Friday, September 4, 2015

Some Things I'm Looking Forward To At Walt Disney World

   Not counting a 10 hour jaunt at WDW after our January cruise, we haven't REALLY been to Walt Disney World in almost a year.  I'm not complaining.  We went on an amazing seven night Disney Cruise, and spent more than a week at Disneyland.  Clearly my life is awesome.  However, I'm at my breaking point and miss Walt Disney World SO MUCH its starting to hurt.
   Luckily for us we will be visiting the resort in just over a week, indulging in all of the things we miss about our favorite place in the universe. (Tipsy Ducks In Love keeps coming to mind for some reason...)
   A lot of things happen in a year, big or small, better or worse, change happens at Disney World, and I'm looking forward to quite a bit.  I know most of these things are old news...but this blog isn't known for breaking news. (or is it?)

This past October there were still walls everywhere. :(

   I can't wait to see the great progress the re-imagined hub of the Magic Kingdom has made.  I know that it isn't quite finished yet, but the majority of the work is finally over.  On our last two visits to the park the wonderful vistas of land that we are all used to were cutoff by long stretches of contraction walls...not to mention various sections of empty moat.   Since our last visit the oft celebrated "lawn areas" have opened, and look phenomenal in pictures.  I'm seriously looking forward to spending time here, especially now that Mary Poppins is meeting here.

Saying "good riddance to bad rubbish." Note the Trolly Car Cafe
 is also under construction here...

   One thing that we knew was happening during our past October trip, but had yet to get underway was the removal of the sorcerers hat at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Clearly this makes us very happy, and it'll be a joyous occasion the first time we walk down an unobstructed Hollywood Boulevard.
  Two new in park Starbucks locations opened since our last visit. The Trolley Car Cafe at Hollywood Studios, and Creature Comforts at Disney's Animal Kingdom both seem wonderfully themed, and I'm sure will be upgrades from the previous tenants.  I'm especially looking forward to the Animal Kingdom the previous Creature Comforts layout was pretty lame, and we hardly ever ventured in to that uninspired shop.

Your just going to have to deal with this random picture of Adam and I said,

   Speaking of Disney's Animal Kingdom!  Hurrah!  Harambe Market has subsequently opened since we last spent time at our favorite park!  Even though we knew about this project long ago, thanks to our friends at it will be super exciting to finally explore the area.  No amount of pictures seem to coordinate my bearings, and it'll be neat to see how close my idea of the area is to reality.  Plus, Harambe Market has recently added a veggie friendly option, so I'll actually be able to eat something.  What a relief.

   Obviously a lot more has changed in the last year.  Tons of new food and drink offerings (including Trader Sams!), ride refurbs, and the like.  It will be so much fun to spend our trip getting to know these new experiences and welcome them (or not...) into our lives.  We plan on sharing our trip in real time, via social media as we do EVRY trip.  So make sure you're following along, especially on Instagram and Twitter. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Exploring Pacific Wharf At Disney California Adventure...

   This post started off as a quick restroom signage post...but then I realized that we had never blatantly explored Pacific Wharf as an area on this blog.  So here we are.
   Pacific Wharf is a very small "land" at Disney California Adventure.  For all of its shortcomings in size (and attractions...) it is well compensated in charm.  The theming of California's fishing industry  might be odd on paper, but it lends itself well to a general aesthetic where the chosen melange of restaurants can commingle.

   Pacific Wharf is nestled snuggly between Paradise Pier, Carsland, and a busy pedestrian throughway.  Because of this it is often overlooked as an area of the park, and prior to lunch, when the restaurants start opening, is often deserted.   Take this opportunity to enjoy some of the best views in the park.

View towards Paradise Pier. One of my absolute faves. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Some Craft Beer Ideas For Disney World

   You guys have heard me ranting before, either on here, Twitter, or our ridiculous podcast about the beer selection at Walt Disney World.  Yes, it has indeed gotten A LOT better than in years past, especially with the update of the "standard bar menu" a couple of years ago.  This update brought a few pretty decent options to most bars on property.  However, nothing on it is stellar...or particularly rare.

