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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love EPCOT!

TouringPlans.com Blog - July 16, 2016 - 08:55 am

By Derek Burgan

This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Reasons We Love EPCOT. This July we’re celebrating Walt Disney World here on the SATURDAY SIX. We started at Animal Kingdom, and then made our way to Hollywood Studios, but this week we are going to look at a theme park that is unlike any other in America: Epcot.

EPCOT, the only Walt Disney World park in which the monorail goes into the actual park. (photo by Brian Carey)

Comprised of two distinct sections (Future World and World Showcase,) it’s impossible to compare EPCOT to any other theme park you’ve been to. The term “edutainment” is often used to describe the park because it generally eschewed the traditional model of quick and whimsical children’s rides, and instead focused on long and elaborate dark rides that refused to shoehorn in Disney characters (RIP Horizons.) EPCOT’s mascot Figment became an immediate hit, and certainly remains the most popular character ever designed for a theme park. We’ve seen many changes to EPCOT over the years, but it remains a wonderfully unique park. Yes, we miss Kitchen Kaberet, World of Motion, and the original Journey into Imagination as much as anyone, but there are still plenty of things to love about EPCOT’s current state. What’s our favorite?  Well, sit back, snack on some school bread, and let’s start our countdown with…

# 6 – Frozen Ever After

In 2014 we shed our tears with the rest of the #SaveMaelstrom movement, but an amazing thing happened when Walt Disney Imagineering converted the old Norway boat ride into an attraction based around the hit movie Frozen: they hit a monstrous home run. Given the constraints WDI had to work with including – for Disney – a rapid turnaround, Frozen Ever After is a dark ride so good that it would fit in perfectly with the legendary Fantasyland attractions at the Magic Kingdom. The animatronics are amazing (Olaf steals the show), guests get to see all their favorite Frozen characters and hear almost the entire film’s soundtrack, including the contractually obligated “Let It Go.”

Elsa, Anna, and Olaf in Frozen Ever After. (photo by Brian Carey)

Sven after getting a triple dog dare. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Queen Elsa. (photo by Brian Carey)

The star of Frozen Ever After, Olaf! (photo by Brandon Glover)

# 5 – The Festivals

With dates expanding every year, we could possibly see a time when the Flower & Garden Festival runs straight into the International Food & Wine Festival, and all we can say is: good! Both festivals are completely free with park admission, have a lot of fun things to do and see, and bring along a whole bunch of unique food and drink items. Flower & Garden turns EPCOT, already one of the most beautiful parks around, into THE most beautiful with a series of well manicured gardens and must-see topiaries. Despite the increasing cost (and decreasing size) of the portions, Food & Wine is still one of the best experiences at WDW as you walk from booth to booth trying foods and drinks from locales around the globe.

The Olive Oil-Poached Salmon with Fresh Corn, Bacon, and Pepper Jam from The Chew booth. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Taylor Hanson of the group Hanson, playing a set during Food & Wine. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Mmmhops, the craft beer from the band Hanson. Not to be confused with The Yeastie Boys and Death Cab For Fruity brewed by their competitors. (photo by Brandon Glover)

The Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog is always a hit when it appears at Food & Wine. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Mickey and Minnie in a pose similar to the famous painting American Gothic. (photo by Brian Carey)

Beijing-style candied strawberries at the Lotus House during Flower & Garden. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Cogsworth and Lumiere topiaries in France during Flower & Garden. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Even the Germany village is decorated during Flower & Garden. (photo by Brandon Glover)

This Mater topiary is here solely as a tribute to the fine work of Andy Castro, who recently ended a historic run on his incredible Dateline Disneyland photo updates. (photo by Brandon Glover)

# 4 – Spaceship Earth

EPCOT was the first Disney park not to have a castle as its icon, and instead has the  “giant golf ball” known as Spaceship Earth standing 180 feet tall at the park entrance. While a visual spectacle on the outside, the inside also contains a beloved dark ride taking guests through the history of communication. Who among us doesn’t fondly remember the burning smell when passing through Rome, smile when seeing the sleeping monk, or know most of narrator Dame Judy Dench’s spiel by heart, including the reminder to thank the Phoenicians? In recent years a controversial ending was added to the attraction, but it is one that Your Humble Author enjoys a lot. Every time we go to the parks with someone who hasn’t been a million times, they love seeing themselves photoshopped Jib Jab style into a cute animation that can be different every time you ride.

The iconic Spaceship Earth. (photo by Brandon Glover)

The history of human communication is told during your ascent up Spaceship Earth. (photo by Tom Bricker)

Ever wanted a glimpse into the home offices of the SATURDAY SIX? (photo by Tom Bricker)

Any future featuring the King and Queen of theme park YouTube is okay with us. (photo by Tim and Jenn Tracker)

Spaceship Earth at night. (Photo by Tom Bricker)

# 3 – Soarin’

There are some theme park skeptics who don’t appreciate Soarin’  with the same degree of passion that we here at the SATURDAY SIX do. To us, the mere fact that it is the only attraction at Walt Disney World that regularly gets an applause after every showing speaks volumes about the overall effect it has on an average guest. The new and improved version of Soarin’ – with its 4K crisp video – even eliminates some of the only negatives of the old ride, that being the scratches and dust bunnies which filled the larger than life IMAX screen. Guests get the sensation of flying (complete with air being blown at you, along with several scents), one of the all-time greatest attraction scores, and now pass by all of the world’s most well known landmarks (basically if it has been blown up by aliens during a movie, you fly by it in Soarin’.) This ride is pure Disney magic, and don’t let any jaded theme park blogger tell you otherwise.

Soarin’ now gets recognized on The Land Pavilion’s sign. (photo by Brandon Glover)

The world famous Matterhorn as seen in Soarin’. (photo by Adam Roth of Theme Park Review)

If you look closely you can see 42 Wallaby Way in this shot of Sydney, Australia. (photo by Adam Roth of Theme Park Review)

Some fun hidden MIckeys can be found in Soarin’. (photo by Adam Roth of Theme Park Review)

The finale of Soarin’ in WDW now takes place over EPCOT. (photo by Adam Roth of Theme Park Review)

# 2 – The Restaurants

Until the recent transformation of Disney Springs, when it came to dining at Walt Disney World, there was one place to send people: World Showcase. Here lies a collection of unique restaurants that is second to none in the theme park world. In the Mexico Pavilion you can dine inside the temple as boats from Gran Fiesta Tour pass you by at San Angel Inn. Canada has Le Cellier Steakhouse and its famous cheddar cheese soup. France’s Monsieur Paul is true fine dining inside a theme park. Italy has Via Napoli serving the greatest pizza on Disney property. Akershus, Restaurant Marrakesh, Chefs de France, and who can pass up fish & chips or some bangers & mash at Rose & Crown? There are so many fantastic restaurants in World Showcase that it puts the other three WDW parks to shame.

