Category: Walt Disney World (page 1 of 4)

Review: The Edison Restaurant in Disney Springs

We had a chance to visit one of Disney Springs’ newest restaurants, The Edison, this fall, and it’s worth a visit. The space itself is grand and fascinating. You enter on the top floor of the restaurant; we were escorted down a grand staircase and were seated on the lower level. Decor is consistent and on point, with early 20th-century Industrial and Steampunk flair.  The Edison is a family-friendly restaurant during the day, but does turn into an over-21-only venue at 10 PM, with a cover charge on weekends.

The Edison

Let’s get my one complaint — but a significant complaint — out of the way. The chairs.

The Edison

You might not be able to tell but this is the singularly most uncomfortable chair I’ve ever sat on. And that’s saying something. The chair is fairly small. The back leans at too much of an angle, so there’s no back support. The cushion … is not a cushion. It’s a piece of wood. I may bring my own padding to the party, but I was no match for this rock-hard seat of agony. After a few minutes I was uncomfortable, and after an hour I was miserable. When I got up to powder my nose, and also to escape the Edison torture device I’d been sitting on, I had to crawl there at a snail’s pace. I mentioned it to a server nearby and he sympathetically said, “Believe me, you’re not the only one who thinks so.” I’m sure I’m not, friend.

There is perfectly comfy-looking seating elsewhere in The Edison, couches and plush leather chairs. These must be prime seating in the evenings, given how industrial and uncomfortable the bar stools were, as well (I tried them out), but aren’t conducive to dining. I saw some banquettes on the upper floor, and would have to request one if I were to return. And I might, given the rest of our experience.

With that said, on to, happily, the food. We started with drinks and appetizers. My husband ordered the DB “Clothesline Candied Bacon.” The bacon itself was excellent, though he thought slightly too peppery. Eating it with the pickles cut that and is highly recommended.

The Edison

I ordered the Deviled Eggs, served on smoked prosciutto with crisp potatoes on top. I don’t care for prosciutto and didn’t love the pairing here, but the eggs were delicious. I loved the serving size; any more eggs would have been  too many, and fewer would have left me wanting more.

The Edison

I also ordered a mocktail, the Apple Propellant (pictured above). I’m baffled by this drink. The ingredients were listed as “fresh cider, lemon, honey & ginger, and ginger ale.” I loved every single one of those flavors, but what they brought me tasted like grapefruit juice and nothing else. It was very strange. They were great about bringing me a plain ginger ale in its place, though, so all was well that ends well.

Moving on to entrees, I ordered the Organic Tomato Soup and Gooey Grilled Cheese. The grilled cheese included Fontina, Muenster, Gruyère, and Alpine Swiss. The portion size on this was ENORMOUS. It was essentially two grilled cheese sandwiches piled up on top of each other. The sourdough bread had a great buttery crunch to it. The soup was terrific as well. I’d recommend this highly to anyone looking for a filling, yummy dinner.

The Edison

The Edison has a “burger of the month” special, and when we were there in September, it was the Croque Burger, which my husband very much enjoyed. The Croque Burger featured a beef blend burger of sirloin, short rib, and brisket, and this was topped with honey mustard, maple cured ham and Swiss on sourdough bread that has been dipped in egg then grilled. This was not a burger you could pick up; he ate it with a knife and fork and said it was wonderful. The maple and the egg in the bread really stood out.

The portion size, again, was ginormous. I happened to peek at the 28-Day Aged Prime Rib King Cut, ordered at a table nearby, and it was so huge it was dropping over the side of the plate, and accompanied by the largest popover I’ve ever seen. Apparently, you need to come to The Edison hungry.

The Edison

We didn’t come close to finishing our entrees, either of us. I wanted to leave a little room to try to Lollipop Tree of cheesecake pops.

The Edison

This was a little disappointing. First, it came with this “bubblegum whipped cream,” not pictured here because the Pepto-Bismol color was unappetizing to the extent that I didn’t want to look at it while I enjoyed dessert. The cheesecake pops themselves were fine. Small, not especially flavorful, creamy, and fine, but not anything I would order again.

Our dinner was at 6 PM, and live entertainment does not start, I was told, until 9 PM. Music is live, varied, and from everything I’m hearing, well worth hearing. But even during the day, though, there’s an atmosphere. A young man dressed in Steampunk fashion was making the rounds of tables in the dining room, visiting with guests for quite some time. I didn’t catch much of what he was saying, but he introduced himself as an investor. This young lady came striding out of the back room of the restaurant (I still can’t figure out how she got through that small door!) and went outside to greet guests as they arrived.

