exhausting when you consider it was the weekend we lost an hour with the change to Daylight Savings time. :(
Kelly

Louvina - March 10, 2015 - 9:37 pm

My, my! My daughter has been holding out on me! She has been to these resorts, I’m sure but I haven’t!! So the next time she asks me where I want to go for Mother’s Day or my birthday, I will be ready to rattle this list off and she will wonder how I know about all of these!! Every place is so wonderful!! It would be hard to decide!! She took me to Bonnet Creek Resort when she was having a conference and I had never heard of that!! WDW is certainly a big, BIG World and to think we can enjoy all this and never have to leave the USA!! Or for me just stay in FLA!! Bring on more pictures!! This is FUN!
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Whoa…she HAS been holding out on you Louvina. Shame on her! I hope she has taken you to some of the nicer dining spots in Epcot…such wonderful food there!
Kelly

Ruth - March 10, 2015 - 10:23 pm

This IS fun!!! I’m so enjoying the vicarious vacation! And you’re hitting all the hotels that we haven’t visited. Had no idea they’d be so large and over-the-top in their decor. My guide books didn’t give them enough credit, because I can see from your photos that it’s worth a visit to WDW just to take a complete tour of all the hotels — nevermind the rides and shows! Wishing y’all a GREAT rest of your trip. Thanks for the “Calgon, take me away!”…
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They are HUGE, and so are just the lobbies. You know Disney pays attention to all the details. A hotel tour is a very fun thing to do at Disney World. We have stayed at the Polynesian and the Boardwalk in the past. We have visited the Grand Floridian but not stayed there. For architecture and interior design lovers, you can’t beat all their resorts.
Kelly

Donnamae - March 10, 2015 - 10:59 pm

I’ve never had a meal at WDW I didn’t love! Those desserts look scrumptious! ;)
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I agree. I used to love the Crystal Palace, but my children all tell me that I would not like it now. I can’t imagine it not being good, and one day I am going to persuade them to give it a try with me.
Kelly

cindy hattersley - March 11, 2015 - 11:20 am

This looks like so much fun! Disney World is so much better than Disneyland! Wish it were closer!!
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Just catch a flight to Florida, and you can enjoy it too Cindy!
Kelly

Ellen Martin - March 11, 2015 - 2:26 pm

Have loved your Disney posts, including the food reviews. My family ate at Boma a couple of years ago, and loved it!! We were with our daughter’s family and had a meal plan, which made the evening meal there very affordable.

What fun that your daughter is having the opportunity to intern at Disney, and that your son flew in to join you for a birthday celebration!
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It was a very fun weekend for sure! Glad you have also enjoyed Boma. It is always fun for everyone to taste and compare all the different foods.
Kelly

Susan - March 12, 2015 - 8:34 am

Thanks for sharing your fun vacation! The Wilderness Lodge is also reminiscent of the Yellowstone Lodge.

Too bad you couldn’t eat at Artist Point. My husband and I went for our 20th anniversary in December. Artist Point was my favorite restaurant on that trip service and food-wise. The Smoky Portobello Mushroom Soup still sends me into reverie; they graciously provided me with the recipe. I also discovered black lava salt which topped the butter for the bread. (World Market sells it.)

We have also dined at California Grill 3 times; the food is always good, service is OK; always very busy.

We have never eaten at Boma but did enjoy the other one (Jika?) a few years ago.
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I hope to get to dine at Artist Point on our next trip. What a great place to celebrate your anniversary! That soup sounds delicious, and I will have to look for the black lava salt the next time we are in World Market. Thanks for the suggestion. Our daughter dined with her boyfriend at Jiko on Sunday night. She had a lamb dish that she said was absolutely delicious.
Kelly

Debra - March 19, 2015 - 9:05 am

Catching up on all your Disney posts. The Wilderness Lodge would be the ticket for me. How fun. Disney World is just amazing, isn’t it? That food looked wonderful Kelly. Thank goodness Disney involves a lot of walking. It helps to work off the calories consumed! :)
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You do walk off a lot of it, but not all – considering how much we ate! I loved seeing Wilderness Lodge, but I do think I like the beachy ones better – especially if you go in the spring and summer. If we made a winter trip though, I think Wilderness Lodge would be my choice then. The Polynesian is also wonderful, but they were doing a ton of construction on it when we were there, so we avoided it.
Kelly

Disney Magic: The Yacht and Beach Clubs

 

IMG_1972Like many of your families, our children grew up on Disney, and it would be a serious understatement just to say they love Disney. If you have been reading here recently, you know that our daughter is currently working in an internship at one of the resorts at Walt Disney World.  (It has been a dream come true for her.:)) Additionally, a number of years ago, my husband and our son flew to the Pixar studios in California for the premiere of Toy Story because our son wanted to see the studios, meet some of the artists, and see the movie. Our children must have some sort of Disney gene in them!

