Epcot, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is a unique theme park located in Walt Disney World Resort, Florida. The park is known for its educational and entertaining attractions, and it offers guests the chance to meet and interact with a variety of characters.
Here are some of the characters you can meet at Epcot:
Disney Princesses – Epcot is the perfect place to meet your favorite Disney Princesses. You can interact with Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, Snow White, and other princesses in the World Showcase. Don’t forget to bring your autograph book! You’ll find Belle in France, Snow White in Germany, Jasmine in Morocco, Mulan in China and so on…
International Characters – Epcot’s World Showcase is home to characters from around the world. You can meet Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland in the United Kingdom Pavilion. You can also meet cultural representatives from various countries who share their customs, traditions, and stories.
Vanellope – Pose for a pic with the fastest racer this side of the internet inside Imageworks in World Celebrations.
Anna & Elsa – Chill out with royal sisters Elsa & Anna from Frozen at their charming summer cabin, Royal Sommerhus in the Norway Pavillion.
Joy – Meet Joy from the Disney and Pixar film Inside Out at her workplace—inside the head of Riley, an 11-year-old girl. You will find Joy at Imageworks
Meeting characters at Epcot is a magical experience that guests of all ages can enjoy. Don’t forget to bring your camera and autograph book, and be prepared to make memories that will last a lifetime.
f you’re a fan of movies, television shows, and popular culture, you’ll definitely want to visit Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida. This theme park is dedicated to the magic of Hollywood and features attractions, shows, and experiences that allow you to step into some of your favorite films and TV shows. But one of the highlights of Hollywood Studios is the chance to meet and interact with some of the most beloved characters from the world of entertainment. Here are some of the characters you can meet at Hollywood Studios.
Mickey Mouse and Friends: No trip to a Disney theme park is complete without meeting the mouse that started it all. You can meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and other classic characters at the park, either at scheduled meet-and-greets or in impromptu encounters around the park.
Star Wars Characters: If you’re a fan of the Star Wars franchise, you’ll be thrilled to meet some of the iconic characters from the movies. You can pose for a photo with Chewbacca, meet BB-8, or even come face-to-face with the intimidating Darth Vader or Kylo Ren.
Toy Story Characters: Round up the gang and get those batteries charged! Shake the snakes out of your boots and say howdy to Sheriff Woody. Yodel a hello to Jessie the Cowgirl. Remember to greet Buzz Lightyear with your best Space Ranger salute—he’s always looking for a few good toys. Throughout the day, be on the lookout for the Green Army Drum Corps!
Disney Junior Characters: If you’re traveling with little ones, they’ll love the chance to meet some of their favorite characters from Disney Junior shows. You can meet Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, and Fancy Nancy, among others at Animation Courtyard.
These are just a few of the characters you can meet at Hollywood Studios. Whether you’re a fan of classic Disney movies, Star Wars, Marvel, or more, there’s sure to be a character that will make your visit to the park unforgettable. Be sure to check the schedule and plan your day to make sure you don’t miss any of these exciting character encounters!
If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, you’re in for a treat. Not only is the park home to a variety of exotic animals and breathtaking rides, but you’ll also have the chance to meet some of your favorite Disney characters in a setting that’s truly unique.
Here are some of the characters you can meet at Animal Kingdom:
Mickey & Minnie: Join the globetrotting couple at the Adventurers Outpost as they prepare themselves for their next grand expedition. Peruse exotic mementos they’ve collected on their trips around the world before posing for a postcard-perfect picture with the pair.
Pocahontas – This beloved Disney princess can be found near the Tree of Life, where she’ll be happy to pose for photos and sign autographs.
Donald Duck – This feathered friend is a favorite of many visitors to Animal Kingdom. You can find him near DinoLand U.S.A., where he’ll be happy to take photos and sign autographs.
Kevin: Meet Kevin at the Character Landing by Flame Tree Barbeque
Dug and Russell – Fans of the movie “Up” won’t want to miss the chance to meet these two lovable characters. You can find them near the park’s entrance, and they’re always happy to make new friends.
Meeting these characters is a great way to add some extra magic to your visit to Animal Kingdom. Make sure to bring your camera and autograph book, and get ready to create some unforgettable memories.
Magic Kingdom is a magical place where dreams come to life and fantasies become reality. It is home to some of the most iconic Disney characters that have captured the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. From the classic Mickey Mouse to the newer characters like Merida, there is a character for everyone at Magic Kingdom.