The Edison

The Edison has a unique theme and is a welcome addition to Disney Springs. It’s great to have something with such a definitive point of view to break up the sometime-monotony restaurants that seem all too similar to each other. The food is good and generously sized, and the service was good. I’d definitely go back for another visit, but I might just bring my own cushion.

 

Toy Story Land is a blast!

We had a chance to visit Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and it was a blast!

Woody greeting guests at the entrance to Toy Story Land.

Woody is there to greet you with a “Howdy, Pardner!” and you find yourself shrunk down to the size of one of Andy’s toys.

We went during Extra Magic Hours, from 7 to 8 AM. Disney World is offering daily Extra Magic Hours for Hollywood Studios through August, 2018. If you can, take advantage of them! Crowds were incredibly light. Everyone seems to be running straight to Slinky Dog Dash, and you can do that too and have only a short wait. We walked onto Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania twice, each, no waiting. We also were able to meet Buzz, Woody, and Jessie with waits of less than five minutes.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Woody before but I’ve been waiting FOREVER to meet Jessie!

The new entrance to Toy Story Mania.

Toy Story Mania has a new entrance and queue, but it’s still the amazingly fun ride you know and love. Alien Swirling Saucers is kind of like the teacups on steroids — all the swirly fun but some added bits. I loved it, but I’m a fan of spinny rides.

We had been chosen! Swirling around in Alien Swirling Saucers.

As for Slinky Dog Dash, it’s a great coaster. Not a thrill ride for sure, but not a kiddie coaster either. The speed is comparable to Seven Dwarves Mine Train and the trajectory is similar to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but the ride is very, very smooth. For a more intense ride, sit in the back; for a calmer experience, try the front.

One disappointment was Woody’s lunchbox. Some of the more interesting items, the brisket sandwich and the grilled cheese and totchos, are only served at lunch, after 10:30 AM. The breakfast offerings we tried did not impress. The turkey and egg sandwich was okay but not exciting and the tater tots were cold.

There’s no actual gift shop in Toy Story Land, which is a little surprising — for one thing, it would be nice if there was one place to go that provided shelter from the elements and even a little air conditioning. Instead, merchandise is sold from carts. There are a few fun toys, Slink eats, alien ears, and an alien souvenir cup, as well as t-shirts, hats, and pins.

Toy Story Land isn’t jaw-droppingly innovative, but it is a great and much-needed addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which has been rightly called a “half-day Park” for some time. The Toy Story franchise has enthralled both children and adults for years and this new land is a long-overdue expansion we were very glad to see.

Toy Story Land Preview and More from INSIDE Disney Parks!

Anyone else super excited for Toy Story Land’s opening next week, on June 30, 2018, in Disney World’s Hollywood Studios? I know I am. Here’s a peek from INSIDE Disney Parks, as well as some previews of exciting news for Disneyland’s Pixar Pier as well.

Watching Happily Ever After fireworks from inside Cinderella’s Royal Table

We love the fireworks show at Magic Kingdom, Happily Ever After, and we’re always looking for new and different ways to view the show … especially since that front-of-the-castle mob scene can be exhausting! We’ve tried watching from Fantasyland, from the deck of California Grill, from ‘Ohana at the Polynesian, and soon will be attending the dessert party at Magic Kingdom. This last trip, though, we tried something outside the box: we had dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table during the show.

To start with, some tips on how to watch Happily Ever After from the castle. Once you pick a day to go, find out what time Happily Ever After is scheduled for that night and then try to get a reservation for Cinderella’s Royal Table for dinner shortly before that time.  This can be a tough-to-get reservation, so you have to make it a priority when you can make dining reservations 180 days before your trip. Once you get the reservation, make sure to re-check that timing of the fireworks show when it gets closer to your trip. Times can change, and you’d need to make adjustments.

Cast Members will start roping off access to the castle as much as an hour before the fireworks show, so leave yourself plenty of time to get to Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is located in the rear of the castle. We had been shopping on Main Street, for example, and at 8 PM started heading to the restaurant. Front and side entrance to the castle was already roped off, and we had to go around the long way either through Liberty Square or down by the tea cups, and for the most part, you’re going against the crowdflow. We had plenty of time to get to our 8:30 reservation, but were glad we’d left early. Even when you reach the back, you’ll need to let them know you have a dining reservation or you won’t be let into the roped-off area around the castle. At your reservation time you’ll be checked in and taken in to meet Cinderella, and then escorted up to your table. For an ideal view of the fireworks, you’d want to be seated at the windows.

fireworks

Watching Happily Ever After from our table at Cinderella’s Royal Palace.