Disney yacht club lobby

When our son (the one who moved to Seattle) realized that his sister gets discounts with everything and that his birthday would fall on a Saturday this year, he knew what he wanted for that birthday…a trip to Walt Disney World.:)So this weekend he flew into Orlando from Seattle. (We had not seen him in 6 months.)  His sister got a couple of days off from work, and we drove to meet them so that we could all be together to celebrate that birthday. It was sooo much fun!

yacht club resort  lobby

We stayed at The Yacht Club Resort.  I am not going to bore you with photos of our family at the park, but since this blog is about houses, interiors, and entertaining, I thought you might enjoy seeing what the resort looked like.  You can see the lobby above.

Here is a better view of the model ship in the case there.

model ship

It all had the feel of the Titanic to me (but much safer!)   They even had a model cruise ship in one of the hallways.

Disney boat display

When we arrived late Friday night, our room looked like this with the Mickey towels left by housekeeping:

mickey towels on the bed

 

guest roomThere is also a smaller daybed that I did not get a photo of because our daughter had checked in earlier in the day and had already staked it out with all her belongings.:) Here are the bathroom areas.  I liked the light fixtures there by the sinks.

dressing area

bathroomAnd here is the view from our balcony the next morning.

view

On Sunday afternoon our daughter and I took a peek inside Beach Club, the resort next door.  Of course there had to be some sort of old ship between the two resorts.:)

Yacht and Beach Club resorts ship

The design of the Beach Club is very similar to that of the Yacht Club.Beach Club resort exterior

Disney Beach Club Resort

Even the lobbies are similar, but the colors are brighter in the beach club, and it has a more feminine feel to it.

Beach Club resort lobby flowers

Beach Club resort lobby

Obviously, both resorts were beautifully done.  Unfortunately, that’s all I have time to share with you today, but I have a zillion more photos and will be back next time with more resorts for you to see and a little of our delicious food.:)

yacht club resort bridge  Hope to see you then!

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p.s.  Another blogger celebrated her child’s birthday at Disney this weekend too. (Must be spring fever in the air or something!)  You can read her fun story at Town and Country House.

   
Shirley@Housepitality Designsi - March 9, 2015 - 5:47 pm

I so love Disney World….I have never stayed at this venue, but it certainly is gorgeous as the entire Disney network of hotels are…The Floridian is one of my favorites, but I will need to check this one out….How wonderful that you were able to see your son after so many months….Your daughter must feel like she has a dream internship…My daughter in law interned at Disney too!
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My daughter really loves the Grand Floridian too, Shirley. We like to stay around the Boardwalk area with its easy access to Epcot. It is like you have a private entrance there! I think you would like both the Yacht Club and the Beach Club resorts. I bet your daughter in law still loves Disney. :)
Kelly

Donnamae - March 9, 2015 - 5:50 pm

I love the Disney resorts….always feel so pampered! How wonderful that you could all get together even for a short time! ;)
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They do go out of their way to make your trip magical, don’t they? It was a very fun time…just wish we had not “lost” an hour with the change to daylight savings time. Next year, we will have to think about that.
Kelly

Nan - March 9, 2015 - 5:58 pm

Great photos and story! I would love to know more about your daughter’s internship too. My daughter is majoring in recreation and looking around for an internship in a year or so. Thanks again.
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Thank you Nan. There are a lot of “hoops” you jump through with Disney…applications, interviews, and even auditions for some of the positions. Then after our daughter made it through all of that and was accepted by Disney, she still had to go through her own college to have the internship approved for her college internship credit with her business degree. Your daughter should check with the Disney College and then her own college if she wants to do it.
Kelly

Garden, Home and Party - March 9, 2015 - 5:59 pm

Kelly,
Disney does know how to do things well. I loved the details throughout and that bathroom, oh my!
What a fun trip for your family. Thanks for sharing.
Karen
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Yes they most certainly do, Karen. It was a very good trip for all of us (but exhausting!) Did it make you wish you were back working in Disneyland? :)
Kelly

