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VIDEO TOUR – The Art Corner! – NEW SHOP now open at Disney Springs – Artistic Talent Group – Walt Disney World

 

On my most recent trip to Walt Disney World I just so happened to visit Disney Springs on a very special day! I was strolling through Disney Springs on the opening day of The Art Corner, a brand-new shop run by Artistic Talent Group! Talk about being in the right place at the right time! This trip I was staying at a Disney Springs Resort Area Hotel and upon checking in my family and I first decided to head over and explore Disney Springs for a bit before making our way to the parks for our evening plans.

 

During our walk through the Marketplace side of Disney Springs we spotted The Art Corner! This new store took the place of where LittleMissMatched used to be. Having not recognized this new shop we wondered inside and were instantly amazed by all of the creativity that is flowing through this incredible new place! We were greeted by many smiling faces who were so kind to talk to us about everything that The Art Corner has to offer! Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to see inside!

 

 

Artistic Talent Group has brought a brand-new retail and entertainment concept to Disney Springs! This shop specializes in interactive art of all kinds! Visitors to the store can expect to see a wide selection of unique artistic mediums brought together inside of The Art Corner!

 

Opening!

The shop opened February 7th 2019 at Disney Springs. The store brings an exciting and original new pop-up concept to Disney World’s bustling shopping, dining and entertainment district!

The Art Corner serves as the first brick-and-mortar retail shop of its kind at Walt Disney World, The Art Corner brings together in one location the work from a variety of talented artists!

 

What’s inside!

The Art Corner showcases talented artists producing original work including classic watercolor caricatures, ground-breaking digital caricatures, hand-drawn names and artistic marbling. Caricatures have been a guest favorite at Walt Disney World for decades! Now brand-new, digital caricatures offer an innovative twist on this classic art form.

 

 

 

Name Works, the popular provider of personalized artwork, also has a new location inside The Art Corner, complementing its other locations across Walt Disney World! At Name Works, hand-drawn names are created and personalized with illustrations of guests’ favorite things, including select animated characters!

 

 

After a successful debut at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts in 2018, the interactive, hands-on artistic marbling activity now has a year-round home inside The Art Corner. This customizable experience allows guests to learn the ancient art form of Suminigashi, working along-side a professional artisan to create custom-made silk items. Each piece is designed with specific colors and patterns that the guest themselves get to select!

 

 

Inside The Art Corner you will also find a unique “Coffee & Canvas” gallery by Steven Mikel. Steven is an artist from Coconut Creek, Florida who is represented by Artisitic talent Group. This artist’s work adds a very original touch of whimsy to the store. Focused on revealing the overlooked or unnoticed beauty tucked away in the details of the world around us, Steven paints exclusively using different varieties of coffee!  Every painting often requiring between 60 to 150 brewed cups! The “Coffee & Canvas” gallery helps define the unique niche this gallery/merchandise location brings to Disney Springs over the course of its one-year engagement.

 

“Our goal is to continue Walt Disney’s vision of bringing smiles to the faces of every guest who visits our store, just as they do when they visit Walt Disney World Resort,” said Barbara and Keelan Parham, owners of Artistic Talent Group. “We are thrilled to open our doors and bring The Art Corner to life at Disney Springs!”

 

I had the privilege to Interview The Art Corner’s Owner, Keelan Parham. He was so kind to welcome us into his shop and take us on a tour throughout the store to see everything that The Art Corner has for guests to enjoy! Watch the tour on our YouTube Channel:

 

 

Artistic Talent Group

Artistic Talent Group (ATG) is a talent agency representing visual artists for the special events industry. ATG divisions include Caricature Connection, who have been drawing caricatures and other products on Disney property for over twenty-five years, and Name Works, who create personalized pieces of artwork featuring guest’s names.

 

 

Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel Planner to plan your next vacation!

Disney’s Saratoga Springs 2 Bedroom Villa – Preferred Room Tour! Walt Disney World

 

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort at Walt Disney World is a gorgeous deluxe property! I have personally stayed here twice and have had a wonderful experience both times! This resort ranks as being one of my all-time favorites and I am excited to share with you why I enjoy it so much!

 

 

Saratoga Springs is themed to the historic Saratoga Springs that existed in New York in the late 1800’s as a well-known retreat that was known for its spas and horse racing! The theming throughout the resort sets this scene! Everything from the rooms, to the lobby, to the grounds is detailed to transport you to that time and place! This Victorian-style resort sits in-between Village Lake and the rolling greens of the golf course!

 

 

This may be a turn of the century-themed resort but it is stocked full of every modern luxury you want! There are also wonderful amenities located right on the resort’s property such as Senses Spa and Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. When you are looking to grab a bite, you will love the onsite dining locations! You will find everything from grab-&-go and quick-service meals at The Artist Palette, to gourmet dishes at the Turf Club. The resort features a main pool area as well as several quite pools located throughout the entire property! The grounds are tranquil and serene. It is a great place to be if you are looking to relax!

 

 

What I love most about this resort is its location! Saratoga Spring is location directly across the lake from Disney Springs! You are so close you can actually walk straight from the resort over to Disney Springs by the connecting walkways! There is also boat transportation that will take you over! This close location is super convenient for being able to just pop over to Disney Springs to grab a drink, get a bite to eat, shop or just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. Disney Springs is a great spot to hangout and unwind after a day in the park. However, having to take bus transportation to Disney Springs after a long day in the parks might hinder you from coming over every night. That’s why staying at Saratoga Spring is so wonderful! Being walking distance from Disney Springs you have the ability to enjoy this awesome spot in a more relaxed way and much more often.

