Hollywood Studios

The Best of Walt Disney World for Girls

by on August 29, 2017

Welcome back to Part 3 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. So far we’ve discussed favorites for babies and preschoolers. Next up are those cute little princesses…grade school girls. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the grade school kids surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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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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The Best of Walt Disney World for Preschoolers

by on August 22, 2017

Welcome back to Part 2 of my blog series – The Best of Walt Disney World! In case you missed it, over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the top picks in attractions for various groups of travelers visiting the Walt Disney World theme parks. Last time we discussed favorites for babies, and next up are the adorable preschoolers. When checking out the list, keep in mind each attraction that made the cut scored at least four stars by the preschoolers surveyed. Come on, everybody, here we go!

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Disney Shares More Details About New Grand Avenue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on August 17, 2017

Grand Avenue

©Rikki Niblett

Recently, we got word that there would be a new lounge area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios called BaseLine Tap House. With that addition, we would also be getting a new area called Grand Avenue. Well, today, Disney shared a few more details about this new section of the park.

It was officially confirmed that this area would be found near Muppets Courtyard and that it would include the section of the Streets of America that the park ended up keeping. The new Grand Avenue is inspired by the vibrant culture of present-day downtown Los Angeles. On Grand Avenue you will find vintage office buildings and warehouses which have been converted. Guests will soon see facades for “merchants” appearing in this area including “shops” for a music shop, loft apartments, a tailor and more. Much like other areas around the theme park, each window found on the street will feature charming displays. (Will we see the return of the famed toilet paper tree?)

For those who are worried, the Muppet Courtyard isn’t going anywhere, but it will be renamed as Grand Park, which will be an urban square found right off of Grand Avenue. (Because nothing says Los Angeles like a New York themed pizza restaurant?) Changes have already taken place as the Muppet*Vision theater has been renamed as the Grand Arts Theatre and has a brand new sign, but the good news is that Muppet*Vision 3D doesn’t seem to be going anywhere!

Grand Avenue is slated to open this fall!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Introduces New Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience

by on August 17, 2017

Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience

©Disney

It would seem that Disney is all in with these dessert parties because today they announced another one. Guests who want to view Fantasmic! now have the option of booking the new Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience.

Guests who want to participate will visit the Fantasmic! theater where they will then pick up a box filled with goodies that are all themed around the show. Menu items feature not only sweet, but also salty treats such as chocolate-covered strawberries, cheesecake, a chocolate cupcake, apple crisp, California trail mix and cheese and crackers. Kids will enjoy chocolate pudding with crushed chocolate cookies and gummy worms, confetti popcorn, grapes and a vanilla cake bite which features Sorcerer Mickey. Guests will also receive a specialty drink (which can be alcoholic for Guests 21 and older) served in a souvenir cup. Guests will also receive a bottle of water.

Once you pick up your snack box, you’ll then be directed to a VIP reserved seating area for Fantasmic! where you can enjoy the nighttime extravagant musical.

The cost is $39 per adult (ages 10 and up) and$19 per child (ages 3 to 9). The price includes tax; a gratuity is not included or required. Disney Dining plan credits cannot be used for this experience.

The Fantasmic! Dessert & VIP Viewing Experience is available on all Fantasmic! show days, but you should know that it is only offered with the first show of Fantasmic!. Check-in is at the Fantasmic! theater. Guests will enter the theater through the FassPass+ queue to get to the check-in podium.

Reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

One Man’s Dream to be Renamed & Add Preview Center

by on August 11, 2017

It looks like Derek Burgan was right. The “Everything Must Go” sale appears to be on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as that park continually grapples with what its identity is going to be going forward into the future.

 

Today, Disney announced that One Man’s Dream will be seeing a bit of an update….but the update mostly comes in a name change. The walk through attraction will soon be renamed as Walt Disney Presents.

The overall exhibit itself won’t change much. You’ll still be able to see those significant items from Walt Disney’s history, such as sketches, photos, storyboards, and more. Guests will also be able to still catch previews for upcoming Disney films. (Or if there’s no preview at the time, you’ll be able to catch the wonderful film about Walt Disney.) And yes, you’ll still be able to take part in meet and greet opportunities, like the current one where you can meet Star-Lord and Baby Groot! 

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Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! to Return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this Holiday Season

by on August 9, 2017

©Disney

Jingle Bell….Jingle BAM! I just love shouting that.

That’s right – the nighttime spectacular during the holiday season at Disney’s Hollywood Studios called Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! will be returning once again. The dazzling special effects and fireworks extravaganza will be back beginning November 9 through December 30.

During the show, the façade of the Chinese Theater serves as the main backdrop for this show, which is an immersive experience, that is paired with great musical score including holiday classics with a twist.

The show includes scenes from the ABC special Prep & LandingBeauty and the BeastBambiThe Nightmare Before Christmas, and two of my favorite Disney Christmas stories, Pluto’s Christmas Tree and Mickey’s Christmas Carol. The show will build to a very festive finale and a special message from Santa Claus.

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Changes Coming to Fantasmic! Dining Package at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on August 7, 2017

©Disney

Are you a fan of the Fantasmic! Dining Package at Walt Disney World? For many, the package can be a great deal, but head’s up, because in 2018, there will be a change that you will want to be aware of.

Guests who have the Fantasmic! Dining Package booked beginning January 1, 2018 will have the option when dining at Mama Melrose or The Hollywood Brown Derby of selecting one entrée, one dessert, and one non-alcoholic beverage in addition to VIP seating at the show as part of their dining package. This is a change from the 2017 version, where Guests also received an appetizer as part of the package.

With that change, there has been a decrease in the pricing. 2018 pricing will now be as follows:

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New BaseLine Tap House and Grand Avenue Area Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios This Fall

by on July 26, 2017

BaseLine Tap House

©Disney

As you all are well aware, big changes are taking place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and today it was announced another new addition….well, actually they sort of announced two additions.

A brand new lounge experience is coming to the park called BaseLine Tap House. It will be located in a brand new area called Grand Avenue which has the goal of capturing the spirit of present-day Downtown Los Angeles, and it will showcase vintage office buildings and warehouses representing the different districts and cultures of the city.

BaseLine Tap House will be a cheerful corner pub that will specialize in beer and wines from California. The dining establishment will feature  California craft ales, lagers and ciders, California wines on tap, and specialty cocktails. Non-alcoholic options will include lemonade and soda options. Guests will also be able to try one of the small bites that will be offered including a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, spiced almonds or a charcuterie board featuring California cheeses. (Hmmmm….this sounds familiar….almost like what Writer’s Stop offered right before it officially closed. Makes sense, because it’s thought that the lounge will be located in this space.)

When BaseLine Tap House opens officially this fall, it will open daily at 11:00 a.m.

Toy Story Land to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Next Summer

by on July 17, 2017

Who else is excited to finally get to experience Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Well, beginning in the summer of 2018, Guests will be able to be shrunk down to toy size and experience this all new land.

Toy Story Land

©Disney

 

As a reminder, Toy Story Land will feature two brand new attractions. The first is called Slinky Dog Dash and is a roller coaster that the whole family can enjoy.  During Slinky Dog Dash, you’ll zip around many turns and drops that Andy has created to really make Slinky and his coils stretch to his limits.

The second attraction is the Alien Swirling Saucers. It’s designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet. In this ride, Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”

So, looks like we only have one year left before we can experience this exciting new land!