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August 15, 2017

Morimoto Asia and Moet present Bubbles and Brunch

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This casual, cocktail-style event will take place in Morimoto Asia's Forbidden Lounge on Sunday August 27, at noon. The menu, created by Executive Chef Yuhi Fujinaga, will include modern Pan-Asian inspired brunch dishes paired with a variety of vintage Moët. Bubbles & Brunch tickets are $60 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Menu

Deviled Eggs
edamame, king crab salad
moët grand vintage blanc 2006

Hoto cake and fresh fruit satay
yuzu honey
moët grand vintage rosé 2008

Orange chicken and waffles
moët brut impérial nv

Dorayaki bao
bacon, spinach, egg
moët nectar impérial blanc nv

Tamari sushi
tuna, salmon, hamachi
moët grand vintage blanc 2008

A minimum age of 21 is required to attend this event.

TICKETS: bit.ly/MorimotoBubbles


August 4, 2017

American Idol Bus Tour Coming to Disney Springs August 17th

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ABC’s “American Idol” launches the start of its highly anticipated open auditions at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. The iconic “American Idol” bus will roll into Disney Springs for auditions taking place on THURSDAY, AUGUST 17. “Idol”-winners Jordin Sparks, Kris Allen and Ruben Studdard will make a special appearance and greet lucky audition participants during the kickoff celebration of the search for America’s next superstar.

When the bus rolls away at the end of the day, Central Florida hopefuls will still have the chance to become a part of “Idol” history by auditioning via the “American Idol” pop-up audition kiosk, which will be at Disney Springs on FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, through FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15. During regular Disney Springs operating hours, visitors can create and submit their very own audition video at the kiosk.

If you can’t make it for the Bus Tour audition, visit the “American Idol” website to audition online.

All singers must be at least 15 years old to audition. Pre-Registration is encouraged. To Pre-Register and for additional details, full eligibility requirements, submission forms, and terms and conditions, visit www.americanidol.com. Those auditioning can bring one guest to accompany them and the guest must be over 5 years old.

Auditions will simultaneously kick off on the West Coast in Portland, Oregon. Visit www.americanidol.com for more information and specific audition details, locations, full eligibility requirements, submission forms, terms and conditions.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin, along with co-executive producer Megan Wolflick. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.

Remember the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID Announce New Hyper-Reality Experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

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New VOID Experience Centers Coming to Downtown Disney and Disney Springs This Holiday Season

BURBANK, Calif. – August 3, 2017 – Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID today announced the new Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire hyper-reality experience. This ground-breaking experience will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World beginning this holiday season, giving Star Wars fans the opportunity to step beyond reality and into a galaxy far, far away.

“At The VOID, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds,” said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID. “A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of The VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.”

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ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s Immersive Entertainment division, created this first-of-its-kind experience, in collaboration with The VOID. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will plunge guests directly into the iconic Star Wars galaxy. Guests will move freely throughout the untethered, social, and multi sensory experience as they interact and engage with friends, family and Star Wars characters.

“At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories,” explained Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of the division. “Through our collaboration with The VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire marks an important milestone in the continued expansion of The VOID, which also joined the 2017 Disney Accelerator earlier this year.

July 11, 2017

Terralina Crafted Italian Opens This Fall at Disney Springs

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A new Italian restaurant, Terralina Crafted Italian, is slated to open this fall at Disney Springs on the site of the former Portobello Country Italian Trattoria. James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano will curate the new menu, and Chef Justin Plank will return from Portobello to run the kitchen.

The restaurant is getting a multimillion-dollar makeover, inspired by the design and lifestyle of Italy’s Lake District. The new space will be reminiscent of an Italian home, with an open kitchen, dining rooms with eclectic decor and a new veranda bar outside the main entrance.

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Chef Mantuano’s authentic Italian cuisine (much of it infused with his signature olive oil imported directly from Italy) will include artisanal pizzas and fresh vegetable dishes fired up in a wood-burning oven. Two new signature dishes --- mussels and a grilled pork chop -- will be on the menu, along with favorites from Portobello, such as the antipasti platter and signature pastas.

Terralina will be open for lunch and dinner -- check back for opening dates.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

May 30, 2017

5 New Dining Concepts Coming Soon to Disney Springs At Walt Disney World Resort

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Five new dining concepts debut as early as Fall 2017, joining the stellar line-up of awarding-winning restaurants at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort:

Opening in 2018 on the West Side is Jaleo, a concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup. Bringing the spirit and flavors of Spain, the Disney Springs restaurant will feature an extensive menu of tapas that reflect the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine, such as paella cooked over a wood fire, hand-carved Jamon Iberico de Bellota and wood-grilled Iberico pork. With five locations in the United States and Mexico City, this will be the first location in Florida. The first floor of the multi-level restaurant will feature a “grab-n-go” storefront with Spanish-style sandwiches. Designed by noted Spanish designer Juli Capella, the multi-level space will feature vibrant, theatrical décor representing the colorful culture of Spain.

Also in 2018, a new Wolfgang Puck concept will open in a new location in Town Center. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, will modernize the traditional “bar and grill” concept in a setting inspired by traditional farmhouses with a touch of elegance. The restaurant, designed by tonychi, will capture the essence of laid-back California dining made popular by Puck at Spago, his flagship restaurant in Los Angeles. The menu will highlight the best of Puck’s signature dishes with Mediterranean influences, innovative takes on comfort food classics and handcrafted specialty cocktails, beer and wine.

This fall, Chicago-based Levy Restaurants is introducing a new Italian concept at Disney Springs with James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano leading development. The new restaurant will replace Levy’s Portobello Country Italian Trattoria and will feature dishes inspired by Mantuano’s adventures in Italy.

Opening later this year, The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant, bar and nighttime destination will debut. A collaboration of Patina Restaurant Group and Kinetescape’s Andrew Meieran, The Edison is noted for classic American food, craft cocktails and live entertainment including cabaret. (The Disney Springs location is inspired by its sister location in Los Angeles.) With Old World sophistication and romance, The Edison will be themed to a 1920s-era electric company, recalling an exuberant era of invention and imagination with entertainment that includes contortionists, aerialists, DJs and more.

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Also opening in late 2017 is Wine Bar George, with Master Sommelier George Miliotes bringing his expertise to Disney Springs with an unparalleled wine list including more than 100 selections by the bottle and glass in a range of varietals, vintages and prices. Shareable plates, cheese and charcuterie will complement the wine list, featuring local artisans and seasonally relevant dishes. Wine education will be served up in an approachable and fun manner, including special events and visits from renowned winemakers. Miliotes is widely regarded as one of the industry’s foremost wine experts, and is one of only 236 professionals certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers.

May 22, 2017

Springs Street Eats Food Truck Rally Coming to Disney Springs

Disney Food Truck

This June 2 and 3, Disney Springs will host "Springs Street Eats," which will highlight the fare from eight Central Florida food trucks, including some from Disney Springs' own Exposition Park.

The visiting food trucks scheduled are:

-- Fantasy Fare, with fan favorites found at Disney theme parks around the world, like the famous Hand-dipped Corn Dog.

-- World Showcase of Flavors, with signature sandwiches inspired by the cuisine featured at the Global Marketplaces during the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

-- Caketeer, which offers high quality gourmet cupcake and custom cake products throughout the Downtown Orlando and Central Florida area, made using the finest culinary-grade ingredients.

-- Philly’s Best Cheesesteaks, which claims to have the best cheesesteaks in or out of Philadelphia.

-- 900 Degreez Pizza, with a bespoke imported Italian wood-fired oven that can cook a pizza in an unbelievable 90 seconds.

-- Magic 4 UR Palate, with creative dishes that are appealing to the eye and at the same time arouse the taste buds.

-- The London Fish and Chippy -- homemade beer batter with specialty haddock fish and chips

-- Tikiz Shaved Ice, offering ice cream as well as refreshing Hawaiian Shaved Ice.

The event will also include live entertainment.

Spring Street Eats will be held in the West Side neighborhood outside of Cirque du Soleil Friday, June 2 from 4 to 11 p.m. and Saturday, June 3 from noon until 11 p.m.

April 6, 2017

The Polite Pig to Open April 10 at Disney Springs Town Center

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On April 10, 2017, The Polite Pig in Town Center at Disney Springs™ at Walt Disney World® Resort will open, the newest concept for award-winning Orlando Chefs James and Julie Petrakis.The husband-wife team, also owners of The Ravenous Pig and Swine & Sons in Winter Park and Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport, are opening this newest concept with James Petrakis’ brother Brian.

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The Polite Pig will feature “modern barbecue” in an open kitchen, with Southern sides like a tomato and watermelon salad, mac and cheese and smoked corn with lime butter. There will also be a solid selection of craft beers and cocktails, and a bourbon bar with more than 50 selections, from small batch bourbons to a Pappy Van Winkle 23-Year Family Reserve.

Most of the menu will be exclusive to The Polite Pig: modern barbecue with The Ravenous Pig twist, like the Southern Pig Sandwich with pulled pork off the smoker, apple slaw, mustard sauce and Duke’s mayo; peel-and-eat shrimp with bourbon-cocktail sauce, and crispy Brussels sprouts with whiskey caramel. A featured appetizer is the Hop Salt Pretzel with beer cheese fondue and IPA mustard. One of the highlighted sandwiches is the Salmon BLT with bacon jam, marinated tomato, romaine and aioli.

In addition to Cask & Larder Brewery brews on tap, there will be other Florida/domestic craft beers and five house cocktails on tap.

Ravenous Pig/Cask & Larder veterans Jared Thate and Allie Weldon will be at helm of the new restaurant, under Chef James Petrakis’ guidance and inspiration.

The location will have 190 seats, and the decor features whimsical pigs on various adventures. Rustic touches are used for custom featured art pieces. Large faded graphics also adorn the main wall of the space adding to the feel of the long-time family run business.

The restaurant will operate under the "fast-casual" concept, which means that you will place your order at the main counter, then servers will bring it to your table when it's ready. The Polite Pig will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

March 6, 2017

Newest Kiehl's Store Now Open at Disney Springs

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New York-based company brings their personalized service to Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (March 3, 2017) — Kiehl's Since 1851, the venerable New York-based purveyor of fine quality skin and hair care preparations, will open its first retail store in Disney Springs on March 3. Kiehl’s is proud to add a sixth location in Florida to discover Kiehl’s efficacious skin, hair and body care products, personalized customer service, and 165-year-old heritage through the complete Kiehl’s experience.

“We are extremely excited to give central Floridian locals and Disney visitors a new opportunity to discover our heritage and history, our philanthropic mission, our sampling and service-oriented approach to retail, and of course, our full line of skin, hair and body care for women, men, children and even dogs,” said Chris Salgardo, Author and President, Kiehl’s USA. “Our customers in Florida have helped drive our company’s growth, supporting Kiehl’s both in stores and online. Demand for a new local retail store has grown, and we’re so excited to open another Kiehl’s to be part of Disney Springs, the world-class entertainment, shopping, and dining destination. Each element of our new store, from the design of the fixtures explaining our skin, hair and body formulations, to the historical photographs, mementos and Kiehl’s icons, helps tell the extensive story of this unique company that began as an old-world apothecary at the corner of 13th Street and Third Avenue in New York’s East Village.”

