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SATURDAY SIX – 6 Reasons We Love Disney’s RIVERS OF LIGHT

by on February 25, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We Love Disney’s RIVERS OF LIGHT! On March 2nd, 2016 Disney whetted all of our appetites when it announced on the Parks Blog that Rivers of Light – the first ever nighttime spectacular at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, would debut on Earth Day (April 22nd). April came and went with no show, but we were told we would get an update “in May.” May came and went with no show and no update. It wasn’t until late November when – seemingly out of nowhere – there were cast member previews for Rivers of Light. While no official announcement was made, that’s a pretty good sign that the show would be opening soon for the general public.

Turns out that was also wishful thinking, as both December and January passed with no word on when we would finally see this highly anticipated show. Then in early February – again, almost out of nowhere – Disney announced that the debut performance for the public would take place on February 17th.

Disney’s Rivers of Light. (photo by Brandon Glover)

When February 17th arrived, anticipation was at an all time high. Standby guests were lined up all the way back to Flame Tree Barbecue, and even those with FP+ were getting into the theater over an hour early to secure a seat. The question on everyone’s mind was simply: was Rivers of Light worth the wait? SPOILER ALERT: Yes. Even better, just as the Main Street Electrical Parade’s return to Disneyland brought along a lot of other cool stuff for guests to enjoy, Animal Kingdom has gone all out for Rivers of Light as well. Today we’re going to look at the actual show along with awesome food and merchandise that supports it. Let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Lotus Flower Popcorn Bucket

Walt Disney World has stepped up its popcorn bucket game in a major way in the past few years. We’ve seen neat buckets themed to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Cinderella’s carriage, and even Han Solo frozen in carbonite. But a true E-Ticket popcorn bucket arrived for Rivers of Light. Based on the show’s iconic lotus flower, the popcorn bucket not only looks visually stunning, but it also lights up. A game changer in the world of popcorn buckets and we love it.

Lotus Flower Popcorn Bucket. (photo by Brandon Glover)

The Rivers of Light lotus flowers. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Popcorn, a top six theme park snack if there ever was one.

# 5 – Lotus Flower Drink Topper

We’re not the biggest fans of glow cubes in drinks, but themed glow cubes? Now you’re talking. While Disneyland has the cute turtle drink topper, over in Walt Disney World we have an awesome glowing lotus flower. Once the sun goes down, this little flower looks wonderful in any drink, and even makes a beer look better! These toppers are available at Thirsty River Bar and Snacks, directly across from the Rivers of Light theater.

Lotus Topper on (photo by Brandon Glover)

Lotus Flower glow cube. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Review of Beauty and the Beast-themed Red Rose Taverne Restaurant at Disneyland

by on February 24, 2017 5 Comments

This is a review of Red Rose Taverne, a new restaurant at Disneyland which opened to promote the 2017 film, Beauty and the Beast. It temporarily replaces the Pinocchio-themed Village Haus Restaurant. Red Rose Taverne brings some new decor, and thankfully a much improved menu. First, lets take a look at the menu:

Red Rose Taverne Menu

When I saw this menu it struck me at how packed with unique items it is. A Cauli-Flower sandwich? Poutine pizza? I never expected to see items like this at a quick service theme park restaurant. In the last couple of years Disneyland’s menus have become a bit bland and uninteresting, but Red Rose Taverne seems to have a perfect balance for those looking for items like basic hamburgers, and others looking for something slightly more adventurous.

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of February 24, 2017

by on February 24, 2017 1 Comment

Are you ready for the Oscars this weekend? Disney has the ability to win pretty darn big! Which movie do you think will win Best Animated Film?

This week, we have a lot of great movie news, a look at Pandora and how it fits with Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and more.

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors


Curious how Pandora fits in with the theme behind Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Imagineer Joe Rhode shares the thought process behind just why it does. What do you think about all this now after seeing this video?

For the second year in a row, Disney has been ranked number one within the entertainment industry on Fortune’s list of “World’s Most Admired Companies” for 2017.  Read the rest of this entry »

Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Introduce Caring for Giants Tour

by on February 24, 2017 2 Comments

Caring for Giants


If you love getting to learn more about the animals that are found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, then you will want to make sure to sign up for this brand new tour. Caring for Giants is a brand-new unique, family-friendly backstage viewing experience featuring the park’s African elephants.

The tour has Guests meeting with Disney’s Animal Kingdom animal care specialists who help provided for the wellness of the park’s elephant herd. In addition, Guests will be able to hear stories of Disney’s conservation efforts that have been made toward perserving wild populations. The tour will bring Guests up close to the action…well, as close as you’ll want to comfortably be, anyway – approximately 80-100 feet.

The Caring for Giants tour will last 60 minutes beginning March 12. Tours will occur daily between 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Guests must be at least 4 years or older to particpate in the tour. Guests will need to check in 15 minutes prior to start of experience at the Animal Experiences booth, located across from the Kilimanjaro Safaris entrance. The cost is $30 per person (tax included) and park admission is required, but not included.

