News! Food Pre-order Test in Progress at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It looks like the next phase of Disney dining technology testing is upon us!

Express Order screenshot

Express Order screenshot

Thanks to WDWMagic and OrlandoParkNews we learned that a limited-run test (from now until May 12) is currently in place for guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you have somehow indicated that you will be visiting Hollywood Studios via your My Disney Experience account (either by making a FastPass+ choice for attractions or a dining reservation for the park’s Table Service locations), you may receive an e-mail invite to participate in a test involving pre-ordering food items at Backlot Express Counter Service or Fantasmic! concession.

Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Selections

Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Selections

Express Order is the name of the free app that guests are invited to download in order to participate.

Express Order app Home Page

Express Order app Home Page

Upon opening the app, you’ll see two dining choices: Backlot Express or concession options for Fantasmic! Please note that Fantasmic! concession pre-ordering is only available prior to the start of the show each night.

Backlot Express and Fantasmic! options

Backlot Express and Fantasmic! options

Just swipe to the right for further choices and instructions. For instance, with Backlot Express, you’ll see that you can choose to [Read more…]

Review: Cheesy Bread Cones at Fantasmic! in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

UPDATE: According to WDW cast members, these cones were removed from the menu at Hollywood Studios. Them’s the breaks! Disney’s menus change all the time; this can be due to ingredient supply and purchasing issues (temporary), seasonal menu updates (temporary), or a menu refurb (usually permanent). We’re hoping they’ll return to the menu in Walt Disney World soon! In the meantime, get your bread cones filled with goodies year-round at Disney California Adventure’s Cozy Cone Motel in Disneyland!

Macaroni and Cheese Bread Cone

Macaroni and Cheese Bread Cone

Have you ever found yourself in this scenario: sitting in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater, waiting for Fantasmic! – the nighttime spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — to begin?

Amphitheater seating for Fantasmic!

Amphitheater seating waiting for Fantasmic!

If you are planning to see Fantasmic! (the official show title has an exclamation point in the name, which moving forward I’ll omit for your ease of reading :), you should know that it’s best to arrive well before show time, especially if you are attending the first show of the evening.

So, what should you do in the meantime? Aside form join in The Wave, of course… which you can — and should — do.

Here comes The Wave!!

Here comes The Wave!!

But when you’re not Wave-ing, you might as well eat! Fortunately, there are oodles of opportunities around the amphitheater to do just that.

Prior to moving directly into the amphitheater, there are a couple of stands serving up snacks such as Mickey ice cream bars, roasted nuts, frozen lemonade cups, churros, Mickey pretzels, and the like.

Snack kiosks outside of amphitheater

Snack kiosks outside of amphitheater

Cast Members also wander the outside and inside of the amphitheater right up until show time, carrying items like popcorn and cotton candy, which somehow adds to the festive vibe.

Popcorn

Popcorn

Cotton Candy

Cotton Candy

Once you head into the amphitheater, there are two large concession stands in the back, both by the name of Hollywood Hills Amphitheater Refreshment. They have the [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: March 19, 2014!

It’s time to take another stroll around Disney World and see what’s new and awesome! We’ve got parade pics, Olaf apples, Gaston-themed headwear, and more! Won’t you please join us :) ?

Fun “Frozen” Finds

Everything’s coming up “Frozen” at Walt Disney World to celebrate the release of the movie on Blu-Ray and DVD.

Blue "Frozen" Treats

Blue “Frozen” Treats

Olaf the Snowman has been bestowed a true Disney character honor… He’s now a Candy Apple!

Olaf Candy Apples

Olaf Candy Apples

Keep an eye out for him in candy locations like Sweet Spells, Main Street Confectionery, Candy Cauldron, and Goofy’s Candy Company… I’m hoping he’s here for the long haul!

You may also spy some favorite treats in a blue hue for a very limited time, including Mickey Krispy Treats and Marshmallow Wands.

Blue "Frozen" Marshmallow Wands

Blue “Frozen” Marshmallow Wands

Downtown Disney

A recent walk around Downtown Disney revealed that  the Disney Food Trucks are making their way around. Previously housed primarily between Cirque du Soleil and House of Blues (and occasionally spotted in the grassy area next to Bongos Cuban Cafe), the Food Trucks we’re spotted in new and different places around the West Side.

For instance, the World Showcase of Flavors truck was parked across from Splitsville.

World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck across from Splitsville

World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck across from Splitsville

And Fantasy Fare has been spotted over in the Marketplace (this is the spot next to World of Disney where Santa’s Chalet can be found during the holidays).

Fantasy Fare Food Truck next to World of Disney

Fantasy Fare Food Truck next to World of Disney

However, the one thing certain about the Food Trucks is that they are ever-changing :) . And we know something new is coming thanks to these Food Truck Park signs found around Downtown Disney.

Food Truck Park coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

Food Truck Park coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

What’s to come? Only time will tell!

The first sure sign of spring at Disney World is the Flower & Garden Festival. But a smaller sign is seeing all the things available to stuff your Easter basket at Ghirardelli.

