Random Acts of Magic Monday: a special Labor Day deal for potential VENDORS!

Ready for this week’s Random Acts of Magic Mondays? We hope so! This one has a special twist.

Just a reminder, from 12am EST to 11:59 EST on Mondays, we are sprinkling some magical fun for 24 hours. From freebies to giveaways to discounts or all sizes (and something for everyone) you won’t want to miss it!

Okay, well, that’s the usual way this works. This time, we’re extending the Random Act of Magic Monday a little bit longer!

Stay tuned to our Monday blog posts, and our Facebook, and Twitter page to find out what we’ll be adding Magic to each week!

From Monday, September 1st at 12am to Wednesday, September 3rd at 11:59pm, potential vendors get a special deal!

Here’s how it works:

All potential vendors that contact us via email, our contact form, or Twitter during this time and sign on to be part of the event receive $150 off of  vendor rates, sponsor rates, and custom packages.

Attending the event as a guest? There’s something in it for you, too:

Spread the magic by telling your favourite organizations and companies about the event… and receive a free event ticket for the first signed-on referral, plus 5 event day raffle tickets for each signed-on referral thereafter.

Looking for more Random Acts of Magic Monday fun? Stay tuned for next week’s promotion filled with even more pixie dust!

Don’t forget, this closes at 11:59EST on Wednesday, September 3rd!

Meet Our Vendors! >> Tower Garden

Meet Our Vendors! is an ongoing series where you’ll be able to get a sneak peek of who you’ll see in November! Feel free to leave comments and questions–for us and for the vendor–about products, practices, and anything else that’s on your mind.

Ever been to Epcot at Walt Disney World? If so, you might be familiar with Tower Garden already, purveyors of the ‘tower gardens’ seen in The Land (more on that below).Tower Garden® is a state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system that grows almost anything in less time than it takes in soil.

Even if you have the antithesis of a green thumb, Tower Garden requires no gardening experience. It is an easy to assemble, easier to use system–and it gives back to the environment, too, using less than 10% of the water and land required by traditional, soil-based agriculture.

Tower Garden is joining us alongside JuicePlus+ for the FACCWDW; stay tuned for JuicePlus+’s Meet Our Vendors next week, but first, we’ll learn a little more about Tower Garden.

1. What’s the craziest/funniest/most memorable time you’ve experienced with a Tower Garden customer?

One potential customer was moving out of state and hunted me down to make sure they had my correct information to order as soon as they arrived to their new home.  That was a Friday and by Monday, the order was placed.

2. We understand that Tower Garden has a special Disney and Epcot connection. Can you tell us a little bit about that? 

Tim Blank created the Tower Garden for Disney/Epcot.  One lady purchased the commercial Tower Gardens to place in her many greenhouses that feed a 3rd world country.

On a visit to her farm, The JuicePlus company president visited her facility.  After eating a salad she prepared from the Tower Gardens, she made the connection with Tim Blank who was, coincidentally, working on a home user version but had not found a company to work with the distribution, manufacturing, etc.  Once he discovered the amazing credibility of the JuicePlus Company, Tim knew this would be a great complementary product for each other.

3. What is Aeroponics?

Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium (known as geoponics). The word “aeroponic” is derived from the Greek meanings of aero– (air) and ponos (labour). Aeroponics is conducted without a growing medium. Because water is used in aeroponics to transmit nutrients, it is sometimes considered a type of hydroponics.

Oxygen stimulates plant growth as it delivers more nutrient to the root system.  Oxygen is an excellent purifier for plants.  Less disease and insects without the ground element.  Due to the disease-free environment that is unique to aeroponics, many plants can grow at higher density.

4. Living with the Land is one of our favorite Epcot attractions, and we love that Tower Garden lets us create our version of the attraction at home! If you could pick one Disney inspired product to grow in our home Tower Garden what would it be?

Have you seen the zucchini?  WOW!  That always makes the jaw drop.  You can make Zucchini Chips for a healthy snack, put them in soups; I have a mean Zucchini Bread recipe and on the grill…well, you can probably taste it right now.

