Frozen Ever After, Ride at Epcot

Thinking about visiting Epcot? Worried there isn’t enough to do? How about Frozen Ever After in Epcot?

Hey guys, it seems I often get families worried there isn’t enough for kids to do at Epcot 🙁 READ and FOLLOW along as I post about all the fun Epcot has to offer, including the attraction, Frozen Ever After. This ride is so popular its actually a TOP Tier ride and more often than not, a super long line. Sing with Elsa, Anna and Olaf and take a boat ride thru Arendelle.

Frozen Ever After – Epcot
Location:

This attraction is located in Epcot, at Walt Disney World. It’s in the World Showcase, in Norway. It’s easy to spot as once in the Norway area you start seeing glimpses of Frozen everywhere. In Norway you can actually meet Elsa and Anna and get lots of cool Frozen merchandise and with the NEW movie coming out this Nov…just wait. You can also enjoy a fun Princess Meal in Norway as well.

The Queue:

As I am sure you have been reading all my other ride posts, you would know that most rides have a queue, a holding area (so to speak) that is basically the pre-ride. Frozen Ever After has a semi decent queue, its feels like you are in the village surrounding the castle, complete with Oaken’s Trading Post. When in that area, listen closely. Its a fun way to pass the time before the ride begins. Look around at the shop and see what you can spot on the shelves.

The Ride:

So the ride itself is inside a Viking Boat and for those that remember the original ride in that area, Maelstrom, its the SAME boats. Its actually also the same ride track. So you board a boat, in water, and coast away into Arendelle. You meet Elsa, Anna, Olaf and the gang and “let it go”. The ride features a decent drop, but nothing to scary. The big surprise about this ride is…it goes backwards. Yep, there is a part in the ride where you are rushing backwards. And if in the front row…you might get a splash during the drop, which is towards the end of the ride.

The Tech:

So, as you saw in the video…the technology in this ride is pretty cool. It was actually quiet hard for the imagineers to figure out and accomplish. When on the ride and you look really, really close you will notice that the figures, specifically the girls are like sculptures where a projection is on the face area that make them animate. It gives them the appearance as if they are singing and talking. This is totally new tech and very different from the original animatronic characters on earlier rides, such as Pirates of the Caribbean. In fact this new tech was also used on Lightning McQueen (in Hollywood Studios).

All in all, I love this ride and never miss it. I love the thrill of going backwards and I love trying to figure out the tech, its the artist in me. And, believe it or not, I have not lost the Frozen appeal. I want to note that this is not a princess ride, so please don’t skip it because you have boys, this is a family friendly, ALL ages/genders ride. My son LOVES it. So give Epcot a try, Fastpass Frozen Ever After and enjoy!

I would love to help you plan your Disney Vacation, it is my FULL TIME job after all. I am the Expert 😉 Mahalo for Reading and Following along with my blog & vlog – Nina

Gran Fiesta Tour – Epcot

Headed to Disney World and wondering what rides to not miss? Well I have a hidden ride that fans LOVE.

Hey guys, after talking to one of you I was thinking about some rides that most or first timers don’t really know about, because they aren’t coasters or rides to fastpass. One of these rides is in Epcot – known as the Gran Fiesta Tour featuring Donald Duck.

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
Location:

As mentioned, this attraction is in Epcot…in the World Showcase. Its located in the Mexico Pavilion inside the giant Mayan pyramid. I wonder if some people just walk on past, not knowing what is inside. After you go up the stairs and into the Pyramid you enter a wonderful Mexico themed world.

Inside:

Inside you will find a spectacular Mexican shopping area, like an outdoor crafts festival. Complete with Sugar Skulls, Tequila, Mexican themed gear and Coco merchandise. I really love shopping and looking around in this space. AS a person can only own so many Sugar Skulls, its enjoyable to look around and explore. There is also a Table Service Restaurant and a RIDE. The San Angel Inn Restaurante is a nice Mexican restaurant, but whats cool about it is, you can watch the ride boats go by.

The Ride:

Ride boats did I say? That’s right, next to the restaurant is the RIDE – Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. Yep, you heard me – Donald and the gang. You hop into a boat, like on Its a Small World and travel with Donald, Panchito and Jose through Mexico. Of course Donald gets into some trouble (as expected)…but its a simple, kinda stereotypical ride that fans just adore. I can’t go to Epcot without riding this attraction…and you shouldn’t either. Like all of Disney’s “dark” rides, its a must.

The Rumor:

I feel like there is always a rumor going on about this ride as well, it never has a long wait and at times, I can usually just walk on in. But since the Coco movie came out, the rumor is giving this ride a make-over. The Gran Fiesta Tour opened in 2007, its hard to think of it changing already…but Disney loves a good Character Makeover (I am talking to you Frozen Ever After). Not sure how I feel about this rumor as I loved Coco but also think Donald and the gang are long lasting characters that deserve a place to be celebrated.

