Archive for the Closures & Refurbishments Category

More Details on Grand Avenue at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

August 21, 2017

Grand Arts Theatre at Disney's Hollywood Studios

 

As we’ve previously shared, two new lands – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land – are currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. But today we’re sharing a look at another area of the park that’s undergoing its own transformation.

 

Muppets Courtyard, along with a portion of the former Streets of America, is being re-imagined by Walt Disney Imagineering to become a new area called Grand Avenue. Inspired by the revitalization and the vibrant culture of present-day downtown Los Angeles, Grand Avenue is where vintage office buildings and warehouses are being converted to exciting new uses. You will soon see facades for “merchants” appearing in this area for a music shop, loft apartments, a tailor and more, with each window on the street featuring charming displays.

 

A highlight of Grand Avenue is sure to be BaseLine Tap House. This new corner pub will feature California beers and wines along with a selection of small bites.

 

The current Muppets Courtyard will become Grand Park, an urban square off Grand Avenue surrounded by shops and restaurants like PizzeRizzo and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. You can already see changes in the area, with the Muppets theater being renamed “Grand Arts Theatre” and boasting a brand-new marquee. But, not to worry – Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang continue to star in their hilarious and irreverent “Muppet*Vision 3D” show.

 

Grand Avenue will be opening to Guests this fall.

To book your Walt Disney World Vacation, call 855-434-9397

or request a quote online!

Goodbye Wishes, Hello “Happily Ever After!”

March 1, 2017

Happily Ever After fireworks

 

All good things must come to an end, and it looks like the Wishes nighttime spectacular is doing just that.  “Happily Ever After,” a new nighttime spectacular that will combine the magic of Disney storytelling, beloved Disney characters, fireworks and so much more, will debut at Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort on May 12, 2017.  Personally, I’m sad to see Wishes go away, but I’m very excited to see how Disney uses the projections in combination with pyrotechnics in the new show.  If they are taking pointers from what they did with “Disneyland Forever” for Disneyland’s Diamond Celebrations, this new show could blow Wishes out of the water.  (Just like Disneyland Forever did, in my opinion.)

The spectacular will inspire you to seek out and find your own “Happily Ever After” by showcasing some of the greatest adventures Disney characters have taken to achieve their dreams. The show will feature the latest fireworks and pyrotechnics and original animation, plus a heart-tugging original score. And thanks to the inclusion of state-of-the-art projection mapping technology, more Disney characters than ever before will be featured in the show, including moments from “Moana,” “Brave,” “Big Hero 6,” “Zootopia,” “The Princess & The Frog,” “Aladdin” and many others.

The Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace will continue to offer up a scrumptious way to view the nighttime fun as “Happily Ever After” makes its debut.

Get a closer look at this new show in the video below!

 

To book your Walt Disney World Vacation, call 855-434-9397

or request a quote online!

Gasparilla Island Grill has Reopened with a New Menu!

January 17, 2017

Gasparilla Island Grill New Menu

 

After a recent refurbishment, Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has reopened with a new menu. Elevated flavors, artisanal ingredients and great attention to detail can be found through each station – hot sandwiches and pizzas, the sandwich and salad bar and coffee and dessert.

At the Sandwich Bar, each sandwich is assembled per order, keeping the bread – which is baked fresh in house daily – perfectly crusty. You can enjoy fresh, high-quality ingredients including Tillamook Cheddar on the smoked ham sandwich, Florida orange vinaigrette on the roasted turkey, thick slices of Mozzarella on the grilled vegetable sandwich and roast beef with horseradish. And, each sandwich is served with house-made chips.

You can also create your own salad at the salad bar, topping it off with flank steak or marinated chicken. At breakfast, the salad bar becomes a yogurt bar allows you to build parfaits with toppings such as fresh fruits, granola and bananas in a decadent caramel sauce.

Pizzas are served on dough made in-house daily. You can choose from sausage and Mozzarella, fire-roasted tomatoes with basil pesto and a three-cheese blend, or the chicken and mushroom. For hot sandwiches you can indulge in the artisanal burger, featuring 7 ounces of a signature beef blend, bacon and Cheddar cheese on a freshly-baked Brioche bun. Other options include a Mahi Mahi “Ruben,” featuring house-made cabbage slaw on marble Rye bread, or the chicken and Brie, a delicious twist on Cordon Bleu – with ham, spinach, raspberry mustard on a Brioche bun.

Finally, you can enjoy specialty coffees and delicious baked goods, pastries and sweets including Coconut Pot de Crème, Almond Fruit Tart, Chocolate Mousse Pie, Mickey Brownie, Minnie Mouse Cupcake and assorted cookies and other sweet treats.

 

To book your next Walt Disney World Vacation, call 855-434-9397

or request a quote online!

“Once Upon A Time” replaces “Celebrate the Magic” on November 4th!

