For the Love of Dole Whip!

pineapple-lanai-wdwDole Whip is a frozen treat that is a very popular snack for guests vacationing at Walt Disney World.  It has an almost cult-like following. This vegan, non-dairy, gluten-free soft-serve product is available in pineapple and orange and vanilla flavors with pineapple as the favorite.  A great way to cool off on a hot summer day is with a Dole Whip float.  It is the perfect way to use one of your snack credits on the Disney Dining Plan.

In the “old’ days, Dole Whip could only be found at the Magic Kingdom and Polynesian Resort in aloha-isle-00 wdwWalt Disney World but it can now it is popping up at a few other locations as well. There are now two locations to get this sought-after treat in the Magic Kingdom. Look for it at Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland. You can usually find it at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in the Africa section at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Dole Whip is also served during the Flower and Garden Festival and the Food and Wine Festival. You can have it spiked with rum at Epcot and Animal Kingdom.

If you are not vacationing at Walt Disney World, there are recipes available online to create a little taste of Disney at home. The easiest recipe – and my personal favorite is to simply mix pineapple sherbet with 100% pineapple juice. Within a minute or so, this magically turns into a smoothie-type drink that tastes very much like Dole Whip!

Dole Whip has a little taste of sunshine in every bite. Be sure to try the legendary Dole Whip during your next Disney World vacation!

Written by Sheri Morris, “Main Street Morris”   Sheri is a proud grandmother with a keen eye for detail. She specializes in Disney Travel for adults and RV travel.  Book your next vacation with Sheri at 804 405 5005 or at sheri@destinationsinflorida.com.

Walt Disney World News Update, January 28, 2015

Around the Mouse: Walt Disney World News, January 28, 2015

What’s New This Week?

Night Of Joy Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom Park

New! Disney’s Night of Joy 2015 Details Released: The 33rd year for this special event will take place Friday and Saturday nights September 11 and 12 at Magic Kingdom Park. Night of Joy veterans like TobyMac, Skillet and Jeremy Camp will fill the park with masterful melodies along with some great up-and-coming artists like: Seventh Time Down, I Am They, and Veridia, who are all new to the event. It should be two fantastic nights! Tickets will go on sale in the Spring.   2015’s full lineup includes: (entertainment subject to change)

  • Friday, September 11 – ­ TobyMac, MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Colton Dixon, Big Daddy Weave, Francesca Battistelli, Rend Collective, and I Am They
  • Saturday, September 12 -­ Skillet, Lecrae, For King & Country, Mandisa, Matt Maher, Jamie Grace, Seventh Time Down, and Veridia

mercy me 2015 Night of Joy

New! Monorail Refurbishments in February and March: The Walt Disney World® Resort Monorail System will undergo refurbishment that will impact the Resort and Express monorail beams on select days in February and March. The modified routes will be in effect on Feb. 3-5, Feb. 9-12, Feb. 23-26 and March 2-5, 2015from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. During these times, Monorails on the Resort beam will travel between Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Magic Kingdom® Park. Monorails on the Express beam will now make an additional stop at Disney’s Contemporary Resort as they travel between Magic Kingdom Park and the Transportation and Ticket Center. Resort Guests traveling to Epcot® can either board a Monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center and transfer to the Epcot line, or they can take a Walt Disney World Resort bus directly from their resorts to Epcot. Monorail service will continue to be available from all stations while this work takes place. Monorail operating hours will remain unchanged. Guests may note a difference in the way they board the Monorail and should allow for additional travel time to reach their destinations. Guests staying at impacted Resorts will receive in-room communication upon their arrival.

Reminder! Construction Crane Behind Cinderella Castle: There will be a construction crane behind Cinderella Castle from Jan. 11-Feb. 21 for the removal of the holiday lights. As a result, the walkway from Sir Mickey’s to Fairytale Garden will be closed. The smoking area next to Sir Mickey’s will be relocated behind Castle Couture.

Epcot

New! Flower & Garden Festival Gets ‘Fresh’ New Feel for 2015: Some of the new experiences at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival include a variety of fresh inspired seasonal dishes served at eleven Outdoor Kitchens and a new concert series, Garden Rocks, featuring music spanning several decades of contemporary and popular artists. Also, new this year, the Festival Center opens on the weekends starting Friday through Sunday. During the Fun Fresh Weekends in the Festival Center, enjoy complimentary gardening demonstrations, and meet a variety of horticulture specialists for tips to create your very own outdoor experience! Whether day or night, experience the beautiful and colorful locally grown gardens and topiaries- all perfectly trimmed to look like your favorite Disney characters. Every weekend at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival is an adventure. So Spring into Fresh Epcot!

Reminder! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dates Announced: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival launches September 25 and runs through November 16 this year – 53 days of sweet and savory tapas-sized dishes and beverages, plus tasting seminars, culinary demos, signature dining experiences, live entertainment and more.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Reminder! Sneak Peek of “Cinderella” Movie thru March 21: Starting Jan. 17, Guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get an exclusive sneak peek of Disney’s upcoming movie, “Cinderella” at ABC Sound Studio. This special preview, containing several clips from the soon-to-be-released Disney movie, will be presented through March 21. It will show at the top and bottom of every hour, from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes prior to the park closing time. In addition, Guests may also experience more of the story’s charm, by capturing their own close-up photos with Cinderella’s golden coach displayed on Streets of America from Feb. 1 through April 11.

Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration TV Special

Reminder! Sorcerers Hat Now Closed for Removal: With the park’s central hub being reconfigured, the Sorcerer’s Hat will be removed and the pin merchandise location will be relocated to Sunset Ranch located on Sunset Boulevard beginning Jan. 7. Each day more and more of the Hat is disappearing.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

New! New Menu Offerings at Pizzafari and Discovery Island Kiosk: New food and beverage offerings are available at Pizzafari and Discovery Island Kiosk, which currently sells allergy menu items. The following options are now available at Discovery Island Kiosk: Gluten-free bagel, Gluten-free muffin, Chicken salad sandwich meal, and Gluten-free glazed doughnut – cinnamon or vanilla. The following options are now available at Pizzafari: Heart of romaine salad with bacon, chicken and Caesar dressing, Baked Pasta Bolognese with breadstick and side salad, Meatball sub with carrot sticks or chips and Tiramisu.

flame tree favorites_flier

New! Kali River Rapids Close for Refurbishments: Kali River Rapids is closed for refurbishment through on Feb. 9. During this downtime, work will begin to relocate the attraction entrance to the old FastPass distribution area. Kali River Rapids is scheduled to reopen Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Reminder! Flame Tree Barbecue Temporarily Closed: On Jan. 5, construction started at Flame Tree Barbecue. This location will be closed for approximately three months. Since the food offerings at Flame Tree Barbecue are favorites amongst Guests, a selection of them will be offered at existing kiosks throughout the park during the downtime. Until Flame Tree Barbecue reopens, Mickey-shaped pretzels and jalapeno pretzels will be temporarily located at Isle of Java in Discovery Island, and look for hand-scooped ice cream and sundaes at Dino-Bite Snacks in Dinoland, U.S.A.

Reminder! Mt Everest Wilderness Explorer Badge is Moving: The Mt. Everest Wildness Explorers badge that is currently located at the Expedition Everest merchandise cart will be relocating to across from the ice cream bus on Tuesday, Jan. 20. This badge will stay at this location until further notice. At this badge location, Wilderness Explorers can learn what gear they need on an expedition by looking for items at Expedition Everest.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

New! Grand Floridian Cafe to Stay Open Later: The Grand Floridian Cafe is testing new hours between now and Feb 14, 2015. During this time, the restaurant will remain open until 10 pm for dinner.

New! Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows Update: As we’ve previously shared, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort at the Walt Disney World® Resort is currently undergoing an exciting transformation. The resort will include the largest Deluxe Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. The 360 Deluxe Studios will sleep up to five Guests each and have the ability to connect to another Deluxe Studio. These rooms will feature a kitchenette, enhanced storage space, two separate bathroom areas – one a full bathroom with a tub/shower and one with a shower and sink. Plus, a pull-down armoire bed showcases painted artwork from the popular Disney film, “Lilo and Stitch.” Check out photos from our tour below! 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. Beginning Feb. 11, 2015, you can book Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows as rentals when they are not in use by Disney Vacation Club Members. Please note there will be limited availability for the bungalows.

Click photo below to access photo album:
disney's Polynesian Villas Deluxe Studio

New! Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village Pool Closed: The waterslides at Samawati Springs Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas—Kidani Village will be closed for refurbishment Jan. 26–Feb. 6. The pool will remain open to all Guests. During this time, Guests can use the waterslide at Uzima Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge—Jambo House.

New! Disney’s Saratoga Springs Pool Closed: Due to refurbishment work, High Rock Springs Pool will be unavailable to Guests Feb. 2–4. During the work, Guests may enjoy Paddock Pool. The pools in the Grandstand, Congress Park and Treehouse Villas also are available.

Reminder! Scat Cat’s Club at Disney’s Port Orleans Gets New Menu: Scat Cat’s Club is offering some new items for the new year starting on Jan. 11! Stop in for a bite of some Southern tastings. Scat Cat’s Club is open every day from 4 p.m. to midnight. Here is what is now being offered at Scat Cat’s Club:

  • Mardi Gras Fritters, pimiento cheese fritters with pepper jelly
  • Caprese Flatbread, pesto sauce and tomatoes with balsamic glaze
  • Chicken Alfredo Flatbread, alfredo sauce with chicken and bacon
  • Quatro Fromaggio Flatbread, blend of four cheeses and spices
  • Spinach & Artichoke Dip, spinach and artichokes blended in melted cheese with tri-color chips
  • Bayou Buffalo Wings, served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing

Walt Disney World Resort – General

New! Monorail Refurbishments in February and March: The Walt Disney World® Resort Monorail System will undergo refurbishment that will impact the Resort and Express monorail beams on select days in February and March. The modified routes will be in effect on Feb. 3-5, Feb. 9-12, Feb. 23-26 and March 2-5, 2015from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. During these times, Monorails on the Resort beam will travel between Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Magic Kingdom® Park. Monorails on the Express beam will now make an additional stop at Disney’s Contemporary Resort as they travel between Magic Kingdom Park and the Transportation and Ticket Center. Resort Guests traveling to Epcot® can either board a Monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center and transfer to the Epcot line, or they can take a Walt Disney World Resort bus directly from their resorts to Epcot. Monorail service will continue to be available from all stations while this work takes place. Monorail operating hours will remain unchanged. Guests may note a difference in the way they board the Monorail and should allow for additional travel time to reach their destinations. Guests staying at impacted Resorts will receive in-room communication upon their arrival.

Monorail

New! Additional Designated Smoking Areas Added to Downtown Disney:  Beginning Jan. 18, two new designated smoking locations will be added to Downtown Disney.  They are near the restrooms by the Saratoga Bridge and the area behind Characters in Flight. These locations will appear on new maps in February.

Reminder!  New Retail Locations Coming Soon to Downtown Disney: As Downtown Disney continues its transformation to Disney Springs, we will soon see new signs installed for stores that will be opening soon in the area that will be known as The Landing. Those stores include:

  • APEX by Sunglass Hut – offering the latest in sports and activewear sunglasses
  • Havaianas – specializing in a wide array of flip-flops, including a station where Guests can create their own flipflops
  • Art of Shaving – premium shaving shop offering grooming essentials
  • Sanuk – creatively inspired and distinctively designed footwear
  • Chapel Hats – specializing in hats and headwear
  • Sound Lion – offering the latest technology in headphones, ear buds, speakers, wireless music players and other digital sound and music products
  • Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC – gluten-free, vegan bakery

Merchandise Events

New! New Merchandise Artwork Reminiscent of First Visits: Each year, the Disney Design Group creates a new art program for park merchandise. Unlike the 2015 dated artwork, with this specific program, they sought to create something to capture the feelings guests may have when first visiting Disney Parks. This year’s program, known internally as ‘Project Fairytale,’ captures the emotions, the fantasy, and the wonder that guests may experience during a Disney vacation. Each vividly colorful image melds together attractions, icons and experiences from Disney Parks and can be found on a variety of products.

