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5 Disney Things You Should Know This Week – July 15, 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, we feature news about Star Wars, Star Wars and some other stuff. OK, it isn’t all Star Wars, there is a new breakfast event in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Halloween parties announced for both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios, but mostly Star Wars.

Disney Early Morning Magic – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

disney early morning magic

Launched back in April, 2016, the very first Disney Early Morning Magic – Fantasyland has been very popular. This week, a new version located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been announced. Early Morning Magic gives you access to the theme park 75 minutes before anyone else and exclusive access to a few rides and character meet and greets as well as breakfast. In Hollywood Studios, guests will have access to Star Tours as well as Toy Story Midway Mania, two of the most popular Walt Disney World attractions, as well as several new character meet and greets.

The party starts begin August 1, and prices are $69 per adult and $59 per child (ages 3 through 9) plus tax.

For more information: Disney Early Morning Magic – Hollywood Studios

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party

star wars dessert party

Staying with the Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme, Walt Disney World has announced a new Star Wars themed dessert party, located in the Star Wars Launch Bay. Guests will be served drinks and desserts and have time to enjoy the Star Wars Launch Bay without crowds, before heading over to a reserved area to watch the Star Wars: A Galactic Experience fireworks and show. Reservations are currently available.

For more information: Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party

Star Wars Land Sneak Peek

Disneyland Star Wars

Everything Star Wars related is happening this week apparently. Disneyland has released a sneak peek of the upcoming Star Wars Land opening soon in the Disneyland park. When I say soon, I really mean sometime probably in 2018, not that anyone knows. The new sneak peek features an overview of the 14 acre Star Wars Land, and a good idea where each previously announced attraction will be placed. Looks fantastic!

Club Villain Halloween Party

Club Villain

How does a halloween party with your favorite Disney villain sound? Awesome, right? On Friday and Saturday nights from September 2 – October 29, 2016 (and also on October 31), Sunset Showcase will host “Club Villain,” a special ticketed event filled with fabulous performances, delicious food, bewitching cocktails and enchanting encounters with some legendary Disney villains.

The mysterious Dr. Facilier will serve as host, welcoming his guests and “friends from the other side” into his parlor of mystical mishaps, with musical numbers and a wicked mix from his house DJ. Also stopping by to socialize will be several divas of evil: Maleficent, the Queen of Hearts, Cruella De Vil and the Evil Queen. Guests can also enjoy complimentary drinks from the Potions Bar, savor culinary delights from New Orleans and beyond, mingle with the villains and dance the night away.

Two “Club Villain” experiences will be held each Friday and Saturday night, with starting times at 5:15 and 8:30 p.m. 

Disneyland Halloween

Disneyland Halloween

Information for the Disneyland Halloween events have been announced this week, including a surprise additional of the headless horeseman!

Mickey’s Halloween Party guests can enjoy trick-or-treating, the exclusive “Halloween Screams” fireworks and more. And new this year, the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow will make his spooky ride through the heart of Disneyland park each night of the party!

Be sure to purchase your Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets early and mark your calendars for the following dates:

  • July 21, 2016: Tickets on sale to Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders, Disney Rewards Visa card holders and Disney Vacation Club members
  • July 28, 2016: Tickets on sale to general public
  • Mickey’s Halloween Party 2016 dates: Friday, September 23; Monday, September 26; Wednesday, September 28; Friday, September 30; Monday, October 3; Wednesday, October 5; Friday, October 7; Monday, October 10; Wednesday, October 12; Friday, October 14; Monday, October 17; Wednesday, October 19; Friday, October 21; Monday, October 24; Wednesday, October 26; Saturday, October 29; and Monday, October 31

Don’t forget that in addition the party, Disneyland comes alive during Halloween with changes to attractions such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday. I love Disneyland during Halloween.

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

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’


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?

best hollywood studios restaurant

Best Hollywood Studios Restaurant for Adults

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a great place for adults to spend a day without kids, plenty of great adult rides, shows and other things to see that you can spend some extra time enjoying. While the construction for both Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land have reduced the number of attractions you can visit, it is still worth your time to see the park. But as adults, where do you eat without Mickey coming to your table? There are two restaurants in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that I consider the Best for adults, but there are a few others that are also pretty decent. Both Sci-Fi Dine-In and Mama Melrose’s are fine restaurants with decent food, but just don’t quite make the cut.

Best Hollywood Studios Restaurant for Adults

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe – For many older adults, this is like a blast from their past, a reminder of what it was like to visit an aunt’s or grandmother’s house back in the 50’s and 60’s. Black and white TVs are placed at each table with shows such as I Married Joan, the Mickey Mouse Club and Leave it to Beaver among many others. The food is exactly as you would expect, home cooked comfort food. The fried chicken is fantastic, as is the meatloaf is some of the best I have ever had. Oh, and don’t miss out on the Peanut Butter and Jelly Milk Shakes, so good! Plus, make sure you eat your green beans, keep your elbows off the table and leave that cell phone in your pocket or you will get on the bad side of your server and may have to stand in the corner for a while. It is all fun, great food and fantastic place to eat.
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby – Disney’s Hollywood Studios only “signature” restaurant, as the cost to dine here is 2 table service credits per person for those on the dining plan. While I am not sure it is the best signature restaurant on property, it is very good. By far the nicest restaurant in Hollywood Studios, the Brown Derby is designed after the original location in Hollywood, complete with the caricatures of famous faces all around the restaurant. The Brown Derby is home to the Cobb Salad, created first sometime around 1930 at the original location, and perfected for the last 80+ years. In addition to the Cobb Salad, the Brown Derby also features entrees such as Roasted Rack of Lamb, Faroe Island Salmon and my favorite, Pork Three Ways (all three are fantastic). And for dessert, you only need to know one thing: Grapefruit Cake. The Brown Derby features a first class, relaxing, upscale restaurant in the middle of a theme park.

What is your favorite Hollywood Studios Restaurant for adults?