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‘Harmonious’ Spectacular to Debut October 1 at Epcot

‘Harmonious’ barges and center ring in Epcot lagoon – Monday 7/19/2021

The new nighttime spectacular ‘Harmonious’ has been officially announced to premier on October 1, 2021 – the fiftieth anniversary of Walt Disney World. This is little more than one month away and caps the many months of work and preparation that went into the construction and planning of this new show.

“Harmonious” illuminates our shared humanity, bringing to life the vision of EPCOT through a celebration of our world and its promise. Over the years, cultures from around the world have provided inspiration for Disney films and music. In “Harmonious,” a global community of musical artists has come together and reinterpreted those familiar stories and songs in their own voice, honoring their respective cultures. Collectively, they contribute to a unique experience that could only happen at EPCOT, a place where the impossible becomes possible through the power of human imagination and the magic of Disney.

The show moves through three distinct chapters, inviting us to gather on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon, celebrate the countries and cultures of the world, and ultimately unite to create a bright tomorrow. “Harmonious” begins with a sunrise, and as the world awakens around us, we set out on a journey that takes us across the globe. It’s a dazzling and diverse feast for the eyes and ears, from the South Pacific home of “Moana” and a Middle-Eastern interpretation of “Aladdin” to “The Jungle Book” in India, China’s legend of “Mulan,” the European nations that inspired “Brave” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and so much more.

Magic Kingdom Update and Train Station Construction – 7/16/2021

In our last blog I left off as we left the Grand Floridian on the Monorail and headed towards Magic Kingdom. We arrived quickly at the station and made our way out of the Monorail into the station – there were only a few people arriving at Magic Kingdom at this time so the station was relatively empty.

Magic Kingdom Monorail Station – 7/16/2021

We did time it perfect and caught two monorails in the station for a great photo. I really enjoy the picture of the ‘Welcome’ sign as you start down the path toward the front gate of Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom Welcome sign with Contemporary Resort in the background.

We quickly made our way down the path and made the turn towards the entrance gates for the Magic Kingdom. It’s not a trip to Disney World until you enter those magical gates and officially start your vacation. The scrim is still up and covering the train station as they continue to prepare for the 50th anniversary! I really miss the clear view the station and the sound of the train coming around the track, but, we have to make sacrifices to keep everything looking pristine for her big day.

Magic Kingdom Train Station in scrim covering – July 17, 2021

We entered the tunnels under the train station and caught our first glimpse of Main Street USA and the crowds that were in attendance that day. We could tell it was a very busy day from the number of people scattered around this first area. The buildings on the square are looking good with fresh paint and shiny fresh banners. We hit the square just in time to catch a character calvacade with Peter Pan, Alice from Wonderland, Mary Poppins and Aladdin.

Character Calvacade – Magic Kingdom – Peter Pan and Alice from Wonderland – 7/16/2021
Character Calvacade – Mary Poppins and Aladdin – Magic Kingdom – 7/16/2021

The as soon as the calvacade passed out the side gate – the fab four came out and stood at the train station to wave to the crowd.

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Pluto entered the train station – Magic Kingdom – 7/16/2021

We waived at the group like we were starry-eyed teenagers – enjoying these mega-stars as they greeting their adoring public. I snapped a few pictures down Main Street towards Cinderella Castle with the beautiful red flowers really framing the shot.

Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse Statue on Mainstreet USA at Magic Kingdom – 7/16/2021

The sky was getting a bit dark – so, we decided we would head in the Emporium for some quick shopping before continuing our adventure. Once inside the crowd was thick inside the shops – it was tough to make our way around the store as we waited for others to clear a path. I glanced up through the open doors to Main Street and saw that the rain was coming down quite hard. I was really glad we had made it inside before the bottom fell out and we were grateful for the cool air and dry spot to wait out the storm.

It wasn’t long before we noticed the rain had all but stopped. We made our way out of the shops just as another Character Calvacade came by – it was Goofy and two of the three Caballeros – What a day for characters!

Character Calvacade – Goofy, Two Caballeros – Magic Kingdom – 7/16/2021

Looking down the street towards the castle it was very wet, but, there were only a few sprinkles coming down now – so, we decided to make our way toward Tomorrow Land.

Cinderella’s Castle – Wet Day at Magic Kingdom – 7/16/2021

I will continue our trip in our next blog as we head toward Tomorrow land and one of my favorite rides in the park – Space Mountain.

Stay tuned to Budget Mouse for some great blogs about our travels to Disney World – and check out our web store for some great unique theme park inspired gear at https://craftytrends.com and our Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyTrendsStore.

Grand Floridian Resort and Magic Kingdom

In my last blog I spoke about our trip to the Magic Kingdom resort area. I left off where we left the Polynesian resort after a great meal at the Kona Cafe and headed to the Grand Floridian resort. We exited the main lodge building and headed to the dock to catch a boat to the Magic Kingdom. This is a short walk around the side exit around the pool area and past the rental boat launches.

Polynesian Boat Dock – Transportation to Magic Kingdom – 7/16/2021

This is a very scenic area where you can see across Seven Seas lagoon to the other resorts and even catch a glimpse into the Magic Kingdom. The beach is pristine and you can see the Polynesian guest cottages that are built over the water lining the shore of the lagoon.

Polynesian Boat Dock and Guest Cottages – Contemporary Resort in the distance – 7/16/2021

We made our way down the dock to the covered waiting area and found a few other guests waiting patiently in the shade. After a few minutes waiting we heard a few people mention that it had been some time since the boat had come to the dock. We decided we would wait for 10 – 15 minutes and if the boat didn’t appear we would walk around the walkway to the Grand Floridian resort and either take the boat from there or the Monorail. So, after that time had passed we made our way back down the dock towards the Polynesian and turned right down the walkway towards the Grand Floridian resort areas. It was a very hot day and the shade along the path was welcome in the spots where the bushes covered the path. Along the way we passed the wedding pavilion – which was locked up tight, but, very pretty to look at from a distance.

