Walt Disney World Extends Annual Passholder Dining Promotion

Walt Disney World’s 45th Anniversary Annual Passholder dining promotion has been extended until late December of this year.

The promotion that was announced on October 1st was originally planned to expire in September increased the discounts that are in effect for both Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members.

A 20% discount is available for Annual Passholders at the following Walt Disney World table and quick service restaurants.

  • Lottawatta Lodge, Blizzard Beach
  • Disney Food Trucks, Disney Springs
  • D-Luxe Burger, Disney Springs
  • Flame Tree Barbecue, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • Tiffins, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • The Mara, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Jiko, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Sanaa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Beach Club Marketplace, Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Boardwalk Bakery, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
  • Boardwalk Pizza, Window Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
  • ESPN Sports Club, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
  • Flying Fish, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
  • Contempo Café, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • The Wave Disney’s, Contemporary Resort
  • Trail’s End Restaurant, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Gasparilla Island Grill, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Citricos, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Grand Floridian Café, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Narcoossee’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • ABC, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Backlot Express, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Hollywood & Vine, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Olivia’s Café, Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Capt. Cook’s, Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Kona Café, Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Boatwright’s Dining Hall, Riverside Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
  • The Turf Club Bar & Grill, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Roaring Fork, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Artist Point, Disney’s Wildnerness Lodge
  • Whispering Canyon Café, Disney’s Wildnerness Lodge
  • Cape May Café, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • Captain’s Grille, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • Electric Umbrella, Epcot
  • Liberty Inn, Epcot
  • The Garden Grill, Epcot
  • Biergarten Restaurant, Epcot
  • Coral Reef Restaurant, Epcot
  • Rose & Crown Dining Room, Epcot
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
  • Peco’s Bills, Magic Kingdom
  • Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen, Magic Kingdom
  • Leaning Palms, Typhoon Lagoon
Advertisements

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Completes Largest Redesign in the Resort’s History

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has completed the largest transformation in the resort’s history: a $140 million, three-year project which included a redesign of all guest rooms, complete transformation of the Dolphin Resort lobby and renovation of all meeting space.

“This is both a huge accomplishment for our team and a significant moment for our guests,” said Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort General Manager Fred Sawyers. “With the transformation now complete, our guests can enjoy a stylish new look, new amenities, the latest in technology, an operation with more than a quarter century of excellence in serving guests and a prime location at Walt Disney World Resort, all in one property.”

The completion of the project also means the resort returns to operating at full capacity just in time for the openings of Toy Story Land (2018) and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (2019) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is within walking distance of the resort.

The resort celebrated the milestone with a special ceremony on Thursday.

Overall, the redesign included:

Guest rooms:

  • All 2,267 guest rooms were completely transformed to a new look which reflects the resort’s water-themed architecture. Noted interior design and architecture firm Garcia Stromberg/GS4 Studios designed the rooms, drawing inspiration from the resort’s original designer, the renowned late Michael Graves. The new rooms offer guests a relaxing oasis featuring hues of white, blue and gray, sleek multi-functional furniture and all new bathrooms featuring vanities with backlit mirrors on iridescent glass tiles
  • Technology upgrades include the addition of more outlets and USB ports for charging devices and new high-definition TVs. The resort will also soon introduce new interactive TV software, allowing guests the ability to check out from their room and cast their own video streaming services from their personal tablets and mobile devices to their in-room TV

Public Space:

  • The new Dolphin Resort lobby, designed by ICRAVE, features a contemporary look with a new geometric ceiling, enhanced lighting and more than double the amount of guest seating. The centerpiece of the new lobby is a grand chandelier stretching 20 feet from the ceiling with nearly 1,000 strands and about 10,000 individual crystals suspended above the Dolphin fountain
  • For the first time since its opening, the resort has built a completely new dining venue.  Located in the Dolphin lobby, fuel offers high-quality quick service and grab-and-go food and drink options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast options include pastries from world-champion pastry chef Laurent Branlard, muffins, breakfast sandwiches and wraps and a variety of coffee, tea and espresso options. Lunch and dinner options include sandwiches and salads. Those with a sweet tooth will find Branlard’s signature desserts and chocolates as well as frozen yogurt and a wide assortment of candy
  • Phins, a new bar centrally located in the Dolphin lobby and seating up to 150 guests, offers wines, beers and cocktails along with appetizers perfect for sharing. Signature offerings include the resort’s own craft brew Phins & Feathers, wine on tap and creative cocktails.  On Sunday mornings, Phins offers brunch-themed beverages including a variety of bloody marys and sparkling options
  • Coming soon will be new private poolside cabanas furnished with lounge seating, tables, fans, refrigerators and television for rental.  Each cabana will include full food and beverage service

Meeting Space

  • A new 2,800-square-foot meeting and event space, Lake View, offers scenic outdoor views of the resort’s private lake and picturesque Dolphin Resort
  • All of the resort’s 332,000 square feet of meeting space has been transformed with an updated appearance
  • New technology includes electronic reader boards throughout the meeting space and the latest in high-density Wi-Fi offering high-speed, uninterrupted internet to groups as large as 15,000 people

‘Chef Oscar’ Martinez, Longest-Tenured Disneyland Cast Member, Retires

After more than 60 years serving up magic and memories at The Happiest Place on Earth, Carnation Café chef Oscar Martinez retired on September 27.