Kiehl’s at Disney Springs mirrors the unique ambiance found in the company’s original New York Flagship, which began as a neighborhood apothecary in 1851. The new store brings a modern New York apothecary to Florida, referencing the company’s original East Village roots and blending antique apothecary fixtures with modern flair.

Kiehl’s at Disney Springs continues the company’s commitment to superior customer service through its traditional practices:

Kiehl’s commitment to environmental responsibility and Recycle and Be Rewarded! Kiehl’s utilizes natural, sustainable materials and energy-efficient light fixtures – and encourages patrons to recycle Kiehl’s packaging with a specially designed recycling bin, promoted through Kiehl’s Recycle and Be Rewarded! The program offers customers the opportunity to return empty Kiehl’s jars, bottles and tubes to the store for recycling, in exchange for complimentary products.

Kiehl’s commitment to education through attentive service is accentuated through a dedicated personal consultation area. The enhanced space provides an opportunity for Kiehl’s Customer Representatives (KCRs) and patrons to converse privately about products best suited for the customer’s individual needs. KCRs also use tools such as Skin Barrier Testing Tabs and a revolutionary Dehydration Analyzer Tool to help diagnose the health and hydration level of a customer’s skin, and recommend the most appropriate products for him or her.

Simple, no-frills packaging allows Kiehl’s to formulate its products with high quantities of the most efficacious, natural ingredients available.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Rewards, the company’s point-based loyalty program that honors and rewards customers with benefits including special invitations, offers, and early access to new products and formulations.

Generous sampling through Kiehl’s “try before you buy” program offers the complete Kiehl’s line of skin and hair care for men, women, children and babies with a generous offering of its traditional product samples. To assure its customers always find exactly what they need, Kiehl’s offers a 100% money back guarantee on all purchases, and guarantees that customers will see revitalized skin in 28 days or their money back.

Custom gifting 365 days a year allows customers to create personalized gifts year-round. A Kiehl’s Customer Representative will help the customer assemble a personalized, custom gift box, choosing items based on recipient, theme, ingredient or price, from any and all products in the store.

The 1,681 sq. ft. retail space maintains Kiehl’s signature apothecary aesthetic and features:

-- Personal consultation table – A designated table provides patrons a comfortable station for complimentary Healthy Skin Consultations by KCRs, which helps them determine the formulas best suited for their personal needs.
-- Men’s Destination – an unintimidating space for specialized grooming education and demonstrations designed for men. A KCR will be on hand to offer quick, straightforward service and recommendations on the Kiehl’s products that are most tailored to men’s needs. Specially designed accents such as military-style lockers and props bring this relaxing stop to life for Kiehl’s male patrons.
-- Carrara marble tables, counters and trim – provide a utilitarian, functional approach.
-- Natural, sustainable materials – such as tabletops made from paperstone, a waterproof material made from 100 % post-consumer recycled paper.
-- Energy-efficient compact fluorescent lighting – spotlights Kiehl’s products in an environmentally friendly way.
-- “Mr. Bones” – the teaching skeleton and Kiehl’s icon. Pharmacist and Kiehl’s founding family member Mr. Aaron Morse valued education for his employees and his customers. As he prescribed treatments for his customers, he would use a teaching skeleton nicknamed “Mr. Bones” to explain the uses of the suggested formulas.
-- Kiehl’s signature motorcycle – this icon of Kiehl’s heritage will be on permanent display, evocative of the passions and adventurous spirit of Kiehl’s founding family.
-- Vintage photographs and mementos take customers on an exciting journey through Kiehl’s rich history.
-- Botanical-inspired graphics – The walls feature custom graphic designs that highlight the botanicals used in Kiehl’s products and elements nodding to our 165-year history.

January 30, 2017

DisneyQuest to Close July 3, 2017; NBA Experience to Take Its Place

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Today, it was announced that DisneyQuest at Disney Springs West Side will close on July 3, 2017, to make way for The NBA Experience, a one-of-a-kind basketball-themed experience featuring hands-on activities that put guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. The NBA Experience was originally announced for Disney Springs in June 2015.

Until July 3, DisneyQuest will continue to offer a great interactive experience for all guests. Disney fans of classic arcade game favorites and virtual worlds featured at the indoor theme park are invited to come out and enjoy the experiences.

More details will be announced soon regarding the NBA Experience, which will include immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store.


Planet Hollywood's Transformed Orlando Flagship Location Opened Today

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America’s Iconic Celebrity-Themed Restaurant Opens Revitalized Location With Four-Story Stargazing Observatory Inspired by Disney Springs’ Turn-of-the-Century Aesthetic

ORLANDO, Fla. (January 30th, 2017) -- Planet Hollywood, America’s preeminent restaurant destination dedicated to celebrating the entertainment industry, opened its Orlando flagship location, Planet Hollywood Observatory, today, January 30, 2017.

Centrally located to all the nearby attractions, the restaurant overlooks the heart of Disney Springs, the dining, retail and entertainment district located at Walt Disney World Resort. Multi-million dollar renovations have transformed Planet Hollywood’s iconic globe into a four-story stargazing observatory with new spaces, including an outdoor terrace and lounge, a new menu and an exciting new look and feel. The 36,000-square-foot restaurant invites patrons of all ages to “Dine Amongst the Stars” with an immersive theatrical dining experience unlike anything before.

Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, each floor was created to provide a different experience so guests can return again and again, discovering a new adventure each time. Walls and glass displays throughout the restaurant are adorned with imagery as well as a curated collection of memorabilia that pays homage to a long tradition of filmmaking and Planet Hollywood Observatory’s continued commitment to the new, rising stars of the entertainment industry. Along with a state-of-the-art 4,500-square-foot video wall, Planet Hollywood Observatory guests will be mesmerized by three-dimensional interiors that come to life through Trompe L’oeil 3D technology, an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist not on the screen but in the space itself.

“We wanted Planet Hollywood Observatory to re-invent what is expected from themed dining. What we’ve created here is a stand-alone destination that evokes the feeling of early 20th century Florida and fits into the greater story of Disney Springs,” said Planet Hollywood International Founder and Chairman Robert Earl. “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome guests, and our wonderful staff, into this newly reimagined space.”

An enhanced, yet timeless menu highlights Planet Hollywood’s classic dishes, introducing a savory selection of “Big Bite Burgers” and over the top Signature Sandwiches from dynamic chef, restaurateur and television personality Guy Fieri and new decadent sweets that include hand-dipped milkshakes and indulgent shareable desserts. A curated beverage program features a variety of wines, bottled and draft beers, as well as cocktails served in specialty glassware to cater to the needs of all guests, from groups with small children to young adults and seniors.

The Stargazers lounge, a 5,000-square-foot outdoor expansion overlooking Disney Springs, allows guests to relax under the stars while enjoying cocktails and live entertainment al fresco. A dedicated beverage menu, focused on Florida craft beers, touts 20 different taps as well as 10 signature cocktails infused with classic Floridian ingredients, such as the Stargazer with Stoli Blueberi vodka, lemonade, fresh blueberries and basil, and The Observatory with Stoli vodka, Limoncino Bottega, Monin Peach Tea and Candoni Prosecco.

Planet Hollywood Observatory is now officially open to the public and is open daily from 11 a.m. until 1 a.m.

December 8, 2016

Morimoto Asia Rings in the Holidays

Ready to ring in the holidays? Visit Morimoto Asia for new and inovative holiday cocktails!

Winter Wonderland, Fuji Apple Holiday Cider and more. (Click on the photo for a detailed image.)

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How about an Asian Whisky Flight? (Click on the photo for a detailed image.)

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Morimoto Asia is located in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World.

December 3, 2016

New PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs

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A brand-new Disney PhotoPass Studio just debuted in the Marketplace at Disney Springs, and is the perfect place to snap a family portrait.

At the Studio, guests can choose from the original standard background or new virtual backgrounds that place you front and center at some of your favorite Disney scenes. A Disney PhotoPass Photographer will be onhand to find the perfect virtual background for your portrait.

Along with additional portrait spaces, new view stations have been installed for you to easily preview, purchase and print all of your vacation memories linked to your Disney account with the assistance of a Disney PhotoPass Photographer*.

Reservations are not needed to visit the Disney PhotoPass Studio, and photos taken at this location will be linked to your My Disney Experience account. Studio photos are also included as part of an active Memory Maker entitlement.

*Online account registration required. Disney PhotoPass Service and Memory Maker are subject to the Disney PhotoPass and Memory Maker terms and applicable policies available at https://mydisneyphotopass.disney.go.com/help-and-support/policies. Photos in your account will expire pursuant to the expiration policy Downloads are restricted to personal use only. Not responsible for missing, lost or damaged photos. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

November 18, 2016

Disney Springs Treats Holiday Guests to Festive Entertainment, World-Class Shopping, Special Events and More

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. –With its multi-year makeover from Downtown Disney nearly complete, Disney Springs at every corner will be unwrapping its very first full-on holidays gala. For the first time, the just-expanded shopping, dining and entertainment district will be filled with festive decorations, the merriest of special events, and fun for the whole family.

During the celebration — now through Jan. 8, 2017 — Disney Springs puts a big red bow around the season of cheer with three extra special events:

-- Stitch’s Holiday Gift A fun scavenger hunt will allow guests to explore all four neighborhoods of Disney Springs. Guests pick up their Holiday Hunt booklet at any participating location, then explore Disney Springs in search of a unique Stitch icon at each participating location. Once complete, guests redeem the booklet at a redemption location to receive a free “completer” button.
-- The Festival of Toys. The Once Upon a Toy Fountain area comes alive with a holiday dance party, deluxe hot chocolate for sale, pin trading and a nightly tree lighting ceremony inviting a select family to turn on the holiday lights.
-- Disney Springs’ Christmas Tree Trail. This immersive and enchanting walk-through experience features 15 custom decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme. Custom music and a light snowfall completes the Christmassy scene.

Holiday Shopper’s Paradise
Talk about shopping, Disney Springs will be the address for shoppers at holiday time – from name-brand retailers to unique boutiques stocking that special trinket for under the tree to everything in between.

Some of the most recognizable names in retailing have opened their doors in Town Center, newest neighborhood of Disney Springs. These include Anthropologie, Lucky Brand, kate spade new york, UNDER ARMOUR BRAND HOUSE, Tommy Bahama and Sephora – plus brands unique to Central Florida including UNIQLO, Melissa Shoes and UNOde50.

In Marketplace, guests can shop for seasonal offerings at Disney’s Days of Christmas, Art of Disney, World of Disney, Wonderful World of Memories, Marketplace Fun Finds, and Marketplace Co-Op.