Via Napoli, home of the best pizza on Disney property. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Monsieur Paul. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Le Cellier. (photo by Brandon Glover)

One of our favorite places to eat in World Showcase is none other than Teppan Edo in the Japan Pavilion. The hibachi chefs prepare your meal directly in front of you, including the “volcano” that everyone wants to see, and the food itself is excellent.

Teppan Edo. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Teppan Edo. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Teppan Edo chef. (photo by Brandon Glover)

This onion is simulating what happens to Your Humble Author every time he sees a photo shot in portrait. (photo by Brandon Glover))

Salmon at Teppan Edo. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Junmai Sake Flight. Junmai, Junmai Ginjyo, and Junmai Daiginiyo premium sakes. (photo by Brandon Glover)

# 1 – IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

There have been very strong rumors lately that that IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, EPCOT’s nighttime spectacular is in for a major change. To that we say, nay nay. Let’s face it, if IllumiNations ever changes we’ll never get anything like it again. We’re not overwhelmed with characters or forced-in product placements (we’re looking in your direction World of Color). It is the very definition of a spectacle using over the top fireworks, lasers, neon lights, and a stirring musical soundtrack to deliver its story. Yes, the story may actually be more incomprehensible than the plot to Batman V Superman, but along with the pyrotechnic ballyhoo there is the large globe doing whatever it is that it does. We don’t know exactly why the globe unfolds like a flower, but that flower brings with it one of the most show stopping finales we know of. IllumiNations is not by any means perfect, but you just know if Disney changed this show, the globe would be replaced by a giant Duffy the Disney Bear head, the music would be the Frozen soundtrack as sung by Demi Lovato, and the narration would be done by Neil Patrick Harris.

Don’t you dare change a thing to IllumiNations Disney. Don’t you dare.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. (photo by Brandon Glover)

IllumiNations. (Photo by Brandon Glover)

IllumiNations. (photo by Brandon Glover)

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth as seen behind Spaceship Earth. (photo by Brian Carey)

HONORABLE MENTION – World Showcase Shopping

Something that rarely gets the attention that it deserves is how much fun it can be just walking through all the stores throughout World Showcase. Unlike your average theme park stores, they aren’t filled with the same t-shirts and generic logos. Our favorite shopping experiences include the carts inside the Mexican temple, walking through the huge China store (which is almost a museum in parts), and of course the Japan stores (which for us is like a Tokyo Toys R Us.) Take your time and browse some of these areas. Wander in deep and see the masks in the Italy pavilion or get lost in the Morocco area, you’ll love it and maybe find something you never knew you were looking for.

Japan Pavilion. (photo by Brandon Glover)

China Pavilion. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Morocco Pavilion. (photo by Brandon Glover)

The exception that proves the rule. Thanks, Canada. (photo by Brandon Glover)

DOUBLE SECRET HONORABLE MENTION: Leave a Legacy

The Leave A Legacy monoliths outside of Spaceship Earth are one thing in EPCOT that many guests would probably be happy to see moved. If you are not one of the 500,000 or so people that bought a tile, there’s very little reason to appreciate these slabs which are directly at the front of the park. However, some of us DO have a reason to check them. My family personally has two tiles, and it is nice to see them each time each time I go to the park. There’s also a set of tiles featuring the band N*Sync (oh wait, I forgot I’m making the case to keep the monoliths.)

Let’s say Disney did move the Leave A Legacy monoliths, what are they going to put in place of them? DVC kiosks? C’mon these are cooler than that. Right? Right?!

Leave A Legacy monoliths in front of Spaceship Earth. (photo by Brandon Glover)

“And from way up here, you all look like little ants!” – Heimlich, A Bug’s Life

Justin Timberlake and four other guys. Just kidding Joey! photo by MeetTheMagic.com)

My mother and my grandmother got this tile in honor of my uncle David and aunt Laurel.

The second tile in has my mother immortalized at the front of EPCOT.

 

So there you have it: Six Reasons We LOVE Disney’s EPCOT. See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll be going to a little place called The Magic Kingdom. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan)

#NeverForget

If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:

Six Best Snacks in EPCOT’s World Showcase

Walt Disney World Locations Used in Hulk Hogan’s Thunder In Paradise

Six Most Interesting, Most Unusual, and Strangest Souvenirs in EPCOT’s World Showcase

Second Annual Theme Park Turkeys of the Year Awards

Six Things We STILL Can’t Believe Happened at Walt Disney World

Special Thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover, YouTube royalty Tim and Jenn Tracker, Jammin’ Julia Mascardo, the icon of Disney photography Tom Bricker, Stubborn as a Mule (but twice as smart) Tim Grassey, the man who gives 9 Dragons  5 stars “Brutal” Brian Carey, the m an who gives 9 Dragons 6 stars “Astonishing” Adam Roth of Theme Park Review, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with co-host Aengus Mackenzie along with Meg’s Yeti To Be Named Disney Podcast.

Epcot’s dedication by Card Walker. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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Pizza Planet to become a Muppets-themed restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Attractions Magazine - July 15, 2016 - 04:12 pm

It’s been rumored for a while, and now it’s official. The Pizza Planet restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which has been closed for months for refurbishment, will reopen this fall as PizzeRizzo. The Muppets’ Rizzo the Rat-themed restaurant will offer casual Italian-American dining for lunch and dinner. It’s expected the menu will remain very similar […]
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News: PizzeRizzo Officially Announced for Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney Food Blog - July 15, 2016 - 03:51 pm

Hooray! It’s official… Disney has confirmed that PizzeRizzo is indeed opening in Disney’s Hollywood Studios this fall!

©Disney

The spelling is a bit different from when the original rumors surfaced that Pizza Rizzo might be opening in the former home of Toy Story Pizza Planet, but other anticipated details remain the same. The new theme of the Counter Service pizza spot in the Studios will center around Muppet Rizzo the Rat!

Along with the artwork above, Disney also revealed that the Imagineering team responsible for the new eatery will hide “hints of Rizzo, his extended family and friends who have visited PizzeRizzo over the years throughout the two-story quick-service location,” owned and operated by Rizzo himself. Features will include a “cheesy” banquet room as well as a unique booth that is specifically designated for Rizzo’s celebrity pals.

Look for PizzeRizzo to open this fall in the Muppets Courtyard of Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Are you excited about PizzeRizzo? Please let us know with a comment!

