Walt Disney World (FL)

News Updates About Disney Springs Restaurants

by on May 10, 2016

Disney Springs

©Rikki Niblett

Wow! I can’t believe it! Disney Springs “second” opening will be taking place this weekend, on May 15! Opening this weekend are many different shops, restaurants, and the Town Center area.

A few newer locations have released updated information about what you can expect to experience.

YeSake is a kiosk, with dining options that include Chinese-style pulled pork to a Sombrero with ground beef, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese and corn chips. In addition, try a Sake Cosmo Freeze or Sake Bourbon Slush among other offerings, such as beer.

At Morimoto Asia Street Food, a new walk-up window on the patio of Morimoto Asia, will offer sushi, donburi rice bowls and bao tacos. Other options include things like takoyaki (octopus, nori, okomiyaki sauce), Morimoto sticky ribs, curry rice croquettes, pork egg rolls and taiyaki (snapper-shaped pancake filled with sweet adzuki red been paste). Beverages include popping boba tea and an assortment of Asian-influenced beers and beverages.

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – April 24 to 30, 2016

by on May 10, 2016

How Crowded Was Walt Disney World Last Week?

How Crowded Was Walt Disney World Last Week?

Crowds at Walt Disney World were higher than usual for the first half of last week then about average for the second half. The Disney World Crowd Calendar predicted that crowds would be a few points higher on our scale than what we saw during the same period last year but even that was not a high enough prediction for what we actually saw. Wait times were most surprising at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 5/9/16

by on May 9, 2016

I’m back with the Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes! These are little things that I’ve come across over the past few days that have piled on my desk, and I want to make sure to share them with you! If you’re heading to Walt Disney World soon, you may want to be aware of some of these news bites!

  • The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique has introduced an update to the Castle Package. The Castle Package will now include a Disney Princess necklace. Due to this change, Disney PhotoPass photographic prints will no longer be included in the Castle Package. Guests will still be able to purchase prints as an add-on to any package for $34.95, plus tax. The photo add-on will include one 6×8 and four 4×6 photos in a special photo holder.In addition, pricing will change:
    • The Castle Package – $199.95 plus tax
    • The Courtyard Package – $99.95 plus tax
    • The Crown Package – $59.95 plus tax (no change)
    • The Knight Package – $19.95 plus tax (no change)

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Alberta Bound Now Performing at Epcot’s Canada Pavilion

by on May 9, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

A brand new live entertainment act has debuted in World Showcase at Epcot.  A new live band called Alberta Bound is now playing at The Mill Stage in the Canada Pavilion. The band plays Canadian music that includes traditional fiddle styles from across the country, as well as performing songs from beloved Canadian songwriters.

Alberta Bound’s light and energetic show offers lots of opportunities for clapping and singing along as they take you on a musical journey of our neighbors to the north. They play Wednesday through Sunday with showtimes at 12:00 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:50 p.m., 5:0o p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

As part of this entertainment change, the former band TradNation gave their final performance back in April. Alberta Bound will be performing in a limited engagement, as seems to be customary as of late with performers in World Showcase.

 

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Characters from Finding Dory Now in Turtle Talk with Crush

by on May 9, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

This weekend, Dory and friends joined the interactive attraction Turtle Talk with Crush. Guests can now head to Epcot to join Crush in the “human tank” and find Dory, alongside new characters Destiny the whale shark, Bailey the beluga whale, and Hank the “septopus” (a seven-legged octopus). Ina addition, Squirt, Nemo and his dad Marlin also appear in this fun-filled show.

Turtle Talk with Crush is found in The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion and invites Guests to talk to crush in a completely unique experience. During the show, Guests may ask Crush questions and they will receive answers from the famous sea turtle. The improvised show lasts about 15 minutes and I’m certainly curious to see how the addition of these new characters plays out in front of Guests!

Finding Dory swims into theaters on June 17, 2016.

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How to Sleep In and Still See Everything at Walt Disney World

by on May 9, 2016

Castle (12)With miles of walking, heat, and humidity, Walt Disney World is the kind of vacation that you need to get some rest to enjoy. The paradox has always been that to get the most for your money, you’ve got to arrive early and stay late.