 

 

I recently got to stay in a 2-bedroom villa here at Saratoga Springs. This villa was incredible and very spacious! Join us on a room tour in our new YouTube video!

 

 

Have you ever stayed at Saratoga Springs? Contact your Kingdom Magic Vacation Travel planner to plan your next magical vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort or to any destination that you are dreaming of next!

 

12 Must-Dos During the Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort

There’s so much to see and experience across Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday season! Here are 12 must-dos for guests:

1. See the all-new Toy Story Land Holiday Decor
This new immersive land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be decked out with festive spirit during the holidays. New decor will include an oversized cranberry-and-popcorn garland and a 10-foot-tall Hamm sugar cookie at Woody’s Lunch Box, as well as green alien ornaments near the entrance to Alien Swirling Saucers, just to name a few. Plus, guests will hear sleigh bells ringing on Slinky Dog Dash, while Alien Swirling Saucers will offer two holiday tracks with themed lighting. The characters will also show off new holiday looks for the season – Woody and Jessie will wear special holiday vests and sprigs of holly on their hats, while Buzz Lightyear will don a snazzy Santa hat.

2. Catch showings of Sunset Seasons Greetings and “Jingle Ball, Jingle BAM!”
Guests should definitely make plans to see both of the nighttime shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that are special to the season. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” follows the animated elves from “Disney Prep & Landing” as they search for Santa Claus, who has gone missing. Iconic music, fireworks, special effects and state-of-the-art projections help bring this spectacular to life. And over on Sunset Boulevard, new laser effects add even more sparkle to Sunset Seasons Greetings, the towering holiday projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Throughout the night, the show features Mickey Mouse, Olaf and other beloved Disney characters sharing their favorite seasonal stories.

3. Enjoy Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Get into the festive spirit at this specially ticketed, after-hours party at Magic Kingdom Park. Indulge in complimentary sweet holiday treats, enjoy specialty entertainment such as the awe-inspiring Holiday Wishes fireworks spectacular and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, and celebrate the spirit of the season with unforgettable experiences, including snow flurries on Main Street, U.S.A.

4. Don’t miss A Frozen Holiday Wish
Guests can get swept up in the holiday spirit when Queen Elsa transforms Cinderella Castle into the gorgeous, glistening, icy holiday centerpiece of Magic Kingdom. Featuring appearances by Anna and Elsa, along with rugged mountain man Kristoff and the lovable snowman Olaf, this merry-and-bright seasonal show culminates in Queen Elsa using her incredible powers to present a gift to everyone in the kingdom.

5. Savor new items from Epcot Holiday Kitchens
Holiday Kitchens offer delectable bites inspired by holiday traditions around the world. Every holiday season brings new tastes and treats. New this year is the L’Chaim! Kitchen featuring traditional Hebrew dishes such as pastrami on rye, chicken and matzo ball soup, egg cream and more. Feast of the Three Kings Kitchen will feature a new menu, including sofrito-marinated beef with sweet plantains and olives, as well as queso fresco-stuffed arepas topped with shrimp. Other new samplings include black forest roulade with cherry whipped cream at the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen in the Germany pavilion and hand-carved smoked ham with green beans and sweet potato casserole at the American Holiday Table in The American Adventure.

6. Be moved by a performance of the Candlelight Processional at Epcot
Delight in the story of Christmas as told by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a full choir and a 50-piece orchestra during a performance that inspires joy and holiday spirit. New narrators this year include Alfonso Ribeiro (Nov. 26-27) and “Moana” voice actress Auli’i Cravalho (Dec. 21-23). A great way to experience the show is with a Candlelight Processional Dining Package; guests can learn more and make reservations for the package at disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/candlelight-dinner-packages/.

7. Take in IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and other international holiday entertainment
The nighttime spectacular IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth includes a special holiday finale from Nov. 18 to Dec. 30. This will be the final holiday season for this show that takes place on and around World Showcase Lagoon. The show will conclude a 20-year run at the end of summer 2019, before new thrills debut on the lagoon immediately afterward. World Showcase is also the place to discover the sights, sounds and tastes that are part of holiday celebrations from around the world.

8. Shop till you drop at Disney Springs
There is a gift idea for everyone at Disney Springs, the shopping, dining and entertainment district at Walt Disney World. Disney fans will love the Disney-themed exclusive items at stores such as the newly reimagined World of Disney and DisneyStyle, while trendsetters will appreciate the apparel and accessories at stores such as Coach, Anthropologie, Pandora, Sephora and others. And kids will love gifts from stores like Once Upon a Toy and The LEGO Store.

9. Stroll the Christmas Tree Trail
Also at Disney Springs, guests will enjoy a walk-through wonderland filled with Christmas trees decorated with Disney imagery and characters. This year’s trail features 27 unique holiday trees with new additions inspired by Toy Story, The Haunted Mansion and Star Wars. Guests can even meet Santa at his chalet inside the trail.

10. Discover Diwali during UP! A Great Bird Adventure
This all-new show takes guests on a journey to discover some of the world’s exotic birds along with fun-loving Russell and his furry friend Dug from Disney•Pixar’s hit film “Up.” During the holiday season, a special version of the show will introduce guests to discover the story of Diwali, the holiday festival of lights in India.