Disney Food Blog Fans, be sure to check out our DFB Disney World Dining Guide e-Books! Find great deals at DFBStore.com! Also, come on over and:


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PizzeRizzo is Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

TouringPlans.com Blog - July 15, 2016 - 03:21 pm

By Rikki Niblett

©Disney

Have you been wondering what’s been going on with Pizza Planet since it closed a few months ago? I certainly had been. Plus, if you mixed the refurbishment news together with the news that the entire area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios had been rebranded as Muppet Courtyard, you knew something was clearly up. Now, we know what that something is. Today, Disney announced that a new Muppets-themed restaurant called PizzeRizzo will be opening this fall!

Everyone knows and loves Rizzo the Rat and what better character to own and operate a pizzeria. (? Sure…why not. I mean what do the Guests know anyway…they’re tourists.) Guests will be able to grab some pizza or a cold beverage in this two-story quick-service location which will feature both indoor and outdoor seating. Guests will be able to dine in a “cheesy” banquet room or enjoy a special booth designed just for Rizzo’s celebrity friends. You’ll also need to be on the lookout as Guests will be able to see hints of Rizzo, his extended family, and friends who’ve visited his family pizzeria over the years stashed around the restaurant.

Of course, as many know, according to Jim Hill, the Muppets were always supposed to have a themed pizzeria, however the original version was to be themed around Gonzo – The Great Gonzo’s Pandemonium Pizza Parlor. Proof that no good idea dies at Disney; it just morphs into something else.

I look forward to learning more about PizzeRizzo and sharing them with you!

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Club Villain returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Disney Blog - July 15, 2016 - 08:00 am

This fall Disney’s Hollywood Studios will welcome some legendary Disney villains to help usher in some new family friendly fun leading up to Halloween. On Friday and Saturday nights from Sept 2 – Oct 29 and on October 31, Sunset Showcase will host “Club Villain” a special dining experience where...

The post Club Villain returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios appeared first on The Disney Blog.


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Club Villain Returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

TouringPlans.com Blog - July 14, 2016 - 02:36 pm

By Rikki Niblett

©Disney

Looking to get spooky at Walt Disney World this fall? Club Villain is returning for select dates in September and October.

Club Villain, which takes place in the Sunset Showcase at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (located near Rock n’ Roller Coaster), is hosted by Dr. Facilier, the baddie from The Princess and the Frog. The evening features a night of dancing and dining, all while celebrating with your favorite Disney villains.

The event will feature a delightful menu inspired after The Princess and The Frog‘s New Orleans location. Dishes will include beef striploin rubbed with herbes de Provence, Voodoo sticky “pig wings” with citrus gremolata and spicy shrimp sautéed with Andouille sausage, tomato, okra and onions over creamy polenta. There will also be great chilling cocktail concoctions, plus beer and wine at the Potions Bar.

Guests will be able to mix and mingle with Maleficent, Queen of Hearts, the Evil Queen and Cruella De Vil. Oh and they’ll be able to enjoy wicked awesome jams from the DJ!

Keep in mind that seating for this event will be banquet style, so you may be seated with other guests, depending on your party’s size.

Club Villain is a ticketed dining and entertainment offering and shows will be occur every Friday and Saturday during September and October, with two shows performed nightly at 5:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Additionally, shows will also be offered on Halloween, Monday, October 31.

Tickets to Club Villain can be purchased for $129 per person, tax and gratuity included. Do keep in mind that separate admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required, and is not included in the price of this package. Guests can make reservations by visiting DisneyWorld.com or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

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EPCOT Rumor Roundup

The Disney Blog - July 13, 2016 - 11:23 pm

In 2017 Disney’s Animal Kingdom will open the much anticipated Pandora – The World of Avatar, after that we’ll have two new lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Toy Story Land and the as yet unnamed Star Wars themed land). As far as announced projects, that’s all we have right now....

The post EPCOT Rumor Roundup appeared first on The Disney Blog.


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Hollywood Studios to Offer Early Morning Magic

AllEars - July 13, 2016 - 12:34 pm

Beginning August 1, Disney Early Morning Magic will be offered at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Disney Early Morning Magic launched at Magic Kingdom in April of this year to give guests the opportunity to be among the first to experience theme park attractions and breakfast inside the park. At the Studios, Early Morning Magic begins at 7:45 a.m., when guests can enter the park and experience several attractions and character meet-and-greets: Star Tours - The Adventures Continue, Toy Story Mania!, Pixar Place character greetings (with Woody and Buzz), Mickey and Minnie on Commissary Lane and Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight. An all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast will be available at ABC Commissary from 8 to 10 a.m. Tickets, which are limited, cost $69 for adults and $59 for children ages 3-9 (plus tax). Book Disney Early Morning Magic for Disney's Hollywood Studios at DisneyWorld.com/EarlyMorningMagic or call 407-827-7350. (A theme park ticket is required in addition to the Disney Early Morning Magic ticket. Disney Early Morning Magic is also a separate experience than Extra Magic Hours, which are held on different dates). EDITOR'S NOTE: Disney Early Morning Magic also has been extended through September 30, 2016, for the Magic Kingdom.
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Disney’s Hollywood Studios to start Early Morning Magic

The Disney Blog - July 13, 2016 - 03:03 am

Does an extra hour to ride two of Disney’s Hollywood Studios most in demand attractions and get some exclusive time with Pixar and Disney characters sound good to you? Then you might be interested in the Disney Early Morning Magic package coming August 1st to the park. During this special...

The post Disney’s Hollywood Studios to start Early Morning Magic appeared first on The Disney Blog.


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News: Disney’s Hollywood Studios Early Morning Magic Event Now Available for Booking

Disney Food Blog - July 12, 2016 - 03:54 pm

Remember a few months ago when Disney released a new Early Morning Magic option for early birds at Magic Kingdom?

Here’s the basic gist: purchase of a limited-entry special ticket event — in addition to regular park admission — allows guests to enter the park early and ride a few in-demand attractions before the park’s regular opening and enjoy an included breakfast to boot. Well, it appears a similar event is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

AT-AT outside of Star Tours attraction at Hollywood Studios

Early Morning Magic participants will have the chance to enjoy Star Tours and Toy Story Mania, as well as participate in Meet and Greets with Mickey and Minnie, Woody and Buzz, and Olaf. The event runs from 7:45 am to 10:00 am on select Mondays and Wednesdays, and is currently bookable via the Disney World website (or by calling 407-827-7350) for dates beginning August 1st through the end of September 2016.

Just like Magic Kingdom’s early morning event, breakfast will be included as part of the experience. ABC Commissary will be the host of this all-you-care-to-eat experience from 8:00 – 10:00 am.

ABC Commissary Entrance

The buffet will include items like freshly baked Pastries, Scrambled Eggs, Spinach and Mushroom Frittata, Bacon and Pork Sausage, Cheesy Potatoes, Puffed French Toast, Muesli, Fruits and Berries, and beverages such as coffee, tea, milk, and chilled fruit juices.