New Disney Merchandise 2015

Image from Disney Parks Blog. Disney©

New Disney Merchandise 2015 2

Image from Disney Parks Blog. Disney©

New! Tower of Terror Merchandise Coming Soon: Last year, a new merchandise collection called “Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic” that was inspired by the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney Parks was launched. Starting Friday, February 13, some new products will be found inside Tower Hotel Gifts in both Disney California Adventure park at Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort. The new merchandise options will include numerous items such as apparel, accessories, pins, phone cases, home decor and more!

Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic 2

\Hollywood Tower Hotel Authentic 3

Update! Starbucks Walt Disney World Merchandise: Starbucks and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is launching a co-branded merchandise line for Guests. Co-branded retail drinkware will be available exclusively at Disney-operated locations serving Starbucks products which include Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café and Market House at Disneyland Resort, and Main Street Bakery and Fountain View at Walt Disney World Resort. Beginning late Jan., Guests at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort locations will have the opportunity to purchase 24 oz. acrylic tumblers featuring the art of the co-branded hot and cold cups as well as Park-specific “You are here” mugs. Walt Disney World Resort will see 12 oz. ceramic travel tumblers soon thereafter. A purchase limit of five (5) per SKU is in effect. On Wed. Jan 28, Walt Disney World removed the Epcot mug from its shelves because the mug’s design includes one of Disney’s monorails with a purple stripe. This is an issue because Disney’s Monorail Purple was involved in a deadly 2009 crash in which resulted in the death of its pilot. Monorail Purple was retired at that time.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

 

New Duffy’s Sports Grill Locations Offer Drinks, Sports and Great Eats

Relax Like a Local at Duffy’s Sports Grill Locations Throughout Florida

With over 100 TVs, walls covered in sports decor, and a bar menu full of top-shelf cocktails, premium wine, bottled beer, draft beer and craft beer, Duffy’s Sports Grill gives you everything you might expect from a sports bar. What you might not expect are 2-for-1 drinks all day, every day, a generous rewards program, and an award-winning menu, including 15 Healthy Options (flavorful dishes containing fewer than 580 calories) and gluten free choices! With so many selections, there’s something for everyone at Duffy’s.

Duffy’s Sports Grill, Florida’s leading sports-themed restaurant, recently celebrated the grand opening of their 26th location in Lake Mary at Colonial Town Park (951 Market Promenade Ave, Lake Mary 32746.). This new location marks the second of many planned to open in the Orlando area and comes on the heels of the latest Duffy’s opening near the Mall at Millenia (4158 Conroy Rd. Orlando, FL 32839), which is very close to Universal Orlando and I-Drive attractions.

Atmosphere

Duffy’s Lake Mary has a large bar area and high top bar tables. There are also plenty of booths and tables for groups and families with ample TV viewing from every seat in the house. The bar can get pretty busy, even on week nights, and it tends to get a little loud with folks talking, having a great time and rooting for their favorite teams.

Duffys Bar Duffys Tables and BoothsRewards Program

If you plan to visit Orlando or any of the other Duffy’s locations that span the East Coast of Florida from Melbourne to Miami, you’ll want to join Duffy’s free MVP loyalty program to earn generous rewards and exclusive benefits.  MVP Members begin earning points and rewards on their first visit and can take advantage of discounts such as the Afternoon Break, which gives between 20 and 50 percent off of food purchased on weekdays between 2 and 4 pm. MVPs earn one point for each $1 spent and when they accumulate 100 points, a $10 credit for food and beverages is automatically loaded on their MVP card.  They can even earn points faster on Tuesday when members earn Double Points.  Everyone who joins can look forward to free offers and gifts sent via email, including a complimentary birthday gift and “MVP Members Only” coupons.

Drinks

Beer is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you visualize a sports bar’s menu, but Duffy’s has much more than just brews to offer.  Take, for example, the Cotton Candy Cosmopolitan made with Pinnacle County Fair Cotton Vodka, cranberry juice, fresh lime juice and cotton candy for $10. And don’t forget, all drinks are 2-for-1 all day, every day!  So, that means you get 2 for $10.00!

Cotton Candy Cosmopolitan DuffysAnother sweet option is the Pineapple Mojito made with Cruzan Citrus, fresh pineapple, lime, and mint and garnished with a swizzle stick of rock candy.

Pineapple Mojito Duffys

And if those aren’t unique enough for you, how about an All-American Bloody Mary made with Tito’s vodka and very dramatically garnished with a bacon cheeseburger slider? sf-duffys-bloody-mary-20140910-001

You’ll also find margaritas, daiquiris, martinis, classic cocktails, shots, premium spirits, wines by the glass and plenty of beer options, including $4 craft beers like Fat Tire, Orange Blossom Pilsner and more! In bottles, you’ll find premium American Longneck bottles like Sam Adams, Miller Light, Yuengling Light and others. Import bottles gives you choices like Amstel Light, Heineken, Stella Artois and more. Drafts include Bud Light, Miller lite, Coors Light, Blue Moon and Corona Light, which is $3 for a pint or $4 for a 22oz Stadium Mug!

Food

When it comes to food, Duffy’s offers an unbeatable combination of high quality food, affordable prices and memorable hospitality. The Duffy’s Sports Grill culinary team is led by Corporate Chef, Eric Parker.  In addition to holding the American Culinary Foundation’s Certified Executive Chef Accreditation, Chef Parker has been classically trained at the Florida Culinary Institute.  He has been with the Duffy’s team for nearly 20 years and has personally created every item currently on the Duffy’s menu.

Duffy’s Sports Grill strives to elevate casual dining fare to a higher level using a variety of freshly prepared ingredients and making items from scratch whenever possible.  Some examples include Duffy’s Guacamole, which is made from ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, jalapeño peppers and spices as it is ordered and Duffy’s Mozzarella Sticks are each cut from a block a mozzarella cheese battered to order.