5. If you could create a Tower Garden inspired by a Disney character who would it be?

I think I’m going with Tinker Bell because like Tink, the Tower Garden by JuicePlus is simply magical.

The majority of kids (and adults) do not like foods that are green, but we see kids loving green foods once they become involved in the process of watching and eating the healthy foods grow.  Such as, we are now a partner with The Green Bronx Machine who has also worked with Disney to come up with the slogan “Pass the Plate”.

We really are transforming the next generation.  Let’s do it with food.

Visit Tower Garden:

Facebook: facebook.com/towergarden
Twitter: @towergarden

Random Acts of Magic Mondays: Calling all Canadians!

Ready for this week’s Random Acts of Magic Mondays? How can you not be after all of the fun we’ve had so far!

Just a reminder, from 12am EST to 11:59 EST on Mondays, we are sprinkling some magical fun for 24 hours. From freebies to giveaways to discounts or all sizes (and something for everyone) you won’t want to miss it!

Stay tuned to our Monday blog posts, and our Facebook, and Twitter page to find out what we’ll be adding Magic to each week!

Are you a Canadian resident heading down for FACCWDW? Test your Disney-Canada knowledge for a free ticket!

Here’s how it works:

Canada plays a role of happiness here at FACCWDW headquarters. Not only are one of us Canadian (yeah!), but we also know that Epcot is home to a wonderfully stereotyped rendition of the (not as cold as you think) country. If you’re a Canadian heading into the event and haven’t got a ticket yet, this Random Acts of Magic Monday is for you! Better yet, an anonymous donor (also Canadian) is gifting you these tickets, folks!

Here’s how to enter: simply email us the answer to the following:

What menu item on Epcot Canada’s table service restaurant originated in Quebec? How many times is it on the menu?

Be sure to answer both parts to the question to be eligible

Hurry! First five correct answers win!

Limit one ticket per family.

Looking for more Random Acts of Magic Monday fun? Stay tuned for next week’s promotion filled with even more pixie dust!

Don’t forget, this closes at 11:59EST tonight!

Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: Downtown Disney (part I)

There is so much to share about Downtown Disney, but we’ll definitely start with the basics. For folks visiting the Food Allergy & Celiac Convention, Downtown Disney is the perfect way to get a Disney-fied dose of magic without having to the pay for park tickets–in fact, it’s free to visit, whether you’re at Disney or not.

downtown-disney

Downtown Disney is a fun-filled location loaded with restaurants, entertainment and unique shops, all along a waterfront and situated in a beautiful area. Parking is free and Disney buses travel there from the resort hotels (free of charge). It includes three sections: Downtown Disney West Side, Downtown Disney Marketplace and Pleasure Island. Even better, we’ll be having some post-event fun there on site (stay tuned!)

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Meet Our Vendors! >> Goldbaums

Meet Our Vendors! is an ongoing series where you’ll be able to get a sneak peek of who you’ll see in November! Feel free to leave comments and questions–for us and for the vendor–about products, practices, and anything else that’s on your mind.

Folks who are on the hunt for kitchen staples and everyday snacks don’t have to look much farther than Goldbaums Natural Food Co. As a premier manufacturer of natural gluten-free products (made in a soy, dairy, gluten, and nut-free facility), it’s no surprise why folks flock to their wide array of options. 

Their product line includes Pop Potato and Quinoa Crisp snacks, brown rice pasta, chow mein noodles, sugar cones and dessert cups, flatbread crisps, cous cous, and more (including a sneak peek, below!) Here’s a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes at Goldbaums headquarters:

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The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney — Gluten Free Breakast

Blogger Street Team member Alexis Salerno knows a lot about Disney dining. Her website Gluten Free in Orlando chronicles her culinary journey in Disney World, Orlando, and beyond. In this blog post, she tells us the her top gluten-free breakfasts around the resorts and the parks.

