Recent News

Harambe Market to Open May 23 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on May 20, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

For those of you traveling down to Walt Disney World this weekend, you may want to make a stop over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to enjoy the newest dining establishment on property. Harambe Market is slated to open in the Africa section of the park on May 23.

This new quick service/merchandise location will feature four different walk-up windows that will feature a wide variety of street market, African-inspired dishes and beverages for Guests to enjoy. They include:

  • Kitamu Grill: offering skewered chicken and a kabob flatbread sandwich.
  • Famous Sausages: features a corn dog, inspired by a South African sausage called a boerewors, dipped in curry-infused corn batter.
  • Chef Mwanga’s: specializes in a spice-rubbed karubi rib with green papaya-carrot slaw.
  • Wanjohi Refreshments will offer unique African-inspired beverages

The area will provided seating for over 200 under shaded canopies in the open air dining area to relax and eat.

Harambe Market’s backstory is that the area was built around a Colonial-era train depot complete with a 1960s water tower. Guests will be able to see pieces of that story, including the water tower on their visit.

This new addition to the park also includes a new pathway to Asia for Guest convenience from Africa to Bradley Falls and the Asia section of the park.

I am certainly excited to try out these brand new offerings and I think they make a wonderful addition to a fantastic area of the park already.

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13 New Retail and Dining Establishments Announced for Disney Springs

by on May 15, 2015

Disney Springs

©Disney

Today some exciting new tenants were announced for Disney Springs, as the transformation from Downtown Disney continues. 13 new shops, 8 of which are retail-based will be coming to the area. It is an eclectic bunch of establishments, for sure.

These new shops are set to open in both The Landing and the Town Square sections of the shopping and dining district.

The new shops are:

Zara: Zara is known for its men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories, and how it expertly interprets current fashion and style trends of the season, delivering original designs to the consumer in a matter of weeks.

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Chef Mickey’s to Begin Serving Brunch

by on May 15, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Are you a fan of Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort? Well, if you are, you’ll now have one more chance to dine at the popular restaurant here in the future. You see, beginning May 31, brunch will begin being offered to Guests. (Previously only breakfast and dinner were offered.)

Brunch will take place daily from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and will include all your favorite breakfast items (yes, that includes Mickey Waffles) plus soup; salads including Caesar, seafood, fresh broccoli, antipasto, chicken and Caprese; barbecued ribs; seafood étouffée; and baked salmon. Rounding things out will be the ice cream bar and Contemporary bakery sweets.

Reservations for brunch at Chef Mickey’s can start being made as of May 22. You can do it via the Walt Disney World website or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

This is great news as it’s often difficult to obtain a reservation for Chef Mickey’s, so it gives fans just one more chance to get to dine with the mouse!

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Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar to Open at Downtown Disney

by on May 12, 2015

Copyright Disney

Copyright Disney

We now know another restaurant that will be opening with the Downtown Disney expansion to Disney Springs — Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. This new restaurant will be aviation-themed and many will recognize the name Jock Lindsey as the pilot from the ever popular (and now Disney-owned) Indiana Jones films. The restaurant will be found in between Paradiso 37 and the BOATHOUSE and will be a Disney operated restaurant.

There will be seating available for 150 Guests and the details will be top-notch; everything will be within the storyline. (For example, Jock had a pet snake named Reggie…so Guests should be on the lookout for the name of the dry-docked boat that will also serve as a dining area for Guests.) Other details include correspondence between Jock and Indy, as well as aviation-themed memorabilia.

The restaurant is slated to open this fall and I’ll make sure to keep you updated on additional details as they become available.

One thing is for sure, I fully expect this to be an experience like no other and the perfect place for Indiana Jones fans to enjoy.

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Star Wars Rebels: The Ultimate Guide To Play in ABC Sound Studio

by on May 8, 2015

©Star Wars

©Star Wars

 

Are you a fan of Star Wars Rebels? Well if you are and you need a refresher or you missed the first season, you’ll have a chance to catch up and relive the exciting adventures from the series’ first season at Disney’s Hollywood Studios before the second sesason premieres on June 20 on Disney XD.

Beginning on Friday, May 15, Guests will be able to catch Star Wars Rebels: The Ultimate Guide, where they can view the exciting adventures of the crew of the Ghost. This special first season recap will take place in the ABC Sound Studio, where the Cinderella sneak peek is currently taking place. The Cinderella preview will end on May 13.

