Tag: disney (Page 1 of 3)

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Preview!

We had a chance to ride EPCOT’s newest attraction a little bit early at a Passholder Preview for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, which opens to the public on October 1, 2021. It was a lot of fun! Here’s a largely spoiler-free (no ride pics, but a few helpful bits of information) review.

After being lucky enough to get a spot at the preview (Passholders, always check your emails!), we headed to EPCOT last week. The new Remy ride is on the right-hand side of the France pavilion, towards the back. The entire area is Remy-themed and full of delightful details.

ratatouille gusteau sign
Visitors to the France Pavilion feel like they’re in the world of Ratatouille.
ratatouille sculpture
The Little Chef himself!

Also in this section of the France Pavilion you’ll find La Crêperie de Paris, a new restaurant that offers both sweet and savory crêpes. There is a sit-down section as well as a to go window. If you want to check out the menu, visit the Disney Parks Blog for all the details. Lines at all of the previews were long, so this new dining offering is sure to be a hit.

la Crêperie de Paris restaurant

After a short wait in line, we were able to ride!

The ride car and indeed much of the experience of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is very similar to another relatively new ride, this one in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Minnie & Mickey’s Runaway Railway. Both feature trackless cars and digital screens. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is suitable for guests of any height.

Remy ratatouille ride vehicle
Ride car for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, from the Disney Parks Blog.

The ride car, which looks like a friendly rat, has two rows with three seats each in a bench with small dividers. I am tall and not small, and I fit comfortably in the middle seat of the back row (a Cast Member told me the back row has a little more legroom than the front). The door to get into the vehicle is a bit small and up a step; it helps to turn a bit sideways and shimmy in. Once seated, you lower a lap bar yourself to a comfortable point and then you’re off!

In Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, your point of view is that of a rat scampering around Remy’s kitchen. A combination of force perspective and 3D screens (yes, there are glasses) create an immersive illusion, with a few surprises I won’t ruin for you here. I will say, though, for those concerned about motion sickness: while I was fine for 90% of the ride, there was one particular segment that had me feeling a little too dizzy. I closed my eyes for maybe ten seconds until the scene calmed down and then was fine.

A spoiler-free review of Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at Walt Disney World. Click To Tweet

Overall, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a delightful ride that is a terrific addition to the World Showcase. Remy has long been the Food & Wine Festival’s mascot and he deserves a little love! What this ride isn’t is a game-changer or a thrill ride of any kind. Anyone expecting the an awe-inspiring experience like Flight of Passage is going to be disappointed; anyone looking for a fun update on the much-loved dark rides of Fantasyland (Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh) will enjoy it a great deal.

Having said that, be prepared: when the ride opens on October 1, Disney plans to use a virtual queue similar to that being used on Rise of the Resistance. From the Disney World site:

“When Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure initially opens, in order to experience the attraction, Guests will be required to join the virtual queue. A standby queue will not be available at opening. The virtual queue will be limited and subject to availability. Each Guest can enter the virtual queue no more than once per day.”

Of course, when the new Genie+ and Lightning Lane system comes online this fall, there may be other options for securing a spot on this new attraction. Stay tuned for more details!

ratatouille us
We had a terrific time and look forward to riding Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure again!

Disneyland replaces annual passes with a new Magic Key program

Disneyland has announced today a new program to replace annual passes, called Magic Key.

“When you’re a Magic Key holder, Disneyland is your land—you’re a townsperson on Main Street, U.S.A., a galactic citizen of Batuu, a hero at Avengers Campus, a local at Pixar Pier and beyond. You belong to the community of core Disneyland fans who all share a passion and love for the parks.”

The Dream Key has no blockout dates. Blockout calendars for the other Keys can be seen here:

Believe Key blockout calendar

Imagine Key blockout calendar

Enchant Key Blockout calendar

Disney World Drops Face Mask Requirement for Outdoors

Breaking news today, May 15, 2021: Disney World is no longer requiring the use of a face mask outdoors on property. Masks are still required indoors, however, including on rides.

disney mask policy
Disney World Drops Face Mask Requirement for Outdoors Click To Tweet

Disney’s policy clarifies that masks must still be worn indorrs in all common areas, including rides and attractions and their entrances. For more information, visit:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/experience-updates/#drawer-card-faceCoverings

Walt Disney World’s Magical Express Discontinued in 2022

magical express

There’ve been rumors it was coming for some time, but now it’s official: according to the Disney Parks Blog, the much-beloved Magical Express transportation system is being discontinued at the end of this year.

“Vacationers have more options to choose from than ever for transportation, including ride-share services that save time and offer more flexibility to go where they want, when they want. In light of this shift, when Disney Resort hotel bookings open for stays in 2022, we will no longer offer Disney’s Magical Express service for airport transportation, starting with arrivals Jan. 1, 2022. We will continue to operate the service for new and existing reservations made at Disney Resort hotels for arrivals throughout 2021.”

Disney's Magical Express to discontinue in 2022. #wdw #magicalexpress #disney Click To Tweet

Disney went on to reassure guests that other complimentary transportation options such as buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner will continue to be available within Walt Disney World Resort for Disney Resort hotel guests, including to and from all four theme parks.

