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5 Disney Things You Should Know This Week – August 26, 2016

Welcome to another week of Disney things you should know. Not everyone can keep up with all of the Disney news (not even me, and I do this stuff full time), so we provide you with 5 Disney Things you should know from this week to help you keep up to date. This week features a new discount and dinner show at Aulani, a live stream of the soon to be discontinued Main Street Electrical Parade as well as a new Disney cookbook and more fun at Raglan Road. Enjoy!

Watch the Main Street Electrical Parade Live From the Magic Kingdom

main street electrical parade

Are you a fan of the Main Street Electrical Parade? Did you know it is leaving the Magic Kingdom later this year? Well, you are in luck, as Disney has decided to live broadcast the Main Street Electrical Parade this weekend, for free!

The Main Street Electric Parade will soon be “glowing” away to inspire our friends at Disneyland Resort in California. But before it makes its cross-country journey, guests have until October 9, 2016 to enjoy this sparkling spectacular here at Magic Kingdom Park. We hope many of you will be able to see the parade in person before it leaves, but if not we have you covered with our live stream!

It will be broadcast Sunday night at 8:55 p.m. ET. Just check the following link right before then for broadcast details:

Broadcast Details available Sunday evening: Disney Parks Blog

Aulani Winter 2017 Discount

aulani winter discount

Aulani is a Disney resort located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. While not adjacent to a Disney theme park, Aulani provides you with the Disney magic in one of the most magical places on earth. The resort is down right beautiful, with fantastic rooms, pools and a near perfect beach. Plus, there are no resort fees, so there isn’t any additional cost to use the pools, beach or any of the fantastic kids clubs or other activities.

Now you can save up to 35% during the most popular time of the year to visit the islands. Travel between January 2 and March 24, 2017 and you can save up to 35% on your room reservation, plus book early and receive a free meal per person in your family at one of Aulani’s great restaurants, the Ulu Cafe.

For more information: Aulani Winter 2017 Discount

New Discover ‘Menehune Mischief’ Dinner Show at Aulani

Menehune Mischief

Speaking of Aulani, Disney has just launched a brand new dinner show at Aulani for guests. “Menehune Mischief” at Makahiki restaurant celebrates the story of the Menehune—the magical little people of Hawaiian legend—with the help of Aulani’s beloved Uncle and favorite Disney Characters. During a delicious buffet dinner, you’ll enjoy delightful tales brought to life through enchanting music, sing-along fun and engaging storytelling!

The essence of Makahiki – The Bounty of the Islands can be found throughout the restaurant’s art and design, as well as in the fresh, locally-sourced cuisine. My favorites include the rotating carving stations, the abundant selection of seafood and, of course, house-made desserts! There is also a special “Keiki Corner” for youngsters to fill up on macaroni pasta, baked chicken tenders and more!

Menehune Mischief is offered on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Dinner reservation times are 4:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. The character dinner experience is $49 for adults and $24 for keiki (ages 3-9 years old).

Delicious Disney Cook Book

delicious disney

Who doesn’t love having a little bit of Disney magic at home with them between Disney vacation? I find that eating one of my favorite Disney meals make me extra excited for any upcoming Disney adventure. Well, now you can enjoy your favorite Disney sweets with the new “Delicious Disney” cookbook.

Vacation is often a time for indulgence, so Disney dessert recipes are among the most requested, and the new “Delicious Disney Sweet Treats” cookbook features 40 irresistible recipes from the pastry chefs at Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa and Disney Cruise Line.

The book includes elegant sweets such as the madeleines from Chefs de France at the France pavilion at Epcot, the Warm Apple Butter Cake from Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland hotel and the Mom’s Favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake from 50’s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Each recipe has been tested in a home kitchen to make it easier to re-create a vacation favorite. Now you can make your favorite desserts any time of the year!

This new cookbook will be available shortly at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and online in the Shop Disney Parks app.

