Archive for May, 2017

New Restaurants Announced for Disney Springs

by on May 31, 2017

Disney Springs

©Rikki Niblett

Disney Springs has been rocking and rolling since its official debut one year ago, but the fun isn’t stopping, as there are still a few restaurants that are on their way and this week, a couple more got announced!

The first of these new restaurants is called Jaleo. This will be a concept brought to life by world-renowned Chef José Andrés and will bring flavors of Spain with a menu that features tapas, including paella cooked over a wood fire, hand-carved Jamon Iberico de Bellota and wood-grilled Iberico pork. This will be a multi-level restaurant that will also include a grab and go storefront with Spanish-style sandwiches on the first floor. The restaurant’s design will feature vibrant decor that represents the colorful culture of Spain. This new restaurant will open in 2018 on the West Side.

Wolfgang Puck will be represented with a new new concept that will open in Town Center. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will modernize the bar and grill concept. The restaurant will be inspired by traditional farmhouses with a touch of elegance. The restaurant, which will be designed by tonychi, will capture the essence of laid-back California dining made popular at Spago. The menu will highlight the best of Puck’s signature dishes with Mediterranean influences, innovative takes on comfort food classics and handcrafted specialty cocktails, beer and wine. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will open in 2018.

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New Nighttime Show Now Taking Place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on May 31, 2017

©Rikki Niblett

I was in Walt Disney World this past weekend, for the Memorial Day holiday, when the resort quietly debuted a brand new nighttime show for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new show, called Disney Movie Magic is a projection mapping show that takes place on the Chinese Theater. Disney Movie Magic is not a replacement for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. Instead, it is a considered as a sort of pre-show that takes place 30 minutes prior to the big nighttime spectacular.

Disney Movie Magic features clips from both classic and new Disney movies including Mary Poppins, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Indiana Jones, and more. The new show really does drive home the values of the park and showcases the movies that make Disney, well Disney.

The show is presented in the park nightly.

Ask It: Which Hard-to-Get Dining Reservation Is Most Worth It?

by on May 31, 2017

For many meals at Walt Disney World, dining is as much of an attraction as a ride or show. As a result, certain dining reservations can become very difficult to get. But in the end, are they worth it? Out of these four often-hard-to-score dining reservations,

Which of these hard-to-get dining reservations do you think is most worth the effort to secure?

  • Be Our Guest (45%, 541 Votes)
  • 'Ohana (34%, 405 Votes)
  • Cinderella's Royal Table (17%, 199 Votes)
  • Chef Mickey's (5%, 57 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,202

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Polling is live here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results next week.

Ask It Results: How Much Do You Spend on Souvenirs?

by on May 31, 2017

Going on vacation, it can be challenging to know how much to budget for souvenirs. Some trips, I have gone through all the stores at Walt Disney World and barely found anything I want to take home. Other times, I’m running the risk of tripping my credit card’s fraud alert for large purchases on Day 1. Many people shared similar views with last week’s Ask It:

How much per person, per week, do you spend on souvenirs?

With more than 1,600 votes, here’s your results:

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! MAY 2017 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on May 31, 2017

Welcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo and I had a once-in-a-lifetime month at the stores with some items we’ve been been waiting for a long time include next level bonkers plush, Skyway salt and pepper shakers, and that creepy Belle doll that went viral earlier this year. Just an amazing month of surprises.

Ready to see what we found? Let’s go!

The first item this month made me question my very existence. This unbelievably AWESOME Fort Wilderness RV camper keychain (with a flashlight coming out of the headlight!!!) made it to the Outlets. This very same keychain was part of my SATURDAY SIX on the Best Resort Specific Merchandise at Disney World. Yet, here it is at the Outlets. Maybe I’m the crazy one. For years I’ve been asking a simple question: who would possibly be buying some of this stuff? But now I have to ask if maybe I’m the outlier. I will do some deep soul searching and get back to you next month. Originally $9.99, now $3.99

The Fort Wilerness camper keychain, a first ballot Disney keychain Hall of Famer.

The next item was another surprise with a super cool retro plate featuring the classic attraction Journey Into Imagination, the Dreamfinder, and even better, EPCOT CENTER. It is a relatively small plate, but good for appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, or Epcot Food & Wine entrees. Originally $12.99, now $4.99.

WHERE’S FIGMENT?!

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SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We LOVE Pandora – The World of Avatar

by on May 27, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We LOVE Pandora: The World of Avatar!  It seemed like just yesterday that Disney announced it was going to make a land based around James Cameron’s Avatar (it was actually 2,078 days ago, but who’s counting.) The new area would be replacing Camp Minnie-Mickey, a cute stop during a day at Animal Kingdom, but certainly not a land anyone is going to chain themselves to in protest of its leaving. Now, on the day of it’s official grand opening,  we ask, was it worth the wait? In a word: YES.

