Walt Disney World (FL)

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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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: May 14, 2015

by on May 14, 2015

1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World.  It feels so good to be home, so we’re starting with a little Orlando Pride this week! I know we normally just feature theme parks, but I couldn’t visit the Orlando Eye and not take you with me! Stay tuned, because we’re also stopping by the Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. So what are we waiting for? Let’s go ya’ll! :D

When construction started on the Orlando Eye there wasn’t much interest in our house. I mean, it’s just a big ferris wheel, right? Now that I’ve been lucky enough to ride I can tell you that is far from the truth. This thing is massive! Taking a complete trip around takes a full 20 minutes. Here’s the view from the base:

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Want to see more? Click to read on….

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Stroller Rental Showdown: Walt Disney World Edition

by on May 13, 2015

Photo - Angela Dahlgren

BOB Revolution Flex Stroller

On my latest trip, I reviewed Walt Disney World stroller rental companies:

Orlando Stroller Rentals – full review here

Magic Strollers – full review here

Kingdom Strollers – full review here

Walt Disney World Stroller Rental – full review here

We last reviewed most of these companies in 2012. If you’re curious to see how they compare then vs. now, read Scarlett’s review here!

Each stroller was reviewed for at least half a day, and none of the companies knew it was for a review.

These companies are all Disney Featured Stroller Providers, which allows them to use the Disney resorts to store their strollers (except the Disney in-park rentals). The two big benefits to you are:

  • Your stroller will be picked up and delivered to the Bell Services desk at your Disney hotel
  • You don’t need to be present for the initial drop-off or pick-up

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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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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – May 3 to 9, 2015

by on May 12, 2015

Throughout May we are seeing a significant trend where wait times are dipping lower than usual in the middle part of the week. Last week we saw crowds dip low on Tuesday through Thursday but otherwise hitting crowd levels in line with historical averages for May. Other than those middle days the Disney World Crowd Calendar did a fine job predicting crowd levels at all four parks.

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

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Current Walt Disney World Discounts: 5-11-2015

by on May 11, 2015

TouringPlans logoPlanning out your summer or beyond? Here’s a list of the current Walt Disney World discounts (fine print follows):

Florida Resident – now through July 2 and July 6 to August 13. Selected resorts only

Annual Passholder – now through August 10. Selected resorts only.

Free Dining – for arrivals August 28 to October 2, October 25 to 31, November 8 to 19, December 15 to 21 – minimum 6 night stay required for this package. Selected resorts only.

Room Only Discounts – now through October 3. Selected resorts only.

Magic Together/Magic for the Whole Family/Summer and Late Summer Preschool – packages based on families of 3 or 4 staying at All Star Resorts. Ask your travel agent for details. June 16 to September 10.

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SATURDAY SIX: Top Six Meet and Greets at the Magic Kingdom

by on May 9, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Top Six Meet and Greets at the Magic Kingdom. Let’s face it, meet and greets have become an important part of the vacation experience for many guests. Gone are the days when you could randomly bump into characters roaming the parks as the meet and greets of today have become attractions themselves, with some lines equaling even the best rides and shows in the parks. With elaborate sets, must-do character dining, and even special events based around the opportunity to meet characters, nobody does meet and greets better than Walt Disney World. Today we are going to look at the very best meet and greets at the Magic Kingdom, along with a little advice from an expert on meeting characters, Kenny the Pirate. The rankings are based on several factors including; theming of the meet and greet area, guest interaction with the characters, and a pinch of Je ne sais quoi (the indefinable magic that some meet and greets deliver which stays with you and your family for years, if not a lifetime.) Remember that clicking on any picture will bring it up in full size, and with that out of the way let’s start with…

# 6 – The Little Mermaid (Ariel’s Grotto)

Disney hit a home run with New Fantasyland delivering a great coaster with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a wonderful dark ride with Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, and the first “E-Ticket” dining experience with Be Our Guest Restaurant. They also over-delivered in the area of meet and greets with the hilarious Gaston (who we just may see later in the list,) Enchanted Tales with Belle (including the stunning Lumiere animatronic and the how did they do that Magic Mirror,) and Ariel’s Grotto.

The Grotto is located right next to the Mermaid attraction and personifies what Disney can bring to the table. Walking into the area guests will receive the same wow factor they got when seeing the elaborate queue of Under the Sea or the impressive Ursula figure during the ride. This is a setting befit of a Disney princess.Guests are asked to sit next to Ariel on her clam shell bench, and this provides an intimate experience you just don’t get at many meet and greets. Like her movie counterpart, this Ariel will comment on unusual items guests may have that wouldn’t be found in the water, along with having age appropriate conversations with each and every guest. This is your only opportunity to meet Ariel outside of a dining package, and be sure to ask how her friends Flounder and Sebastian are doing!

Ariel1

The Little Mermaid. (photo by Jackie Laughters)

ArielsGrotto_Daisny

Ariel’s Grotto. (photo by Daisy Lauren)

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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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Feel the Force Premium Package Preview

by on May 8, 2015

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Face your fears. Plan ahead. Enjoy the Premium Package.

2015 Feel the Force Details

When the Feel the Force Premium Package Star Wars parade and dessert party was announced last year, I went through a range of emotions on the first day. I started at “That is way too expensive for all of that…” moved quickly to “Maybe I can move a few things around…” Eventually, I ended up at “I must book that thing NOW…” While most reviews were tentative compliments through downright trashing, prepared visitors can make the most out of the experience to turn it into a worthwhile expense. Just be prepared to move to certain areas – and enjoy all that can be offered for the weekend. Read on for a review of last year’s experience.

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