At Art of Disney, shoppers can find sketch artists doing holiday artwork. Goofy’s Candy Co. for the holidays is a yummy wonderland of chocolate-dipped candy canes, Olaf caramel apples, Mickey Santa Krispy Treat, miniature fruit cakes and a Mickey Santa Cupcake.

Disney Springs also unwraps a special, hard-to-find present found on every shopper’s wish list: convenient, close-in and complimentary parking.

With the proximity of two “smart” garages where open parking spaces are readily identified, Disney Springs guests are spared the holiday angst of jockeying up and down rows of parked cars for the elusive slot. Disney Springs also is connected to Disney resort hotels by complimentary motorcoach or watercraft service. After 4pm, transportation is available from all four Theme Parks to Disney Springs.

Holiday Feasting at Disney Springs
When the holiday hungries strike, there is no need to pack back into the car. Great dining options abound at every corner of Disney Springs, whether it’s grab-and-go (food trucks at West Side), casual sit-down (Earl of Sandwich, Paradiso 37, Wolfgang Puck Cafe) or a memorable dining experience at venues such as STK and Morimoto Asia. At select locations such as The BOATHOUSE, Raglan Road, T-Rex Café, Rainforest Cafe and Splitsville, entertainment becomes an extra added attraction to holiday feasting.

Frontera Cocina, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, D-Luxe Burger, Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine are new Town Center dining discoveries holiday shoppers will find. Also new for 2016: a holiday cocktails and craft beer in Marketplace.

Byways and stages filled with holiday entertainment

Between great shopping and dining, Disney Springs treats guests to a sleighful of holiday entertainment.

At Marketplace, Living Statues (World of Disney/Poutine Courtyard)
At Marketplace, The Festival of Toys
At Marketplace, Carolers (near Disney’s Days of Christmas and Santa’s Chalet).
At Waterview Park (The Landing), Hanukkah-inspired troupe Kalinka 24-30
At Waterside Stage (Marketplace), DJ Holiday Dance Party
At Waterside Stage, UHURU celebrating Kwanza Dec. 26-27
At Marketplace, Toy Soldier stilt walkers

Best News of All

That would be the Jolly Old Man himself. Direct from the North Pole, Santa Claus invites the young and young-at-heart to share their Christmas wishes at Santa’s Chalet (Marketplace) Nov. 11-Dec. 24 (Noon-10:00 p.m.) and Black Friday Nov. 25 (8 a.m.-10:00 p.m.). Santa Goofy joins the fun Dec. 25-Dec. 30 (Noon-10:00 p.m.).

November 16, 2016

Disney Springs Celebrates Black Friday (And Saturday) This Thanksgiving Season

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – With the emergence of Disney Springs as a world-class shopping destination, merchants throughout the retail, dining and entertainment district are taking part in that great American tradition of holiday shopping: Black Friday on Nov. 25, 2016.

In fact, the fun is being extended to a second day, Saturday, Nov. 26.

More than 60 stores are planning special Black Friday sales and promotions. And children of all ages will have a chance to meet Santa as early as 8 a.m.

While supplies last, World of Disney and other Marketplace favorites will offer special savings on popular items, such as Vera Bradley “Midnight with Mickey” hipster bags for $24.99 at Marketplace Co-Op. Star Wars fans will find Storm Trooper Action Figures for $14.99 at Star Wars Galactic Outpost, and a holiday wreath with lights is available at Disney’s Days of Christmas for $16.99.

Other deals include savings of up to 40 percent on select merchandise at Curl by Sammy Duval, a free bangle with $125 purchase at Pandora Jewelry, 40 percent off all merchandise, excluding “rare finds,” at Lucky Brand and up to 60 percent off original prices of select styles at APEX by Sunglass Hut.

All stores will open at 8 a.m. – two hours earlier than normal – on Black Friday, Nov. 25, and Saturday, Nov. 26. Adding to the festivities, the Disney Springs waterfront promenade will feature bars offering mimosas for purchase, while Bloody Marys will be available for purchase at nearby Dockside Margaritas.

For a full list of participating locations, shoppers can visit DisneyWorld.com/BlackFriday.

Beyond the Black Friday specials offered by merchants, a whole world of entertainment awaits shoppers at Disney Springs to make for a most unique day of fun for the entire family. Here’s a dozen diversions for shoppers to Disney Springs:

-- Take a break and go bowling — but not just any bowling. Splitsville Luxury Lanes elevates bowling to a new level with upscale food and live music. Located in the heart of West Side.
-- Rise high above the panorama of Disney Springs aboard the Characters in Flight Balloon, operated by Aerophile. The world’s largest tethered helium balloon rises 400 feet for breathtaking views. West Side.
-- Hit the pause button from shopping and relax in comfort by taking in a box office hit at AMC Movies at Disney Springs. Includes the Fork & Screen Dine-In Theatre. West Side.
-- On-the-go guests can grab a quick bite or shop merchandise at the many kiosks strung around Disney Springs.
-- Where else can families have a theme park experience while making the shopping rounds? DisneyQuest Interactive Theme Park lets guests choose their own high-tech adventure among five floors of gaming awesomeness – from classic arcade favorites to immersive virtual worlds. West Side.
-- Head for Paradiso 37, a waterfront emporium for dining, dancing, live Latin music and a tequila menu boasting more than 75 choices. The Landing.
-- Take the kiddies for a spin on a charming Venetian carousel, lavishly hand-painted and crafted by skilled artisans in Italy. Marketplace.
-- Unwind lakeside at the open-air Waterside Stage where special events, activities and live performances – from full concerts to a DJ Kids Dance Party – take place every day and night. The Landing.
-- Take a break at Raglan Road, an Irish pub, over a cold pint, hearty cuisine, live music and high-stepping Irish Dancers. The Landing.
-- Remember the slogan “The Pause that Refreshes”? From the rooftop bar of the Coca-Cola Store shoppers can pause, enjoy classic and exotic flavors while they take in the panorama of Disney Springs. Town Center.
-- How about a lake cruise to add spice to your shopping day? Vintage American Amphicars and romantic Italian water taxis depart regularly from The BOATHOUSE, an upscale dining location on Lake Buena Vista. The Landing.
-- Put on a happy face – or any other face. At the Face Painting by Enjoy Your Face booth, you can choose from a whimsical or animal-inspired design or have a face-painting professional create a custom look.

Disney and Intel Light Up the Skies at Disney Springs With Hundreds of Twinkling Choreographed Show Drones

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Groundbreaking "Starbright Holidays - An Intel Collaboration" Gives New Meaning to "Wishing Upon a Star"

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 16, 2016 – This holiday season, guests at Disney Springs – the shopping, dining and entertainment district of Walt Disney World Resort – will get a chance to see Disney and Intel exploring remarkable new technology as hundreds of lighted show drones take to the nighttime sky in “Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration.”

The first-of-its-kind light show featuring 300 Intel® Shooting StarTM show drones invites guests to gaze skyward and make a special wish this holiday season. The synchronized choreography of the new Intel Shooting Star drones is set to a specially orchestrated arrangement of classic holiday music. In the nostalgic and stirring medley, Disney Springs guests can listen for a few bars of classic Disney melodies.

“We are thrilled to share an experience as innovative and unique as Disney Springs,” said Keith Bradford, Vice President of Disney Springs. “‘Starbright Holidays’ is a wonderful surprise and delight moment for guests as they enjoy an evening of world-class shopping, dining and entertainment here at Disney Springs.”

Added Jon Snoddy, Studio Executive with Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, “At Disney, we are always looking for innovative ways to tell stories and create unexpected experiences. We’re excited to invite guests to watch as we explore the possibilities of this remarkable new technology.”

“Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration” marks the first time in the United States 300 show drones have flown at one time. At 280g, the Intel Shooting Star drone weighs less than a volleyball, and features built-in LED lights that can create more than four billion color combinations.

“We are excited to work with Walt Disney Imagineering to bring a fresh and innovative approach to its world-renowned light shows,” said Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s New Technology Group, Josh Walden. “Together, we worked to tackle the new frontier of entertainment, picturing the sky as our canvas, and flying lights as ink.”

“Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration” will join other holiday enhancements at Disney Springs, including a brand-new Christmas Tree Trail, special seasonal entertainment, meet and greets with Santa, and festive decor throughout all four neighborhoods – Town Center, The Landing, West Side and Marketplace.

November 14, 2016

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil Special Performances Sunday November 20

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Two Special Performances - Sunday November 20th Only!

This Sunday, La Nouba will perform two shows deviating from its regular schedule of Tuesday - Saturday.

Enjoy a special matinee performance at 3pm. La Nouba will also have a performance at 6pm.

Families can save big on the performances, with tickets for children nine and under 50% off. With the discount, kids’ tickets start at just $24 with the purchase of an adult full price ticket. Tickets can be purchased at www.lanouba.com.

November 7, 2016

Disney Springs Offers New Holiday Experience

This holiday season, the idea of “wishing upon a star” will take on an even more magical meaning in the skies of Disney Springs.

Here’s your first look:

October 10, 2016

Wine Bar George Opening 2017 in Disney Springs

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WINE BAR GEORGE SET TO OPEN AT DISNEY SPRINGS IN FALL 2017
George Miliotes, Master Sommelier, Returns to Walt Disney World Resort with New Wine Bar

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 10, 2016 – Master Sommelier George Miliotes will bring his renowned wine expertise to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort when his new venture, Wine Bar George, opens in fall 2017. Wine Bar George will be the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida.

Miliotes is widely regarded as one of the restaurant industry’s foremost wine experts with accolades and awards from national publications including Wine Spectator. Miliotes is no stranger to Walt Disney World Resort – he was part of the opening team of California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and managed the venue from 1995 to 2002. While there, he created an award-winning wine list and one of the first 100 wines by the glass lists in the country.

“I’m excited to return to Walt Disney World Resort, and Disney Springs is the perfect place to open a wine bar and share my passion with the world,” Miliotes said. “Having the opportunity to train and hire my own team while sharing my 40-plus years of knowledge is truly incredible, and I look forward to opening our doors in the coming year.”

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As one of only 230 worldwide industry professionals certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers, Miliotes will feature wines from famed growing regions both stateside and abroad at Wine Bar George. The location will offer an unparalleled wine list including more than 100 selections both by the bottle and the glass.

“With an international wine list that’s both approachable and adventurous, my hope is that Wine Bar George will cater to wine connoisseurs and novices alike,” Miliotes said. “The wine menu will feature a range of varietals, vintages and prices. Guests will be able to experience sips from acclaimed and well-known wineries as well as growing regions and wineries that are up-and-coming.”

Additionally, Wine Bar George will include a food menu featuring small plates, cheese, and charcuterie designed to complement the wine list. Offerings will feature local artisans and seasonally relevant items.

