Disney Springs

Julia’s Best Week Ever, November 9, 2017: Disney Springs, I Choose You!

by on November 9, 2017

Greetings, all. This week’s Best Week Ever came about because of my daughter’s love of Pokémon. For those who are not in the know (which, admittedly, included me until last week), the 20th Pokémon movie has come to American theaters in a limited release–as in four days only (and only two of the days offering a rare Pokémon card for those who saw the movie). What does this have to do with Disney? Well, one of the theaters holding a showing of the film was the AMC at Disney Springs. I’m not much of a movie theater person–not counting movies I’ve seen on DCL, I generally see one or two movies in theaters per year at most. It was a perfect Daddy and Daughter date, though…and it gave me some time to wander around Disney Springs for some solo window shopping. Woo hoo!

We arrived early to grab lunch before the movie. With the time change, everything still felt a bit out of whack, and so we had more time for lunch than we intended. Originally, we had thought about just grabbing a bite at Blaze, but we decided to switch things up and grab lunch at Splitsville. I do enjoy the food there, and almost always order this lovely sushi roll as my meal.

With the other two of my party heading into the theater, I decided to take the water taxi over to The Marketplace and then walk my way back. By the time I would get back, they should be done with the movie, and we’d head on home. I love taking the water taxi any chance I get. The view is beautiful and it is such a peaceful ride.

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The Edison at Disney Springs to Open in January

by on November 3, 2017

Author Note: It appears that The Edison has removed their tweet with the information of an opening date of January 1, 2018. Stay tuned to the blog as we find out more information on if that is indeed the correct date that was inadvertently tweeted or if the date was accidental. I’ll make sure to have the information for you as soon as I find out. As of right now, the date that they are still stating on their website is fall 2017. 

We’ve been waiting forever for news about The Edison, a new restaurant for Disney Springs. The restaurant venue was supposed to open months ago, but setbacks apparently kept occurring and the official opening date news kept being pushed back. That is until today.

According to a tweet from The Edison themselves reminding people about Daylight Saving Time, there was a little message included that mentioned their official opening day, which is going to be January 1, 2018.

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Holiday Fun Abounds at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World

by on November 1, 2017

Disney Springs

©Rikki Niblett

Well, with the passing of Halloween now, I can hear those jingle bells ringing. And beginning November 10, if you visit Disney Springs at Walt Disney World, you’ll hear them too! The entertainment district features fantastic holiday decor, incredible treats, special entertainment, and of course, lots of shopping opportunities that well help get you in the festive spirit.

To start with, Disney Springs will be expanding the Christmas Tree Trail that debuted last year. There will be 25 custom decorated trees, each one having a Disney-related theme, like The Muppets, The Princess and the Frog, Frozen, and 101 Dalmatians. There will be ten new trees this year including Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White and Dumbo.

Guests looking to meet Santa can do so at Santa’s Chalet. Here Mr. Claus is accepting Christmas wish lists in a new location near the Christmas Tree Trail. Santa will be at Disney Springs through December 24. After that, Guests will be able to meet Santa Goofy.

Also returning this year will be a fun scavenger hunt called Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt. Stop by each of the 16 stops and collect all the stickers.

Again, there will be endless shopping opportunities. Find unique apparel and gift items at UNIQLO, Under Armour Brand House, Marketplace Co-Op, PANDORA, Sephora and Sugarboo & Co, to name a few. Disney fans will also want to stop for gifts at The LEGO Store, Star Wars Galactic Outpost and World of Disney.

Guests will also be able to participate in the hyper-reality experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire which debuts on December 16.

Entertainment will include strolling carolers, living statues, themed stilt walkers and live music that will help to add to the festive atmosphere.

Of course, Disney Springs will be having special Black Friday offers, so make sure to stay tuned to the blog for further details on what to expect.

Three New Restaurants Coming to Disney Springs

by on October 31, 2017

The hits just keep coming for Disney Springs! Disney has announced the there will be an additional three restaurants added that are expected to open this winter. Each one will be an Italian eatery, but each one will have its own particular style.

