I am a sucker for a big, colorful parade with lots of music, especially if Disney builds it.
On my way to an appointment recently at Disney World near Orlando, I arrived early so I could see the newest of the daily shows in the Magic Kingdom -- the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.
As usual, the Disney extravaganza was spectacular.
Story floats and characters from Fantasyland, with nearly 100 performers in costume -- on stilts, swings and flying rigs -- make a grand swing down Main Street, U.S.A., every afternoon. It’s an end-of-the-day tradition for many families with young children, to line Main Street for the 3 p.m. parade, then head back to their hotel rooms about 4.
This Fantasy show is the first of a generation of parades, featuring new technology on nine floats, say Disney World representatives.
Floats soar up to three stories tall, moving to the beat of an original soundtrack, with a theme song customized for each float.
Highlights are a fire-breathing dragon, a pirate ship with smoking cannons, Bubble Girls with cotton-candy hair, and the Princess Garden, with Cinderella, Tiana and Belle accompanied by their respective princes, and Anna and Elsa from Disney’s hit animated feature, “Frozen.”
Everybody waits for Mickey. The parade ends with a 90-foot-long caravan of characters. Mickey and Minnie Mouse sit sky high in Mickey’s Airship — a hot air balloon.
Moroccan small plates at new Spice Road Table
On my annual walk around the Epcot World Showcase lagoon, I stopped at a new restaurant in front of the Morocco pavilion, about half way around the circle.
Spice Road Table serves a variety of small plates and specialty drinks from Morocco. I found a table next to the lagoon.
Small plate specialties include harissa chicken drumettes (quite good, a bit of a spicy bite); a Mediterranean omelet with sausage, potatoes and caramelized onion; mussels with lemons and tomato sauce baked in an earthenware tagine pot; Moroccan merguez sausage with a fresh tomato salad; garlicky jumbo shrimp in a spicy chile pepper sauce (a tasty treat).
Some henna for your skin?
In front of the restaurant, a henna tattoo artist creates temporary body art, should you feel the urge.
Spice Road Table was inspired by the outdoor cafes in the Mediterranean region. This is the third restaurant in the Morocco pavilion, joining the Tangierine Café, which features Moroccan sandwiches and pastries, and Restaurant Marrakesh, where Moroccan music and belly dancers enliven dinner. This pavilion long has been a favorite stop for me.
David Molyneaux writes regularly about vacation and cruising news, tips and trends at TravelMavenBlog.com. His cruise trends column appears monthly in U.S. newspapers and on other Internet sites, including AllThingsCruise. He is editor of TheTravelMavens.com