Once again, Epcot - located at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida - will be hosting their amazing International Garden and Flower Festival between February 28, 2018 and May 28, 2018. Aside from the fantastic display of flowers to help get us over a long winter, one of the best parts of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival is the Garden Rocks Concert Series. Each weekend during the festival, Epcot presents an iconic rock band or singer from the 60's, 70's, 80's or 90's to perform a series of free concerts at the American Gardens Theatre. Here is an opportunity to not only enjoy an amazing day at Epcot, but also take the whole family to a concert without dipping further into your wallet. After the concert, return to unwind at our Encore Resort at Reunion vacation home. Either an evening in the pool and hottub, a friendly game in the Star Wars game room, or a movie in the cinema theater room. All are great choices.
Here is this year’s "Garden Rocks" artist lineup (subject to change without notice):
The Walmart at the corner of Old Lake Wilson Road and US 192 is finally open - and it's open 24 hours a day! The actual address is 2855 N Old Lake Wilson Rd, Kissimmee, Florida. I had occasion to visit the new Walmart a number of times during our recent stay at our vacation home over the Christmas holidays. The store is only a couple of minutes drive from the Encore Resort at Reunion vacation home community, so it was very handy. The grocery area is well stocked and the balance of the store is also well stock in a manner similar to all the Walmarts we are all used to visiting back home. If you forget anything for your holiday (soap, shampoo, backpacks, sunscreen, etc), I would be surprised if you can't find what you're looking for at this store. They even have a well stocked beer, wine and liquor section! Most notably, however, is there large supply of Disney, Universal and Florida related souvenirs. While they differ to those found inside the parks, the products are all officially licenced and are sold at a fraction of a price as those found within the theme parks. In fact, on a rainy day during our visit, on our way to Universal Orlando, we quickly popped in to buy some affordable rain ponchos. It only took a few minutes in and out and, because the Walmart is conveniently located between our vacation villa and the theme park, we didn't feel like we were put out in any way. Convenient grocery, souvenir and essential supply shopping is just one of the many reasons to consider our Encore Resort at Reunion vacation home for your next holiday. Check out our website to learn more about the amazing theme room vacation home that people are talking about!
Readers of this blog well know that our family has been attending Walt Disney World for years and are loyal WDW annual passholders. This year we decided to give our kids (and us parents too) annual passes to Universal Orlando Resort as a Christmas gift. Our kids are now into the double digit age bracket and love thrill rides. The rides at Universal Orlando are great and I would highly recommend anybody travelling to Orlando with teenagers to spend at least one day at Universal. I must say though, the best part of Universal Orlando for my family - by far - is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We had attended Universal in the past and had visited the Hogsmeade section located in Islands of Adventure, but this Christmas marked our first visit since they opened the Diagon Alley section in Universal Studios. Universal has continued the Disney like theming of the book series and both Wizarding World areas are spectacular (I'm not sure even Disney could have done a better job). While I will write more about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Orlando in later blogs, I wanted to highlight one of the best portions for me during the Christmas holiday - the nighttime light show at Hogwarts castle. I have seen the light show at Cinderella's Castle over many years and continue to be amazed at Disney's ability to display a high definitional light show on the castle. Universal has not been outdone with their nighttime light and music display on Hogwarts Castle. Fans of the book series will be delighted with the whimsical displays of their favourite characters and portions of the book. It is well worth staying until after dark to watch the display - however - some angles are better than others to watch the show. After watching the show a number of times, our family found that the best place to watch the display was beside the street sign in front of the castle which reads "Hogsmeade and Hogwarts" (see photo below). This location if far enough back to see the entire show on the castle and provides just the right angle to see all the projections. In reality, what I did was look at the promotional photos used by Universal for the show and put myself in the location that gave me the same view as was found in the photos. The photos below are mine from that location and they look just like the promotional photos.
While the show may change throughout the year, this area will always be a great place to watch the display. The next state-of-the-art projection mapping show is scheduled to start January 31, 2018 and continue running on select nights throughout at Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This light show will wrap Hogwarts castle in a dazzling display of light to celebrate the four houses of Hogwarts – Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin (Universal promotional photo below).
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter book series, you will love attending the Wizarding World of Harry Potter located at Universal Orlando Resort. If your plan is to visit both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, why not stay at our Encore Resort at Reunion vacation villa and get the best of all worlds. We are located close to both parks and, on your day off from the parks, enjoy unlimited use of the resort's water park or lounge by our private courtyard pool and spa.
We finally updated the video of the interior of our home to include our new Star Wars Games Room, the Nemo and Friends bedroom and, my favourite, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train bedroom. The video also shows one of the optional welcome packages which we can arrange for you upon your arrival. The one you see in the video is great if you want to have breakfast food available upon your arrival. This is ideal for those late night flights where you just want to get to the house and get to bed. Check out the video and let us know if you have any questions about our Encore Resort at Reunion vacation home near Walt Disney World! Or better yet, contact us to arrange a booking.
Our whole family will be contributing to this Blog. We write about our experiences and news related to Walt Disney World as well as post our Encore Resort Blog and Reunion Resort Blog