Having breakfast at a Disney restaurant is an experience that should not be missed when traveling to Orlando. Where else can you be visited by Disney friends while eating gluten free Mickey waffles? Whether you are in the mood for an all-you-can-eat buffet, or a more budget-friendly breakfast, I’ve got you covered. If you would like to read my full review of any of the restaurants in this post, or find links to make advance dining reservations, click on the name of the restaurant above or below each picture.

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Tusker House Restaurant — Animal Kingdom
 

Tusker House is the only restaurant on my list that is in a theme park, so it’s the only one that you would need a park pass to visit.  For breakfast, Tusker House serves up American and African inspired dishes at an all-you-can-eat buffet, and you will be visited by Safari Donald Duck and other characters as you dine.  Some of my breakfast favorites include the beef bobotie, Mickey waffles, sweet plantains, and potato & leek frittata.  I love that Tusker House now has a gluten free station on their buffet, where you can find gluten free bread, bagels, muffins, and donuts.

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Boma — Animal Kingdom Lodge

Boma-Flavors of Africa, has long been one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, and it has recently become one of my top picks for breakfast as well.  Earlier this summer, I was introduced to their Mickey waffles with bananas foster.  Oh my goodness, what an amazing combination!  I also love their carving station, tater tots, pap (white cornmeal), and their avocado, grapefruit & papaya salad.  Like Tusker House, there are so many gluten free options on the buffet.  If you are worried about cross contamination, Disney chefs are always willing to bring you food from the back.

‘Ohana — Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Just this week, I had breakfast at ‘Ohana for the first time.  So many of my blog readers were raving about it, I had to give it a try.  I prefer Boma and Tusker House, because they are less crowded and a little more low-key, but I really enjoyed my Island Feast of Stitch juice, fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, and gluten free Mickey waffles.  While we dined, we were visited by Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto, so if you are looking for a pretty traditional American breakfast, with characters, on the Magic Kingdom monorail line, ‘Ohana is a great option for you.

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Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory — Port Orleans French Quarter

My favorite budget-friendly breakfast spot at Disney World is Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort.  I almost always order their amazing gluten free beignets, but they have other great breakfast options, like gluten free Mickey waffles made with Cup4Cup Pancake & Waffle Mix.  To order the beignets, head to the beignet counter, and tell a cast member that you  would like to order the gluten free beignets, and they will find a chef for you.  The chefs at Sassagoula have been experimenting with the recipe in the last year, so I ask for my beignets the way I like them —  lightly cooked, not too brown, with lots of powdered sugar.

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Landscape of Flavors — Art of Animation Resort

Another budget-friendly quick service option is Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.  Their Little Mermaid themed waffles are some of the best gluten free waffles at Disney World, and their turkey bacon is amazing too!  They have a beautiful selection of fresh fruit, and other gluten free options like pancakes and french toast.

Other great quick service options for breakfast are Everything POP at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, where they have huge gluten free POP waffles that are the size of a dinner plate, and The Mara at the Animal Kingdom Resort, which offers a great bounty platter with the best breakfast potatoes at Disney. When you go to any of these quick service restaurants, ask to speak to a chef, who will discuss gluten free options with you.

If you will be at Disney World before October, you have to have breakfast at Kouzzina by Cat Cora on Disney’s BoardWalk. For years, we dined here on Christmas morning, but sadly Kouzzina will be closing its doors on September 30th. Hopefully Trattoria al Forno, the new Italian restaurant that will be taking its place in December, will be serving breakfast dishes that are just as amazing as the ones we were used to at Kouzzina.

I have been hearing great things about Whispering Canyon Cafe for breakfast from some of my blog readers, so I hope to check it out soon. As far as Chef Mickey’s goes, people either seem to love it or recommend avoiding it.

If you are looking for a list of restaurants where you can order allergy friendly Mickey waffles at Disney, head over to Gluten-Free & Dairy Free at WDW. Sarah has all the locations listed for you here.

Random Acts of Magic Mondays – test your Disney animated film knowledge for a chance to win!

