Disney’s Animal Kingdom ~ Kunekune Pigs Ham it Up and an Artful Pig Paints

Welcome back to a Daily Dose of Disney. When I saw this story in the Disney InsidEARS Park News I knew right away I had to share it with you. It's just too cute!!

The Kunekune Pigs Ham it Up and an Artful Pig Paints, All at Affection Section at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

Some rare pigs made their debut late last year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. And these are some pretty smart swine.


Weekly Look Back and Forward 4/28

Another week has flown by and a new month starts this week. Let's have a quick look at some of our pixie dusted blog postulations from this past week and a sneak peak at what's coming up next week here on Focused on the Magic.


Flashback Friday ~ Kilimanjaro Safari

It's time for Photo Flashback Friday here at Focused on the Magic! 

Time to once again dust off our Walt Disney World photo albums and take another look at some of our favorite photos from vacations past.

If you are new to the Flashback Friday Hop, Welcome! I hope you enjoy your visit. For those returning, Welcome Back! If you are new here and would like to join in on the fun, you'll find out how to at the end of this post. I would love to have you share your flashback photos with us. 

This week we're taking a trip back again to Animal Kingdom to ride the safari in the rain. You may have seen these pictures in previous posts but it's a flash back and that's what we'll do. 
These pictures were taken on a summer trip I took with Peter. I was reminded of the trip this week when once again Peter injured his patella, during this trip he injured his knee for the first time. He was in a wheelchair for the whole trip. 

Throughout the week we had heavy downpours, not uncommon in Florida in the summer. They usually start late in the afternoon and clear out quickly. 

The rain and pain didn't dampen his spirits though. We sloshed on. Usually if we're in the parks we just head for an indoor attraction to wait it out but on this day we were in Animal Kingdom close to the safari so we decided to give it a try in the rain. I know animals love the rain and I thought maybe we'd get to see some unusual activity.
Nothing unusual there. Rhinos never seem to stop eating,even in the rain.
This bird looked like he couldn't wait for the rain to stop, not much fun for him. Looking back the safari trucks were empty or had only a few people in them. We were the only two people in ours. If you don't like waiting, this is the best time to ride the safari!

The best part of the safari was when our driver stopped the truck to watch the elephants enjoying the afternoon shower. It was so exciting to see them rollicking in the rain and rolling in the mud. 

Have a Magical Day!


Happy National Pretzel Day ~ Vote For Your Favorite!

Today is “National Pretzel Day” and from the Mickey Mouse Pretzel to the Cream Cheese-filled Pretzel, Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts have a variety of pretzels to satisfy your sweet, salty (or savory) tooth. When I saw that The Disney Parks InsidEARS Community Managers were sharing their favorite prized pretzels from the parks (try saying that ten times fast) in honor of this fun holiday I thought it would be fun to take a poll and see what your favorites are.
First let's see what our Disney Parks InsidEARS Community Managers have to say...
Here are just some of the locations you can pick up your favorite soft pretzel at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.
Disneyland Resort 
  • -Wetzel’s Pretzels®, Downtown Disney District: Located next to RIDEMAKERZ and Haagen-Dazs®, snack on fresh, fancy pretzels like the Cheese Meltdown, Grateful Garlic and Sinful Cinnamon. 
  • -Bayside Brews, Disney California Adventure park: Enjoy a brew (if you’re over 21, of course) and a variety of soft pretzels like the Jalapeno Cheese-filled Pretzel, Cream Cheese-filled Pretzel and Mickey Mouse Pretzel with Cheese.
  • -Bengal Barbecue, Disneyland park: The Mickey Mouse Pretzel and Jalapeno Cheese-Filled Pretzels serve as extra provisions on your journey through Adventureland.
  • -Refreshment Corner, Disneyland park: Mickey Mouse Pretzel, Jalapeno Cheese-filled Pretzel and Cream Cheese-filled Pretzel. Add a cup of cheese to your pretzel for extra dipping delight.
Disneyland Pretzel Carts
  • - Fantasyland (Mickey Pretzel & Cream Cheese-filled Pretzel) in the area in front of “it’s a small world”
  • - Tomorrowland (Mickey Pretzel & Cream Cheese-filled Pretzel) in front of Red Rockett’s Pizza Port
  • - Frontierland (Mickey Pretzel & Jalapeno Cheese-filled Pretzel) across from the Mark Twain Riverboat Dock
Walt Disney World Resort
  • -Wetzel’s Pretzels®, Downtown Disney West Side: Wetzel’s Pretzels is a perfect stop to fuel up between shopping, dining and entertainment adventures. Located next to Characters in Flight and the bridge to Downtown Disney Pleasure Island, there are seven tasty varieties of pretzels and dipping sauce options. Be sure to try the Pepperoni Twist — a fresh-baked cheese pretzel topped with pepperoni. Or try the Sinful Cinnamon — a sweet treat coated with cinnamon and sugar. Grab a table on the patio to enjoy the atmosphere and your twisted treat.
  • -Germany pavilion, Epcot World Showcase: Make a stop in the quaint German village at Epcot for an authentic snack as you tour World Showcase. Chomp on a flavorful hand stretched pretzel (or “bretzeln” as they say in Germany) to the tune of authentic music as you get lost in the charming cobblestone plaza.
  • -Frontierland, Magic Kingdom theme park: This Mickey Mouse-shaped, tasty treat is the talk of the town and, here at Walt Disney World, is only available at one location: Frontierland Pretzel Wagon. You can find the wagon between the Diamond Horseshoe and Pecos Bill Cafe (next to the Turkey Leg cart). The cheese or chocolate dipping sauces are the “icing on the pretzel” that make this a must-eat treat.

