Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mickey Mouse Multi-Generational Disney Side @Home Celebration Decoration

And... here's Mickey!  And our 85-year-old birthday girl and 25 guests; pre-schoolers and middle schoolers, college students and middle-agers, we cater to all.  We took our Mickey Mouse Multi-Generational Disney Side @Home Celebration theme and gave it a grown-up flair.  With a full house, we created different Mickey Zones, each with a particular appeal.

Though this was our common space, we did set aside some time for the youngin's to play their beloved video games in the "Kid Cave."  My oh my, the supplied Disney Parks trimmings sure did spruce up the space nicely.

When you are in the restaurant biz, sooner or later the get-together always becomes about the food.  Not only did we enjoy a whimsical and delicious Mickey Mouse Menu, themed food makes the best and most festive decoration for every party!

Sprinkled throughout our celebration spaces were keepsake pieces of our Disney Side.  From the snowglobe my mom bought my son when he was born,

to our well-worn Pal Mickey, to the many, many family Disney vacation photos and autograph books,

these beloved treasures set the tone for our birthday party above all else.  We thanked our "Steamboat Willie" for introducing us to Disney magic at the New York World's Fair over 50 years ago. Children, grandchildren, cousins, and friends have been the recipients of her love and pixie dust for all those years.  None of us could possibly imagine a life without Disney Parks and Disney movies as a backdrop.

"It all started with a mouse."  And Mom!!!  XO

Other Mickey Mouse Multi-Generational Disney Side @Home Celebration highlights:

Disney Side Multi-Generational @Home Celebration Kit Reveal

Mickey Mouse Mimosa Tutorial

Mickey Mouse Multi-Generational Disney Side @Home Celebration Menu

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Epcot's Victoria Gardens

As the snow again falls outside my window, my mind wanders to the warmth, color and splendor of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival that begins today.

During the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, sprouts of the gardens, topiaries and plantings had surfaced, but they were still a botanical work in progress.

With a shuttered Outdoor Kitchen in the background, Sleepy keeps guard at the Germany Pavilion.
However, an area that was complete and perfect and a glorious capture of an early spring was the Canada Pavilion's Victoria Gardens.  Located between the exit of O' Canada! and Le Cellier Steakhouse, this hidden sanctuary is a beautiful year-round retreat from the fast-paced movement along World Showcase.

Fashioned after Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, the flowers, plants, rose bushes and Maple trees are a homage to the National Historic Site of Canada.

The "Rocky Mountains" and waterfalls frame the floral finery.

Robert Butchart, the cement magnate whom the Gardens are named for, created giant limestone pits in the landscape due to his years of mining.  Rather than leave this area stripped and barren, he filled it with soil and created a 55-acre park in Victoria.  The "mine" you see in the distance is reminiscent of the Garden's humble beginnings!

Spring flowers!
After the most bleak of winters, this burst of color was truly a breath of fresh air.  No matter the season or festival, be sure to get your own floral fix at Victoria Gardens!

Focused on the Magic

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Announcing the Disney Forever Enchanted Keepsake Gown Collection

On the heels of last week's Disney Princess Half Marathon, I still have tiaras and tulle on the brain.

Most fortunately, Ashdon Brands, located here in New York City, has announced their limited edition collection of gowns for grown ups. Inspired by the upcoming release of the live-action Walt Disney Pictures film "Cinderella," this is a brand that KNOWS classic fairy tales will never die and never get old.
Grown up princesses have hopes and dreams too!  Cinderella has been my gal since my mom took me to see her in the theaters in 1965 and I still swoon to this day.

Cinderella's Golden Coach in Disney's Hollywood Studios
Which is why I was ecstatic to see the debut of the Disney Forever Enchanted Collection; princesses and queen mothers will simply eat this up!  There's only question left to be answered:  Will I be able to ride Space Mountain in my enchanted keepsake gown??!


NEW YORK, NY— Ashdon, Inc. announced today the debut of its 2015 Disney Forever Enchanted Cinderella collection, its new line of prom and special occasion dresses inspired by the classic Disney tale and Walt Disney Studios live-action film “Cinderella” coming to theaters March 2015. 

Launching at retail just in time for the 2015 prom season, our Cinderella inspired collection captures the spirit of this timeless story through glorious treatments and a variety of silhouettes and fabrics. Dresses feature a variety of on-trend fabrics such as chiffons, organza, tulles and jerseys with beautiful embroidery detail. 

In addition to a keepsake gown reminiscent of the alluring dress Cinderella wears to the ball, there are four iconic design themes designed to tell the classic story including “Disney Cinderella Grand Entrance Design Collection”, “ Disney Cinderella Stroke Of Midnight Design Collection”, “Disney Cinderella Magical Transformation Design Collection ” and “ Disney Cinderella Perfect Fit Collection” and nearly 50 style options, and a size for every body type; the Disney Forever Enchanted Cinderella collection is sure to enchant a new generation of young women who want to create a lasting impression on their special night. 

“This new Disney Forever Enchanted Cinderella collection represents a magnificent chapter for our brand, and we’re excited to give Cinderella fans everywhere, including those who have loved the story for years and to those who will get to know it for the first time through this collaboration, a chance to experience their own real life fairy tale,” said Ashdon CEO, Nick Yeh. “By working together on this lovely collection, we hope to instill a sense of beauty and confidence to help remind young women everywhere that dreams can come true!” 

