One the the best parts of visiting the Magic Kingdom is all of the Disney Character interactions that can occur without having to spend extra for special events or Disney Character Dining. Without spending extra there are 18 different Disney Character meet and greet opportunities that you can take part in at the Magic Kingdom.
Disney Friends At Town SquareEach day there are usually a number of Disney Characters that congregate at the Town Square, just inside the Magic Kingdom. They are great opportunities for Disney guests to meet and greet Disney characters and to start the process of having their picture taken with Disney characters,
Here we see Marie waiting to meet with Disney World Guests.
Classic Disney CharactersAt Pete's Silly Sideshow, located in the back of the Magic Kingdom in the area currently known as Storybook Circus there are 4 different Classic Disney Characters that you can meet in two separate lines. In one line you can see Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck, while the other line allows you to meet Goofy and Donald Duck.
This location is not well known to most Disney World guests and is a great way to get to meet these characters without a long wait!
Characters From "Aladdin"Adventureland is the home to many great attractions and the opportunity to meet some of your favorite characters from the hit Disney movie "Aladdin." The characters will vary depending upon the day, but you may get to meet Genie, Princess Jasmine, and/or Aladdin.
Characters From Disney/Pixar's Toy StoryAre you a Toy Story fan? Well, who isn't? If you would like the chance to meet some of these characters, then you should make your way to the attraction queue for Splash Mountain, where they have a special spot for meeting Magic Kingdom guests. Woody & Jessie are among the characters you may meet.
Characters From "The Princess and the Frog"Liberty Square is home to a special little garden where you may meet Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen from "The Princess and the Frog." Tiana's Garden Glen is a great place to meet a Disney Princess with usually short lines and a shady waiting area.
Merida From Disney/Pixar's BraveIf you love Merida, you can meet her at a special meeting place between Cinderella Castle and Cosmic Ray's. This well, designed area allows for a great picture setting and you may even get an archery lesson from Merida herself!
Mickey MouseWhat visit to the Magic Kingdom is complete without visiting the mouse that started it all, Mickey Mouse! In the Town Square Theater which can be found to your right as you enter the Magic Kingdom, Mickey Mouse meets guests all day. If you are tight on time, you can get a FastPass+ to reserve a time to meet Mickey Mouse and cut down on your wait.
Tinker BellEveryone's favorite feisty fairy can also be found at the Town Square Theater. Like Mickey Mouse, you can also get a FastPass+ to reserve a time to meet Tinker Bell if you do not want to wait in the standby line.
Princess Fairytale Hall - Anna & Elsa from Frozen and Cinderella and RapunzelThe place to meet Disney Royalty is currently at Princess Fairytale Hall which is located in Fantasyland behind Cinderella Castle.
There are currently two different queues where you can either wait to meet Princess Anna & Queen Elsa from Frozen or Cinderella & Rapunzel. Both lines have FastPass+ as an option, so if meeting your favorite is a must you may want to use this option.
Ariel At Her GrottoAriel has her own special spot in Fantasyland where you can meet her "Under The Sea." Ariel's Grotto provides a great photographic background for your special pictures with your favorite mermaid. You can also get FastPass+ for Ariel.
Enchanted Tales with BelleAlthough it is billed as an attraction, Enchanted Tales With Belle is also a meet and greet opportunity for all children (and adults) who volunteer to take part in the performance. This is a great opportunity to get your picture taken with Belle!
Incredibles Super Dance Party In TomorrowlandTake advantage to meet the cast of The Incredibles and dance along to the hits with them. Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, and Frozone were all dancing to the music played by the DJ at RocketTower Plaza.
Winnie The Pooh & Friends at A Place For Friends To MeetRight next to the Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh attraction is A Place For Friends To Meet, where you can meet one or more of Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eyeore. Today we caught Winnie The Pooh and Tigger walking to the meeting place.
