Walt Disney World (FL)

New Details and a Recap of What to Expect When Exploring Pandora – The World of Avatar

by on March 10, 2017

Pandora - The World of Avatar

©Disney

Wow! Yesterday was a flurry of new information all about Pandora – World of Avatar courtesy of a plethora of ABC shows -“The Chew”, “Good Morning America“, “The View“, and “Nightline.”  The goal of these spots were clearly to get excitement ramped up and it most certainly worked!

So if you’re looking forward to the official opening of this new land as much as I am, here’s what you should know courtesy of recent news developments. (If you want to avoid minor spoilers about the land, stop reading now. This is your only warning!)

According to James Cameron. The story is that we are found in a generation of Pandora after all the movies when the warfare between the humans and Na’vi is over. The Na’vi have welcomed us to Pandora to help us understand nature and ourselves better. Essentially, we are welcome because we are here to learn and educate ourselves.

There are two Pandoras that Guests will get to experience. Day and night. Trust me, you will want to see this place lit up at night!

Guests walk through an opening and will be immersed in the Valley of Mo’ara. Here, Guests can walk right under the enormous floating mountains. The land is lush and is a mixture of earth plants and Pandorian foliage that all helps to gives the idea that it’s a real ecosystem. Of course, these plants will come to life with beautiful bioluminescence each night.

The Valley of Mo’ara will also include a Na’vi-built drum circle that will contain instruments that are playable by all, Na’vi totems and other cultural items found. For those who are Wilderness Explorers fans, there will be brand new challenges and badges to collect in Pandora too! Guests who visit may even come across tour guides from Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative (PCI), or even an eclectic expat or two!

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Every New Dish at the 2017 Epcot Flower And Garden Festival Reviewed!

by on March 9, 2017

The iconic "flower blanket" is one of the many favorite views of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.Spring has sprung, and the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival has finally arrived for the 2017 season! Originally just a great time of year to see some of the coolest topiaries around, over the last few years, Disney has steadily transformed the Flower and Garden Festival into a must-do for those looking to sample some of the freshest flavors of the season. This year, two new food booths join the festival, and more than 20 new dishes complement the growing list of must-try treats. Today, I’m reviewing every new food dish (and, as a bonus, a few of the new beverage samplings); below my reviews, I’ve ranked the new food items so you know exactly where to head on your next festival visit. As always, click on every photo for a larger view of each dish – you might spot a few returning festival favorites I’ll review in a future post!

The Dishes

Urban Eats: Urban Fairy cocktail (returning favorite) with the Crabless Crab Cake (new).Urban Farm Eats

  • Crabless cake with crispy vegetable slaw, lemon vinaigrette, and old bay remoulade ($6.25)

If you can get over the texture, this is a definite winner for me. The crabless cake itself is vegan (plant-based, no crabs involved!), so the texture is a bit firmer, more like a moist burger patty. The old bay remoulade had a nice kick to it, still savory, but helped bring a little zing to the crabless cake’s mild flavor. The veggies in my slaw weren’t super-crisp, but the bright vinaigrette really tied the whole dish together. An unexpectedly good dish.

Northern Bloom

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Fun Ideas for Disney World Problem Solving

by on March 9, 2017

Hard to believe it, but Disney World could be even better!

Hard to believe it looking at this view, but Disney World could be even better!

Let me throw this out there to start — I LOVE Disney Parks. In addition to just being, well, FUN, they are also marvels of modern engineering, and it is astonishing to me that they can do what they do at the scale that they do it every single day and night. Considering what they seek to accomplish, the efficiency is pretty incredible, and its amazing that we don’t have to deal with more Walt Disney World problems than we do. 

With that said, there do indeed exist imperfections. What Disney may not realize, however, is that the solutions to these minor annoyances exist right under their noses right now! That’s right, by just borrowing ideas from other aspects of its parks, Disney can make its already great parks even better! Read on for a few realistic and not-so-realistic, blue sky hopes for the future of the parks to find out how!

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Your top-rated Disney World Resort Restaurants

by on March 8, 2017

Best Disney Restaurants

Today we’re wrapping up our restaurant review series with a look at the top-rated Disney World Resort restaurants. We’ve previously covered the best Magic Kingdom restaurants, Epcot’s best restaurants, and the best restaurants at Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) Like those earlier posts, today’s analysis is based on more than 122,000 Disney World dining surveys we received in 2016.

The Best Disney World Resort Restaurants – Quick Service

Ample Hills Creamery is one of the top-rated Disney World resort restaurants

Ample Hills includes to-go pints!

There are more than two dozen hotels inside Disney World, from the budget-priced All-Star Music Resort, to the flagship Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. And for this survey, we got enough responses from the Swan and Dolphin to include them too. We didn’t get enough survey responses for the Four Seasons or Shades of Green, so those restaurants aren’t included here.