©Patina Restaurant Group

 

The first restaurant will be known as Maria & Enzo’s. This will be an Italian trattoria with a theme of being placed inside the old abandoned airline terminal from the 1930s. It will feature an open and airy dining room with artifacts that reference air travel, including maps and historic flight paths.  The menu is inspired by Sicily, with a range of family-friendly dishes – Arancini di Carne (rice balls stuffed with meat), Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan) – and handmade pastas – Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), ‘Ncasciata al Forno (Sicilian baked pasta). The restaurant will also feature fresh fish, steaks, and chops.

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Celebrate Coco Family Celebration at Disney Springs

by on October 25, 2017

©Disney

Are you excited about the upcoming Pixar film, Coco? Well, if you’ll be visiting Walt Disney World from October 27 through November 26, you can celebrate with a family-friendly fiesta that will take place at Disney Springs West Side known as the Coco Family Celebration.

During the Coco Family Celebration, Guests will get a taste of the bright and vibrant world of Coco through a medley of themed music, food, and décor daily from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Guests will see colorful papel picados and décor depicting scenes from the movie. In addition, Exposition Park will feature lively family-friendly fun. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, there will also be face-painting and additional activities for kids. Also, the Springs’ Street Tacos Food Truck will serve up vanilla flan alongside their signature taco offerings.

Guests looking to learn more about Dia de Muertos, which is a main component of Coco, should visit the Mexico Pavilion with the Remember Me! La Celebración del Día de Muertos exhibit.

Coco hits theaters November 22.

Disney Shares Concept Art for New NBA Experience

by on October 19, 2017

It’s been known that The NBA Experience would be replacing the now former DisneyQuest. Today, Disney shared not only more details, but also a piece of concept art showing what the new complex would look like.

The NBA Experience

Copyright Disney

This new establishment on the West Side of Disney Springs is going to be inspired by the modern architecture of new NBA arenas around the country.

The state-of-the-art space will include interactive games and competitions for Guests to participate in, immersive experiences, a retail store and a restaurant.

NBA President, Global Partnerships Sal LaRocca said, “This one-of-a-kind experience is sure to be enjoyed by basketball and Disney fans of all ages who visit Disney Springs from around the world.”

The NBA Experience is slated to open in the summer of 2019.

New Shops at Disney Springs

by on October 18, 2017

Disney Springs

©Rikki Niblett

Disney Springs is the mecca of shopping at Walt Disney World, and now there are four new shops for Guests to experience on their next trips to the entertainment district. Here are the new shops where you can spend even more money:

  • Bowes Signature Soy Candles: This new shop is located inside on of my favorite shops, the Marketplace Co-Op. Bowes Signature Soy Candles specializes in candles with cotton, eco-friendly wicks and 100% natural soy wax. Each one is highly-scented, hand-poured and labeled locally here in Orlando. There are over 100 varieties oh or you can customize a candle by creating your own scent.
  • Swings N’ Things: Offering the world’s finest hammocks and porch swings. Swings N’ Things is a kiosk located near Cookes of Dublin. Most items range from $40-$400 dollars.
  • Savannah Bee: This shop is now found in a newly-expanded space near The Ganachery. Savannah Bee brings you the most rare, unique and delicious honeys alongside natural, hive-inspired health and beauty products.
  • rinse bath & body co.: The soon-to-open rinse bath & body co. kiosk will be located near Paddlefish. It will showcase natural products handmade in Monroe, Georgia. The shop will include items like natural deodorant, essential oil roll-ons, shower bombs, and their Peppofoot collection, perfect for tired toes.

Which new shop at Disney Springs are you looking forward to stop in on your next visit?

Tickets Available Now for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Experience

by on October 11, 2017

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

©Star Wars

Recently I told you about a brand new experience that Guests would be able to take part in called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire. This is a new collaboration between Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and THE VOID that will take Guests into the Star Wars world via a hyper-reality experience at two new new VOID Experience Centers. These centers will be found at locations at both Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort and at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Guests will be able to walk freely and untethered throughout the multisensory experience in groups of four. During the mission, under the orders of the budding rebellion, the teams will go undercover as stormtroopers to capture Imperial intelligence that is vital to the budding rebellion’s survival. The experience will take your team to the molten planet of Mustafar. Alongside K-2S0, your team must navigate through an enemy facility where you will walk into danger at every turn. Guests will grab their blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to fulfill your team’s orders.