Star Wars Rebels: The Ultimate Guide will be showing daily from 10:00 a.m. until 30 minutes prior to park closing.

The recap is being introduced right in time for Star Wars Weekends, which begins on May 15.

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Nintendo Attractions Coming to Universal Theme Parks

by on May 7, 2015

Nintendo characters and attractions are coming to Universal parks world-wide.

Universal might not have shocked anyone with yesterday’s long-awaited confirmation that King Kong is coming to Islands of Adventure, but today’s surprise announcement has certainly caught many observers off guard. A joint press release revealed that Universal has teamed with Nintendo to bring the Japanese company’s iconic video game characters to life at theme parks around the world.

The official statement, which we’ve reproduced below, is very vague, with no specifics on which resorts or intellectual properties are involved, nor a timeline of when the promised attractions might open:

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American Ninja Warrior Invades Universal Studios Florida

by on May 6, 2015

American Ninja Warrior USF

American Ninja Warrior films at USF on May 10-12, 2015. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

American Ninja Warrior, an NBC and Esquire Network (originally G4) competition show based on the long-running Japanese hit Sasuke, has taken over the New York section of Universal Studios Florida for episode tapings that will take place after park hours on May 10th through 12th.

Tickets to attend the tapings, which will be held at 10:30pm, 12:30am, and 2:30am on Sunday night/Monday morning and Monday night/Tuesday morning, are almost completely sold out at this point, but you may still be able to join the wait list.

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Details about Coolest Summer Ever 24 Hour Event at the Magic Kingdom

by on May 6, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Are you excited about the upcoming 24 Hour Coolest Summer Ever event scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend? (Which is taking place from 6:00 a.m. Friday, May 22 until 6:00 a.m. Saturday, May 23.)  It is sure to be a fantastic and fun-filled day with special activities taking place throughout the day!  Here is what unique activities Guests can expect to experience throughout the day:

  • Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff will be on hand to welcome Guests to the park at 6:00 a.m. following a spectacular opening show ceremony.
  • The Festival of Fantasy Parade will take place twice – once at noon and once at 3:00 p.m.
  • The Main Street Electrical Parade will also take place twice – at 11:00 p.m. and at 1:00 a.m.
  • The Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party will take place at 9:30 a.m. and at 5:40 p.m.
  • A DJ will spin tunes in the Club Chill party zone in Tomorrowland from 4:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. In addition, Guests should be on the lookout for some of your favorite Disney Channel and Disney XD stars, because they might just drop by!
  • Late night dance parties hosted by characters in PJs in Frontierland and the Castle Hub
  • Chalk Artists
  • Tasty Frozen-inspired treats

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Richard Petty Exotic Driving Experience Could Remain Closed Indefinitely

by on May 6, 2015

On the race track at the Richard Petty Driving Experience ©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

The Richard Petty Exotic Driving Experience was originally supposed to reopen late last week; however, according to the Orlando Sentinel, the attraction could remain closed for good.

As many of you may know, this attraction closed on April 12 due to a fatal crash. Currently the Florida Highway Patrol, as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, have open investigations of the incident.

According to the report, “Exotic Driving Experience in Orlando will remain closed as we work with the Florida Highway Patrol regarding the ongoing investigation,” a spokeswoman for Petty Holdings said.

Because of the investigations, it is currently unclear if and when the Exotic Driving Experience attraction will reopen.

Keep in mind that the Richard Petty Driving Experience, where guests can ride in and drive NASCAR vehicles, is still operating on the track that it shares with Exotic Driving Experience; however, the whole complex is scheduled to close permanently in August due to a future transportation project from Disney.

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First-Hand Report: Testing the DHS Food Ordering Mobile App

by on May 6, 2015

Here’s a construction wall-free look at the Great Movie Ride to make you smile, before I share my woeful tale of testing the new DHS food ordering mobile app (photos by Seth Kubersky)

On May 1, 2015, Disney’s Hollywood Studios marked its 26th birthday with…not much at all, aside from the removal of construction walls around the giant hat’s former home. But while there was no big celebration like there was for last year’s silver anniversary, DHS did gain one unpublicized addition last week. As Rikki Niblet reported, a new food ordering mobile app is currently testing at two locations in the park, and I stopped by on the (not so) big day to give the new system a whirl. To save some typing, suffice to say that things did not quite go according to plan. Keeping in mind that this new service is still in the testing phase, you may decide to stick with buying your Studios snacks the old-fashioned way by the time you finish reading about my experience.

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