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Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter

Revel in the romance and pageantry of New Orleans’s historic French Quarter at this Resort hotel, where cobblestone streets, gas lamps, wrought-iron balconies and fragrant magnolia blossoms evoke the Antebellum era and colorful Mardi Gras characters and jazz keep things lively. Then stroll along the Sassagoula River to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, home to Cajun and Creole specialties.

Recreation:
At Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter, Doubloon Lagoon is home to Scales: the 51-foot-long sea serpent slide whose tongue splashes you into the lagoon. It’s Mardi Gras every day with the water play area, a whirlpool spa, and the Mardi Grogs pool bar.

Take your family on a horse-drawn carriage ride as you take in the rustic beauty along the pathways and banks of the Sassagoula River. Each ride is 25 minutes and reservations are recommended.

There are plenty of more activities you and your family can enjoy such as movies under the stars, campfires complete with smores, bike rentals, fishing, and an arcade too!

Dining:
Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory is a quick-service restaurant at Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter where you can enjoy traditional Cajun and Creole cuisine such as beignets, jamalaya with sausage and cornbread, and create-your-own rice bowls.

Scat Cat’s Club is a Southern-style jazz lounge with a full bar serving specialty cocktails, draft beer, and mouth-watering appetizers all while you enjoy live music.

Transportation:
Enjoy a leisurely cruise to Disney Springs on the complimentary water taxi. Disney’s bus transportation is available to and from all Disney’s theme and water parks.

Experience the enchanting rustic beauty and southern hospitality of the bayou at this picturesque Disney Resort hotel. For more information about this resort and booking your next Disney vacation, visit us online today! We are you concierge to the magic and much more!

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

Discover a place where simple pleasures flourish and Southern hospitality abounds. From the stately white-column mansions of Magnolia Bend to the quaint backwoods cottages of Alligator Bayou, delight in this picturesque Resort hotel that evokes the romance and tranquility of rural Louisiana.

Recreation: 
At Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside, you can have a good ol’ time at Ol’ Man Island: a 3.5-acre refuge with a swimming pool with a rustic waterslide that is fashioned after an abandoned sawmill. Nearby is a whirlpool tub, a kiddie pool, and the Muddy Rivers pool bar. Everyone can enjoy a daily pool party, an evening campfire, and a movie screening on select nights.

Throughout the resort are also five leisure pools – three in Alligator Bayou and two in Magnolia Bend – offering a more relaxing spot for you to lounge the day away.

Take your family on a horse-drawn carriage ride as you take in the rustic beauty along the pathways and banks of the Sassagoula River. Each ride is 25 minutes and reservations are recommended.

Dining:
Boatwright’s Dining Hall is a casual restaurant where your family can enjoy tasty New Orleans cooking in a rustic shipyard warehouse. After dinner, stop by the River Roost lounge for live entertainment and southern-style cocktails. A full bar and light snacks are also available while the kitchen is open.

Riverside Mill Food Court is open all day and night for quick service dining. Whether you’re craving pizza & pasta, something sweet, or something grilled, you’ll be sure to find it here.

Transportation:
Enjoy a leisurely cruise to Disney Springs on the complimentary water taxi. Disney’s bus transportation is available to and from all Disney’s theme and water parks.

Experience the enchanting rustic beauty and southern hospitality of the bayou at this picturesque Disney Resort hotel. For more information about this resort and booking your next Disney vacation, visit us online today! We are you concierge to the magic and much more!

The Polite Pig to Open April 10 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

The Polite Pig to Open April 10 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

Finishing touches are being made for the April 10 opening of The Polite Pig in Town Center at Disney Springs, the newest concept for award-winning Orlando Chefs James and Julie Petrakis. The husband-wife team, also owners of The Ravenous Pig and Swine & Sons in Winter Park and Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport, are opening this newest concept with James Petrakis’ brother Brian.

The Polite Pig will feature “modern barbecue” in an open kitchen, with Southern sides like a tomato and watermelon salad, mac and cheese and smoked corn with lime butter. (Sauce fans, there’s a bar with seven different ways to top your ‘cue, from Layla’s Sweet to Fresno Hot Sauce.) Add a solid selection of craft beers and cocktails, and a bourbon bar with more than 50 selections, from small batch bourbons to a Pappy Van Winkle 23-Year Family Reserve.

