Learn How to Decorate Your Own Mickey Dome Cake at Amorette’s Patisserie

Decorate Mickey Dome Cake Amorette's Patisserie Disney Springs

Oh, those gorgeous cakes at Amorette’s Patisserie – if you’ve ever been lucky enough to wander in the pretty shop in Disney Springs while the artists are decorating, it’s a wonder to watch. When I visited in February, I was amazed watching as the cake artist created one of those Mickey Domes. She made it look so easy! So when this new experience popped up on the Disney Parks Blog – I was thrilled!

Now you can learn how to work your own magic with the new Cake Decorating Experience at Amorette’s Patisserie beginning March 31. Reservations opened March 22, and the experience, which must be booked in advance, will be from 8:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. every Friday through May 5.

Sip complimentary specialty coffee, mimosas and bellinis while you work side by side with the pros at Amorette’s Patisserie to decorate your own Mickey Dome Cake. You’ll learn how they seamlessly blend artistry and storytelling in cake design, starting with the elegant glaçage (that’s French for “mirror glaze”) and ending with the finishing touches such as chocolate sculpted ears, tail, belt and buttons – all edible, of course.

Take your cake home to impress your family and friends – it not only looks beautiful, but tastes delicious. Space is limited. The Cake Decorating Experience at Amorette’s Patisserie is another exciting offering from the Enchanting Extras Collection, which allows you to enhance your vacation. Cost is $129 plus tax for ages 10 and up, for one to two guests working on a single cake. A second cake can be purchased for an additional $40. Reservations are available now, and can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dining.

I’m definitely ready to learn how to make one of these cakes!

Pre-Order Specialty Cakes to enhance any special occasion!

To pre-order a cake, call (407) 934-3500 or stop by the shop at least 72 hours in advance. Cake types available for this service include:

  • Petit Cakes – Small, delicate works of edible art
    • Amorette’s Petit Cake: Red velvet cake with chocolate chiffon, chocolate mousse, cherry mousse, raspberry jelly and Italian buttercream
    • Tea Time Petit Cake: Lemon chiffon, matcha green tea chiffon, lemon curd and orange blossom pâte de fruit
    • Coffee Time Petit Cake:Gluten-friendly chocolate chiffon, dark chocolate mousse, and coffee buttercream
  • Dome Cakes – Whimsical Disney character-inspired or elegant dome cakes exclusive to this bakery
    • Mickey Mouse Dome Cake: Chocolate chiffon, milk chocolate mousse and orange blossom pâte de fruit
    • Minnie Mouse Dome Cake: Lemon chiffon, white chocolate mousse and strawberry pâte de fruit
    • Goofy Dome Cake: Chocolate chiffon, chocolate mousse, caramel mousse and milk chocolate ganache
    • Donald Dome Cake: Lemon chiffon, lemon curd, lemon mousse and blueberry pâte de fruit
    • Pluto Dome Cake: Chocolate chiffon, peanut butter mousse and banana pâte de fruit
  • Amorette’s Signature Cake – Layer cake complete with a beautifully designed “hat box” packaging
    • 8-Inch Cake with 11 Layers: Red velvet with chocolate chiffon, chocolate mousse, cherry mousse, raspberry pâte de fruit and Italian buttercream



What to Expect from Pandora-The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom

Pandora Avatar Animal Kingdom
Photo Credit: www.vocativ.com

Opening May 27, Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will transport guests to a mystical world of bioluminescent rainforests, floating mountains and soaring Banshees. In collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s epic film AVATAR.

You will discover two main adventures in this breathtaking new land. Avatar Flight of Passage, sending guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee. Na’vi River Journey is a family-friendly boat ride that sails down a sacred river hidden within a glowing rainforest for an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman.

Hungry adventurers can recharge at Satu’li Canteen, the main dining location, or Pongu Pongu, a drink kiosk with a design as eclectic as its expat owner. Shoppers can stock up on Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders. The artful storytelling in Pandora continues at Satu’li Canteen (pronounced “Sa-too-lee”), a Quonset-hut-style building. The fast-casual restaurant is inspired by the healthful bounty of Pandora – wholesome grains, fresh vegetables, and hearty proteins.