As locals to the area, the Magical Express wasn’t something that we used, but I know it’s a huge favorite service for many guests. While expected, this news is probably a disappointment for many.

“Luca” is Pixar’s next film

Opening in 2021, Luca promises to be a delight.

luca pixar

Pixar Animation Studios announced today that its next feature film release will be “Luca.” Directed by Academy Award® nominee Enrico Casarosa (“La Luna”) and produced by Andrea Warren (“Lava,” “Cars 3”), “Luca” is set to open in U.S. theaters June 18, 2021. The voice cast has yet to be announced.

Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, the original animated feature is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta, and endless scooter rides.  Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: he is a sea monster from another world just below the water’s surface. 

This movie sounds like a beautiful love story to Italy, friendship, and growing up. I can’t wait to see it.

Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” releasing early on digital download, Disney+

BURBANK, Calif. (March 20, 2020) –The Walt Disney Studios announced today that Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” will be available to buy digitally and on Movies Anywhere beginning today at 5:00PM PST/ 8:00PM EST and on Disney+ on April 3 in the U.S.

onward

The film premiered in theaters on March 6 and earned rave reviews from audiences, including a 95% Verified Audience Score on RottenTomatoes. With cinemas currently impacted by closures due to the global health crisis, Disney will offer the film ahead of schedule to purchase on digital platforms in the U.S. beginning today at 5:00PM PST /8:00PM EST for $19.99.

“While we’re looking forward to audiences enjoying our films on the big screen again soon, given the current circumstances, we are pleased to release this fun, adventurous film to digital platforms early for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their homes,” said Dan Scanlon (Director, “Onward”) and Kori Rae (Producer, “Onward”).

In “Onward,” teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad, embarking on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys’ fearless mom Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realizes her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior – aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) – and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed.

Collecting Pressed Pennies at Disney World (FREE downloadable list!)

Updated 7/29/2019!

Pressed penny

As Annual Passholders, we visit the Walt Disney World a lot. We love to collect things, too, so my husband collects trading pins, and I collect autographs. Collecting at the Parks can be fun; it’s like a big scavenger hunt sometimes, trying to get that elusive pin or coming across a rare character meet. We’re about ready for something new, though, and pressed pennies fit the bill. Each pressed penny souvenir is affordable and small, not taking up too much room, and it’s fun to find the machines scattered throughout all of Walt Disney World — the Parks, the resorts, and even some other places you’d never guess.

Scroll down for a free downloadable spreadsheet of ALL Walt Disney World Pressed Pennies and Coins.

If you want to start collecting pressed pennies, or just bring home a few as souvenirs, come prepared. Most pressed pennies cost 51 cents — that’s two quarters and the penny itself. You’ll need to bring change with you. One great way to carry your coins easily is to use a tube of M&M minis (minus the M&Ms of course). They’re a good size. A few machines make pressed quarters, too, so bring extra change.

pressed coin machine
This is the older-style machine that still takes coins. We expect there to be more of the digital machines installed in the months to come.

There are also an increasing amount of machines that take credit cards, so no change required, and even the penny is provided for you. These digital machines cost more (often $1 each pressed penny or 8 for $5) but they save you the trouble of carrying around coins and finding shiny pennies.

Collecting pressed pennies at Disney World is a great hobby! Download a free spreadsheet to help start your fun. Click To Tweet

How about those shiny pennies, too? You can clean dirty pennies by placing them in white vinegar for a few minutes and then wiping with a clean cloth. Another method is to use ketchup — regular ketchup, you heard me right! — and a little elbow grease. Using pennies made prior to 1982 may give you the best results, as these are all-copper; pennies made after 1983 are part zinc, and may leave a sort of streak when pressed. If you’re not worried about that and don’t want to clean pennies, just keep your eyes peeled for new, shiny ones whenever you get change at the store.

Once you’re at Walt Disney World, you can keep your eyes peeled for pressed penny machines everywhere. Make it a sort of scavenger hunt! Or, use the My Disney Experience App, which will give you the location of every pressed penny machine in the Parks. Lastly, you can download a Complete List of All Walt Disney World Pressed Coins here, for free, in Excel spreadsheet form. This list was last updated 7/29/2019.

Now that you’ve got your souvenirs, you can store them in pressed coin books (Disney has some for sale), keep them loose, or even punch a hole in one end and wear them as a charm. Either way, you’ve got a fun and inexpensive souvenir — or a new bit of memorabilia to collect.

Pressed penny souvenir book, available at Walt Disney World

Subscribe to our new YouTube Channel! There’s a Girl in the Castle

We’ve got a new YouTube channel — and some new videos to share! As annual passholders, we’re lucky enough to get to visit Disney World year round. So we have lots of videos of rides, attractions, special experiences, hidden gems, and everything that makes Disney the most magical place on earth to show you. Just click subscribe now!

First up, last week we got to ride the double-decker Omnibus down Main Street first thing in the morning. The best way to secure a seat is to wait the train station for the vehicles to pull up, before the welcome show at the castle (you won’t be able to see both). Then enjoy a bird’s-eye view down Main Street!

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.

« Older posts