Disney Springs

Cirque du Soleil La Nouba to Close this Winter

by on March 3, 2017

©Disney

Do you love the Cirque du Soleil La Nouba show at Disney Springs? I bring some sad news today as the creative and entertaining show, which has been on the West Side for almost 20 years will be coming to a close this December. The show’s final performance will take place on December 31, 2017.

La Nouba included theatrics, dazzling costumes and magical lighting, unique sets and music. The show is filled with action, humor, color and light, blending the ancient traditions of circus with dance, acrobatics and street entertainment.

There is no word yet on what will be replacing La Nouba, but The Disney Parks Blog did hint that it could very well still be a Cirque du Soleil show that will occur in the theater.

To purchase tickets to this extremely popular show, make sure to visit the Walt Disney World website.

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DISNEY DINING: Chef Art Smith’s HOMECOMIN’ in Disney Springs

by on March 1, 2017

When Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming opened in Disney Springs last July, it’s safe to say we were big fans. In fact, we were really big fans. In fact, with a restaurant row now loaded with incredible eateries such as Raglan Road, Morimoto Asia, and BOATHOUSE, Homecoming just may be our favorite of all.

This past week the restaurant officially changed its named to Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’. It also has added a few new items to menu over the past few months, so it was high time to go back and check it out.

We’ll start with appetizers, and first up is the THIGH HIGH CHICKEN BISCUITS. These have replaced the bbq chicken wings on the menu and we can confirm that they are one of the top six food items on Disney property.

Three biscuits topped with Chef Art’s famous fried chicken thighs and bread and butter pickles. Drizzled with hot honey.

The “hot” honey isn’t a hot sauce honey, but more of a warm, tangy honey and it is absolutely incredible.  The sweet taste will pair well with a Sweet Tea Shine or one of the many cocktails on the menu.

Thigh High Chicken Biscuits.

Speaking of hot sauce, Homecomin’ now sells its house made hot sauce in bottles you can take home. This slightly sweet sauce gets a lot of rave reviews from hot sauce fans.

Deep South Hot Sauce.

Another appetizer we tried was the BUNCH OF PUPPIES and they were very good, but all we could think about was ordering some more Thigh High Chicken Biscuits. Enjoyed that the hushpuppies had a nice crunchy outside, but soft in the middle. The jalapeño jelly dip added a nice sweet and spicy kick.

House-made hushpuppies served with pimento cheese and jalapeño jelly.

Bunch of Puppies.

The BRAISED SHORT RIBS are one of the newer entree items. As the menu promised, the meat was was boneless and pulled apart easily. Very flavorful and because of the tenderness there was no need for a knife. While we enjoy the regular mashed potatoes at Homecomin’, the whipped sweet potatoes was a nice touch. You don’t see that any many restaurants.

Boneless beef short ribs are slow cooked until fork tender served over whipped sweet potatoes with seasonal vegetable.

Braised Short Ribs.

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Planet Hollywood Misses the Bus to Flavortown

by on February 14, 2017

Planet Hollywood Observatory Review

There aren’t a lot of restaurants that scare me. Even with a newly revamped menu, though, Planet Hollywood Observatory kind of scared me. I had been to the old restaurant a few times prior to the recent transition, and never had a remarkable meal, on par with reader surveys that rank Planet Hollywood as the least-liked restaurant in Walt Disney World. I knew, though, that for a recent lunch visit, I’d have to approach the new Planet Hollywood with an open mind, with hopes that things had improved.

First Impressions

The view from Planet Hollywood Observatory's outdoor deck is beautiful.
First impressions of the new interior: it’s a bit boring now, far less tacky and kitschy than before. Much of the Hollywood memorabilia has been relegated to the stairwells and corners, with lots of brick and projections now taking center stage on the walls. It’s also very, very loud now, especially once the restaurant is jam-packed with guests. To take advantage of the nice day outside, and steer away from the noise, my party requested an outdoor deck table, overlooking Disney Springs. We were still treated to a mid-meal blast of “Afternoon Delight” from the neighboring speakers (an experience, I assure you), but it was much tamer, noise-wise, outside.