“As a native Floridian, it’s important to me to support local farms and businesses,” Miliotes said. “And with our seasonal menu, we’ll change our offerings as ingredients come into their prime. Every menu item will complement selections on our wine list, bringing guests ideal food and wine pairings and culinary explorations.”

Guests can expect their experience to include wine education, which will be served up in an approachable and fun manner. Every part of the Wine Bar George experience, including special events and visits from renowned winemakers, will educate and enlighten guests about food and wine.

“I’m thrilled to share my enthusiasm and passion for wine with every single guest,” Miliotes said. “Every interaction we have with our guests is the chance to teach them about the fascinating world of wine. Good wine and good food go together, and sometimes people overcomplicate that notion. At Wine Bar George, guests will enjoy the trifecta of exceptional food, renowned wines and leave with as much wine knowledge as they wish.”

When the 210-seat wine bar opens, it will join a growing and remarkable group of dining, shopping and entertainment offerings at Disney Springs. The design for the 6,000-square-foot space will be reminiscent of a winemaker’s home estate featuring oak wood, warm lighting and a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere.

Follow George @WineBarGeorge on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest and join the #WineBarGeorge conversation. Visit WineBarGeorge.com for news and updates.
# #

September 29, 2016

"A Princess Royal Reception" Comes to Disney Springs This October

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A one-month, limited-time offering is set to debut on Saturday, October 1, 2016, at the World of Disney at Disney Springs.

"A Princess Royal Reception" will take place at the store intermittently between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day featuring a visiting Disney princess -- Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Tiana or another. There are no set times for specific characters.

According to Entertainment Show Director Tom Vazzana: "Cinderella had a wish for her and her fellow royal princesses to have a place to meet new friends. The Fairy Godmother was able to grant her this wish, and now, tucked away in a magical corner of World of Disney is a location befitting Cinderella's request. A magical 'royal hall' was created, complete with tapestries and images inspired by classic fairytales."

A Disney PhotoPass photographer will be on hand to capture each interaction, and the photos will be available for guests to purchase or download as part of their Memory Maker product purchase.

"A Princess Royal Reception" will take place daily October 1 to November 1, 2016. When you arrive at the World of Disney, check in for the experience and a cast member will tell you the approximate wait time and return instructions. When it is time for you to return to the queue, you'll be moments away from meeting a Disney Princess.

Source: The Disney Parks Blog

August 23, 2016

Planet Hollywood Joins Forces with Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri

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Planet Hollywood's New "Guy" to Develop A Specialty Sandwich Menu for America's Iconic Celebrity-Themed Restaurant

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Planet Hollywood, America's preeminent restaurant destination dedicated to celebrating the entertainment industry, announced today that dynamic chef, restaurateur and television personality Guy Fieri will introduce a flavor-packed burger and sandwich menu as part of their larger menu offerings for the transformed Orlando flagship location, set to reopen this fall as the Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs. Repeatedly at the forefront of industry trends, Robert Earl, the entrepreneur, restaurateur and star of the Cooking Channel's "Robert Earl's Be My Guest®," reached out to Fieri because of their shared passion for food. In addition to the section designed by Fieri, the Planet Hollywood Observatory will soon reveal the entire new menu featuring a wide variety of offerings and bold flavors.

"Guy Fieri has created an impressive culinary empire and has built an incredible TV following with several food-themed shows, so it was a no-brainer to invite him to create a special menu for Planet Hollywood Observatory. This partnership only furthers our commitment to refresh our guest experience while continuing to offer freshly-prepared, pleasing dishes," said Planet Hollywood International Founder and Chairman Robert Earl.

Fieri, a chef, entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, has brought his signature blend of authentic-meets-surprising flavors to new dishes such as the Prime Time American Kobe-Inspired Burger and the Turkey Pic-a-nic Sandwich, a perfect accompaniment to Planet Hollywood's creamy hand-dipped milkshakes. The menu will also feature new over-the-top creations that will have guests craving more after the first bite.

"It's awesome to be working with Robert Earl and the Planet Hollywood Team," states Fieri. "For the Planet Hollywood Observatory, I'm bringing a big time burger and sandwich menu with real deal flavors for everyone."

Opening this fall, the Planet Hollywood Observatory is centrally located and will overlook the heart of Disney Springs with a newly expanded outdoor terrace and bar. Within the sophisticated entertainment emporium, patrons of all ages will be invited to "Dine Amongst the Stars" through distinctive indoor and outdoor bar and lounge options, an imaginative new merchandise line, and a host of all-star celebrity collaborations.

New dining options will highlight Planet Hollywood's timeless classics and introduce Fieri's updated creations. A curated beverage program will feature a variety of milkshakes, smoothies, wines, bottled and draft beers, as well as cocktails served in specialty glassware to cater to the needs of all guests, from groups with small children to young adults and seniors. Spacious dining rooms ensure comfort for family meals while various bar spaces set the mood for a perfect date.

The exterior will be reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century observatory with a modern design aesthetic, while the interior's refurbished upholstery, spherical planet-shaped lighting fixtures and stylish finishing will create a welcoming atmosphere for fans to celebrate a new generation of superstar entertainers.

July 18, 2016

The Polite Pig Restaurant Coming to Disney Springs

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The Polite Pig
will bring a new twist on favorite local flavors to Disney Springs when it opens in spring 2017. A sister restaurant to The Ravenous Pig of Winter Park, FL, The Polite Pig will feature a variety of wood-fired smoked and grilled items, as well as an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks on tap, including locally brewed Cask & Larder beer, wine and cocktails.

Owners and James Beard award nominees James and Julie Petrakis are partnering with James’ brother (who operates another popular Orlando-area eatery, Greens & Grille) to open the new restaurant, located in the Town Center neighborhood of Disney Springs. The 5,000-square-foot venue will be open daily for lunch and dinner, with seating for about 200 guests.

“As a locally-based restaurant group, it’s great to bring our new concept to Disney Springs where we’ll have the opportunity to showcase genuine Florida cuisine for guests from around the world,” James Petrakis said. “With so many talented chefs opening new restaurants at Disney Springs, we’re really excited to be part of a group helping Central Florida distinguish itself as a world-class culinary destination.”

-- originally published in The Disney Parks Blog

July 15, 2016

UNIQLO Opens Special Concept Store in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

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ORLANDO, Fla., July 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- UNIQLO is pleased to celebrate the launch of its newest store location in the U.S. this Friday, July 15, in Town Center at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. UNIQLO opens its doors at 10 a.m. to the sounds of a Japanese Taiko drum performance, welcoming customers to an experience they will long remember.

"Opening our UNIQLO store at Disney Springs is a dream come true for us," said Hiroshi Taki, CEO of UNIQLO USA. "We look forward to introducing a new and unique shopping experience, unlike any other UNIQLO store in the world, with special products, Japanese-inspired merchandise and family-fun activities for both locals and vacationers. We hope every day will feel like opening day for our customers."
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UNIQLO at Disney Springs will be the company's first store in the Southeast region. Upon entering the 25,000 square-foot (2,300-square-meter) store, customers are introduced to the brand's full assortment of LifeWear: innovative, high-quality clothing that is universal in design and comfort and made for anyone, anywhere. The walls of the first floor are lined by such core products as Supima Cotton T-shirts, Dry Pique Polo Shirts, and Premium Linen Shirts, in a variety of colors and styles for any occasion. Walking farther into the store, customers see special concept corners unique to UNIQLO at Disney Springs that bring the brand's Japanese heritage to life, alongside an assortment of Disney-inspired products.

The second floor opens to a room dedicated to the athletic wear worn by UNIQLO's Global Brand Ambassadors, including men's World No.1 singles tennis player Novak Djokovic and top golfer Adam Scott. Also featured are men's and women's innerwear products such as AIRism, made with cooling technology, and socks piled high in 50 colors. A wall of UTs (UNIQLO T-shirts) highlighting designs by modern artists, and casual wear for men, women, kids, and babies make up the rest of the floor.

Japanese Heritage:

Exclusive Japanese "omiyage" (souvenir) items are available for purchase, including silk folding fans, uchiwa fans, paper samurai costumes and Buddha boards. Themes from "Kabuki," a classical performing art in Japan, are featured on UTs, and Yukatas - light cotton kimonos - are available for women and girls. In addition, the store windows highlight artfully-folded paper exhibits by artists Mr. Edmund Ooi and Mr. Shin Tanaka, and in-store daily activities include origami and calligraphy lessons.

Exclusive Products:

An assortment of products are sold exclusively at the UNIQLO store at Disney Springs and at the Uniqlo.com online store, featuring iconic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, as well as "city" T-Shirts including Orlando, Florida. The store also sells exclusive Disney-themed patches, which can be ironed onto any UNIQLO item of clothing on the spot as a complimentary service.

Customers can share their excitement about the new UNIQLO store via the company's social media channels Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #UniqloDisneySprings.

Opening Weekend Events, July 15 - 17:

Activities

1. UNIQLO Prize Wheel
On July 15, customers have the chance to win prizes ranging from UTs (UNIQLO T-shirts) and AIRism innerwear products, to store gift cards, and a trip for two to Tokyo, Japan.

2. Origami and Calligraphy Lessons
Customers are invited to join Japanese origami and calligraphy lessons with professional artists every Saturday and Sunday, with an extended schedule during Opening Weekend running from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 16, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 17.

3. Calligraphy Demonstrations
Calligraphy demonstrations by artist Ms. Aoi Yamaguchi take place in front of the store on Opening Day, July 15, at 6:15 p.m. and 7:35 p.m.

4. Taiko Drum Performances
Taiko Project performs in front of the store on July 15, at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

5. Kendama Performances
Kendama – a traditional Japanese wooden toy with three cups, a spike and a ball - performances take place in front of the store on July 15, at 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.


Operating Hours:

10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Sunday

July 10, 2016

"The Great Irish Hooley" Returns to Raglan Road

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Raglan Road will host its 5th annual ‘Great Irish Hooley’ Sept. 2-5 at Disney Springs. Labor Day weekend guests can celebrate Orlando’s only boutique Irish festival with authentic Irish cuisine and beverages and a memorable long weekend of top Irish talent, including award-winning bands and performances by the Raglan Road Dancers.

A line-up of celebrated Irish bands will play traditional, folk and rock tunes on the restaurant main stage and outside on the pub patio. This year’s line-up features top acts Screaming Orphans, The Raglan Roots Coalition, Flat Out, The Marianne Fraser Band, The High Road, Swingin’ On The Gate, Cooney and Ryan and Jake Richardson. Additional bands and show times will be announced over the coming weeks.

Headline act the Screaming Orphans are the four Diver sisters from Bundoran, Co. Donegal, Ireland. They have carved a great reputation of being a captivating and entertaining live band in Europe and America, combining their own original pop/rock music with the Céilí traditional style of music that was inherited from their family roots. Their mesmerizing, dynamic and highly electric live performances and stage presence have taken the festival circuit by storm.

