Saturday, April 14, 2018

Ears the News: April 14, 2018 Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com.


Sweet Spells on Sunset Blvd at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be permanently closing from April 16 2018 to make way for a Pixar store.

Set to open alongside Toy Story Land on June 30 2018, the refurbished store will be the primary location for Pixar merchandise at the park.

The production kitchen and treats at Sweet Spells will be removed, although some prepackaged items will continue to be sold at other stores. For the non-packaged items, quick service dining locations will be the place to go.

Reel Vogue located next door to Sweet Spells will continue to operate during the refurbishment.

Wine Bar George in The Landing at Disney Springs is approaching its grand opening, and new concept art of the second floor area has been released.

Created by Master Sommelier George Miliotes, Wine Bar George is expected to open May 2018 at The Landing in Disney Springs.
Picture courtesy of Disney

Miliotes describes Wine Bar George as a “comfortable-yet-lively environment that’s reminiscent of a renovated winery.” The design for the 6,000-square-foot space features wood ceilings, concrete floors, warm lighting and a welcoming atmosphere.

Shareable plates will be served including cheese and charcuterie that complement the wines, with local, seasonal features. “We’ll change our offerings as ingredients come into their prime,” he explains.

Pandora - The World's of Avatar will soon introduce guests to the Pandora Utility Suit.

Worn by a Pandora Conservation Initiative pilot, the suit is used to study the wildlife, collect plant samples, and to educate visitors about Pandora.

In the movie Avatar, similar AMP suits were used for combat, handling heavy cargo and traversing the terrain of Pandora.

Disney has just shared this video of the character, along with the launch date of April 22 2018 - the park's 20th anniversary.




Video from the Disney Parks blog

Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to watch on YouTube.

The suit was created in partnership between Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney Parks Live Entertainment, Michael Curry Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering.


Video from the Disney Parks blog

Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to watch on YouTube.


A new update to the My Disney Experience app brings location aware prompting for guests to start playing Agent P's World Showcase Adventure at Epcot.

On a phone, My Disney Experience will prompt guests at the International Gateway, and the Mexico and World Showcase bridges.

The pop-up in My Disney Experience will offer a 'Start Mission' button that takes guests to www.agentpwsa.com to begin playing directly on their own phone without visiting an Agent P kiosk.

Toy Story Land opens June 30 2018, and along with its two rides comes a walk-up window offering classic sandwiches and snacks.

"Everyone has a special food memory, so it can be tricky putting a modern spin on the favorites," explained Lenny DeGeorge, Concept Development Culinary Director for Walt Disney World, about the year-long menu development process. "We honored these classic dishes by using the best ingredients to elevate the flavors. How we constructed the sandwiches was important, such as layering the ingredients in a specific order, to maximize textures and flavors. Why have a cold sandwich when you can have a toasted hot, gooey cheese-filled one?" 

Woody's Toy Box will offer something for breakfast, lunch and dinner, open from park open to park close - and it will be on the Disney Dining Plan.

Entree pricing ranges from $8.99 to $12.99

In addition to fountain drinks and lemonade, beverage offerings include a classic Barq’s root beer float and a Mystic Portal Punch (PowerAde Mountain Berry Blast with flavors of lemon-lime and tangerine). For the big kids there’s a Grown Up’s Lemonade with cherry vodka, Odwalla Lemonade, and black cherry purée.

Kids at Woody's Lunch Box

Kids’ offerings include grilled cheese sandwich or turkey sandwich, both with potato barrels and mandarin oranges. Sides include tomato basil soup, vegetable macaroni salad, potato barrels and Mini Babybel® snack cheese, the official snack cheese of Walt Disney World Resort.


Looking to plan your next trip to Walt Disney World? Contact the agents at Kingdom Konsultant Travel to help you plan your dream vacation. Email vacations@kingdomkonsultant.com for a free quote today.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cupcake Review! Lemon and Rose Gold Cupcakes from Contempo Cafe!

 

Hey Howdy Hey, Disney Foodies!

     Everyone ready for more sweet treats? Just last weekend, I stopped by the Contempo Cafe at The Contemporary Resort and got to check out two of Disney's newest cupcakes: A different version of the Rose Gold Mouse Ears Cupcake and a Lemon Cupcake! Can't wait to tell you about them, so come on along!


     The Littles and I parked at The Grand Floridian and decided to spend some time riding the rails of the monorail, before we decided on a place for a snack. Does the monorail make everyone as happy as it makes me? Sure it can be crowded and sometimes smells a little barnyard-like for some very strange reason, but that soothing narration, the wide windows and the "Please stand clear of the doors," all just make me feel right at home. Same for most Disney fans, I'm guessing since one of the newest merchandise lines features the monorails, prominently. Cute stuff, too!

