Posts Tagged ‘Downtown Disney’

Menu Monday: Rainforest Café Showdown

by on August 24, 2015

Rainforest CafeMy family and I are big fans of the Rainforest Café. During our travels across the country, we always make a point to visit this restaurant every chance we get. In the last few years, we’ve dined at the Rainforest Café in Disneyland, Las Vegas, Dallas, San Antonio, Galveston, and of course, Downtown Disney (Springs) and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

What keeps us going back again and again? We are suckers for a good theme! The more immersive and detailed the environment, the more we love it. This, coincidentally, is one of the main reasons we repeatedly visit Disney World as well. There’s just nothing quite like escaping to another “world” whether it’s for just a meal or for an entire trip. During our summer vacation this year, my family and I had the opportunity to dine at both Disney World locations. Are you considering a visit to the “rainforests” of Downtown Disney and Animal Kingdom? Trying to decide which one is best for you? Then read on for the complete Rainforest Café Showdown; your adventure is about to begin!

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Tips for Conference Goers at Disney World Who Are Too Cool for Characters

by on August 12, 2015

Q: Why do lots of people without kids visit Walt Disney World if they think it’s for the preschool set?

A: They’re getting paid to be there.

My first visit to Walt Disney World as an adult was for a convention. According to Disney Meetings, Walt Disney World is home to over over 700,000 square feet of meeting space. Six of Disney’s own hotels include convention space, and that doesn’t include the on-property Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts, which add 329,000 square feet to that total. Hundreds of thousands of additional conventioneers visit Orlando each year to attend events at the Orange County Convention Center and many other hotels in the area. In other words, if you are a professional who hasn’t attended a conference in Orlando yet, you probably will soon.

However, not everyone visiting central Florida wants to be immersed in Mickey and pals. If you are visiting Walt Disney World as part of a business trip, you may be worried that your visit will be a nightmarish cacophony of cartoony characters.

Chef Mickey

I promise, you can avoid this guy entirely.

You can certainly get your fill of characters in Walt Disney World if that’s your thing, but you can also avoid them entirely. This post will explain where to stay during your trip to maintain an oasis of calm in Mickey Central as well as how to fill your leisure time in Walt Disney World without getting too much pixie dust on your clothes, and where you can have a dignified, character-free meal.

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First Look at Menu Offerings for Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

by on August 11, 2015

Jock Lindsay's Hangar BarA couple of months ago, Disney introduced us to about a brand new restaurant coming to Downtown Disney/Disney Springs called Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.  The restaurant is themed after Indy’s pilot in the Indiana Jones movies and will feature a heavy aviation theme, including airplane parts and mementos from Jock’s travels.

Today, Disney released some of the eclectic menu offerings that will be found at this kitschy restaurant.  It appears that menu offerings will be on the appetizer/small plates side with items that are named after many of the characters and events from the movies.

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Disney World After Dark: 10 Tips for Night Owls

by on August 3, 2015

Just about every reputable planning guide for Walt Disney World (ahem, Unofficial Guide) strongly advises getting up early in Orlando – really early. During the winter holidays, making rope drop for an morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom could have your family strolling up to the tapstiles shortly after 6:00. In the morning.

But if you haven’t seen a sunrise since the last time you stayed out all night, never despair. You don’t need to sacrifice your sleep-in to have a great time at Walt Disney World. In fact, the dark hours are some of my favorite times to be in the parks. Here’s how you can have a fabulous night owl-optimized vacation at Walt Disney World, without bringing an alarm clock into it:

Magic Kingdom at night. Main Street U.S.A.’s best hour.

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My Favorite Disney World Stores for Unique Merchandise

by on July 28, 2015

Art of Animation Ink and Paint

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Ink and Paint Shop

Is shopping a big part of your Walt Disney World Vacation? It’s a big part of mine! I love browsing the numerous stores throughout the Disney World Resort looking for a piece of the magic to bring home, but have you ever noticed that so much of the merchandise lining the shelves of one store is the same as what you find at the next? I mean, I love plush and pins and t-shirts too, but not when it’s in every store. Fortunately, there are a few places scattered around Disney World where you can discover some hard to find souvenirs which is why for today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite Disney World stores for unique merchandise!

AKL

Animal Kingdom Lodge Pillow for $24.95

Zawadi Marketplace – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort’s gift shop is a big favorite among Disney World guests! It’s large and very open; and in addition to your standard gift shop items, has a selection of handmade African art, collectibles, and even books about wildlife. Some items, including plush toys that I’ve seen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park can also be found here too. Now I’m a big fan of the Disney World Resorts and kind of consider them like second homes, so naturally I love a wide selection of resort exclusive merchandise and Zawadi Marketplace has a lot in the form of tees, cups, magnets, artwork, and even home décor.

