Whew! It sure has been a news-y few weeks for Disney World! From the debut of the long-awaited Rivers of Light show in Animal Kingdom, to the announcement of a brand new fireworks spectacular on the way to Magic Kingdom, to the return of another annual Festival at Epcot: the 2017 Flower and Garden Festival.
But it sure doesn’t stop there, because we’ve got even more news to explore… by checking out WHAT’S NEW around Walt Disney World!
“You can learn a lot of things from the flowers…”
The 2017 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is running from March 1 – May 29, 2017!
This year, the Festival will feature two new Outdoor Kitchens in addition to the returning thirteen.
And watch our video about our recommendations for this year’s festival here!
That’s where you can find the new Horizons Margarita Shot commemorating one of my favorite former Epcot attractions — Horizons!
The current rotating specials at Via Napoli in the Italy Pavilion (typically featuring one drink and one pasta) are the Limoncello Mule and the Truffled Fettucine.
After taking in all the flowers and blooms (and margaritas and mules 😉 ) by day at Epcot, you may want to spend your evening in…
Our next stop is Animal Kingdom, where the aforementioned Rivers of Light evening spectacular is in full swing at long last!
This also means that Rivers of Light Dining Packages are now available for booking, with dining options at Tusker House Restaurant and Tiffins (where, by the way, Grilled Swordfish and Smoked Wagyu Beef Bolognese are two new entree options).
Don’t forget to check out our video about how to grab a seat at the new nighttime event with NO stress and NO wait!
Likewise, the nearby Drinkwallah now serves Cinnamon-Glazed Almonds and Pecans as snack options at spots close to the show have amped up their choices a bit.
And, of course, all sorts of items commemorating Rivers of Light are up for grabs at the park’s merchandise locations.
It feels as though an entirely new era has begun in the park, with the additional announcement that Disney World’s newest land, Pandora — The World of AVATAR, will open on May 27th!
Of course, we like to keep our eyes peeled for small changes, too. For instance, did you know you can now buy Warm Cookies and Milk at select ice cream carts around the park?
And some are currently carrying Miss Vickie’s Chips and Bud Light Margaritas.
For those wondering where they can find Gluten-Free treats now that Terra Treats has removed some of those options, it looks like you can just cross the path to Creature Comforts, where Gluten-Free Doughnuts are now found in the bakery case.
Just to keep you updated on a recent story we’ve been keeping our eyes on… For a short time, Flame Tree Barbecue Sauce was no longer available at Flame Tree Barbecue 🙁 .
Though we still spotted the Sweet and Spicy variety, the signature sauce was recently replaced by Heinz packets.
So, we were THRILLED to notice the return of the Flame Tree Barbecue Sauce on a more recent visit! Hooray!!
AND we were able at long last to grab the new-ish Buffalo Chicken Chips at Trilo-Bites!
Perhaps now that the pace is definitely picking up in Animal Kingdom, we’ll find this seasonally open spot in operation more often… which is great news when you’re looking at options like these chips. (We’ll have a full review of ’em very soon!!)
A couple of small kiosks with big snack bites have once again changed their offerings. A new BLT menu is being served at The Smiling Crocodile.
And Eight Spoon Cafe has a pumped-up Mac and Cheese menu.
This pretty vanilla cupcake is in honor of the new live-action Beauty and the Beast film, coming to theaters on March 17th.
Next time you’re in Tomorrowland, you may think that Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is closed due to the sheer number refurbishment panels around it.
But you can still walk on in, grab a Barbecued Pork Bacon Cheeseburger, and spend some time with Sonny Eclipse, because while the walls are covering up an expansion to the outdoor seating areas, the restaurant itself is still open.
You’ll find Joffrey’s in every other park, but until now the closest place you could find a Joffrey’s kiosk to Magic Kingdom has been at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Better yet, the new Tomorrowland stop will be the ONLY place you will find the More S’mores Latte.
Heading towards the Wild West, the Frontierland Popcorn Cart is THE only place you can find a unique flavor of fresh-popped popcorn.
It’s Maple Flavored!
(And, yes, you can refill your Refillable Popcorn Bucket with the Maple, too!).
What’s that? NO, you say? Well, you’ll definitely want to remedy that by reading (and watching!) about it here!