Early Morning Magic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is available with the purchase of a separate ticket (in addition to regular park admission, which is also required). The cost for the extra event is $69 per adult, and $59 for children ages 3 to 9 (not including tax). Please note that, according to the Disney World website, “At approximately 9:00 AM, the theme park will open to Guests with regular theme park admission tickets and event-only attraction access will end.”

With increased demand at Epcot for new experiences like Soarin’ Around the World and Frozen Ever After, we can’t help but wonder if that park is next for an Early Morning Magic Event? We’ll be keeping an eye out, and will keep you posted here.

Would you participate in an Early Morning Magic event at a Disney World park? Please let us know with a comment!

Disney Food Blog Fans, be sure to check out our DFB Disney World Dining Guide e-Books! Find great deals at DFBStore.com! Also, come on over and:


Related posts:

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Disney Early Morning Magic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

TouringPlans.com Blog - July 12, 2016 - 03:09 pm

By Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Recently, Disney introduced the idea of Early Morning Magic at the Magic Kingdom. Well it seems that the concept was a good idea, so they are now rolling the idea over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This special event allows Guests to enter the theme park early in the morning before the park opens officially for Guests for the day and allows for the ability to ride attractions that commonly have long waits, as well as enjoy a great in-park breakfast.

During the event, Guests are able to experience Toy Story Mania!, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue and meet favorite characters such as Buzz and Woody at Pixar Place, Mickey and Minnie at Red Carpet Dreams, and Olaf at the Celebrity Spotlight.

Plus, in addition to getting in some some early morning fun, Guests will also be able to enjoy a fantastic breakfast at ABC Commissary. Breakfast will be served from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Menu items will include:

  • Assorted chilled fruit juices
  • Sliced seasonal fruit and berries
  • A variety of freshly baked breakfast pastries, served with butter, preserves and marmalade
  • Fluffy scrambled eggs
  • Spinach and mushroom frittata
  • Bacon and pork sausage
  • Cheesy potatoes
  • Puffed French toast with butter & syrup
  • Muesli with assorted toppings
  • Coffee, decaf, milk, chocolate milk and a selection of teas

Due to its extra ticketed status, entry will be limited. In addition to the ticket for the event, Guests must have regular theme park admission. The cost is $69 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $59 per child (ages 3 through 9) plus tax.

Disney Early Morning Magic will take place on select Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Official check-in will take place near the far-left turnstiles of the Main Entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning at 7:45 a.m. Guests will receive a wristband for identification upon check-in.

Do keep in mind that Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open at 9:00 a.m. to Guests with regular theme park admission and access to the event-only attractions will end.

Disney Early Morning Magic is scheduled to begin on August 1 and run through the end of Septebmer.

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Autograph Hound

Main Street Gazette - June 10, 2016 - 09:00 am

Yesterday was Donald Duck’s 82nd birthday. The foul-tempered fowl has been featured in numerous cartoon shorts and featured films, not to mention a musical career that includes Macho Duck. Over in Disney’s Hollywood Studios we are quite literally walking through the history of film, and while it would make complete sense to utilize one of the billboards to promote the latest Mickey Mouse cartoon, but instead Donald is finally given the spotlight to promote his short, Autograph Hound.
Autograph Hound is an eight minute cartoon that was released in September of 1939. The billboard features the main image from Autograph Hound’s poster, in which caricatures of celebrities are seen raging against Donald as the studios’ security guard orders him out. In the cartoon, Donald sneaks onto the lot and has run-ins with Mickey Rooney, the Ritz Brothers, Shirley Temple, and others before it is revealed that he is Donald Duck. The tables turn and celebrities come from all around to get his autograph, the last of which is the security guard who has been continually battling with Donald during the short. Many of the actors and actresses that are caricatured in the cartoon are not just over-the-top renditions of themselves, but also of some of their most well-known roles at the time.
Donald is so synonymous with Hollywood, that he is even featured in a line of the 1937 popular song, and unofficial anthem of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Hooray for Hollywood. Whatever your thoughts are on Donald Duck, he has certainly earned his own place inside the park dedicated to the history of Hollywood. Not to mention it reminds all of us to make sure we get our autographs with the famous guys and gals of Disney while we’re in the park.

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Writer’s Stop To Remain Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

TouringPlans.com Blog - April 01, 2016 - 03:08 pm

By Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

This weekend marks the closure of may Disney’s Hollywood Studios attractions. They include Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, the Monster’s Inc. meet and greet, and Studio Catering Co. One of the places that was also slated to close was the Writer’s Stop. Now it appears as though that will be changing, at least temporarily.

Guests will be able to still continue to visit the Writer’s Stop, which will nowserve as a lounge/waiting area for Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. Guests will be able to enjoy refreshments and small plates beginning at 11:30 a.m. and lasting until one hour prior to Sci-Fi’s closure.

Guests will be able to purchase and enjoy appetizers, a selection of wine and beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Do keep in mind that this is only slated to be open on a limited time basis, so stay tuned to the blog for its official closure.

 

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Our Favorite Epcot Restaurants

Disney Food Blog - March 31, 2016 - 11:14 am

We are big fans of Epcot around here, just like you are. It may not be the original Disney World Park, but it holds a charm that few other spots in the Disney universe can. After all, walking around there feels like  you’ve stepped into the dreams of Walt Disney himself. It didn’t start life as the Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow for nothing!

Epcot!!!

The park has evolved a bit through the years, but we’re still enchanted by its dual personalities: Future World, celebrating technology and the promise of what’s to come; and World Showcase, which encourages visitors to embrace cultures from around the globe in order to learn from them.

While there’s so much to do and see, tops on our list are the eats! Today, we’re sharing with you our favorite Epcot Restaurants — the ones we don’t want you to miss.

Via Napoli

Via Napoli is a rare Disney restaurant in my book, and there are two reasons why. First, I eat there nearly every time I visit Walt Disney World, whether I tell you guys about it or not. And two, the food is pretty much always good.

Via Napoli in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion is One of My Favorite Epcot Stops

There’s no disputing, in my opinion, that Via Napoli is your top destination for good pizza in Disney World. But there is so much more than that here!

To begin, they have some terrific beverages. And while inventive cocktails and exclusive craft beers number among them, you should try the completely refreshing (and non-alcoholic) Acqua Fresca at least once…especially if you’re visiting on a hot day!

Acqua Fresca

Appetizers and starters are fresh and interesting as well. When I order the Fritto Misto, I always request extra nuggets of Fried Mozzarella Cheese. So good!

Fritto Misto Platter

Mozzarella Caprese — Up Close

You can’t go wrong with pizzas at Via Napoli. The crust is prepared with imported flour and water similar to what you’ll find in Southern Italy. The pies are fired hot and fast, and arrive to your table still steaming from the ovens.