More Pretzel Fun at Walt Disney World:
All Disney theme parks have their special sprinkling of pretzel options. Be on the lookout for a popular fan favorite, the Cream Cheese Pretzel. This pretzel is filled with a sweet cream cheese and dusted with sweet crumbs. You can find this one at The Lunching Pad in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom, the Pretzel Garden cart on The Streets of America in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Fife & Drum Tavern at the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot World Showcase. Also featured at Fife & Drum Tavern, and at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, is the Jalapeno Cheese Stuffed Pretzel. It’s a perfectly pretzel way to spice up any day — but especially on National Pretzel Day!
Now it's time to vote! What's your favorite pretzel at The Disney Parks? Leave your vote in the comments section below. Be sure to tell us if it's in DL or WDW.
My favorite pretzel in the Disney Parks is in Epcot's Germany Pavilion while sipping a nice cool drink enjoying the German music...ah, I can't wait for my next visit!

Have a Disney Day!  
Thanks for stopping by Focused on the

5 Delectable Disney Desserts & Snacks

Today we're focused on our Top 5 Disney Snacks. One of my favorite topics and one I just love to write about. I recently wrote an article for Red The Magical Blogorail Loop listing my Favorite 8 Great Disney Snacks, which you can read HERE. 
There are plenty of delectable desserts and snacks options I enjoy in the Parks and being a major foodie it's easy for me to go on and on. Today instead of prattling on endlessly, I have to keep it to 5 of our family favorite snack and desserts. Here they are and in no particular order.

1. From Via Napoli, The Tiramasu 
Via Napoli Tiramasu Epcot
Mascarpone cream, espresso coffee, lady fingers and chocolate. Oh what a delight it is!

2. From Palo, Chocolate Souffle. I can still taste it! This picture is with permission from Disney. There is no way I could do this heavenly dessert justice in a picture. I usually try to snap a few pictures first but it's difficult when faced with a fabulous dessert. Sometimes it's best to just enjoy the food and leave the pictures to the experts:) If you would like the fabulous recipe for this Chocolate Souffle, click here.
Disney Cruise Line, Palo, Chocolate Souffle
3. Coppa di Brutti Ma Buoni aka "Ugly but Good". Amarena cherry & vanilla gelato sundae with the "Ugly But Good Cookies":) All incredibly delicious. The vanilla ice cream is rich homemade goodness. This item was removed from the menu, I'm sad to report. Maybe if we all request it'll be brought back.
Via Napoli, Coppa di Brutti Ma Buoni , "Ugly but Good"Epcot, Via Naploi, Coppa di Brutti Ma Buoni  "Ugly but Good"
4. Turkey Legs -- not my favorite, that's for sure. My kids like to dig in though. I think they look like dinosaur bones but Disney Guest gobble up more than 1.2 million pounds of Turkey Legs every year in the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks.
5. Dreamy Strawberry Cheesecake -- this can be found on many menus in Disney World. I think the best one I've had was at The Grand Floridian Cafe. Not to be missed! This picture is from Disney with permission. Again, my pictures were ugly and this deserves a beautiful tasteful picture. Click Here for the recipe.

Disney Dream, Strawberry Cheesecake

Do you have a special Disney snack or dessert that you enjoy in the Parks?
This post is part a great Foodie Hop. Be sure to stop by Disney Day by Day and see all the yummy blog posts linked up to the hop!


