What’s New Around Walt Disney World: July 19, 2016

It’s high temps and good times in Walt Disney World this summer season! We’re spotting plenty of frosty summer sips to help you beat the heat, along with all sorts of new restaurants to stop in and take an air-conditioned breather.

And if we’re talking about new restaurants, there’s only one place to start this round of What’s New, and that’s…

Disney Springs

Latest Additions

I know — it’s as though the openings are never-ending at Disney Springs! The Grand Opening Summer Celebration is ON for this dining, shopping, and entertainment district!

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Can you believe it? What once seemed like a never-ending transformation of what was once Downtown Disney to Disney Springs is now complete (though we still have a few more spots to welcome in the coming months!).

The past few weeks have brought the arrival of not one, but TWO new restaurants headed by Celebrity Chefs to the Town Center! Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming welcomed all of us HOME when it opened its doors on July 12th.

Homecoming Sign

Homecoming Sign

Take a peek at our First Look here! It happily included a visit from the Man of the Hour himself… Chef Art Smith!

Chef Art Smith on Opening Day

Chef Art Smith on Opening Day

Oh, and a few bites to eat, too ;)

Fried Chicken & Doughnuts

Fried Chicken & Doughnuts

Momma's Mac and Cheese

Momma’s Mac and Cheese

Shine Cake and Hummingbird Cake

Shine Cake and Hummingbird Cake

Remember, these opening weeks are for walk-up guests only, but soon guests will be able to make Advance Dining Reservations for the new restaurant for dates beginning August 15th.

And in late June, Frontera Cocina by Rick Bayless brought authentic contemporary Mexican cuisine to the Town Center of Disney Springs.

Frontera Cocina

Frontera Cocina

Check out our full review of Frontera Cocina here!

People Watching Cocktail

People Watching Cocktail

Queso Fundido

Queso Fundido

Carnitas

Carnitas

Fans of Coca-Cola can celebrate their love for this iconic beverage at the brand new World of Coca-Cola Store Orlando… complete with a Rooftop Beverage Bar!

Coca-Cola Store Orlando

Coca-Cola Store Orlando

Rooftop Bar Area

Rooftop Bar Area

Opening days featured the all-day menu, including International Soda Trays and Float Trays, allowing guests to sample several soda flavors and floats in one fell swoop.

International Soda Tray

International Soda Tray

World of Coca-cola Float Tray

World of Coca-cola Float Tray

But an expanded menu featuring Adult Drinks has since been added, available for guests starting at 3:00 pm daily.

World of Coca-Cola Adult Beverage Menu

World of Coca-Cola Adult Beverage Menu

Join us as we try the Cherry Coke Ripper, Celery Yellow Cooler, and Long Island Cooler — and take in the views — with a review here soon!

Adult beverages at World of Coca-Cola

Adult beverages at World of Coca-Cola

But there’s STILL more to come, believe it or not…

Coming Soon

Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza is set for a July 29th opening, bringing artisanal pizza “fired up” in 180 seconds to Town Center guests.

Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza Concept Art posted in Disney Springs

Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza Concept Art posted in Disney Springs

Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza Coming Soon

Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza Coming Soon

And we were super pumped to get the word that The Polite Pig will join the Disney Springs dining scene in Spring of 2017!

Signs for The Polite Pig in Disney Springs

Signs for The Polite Pig in Disney Springs

Find out why we’re so excited about it here! And enjoy this little Sneak Preview of the menu in the meantime…

Preliminary Menu for The Polite Pig -- Click to Enlarge

Preliminary Menu for The Polite Pig — Click to Enlarge

Menu Updates

Morimoto Asia is serving up their signature Pan-Asian cuisine to guests with a late night appetite with the all-new Late Night Menu at the Forbidden Lounge!

Morimoto Asia at Night

Morimoto Asia at Night

We have a full review of the menu from a special Sneak Peek event.

Morimoto Late Night Menu

Morimoto Late Night Menu

Kurobuta Sausage Bao

Kurobuta Sausage Bao

Portobello Mushroom Fries

Portobello Mushroom Fries

And an array of summer drinks are available no matter what time of day you visit, including Summer Watermelon Punch and Korean Ginger Heat.