11. Find gingerbread houses, Christmas trees and additional offerings at Disney resort hotels
The holiday fun continues when guests leave the parks. All Walt Disney World resort hotels are elaborately decorated, and many offer special entertainment and dining during the season. Guests can marvel at intricate, life-size gingerbread houses at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and be awed by the massive Christmas trees in the lobbies of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

12. Capture picture-perfect memories with Disney PhotoPass
The holiday season is the perfect time to pose for photos around Walt Disney World. Disney PhotoPass locations will be available in front of the iconic trees in all four theme parks and at festively decorated areas – the perfect shot for a greeting card or to help guests remember an incredible trip.

NEW Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill Now Open at Disney Springs! Walt Disney World

I love Disney Springs for all of the wonderful, shopping, dining and entertainment offerings that call Disney Springs home! There is a huge selection of stores and eateries to choose from, giving you endless options for a fun day or night out! And now I am excited to share with you that the list of places to check out at Disney Springs just got even longer! This past week Disney Springs welcomed Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill to their lineup of amazing restaurants!

Chef Wolfgang Puck has a name well known around Disney Springs! Chef Wolfgang Puck’s Counter Service location, Wolfgang Puck Express, located in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs has remained consistently open. In addition to his success at this popular quick-service location, the chef has had other Disney Spring’s eateries! If you visited Disney Springs a few years back or even when the area was known as Downtown Disney, then you may remember his previous restaurant that was located over on the West Side, Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe and Dining Room. Also on the West Side the famous chef also previously had a quick-service location which also closed in August 2017. (Fun Fact: The former location of Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe will soon be home to Jaleo by Chef José Andrés.)

 

Now we are very excited that Wolfgang Puck has a brand-new restaurant in a new location in the Town Center section of Disney Springs, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill! Here the celebrity chef will be serving up his signature California cuisine with a new twist!

 

The restaurant is located in the Town Center of Disney Springs. You can find it in between the Town Center indoor shopping complex and the Coca-Cola Store. It is directly across from Guy Ferrari’s Chicken Guy. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill has a much different atmosphere then the previous Wolfgang Puck Café. When you enter the new restaurant you immediately pick up on the very modern, fresh vibe that this new location has! It is very sleek and gives the Wolfgang Puck name a whole new identity.

Once inside Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill you will notice accents of red contrast against a pallet of neutral tones. There is a wide array of different seating arrangements including a space to host large party sizes! In addition to the crisp and clean colors, there are plenty of details that add visual appeal to the restaurant, from exposed wood beams to intricate lighting pieces. The location features many large windows giving the space a very bright and open feel. On the walls of the restaurant you can find many black and white portraits that bring a very personal touch into the space! Some of the black and white art is of fresh produce used to highlight the fresh ingredients you will find in your dishes.

 

All of these touches are great however, the true focal point of the restaurant is the on-stage kitchen where all of the culinary artistry is taking place! When you enter the restaurant to your left-hand side the first thing you are greeted by is the pizza kitchen! Chef Wolfgang Puck is known for his gourmet pizzas, so this is an appropriate welcome to the restaurant! Located in the back of the restaurant you will find the main open kitchen where all of the other wonderful dishes are coming to life!

Now here comes the part that I personally am most excited for, there’s the Gelato Bar! This Gelato bar is connected with the bakery area. You can find it to your right as you enter Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill! Not dining in at the restaurant but in the mode for dessert? Then good news, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill has you covered! You will also be able to get this gelato from the restaurant’s walk-up window! I will definitely be checking out this gelato bar on my next visit to Disney Springs!

 

So now let’s talk about the restaurant’s food! Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill menu has received a very fresh makeover when compared to the chef’s previous dining location, while still retaining some well-loved classics. This menu of “California cuisine,” offers a wide selection of options. Everyone in your party is sure to find something they will enjoy!

 

I will definitely be making a dining reservation to check out Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill on my next vacation to Walt Disney World this February! Looking at their menu I am looking forward to trying either the Basil and Shrimp Pizza or the Sea Bass! Be sure to check out this great new restaurant yourself next time you are in Disney Springs! Plan your next vacation now by contacting your Kingdom Magic Vacations Travel Planner! Our team is always ready to use their knowledge and expertise to help you plan your perfect vacation!

 

Explore the New Bourbon Trail at Disney Springs

There’s something exciting – and tasty! – coming to Disney Springs on May 1. Kick off your summer by exploring this brand-new Bourbon Trail, where guests ages 21 and older can discover bourbon-inspired beverages and food pairings. Meander through the many shops and restaurants throughout the area and find your favorites!

Each of these drinks has been carefully paired with a delicious dish, and there’s even a map that shows where to find all of them! Whether you’re a bourbon aficionado, or just enjoy sipping and savoring new drinks, this trail is perfect for an afternoon stroll or a night out with friends.