Disney recently talked with Julie, who met James, by the way, while studying at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Both are Central Florida natives.

Why did you decide to open at restaurant at Disney Springs?
Disney approached us with the idea of opening a fast-casual outpost that would represent the atmosphere and quality of our Winter Park location, The Ravenous Pig. We shared their enthusiasm for bringing a true local restaurant to Disney Springs.

Is the menu similar to The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, your other restaurants in Central Florida?
I would say that the menu is similar in its approach to using quality, seasonal ingredients, with our signature touch. We’ll have Cask & Larder Brewery beers, cocktails on tap and also an extensive Bourbon Bar. And this restaurant will focus a bit more on wood-smoked and grilled items.

Anything you’ll offer at The Polite Pig that will be a signature, or exclusive to that restaurant?
Most of the menu will be exclusive to The Polite Pig: modern barbecue with The Ravenous Pig twist. Like the Southern Pig Sandwich with pulled pork off the smoker, apple slaw, mustard sauce and Duke’s mayo; peel-and-eat shrimp with bourbon-cocktail sauce, and crispy Brussels sprouts with whiskey caramel.

Who will be the chef daily in The Polite Pig kitchen?
We have two of our Ravenous Pig/Cask & Larder veterans at the helm, Jared Thate and Allie Weldon, along with Chef James Petrakis’ guidance and inspiration.

Tell us about the craft beer program.
We will feature four of our beloved Cask & Larder Brewery brews on tap, as well as a couple other Florida/domestic craft beers.

Anything special about The Polite Pig cocktails?
We will feature five house cocktails on tap, including some of our crowd favorites from The Ravenous Pig, such as the Gin and Tonic and Old-Fashioned.

How many seats and describe the décor.
We’ll have 190 seats, and the décor pays homage to the beloved swine of The Polite Pig, as well as antiquity. Whimsical pigs on various adventures can be seen throughout the space, and rustic touches are used for custom featured art pieces. Large faded graphics also adorn the main wall of the space adding to the feel of the long-time family run business.

What’s your favorite dish on The Polite Pig menu?
My favorite appetizer is the Hop Salt Pretzel with beer cheese fondue and IPA mustard. Favorite sandwich: the Salmon BLT with bacon jam, marinated tomato, romaine and aioli. I love that with a side of charred broccoli tossed with herb buttermilk dressing and house granola.

What do you think is the secret to good food?
Using quality seasonal ingredients and taking great care of it by enhancing with smoke/cooking, proper seasoning and passion!

Don’t Miss the Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Disney Springs

Don’t Miss the Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Disney Springs

With a kick-off that’s less than 10 days away, now is the time to mark your calendar and make plans to take part in the most authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Central Florida: The Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Disney Springs.

The team at Americas #1 Irish Pub takes the holiday seriously and recently shared their top tips on how to “celebrate like the Irish:”

  • Please don’t call the holiday “St. Patty’s.” It’s either “St. Patrick’s Day” or “St. Paddy’s.”
  • A shamrock has three leaves (not four – that would be a clover).
  • Americans invented the St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737 in Boston.
  • Most Irish pubs do a full month’s business on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Guinness sells 13 million pints on St. Patrick’s Day versus the usual 5 million daily.
  • Green beer is an American invention. Raglan Road does not serve green beer.

Though green beer isn’t on the menu, a full line-up of entertainment is on tap, along with a mighty selection of beers, spirits and craft cocktails served alongside exceptional Irish fare.

New to the Raglan Road stage this year, the Young Dubliners will bring their hearty rock and Irish-infused tunes to the celebration, as will the Byrne Brothers, featuring brothers Luca, 12, Finn, 10, and Dempsey, 7; expect them to dazzle the audience with fun interactions during their sets. Rounding out the entertainment schedule are HanaLena Band, The Raglan Roots Coalition, Swingin’ On the Gate, Rollickin’ Rua and the Raglan Road Irish Dancers.

