What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 20th, 2015

Sure, we may have said “So long” to the Flower and Garden Festival for this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to look forward to at Walt Disney World! Springs moves to summer as Disney World gears up for the busy vacation season, otherwise known as the “Coolest Summer Ever”!

©Disney

©Disney

And since it’s a very special time of year for Star Wars fans in particular, why don’t we start our ‘round the World tour at Hollywood Studios to see What’s New!

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Star Wars Weekends kicked off on May 15th!

Star Wars Weekends 2015

Star Wars Weekends 2015

The excitement! The pageantry!  The CUPCAKES! The Jabba the Hutt Cupcake has joined the Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes this year.

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

It can be found at counter service locations such as Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, The Trolley Car Cafe, and Tusken Fridge Raiders — the premiere Star Wars snack stop, located inside Darth’s Mall.

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

But cupcakes aren’t all that’s in store…

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Like last year, several temporary pop-up bars can be found all over the park for the weekend events.

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

However, they feature all-new drinks this year. Each bar serves two out of of four drinks: The Mustafar and The Tatooine, or The Endor and The Alderaan.

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

We’ll be taking a closer look at those beverages soon, but once again this year, it’s ALL about the souvenir glow cubes: drinks come with either a Millennium Falcon glow cube or your very own mini Death Star.

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

The Jedi Mickey Character Dinner at Hollywood and Vine and Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast returned to Hollywood Studios earlier this month (on May the Fourth Be With You, naturally). But brand new to Star Wars Weekends this year is the Rebel Hangar — A Star Wars Lounge Experience, which has effectively converted half of Backlot Express into an abandoned spaceport in the Sullest system.

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Blue Milk!

Blue Milk!

You can read all about this special month-long dining event featuring small plates and specialty cocktails in our full review of the Rebel Hangar!

Believe it or not, though, it’s not all Star Wars at Hollywood Studios… we’ve got some regular ol’ menu changes at some favorite Table Service restaurants to report as well. Sci-Fi Dine-In has added the Sci-Fi Popcorn Treat to the appetizer selection. It’s popcorn soup (for watching those old movies, of course!) with buffalo popcorn chicken and celery sticks, drizzled with blue cheese dressing.

Sci-Fi Dine-In

Sci-Fi Dine-In

New entrees include Grilled Marinated Salmon, while the Veggie Burger got a

Southwest style maker. The In-House Smoked Chicken is served on a crusty French roll, and the new Sci-Fi Specialty Burger is topped with Swiss cheese, pulled pork with sriracha BBQ sauce, and pickled apple slaw.(We bid a sad adieu to the beloved Picnic Burger .)

50s Prime Time Cafe added two new desserts.

50s Prime Time Cafe sign

50s Prime Time Cafe sign

The 50s Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Mom’s Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake have joined the line up.

ANIMAL KINGDOM

The all-new Harambe Market is set to open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 23rd!

©Disney

©Disney

It’s debut will bring FOUR new counter service selections to the park: Kitamu Grill featuring Skewered Chicken (possibly like Bengal BBQ in Disneyland?), Famous Sausages will offer curry-infused corn batter sausages, Wanjohi Refreshments will focus on cold beverages and cocktails, while Chef Mwanga’s will be serving up “Dreamy” Karubi Ribs :) !

©Disney

©Disney

©Disney

©Disney

©Disney

©Disney

Across the way, Tamu Tamu Refreshments has already made some changes in response to all the new entrees on the way.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

The menu is now entirely made of desserts.

All-new Tamu Tamu menu

All-new Tamu Tamu menu

Tamu Tamu desserts

Tamu Tamu desserts

Read our full review of every dessert here!

According to the latest reports, it seems that the reopening of Flame Tree Barbecue from its refurbishment has been delayed.

Flame Tree Barbecue closed for refurbishment

Flame Tree Barbecue closed for refurbishment

Look for it to reopen around July 1st.

EPCOT

The Japan Pavilion is getting ready for the summer guests searching for seats with trays full of food from the Kabuki Cafe and Katsura Grill. A lovely expanded seating area has been added within the gorgeous landscaping of the Pavilion.

Japan Pavilion outdoor seating

Japan Pavilion outdoor seating

Lighting at Japan Pavilion outdoor seating

Lighting at Japan Pavilion outdoor seating

You can see the back of the pagoda in the picture above to give you an idea of the location.

Japan Pavilion outdoor seating

Japan Pavilion outdoor seating

Find the Flan & Cerises (Flan Tart with Cherries) two Pavilions over at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in France.

Flan and Cerises

Flan and Cerises

With many thanks to DFB reader Heather M, we found out that a new variety of Poutine was added to Canada’s Le Cellier Steakhouse menu: Montreal Smoked Beef Poutine (with Jarlsberg Cheese, Paprika Salt, and Chicken Gravy).