Monorail tote bags, socks and mugs.

Monorail toiletries bags, figurines and more!

     We picked the Contempo Cafe for a snack, since their bakery case is always choc-full-o amazing cupcake creations, and this day was no exception. There were Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes, Birthday Cake Cupcakes, Frozen Cupcakes and Mocha Cupcakes, but we picked the two we wanted to try the most... The Rose Gold Mickey Ears Cupcake and the Lemon Cupcake.

Contempo Cafe's amazing bakery case. This pic is from Halloween, but you get the idea.... yum. 

     Let's start with the Rose Gold cupcake. Now, just a few weeks ago, I tried out a different Rose Gold cupcake, over that The BoardWalk. (If you didn't see that review, click HERE.) It was amazing to look at, but I was not a huge fan of the whipped cream in place of the frosting. Would THIS Rose Gold Cupcake impress me more? Well, here's what it looked like:


     Super cute, but not quite the same "wow" factor as the BoardWalk's version, (though they both sported the same, hollow chocolate Minnie ears, dusted in rose gold edible glitter). 


I was excited to find that the frosting on this one was indeed buttercream and not whipped cream, so score one point there. The cake was a moist yellow sponge, and the filling on this one was strawberries. (More like strawberry pie filling than fresh strawberries.) There was a good amount of filling, without it being too goopy. 


Overall, I really liked this one, and think taste-wise, it was the clear winner over the BoardWalk's version. Call me crazy, but a cupcake NEEDS frosting. My daughter was a big fan of the chocolate ears. Not as a treat.... as a lip gloss.


Yeah, don't worry, I didn't even let her back on the monorail with that still on. She can wear make up, (real or made of desserts), when she's older, but not at 9.

     So that leads us to the Lemon Cupcake. This one had an appearance that was very confusing to me. At first, I thought it was a Belle cupcake, due to the yellow and gold color combo and the sparkles, but it was not labeled as such.



It did feature a white chocolate truffle, filled with lemon, along with buttercream frosting. I don't know... this one wasn't nearly as appetizing looking to me. The color of the icing resembled mustard and since mustard is one of my most hated foods on the planet, it was a little off-putting. I am happy to report, however, that it did not taste like mustard, at all. The frosting was just plain vanilla frosting. The cake was the same yellow sponge as the Rose Gold Cupcake, but this one was filled with lemon pie filling. If you are a fan of lemon donuts or lemon meringue pie, you'll like this cupcake. I enjoyed the flavor of this one more the the Rose Gold, since I am a lemon girl. My daughter even liked this one more and she's not usually a lemon-eater. She said she liked the sweet-tart filling the most. I would get the Lemon Cupcake again!


     After cupcakes, we rode the rails a little more, lazed around the Polynesian for a bit, and then drove on home. Tough life when you're a Disney family. 

     And there you have it, folks! Two more Disney cupcakes to check out next time you are on property. Have you found YOUR favorite Disney cupcake yet? Let me know which one it is! Oh, and did I mention, you can use your Disney Dining Plan Snack Points for cupcakes??? What are you waiting for? Call the agents at Kingdom Konsultant Travel and get your package booked so you can enjoy all of the cupcakey goodness Disney has to offer. (Oh, and the rides and stuff, too.)

     Until next time, dudes, have a magical week!


                                                                                            Jenn

Friday, March 30, 2018

Ears the News: March 30, 2018 Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com.


Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be hosting Easter Egg Relays and Hunts on Easter Sunday April 1, 2018 at Epcot's United Kingdom Pavilion.

The Easter Egg hunt is open to guests ages 3 to 9, and the Easter Egg Relay for children ages 8 to 12.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com.


The Egg Hunts will take place every 10 minutes from 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM, and the relay races will
take place at 11:40 AM, 12:40 PM, 1:40 PM, 2:40 PM and 3:40 PM. 

Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will also be on hand for meet and greet photos from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM.

As always, space for the relays is limited, so check in early (up to 30 minutes before each hunt) to get a place. Be sure to check times guides on the day for any changes to schedules.

Disney has Announced that the D23 Expo 2019 will take place August 23 - 25, 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The biennial event brings together tens of thousands of Disney fans from around the world, and in 2019 will include more than 50 shows, presentations, and panels, including the Disney Legends Ceremony; an all-new exhibit curated by the Walt Disney Archives; a daily parade down the middle of the show floor; D23 Expo’s costume contest, Mousequerade, showcasing the most creative designs by fans; and the D23 Expo Design Challenge.

All of the popular presentation venues will return, including Hall D23, the Expo Arena, Stage 28, and Center Stage.