Don’t Miss the Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Disney Springs

On the food and beverage front, guests can order from popular brunch, lunch, bar and dinner menus, including loin of bacon and cabbage, the authentic Irish dish of St. Patrick’s Day. My favorite continues to be the pub’s fish and chips, which will be available throughout the weekend in the main dining room as well as at the nearby Cooke’s of Dublin Counter-service eatery. Pair your selection with Guinness, the new Mighty Festival brew (a collaboration with the local Orange Blossom Brewing Co.) or a Bailey’s Shake for the perfect combo.

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Irish holiday attire is encouraged, but for those who need an extra dose of shamrock flair, complimentary face painting will be available from noon – 8 p.m. daily during the festival.

Please note: On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis with a cover charge of $10 for each guest age 18 and older. To make reservations for other festival days, contact your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner.

The festivities take place from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. March 16-19, 2017. Will you be celebrating at Raglan Road this St. Patrick’s Season? If so, let us know in the comments below!

Iconic Disney Destination Undergoes Complete Transformation to Become Paddlefish

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4. Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4. The seafood-centric restaurant, formerly known as Fulton’s Crab House, has undergone an extensive, multimillion-dollar transformation which involved a full renovation with a brand new design (interior and exterior) that has transformed the vessel into a modern yacht experience.

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4.

The aesthetic of Paddlefish was inspired by a modern, seafaring yacht with its clean lines, crisp designs, refined woods and a sophisticated color palette of blues and grays. Purposeful elements will be showcased in the dining areas such as booths that are put into spaces with great views and a bar that overlooks the paddlewheel. Unique design features include opening up all of the windows for an open-air feel and bar areas decorated with brass accents that resemble fish gills.

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4.

“We’re excited to embark upon Paddlefish’s next voyage, and can’t wait for guests to share this new experience with us,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy Restaurants. “As Disney Springs evolves and grows, we’re looking forward to sharing this newly reimagined restaurant with both vacationers and Florida locals.”

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4.

Paddlefish’s menu will showcase fresh seafood including Maine lobster, King and Snow crabs and a selection of fresh fish including sea bass, catfish and salmon. Fan favorites and classic dishes from Fulton’s Crab House, such as Lobster Corn Dogs and Crab Legs, will still be offered on the menu alongside new, contemporary options such as Lobster Risotto and Jambalaya. The menu also features interactive dining experiences including tableside services like Lobster Guacamole and Branzino for Two carved right at your table.

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4.

“It’s been incredible to have this opportunity to not only completely redevelop the menu, but also the kitchen design to accommodate it,” said Executive Chef Mark Boor. “I’ve put my heart and soul into creating a well-balanced menu that will have something that appeals to every palate and I’m excited to finally welcome guests onboard and see that hard work and vision come to life.”

Paddlefish will also showcase unique beverage offerings. The cocktail menu was inspired by classic, turn-of-the-century American cocktails and gives them a unique, modern spin with fresh ingredients and spirits that are house made by small craft artisan distillers. “We’ve really dug deep into finding some truly rare and amazing wines and spirits along with our favorite, familiar classics,” said General Manager, Jimmy Kraus. “Our goal was to have cocktails that feel timeless, unique and balanced.”

Levy Restaurants is excited to announce the grand opening of Paddlefish, its newest dining experience at Disney Springs, on Saturday, February 4.

Paddlefish will be open for lunch and dinner in addition to offering a Sunday brunch. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy three unique dining room experiences on the ship, which can seat a total 760 guests. Guests can enjoy their meal in the main dining room, in the “Boil Room” where guests can create their own seafood boils or on the rooftop deck where guests can sip on shared punch bowls and snack on shared plates while soaking in the sun and views of Lake Buena Vista and Disney Springs. Paddlefish also offers versatile private dining rooms and event spaces to accommodate celebrations or meetings from 20 to 1,000 guests.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Opens at Disney Springs

Planet Hollywood Observatory has opened its flagship location in the heart of Disney Springs™ at Walt Disney World® Resort, transforming its iconic globe into a four-story stargazing observatory with new spaces including an outdoor terrace, a new menu and an exciting new look and feel.