Piccante Signature Pizza

But don’t overlook Via Napoli’s pasta dishes, either. Whether you’re going for tomato-based sauces or something decadent and creamy, we’ve had some real winners.

Paccheri alla Crema con Pollo

And save room for dessert. I’ve had some delicious options, but the Zeppole wins my vote for the best, hands down!

Zeppole with Chocolate Sauce and Whipped Cream

But then, how could you possibly go wrong with what amounts to an Italian doughnut?

Garden Grill Restaurant

What’s not to love about Garden Grill Restaurant in The Land Pavilion?

Garden Grill

This place has everything! It rotates (yes — it, like, physically rotates in a circle), so you see an ever-changing landscape — courtesy of Living with the Land, one of the attractions that shares real estate with the restaurant.

Living with the Land as seen from Garden Grill — The Farmhouse

And the food, which is served family-style and is all you care to enjoy, is really, really good. These days, they are serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and frankly, I can’t decide which I like the best. Here are a few pics. You decide!

Breakfast Platter at Garden Grill

Cinnamon Bun Bake

Garden Grill Entrees

So it spins…and the food is guuuuuuud.

Harvest Skillet Cake — So Yum!!

Surely, that’s enough, right? Nope! On top of all that, there are characters! Enjoy interaction with Chip n’ Dale, Farmer Mickey, and Pluto while you dine.

Farmer Mickey!

And because of the round structure of the restaurant, character interaction always feels even more special in some way, like you’re the only guest there. Plus the circular architecture makes it easy for Mickey and Pluto to sneak up on you and play peek-a-boo! SUPER FREAKING FUN for the toddler set. If you haven’t had the chance to dine at Garden Grill, be sure to book your advance dining reservation on your next visit!

Sunshine Seasons

But you aren’t out of luck if you prefer counter service to table service. Because you’ll find plenty to love at Sunshine Seasons.

Sunshine Seasons at The Land pavilion in Epcot

Located in The Land Pavilion (yep — just an escalator ride away from Garden Grill — that building has more than its fair share of good Disney food karma), this is counter service food that tastes more like table service quality. They serve breakfast (a little-known fact), lunch, and dinner here, so there’s always something delicious to try. They also have some interesting Grab and Go selections — including some super yummo cupcakes, which change up seasonally.

Apple Spice Cupcake, A Recent Favorite From Sunshine Seasons

As for entrees, you can choose from LOTSA goodies, including Asian specialties and yummy vegetarian options, too. But hands down, my favorites at Sunshine Seasons are the Oak-Fired Grilled entrees.

Roasted Chicken with Black Beans and Rice

I can always go for their Roasted Chicken, but the Pork Chop is delicious as well. And if you prefer fish, be sure to check out their Salmon — people love it!

Tutto Gusto

For our next choice, we’re headed back to World Showcase — and right back to the Italy Pavilion, in fact — to hang out at Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar.

Fireplace Area Seating at Tutto Gusto

I mean look at that. How many theme parks that you’ve been to have a cozy wine bar where you can sit on couches next to a fireplace?!?

Ever since this uber cozy spot opened, I have been a fan. Featuring small plates and fantastic Italian wines, a respite at Tutto Gusto is like a tour of Italy. Via food. Which we all know if the best way to see a country.

To explore like a native, check out their Wine Flights. It’s a great way to learn more about the various regions where wine is produced.

Best of Italy Wine Flight

But there’s a full bar as well. While you can enjoy just about anything you can dream up, I suggest you explore some of their special cocktails, especially those using liquors and liqueurs from Italy.

Tutto Gusto Cocktail

But the drinks are only half the story here, because there’s also some seriously great food. The Panini aren’t what we normally get here in the US. But the “small bread sandwiches” feature really interesting combos, like Fontina with Artichoke or Salametto — or both!

Tutto Gusto Panini — Artichoke Fontina and Salametto Fontina

Other small plates feature Pasta, like Ravioli de Ricotta.

Ravioli di Ricotta

This rich dish packs a ton of flavor.

Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie

There’s a lot to love about Epcot’s France Pavilion. You’ll find wonderful ice cream treats to enjoy at L’Artisan des Glaces. And taking in lunch or dinner at Les Chefs de France is always high on my list. But whatever time of day it is, I can always find a reason to visit Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie!

Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion

Seriously — are you looking for a French-inspired breakfast? Pastries and baked goods are prepared authentically and fresh right in Les Halles’ own kitchens and ovens.

Bakery Case at Les Halles

My favorites are the Frangipane Triangles. With flaky pastry and a rich almond filling center, it makes for a great start to my day. I know — they look totally boring. There’s no chocolate! No cream! But ERMEHGERD they are SOOOOO good. And this is coming from a cupcake and frosting devotee.

Frangipane Triangle

For a light lunch or dinner, you can’t go wrong with one of Les Halles’ sandwiches. Enjoying a Jambon Beurre always reminds me of my broke college student days in Switzerland when I had to eat at train stations. Wait a minute. That doesn’t sound right. Let me put that into context by saying that the ham, cheese, and butter sandwiches served at Swiss gas stations and train stations are THE BEST!!!!!!

Jambon Beurre Sandwich

But one of my favorite things to do is to grab a Cheese Plate and a Baguette and people watch from a bench or a spot by the fountain.

And don’t forget — Les Halles is a great place to stop for a drink. That includes mimosas that are on the menu starting at 9AM!!! Yep — Les Halles is not only the ONLY place you can eat in World Showcase before 11AM without a reservation…it also serves ALCOHOL at 9AM. I’m just gonna put that right there.

Don’t Forget the Wine!

Coffee or hot chocolate, beer or wine…you’ll find great options at this counter service cafe any time of the day.

La Hacienda de San Angel

La Hacienda de San Angel hasn’t always impressed me. My visits to the restaurant, which is the Mexico Pavilion’s newest place to dine, have been evenly split between great and not so much. But this is definitely a place where I consider the big picture when it comes to formulating an opinion. What do I mean by that? Mostly, I consider La Hacienda’s location to be a great big part of its charm.

The View from La Hacienda de San Angel

Open only for dinner, La Hacienda de San Angel occupies primo real estate right on Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon. That makes this a beautiful location for taking in Illuminations.

Fireworks View at La Hacienda

But that’s jut the outside view (which is pretty awesome, fireworks or no). Inside the restaurant is nearly as beautiful as the view, with Mexican artwork and punched tin lights. The terraced seating and round booths facing the windows takes full advantage of the views.

But what about the food? While pricey, I’ve had some real standouts here. Don’t skip the handcrafted margaritas, which are on par with those you’ll find at La Cava del Tequila across the way. And if they’re serving Crema de Elote, or Creamed Corn Soup, do yourself a favor…

Pouring the Crema de Elote

…And order two bowls.

