The weather has been very overcast for the past week or so, but that didn’t make the view below any less sweet! This was my first time seeing the Studios hat free in fifteen years and I made a special trip just to see it. I vividly remember when I was a little girl that before the park would open Goofy would dance and play in front of the theater. I’d totally forgotten until I saw this again. I also remembered the Rocketeer “flying” from the roof with his jet pack. Anyone else remember these things? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to reminisce with you.
Of course, since I was there I had to check out what else was new for you. Click to read more to see what other trouble we got into this week.
We’ve reached the conclusion of my Innovention-based game review series. To read about the Great Piggy Bank Adventure app, click here. For Habit Heroes and Sum of All Thrills, click here.
Today, we’ve got apps based off of the StormStruck and THINK exhibits. Let’s get this storm brewin’!
StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes was first introduced April 16, 2012 in the iTunes App Store. It has had no updates since its release and requires iOS 3.1.3 or later. The app, presented by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. (or FLASH), is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I had no issues when downloading the program on to my second generation iPad and iPhone 6.
Donald, Chip, and Dale star in this display near the entry to the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)
Though the rest of the country is suffering through a deep freeze, spring is in the air in Orlando, and the 2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is in full bloom. We stopped by Epcot on the anticipated annual event’s opening day (March 4, 2015) to bring you this photo tour of the flora and food of the this fan-favorite festival.
2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Topiaries and Displays
Here’s a small sampling of the dozens of topiaries and floral displays that currently fill Epcot’s Future World and World Showcase:
These butterflies on the back side of Spaceship Earth make a popular photo op.
It was a dark and stormy morning. No really, the weather was a mess last week! I went straight to the Magic Kingdom on Sunday because all weather reports showed there would only be a few cloudy hours before it started raining again. Since all the news was outdoors this week, I was a girl on a mission! At rope drop when everyone else was running for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train I was here taking photos to share with you! And wow, the new hub is looking great!
Want to see more of the new hub and Flower & Garden Festival? Be sure to click to read more!
Here I am again with more game reviews based off of different attractions found at Innoventions. If you missed my review of the Great Piggy Bank Adventure App, read that here.
These reviews are part of my new series, DIY (Disney It Yourself), where I explore different ways to enjoy Disney Parks at home.
As you’ll soon see, I experienced hits along with a few misses. First on the list: the Habit Heroes App!
The Habit Heroes app was introduced in the Apple App Store December 12th, 2012. It can also be downloaded via Google Play. It is based off the attraction of the same name, found at Innoventions East in Epcot. The app states:
The Habit Heroes mobile app is a comic book that chronicles the adventures of the healthy Habit Heroes as they clean up health hazards around the globe. Each comic book issue unlocks an interactive tool that helps foster healthy habits in your every day life.
It’s back again! Guests will once again be able to participate in a special Easter egg hunt which has guests searching a Disney theme park, trying to find eggs that are designed to look like Disney characters. This year, the fun hunt will be returning to Walt Disney World’s Epcot and Disneyland Resort’s Disney California Adventure and Disneyland from March 27 through April 5!
Here’s how it will work: Guests will be able to purchase a map for $4.95, plus tax. With each map will be stickers provided that correspond to the actual eggs that can be found in each of the the parks. Guests are instructed go search the park with map in hand and put the character egg sticker on the map where the actual character egg was found! Once all the eggs have been located, guests must return their map to the redemption station for a fun prize!
Here’s a glimpse of what the maps will look like and where eggs will be located:
Welcome back to this brand new edition of Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes! (Crowd cheers…ok…maybe not…but a girl can dream.) This week has been very fruitful with little tidbits to share with you all; I’ve got lots of refurbishment news, details on Be Our Guest Restaurant, new information on Avatarland, and more!