Summer Watermelon Punch

Summer Watermelon Punch

Korean Ginger Heat

Korean Ginger Heat

Seasonal flavors are also featured at Sprinkles cupcake bakery! Check out the Summer Cherry Cupcake on your next stop.

@sprinkles Twitter

@sprinkles Twitter

You can also now purchase Cupcake Mixes to bring a little taste of Sprinkles home with you.

Sprinkles Cupcake Mix

Sprinkles Cupcake Mix

There are some fairly substantial changes to the eats at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, where Sallah’s Falafel, Temple Tenderloin, and Tanis Tuna Tacos have joined the lineup.

Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar Sign

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar Sign

Though the YeSake kiosk is still quite new, it’s already gone through its first menu makeover!

YeSake Kiosk

YeSake Kiosk

New Tortilla-wrapped options include Chicken Chimichurri, Chicken Teriyaki, and the Fiesta Beef Roll.

YeSake Menu

YeSake Menu

Steam’d Chicken Bun also adds to the international flavors, while a Mango Colada joins the Sake Slushes, and new Sake Shaved Ice Mists can be found here as well!

Planning to hit up the House of Blues for dinner and a show?

In Blues We Trust!

In Blues We Trust!

Then be on the lookout for these new items on the menu, like the Steamin’ Tot Mess (tater tots topped with carnitas!), Chicken Gumbo, Mediterranean Vegetable White Cheddar Dip, Margherita Flatbread, the Gard Dawg (think Chicago-style), and the Bluegrass Stack (a marinated eggplant sandwich).

Disney Springs guests lost a Brunch option when Fulton’s Crab House closed to make way for Paddlefish. But Bongos Cuban Cafe has an option for those on the Brunch Lookout!

Bongos Sign

Bongos Sign

Cuban Style French Toast and Criollo Baked Eggs are available along with a selection of sandwiches.

Bongos Brunch Menu

Bongos Brunch Menu

Now, we don’t know if the #OrlandoStrong Donut is still available at Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC, but we wanted to say “thanks” for the time it was offered.

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC sign

Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC sign

Orlando Strong Donut

Orlando Strong Donut

And you can still keep an eye out for the summer Coconut Lime Cupcake!

Coconut Lime Cupcake

Coconut Lime Cupcake

Vivoli Il Gelato celebrated its first anniversary last month!

Vivoli il Gelato

Vivoli il Gelato

Stop by and celebrate by trying one of the latest offerings: a Nutella Brownie Sundae and Creamsicle Float (a double whammy made with vanilla gelato AND orange sorbet!).

New items on the Menu at Vivoli il Gelato

New items on the Menu at Vivoli il Gelato

Haven’t had enough yet? Good… because we’ve still got all four Disney World parks to hit up!

Magic Kingdom

Have you heard the word??? Figaro Fries have returned to the Magic Kingdom!!

Loaded Plaza Fries

Loaded Plaza Fries

Well, except they’re now called Loaded Plaza Fries and they can be found at — where else? — The Plaza Restaurant! In fact, the menu has received several new additions like a Fried Green Tomato Sandwich, and Specialty Cakes for dessert (Yep, we ate ‘em ALL!). Take a look at the entire new lineup here!

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich

Signature Chocolate Cake

Signature Chocolate Cake

It was the POP heard ‘round the World when it was revealed that Refillable Popcorn Buckets would be available through September 1st throughout the Disney World parks! Buy a Refillable Popcorn Bucket for $10.00, and have it refilled throughout the same day for $1.50 per refill.

Refillable Popcorn Bucket Pricing

Refillable Popcorn Bucket Pricing

Even though each park has its own themed Refillable Popcorn Bucket, like the one we purchased at Magic Kingdom…

Magic Kingdom Popcorn Bucket

Magic Kingdom Popcorn Bucket

… refills are available throughout the day no matter which park you hop to — here’s our Magic Kingdom Bucket, happily refilled at Hey Howdy Hey Takeaway in Hollywood Studios!

Magic Kingdom Bucket Refilled at Hollywood Studios

Magic Kingdom Bucket Refilled at Hollywood Studios

Cupcakes with Character (our name for them — it’s unofficial ;) ) just keep popping up at Main Street Bakery with an additional set of Ears — this time in Pink with a vanilla cupcake base — placed beside the usual Chocolate Mickey.