Unfortunately, Cinderella’s Royal Table does not take seating requests of this nature. As we and every other person who asked was very politely told, it’s simply not possible due to the fact that almost everyone would make this request. You’ll still be able to see from a great many tables in the restaurant, but the window spot is definitely best. You’ve just got to cross your fingers and hope for a little pixie dust on this one. Here’s a bit of information, though — there are a number of two-person-only tables at the windows. At least one or two four-tops as well, but because of the small, angled space, it seems like the restaurant tries to take advantage of every bit of space and sort of crams those tables in there. So if you’re just a party of two … you might stand a better chance. Still not a guarantee, though — we saw couples seated at four-tops elsewhere in the restaurant.

When Happily Ever After begins, the princesses leave the dining area and the music and voiceover from the show is piped in to the restaurant. The fireworks begin and you have a truly magical view.

Some of the fireworks are shot off behind Fantasyland and you have a perfect view of those here. Others shoot off from the castle itself, literally right above your head! It isn’t too loud but it can be dazzling.

fireworks

Obviously, you miss the castle projections that are part of what tells the story of Happily Ever After — you’re in the castle they’re being projected on. I certainly don’t recommend skipping those entirely, so catch the show with a clear view of the projects another time. But if you’re looking for a different experience, I very much recommend this one.

A bit of video from the show — you’ll hear a lot of “Oh mys!” from a young lad seated nearby. We were all glued to the view.

Review: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian

Having Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian’s Garden View Tea Room has been on my Disney bucket list for some time.  Since the tea room is relatively small, reservations can be a little hard to come by, and it’s also difficult sometimes to carve out time in a busy Disney Parks afternoon. I very highly recommend doing so, though, after our delightful experience there.

The cafe is small, light and airy, but the seating is comfortably intimate without being too tight. We were seated and offered ice water while we went over the tea options on the menu.

afternoon tea

Having already had lunch that day, we opted for the simplest/smallest tea, the Bedfordshire Tea. I will end up saying this over and over, but it was far more food than you might think. Somehow even now it seems like a few finger sandwiches and desserts would not be enough to fill anyone up, especially if you’re Disney foodies like we are. But it was substantial. We noted another couple two tables over ordered the Cheshire Tea, which adds a fruit and cheese plate. The plates were enormous. Next time, we’ll skip lunch and order the Cheshire. Neither of us are fans of caviar so I don’t think we’ll ever go for that option, but it’s available for those who are, with the Berkshire Tea.

Then we made our dessert choice. The Bedfordshire Tea has these three courses. The first is finger sandwiches, the second is a scone, and then the final course is dessert. You each choose between one of three desserts: pastries, including a mousse-filled swan, macaroons, and a chocolate-covered strawberry; strawberries topped with whipped cream; or,  an English trifle with custard, ladyfingers, fruit and cream.  We decided to each choose something different and share. I got the trifle, and my husband got the pastries.

afternoon tea

Next, we made our tea selections. There were a few that looked interesting, and I decided to go with the Rose Garden black tea. It was really good. My husband can’t have caffeine of any kind, so we were happy to see a very nice herbal tea selection on the menu. It’s nice when there’s more than just your basic chamomile. He chose Thoroughly Minted and liked it a lot, but wants to try Golden Caramel Rooibus next time.

afternoon tea

afternoon tea

Very soon, a pot of your chosen tea is brought to your table, complete with a tea cozy. This keeps the tea very warm — in fact, be careful when you remove the cozy and pour, the pot is hot. It holds a lot of tea, but if you run out, they’ll happily bring you more.

afternoon tea

The first course of finger sandwiches arrived. This was the only disappointing part of the experience, with one notable exception. Starting clockwise from twelve o’clock, the sandwiches pictured below were chicken curry, goat cheese and fire-roasted tomato, cucumber, caramelized onion tart, and egg salad. I found the chicken curry, goat cheese, and cucumber sandwiches to be fine but bland, and the egg salad to be unpalatable because it contained celery (that might be just me, but I hate celery in egg salad). My husband, on the other hand, considered the onion tart to be one of the best things he’s ever eaten, so it saved the day.