Here are some of the characters you can meet at Magic Kingdom:
Mickey Mouse: Pop into Mickey’s rehearsal room at Town Square Theatre for the chance to greet Mickey! Discover props and posters from Mickey’s magical career in the theater and maybe even spot a disappearing dove or a rabbit coming out of a hat. The greatest magic of all happens when Mickey Mouse strikes a pose for a fun photo with you.
Cinderella: Cinderella is one of the most beloved Disney princesses, and she can be found at Magic Kingdom, at Princess Fairytale Hall, where she often greets her fans in front of her castle. She is always dressed in her signature blue gown and glass slippers, ready to enchant visitors with her grace and beauty.
Donald & Goofy: Step right up and say hello to the stars of this slapstick circus: snake charmer extraordinaire The Astounding Donaldo and his daring stuntman pal The Great Goofini! Share hugs, get autographs and snap pictures of your new friends—before the show’s over at Pete’s Silly Sideshow.
Winnie the Pooh & Tigger: Spend some time in a shady place deep in the Hundred-Acre Wood. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger love seeing new friends at the Thotful Spot and old to share hugs and maybe even a smackerel of honey.
Aladdin & Jasmine: Make your way into the exotic marketplace in Adventureland to meet Princess Jasmine and her prince, Aladdin. They’ll share stories of Agrabah under the shade of a colorful awning. You can recount your own tales of adventure in another magical kingdom you may know.
In conclusion, Magic Kingdom is a magical place where visitors can meet some of the most iconic Disney characters. From classic characters like Mickey Mouse and Cinderella to newer characters like Merida, there is a character for everyone at Magic Kingdom. So, next time you visit this enchanting place, don’t forget to say hello to your favorite Disney character.
Disney World is a magical place where dreams come true for all ages, including toddlers! There are plenty of rides that are perfect for little ones, offering a fun and safe experience that will make their trip to Disney World unforgettable. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best toddler rides at Disney World.
Peter Pan’s Flight
One of the most popular rides at Disney World, Peter Pan’s Flight, is also a great choice for toddlers. The ride takes you through scenes from the beloved story of Peter Pan, as you soar through the air in a pirate ship. The ride is gentle and smooth, making it perfect for young children who might be afraid of faster, scarier rides.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Another classic ride that is perfect for toddlers is Dumbo the Flying Elephant. This ride allows children to take control of their own flying elephant, as they rise and fall through the air. The ride is gentle and slow, giving young children plenty of time to take in the scenery and enjoy the experience.
It’s a Small World
It’s a Small World is an iconic Disney World ride that has been entertaining families for generations. The ride takes you through a world of singing dolls, each representing a different country and culture. The ride is slow-moving and gentle, making it a great option for toddlers who might be sensitive to faster or scarier rides.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a whimsical ride that takes you through the Hundred Acre Wood, as you join Pooh and his friends on a series of adventures. The ride is colorful and playful, with plenty of fun surprises along the way. It’s a great choice for toddlers who love the Winnie the Pooh stories.
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
For toddlers who love all things Disney Princess, Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid is a must-see ride. This ride takes you through scenes from the classic Disney movie, as you follow Ariel on her underwater adventure. The ride is gentle and slow, with plenty of fun music and colorful visuals.
Disney World has plenty of rides that are perfect for toddlers. From classic favorites like Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s a Small World to attractions like Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, there are plenty of options to choose from. Your toddler is sure to have a magical and unforgettable experience at Disney World.
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One of my very favorite spots in the entire world is Lake Placid NY. Lake Placid was the town we visited when I was a child on rainy days when we were camping in the Adirondacks near Saranac Lake. Not much to do in the rain at a campground so we would pile into the car and drive to Lake Placid and walk around in the rain, spending sometimes hours inside the book store. Hey, we didn’t have English book stores near our home in Montreal.
As I got older, it became the spot to go with friends to get away from the crazy bar scene in Montreal. It’s no wonder I met my husband on one of those trips, we began dating long distance (he lived in Lake Placid) and eventually got married. We had our wedding in, you guessed it, Lake Placid.