Now, with the Animal Kingdom’s longer evening hours and Hollywood Studios’ construction closures, it’s possible to sleep in and still see everything in those parks in one day. That means you can alternate full days in Epcot and the Magic Kingdom with relaxed, late starts at the others – even on short trips. A sample 4-day, long weekend might look like this:

  • Full day at Magic Kingdom
  • Sleep late and visit the Studios or Animal Kingdom
  • Full day at Epcot
  • Sleep late and visit the park you’ve not yet seen

The key to those sleep-in days is setting up a touring plan with the right FastPass+ choices and times. To get you started, we’ve created new late-start touring plans for the Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios below.

Seth Kubersky and I have tested versions of these plans in the parks already, with different combinations of FastPass reservations. Let us know how they work for you.

Late Arrival Animal Kingdom Touring Plan (link)

Get FastPass+ reservations for these attractions and general times:

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Dining Review: Big River Grille

by on May 6, 2016

If you’ve ever spent any time strolling along Disney’s BoardWalk or Crescent Lake area, you’ve probably seen my next dining location along the way. Located on the Atlantic Dance Hall end of the BoardWalk, just adjacent to the resort’s merchandise locations, Big River Grille & Brewing Works offers standard family restaurant fare (think: burgers, steaks, salads) with a view of Crescent Lake and the surrounding resorts. I dropped in recently for a quick lunch and then returned a few days later for dinner to see if this restaurant was worth adding to my regular Disney dining rotation.

Big River Grille's Hickory Bacon Burger

Big River Grille’s Hickory Bacon Burger

Both of my visits to Big River Grille were on a whim – I didn’t make a reservation prior to arriving, either on OpenTable or the My Disney Experience app, but it didn’t matter. I was quick to be seated inside both times (choosing the comfort of air conditioning inside over the humidity on the outdoor patio), and my first impression of the restaurant was definitely that of substance over style – inside here, there’s very little theming or space, with tables pretty close together and almost no decoration. If the weather allows, I’d certainly request outdoor seating – far less cramped, less noisy at peak dining times, and with a really fantastic view for lake- and people-watching. Servers were all very prompt in greeting me and offering a few recommendations from the extensive beer and bar menu – one of their biggest draws for diners – and their food menu. It’s also worth noting here that Big River Grille itself is a chain restaurant popular outside of Walt Disney World, which servers said helps to draw in repeat visitors due to familiarity.

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New Stage Show for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

by on May 5, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

This year, during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a brand new stage show will be replacing the Celebrate the Season stage show. Called Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration, Mickey and his pals will celebrate with an unforgettable Christmas party filled with music, dancing, color and fun. Friends are invited for the fun, including, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, Peter Pan, Alice, Pinocchio, Snow White, and many more!

According to the official synopsis:

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Tickets On Sale For Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

by on May 5, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Disney has previously released the dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and I can officially tell you that tickets are now on sale for this fun-filled holiday event!  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held in November and December at the Magic Kingdom.

As with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ticket prices, tickets did jump quite a bit in pricing over the previous year.

Party dates and pricing for this year is as follows:

  • November 10, 13: $86 plus tax (ages 10+), $81 plus tax (ages 3-9) for advance purchase
  • November 7, 8, 11, 15, December 1: $91 plus tax (ages 10+), $86 plus tax (ages 3-9)
  • November 18, 27, 29, December 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13: $92 plus tax (ages 10+), $87 plus tax (ages 3-9)
  • December 9, 15: $96 plus tax (ages 10+), $91 plus tax (ages 3-9)
  • December 16, 18, 22: $99 plus tax (ages 10+), $94 plus tax (ages 3-9)

Annual Pass and Disney Vacation Club discounts are available on select dates.

This year’s event will include Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular, cookies and hot cocoa, the Castle Dream Lights, and the Celebrate the Season castle stage show.

What a great way to celebrate the Holidays than in the Magic Kingdom with Mickey and the gang.

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Tickets on Sale for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

by on May 5, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Back in March, I let you all know the dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for 2016, with the note that tickets were not yet on sale, but I would let you know when they did go on sale. Well, today is the day! Tickets are now on sale for the popular Halloween event that is held annual at the Magic Kingdom in the months of September and October.

And, as was expected, tickets has jumped considerably, with the most expensive ticket costing $105 for Halloween night.

Party dates and pricing for this year is as follows:

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