The Polite Pig (which is the sister restaurant to the Orlando restaurant The Ravenous Pig) will officially open on April 10 in the Town Center section of Disney Springs! Award-winning Orlando Chefs, husband and wife team, James and Julie Petrakis are opening this newest concept with James Petrakis’ brother Brian.
The Polite Pig will be a fast causal dining experience that will feature an open kitchen and is going to be a southern delight! The 5,000-square-foot eatery will be open daily, and will offer seating for 190 guests. In addition to indoor seating, The Polite Pig will have a great outdoor patio for Guests to enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »
What is your favorite current nighttime show at Walt Disney World?
With some of the polling done on Twitter, we’re limited to four choices, but there are more than four nighttime shows at Walt Disney World, so there was an enthusiastic write-in campaign for one fan favorite! Here’s the results, from least votes to greatest, with more than 1,800 votes cast.
When looking at April Crowds at Walt Disney World it all starts with Easter. This year Easter Sunday falls on April 16. Historically, Sunday is not the busiest day of the Easter season although you can expect to see very large crowds every day around the holiday. The Christmas peak season that we see every year happens between December 27 and January 1, a few days after the holiday itself. For Easter, the busiest days at the Disney World parks happen before the holiday. Guests of the Disney parks can expect to see peak Easter crowds on the Tuesday through Thursday before Easter (April 11 – April 13).
Easter is very busy but not as extreme as Christmas and New Year’s Eve
Easter is not the only date of interest on the April calendar. In fact, April is chock-full of special events. Here is a breakdown of what’s happening in April and how it might impact crowds in the parks.
Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot
Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival continues throughout all of April. Guests can expect the parks to be extra busy on weekends, especially in the afternoon. The festival includes temporary food kiosks all around the park which bring in curious locals who come for the food but don’t ride the rides. This is why you might see very crowded parks with manageable wait times at the attractions. Avoid weekends unless you have no choice or if you are visiting for a specific concert.
Grad Nights are back but now they are at Typhoon Lagoon. We don’t think those grads will spill over to the other parks in great numbers but beware if they do. There may be a premium on arriving early at the parks on days around Grad Nights – they tend to sleep in.
The Disney World Crowd Calendar is predicting very busy parks during the second week of April (April 10 – April 17). Two-thirds of the largest school districts are off at least one day that week and that means large crowds at Disney World. The good news is that park hours are extended to accommodate the influx of guests so the savvy planner can take advantage and arrive as early as possible. Do that and you will be ahead of the game. After the Easter break, 95% of school districts are back in class so we expect to see the parks return to moderate crowd levels fairly quickly after Easter Monday. Read the rest of this entry »
2017 has been crowded but especially the last three weeks!
The last update to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar was March 16, 2017 and we published a blog article about the changes, which you can read here. We mentioned that there were some signs that Disneyland crowds were beginning to return to normal but after a few weeks of observing crowds, that does not appear to be the case. In fact, it may even be getting worse.
So, we need to adjust the crowd levels to reflect the new reality for crowds at Disneyland Resort. That means we have to shift down the 1 to 10 scale to have more days in the middle and fewer days at the top. What it means for you is that you may see some changes to the crowd levels for your travel dates. What used to be ‘6’s and ‘7’s may now be ‘4’s and ‘5’s. What used to be ‘9’s and ’10’s will now be ‘7’s and ‘8’s. The good news is that your touring plans probably won’t change that much. The scale we use for the crowd calendar is based on what we have observed at Disney parks for the previous 6 months. Usually, we do not see a big change. This year is different.
Why is it different? That is the big question. There are no economic factors that indicate travel is trending up. In fact, there is evidence that international travel has dropped significantly. Disneyland Resort continues to offer a juicy buy-one-get-three ticket promotion which is likely a factor but that doesn’t explain the ridiculous crowds at a time of year that should be moderate to busy. Operational cut-backs are likely a large factor as well. Whenever park operations are understaffed, wait times go up.
We monitor the wait times at every Disneyland Resort attraction daily. Check the blog in a few weeks to see if the trend has continued. As for planning your trip to Disneyland Resort, a touring plan is your best friend! It will work wonders to save you time in line, no matter how crowded it is.
