Hi everyone! It’s Landon here with another week of news from the theme parks.
Get ready to loosen those belts because this week we’re starting off with a whole bunch of food news. Let’s first head over to Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. I recently had the chance to sit down at the Signature Dining experience and try some of the delicious Florida and southeastern flavors that are on the menu. This restaurant has been a staple at the resort since 1988, but recently it got a major facelift -- and let me tell you, the coastal light blue colors are B-E-A-utiful inside.
The atmosphere is very laid back and relaxing along the waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon. Did I mention that it’s also a great place to catch the nighttime fireworks at nearby Magic Kingdom. 🤩
Chef Noah Estabrook said its been a dream to work at Narcoossee’s. He said he’s always looking for ways to enhance the presentation. He said just like the dining room, the kitchen has also evolved with dishes that include an ocean-inspired charcuterie board (the ahi tuna was delicious), lobster bisque, a 12-ounce prime New York strip steak (this was so tender) and the chef’s personal favorite, the blackened redfish. Don’t forget to pair your food with a tasty White Sangria, an Agave Garden zero-proof cocktail or a Rosé. 🍸 The possibilities are endless.
Be sure and save room for dessert! Pastry Chef Kristine Farmer, who I have featured in a number of other stories, has been busy whipping up some delectable dishes like a pineapple bavarois, berry pavlova, a delicious almond-crusted cheesecake (my favorite) and her personal favorite, a hazelnut-chocolate bar. Click here to learn more about Narcoossee’s and its menu.
If you have never been to Narcoossee’s before, I 100% recommend it.
Get your lightsabers ready and head over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this week. Star Wars day, May the 4th, will usher in some food and drinks fit for any Jedi, Jawa or Wookie. Foods available starting May 4 include things like a Wookie Cookie, a Dark Side Chocolate Creation and even a Lightsaber Churro served with chocolate sauce.
And it’s not just at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney Springs and some of the resorts are jumping in on the fun, too.
🚢 The last foodie stop this week is on at Disney Cruise Line. If you forgot, the company is preparing to celebrate 25 years beginning this May. Passengers on these cruise ships will have the chance to try some shimmering desserts, food and drinks while onboard. We’re talking about 25th anniversary cupcakes, specialty cocktails and unique popcorn buckets. All of it looks so good.
Well, have I made you hungry? 😂 Sorry about that. OK, let’s dive into some other news this week.
NOW OPEN 🚨
Some BREAKING Corkcicle news. Fans, get excited because a new location has now officially opened in Disney Springs. This morning, Walt Disney World held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the small new kiosk. It’s located steps from the Paddlefish restaurant. Not long ago, Corkcicle became the official premium drinkware of Walt Disney World Resort. ⛾ The local Orlando business creates innovative and high-performing insulated drinkware, coolers and accessories in a variety of bright colors that elevate every sip and bring delight to everyday moments.
Something brand new they just debuted, a Mickey Mouse sling, complete with those famous ears.
Here comes the 💯
How many of you have been out at Walt Disney World recently? Have you noticed anything new for the Disney100 celebration? 🤔 Recently, the resort has rolled out some special Disney100 photo opportunities at each of the theme parks. This week, we also learned what is on the horizon for the Disney100 celebration at Walt Disney World. Just last month, Disney announced that later this year, EPCOT will be the center for the celebration at Walt Disney World, with a number of new experiences set to debut, including Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, and a new nighttime spectacular. We also learned about a pretty spectacular new light display coming to Spaceship Earth, and when Disney’s characters will be out in their platinum Disney100 outfits. 😁
‘Smile, Dahling’ 🦸
Everyone’s favorite superhero designer is ready for her closeup. Beginning next month, guests will get the chance to enter “The Edna Mode Experience” that will be part of a reimagined Pixar Place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The meet-and-greet experience first opened in 2019, but never reopened to guests following the theme park COVID-19 shutdowns. And for all the Disney-Pixar “Incredible” fans out there, it’s not just Edna Mode who you can meet! A number of other characters will be there, too! 🦸♂️🦸♂️
Speaking of meet-and-greets, Disney announced Thursday that it’s bringing an all-new Ariel meet-and-greet to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 🧜♀️ Ariel is trading her fins for human legs and stepping into a world beyond the sea as she appears in the all-new live-action story “The Little Mermaid,” releasing in theaters May 26. BTW, tickets for the film are now on sale.
Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can now meet Moana! She made her debut as the park celebrated its 25th anniversary last weekend.
Viva La Música 💃
The fan-favorite Latin festival Viva La Música is preparing to head back to SeaWorld Orlando very soon! The theme park said park guests can enjoy red-hot local entertainment🕺🏽💃 , colorful chef-curated dishes and so much more. Be sure and mark your calendar for this event, it’s a lot of fun, but it’s only happening two weekends next month.
Picture-perfect experience 📸
ICON Park has a new experience that will have you taking pictures 400-feet up in the air. During the experience, dubbed “The Great Florida Road Trip,” guests use a special retro-themed camera📷, outfitted with infrared technology, to aim at markers on the rooftops below and compete for points to win a prize. All of this is happening when you’re riding in ICON Park’s Wheel observation wheel.
ICON Park said some of the 45 different post card-style game markers scattered throughout include tributes to the Silver Springs’ glass bottom boats, Miami’s art deco style, Florida Flamingoes 🦩, a Daytona car 🏎️, the Everglades and so much more. Leaders said the experience pays homage to the state’s original tourism attractions that were here even before the arrival of Central Florida’s famous theme parks. Sounds fun, right?
Are you ready to ride the waves? SeaWorld Orlando is getting closer to opening its newest roller coaster, Pipeline: The Surf Coaster. 🏄♂️ The attraction is scheduled to open sometime next month. For those thrill-seekers who want a sneak peek at the thrills to come, or if you’re a roller coaster scaredy cat 😆, the park released a POV video of the ride in action this week. The 110-second ride will send riders into several back and forth surfing-style cutbacks, maneuvers, a splashdown experience and an impressive 360-degree inversion.
SeaWorld has yet to announce an official opening date for the attraction, but I have a feeling its coming real soon. 🤙 SURF’S UP DUDE!
The perfect experience 🧱
Did you know this month is National Autism Awareness Month? ☝️ 😌 In honor of that, I sent our newest reporter Emily McLeod to Legoland Florida to learn about how the park is catering to those guests with autism. The resort partnered with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to earn the special accreditation. As part of this, the park provides a number of services to help create a more welcoming and more inclusive environment for families. These includes things like a sensory guide for every attraction, low sensory areas and an area for families to relax and take a break.
“Something interesting I learned from the president of IBCCES, Meredith Tekin, is that the CDC has increased the number of children identified with autism to 1 in 36,” explained McLeod. “I love how families can customize their trips based on the sensory guides and determine what attractions are the best fit for their family.”
Smaller thrills 🎡
That will do it from me this week.
Before I go, I have to let you know that “In the Loop: Theme Park Scoops” is pushing pause next week. I won’t be sending out a newsletter, but I look forward to talking with you all in the coming weeks.
I hope you have a fantastic, and somewhat dry, weekend.