I’ve put together this guide to everything being offered on the trail, so be sure to read up and prepare your taste buds, because these offerings will only be available through June 17 and you won’t want to miss out! You might even find me strolling about and sipping on a tasty beverage myself …

House of Blues Restaurant & Bar

  • Fine and Mellow – featuring Knob Creek Bourbon, St. Elder, lemon juice, strawberry, and rhubarb bitters
  • Hurry Sundown Old Fashioned – featuring Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Benedictine, butter pecan syrup, bitters, and caramel pecan bacon
  • Smoked Brisket or Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • Homemade Bread Pudding – topped with toffee sauce and bourbon butter
    Splitsville Dining Room

    • The Trifecta – a stirred concoction of Old Forester 100, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Benedictine, and Pimento Dram
    • BBQ Chicken Pizza – smothered in BBQ sauce, topped with marinated grilled chicken, BBQ sauce, smoked gouda, mozzarella, cilantro, and red onion

    Bongos Cuban Café

    • Angel’s Envy Bourbon Mojito – featuring Angel’s Blue Envy Bourbon, simple syrup, soda water, and fresh mint leaves
    • Authentic Cuban Style Churrasco Certified Angus Beef – a 10-ounce skirt steak hand-cut and served with house-made chimichurri sauce, white rice, and beans

    YeSake

    • Strawberry Bourbon Sour Slushie – bourbon, sweet strawberry puree, and lemonade

Citrus Fresh – salmon, green leaf lettuce, cucumber, onion, spinach, and jalapeño tempura crunch wasabi ponzu sauce (available as a bowl or wrap)


Planet Hollywood Observatory

  • Bulleit Frontier Old Fashioned – featuring Bulleit Bourbon, sugar, and bitters
  • BBQ Ribs – fall-off-the-bone St. Louis-style ribs, slow cooked in-house, smothered with BBQ sauce, and served with triple fries

STK Orlando

  • Double Down – featuring Woodford Reserve and lemon juice
  • Double Smoked Bacon – served with date chutney, oven-dried tomatoes, and crispy garlic
  • Bag O’ Donuts – enhanced with dulche de leche filling and spice chocolate and raspberry sauces

Enzo’s Hideaway

  • Enzo’s Bourbon Swizzle – featuring Bulleit Bourbon, lemon juice, ginger syrup, bitters, and fresh mint sprigs with notes of spice, rye, and cedar

Salumi and Formaggi Board – an impressive selection of meats and cheeses


The Edison

  • Peach Tree Downs – a refreshing peach mint julep with a nutty pecan finish featuring Knob Creek Bourbon and Old Camp Peach Pecan Whiskey, with a rich, sweet, woody, full-bodied and almost-fruity flavor and aromas of toasted nuts, grain, and oak
  • DB Clothesline Candied Bacon – maple and black pepper-infused bacon served with a sour pickle

Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas

  • Kentucky Sunrise – featuring Jim Beam Bourbon, orange juice, and grenadine
  • Argentinian Skirt Steak – 10-ounce char-grilled skirt steak topped with caramelized onions and chimichurri and served with wasabi or truffle fries

The Ganachery

Woodford Reserve Bourbon – comprised of more than 200 delectable flavor notes, from bold grain and wood to sweet aromatics: spice, fruit, and floral notes


Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant

  • The Gold Cup – featuring Bulleit Bourbon, Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and muddled mint, lime, and cucumber
  • Dub Schpuds – herb roasted potato wedges with a Smithwick’s & Dubliner cheese dip

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

  • Coffee Old Fashioned – Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur, Joffrey’s Cold Brew Coffee, Vanilla Syrup, Aromatic Bitters, and served with a coffee ganache square

Snakebite Sliders – three gourmet beef sliders with tomato-bacon jam, house-made pickles, shredded lettuce and cheese


The Boathouse

  • Orlando Pride – featuring Old Forester Bourbon and a homemade blackberry citrus purée

Calamari – hoisin chili marinated calamari rings lightly fried with a medley of peppers and served with a side of hoisin chili sauce


Paddlefish

Southern Sangria – featuring Medley Bros. Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, peach liqueur, Tempranillo, and seasonal fruit with warm notes of caramel, oak, and spices that are followed by touches of creamy vanilla, milk chocolate, and caramelized sugar

The Pork Chop – a 10-ounce pork chop served with house-made applesauce and fresh green beans

The Polite Pig

Winner’s Circle – featuring Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Pamplemousee grapefruit liqueur, and elderflower tonic, with a rich and complex flavors and hints of vanilla, toffee, and candied fruit

The Southern Pig Sandwich – mouthwatering pulled pork, fennel-apple slaw, tangy mustard BBQ and Dukes Mayonnaise

Frontera Cocina

  • Bórbon Néctar – featuring Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, 3 dashes of organic agave, 5 drops of Elemakule Tiki Bitters, and orange peel with lean oak, corn, and caramel flavors and finishes of warm toffee, spice, and drying wood
  • Carne Asada – garlic and red chili-marinated Creekstone Natural Black Angus Steak, black beans refritos with queso fresco, and caramelized plantains with crema and Cotija cheese and served with tomatillo salsa and warm tortillas

    D-Luxe Burger

    • Smoked Bourbon Gelato Shake – vanilla gelato blended with Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon, hickory smoke, and dark chocolate sauce and topped with a bacon strip
    • Southern Burger – signature blend beef patty topped with a fried green tomato, pimento cheese, lettuce, grilled onion, and bacon

    Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

    • The Old Fashioned Elder – featuring Michter’s Bourbon and St. Germain Elderflower
    • Basil Hayden’s Mint Julep – featuring Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, simple syrup, and sprigs of fresh mint
    • Famous Thigh High Chicken Biscuits – three biscuits topped with Chef Art’s fried chicken thighs, drizzled with hot honey, and served alongside bread and butter picklesEverything on this tasty Bourbon Trail will be available at Disney Springs from May 1 to June 17, so come on out, grab a drink and a snack, and take a walk with us! You can even pick up a Bourbon Trail Passport that contains all of this info and more at the Disney Springs Welcome Center and at any participating location.

Thanks to  Alex Dunlap and the Disney Parks Blog for this post on the Bourbon Trail at Disney Springs!

