Posts Tagged ‘Downtown Disney’

Disney World Pick-A Pearl FAQ

by on March 31, 2014

Have you ever wondered about the big pools of water on the counter in the middle of the Japan Pavilion at Epcot? That’s one of the Pick-A-Pearl stations at Walt Disney World. Here’s what you need to know.

Pick-A-Pearl station at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

Pick-A-Pearl station at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

What’s a Pick-A-Pearl?

The name is pretty self explanatory. At a Pick-A-Pearl station, you’ll find a large, shallow tank of water with several oysters placed on the bottom. At the station, you choose (“pick”) an oyster to buy. The cast member at the station opens the oyster in front of you, the pearl inside is yours to keep.

Is the Japan Pavilion the only place to do this at Walt Disney World?

There are actually four places to Pick-A-Pearl at Walt Disney World: inside the large Mitsukoshi store at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot, at a kiosk at Downtown Disney near the Pin Traders outpost, at a kiosk at Typhoon Lagoon, and at a kiosk on the pathway just outside the Stormalong Bay pool area at the Yacht & Beach Club resorts. While the general Pick-A-Pearl concept is the same at all the locations, they are operated by different entities, so some details may vary.

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Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney Starbucks Opens March 10

by on March 8, 2014

Attention caffeine cravers: the new Disneyland Resort Downtown Disney Starbucks will officially open on Monday, March 10, 2014. The Anaheim resort’s newest Starbucks franchise joins the ones at Market House on Main Street, U.S.A. and Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe on Buena Vista Street. You can read the details on the Disney Parks blog.

Here are a couple photos of the shop under construction late last month:

Disneyland Downtown Disney Starbucks

All photos by Seth Kubersky


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Pollo Campero/BabyCakes NYC to Close in Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney

by on March 5, 2014

BabycakesDisney Springs construction is currently going on everywhere at Downtown Disney, and one area that’s been on the demolition list has been the Pollo Campero building (which is the former location a McDonald’s at Downtown Disney). This building not only houses this Latin-inspired chicken restaurant, but also Bodie’s All-American and BabyCakes NYC.

It appears that things must progress with Disney Springs, so these three restaurants will be closing. Their last day of operation is scheduled for March 19, 2014.

To many, the biggest loss will be BabyCakes NYC, which is a gluten-free, vegan, organic, and diabetic-friendly bakery that bakes fresh products daily. BabyCakes will continue to provide gluten-free products to select Walt Disney World Resort food courts and restaurants. These include:

  • The Beach Club Marketplace at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • The Boardwalk Bakery at Disney’s Boardwalk
  • The Gardens Kiosk at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • The Mara at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • The End Zone at Disney’s All Star Sports Resort

There is no sign of whether any of these three establishments will return when Disney Springs officially debuts.

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Get Your St. Patrick’s Day On at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World

by on February 21, 2014

We are less than one month away from St. Patrick’s Day, and Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World is getting ready to celebrate it up big! The full celebration will take place from March 7 – 17, with the main focus obviously being on the weekend of March 15 – 17.

The main celebration will take place at Raglan Road, the Irish pub and restaurant found in the Pleasure Island section of Downtown Disney. The dining establishment invites guests to take part in the “Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival.” Here, guests will be able to enjoy live bands, partake in Irish dancing known as Céilí, get their face painted, and more!

Highlights of the celebrations at Raglan Road will include:

 

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Celebrate New Year’s Eve At Walt Disney World

by on December 9, 2013

©Disney

©Disney

New Year’s Eve is just three short weeks away, and those lucky enough to be at Walt Disney World during this time are in for some amazing treats! Here is an idea of some of the fun you can expect to see at Walt Disney World for New Year’s Eve.

Magic Kingdom

Celebrate 2014 with a bang…literally…as the Magic Kingdom will show not one, but two fireworks spectaculars on two separate nights. On December 30 and 31, guests may take in Holiday Wishes:  Celebrate The Season at 9 p.m. and then Fantasy in the Skywhich is scheduled for 11:50 p.m.

Epcot

This year, World Showcase will feature a variety of DJs found situated throughout the different pavilions. Guests can dance in the New Year at the Future World Fountain Stage, near the Italy Stage, at the America Gardens Theatre, and by the United Kingdom Stage, among others. As we mentioned a few weeks back, many World Showcase restaurants are also offering special dining opportunities.

Two showings of IllumiNations will light up the sky on New Year’s Eve, ending with the Holiday Tag after the 6:30 p.m. show and the New Year’s Eve Countdown spectacular after the 11:40 p.m. show.

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Tickets almost sold out for Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Gingerbread House Workshops at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

by on November 12, 2013

Ralph Brennan Jazz Kitchen Gingerbread House Workshops 2013

Tickets went on sale yesterday (November 11, 2013) for this year’s Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Gingerbread House Workshops at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney, and seats are already almost completely sold out. Spots for the December 15 and 21 worshops are gone, but you can still purchase tickets for the first session on December 14.

