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Universal Orlando Tests Mardi Gras Guide App

by on April 19, 2015 1 Comment

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Universal Orlando test of a Mardi Gras Guide app could hint at the future of theme park events, for good or ill… (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Easter has been over two weeks, but Universal Orlando‘s annual Mardi Gras celebration only came to an end on Saturday night. Universal Studios Florida’s final parade and concert played on April 18th to a packed park under overcast skies, unlike the previous week’s rain-soaked washout. But in addition to flying beads and Trey Songz’s bass beats, Universal tossed out another surprise to its fans, testing a new Mardi Gras Guide app for smartphones on the party’s last night.

I began by downloading The Official Universal Orlando Mardi Gras Guide App to my iPhone 6 Plus. The app became available on April 15, and can still be downloaded for free (though it doesn’t do much now that the event has ended).

When the iOS Mard Gras Guide app opens for the first time, you’ll be asked to approve access to various services. Interestingly, there is no request to access the camera, which will become an issue later…

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Tomorrowland Preview Now Open at Epcot

by on April 18, 2015 3 Comments

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Tomorrowland preview epcot

The Tomorrowland preview has evicted Captain EO from Epcot’s Imagination pavilion. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Do you want to go back to the future? Well, we’re already in 2015, so Doc Brown’s time machine is off the table, but Disney is now giving guests a glimpse of the world (or at least the moview) of tomorrow. As Rikki Niblett reported, Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland preview officially opened on April 18 inside Epcot‘s Magic Eye Theater, formerly home to Captain EO.

The new temporary attraction is essentially an advertisement for the upcoming Brad Bird-directed sci-fi flick, which will be released to American theaters on May 22.

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SATURDAY SIX: The Six Most Unique Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World

by on April 18, 2015 26 Comments

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Most Unique Dining Experiences at Walt Disney World. Nobody enjoys eating at “The World” more than us. From outrageous snacks like the King Cupcake at Pop Century, to Disney food trucks, to table service restaurants like Bongo’s Cuban Cafe or ‘Ohana, food may have actually replaced attractions in what we look forward to the most on our Disney vacations. Can you blame us though? WDW has some of the greatest restaurants you will ever go to, with several one-of-a-kind experiences that you will never get back at home. So today we’re going to take a look the six most unique dining experiences on property, starting with…

# 6 – Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge)

The Animal Kingdom Lodge just may be our favorite resort at Disney, and one of the biggest reasons is how much we love Sanaa. Located in Kidani Village, this is the only restaurant at AKL that has a view looking out into the beautiful savanna and all the animals. The decor is fantastic, with the chairs having backs echoing tribal shields and lighting fixtures based on nests that Weaver birds would make in Africa. The dining room floor has beautiful representations of acacia trees while the entire room is filled with art, which is appropriate since Sanaa is the Swahili word for artwork. Sanaa is hands-down one of the most gorgeous restaurants in Orlando.

sanaa_glover

The famous Sanaa bread service while seated next to the Savanah. (photo by Brandon Glover)

There are plenty of places at Walt Disney World to get chicken fingers and hamburgers, but Sanaa (along with other AKL venues such as Jiko and Boma) is where you can expand your culinary palate and try dishes you normally wouldn’t. It is worth making an ADR for Sanaa based on their bread service alone. There are five different types of Naan and you can choose up to 9 accompaniments to go with the bread. From a gamut running sweet to spicy, there is a dip for everyone in your party.

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Sanaa’s acacia tree decor. (photo by Tom Bricker)

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 4/17/15

by on April 17, 2015 3 Comments

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Happy Friday! Do you have big plans that involve Disney this weekend? If you’ll be traveling to Walt Disney World this weekend (or any time soon), here are some of the news notes you should know!

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom is now offering the pre-order option for breakfast. Guests with a breakfast reservation will receive information via their dining confirmation email and will be able to pre-order meals through My Disney Experience anywhere from 30 days to 5 minutes prior to their reservation. Guests can also still choose to order breakfast at the time of arrival at the restaurant. Breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant is currently only being tested through June 18.
  • Epcot will be holding some special events Earth Day, which is April 22. Beginning today until April 22, there will be nature activities for kids and families and a sand-sculpture creation to showcase Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom at the World Showcase Outpost. Then, over at The Seas with Nemo & Friends on April 22, guests can learn about conservation efforts to protect coral reefs, sea turtles, sharks, and the many other amazing creatures that inhabit our oceans.

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of April 17, 2015

by on April 17, 2015 2 Comments

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In Case You Missed It!

In Case You Missed It!

Are you going to see Monkey Kingdom this weekend? It looks pretty darn cute!

Holy cow! What a Disney news week it was! This week’s articles include an intriguing look at MyMagic+, a featurette about Tomorrowland, oh and some minor news about some movie called….Star….Wars? I don’t know if this will be a big thing or not. ;)

Seriously, we need to get to it, because there’s just so much great stuff to read and see!

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

This is the must read article of the week. If you don’t read any thing else I’ve included here, you need to make sure to read this article from Fast Company. It is the most probing article into MyMagic+ and shares the story on its development. It is a fascinating read. Oh and let me know your thoughts about it.