Le Cellier Steakhouse

There is NO WAY I can discuss my favorite Epcot restaurants and not talk about Le Cellier Steakhouse.

Le Cellier Steakhouse — Outside View

Some feel that Le Cellier is overrated. While I love it, I must admit that I was disappointed when this signature restaurant in the Canada Pavilion started serving its more expensive (and 2 Disney Dining Plan Credit) dinner menu for the midday meal too. But even there, we’ve seen a bright side. What previously had been a nearly impossible advance dining reservation to score is now a lot easier to come by.

Le Cellier is aptly named. They have done a great job with themeing, and actually using the windowless space to their advantage.

Le Cellier Steakhouse

It really lends to the cozy feel of the place. Whether it’s 40 or 90 degrees outside, it still manages to feel like you’re in Canada, and not Florida, in the snug dining room.

But even more remarkable is the consistently great food and service I’ve experienced here.

Le Cellier’s Filet Mignon

I’ve never had a bad meal at Le Cellier. And even weaker menu spots, like desserts, showed improvement during my most recent visit.

The one caveat? The dining room really is small. If you’re like me and enjoy your space while dining, ask for a table that’s not a banquette along the walls so you don’t feel like you’re eating at a communal table.

Rose and Crown Pub

Our last stop in Epcot takes us over to the UK Pavilion, as we drop into Rose and Crown Pub and Restaurant.

While Rose and Crown offers good food, I think a big part of what makes it special to me is nostalgia. I’ve been coming to this pub on the UK Pavilion’s High Street since the days that I visited Disney World as a child with my family. And really, nothing has changed. You’ll find the same homey atmosphere and solid comfort food that was the hallmark of the spot then.

New York Strip Steak with Loaded Yorkshire Pudding

But the nostalgia isn’t just about those visits when I was a kid. When I began visiting Disney on my own as an adult, I came to know the pub as well as the restaurant. After all, having a drink and a bite at the Rose and Crown’s beautiful bar is a Disney rite of passage. And if you have the pleasure of visiting with Carl the Bartender while there — then so much the better!

Rose and Crown’s Famous Carl!

Now, if they would just bring back that English Bulldog

La Cava del Tequila

Ok…so it’s not so much a restaurant as a bar. But — it has tables and chairs. And some food. And about the best drinks that you can get anywhere in the Disney Universe. And this is my list, so I’m totally including it.

La Cava del Tequila

Seriously — I would be remiss as both an Epcot Lover and a Disney Food Blogger if I didn’t tell you to make room on your itinerary and in your tummy for La Cava del Tequila. Located inside the Mexico Pavilion’s Pyramid, this tiny spot has been practically standing room only since it opened a few years ago. One sip of their artisan margaritas, and you’ll understand why.

Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

These aren’t your neighborhood Tex-Mex chain ressie drinks. Featuring premium spirits (no joke — I follow on instagram the guys who choose the alcohol for this place and their feeds are pretty much constantly filled with agave fields they’re visiting to select the best possible stuff), freshly prepared juices, and all kinds of interesting flavor combos, it’s one of the best places I can think of to send you for a quiet and cool break. My drink du jour these days is the Tamarind Margarita — a perfect sweet and tangy balance of flavors.

Tamarind Margarita — One of My New Favorites

And they do pour ‘em strong here, so do yourself a favor and try a few of their small bites.

La Cava Trio Combo

I love their Trio Combo for a variety of flavors! The white queso — when it’s on the menu — is to die for.

So, there you have it!! These are the places you can’t miss in Epcot! I’d love to hear about your favorites, too!

Ready for All of Our Best Tips?

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Now let’s hear from you! What are your favorite Epcot Restaurants? Leave a comment and share your personal list with us!

Disney Food Blog Fans, be sure to check out our DFB Disney World Dining Guide e-Books! Find great deals at DFBStore.com! Also, come on over and:


Related posts:

  1. Our Favorite Magic Kingdom Restaurants
  2. Our Favorite Disney’s Hollywood Studios Restaurants
  3. Review: Beignet at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion


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Additional Dates Added for Club Villain

AllEars - March 30, 2016 - 05:57 pm

Club Villain at Disney's Hollywood Studios has been extended yet again. It will now be offered Saturdays through the end of May. The event features performances, food, cocktails and encounters with some of the greatest Disney villains. The mysterious Dr. Facilier is host for the evening, welcoming guests and his friends from the "other side" to his parlor of mystical mishaps, with musical numbers and a wicked mix from his house DJ. Also stopping by to socialize are those divas of evil, Maleficent, Queen of Hearts, Cruella De Vil and the Evil Queen. Reservations can be made in advance online or by calling 407-939-3463. Price is $129/person. A separate ticket for admission to Disney's Hollywood Studios is required.
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Review: Cheese Danish at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe

Disney Food Blog - March 30, 2016 - 09:09 am

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the hunt for a good Cheese Danish.

Learn About:
Cheshire CafeMagic Kingdom
Disney World Restaurants

And why is that? Well, because one of my favorite treats — the Biggest Cheese Danish You Ever Did See — may soon be losing its home, and I don’t know what’s going to become of it. You see, it’s located at one place, and one place only… the Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Trouble is, that location is closing to make way for construction of the new lands coming to the Studios: Toy Story and Star Wars. (While the spot may have a brief respite, we can’t believe it’s long for this “World” in its current state.)

While the other signature snack at Writer’s Stop — the Carrot Cake Cookie — is (and hopefully will remain) available at Sweet Spells, I know of no other home for the monster-sized Cheese (not to mention Apple and Cherry) Danish you can find there.

So, yeah… I’m on a hunt. And it’s led me to another park entirely: Magic Kingdom.

Welcome back to the Cheshire Cafe in Fantasyland.

Cheshire Cafe Sign

You remember Cheshire Cafe, right? It was a pretty low-key locale until the arrival of Gourmet Cake Cups — a heavenly cupcake-meets-parfait-meets-mountain-of-frosting that — for reasons we’ll never understand — is no longer served here.

Cheshire Cafe

These days it still serves its old standbys like muffins, Frozen Lemonade Slushes, and… well, whaddya know? A Cheese Danish.

Cheese Danish sign at Cheshire Cafe

I know — it doesn’t sound all that exciting. But I’m on a mission here, folks. So let’s see how this one stacks up!

Cheese Danish

Honestly, at first glance it almost resembles a flat cinnamon roll more than a Cheese Danish.

Cheese Danish and Cinnamon

But it does have its pros: like my beloved Cheese Danish at Writer’s Stop, this one is twisted with cinnamon and sugar between the layers. The pastry is soft and buttery. And it gets a point or two for the generous icing drizzle.