afternoon tea

Moving forward, though, things went back to being delectable. The scone (second and bottom tiers, below) was nicely made, not too dense; I think it was orange and golden raisin in flavor.  I tried each of the accompanying gooey bits in turn. Loved the marmalade and clotted cream. The lemon curd was too tart for me, and overpowered the scone. The berry tart was a quick, enjoyable bite.

afternoon tea

Finally, dessert. The macaroons were light and flavorful, and the strawberry dipped in chocolate certainly didn’t disappoint. The mousse-filled swan was beautiful to look at, airy, and a perfect bite. As for the trifle , I enjoyed every bite — and it’s a lot of bites! The trifle is seasonal, so mine was a lemon custard and blueberries. Not even two of my favorite flavors, but still delicious. And filling. The trifle alone, with tea, would have been a nice-sized dessert/snack. I recommend each getting different selections and sharing as we did.

afternoon tea

The Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is held seven days a week, on the following schedule:

Review: Cake Decorating at Amorette’s Patisserie

Amorette’s Patisserie, a delightful bakery in Disney Springs, recently began offering an early-morning cake decorating class. While originally scheduled just for the summer, Disney and Amorette’s have extended this experience through the end of 2017, and recently my husband and I had a chance to attend.

cake decoratingThe class is small — only 14 students at a time — and begins at 8:45 am, before most of the stores in Disney Springs are open. (If you’re driving, park in the Lime Garage, and Amorette’s is just a few steps away from the entrance.) You are greeted promptly and offered your choice of specialty coffee, water, juice, mimosas or bellinis, and refills are encouraged.  You choose your station, fully stocked with the supplies you’ll need, and then the fun begins!

There are two instructors, both pastry chefs at Amorette’s, and they begin with a little bit of the history of Amorette’s and an overview of the cake making process, including descriptions of flavor profiles, ingredients, and their tools of the trade.

Here’s the best news: even though the gorgeous Mickey cake you’ll be decorating is a work of art, this isn’t an advanced class. Amorette’s does all the heavy lifting for you. When they started talking about frosting with the buttercream and the crumb coat and the second layer and showed us how to smooth out the knife strokes, I got pretty dubious we’d be able to pull this off. But they know that and aren’t expecting more than a novice can do, so the cake with its many layers has been crafted and baked and frozen and frosted in advance.

cake decorating

From here on out, Amorette’s walks you through the process step by step, bringing additional supplies (and even taking them away, to prevent mess and save space) as needed. The key to this instruction is learning how to pour glaçage and coat Mickey’s sculpted ears, tail, belt and buttons with edible paint.

cake decorating

There are actually three layers of glaçage on each cake! In between, your cake is whisked away to spend some time setting in the freezer. In the meantime, you paint Mickey’s ears, tail, and buttons. After the final layer is set, you add these elements to the cake, as well as Mickey’s belt. For the finishing touch, you step to the front to write your name, or anything else you like, on the back of the cake. I let my husband do this part — it looked really hard!

cake decorating

And voila! Your cake is finished, kept into the cooling case until you’re ready to leave. Amorette’s can hold the cake for you until the end of the day, if that suits your plans better. When you pick it up, either way, they pack it for you in a delightful hat box and send you on your way with a delicious treat to enjoy. The cakes do need to be refrigerated, so you do need to think about what you’re going to do with it ahead of time. If you’re dining at a Disney restaurant that evening (and can get to it easily), you might be able to call ahead and arrange for them to hold it in their fridge for you. Or, you can take it back to your resort. If you’re staying at a Disney resort, I can report that we were just able to fit it in our room fridge by taking it out of the box.

cake decorating

 

The 90-minute cake decorating class is currently offered Sunday through Thursday at 8:45 am. There are two different classes to choose from:

Classic Mickey Design: Featured in Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday classes
Artist’s Current Seasonal Mickey: Featured in Monday and Wednesday classes

The cost is $129 plus tax (there was no AP discount), which covers up to 2 guests (who must be age 10 and up) decorating one cake.  The cost is really rather reasonable when you consider that the Mickey Cake itself retails for around $60. Once you consider the beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, that are included, the class fee itself, per person, is nominal.

Cake Decorating

We had a terrific time. The teachers are friendly and encouraging and ready to help in any way you need. We learned a lot without needing to do anything that required special skills. The small class size lent to a fun atmosphere and at the end of it all, you take home a really delicious cake. Was our cake perfect? No, but it looked pretty good considering we’re total amateurs. If you’re looking for a fun new experience to try at Disney, you’ll definitely enjoy the cake decorating class at Amorette’s Patisserie!