Performances begin at noon Friday, Sept 2, through Monday, Sept. 5, and continue throughout each day and night.

July 5, 2016

Coca Cola Store Orlando Invites Guests to Shop Refreshed at Disney Springs

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Coca Cola Store Orlando opened July 2 at Disney Springs, allowing guests to experience the world’s most iconic beverage brand at a new immersive retail destination. Just as Disney Springs is a one-of-a-kind Disney experience delivering great dining, shopping and entertainment, Coca Cola Store Orlando is uniquely designed to showcase Coca Cola branded merchandise and entertaining experiences that inspire the senses.

Coca Cola Store Orlando is modeled after a 1920s Coca Cola bottling plant. Celebrating the history of Coca-Cola, the inviting brick exterior gives a nod to the brand’s heritage while the glass-accented entry pays tribute to the iconic Coca Cola green glass bottle. Inside, guests are welcomed by a 30-foot-wide blown-glass chandelier crafted from repurposed Coca Cola bottles – just one example of how this unique retail experience was designed with the environment in mind. The store – one of only three retail locations operated by The Coca Cola Company in the United States – features a broad assortment of Coca-Cola branded merchandise. A line of sustainable fashion apparel and other handmade items crafted from recycled materials showcase the 5by20™ collection – an array of items created by women artisans from around the world.

Guests can visit the refreshing rooftop beverage bar and taste an ice-cold Coca Cola while taking in the sights of Disney Springs. For the ultimate Coke experience, guests can choose from a variety of Coca Cola brands from around the world such as Beverly from Italy and Thums Up from India, frozen beverages and over 100 drink choices via Coca Cola Freestyle®. A selection of specialty adult beverages is available in the evenings.

“Coca Cola shares much in common with Disney, including our ability to inspire unique moments of optimism and happiness for our fans,” said Russell Jacobs, General Manager of Retail and Attractions at The Coca Cola Company.

Stefanie Miller, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnership Marketing added, “We’ve been a proud partner of The Walt Disney Company since 1942, and both brands hold a special place in people’s hearts and minds. Now we’re raising a glass to Coca Cola Store Orlando, where Disney and Coca Cola fans alike can truly ‘Taste the Feeling.’”

Beginning in August, guests can share a moment with the famous Coca Cola Polar Bear. Bear hugs, high fives and photos will all be welcome!

Disney Springs Summer Celebration!

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Disney Springs is having a Summer Celebration!

This summer there is even more live entertainment, special décor, sales at many retailers, and fun warm weather-inspired enhancements, this Grand Opening season is the perfect time to discover Disney Springs.

Check out a few of the additions, going on through Labor Day:

Entertainment:
Did you know that on any given night, there are more than 20 different entertainment acts performing throughout the four Disney Springs neighborhoods?

This free entertainment includes a variety of live musicians, improvisational rappers, DJs, Living Statues and, depending on the night you visit, maybe even a roaming illusionist (my favorite!). We’re amping up the Florida factor with some additional local talent including Sleeping Sunset (Pop), The I-4 Band (Top 40), Chaz Robinson (Pop), Casey Conroy (Contemporary/Pop), Plus 1 (Country), Vintage Vinyl (Contemporary with a vintage sound), Dayve Stewart (Jazz), CeCe Teneal (R&B), The Gerry Williams Band (Funk), and The Liam Duncan Trio (Current Acoustic) mixing it up all summer long.

Beat the Heat DJ Party: Every afternoon, the Marketplace Fountain will be flowing, giving guests young and old the chance to splash the day away. With a combination of chill summer tunes and a variety of ice-cold, frosty beverages (with options for adults and kids) nearby, this will be THE spot to cool down.

Retail Offers and Promotions: An ever-changing array of sales and specials makes summer shopping during the Disney Springs Grand Opening Celebration a must! A quick walk around Town Center, our newest neighborhood, reveals that many locations are offering some hard-to-pass-up deals. Below, a few that I’m especially excited about, happening now (keep in mind that offers are subject to change):

Columbia Sportswear – 25% off entire store
Lucky Brand – 40% off entire store
Sperry – 50% off select items
Kipling – 25% off the entire store, with 40% off select colors
Alex and Ani – 30% off select styles
UNOde50 – 30% off select accessories and jewelry
francesca’s – buy one, get one 50% off accessories
Erwin Pearl – 10% off Maya Collection
Melissa Shoes – 40-60% off select styles when you buy 2 or more pairs
JOHNNY WAS – 20% off in-store
ZARA – summer sale happening now
LACOSTE – up to 50% off select items
Johnston & Murphy – buy one, get one 50% off apparel
American Threads – buy one, get one 50% off regular priced apparel, exclusions apply

And More:

Keep an eye out for roaming PhotoPass photographers who will have Disney Springs Grand Opening-themed frames and props for you to pose with.

In select locations, limited-edition “Grand Opening” treats will be available – I hear the culinary teams at The Ganachery and Amorette’s Patisserie have something sweet in store.

Finally, with festive Grand Opening décor throughout property, you’ll feel that there’s something special in the air.

Getting to Disney Springs: Disney Resort hotel guests can take complimentary bus transportation that drops off in the heart of Town Center. If you choose to drive, access the property from I-4 West via a new connection that leads directly to one of our two convenient parking garages. Both feature complimentary parking and smart technology that identifies open parking spaces. Valet parking is also available.


From the Disney Parks Blog

May 15, 2016

Town Center Phase One Opens at Disney Springs

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More than 40 new tenants will roll out their welcome mats this summer and open for business

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 15, 2016) – Eager with anticipation, guests flocked to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort this morning with the hopes of being among the first to experience its newest retail neighborhood – Town Center.

Opening in phases today and throughout the summer, Town Center will be home to some of the most recognizable names in retail such as Anthropologie, ZARA, LACOSTE and Lucky Brand, as well as some brands that are new to the Central Florida market, such as UNIQLO, Melissa Shoes and UNOde50. Within Town Center, Guests will find exceptional shopping and dining experiences along with breathtaking vistas overlooking The Spring, the heart and soul of the property.

Town Center features Spanish-revival style architecture, drawing from a rich history of explorers that landed in Florida centuries ago, and a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect with each other. Town Center, like the rest of Disney Springs, is brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into Disney’s theme parks, resorts and cruise ships – resulting in a welcoming space that only Disney could create.

Today, a total of 23 exciting new retail tenants opened their doors in Town Center, including kate spade new york, Tommy Bahama, Under Armour Brand House and Sephora. The following venues are now open:

ALEX AND ANI
American Threads
Edward Beiner
Everything But Water
francesca’s
Johnston & Murphy
kate spade new york
Kipling
L’Occitane en Provence
Lucky Brand
MAC Cosmetics
Melissa Shoes
Na Hoku
PANDORA
Sephora
Sperry
Tommy Bahama
UGG
Under Armour Brand House
UNOde50
Vera Bradley
Volcom
ZARA

In addition to these venues, seven new specialty-dining locations are now open at Disney Springs:

Amorette’s Patisserie
B. Wolf’s Sausage Co.
D-Luxe Burger
Morimoto Asia Street Food
Sprinkles
The Daily Poutine
YeSake

As guests enter Town Center around The Spring area, they will be warmly greeted at the Welcome Center, a new home for Guest Relations at Disney Springs that will offer a wealth of services including theme park and Cirque du Soleil ticket sales, Disney dining and resort reservations, information for guests with disabilities, foreign currency exchanges, and other general assistance items. Themed to early Florida settlements, the architecture around The Spring is based on timber frame structures that were once used in the citrus and ranching industries.

Access to Disney Springs is about to become even easier. Roadway improvements on Buena Vista Drive are nearly complete, with additional car lanes and dedicated bus lanes now operational. Also, now open, the Lime Garage offers Guests convenient parking access to Disney Springs Town Center and the Marketplace. This new garage, similar to the Orange Garage on the West Side, uses smart technology to identify open parking spaces.

MORE OPENINGS COMING SOON

More shops and restaurants will open soon at Disney Springs. By the end of this month, the following venues will open:

Aristocrepes
Lilly Pulitzer
TROPHY ROOM
STK Orlando

Other locations expected to open in Town Center at Disney Springs this summer include:

Anthropologie
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza
Coca-Cola Store and Rooftop Beverage Bar
Columbia Sportswear
Free People
Frontera Cocina
Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar
Johnny Was
LACOSTE
Luxury of Time by Diamonds International
Oakley
Origins
Shore
Sugarboo & Co.
Superdry
TUMI
UNIQLO
Vince Camuto

JUST ANNOUNCED

The following new brands were announced today as coming to Disney Springs and are expected to open locations in Town Center this summer:

Origins: A high-performance skincare retailer featuring products formulated with certified organic ingredients and 100 percent natural essential oils. The socially-conscious brand employs earth-friendly practices, including a Plant-A-Tree program.

Sugarboo & Co.: With products featuring creative and whimsical designs, this family-run business offers artful prints, home goods, paper products, accessories and more.

Superdry: Focusing on clothing with designs that fuse vintage Americana and Japanese-inspired graphics with a British style, Superdry offers a variety of products ranging from outerwear and knitwear to leather goods and leisurewear.

TUMI: A leading global brand of premium travel, business and lifestyle accessories.

Nearing completion on the largest expansion in its history, Disney Springs is emerging as an exciting new waterfront district for world-class shopping, unique dining, and high-quality entertainment. Inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs has four distinct outdoor neighborhoods including The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and the new Town Center.

When completed, Disney Springs will have doubled the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, resulting in more than 150 establishments.

March 4, 2016

Morimoto Asia and La Nouba Offer a Special Promotion!

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Morimoto Asia and Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba are offering guests an evening of spellbinding entertainment and extraordinary food and drink!

• Visit Morimoto Asia’s Forbidden Lounge after the show.

• Present your Cirque du Soleil ticket stub.

• Purchase any beverage on the menu.

• Receive your choice of a complimentary four-piece sushi vegetable roll or California roll.

For more information call 407-939-MOTO

Offer valid only on same day of Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba show. Limit one sushi roll per ticket stub.

Purchase of beverage required for each sushi roll order. Offer valid through July 31, 2016.

March 1, 2016

Disney Springs Water Tower Raised

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The new water tower at Disney Springs was recently installed.

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The water tower will serve as the new marquee for Disney Springs and welcome guests as part of the property’s entrance gateway.

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February 29, 2016

Disney Springs Continues to Grow

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Popular Brands Add Unique Touches and Disney Springs Exclusive Products

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 29, 2016) – As Disney Springs continues to expand and double its dining, shopping and entertainment options at Walt Disney World Resort, more exciting high-profile tenants are coming onboard, including Anthropologie, LACOSTE, Under Armour, kate spade new york, Sephora and Lucky Brand, among others.

Today, a total of 30 new tenants were announced as coming to Disney Springs, including new retail shops and dining venues.