The largest addition in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora carries on the park’s tradition of celebrating the intrinsic value of nature, transformation through adventure and a personal call to action.

Guests to Disney’s Animal Kingdom will cross the park’s Discovery River into Pandora – The World of Avatar and continue along a winding rainforest path for their first glimpse of the land’s iconic floating mountains. The Pandora landscape will be alive with creatures. They have brought to life everything from the largest creature you might encounter to the most microscopic. Animals will appear out of the underbrush – big Pandoran animals will appear at the edge of the forest and you’ll hear the very complicated calls they issue back and forth.

As guests explore the verdant terrain sprawling beneath mountains that appear to float in the sky, they will see waterfalls cascading down the mountainside into meandering streams and pools, and they will discover two thrilling new expeditions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey.

Avatar Flight of Passage launches each guest on an exhilarating, wind-in-your-face experience on a winged mountain banshee over the awe-inspiring world of Pandora. Guests will actually feel the banshee breathe beneath them as they soar through the forest and past floating mountains. What was a rite of passage for Na’vi in Cameron’s film becomes a multisensory experience for guests seeking the ultimate adventure – a faceoff with the most feared predator of Pandora, the Great Leonopteryx.

On the family-friendly Na’vi River Journey, guests travel down a sacred river deep into a bioluminescent rainforest. The eight-seat reed boats float past exotic glowing plants and Pandoran creatures into the midst of a musical Na’vi ceremony. The mystical journey culminates in an encounter with a breathtakingly realistic Na’vi Shaman of Songs who is deeply connected with Pandora’s life force and sends positive energy through her music into the forest.

Based on Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron’s record-breaking box-office hit, AVATAR, the new land welcomes guests to the lush world of Pandora long after the human conflict with the native Na’vi inhabitants has ended. The dramatic daytime beauty of the land transforms to glow by night when bioluminescent flora and intricate nighttime experiences add a dreamlike quality to Pandora.

Pandora – The World of Avatar is a creative collaboration of Walt Disney Imagineering, Cameron and Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.

Rivers of Light is now open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This new nighttime show takes you on a magnificent journey with a mix of water, fire, nature and light choreographed to an original musical score. Continuing the park’s transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience, the amazing after-dark experience on the banks of Discovery River celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world.




Experience Beauty and the Beast at Walt Disney World

The new live-action Beauty and the Beast is in theaters across the world and without a doubt is a huge hit. Every little girl wants to be Belle, meet Belle, dance and twirl and get dressed in her finest gown! And Walt Disney World Resort is full of Beauty and the Beast to help everyone experience even more!

You can visit and be a part of the story at Enchanted Tales with Belle in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park. You will be transported through an enchanted mirror to Beast’s castle, just in time to help Lumiere and Madame Wardrobe host a very special surprise for Belle. The audience gets to play various characters from the film to re-tell the story of how Belle and Beast met just before she has dinner with Beast.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios  the Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage! will immerse you in a Broadway-style show where Belle, Gaston, Beast, Mrs. Potts and other characters perform songs and scenes from the classic film. The 25-minute performance takes place daily at the Theater of the Stars.

A sneak peek of the live-action film is screening at the theater inside of the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream attraction now through March 26. You can see Belle’s iconic yellow ball gown and the Enchanted Rose from the live-action film in a gallery exhibit inside the attraction.

At the Magic Kingdom, Belle and Beast lead off the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade as it loops from Frontierland to Main Street, U.S.A. Parade starts at 3 p.m. daily.

You will find several “Beauty and the Beast” dining opportunities throughout Walt Disney World:

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom lets you tast the Grey Stuff! You can meet the Beast after dinner in his study.
  • Gaston’s Tavern: The Tavern, located in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, serves a variety of pastries, including the signature giant cinnamon roll, LeFou’s brew (frozen apple juice with toasted marshmallow and mango foam). Gaston himself can be found meeting adoring fans outside the Tavern.
  • Unique pastries inspired by the Beauty and the Beast story are available at several locations, including the Enchanted Rose cake at Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs and a Belle-inspired vanilla cupcake at Main Street Confectionary at the Magic Kingdom.