New Dooney & Bourke Haunted Mansion merchandise now available

A new Dooney & Bourke Haunted Mansion collection is now available online and at Disney Parks!

The collection was first released as a Parks exclusive, alongside a Princess Tiana collection. As reported by the Disney Parks Blog, a release party was held on July 22 in the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs.

dooney & bourke haunted mansion

The handbag artwork was created by Paola Gutierrez, Senior Graphic Designer with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Creative Group, and comes in a rich purple hue with a repeating pattern featuring the Haunted Mansion’s Madame Leota. Three bags are available, a Shopper ($268), Letter carrier ($198), and Wristlet ($98).

dooney & bourke haunted mansion

The letter carrier was my favorite bag in this new collection, seen here at the Marketplace Co-op.

Important to note: pictures on the Disney Blog and elsewhere on the net made the bags, and the band, look more of a blue-violet than a true purple, but as you can see in the photo above, taken at the Marketplace Co-Op at the first weekend of release, the actual bag is a rich, vibrant color.

The Madame Leota design also appears on a limited release retail MagicBand, presented in a specially designed box. As with all MagicBand 2’s, guests can use  their bands to enjoy their Disney vacation to the fullest, with “effortless theme-park entry, FastPass+ redemption and Disney PhotoPass , to skipping the front desk and going directly to your resort room.”

dooney & bourke haunted mansion

The new Dooney & Bourke Haunted Mansion collection can now be purchased at select merchandise locations at Disney Parks, on DisneyStore.com, or via the Shop Disney Parks app.

Sneak Peek: Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We had the opportunity to attend one of Walt Disney World’s Passholder Previews for Pandora, Animal Kingdom’s new land. Be warned: there are lots of photos ahead, showing off Pandora’s amazing visuals and delights.,  including new rides, food, and beautiful architecture.

pandora

Come in for a sneak peek into Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom, opening May 27, 2017. Click To Tweet

pandorapandorapandorapandora

As soon as you walk into Pandora, the landscape changes. There’s the lush foliage and flora you’re used to at Animal Kingdom, but it’s … different somehow. Alien. You’re in another world. The floating mountains loom in the distance and the sounds of birds are everywhere around you. All the strange and exotic blooms of Pandora are there for you to enjoy. From what the cast members told us, the nighttime views are even more spectacular, when Pandora’s bioluminescent plants come to life.

 

pandora

Our first stop, after taking in all the sights, was Pongu Pongu, where we each ordered a Night Blossom. This non-alcoholic frozen beverage (seen here in the souvenir cup) is a mix of limeade combined with apple and pear flavors topped off with passion fruit boba balls. It was very sweet, but I thought incredibly refreshing.

pandora

We enjoyed our drink in the outside seating area for Satu’li Canteen and then stepped inside for lunch. The quick service setup will look familiar to any Disney visitor — you place your order at the register, then pick it up at the counter. This restaurant, though, will be the first to offer mobile ordering through the My Disney Experience app, beginning May 27th. Make sure you’ve installed the latest update before you go.

pandora

The food at Satu’li Canteen? Pretty darn good. I got the Chopped Wood-Grilled Chicken Bowl with wild grains and rice and the creamy herb dressing (seen here). My husband got steak with potatoes and the onion sauce and enjoyed his just as much. Both were tasty and filling. In fact, we were too full for dessert but the offerings looked delightful.

Now … the new rides.

First up, Avatar Flight of Passage. For the Passholder Preview, we were taken through the standby queues, though there were no lines at all given the limited attendance allowed. It gave us a chance to enjoy the scenery, and to appreciate all the work that went into designing this world.

 

pandora

pandora

pandora

pandora

pandora

 

pandora

I have a feeling this queue will never look so empty again! It was a long, long walk to get to the ride, and it gives you pause to think how many parkgoers will fit in it. Rumor has it that the queue can accommodate a 6 hour wait, but I would hope for anyone’s sake that’s overestimating.

After you reach the end of that very long hallway, you wait until a “link room” is available. At that point, you and fifteen other riders are ushered into a room where the link process is explained to you, as well as a brief history of the Avatar program.