Ready for this week’s Random Acts of Magic Mondays? How can you not be after all of the fun we’ve had so far!

Just a reminder, from 12am EST to 11:59 EST on Mondays, we are sprinkling some magical fun for 24 hours. From freebies to giveaways to discounts or all sizes (and something for everyone) you won’t want to miss it!

Stay tuned to our Monday blog posts, and our Facebook, and Twitter page to find out what we’ll be adding Magic to each week!

Are you an ultimate Disney animated film know-it-all? If so, let your knowledge shine and win a fun prize pack!

Here’s how it works:

Answer the questions on the form below. The entry that has the most correct answer will win a prize pack from Goldbaum’s, our vendor featured on this coming Wednesday’s Meet Our Vendors post. In the event of a tie, the winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Contest closed — winner announced soon!

Looking for more Random Acts of Magic Monday fun? Stay tuned for next week’s promotion filled with even more pixie dust!

Don’t forget, this closes at 11:59EST tonight!

Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: Celiac, food allergies, and more!

This Friday we have a guest poster, Kaila, from www.glutenfreelife247.com a blogger who has recently visited Disney World and dished us her experience. Her blog is filled with recipes, reviews, and everything in between… all of which are celiac-friendly, egg-free, milk-free, and other allergies. Read on for more! 

Some envision Disney World as the perfect vacation for young children, but with two college age kids, it’s still a hot spot for our aging family. The parks, the characters, and the magic seem to keep up with us as we age. This year at Chef Mickey’s, Donald took my mom’s phone (that we set up for him) and took a selfie with her. It’s her first and only selfie, but we were smiling all night long!

All Decked Out for the World Cup (June 2014)

One of the many reasons we keep returning to Disney World is because they are amazing at accommodating my celiac disease and food allergies. My food allergies range from the Big 8 (milk and egg) to less heard of allergens (rosemary and cinnamon).  Yet, the Disney chefs are equipped to deal with each one.

While Disney chefs are well trained in food allergies and look up every ingredient, uncommon allergens can be tricky to accommodate. For example, my rosemary allergy means that I can’t eat Enjoy Life’s cookies and my tapioca allergy means that I can’t eat any of the GF rolls or Mickey waffles.  However, chefs always check every ingredient and find a way to make something tasty that I can eat.

My quick service meal at the Backlot Express is the perfect example. When the manager arrived, I was pretty convinced that I wanted a burger without a bun. However, the manager noted that I could eat the Southwest Salad. While it typically comes with chicken, he prefers it with a burger on top. It turned out to be a delicious, off the menu combination!

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Backlot Express Quick Service (June 2014)

Every time I enter the parks, there are a bunch of signs that Disney is a safe place for me to eat. When we go to restaurants with a dedicated fryer, the chef or manager looks up all the food items that went into the fryer to see if I was allergic to any of them.  When we eat at quick service locations, my meal is always overseen and appears on a different color tray. When I go to any dining establishment, the chefs never dismiss me, answer all my questions, and are very specific about prepping procedures.

Despite being able to eat almost anywhere (after talking to a chef/manager), I still have my favorite spots. One is the Allergy Friendly Stand in the Animal Kingdom where they have a wide array of snacks, and Babycakes NYC doughnuts (my favorite!).

And, my new favorite quick service stop is Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom, where I can order the quinoa salad without any substitutions! If you check out this unique dining experience, be sure to arrive early. We head over by 10:30, which makes for a very early lunch.

Lastly, one of my favorite dining experiences occurred during our stay at the Polynesian hotel. After talking to the chef, he realized that I was limited in both breakfast and dessert options. I caught him completely off guard when he realized that I couldn’t eat the allergy-friendly waffles.

Nonetheless, he crafted up a delicious meal. Then, the next morning, I received a message on my room’s answering machine that the chef had gone to the Grand Floridian to pick up a dessert just for me!

It turns out that whether your dining with food allergies or celiac disease, there is still an extra pinch of pixie dust waiting around the corner. For our family, sometimes the meals are the most magical part of all!