Here’s how Ralph Brennan’s describes this popular seasonal activity:

The workshop kicks off with the induction of all participants as ‘chefs for the day’ with artfully self-designed chef’s hats. Next, Chef Darrin Finkel leads an interactive demonstration on the proper assembly of gingerbread houses. Next, the good stuff…Decorating your gingerbread house with several handfuls of Holiday candy personally procured by Santa’s elves. Finally, in the spirit of the season and in recognition of the participants’ hard work, Santa will pay a surprise visit and hand out commemorative gifts to all attendees.

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38th Annual Festival of the Masters To Take Place At Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World

by on October 25, 2013

©Disney

©Disney

The Festival of the Masters, presented by Michaels, is an open-air fine arts festival that takes place throughout Downtown Disney in Florida. This year’s festival, which takes place from November 8-10, marks its 38th year.

This fantastic showcase of more than 300 talented artists will feature many different types of art pieces. These will include paintings, photography, sculpting pieces, chalk art, blown glass, jewelry, and more.

Guests will also want to take in the Disney Artist Village, which will see official Disney art for sale, as well as meet and greet opportunities with more than 25 of these talented visionaries. In addition, performances will take place at the Waterside Stage found on the Marketplace side, where artists will perform live shows, as well as hold interactive chats.

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Observations from Downtown Disney for October 20, 2013 (House of Blues, World of Disney, Precious Moments, and BabyCakes NYC)

by on October 25, 2013

While Morgan Crutchfield was getting a private tour of the Cinderella Castle Suite at the Magic Kingdom, I was ripping every last single hair out of my head trying to find a parking spot at Downtown Disney, the soon to be renamed Hyperion Wharf Disney Springs. In a stroke of mad genius, I decided to stop by both the Orlando Premium Outlet mall and Downtown Disney on a Sunday afternoon, which is apparently the equivalent of trying to ride Soarin’ on New Year’s Eve.

After pulling into the parking lot in front of T-REX and fruitlessly searching for a parking spot, I ended up driving all the way down to the lot that is in front of Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba. I still had to search for a spot in this lot, and thankfully someone was leaving during one of my trips going back and forth. I can’t even fathom how bad trying to find a parking spot will be when the Christmas shopping season comes.

Down by La Nouba they had a huge photo op set outside. There was a similar one over in the Marketplace section in front of Earl of Sandwich.

IMG_3829

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101 Things to Do Near Disney World Without Going into a Theme Park

by on October 23, 2013

You’ve got time to kill on your arrival or departure day. You’re taking a chill day mid-vacation. You’ve got a park-phobic in your party. Whatever the reason, there may be times when you’re at Walt Disney World, but can’t, or don’t want to, venture into a theme park. Here’s a handy list of 101 ways to keep busy and have fun without heading into the parks.

Before I get going, let me say that one oft-mentioned reason for avoiding the theme parks is to save money. I mean, going into the park means a big outlay of funds for admission, right? Well, yes, if you’re going into the parks, you will need a ticket, but you should be aware that spending a day in the park may actually end up cheaper than looking for fun elsewhere. For example, the price difference between an 8-day park ticket and a 9-day park ticket is only about $10 per adult. Even simple activities like mini-golf ($14 per adult at Winter Summerland) or a trip to the movies ($11.75 per adult evening ticket at AMC Downtown Disney) will cost more than that. The math is less clear with a shorter stay, and you still may want or need to avoid the parks for sanity purposes, but you should sit down and do the math to make sure that a non-park day makes financial sense for you.

And now on to the list of Walt Disney World Activities Outside the Theme Parks:

  1. Dine with Characters. Several of the character meals are located outside the theme parks. Try Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary (breakfast and dinner), ‘Ohana at the Polynesian (breakfast), Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club (breakfast), or 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian (breakfast and dinner).

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AVP Beach Volleyball Championships This Weekend at Disneyland Downtown Disney

by on August 1, 2013

Photo copyright Disney

Nothing says “summer” like a little beach volleyball. But if you can’t make it to the beach this weekend, the Disneyland Resort is bringing the beach to Anaheim. Now through Sunday, August 4, Downtown Disney is hosting the “Summer Celebration” Sand Volleyball Tournament and Pro Exhibition in a championship-sized sand court constructed near the AMC Theaters and Earl of Sandwich.

On Friday and Saturday (8/2 & 8/3) VolleyOC will play the final championship games of their tournament at Downtown Disney. On Sunday (8/4), Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) players (including Ed Ratledge, Pedro Brazao, Mark Williams and Matt Olson) and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Rich Lambourne will sign autographs and play a pro exhibition.

Admission to Downtown Disney is free; regular parking rates apply.

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