Inside it’s an immersive theatrical dining experience, with each floor providing a different ambiance, including the fabulous curated collection of film-making memorabilia and a 4,500-square-foot video wall the uses trompe l’oeil 3D technology – images with such realism that they appear to be in three dimensions.

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Classic Planet Hollywood dishes are on the new menu, as well as a selection of over-the-top burgers and sandwiches by celebrity Chef Guy Fieri. Desserts are a hallmark of the restaurant, like the hand-dipped milkshakes and generous sweets made for sharing.

Beer, wine and cocktails offer a little something for every taste, and Stargazers Lounge has a beverage menu that focuses on Florida craft beers (with 20 on tap) and 10 signature cocktails.

The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. The new 5,000 square-foot Stargazers Lounge that will let you relax under the stars will be opening soon.

Re-Imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory Opens at Disney Springs

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Planet Hollywood Observatory has opened its flagship location in the heart of Disney Springs, transforming its iconic globe into a four-story stargazing observatory with new spaces including an outdoor terrace, a new menu and an exciting new look and feel.

Inside it’s an immersive theatrical dining experience, with each floor providing a different ambience, including the fabulous curated collection of film-making memorabilia and a 4,500-square-foot video wall the uses trompe l’oeil 3D technology – images with such realism that they appear to be in three dimensions.

Classic Planet Hollywood dishes are on the new menu, as well as a selection of over-the-top burgers and sandwiches by celebrity Chef Guy Fieri. Desserts are a hallmark of the restaurant, like the hand-dipped milkshakes and generous sweets made for sharing.

Beer, wine and cocktails offer a little something for every taste, and Stargazers Lounge has a beverage menu that focuses on Florida craft beers (with 20 on tap) and 10 signature cocktails.

The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. The new 5,000 square-foot Stargazers Lounge that will let guests relax under the stars will be opening soon.

Paddlefish Set to Open Feb. 4 at Disney Springs

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Adding to the spectacular dining lineup at Disney Springs, Paddlefish will open Feb. 4 following a multimillion-dollar transformation and a seafood-centric menu that includes a few guest favorites from the former Fulton’s Crab House.

The iconic paddleboat at Disney Springs has been reimagined into a modern yacht experience by Levy Restaurants, with clean lines, crisp designs, refined woods and a sophisticated color pallet of blues and grays.

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As the name suggests, Paddlefish showcases a seafood-centric menu, featuring delectable Maine lobster, King and Snow crabs and a selection of fresh fish including sea bass, catfish and salmon. Branzino for two is carved tableside, and a new lobster guacamole is also mixed in the dining room. Fan favorites and classic dishes from Fulton’s Crab House remain, such as Lobster Corn Dogs and crab legs.

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Cocktails are inspired by classic turn-of-the-century American cocktails, and an expansive wine list includes both Old and New World wines.

Paddlefish will be open daily for lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch.

From Light to Indulgent, Something for Every Taste at Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs

From the return of the classic World Famous Chicken Crunch to Guy Fieri’s take on a veggie burger, the new Planet Hollywood Observatory set to open in early 2017 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort offers even more options for guests.

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Let’s start with indulgent, like the L.A. Lasagna, a fried take on the classic comfort food with Bolognese sauce, roasted garlic cream and tomato basil sauce. Or one of Fieri’s new Big Bite Burgers or Knuckle Sandwiches – the Bacon Mac-N-Cheese with his signature Donkey Sauce on a garlic-buttered brioche bun. You can have Lobster Feast Fra Diavolo with kicky spaghetti piled high in a whole lobster shell. A 10-ounce bone-in New York Strip Steak for two (add a whole steamed lobster if you please). And if you can’t decide, go for the High Roller Platter, a generous serving of guest favorites: Chicken Crunch, Texas Tostados, Buffalo Wings, Cheesy Spinach Dip and Peri-Peri Shrimp – perfect for the whole table to share.

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Healthful options include salads like Citrus Kale with julienned broccoli, slivered brussels sprouts and cabbage, feta, grapefruit, oranges, cranberries and sunflower seeds with citrus-agave dressing. The Spinach & Berries salad features candied walnuts, blue cheese crumbles and balsamic vinaigrette.