Icing and Cheese Filling

But the heavy vanilla cream cheese center sinks to the bottom of the snack, and while it’s that same delicious sweet and cheesy mixture, there just isn’t as much as I wish there was. Plus, it’s on the smaller size, making it far less…  you know, epic.

Cross-Section of the Cheese Danish

It’ll do for a quick morning munch at Magic Kingdom, but for the time being, my quest is still very much on. If you have a favorite cheese danish in Disney World, let me know in the comments below!

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Will you be trying the Cheese Danish from Cheshire Cafe? Leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts!

Disney Food Blog Fans, be sure to check out our DFB Disney World Dining Guide e-Books! Find great deals at DFBStore.com! Also, come on over and:


Related posts:

  1. Review: Cheese Danish at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  2. Review: NEW Gourmet Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe
  3. First Look!: Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe Photos and Menu


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Rumor: A Second Chance for Writer’s Stop?

Disney Food Blog - March 29, 2016 - 01:35 pm

Oh, could it be?!? Has the Writer’s Stop been given a second chance?!

Learn About:
Writer’s StopDisney's Hollywood Studios
Disney World Restaurants

If you follow Disney news, you’ll likely recall the announcement that the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show attraction will give its final performances on April 2nd in order to make way for construction of the future Toy Story and Star Wars Lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It was subsequently announced that some of the eateries in the same Streets of America section of the park where the attraction is housed would be closing along with it as well. These include Studio Catering Co. and High Octane Refreshments as well as my much-beloved Writer’s Stop.

Home of the famous Carrot Cake Cookie, I also loved Writer’s Stop as an often quiet respite from a busy park. So, though it wasn’t exactly a surprise when its closure was announced, I — like many other like-minded fans — was saddened by the thought.

Writer’s Stop

But it’s possible that there is some VERY good news! According to the folks at wdwmagic.com, Writer’s Stop may remain open for “a limited time” beyond April 2nd!

Changes, however, may still be in the works, as they also shared that the menu will be revamped a bit. While still serving their usual coffee and bakery treats (which would include, we would hope,  the Carrot Cake Cookie), it seems charcuterie and a cheese plate will be up for grabs, as well as alcoholic beverages.

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Pretzels may also make the cut. And while that may sound like small news compared to the other additions, it’s quite welcome considering that we don’t know if the Pretzel Garden will find another home in the Studios after April 2nd.

There may be more to the story yet, though… wdwnt.com is also reporting that Writer’s Stop will remain open for a time after April 2nd. However, they anticipate that it will serve as more of a lounge for guests waiting for their tables at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant.

Will Writer’s Stop, then, only be available for guests with an Advance Dining Reservation at Sci-Fi? Or will a portion of it remain available for folks coming in and out in hopes of snagging one last look at the classic location before the limited-time run is over? With April 3rd fast approaching, the answers should come to light soon.

Either way, there are LOTS of changes in the works, my friends! But hopefully we’ll at least be able to enjoy the special spot that is the Writer’s Stop in some shape or form for at least a little while longer. We’ll see… .

Sources: wdwmagic.com and wdwnt.com

Disney Food Blog Fans, be sure to check out our DFB Disney World Dining Guide e-Books! Find great deals at DFBStore.com! Also, come on over and:


Related posts:

  1. Review: Cheese Danish at Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  2. News and Review! Writer’s Stop Debuts Mickey Macaroons!
  3. Review: Writer’s Stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios


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Main Gate

Main Street Gazette - March 28, 2016 - 09:00 am

Why do we continue to visit Walt Disney World?
As the costs for everything from a ticket, to a room, to a meal, to after-hours events, and even to parking continue to skyrocket, we still continue to go. At some point you would think we would be priced out of the market. At some point we would all say enough is enough. We would take our hard-earned dollar, that doesn’t stretch as far as it used to outside the resort’s berm either, and visit somewhere else. After all, Walt Disney World is not the eighth wonder of the world.
The idea that the folks at Disney are grabbing at money while offering little in return has reared its head again. Between the premium parking spots that now cost an additional 75% above the already outrageous $20, the limited capacity three hour after hours Magic Kingdom event for $150, and the seasonally adjusted pricing for one day tickets, many guests have started to perceive that there is a pinch going on. Consider that what was the cost of an annual pass around six years ago has now double and that same amount from a 2010 annual pass will only provide for a week of admission in 2016. Add all of this to the boiling cauldron that already includes entertainment offerings that have been slashed to a shadow of their former glory or cut altogether, and you have the perfect potion for an explosive populace.
For the longest time, Walt Disney World could hang its hat on the fact that its parks and attractions created the most realistic environments and had storytelling that was above reproach. While it still may have the largest quantity of these theme environments, the details that we all love and adore, the environmental storytelling that we crave is beginning to become more and more prevalent at other theme parks. Universal, for one, has been ramping up its game for a long time and between the Wizarding World and Skull Island, appear to be nipping at the heels of Disney. So perhaps the product isn’t as unique as it once was.
Caught between competitors who are closing the storytelling gap and the need to continue to be seen as the most valuable ticket in town, and you can begin to see the quandary Walt Disney World has found itself in, and the precarious position it has put itself in with even some of its most loyal guests. So, why do we continue to go?
No matter who we all are in the real world, when it comes to Walt Disney World we are all unapologetic optimists. We may complain, but we still find some reason to hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Part of that comes from our memories, Walt Disney World is a place where we made memories as children or with our children, and that nostalgia brings us back time and again. Part of it comes from the knowledge that Walt wanted a park where everyone could go, but that was always changing, so we believe these ideals will once again align someday.
Think about how optimistic we all are. Some of us continue to think of Disney’s Hollywood Studios as our favorite park, even as more and more areas and attractions shutter to make way for the Star Wars and Toy Story expansions. It is perfectly okay to take a step back and say it was our favorite park, and that we believe it will be again, but with everything shuttered there we’re leaning more towards Epcot/Magic Kingdom/Animal Kingdom right now. And yet, there are those among us who absolutely refuse to budge on their favorite park. Talk about optimistic!
We remember simpler times. When Walt Disney World was smaller and our favorite moment from a trip was huddling under a poncho with our parents, waiting and hoping for fireworks. And, just when the rain was about to douse our last whisper of hope, the skies cleared, we were able to come out from underneath the smelly, opaque plastic poncho and watch the darkened sky become as bright as the midday with each burst of firework during Illuminations. We remember the first time our child was able to climb aboard Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the almost instantaneous love they had for the roller coaster. We reminisce about meeting Mickey for the first time, riding aboard a monorail, meeting the Ninja Turtles/Power Rangers/Anna and Elsa, taking a flight with Dumbo, putting on a pair of mouse ears, and all of our other memories that are just as unique as we are. We refuse to put a price on the memories we have, and therefore continue to pay whatever the price is so that we can continue to make these types of memories, or revisit the places where we made these memories to begin with.
The first spark of what would be Disneyland, and then a theme park empire, came to Walt Disney while he was out with his daughters one day. He dreamed of a place where all were welcome and that would continue to evolve and change. Those two items, to those of us who have spent our lives in and around the theme parks, are not mutually exclusive. How many stories have we heard about children who started out their lives with very limited income, but their parents would let them wander around Disneyland in the afternoons. Because they were safe there and it didn’t break the bank to be able to let them wander and dream, even if they couldn’t afford to jump on every attraction that they saw. These children are some of the very same individuals leading the company today. In our hearts, we believe that they remember what those days were like, what the heart of the parks have always been, and will turn the attention back to being a place for all someday soon.
Perhaps that belief is misguided, but so often with optimists, their beliefs cannot be swayed by even the most overwhelmingly logical argument. Where did we get that unbridled sense that the sun will come out tomorrow and not just that Disney will maybe one day have a “coupon day” to borrow from Jurassic Park? We got it from Walt Disney World.
We know that the future is bright for the parks, we’ve seen the renderings for new lands and attractions, and we’ve seen what has already come to pass with New Fantasyland and Disney Springs. We know that the future of Walt Disney World is secure in terms of their ability to tell stories in incredible environments, but will we all be able to see and experience them the way that we always have?
I don’t mind a scattering of ticketed events, but I think there has to be a better way than to be seen as ostracizing those who love you the most. Think about the International Flower and Garden Festival as an example. The majority of why guests come to this event, the topiaries and gardens, are included with admission to Epcot. There are some classes, extra merchandise, food offerings, etc. that have additional costs. Just because I don’t get to partake in these pieces doesn’t mean I don’t love what I do get to see. This is a model I’d love to see flourish more within Walt Disney World, and I don’t know if it will happen, but I hope that it can take root.