Have a Disney Day!  
Thanks for stopping by Focused on the


Almost Wordless Wednesday ~ Water Lily

Welcome to our happy hop! 
I'm very glad you could join us today for the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, where each week bloggers gather together and link up their Disney related Wordless or Almost Wordless Wednesday posts.  
I hope you'll enjoy your visit, make new Disney friends, commune with old friends, see some great pictures along with me, Debs Dis at Focused on the Magic

Each week there is a theme for the hop. Don't worry, you don't have to follow the theme as long as it's a Disney related picture, your post is welcome to link up.
This week's theme is Your May Calendar Shot. You are probably wondering what exactly does she mean by that? If you were to make a 2012 calendar, which one of your Disney pictures would you use for the month of May?
If you'd like to actually make a calendar page, I found these free links. Here and here where you can create and print your own free photo calendars.
Well, it's time for my May Calendar Shot! 
It's always tough to pick just one photo for a whole month. I wanted to be a little bit more creative with my picture this month. I kept thinking of the saying "April showers bring May flowers"... probably because it's been raining for days:P 
This water lily was still wet from the spring rain at The China Pavilion's water feature in Epcot. 


Happy Birthday/Earth Day Tree of Life!

Happy Earth Day to all and Happy Birthday to The Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom. The Tree of Life project was started in the late 80’s and opened on April, 22, 1998, Earth Day. This beautiful iconic symbol symbolizes the beauty, diversity and grandeur of our animal life here on Earth. 
Disney Parks celebrates Earth Day every day, just the way Walt Disney would have wanted it, through a myriad of programs in the parks and in the community. Walt Disney was a true conservationist, long before it became popular.

"You've probably heard people talk about conservation. Well, conservation isn't just the business of a few people. It's a matter that concerns all of us. It's a science whose principles are written in the oldest code in the world, the laws of nature. The natural resources of our vast continent are not inexhaustible. But if we will use our riches wisely, if we will protect our wildlife and preserve our lakes and streams, these things will last us for generations to come."   Walt Disney, 1950

 Thanks for stopping by Focused on the


Weekly Look Back and Forward 4/21

We're back with a quick look at some of our pixie dusted blog postulations from this past week and a sneak peak at what's coming up next week here on Focused on the Magic.


8 Great Walt Disney World Snacks

One of my favorite park pastimes is snacking. I have enjoyed delicious Walt Disney World snack offerings in just about all the resorts and definitely all of the parks.
It’s become a special treat for me, that is best enjoyed after I’ve spent hours touring the parks and need a quiet break or just watch a parade. 
8 Great Walt Disney World Snacks

I haven’t as yet planned my days around snacking, except when I’ve met with fellow Disney fans for a Dole Whip meet. 
With so many tasty delights to choose from I thought it best to limit myself to my absolutely couldn’t tour without it, best of the best.

#8 The American Dream - Layers of frozen strawberry, vanilla ice-cream and frozen blue raspberry heaven. This frozen concoction of ice cream goodness can be found appropriately, at the kiosk in front The American Adventure in Epcot’s World Showcase. On a hot day this is sure to cause brain freeze if enjoyed too quickly, so take it over to lake and enjoy a gentle breeze in the shade. $3.99 or 1 DDP snack credit.

#7 Mickey Rice Krispie Treats -- found in a variety of sizes, my boys always enjoyed the jumbo size as pictured here. I would go for the chocolate covered if I had a choice:) The smaller ones are 1 DDP snack credit and travel well. I usually stock up at the end of the trip to bring home as fun reminders of Disney.

#6 Carrot Cake Cookie – This is my favorite treat at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and one I’ve written about glowingly here. You can find it at either the Writer’s Stop or Sweet Spells. The Carrot Cake Cookie is perfect with a Writer’s Stop fresh brewed cup of coffee. 

#5 Zebra Domes – These little tasty sponge cakes filled with Kahlua Liqueur and espresso coffee, dipped in milk chocolate have become a huge favorite with Disney fans and for good reason. I can’t visit Boma or Mara without tasting a few. This is one snack I might consider worth making a special trip to Animal Kingdom Lodge for. They can be found as a dessert item at Boma, or a snack item at Mara in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

#4 Black & White Ice Cream Soda - This classic soda fountain favorite from the 40’s can be gotten at Seashore Sweets on the Boardwalk in front of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort or at Beaches & Cream at the Beach Club resort. It’s a delicious combination of chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream. Seashore Sweets serves hand dipped Edy’s Ice Cream in single, double and ice cream sodas. Seashore Sweets also specialize in old fashioned candies, salt water taffy, fudge and other “Confections served with Affection.”

