What’s New Around Walt Disney World: August 18, 2016

We know, we know… Back-to-School time is fast approaching (and in some spots, it’s already arrived!). But the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer aren’t quite over just yet, so we’ve still got some summer celebrating to do!

And, hey, the coming of Fall isn’t so bad, anyway. Not when we’ve got our very favorite autumnal event coming to the first stop on our tour in a matter of weeks. That’s why we’re kicking things off at Epcot to see What’s New!

Epcot

Food & Wine Festival Coming Soon!

The 2016 Epcot Food & Wine Festival will be here before we know it! Sure signs of its return are starting to appear around the park…

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Coming SOON!!

Epcot Food & Wine Festival Coming SOON!!

… as in, like, literal signs ;) . Even the Miniature Train display in the Germany Pavilion has received its annual decorations!

Train Display in Germany

Train Display in Germany

Train Display in Germany

Train Display in Germany

Have you checked out the full list of Booth Menus to start strategizing your noshing plans yet?! It’s never too soon… the Festival starts on September 14th! [Read more…]

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

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

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

AT-AT outside of Star Tours attraction at Hollywood Studios

AT-AT outside of Star Tours attraction at Hollywood Studios

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

Review: New Menu Items at Starring Rolls Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Quiet on the set! There are some new lunch items available at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that we have to share!

Starring Rolls is a tiny cafe on the corner of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard — doesn’t that location just scream show business? I usually swing by to check out its collection of sweet treats and pretty pastries, but the often-overlooked lunch options are worth a shot! Soups, salads, and sandwiches are the stars of the show at lunch time, and we suggest finishing off lunch with one of our all-time favorites, the Napoleon.

Ready?

Starring Rolls Cafe on Sunset Boulevard

Starring Rolls Cafe on Sunset Boulevard

And, ACTION!

[Read more…]

First Look and Review: Echo Lake Eats at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Welcome back to the ever-changing Hollywood Studios, which is now introducing… Echo Lake Eats!

Echo Lake Eats

Echo Lake Eats

Making its home around Echo Lake in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Echo Lake Eats is comprised of three kiosks serving new Counter Service options: Hollywood Waffles of Fame, Sliders to the Stars, and Bocados del Lago Nachos y Empanadas. [Read more…]

CONFIRMED: Star Wars Themed Dinner Club Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

We first mentioned this a while back in this post about some of the dining options that we can expect when Star Wars Land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But while we had confirmation at that time of a Cantina, today, we can confirm that there will also be a Dinner Club!

Disney has released a brand new artist rendering, which further cements their plans to build an immersive table service experience in Star Wars Land.

© Disney

© Disney

No details like name or what the menu might be —  we’re still operating with the name “Star Wars Dining Experience”. :-) But we think this is super exciting! After all, how many times did you wish you could jump into the screen and enjoy a dinner on another planet?? Me toooooo!!  [Read more…]

Review: Sweet Chili-Glazed Chicken Nuggets at Oasis Canteen in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios has really been changing things up on us lately!

Of course, we saw some of this coming with fair warning: we knew that several Counter Service spots would be closing in early April to make way for the construction of Star Wars and Toy Story Lands. So far, construction has most affected the former Streets of America section of the park, and the remaining dining location in that area — Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano — is now part of the recently renamed area of Muppets Courtyard (meanwhile, its nearby neighbor, Toy Story Pizza Planet, is closed for a major makeover of its own).

Suddenly down a few dining locations, rumors of additions are starting to swirl (like a possible themed bar coming to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction). That’s just a glimpse of some of the changes around the park. And as much as these changes are highly likely to result in a really great experience once the new Lands are complete, it’s all enough to make you want to visit a tried-and-true spot and soak in some familiarity.

So it came as a fairly big surprise when one of those tried-and-trues revealed an entirely new menu on our most recent visit.

Oasis Canteen Sign

Oasis Canteen Sign

The Oasis Canteen (located near the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular) has been the Hollywood Studios home to the theme park staple of Funnel Cakes for years.

[Read more…]

News: Muppets Courtyard is Officially Official…for now…at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

For those keeping track of changes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios this week, there’s one more to add to the list. You already likely know that the construction of Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land is now officially underway, as evidenced by the very recent closure of Streets of America fixtures such as Studio Catering Co. and the Lights! Motors! Action Extreme Stunt Show to make way for the new ventures.

Construction Walls Blocking  the Streets of America

Construction Walls Blocking the Streets of America

But what about Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano? It was always part of the former Streets of America section of the park, and yet it’s still in operation. (Yay!)

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano

Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

Well, it’s now part of the newly renamed Muppets Courtyard! The new name of this area of the park is revealed in the updated Guide Map for Disney’s Hollywood Studios (it’s listed on the bottom right of the shot below). [Read more…]

Review: The NEW Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Editor’s Note: We are hearing the news that the Carrot Cake Cookie is BACK at Writer’s Stop. Yay!

Well, April 2nd has come and gone, and it was a big day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It was the last day guests could enjoy the Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show, or grab a bite to eat at Studio Catering Co., or a sip at High Octane Refreshments. This is all, of course, to make way for construction of the future Lands of Toy Story and Star Wars.

Writer’s Stop — a bookstore-meets-coffee-shop also specializing in some of the best bakery treats this side of the Studios — was originally on that same list to close down on April 3rd. However, it got a reprieve of sorts from the ol’ chopping block, and for a limited time it is still in operation… though in a different form than what we’re used to!

With many thanks to our Instagram pal, @savepointstu, we were alerted about the new menu. But we also couldn’t resist going over to search everything out ourselves and ask a few questions! What’s being served at Writer’s Stop now? And what is — or WAS — the fate of the spot’s signature item, the Carrot Cake Cookie?!?

When we arrived, we noticed the sign still remains, though the location has been taken off of the Hollywood Studios map. This is definitely a time of transition for Writer’s Stop.

Writer's Stop

Writer’s Stop

The menu now features three key items: a Charcuterie and Cheese Plate, a Warm Pretzel with Cheese Sauce, and Sugar-Spiced Nuts. [Read more…]

News: Disney Star Wars Land Restaurant Details and Concept Art!

So, did ya catch The Wonderful World of Disney special celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland last night with your Mickey Ears proudly strapped to your head (or was that just me?)?

If so, then you may have seen Harrison Ford introduce new concept art for Star Wars Land! We were especially excited to see that these included a few renderings for dining options coming when Star Wars Lands open in both Disney World and Disneyland.

Star Wars Land Concept Art

Star Wars Land Concept Art

After the D23 Expo this past Summer, we previewed a few of these experiences for you in this Disney Star Wars Land Cantina post, but now we have even more details! (And we made our case way back in 2013 for WHY Disney needed a Cantina here!)

Star Wars Land Concept Art

It all went by pretty fast, so here’s a chance to feast your eyes on some of the images a little longer. While we hope to have higher resolution images to share soon, here’s a batch of pics taken straight from the ol’ telly. [Read more…]

Imagineering Fun: Construction Walls in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (This Post is Not as Boring as it Sounds in the Title)

Okay, let’s face it: construction walls covering up refurbishment areas in Disney World are something we’re pretty used to seeing. They cover everything from the upcoming Frozen Ever After attraction in the former home of Epcot’s Maelstrom to Avatar Land in Animal Kingdom to the ongoing transformation of Disney Springs, and then some.

Walls outside of Planet Hollywood's refurbishment in Disney Springs

Walls outside of Planet Hollywood’s refurbishment in Disney Springs

And we’re bound to spot more and more very soon as Disney’s Hollywood Studios expands to add both Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land.

[Read more…]