Archive for September, 2007

More Epcot dining changes coming

by on September 21, 2007

Disney recently released a second press release relating to the future of dining in Epcot’s World Showcase. The newest release says the changes are part of the park’s silver anniversary (funny, the first release on the same topic ignored the event).

Of interest to most everyone, Disney intends to expand the seating areas at the sit-down Rose and Crown and counter-service Cantina de San Angel to include more spaces at both to view the fireworks on the lagoon.

Inside Mexico, the silver jewelry and purse alcove of the store will be gutted and turned into a margarita bar, expected to open by summer of 2008.

China’s Nine Dragons table-service restaurant will close in early 2008 to make way for an innovative dining room that will feature five cooking stations where guests can interact with chefs from China. Scheduled opening is fall 2008.

Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining should reopen in October in Japan. The popular teppanyaki rooms will feature show-style cooking and upscale cuisine such as Wagyu and Kobe beef, along with traditional teppan dishes. Tokyo Dining (formerly the tempura bar and adjoining lounge) is now a 140-seat dining room with a centerpiece “show stage” where diners can watch the sushi chefs in action. Nearly 50 varieties of sushi and sashimi and six varieties of sake are on the menu, along with tempura and grilled steaks and seafood.

Tutto Italia is open and taking reservations

by on September 21, 2007

Tutto Italia has opened as the temporary Italian sit-down restaurant in place of Alfredo’s until it closes again next year to be full revamped into a new restaurant.

Disney has begun taking reservations for the location, but in the first few days it has been a nice options for guests seeking a sit-down restaurant without a reservation. That will not last once the information makes its way around the internet.
The menu is sort of an Americanized version of Italian, but so was Alfredo’s so it’s yet to be a downgrade in that sense – however, prices do seem steeper the previous incarnation. Also, Fettuccine Alfredo has been removed from the menu.

The interior and seating areas remain mostly the same and the perspective murals are intact.

The changing landscape of Fall

by on September 9, 2007

The final few box-shaped trees have been ripped out of the ground and turned into mulch near Spaceship Earth.

Also, a lovely planter has appeared behind Spaceship Earth featuring Epcot’s original flower-ring logo.

The removal of the trees allows a glimpse of Spaceship Earth’s often overlooked architecture, as typically the focus is on the sphere rather then the surrounding portions of the building.

NASA at Epcot

by on September 9, 2007

Over the weekend, Disney has been offering a temporary NASA exhibit in the aptly named “exhibition corridor” running along the rear of Club Cool, Character Spot, and the Fountain View Ice cream parlor.

The exhibit will be short lived (as in probably gone by the time you read this) but is part of an overall celebration of the end of the Space Shuttle program.

Did you know we’re going back to the moon surface? In rockets with pods though, no more shuttles – thus the rockets and pods on display at Epcot.

The latest shuttle crew is being honored with a plaque installed at Mission: SPACE and there will be a webcast from Siemens new VIP lounge area called Base21 today. You can watch the video over the official website found at

Cool Carpet!

by on September 9, 2007

The Contemporary resort has installed some funky retro-sheik carpet featuring a bright and bold pattern. We think we like it, but we’re not sure if we’re supposed to stare at it until an image appears.

We think we see Mickey. The carpet is part of an overall rennovation of the 4th floor Grand Canyon Concourse at the resort. The temporary Tempo Grab-n-Go counter service restaurant has opened, and the Food and Fun Center on the first floor should close shortly for a long overhaul into a table service restaurant. Upon completion (sometime next year), the new restaurant will open and the Concourse Steakhouse will close to become a much larger version of Tempo Grab-n-Go.

All of these rennovations and increases in venue size and offerings of course have nothing to do with the DVC they’re not building next door.

Where did the Wand go?

by on September 9, 2007

If you really want to know the answer to that question, watch this video we found on YouTube… It’s not for the faint of heart and features cruelty to sparkley objects.

Haunted Mansion gets final touches

by on September 9, 2007

The Haunted Mansion ride at the Magic Kingdom is getting its final touches to reopen later this week at the Magic Kingdom.

A fresh coat of paint gives the Mansion a umm.. freshly worn look? Regardless, it looks the way it’s supposed to.

The canopy for the exterior queue should be reinstalled soon and the final signing-off of the attraction for occupancy should go as scheduled. We’re looking forward to riding the refurbished Haunted Mansion and bringing you all the ghastly details ASAP.

2008 Edition Updates Posted

by on September 7, 2007

Free updates to the 2008 Unofficial Guide have been posted here.

As part of that update, we’ve made available free to everyone our coverage of the 2008 Disney Dining Plan. Our coverage of Magic Your Way Ticket changes was already free.

Thanks for reading the book!

Pooh’s Playful Spot Refurb

by on September 6, 2007

Pooh’s Playful Spot will be closed for refurbishment September 16-20, 2007. Let’s all hope they figure out a way to maintain those complex moving structures that make up that padded children’s play area – because it’s only been open for a relatively short time before this refurbishment.

Magic Carpets of Aladdin Refurb

by on September 6, 2007

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin will be closed for refurbishment December 2-8, 2007.