Posts Tagged ‘Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort’

Piano at Disney World: Live Shows and Fabulous Props

by on February 13, 2017

 

Piano Entertainment at Walt Disney World

Disney World guests can choose from an array of extravagant entertainment from full-scale stage shows like Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to nightly theme park spectaculars like Magic Kingdom’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. The wow factor of these shows in undeniable, but Disney World also features numerous fantastic smaller-scale acts inside and outside of the theme parks. Among these, it is surprising how many of my favorites feature some extremely talented pianists.

Disney World Hotel Bar Tour

The incomparable Yehaa Bob (photo by Brian McNichols)

This article takes a look at some of these fantastic piano acts and how you can make them part of your Disney World visit. Plus, just for fun, we point to several Disney World attractions and other venues where you can spot fabulous piano props and theming.

Live Piano Entertainment to Include in Your Disney World Plan

Yehaa Bob Jackson at River Roost Lounge. With a great big personality and a rollicking good time of a show, Yehaa Bob entertains resort guests and long-time fans at River Roost Lounge located at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. During his show combining music and comedy, Yehaa Bob is a master at getting his audience singing along, dancing, and cheering each other on. Each guest becomes part of the fun as Yehaa Bob visits tables and poses for photo ops. It’s no surprise that Yehaa Bob, who has been entertaining Disney World guests since 1997, was a Legacy Award recipient in 2013, one of Disney’s most prestigious awards for Cast Members, Crew Members, and Imagineers.

Where and when: Shows take place every Wednesday through Saturday night at Port Orleans – Riverside’s River Roost Lounge at 8:30 PM and 10:30 PM. The show is family-friendly, there is no cover charge, and you can just enjoy the show or grab a table and order drinks or food.

What else to do: Before or after the show, consider taking a walk along the Sassagoula River that goes from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside to its Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter.

Casey’s Corner Pianist. It’s easy to rush by Magic Kingdom’s Casey’s Corner at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. on your way to the next attraction, but slowing down for at least a few minutes when the Casey’s Corner pianist is performing will pay off big time. I guarantee that you will be massively impressed by the talents of the pianist playing lively Disney and ragtime tunes. The music will also greatly increase your immersion in the Main Street, U.S.A. atmosphere. Get even more involved by making a request.

Where and when: 20-minute sets usually start around noon and run until 6-7 PM outside of Casey’s Corner hot dog stop. You can check a specific date here or obtain the Magic Kingdom Times Guide at the front of the park.

What else to do: Grab a hot dog at Casey’s Corner or an ice cream across the street at the Plaza Ice Parlor to enjoy while you watch the show.

Enjoy live music played by the Casey’s Corner Pianist. Photo courtesy of Disney

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SATURDAY SIX Looks at Our Favorite Shows That Went to Disney World (part 2)

by on May 28, 2016

To read part one of this grand adventure, which included a look a Boy Meets World, Step by Step, and Sabrina: The Teenage Witch, CLICK HERE.

Without further ado…

# 3 – Family Matters “We’re Going to Disney World”

Season 6, episodes 22 and 23

“Carl, I never told you this, but when your father was on his death bed he said to me, ‘I have only one regret. I never got to take little Carl to Disney World.’ Then he died”

“Wait a minute, Carl’s father’s died before that place was ever built.”

“Quiet, you want to go there, don’t you?” – Estelle and Harriet Winslow trying to convince Carl to go to WDW

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Family Matters

Now this is one for the books.

By season six of Family Matters the show had completely transformed from a “working man’s version of the Cosby Show” into The Steve Urkel Show, for good or for bad. This episode started off with Steve Urkel coming into the Winslow household proclaiming that he was a finalist for the “national inventor’s contest” sponsored by “Amateur Innovation Weekly.” Watching these older shows make will make you appreciate how much better the reboots like Girls Meets World and Fuller House really are. Anyway, because Urkel was a finalist he was able to take as many people as he wanted with him to Florida. You just got to go with these things.

Our first stop was Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Again, the resort was never mentioned by name but we did get to see several exterior shots and the gorgeous lobby. Then we were off to Innoventions in EPCOT, where Urkel’s “transformation” machine turned him from geeky Urkel to “cool” Stephan. Urkel’s assistant liked him better as Stephan, so she sabotaged the machine, keeping him stuck as Stephan until a replacement part could be flown in. The judges said they would reconvene in three days to decide a winner to the contest.

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Wilderness Lodge!

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Wilderness Lodge lobby.

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Innoventions!

One subplot of the show revolved around Carl Winslow. He had no interest in going to Disney World at first (until the incredible line from his grandmother that is quoted at the top), and even once he arrived still had very little “pixie dust.” However all that changed as soon as he walked through the turnstiles of the Magic Kingdom. Soon Carl was in love with Disney so much that he was ready to quit his job in Chicago and move the entire family to Florida.

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Carl meets the characters on Main Street USA.

