Walt Disney World’s New Stuff

Have I mentioned lately how stoked I am about all the new stuff at (or about to be at) Walt Disney World?  I’m certain I’ve said something a time or two.  So much to be excited about and I’ve got the next three visits queued up!  While we’ll still be waiting on Rivers of Light and Pandora in Animal Kingdom and both Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land in the Studios, there are still some pretty awesome new experiences awaiting us as we visit in the near future.  Here are the five things at the top of my list…

Walt Disney World’s New StuffSoarin's Patrick

  1. Soarin’ – I’ve been a fan since the first flight I ever took.  I cannot wait to experience the newest version of one of my most favorite attractions!  Those rave reviews all over the internet have me very optimistic that I won’t miss the original much at all.  The Boardwalk at Walt Disney World
  2. Abracadabar – Opening soon next to The Flying Fish on The Boardwalk, this new lounge sounds like a perfect example of Disney doing what they do best – creating an immersive, extensively themed guest experience.  Designed around the premise that it was once a favored hot spot for magicians and their assistants during the Golden Age, you know it’ll be packed with a remarkable helping of its own type of magic.  Read more about it here.Animal Kingdom-Entrance
  3. Tiffins – When the menu was first released for this new signature dining restaurant in Animal Kingdom, I heard a bunch of negative comments.  After it opened and people actually got to try the food and experience the ambiance, there seems to have been a markedly different reaction on social media and the internet.  I’ve heard rave reviews and am more excited than ever to visit Tiffins myself.  Marinated Grilled Octopus?  Sure, I’m game!Frozen-Sing-Along-Anna-and-Elsa
  4. Frozen Ever After – If you’ve been around here a while, you may have noticed that I’ve not been a huge Frozen fan.  That doesn’t stop me from wanting to experience what Jim Hill recently touted as possibly the best dark ride Disney has ever created.  I love the fact that the ride’s duration is approximately five minutes!  Compared that to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’s two minute duration and Frozen Ever After sounds even more awesome.  Now, if I can just score some FastPasses.Tree of Life 2016
  5. Nighttime Awakenings at Animal Kingdom – I love the Tree of Life and am beyond excited to see what it looks like with the new special nighttime effects.  I’d also like to try a Kilimanjaro Safari after dark, even though I’ve heard plenty about what I won’t be seeing on that attraction after sundown.  Finally, I’m secretly holding out hope that whatever is plaguing the Rivers of Light show will be repaired so it will finally make its debut in time for me to see that too!

How about you?  What’s new at Walt Disney World that you’re most looking forward to?

Who Would Love Enchanted Tales With Belle?

Sometimes (shout out if you’re with me here) when you’re making FastPass+ selections, something comes up that had never been on your radar before.  A ride or attraction that you’d never considered shows up as a suggestion along with two others that you are excited about.  If you, like me, have multiple visits to that park planned on vacation – this new, untried attraction causes you to stop and think…what the heck?  Why not!  Let’s give it a whirl.  Such was the case with us a few months back when Raymond and I were at Walt Disney World and I booked a FastPass for a most unlikely choice…Enchanted Tales With Belle Selfie

Who Would Love Enchanted Tales With Belle?

Yes, two mature (a.k.a middle-aged) adults visited this marginally popular Fantasyland attraction in Magic Kingdom.  While we were soaking it all in, we decided that this attraction has definite appeal for a certain subset of Disney fans.Enchanted Tales With Belle Cottage

Pre-school through about age 8 – This is a kid-friendly attraction!  Little ones who like Beauty and the Beast and love story-time will be happy with this attraction.  It’s not scary and includes familiar elements of the story while encouraging audience participation.  Shy people or folks like us who just want to see what’s going on without becoming part of the action are also completely welcome and made to feel at ease.Enchanted Tales With Belle - Wardrobe

Diehard Belle fans – Sure, there are plenty of familiar characters involved, but Belle is the star of this attraction and she’s everything you hope she’ll be.  Gracious, humble, and in her gorgeous gold ball gown.  What more could fans want?  You can get up close for a picture even.Enchanted Tales Wtih Belle - Lumiere

Anyone who loves Disney’s magical special effects – Belle’s the star here, but the “enchanted” part really adds to the experience.  This is Disney at its best – if you love Disney details large and small, Disney magic at its finest, you’ve got to experience this attraction at least once.  While we’ve only been the one time, I want to go back just in case I missed something the first time.  The technology in Enchanted Tales With Belle is excellent and should be part of all future Disney attractions!Enchanted Tales With Belle Special Effect

Are you a fan of Enchanted Tales With Belle?  What do you love about it?  If you’ve never experienced it before, I encourage you to give it a try!Enchanted Tales With Bell- Wall Art

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Pineapple Lanai

It’s time for another installment of Saturdays With Nick!  This one’s for all you Dole Whip and Polynesian fans alike.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Pineapple Lanai

By Nick

Back when I was a kid, and by kid, I mean in my early 40’s, you could not only get a Dole Whip at the Magic Kingdom, you could also get one at Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian. Not only that, but it was self serve! So, of course, people would tower their pineapple treat as high as gravity would allow!