Fresh made guacamole at Duffys

Coconut Crusted Dolphin Fingers $9.99 - Hand-breaded fish with sweetened coconut and Panko bread crumbs, served with spicy orange ginger sauce.

Coconut Crusted Dolphin Fingers $9.99 – Hand-breaded fish with sweetened coconut and Panko bread crumbs, served with spicy orange ginger sauce.

Loaded Potato Skins $7.99 - Bacon, scallions, jack & cheddar cheese, sour cream.

Loaded Potato Skins $7.99 – Bacon, scallions, jack & cheddar cheese, sour cream.

Roasted Artichoke & Goat Cheese Flatbread  $9.99 - Balsamic onions and roasted red peppers.

Roasted Artichoke & Goat Cheese Flatbread
$9.99 – Balsamic onions and roasted red peppers.

Korean Beef Tenderloin Mini-Tacos (3) $7.99 - Cilantro-onion relish, spicy chile garlic sauce.

Korean Beef Tenderloin Mini-Tacos (3) $7.99 – Cilantro-onion relish, spicy chile garlic sauce.

Traditional Jumbo Wings  $10.99 - Available Hand-breaded or "naked", tossed in your choice of sauce with blue cheese & celery. 10 Wings

Traditional Jumbo Wings $10.99 – Available Hand-breaded or “naked”, tossed in your choice of sauce with blue cheese & celery. 10 Wings

Churrasco Steak $16.99 - Skirt steak with chimichurri, black beans, rice and plantains.

Churrasco Steak $16.99 – Skirt steak with chimichurri, black beans, rice and plantains.

The Hangover Burger $11.99 -Farm fresh sunny side up egg, pepper-crusted bacon and two slices of American cheese.

The Hangover Burger $11.99 -Farm fresh sunny side up egg, pepper-crusted bacon and two slices of American cheese.

Blackened Fillet of Beef Tenderloin Tips  $11.99 - served with choice of two sides.

Blackened Fillet of Beef Tenderloin Tips $11.99 – served with choice of two sides.

Coconut Shrimp $14.99 - Large shrimp hand-battered with sweet coconut. Served with spicy orange ginger dipping sauce and choice of two sides.

Coconut Shrimp $14.99 – Large shrimp hand-battered with sweet coconut. Served with spicy orange ginger dipping sauce and choice of two sides.

Ahi Tuna Burger $11.99 - Chopped, seasoned tuna grilled to order, whole wheat bun and a side of wasabi mayo.

Ahi Tuna Burger $11.99 – Chopped, seasoned tuna grilled to order, whole wheat bun and a side of wasabi mayo.

Brownie Sundae $5.99 - Warm chocolate brownie topped with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, Ghirardelli chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a cherry.

Brownie Sundae $5.99 – Warm chocolate brownie topped with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, Ghirardelli chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a cherry.

Crunchy Fried Cheesecake $5.99 - Served with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, Ghirardelli caramel sauce, whipped cream and a cherry.

Crunchy Fried Cheesecake $5.99 – Served with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, Ghirardelli caramel sauce, whipped cream and a cherry.

Specials

As if all of this quality and great value was not enough, Duffy’s also offers a full weekday roster of value-priced specials, including a Monday night special when every item on the menu is just $11.95 (5 p.m. to close); a designated “Kids Day” every Wednesday when kids eat free all day with each adult meal purchase and a Thursday Night Rib Fix featuring a ½ rack of signature baby backs with one side for $9.95.

Duffys Sports Grill Monday Night Special

Check Them Out Next Time You’re In Town

Duffy’s has upped the ante for all sports bars in the Orlando area by creating a sports themed restaurant that everyone can enjoy whether they are there to catch the game, grab a quick bite or enjoy a stress-free night out with the family! Visit Duffy’s in Lake Mary or at Millennia Mall next time you are in the Orlando area.  Make sure to look for Duffy’s near some of Florida’s most famous beaches, too — like Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Boca Raton, Delray, North Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Melbourne and more!

Prime Time to Celebrate National Meat Month at Orlando Eateries

Local Orlando Florida Dining Spots for Prime Meats and Game

Did you know Orlando is a culinary hot spot in the Southeast? With tourists and conventioneers coming from around the globe, Orlando has stepped up it’s game for delicious dining experiences that are must-do’s for foodies. Those who embrace their inner cave man will certainly want to celebrate National Meat Month (January!) at one or more of the following local Orlando-area restaurants.

Prime Cuts:

Christner’s Prime Steak and Lobster (729 Lee Road, Orlando, FL 32810) Treat yourself to the finest Filet Mignon in town at this classic local favorite. Be sure to pair the dish with a made-to-share side and a libation from the restaurant’s extensive beverage portfolio consisting of more than 5,000 spirits.

Christners Del Frisco Steak & Lobster

Barbecue & Brisket:

American Q (1905 Hotel Plaza Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830) – It’s all-you-can-eat meat at this rodizio-style barbecue restaurant.  Enjoy carvings of meat like Picahna of Beef (shown below), Brisket of Beef with Texas Bark  and Pork Shoulder, smoked to perfection on the in-house rodizio, then cut tableside by American Q’s own Cowboy Carvers – who keep carving until you say “stop!”

American Q - Picanha of Beef Tableside Carving

4 Rivers Smokehouse (9 locations including Winter Garden, Winter Park and East Orlando)There’s a reason this barbecue joint is a local favorite – and it has everything to do with the Signature Angus Brisket. Not a brisket fan? The smokehouse’s Burnt Ends will change your mind!

4 Rivers Smokehouse 18-Hour Smoked Angus Brisket  (1)Game:

Ravenous Pig (1234 North Orange Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789)This Winter Park gastro-pub has a meat selection you need to see to believe. The adventurous will go for the Gin-Rubbed Venison, while fans of the classics will be eyeing 30 oz. Rib-Eye (it’s the perfect option for sharing – but we won’t judge if you keep it all for yourself!).

Cask & Larder (565 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789)It’s a Southern Public House with all the fixins.  Just trust us, you’ll have a hard time finding signature items like the Rib-Eye Hot Dog, served on a pretzel roll with smoked sauerkraut,  or the Rabbit & Dumplings dish anywhere else in town.