Great Irish Hooley

Great Irish Hooley

Raglan Road is one of my favorite Disney restaurants, and a “DO NOT MISS” on every single Disney World vacation, no matter the length (I at there one time between the end of a Disney Cruise and my flight home that afternoon, and I nearly missed my flight because of it). Raglan Road just has fantastic food and an even better atmosphere.

This year, Raglan Road celebrates the 5th Anniversary of their “Great Irish Hooley” with craft beer, cool cocktails, authentic Irish food, and, perhaps most impressive, a brand-new “Rhythms of Raglan” show—a 90-minute live spectacle of music and dance, produced in Ireland and directed by David Hayes of “Riverdance” and “The Voice: Ireland Edition” and choreographed in part by Michael Donnellan, famous for his work in “Lord of the Dance.”

Taking place September 2-5, 2016 over the long Labor Day Weekend, this music-festival-meets-festive-food soiree mixes authentic Irish entertainment with some of the best bites and sips this side of the Emerald Isle. The fun begins at noon on Friday, September 2nd and runs through last call the following Monday.

Make plans now to make The Great Irish Hooley part of your Labor Day Weekend – and be sure to catch The Rhythms of Raglan show, taking place at 4 p.m. Sept. 2, and at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sept. 3, 4 and 5. (Tip: pencil in extra time for Celtic face-painting, happening Saturday through Monday!)

For the full entertainment schedule, visit www.raglanload.com and www.greatirishhooley.com closer to the event.

Did I miss any Disney news this week that should have been included?

best walt disney world character meal in magic kingdom

Best Walt Disney World Character Meal in Magic Kingdom

Everyone loves a character meal at Disney. Even if you have teens, you know deep down they love it when a princess comes over to your table, regardless of the look on their face. A Disney World character meal can be one of the memories you are your kids may think back on for years. In the Magic Kingdom, you would think there would be a lot of character meal options, but there are only 2. Now, there are a places that used to have characters (Liberty Tree Tavern), places that should have characters (Tony’s Town Square) and places that people think have characters but do not (Be our Guest). So, of the 2 options, what is the best Walt Disney World character meal in Magic Kingdom?

Current Magic Kingdom Character Meals

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table (Fantasyland) – Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located inside of Cinderella’s Castle on the second floor, this is the ultimate Disney character meal if you have little (or big) princesses. Not only is the location perfect for a princess meal, but you also get to dine with Cinderella herself, as well as other Disney princesses such as Ariel, Aurora and Snow White, though her visiting friends can change. Watch out for Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother who hangs out in the lobby. Look around the restaurant and find some of Cinderella’s other friends such as Gus and Jaq.
  • The Crystal Palace (Main Street USA) – Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Basically the only place on property to find your favorite friends from the 100 acre woods. Pooh Bear, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet visit your table while you dine on buffet selections in one of the most beautiful buildings in any Disney theme park.

That is it in the Magic Kingdom, 2 options!

The Dis/dom choice for best Character Meal in Magic Kingdom?

cinderellas royal table

While Cinderella’s Royal Table isn’t my favorite character meal at Walt Disney World, it does have quite a few special things you can’t get anywhere else on property, and it is definitely head and shoulders above the Crystal Palace. A great option for families, especially if you have any princesses in your family.

  1. You get to dine in Cinderella’s Castle!!!
  2. The restaurant is stunning inside, with huge windows looking out over Fantasyland. It really feels like you are dining in Cinderella’s Castle.
  3. Princesses come to your table! What could be better than having Snow White or Cinderella come to your table to talk to you? You get plenty of photo opportunities with all the princesses.
  4. I am not a fan of buffets, and Cinderella’s Royal Table is not a buffet. The food is for the most part very, very good. While there aren’t as many options on the menu as a normal Disney restaurant, the options they do have are quite good. I am a fan of the Caramel Apple Stuffed French Toast at breakfast. Not quite Tonga Toast, but not a bad alternative.
  5. The one negative thing with Cinderella’s Royal Table is the cost. If you happen to be on the Disney dining plan, the cost is double every other character meal at Disney World, 2 table service credits. Paying for cash it can run you as much as $60 per person for a character meal. This is still one of the hardest Disney Dining reservations to get, so apparently the cost isn’t too big of a deal for quite a few people.