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Walt Disney World Ice Cream Crawl

by on August 28, 2017

ice cream crawl passport cover

Leave it to artist Donna Yan’s adorable Dole Whip couple to make us simultaneously want Dole Whip and a Mickey Bar!

I don’t know about you, but one of my absolute must-have indulgences at Walt Disney World is ice cream. Add into that my love of coming up with themes or challenges for our Disney trips, and you get a recipe for success. (Specifically, you get a Walt Disney World Ice Cream Crawl!) My husband and I are apt to try a variety of challenges on our trips. We might focus on only getting snacks from places we’ve never been to before. Or we might make all of our table service reservations for restaurants we’ve never visited. Or we’ll do a trip dedicated to resort dining. (I’m just now noticing the theme of food in a lot of our planning…) For our upcoming trek, we decided to crank it up a bit and focus on ice cream.

I knew from the very beginning that not only did I want to do an ice cream crawl, but I wanted it to have its very own passport. I was inspired by the Epcot festival passports that detail out what food items you can find where. Seriously, what better way to keep track of all the amazing ice cream options than to have a dedicated ice cream passport?! (You can download your very own passport later in the article.) Let’s back things up a bit and discuss how the ice cream crawl was formed.

Simply put, the ice cream crawl was born out of an intense desire for ice cream. (Okay, it was actually as a result of the Whole30 we were in the middle of, but don’t tell anyone else that. It’s not like we were dying for sugar or anything…) First, I needed to decide what locations would be fair game for inclusion in the passport. All four theme parks were obvious, but what about resorts? Water parks? Disney Springs? At the end of the day, I went with locations that we would be reasonably likely to frequent. This included all four theme parks, Disney Springs, and the area around Crescent Lake. It’s so easy to pop out of Epcot and over to the Crescent Lake resorts that including those seemed appropriate. (And we really needed Ample Hills Creamery in there!)

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Raglan Road’s Great Irish Hooley Returns This Labor Day Weekend

by on August 17, 2017

Great Irish HooleyLooking for something fun to do at Walt Disney World this upcoming Labor Day Weekend? Consider visiting Raglan Road for their Great Irish Hooley! The Hooley is a unique Irish festival that is packed with some of the best Irish music you’ll hear, as well as other entertainment opportunities.

Guests who attend The Great Irish Hooley will be able to also enjoy contemporary Irish cuisine, Irish craft beers, hand-crafted cocktails. The Great Irish Hooley promises a fantastic music festival for all who drop by or reserve a table. This year’s Hooley entertainment include:

  • Elevation: Appearing at Raglan Road for the first time in four years, Elevation is a U2 tribute act who will play two special nighttime shows on September 2 and 3. The band will be paying homage to the U2 world tour celebrating 30 years of the ground-breaking Joshua Tree album.
  • Lisa Canny Band: Combining traditional Irish, R&B and Hip Hop, the Lisa Canney Band will appear at Raglan Road for three weeks beginning August 30 and will perform nightly during the Hooley.
  • Gary O’Meara Band: A traditional Irish banjo player with a prolific career as a solo artist and as a member of multiple legendary Irish music acts.
  • The Raglan Roots Coalition: This authentic Irish house band will be performing Roots style. Think soul-rocking Celtic bluegrass with some funky roots beats.
  • Jake Richardson: A singer-songwriter-musician from Dublin whose passion for music inspires audiences as he entertains with unique vocals and catchy songs.
  • Over the Bar: A vibrant four-piece, predominantly Irish traditional group that includes folk, blues and soul.
  • Rollickin’ Rua: This fresh traditional Irish music ensemble from Ireland and Scotland create a cacophonous crescendo of music and song with their clash of Celtic cultures.
  • Aaron O’Sullivan: A singer-songwriter and guitarist from County Cork who mixes traditional Irish ballads and modern Irish songs.

In addition, The Great Irish Hooley will include The Raglan Road Irish Dancers. And champion Irish dancer Ciaran Keating, Raglan Road’s show choreographer, will host an entertaining event that traces the origins of Irish dance from earliest jigs and reels through contemporary times.

The event will also include Celtic face painting.

The Great Irish Hooley kicks off beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1, and continues each day and night through late Monday evening.

To book a table for the event, click here. Reservations are strongly encouraged.