Peter PanRight next to the entrance to Adventureland near the Crystal Palace and the Aloha Isle (home to the Dle Whip) is a small patio where you may get to meet Peter Pan. He can often be found here meeting guests. Sometimes Peter and Wendy could be found meeting guests near Peter Pan's Flight in Fantasyland.
Alice In WonderlandOften you can meet Alice In Wonderland next to the Mad Tea Party attraction. Sometimes Alice is joined by the Mad Hatter or the White Rabbit.
Lady Tremaine and the Stepsisters - Anastasia & DrizellaLife isn't always about Princesses. Often you can meet Cinderella's less famous step sisters Anastasia and Drizella behind Cinderella Castle with their mother Lady Tremaine. If you have a chance to interact with the Step Sisters you will find that they are often quite hilarious.
There are big changes coming to the live entertainment lineup for the Epcot World Showcase. Two longtime favorites: Off Kilter, and Mo 'Rockin will be departing along with the World Showcase Players and Spirit Of America Fife and Drum Corp to make way for new entertainment acts.
|Off Kilter at Epcot|
Off KilterA Canada pavilion Favorite and Epcot Live Music Favorite since they arrived in 1997, Off Kilter never had a regular member of Canadian origins, but that didn't stop them from proudly representing Canada with regular performances for the past 17 years! Founder Jamie Holton has lead the band for its entire run at Epcot.
We loved the band for its enthusiastic renditions of Celtic Favorites and the way that they added bagpipes to a number of classic rock songs to make them their own. Off Kilter was fun entertainment that was enjoyed during each visit to Epcot.
Off Kilter's last performance at Epcot is scheduled to be on September 27th.
|Mo 'Rockin at Epcot|
The staple of the Morocco Pavilion since 1998 and founded by Amir Ali, Mo 'Rockin provided a unique World Music sound with the added feature of its own Belly Dancer.
This band provided great entertainment and convinced thousands of Epcot visitors to spend more time exploring the exotic offerings of the Morocco Pavilion.
The final Epcot performance for Mo 'Rockin is currently scheduled for Saturday September 27th.
Other Epcot World Showcase ChangesEpcot guests will also see changes to the entertainment line-up in the United Kingdom as the World Showcase Players will be departing after September 25th, taking with them their tales of King Arthur and their improvisational humor that engaged the nearby visitors to become part of their show.
Also leaving will be the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corp that played in front of the America Pavilion. They will make their last Epcot performance on September 27th.
New acts that will be making their way to Epcot's World Showcase in the upcoming months with dates to be announced:
Coming To Epcot
- Sbandieratori Flags,a corps of dynamic flag-waving performers, in Italy
- a to-be-named lumberjack-based thrill show in Canada
- B’net Houariyat, a musical/dance act in Morocco
- Scottish Musical Trio, a Celtic musical group in United Kingdom.
Epcot is certainly the best Disney World theme park for dining and La Hacienda de San Angel is a great option whether you are a couple on a special night out or a family looking for a enjoyable meal.
La Hacienda de San AngelThe Mexico Pavilion is blessed with two great Table Service Restaurants: San Angel Inn, which resides within the giant Aztec Pyramid that dominates the Skyline for the Pavilion and the newer La Hacienda de San Angel which has a wonderful waterfront perch. Both restaurants are run by the same company, but provide a different menu and experience for Disney World Guests.
The decor that can be found within La Hacienda de San Angel is amazing! It is quite different from its near neighbor and creates a much different mood. The seating is packed closely, so don't be surprised if your table is very close to another party. The restaurant is friendly and welcoming, so this closeness does not detract from the ambiance of the dining experience.
With its waterfront location, there are amazing views of the World Showcase Lagoon, and the waterfront window tables are much sought after for late night seatings. It is hard to name a better way to view Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.