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What To Do With Teens at Downtown Disney Once DisneyQuest is Gone

by on July 13, 2015

DisneyQuest

Downtown Disney’s DisneyQuest

So you want to check out Downtown Disney during your next trip to Walt Disney World. The problem is…you have teenagers. Will they want to be pulled away from the thrill rides and water parks for several hours of shopping? Will there be anything for them? Is it even worth a try?

For years, DisneyQuest was a haven at Downtown Disney for older kids and teens, an interactive playground of sorts with experiences such as the Virtual Jungle Cruise and CyberSpace Mountain. It first opened in 1998, and unfortunately it hasn’t changed much since then. In fact, during my last visit, DisneyQuest reminded me more of my local arcade with its faded carpets and outdated technology than something I would expect to find at Disney World. What I did notice was that older kids and teens, despite having smartphones in their pockets and the latest game consoles at home, were still having fun playing around DisneyQuest. But now, Disney has announced that DisneyQuest will be closing its doors for good in 2016.

So the question is: what does Downtown Disney have to offer this age group now? Is it all just stores and restaurants for Mom and Dad? No way! During my last visit to Downtown Disney, I discovered many restaurants and stores that I think teens are sure to enjoy. Like what? I’m here to tell you all about it with What To Do With Teens Once DisneyQuest is Gone.

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More Details About Two New Downtown Disney Dining Establishments for Walt Disney World

by on July 6, 2015

Today, I am here to share some updated information about two of the new Downtown Disney/Disney Springs dining establishments; one of which has opened already and one which is to come in the future.

Let’s start with the one that recently opened. Tea Trader’s Cafe by Joffrey’s has officially opened its location this week in The Landing and can be found near The BOATHOUSE.

©Disney

©Disney

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DisneyQuest Will Close at Downtown Disney

by on June 30, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Bye bye Cyber Space Mountain. See you later Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlasters. Sayonara Virtual Jungle Cruise. DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park will be officially closing its doors sometime in 2016. The extremely dated video and virtual game center which featured 5 floors of virtual worlds, 3D encounters, and classic video games will be making way for the recently announced NBA Experience.

NBA Experience will feature hands-on activities that put guests right in the middle of the NBA action, creating an immersive experience of both the game and its players. Guests will enjoy unique NBA video productions, a restaurant, and a store.

DisneyQuest opened in 1998 in Downtown Disney’s West Side and was originally supposed to become a chain, however, the idea didn’t take off like Disney had hoped.

There has been no official closing date announced, so I’ll make sure to keep you posted in the future.

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Vivoli Gelateria Now Open at Downtown Disney

by on June 11, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Are you looking for authentic Italian gelato on your next Walt Disney World vacation? Then you need to head to Downtown Disney to experience Vivoli Gelateria, a brand new gelato location now found in The Landing section.

Vivoli Gelateria was founded in Florence, Italy, and the Downtown Disney location is only its second ever full-service shop.

The quick-service place showcases gelato making, an art that has been perfected by three generations of family. This really is a family run business, as it was founded in 1932 by Raphael Vivoli and his two brothers. Vivoli Gelateria started out as a dairy. It is now run by Raphael’s granddaughter, Silvana.

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First Details About The Edison at Disney Springs

by on June 9, 2015

gI_87390_2015-0505 - Edison Rendering JPEG copyOne of the recent dining establishments announced for Disney Springs is The Edison. For those who are curious about this upcoming hot spot, here is what you can expect to find.

The Edison is a lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style restaurant, bar, and nighttime destination. It is inspired by its sister location, which can be found in Los Angeles. It will be themed around old-world style sophistication and romance and this particular venue’s story is that it is set in a 1920s-period power plant, recalling the era of innovation and imagination.

This destination establishment is famous for classic American food, craft cocktails, as well as live music and entertainment. Various entertainment options will include contortionists, palm readers, DJs, and more.

There will be multiple themed areas for guests to explore. They include The Ember Parlour, Telegraph Lounge, The Patent Office, The Radio Room, The Tesla Lounge, The Lab performance space, and a Waterfront Patio.

The Edison will be run by the Patina Group, which is the same company who runs Via Napoli, Tutto Italia, and Tutto Gusto.

While there is no official opening date announced for The Edison, it is expected to open in The Landing section of Disney Springs in 2016.

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