Disney Springs is nearing completion on its largest expansion in history and emerging as an exciting new waterfront district for world-class shopping, unique dining, and high-quality entertainment. Inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs has four distinct outdoor neighborhoods; The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center; all interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront. Guests can expect a sophisticated mix of restaurants and high-quality retailers -- including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options.

“Disney Springs has quickly become a favorite destination for our guests and they are going to love what’s to come,” said George A. Kalogridis, president Walt Disney World Resort. “Guests will enjoy an experience unlike any other in Central Florida with even more opportunities to shop in unique and distinctive stores and enjoy world-class dining. Disney Springs offers something for everyone and does it in a way that only Disney can. It truly is the place to be.”

TOWN CENTER RETAIL

Announced today as coming to Disney Springs are 28 new stores to be located in Town Center, which offers a sophisticated mix of shopping and dining along with a promenade where guests can relax, refresh and reconnect with each other. Town Center features Spanish “Revival” style architecture, drawing from a rich history of explorers that landed in Florida centuries ago.

The following Town Center shops are slated to open in phases beginning May 15:

-- Anthropologie: Anthropologie’s unique and eclectic product assortment includes women’s casual apparel and accessories, intimates, shoes, beauty, home furnishings and a diverse array of gifts and decorative items.

-- LACOSTE: Since the very first polo shirt was created in 1933, LACOSTE relies on its authentic sportive roots to spring optimism and elegance on the world thanks to a unique and original lifestyle for women, men and children and offers a range of products: apparel, leather goods, fragrances, footwear, eyewear, homewear, watches and underwear.

-- kate spade new york: Crisp color, graphic prints and playful sophistication are the hallmarks of kate spade new york. From handbags and clothing to jewelry, fashion accessories, fragrance, eyewear, shoes, swimwear, home decor, desk accessories, stationery, tabletop and gifts, the brand’s exuberant approach to the everyday encourages personal style with a dash of incandescent charm.

-- Sephora: The new Disney Springs Sephora store will offer guests the opportunity to try, test, and play with thousands of products from classic and up-and-coming cosmetic and fragrance brands. Sephora at Disney Springs will feature the latest in beauty services and technology at their expanded Sephora Beauty Studio including Mini Makeovers, Sephora + Pantone Color IQ and complimentary Beauty Classes.

-- Under Armour: Covering two-stories of retail space with a large array of athletic apparel, footwear, and equipment for men, women, and youth, the Disney Springs Under Armour Brand House will have an interactive experience geared toward young athletes who want to test their skills and talents.

-- M·A·C Cosmetics: Collaborating with leading talents from fashion, art and popular culture, M·A·C is a leader in professional makeup and celebrates diversity and individuality.

-- Vince Camuto: A lifestyle brand offering a range of innovative, stylish, trendy products including footwear, handbags, sportswear and much more.

-- Vera Bradley: Celebrating the unique signature style of Vera Bradley in an exciting and modern way, this store designed just for Disney Springs, will bring to life the rich history and heritage of Vera Bradley, showcasing a wide range of their distinctive signature collections and a myriad of specially-created Disney-themed products.

-- Lucky Brand: Staying true to the rich heritage and authentic, all-American spirit of denim, Lucky Brand crafts comfortable vintage-inspired jeans and casual clothing with an irreverent rock and roll attitude.

-- Oakley: Oakley infuses technology, performance and style into eyewear, apparel and accessories for those who are passionate about sports and outdoor lifestyles.

-- Coca-Cola Store: Building on its long-standing relationship with Disney, the new store, inspired by a 1920’s-era Coca-Cola bottling plant design, will feature a wide selection of Coca-Cola merchandise, a Coca-Cola Polar Bear experience and refreshing rooftop beverage bar.

-- TROPHY ROOM: Founded by Marcus Jordan, son of NBA legend Michael Jordan, TROPHY ROOM is an elevated and unique athletic retail boutique experience, inspired by the trophy room in the Jordan family estate. Opening its first location at Disney Springs, the store offers footwear, apparel, memorabilia and exclusive merchandise.

-- ALEX AND ANI®: Meaningful, eco-conscious jewelry and accessories designed to connect people. ALEX AND ANI products are proudly MADE IN AMERICA WITH LOVE®.

-- Na Hoku – Hawaii’s Finest Jewelers Since 1924: A collection of fine jewelry that captures the essence of Hawaiian and Island Lifestyle.

-- Shore: A fashionable American lifestyle brand featuring swimwear, fitness wear, everyday comfort clothing, exclusive products and a new line of limited-edition Shore Brand apparel, only available at Disney Springs.

-- American Threads: Opening a flagship location at Disney Springs, American Threads offers women’s clothing inspired by the free American spirit.

-- Volcom: Volcom was founded on the belief that there is a higher level of consciousness to be found within one’s self through the internal and external journeys that board-sports, music, art and film provide. The company prides itself on making quality apparel, outerwear, footwear and accessories that not only exemplify the lifestyle, but also enhance the ability to live it.

-- Kipling: An international accessories brand offering lightweight and ultra-functional handbags, backpacks, luggage and more to lighten one’s day.

-- francesca’s: With new merchandise arriving daily and in limited quantities, guests will find unique, fashion-forward clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry and gifts.

-- Melissa Shoes: As the pioneer in jelly shoes manufacturing, this Brazilian footwear company offers guests innovative and stylish plastic footwear.

-- UNOde50: Founded in Madrid, Spain, this jewelry retailer offers unique, highly hand-crafted designs that break away from the norm.

-- Johnston & Murphy: Known for its heritage in designing high-quality, well-crafted footwear and apparel, Johnston & Murphy offers modern classics for the new traditional customer.

-- Everything But Water: Known for providing the perfect getaway wardrobe for fashionable women, Everything But Water offers an extensive collection of designer swimwear, resortwear and accessories.

-- Free People: Free People offers a unique merchandise mix of casual women’s apparel, intimates, shoes, accessories, activewear and gifts.

-- JOHNNY WAS: Beautifully crafted bohemian womenswear brand, with a curated selection of jewelry, books, and gifts and a signature line of colorful printed silk scarves, dresses, and tunics.

-- Columbia: Creating innovative apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment for outdoor and fishing enthusiasts since 1938. The new store at Disney Springs will feature the Performance Fishing Gear (PFG) collection designed with fabrics and industry leading technologies that allow for comfortable wear and use for enjoying long days on the water or under the sun.

-- Sperry: From the invention of the world’s first boat shoe to a full collection of sea-tested lifestyle products, Sperry offers the tools for life’s adventures.

-- Luxury of Time by Diamonds International: An industry leader of fine timepieces and jewelry in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexico, Luxury of Time by Diamonds International will feature some of the world’s most prominent designer watch brands and a large collection of fine jewelry.

TOWN CENTER DINING

Also announced today as coming to Disney Springs are several new dining venues at Town Center overlooking The Spring, the heart and soul of the property.

At D-Luxe Burger, a Disney owned and operated concept, burger aficionados are in for a treat with gourmet burgers made from a signature blend of beef, unique toppings and freshly baked buns. All-natural chicken and vegetarian burgers round out the menu with hand-cut fries and house-made dipping sauces as the perfect complement. Artisanal gelato shakes (non-alcoholic and alcoholic) and floats will also be featured, as well as hard sodas, draft beer and cider.

Celebrating the art of pastry making, Amorette’s Patisserie features elements of an artist’s loft and art gallery side-by-side within the comforts of a small town patisserie. Amorette’s means “little loves,” which is evident in the care poured into creating the shop’s sweet treats. Timeless classic and contemporary pastries are the stars in this unique high-end pastry shop owned and operated by Disney. Custom cakes are truly a work of art and are available for immediate purchase or for pre-order. Champagne selections by the glass and handcrafted hot chocolates only a pastry artist could create allow for a truly indulgent experience.

In addition to these owned and operated restaurants, we are bringing new restaurants to Town Center by award-winning celebrity chefs.

The newest contemporary Mexican-themed restaurant joining Disney Springs has a new name. Tablas Frontera will delight friends, family and food-lovers with exciting flavors and a contemporary Mexican experience. Warm colors, an open kitchen and a lively atmosphere frame an inviting exploration of the many delights from the kitchen of renowned chef Rick Bayless. The delicious, enticing presentation of grilled meats, seafood and vegetables served on planks (tablas) promote sharing and togetherness.

Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar by Chef Art Smith will showcase farm-to-fork cuisine inspired by the Sunshine State. The menu will feature Southern favorites like homemade pimento cheese, deviled eggs, low country shrimp and grits, and fried chicken.

ADDITIONAL ENHANCEMENTS

As guests enter Town Center around The Spring area, they will be warmly greeted at the Welcome Center, a place where guests can relax and take in the beauty of the clear water with lush landscape along the water’s edge. Themed to early Florida settlements, the architecture around The Spring is based on timber frame structures that were once used in the citrus and ranching industries.

Over in the Marketplace, Fulton’s Crab House will open a new concept this fall. The re-imagined restaurant will welcome guests with a bow to stern update including interiors reflecting the crisp luxury of modern yachting, and new spaces include a lushly appointed rooftop lounge overlooking Disney Springs, outdoor waterfront bar featuring a “build your own” fish boil and private dining areas. The new menu stars fresh seafood with an oyster shucking bar, Florida stone crab and Alaskan king crab, with hearty steaks and chops, as well as classic and curated cocktails.

In addition, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique will move from its current location at World of Disney into a new and expanded location near Once Upon a Toy in the Disney Springs Marketplace. Guests ages 3-12 will receive the royal treatment, getting made up like their favorite Disney princess with the help of their own Fairy Godmother-in-Training. This country parlor-inspired location will include an expanded salon to welcome royal attendees and a uniquely designed photo room to capture memories. Be among the first to experience this new location by booking your royal makeover at 407-WDW-STYLE (407-939-7895).

Disney Springs can be easily accessed from I-4 West, Central Florida’s major thoroughfare, via a new connection that leads directly to a convenient parking garage featuring smart technology that identifies open parking spaces. Self parking is complimentary. Valet parking is also available on site.

Stay tuned for more updates on Disney Springs. Follow at @DisneySprings on Twitter and Instagram.

February 23, 2016

CHEF MORIMOTO INTRODUCES CHEF YUHI FUJINAGA AS EXECUTIVE CHEF FOR MORIMOTO ASIA AT DISNEY SPRINGS

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A culinary relationship 17 years in the making comes full circle in Orlando

(Orlando, Fla. – Feb., 2016) – Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group today announced the appointment of Yuhi Fujinaga as Executive Chef of Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. Beginning immediately, Chef Yuhi will be overseeing the day-to-day culinary operations at The Iron Chef’s first-ever pan-Asian restaurant.

“I met Chef Morimoto as a young chef in Hawaii, where I grew up. We bonded quickly over our love of fresh fish, big flavors and new cooking techniques,” said Chef Yuhi. “Through working alongside him at a variety of events throughout the country, I have been inspired by him and his approach to cooking and am thrilled that it’s come full circle.”