Grand Floridian Wedding Pavilion – 7/16/2021

The walk was very scenic along the beach and as we approached the resort areas we could hear lots of people gathered at the pool areas splashing and having a great time. We quickly came to the first section of the resort and continued along the path passed the pool areas and into the main lobby. I am always impressed by the grandeur of the main building with its high ceilings and ornate railings. The stained glass windows at the top are beautiful and the whole place just screams elegance.

Grand Floridian Lobby Area – 7/16/2021

The lobby was quiet and relaxed with a person playing a large piano on the bottom floor. We sat for a few minutes to cool off and rest a bit before continuing our journey. This is one of the best places around to sit and relax while you listen to fine Disney piano music and enjoy the environment. From our spot on the ground floor we could see up to the monorail station exit on level two and so we decided we would take the elevator up to the second level and ride to Magic Kingdom. The elevator is very ornate and easy to access from the main lobby area. We boarded the elevator and pressed level 2 – this elevator actually only goes to level 2 – so, it is only meant to transport guests from the main lobby level up to the monorail level – there are other elevators to take you up to the top guest floors.

Grand Floridian Elevator Shaft to Second Level – 7/16/2021

We arrived on the second level and found additional shops and more places to sit and enjoy the views. We made our way toward the Monorail exit door and found that a Monorail had just arrived at the station and was about to begin boarding. We made our way quickly through the new security scanners and boarded the Monorail – next stop is the Magic Kingdom Monorail station – and then the Magic Kingdom itself, but, I will continue that part of the story in my next blog.

Monorail leaving the Grand Floridian Resort on the way to Magic Kingdom Park – 7/16/2021

Stay tuned to Budget Mouse for some great blogs about our travels to Disney World – and check out our web store for some great unique theme park inspired gear at https://craftytrends.com and our Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyTrendsStore.

Update on the Polynesian Resort 7/16/2021

We recently traveled to Orlando from July 16 – 20 and had a chance to visit the Polynesian resort for a meal and some exploring. Here is an update on what we experienced and some construction updates.

We arrived at the Disney World resort on Saturday July 17th and drove directly to the Polynesian resort entrance. After explaining that we had a 1:55PM lunch reservation at the Kona Cafe the security guard allowed us to park in the resort parking lot. We managed to get a fairly good parking spot close to the main walkway to the resort and quickly saw that the monorail station is still very much under construction.

July 17, 2021 – Polynesian Resort Monorail Station Construction

The main entrance is still a work in progress, so we made our way down the side path to the side entrance to the lobby. Here we found the resort looking very familiar and welcoming as the classic Polynesian theming and decor is much the same. We made our way up the stairs to the restaurant level where both O’hana and Kona Cafe are located. This level offers some great views of the surrounding resort grounds and the seven seas lagoon resort area.

July 17, 2021 – Polynesian Resort Back Deck Construction

It is very apparent that the resort is undergoing some pretty major construction updates out back as well – the restaurant area and the back entrance / pool areas are getting some attention. This didn’t interfere with our walk to our lunch reservation – so we made our way and decided to try and check-in a little early (1:30PM). As we approached the entrance to the Kona Cafe I noticed that it didn’t appear to be super busy. The attendant verified our information and was able to get us seated almost immediately.

The decor in the restaurant was very Polynesian and made me feel like we were going to a place in Hawaii. We sat down and our server came to take our orders. My wife opted for a drink called the Lapu Lapu – which is served in a fresh pineapple that is hollowed out and contains tropical fruit juices and Gosling’s 151 Rum.

Kona Cafe – Lapu Lapu Drink

After getting our drinks we also received our appetizer – the Crispy Pork-Vegetable Pot Sticker and the free Hawaiian bread with butter. The pot sticker was very good – it was traditional Asian dumplings cooked together in a frying pan – so they were all actually stuck together in a crispy layer. They were served on a plate with a couple of sauces for dipping and I can tell you they were excellent. The bread was also very good – it was warm and the butter made a great before lunch snack.

The main entrees arrived just after we finished our appetizers – so, there was no waiting between courses. I ordered the Kona Chicken Stir-Fry while my wife (a fairly picky eater) ordered the hamburger from the kids menu (adult portion). My noodles and chicken were very good – the Asian flavors really came through and the chicken had a very good Teriyaki flavor. My wife’s burger came with bacon – so, she gave them to me – score! The bacon was covered in a sweet flavor and black pepper. The pepper was a little much, but, the sweetness balanced it well.

Kona Cafe – Kona Chicken Stir Fry (and Bacon)

Overall, the meal was great – it was very filling for both of us and my dish probably could have served two folks (there were a lot of noodles). We had a good experience and we would recommend it to most anyone. They were very accommodating to picky eaters, the service was great and the atmosphere was peaceful and relaxing.

After we finished we made our way downstairs in hopes that Trader Sam’s would be open so we could have a couple of drinks. However, sadly – Trader Sam’s didn’t open up until 7/24/2021 – so, we didn’t get the chance to have that experience. We did do some quick shopping at the shops before heading out for some time in the Magic Kingdom. That is a story for our next blog.

Stay tuned to Budget Mouse for some great blogs about our travels to Disney World – and check out our web store for some great unique theme park inspired gear at https://craftytrends.com and our Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyTrendsStore.

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