   My biggest problem with the beer at WDW is that there is nothing brewed specifically for this location. (ala: Duff Beer, and the Harry Potter beers at Universal) Before you start raving about the existence of Safari Amber at Animal Kingdom, or the Reef Amber at Epcot...these are nothing more that Budweiser with food fact these "specialty" beers are brewed by Budweiser, and renamed for several other non Disney locations.
   So, I got to thinking the other day of ways to integrate wonderful craft beers into Walt Disney World.

   1 - Brew attraction specific beers.
      With the amount of land at WDW, there is no reason to not set up an "in house" brewery that makes a variety of attraction specific beer.  Examples being: The Seas Sea Salt Gose (gose is an antiquated beer style utilizing salt during the fermentation process.) and the Soaring Over IPA...which could utilize heavy doses of California hops. These hops just so happen to be very citrusy and piney, both of which are found in the attraction. 
   See? Its really not that hard. And the fact is that these specialty beers could be sold for a premium compared to the watered down garbage they'd be served next to. 

   2 - A dedicated craft beer bar in the American Adventure pavilion...
      This seems like such a no brainer.  The US has lead the charge in the recent explosion of craft breweries since the 1980's.  With over 2,500 craft breweries in the states, how could this tradition not be part of the American Adventure?
   Specifically, I think that a craft beer bar could be easily built by taking space away from Liberty Inn, which usually feels too big for its own good.  Not only would I love to see a huge draft selection,   but ideally featuring at least ONE FROM EACH OF THE THIRTEEN ORIGINAL COLONIES!!!  You see, I put a lot of thought into this.

   3 - Beer festival on the Streets Of America...
      With half of the park already closed, and more closures soon to come, Disney's Hollywood Studios needs special events to get people through the turnstiles.  The is already Star Wars Weekends in the Spring, and Frozen Summer Fun in the...well...Summertime.  But I'm envisioning a beer festival in the Streets Of America section for a month in the fall, prior to the start of the Osborne Festival of Dancing Lights.
   This obviously doesn't need to be on the same scale as Epcot's Food And Wine Festival. Five or six kiosks each featuring two or three unique brews would be enough to get me through the gate...but I don't want to see ANYTHING from the standard bar menu.  It would be wonderful to see a few kiosks dedicated to specific beer styles, say IPAs or wheat beers...but also a few dedicated to specific breweries.
   Plus, who doesn't want to watch Beauty And The Beast Live while completely bombed on craft beer?

   Anyway, there are three silly ideas to incorporate beer into Walt Disney World.  This started off as a joke, but I think all three of my ideas are quite feasible, and would make SO MANY beer lovers happy.

Follow along on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What Will Become Of Pizzafari?

   Pizzafari at Disney's Animal Kingdom is all look and no substance.  The quick service restaurant is fantastically themed, and features the ornately carved and painted animals that so well define the rest of Discovery Island.  And yet, the food has always been quite terrible.
   The menu has always leaned toward pizza, as if the name of the restaurant didn't give it away.  The problem is that while the majority of Disney World pizza places slowly shifted to the infinitely better 'flatbread style' pizza, Pizzafari remained staunchly in the overly doughy bad sauce fake cheese camp of yore.  Heck, even Pinocchio's made the switch a few years ago.

   So, after years and years of mediocrity, Pizzafari will be closing in a few days to undergo what is sure to be a big refurbishment.  In fact, it is expected that a large portion of the space will be reconfigured into a sit down restaurant, while the counter service area remains roughly the same layout wise.
   I know that the main excitement over this change is the addition of a sorely needed new table service restaurant in this park.  However, I'm uncharacteristically optimistic about the prospects for the counter service side.  This space always had such great potential, if only the menu would turn over.  Fact is, this seems like the perfect opportunity to reopen with a completely new menu.

As long as they keep this stone cat, Adam will be happy. 

   So what would YOU like to see changed at Pizzafari?  Or do you LIKE the current menu?  What about the table service side?  What kind of cuisine would you like to see here?  Let us know over on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.