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The beverage menu focuses on Florida craft beers and hand-crafted cocktails made with fresh ingredients. And those souvenir serving glasses are back, including the Halley’s Comet cocktail served in a 45-ounce Planet-bowl.

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Oh, those delectable milkshakes return (try the new Chocolate Comet or Strawberry Borealis), and the dessert menu alone is worth the trip – you can do a blind tasting of 12 flavors of house-made ice creams and sorbets, or finish with the Planet Melt Down, a chocolate hardshell dome that’s melted tableside with hot chocolate sauce to reveal double chocolate fudge cake, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It’s out of this world.

Disney Parks Prepares for Most ‘Magical Christmas Celebration’ Airing Dec. 25

Following a festive kick-off to the holidays that began Thanksgiving Day with two new broadcast specials, Disney Parks will close out 2016 with its most cherished seasonal tradition of all – the annual Christmas Day spectacular. “The Disney Parks’ Magical Christmas Celebration” airs Sunday, December 25, 2016, on the ABC Television Network (10a.m. – 12 p.m. ET; airtimes vary; check local listings) and on the ABC and the Disney Channel apps.

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Ushering in its 33rd year are the dynamic brother-sister duo from “Dancing with the Stars,” Julianne Hough and Derek Hough, who will present the two-hour ABC special from the Walt Disney World Resort. The season’s most eagerly awaited celebration culminates with the fan-favorite Christmas parade delivered by Disneyland correspondent, Good Morning America’s Jesse Palmer from the action-packed parade lines alongside other exciting celebrity guests.

Beyond offering an all-star performance lineup featuring the biggest names in music and entertainment, the joyous program will provide viewers with a necessary holiday reminder: the importance of family togetherness. Following the inspirational stories of the families introduced in the Thanksgiving Day special, the telecast will feature heartwarming moments between loved ones, reinforcing the notion that Christmas is all about friends and family coming together.

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Taking viewers on a magical ride down Main Street U.S.A. and beyond, the Christmas Day festivities will be bigger and brighter than ever before. A complete list of musical performances is included below.

  • Alessia Cara performs a “A Holly Jolly Christmas” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
    Mariah Carey performs one of the biggest selling holiday songs of all time, “All I Want for Christmas is You” from the Disneyland Resort
  • Sofia Carson delivers a new arrangement of “Silent Night” from her Disney Channel performance and also hosts from backstage at Walt Disney World Resort
  • Kelly Clarkson performs “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in front of Cinderella Castle at the Walt Disney World Resort
  • Gavin DeGraw sings “Merry Christmas Baby” in front of Cinderella Castle at the Walt Disney World Resort
  • Jordan Fisher performs “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
  • OneRepublic performs “Kids” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
  • Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks deliver in front of Cinderella Castle at the Walt Disney World Resort solo and duet performances from their new album, “Christmas Together,” out now

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In keeping with the spirit of the season, Disney Parks around the world are festively cast with spectacular experiences and special castle lighting moments, making them the perfect destinations for families celebrating the holidays and for the beloved ABC special.

  • All four parks of the Walt Disney World Resort get in the holiday spirit with new shows, thrilling spectaculars and beloved characters to create lasting memories. At Magic Kingdom Park, in addition to exciting new entertainment for the special-ticket “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party,” Cinderella Castle transforms into a shimmering ice palace as Queen Elsa leads “A Frozen Holiday Wish” nightly. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, an all-new “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” sends beloved Disney characters on a mission to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve. At Epcot, in addition to global entertainment, guests can explore what the holidays taste like around the world. For its first-ever full holiday celebration, Disney Springs is wrapped in festive décor and entertainment, while dozens of new stores have laid the welcome mat out for holiday shoppers. An all-new nightly spectacle, “Starbright Holidays,” fills the skies above Disney Springs with 300 show drones performing an amazing aerial ballet set to holiday music.
  • At Disney California Adventure Park in the Disneyland Resort, a new “Festival of Holidays” treats guests to music, dance, food and heartwarming holiday traditions. The popular World of Color nighttime water spectacular is also transformed into “World of Color – Season of Light” with holiday music and treasured Disney animation. Among a sleigh-full of holiday events and activities at Disneyland Park is “A Christmas Fantasy,” a daily parade of floats, music, tin soldiers and holiday cheer. In addition, Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle creates magical snowfall moments along Main Street, U.S.A.

