Favorite Finds from the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!


I love eating and drinking “around the world” in Epcot, especially during the fall! The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival kicks off annually from mid-September to mid-November in the World Showcase. During the festival, you will encounter booths that serve small portions of both savory and sweet dishes that represent the country or theme of each venue. Wine, beer, and cocktail selections pair perfectly with the dishes offered at each booth. An enormous variety of delicious delicacies from around the globe are offered so that adventurous foodies can try new flavors, and even the pickiest of eaters can discover something to enjoy!

Here is just a “taste” of some of the treats you may try! (Menu items are subject to change in 2017.)


-Mezcal Pineapple Margarita on the Rocks

Sweet but not too sweet, this refreshing margarita is the perfect treat to beat the heat!



-Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale

-Seafood Fisherman’s Pie

-Irish Cheese Selection Plate: Irish Cheddar, Dubliner and Irish Porter



-Spicy Sushi Roll: Tuna and Salmon with Kazan Volcano Sauce

-Pineapple Breeze Sake Cocktail



-Fresh Potato Pancake with Scottish Smoked Salmon and Herbed Sour Cream


Festival Tips 

Try to visit early in the day during the week. If weekends are your only option, be prepared to encounter large and boisterous crowds. There is a lively party vibe among festival goers, and it helps to embrace the spirit! If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em… and “Eat to the Beat!” Check the daily Epcot times guide to see which awesome band is playing while you are visiting. We saw Toad the Wet Sprocket in October 2016, and they played all of the hits we love!

Toad at Eat to the Beat.JPG

Looking to take a break from the festivities? The International Gateway is an Epcot park entrance between the France and United Kingdom pavilions. This gateway leads directly to Disney’s Boardwalk, where you may walk to the shops and restaurants around the Boardwalk Inn, Yacht Club, and Beach Club Resorts. You can also take a Friendship boat to these locations and give your feet a break!

In addition, Epcot Restaurants typically have tables available during the festival since most guests head directly for the unique booths. You can check your My Disney Experience app for available reservations at popular Epcot dining locations! Biergarten Restaurant in the Germany Pavilion offers a wide selection at the Bavarian buffet and steins of German beer (including the popular Schofferhofer Grapefruit) for when the small portions at the booths are just not quite enough! The lively oompah band is sure to raise your spirits and your glass… Prost!

Blog Nov 4.JPG

Special ticketed events such as wine pairings and celebrity chef demonstrations are also available. Simply let your vacation planner know about your interests for recommendations!

Now that your stomach is growling, contact your Hi Ho Vacations agent for free vacation planning assistance! Book your visit to the 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival now for great rates and availability. Remember, calories don’t count in Disney!

-Colleen Dean, Disney and Universal Vacation Planner with Hi Ho Vacations


singnature lineAuthorized Disney Travel Planner


Can You Feel The Love Tonight?

Cinderella and Prince Charming

Lady and the Tramp

Simba and Nala

Ariel and Eric

Aladdin and Jasmine

Belle and her Beast

The list goes on and on! Disney and romance go hand in hand, and a fairy-tale getaway may be exactly what you and your significant other are dreaming of. Why not treat your dearest to a “Valentine’s Vacation” in the happiest place on earth?


“Life is brief, but when it’s gone,

Love goes on and on.”

-Maid Marian, Disney’s Robin Hood

Disney just released a discount for 2017 winter vacation packages that are so beautiful, they are using Belle to promote them!


Play Stay Dine package offer select dates 1/1/17 – 3/7/17, must stay 3 nights, include a meal plan along with 2 day park ticket minimum

Room-only discount offer select dates 12/15/16 – 4/13/17

Contact me for more details or to book! Below are sample rates based on 2 Adults only. Other options and dates are available.

Sample Packages from February 13-17, 2017

Packages include 4-days of theme park tickets with admission to one park per day, and the Disney Dining Plan. Guests on the Disney Dining Plan receive: One quick service meal credit, one table service meal credit, and two snack credits per person, per night of your package. Additionally, each member of the party will receive one refillable resort mug good for use during the length of the package.

Animal Kingdom Lodge with Savanna View

View of wild animals such as giraffes and zebras roaming just off your balcony!

Package total: $3,010.66

Beach Club Resort with Standard View


Gorgeous resort with enormous pool area located within walking distance to Epcot and all the fun of Disney’s Boardwalk!

Package total: $2,883.08

Fully refundable $200 deposit required to book.