I hope you give this ride a chance when in Epcot, its actually nice having a ride in the World Showcase area, its breaks up all the shopping and eating 😉 As simple as this ride seems, compared to others, its a good ride for all ages and keeps the memory of the Three Caballeros alive.

If interested in booking a trip, contact me – I would love to help plan you an amazing vacation. Mahalo for reading and following along – Nina

Garden Grill – a Rotating Experience…

First I want to say that this dining experience was HANDS-DOWN my favorite this past trip…based solely on the fact that I was stuffed FULL…even the thought of unbuttoning my pants came to mind.

My family might not entirely agree…but that’s opinions for you…but me – I still dream of that meal.

I must point out that due to my family’s eating restrictions and food allergies…we aren’t the easiest group to please, feed and sometimes see completely full.  We are a happy, thankful bunch…but we do require some thought and preparation.  Between my kids and I…there are at least 8 food allergies and several avoidances…and to make matters more fun…I am vegan.  The husband is an eat everything kind of guy and pretty much left every meal full and happy…but even he has his favorites (stay-tuned).

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So…the Garden Grill is a table service restaurant at Epcot…located in the Land Pavilion…and it rotates.  Yep…it’s a rotating diner…and for those with motion sickness (join the club)…it’s very, very slow…but we managed to rotate completely around at least 1 time during our meal.  And to make it even cooler…it’s a character experience…bring on Harvest Chip & Dale and pals.  We ate with Chip & Dale (of course), Pluto and Mickey.  It is a dinner only location and is family style…meaning the wait staff brings the table an assortment of eats and you just dig in.  My husband who ate the traditional meal everyone enjoys found it to be OK…not his particular favorite, but he ate it all.  What was wrong with his meal you ask…nothing…he just likes to order from a menu.

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So before I get to my eats…I want to point out that as you eat, dine and chat…the Characters walk around and stop at every table for a few minutes…just enough time to get an autograph and snap a few pictures.  Since we had special food accommodations…we sat a little longer than others and saw all the characters twice – major bonus.

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Since we have 3 different people, all with different allergies…I often contact the restaurant before dining…I send an email and anxiously await a phone call.  I was lucky as Chef Javier called me, while I was at home about 10 days before my trip started, and we discussed meals.  We talked about the traditional menu that is offered and tried to find solutions for my family.  Most of the usual options available were perfect for us (sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, veggies, gluten-free rolls and so on…but I couldn’t help but to ask for a few changes…first due to the abundance of chicken at Disney I asked about a hamburger patty for my daughter and also a special dessert.  As the restaurant doesn’t make burgers the chef was kind enough to order beef and make my kid a few special patties just for her.  And for me…I wasn’t fond of the traditional veggie dish on the menu…”stuff peppers” and sides.  I requested vegan meat (not typical for that location)…and he delivered.

So…fast forward to that night…we arrived 10 minutes before our scheduled dining reservation…we waited for the restaurant to open and we were seated promptly.  I was prepared to have to wait several minutes for the Chef…nope not Chef Javier…he had been cooking for my family already…waiting for us actually.  He already had ALL our food in the oven (no grilling or frying due to cross-contamination) and was waiting for us to finish our salads.  He warned me that his goal…”was to have us ROLL out of here”, lol.  I did for sure.  To my surprise he was able to deliver ALL my requests and they were delicious.  The vegan dish he “made-up” with the vegan beef was amazing and with all the sides…I was stuffed.  My son (dairy, eggs, and peanuts) was able to share my dish and was shoving it in.  My daughter (dairy, GF, peanuts, legumes, corn, and red dye) was able to cut her giant burger patties in half and eat with her GF buns…to make a quick burger.

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Dessert wasn’t as grand…but still had enough sweetness to finish the meal.  He was able to simplify the traditional dessert by using “Enjoy Life” cookies and fresh fruit filling, no whip and created a crumb-like fruit dish.

Major shout-out for Chef Javier that night and many thanks.  I enjoyed my meal SO much…I asked to speak to a manager and shared my happiness…apparently the Chef was gonna get some company shout-outs after dinner thanks to his awesomeness.

I also want to point out that getting a call from the chef before your trip is not typical…they are busy, busy bees and usually can accommodate your special food requests “the night of”…but due to our various allergies…I usually get a call and thus can request special items.  This is also something I can help you with as your Travel Agent…all services I provide for free when booking your Disney trip with me.  When it comes to food allergies, eating “out” is often a stressful event…but being prepared helps and when your family leaves the table safe and full…well that’s a huge success in my book.  Disney does an excellent job at accommodating food allergies and does it on a daily basis…so let me help you relieve the stress and help you enjoy food time for a change…you deserve it.