To book this tour, call (407) WDW-PLAY.

Trattoria al Forno Character Meal to Debut in April

by on February 24, 2017 1 Comment

Trattoria al Forno

©Rikki Niblett

Are you excited about the upcoming all new character meal that’s slated to debut at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk on April 2? The new breakfast option called Bon Voyage Breakfast, will feature some of your favorite Disney couples – Rapuzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled and Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid.

The breakfast menu will include items with an Italian inspiration with names that are fitting of the characters who are hosting the meal.

Breakfast will begin with your choice of either a mixed berry parfait or fresh fruit salad and a frying pan of pastries featuring braided breakfast bread and clam shell pastries.

Main dishes will include: Read the rest of this entry »

Disney Dining Plan Rates Increase for 2017

by on February 23, 2017 1 Comment


If you’re a fan of the Disney Dining Plan, you’re going to be paying just a little more going forward, as new rates have been released for Walt Disney World. Increases this year were relatively small. Here’s a breakdown of the changes (prices include tax):

Note: Disney doesn’t actually announce pricing. These costs were figured using a booking at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and a calculator. Please note that there may be a slight difference when booking your vacation package. (The difference typically tends to be within a few cents.)

Plan Inclusions (per night) Previous Price
(per night)
NEW Price
(per night)
Quick Service Dining Plan 2 Quick Service Meals
2 Snack
1 Refillable Mug
Adult $46.34
Child $20.18
Adult $48.19
Child $21.00
Regular Dining Plan 1 Table Service Meal
1 Quick Service Meal
2 Snacks
1 Refillable Mug
Adult $67.33
Child $24.22
Adult $69.35
Child $24.95
Deluxe Dining Plan 3 Table (or Quick) Service Meals
2 Snacks
1 Refillable Mug
Adult $103.57
Child $37.62
Adult $106.68
Child $38.75

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Julia’s Best Week Ever, February 23, 2017: A Wonder-ful Week

by on February 23, 2017 2 Comments

Living as close as we do to the parks has huge advantages. Relaxed lifestyle. Ability to go to Disney for a quick visit whenever we want. Being surrounded by people who really “get” the magic. It does have the disadvantage that going to Walt Disney World, even when staying on property, doesn’t have that same “vacation” vibe that we used to get when visiting from elsewhere. It’s still magical, but a different kind of magic. Every once in a while, it is important for us to recharge that vibe, and our preferred method for doing so is a Disney cruise. It also has the added benefit of keeping us (mostly) out of contact with work. This year, our goal is to do an Ultimate Grand Slam of all four Disney ships in one year. In the past, we’ve only done the “big ships” — the Fantasy and the Dream. Because of this, I was very excited to see how a “small ship” like the Wonder would stack up. After picking our daughter up from school, off we went to Port Canaveral. We arrived around noon and the terminal was fairly empty.

Within moments, we were on board and chowing down at Cabanas while waiting for our room to be ready.

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Flying Frontier Airlines to Walt Disney World

by on February 23, 2017 15 Comments

Flying Frontier to Walt Disney World

As I live a considerable distance from Walt Disney World, flying is my preferred method of travel in order to maximize my vacation time. But as many of you fellow travelers may know, flying can be almost as expensive as your actual vacation!

A few years ago, I looked into economy airlines in order to work more flexibility into my Disney World Vacation budget; and after my first roundtrip flight to Orlando International Airport with Frontier Airlines, I’ve flown with them pretty much ever since. Here’s what to expect when flying with Frontier Airlines and why I fly with them to Walt Disney World!

Schedule Read the rest of this entry »

Swan and Dolphin Hotels Offering Great Deal For Patriots and Falcons Fans

by on February 23, 2017 3 Comments

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Well, while I may still be licking my own wounds from this year’s Super Bowl (darn those Falcons!), at least there is a little bit of a silver lining.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels are rewarding Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots fans with their “I’m off to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel” deal. Residents of Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Georgia will be able to receive a free night stay at either the Swan or the Dolphin when booking two nights at the standard rate for stays through January 31, 2018.

Of course, while residents of Georgia will be able to take part in this deal, even though our team lost, residents of the northeast will be able to celebrate the big win in style as they will recieve a upgraded accommodations in the form of a complimentary automatic room upgrade.

For additional information about this offer or to make your reservation, call 1-800-227-1500 and you must mention your homestate. Guests must have appropriate valid state ID to present upon check-in. This offer is not available from the dates of December 22-31, 2017. Additional fees and other restrictions may apply.

Hurry! To take advantage of this deal, you must book by February 28, 2017!

Ask It: Best Special Event at Epcot

by on February 22, 2017 2 Comments

Best Special Event at Epcot

Last week, we presented this #AskIt —

My favorite special event at Epcot is…

Without a doubt, people are passionate about special events at Epcot. For many, it was difficult to choose just one. For others, there was one that drew large amounts of vitriol. With more than 800 votes in, here’s the results (in order from least to greatest).

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