Celebrating New Year’s In Disney World

New Years 3

Where has 2015 gone? If you’ll be visiting Disney World for the ringing in of 2016 there are plenty of fun-filled options available to celebrate the holiday. Here’s a look at some of the choices courtesy of Disney:

Walt Disney World Resort is the perfect place to ring in the New Year. With spectacular fireworks shows, world-class entertainment, and endless dining options, guests can celebrate New Year’s Eve with a touch of Disney magic.

Here’s a look at some of Disney’s entertainment and dining celebrations planned for New Year’s Eve 2015 at Walt Disney World Resort.


Disney New YearEpcotGuests can celebrate all night long at Epcot. DJs and live music around World Showcase bring guests to their feet with beats from around the globe. Two showings of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” fireworks spectacular at 6pm and 11:40pm, followed by a countdown and pyrotechnic salute to the New Year will top off the celebration.

Magic KingdomGuests can get a head start on welcoming 2016 at Magic Kingdom as New Year’s Eve fireworks light up the sky on two nights instead of one. Magic Kingdom will present a jaw-dropping presentation of “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks on both Wednesday, December 30, and Thursday, December 31 at 11:50pm.

Disney’s Hollywood StudiosRock ’n’ roll into the New Year with a brilliant fireworks spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The show will be presented on December 31 near the Hyperion Theater at midnight.


Disney New YearMagic Kingdom – For guests with a sweet tooth, Tomorrowland Terrace will feature a New Year’s Eve fireworks dessert party twice nightly during the “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks spectacular December 30-31. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

Epcot – Epcot World Showcase offers a variety of New Year’s Eve lunch and dinner options. (Admission to Epcot is required and not included in dining prices.)

  • Enjoy live music, premium tequilas, festive décor, and incredible views of the IllumiNations fireworks spectacular at La Hacienda de San Angel at the Mexico pavilion. This colorful celebration begins with seating at 9:30pm, and includes a five-course feast featuring a special Surf and Turf entrée. This event is $280.13 for adults and $73.46 for children ages 3-9 (includes tax and gratuity).
  • Delight in the culture, flavors and elegance of France courtesy of the revered French chef Paul Bocuse at Monsieur Paul at the France pavilion. This restaurant will offer lunch and dinner seatings featuring a three-course meal for $85 per person (plus tax and gratuity), as well as a four-course premiere dining event from 8:45-9:50 p.m. for $235 per person, or $295 with wine (plus tax and gratuity).
  • The Canadian-inspired eatery Le Cellier Steakhouse will offer a decadent, multi-course menu for guests to enjoy while exploring World Showcase. Reservations are available at 4:30, 6:45 and 9 pm, with prices varying per seating.
  • Listen to classic Disney tunes and enjoy a never-ending custom New Year’s Eve dinner buffet at the Epcot World ShowPlace This holiday dining location offers a family-friendly atmosphere with delicious menu items for guests of all ages. The experience also features photo opportunities with unique vignettes of classic Disney characters. Dinner is served from 4:30-10:30pm. Tickets cost $71.84 for adults and $44.37 for children ages 3-9 (plus tax).

Disney World New YearsResorts – Guests can treat themselves to delectable dining on New Year’s Eve at several Walt Disney World Resort hotel restaurants.