Belle meets her fans in the France Pavilion at Epcot. Topiaries in France shaped like Belle, Beast and other “Beauty and the Beast” characters are showcased during the International Flower and Garden Festival, which runs until May 29.

Little princesses also can get the royal Belle treatment at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, located at both Disney Springs and inside Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, and brides-to-be add some Beauty and the Beast to their special day through Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons. Brides can customize everything from their wedding décor to the menu to wearing a Belle-inspired gown.

Little (and big) fans of Beauty and the Beast won’t be disappointed at Walt Disney World!




The Best Time to Visit Walt Disney World

Best Time Visit Disney

If you are a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World Resort, you know there are many different opinions on the best times to visit. Each visitor defines the best time to visit differently. Some plan based on crowds, some on special events or festivals taking place, some consider tiered pricing and least expensive times. No matter what way you look at it, there is no one “best” time to visit. Overwhelmingly large crowds can ruin the vacation of someone that isn’t prepared for it. Some visitors don’t mind the crowds and others freak out thinking of long lines and crowded walk ways.

Historically, when crowds are highest, park hours are longest and lowest crowds equal shorter park hours. I’m fortunate enough to visit several times per year and usually flexible with my dates. Because I do visit often I never worry about long lines since if I miss an attraction on a trip, I know I will get to see it again soon. Unfortunately not everyone can do that. Over the years I have found the least crowded times to be right after the kids go back to school in September (middle 2 weeks of the month) and the time between Easter and/or Spring breaks to mid-May. Other than those periods it’s really a crap shoot! There used to be lots of weeks that were less crowded, unfortunately over the years Disney has filled most of those times with special events or runDisney races to bring in the crowds. You just never know.

Main Street USA – Magic Kingdom from a trip last year

Crowd levels vary from week to week and month to month. There are a multitude of sites that publish crowd level calendars based on historic information adding in what events will be taking place. There are no two crowd calendars alike. Personally I have often found the crowd calendars to be wrong and rarely bother to look at them.

An empty Magic Kingdom from one of my recent trips

My best advice to anyone planning a trip to Walt Disney World – keeping in mind that WDW will never be truly empty of crowds:

  1. Make a list of the dates/times you are available to go.
  2. Next, go to the Walt Disney World site to find out what events are taking place during those times you are available to visit.
  3. If you had 3 time periods on your list and one of those time periods have no events listed on the WDW site, BINGO! if you hate crowds, that’s the time to go!
  4. If you are interested in attending any of the events (i.e., Epcot International Food & Wine Festival or a runDisney race) then that would be the time frame to visit.
  5. Are there any promotional/discounts specials offered by Disney for any of your available times (i.e., free Dining, discounted room rates)?
  6. Keep in mind local attendance to events. During the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for example, attendance in Epcot on the weekends can be shoulder to shoulder, people everywhere, make you crazy, crowded!
  7. The same goes for runDisney big race weekends (like Princess Half Marathon or Walt Disney World Marathon). Not only do the runners emerge on the area from Thursday through Monday, most come with families or friends so the number is usually doubled, tripled, or quadrupled! If you aren’t a runner, chances are you will want to avoid a race weekend if possible.
  8. Remember that some parks tend to be more crowded than others. For example, the Magic Kingdom could be packed but hopping over to Epcot on the same day you will find it to be much less crowded.
  9. If you are visiting without little ones hit up the Magic Kingdom at night, especially if there are extended hours. Most families with little ones head back to their resort to get the kids to bed. They tend to be in the Magic Kingdom earlier in the day.
  10. If you can only visit during the summer or during school holidays unfortunately you have to go into your trip knowing you will have to deal with crowds. Don’t let it ruin your trip. Plan well using your My Disney Experience account to arrange FastPasses, make dining reservations in advance and try to go with the flow. Disney is genius at moving crowds and keeping things going.