Previously, Chef Yuhi was Executive Chef at Patina Restaurant Group’s New York City-based, Sea Grill. A protégé of Chef Ed Brown, who established the restaurant as one of the top seafood destinations in the city, Chef Yuhi has also worked at New York’s Bar Basque. He lived and worked in Spain at the esteemed Echaurren with Chef Francis Paniego, at Casa Solla with Chef Pepe Solla, and at Gaminiz with Chef Aitor Elizegi. He held posts at the Michelin-starred restaurants Eighty-One and Alain Ducasse at the Essex House.

Known for his modern cooking style, Chef Yuhi draws inspiration from his Japanese heritage and upbringing in Hawaii, where he learned to cook from his grandmother. From her, he learned that the quality of the ingredients is as important as the technique in which used to prepare them. Over the years, he has developed techniques that keep the food simple, yet full of flavor.

“Being a great chef comes from within and I know Chef Yuhi is dedicated and passionate to creating inspirational, world-class dishes,” said Chef Masuharu Morimoto. “I am confident that he will continue to showcase his talent and vision to our guests at Morimoto Asia.”

Morimoto Asia is Chef Morimoto’s newest and first Pan-Asian style restaurant. The menu is an eclectic take on some of Chef Morimoto’s favorite Asian flavors including L.A. BBQ kalbi ribs, pad Thai, Peking duck, Chinese-inspired sticky ribs, sweet-and-sour whole fried fish and Singapore laska noodles. Chinese dim sum includes items such asdumplings, shumai, shrimp har-gao and grilled chicken bao.

The restaurant also includes an intimate 14-seat sushi bar offering unique ocean seasonal specialties from Japan and around the world. A variety of specialty sushi rolls, sushi platters and seafood towers featuring highlights from the raw bar are also offered to guests not seated at the sushi bar.

Morimoto Asia is open Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. The restaurant’s second floor Forbidden Lounge late-night menu is served daily from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

December 22, 2015

16 Reasons 2016 Will Be An ‘Unforgettable’ Year at Walt Disney World Resort

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – 2016 is shaping up to be truly unforgettable for guests at Walt Disney World Resort with the debut of new attractions and stunning shows, delectable new dining options, signature shopping locations and returning guest-favorite annual events.

Here are the top reasons to start packing your bags for a Walt Disney World vacation:

1. The Galaxy Is Sweeter Than Ever Before: New Star Wars Experiences Debut

Starting Jan. 5, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will launch its latest Star Wars-inspired experience with the addition of the “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party.” As the enthralling fireworks show lights up the sky, guests can enjoy out-of-this-world desserts and specialty drinks in this separate ticket offering until March 19. This experience complements all of the other new ways to experience Star Wars in the park, including Star Wars Launch Bay, which takes guests into the Star Wars saga, including the newest movie adventure, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, special merchandise and opportunities to encounter Chewbacca and Darth Vader.

2. Light Up The Night With “Rivers of Light” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will come alive at night with new nighttime entertainment and experiences, the most spectacular being the “Rivers of Light” show debuting this spring. With a waterway as its stage, the innovative new show will feature entertainers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery in a performance that truly brings the animal kingdom to life at night.

3. Explore Kilimanjaro Safaris at Night

Starting in spring, guests will get to experience the African savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in a whole new light: amid the orange glow of the setting sun. During the nighttime adventure, guests can extend their travels on the safaris into the evening.

4. Experience Frozen Ever After at Epcot

The new “Frozen”-inspired attraction will open its doors in the Norway pavilion at Epcot in spring. In it, guests will be transported to the Winter in Summer Celebration where Queen Elsa creates a special day for the kingdom. Guests also will travel to Elsa’s Ice Palace, the ice-blue world of the North Mountain, and the Bay of Arendelle.

5. Stop By The New Frozen Character Greeting Location at Epcot

Guests can meet the royal sisters Anna and Elsa at Epcot at a new character greeting location in the Royal Sommerhus at the Norway pavilion starting in spring.

6. Experience New Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom Park

This new, themed restaurant opens in December 2015 and gives guests the chance to experience “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” in one of several unique dining rooms, including a crew mess hall and a once-hidden secret meeting room of the famed Society of Explorers and Adventurers. The restaurant is staffed by friendly Jungle Cruise Skippers, known for their clever jokes.

7. Try New Dining Offerings at Disney Springs

Disney Springs will continue to grow in 2016, with plans to add new eateries including STK steakhouse, The Edison, Sprinkles, Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, as well as two new restaurant concepts by chefs Art Smith and Rick Bayless.

8. A Shopper’s Paradise at Disney Springs

As Disney Springs nears completion with the opening of Town Center, 2016 will bring some new, must-do retail shops to Disney Springs, including Edward Beiner, Lilly Pulitzer, L’Occitane en Provence, PANDORA, Tommy Bahama, UGG, UNIQLO and Zara.

9. Staying Fit While Having Fun With runDisney Events

The 2016 runDisney racing season kicks off Jan. 6-10 with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. This will be the first of four racing weekends held at Walt Disney World Resort in 2016, which include:

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Feb. 18-21
Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side April 14-17
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 4-5.

10. Save On A Magical Stay at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Guests visiting early in 2016 can take advantage of a special Disney resort hotels offer for stays most nights Jan. 2 – April 13 and save up to 25 percent on rooms at select Disney resort hotels. Guests can book the offer by visiting DisneyWorld.com/special-offers or by calling (407) 939-7709.

11. Enjoy Walt Disney World’s Springtime Events

Epcot will be in full bloom this spring when the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, with its colorful topiaries and dozens of Outdoor Kitchens, returns for 90 days starting March 2 through May 15, the longest the festival has ever run. And, more fun grows at Disney Springs with Raglan Road’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival March 17.

12. Soarin’ Around The World at Epcot

Guests onboard the popular Soarin’ attraction will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin’ Around the World makes its debut at Epcot in 2016.

13. Dine at Tiffin’s at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The parks’ newest eatery will open its doors this spring to offer a menu inspired by the places the Imagineers traveled to when developing Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Open for both lunch and dinner, Tiffin’s will celebrate the art of traveling and include waterfront views from both indoor and outdoor seating areas. “Tiffin” is an Indian English word meaning midday meal or type of container used to carry food while traveling.

14. Celebrate The Invictus Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports

The Invictus Games will come to the United States for the first time ever in 2016. The games celebrate our wounded servicemen and women from around the world competing in a variety of sports events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex May 8-12.

15. Experience Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Grown-up guests can party with the Disney Villains in a soiree led by Dr. Facilier from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” at the new Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The fun starts Jan. 16 and is a separate ticket event. Tickets to Club Villain can be purchased for $99 per person, tax and gratuity included. Reservations can be made online at DisneyWorld.com, or by calling (407) 939-3463.

16. Share An Unforgettable Fall & Holiday Season

A new year means the return of festive fall events, including The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and more.

November 23, 2015

Ganachery Opens December 15 at Disney Springs

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November 23, 2015: A whole new experience for Walt Disney World Resort guests debuts December 15 at Disney Springs – the Ganachery, showcasing hand-crafted chocolate, “the most beautiful product in the world,” says Disney Pastry Chef Stefan Riemer.

Stepping inside this jewel-box shop is reminiscent of an apothecary of another era, as a chocolatier is similar to a scientist, says Chef Stefan. (Look up at the elegant chandelier made with copper saucepans, a classic tool of the trade.) The lovely little space elevates sweets to an experience akin to a wine tasting.

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Chef Stefan has spent the last couple of years on an international quest for the world’s best chocolate for this stylish new boutique. “It has nothing to do with ‘candy,’” he explains. This isn’t about sugar and sweets, but pure and simple chocolate. The star of the show is a custom-made ganache, a luxurious, proprietary mixture of melted chocolate and cream.

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The trend in the United States is dark chocolate, and the Ganachery uses a bold, 65 percent dark chocolate made with a touch of vanilla for “a beautiful balance of fruitiness and acidity,” explains Chef Stefan. The shop offers both milk and dark so that there is something for everyone.

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A well-trained chocolatier will greet guests as they enter The Ganachery, where an expert will be on stage mixing, decorating and enrobing each delicate bite. For Chef Stefan, this quality of chocolate is like a fine wine, to be appreciated – but the experience won’t be intimidating as the chocolatier encourages guests to try one of the 16 different ganaches made in house.

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“Textures, tastes, colors – this is about relaxing and enjoying a bite-size indulgence,” says Chef Stefan. He mentions flavors such a dark chocolate with a touch of shaved Egyptian salt, or a simple milk chocolate with a dash of dark chocolate and a pinch of Sri Lankan cinnamon. The signature flavor is dark chocolate with a note of Florida orange. All of the flavors fall into four categories: Spices, such a chipotle; Classic, such as orange, vanilla and caramel; Trendy, such as matcha yuzu chocolate; and Fruit, such as passion fruit and calamansi. There’s nothing ordinary about these tastes.

Even the boxes are a work of art – big flavors wrapped in tiny, beautiful boxes are a lovely souvenir.

To add an element of delicious whimsy, nine varieties of custom-made chocolate bars (not made in house) celebrate Disney’s iconic destinations and the “Fab Five” (Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck). The Aulani bar, for instance, is white chocolate with pineapple and coconut; the Disneyland Paris bar is dark chocolate with liquid caramel and fleur de sel; the Disneyland Resort bar is milk chocolate with raisins and almonds (an ode to California’s top crops); the Minnie bar is milk chocolate with dried strawberries.

So it’s all about the world’s finest artisan chocolates – with one exception for the winter holidays. Chef Stefan has created a baked mini-stollen, the classic German fruit bread, this one covered with marzipan, then enrobed in a dark chocolate blend. This is one treat we guarantee you won’t find anywhere else.

November 21, 2015

Disney Springs Celebrates its First Holiday Season

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney Springs receives a sprinkle of holiday magic as the shopping and entertainment location is transformed into a festive wonderland for the holiday season. With familiar favorites, new seasonal offerings and sparkling decor reflective of the unique Disney Springs neighborhoods, Holidays at Disney Springs will dazzle guests as they complete their seasonal shopping and enjoy the dining and entertainment offerings available during this cheerful time of year.

Each neighborhood has been transformed into a unique holiday wonderland for the season’s greetings, each reflecting the neighborhood’s role in the Disney Springs waterfront town.

The Marketplace decor will make guests feel right at home with wreaths and trees with a handmade touch. This colorful, authentic atmosphere is the ideal inspiration while shopping for loved ones.

The Landing is decked out in a bit more illustrious style, with silver and gold décor amidst the glittering holiday lights. With a slight modern flare, the metallic decorations fit the theme of this industrial neighborhood.

Guests will be transported to a magical winter wonderland as they visit the West Side neighborhood at Disney Springs. The vibrant blue ornaments, beautiful white holiday lights, and contemporary Christmas trees will bring holiday cheer to shoppers of all ages.