Bring the Meat Month celebration to Taverna Opa Orlando (Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Drive #2240, Orlando, FL 32819), where the party isn’t over until the Ouzo stops flowing.  When we think of Greek cuisine, we picture dishes like Lamb Chops, marinated for 36 hours with fresh herbs and garlic, or Kleftiko, another lamb dish slow roasted in parchment paper with carrots, potatoes, rosemary, whole garlic and Greek cheese.  With options like these, we hope the celebration never stops!Lamb Chops

Other Options:

Those who want to prepare the perfect cut using their own personal technique can take it home from The Meat House (669 Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789)With expertly-trimmed premium and choice meats, poultry, veal, lamb and pork cut fresh every day, you’ll never run out of options at this Winter Park favorite.  The absolute Meat House Must is an order of the Steak Tips, which are so tender and flavorful, you’ll be hooked for life!

With all these terrific options, meat eaters are certain to have a wonderful time celebrating National Meat Month (and the rest of the year) in Orlando. The only difficulty will be deciding which one to try first!

Happy Eating!

 

Don’t Let the Weather Spoil Your Disney Vacation

locker wdwYou have planned for months and covered every detail to make this your best vacation ever…except for one little thing – that unpredictable Florida weather.

I recall a trip where when my husband and I visited Epcot on a January afternoon. My husband said he was comfortable in his t-shirt and didn’t want to carry a jacket. By evening, it was freezing. We are now the proud owners of an expensive, ill-fitting, Mexican Baja hoodie that has not been worn since!

Check the forecast ahead of time. Don’t let a forecast of cold, heat or rain spoil your Disney day.  You’ve paid good money for your trip.  A bit of planning will keep everyone Happy instead of Grumpy! Temperatures ranges can vary greatly, even in the winter months. During January, it is typical for temperatures to range from 39-81 degrees in a 10 day period.

Arrive early.  If you get to the park early, you can enjoy a less crowded park and take in lots of attractions before the storms or heat of the afternoon. Most Florida showers pop up in the afternoon.

Pack smart.  Even during the warmer months, you will find evenings can be chilly.  It’s smart to bring an extra pair of socks, sunscreen, a jacket and plastic bags for your electronics.  You will save money by bringing your own poncho or jacket. It’s a great idea to rent a locker to store a change of clothes for everyone. They are inexpensive, available in two sizes and will save you from lugging around excess weight while at the parks. Lockers are the perfect place to store snacks, souvenirs and even a towel. Towels are great to spread on the curb during parades.

Dress in layers. It’s much easier to peel off a layer or two than it is to be cold or wet. If you rent a locker, you can stash those extra items and pick them up in the evening when temperatures go down.

Travel smart and be prepared. Whatever you do, don’t let the weather spoil your Walt Disney World vacation!

Written by Sheri Morris, “Main Street Morris”   Sheri is a proud grandmother with a keen eye for detail. She specializes in Disney Travel for adults and RV travel.  Book your next vacation with Sheri at 804 405 5005 or at sheri@destinationsinflorida.com.

Walt Disney World News Update, January 21, 2015

Around the Mouse: Walt Disney World News, January 21, 2015

What’s New This Week?

epcot-food-and-wine-festival

Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom Park

New! Main Street Trolley Winter Show Debuts: The citizens of Main Street U.S.A. have donned their winter costumes and introduced new musical numbers to welcome Guests to Magic Kingdom Park. “Main Street Trolley Show” began performances of its new winter show on Jan. 13. In addition to new costumes and choreography, this seasonal offering features the musical selections “Walkin Down Main Street USA,” “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” and “How Does She Know.”

New! Peter Pan’s Flight Receives New Queue: A new interactive queue will officially debut at Peter Pan’s Flight at Magic Kingdom Park very soon. Guests will soon be able to watch Tinker Bell fly around and interact with Wendy, John and Michael’s toys. They’ll also see their own shadows come alive on the wall in the children’s nursery and get a sprinkle of pixie dust before they head off into Never Land with Peter Pan.

Peter pans flight queue 1

Peter pans flight queue 3

Peter pans flight queue 2

New! Space Mountain Celebrates 40th Anniversary: Disney is celebrating another attraction milestone—the 40th anniversary of Space Mountain! Space Mountain officially opened Jan. 15, 1975 at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom! Space Mountain attractions have since opened at Disneyland in 1977, Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, Disneyland Paris in 1995 and finally at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005.

New! Adjusted Times for Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!: Due to refurbishment work on Main Street, U.S.A., Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! will be presented at 12:30 and 5:40 p.m. on Jan. 20 and 23.

Reminder! New Fastpass+ Viewing Areas for Parades and Fireworks: Starting January 12, the viewing location for Magic Kingdom parades will move from the Central Plaza Viewing area to the Town Square Viewing Area, near the flagpole (shown above). This new location is available for both the daytime and nighttime parades. Also, beginning February 27, the viewing location for Magic Kingdom fireworks will relocate from the Rose Garden to the Main Street Plaza Gardens. Main Street Plaza Gardens is adjacent to Casey’s Corner and the Plaza Restaurant (shown below). Guests may choose either side upon arrival to the Main Street Plaza Gardens, based on availability.

Epcot

New! Garden Rocks Concert Series to Debut at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: The Flower Power Concert Series has been replaced with the new Garden Rocks Concert Series. This year, 11 pop bands are set to appear in the Garden Rocks Concert Series, which will take place March 4-May 17, 2015. Several acts will join this festival lineup this year, including En Vogue, Little River Band, Jon Secada, Pablo Cruise and Taylor Dayne. Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and are included with Epcot admission. Check out this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):

  • March 6-8: Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
  • March 13-15: Pablo Cruise “Love Will Find a Way”
  • March 20-22: En Vogue “Free Your Mind”
  • March 27-29: Starship “We Built This City”
  • April 3-5: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • April 10-12: Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
  • April 17-19: Jon Secada “Just Another Day”
  • April 24-26: The Guess Who “These Eyes”
  • May 1-3: Taylor Dayne “Tell It to My Heart”
  • May 8-10: Little River Band “Lady”
  • May 15-17: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”

garden rocks concert series

 New! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Dates Announced: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival launches September 25 and runs through November 16 this year – 53 days of sweet and savory tapas-sized dishes and beverages, plus tasting seminars, culinary demos, signature dining experiences, live entertainment and more.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Reminder! Sneak Peek of “Cinderella” Movie thru March 21: Starting Jan. 17, Guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get an exclusive sneak peek of Disney’s upcoming movie, “Cinderella” at ABC Sound Studio. This special preview, containing several clips from the soon-to-be-released Disney movie, will be presented through March 21. It will show at the top and bottom of every hour, from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes prior to the park closing time. In addition, Guests may also experience more of the story’s charm, by capturing their own close-up photos with Cinderella’s golden coach displayed on Streets of America from Feb. 1 through April 11.