We’ll follow the same format as before and start with quick service restaurants. As before, restaurants shown in green did significantly better than average, while those in red did significantly worse.

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Your Top-Rated Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Restaurants

by on March 6, 2017

Best Disney Restaurants

I’m back with more results from our recent Disney World dining survey. Today we’re looking at your top-rated Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios restaurants. (Here are the best Magic Kingdom restaurants, and here are Epcot’s best restaurants.) Like those earlier posts, today’s analysis is based on more than 122,000 Disney World dining surveys we received in 2016.

The Best Animal Kingdom Restaurants

Let’s start with the park’s quick-service restaurants. As before, restaurants in green are significantly better than average, while restaurants in red are significantly worse than average:

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Egg-Stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt Returns to Epcot

by on March 6, 2017

Egg-Stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt Returns at Epcot

©Rikki Niblett

One of the most fun things that happens around the Easter holiday is the Egg-Stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt at Epcot. Last year, my husband and I decided we were going to tackle to scavenger hunt and we had the most fun searching for the eggs that feature designs themed after some of your favorite Disney characters.

Oh and let me tell you, this was not an easy egg hunt! We got stumped on a few eggs and much as we didn’t want to, we actually had to ask the Cast Members for clues to help! (Make sure you look EVERYWHERE because eggs may not always be where you think they will be! That’s my best tip!)

With all that being said, I am happy to announce that the Egg-stravaganza has returned to to Epcot and it’s slated to last even longer than normal! This year, the hunt is on until the end of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. (Which ends on May 29 – or while supplies last.).

Guests will be able to search for special hidden eggs and record your findings by placing the sticker that matches that character on the specially themed map to represent that location. There are 12 eggs to find in all; one in each country.

Map from 2016. ©Rikki Niblett

Maps and stickers can be purchased for $5.99, plus tax at Pin Central in Future World, Disney Traders at the entrance to World Showcase, or World Traveler at International Gateway.

When you complete the hunt, return to Disney Traders and you’ll be able to pick up your prize.  You do not officially have to complete the hunt to get your egg, but taking part in the hunt is really a ton of fun!

The Egg-stravaganza Easter egg hunt really is perfect for the whole family and trust me, it’s a wonderful activity for all ages!

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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Pokémon GO at Walt Disney World

by on March 3, 2017

Pokémon GO

With the highly anticipated release of Pokémon GO Generation 2, Pokémon trainers are on the move again, looking to “catch ’em all” and walking miles in the hopes of hatching a rare Pokémon from an egg. One local secret is that Walt Disney World is an excellent place to play Pokémon GO. Here’s some tips to help improve your Pokémon GO experience at Walt Disney World.

What is Pokémon GO?

Pokémon GO is an app available on iPhone and Android devices that lets you “catch” cute creatures, called Pokémon, in real world locations. Players, called Pokémon trainers, hunt for Pokémon, battle in virtual gyms, walk distances of 2-10 km to hatch “eggs” within the game, and collect objects needed in the game from Pokéstops, GPS-identified landmarks.

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Copper Creek Villas & Cabins to Open at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge This Summer

by on March 2, 2017

Exciting news for Disney Vacation Club members (or those looking to become members.) Disney’s newest DVC resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins will open on July 17! Sales for the latest resort in the DVC category will begin on March 8 for current Disney Vacation Club Members with general sales following on April 5. Guests looking to book stays in these new rooms at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will be able to do so beginning March 21.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins will feature the comforts of home and the wonders of the wilderness. The resort area has been inspired by the legendary mining and railroad history of the Pacific Northwest. Resort rooms will include rustic elegance, cozy touches, and modern designs.

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins will include deluxe studios, one and two bedroom villas, as well as three-bedroom Grand Villas that will sleep up to 12. Each unit will include a well-appointed kitchen, expanded storage space and private patios or balconies.

©Disney

 

Take a peek at what you’ll be able to experience with the Copper Creek Villas & Cabins:

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Miss Adventure Falls to Open at Typhoon Lagoon Soon

by on March 2, 2017

©Disney

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon‘s newest water attraction, Miss Adventure Falls (formerly known as Miss Fortune Falls) will be opening on March 12!

During the attraction, Guests will be introduced to treasure hunting, Captain Mary Oceaneer. She got stranded with her pet parrot at Typhoon Lagoon years ago by the rogue storm. During the attraction, Guests will be transported in their treasure rafts to the top of the slide where they will pass by Mary’s wrecked ship and see her parrot who is found among her treasures. That’s when the white-water rapids adventure will take Guests through twists and turns, all while seeing artifacts from Captain Oceaneer’s worldwide treasure hunts.

Miss Adventure Falls will be the longest attraction at Typhoon Lagoon – clocking in at two minutes – and will be a ride the whole family can enjoy.