Bonus Best Character Meal in Magic Kingdom

  • Be Our Guest – Dinner only. While not considered a character meal, the Beast is in the house during dinner hours. Since he is so large, he does not go from table to table, so he has a designated area near the front of the restaurant where anyone can come and see him and take photos. This isn’t a bad option, as I love Be Our Guest, the building is fantastic as is the food, plus you get a bit of an added bonus of a Disney character.

What is your favorite Disney World character meal in Epcot?

 

Disney Things

5 Disney Things You Should Know This Week – May 20, 2016

Each Friday, I provide 5 Disney things all Disney fans should know from this past week, just in case you missed them. This week was a very, very slow Disney news week. Here are the super important Disney news items for this week:

Last Chance to Catch Classic Soarin’

soarin

Are you a huge Soarin’ fan? Get yourself to Disney now before the classic Soarin’ is gone. Epcot guests will be able to enjoy farewell flights when the classic Soarin’ returns to The Land pavilion starting May 27, 2016. The attraction will reopen at Epcot a few weeks before the new film, Soarin’ Around the World, debuts next month at Disney parks in Shanghai, California and Florida. Don’t miss your chance to experience Soarin’ Over California at Disney California Adventure now through June 15, and at Epcot through June 16, 2016. The new film will debut June 17, 2016 on both coasts.

Disney FastPass+ service will be available starting May 21, 2016 for this limited opportunity to enjoy the classic Soarin’ experience at Epcot.

Tiffins Restaurant Opening

tiffins restaurant

The long awaited Animal Kingdom signature restaurant is set to open this week, and we finally have menus! Open for both lunch and dinner, Tiffins is situated near Pizzafari on Discovery Island, near what will be the entrance to Pandora – The World of AVATAR, when it opens in 2017. (“Tiffin” is an Indian English word for a midday meal or a type of container used to carry food while traveling). Adjacent to Tiffins, Nomad Lounge features waterfront views in addition to hand-crafted cocktails with African, Asian and South American flavors; beers, and sustainable wines from those regions, plus specialty non-alcoholic beverages and small bites.

Check out the Menus (we just have images today, hopefully they will be available on the WDW website soon):

Remember, Tiffins is a signature restaurant, therefore if you are on one of the Disney Dining Plans, the cost to dine here is 2 table service credits per person.

In addition to the grand opening, Disney is also introducing a nightly dining/show package at both Tiffins and Tusker Hours. Similar to the popular Fantasmic! Dining Packages at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the new Jungle Book Dining Package includes reserved seating for the nighttime show. At all-you-care-to-eat Tusker House Restaurant, you can choose the breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet on the day of the show (but you have to dine at least 2 ½ hours before the show). Breakfast is $37, $23 ages 3 to 9, plus tax and gratuity; lunch and dinner, $49, $30 ages 3 to 9, plus tax and gratuity. Tusker House Restaurant is on the Disney Dining Plan and counts as one table-service meal.

At Tiffins, the package includes your choice of appetizer, entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage at either lunch or dinner. The Dining Package is $67 for adults, $32 ages 3 to 9, plus tax and gratuity. Tiffins is on the Disney Dining Plan and counts as two table-service meal credits.

Reservations will open tomorrow, May 21, 2016 for Tiffins restaurant as well as Dining Packages for The Jungle Book: Alive With Magic nighttime show.

Animal Kingdom at Night to Debut

animal kingdom night

Later this week, starting May 27, 2016, the Animal Kingdom Park will be open at night for the first time ever. One of the biggest downfalls of the parks is that it usually closes by 5 PM each night, and it is such a beautiful park. With the addition of many night time events, the park will now stay open until later, calendars over Memorial Day weekend show it open until 11 PM each night.

