Why I love Epcot

Note this post was taken from Texas Travel Girl, you can view the original post HERE

Very soon I will be returning to the world, and in honor of the One More Day Promotion, I am posting about some of my favorite Disney experiences

If you missed yesterday’s post about Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival CLICK HERE

It is no secret that I want to travel and see the world. I want to step off planes in foreign and exotic lands, smile at people, learn cultures & languages, volunteer, make a difference, step out of my comfort zone and well live a little.

Epcot in a very round about way, allows me to do this without having to get my passport stamped. When you go to the World Showcase, it allows you to walk from one country to the next all in the course of a day. It allows you “visit” Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, France, The United Kingdom, Canada and the US.

You can shop for products that are often manufactured in those countries, eat “food from each country” and my favorite part, meet natives from each country. Disney uses Cast Members that are native to the country that the pavillion represent. So while I can’t really take off to Morocco and dive into their culture (at this time but hopefully soon!), it allows you to enjoy a little slice of the culture at one of the Happiest Places on Earth.

Another reason I love Epcot? I am a huge advocate for constant learning. Epcot allows me to do this. It is a very educational experience, and I think every time I go, I learn something new. You can learn about conservation and the need to recycle in the Land Pavillion. Sharks and Fish in the Sea’s Pavillion and so much more!

Anyway, here are some of my favorite pictures from around Epcot. Enjoy!

Also the photos are not the greatest as most were taken before with my crappy old camera, but I think they are awesome!

The Donald Pinata makes me giggle

$37,500 gets you this castle? Any takers?

I am pretty sure I am the only person in the world that LOVES this ride

What are the reasons YOU love Epcot?

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Note:  This post was taken from my Texas Travel Girl page, you can view the original post HERE

As the past few weekends, have been kinda boring and uneventful. I decided to go through my old albums and see what I can post about. In honor of the One More Disney Day Celebration and the fact that I love all things Disney to the point of obsession. I figure I would talk about last year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

I want to be very clear… I DO NOT HAVE A GREEN THUMB. Not even close. I love plants & flowers, but they do not last very long around me. My mother can grow ferns from a seedling, I however can kill a cactus.

The festival is very pretty, and I was lucky enough to experience it late April to early May, which I think is prime Florida season. The skies were a beautiful shade of blue.

See the pretty blue skies!

For all of you lucky people that have a true Green Thumb HGTV & DIY designers offer of presentations on multiple gardening topics. I did not partake in these events. I don’t think HGTV could save my plants.

On the weekends they have Flower Power Concert series, we were able to witness Paul Revere & The Raiders. If you know who that is good for you. I didn’t, apparently I showed my age according to the 60s something couple we met.

Anyway, my absolute favorite part of this festival? The amazing Disney Character Topiaries. Which the majorty of the photo’s from today’s blog will come from. I can’t choose a favorite. The best part, when I went back in October, it was amazing to see the topiaries spread out throughout the parks.

Anyway, enjoy the photos, and if you ever find yourself in Orlando during the festival, it is worth a visit. Especially if gardening is your thing! The photos may take awhile to load, I have a lot of them, so be patient.



Which is your favorite? The Lady and the Tramp makes me smile the most!

A Very Magical Birthday Celebration

Note: This post was taken from my Texas Travel girl blog, you can view the original post HERE

It has been awhile since I have posted anything, but honestly it has been awhile since I have done anything worth posting about, until last week.

In front of Runaway Mountain
In front of Runaway Mountain

Last week I went to the Walt Disney World Resort. I love all things Disney, I love the movies, the theme parks, the disney channel, in fact Wizards of Waverly Place is one of my guilty pleasures. I am a self proclaimed Dis-Nerd. Meeting Meeko this week literally made my week!

I was so excited to celebrate my 29th birthday at Disney World. Yes, I know I am not 9, but believe me when I say the kid in me was excited to be able to break away from work and spend a few days at the Magic Kingdom.

We checked into Pop Century Resort. Let me just say I have stayed on the property a few times and in my opinion this is the only way to go when it comes to staying at Disney, but I can’t say I recommend the Pop Century Resort unless you have kids, and are looking for a great value. The walls are paper thin, and the bus system for this particular resort is sub par at best. Disney simply does not provide enough buses for this particular resort, so everytime you leave one of Disney’s parks you wait easily 20-30 minutes in a long line and that is if you are lucky. None of the other resorts have this issue. I stayed at the All Sports Resort in April, and had no issues so in my opinion if you are looking for value, I recommend one of the All Star resorts.

Ok that is all I have to say that is negative about this trip.

I could not think of a better way to celebrate my birthday, except maybe seeing my parents and brother, but believe me when I say this was pretty magical.