I have endless suggestions making your fairy-tale dreams come true! After all, I did get engaged in Epcot! I will include suggestions on:

  • Adult Activities
  • Romantic Hideaways
  • Best Restaurants and Lounges for Dates
  • Floral and Gift Delivery Tips
  • Options for Surprises
  • …Engagement Ideas…?

engagement                      engagement2

Imagine snuggling up with your fairest-of-them-all to watch the fireworks at the end of a memorable day! Send me an email with a few thoughts to get started. Planning your Disney vacation with Hi Ho Vacations is always 100% free, and 100% magical.



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Countdown to Spring Break!

olaf summer

With school back in session and the weather getting crisp, I can’t help but thinking about the warm light at the end of the winter tunnel: Spring Break 2017! The college students have their wild beach parties, but I’m looking forward to the younger kiddos having a week off. Disney offers an abundance of opportunities for you to get away from the melting snow and ice! Getting through school days and winter nights is always easier with a Disney Vacation Countdown! 

Here are a few options available for thawing off this April! As always, every experience can be personalized for your family.

Rates based on a family of four, 2 Adults and 2 Children (ages 3-9)

April 8th, 2017 to April 14th, 2017

Value Resort

Pop Century

Standard View

6-days of park tickets with admission to one park per day

Disney Dining Plan

Magical Express (complimentary transportation to and from Orlando Airport)

Package Total: $3,862.04



Moderate Resort

Caribbean Beach Resort

Standard View

6-days of park tickets with admission to one park per day

Disney Dining Plan

Magical Express (complimentary transportation to and from Orlando Airport)

Package Total: $4,297.44


Deluxe Resort

Yacht Club Resort

Garden or Woods View

6-days of park tickets with admission to one park per day

Disney Dining Plan

Magical Express (complimentary transportation to and from Orlando Airport)

Package Total: $6,503.56

Yacht Club

Not sure which resort category is right for you? Each one includes fabulous amenities and the Disney quality of service, however there are many different perks! I will provide personalized assistance with resort selection for your family. Simply contact me to get started!


Is the sea calling your name? Great rates are still available for Disney Cruises embarking in April! You can even combine a cruise with a Disney World vacation for the ultimate getaway. Many guests claim they need a “vacation from vacation” after exploring all that Disney World has to offer. Why not kick back and relax on the deck of a Disney Cruise ship as part of your break? Port Canaveral is short ride from the Walt Disney World Resort, and transportation options are very convenient. Many dates and options are available, contact me to get started! Just send an email to colleen@hihovacations.com with a few initial thoughts, and we will create a magical spring break!

Ask about other destinations, such as Disneyland, Adventures by Disney, and Aulani- A Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii!

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Top 5 Reasons Kids Love Epcot!


“Is it really worth it to take my kids to Epcot? I’ve heard there is nothing for them to do there.”

On the contrary, Epcot is full of fun for your little ones! I know many children that consider Epcot to be their favorite place. Upon entering the park, you will first take in the wonder and awe of the magnificent geodesic sphere that houses the Spaceship Earth attraction. In Future World, explore the sea, space, and everything in between… including your own imagination! Colorful landscaping and exciting fountains (including a waterfall that flows up!) are stimulating for young minds. In the World Showcase, travel around the world in one afternoon while indulging in sweet treats and experiencing different cultures. Epcot, Disney’s “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” provides a perfect day for the whole family!

Here are some of our favorite attractions that little ones are sure to love!

Frozen Ever After

This brand new attraction opened “for the first time in forever” in June 2016 to the delight of Frozen fanatics! Located in World Showcase’s Norway Pavilion, you are invited to sail through Arendelle and see your favorite friends along the way. Stop by the Royal Sommerhus afterwards to share warm hugs with Anna and Elsa.

Kidcot Fun Stops

Each country around the World Showcase hosts its own craft area, where kids can make personalized souvenirs and interact with a cast member from that nation!

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Nemo is at it again! Help his friends find him while you journey through the “Big Blue World.” Your Clamobile will travel through a massive aquarium with real sea creatures as the animated gang from the coral reef appear inside the tanks! Once you find our lucky-finned friend, enjoy everything else this pavilion has to offer. At Turtle Talk with Crush, you can interact with the totally awesome sea turtle, dude. Dolphins, manatees, clownfish, and many more marine mates call Epcot home, so be sure to take some time to explore!

Club Cool

In Future World, guests are invited to try samples of Coca Cola products from around the world. Be sure to have a sip of “Beverly” and let us know what you think!

Spaceship Earth

This attraction features a journey through the history and future of communication. It doesn’t sound too exciting for little ones, however the excitement of going INSIDE the great big ball is irresistible! I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but your picture appears in a personalized story during the ride! All my friends under 10 think that is totally cool.

