Star Wars Weekends

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Star Wars Guided Tour At Disney’s Hollywood Studios

If you are a Star Wars fan, you are probably already thrilled by the upcoming addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the currently under construction Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, slated to open in 2019. But to get your Star Wars fix in the meantime while you are patiently (or not so patiently) awaiting opening day, Disney is offering a guided tour that is sure to be a hit with the entire family! So here’s everything you ever wanted to know about the Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios…

This five and a half hour tour begins at 8:00am (check in at 7:45am) at Guest Relations inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The cost is $99 per person (adult or child) including tax plus a separate admission to the park is required. The Star Wars Guided Tour is one of the most popular tours in all of Walt Disney World and is currently being offered every day Monday through Saturday. Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance by calling 407-939-7529 and do book up quickly.

According to Disney, here’s what you get for your $99…

This guided voyage will have you:

So is the Star Wars Guided Tour really worth the high cost of the ticket? Keep in mind you and the rest of the tour group will be able to skip the lines at Star Tours and to meet the characters without using your own Fastpass+, guarantee your kids age 4 through 12 one of the coveted spots in Jedi Training, have the best location in the park to see the Star Wars shows and fireworks without having to wait, receive a personalized name tag in addition to another special souvenir, dine on a Star Wars themed entrée and drink of your choice, all while being entertained and educated on the Star Wars Universe by one of Disney’s top-notch guides. For die-hard Star Wars fans, I would say the answer to that question is a definite YES!

Curious about your lunch options? Here are a few of the current selections (for the full menu, please click here)…

Royal Guard Burger – 1/3 lb Angus Beef Burger, topped with Barbecued Brisket, Pepper Jack Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato and Pickles served with Carrot Sticks or French Fries

Dark Side Chicken and Waffles – Darth Vader Waffles topped with Chicken Breast Nuggets served with Maple Syrup

Galactic Chicken Salad – Mixed Greens topped with Grilled Chicken Breast, Crisp Wonton, Black Bean Relish and Avocado served with Vinaigrette Dressing

Want to add even more Star Wars to your trip or maybe you’re not ready to spend $99 per person for the Guided Tour? How about considering the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party? For only $79 per adult or $45 per child (price includes tax and gratuity) in addition to your regular park ticket, you can enjoy an endless array of desserts, specialty drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), reserved viewing spot for the nighttime fireworks event, as well as receiving a special Star Wars themed souvenir. For more information or to purchase dessert party tickets, please click here.

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:

Are you a Star Wars fan? Will you be taking the Star Wars
Guided Tour or attending the dessert party? Please leave a comment!

Enchanting Extras At Walt Disney World

As a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World, I often get the “you’re going there AGAIN?!” question accompanied with the perplexed eye roll and head shake. If you are a Disney fan like me, you already get it, you know why we go back time and again, but if you’re new to Disney, here’s one of the multitude of reasons so many of us “Disney Freaks” (as we are sometimes affectionately referred to) continue to return again and again…there is always something new and exciting to experience. Better than any other theme park destination, the Disney company knows how to create entertaining guest experiences to draw us in and keep us coming back for more. Here’s everything you need to know about a few of these “Enchanting Extras” courtesy of Disney:

Cinderella CastleWhether it’s celebrating a special occasion, trying a new exhilarating activity, or treating the family to a well-deserved splurge, the Enchanting Extras Collection lets Walt Disney World Resort guests discover even more magic to add to their vacation.

The Enchanting Extras Collection helps guests enhance their vacation experience with options that vary from relaxing spa treatments to delightful dessert parties and beyond, immersing guests in more magic and one-of-a-kind experiences.

Guests can select from more than 70 distinctly Disney experiences within these eight areas of interest:

Adventures in Dining

With a plethora of culinary adventures in store for guests, these experiences will make guests feel like a gourmet chef, or learn what it’s like to be an Imagineer at Disney, or even enjoy a private dinner–the choice is theirs! During the Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience, guests enjoy a private safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and explore the tastes of Africa with premium eats and beverages.