  • With an elegant feast and delightful entertainment, guests can celebrate with class at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. An exquisite gala includes appearances by favorite Disney characters, complimentary alcoholic beverages, and a magnificent view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. This dine-around style event features elaborate food stations for guests to enjoy throughout the restaurant. Dinner seating is at 8 p.m. and cost is $625 per person (includes tax and gratuity).
  • New Year’s Eve dinner at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is an extravagant affair complete with ten courses and elite wine pairings throughout the evening. This once-in-a-lifetime experience features a harpist, lavish décor, a personalized menu, and a long-stem rose for ladies.
  • Narcoosee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa provides guests with a global dining experience with tantalizing seafood selections from around the world. With two dinner seatings, this evening is a delicious and memorable way to begin 2016. Prices vary per seating.
  • To begin the New Year with style, guests ages 21 and over can dance their way into 2016 at the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk. This special-ticket event includes a live band, champagne toast at midnight, and plenty of dance space on the main floor for an evening of swinging fun. Tickets can be purchased for $37 per person. For an extra VIP New Year’s Eve experience, guests can purchase tickets for private access to the second floor balcony and a dessert party to the backdrop of Epcot’s fireworks spectacular. This special celebration is $80 for each adult.
  • For a celebratory New Year’s Day feast, guests can book brunch at Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Price is $44.72 for adults and $26.62 for children ages 3-9.
  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel offers limited-time New Year’s Eve menus in two tasty locations. For a scrumptious buffet accompanied by Disney Character greetings, guests can visit the enchanting Garden Grove Price is $48.98 for adults and $21.29 for children ages 3-9 (includes tax but not gratuity). To ring in the New Year with Italian fare, guests can enjoy a festive feast at Il Mulino, with reservations available from 7:15-11pm. This authentic Italian meal experience costs $105 for adults and $39 for children ages 3-9 (plus tax and gratuity).

Please remember that holiday seating is limited and will book up quickly. For information and reservations,  please click here or call 407-WDW-DINE.

501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be celebrating New Year’s in Disney World? Please leave a comment!

Where To Find The Best Waffles In Disney World

Waffles 3

Who doesn’t love a good waffle? Disney makes a fabulous waffle and we’re not just talking your basic breakfast variety either. There are many delicious takes on this breakfast classic throughout the resort. So the next time you find yourself in Disney World with a waffle craving, make your way to one of these spots!

Waffles 2Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom

This location serves a wide range of waffle sandwiches and waffle desserts. The portions are large and with so many choices, you might want to purchase a couple of varieties to share.

  • Ham and Cheese Omelet Waffle Sandwich $7.49 (breakfast only)
  • Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich $7.49 (lunch only)
  • Ham, Prosciutto, and Swiss Waffle Sandwich $7.49 (lunch only)
  • Nutella and Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich $6.69
  • Waffle with Cinnamon $5.39
  • Waffle with Powdered Sugar $5.39
  • Waffle with Strawberries and Whipped Cream $6.79

Waffles 1Trilo-Bites in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

A couple of great snacking options while touring the jungles of Animal Kingdom!

  • Buffalo Chicken Waffle Slider $5.49
  • Waffle Sundae $5.59

Waffles 4Fantasy Fare Food Truck in Disney Springs

Need a quick bite and only a waffle will do? Head to the Fantasy Fare Food Truck to get your fix!

  • Buffalo Chicken and Waffles $10.25
  • Chicken and Waffles $10.25

Waffles 7Belgium Marketplace during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival

Only available during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, these scrumptious waffles will hit the spot!

  • Belgium Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream $3.75
  • Belgium Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream $3.75

Waffles 9Throughout Disney World

The classic Mickey Waffle; these beauties are served up throughout the Disney World Resort. You will find these adorable and tasty Mickey Waffles at breakfast buffets, food courts, and table service locations in the parks and at select Disney Resort Hotels. Prices vary.

501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

What is your favorite Disney World waffle? Please leave a comment!

Downtown Disney Officially Becomes Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Well, it’s finally official. Last week we said good-bye to Downtown Disney and hello to the new Disney Springs. Here are all of the latest details courtesy of Disney:

Disney SpringsWalt Disney World Resort officially changed the name of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, an important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the shopping, dining and entertainment district at the world’s No. 1 family vacation destination.

Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs treats guests to a one-of-a-kind Disney experience amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm.

Disney Springs will include four interconnected neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center. When Disney Springs is fully completed in 2016, the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues will increase from the current 75 to more than 150.