This is simply a sample of what your little ones can enjoy in Epcot! With so much to discover, the whole family is sure to have a “ball!”


For 100% free vacation planning services personalized for your family, contact your Hi Ho Vacations Authorized Disney Vacation Planner! 


Book a Walt Disney World vacation including the date October 22nd, and enjoy a beer in Epcot with Tom Dean!

That crisp feeling in the air means autumn is just around the corner, and there is no better time for a Walt Disney World vacation! The one-and-only Tom Dean will be in Epcot on October 22nd, celebrating the International Food and Wine Festival and dancing to the tunes of Toad the Wet Sprocket at the Eat to the Beat Concert!

toad the wet sprocket

For any guest over the age of 21 that books a vacation with Colleen from Hi Ho Vacations including this date, Tom Dean will treat you to a beer in the American Adventure Pavilion!

Want to experience fall in Disney World yourself? Contact me for personalized free planning assistance. Here is a sample quote:

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Located within walking distance to Epcot’s World Showcase this Deluxe resort is renowned for it’s beautiful amenities (especially the pool!). You will also be immersed in all the action of Disney’s Boardwalk! The Yacht Club is the ideal resort for Food and Wine fans.

Sample rate is based on 2-Adults only. Other dates and options are available!

Yacht Club

10/19/2016 – 10/23/2016

3-Day Tickets with Park Hopper

Offer Subtotal: $2,789.70

With Disney Dining Plan: $3,299.30

$200 Deposit

Yacht-Club Lobby

Here is just a “taste” of what’s in store this fall:

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

This hard-ticket event returns to the Magic Kingdom on select nights! Celebrate Halloween with trick-or-treating, Disney Characters in costume, the “Boo To You” parade, “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks and more.

Celebrate Halloween (or Disney Villains) at Club Villain

On Friday and Saturday nights from Sept. 2-Oct. 29, 2016 (and also on Oct. 31, 2016), Sunset Showcase will host “Club Villain,” a special ticketed event filled with fabulous performances, delicious food, bewitching cocktails and enchanting encounters with some legendary Disney villains. Two “Club Villain” experiences will be held each Friday and Saturday night, with starting times at 5:15 and 8:30 p.m. Contact me for reservations!

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

This annual food and beverage celebration runs Sept. 14-Nov.14, 2016 and features culinary events, celebrity chefs, seminars, musical acts and more.

Disney Springs Openings

Brand-new eateries Frontera Cocina and Homecoming just opened their doors, as well as new retailers like Uniqlo, Vince Camuto, LACOSTE, Free People and Sugarboo & Co. Levi’s Store and others are set to open later this summer and Paddlefish will open late fall.

PizzeRizzo at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Walt Disney World Resort’s first-ever Muppet-themed restaurant will open its doors this fall to serve up pizza in the Muppets Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

2017 dates are now available! Plan early for the best rates and availability! Send an email to Colleen@hihovacations.com to get started. Remember, planning your Disney vacation with Authorized Disney Vacation Planners is always 100% free! 

Cheers to the ears,


September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Click here to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:  http://walkrun.stjude.org/jackthomasdean

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Meet and Greet with Disney Dean!

EDIT: This event has been rescheduled to Sunday, September 11 due to a very blustery day! Same time and place! 

Hi Ho Vacations at the Jersey Shore!

Sunday, September 4th 2016

9:00 am to 4:00 pm

LBI Historical Society Market in Beach Haven, NJ on Long Beach Island

Bicentennial Park on Engleside Avenue


Visit LBI this Labor Day Weekend for a dose of magic! I will be representing Hi Ho Vacations in beautiful Beach Haven this Sunday, September 4th. Summer may be winding down, but this is the perfect time to begin thinking about upcoming holidays! I will be available to answer questions and discuss vacation packages personalized just for YOU!

Enter to win free prizes, including Mouse Ears, autograph books, and more!


Plenty of vacation information and brochures will be available. Have questions about Disney vacation planning services? I am happy to provide the answers you are looking for!

Here are just a few destinations I can get you to:

°o° Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

°o° Disneyland Resort in California

°o° Disney Cruise Line

°o° Adventures by Disney

°o° Aulani- A Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii

°o° Vero Beach Resort and Hilton Head Island Resort

°o° Universal Resort Orlando


September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! We will be accepting donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the event. The Dean Family will be participating in a walk to end childhood cancer on September 24th. Your generous donations are greatly appreciated!

You may also donate here: walkrun.stjude.org/jackthomasdean

Contact me for more information! Looking forward to seeing you there!

singnature line

Authorized Disney Travel Planner

FastPass+ at Walt Disney World

4 parks

This morning, I heard a beautiful “ding” come from the reminders app on my iPhone. It is a joyous occasion… Our countdown to our next visit “home” to Walt Disney World has reached the 60 day mark!

