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Check Out the ‘Hottest’ New Addition to Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort

The brand-new Lava Lounge at Rainforest Café

 

opened just two weeks ago, and already the place is on fire – literally. (Stay tuned, we’ll get to that.)

General Manager Jeff Kruger has clued us in to some of their most popular items, including the Sparkling Volcano and Jungle Runner, pictured below.

Lava Lounge at Rainforest Café in Downtown Disney

Wait time: There was a wait to dine inside at Rainforest Café, but at the Lava Lounge, seating is first-come, first-served. When I arrived at 5:45 p.m., there were still plenty of open tables and a few seats at the bar. My wait time? Zero minutes.

Food: Not only can you order from the full Rainforest Café menu, but there’s also a special menu featuring items created just for the Lava Lounge. That’s right, there are even more choices, so chances are there’s something everyone in your party will enjoy. The Volcanic Sliders and the Tectonic Tacos both sounded delicious!

Ambience: If you like waterfront views, want to be part of a “volcano” experience and prefer talking to shouting, then the Lava Lounge is for you. The setting is a friendly laid-back bar that feels casual and welcoming; it’s just the kind of place you’d want to end up after a long day in Disney Parks. (And I saw a great mix of adults and families, so don’t let the “Lounge” title throw you off; it’s a space for all kinds of groups.)

Wow Factor: The food and service alone may dazzle you (you did see that Sparkling Volcano dessert, didn’t you?), but if you need more to get you fired up, the Rainforest Café Volcano should do the trick. “Erupting” multiple times each evening, it’s a sizzling display of flame spires, fireballs, steam bursts and fog that erupts in sync with a light and sound show. It’s the sort of spectacle you’d only expect to see at a Disney theme park. Or maybe Las Vegas. Either way, it’s truly impressive, and you can see, hear and even feel it from inside the Lava Lounge.

Lava Lounge at Rainforest Café in Downtown Disney
If you’ve been, share what you liked best in the comments below. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Check it out during your next Downtown Disney visit. (Oh, and be sure to tell Nile the Crocodile “hi” – you can’t miss him!)

A Visit to Northwest Mercantile in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot

A Visit to Northwest Mercantile in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot

 

I love Canada! I first visited this beautiful country when I was 10 years old. My family took a trip to Niagara Falls, where we stayed in a bed and breakfast for a few days. Since then, I’ve visited Toronto twice, and I recently took a trip to Montreal in spring 2011 (great food and great music!). The closest I get to Canada these days is World Showcase in Epcot. This week, winter has descended upon Canada Pavilion as part of Limited Time Magic. Guests can meet and take photos with some favorite Disney characters in the snow for this week only. I stopped by Canada Pavilion’s Northwest Mercantile this past weekend to see what the merchandise location had in store.

Canada Pavilion’s Northwest Mercantile

 

Northwest Mercantile houses a variety of Canadian-themed goods. Upon entry, I was greeted by the shop’s newest items – a selection of Canadian Native Handicrafts by Monague Native Crafts. I asked Sylvie Brumbaugh, merchandiser for World Showcase, about these new goods.

“I’m always looking for unique items for World Showcase,” said Sylvie. “When deciding on assortments that capture the essence of a particular country, we consider several things including popular marketplace trends. For the Canadian Native Handicrafts line, we have apparel, pottery and an expanded collection of dream catchers. Monague Native Crafts is a leading Canadian supplier of these items, so it’s great to carry them in the location.”

 unique items in the shop including Sasquatch Sweat soap and the ketchup-flavored potato chips

 

I liked some of the more unique items I found in the shop including Sasquatch Sweat soap and the ketchup-flavored potato chips. Sylvie told me some of the most popular items are the Hatley pajamas (perfect for a cold Canadian winter’s night!).

some items give a nod to the 360-degree film at the pavilion, “O Canada

 

My favorite things, however, give a nod to the 360-degree film at the pavilion, “O Canada.” Disney Design Group created the artwork which Sylvie applied to hats, shirts, tumblers, mugs and more. I like the simplicity of the red “Canada” shirt, while the plaid moose pattern is fun. I also saw the awesome World Showcase shirt we created for the 30th Anniversary of Epcot.

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