There is an exciting lineup of new experiences coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park after the sun sets, including nightly awakenings of the park’s iconic Tree of Life. Beginning May 27, 2016, animal spirits will be brought to life each night by magical fireflies that reveal colorful stories of wonder and enchantment along with other amazing sights at the tree.

After the sun sets, you also will be able to explore Kilimanjaro Safaris and see the nighttime behavior of the wildlife and better tune in to the unique vocalization of the animals like never before.  Among the new experiences, the village of Harambe in Africa will become the place to enjoy “Wildlife Parti” and the spirited community of Discovery Island will come together to celebrate their love of the natural world with the Discover Island Carnivale.

And the park’s Discovery River will awaken at night and become a stunning stage for performances of the limited-engagement show The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, inspired by the hit live-action film Disney’s The Jungle Book.  Shows will feature memorable moments from the film, including the iconic Shere Khan, and will be filled with music and special effects that celebrate the movie and classic songs, infused with an Indian influence. Eventually, this show will be replaced by the Rivers of Light show, but probably not until sometime this Fall, once the kinks are worked out.

Flying Fish Cafe Returning to Walt Disney World

Flying Fish Logo

Flying Fish Cafe, one of my all time favorite Disney restaurants, is returning! Opening is set for late summer for Flying Fish restaurant at Disney’s Boardwalk – yes, “Cafe” goes away as part of the name, and diners will be welcomed to a sophisticated, interior that still pays homage to the golden era of seaside boardwalks.

Flying Fish

The interior features an all-new kitchen and dining room (with expanded space for private dining events), sparkling architectural accents, like golden-winged room panels and an impressive chandelier that mimics a school of flying fish swimming overhead. Next door, the new AbracadaBar lounge opens, taking the spot formerly occupied by the candy and ice-cream shop. No information on an opening date or when reservations can be made have been announced yet.

Hollywood Studios Summertime Eats

With the ongoing construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there is a very slim choice of dining locations currently available. So, Disney has announced several quick-service kiosks that will be made available this Summer in the Echo Lake area. Some of these look fantastic!

Echo Lake Eats

 

Bocados del Lago Nachos y Empanadas

  • Loaded Chili Cheese Nachos with Guacamole
  • Beef Empanadas, roasted corn and black bean salsa, Queso Fresco with cilantro sour cream
  • Dulce de Leche Cookie

Sliders to the Stars

  • Pulled Beef Brisket Sliders with arugula, pickled onions and horseradish aioli on sesame bun served with chips
  • Pulled Barbecued Chicken Sliders with coleslaw and chipotle aioli on a brioche bun served with chips
  • Mickey Brownie

Hollywood Waffles of Fame

  • Shaved Turkey and Gouda Waffle Sandwich with mixed greens, bacon, tomato and herb-cheese pesto served with chips
  • Shaved Ham and Cheddar Focaccia with water cress and spicy mustard served with chips
  • Freshly-baked Chocolate Chip Cookie

Oasis Canteen

  • Chicken Breast Nuggets served with celery and carrots with a Ranch dipper and chips
  • Sweet Chili-glazed Chicken Breast Nuggets served with celery and carrots with a Ranch dipper and chips
  • Kid’s Breast Nuggets
  • Mickey Brownie

Bonus Disney News!

This week, Walt Disney World changed the FastPass+ booking system. Previously, you could book your fastpass+ reservations 60 days in advance of your check in date, and do so at midnight. So, as soon as the clock struck midnight, the next “day” would start. Stay up a bit later and you can get a time to see Anna and Elsa. Wait until the next morning, you are out of luck. Earlier this week, that time was changed to 7AM Eastern. You can no longer stay up late to get your times booked, unless you are in Hawaii of course, as 7AM Eastern in 1 AM in Hawaii.

Did I miss any Disney news this week that should have been included?