Do you want to know what one of Disney’s best kept secrets is? No, it isn’t DVC. Instead, it’s “Yehaa” Bob Jackson! Don’t miss this great article, all about Bob, and why he is such a great Disney treasure and a pure entertainer. (And Bob…don’t worry…your hair looks great!) Oh and if you haven’t caught Bob’s show yet, make sure you do that too. It’s a hoot! Read the rest of this entry »

Tomorrowland Preview Begins Tomorrow at Epcot

by on April 17, 2015 1 Comment

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©Disney

©Disney

I feel a sense of irony writing this title for this article. ;)

For those of you excited about the Tomrrowland sneak peek that will be taking place in Epcot‘s Magic Eye Theater in the Imagination Pavilion (you know, where Captain EO has been playing), it will begin tomorrow, April 18. In addition, to being able to catch the preview guests will also be able to get a close-up look at one of the jet packs used in the film, along with a display of concept art and photos straight from the set.

For those visiting Disneyland, the preview kicked off today at the Tomorrowland Theater. After catching the preview, guests are invited to visit the Starcade to see original props and production artwork.

The preview will last approximately 15-20 minutes and is expected to run until May 24. Tomorrowland heads to theaters on May 22.

Celebrate Earth Day with a Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on April 17, 2015

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Disney's Animal KingdomLooking for a great way to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) while visiting Walt Disney World? Look no further than Disney’s Animal Kingdom! (Which is also the park’s anniversary!) Each year, the park holds a special event called Party for the Planet. The day will include unique activities, merchandise, and of course, a cupcake, to celebrate the occasion.

Most events are slated to take place at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Guests should hop on the Wildlife Express Train back to the land, where they will be able to meet Rafiki and Jiminy Cricket (from April 19 through 25); see conservation displays and presentations courtesy of Cast Members; have caricatures done or get your face painted (available through April 25); and visit research stations, which will showcase behind-the-scenes footage of “Monkey Kingdom,” Disney’s newest Disneynature release (available through May 20.)

In addition, there will be vendors and artists selling unique items to guests in both the Africa section of the park and in Discovery Island.

I did mention that there would be a specialty cupcake. It will be a Worms in Dirt-themed chocolate cupcake, with a chocolate mousse filling with white buttercream dipped in Oreo crumbs. It is topped with a chocolate flowerpot and gummy worms. Guests can pick it up at Kusafiri Coffee Shop or at Isle of Java on April 22.

For more information about celebrating Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, make sure you pick up the special Times Guide for full details.

 

Disney Detour – Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

by on April 17, 2015 3 Comments

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IMG_4487Six miles away from Disneyland Resort is the Southern California institution known as Knott’s Berry Farm. It’s hard to explain to outsiders or first time visitors the place that Knott’s has in the hearts of Southern Californians. It’s a place that our grandparent’s grandparents took them to. A place that not many people would call their favorite theme park, or even necessarily a place they like to visit. But it’s our nice little local park. The typical response I hear from out-of-towners that visit Knott’s is, “It’s nowhere near as good as Disneyland.” That’s like telling a wrestling fan that wrestling is fake. Duh, they know. Sure, it’s not as glamorous, exciting, or well-themed as Disneyland, but it definitely has a lot of charm and is well worth a visit.

Anyway, this post isn’t about Knott’s history or quality; it’s about boysenberries. This week I visited Knott’s with Tom Bricker. This was his first trip, and our main reason for visiting was to experience the annual Knott’s Boysenberry Festival. You see, boysenberries are one of the major reasons Knott’s Berry Farm exists (Knott’s says all boysenberries in the world can be traced back to Knott’s Berry Farm), so it makes sense that the park would honor them. Read the rest of this entry »

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: April 16, 2015

by on April 16, 2015 9 Comments

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1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Tokyo Disney Resort! As some of you might have guessed, my vacation last week was to a far flung Disney destination. While I could never give any real summary of the parks in just one post, I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from the trip.

When we visited Tokyo just six months ago, I thought it would be my only trip there for awhile. However, when we started planning a vacation to Disneyland we realized that it wasn’t much more to head back to Tokyo. When factoring in airline miles, the fact that everything is cheaper, and a good conversion rate, it actually saved us money to head back to Tokyo! Well, that was until we changed our flights to arrive a day early and found out there were no hotels in the city! (oops) We ended up having to pay $700 for a night at the Disneyland Hotel. While the hotel and view were amazing, the price was incredibly hard to justify. So learn from my mistake and book that hotel first. On the positive side it means I have this room tour to share. What do you think? Is it worth it?

3 4

There is a lot more Tokyo Disney to share so be sure to click to read more!

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Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package Returns for 2015

by on April 15, 2015 2 Comments

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Frozen Summer FunThe Frozen Summer Fun LIVE event will be returning this year, which means that also returning will be the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package. Booking this package will allow guests to experience three of the most popular events during the Frozen Summer Fun LIVE day. If you are looking for the ultimate Frozen day, this is the way to experience it!

To start, guests will be able to watch Anna and Elsa’s Royal Processional, a fun mini-parade with your favorite characters from the movie, in a reserved viewing area, complete with regal refreshments, such as water, soft drinks, and ice cream!

Guests will then be able to acquire reserved seating to one showing of For the First Time In Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.  The retelling of the story of Arendelle will take place in the newly named Hyperion Theater. (It used to be the Superstar Television Theater, home of the American Idol Experience.)

Finally, guests will end their day with a special dessert party and private viewing area for the Frozen Fireworks spectacular. Guests will be able to enjoy Frozen-themed desserts as well as specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The cost is $69 for adults (ages 10 and up), $39 for children age 3 to 9 (tax and gratuity are included). Reservations can be made online or by calling 407-939-3463. Do keep in mind that package availability is limited.

The package will be available for guests to experience from June 17 through September 7, with the exception of July 4 and 15.