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DisneyQuest to Close for The NBA Experience

by on January 30, 2017

©Rikki Niblett

Almost a year and a half ago, Disney announced that the NBA Experience would be making its way to Disney Springs and that DisneyQuest would be closing to make way for this new one-of-a-kind destination. Then…we heard nothing. Not a peep. I honestly thought the idea was dead.

That is until today when Disney announced that they would indeed still be going forward with The NBA Experience and that DisneyQuest had a date when it would officially close for good. DisneyQuest, located on The West Side, will officially close on July 3. Leading up to its closure, the indoor theme park will still operate as usual, offering classic arcade games and unique interactive experiences, such as Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlasters and CyberSpace Mountain.

As far as The NBA Experience is concerned, not much is known about what the basketball-themed complex will offer. We do know that it will feature hands-on activities that put guests right in the middle of the NBA action, and will create an immersive experience of both the game and its players. Guests will enjoy unique NBA video productions, a restaurant, and a store.

Stay tuned to the blog for more information about further announcements about The NBA Experience, as well as any further announcements regarding DisneyQuest.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Now Open at Disney Springs

by on January 27, 2017

Planet Hollywood Observatory

©Rikki Niblett

After a very lengthy refurbishment, according to their Facebook page, Planet Hollywood Observatory located in the Town Center section of Disney Springs has now officially opened.

The restaurant features an eclectic menu, including sandwiches and burgers from celebrity chef, Guy Fieri. Sandwiches will include the Prime Time American Kobe-Inspired Burger, Turkey Pic-a-nic Sandwich, and a lobster roll. It also features some returning classics from the previous version of Planet Hollywood, like the World Famous Chicken Crunch. (Which are chicken fingers with a Cap’n Crunch cereal coating.) The rest of the menu will range from salads to  steaks and ribs. Oh and dessert will be out of this world, with incredible milkshakes, as well as an ice cream and gelato challenge. Take a look at the Planet Hollywood Observatory’s full menu here.

Inspired with a turn-of-the-century theme, Planet Hollywood Observatory will continue to feature rare Hollywood memorabilia. Inside, the restaurant will continue with the observatory theme with a high-tech planetarium with stars and constellations on the ceiling.There is also a massive 4,500-square-foot video wall that features state-of-the-art sound and media. In addition, Guests who visit the newly updated restaurant will be able to enjoy a drink while an interactive DJ spins today’s Top 40 and classic favorites on the main floor.

Speaking of enjoying a drink, there will be two bars for Guests to enjoy. First, at the Upper Bar, Guests can enjoy artisanal cocktails and a curated collection of libations. At Stargazers Bar, live entertainment will take place nightly on this outdoor patio that overlooks the Town Center section of Disney Springs.  At Stargazers, there will be 20 Florida craft beers on tap and 10 signature cocktails.

Of course, new merchandise has also been created and Guests who enjoyed their experience will want to stop by the gift shop to pick up a movie-themed souvenir.

Planet Hollywood Observatory is open for both lunch and dinner.

Paddlefish at Disney Springs Gets Official Opening Date

by on January 25, 2017

©Paddlefish

After months and months of refurbishment work, I can officially tell you that Paddlefish is reopening on February 4!

The Disney Springs restaurant, which is formerly known as Fulton’s Crab House, has been seeing a massive bow to stern transformation. When the seafood-centric restaurant reopens, it will be themed more now after a modern, luxurious yacht and will be an inviting and opulent atmosphere for guests. Paddlefish will offer Guests multiple dining experiences and private event spaces.

While Paddlefish’s main focus will be on seafood, there will also be beef, chicken, vegetarian, and vegan options for Guests to enjoy. Specialties will include oyster shucking bar, Florida stone crab and Alaskan king crab, steaks and chops, as well as classic and curated cocktails. Paddlefish will feature separate lunch and dinner menus.