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SATURDAY SIX: Walt Disney World locations in Hulk Hogan’s THUNDER IN PARADISE

by on April 30, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Walt Disney World locations used in Hulk Hogan’s Thunder in Paradise. We’re getting into the DeLorean today with Marty McFly and Doc Brown to head back to the year 1994. It was a simpler time back then. A time when Walt Disney World only had three theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney-MGM Studios (now known as Disney’s Hollywall’d Studios and soon to be renamed as Disney Studios Escape, Disney’s CineMagic Kingdom, or A Salute to All Movies But Mostly Star Wars).

1994 was also a time where there was not one but TWO successful professional wrestling companies in America. One was WWE (who is still thriving today) and the other was World Championship Wrestling (WCW). In a controversial move at the time, WCW started taping blocks of wrestling shows at Disney-MGM Studios. Because the park was still trying to be a working production facility for movies and TV, an action-adventure television show featuring Hulk Hogan was also filmed on location. That show: Thunder in Paradise.

How to describe Thunder in Paradise? Take Baywatch, strip away all the nuanced storylines and good actors, throw in a high tech speedboat in the vein of Knight Rider/Air Wolf and you pretty much have it. However, Thunder in Paradise does have one thing going for it that will appeal to readers of this fine article series: it shot almost all of its scenes at The World. Who among us doesn’t fondly remember Full House going to WDW? More recently Modern Family shot an entire episode at Disneyland, and it was great! It is awesome seeing the theme parks we know and love in a whole new context. So today we are going to look at some of our favorite WDW locations used in Thunder in Paradise. So sit back, tie that do-rag tight brother, and let’s begin our countdown starting with…

# 6 – DISNEY’S GRAND FLORIDIAN RESORT

The pilot of Thunder in Paradise actually used the Loews Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete, Florida as the base camp for Hulk Hogan and crew, but when the show was picked up for a series the following twenty episodes used Disney’s Grand Florida Resort. Fans of the Grand Flo are going to LOVE Thunder in Paradise as at least 25% of the entire series takes place inside or on the grounds of the resort. It’s incredible! You’ll see the lobby, the hallways, the rooms, and the Hulkster even has a dinner in Victoria & Alberts! A lot of scenes are filmed directly in front of the Grand Floridian, with the Scuttlebutt Bar N’ Grill being a major location for the show. The Scuttlebutt is where the Grand Flo’s Beaches pool bar now sits.

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Hulk Hogan and WWE Hall of Famer Sting square off in front of the Grand Floridian.

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A group of muscleheads (including Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart and Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake” playing tug of war in front of the Grand Flo. Should surprise no one who has read the Death of WCW book that the only person on the other side of this rope was Hulk Hogan.

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The Grand Flo lobby. We’re this close to Mizners!

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Hulk Hogan sitting at Victoria & Alberts. As he always said, say your prayers, eat your vitamins, and get up at 6AM 180+10 days out for your ADRs. Brother.

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SATURDAY SIX: The Top Six Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants in Walt Disney World

by on January 16, 2016

This week’s  SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Top Six Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly Restaurants at WDW. When readers come to the SATURDAY SIX for food they are generally looking for the most unhealthy (Pop-Tart Sandwich), most outrageous (Beaches & Cream’s Kitchen Sink sundae), or most likely to have been created out of a fever dream (Animal Kingdom poop snacks). But there’s actually another side to theme park dining: a healthy side. Today we are going to look the top six vegan & vegetarian friendly restaurants at WDW. Some people choose to eat vegan because of dietary restriction or allergies, some due to animal welfare concerns, and others for their health, but whatever the reason Walt Disney World is a great place to accommodate their needs. Today we reached out to an expert in this area, Emily Woesthoff, former general manager of Erin Mckenna’s Bakery NYC in Disney Springs (a vegan bakery). Emily is a lifelong Disney fan and just celebrated her 11th year of losing her mind eating vegan. There is no better person to guide us on this journey, so take it away Emily!

If I was given the good fortune to have a limitless supply of cash, and the superpower to make an ADR wherever I please, the following six-ish restaurants would be my go-to table service locations for vegan dining at Walt Disney World! While I haven’t yet managed to eat at every restaurant on property, I’ve dined at quite a few. The list below features my favorites, please keep in mind they are in no particular order. 

6 – ‘Ohana (Polynesian Village Resort)

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‘Ohana.

Yup. The infamous meat-fest that is ‘Ohana made the list. Crazy, right? I waited a really long time to eat here for a few reasons. First, all anyone ever talks about when they mention ‘Ohana is that it’s very meat-heavy. I had only assumed that they basically sat you in front of a roasted pig with an apple in his mouth and said, “have at it!” Second, I’m not a huge fan of the stuff-your-face-as-much-as-you-can-we-are-not-going-to-stop-bringing-you-food restaurants. It’s just too much pressure! And finally, I had accidentally been reading the restaurant’s name as O’Hana for quite a number of years, and I just didn’t think Polynesian-Irish fusion food would work. 