Oscar began working at Disneyland on December 29, 1956 – a year after the park opened. Oscar originally worked as a busboy and later a grill cook in Fantasyland quick-service locations that sold hamburgers, hot dogs and chili. Moving to Carnation Café in 1967, Oscar has been a staple on Main Street, U.S.A., making famous his recipe for breakfast potatoes.

It is those potatoes and Oscar’s warm personality that have made him a favorite among our guests, with many stopping by the cafe daily to see him. As Sam from San Diego says, “Chef Oscar is one of those magic cast members who make the Carnation Café one of my favorite places in Disneyland.” Dawn from Las Vegas agrees, “We have been going to Disneyland for years! Every single time we go straight to the Carnation Café to have breakfast and visit with Chef Oscar.”

When asked what his fondest memories were of his time at the resort, first was seeing Walt Disney walk the park. To a young Oscar, Walt Disney seemed larger than life. Also among his favorite memories is working with and training many new cast members, including grill cooks for Tokyo Disneyland.

“Oscar has created magic for more than 60 years at the Disneyland Resort,” said Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier. “He has been an icon to our guests and an inspiration to our cast. We are honored to have worked with him, and we wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

Oscar plans to travel, visit with family, and just relax in retirement. Cheers to you, Oscar!

Disney Channel has ‘Hocus Pocus’ TV Movie in the Works

Disney Channel is in early stages of development on a Hocus Pocus TV movie, a reimagining of the 1993 cult classic Walt Disney feature, which starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

The new take is being written by Scarlett Lacey (The Royals), with David Kirschner, producer on the original movie, on board to executive produce.

The 1993 film was written by Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris, based on a story by Garris and Kirschner, and directed by zKenny Ortega. Garris hinted at a possibleHocus Pocus TV project in a recent interview.

The new Hocus Pocus iteration will have a new cast and a new director. Ortega, who has directed Disney Channel’s two biggest TV movie franchises, High School Musicaland Descendants, is not involved.

Hocus Pocus chronicles what happens when three villainous witches, played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, are inadvertently resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts. The film has become a cult hit and a staple on Disney Channel and Freeform with annual airings.

Kirschner’s producing credits also include Curious George, An American Tail and The Addams Family.

From Deadline – Hollywood

The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Debuts Family Meal Kit

The ability to prepare and enjoy a family meal in a spacious Disney Vacation Club villa has long been part of the magic of Membership … and a new meal kit at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is making it easier than ever to take advantage of a villa’s kitchen and dining area.

Priced at $49 plus tax and available for a limited time at the resort’s Artist’s Palette marketplace, the meal kit for four features Rigatoni Fiesolana (Rigatoni pasta with creamy tomato sauce, sausage, portabella mushrooms, parmesan and fresh basil) and comes with a large garden salad, garlic bread sticks and baking instructions.

Note that full kitchens are available in one-bedroom villas and larger accommodations at Disney Vacation Club Resorts. Deluxe Studios are not equipped to prepare this meal option.

New Disney Stores Bring Theme Parks to Shoppers

Disney unveiled Tuesday a prototype for its re-imagined retail store — as well as the shopDisney e-commerce site, which was previously DisneyStore.com.

The online store will sell more products featuring popular classic Disney characters and those in the hit movies from Disney-owned Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.

The revamped stores, versions of which are currently open in Century City and Northridge in California, Nagoya, Japan and Shanghai, will also show a live broadcast of the famous parades that take place at Disney parks and a digital fireworks display each night before they close.

Disney is also partnering with brands like Coach, cookware company Le Creuset, apparel companies rag & bone, Spyder and others to sell more products geared at older parents (like me) — and not just their kids.

Some of the new things you’ll find online beyond toys and stuffed animals? A Darth Vader toaster, a Captain America popcorn maker and Mickey Mouse skinny jeans.

“Disney stores around the world will also be incorporating more product for guests of all ages, beyond their traditionally child-centric assortment,” the company said in its release.

The media giant continues to mint money from its movie division, theme parks and consumer products.

So the revamped stores, which seek to capitalize even more on the success of its Disney princesses, Marvel superheroes and Star Wars characters, makes a lot of strategic sense.