Teresa W. - March 9, 2015 - 6:01 pm

Can I adopt your daughter for the Disney discount? Funny thing happened when we stayed at the Yacht Club several years ago. Our daughter was four at the time, we’d spent a really long day in the park, walked into the lobby and a group of teens were hanging out by the giant globe searching for the hidden Mickey. They’d apparently been looking for a long time. Our daughter walked right up to it, pointed to the hidden Mickey and said, “There it is!” It was at the perfect height for her to see. We LOVE going to Disney!!! So glad you could get together to celebrate your son’s birthday. Have a great week!
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Ha ha! I don’t think I could give up my girl! (or any of my guys either for that matter. :) ) What a cute story about your daughter and the huge globe. I bet those teenagers couldn’t believe she could find it that quickly!
You have a good week too Teresa.
Kelly

Paula - March 9, 2015 - 6:07 pm

Kelly,

I can’t believe I missed you! We, too, were at WDW this weekend, celebrating our daughter’s birthday. I was actually writing a post about it when yours popped up. We had dinner at Captain’s Grille one night, and I told my husband that next time I definitely wanted to stay at Y&B. (His favorite has always been Wilderness Lodge, which also is amazing.) I just love that whole boardwalk area and the easy access to Epcot from Y&B, tho. Your photos are wonderful, and I’m so glad your family was able to meet up for a celebration!
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Paula,
How funny that we were both there celebrating our children’s birthdays! It was such a great place to do that. We had wanted to stay at Wilderness Lodge but none of the rooms were available with our daughter’s discount. I really did like staying at the Yacht Club, though. I think we will try out the rooms in the Beach Club the next time we go. Loved your story in your post about how the Disney trip kind of grew! I am afraid that same thing would happen here if our daughter asked all of that of her dad. :)
Kelly

Louvina - March 9, 2015 - 6:20 pm

Always enjoy seeing Disney World resorts and the details they always lavish on them. Just know your daughter is having the time of her life! What a great place to intern! I remember my first trip there many years ago and I was enthralled. I especially was fascinated with the topiaries. I get to visit many of these places very often since my SIL ( works there) and daughter live only 15 minutes away. Can see the fireworks every night from their upstairs loft! So happy you got to have a nice visit with your family. Looking forward to seeing more photos!
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Our daughter IS having the time of her life. I keep seeing her photos on Facebook of all the fun she is having in the parks, and I have asked her if she is working at all. She assures me that she is – every day! :) If you like topiaries Louvina, then I know you have to love Epcot. I would want to watch those fireworks every night if I lived where your daughter does. :)
Kelly

Katrina - March 9, 2015 - 7:55 pm

Oh I am so happy you and your family had such a magical time together!!! Can’t wait to see more fun pics!
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Thank you Katrina. It was so good to have all of our children together having fun! More photos coming soon. :)
Kelly

Benita Roberts - March 9, 2015 - 9:22 pm

We stayed at the Yacht Club the last time we were visiting Disney. It was such a fun time! My kids loved it! I am looking forward to seeing the rest of your photos.
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I wish the weather had been warm enough and we had had time enough to really enjoy the great pool area of the Yacht Club. We will need to go back once warm weather is here to stay for awhile (although Sunday was VERY warm.) I know you and your family loved the resort!
Thanks for stopping by Benita.
Kelly

Pinky at Designs by Pinky - March 10, 2015 - 7:59 pm

These 2 places look great too. I love this series you are doing.
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Thank you Pinky. Glad you are enjoying them!
Kelly

Christi in MA - March 13, 2015 - 2:34 pm

Thanks for sharing all these great photos.
The Yacht and Beach Clubs were high on our list when my DH and I went to WDW in November. Maybe next time!
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You are quite welcome, Christi! I am so glad you enjoyed them. I hope you get to stay in the Yacht Club on your next trip to WDW. :)
Kelly

Debra - March 19, 2015 - 9:14 am

Of course you would stay at the Yacht Club. Oh, we Coastal Dream girls! It looks wonderful. Love the sweet view from your balcony. Your family are such good sports to be included in your blog shares. Sweet Family and more memories made. :)
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Yacht Club really was nice, and the view was really good too. Yes, more memories made. I was just thrilled to be able to see our Seattle son and our Orlando daughter on the trip!:)
Kelly

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