My trip started off with the “Pirates and Pals Firework show” It was amazing, we arrived at the Contemporary Resort and was told to go into a room where we able to munch on popcorn, cotton candy, pretzels, chocolate and an assortment of beverages. We were then told that “Captain Hook and Mr. Smee” had arrived and we could get our photos with them.


Let me just get this out of the way, meeting Disney Characters is an OBSESSION of mine, my goal is too met as many characters that I possibly can. I love it, and yes I line up with all of the kiddies and proudly get my photo with the character. It makes me smile and makes me feel like a child again.

After my photo was taken, we were escorted by our boat captain Patches and off we went.

The boat took us right in front of the Magic Kingdom, and that is where we watched “Wishes”. It was fantastic. Afterwards, we were taken back to the dock and load and behold Peter Pan was guiding us in. So yes I stood in line to meet another character. Sadly the photo was horrible but the experience was a blast. I would recommend this to anyone who loves Disney and has the time in the schedule to do it.

The Epcot Food and Wine Festival was also taking place while I was at Disney. Food and Wine from 25 different countries including South Africa, Morocco, France, Italy and many more. Sadly, all I tried was a Dragonberry Colada, that was featured from the Caribbean (yum!!), Ribeye Tacos that were featured in Mexico, pot stickers and BBQ chicken featured in China, and Apple strudel that was featured in Germany. Lame. I was at a food and wine festival at EPCOT and that was all I was brave enough to try. I need to get over this picky eating hump. The festival was wonderful though. The food, wine and champagne featured smelled amazing, but I could not bring myself to try anything unique. I am such a chicken. I really am going to have a Jen vs. Food post, hopefully as early as this upcoming weekend, so you just wait!


On my birthday, I was able to go the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. It was real treat. The Magic Kingdom was decorated to the max, and the park had various shows, rare characters you can meet, and trick or treat stations you could visit throughout the park. The rides were open too, but why would you ride anything when you can trick or treat at the Magic Kingdom? The cast members handed out trick or treat bags at the entrance and told us to use them throughout the park. Stations were set up throughout the park.

and I just want to say the cast members gave me a ton of candy, as I was proudly wearing my birthday pin that was given to me by Disney, each time telling me happy birthday. I felt pretty darn special.

I didn’t trick or treat much, but I sure did meet a lot of characters. I met Aladdin, Abu, Cruella Devil, Frollo, The Seven Dwarfs and my personal favorite CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW. (not the Johnny Depp version but I’ll take it). He gave me a great laugh and I was even accused of flirting by the photo pass lady. Hey! He offered to swing by and pick me up at the Galveston cruise port on the Black Pearl, who am I to turn that offer down?

At the end of the night I was able to catch the last villains Mix & Mingle Party. It was pretty cute. The villains from popular Disney movies came out, did a pretty awesome little dance number then came down in front of the castle to mingle with guests of the park. Sadly I was disappointed as they only came out for approx 15 minutes or so, but I was able to get my photo with Cruella Deville & Frollo before they left for the evening. All and all totally worth it.


All in all the trip was a success and I can’t wait until I go back.

Things I learned from this Disney trip:

1. The Dole Whip Station in Adventureland is quite possibly one of the tastiest things I have ever eaten. Pineapple ice cream floated in pineapple juice. Yum!

2. Unless you want to be broke, under no circumstances start pin trading, it is quite possible the most addictive thing ever. I am currently hunting down the Yeti pins myself.

3. Go to Hollywood Studios to the Animation Building between 5-6, if you are obsessed with meeting characters. Disney rotates three sets of characters for 20 minutes at a time. It is an excellent way to get rare characters. I was able to get Jafar, he is very very rare these days. I also met Meeko, Mary Poppins and her penguins, and the Genie.

Meeting Meeko Totally made my birthday!
Meeting Meeko Totally made my birthday!

4. You seriously do not have to be a child to celebrate your birthday at the Magic Kingdom, life is short, Have fun!

A few of the characters I met…





Sunset at the Pier

If you haven’t been to Clearwater, FL.  I highly encourage you to visit.   I have been lucky to see quite a few sunsets in my life but the sunsets in Clearwater are truly magical.

We were told Sunset at the Pier is a very popular activity, so we figured we had a little time before picking up my best friend at the airport. So off we went.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We drove the 5 minutes, and parked and walked out onto the white sandy beaches, and realized this was going to be a beautiful night.



The February air was chilly, but all in all, the night was beautiful.

It is nights like these that I wish I was an amazing photographer, that can capture the moment.

we spent a fair amount of time taking photos of the sunset, walking the pier to look at everything the vendors were selling, watching the very brave birds get up close and personal with the tourists.



It was the perfect night to start our time in Florida.


Just escape the cubicle already

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