I simply love the atmosphere in this town. It’s always bustling with people, and activities, and has great restaurants! There is a lovely path that takes you all the way around Mirror Lake. It is just under 3 miles and at the other end of the lake, you can see the actual Lake Placid. There is even a boat tour you can take to learn all about the history of the area and the ghost story of The Lady and the Lake. They are replacing the sidewalk in town and one side is complete with a beautiful smooth surface now.
One of the top places to stay is the Golden Arrow Resort. The Golden Arrow sits right on Mirror Lake, aptly named as you can see in this picture.
The resort has regular rooms, family rooms, specialty suites and is pet friendly. Many rooms overlook Mirror Lake and the beautiful lakeside lawn and beach exclusive to the hotel. They have lake toys available on the docks, beach chairs to lounge, and a sectioned-off area to swim safely for the littles. There are fire pits for nighttime fun and a beautiful spot where there is almost weekly a wedding taking place by the lake.
There is a restaurant and bar, Generations which is a great place to cap off the night before retreating to your room.
My favorite room at the Golden Arrow is the Morningside Suite. This is the suite we book every year for our girl’s getaway weekend. This suite suits us perfectly because it has a large table in the floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the lake. We like to play games when we aren’t on the beach or wandering around the lake, and this is perfect for that. It also has a kitchenette and 2 bathrooms along with a king bed in one room and 2 queen beds in the other. The other fun thing about this particular suite is that it isn’t even in the hotel. This suite is actually at the back of the Alpine Mall. There is a door into the hotel at the back of the mall, on the right-hand side. Directly across, next to the coffee shop, is the door to the Morningside Suite. This means we can just get onto Main Street by a quick walk through the tiny mall without the need to deal with going through the hotel, hallways, and elevators.
On our most recent trip, we hit up our MUST DO of Big Mountain Deli and the #10 Gothic sandwich. Always a staple of mine. We also enjoy eating and a few adult beverages at The Cottage, The Mirror Lake Inn, Jimmy’s 21, Black Bear Restaurant, The Pickled Pig, Top of the Park, and breakfast at The Breakfast Club is a MUST!
In the morning I pop right outside my door and grab an iced latte to sip on my balcony before a walk around the lake. Perfect morning!
The hotel has an indoor pool and hot tub. Water trikes, kayaks, paddle boards available for use freely down by the beach.
There are of course lots of things to do in Lake Placid with the Olympic sites to visit, Whiteface Mountain even in summer is something to see. Gondola rides, hikes, the Ski Jumping complex (in the summer they jump into water!). The arena where Miracle on Ice happened and an Olympic Museum.
There are a lot of cruise lines to choose from, but Disney offers the best experience for tweens and teens and that might be surprising to some. And let’s face it, parents generally make the decisions on where the family vacation is going to be and teens don’t necessarily get a big say. My kids were excited to go on their first cruise but less than thrilled it was Disney. They love Disney World but thought there would just be too many kids and it would be all about characters. They ended up having a great time and didn’t meet any characters and didn’t stand in any lines, except the AquaDuck once or twice. Sure, there were a lot of kids, but with their own spaces, they hardly had to see them.
We sailed on the Disney Dream 4 night Bahamas cruise in April 2019. The boys were 13 and 15, turned 16 on our sea day.
Here are 3 reasons I think the #DisneyDifference makes all the difference in a teen’s experience on vacation.
Exclusive spaces beyond compare…
Disney Cruise Line offers the best teen lounges/clubs on the high seas. Tweens have Edge, which on the Dream is located in the funnel! And teens have Vibe. On the Dream and Fantasy, Vibe has its own sun deck on the front of the ship with its own pool away from all the little ones. Vibe offers games and activities run by counselors and video games and a smoothie bar. Check out my Vibe post and video here. Be sure to visit the teen clubs on the first day to register the kids and check it out. The Navigator App will list the continuous stream of activities available through Vibe. They play “get to know you” games and Heroes vs Villains and do scavenger hunts.
Parents will feel so comfortable on a Disney Cruise with the incredible service and cast members. It allows them the ability to give teens the freedom to make their own choices on what they want to do and where they want to spend their time. Use the Navigator app to keep in touch with your teens while allowing them some freedom. Set guidelines for meeting up, for dinner for example and a curfew, but then let them fill the space in between. There are sports simulators, basketball court, miniature golf, movie theatre, self serve soft ice cream… Our teens basically did their own thing all day long. They had each other and didn’t really make friends, but they went off to Vibe or up to the sports deck, back to the room. A stop a Cabanas for some food. We barely saw them the entire cruise.