Reminder! Sorcerers Hat Now Closed for Removal: With the park’s central hub being reconfigured, the Sorcerer’s Hat will be removed and the pin merchandise location will be relocated to Sunset Ranch located on Sunset Boulevard beginning Jan. 7. The photo below shows the progress as of Jan 19, 2015.

DHS Sorcerer Mickey Hat removal

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

New! Mt Everest Wilderness Explorer Badge is Moving: The Mt. Everest Wildness Explorers badge that is currently located at the Expedition Everest merchandise cart will be relocating to across from the ice cream bus on Tuesday, Jan. 20. This badge will stay at this location until further notice. At this badge location, Wilderness Explorers can learn what gear they need on an expedition by looking for items at Expedition Everest.

Reminder! Flame Tree Barbecue Temporarily Closed: On Jan. 5, construction started at Flame Tree Barbecue. This location will be closed for approximately three months. Since the food offerings at Flame Tree Barbecue are favorites amongst Guests, a selection of them will be offered at existing kiosks throughout the park during the downtime. Until Flame Tree Barbecue reopens, Mickey-shaped pretzels and jalapeno pretzels will be temporarily located at Isle of Java in Discovery Island, and look for hand-scooped ice cream and sundaes at Dino-Bite Snacks in Dinoland, U.S.A.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

New! Grand Floridian Cafe to Stay Open Later: The Grand Floridian Cafe is testing new hours between now and Feb 14, 2015. During this time, the restaurant will remain open until 10 pm for dinner.

New! Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs Resort Temporary Closure: There will be refurbishment work taking place at Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. As a result, the spa will be unavailable Jan. 26–27. The fitness center will remain open during this time. The Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is still open for spa treatments.

Reminder! Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby Floor Refurbishment: The floors in the lobby at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge—Jambo House are under refurbishment. The floor rehab will consist of stripping the floor of its current color and revealing the natural look of the wood underneath. This process is taking place now–Feb. 27, Monday–Friday from 9 a.m.—5:30 p.m.

Reminder! Refurbishment at Paddock Pool at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort: Paddock Pool will be unavailable to Guests beginning Jan. 13. The work is expected to continue through Jan. 27. During the work, Guests may enjoy High Rock Springs Pool. The pools in the Grandstand, Congress Park and Treehouse Villas also are available.

Walt Disney World Resort – General

New!  New Retail Locations Coming Soon to Downtown Disney: As Downtown Disney continues its transformation to Disney Springs, we will soon see new signs installed for stores that will be opening soon in the area that will be known as The Landing. Those stores include:

  • APEX by Sunglass Hut – offering the latest in sports and activewear sunglasses
  • Havaianas – specializing in a wide array of flip-flops, including a station where Guests can create their own flipflops
  • Art of Shaving – premium shaving shop offering grooming essentials
  • Sanuk – creatively inspired and distinctively designed footwear
  • Chapel Hats – specializing in hats and headwear
  • Sound Lion – offering the latest technology in headphones, ear buds, speakers, wireless music players and other digital sound and music products
  • Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC – gluten-free, vegan bakery

New! Pleasure Island Water Taxi Test: The Downtown Disney internal water taxi will continue to transport Guests between the Marketplace and West Side boat docks. As part of a test beginning Jan. 18, water taxis will not be available at the Pleasure Island boat dock.

New! Live Bands at Splitsville Saturday Nights and New Menus: In early November, Splitsville Luxury Lanes quietly introduced a new offering inside their venue – live bands on Saturday nights. With a new year here, Splitsville is rolling into 2015 with even more enhancements. Their menu now includes Crispy Wings, a Sushi Tuna Rice Bowl, a Foghorn Burger, Steak Alfredo and a California Crunch Roll. New drinks include a Cinnamon Toast Colada and Sangrita (Margarita meets Red Sangria). They recently expanded their first floor Bullet Bar, too, so there’s more space than ever to catch your game, people watch, or enjoy live music on Saturday nights! The Jimmy James Band, Blonde Ambition or another guest group will perform 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. every Saturday night. There’s no cover charge and there are plenty of tables, bar seats and lanes on the first floor with great views of the stage and dance floor. To guarantee a spot and reserve a lane, contact kingpin@splitsvillelanes.com or call 407-938-PINS; for dinner only, you can book online here.

Splitsville

Reminder! Updated Valet Parking Hours at Downtown Disney: Valet Parking at Downtown Disney West Side is now available 1:30 p.m.-2 a.m. As a reminder, valet is located on the West Side in front of Cirque du Soleil.

Reminder! Meet Disney Artist Greg McCullough January 19 – 25: Meet Greg this month at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. It’s never too late to add a new piece by Greg McCullough to your collection!

Merchandise Events

New! Starbucks Walt Disney World Merchandise: Starbucks and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is launching a co-branded merchandise line for Guests. Co-branded retail drinkware will be available exclusively at Disney-operated
locations serving Starbucks products which include Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café and Market House at
Disneyland Resort, and Main Street Bakery and Fountain View at Walt Disney World Resort. Beginning late Jan., Guests at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort locations will have the opportunity to purchase 24 oz. acrylic tumblers featuring the art of the co-branded hot and cold cups as well as Park-specific “You are here” mugs. Walt Disney World Resort will see 12 oz. ceramic travel tumblers soon thereafter. A purchase limit of five (5) per SKU is in effect.