The cost of visiting Walt Disney World is always going to climb, there is never going to be a day when Disney announces that ticket prices are going to be going back down by 5, 10, 25 dollars. I think the realists inside all of us understand that. That doesn’t mean that it should grow exponentially, putting the burden of tomorrow’s dreams on the shoulders of those struggling to just step through the gates today. It may be misguided, and it may just be flat wrong, but I’m choosing to believe there is a brighter day coming or all of us that love Walt Disney World. I may only be seen for how fat my wallet is these days, but since it was Disney that thought me to believe in the impossible and take chances, I’m taking the chance that they will see there is a value, and one not tied to a dollar sign, in the guests that have loved Walt Disney World for their entire lives and want to share that with as many people as they can.


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'Disney Diaries' Blog: Iconic Toy Story franchise comes to Disney's Hollywood Studios

icFlorida.com - October 02, 2015 - 03:04 pm

The removal of the 'hat' as the icon of Disney's Hollywood Studios marked the first of many big changes coming to the park.

After a series of attraction closures, the D23 Expo gave us a glimpse into the two new lands and attractions that will be coming to the park.

...
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'Disney Diaries' Blog: What to know before you go to Star Wars Weekends

icFlorida.com - October 02, 2015 - 03:04 pm

Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Disney's Hollywood Studios, fans of the Star Wars Sagas come together for five weekends of fun.

At this year's Star Wars Weekends guests will find more celebrities, special entertainment, highly themed dining options, Star Wars Character meet & greet opportunities, event merchandise, and more.

...
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'Disney Diaries' Blog: Searching for Hidden Mickeys in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

icFlorida.com - October 02, 2015 - 03:04 pm

New Hidden Mickeys appear on Disney property at a relatively constant rate. Disney doesn’t keep an official list of Hidden Mickeys; they just place new Hidden Images and wait for us to find them! Alas, Hidden Mickeys are also lost constantly, for example, when an area or attraction is refurbished. ...
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studioscentral: Monsters University Bash announced as next Limited Time Magic at Disney's Hollywood Studios http://t.co/7uTg5UoHYo

Studios Central Twitter - June 07, 2013 - 04:44 pm

studioscentral: Monsters University Bash announced as next Limited Time Magic at Disney's Hollywood Studios http://t.co/7uTg5UoHYo
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wdwmagic: Limited Time Magic brings Monsters U party and pep rally to Disney's Hollywood Studios next week http://t.co/wzI9dy6SdB

WDWMagic - June 07, 2013 - 11:51 am

wdwmagic: Limited Time Magic brings Monsters U party and pep rally to Disney's Hollywood Studios next week http://t.co/wzI9dy6SdB
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studioscentral: RT @Daveh787: New Park Maps coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios: June 9

Studios Central Twitter - June 03, 2013 - 09:22 pm

studioscentral: RT @Daveh787: New Park Maps coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios: June 9
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wdwmagic: PHOTO - Jim Cummings visits Disney's Hollywood Studios - the voice of IllumiNations, Winnie the Pooh, and MUCH more http://t.co/bYlQf3rvWw

WDWMagic - May 29, 2013 - 03:10 pm

wdwmagic: PHOTO - Jim Cummings visits Disney's Hollywood Studios - the voice of IllumiNations, Winnie the Pooh, and MUCH more http://t.co/bYlQf3rvWw
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studioscentral: RT @InsideTheMagic: American Idol winner Candice Glover visits @WaltDisneyWorld, minus the hype or hoopla at Disney’s Hollywood Studios htt…

Studios Central Twitter - May 28, 2013 - 01:29 pm

studioscentral: RT @InsideTheMagic: American Idol winner Candice Glover visits @WaltDisneyWorld, minus the hype or hoopla at Disney’s Hollywood Studios htt…
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studioscentral: RT @AllEarsDeb: Don't miss the Legends of the Force Motorcade #starwars weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios http://t.co/HRWX7BzKCI

Studios Central Twitter - May 27, 2013 - 08:22 am

studioscentral: RT @AllEarsDeb: Don't miss the Legends of the Force Motorcade #starwars weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios http://t.co/HRWX7BzKCI
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studioscentral: RT @TouringPlans: Parking lot at Hollywood Studios has reopened.

Studios Central Twitter - May 25, 2013 - 05:34 pm

studioscentral: RT @TouringPlans: Parking lot at Hollywood Studios has reopened.
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wdwmagic: Disney's Hollywood Studios parking lot reopens after earlier closing due to capacity http://t.co/GeivnFaCVB

WDWMagic - May 25, 2013 - 05:00 pm

wdwmagic: Disney's Hollywood Studios parking lot reopens after earlier closing due to capacity http://t.co/GeivnFaCVB
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wdwmagic: Disney's Hollywood Studios parking lot at capacity http://t.co/wN2YmOKPTY

WDWMagic - May 25, 2013 - 03:44 pm

wdwmagic: Disney's Hollywood Studios parking lot at capacity http://t.co/wN2YmOKPTY
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