Here’s a look at some of the dishes you’ll be able to enjoy at Paddlefish:

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Disney Springs to Offer Personal Shopping Services

by on January 24, 2017

©Rikki Niblett

Today, we’re going to add to the list of “exclusive” high-end experiences you can experience at Walt Disney World. Guests will now have the option to take advantage of a personal shopping service.

Melanie Pace, who is a distinguished fashion advisor and has been featured in “Women’s Health,” “Shape Magazine,” and “E! News” is now available for clients and is accepting appointments for those looking to shop at Disney Springs. It is said that she can create looks on with any budget.

The Personal Shopping Session provides one-on-one consulting, fashion recommendations, beauty advice, and special access to Disney Springs retailers.

The Personal Shopping Sessions are $250 per hour and can be booked by visiting melaniepace.com or call 321-377-1337 and ask for a “Disney Springs Style Session”. Small group experiences can also be booked. Appointments will be available on a first come, first-served basis during normal Disney Springs operating hours.

2017 Pro Bowl Week Schedule

by on January 22, 2017

The Pro Bowl Week is a week-long celebration that unites and inspires the entire football community – players, coaches, families, and fans for a full week of activities, challenges, and true football spirit.

During Pro Bowl Week, everyone has the opportunity to participate in or watch a variety of events, including youth football clinics, the NFL Flag Championships, Pro Bowl player practices, skill challenges, sessions for coaches, the Women’s World Football Championships, and a host of other festivities with the best players of the past, present and future.

Many events are taking place at Walt Disney World, and are free to attend. Practices are free and open to the public but fans can register for priority access here. Some events require a Fan Mobile Pass (FMP). 

 

NFL Pro Bowl Practices

 

Pro Bowl Practices at ESPN Wide World of Sports are not only a chance to see NFC and AFC teams in action, but also the epicenter of a three-day football festival. Practice combined with various fan competitions and activities will be open to the public beginning Wednesday, January 25 and concludes on Saturday, January 28.

AFC Team Practice Schedule

  • Wednesday, January 25: 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM
  • Thursday, January 26: 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
  • Friday, January 27: 11:20 AM – 12:20 PM
  • Saturday, January 28: 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM

 

NFC Team Practice Schedule

  • Wednesday, January 25: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Thursday, January 26: 11:20 AM – 12:20 PM
  • Friday, January 27: 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
  • Saturday, January 28: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

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#RockTheDots Event at Disney Springs and Downtown Disney

by on January 19, 2017

#RockTheDots

©Disney

Did you know that January 22 is National Polka Dot Day? Disney is inviting its Guests to #RockTheDots and celebrate the fashion icon that is Minnie Mouse. Guests looking to celebrate should visit Disney Springs in Walt Disney World or Downtown Disney in Disneyland dressed in their polka-dotted attire. During the #RockTheDots event, Guests will be able to take part in unique entertainment, photo opportunities, discounts, and giveaways.

At Disney Springs, Guests who visit should first stop and pick up a commemorative button. Those dressed in polka dots can grab one at the following locations:

  • The Welcome Center
  • Marketplace Co-Op
  • Tren-D
  • World of Disney
  • Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories
  • DisneyQuest
  • Select participating retailers

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Characters in Flight at Disney Springs to See Update

by on January 2, 2017

Characters in Flight

©Rikki Niblett

This past weekend, I was visiting the Walt Disney World Resort for the holidays and one of the spots I’ve been heavily frequenting is Disney Springs. While exploring, I quickly noticed that the Characters in Flight balloon was looking exceptionally faded and thought that it would need to be refurbished again soon.

Looks like I wasn’t the only one who thought so. Characters in Flight, which is operated by Aerophile will be closed for refurbishment from January 9-13. When the Disney Springs West Side attraction reopens, it will feature an all new look.

Characters in Flight allows Guests to ascend 400 feet in the air over Disney Springs in a tethered helium balloon. Guests are able to get a 360-degree view of the Walt Disney World Resort.

The last time the balloon was updated with a new look was back in 2012.