Minnie and Mickey Cupcakes

Minnie and Mickey Cupcakes

(The Donald Duck Butt Cupcake, however, remains our favorite of these so far. We would love to see it come back!)

Over in Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is serving up S’mores for dessert.

Cosmic Ray's Sign

Cosmic Ray’s Sign

Cosmic Ray's Dessert Menu

Cosmic Ray’s Menu

I wonder if they’re similar to the S’mores that used to be available at Herbie’s Drive-In (R.I.P.)  in Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

S'mores from Herbie's Drive-In

S’mores from Herbie’s Drive-In

And remember when you’re planning to make your Advance Dining Reservations for your next vacation that Table Service has been extended at the Diamond Horseshoe through September 10th.

The Diamond Horseshoe

The Diamond Horseshoe

You can read a Guest Review of this limited time Table Service option here.

Animal Kingdom

JAMBO from Animal Kingdom!!

Hello from Harambe Market!

Hello from Harambe Market!

Okay, so do you remember WAAAAYYY back in January, when Disney gave us a sneak peek at the Lotus Popcorn Bucket that was on the way to Animal Kingdom?

Lotus Blossom Popcorn Bucket

Lotus Blossom Popcorn Bucket

Well, at long last, it has arrived!! Complete with a carrying strap, it glows to become a luminary much like the recently added Glowing Steins. In a unique twist, the Lotus is filled with Housemade Chips at Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks.

Bucket and Steins at Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks

Bucket and Steins at Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks

And speaking of thirstyWatermelon Lemonade has replaced the Tangerine Lemonade at Wanjohi Refreshment in Harambe Market.

Wanjohi Refreshment

Wanjohi Refreshment

Harambe Market Beverage Menu at Wanjohi Refreshment

Harambe Market Beverage Menu at Wanjohi Refreshment

Not yet quenched? Try a Frozen Beverage at Anandapur Royal Tea Company, where Passion Fruit is the newest flavor.

Anandapur Royal Tea Company

Anandapur Royal Tea Company

Frozen Beverage Machines

Frozen Beverage Machines

A Taste of Tiffins is a brand new lunch option at the still new Tiffins Signature Restaurant.

Tiffins sign

Tiffins sign

From 11:30 am – 3:30 pm daily, guests can pick two from the list of entrees for a set price of $28.00 — a great way to try the unique flavors of Tiffins at a lower price point than the full-sized entrees.

Taste of Tiffins menu screenshot

Taste of Tiffins menu screenshot

P.S. We highly recommend the Market Vegetable Curry!

Hollywood Studios

It’s all about summer sippin’ at the Studios! And we’re starting with a couple new adult beverages on tap at Fairfax Fare: Captain Morgan Fruit Punch Cocktail and Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka Lemonade.

New Adult Drinks at Fairfax Fare

New Adult Drinks at Fairfax Fare

Captain Morgan Fruit Punch

Captain Morgan Fruit Punch

Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka Lemonade

Smirnoff Raspberry Vodka Lemonade

Hollywood Scoops is the latest spot to hop on the Hard Root Beer Float train, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down.

Hollywood Scoops

Hollywood Scoops

Hard Root Beer Float sign

Hard Root Beer Float sign

This version features Coney Island Hard Root Beer.

Hard Root Beer Float

Hard Root Beer Float

Anaheim Produce is serving up the tasty Schofferhoffer Grapefruit Hefeweizen, a favorite also featured in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion.

Anaheim Produce Adult Drinks

Anaheim Produce Adult Drinks

What’s a trip to Hollywood Studios without checking up on the current cupcake game? The Trolley Car Cafe is currently carrying a Vanilla Cupcake with Strawberry Frosting topped with a full strawberry and white chocolate Minnie Mouse bow.

Vanilla Cupcake with Strawberry Frosting

Vanilla Cupcake with Strawberry Frosting

And the Olaf Cupcake has returned to ABC Commissary… but despite his similar (and oh-so-cute) appearance, he’s actually received a makeover.

Updated Olaf Cupcake

Updated Olaf Cupcake

The current version is no longer Carrot Cake, but rather a a Chocolate Cupcake with Marshmallow Topping.

Lunch guests at The Hollywood Brown Derby have a couple of additional choices available for the midday meal.