 

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday season is here. And at Disney Springs, it’s not only here, but bigger and better than ever. That goes for everything from holiday shopping
to entertainment, and of course, to the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail!

Back for its second year, the Tree Trail now boasts 25 Disney-inspired trees, including ten
additions featuring iconic characters. Wondering what’s new? Peter Pan, Robin Hood, Sleeping
Beauty, Pinocchio, Snow White, Dumbo, Fantasia, and Lady and the Tramp now take center
stage with trees themed to these beloved stories. There’s also a tree featuring an assortment of
ornaments that are all available at the nearby Disney’s Days of Christmas store. (Tip: look for
the featured ornament on ALL the trees, housed inside a special display lantern; most are
available for purchase, while supplies last.) And one of my favorites—the Disney Springs
Tree—showcases the many retail brands here on property – one look reminds me that I can
pretty much complete all of my Christmas shopping without leaving property.

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

Call me a traditionalist, but in spite of the many options, my top pick is still the classic Mickey
and Minnie tree. That’s the beauty of the expanded Tree Trail – there really is something for
everyone!

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail Debuts Extended Weekend and Holiday Hours

Based on the popularity of this new seasonal staple, hours have been extended an additional
hour every Friday and Saturday and also on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Tree Trail is
offered through the holiday season, and will run through January 7, 2018. The updated
operating hours are as follows:

Monday – Thursday:   12 pm to 10 pm
Friday – Saturday:  10 am to 11 pm
Sunday:  10 am to 10 pm
Christmas Eve, 12/24:  10 am to 11 pm
Christmas Day, 12/25:  10 am to 11 pm

From my family to yours, have a very Happy Holiday and awesome New Year!

Fantastical Gingerbread Displays Decorate the Walt Disney World Resort

Fantastical Gingerbread Displays Decorate the Walt Disney World Resort

As the holiday season draws near, the Walt Disney World Resort pastry chefs are bustling with excitement as they prepare their magnificent gingerbread displays! Each year, guests travel from around the world to see the beautifully-crafted gingerbread creations that adorn our parks and resorts. Today, we’re giving you the inside scoop on what’s in store for this year!

Starting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Tusker House Restaurant will have a 3-foot long African-inspired gingerbread marketplace on display from Dec. 10 to Jan. 2, created by Pastry Chef Amber Vega. Over at Epcot, Pastry Chefs Noah French, Jason Stricker, and Crystal Saunders will be putting together two gingerbread displays at The American Adventure featuring the United States Capitol Building as well as the Lincoln Memorial. These will be on display starting Nov. 19 and will contain over 50 pounds of gingerbread! On Black Friday, Nov. 24, Pastry Chefs Yoly Lazo and Joseph Lodato from Disney Springs will have a set of gingerbread icons that celebrate the story behind Town Center; look for a display in the window of Amorette’s Patisserie where you can enjoy a sweet treat in between shopping stops.

Fantastical Gingerbread Displays Decorate the Walt Disney World Resort

If you’re planning to go resort hopping to see the festive holiday decorations, our deluxe resorts will be featuring gingerbread displays that you won’t want to miss. Starting Nov. 9 on the 4th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you’ll find the beautiful Cinderella Castle, designed by Pastry Chef Jeff Barnes and his talented pastry team. This display recreates the castle in the style of legendary artist Mary Blair on a backdrop inspired by “it’s a small world.” With oversized gingerbread cookies depicting Cinderella and Prince Charming greeting guests from the castle forecourt, this 18-foot tall display is crafted from thousands of gingerbread blocks, rolled fondant, and a mouth-watering amount of modeling chocolate!

This year also marks the 18th anniversary of the Holiday Carousel – a life-size, edible spinning carousel that’s become a holiday tradition at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. This year’s carousel is designed by Pastry Chefs Thomas Huebner, Jennifer Ladisky and Cindy Roman. The Lilo and Stitch-themed carousel will feature horses with hand-painted holiday characters and hand-crafted gingerbread snow flakes. See if you can spot all 18 hidden Mickeys on this display!

There will also be a limited-edition pin featuring Lilo and Stitch available for purchase starting 11/17 at the Beach Club Marketplace. And right next door at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, you’ll also find the annual Holiday Miniature Train! These beautiful holiday displays will be in the lobbies of each resort starting Nov. 17.

Fantastical Gingerbread Displays Decorate the Walt Disney World Resort

And for our “Grand” finale, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is celebrating the 19th anniversary of its famous life-size gingerbread house, which will be located in the main lobby of the resort Nov. 15-Jan. 1. Each year, the Grand Floridian pastry team, led by Executive Pastry Chef Erich Herbitschek, spend over 400 hours baking the gingerbread and over 160 hours constructing and decorating the house, which also contains The Bake Shop. There you can find gingerbread ornaments, cookies, and gingerbread house kits, all made using a classic gingerbread recipe from Austria. On Nov. 18, there will be a pin trading event with a special limited-edition pin featuring the penguins from “Mary Poppins.” What’s more, decorating aficionados will be excited to attend gingerbread house decorating demos conducted daily in the lobby in front of the display starting Dec. 1.

Note: Parking at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels is for the exclusive use of guests with confirmed rooms, dining and recreation reservations. However, bus transportation is available from each of the four parks and Disney Springs. Guests may also park at the Ticket and Transportation Center and visit Epcot, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort via the Walt Disney World Resort Monorail.