Reminder! Meet Disney Artist Greg McCullough January 19 – 25: Meet Greg this month at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. It’s never too late to add a new piece by Greg McCullough to your collection!

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel News for the Week of Jan 14, 2015

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

New! Pool Operating Hours at Disney’s Grand Floridian: Due to the season change, the pool hours have been modified at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Pools will now be open from 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

New! Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby Floor Refurbishment: The floors in the lobby at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge—Jambo House are under refurbishment. The floor rehab will consist of stripping the floor of its current color and revealing the natural look of the wood underneath. This process is taking place now–Feb. 27, Monday–Friday from 9 a.m.—5:30 p.m.

New! Refurbishment at Paddock Pool at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort: Paddock Pool will be unavailable to Guests beginning Jan. 13. The work is expected to continue through Jan. 27. During the work, Guests may enjoy High Rock Springs Pool. The pools in the Grandstand, Congress Park and Treehouse Villas also are available.

Reminder! Pool Refurbishment at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort: The Big Blue Pool and Flippin’ Fins Pool will be closed for a couple of days in mid-January while the pool decks are refurbished. The Big Blue Pool will be closed for refurbishment from Monday, Jan. 12, through Wednesday, Jan. 14. The pool will reopen to Guests on Thursday, Jan. 15. The Flippin’ Fins Pool will be closed for refurbishment Thursday, Jan. 15, and Friday, Jan. 16. It will reopen for Guests on Saturday, Jan. 17.

Reminder! More Details on Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Recently Released: Sales for this beautiful Disney Vacation Club resort will begin on January 12 for current Disney Vacation Club Members and on February 9 for all guests. When the first phase opens, scheduled for April 1, the resort will introduce unique Disney accommodations, including Bora Bora Bungalows and the first connecting Deluxe Studios. The 20 Bora Bora Bungalows on the Seven Seas Lagoon will sleep up to eight guests each in a two-bedroom, home-like setting reminiscent of the South Pacific. The 360 Deluxe Studios will be the largest at Walt Disney World Resort and sleep up to five guests each. And of course we can’t forget all of the other incredible additions at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, including Lilo’s Playhouse and Pineapple Lanai, as well as an enhanced feature pool and Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, slated to open in 2015.

dvc poly villas bora bora bungalows

dvc poly villas bora bora bungalows exterior

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant

The Electrical Water Pageant is a dazzling display of floating lights that travel across the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, just outside of Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park. It has long been a favorite of vacationers since 1971 and was the predecessor to the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Electrical Water PageantThe parade floats and music have changed a bit throughout the years but the overall theme remains the same. It is a short parade – less than 10 minutes long, featuring sparkling, creative sea creatures that transform into patriotic themed twinkling lights on 40-ft. barges. The current floats include:

  • Four Sea Serpents
  • Whale
  • Octopus
  • Three Jumping Dolphins
  • Brachiosaurus
  • Turtle
  • Crocodile
  • Four Seahorses
  • Neptune

Electronic musical selection from The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan are played as the water parade progresses. As the barges pass, they transform into the patriotic theme including stars, stripes and American flags as the music changes to traditional American patriotic songs.

Some of the best places to view the Electrical Water Pageant include:

When Wishes Nighttime Spectacular takes place at 10:00 PM, the Electrical Water Pageant will begin shortly following its conclusion

The Electrical Water Pageant may be cancelled in inclement weather. Be sure to be on the lookout for this little extra dose of Disney Magic during your next Disney World vacation!

Written by Sheri Morris, “Main Street Morris”   Sheri is a proud grandmother with a keen eye for detail. She specializes in Disney Travel for adults and RV travel.  Book your next vacation with Sheri at 804 405 5005 or at sheri@destinationsinflorida.com.

Walt Disney World Updates and Mousecellaneous News for the Week of Jan 14, 2015

Walt Disney World Resort – Downtown Disney News

New! Updated Valet Parking Hours at Downtown Disney: Valet Parking at Downtown Disney West Side is now available 1:30 p.m.-2 a.m. As a reminder, valet is located on the West Side in front of Cirque du Soleil.

New! Get a Taste of Trattoria al Forno at Downtown Disney Food Trucks: Food Trucks at Exposition Park will offer a taste of Italy as the Superstar Catering food truck gets a limited-time menu takeover! Stop by Jan. 16-18 from noon until 11 p.m. to experience Trattoria on Wheels, featuring menu items from the new Trattoria al Forno restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort. Menu items will include Trattoria al Forno Lasagna, Beef and Spinach Meatball in a Sourdough Bread Bowl and a sweet finish with Tiramisu for dessert. Members of the culinary and leadership teams from Trattoria al Forno will also be on-site to greet Guests.

trattoria al forno beef and spinach meatball food trucks

trattoria al forno tiramisu food trucks

New! Downtown Disney World of Disney Restrooms Update: World of Disney Guest restrooms (and adjacent AED and ATM) located within the retail location are now only accessible through the Princess Hall entrance of the store.  Previously, Guests could access the restrooms from the outside of the store between World of Disney and LEGO Imagination Center

New! Cirque du Soleil Dark Period thru Jan 19: The first Cirque du Soleil dark period of the year begins Jan. 11 and ends Jan. 19.

Walt Disney World Merchandise News

New! 2015 Pins Coming to Walt Disney World: This year, Guests will find a new “Best Friends” collection, which will contains two individual pins that are great for sharing with your best friend. The “Wonderfully Wicked” collection showcases some of the most famous Disney villains. Both of these monthly collections will be found in select locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

2015 disney Pins 1

Guests in Florida will find the “Shields of Fantasy” collection. These hinged pins open to reveal Disney characters who reside in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.

The “Piece of Disney History” collection returns this year. First introduced in 2005, these limited edition pins contain actual pieces of attractions, shows, or parades from Disney Parks. This year, we continue our “Piece of Disneyland Resort History” collection for guests in California, while guests in Florida will find a continuation of the “Piece of SpectroMagic history.”

2015 disney Pins 2

With the “Generation D” collection, we are counting down to the annual Disney Trading Event that will be held in September at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort. Each of these 13 limited edition pins will have an edition size of 500 and will be released monthly.