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The 33rd annual Christmas celebration airs nationwide on December 25 at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. CST, MST and PST on the ABC Television Network. The show will also be available on the ABC and the Disney Channel apps.

Holiday Shopping Made Fun for Little Ones at Disney Springs

For many parents, the thought of holiday shopping with their kids in tow sounds like a surefire way to put a damper on the spirit of the season. The reality is that it’s not always possible to get away for a few hours, especially during this busy time of year.

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Our solution? Do your shopping at Disney Springs, and build in time for the kids to have some fun, too! There are countless scenarios, but here’s what we’d suggest:

SHOPPING: Start your day in Town Center, picking up presents for some of the fellow grown-ups on your list. Make sure to visit UNIQLO (where the fashions are on-trend and the looks are affordable) and let your son or daughter spin the famous UNIQLO prize wheel after you check out – kids love it! Next? Stop by nearby UNDER ARMOUR BRAND HOUSE where they’ve recently debuted a new virtual reality experience. For the perfect stocking stuffers, stock up on bath bombs from Basin in the Marketplace; while there, try out one of their latest scrubs for your own mini spa-like service. Then there’s World of Disney, with something to thrill Disney every fan in your life.

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TREATS: Looking for an incentive to encourage good behavior? Options abound! I’m currently craving the new Gingerbread cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes, but the peppermint milkshake from D-Luxe Burger or a holiday-inspired specialty apple from Candy Cauldron would also do the trick! If frozen treats are more your style, the seasonal flavors from Vivoli il Gelato are a sure bet.

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SANTA: Make sure your kids have their wish lists ready to share with Santa – he’s available daily from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. through Christmas Eve. With the convenient pager system (just check in at the podium when you arrive), your wait time in line is minimal.

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EATS: Fuel up with lunch or dinner. Kids go crazy for Rainforest Café or T-REX, both located in the Marketplace. Other favorites include The BOATHOUSE where kids’ meals come in tiny amphicars or Morimoto Asia where special chop sticks let kids practice their culinary etiquette.

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HOLIDAY FUN: During this time of year, your visit isn’t complete without a trek through the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail. (Tip: Find out which tree your kids love most, then let them choose an ornament to take home from Disney’s Days of Christmas, where literally thousands of ornaments are available for sale.) Every evening at 6:00 p.m. the nightly tree lighting ceremony kicks off the evening with a festive glow. Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt is not to be missed – it’s a scavenger hunt style adventure designed for families with kids of all ages. Cap off the night with a viewing of “Starbright Holidays | An Intel Collaboration” featuring 300 show drones choreographed in a stunning aerial ballet in the sky, at 7:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m.

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FAMILIAR FAVORITES: For some kids (my oldest niece included!), it’s impossible to visit Disney Springs without a ride on the Marketplace Carousel and Marketplace Train. Take a few minutes to indulge your kids, and their memories of your “shopping day” at Disney Springs will be nothing but fond!

First Look at Stargazer Lounge at Planet Hollywood in Disney Springs

The theme of the re-imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World® Resort will still feature stars from the big screen, but much of the new focus will be on stars in the sky, as the restaurant completes its transformation into a turn-of-the-20th-century observatory.

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Food and drink menus are soon to be revealed, but Guests can expect more famous movie memorabilia, video screens, cutting edge music and a store featuring themed merchandise.

Opening later this year in Town Center at Disney Springs, the restaurant will feature Stargazer Lounge where you will find signature craft cocktails with names that reflect the planets and space travel – including The Observatory and the Sparkling Sputnik.

Stay tuned here for more information! We’ll be updating this post as new information is shared!

The Polite Pig Restaurant to Open at Disney Springs in Spring 2017

The Polite Pig will bring a new twist on favorite local flavors to Disney Springs when it opens in spring 2017.