Much to my surprise, the vegan options at ‘Ohana are outstanding! The same lettuce wraps that meat-eaters rave about can be made vegan! There was also a considerable portion of stir fried noodles, vegetables, and tofu from which to choose, along with a starter of crispy pita chips and hummus, too! Vegan ice cream was available for dessert, if one can manage to save room for dessert at ‘Ohana. There’s also a bit of during meal entertainment, which definitely enhanced the experience. Since this restaurant is “all you care to enjoy,” the price can be a little steep. I recommend coming here with a big appetite!

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Vegan dessert at ‘Ohana.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 3: Godiva Chocolate Martini at Mizner’s Lounge

by on December 3, 2015

We’re back with everyone’s favorite theme park advent calendar: a daily countdown of our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld building anticipation to the Big Day. 

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where the drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY TWO: Godiva Chocolate Martini at Mizner’s Lounge (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort)

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Mizner’s Godiva Chocolate Martini. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Located on the second floor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Mizner’s Lounge has an intimate setting, indoor seating and a full bar menu. Because Mizner’s is located in the Main Building of the Grand Flo, it is nearby to the live jazz band that plays during the day and we have a hard time finding something more relaxing then sipping on a Godiva Chocolate Martini while listening to that wonderful music (the band even plays Christmas songs during the holiday season). As a bonus, Mizner’s offers mixed nuts to its bar patrons, and as one of the few “free” things you can get at WDW, be sure to take advantage.

Ingredients: Stoli Vanil Vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, White Crème de Cacao, and Frangelico

There are many fantastic Cast Members at Walt Disney World and we’d like to send a big thank you for years of great service to Tammy, a longtime bartender at Mizner’s.

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Ingredients of Mizner’s Chocolate Martini. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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SATURDAY SIX: Six MORE Extreme Eats at Walt Disney World

by on October 31, 2015

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six MORE Extreme Eats at Walt Disney World. For some people, the thing they like most about their theme park vacations is the great attractions like Haunted Mansion. Others love the world class shows like Festival of the Lion King. Here at the SATURDAY SIX we say Nay Nay, because what we love are the EXTRME EATS. Candy apples the size of a newborn’s head? An ice cream sundae using, among other things, 8 scoops of ice cream and a whole can of whipped cream? A cupcake topped with peanut butter icing, candied bacon, and chocolate drizzle? YES PLEASE, we’ll take one of each. In fact, make that two. Today we are back for more of the most outrageous, the most insane, and definitely the most Extreme Eats on Disney property. So sit back, have a bottle of Pepto-Bismol handy, and let’s begin our countdown starting with…

# 6 – Pop-Tart Sandwich (Pop Century Resort)

No, you are not seeing things. What you are looking at actually exists. Over at the Everything Pop food court at Disney’s Pop Century Resort is what was once thought of as an urban legend. The Pop-Tart Breakfast Sandwich features egg, bacon, and cheese on a strawberry Pop-Tart. The egg is more of a hockey puck in (possibly) edible form. The cheese and bacon melt together in a scene straight out of the classic horror film The Fly. We’d like to tell you how this tastes, but we did not dare eat it as the Pop-Tart sandwich probably should be thrown directly into the fiery pits of Mordor.

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The Pop-Tart Sandwich at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

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NSFW.

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Would You Rather: Disney Vacation Club Edition

by on October 9, 2015

Len Testa does an occasional segment for the WDW Today podcast that he calls “Would You Rather.” In it, he and his cohosts compare Walt Disney World vacations of similar pricing.

dvc-logoIt’s a revealing exercise that forces you to prioritize what you really value in your traveling. Perhaps staying off property doesn’t matter if it means you can use the savings for food and souvenirs. Or maybe you refuse to stay anywhere but a Disney deluxe resort, even if it means scrimping elsewhere.

This concept also works well with Disney Vacation Club, thanks to the vacation point system. Whether you own or rent points, everyone is using the same point charts to determine the cost of their stay, so it’s easy to compare apples to apples.

In this exercise, we will compare five different Disney Vacation Club itineraries at Walt Disney World using around 160 points — a fairly standard annual allotment. We’ll compare units with room to sleep at least eight guests visiting WDW in the summer (Magic Season). Join me below to get a sense of varying options DVC presents. 

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: March 26, 2015

by on March 26, 2015

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. This week we’re visiting the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, spending an evening at the Magic Kingdom, and stopping by Epcot. Who is ready for some special Easter fun?

If you’ve never visited during this time of year you might not know about a special display at the Grand Floridian. For just a few special weeks, incredible hand painted candy eggs are put out on display in the lobby of the hotel. Each of these eggs weigh between 9 and 12 pounds and stand anywhere from 16 to 20 inches tall. It’s pretty incredible to see! Starting with this special egg that’s on display in the lobby at the villas:

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Want to see more of this awesome Easter display? Be sure to click to read more! 🙂

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Grand Floridian Gingerbread House Officially Open

by on November 24, 2014

This past weekend I was in Walt Disney World, and I just happened to be there on the day that the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort‘s Gingerbread House officially debuted for this season! The house is huge and so gorgeous, and the best part is that you won’t be able to miss the delightful smell of gingerbread that permeates the lobby. Overall, it screams holiday cheer and is legitimately incredible to see in person.

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