A look into Pandora: The World of Avatar. (photo by Michael Carelli)

For many Animal Kingdom fans, talk of the unbuilt Beastly Kingdom brings the same gritted teeth reactions that you’ll see when someone brings up the broken Yeti. However, with Pandora – The World of Avatar, we have our Beastly Kingdom.  Today we’re going to take a look at some of the greatest parts of this new land, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Connect With a Banshee

Before the details of Pandora were released many people – including Your Humble Author  – wondered what the area would do in terms of merchandise. While the film it is based on is the biggest grossing movie in the history of cinema, ancillary sales were almost non-existent. There were plenty of Avatar t-shirts, books, and even a full action figure line to buy, but most went unsold. Would Disney, quite possibly the worldwide leader in merchandise sales, be able to develop Avatar-related items that would get guests to open up their wallet like Universal did with Harry Potter?

Time will tell on the bigger picture, but one thing we already know for sure is that Disney created a huge hit with the Connect With a Banshee toy available in Pandora’s only gift shop, Windtraders. Sharing many similarities with the Wizarding World’s the wand chooses you gimmick, the cute Banshee toys are scoring high with both kids and adults. Guests can make their Banshee move their mouth, head, and wings, not to mention roar, while perched on their shoulder. It is a great souvenir that ties into the film, delivers a personal experience, and even allows “the opportunity” to buy a stand for your Banshee to sit on when not on your shoulder. In the marketing world we call that a home run.

A Banshee at The Rookery. (photo by Michael Carelli) – If you get a Banshee, be sure to follow @DisneyBanshees on Twitter and post pictures of your own Banshee.

Banshees await to bond with their human at The Rookery. (photo by Hunter Underwood)

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of May 26, 2017

by on May 26, 2017

In Case You Missed ItIt’s a big weekend for Disney and Universal fans! Who will be in the parks at Disneyland getting their first ride on Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout? Who will enjoying the beauty that is Pandora – The World of Avatar? Who will be splashing around at Volcano Bay? And who will be seeing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales? See, told you it was a busy weekend!

So, let’s get to the fun! There’s no time to waste! Learn what new show will be appearing on Disney XD, see which new house was announced for Halloween Horror Nights, and more!

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

 

Are Ellen’s Energy Adventure‘s days coming to an end? Will we soon have to say goodbye to Ellen, Bill Nye, Alex Trebeck, and Stupid Judy, I mean, Jamie Lee Curtis? What do you think about the latest round of rumors?

Will Donald Trump have a speaking role at Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents attraction? That’s the big question on everyone’s minds. 

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever, May 25, 2017: Steam Trains, Pandora, and Magic Kingdom

by on May 25, 2017

Best Week Ever at Pandora and Magic Kingdom

Hello, friends! I have another amazing week to share with you, but first a confession. These things didn’t all happen in the space of one week. They were so cool I couldn’t not include them here. So let’s start with a view of the Magic Kingdom and what it looks like at 7:00am where we were taking the Magic Behind the Steam Trains tour! We easily found the rest of our tour group since there were so few people at the gates. We lined up and waited to get started at 7:30am.

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Ask It: How Much Do You Spend on Souvenirs?

by on May 24, 2017

How much do you spend on souvenirs at Walt Disney World?

When planning a budget for a Disney vacation, it is fairly easy to get a good ballpark estimate for hotel costs, transportation, meals, and tickets. But when it comes to souvenirs, it can be tricky to know exactly how much to budget. Some people stick to a firm idea of how much they plan to spend, and others are a bit more fast and loose with the purse-strings, depending on what they see that they like. So this week, we’re curious about your spending habits when it comes to the souvenirs that we love to fill our suitcases with.

How much per person, per week do you spend on souvenirs for a Disney vacation?

  • $51-$100 (33%, 276 Votes)
  • $0-$50 (31%, 262 Votes)
  • $101-$200 (19%, 161 Votes)
  • More than $201 (17%, 146 Votes)

Total Voters: 845

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Voting is open here and on Twitter, and we’ll have the results next week. Feel free to share your souvenir budgeting tips in the comments. Have you ever bought something that you regretted later on? Ever skipped buying a souvenir and wishing you could go back in time to get it? Let us know!

Ask It Results: Are Preferred Rooms Worth It?

by on May 24, 2017

Over the years, Disney has found many new and interesting ways to encourage people to spend extra money for extra benefits. At Disney resort hotels, a variety of options exist, but are they worth the extra costs? Here’s what you thought about whether it is worth it to pay for location, view, or special features (or if it is never worth it to pay the extra).

Our Ask It question was:

What features are worth paying extra for a preferred room at Walt Disney World?

With more than 1,500 votes, here’s your results.

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