Festive Holiday Shopping and New Family Traditions Begin Nov. 10 at Disney Springs

Festive Holiday Shopping and New Family Traditions Begin Nov. 10 at Disney Springs

Beginning Nov. 10, the “bah-humbug” hassle of holiday shopping becomes a joyful family celebration at Disney Springs. Like nowhere else, the holidays come to life at this one-of-a-kind retail, dining and entertainment complex complete with sparkling holiday décor, unique gift-giving (and gift-getting) ideas, tantalizing treats, special entertainment and more.

Only at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort can the entire family join together in the holiday shopping experience while also creating new family traditions and memories. There are more than 150 locations to explore. And around every corner, Disney Springs is wrapped and ready for the season with strolling carolers, living statues, themed stilt walkers and live music adding to the festive atmosphere.

Here’s a sampling of what’s new this holiday season:

  • An Even Bigger Christmas Tree Trail – To capture the spirit of the season, guests can stroll among an even bigger Christmas Tree Trail. Twenty-five custom decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme, will be on display including 10 new trees inspired by Disney classics like Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White and Dumbo.
  • Santa’s Chalet – Santa Claus is accepting Christmas wish lists and welcoming guests to his chalet newly located by the Christmas Tree Trail Nov. 10 through 24.
  • Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt – Stitch returns to Disney Springs with an expanded scavenger hunt now featuring 16 stops, including a special stop at the even-bigger Christmas Tree Trail.
  • Meet & Greet with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear – This huggable eight-foot tall brand ambassador is available for holiday photos on the second floor of The Coca-Cola Store.
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil: This gravity-defying, jaw-dropping show takes its final bow on Dec. 31. Limited tickets are available at CirqueduSoleil.com/la-nouba. Since its premiere, La Nouba has entertained more than 11 million guests and performed more than 8,600 shows. 

One-stop holiday shopping

From top-name brands and one-of-a-kind retailers to Disney-inspired merchandise, there’s something for everyone – and every stocking – at Disney Springs.

Trendsetters will find unique apparel and gift items at UNIQLO, Under Armour Brand House, Marketplace Co-Op, PANDORA, Sephora and Sugarboo & Co. Disney fans can select from a cornucopia of choices at The LEGO Store, Star Wars Galactic Outpost and World of Disney, the world’s largest Disney merchandise store featuring more than 50,000 different items.

For Star Wars fans on the list, tickets are now on sale for the highly anticipated hyper-reality experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, debuting at Disney Springs on Dec. 16.

For up-to-date information on Black Friday specials and other offers throughout the holiday season, visit disneysprings.com.

Indulgent treats and family feasts

Holidays are all about gathering around a table with family and friends. Kids of all ages will love indulging their sweet tooth at Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. Busy shoppers can take a break and enjoy a satisfying meal at Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza or D-Luxe Burger.

For those large gatherings when no one wants to cook, families and friends can treat each other to a night out at one of Disney Springs’ signature restaurants. Menus feature everything from steak and seafood to home-style favorites, many created by celebrity and award-winning chefs. New offerings since last holiday season include Paddlefish, Planet Hollywood Observatory and Polite Pig.

Complimentary self-parking is available at all Disney Springs garages and surface lots. Walt Disney World Resort guests enjoy complimentary transportation between their Disney Resort hotels and Disney Springs.

About Disney Springs 
Disney Springs is a one-of-a-kind retail, dining and entertainment district located in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. With its namesake springs, beautiful open-air promenades and lakefront setting, Disney Springs evokes the charm of Florida waterfront towns at the turn of the 20th century. It’s also home to a collection of more than 150 shops and restaurants, including top-name retail brands, specialty boutiques and dining experiences created by celebrity and award-winning chefs. Located in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Disney Springs is open daily.

Buon appetito! Disney Springs Welcomes Three New Italian Concepts

Buon appetito! Disney Springs Welcomes Three New Italian Concepts

Coming this winter, three modern Italian restaurants will be arriving at Disney Springs. These restaurants, all new concepts created by the Patina Restaurant Group, each feature unique menus and authentic Italian food in a beautiful and expansive dining complex. The complex will be located adjacent to The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style destination also being developed by Patina. The new concepts all tie into Disney Springs’ storyline of a restored Florida waterfront town, bringing unforgettable food and wine direct from Italy to the Sunshine State, with stunning scenery you can only find at Disney Springs.

The first concept, called Maria & Enzo’s, is a trattoria set in the town’s abandoned 1930’s airline terminal which has now been transformed into an open and airy restaurant. Featuring gorgeous views of Lake Buena Vista and incredible 50-foot ceilings, the interior dining room is adorned with artifacts that reflect air travel of the time such as maps and historic flight paths. Inspired by Sicily, the menu has a delightful range of family-friendly dishes – Arancini di Carne (rice balls stuffed with meat), Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant parmesan), and handmade pastas including Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab) and ‘Ncasiata al Forno (Sicilian baked pasta) – all served tableside. Other delectable highlights include fresh fish, richly flavored steaks and chops.

The second concept is Enzo’s Hideaway – Enzo’s own personal speakeasy inspired by Roman aperitivo bars. Located in the storied rum-runner tunnels that adjoin Maria & Enzo’s and steeped in Florida’s true history of rum-running, Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and serve a casual menu of hearty Roman Dishes such as the city’s legendary Bucatini alla Carbonara (hollow spaghetti with creamy egg and pancetta sauce) and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe(square-cut spaghetti with pecorino and black pepper).