The Hollywood Brown Derby

The Hollywood Brown Derby

The Grilled Wagyu Beef Burger is on the list, and an Andouille-crusted Chicken Breast Sandwich is a new lunch option, too.

Hollywood Brown Derby Lunch Menu

Hollywood Brown Derby Lunch Menu

A new snack stand can now be found just past Toy Story Midway Mania. In its opening days, it served primarily Churros.

New Studios Snack Stand

New Studios Snack Stand

But the menu has already expanded to include the Ham and Cheese-stuffed Pretzel (previously found only at Magic Kingdom) and Cotton Candy.

Snack Stand Menu

Snack Stand Menu

It has also added an item that could previously be found at Herbie’s Drive-In before it closed to make way for construction of Toy Story and Star Wars Lands: that theme park staple, the Corn Dog.

And for anyone who is as curious about the fate of Writer’s Stop as we are… per our most recent conversation with a Cast Member, it will likely remain open until September.

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

But — as always — stay tuned… the Writer’s Stop has escaped the fate of closure before, and it may yet again! We hope so, anyway :) .

Epcot

LOTS of changes have come to Epcot over the past few weeks! Of course, those changes primarily involve the debut of Frozen Ever After and the Royal Sommerhus (the Anna and Elsa Meet-and-Greet location)…

Frozen Ever After Entrance

Frozen Ever After Entrance

… and, of course, the return of Soarin’ in its new form: Soarin’ Around the World!

Soarin' Around the World at Epcot

Soarin’ Around the World

These attractions have had a ripple effect in some of the food options around Epcot. For instance, Sunshine Seasons is welcoming back Soarin’ with a Soarin’ Panna Cotta (it joined the Soarin’ Orange Cupcake in the ol’ bakery case).

Soarin' Panna Cotta

Soarin’ Panna Cotta

And in Norway, the menu at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe has been boosted with several new items to meet the demands of many more guests visiting the Norway Pavilion to enjoy the new Frozen attractions.

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe

Our favorites among the recent additions are the Cinnamon Loaf and the Snow Globe.

Cinnamon Loaf

Cinnamon Loaf

Snow Globe

Snow Globe

But extra cute points go to the Quartet of Mini Frozen Cupcakes!

Mini Frozen Cupcakes

Mini Frozen Cupcakes

Oh, and if you’re wondering if the wait times for Frozen Ever After have gone down from the original 300+ minutes…

Recent Wait Time for Frozen Ever After

Recent Wait Time for Frozen Ever After

… the answer is, “Nope, not by much.” ;)

In the United Kingdom, the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room is the latest World Showcase stop to change from offering separate Lunch and Dinner menus to one all-day menu.

Rose and Crown

Rose & Crown

Rose & Crown Menu

Rose & Crown Menu

Taste Track has been the home to some fabulous Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches since it opened last spring. In the beginning of July, though, the offerings changed entirely to Ice Cream Sundaes and Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches as well as (can you guess?) Hard Floats and Sodas for adults.

Taste Track

Taste Track

Personally, I find the change to be something of a summer bummer, because those Grilled Cheese Sandwiches were so unique to the location. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is just a change for the warmer weather, and perhaps the sandwiches will return along with the cooler temps later this year. Time will tell…

Resorts

Polynesian Village Resort

A few menu updates at Captain Cook’s include the addition of a Seared Chicken Breast, Curried Seafood Stew, and Pork Fried Rice.

Captain Cook's sign

Captain Cook’s sign

Captain Cook's Menu

Captain Cook’s Menu

And be on the lookout for Shave Ice at the Pineapple Lanai!

Pineapple Lanai sign

Pineapple Lanai sign

They were testing it for just two days earlier this month, with hopes that it would be returning longer-term.

Shave Ice

Shave Ice

If you find it there on your next visit to the Polynesian, please let us know… and save some for me ;) !

Art of Animation Resort

Landscape of Flavors is reminding guests that “sharing is caring” with the new Chili Cheese Fries for Two!

Landscape of Flavors Menu

Landscape of Flavors Menu

And the Pizza Station now has Pamesan Garlic Knots to nosh with your pizza.

Contemporary Resort

As always, there are some fun cupcake finds at Contempo Cafe! Look for the Cherry Cupcake — topped with pistachio buttercream and filled with cherry — through July 30th.