This week’s SATURDAY SIXtakes a look at 6 Disney references in James Cameron’s AVATAR! Longtime readers of the SATURDAY SIX know we are pretty much obsessed when it comes to Hollywood movies or TV shows having references to our beloved theme parks. We’ve done articles on shows such as Roseanne and Boy Meets World going to Walt Disney World. We looked at movies such as Sharknado 3 and Ace Ventura Pet Dectective Jr. (yes, it actually exists) that were filmed at the Universal Orlando Resort. Remember when The Simpsons made all those jokes about theme parks over the years? We do. Let’s be honest, which blog series in the entire internet is brave enough to watch the ENTIRETY of Hulk Hogan’s Thunder in Paradise series just to find out which scenes were shot at WDW? Only us.
What many humans would have logically concluded as a monumental waste of time was instead training for our greatest achievement, discovering all the Disney references in James Cameron’s Avatar.
Avatar was a worldwide phenomenon making over $2.7 BILLION at the box office. To put that number in perspective, Star Wars: The Force Awakens barely crossed the $2 Billion mark and we all remember what a hit that was. However, when Disney announced it was building an entire land around the film Avatar, many people thought they were crazy. The movie just didn’t have the memorable characters that franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter, or the animated Pixar film Cars. Turns out Disney was crazy… like a fox! While all of us were marveling over the gorgeous 3D landscape of Pandora on the big screen Disney had tossed in a whole bunch of Easter Eggs into Avatar that have gone undiscovered until now. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the Disney references, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…
# 6 – Lapu Lapu
For those that remember (ah, who are we kidding?), after the wheelchair bound Jake is transferred into his N’avi “Avatar,” he immediately begins to run and test out his new body. Jake ran into the Avatar for the character played by Sigourney Weaver, and she threw him a piece of fruit that was indigenous to Pandora’s eco system. Turns out, that wasn’t just a normal fruit, that was actually the pineapple based Lapu Lapu from Disney’s Tambu Lounge! Like Jake, we the audience were so blow away by the new world we had entered that we didn’t see this small – but important – detail.
Jake holding a Lapu Lapu, which an indigenous drink to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. (photo by Matt Cleary)
For those of you planning your summer Walt Disney World vacations, you’ll want to make sure you download (or update) to the newly redesigned My Disney Experience app!
With the updated My Disney Experience app, Guests will still be able to experience all things Disney. So you can still access FastPass+ information, wait times, dining information, PhotoPass photos, maps, merchandise, and more, but it’s all so much more spelled out. The app now opens to the park maps to help guests find attractions, restaurants, restrooms things easier.
The app now also has a new feature called “My Resort Dashboard.” This helps Guests who may be staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel access their reservation details all in one place. My Resort Dashboard gives directions to the resort, a map showing the location of a Guest’s room (once you know what it is) and a link to directly call the Resort Front Desk. Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo came across some pretty interesting stuff in March including more Turkey Leg merchandise, the first Outlet appearance of a Metal Earth product, and even discovered more nefarious tricks from the eBay pirates that haunt the stores.
Ready to see what we found? Let’s go!
First up was this truly fantastic Jungle Cruise glass. This design is based off a print from one of my personal favorite Disney artists, Shag. I absolutely adore the retro style. Bought one of these and it is now my everyday juice glass. Originally $14.95, now $9.99.
This next item was a tough one to pass up. On one hand, it’s based around the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction, which is normally something I would buy no matter what just on principle. However, I’m not a fan of drinking out of these types of glasses, so ended up passing despite the great price. Originally $12.95, now $4.99.
Please tell me how it’s already the end of March?! (Maybe it’s because I just recently took a much needed weekend trip down to Orlando to catch some rays, experience springtime excitement, and just get away. I am recharged and energized once again!) No matter, it is in fact the last day of the month, and the excitement of spring is now upon us! Who else is taking a vacay down to Florida for a little getaway?
This week, we learn about pricing for Volcano Bay, updates for Disney Cruise Line, and just who really did break the internet?
In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors
Bob Iger is staying on as Disney CEO for at least one more year.
Disney Parks won’t be going the way of virtual reality, according to Bob Iger. That certainly makes this Disney fan happy.