October 26, 2016

once-upon-a-time

 

I always felt like Celebrate the Magic got the short end of the stick.  Most often stuck right in between a showing of the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes, it never garnered the attention I thought it should.  I really loved it, though.  And while I’m sad to see Celebrate the Magic go (especially the Wreck-It Ralph sequence), this new show looks to be amazing.

Here’s the official line:

Classic Disney fairy tales light up Cinderella Castle as the projection show “Once Upon a Time” debuts at Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort on Nov. 4, 2016.

This new show uses projection-mapping technology to produce a dazzling three-dimensional effect that fits every nook and contour of the Castle, from its base to the tips of its towers and turrets.

The result: Cinderella Castle opens like a storybook and becomes living art, the canvas for a kaleidoscopic and eye-filling feast of fantasy.

Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the timeless animated classic, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” the new projection show is narrated by Mrs. Potts who shares “once upon a time” bedtime stories with Chip.

Projected scenes let you relive some of your favorite Disney moments. You’ll fly with Peter Pan high above the rooftops of London to Never Land, drop in on a whimsical tea party hosted by the Mad Hatter, and watch Winnie the Pooh rise to the top of the Castle while he hangs from a colorful balloon. And these are just some of the enchanting tales that come to life in “Once Upon a Time.”

The awe-inspiring show culminates with classic scenes from “Beauty and the Beast” – the Beast waltzing with his beloved Belle, his duel with Gaston, and finally his transformation back to the Prince. As Mrs. Potts and Chip conclude their bedtime story, the show moves to its grand finale including appearances by characters from some of Disney’s most beloved animated tales. Fireworks bursting above the Castle add to the magic.

“Once Upon a Time” takes its inspiration from a projection show that has thrilled guests at Tokyo Disney Resort since May 2014. The new show replaces the “Celebrate the Magic” Castle projection show that will end its four-year run on Nov. 3, 2016.

Call us at 855-434-9397 to book your next Walt Disney World Vacation

or request a quote online!

Last Chance to see Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World Resort before it ‘Glows Away’ Oct. 9

August 11, 2016

An enduring Disney Parks classic, the Main Street Electrical Parade, will take its shimmering farewell trip through Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort on Oct. 9, 2016.

 

Main Street Electrical Parade

 

Since making its Florida premiere in 1977, the parade has become one of the most beloved entertainment spectacles anywhere.  Watching the Main Street Electrical Parade has become a rite of passage with parents and grandparents eager to share the nostalgic experience with their children. You will have one more chance to see the parade and share this special memory, on select nights, before it before it departs.

This vibrant parade, a perennial favorite with Disney Guests, will next travel cross-country to Disneyland® Park in Anaheim, California, where it originally premiered in 1972.

Please note the Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World Resort will not appear during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights. Parade dates and times are available on the My Disney Experience app.

Don’t miss your chance to celebrate this beloved parade featuring cherished Disney Characters including Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and, of course, Mickey Mouse!  Contact us today to book a last-minute trip to see the Main Street Electrical Parade!

New Disney Springs Bus Loop for Disney Resort Guests

June 6, 2016

Disney Springs Bus Loop

Guests traveling to Disney Springs™ via complimentary Disney Resort bus transportation noticed some changes over the past couple of weeks. Disney motorcoaches now have their own dedicated bus lanes, giving them more efficient access to the property. Once they arrive at Disney Springs, Guests are dropped off at The Gateway, offering a stunning arrival into the newest neighborhood at Disney Springs.

With the opening of the new Disney Springs bus loop, the former Marketplace bus loop will support other transportation needs including vehicles coming from nearby Good Neighbor Hotels, Hotel Plaza Boulevard and Shades of Green.

In addition, Sundries is now open in Town Center near the bus loop, and will be the primary location for stroller and wheelchair rentals at Disney Springs. Other offerings available for purchase at Sundries include basic first aid and baby products.

 

The end of Star Wars Weekends and new permanent Star Wars experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

November 9, 2015

 

the end of Star Wars Weekends

There has been a great disturbance in the Force!  Changes in the Star Wars experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are coming, and these changes are both good and bad.

Very soon, you’ll have the opportunity to experience Star Wars in the park in an all-new way – every day! New experiences will open starting Dec. 1, 2015, bringing that galaxy far, far away, a little bit closer.

Star Wars Launch Bay will take Guests into the Star Wars saga and the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, special merchandise and opportunities to encounter Chewbacca and Darth Vader.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue will be home to a brand new adventure inspired by the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. During the opening months, Disney will make sure that everyone who rides Star Tours will experience the new adventure. After that, it will be up to the will of the Force.

There is also new information about “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi.” It will feature scenes from the complete Star Wars saga, giving anyone new to the Star Wars galaxy an opportunity to get acquainted with the films.