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A sister restaurant to The Ravenous Pig of Winter Park, FL, The Polite Pig will feature a variety of wood-fired smoked and grilled items as well as an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks on tap, including locally-brewed Cask & Larder beer, wine and cocktails.

Owners and James Beard award nominees James and Julie Petrakis are partnering with James’ brother (who operates another popular Orlando-area eatery, Greens & Grille) to open the new restaurant, located in the Town Center neighborhood of Disney Springs. The 5,000-square-foot venue will be open daily for lunch and dinner, with seating for about 200 guests.

“As a locally-based restaurant group, it’s great to bring our new concept to Disney Springs where we’ll have the opportunity to showcase genuine Florida cuisine for guests from around the world,” James Petrakis said. “With so many talented chefs opening new restaurants at Disney Springs, we’re really excited to be part of a group helping Central Florida distinguish itself as a world-class culinary destination.”

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Now Open New Location At Disney Springs

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney Springs has moved to a new location near Once Upon a Toy.

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Inspired by Walt Disney’s “Cinderella,” the newly expanded salon has a country home-inspired feel that complements the theming of Disney Springs. Here, Fairy Godmothers-in-Training will continue making magical transformations for Guests ages 3-12. Girls can choose a hairstyle then add make-up, nail color and accessories – even a Disney princess costume. Boys can join in the fun too, as they’re transformed into gallant knights.

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There are interactive elements, décor and artwork found throughout the Boutique – including a tile mural of Cinderella Castle.

As a reminder, all Disney PhotoPass photos taken at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are included with the purchase of Memory Maker if captured during the applicable Memory Maker window.

Reservations for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are highly recommended. Appointments can be made up to 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-STYLE.

Disney Springs Grand Opening Summer Celebration Now Underway!

With even more live entertainment for summer, special décor, sales at many retailers, and fun warm weather-inspired enhancements, now is the perfect time for you to discover Disney Springs.

Now through Labor Day, you can check out a few of these exciting additions during the Disney Springs Grand Opening Summer Celebration.

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On any given night, there are more than 20 different entertainment acts performing throughout the four Disney Springs neighborhoods. This free entertainment includes a variety of live musicians, improvisational rappers, DJs, Living Statues and, depending on the night your visit, maybe even a roaming illusionist. This summer, we’re adding some local talent including Sleeping Sunset (Pop), The I-4 Band (Top 40), Chaz Robinson (Pop), Casey Conroy (Contemporary/Pop), Plus 1 (Country), Vintage Vinyl (Contemporary with a vintage sound), Dayve Stewart (Jazz), CeCe Teneal (R&B), The Gerry Williams Band (Funk), and The Liam Duncan Trio (Current Acoustic).

Every afternoon, the Marketplace Fountain will be flowing, giving Guests young and old the chance to splash the day away during the Beat the Heat DJ Party. With a combination of chill summer tunes and a variety of ice-cold, frosty beverages (with options for adults and kids) nearby, this will be THE spot to cool down.

Plus, many locations around Town Center, our newest neighborhood, will offer some hard-to-pass-up deals, with some lasting all summer. For example right now, a variety of shops are offering 10-60% off select items and purchases including Columbia Sportswear, Lucky Brand, Alex and Ani, Melissa Shoes, Francesca’s Edwin Pearl, JOHNNY WAS, ZARA, LACOSTE, Johnston & Murphy, Sperry, Kipling, UNOde50 and more (subject to change).

And, with festive Grand Opening décor throughout the property, limited-edition “Grand Opening” treats at select locations and roaming Disney PhotoPass photographers with Disney Springs Grand Opening-themed frames to pose with – you will definitely feel there’s something special in the air!

Getting to Disney Springs is easier than ever. If you are staying at a Disney Resort hotel, they can take complimentary bus transportation that drops off in the heart of Town Center. Or, if they choose to drive, they can access the property from I-4 West via a new connection that leads directly to one of our two convenient parking garages. Both feature complimentary parking and smart technology that identifies open parking spaces. Valet parking is also available.

Be sure to encourage you to discover Disney Springs this summer!

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