Cherry Cupcake

Cherry Cupcake

The Banana Flip Cupcake — a vanilla cupcake with banana cream filling and banana buttercream frosting — should be available through August 27th.

Banana Flip Cupcake

Banana Flip Cupcake

We’ll have a review for you here soon!

Disney’s Boardwalk

Our final stop is Disney’s BoardWalk where signs have magically appeared for the upcoming AbracadaBar!

AbracadaBar Coming to Disney World's Boardwalk

AbracadaBar Coming to Disney World’s Boardwalk

The backstory for this soon-to-be-bar is quite simply one of the coolest we’ve heard in a long time, and makes us SO excited for its arrival!

AbracadaBar sign

AbracadaBar sign

And when, exactly, is that? Well, AbracadaBar will likely open in conjunction with the re-opening of its next door neighbor, Flying Fish, which is currently undergoing a lengthy refurbishment. Rumor has it that August 14th may be the big day (and operating hours for that date are currently showing on the Disney World website, though Advance Dining Reservations are not yet available).

Now watch as we disappear! But not without a “So long” from our girl, Minnie, of course!

Goodbye from Minnie!

Goodbye from Minnie!

As always, thanks for joining us! 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. Frank says

    Is Brown Derby now a one menu for all day restaurant??
    Any word on when Flying Fish will open up their ADR’s???
    Thx.
    Frank

  2. Kaz says

    I want to get excited about most of these new Disney Springs restaurants, but most seem to offer only one (if that) token vegetarian dish on the menu.. any vegetarian able to comment on how willing the chefs are to whip something more interesting up on the fly..?

  3. Lisa P says

    We went to Norway last month – didn’t see any cinnamon buns like that in bakeries. They do, however, have this wonderful dark, crusty bread (don’t know the name) that would be a great addition to the World Showcase’s food choices. It would be right up there with France’s baguettes!

  4. Keith says

    I’m sure any of the chefs are willing to whip up on vegetarians. Personally, I think it helps make the meat more tender.

  5. Kathy C says

    Thank you for all the updates! I’m actually starting to come around to the new Coca Cola bar. At first I thought, “its a coke” but now between the adult beverages and the sodas from around the world this could be a fun stop for my family. I’m also interested in the Sprinkles make at home mixes!

  6. Essie says

    Thanks for the great report and review. I always enjoy the ‘What’s new in the world’ reports!

  7. DwarfPlanet says

    For those not in the know:

    Krab Stick = a processed seafood made of starch and finely pulverized white fish (surimi), shaped and cured to resemble the leg meat of snow crab or Japanese spider crab.

  8. Gigi says

    $9 for Miller Lite, Coors and PBR at Polite Pig?! YIKES!! I guess they wanted to keep the pricing as simple as possible, but that’s crazy.

  9. Barbara says

    I’d like to get excited about all of the new Disney Springs stuff…but I’m just not. We just came back from WDW and browsed through Disney Springs. Basically, the new part is boring and expensive–just like going to the local mall–and the new restaurants fit right along with that. Thankfully, the “old” Disney offerings are still there. Our best meals were at Wolfgang Puck Express in the Springs/Marketplace, Olivia’s (Old Key West) and Kona Cafe (Polynesian). Shhh–don’t tell anyone. Just send everyone over to the Town Center and let us enjoy a good meal in (relative) peace and financial security.

  10. says

    I don’t know what that Sake Mist Shaved Ice thingie is, but I know I need one in my life!! Heading over on Monday to try one… and stop at Amorette’s Patisserie again. That place is easily becoming one of my favorite places in the World, and last time I went a very friendly CM informed me they were now coming up with lots of limited edition and seasonal signature cakes. Just another reason for me to visit as often as possible! They’re building a website as well, can’t wait! I’m kind of obsessed with that place. :D

  11. Patricia C says

    @Barbara — I kind of felt the same way (the prices being so high, mostly) and I’m not interested in any of the shops as I can go to any of them here where I live. I am excited to try that new poutine place and the morimoto quick service window, and maybe one or two other specific items, but you’re totally right – Wolfgang Puck Express is one of the BEST “quick service” meals we EVER had anywhere in Disney! I could not believe 1) the portion sizes and 2) the service! Really enjoyed it there.

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