With more exciting venues to come, new dining and shopping open now at Disney Springs includes:

  • Morimoto Asia 3Morimoto Asia Morimoto Asia is a one-of-a-kind dining experience from Chef Masaharu Morimoto. This Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian restaurant provides flavors from across Asia with unique exhibition kitchens showcasing the continent’s traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving and dim sum. Designed by STUDIO V Architecture and located at The Landing, Morimoto Asia’s extraordinary, 36-foot tall, two-story layout includes open terraces, grand halls, private rooms, a cocktail lounge, waterside seating and more.
  • Jock Lindsay's 6Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – An aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at The Landing at Disney Springs is tucked between Paradiso 37 and The BOATHOUSE restaurant, this new venue features unique cocktails and small plates. Ardent fans of the “Indiana Jones” films may recognize Jock Lindsey as Indy’s frequent pilot. In the main room, guests will discover an expansive bar, aviation decor filling the room, vintage travel posters covering the walls and correspondence between Jock, Indy and their fellow adventurers on display.
  • BoathouseThe BOATHOUSE An incredible culinary experience is showcased in the expansive restaurant with nautical-themed rooms, two private dining rooms for special events, and three distinctive bars. Guests will enjoy a gourmet menu with steaks, chops, seafood and a raw bar, served until 2 a.m. daily. This upscale, waterfront-dining experience immerses guests both on land and on water. There’s live music, plus guided tours aboard a 40-foot Italian Water Taxi and Amiphicar rides that launch from land, enter the water and take guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs.
  • Paradiso 37Paradiso 37: Paradiso 37 recently expanded its outdoor dining to take advantage of its beautiful waterfront setting. As part of its renovation, the restaurant is doubling its seating, adding more terrace dining and building a new outdoor performance stage.
  • Disney Springs - ApexApex by Sunglass Hut- A first-of-its-kind sunglass store that was built with the athlete in mind. This retail location showcases the industry’s best selection of sport performance and lifestyle eyewear including Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Under Armour. In order for guests to choose a lens to best suit their needs, Apex has developed environmental simulators so guests can test out how a specific lens will perform under a variety of light conditions.
  • Disney Springs - Art of ShavingThe Art of Shaving– A boutique retail offering that sells high-end shaving supplies and related grooming products for the modern man. Founded by a husband and wife in a Manhattan apartment, The Art of Shaving has grown to a worldwide organization that is still nurtured by the founders’ talents and passion. Guests can receive expert shaving advice on products and techniques, or make an appointment for a luxurious grooming experience at the Barber Spa.
  • Disney Springs - Chapel HatsChapel Hats – A fashion forward shop that specializes in an assortment of hats for guests of all ages.  The location carries stylish hats including fedoras, cowboy hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid’s hats and more. Every Chapel Hats location is themed to a different time period and is built by using old pieces of shops, factories, schools, pubs and churches from a bygone era.
  • Dockside Margaritas 2Dockside Margaritas – Dockside Margaritas treats guests to thirst-quenching margaritas made with fresh, all-natural products. Using authentic Florida ingredients whenever possible, the location (at the Marketplace) features unique theming reminiscent of a 1960s Florida roadside fruit stand. In addition to margaritas, the menu includes select frozen beverages, wine, bottled and draft beer. There is ample seating for guests and a built-in entertainment area.
  • Disney Springs - Eric Mckenna's Bakery NYCErin McKenna Bakery NYC – A unique bakery with savory offerings and an all-vegan and gluten-free menu. Look for a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels with vegan butter, and other delicious items daily. Some of their fan-favorite cupcakes from their flagship bakery in New York and sister bakery in Los Angeles include vanilla cupcakes with zesty lemon frosting, red velvet cupcakes with creamy vanilla frosting and brownie cupcakes with rich chocolate frosting.
  • Erwin PearlErwin Pearl – Specializing in fashion jewelry and accessories, Erwin Pearl features hand-painted French enamels, 22k gold plating, sterling silver and freshwater pearls. The New York City-based company manufactures more than 80 percent of their products in U.S. factories, including earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins, watches and scarves. Erwin Pearl began his career as a diamond cutter and is recognized as one of the country’s foremost fine jewelry designers.
  • HavaianasHavaianas – A Brazilian-based shoe store that offers fashionable flip flops made with the highest quality rubber — with hundreds of styles to choose from. This store features a large assortment of colorful Havaianas for women, men and children, plus kids’ rain boots. There’s also the “Make Your Own Havaianas” and “Embellish Your Own Havaianas,” option, where guests can customize this casual footwear.
  • Disney Springs - SanukSanuk– Innovative, fun and comfortable footwear with more than 175 designs is available at this 1,000-square-foot venue. Taking its name from the Thai word for “fun,” Sanuk strives to make more innovative products that are as much about funk as they are about function. Favorite styles including Yoga Mat Sandal Collection and its patented “Not-A-Shoe” Sidewalk Surfers will be showcased.
  • Joffrey's TeaTea Traders Café by Joffrey’s — Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s specializes in premium loose-leaf teas (hot, iced, blended) featuring customs blends, accessories and packaged teas from all over the globe; created to go or for a tea experience in the café.
  • Vivoli il GelatoVivoli Gelateria – A family-run gelato shop, Vivoli Gelateria serves up gelato that is made with fresh, top-quality ingredients using the exact same recipes from the original shop in Italy. (The storefront at Disney Springs is the second for Vivoli, the first outside of Italy.) The artisans use local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy. In addition to their signature gelato, Vivioli Gelateria also serves traditional Italian panini, biscotti, espresso and tarts.
  • Sound LionSound Lion – A new retail concept that offers the latest technology in headphones, docking stations, wireless music players and other products. Before purchasing a product, guests can hang out at their Listening Barand find which product works best for them.