The 2017 D23 Expo saw numerous announcements for Walt Disney World, including Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, TRON Coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy coaster, Ratatouille, Disney Riviera Resort, Disney Skyliner, Minnie Van Service, and a Space themed restaurant.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2019 will go on sale at D23expo.com beginning August 23, 2018. Special pricing on both one- and three-day tickets to the event—including an Early Bird Discount—will be exclusively available to D23 Gold Members. D23 Gold and Charter Members will also be entitled to special benefits at the 2019 Expo. D23 Gold Members will also have an opportunity to purchase the Sorcerer Package, which provides a host of special benefits and amenities. Ticket prices will be announced later this summer.

"Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art" is a new exhibit coming to the American Heritage Gallery at Epcot.

Opening this summer, the gallery inside the American Adventure pavilion will be produced with the collaboration of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C. 
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com.


Some of the featured artists with works on display are fashion designer Loren Aragon (Acoma Pueblo), noted doll maker Glenda McKay (Ingalik-Athabascan), and Juanita Growing Thunder (Assiniboine Sioux) from the Growing Thunder family of Montana.

Similar to previous exhibit at the American Heritage Gallery, this new exhibition will feature interactive elements, where some of the artists will share the creative process and inspirations behind their works in their own words.

Graphics technology company NVIDIA has revealed a few details about the upcoming Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Millennium Falcon attraction, set to open at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland Resort in 2019.

Walt Disney Imagineering has partnered with NVIDIA, ILMxLAB and Epic Games to develop new technology to drive the attraction.

Guests will enter the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon, with the on-screen visuals powered by a single BOXX chassis packed with eight high-end NVIDIA Quadro P6000 GPUs, connected via Quadro SLI synchronizing five projectors.

“We worked with NVIDIA engineers to use Quadro-specific features like Mosaic and cross-GPU reads to develop a renderer that had performance characteristics we needed,” says Bei Yang, technology studio executive at Disney Imagineering. “Using the eight connected GPUs allowed us to achieve performance unlike anything before.”

Yang and Principal Software Developer Eric Smolikowski dove into more details during their GTC talk, “Walt Disney Imagineering Technology Preview: Real-time Rendering of a Galaxy Far, Far Away,” and discussed how Disney Imagineering took advantage of the latest NVIDIA technology and the technical modifications they made for the Unreal Engine, which allows eight GPUs to render at unprecedented quality and speed.

You can see a sample of the on-screen visuals from the Millennium Falcon attraction at the NVIDIA website.


Looking to plan your next trip to Walt Disney World? Contact the agents at Kingdom Konsultant Travel to help you plan your dream vacation. Email vacations@kingdomkonsultant.com for a free quote today.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Easter Fun! Chocolate Eggs at Grand Floridian

Happy Spring, Disney Fans!

     I hope everyone is finally getting a little warmer weather. Here in Orlando, the first day of Spring brought yet another dip into the chilly 60's, but now we are back to our more seasonable 80's. You poor Northerners! I hope you are thawing out! You could always head this way!

     This past weekend was the end of my kiddo's Spring Break, so we hit up Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for our annual visit to see the hand-carved chocolate eggs in the lobby. Every year, the pastry chefs at the Grand Floridian go nuts, making these huge chocolate eggs come to life with scenes from favorite Disney movies and more. They are amazing! Some of the best eggs get saved from year to year, so there are usually some repeats from previous years, but also several newbies. Would you like to check them out? Here you go! (I apologize in advance for the blurry ones. It was hard to see in the lobby because the sun was coming in so brightly, so I didn't see how the pics came out until after we left.)

Tangled


Evil Queen Cauldron


Artistic Flower and Butterflies Front

Artistic Flower and Butterflies Back

Nightmare Before XMas Front

Nightmare Before Xmas Back

Baymax Front

Baymax Back

Aristocats

Fairy Front

Fairy Back

Hen Front

Hen Back

Deco Egg Front

Deco Egg Back

Elephant Front

Elephant Back

Zootopia Front

Zootopia Back

Carousel Front

Carousel Back

Chocolate Swirls Front

Chocolate Swirls Back

Aladdin Front

Aladdin Back

Minnie Front

Minnie Back

Beauty and the Beast Front

Beauty and the Beast Back

Seasons Front

Seasons Back

Bald Eagle

Brave

Fox and the Hound

Lion King

Finding Nemo

Steampunk Chocolate Factory

Frozen

BB8

Pinocchio

Oliver and Company

Lady and the Tramp

The Wizard of Oz

Robin Hood

Wreck-It Ralph

     Aren't they amazing? They really are a beautiful sight to behold and really incredible when you think about the painstaking work that had to be put into each one. The eggs will be on display until April 10th. If you don't get a chance to see them this year, you can make plans to see them in 2019, when you reach out to my friends at Kingdom Konsultant Travel to help you plan your next Disney vacation! 

     Until next time, have a magical week!

                                                                     Jenn
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