Epcot Flower & Garden FestivalLimited-Time Events

There are stellar seasonal events and experiences offered at Walt Disney World Resort, bringing unique fun to guests year round. Guests can choose from a host of limited-time events throughout the year, such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the fall, or the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in the Spring.

Make-Believe & More

Just for kids, these enchanted experiences are fairy tales come true. From magical makeover experiences such as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and The Pirates League, to Children’s Activity Centers at the resort hotels, there are plenty of ways for kids to have an extra special time.

Nature Experiences

Animal and nature lovers can choose from multiple encounters that bring them closer to exotic wildlife, including experiences such as Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In this guest adventure, expert guides lead small groups of adventurers on excursions where they can spend extended time observing and learning about the animals while on foot and while over-landing in customized safari vehicles.

Disney World Saratoga Springs GrandstandRest & Recreation

Whether guests are seeking a rejuvenating treatment at one of the Senses Spa locations at the resort hotels, or want to hit the green with a rousing round of miniature golf at one of the multiple courses at Walt Disney World, there are a myriad of ways to relax and unwind.

Wishes PartySpectacular Sweet Spots

Guests can sweeten any vacation experience with exclusive dessert party options. One party, Frozen Ever After Dessert Party, offers not only a specially created Frozen dessert menu and beverages, but fantastic views of IllumiNations at Epcot as well.

Special Occasions

There’s no better place to celebrate special milestones and make new memories than at Walt Disney World Resort, and these experiences take these moments to the next level. If guests are staying at one of the many resort hotels, Disney magic-makers can even create special surprises called ‘In-room Celebrations’ with floral arrangements, birthday, anniversary, holiday gifts, and much more.

Unique Access Tours

Guests can take a peek behind the scenes and see how Disney magic comes to life at the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts with special tours like the World Showcase DestiNations Discovered tour, providing an insider’s look at the countries that helped shape the creation of Epcot, or the Ultimate Day of Thrills VIP tour, which gives guests an action-packed experience through multiple parks.

Beyond traditional theme park-going, these options are among a whole world of choices guests can choose from. Guests can book any of these experiences by clicking here or by calling 407-939-7529.

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 tried an Enchanting Extra at Walt Disney World?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

Enjoy The Gardens Of The World Tour During Epcot’s International Flower And Garden Festival

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

If you will be one of the lucky travelers going to the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival this year, consider taking a tour! Disney is offering a Gardens of the World Tour during the festival this spring.

During Gardens of the World, a small group of guests join a Disney horticulturist on a 3 hour walking tour of the gardens throughout World Showcase and Future World.

Epcot Flower & Garden FestivalAccording to Disney, here’s what you’ll enjoy during the tour:

  • Become privy to behind-the-scenes tales about the award-winning topiaries and international gardens that make the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival so special.
  • Examine the role of landscaping at the Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Discuss ways you can apply Disney landscaping techniques at home.
  • Discover how landscaping helps develop a theme.
  • Explore various plant materials and gardening techniques.

Gardens of the World is held on select Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the festival from 9am-12pm. Guests must be at least 16 years old to participate. The cost of the tour is $85 plus tax per guest, Epcot park admission is also required, and is not included in the price. For reservations, please call 407-WDW-TOUR. Hurry, availability is limited!

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 taken any tours at Walt Disney World?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

New Sense Of Africa Tour At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

AKL Senses Tour 2

If you’re an animal lover looking for something a little unique to try while you’re in Walt Disney World next time, Disney is offering a brand new experience that you might want to check out; the Sense of Africa tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

AKL Senses Tour 1This three and a half hour tour was created to give guests an up close and behind the scenes look at all that goes in to this world class resort. Filled with history, culture and animal encounters this one of a kind experience is sure to be a hit with guests that love the spectacular Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The tour begins with breakfast at my favorite dining location in all of Walt Disney World: Boma – Flavors of Africa. With so much delicious food to choose from, there is certain to be something there everyone will enjoy. You can check out my full breakfast review by clicking here.