#3 Mickey's Ice Cream Sandwich - I love both the Mickey's Ice Cream Sandwich and the Mickey's Ice Cream Bar but the sandwich came out ahead as I think it's a little easier to eat in the Florida heat. I'm always racing to eat the bar before it melts and drips. The sandwich can be savored and enjoyed while watching a parade or just hanging out by the Swan boat landing. 
I usually eat the ears first. How do you eat yours?

#2 M&M Chocolate Covered Apple- This mouth watering little candy coated M&M treat was found in the German Pavilion and quickly devoured by my son before I got a chance to take a snap of him eating it. On second thought his chocolate covered face wouldn't have been a very pretty picture. They are also offered at Goofy's Candy Kitchen located in Downtown Disney.
Goofy's Candy Kitchen is snack central for us when we're in Disney World. My sons spend their snack credits getting all kinds of goodies. We also enjoy watching as the CMs prepare delectable treats in the open kitchen. If you hang around long enough (as we often do) while they're making fudge you may get to sample it. Yum, fresh peanut butter fudge is divine!!

#1 Dole Whip - This soft serve delight is at the top of my favorite list and a snack I've written about often. You can read my posts here and here. It's one snack I’ve never tasted outside of the parks which makes even more special for me. They have a healthy dose of vitamin C, they're fat free, cholesterol free, lactose free and only 80 calories for a 1/2 cup serving. Not a lot of calories for a dessert. Walking around the park would burn a Dole Whip off pretty quickly.  Dole Whips can be found in The Magic Kingdom’s Aloha Isle, or Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian Resort. Captain Cook’s offers a self serve Dole Whip in pineapple or vanilla. At the Aloha Isle, you can get the famous pineapple flavor or vanilla or orange flavors. They’re served straight up in a cup or as a float. I prefer the cup whereas the rest of my family enjoys floats. Except Paul, who dislikes Dole Whips. Hard for me to believe but that's a whole other post!

Last but not least and not counted in my 8 GREAT snacks but is an old fave -- the Citrus Swirl which is officially back at the Magic Kingdom's Sunshine Tree Terrace. I can't wait to experience it once again!

There you have it, 8 GREAT Disney snacks. I could go on all day about Disney snacks. 

What's your favorite snack?

Hope you are having a magical day!


A World of Disney Dining: Food Fun Facts from Walt Disney World Resort

 Deb's Daily Dose of Disney
Over at The Disney InsidEARS we were discussing our favorite foods and the diverse and delicious options for Disney Dining in Disney World. Along with learning about some new "must try" treats that sound absolutely delicious, I learned some new fun foodie facts I'd like to share with you today.
From small snacks to luxurious, sit-down meals, there is something for everyone.
Here are some fun Disney World food facts from InsidEARS Community Manager Marissa:
DIVERSE DISNEY DINING: There are more than 475 unique places to dine across Walt Disney World Resort, including full-service and quick-service restaurants and portable food carts. In all, more than 6,000 different food items are available.

YOU SAY TOMATO, I SAY ‘YUM’: California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort serves about 70 pounds of vine-ripened tomatoes each night during “tomato season” (July through November).

A TASTE OF HOLLYWOOD: Approximately 63,000 Cobb salads are served every year at The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The original recipe for the dressing, created in 1926, still tops the salads. “The Cobb” was invented at the original Hollywood Brown Derby by restaurateur Bob Cobb.

A LOT TO GOBBLE!: More than 1.2 million pounds of Turkey Legs are consumed every year in the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks.

More than 89 varieties of cheese are used by Disney theme park and resort chefs at Walt Disney World Resort.
What's your favorite treat in Walt Disney World? 

Come back on Friday. That's when I'll be sharing our favorite treats!

Have a magical day! 

Photos & Source: Disney Parks InsidEARS News

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Wordless Wednesday ~ The Epcot Rose Walk

Come along and join the fun! Welcome to our happy hop! 
I'm very  glad you could join us today for the Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop, where all Disney related photo posts are welcome to link up. I hope you'll enjoy your visit and make new Disney friends, visit with old friends, see some great pictures at The Disney Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop  with me, Debs Dis at Focused on the Magic

In honor of Earth Day and the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival the theme this week is Nature !  
One of the most beautiful places to view nature in Disney World is The Rose Walk between The World Showcase and Future World during Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival.

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