Wishing y’all a magical week!

Kaila

[www.glutenfreelife247.com]

Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: My Disney Experience

One of the greatest things about setting up all of your plans before heading to the Disney Parks is My Disney Experience. This free planning tool is care of the folks over at the Walt Disney World Resort and part of the a key component of MyMagic+  and FastPass+ fun.

We’re big fans of this planning tool — not only is it handy, but it also adds to the excitement of your trip when you plan all of the fun things you can do, as well as your Advance Dining Reservations (speaking of which, have you done that yet?)

There are two ways you can access My Disney Experience. One is to visit the website, and the other is to head over to the app store and download the mobile app. Once you’re there, you can create your own account and customize your visit this November!

After you’re logged in and ready to go, you can link your resort hotel reservation if you’re staying on site, as well as your Magic Your Way park tickets, right onto your account. If you’ve yet to book these, no problem — they can be added later on.

Next, you’ll add the others in your travel party via the Family & Friends list first. You’ll all have access to the account and share all of your plans, which is perfect for larger groups planning their trip together. If you’re planning on linking yourFastPass+es, then now is the time to do that, too. You’ll be ready to make and share plans together—including FastPass+ selections.

One of the handiest part of the app and website that that you can view day-by-day plans and include reminders (such as “Food Allergy & Celiac Convention today!” and “Don’t forget about the Sunday events at Downtown Disney!”)

If you have access to a smartphone while on your trip, the app features include:

  • Exploring the resort on a GPS-enabled map that is interactive and quick response
  • Easy access to wait times for attractions
  • Showtimes for parades and fireworks
  • Details on character greeting location and times
  • Restaurant menus
  • The ability to make dining reservations
  • Access to all of your reservations and reminders
  • Management tools, such as tickets, MagicBands, cards, and reservations
  • FastPass+ experiences and details

Have you used My Disney Experience? What do you think? Do you find it helpful?

 

Meet Our Vendors! >> SunButter

Meet Our Vendors! is an ongoing series where you’ll be able to get a sneak peek of who you’ll see in November! Feel free to leave comments and questions–for us and for the vendor–about products, practices, and anything else that’s on your mind.

Ah, yes. The ubiquitous sandwich. A must-have for our lunches, nothing offers more comfort, memories, and taste than… a classic PB&J. Unless, of course, you’re one of the three million people with nut and peanut allergies. Thank goodness there is SunButter, a nut-free and peanut-free spread that’s processed in a strictly nut-free facility.

Not only that, it’s gluten, dairy, and egg-free, too! But it gets even better.SunButter isn’t just an “alternative” to nut and peanut butters… Instead, it’s so gosh darn tasty that it’ll be a standby in your pantry regardless if you have food allergies. The sunflower seed-based spread goes beyond the basic sandwich, with seven varieties that you’ll love.

We’re excited that SunButter is our Gift Bag sponsor for the event, and the first 1000 guests will receive a unique SunButter bag loaded with surprises! Here’s a preview of what the team at SunButter has to say:

1. We all know a common classic is the PB&J, so tell us, how do you build YOUR classic SB&J?

We ask people to try the classic PB&J using SunButter all the time.  Schools are serving this classic because it makes a very convincing PB&J!  SunButter is also great on sandwiches with banana slices, fresh berries, honey, marshmallow fluff, thinly-sliced apples and even a bit of maple syrup. Our best SunButter-Sandwich-Building-Secret-Tip: Spread SunButter on BOTH sides of the sandwich so any fillings don’t make a mushy sandwich.

2. What is the story behind SunButter and how did it come to fruition? 

SunButter started as an idea that was assisted in development by the USDA as an alternative to peanut butter and it was introduced to schools about 2003. Retail then was also introduced starting with North Dakota market. We have been very active in supporting the allergy consumer and the organizations surrounding this. The rest is history. We are now being served in schools in all 50 states and are growing in the retail market with about 17,000 stores.

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