Making our way to Adventureland, the Jungle Skipper Canteen has a new appetizer with the Orinoco Ida’s Cachapas (which replaced the previous Arepas).
And there’s one more item to add to your new Morning Breakfast list at Magic Kingdom.
The Egg, Ham, and Tomato Waffle Sandwich is officially on the menu at Sleepy Hollow.
We are still waiting to hear what’s to become of this beloved space. Is it simply undergoing a long-term refurbishment, or is there something to the rumors that the spot may be transformed into extended seating for the neighboring Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge?
While we wait for an answer to that question, it’s good to know that many of the signature snacks that put Starring Rolls on the map, like the Butterfinger Cupcake (a/k/a the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cupcake) can be enjoyed at the nearby Trolley Car Cafe.
The Trolley Car is also the only place where you can find the Starbucks “You Are Here” Mug for Hollywood Studios.
Much like the park itself, even the mug has received a makeover with the removal of the Earful Tower and the addition of a scene from Fantasmic!
All Around the World
Epcot isn’t the only place where the sights of spring are hopping up! Get used to seeing this guy back in confectionery cases all over Disney World.
Let’s see… would you rather have a new Candy Pinwheel, a Candy Fan (now with Elsa), or a Candy Light Saber?
Decisions, decisions ;). But I think I’ve gotta go with the Saber… it lights up!
Okay, so this next one isn’t food related, but how can we resist mentioning these Disney VHS Tape Notebooks that have been taking Disney merchandise locations by storm?!?
How many of you still have your original VHS copies 🙂 ?
Speaking of Goofy’s Candy Company… we thought we had seen the last of Goofy’s Powered Candy when it disappeared last year, but it’s made a return to the parks!
And as Disney continues to gear up for the release of the live action Beauty and the Beast film on March 17th, there is plenty of merchandise to match, including these Emma Watson as Belle mugs.
Two long-awaited openings have taken place in Disney Springs since our last trip around the World!
Be sure to check out the updated — and beautiful — seafood and steaks spot here!
Seasonal selections at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar feature Mac’s Pork Belly Sliders and Matterhorn Rosti, and the limited time “Jocktails” are the Mariontini and the Smoking Bulleit.
Woo Hoo!! Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC is now selling Doughnut Mix!
I’m not gluten-free, but I really like these doughnuts. Hence, the excitement 🙂 .
Stop by Earl of Sandwich for the new Rachel Sandwich.
And grab some new Potato Wedges as a side. Yum!
New at Amorette’s Patisserie are the Carrot Patch and Cherry Pistachio Paradise. The Carrot Patch is carrot cake with white chocolate cream cheese mousse with salted caramel pearls.
Cherry Pistachio Paradise is a chocolate tart shell filled with Morello cherries cooked with sugar, pistachio mousse, cherry pate de fruit, and pistachio glaçage.
Welcome to Geyser Point Bar & Grill!
Read more about it here! And watch our video review below!
Here’s a peek around the rest of the Resort as the transformation continues!
“Please stand clear of my cupcake!” Contempo Cafe is currently serving a vanilla buttercream Monorail Cupcake among its specialty cupcakes.
But be sure you have a buddy along, because this massive cocktail is made for two. Check it out!
The Contemporary certainly doesn’t have the only claim to cupcakes.
BoardWalk Bakery has a Coconut Cream Cupcake in the bakery case.
A new Barbecued Pork has also found its way to their Sandwich menu.
Step just a few doors down the check out ALL THE ICE CREAM at Ample Hills Creamery.
This is where a limited edition flavor — combining Chocolate Marshmallow and Ooey Gooey Butter Cake with brownies and cookie pieces — is available in honor of the 20th anniversary of the ABC daytime talk show, The View.
Everything Pop is joining the ranks with the All Star Resorts with their own boozy themed milkshakes.
Strawberry Fields is a strawberry milkshake blended with Frangelico, and The King Milkshake is chocolate ice cream blended with Knob Creek Bourbon and garnished with — what else? — candied bacon 🙂 .
Before we say farewell, here’s a little more green and bloom — especially for those in areas experiencing just a few more weeks of winter.
Rest assured, my friends…
… Spring is soon on the way!!! 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!