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

Ghirardelli Easter Merchandise

The Starbucks construction site on the Marketplace side is really starting to take shape. You can now see the triangular top peeking out above the walls, matching the “Coming Soon” artwork.

Starbucks Construction

Starbucks Construction

Artwork on construction walls for Starbucks

Artwork on construction walls for Starbucks

And as new things arrive, we also say [Read more…]

Fantasmic Picnic Package, “A Taste of Hollywood To Go,” Returns in 2012-2013

We all know that those lines for Fantasmic! are long and the table-service seating for Fantasmic! meals is limited. Mickey’s solution for the busy holiday season debuted in 2011 “A Taste of Hollywood To Go – A Fantasmic! Dining Experience”.

Returning this year to help feed the holiday crowds, a picnic-style, quick-service dining option will be offered to guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios from December 22, 2012 – January 5, 2013 and March 24-April 4, 2013. Guests can make reservations up to 24 hours prior by calling 407-WDW-DINE (a credit card guarantee is required).

The picnic meals include a 20oz drink ($15.99 adults, $5.49 for kids) as well as reserved seating for Fantasmic! similar to the standard Fantasmic dining packages. Each entree can be purchased with one counter-service Disney Dining Plan credit.

Seating in the reserved section of the stadium will still be first come, first served.

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner

Meal Pick Up will take place at Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner beginning at 11:00 a.m. until 1.5 hours prior to the show time that you preselect. Get your meal when it best fits into your touring schedule!

Fantasmic seats will be based on the number of guests in your party, and entrees ordered must be equal to or greater than your party size.

Here are a few pics of what the picnic meals may look like![Read more…]

News! Fantasmic Picnic Package Available in Late December

Just in time for the holiday crowds, a picnic-style dining option will be offered to guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios from December 18 – December 31st. You can begin booking this experience on December 1st by calling 407-WDW-DINE (a credit card guarantee is required).

Let’s face it, the lines for Fantasmic! are long and the table-service seating for Fantasmic! meals is limited. Mickey has a solution this holiday season – the new “A Taste of Hollywood To Go – A Fantasmic! Dining Experience”.

You’ll get a reasonably priced picnic along with reserved seating to see the show. Similar to the standard Fantasmic packages, seating in the reserved section of the stadium will still be first come, first served. This comes, we think, due to the successful run of the the World of Color picnic option over at Disney California Adventure.

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner

Meal Pick Up will take place at Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner beginning at 11:00 a.m. until 1.5 hours prior to the show time that you preselect. Get your meal when it best fits into your touring schedule!

Fantasmic seats will be based on the number of guests in your party and entrees ordered must be equal to or greater than your party size. Each entree can be purchased with one counter-service Disney Dining Plan credit.

Here are a few pics of what the picnic meals will look like!

Fried chicken with maple-glazed sweet potato and baby spinach salad, broccoli and cranberry salad and cheesecake ($14.99)

Fried Chicken

Veggie wrap with avocado spread, tabbouleh, avocado and tomato salad with [Read more…]

Reservations For Dine With An Imagineer, Wishes Dessert Party, and More Now Available Online

Great news from the Disney Parks Blog! The online reservations system at DisneyWorld.com is getting better and better, and now you can book some of Disney’s special event meals there, too!

Special Event Dining Reservations

Head over to DisneyWorld.com/dining to book Dine with an Imagineer, the Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party (also known to us as the Wishes Dessert Party), Fantasmic Meal Packages, the Chef’s Tasting dinner at Flying Fish, and Candlelight Dinner Packages!

Guest Review: Disneyland’s Fantasmic! Premium Viewing Dessert Package

Heather Sievers, a Disneyland food expert, Mom, and inventor of Time Out Spots, is back with another great Disneyland review! Today she’s sharing her experience at the Fantasmic! Premium Viewing Dessert Event! Take it away, Heather!

Disneyland's Fantasmic Dragon

As an annual pass holder for over 15 years, it’s a little embarrassing to say that I had never seen the whole Fantasmic show, until now!

Atmosphere
The crowd has always turned me off; they send out the cast members waving their light sticks in their yellow Fantasmic uniforms way before the show starts and the sea of people makes it impossible to get a good standing position unless you’re willing to plant yourself and stake a claim a few hours before the show starts. There are one-way walk ways, people telling you where to walk and where not to walk, the whole scene is pretty wild. Not interested in the chaos? Me neither.

So, as a special treat, I bought my family Fantasmic premium viewing tickets and it was amazing! We knew that the tickets came with great seats and dessert, but we had no idea how elaborate the [Read more…]

Fantasmic! Lunch Dining Packages Announced

Disney World has extended their popular Fantasmic! Dining Packages into the lunch hours! Lunch packages with reserved seating at the show are now available at The Hollywood Brown Derby and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano. Here are the details:

  • Packages can be booked on all dates when Fantasmic! is scheduled
  • Guests should arrive 30-45 minutes prior to the show time to take advantage of their designated seating
  • When there are two performances on the same night, the package is valid for the first performance only
  • Make reservations by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463) up to 180 days in advance
  • Don’t forget to pick up your VIP voucher for Fantasmic! at the end of the meal

Source: Disney Parks Blog