From CNN Money

Disney Mobile Order Adds Sunset Blvd Locations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Mobile Order continues to expand with smaller locations now coming online.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has added Rosie’s All-American Café, Catalina Eddie’s and Fairfax Fare to the service.

Mobile Order allows guests to pay for meals on-the-go within the My Disney Experience app, bypassing the queue to order at the restaurant. Using the app, you can select menu items, customize an order and pre-pay for a meal.

Arriving at the restaurant, guest will tap an “I’m here” button in the app, which will notify the kitchen to prepare the meal. Guests will then be alerted through the app to pick up the meal at a designated window. Only credit card payments will initially be accepted via Mobile Order, Disney Dining Plan guests and those wishing to use a discount will have to use the regular line.

Disney Unveils shopDisney For E-commerce; Reveals Prototype Store Design

Disney Consumer Products announced today the launch of shopDisney, a new e-commerce destination offering the best assortment of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel products.

The company also revealed a new prototype Disney store design, which is being tested in select locations around the world bringing the magic of Disney to retail through innovative technology, storytelling and cast member interaction.

shopDisney.com features co-branded products and elevated collaborations from brands such as Coach, Le Creuset, Spyder, Steiff, rag & bone and more. Along with this, authentic products from Disney Parks and Disney Store will also be featured.

Disney stores around the world will also be incorporating more product for guests of all ages, beyond their traditionally child-centric assortment, the company said.

The new Disney store prototypes are now open in Century City, Calif. and Northridge, Calif. in the US as well as in Nagoya, Japan and Shanghai, China. Two more prototypes will open in 2017 in Miami, Fla. on September 28 and Munich, Germany later this year.

New Homes to be Built in Next Phase in Celebration, FL

The next phase of the Celebration master-planned community in Osceola County, Florida will be developed by award-winning and Orlando-based homebuilder Mattamy Homes.

Mattamy Homes, which is North America’s largest privately owned homebuilder, has signed an agreement with The Celebration Company to purchase Island Village, a property that represents the largest village within Celebration based on land area (roughly 350 acres) and unit count (entitlements for 1,310 residential units).

Celebration is a master-planned community in Osceola County, Florida, located near the Walt Disney World® Resort and originally developed by The Celebration Company, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.

“The Celebration model has long been an inspiration for us at Mattamy Homes as we envision how we want to build our own communities,” says Peter Gilgan, Founder & CEO of Mattamy Homes. “We are so excited to have this amazing opportunity to work directly in the community, to develop something that complements the existing vision and Celebration brand, while at the same time enables us to introduce our unique and thoughtful designs for the future buyers in Celebration.”

“We look forward to seeing the unique home designs that Mattamy Homes brings to the Celebration Island Village area,” said Page Pierce, Vice President of The Celebration Company.

Celebration Island Village is the southern-most parcel within Celebration. The property has entitlements for 1,014 single-family homes, 296 apartments, 30,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial, an elementary school and five acres for parks or civic uses. Mattamy Homes will be considering a product range of townhomes to estate homes, and will be designing a brand-new product portfolio for Celebration Island Village.

The Celebration area continues to command a high degree of prestige and desirability. Job growth in the Orlando market remains strong, and the community has easy access to employment and transportation corridors via I-4 at World Drive.

Mattamy Homes anticipates sales will begin in late 2019.

Celebrate Epcot’s 35th With Exclusive Merchandise, Special Fireworks Finale & More

Are you planning to visit Epcot for the park’s 35th anniversary on October 1st?

With the anniversary falling on a weekend – not to mention during the popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, there’s sure to be a ton of fun for all!

Here are a few highlights of what’s planned for this year’s anniversary celebration.

Commemorative Guide Map – Be sure to pick up a commemorative Epcot Guidemap and Times Guide on your way into the park. They’ll be available at the park’s Main Entrance, at International Gateway and Guest Relations.

Anniversary Celebration – A special celebration will be held at the Fountain View stage at 10:01 a.m. Gather to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Epcot with Mariachi Cobre and Voices of Liberty.

Exclusive Anniversary Merchandise – Guests visiting Epcot on October 1st will have the chance to grab anniversary merchandise as a part of the “I Was There” collection, which has been specifically designed for this year’s milestone. Items in the collection will be available only at a “pop-up” shop (which will be open for one day only/while supplies last), located just past the Art of Disney location at Epcot on October 1. Additional Epcot 35th Anniversary logo merchandise (not a part of the “I Was There” line) will be available in select merchandise locations at the park, such as Mouse Gear and on the Shop Disney Parks app.

Special Edition: IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – Conclude your day at the park by attending a special edition of the park’s nighttime fireworks show, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” which begins at 9 p.m.