2015 disney pins 3

There will also be a few surprise pins planned including a collection featuring Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” for Disneyland Resort. When placed next to each other, the pins will form a complete picture. Guests in Florida will find pins celebrating the themed lands of the Magic Kingdom Park. Both of these pin collections will be released at random times throughout the year.

New! PANDORA Jewelry Purchase Limits: To provide all Guests the same opportunity to purchase some of the most popular items, like limited editions and collectibles, Disney sometimes place a same-item purchase limit on products sold at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The Disney jewelry collection by PANDORA, available at select merchandise locations, has a purchase limit of three (3) of each design per Guest, per transaction. As a reminder, since Nov. 3, the Disney jewelry collection by PANDORA, which includes 16 specific items to Disney Parks & Resorts, is available at select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort as well as on DisneyStore.com/Pandora.

New! Meet Disney Artist Greg McCullough January 19 – 25: Meet Greg this month at Art of Disney, Downtown Disney Marketplace. It’s never too late to add a new piece by Greg McCullough to your collection!

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

Walt Disney World Theme Park News – January 14, 2015

Walt Disney World News, January 14, 2015

Festival of Fantasy Parade Viewing

Walt Disney World Theme Park News

Magic Kingdom Park

New! New Fastpass+ Viewing Areas for Parades and Fireworks: Starting January 12, the viewing location for Magic Kingdom parades will move from the Central Plaza Viewing area to the Town Square Viewing Area, near the flagpole (shown above). This new location is available for both the daytime and nighttime parades. Also, beginning February 27, the viewing location for Magic Kingdom fireworks will relocate from the Rose Garden to the Main Street Plaza Gardens. Main Street Plaza Gardens is adjacent to Casey’s Corner and the Plaza Restaurant (shown below). Guests may choose either side upon arrival to the Main Street Plaza Gardens, based on availability.Wishes Viewing

New! Park Hours Extended Jan 20th: Park closing time has been changed from 9:00pm to 10:00pm for Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

New! Construction Crane Behind Cinderella Castle: There will be a construction crane behind Cinderella Castle from Jan. 11-Feb. 21 for the removal of the holiday lights. As a result, the walkway from Sir Mickey’s to Fairytale Garden will be closed to Cast and Guest traffic. The smoking area next to Sir Mickey’s will be relocated behind Castle Couture.

Reminder! Win a Night in Cinderella Castle: Happy New Year! Disney is kicking off 2015 in a big way by “flipping” Disney Side around and giving away a Walt Disney World Resort vacation that includes a night in Cinderella Castle Suite every day in January! Disney fans know that everyone has a Disney Side – that side of you that comes out to play the moment you step through the gates at any of our parks. Well, this month, Disney is “flipping” it and exploring how your favorite Disney characters show their Disney Side in fun and unexpected ways. From now until January 31, visit DisneyFlipSide.com to check-out videos and photos from Sam, the Disney Parks Insider, as he goes behind the scenes with all-Parks access, an arsenal of cameras and crafty disguises to show you never-before-seen Disney Sides of some of your favorite Disney Park personalities. While visiting, be sure to enter the Disney “Flip” Side Sweepstakes. There is a new winner selected every day in January. That’s 31 winners who will receive a 5-day/4-night dream vacation at Walt Disney World Resort for four!

Epcot

Reminder! IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party Reservations Now Open for January and February: This sparkling soiree will take place select Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at Epcot’s Showcase Plaza — an exclusive setting perfect for viewing “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.” Sample sweets from around the globe, such as traditional Moroccan baklava, Italian tiramisu, French chocolate ganache tarts and more. IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party reservations are now open for January and February. Cost to attend is $49 for adults and $29 for children ages 3-9. For reservations, visit Disneyworld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party

Reminder! Print Photos Discontinued at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall: In July, print photo packages were discontinued at most dining locations. Effective January 4, print photo packages were discontinued at the remaining two dining locations: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and Cinderella’s Royal Table. Photos continue to be captured at select dining locations and are associated to Guest accounts via MagicBand or RF-enabled card (e.g., park ticket, Memory Maker card).

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

New! Sneak Peek of “Cinderella” Movie thru March 21: Starting Jan. 17, Guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get an exclusive sneak peek of Disney’s upcoming movie, “Cinderella” at ABC Sound Studio. This special preview, containing several clips from the soon-to-be-released Disney movie, will be presented through March 21. It will show at the top and bottom of every hour, from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes prior to the park closing time. In addition, Guests may also experience more of the story’s charm, by capturing their own close-up photos with Cinderella’s golden coach displayed on Streets of America from Feb. 1 through April 11.

Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration TV Special

Reminder! Sorcerers Hat Now Closed for Removal: With the park’s central hub being reconfigured, the Sorcerer’s Hat will be removed and the pin merchandise location will be relocated to Sunset Ranch located on Sunset Boulevard beginning Jan. 7.

Reminder! Frozen Merchandise Still Available: Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post has closed, but ‘Frozen’ merchandise is still available at Legends of Hollywood and Mickey’s of Hollywood.

Reminder! Baymax Specialty Cupcake Available at Quick Service Locations: Enjoy the latest addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios cupcake collection: a Baymax specialty cupcake! For just $5.19 each, the Big Hero 6 chocolate and banana butter cream cupcake will be available at the following quick service locations: FairFax Fare, Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co., and Rosie’s All American Café. The cupcake is included in Disney Dining Plan and available through Jan. 31.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Reminder! Flame Tree Barbecue Temporarily Closed: On Jan. 5, construction started at Flame Tree Barbecue. This location will be closed for approximately three months. Since the food offerings at Flame Tree Barbecue are favorites amongst Guests, a selection of them will be offered at existing kiosks throughout the park during the downtime. Until Flame Tree Barbecue reopens, Mickey-shaped pretzels and jalapeno pretzels will be temporarily located at Isle of Java in Discovery Island, and look for hand-scooped ice cream and sundaes at Dino-Bite Snacks in Dinoland, U.S.A.

flame tree favorites_flier

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.