Montreal Smoked Beef Poutine

Montreal Smoked Beef Poutine

We’re happy to say that according to Heather, “It was divine!!” It sure looks like it!

MAGIC KINGDOM

Now that three daily meals are being served at Be Our Guest Restaurant, there couldn’t possibly be any more news to share, could there?

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Why, of course, there is ;) ! A new item has been added to the Be Our Guest Breakfast menu: the Croque Madame. This open-face ham sandwich topped with a fried egg, gruyere cheese, and Bechamal appears to be a ham-focused take on the delicious Open-Faced Bacon and Egg Sandwich. Thanks to DFB reader Beth W. for offering to review this one for us later this month!

And look for specialty eats and treats to hit Magic Kingdom if you are attending this year’s 24-Hour launch of the “Coolest Summer Ever”!

Coolest Summer Ever specialty cupcake

Coolest Summer Ever specialty cupcake

We can’t wait to bring you ongoing coverage of all the food and fun in Disney World AND Disneyland on May 22nd!

DOWNTOWN DISNEY

Each day brings us one step closer toward Downtown Disney’s ultimate transition to becoming Disney Springs! And it seems like lately nearly each day brings more and more news about what’s to come! The biggest news continues to revolve around announcements of upcoming dining experiences, including Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.

Hangar Bar Concept Art ©Disney

Hangar Bar Concept Art ©Disney

Construction of Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar

Construction of Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

This Indiana Jones-themed lounge is anticipated for a fall opening.

Additionally, a whole slew of upcoming restaurants and treat stops were announced including The Edison, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, and Sprinkles Cupcakes, to name just a few!

The Boathouse opened it’s doors in mid-April, but for a time it was only taking walk-ups.

The Boathouse

The Boathouse

Now, interested guests can make Advance Dining Reservations to dine there. Additionally, The Boathouse is now accepting the Disney Dining Plan as a 2-credit Table Service entitlement. Guests choosing one of the meals that is noted as serving two will use 4 credits.

Over in the Marketplace, the new Dockside Margaritas is now serving up cold ‘ritas for those warm Florida days and nights! We’ll have a review up soon!

Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

Dockside Margaritas at Disney Springs Marketplace

Dockside Margaritas -- Seating

Dockside Margaritas — Seating

Amidst all the new dining spots already open and on the way, we can’t forget some favorite Downtown Disney haunts. Splitsville Luxury Lanes has added a White Pizza with Kale to the menu: Mozzarella, Gouda, Alfredo, blackened chicken and sautéed kale.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

It's Amazing!

It’s Amazing!

Macho Nachos also joined the line up. Take a look at this pile of deliciousness!

Macho Nachos ©Splitsville Downtown Disney

Macho Nachos ©Splitsville Downtown Disney

Resorts

Polynesian Village Resort

Even though Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and Tiki Terrace have been in operation since late March, everything is now “officially official,” since the souvenir glasses have arrived and are ready for guests to take home!

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

The Nautilus in the souvenir display

The Nautilus in the souvenir display

And specialty cocktails themed to the Polynesian have been added to the choices at the Barefoot Pool Bar.

Barefoot Pool Bar

Barefoot Pool Bar

Specialty Drink Menu

Specialty Drink Menu

Port Orleans Riverside

The menu at Boatwright’s Dining Hall features a few changes and additions.

Boatwright's

Boatwright’s

For starters, the Pirogue Platter is the Chef’s selection of meats and cheese with house made accompaniments.

Among some changes to the entree selections, the Voodoo Chicken is now served with fluffy waffles and garnished with maple bacon gravy. Hello! Also, guests are now able to add their choice of Shrimp Creole, Crab Imperial, or Crawfish Mac and Cheese to their entree.

Contemporary

There is a new meal offering at Chef Mickey’s! You can now dine with Mickey and the Gang for three meals a day if you want to ;) , with the addition of Brunch starting May 31st.

The Chef!

The Chef!

Advance Dining Reservations open up for this addition on May 22nd.

Signature Restaurants

For a short time (through mid-June), three Signature Disney World Restaurants will offer dishes featuring Copper River Salmon during its very limited season: Artist’s Point at Wilderness Lodge, The Contemporary’s California Grill, and Flying Fish Cafe at Disney’s BoardWalk.

Flying Fish

Flying Fish

So there you have it, folks! Thanks for joining us on another trip around the World! And until next time, Eat and Be Happy!

Have you spotted anything new during a recent trip around the World? We’d love to hear about it in a comment!

Comments

  1. Essie says

    I hope the outdoor seating in Japan didn’t take way the beautiful koi pond area. It’s my favorite spot in WS.

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