Bonus: This gives you lots of time to use the adult-only areas and do your own thing.
Unlimited food choices…
If your teens are anything like mine, a lot of time is spent standing in front of the open fridge saying there is nothing to eat. Not a problem on a Disney Cruise. Between the buffet, Cabanas and quick service location on the pool deck, in addition to the main dining room and free room service…teens will never run out of food options.
Don’t underestimate their own comfort level with dining alone either, my tween went up to the buffet on his own for his second or third lunch almost daily, he’s an athlete and eats a lot. And when we scheduled an adult-only dinner at Palo, I offered room service or grab a bite on the pool deck and the boys, a tween and teen, both wanted to go to the main dining room we were scheduled for that night, on their own. They loved our server and wanted to see him. We met them there towards the end of their meal and were greeted by our table neighbors saying what well-behaved and mature children we have. They were well taken care of by our servers, my little athlete had 3 cleaned plates in front of him, a regular occurrence, he ordered 3 meals every night.
We opted for late seating as there are less little kids at late and early was just too early. It worked out well for us and the kids that were in the dining rooms ate and were whisked away to the kids club quickly so we barely noticed them.
With all the food choices, amazing teen spaces and the comfort at allowing them some freedom, the #DisneyDifference shines bright on cruises with teenagers!
As is typical on most cruise lines today, Disney offers choices beyond their Main Dining rooms. Already not typical with rotational dining and 3 main dining rooms, Disney offers Palo and Remy. Palo is Northern Italian cuisine on all 4 Disney ships. Remy is French cuisine on the Dream and Fantasy only. Both are adult-exclusive.
Upcharges and dress codes apply to both restaurants, but Palo is a little less restrictive than Remy. For Palo dinner, the charge was $40 per person.
Dress to Impress
To preserve the elegant ambiance of this restaurant, you are asked to adhere to a dress code when dining at Palo. We recommend dress pants or slacks and a collared shirt for men, and a dress, skirt or pants and a blouse for women. Jeans may also be worn if in good condition (no holes). Please no tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, shorts, hats, cut-offs, torn clothing, t-shirts with offensive language and/or graphics, flip-flops or tennis shoes.
On our recent cruise, we had dinner at Palo on pirate night, which was the 3rd night of our 4 night cruise and our Castaway Cay day. We weren’t terribly interested in pirate festivities, our children are teenagers and we would be done in plenty of time to see the fireworks. On the Dream Palo and Remy are next to each other on the top deck in the front of the ship with the Meridian Bar in between. When you arrive you are escorted into the bar to wait for your escort into the restaurant. We had a drink here and then were escorted to our table. All tables have a wonderful view of the ocean.
The service is nothing short of outstanding! We ordered wine, and then Mircea our server brought the bread service and then the antipasto cart and we watched as our server prepared a plate of “a little bit of everything” to try.
We ordered several Primi to try and share, Calamari Fritti, Gnocchi and the Wild Mushroom Risotto. So so good. Even the gnocchi, which are usually not great in restaurants when you are used to my father’s homemade version, was wonderful.
Next, was a palette cleanser…
Then the main course, Rack of Lamb for me and Osso Buco for my husband. Cooked to perfection.
The dessert course was next. When you order your main course they will ask you if you will be ordering the chocolate souffle, their signature dessert because it does take some time to make. I knew about this in advance and was definitely getting it. There are no words, it was heavenly.
And there was other stuff, including a Happy Anniversary plate.
The dinner was well paced and lasted about 2 hours, but didn’t feel long at all. The restaurant was quiet, there were several tables around us, but it wasn’t full by any means.
Palo is well worth the upcharge and can be prebooked in your cruise account when your activities window opens.
Have you eaten there? I would go back in a heartbeat and next time will try the brunch too, I hear it’s phenomenal.
Tuesday morning my father drove us to the train station in Vicenza and we took the high speed train to Venice with my mother. Walking all day in Venice was too much for my father.