Why is it so exciting that we have 60 days to go? Our trip is still two whole months away!

Here is the answer: It is FastPass+ Day!

What does that mean?

Guests staying on property for a Walt Disney World Resort vacation have many magical perks to enjoy. One bonus is the opportunity to reserve FastPass+ for up to 3 attractions per day of your vacation, beginning 60 days before you check in! You will choose an arrival window for your favorite attractions, and join a special line when you arrive. With FastPass+, you can skip to the front of the line!

How does it work?

60 days before your vacation begins, log into your My Disney Experience account to get started. You will be prompted to choose group members that would like to reserve a FastPass+ time together, the park your would like to visit, and the time of day you plan to be there. The available selections will appear, and you may choose 3 favorites!

The old FastPass system used paper tickets that were difficult to get and easy to misplace. As a Walt Disney World Resort Guest, your FastPass+ reservations are linked to your Magic Band! Simply scan your Magic Band at the ride entrance, and you are ready to ride! Any trouble? Just ask the nearest cast member!

Magic Bands

Once in the parks, the My Disney Experience app will show your plans so you don’t have to memorize your schedule. After you complete your original 3 FastPass+ choices, you will have the option to make more FastPass+ reservations (subject to availability)!

This FastPass+ Day is much more special for me than any in the past! Each Disney vacation is magical and memorable for it’s own unique experience. However, this October will be my son’s very first visit to Walt Disney World!

My last visit, my FastPass+ schedule for the Magic Kingdom included:

Space Mountain 7:00 pm

Splash Mountain 8:00 pm

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 9:00 pm

It looks a little different this time! Here are our choices:

Dumbo 9:00 am

Peter Pan’s Flight 10:00 am

Jungle Cruise 11:00 am

Moving over to Hollywood Studios, this year marks the very first time I have not reserved personal FastPass+ for The Tower of Terror, Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster, and Star Tours!

Instead, we will be visiting:

The Great Movie Ride 9:00 am

Disney Junior Live on Stage 10:00 am

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular 11:00 am

I can’t wait to share these special attractions with my little boy! I have so many memories of visiting the Disney parks with my family as a child. Sharing the excitement with a family of my own fills my heart with such joy! I can’t wait to share our magical journey with you. Stay tuned for more updates!

Contact me for free Disney vacation planning services to create your own magic!


singnature lineAuthorized Disney Travel Planner

World Showcase: Entertainment Around the World!

World Showcase Map

Take a stroll around the world in Epcot to engage your senses in cultural delights! Each pavilion represents one of eleven countries, where you can experience the nation’s culture in various ways. Cast members represent their home countries and captivate guests with first-hand expertise. You may indulge in cuisine unique to each culture, and visit exhibits with historical significance. Some countries include movies and slow-moving rides as part of the exhibition.

The most exciting demonstration of culture in the World Showcase are the special acts that perform throughout the day in the various Pavilions! Be sure to check the Epcot Times Guide when you arrive at the park for a daily performance schedule. Here are some current favorites!

1. British Revolution

Say you want a revolution? This British Invasion style band performs in the beautiful gardens tucked in the back of the United Kingdom Pavilion!

British Invasion

2. Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

How do they do that!? Don’t miss these remarkable acrobats showing off their skills and flexibility in the China Pavilion.

3. Mariachi Cobre

Grab a margarita and relax to the delightful guitar and trumpet sounds of this handsome Mariachi group outside the Mexico Pavilion.

4.  Matsuriza

You can’t miss the thunderous sound of this performance while strolling through the Japan Pavilion! Before grabbing a sushi roll or picking a pearl, do not miss these ladies banging Japanese Taiko drums on the pagoda’s stage.

Epcot Japan

5. Voices of Liberty

One of my personal favorite acts in all of Walt Disney World Resort, the Voices of Liberty ring through the dome of the American Adventure Pavilion. This dynamic Accapella group enchants audiences with patriotic tunes before the American Adventure show. From sea to shining sea!

Voices of Liberty

6. Serveur Amusant™

This whimsical French acrobat defies gravity with his chair stacking and climbing stunt outside of Chefs de France!

7. Sergio

An authentic mime and master juggler, Sergio engages the crowd with his eccentric performance! Get a good spot in the Italy Pavilion when he marks his performance area, and you may just get asked to assist!

Epcot Sergio

8. Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro

These amusing flag throwers in traditional Renaissance costumes dazzle! This colorful act takes place daily in the Italy Pavilion.