501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Have you visited the new Disney Springs? Please leave a comment!

Magic YOUR Band Red Polka Dot MagicBand Skins Giveaway Winner

Red Polka Dot MagicBand Skins

A must-have Disney World vacation accessory!

The Winner

Congratulations to Allicia who won a set of four “Red Polka Dot” MagicBand Skins. Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter and be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook to hear about more free giveaways throughout 2015!

Interested in getting your own MagicBand Skins? Please click this link to purchase some today!

The Review

A few months ago, I arranged with Tracy at Magic YOUR Band to review their MagicBand Skins. If you aren’t familiar with this product, these adorable decals attach directly to your Disney World MagicBand creating your own personalized look.

Magic YOUR BandTracy asked me to pick out a MagicBand Skin that I liked as well as try out their online design tool for this review. My youngest son was excited to test the product with me so he choose the two piece “Slice of Pizza” design to go on his orange MagicBand. I decided to try putting my DisneyWorldEnthusiast.com logo on a skin for my red MagicBand. I was amazed at how easy Magic YOUR Band’s editing system worked. In a matter of minutes, I had a background selected and my logo in place and looking great! Then my son and I eagerly waited for our MagicBand Skins to arrive. Just as promised, they arrived in about a week.

We opened our delivery to find our MagicBand Skins nicely packaged and looking gorgeous! The first thing that struck me was how bright and vibrant the colors appeared. Upon further inspection, the MagicBand Skins looked perfectly cut and well made. Next up was getting them on our MagicBands.

The process was much easier than I thought it would be. I spent a few minutes watching the installation video on their site and then gave it a try. I found the skins to be very forgiving and I was able to lift them and adjust them until they were just right. Once I had the MagicBand Skins where I wanted, I went back over them pressing down firmly to make sure they were in place. It only took a couple of minutes until our MagicBands were looking quite magical!

I continued to wear my MagicBand with the Magic YOUR Band Skin throughout the day. It held up beautifully to a day filled with errands, cleaning, cooking, laundry, rain, and the movies. My son and I can’t wait to wear our new favorite Disney vacation accessory on our upcoming trip!

Here’s all of the important information that you’ll need to get yourself a MagicBand Skin:

  • MagicBand Skins are available for purchase on MagicYOURBand.com.
  • They range in price from $6 to $8 each.
  • They offer special pricing when you purchase multiple MagicBand Skins in one order. Buy two to five and save 15%. Buy six to nine and save 25%. Buy ten or more and save 33%.
  • They come in one piece (that covers the center MagicBand Mickey) or two piece (that shows the center MagicBand Mickey) styles.
  • Halloween MagicYOURBandThey have over 100 ready-made designs available including adorable holiday varieties!
  • You also have the options of personalizing one of their designs or creating your own with their easy-to-use online editing tool.
  • MagicBand Skins are fully waterproof. They hold up in the shower, pool, and a Florida rain storm!
  • The MagicBand Skins are easy to apply and remove if you want to change-up your look. They even have a handy video to show you how!
  • The Skins have no effect on how the MagicBand works. Your band will still be fully functional.
  • Magic YOUR Band is located in the United Kingdom and offers free international shipping on all orders.
  • The average delivery time is 7 days from the date of postage. You can upgrade to 2 business day FedEx International Priority Shipping for an additional fee.