After breakfast, engage the rest of your senses as you make treats for the red river hogs, learn about the care of the creatures from your animal keeper guide, and enjoy up close encounters with the okapi, giraffes, and ostriches.

Sense of Africa is offered on Tuesday and Saturday mornings and is $249 per person. For more information or reservations, please call 407-939-8687. Being a resort guest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is not required to participate in the tour.

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 taking the Sense of Africa Tour?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!

Disney Family Culinary Adventure

Family Culinary Adventure

Are you someone that looks forward to Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival all year? Are your favorite channels The Food Network and The Cooking Channel? Well, if you consider yourself a foodie or a wannabe chef, you’ve got to check out the newest backstage offering at Disney World – The Disney Family Culinary Adventure! Here’s the scoop courtesy of Disney:

Ever wonder how to make a buttery pasta noodle or fork-tender filet mignon? The new “Disney Family Culinary Adventure” at Disney’s Contemporary Resort whisks guests backstage for a fun, interactive evening that includes plenty of time with the Disney chefs, hands-on cooking and a festive, five-course dinner with beer and wine served in the kitchen by the professional catering staff.

Family Culinary Adventure 2Aimed at guests 9 and older, the evening starts at 5 p.m. with a friendly introduction to the massive catering kitchen. A maximum of 30 guests put on aprons, hats and gloves and are divided into five cooking groups. And every station has a wow technique, from the ease of making homemade butter (equal parts buttermilk and heavy cream) to a fresh pasta with just three ingredients.

“We want to show them the tricks of the trade,” says Chef Frank Brough. “It’s a guided experience but they do everything from making cheese and butter to rolling out pasta and breaking down a whole beef tenderloin.”

Family Culinary Adventure 4The five stations:

  • Garde manger, is the French term for food produced in the cold kitchen, where guests learn how to make farmer cheese, from-scratch butter, and how to plate a gourmet salad.
  • Sushi, with sushi chefs teaching the art of rolling sushi and sashimi. (This station may rotate with other culinary ideas.)
  • Boucherie, or butcher station, where guests learn how to trim a beef tenderloin to make the perfect filet mignon.
  • Pasta, with just three ingredients (semolina, olive oil and egg), guests learn to make tender noodles from scratch, along with fresh basil pesto.
  • Patisserie, or bakery, where guests get to play with chocolate, mousse and other sweet endings.

Once the food prep is complete, guests move freely about the big kitchen to chat with the chefs – no culinary question goes unanswered. It takes about an hour for all the prep work, then everyone is seated at a long table in the center of the kitchen to enjoy the five-course meal they’ve just prepared. (Vegetarian, vegan and selections for guests with allergies are options for dinner.)

Family Culinary Adventure 3Lights are dimmed, background music plays, and a toast begins the special meal, where each course is served with wine and beer. At the meal’s end a special molecular gastronomy demonstration wows guests (we’ll keep that a secret), and they receive a special toque (chef’s hat) to take home, along with a Disney cookbook signed by the chefs. A Disney PhotoPass photographer will be on hand to capture photos of the group during the experience, and the photos will be available to view and purchase on

“We really want them to leave the kitchen with ideas for a spectacular dinner party that they can do at home without opening a can or reaching for something frozen,” says Chef Brough.

The program is planned two evenings a week (days vary), starting at 5 pm. Cost is $175 plus tax, $125 plus tax for ages 9 to 12. (Younger guests may have their own cooking station.) Complimentary transportation is provided for Walt Disney Resort hotel guests. To book or for more information, call 407-WDW-PLAY.

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:

Do you enjoy cooking? Will you try the new adventure?
Please leave a comment!