That is no longer the case, but you can still get Dole Whips and Dole Whip Floats at the Poly, at Pineapple Lanai.

PL, as I just now started calling it, is located right off the main lobby of The Great Ceremonial House.
It has a souvenir bowl and sipper, but that isn’t what makes this my new favorite spot to get a Dole Whip.

My favorite Dole Whip option is the Pineapple and Vanilla Swirl, and that is no longer offered at the Magic Kingdom, so this is the only spot to get that tasty snack!

Have you been to Pineapple Lanai?


To read all about Nick’s amazing Disney collectibles and his many Disney adventures, visit the Disney Musings Blog  (where this article first appeared).  You can follow Nick on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Pinterest.  You can also listen to Nick, our friend Dave, and me on The Disney Exchange Podcast where we talk about our love for all things Disney – new episodes every Sunday morning.

WDW Vacation – Getting Psyched for Food & Wine

RM-Epcot-Food&Wine-LandscapeMy countdown calendar finally feels like it’s moving.  The days are ticking by ahead of our long-awaited return to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.  I couldn’t be more excited!  This may only be my second visit during Food & Wine, but I feel like a seasoned veteran after our weeklong 25th Anniversary celebration at F&W in 2014.  This year we’ll be a party of seven and our plans are really shaping up.  With only two-and-a-half months to go, it feels right around the corner.  It’s Friday today and that means a Friday Five is in order.  Dear Readers, I give to you…

WDW Vacation – Getting Psyched for Food & Wine

  1. Pick a week and book it! – This is the first phase of excitement.  Thinking about going changes after you know exactly when you’ll be there and where you’ll be staying – makes it real and you can set your countdown calendar!  Because I’m a planner I’m also, in this very early stage of vacation prep, starting to think about where we’d like to eat when we’re not enjoying the Food & Wine offerings.  Which brings us to…Citricos-Vince
  2. Make some ADRs (Advance Dining Reservations) 180 days out – “Some” being the important key here.  I think you can over-book dining reservations which may detract from the joy of strolling around World Showcase sampling all the excellent flavors that Food & Wine has to offer.  I like to ensure plenty of festival time, so I book just few carefully chosen reservations that will leave us a plenty of free afternoons and evenings for hopping from country to country on an international culinary tour.  Once those ADRs are booked, I feel more like I know what our touring plans will be each day and that makes me even more exited!RM-Epcot-Food&Wine-Menu-Brazil
  3. Wait impatiently for the booths and menus to be announced – I’ve searched everyday for weeks and finally the kiosk and menu info is available – This is a major factor in getting psyched for the trip!  Sure, it’s fun to see what musical groups will be playing during our visit, but that’s not (for us) the primary draw.  You can print out those menus and narrow down all the food and beverage choices to the all important Top-Ten-Must-Try list (yours could be whatever number you like).  I’m not too picky, so I’m leaving room to be flexible and spontaneous in food selection.  It’s not imperative to have a list, but it sure is fun to strategize a festival food plan.  Yes, more excitement!  Check out this year’s lineup here.Disney's Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror
  4. Book those FastPasses ASAP – If you’re staying on property, this means there are only 60 days left before your vacation!  My strategy for Epcot is all about making sure we don’t have to come and go repeatedly from World Showcase once we start our feasting.  On this trip, we’ve got one whole day reserved for Animal Kingdom and I’m excited about having breakfast at Tusker House and dinner at Tiffins…while maximizing attraction enjoyment in between.  On most of the other days, we’ll be park-hopping to keep Epcot part of the action as often as possible.     RM-Epcot-Food&Wine-Passport
  5. Reminisce or surf the web (or both) –  I like looking back at pictures and blog posts from our last trip to Food & Wine.  I also like reading about other people’s trips as well as food reviews, booth rankings, and touring tips.  This will keep me entertained and build excitement right up until the day we leave for vacation.RM-Epcot-Food&Wine-Pepper-Bacon-Hash

Are you headed to Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival this year?  What are you doing to get psyched for the trip?