Wow! There are a lot of refurbishments that have been scheduled for Walt Disney World. Let’s start at the Magic Kingdom. First, for those traveling in the summer, you will unfortunately not get to experience Pirates of the Caribbean. The attraction, which has been riddled with problems lately, will be seeing a 4+ month refurbishment, from May 11 through September 25, reopening September 26. No word on what the refurbishment will entail, but it is certainly necessary. There will also be a two day refurbishment of Stitch’s Great Escape in early March, March 1 and 2. The attraction will reopen on March 3. For those visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom for barbeque, you’ll have to wait a little longer, because Flame Tree Barbeque’s refurbishment has been pushed back to last until April 22, reopening April 23. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it would appear that Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show will be closed for a refurbishment from April 20-24, reopening on April 25. Also, Voyage of the Little Mermaid will be closed September 7-10, reopening on September 11. You can always keep up with the latest refurbishments on our refurb page.
So I don’t usually share the videos that Disney posts, but I will if I find them particularly newsworthy…like today, where they posted one hyping up Avatar for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s nice to finally see some more information about the project. The new concept art shown in the video is quite gorgeous, but what really impressed me was when they finally showed some of the bioluminescent aspects. It almost reminds me of being under the sea, seeing a unique type of illuminated coral. These additions will certainly make Animal Kingdom a destination once the sun sets. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the video:
Imagine yourself sitting in front of the television on a Sunday evening. There you are minding your own business when suddenly, a Disney Parks commercial comes on.
BAM! The nostalgia hits you like a ton of bricks. You get that yearning feeling in the pit of your stomach while your heart aches for the most magical place on earth. Your next trip isn’t for several months. What can you do?!
In this series, I’m on a quest to scratch that Disney itch from the comfort of my own home. I’ll be reviewing Disney apps, trying out Disney crafts and exploring different options for satisfying that Disney craving.
First on the agenda: The Great Piggy Bank Adventure App.
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure App was first introduced in the Apple App Store on June 24, 2013. An update followed on March 14, 2014. It is based off the attraction of the same name, found at Innoventions West in Epcot. It is published by Disney and is presented by T. Rowe Price.
The level of detail that Disney Imagineers put into the theming of the parks is astonishing. If I can be perfectly content just sitting in an area and soaking in all the details, then that to me is a wonderfully themed area of a Disney park. The same goes for Disney dining. Obviously, food quality comes first but with the premium that you’re going to pay at Disney, I always try to eat at restaurants that are immersive and give me that feeling that I’ve actually entered the setting that the Imagineers were trying to convey. If you have that same desire to be transported away during your next Disney dining experience then you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find a list of my personal five best themed restaurants at Disney World. Each of these restaurants has excellent theming that will surely enhance your meal. Luckily, the food happens to be great at each of them as well.
5. Flame Tree Barbecue
Might have to talk to your kids about the birds and the…snakes?
Starting off our list is the only quick service entry and the only outdoor entry on our list. Located in Animal Kingdom, Flame Tree Barbecue is my favorite place to eat a meal outdoors in the parks. Animal Kingdom is already a beautiful park so it’s no surprise that Flame Tree lives up to its park’s reputation. There are both covered seating areas and more sunny areas that are overlooking the water with Everest in the distance. There’s also a beautiful pond/pool towards the back of the seating area as well. Along with the great views, the covered areas I mentioned before are cool looking and come complete with a surprisingly “real” Circle of Life theme. Each patio features a predator eating its prey, which shows that Disney can take the kid gloves off every once in a while without going over the top. When it comes down to it, Flame Tree has arguably the best counter service food and best outdoor seating areas in the parks, which make it my fifth most atmospheric restaurant at Disney World. Note: Flame Tree is currently closed during Rivers of Light construction at Animal Kingdom, though some of its seating is open and you can find your smoked meats other places in the park.
This fellow from the Festival of Fantasy parade is terrifying, and awesome. Read on to hear more about the parade!
Okay, trivia fans! Today we’re going to look at some fun facts about the Orlando home of the main mouse! The sheer size of the entire Walt Disney World resort means that a lot went into the creation, and also that it provides tons of opportunities for number crunching and trivial knowledge. For example, did you know that the resort covers approximately 40 square miles? If you’re not able to wrap your head around what that means, the normal comparison is that it’s about the same size as San Francisco. No wonder you’re tired after walking all day!
As you likely know, the Walt Disney World resort is divided up into four theme parks, a shopping area currently being reinvented and renamed Disney Springs, and a variety of resort hotels. To make it easier to keep all the fun facts straight, the numbers will be divided up into five categories: General, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.