Disney Dining ReviewThe ambiance is wonderful, but a restaurant is nothing without great food. Fortunately La Hacienda de San Angel certainly has great food!
|La Hacienda de San Angel Menu (Click to ENLARGE)|
The menu contains several choices of Platos Principales (entrees):
- Costillas en salsa de Chile
Braised short ribs, served with potato puree and chile de arbol sauce
- Tacos de Camarones
Fried shrimp, chipotle-lime aioli, cabbage, lime and salsa verde, all served over flour tortillas
- Pollo al Pastor
Achiote marinated chicken served with roasted vegetables, beans and pineapple relish
- Puerco en salsa de Ciruela
Grilled pork rib eye, served with carrot puree, caramelized onions and plum sauce
- Pescado a la Talla
Grilled Tilapia served with esquites (roasted corn) , nopales(cactus leaves) and mango chutney
|La Hacienda de San Angel Wine and Beverage Menu (Click to ENLARGE)|
Here is a picture of the wine and beverage menu. One of the specialties are the choices of Tequila flights.
Every meal starts out with the complementary Chips and Salsa. This has two kinds of salsa to sample and enjoy.
They also have two different meals that are designed to feed two people each. One is seafood centric and the other featured beef and chicken. Since we had four people in our party during this review we decided to try both of the two person meals called Parrillada.
The "La Hacienda" features mixed grill offering New York Strip, chicken al pastor, chorizo and vegetables, served with beans and fresh salsas.
The food is certainly as good as it looks the portion for two is plentiful and the variety of tastes and flavors from the various portions of the meal are wonderful.
The Del Mar features mixed grill offering fish, shrimp, scallops and vegetables, served with beans and fresh salsas.
Again, another excellent choice. This is sure to satisfy seafood fans. The hardest choice if there are only two of you dining is choosing between the two meals. I would recommend bringing along four people so that you can try both of these combination meals and enjoy all of the wonderful flavors.
Here is a picture highlighting all of the food that our table of 4 received. They will bring refills of the bowls of rice and beans if you wish, as well as, additional tortillas.
Dining Review SummaryThe La Hacienda de San Angel is a beautiful restaurant with great food that is sure to please whether you favor meat or seafood. There is also a well stocked beverage menu to meet your needs. The only drawback is that this restaurant does not accept the Tables In Wonderland Discount. It does take the Disney Dining Plan and it also accepts a DVC Member Discount.
We highly recommend this restaurant and suggest that it would be a great way to end a day at Epcot with a window view of Illuminations: Reflections Of Earth.
Everyone has a favorite place at Disney World, mine is the Epcot World Showcase at night. The combination of the illuminated Spaceship Earth serving as a backdrop to the international settings make for a magical stroll around the world.
Stunning Epcot World Showcase At NightStrolling the 1.2 miles around the World Showcase lagoon becomes a completely different experience at night. Each of the 12 international pavilions take on a different feel at nights versus their daytime persona.
The Germany Pavilion becomes even more realistic looking at night, transporting you to Oktoberfest!
The stunning architectural features that are displayed in the Japan Pavilion take on a different appearance as the lights come on and the sun goes down.
The details that are part of the temple in the China Pavilion are quite striking under the night time lighting.
Italy shows off the towers and sculptures, which gain extra authenticity under the night sky.
The giant torches the surround the World Showcase Lagoon provide the majority of light for those that choose to stroll around enjoying the evening. This creates a wonderful ambiance that is such a departure from the typical hustle and bustle that is associated with a Disney World Vacation.
There really are no bad places to watch Illuminations: Reflections Of Earth, but each vantage point certainly gives a different perspective on the show. I always liken it to the different views on life that you get from different countries and cultures. This is played out in the microcosm of the 12 international pavilions of the Epcot World Showcase.
Magic Of Disney World At EpcotAlthough it may be designed for families, adults probably appreciate Epcot World Showcase the most. With its plethora of fine dining options and plenty of beverage choices to be found, the World Showcase provides the backdrop for a wonderful evening to be enjoyed at Disney World, that is distinctly different from what you will find at the other Disney Theme Parks.
For me, there is no magical place or time than strolling around the Epcot World Showcase at night!