Venice is unique and beautiful. It’s also very confusing. Figuring out the water bus system is a task. We bought 3 day tickets for us and 1 day for the kids and Nonna. We took a boat to our hotel after some confusion on what stop and what water bus to take. Venetians are very quick to wave you in a direction without much information. Turns out 2 days later we discovered a “moved due to construction” water bus stop near our hotel which was the reason for much confusion. Found the hotel and dropped off our bag, my husband and I were staying for 2 nights, the kids were going back “home” with Nonna. From there we walked leisurely to Piazza San Marco where I had a tour of St. Mark’s and the Palazzo Ducale scheduled. Again, easy meeting point and it was a well organized nice tour. We were able to skip the line into both places like on our tours in Rome and Florence.
After our tour, we wandered a bit and stopped for lunch and then took a gondola ride, another things the kids really wanted to do.
We continued to wander and make our way back to our hotel slowly with a gelato stop of course along the way. Our room was ready when we arrived back so we checked that out.
I had searched long and hard for a perfect hotel in Venice and found a great little gem in Dosoduro by the Accademia Bridge. Hotel Ca Pisani was a on a quiet little street between the Accademia water bus stop on the Grand Canal and Zattere on the other side. The hotel was small and decorated in an Art Deco style, very beautiful. We had a duplex room, 2 floors, with the bedroom up a glass staircase and a spa like bathroom downstairs. Breakfast was included in the restaurant and they had some tables set up outside as well to people watch.
We then made our way back to the train station because Nonna wasn’t sure she could find it on her own. 🙂 We left Nonna and the boys at the train station and found our way back, this time managing to take the water bus we wanted that traveled along the Grand Canal.
We wandered to a piazza across the bridge and had a lovely dinner. It rained for the first time on our trip this evening, but we had gotten un umbrella from the hotel before we left.
The next morning, I had scheduled a tour to the islands of Murano and Burano which I had never been to. We made our way and easily found the meeting point near Piazza San Marco and boarded a private boat to Murano where we visited a glass factory and toured the island a little. Then back on the boat and on to the gorgeous island of Burano where the art of lace making is dying away. Had a lovely lunch here and did some shopping. It’s tiny, but beautiful.
We ended our time in Venice with dinner on a terrace by the water and gondolas, absolute bucket list item!
The next morning we had breakfast and wandered around our hotel area which was so lovely. We had discovered it yesterday afternoon. Then made our way back to the train station for our noon train to Vicenza where my father would be picking us up.
Onwards from Florence to Northern Italy and “home” for my family. My parents are from small towns in the Veneto region, between the cities of Verona and Vicenza, not too far from Venice.
We took the Italo high speed train again from Florence to Verona on Sunday August 12 and had a taxi pick us up and bring us to my parent’s apartment in the town of Schio. They bought this place when my father retired years ago and spend a few months each year there. Their apartment is located at the base of Monte Summano which is the mountain my father hiked as a child, he loves that mountain and now has a spectacular view of it outside his apartment.
We settled in and found the rental van (let’s call it a truck much to large for the tiny streets of Italy!) and went to one of my Aunt’s for lunch. My mother’s sister.
Another Aunt, the baby sister of my mother’s, arrived with a HUGE surprise for the boys. She had gotten wind that Matthew was a little bit obsessed with fancy cars, his favorites being Ferrari and Lamborghini. Visiting these museums/factories was on the required list for the trip, but Lamborghini is closed the entire month of August. Well, Zia Laura’s boyfriend owns a Ferrari and while they live in Verona, picking 6 of us up at the train station in a 2 seater Ferrari wasn’t practical, they made the 1 hour trek to surprise the boys.
As they drove into the parking lot, my father proclaimed “what is that sound, sounds like a Ferrari!” He didn’t actually know what was happening, he genuinely just thought that and said it. Matthew ran to the balcony, we were on the 2nd floor, and was in total shock at the sight before him.
Okay, so it wasn’t shiny, it was actually matte black, but still…
The boys both got short rides and were in heaven.
We also received our instructions for the next day, which was our adventure to Maranello, the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari and location of the factory and museum. Lamborghini was closed, but Ferrari only closes a few days a year, major holidays, so we made the trek to visit the museum. The boys really enjoyed this. Plenty of shiny metal objects at this place.
We made some mistakes on the way and it took longer than it should have and of course, road closures on the way back caused some confusion. The giant truck didn’t help. Toll booths that only take credit card even though they say they take cash, etc…driving in Italy is an adventure of it’s own.
That night, we had dinner at the old beer garden in my father’s home town of Piovene, we walked from my Aunt’s.