Finally, Pizza Ponte rounds out the group with a fast-casual restaurant serving pizza, pastries, Italian sandwiches and espresso. With the perfect blend of savory and sweet, Pizza Ponte is the ideal place quick bite. On the savory side, the menu features Pizza al Taglio (Sicilian-style pizza served by the slice), signature Tirangolo (stuffed pizza bread) sandwiches, and Porchetta (roast pork). To satisfy your sweet tooth, pastry specialties include Bombolini (Italian donuts), Sfoglia di Riso (pastry with rice cream), and Tiramisu.

Maria & Enzo’s, Enzo’s Hideaway, and Pizza Ponte are set to open at Disney Springs this winter, and are sure to leave you saying, “Delizioso!” If you want to learn more about the Pantina Restaurant Group and their incredible restaurants such as these, visit www.patinagroup.com

These new concepts are just the beginning of a whole new list of exciting food and beverage concepts coming to Disney Springs. Coming soon are new locations such as The Edison, Terralina Crafted Italian, Wine Bar George, Jaleo by José Andrés, and Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill! Stay tuned for more updates on these amazing new locations.

A First Look at The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort Coming Summer 2019

A First Look at The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort Coming Summer 2019

As the 2017-18 NBA season tips off, we want to give you a first look at the new NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort coming to Disney Springs.

Inspired by the modern architecture of new NBA arenas around the country, the building design exudes the same spirit and energizing impact, while creating an unmistakable and entertaining connection to the NBA in a way that only Disney can.

It’s one of several ways Disney Springs is still growing and adding new experiences to delight and entertain our Guests.

“We are inspired by the design of the new building and the energy that it will bring to the West Side of Disney Springs,” said Senior Vice President of Disney Springs and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Maribeth Bisienere.

A First Look at The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort Coming Summer 2019

The state-of-the-art space will include interactive games and competitions, immersive experiences, a retail store and an adjacent restaurant.

NBA President, Global Partnerships Sal LaRocca, recently commented on the project, sharing, “This one-of-a-kind experience is sure to be enjoyed by basketball and Disney fans of all ages who visit Disney Springs from around the world.”

Tickets Are Now On Sale for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Immersive Hyper-Reality Experience

Tickets Are Now On Sale for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Immersive Hyper-Reality Experience

Tickets are now on sale for the highly anticipated hyper-reality experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, debuting at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando on December 16 and Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim on January 5.

Tickets for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire can be purchased now at www.thevoid.com.

FIRST OF ITS KIND HYPER-REALITY EXPERIENCE: Total immersion in the Star Wars universe. 

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will transport guests deep into the beloved Star Wars universe allowing them to walk freely and untethered throughout the multi-sensory experience with friends and family. In groups of four, teams will go undercover as Stormtroopers to capture Imperial intelligence vital to the budding rebellion’s survival.

“We are so excited about this magical collaboration between three boundary-pushing companies in the burgeoning out-of-home VR entertainment sector,” says Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID. “We can’t wait to share the experience of hyper-reality with everyone.”

Guests can experience the excitement of hyper-reality with this first look at Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.

 

“People have longed for a chance to step into the Star Wars universe and this incredible new hyper-reality experience will allow them to do just that in a totally unique way,” notes Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge, ILMxLAB. “It’s a group experience that evokes the senses in bold new ways.

Enjoy Florida Craft Beers and Oktoberfest-Inspired Eats This Fall at Disney Springs

Enjoy Florida Craft Beers and Oktoberfest-Inspired Eats This Fall at Disney Springs

Since October is just beginning, I was surprised to learn that Oktoberfest – the premiere annual beer festival in Munich, Germany – officially ends today. No need to worry … if you’re here in Central Florida, Disney Springs will be serving up cold brews and hot eats all month long and through the fall

Disney recently caught up with a few of my favorite craft beer connoisseurs, including Disney Springs Food and Beverage Proprietor, Jamie Entwistle. According to Jamie, “Disney Springs is a melting pot of beer options. Here, you can enjoy craft beer from a wide mix of local and national breweries in addition to tried and true favorites – each guest is sure to find their favorite style and may even expand their palate by trying something unique as they walk the promenade and enjoy our great entertainment options.”

Enjoy Florida Craft Beers and Oktoberfest-Inspired Eats This Fall at Disney Springs

Disney Springs Senior Duty Manager, Mike England, echoed the sentiment. Though he’s here five days a week for work, he’s often here during his weekends, too, trying out the newest beers on tap. Of all my friends, Mike is one of the most knowledgeable when it comes to ales, lagers and everything in between, so I asked him for his “Top Five” list at Disney Springs; not one to shy away from a challenge, he came back with ten.

“Here are my current favorites,” Mike shared, “they’re all Florida Craft beers, and they’re listed in no particular order, except for Cigar City Jai Alai – it always tops my list!”:

1. Cigar City Jai Alai (AMC Dine-In, House of Blues and multiple other locations)
2. Big Storm Wavemaker Amber (Boathouse)
3. Orange Blossom Pilsner (Dockside Margaritas)
4. Crooked Can McSwaggers Own (Frontera Cocina)
5. Cask & Larder Five Points IPA (Polite Pig)
6. Coppertail Brewing Miriam’s Irish Coffee Stout (Raglan Road)
7. Orlando Brewing Blonde Ale (Paddlefish)
8. Funky Buddha Hop Gun (Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’)
9. Swamp Head Brewery Stump Knocker APA (Planet Hollywood Stargazers Lounge)
10. 3 Daughters Brewing Seasonal (Dockside Margaritas)

Enjoy Florida Craft Beers and Oktoberfest-Inspired Eats This Fall at Disney Springs

If the above doesn’t suit your fancy, remember that Disney Springs’ offerings are always evolving. One of the upcoming additions I’m most looking forward to is a new Disney Springs beer that will soon debut in partnership with a local craft brewery; the selection will rotate seasonally and will even have a custom “Disney Springs” tap, only found here.