9. TradNation

On The Mill Stage adjoining the Canada Pavilion, this Quebec-based band shares traditional songs meant to bring families and communities together! This is a limited engagement, be sure to check your Epcot Times Guide for details!

Acts and times are subject to change. Always feel free to contact me with any questions or for FREE Disney vacation planning services! 

singnature line

Authorized Disney Travel Planner

Holiday Season Savings at Walt Disney World Resort!

Holiday Season Savings!

Save up to 20% on rooms at select Walt Disney World Resorts when you book by October 8!

Sample rate based on a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children)

Check in: November 16, 2016

Check out: November 20, 2016

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Standard room for as low as $111 per night!


Pop Pool

With 4-days of base park tickets (admission to one park per day): $1,847.72

Add the Disney Dining Plan: $2,540.12

What does the Disney Dining Plan include?

-1 quick-service meal per person, per night

-1 table-service meal per person, per night

-1 snack per person, per night

-1 drink mug per person, refillable at any quick-service restaurant at your Disney Resort Hotel

Dining plans typically save about 20% on food costs. Paying for meals in advance gives your vacation an all-inclusive feeling, taking away the stress of added expenses while you relax with a dole whip or giant turkey leg!

Pop Room

Magical Express: Disney’s complimentary airport transfer service will take you from Orlando Airport directly to your Resort, and back! No need to worry about luggage! Simply check your bags at your home airport, and they will magically appear in your hotel room! Not today, baggage claim!

This special offer is only available for certain dates and resorts. Contact me for details and a free quote.

Countless options are available! Send an email to colleen@hihovacations.com to get started. Remember, Authorized Disney Travel Planning services are always 100% free and 100% magical!

Halloween on the High Seas? Yes, please!

Disney Fantasy

Is the sea calling you? We are seeing GREAT RATES available for Disney Cruise Line voyages this October!

Embarking October 15 on the Disney Fantasy

7-night Western Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida

With “Halloween on the High Seas” celebration!

Sample rates are based on 2 Adults and 2 Children, ages 4 & 6. Other options and dates are available!

Standard Inside Stateroom with Magical Porthole (real-time views from outside featuring surprise character appearances!) starting as low as: $4,220.84

DCL Inside Stateroom

Looking for a verandah? Staterooms with private verandahs starting as low as $4,500.84!

Restrictions apply, please ask me for details.

Rates and availability are subject to change! Contact me for a zero-obligation 3-day hold to lock in current rates!

7 night western carib itinerary

Ports of Call:

Port Canaveral

At Sea


Grand Caymen


At Sea

Castaway Cay

Port Canaveral

What’s included:
-All meals, snacks, 24 hour room service and unlimited soda/soft drinks. Best food at sea!
-Children’s programming activities both on the ship and on Castaway Cay.
-Broadway-style evening stage shows along with nighttime entertainment for adults and children.
-Adult only areas (both on the ship and on Castaway Cay) and adult only dining options, RELAXATION included.
-Beautiful cabins and exceptional service.


When you book with me, you will receive an exclusive onboard credit courtesy of Hi Ho Vacations! Here are some more perks to using an Authorized Disney Travel Planner for booking your Disney Cruise:

At Hi Ho Vacations we are trained and Earmarked by Disney to help enhance your overall Disney Experience. We are absolutely FREE!! There are no hidden fees. You see, Disney simply pays us to help you. When you book direct, Disney advises to their behalf. When you book with me, I advise and work to your benefit. Here are a few things you can expect.

°o° Personal Concierge Service, catering to your specific requests and desires

°o° Create a timeline and keep you on track with planning, including following up on important dates (reservation and excursions open for booking, payment deadlines, etc.)

°o° Endless Resources

°o° Cruise ship knowledge including deck plans

°o° Assistance with dining selections and reservations

°o° Excursion and onboard activity reservations

°o° Personalized itinerary that is ideal for your family

°o° Save you time and money onboard

°o° Assist every step of the way including when you’re onboard

°o° Cruise Itinerary and Ship/stateroom selection

°o° Signature travel packet including cruise tip sheets, rebooking offers for future cruises, and a personalized postcard signed by a Disney character!

°o° Price monitoring: Never pay more than you should. We automatically price adjust when a promotion gets released. Even if you’re paid in full.

°o° Exclusive onboard credit for Hi Ho clients!

I will do as little or as much of the planning as you would like…so if you like the control and like to plan, it is still beneficial to use me. If nothing else, I am a great resource to ask questions and get ideas from. Once you have used a planner, you’ll never doubt our value again!

Plan your getaway the Hakuna Matata way, and contact Colleen today!


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