Other helpful Disney planning posts:

Know Before You Go – Is Your Child Tall Enough for the Rides at WDW

5 Mistakes First Time Walt Disney World Visitors Make

6 Tips to Help Maximize the Disney Dining Plan




California Here I Come! I’m Going to San Francisco for the #Cars3Event!

Cars3Event

As a blogger and social media influencer it’s always exciting to be scrolling through your e-mails in the morning and see in the subject line “Disney Invites You…” It’s even more exciting when the subject line is: “Disney, Pixar and ABC Invite You….” In the blogging world there is one thing that we all know – Disney (and any organization under Disney) knows how to treat bloggers to an unbelievable experience so that we can share with all of our readers everything they need to know about upcoming movies, features or events. All Disney invitations come with lots of pixie dust and amazing adventures and I know this trip to San Francisco will be no different.

The official itinerary isn’t finalized yet but the tentative schedule looks like this:

Monday, March 27th: Arrive into San Francisco and attend a reception that evening at Pixar with footage from CARS 3 (opening in theatres on 6/16) and a screening of the short film LOU. Did you see that part that says – AT PIXAR!!!! 

Did I tell you – I’m going to Pixar!

Tuesday, March 28th: Attend a press day at the Sonoma Raceway for CARS 3 including interviews with Director Brian Fee, Producer Kevin Reher and various animators, take a lap around the racetrack in a real race car, learn how to quickly change out a tire at a pit stop and go on a tour of the garage. That night we will screen the upcoming Disneynature film BORN IN CHINA (opening in theatres on 4/21)!

Wednesday, March 29th: We will head back to Pixar to learn all about Pixar in a Box followed by a special screening of the series premiere episode of “The Toy Box,” the ultimate toy-competition series, which will provide talented designers with the chance of a lifetime: an opportunity to bring their toy concept to life with industry-giant Mattel and to the shelves of Toys ”R” Us the day after the series finale. Inventors present their toy concepts to a group of mentors that include Pixar Creative Director of Consumer Products Jen Tan, who will be available for an exclusive Q&A after the screening. The eight-episode series hosted by Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”) premieres on Friday, April 7th at 8/7c on ABC.

Somewhere in there we will also get to see an adorable new Disney Junior show – “Puppy Dog Pals” which stars fun-loving pug puppy brothers Bingo and Rolly, whose thrill-seeking appetites take them on adventures in their neighborhood and around the globe. Whether helping their owner, Bob, or assisting a friend in need, the pugs’ motto is that life is more exciting with your best friend by your side. Premiering April 2017, the series features two 11-minute stories that showcase Bingo and Rolly’s similarities and differences and demonstrate positive lessons about friendship, problem-solving, collaboration, creativity and adventure. Following the screening, Sean Coyle (executive producer) and Diane Ikemiyashiro (Disney Junior creative executive) will participate in a Q&A. #PuppyDogPalsEvent

Oh wait – did I tell you – I’M GOING TO PIXAR!

Follow along on social media March 27 to March 29 to get all the latest news on Cars 3, Born in China, The Toy Box, Lou and Puppy Dog Tales – #Cars3Event #TheToyBox #PuppyDogPalsEvent #BorninChina #ABCTVEvent #DisneyNature #DisneyPixar

By the Way – I’m So Excited!

I’m Going to Pixar!

Some of the other really fun bloggers that will be traveling along with me: Andrew from Mommy’s Busy, Go Ask Daddy | Ari from Love, Peace and Tiny Feet | Laura from Celebrate Woman Today | Holly from I Like It Frantic! | Jennifer from Jen Around the World | Stella from Healthy Frugal Living | Nicole from SAHM Reviews | Lynsey from Coffee For Mom | Olivia from This n That With Olivia | Brenda from The Small Things | Barb from Rural Mom | Kate from Highlights Along the Way | Dawn from Hustle.Mom.Repeat | Pam from Mom Does Reviews