Have you discovered any “must-try” sips during your Disney Springs visits? If so, share in the comments below – I’m always eager to find a new favorite!

Disney Springs Is the Place to Start New Traditions This Holiday Season

Disney Springs Is the Place to Start New Traditions This Holiday Season

This holiday season at Disney Springs, you can create family memories, celebrate the season and find special gifts for all of the special people on my list – plus a treat or two for yourself! Make your holidays more magical, too, by enjoying everything Disney Springs will have to offer this holiday season…

While holiday shopping is certainly more magical here at Disney Springs, here’s some of our seasonal “must-dos”:

  • A Bigger, Better Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail: Last year Disney introduced custom decorated holiday trees to the Marketplace, each themed to a popular Disney story or character. This year, the Christmas Tree Trail will expand to twenty-five trees – many of them larger than last year’s evergreens – including ten new trees inspired by Disney classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White and Dumbo.

Disney Springs Is the Place to Start New Traditions This Holiday Season

  • Santa’s Chalet: Santa Claus is accepting Christmas wish lists and welcoming guests to his chalet near the exit of Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail, making the Marketplace the most magical nook in all of Disney Springs. You’ll be visiting in your holiday best, smiling for Disney PhotoPass Photographers who will be on hand to capture photos, and probably taking a few selfies with your own camera, too! Santa Goofy will take over when Saint Nick heads back to the North Pole on December 25 – so we may have to visit twice.
  • Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt: The mischievous experiment 626 is at it again with an expanded scavenger hunt featuring four new stops, including a special stop at the more-magical-than-ever Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail. A great activity for families with kids older than mine, it’s your chance to work together, decipher clues, and discover all the spots where Stich is hiding. Complete the mission and receive a limited-edition button.
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil: After nearly twenty years, “La Nouba” will take its final bow on December 31, 2017. I’ve seen the show a handful of times and can attest that there’s nothing else quite like the gravity-defying, jaw-dropping thrill of this stunning 90-minute show. There’s a good chance we’ll be getting a sitter so we can see it one last time before the curtain closes. Limited tickets available; visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/la-nouba for additional information and to purchase.

Complimentary and adjacent self-parking keeps things simple and hassle-free. With the retail delivery service available at all Disney Springs stores, I won’t have to add anything else my overloaded stroller, making it easier for guests to pop in to one of the award-winning restaurants to relax and refuel. Fan favorite eateries include Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza or D-Luxe Burger for a quick bite or any of our signature restaurants – featuring everything from steak and seafood to home-style favorites – for a more substantial sit-down meal.

What’s your first stop at Disney Springs this Holiday Season?

Force Friday II Merchandise Event Coming to Disney Parks on September 1

Force Friday II Merchandise Event Coming to Disney Parks on September 1

We are delighted to announce Force Friday II is coming to Disney Parks!

New Star Wars themed merchandise and more will land in our galaxy at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts on September 1, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. (Midnight).*

The Force Friday II event is your opportunity to be among the first to purchase new Star Wars and Star Wars: The Last Jedi themed merchandise, including unique products found only at Disney Parks.

 

Please see details below if you are planning to attend this free event in California or Florida.

Disneyland Resort – World of Disney Store, Downtown Disney District
Pre-registration for the Force Friday II event is required for guests attending the event in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort.

Registration will be accepted only on DisneyParksMerchandise.com beginning August 24 at 11:00 a.m. (Pacific) / 2:00 p.m. (Eastern).

Once registered, guests will receive additional instructions via email. Doors open at 12:01 a.m. on September 1.

Walt Disney World Resort – World of Disney, Disney Springs

For guests attending the event at Disney Springs, registration for Force Friday II will take place outside the World of Disney store entrance across from Basin on August 31 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Guests will be given a numbered wristband on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once a wristband is received, guests are invited to return to World of Disney by 11:30 p.m. where they will be lined up in sequential order. Doors open at 12:01 a.m. on September 1.

Please park in the Lime Parking Garage at Disney Springs for shopping convenience.

Set your hyperspace coordinates for this merchandise event in preparation of the highly anticipated film release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 15.

May the Force Be With You!

*Event subject to change.

New VOID Experience Centers Coming to Downtown Disney and Disney Springs This Holiday Season

New VOID Experience Centers Coming to Downtown Disney and Disney Springs This Holiday Season

Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID recently announced the new Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire hyper-reality experience. This ground-breaking experience will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort beginning this holiday season, giving Star Wars fans the opportunity to step beyond reality and into a galaxy far, far away.

“At The VOID, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds,” said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID. “A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of The VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.”

ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s Immersive Entertainment division, created this first of its kind experience, in collaboration with The VOID. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will plunge guests directly into the iconic Star Wars galaxy. Guests will move freely throughout the untethered, social, and multi sensory experience as they interact and engage with friends, family and Star Wars characters.

“At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories,” explained Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of the division. “Through our collaboration with The VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire marks an important milestone in the continued expansion of The VOID, which also joined the 2017 Disney Accelerator earlier this year.

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