Red Polka Dot MagicBand SkinsPlease click this link to purchase one today!

Disney World Enthusiast Weekly Round Up October 4, 2015

Here’s the Disney World Enthusiast Weekly Round Up for October 4, 2015!

Latest Disney World Enthusiast Articles

Disney World Saratoga Springs BedroomTip Of The Week

For both the young and old alike, it is a good idea to bring a night light for your hotel room. With the darkening curtains, the rooms can get very dark at night. This can be scary for little ones and can make it difficult for the older crowd to navigate to the bathroom safely in the middle of the night. A small inexpensive night light (usually under $5) can keep everyone happy and safe.

Haunted Mansion RavenDisney Did You Know

The raven that is seen several times throughout the Haunted Mansion was originally planned to be the narrator of the attraction.

Walt’s Words

Walt Disney 2“Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.”  

Magic YOUR BandDisney World Enthusiast Giveaway

Look for a new MagicBand skins giveaway beginning Friday, October 9. Good luck, everyone!

Icon S3Behind The Magic Podcast

Be sure to catch up on this week’s episodes when Zeek, Rachel, Tim, Richard, Sarah and I discuss Disney news, rumors, and so much more. For more information about this week’s podcasts or to listen, please click here.

Featured Advertiser

BitbeltHave you heard of this incredible gadget – Bitbelt? If you aren’t familiar, this handy creation secures your MagicBand so that it doesn’t accidentally become lost. Anyone that carries a child, a backpack, or wears a jacket at Disney World knows how easily a MagicBand can become unclasped. That’s where this little beauty comes in! Simply place a Bitbelt on your MagicBand and save yourself the trouble of having to search for a lost band or take the time to get a replacement. Bitbelts come in a dozen different colors and in two sizes – adult and junior. They are only $4.99 each plus they offer discounted pricing when you purchase multiple Bitbelts in one order. And if you think Bitbelts are great for MagicBands, they are also available for your fitness trackers. Never lose a pricey Fitbit again! For more information about Bitbelt, please click here!

501 WaysFeatured Book

The difference between an average and an outstanding Walt Disney World trip is in the details. Kristi Fredericks helps make your dream vacation a reality with her numerous tips and tricks to save money, time, and sanity while at the happiest place on earth in her new book “501 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Walt Disney World Vacation”. For more information, to read an excerpt, or to purchase, please click here.

Considering A Disney World Vacation

Book Your Disney VacationJennifer Hardy, a Disney Vacation Planner with Destinations in Florida, is the official travel partner of Disney World Enthusiast. She can help you book your next Disney vacation whether it is to Disney World, Disneyland, or aboard the Disney Cruise Line. Currently Jennifer has some incredible deals for discounted travel to Disney World. For more information about Jennifer’s amazing and absolutely free services or to get a free no-obligation quote, please click here!

You’re Invited

Next Disney VacationJennifer Hardy, from Destinations in Florida, and I have teamed up to create a brand new Facebook Group called Next Disney Vacation! It is the perfect place to talk about your next Disney vacation, voice your opinions, ask your questions, get them answered, and share the magic. Whether it’s Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, or the Disney Cruise Line, Jennifer and I are ready to help. Everyday you’ll find posts, photos, trivia, tips, and more that we find all throughout the Disney Universe. If you’re counting the days until your next Disney vacation or just dreaming of one, we would love to have you join in the fun and conversation! Please click here to be a part of our group!

dwe logo small size white bkgdComing Up Next Week

Next week I’ll have some planning and dining information, plus all of the latest Disney World news!

Do you have a question or article idea?
Please leave a comment!