The Cinderella keepsake gown will be sold exclusively online by retailer/s and retailing at $495.00USD 

“To be the exclusive online retail partner for this initiative is both exciting and an honor. We strive to make the major events in a girl’s life, especially Prom, incredibly special – and what could be more special than wearing the dress of such a beloved Disney icon like Cinderella”, says David Wilkenfeld, CEO of PromGirl.

The full Disney Forever Enchanted Cinderella collection will be available at specialty and formal wear retailers across the US and Canada. Dresses will be available in a variety of sizes with MSRP's ranging from $350-$800. Please visit for further information. 

** I received neither product or compensation from sharing this press release; I am purely a Cinderella Fan Girl!

Be sure to follow the "Cinderella" magic on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival | Best Eats & Drinks

Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Red.  Today we are discussing the Best Eats & Drinks at the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  Let's face it folks; it's now Food & Wine plus Flowers & Topiaries!  We offer an overview of the 2015 Outdoor Kitchens plus our favorite eats and drinks.

Color and flowers and fairies and butterflies.  The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival annually delivers a whimsical burst of nature and imagination from March until May.  Never has there been a winter when a preview of spring was more appreciated!

And probably for that same reason, munching and sipping amongst the flowers sounds sublime.  For me, the hit of the Festival is always the Outdoor Kitchens and their many delectable and enticing goodies.  I thought I'd share my favorites with you.  So, get your feed bag on and let's take a stroll around World Showcase!

Botanas Botanico  
A brand-new booth this year, Venezuela is now represented in Epcot.  Raves are already pouring in for this new stop; I don't know about your palate, but the Seafood Ceviche- Shrimps, Scallops, and Grouper with mango and avocado sounds fresh and delicious to me!

Urban Farm Eats
Biggest disappointment?  Ghost-pepper dusted tilapia with crisp winter melon slaw and mint oil featuring The Original Sauce Man's Kick It Up Rub.  This year's addition of Quinoa Vegetable "Naanwich" with Arugula Pesto sounds like a wonderful alternative.

Pineapple Promenade
Dole Whip with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum
no sweet potato cinnamon waffle this year, but the new Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Sriracha Mayo sure sounds taste-worthy!

Buttercup Cottage is sadly gone this year.  Not only did they always offer some tasty tea and crumpets, but it was my absolute favorite spot to sit and gaze at the incredible topiaries at (and atop) the United Kingdom.  This Outdoor Kitchen may be missing, but be sure you spend some time resting in the sitting area next to the Rose & Crown Pub.  Remember Peter Pan can fly, so look UP.

Fleur de Lys
Though I adore French food, this stop never did float my boat.  The Kir Imperial- Sparkling wine, Chambord, and Black Raspberry Liquor- now THAT sets me sailing!

Taste of Marrakesh
The Harissa Chicken Kebab with Couscous Salad is always a winner and a frequent returnee; it is a simple but flavorful dish that is not overly spiced.   It sure does go nicely with the Desert Rose- Sparkling Wine with Pomegranate Liqueur.

There are several new offerings this year, but one of the Festival favorites, the healthy fruit sushi "Frushi" has returned.  Try it!

The Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews
Just try and walk past their smoker- I dare you!  The Pulled pig slider with cole slaw is a goodie (though if you go when business is slow you may end up with a slightly dried-out version.)  The "Piggylicious" bacon cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch is as interesting as it sounds.  Order one and split it up amongst your group; a little goes a long way, and you can then forever claim an adventurous palate.  Gone is the superb Magic Hat #9 (straight from my neighboring town, South Burlington, VT), but the new Maple Bacon Stout sounds incredible!

Primavera Kitchen 
Italian food is my absolute favorite cuisine, unless it comes from this stop.  In the past, most all the choices were gummy and cheesy messes.  However, I have heard terrific things about the new Fior de Latte, Prosciutto e Pane di Casa- Pinwheel of Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Ciabatta Bread.

Lotus House
Popping Bubble Tea has been replaced by Oolong Peach Bubble Tea and sounds amazing!  Gone is the Spring pancake, but I doubt it will be missed.  The new Kung Pao Bun might be a tasty replacement, but with so many enticing choices at other Outdoor Kitchens, I'd keep walking!

Jardin de Fiestas
My consistent favorite- Tacos al pastor- Corn tortilla filled with achiote-marinated pork, garnished with grilled diced pineapple, onions and cilantro and salsa verde- returns again this year!  Ole!!  (Personally, I still can't cheat, and NEED to wash it down with a visit to La Cava del Tequilla for the famous Blood Orange Margarita...)

Florida Fresh
The refreshing and light Watermelon Salad with Pickled Onions, B&W Gourmet Farms Baby Arugula, Feta cheese and balsamic reduction remains, and with good reason.  By the time you get to this Outdoor Kitchen you'll need a dish to aid in digestion!

Intermissions Cafe
Meh.  Unless you are craving some grapes or a tuna salad sandwich, I say skip along.

These are my favorites based on my palate and just a place for you to start.  The only MUST-DO is to grab a Garden Passport and document your best-loved bites and sips; it not only makes a wonderful and free keepsake, but after one or two libations your memory might not be so rosy.  Eat up!

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Red this month.  We will be back next month with all new loops and themes.  Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with the newest posts, photos, and stories.  If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Here is the map of our Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop~     Disney Mamas~  What's New at the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
2nd Stop~    Home is Where the Mouse Is~  How to Make the Most of Your Day at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
3rd Stop~     Rolling With the Magic~   Topiary Displays at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
4th Stop~     Disney Nouns~  A Look Beyond the Flowers and Seminars
Final Stop~  DIStherapy~  Best Eats & Drinks