Last, but certainly not least, is Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, which will open in early December. This reimagined Jedi Training experience will take younglings to the secret site of an ancient Jedi temple where they will face Darth Vader along with the Seventh Sister – a new villain from the Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”

And work begins next year on the 14-acre Star Wars-themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new construction, unfortunately, means the end of Star Wars Weekends. While Star Wars Weekends has been a great way to enjoy the saga for a few days every year, now the Force will be with Disney’s Hollywood Studios every day.  Even Yoda cannot foresee whether Disney will resume the special events and celebrity appearances once the new land is complete.  (My guess is they will not.)

With Star Wars Launch Bay, the new Jedi Training experience, “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi,” and a new destination in the Star Tours attraction opening in December, you’ll be able to step into the Star Wars saga every time you visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Magic Kingdom Hub Expansion – Phase 1

March 5, 2015

Magic Kingdom Hub Expansion

 

The first phase of the Magic Kingdom Hub Expansion is now complete.  Officially, this area in front of Cinderella Castle is called the Central Plaza area, but everyone refers to it as the Hub.  If you need to ask why, just take a look at a map of the Magic Kingdom.  This area has always been a favorite of mine, although I miss the days when there were lots of trees.  I can understand why the trees were removed, though.  At one point they were disrupting the view of Cinderella Castle in a big way.

 

A cute young couple in the Hub, back before the Partners Statue.

A cute young couple in the Hub, back before the Partners Statue.

 

 

Overall, I’m very happy about this expansion of the Hub, although visually it’s going to take me a while to get used to.  Of course, it took me a while to get used to the Partners Statue as well, so that isn’t saying much. Or maybe it’s saying a whole lot about me…

So what exactly changed?  For anyone familiar with the “old” Hub, it’s almost unbelievable how much more space there is to walk around in.  (And the Hub was pretty large as it was!)  This first phase has added much-needed additional seating outside Casey’s Corner and The Plaza restaurant.  There’s also a new walkway that will help ease congestion. Additionally, the FastPass+ preferred viewing area for fireworks has been relocated from the Rose Garden to the new Main Street Plaza Gardens adjacent to The Crystal Palace.

 

Magic Kingdom Hub Expansion

Photo Credit: Disney

 

When completed later this year, the expanded Hub will include a new perimeter path and a lush garden environment themed to the style of gardens associated with European castles and chateaus.  I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product!

 

 

New Village Causeway Now Open at Downtown Disney!

February 21, 2015

Downtown Disney

 

Downtown Disney’s transformation into Disney Springs continues!  The Village Causeway, a bridge connecting the area near The LEGO Store across the water to Rainforest Café, is now open at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

I’m excited about Disney Springs.  Even though I love many of the spots at Downtown Disney and always have a visit on my agenda for every Disney World trip, I hadn’t been truly excited about going to Downtown Disney since Adventurers Club closed back in 2008.  I’m so happy to see a cohesive story being brought to this area of The World!  I’m happy to see the Disney moving forward.  I wish they’d bring this same type of focus to Future World at Epcot.

 

Downtown Disney Village Causeway is now open!

 

Village Causeway Merchandise Kiosks!

Here are some new merchandise kiosks now open on the Village Causeway:

  • Flour & Sugar – featuring baked items with Florida flavors
  • Florida Bath Co. – offering bath products made with home-grown ingredients
  • Icon Jewellery by Bico – including fine grade pewter and enhanced with Swarovski Crystals
  • Kate & Leo –  featuring items inspiring curiosity, creativity and imagination

 

 

 

New Details About Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

December 11, 2014

Polynesian Bungalows concept art

 

Construction on the new Disney Vacation Club Villas and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is progressing nicely.  Today Disney announced some news about them.  The resort will include the largest Deluxe Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. Each of the 360 Deluxe Studios will sleep up to five Guests and have the ability to connect to another Deluxe Studio. Plus, the new Disney Vacation Club bungalows are the first of their kind on any Disney property. The 20 bungalows will sleep up to eight Guests each in a home-like setting reminiscent of the South Pacific.  Each bungalow will have a balcony with plunge pool, outdoor shower, and speakers that will pipe in the music from the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom!

Similar to Disney Cruise Line ships and The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the rooms will each have a bathroom separated into two areas, one with a shower and sink and the other with a sink and tub/shower. Plus, they also will have kitchenettes and enhanced storage for convenience and comfort.

 

Poly Villas Room Concept

 

And, like all Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts, rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are available to anyone when not in use by Disney Vacation Club Members. Of course, with only 20 bungalows, availability is going to be extremely limited.

 

Polyesian Front Desk

 

The additions are part of an overall renovation of the iconic resort hotel. A re-imagined Great Ceremonial House will welcome you to a tropical destination where Disney magic meets South Seas hospitality. When complete, the resort will also include an enhanced feature pool, new food and beverage offerings, including Pineapple Lanai where you can get a Dole Whip, and a new Trader Sam’s Tiki lounge that will feature exotic cocktails and Polynesian-themed small plates.

 

Trader Sams Concept Art

 

The first phase of Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows is scheduled to open in 2015.

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