 

pandora

 

At this point, we were asked to turn off cell phones and cameras, so I can’t give you pictures of the room where the ride takes place itself. My experience, though, was this: as I expected, I wasn’t able to ride. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Flight of Passage does not accommodate all body types, and this is true. In addition to being somewhat Pooh-sized, I’m a tall girl (over 5′ 10″) with long legs. No amount of scootching up or pointing my toes or sitting up straight or any of the tips you’ve heard were going to make a difference when my knees were already right up against the seat, with no room to move. Some tall people and some people more “Pooh” than I am have ridden, but it all depends on each person’s individual body shape. If you’re all leg and not tiny, you may run into the same problem I did. The Cast Member was super nice and helped me, and sounded absolutely miserable that I wasn’t able to ride (she was more upset than I was, but more on that later).

So, I stepped outside through the exit door and waited there on a bench while my husband rode. While I waited, I had a great time talking to Cast Member William, who told me that this is a frequent occurrence and one the CMs feel terrible about. He said, and I hope he doesn’t mind me paraphrasing him here, that as Flight of Passage Cast Members it’s their sole purpose to give us an excellent ride experience, and that they’re truly disappointed when they can’t accommodate a particular rider.

We also talked a bit about why I wasn’t upset at missing the ride — I never had any intention of doing it, even if I had fit (but wanted to see if I did) because I have a lower back fusion and continuing disc problems, and this ride seemed like it would easily aggravate that. (A cast member I spoke to indicated his own mother won’t ride for the same reasons.) Disney gives its usual health disclaimer for this ride, warning those with high blood pressure, motion sickness, and “other conditions that could be aggravated”. For me, because of the back restraint on this ride, as well as the banking and leaning that would take place, this was too big of a risk for my too-easily-aggravated back condition. I’m sure it’s perfectly safe for anyone else, but if you’re in my shoes, be careful.

My husband, however, did ride, and enjoyed it very much. You wear 3D glasses and the visuals are perfect and seamless. You truly feel as if you’re flying, and part of that is because of the sounds, smells, and feel of your banshee beneath you, as well as the wind in your face as you soar and dive through Pandora’s skies. Everyone’s thrill level is different, but many are describing Flight of Passage as “Soarin’ meets Star Tours meets Mission Space” — three great rides rolled into one and set in the exotic world of Pandora.

 

pandora

pandora

 

For a complete change of pace, we then went on the Na’vi River Journey, a beautiful boat ride through Pandora’s nighttime world. The ride is serene and lovely — we rode it twice — and the technology is stunning. The boats have two seats and legroom is ample for a comfortable ride.

Both rides will offer FastPass+, but Park visitors can only choose one of the two Pandora: World of Avatar rides in their first three selections. In other words, you can FastPass Flight of Passage, Kali River Run, and Dinosaur, and then if you like, try to get a same-day 4th FP for Na’vi River Journey. This may or may not be easy to do at first, so choose wisely (and use MDE to your best advantage).

Pandora is an exciting addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with a great deal to enjoy visually, two new rides, an excellent quick service dining option, and banshees of your own to buy at Windtraders gift shop. Face painting, a drum circle, and other activities can be found throughout the land. While some may have questioned adding Pandora to Animal Kingdom (due to the fact that, well, Pandora doesn’t exist, unlike DAK’s other inhabitants), its message of conservation and protection ties in closely with Disney’s commitment to environmentalism. I think visitors both young and old (and even those who’ve never seen “Avatar”) will enjoy this new land to explore.

Celebrate the 4th of July at Disney’s Grand Floridian

4th of july fireworksStarting to make your summer plans, especially for the 4th of July? Independence Day can be an exciting but crowded day at Disney World. Guests from all over will be there celebrating and enjoying the Parks. If you aren’t up to braving the enormous crows at Cinderella’s Castle that night but still want to enjoy the fireworks in a beautiful and exclusive venue, you might be glad to hear that Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort & Spa will host a special limited ticket event to celebrate July 4th.

The entire event will be held at the marina at the resort. Dinner will include grilled steak and shrimp, other cookout favorites, dessert, and includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. After the meal, guests will have a terrific viewing location to watch the 4th of July fireworks show performed at the Magic Kingdom, including music piped into the area during the show for a full experience.

The tickets will be $120 (plus tax) for adults and $59 (plus tax) for children (ages 3-9). Reservations are already available for the event by calling (407) WDW-DINE. I would recommend making your reservation as soon as possible for this first-time event that is sure to be popular. You do not have to be staying at the Grand Floridian in order purchase tickets to the event.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Teaser Trailer is Here!

The first official teaser trailer (and teaser poster) from STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI just debuted at Star Wars Celebration Orlando. Watch it now here!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters on December 15, 2017. Teaser poster:

last jedi

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