In addition to the yuletide décor, Disney Springs treats guests to special entertainment offerings throughout the neighborhoods.

The Marketplace is filled with the sights and sounds of the season as Holiday Carolers perform favorite Christmas tunes from 6-10 p.m. each evening from Nov. 13- Dec. 30. The Marketplace holiday celebration continues with a special Kwanzaa musical group appearing at the Waterside Stage Dec. 26 – 27.

Also at the Marketplace, guests can visit Santa Claus to share their Christmas wish. The Chalet is in a new location this year by the Waterside Stage, where guests can meet Santa Nov. 13 - Dec. 24 from 12-10:30 p.m. For the second year, guests will be given a pager for a virtual queue so that they can continue their holiday shopping and be paged once it’s their turn to meet St. Nick. From Dec. 25-29, Santa Goofy will greet guests during the same hours in the Chalet location.

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Waterview Park
at The Landing gives guests the chance to learn about and experience the story of Hanukkah through music. Showtimes are scheduled throughout the evenings of Dec. 6 - 13.

In addition to the jolly musical offerings, guests will be astounded by the Holiday Stilt Walkers appearing throughout Disney Springs from 6-10 p.m. each evening from Nov. 13 - Dec. 30.

The World of Disney store at the Marketplace is the world’s largest shopping destination for all-things Disney. The recently-expanded location offers a vast assortment of Disney merchandise including plush toys, clothing, Mickey Mouse hats and trading pins. The new Disney Parks Castle Play Set also is available at World of Disney and is the perfect surprise for little princesses.

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Disney Springs offers unique gift ideas that are exclusive to this premier shopping location. Ladies with a passion for fashion will appreciate a one-of-a-kind, personalized pair of flip-flops from havaianas, a hand-painted pair of TOMS shoes from Curl, or a stylish hat from Chapel Hats. A custom-designed phone case from D-Tech on Demand is the perfect stocking-stuffer. As for gifts for gentlemen, visit the new Twenty Eight & Main location at the Marketplace for exclusive Disney Parks gentleman’s apparel, accessories, and more.

For presents that sparkle and shine, consider the popular Pandora, Alex & Ani or Crislu jewelry. Dooney & Bourke and Vera Bradley bags add a touch of Disney design. The new Disney Boutique collection, which offers beautiful women’s apparel and accessories for dedicated Disney fans, can be found at TrenD in the Disney Springs Marketplace.

Sweet treats make for delicious holiday surprises. Opening in mid-December, The Ganachery offers rich, hand-crafted chocolate ganache with beautiful custom packaging. Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop also offers tasty chocolate treats and hot chocolates to sweeten this special time of year.

Disney Gift Cards give the gift of Disney magic to everyone this holiday season. Disney Gift Cards are accepted at many Disney Springs shopping locations and all Disney Springs restaurants, including the recently opened Morimoto Asia, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar and The BOATHOUSE.

In addition to a sleigh full of holiday shopping and entertainment, Disney Springs also offers special Christmas Day meals.

-- Fulton’s Crab House will feature a special surf- and turf menu, which includes braised short ribs and Alaska King crab with loaded mashed potatoes, crispy Brussels sprouts, lardons, and cabernet demi ($45 per person).
-- Portobello Country Italian Trattoria will offer a delectable three-course meal, including a filet with roasted garlic whipped potatoes and sweet cannoli for dessert ($50 per person).
-- For families looking for a classic feast in honor of the festive celebration, Planet Hollywood and Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant will offer a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings to make guests feel right at home.
-- Wolfgang Puck Express will feature a tender oven-roasted pork chop with mashed potatoes and broccolini finished with a special holiday dessert ($15 per person).
-- The beautiful upstairs dining room at Wolfgang Puck Grand Café hosts an elaborate holiday feast, with a three-course meal complete with a wine selection. Guests will enjoy a savory watercress salad, followed by Colorado rack of lamb and concluded with a bittersweet chocolate ganache ($75 per person).

For dining reservations, please call 407-WDW-DINE or visit Disneyworld.com/dining.

To view a full list of the “Holidays at Disney Springs” festivities and to learn more about the exciting shopping and dining experiences at Disney Springs, visit disneysprings.com.

November 6, 2015

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs Showcases Seasonal Dishes Featuring Local Pork

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Pasture Prime Berkshire Pig Breed a Local Treasure with British Origins

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Nov. 4, 2015) – Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant master chef Kevin Dundon introduces local farm-raised pork from Pasture Prime Family Farm to the menu in three featured dishes now through February at the Disney Springs location.

For starters, “An Irish Egg” features a fresh farm egg coated in crispy Guinness and Onion Sausage served on a bed of pickled cabbage with saffron aioli. Dundon’s “Pork by Pork” entree (pictured above) is a sage-and-onion-stuffed pork loin with cider-braised pork fricassee served with mashed potatoes and applesauce. And risotto lovers will get a spicy kick out of “Rinky Risotto,” a grilled chorizo and mushroom risotto. Dundon uses Pasture Prime pork with smoked paprika, cilantro and garlic for the house-made chorizo sausage.

“Pasture Prime raises a breed of pig, the Berkshire pig, which we also have at home in Ireland,” says Dundon, host of the award-winning PBS/Create TV cooking series, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food” and “Kevin Dundon’s Back to Basics.” The Berkshire is known for succulent marbling and intense flavor and was first mentioned in stories of British army exploits nearly 300 years ago, according to Pasture Prime Family Farm.

“I decided to use this Central Florida farm, in particular, because I love to see passion when it comes to producing good food, and Pasture Prime has an abundance of passion,” Dundon says.

This past summer, Dundon’s seasonal menu showcase was a hit with three dishes featuring Wild Ocean Seafood from Port Canaveral, Fla.

To complement the seasonal pork dishes, Raglan Road now offers an autumn trio of brews that include Terrapin Pumpkinfest, Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest and Woodchuck Private Reserve Pumpkin Cider.

And Raglan Road guests can toast the season with new fall cocktails including “The Great Pumpkin” made with Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Calvados apple brandy, egg white, Terrapin Pumpkinfest and the pub’s own house-made Guinness Glaze. A second Raglan Road seasonal libation with a kick is the “Spiced Carmel Apple Martini” made with Calvados, butterscotch Schnapps, Magners cider and freshly muddled apples served in a glass with cinnamon-sugar rim and spiced apple skewer.

Raglan Road delivers a dining experience infused with genuine Irish hospitality for guests seated inside the restaurant’s multiple dining rooms, as well as those choosing to dine on the patio overlooking Disney Springs. The restaurant’s custom furnishings include those designed and built by Irish craftspeople, as well as century-old antiques, ornamentation and bric-a-brac shipped to Central Florida from Dublin. Traditional and contemporary Irish music and step dance performances create a spirited ambience daily from late afternoon through closing and during the Rollicking Raglan Weekend Brunch.

Know for its beer-battered fish and chips, seasonal farm-to-fork specialties and the freshest cold-water seafood flown in regularly, Raglan Road also offers a menu of gluten-free dishes. Dundon, one of Ireland's most celebrated chefs, works with a large culinary team to develop dishes with modern flair and Celtic creativity.

Raglan Road serves lunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Saturday and Sunday Rollicking Raglan Brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Disney Springs in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300.

October 22, 2015

Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless to Open Frontera Fresco Restaurant at Disney Springs

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – Chef Rick Bayless, a six-time James Beard Foundation winner, is bringing Frontera Fresco, his table-service Mexican restaurant concept, to Disney Springs, the new dining, shopping and entertainment district at Walt Disney World Resort.

Opening in Summer 2016, Frontera Fresco will showcase the gourmet Mexican cuisine that has made Chef Bayless a culinary legend.

“I’m thrilled to bring Frontera Fresco to Disney Springs and share my passion for Mexican cuisine with the families who visit Orlando every year,” Bayless said.

The new restaurant will feature authentic Mexican specialties such as hand-crafted tortas, tacos, salads, fresh-made guacamole and classic Mexican braised meat entrees, all prepared from time-honored recipes with natural, locally sourced ingredients. Frontera Fresco also will serve an extensive selection of margaritas, cocktails and craft beers and wine.

“Working with Chef Bayless to bring this fresh dining concept to the new Disney Springs is a joy for us, and we can’t wait for guests to experience it,” said Richard Debler, president and chief executive officer of Vista Springs.

Philadelphia-based Daroff Design is designing the nearly 6,000-square-foot space, which will seat 200 guests. Vista Springs LLC will be the restaurant operator.

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About Rick Bayless

Chef Rick Bayless is probably best known for winning the title of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef Masters,” with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated, national Public Television Series, “Mexico–One Plate at a Time,” is in its 10th season. In 2012, Chef Bayless was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Culinary Host.

Chef Bayless has launched several award-winning Chicago restaurants. He founded the casual Frontera Grill in 1987 and received the James Beard Foundation’s highest award, Outstanding Restaurant, in 2007. The 4-star Topolobampo served its first meals in 1989. And the wildly popular, LEED GOLD-certified, fast-casual Xoco launched in 2009, serving wood-oven tortas, steaming caldos, golden churros and bean-to-cup Mexican hot chocolate. Chef Bayless’s quick-service Tortas Frontera restaurants have changed the face of food service at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, while Frontera Fresco restaurants have brought Frontera flavors to several Chicago locations. His award-winning Frontera line of salsas, cooking sauces and non-GMO tortilla chips can be found coast to coast.

Chef Bayless is the author of nine cookbooks, including “Mexico–One Plate at a Time,” which was won the James Beard Foundation Best International Cookbook of the Year award in 2001. His “Fiesta at Rick’s” is a New York Times bestseller. He has won six James Beard Foundation awards, including two for his cookbooks, Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

October 19, 2015

Event: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Opening Night

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Walt Disney World has announced a special ticketed event on December 17th for Star Wars movie fans to be held at the AMC Theatre in Disney Springs. Ticket prices reflect a variety of format options for the movie, including 2D ($94.99), 3D ($98.99) and 3D ETX ($99.99).

Starting at AMC Disney Springs 24 between 7 and 8 p.m., guests of the Opening Night Event will have a confirmed seat at the first few public showings of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and then enjoy a private after-hours party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios until 2 a.m. The party will include access to the new Star Wars Launch Bay exhibit, the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction, and a DJ dance party. The night will be highlighted with the preview of a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic “Star Wars” score. Event attendees will also get a commemorative souvenir event ticket. Guests of the Event are encouraged to come dressed in costume showing allegiance to the light side or dark side of the Force.

HOW TO GET TICKETS:

The newest “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer will debut in ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Monday, October 19, during halftime of the National Football League (NFL) game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. Tune in to ESPN to watch the premiere of the final trailer or join your fellow Star Wars fans at Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA to watch the trailer on a giant screen outside AMC Downtown Disney 12 theatres. The fun begins at 5:00 p.m. counting down to the trailer release.

Following the trailer launch, tickets to the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Opening Night Event will be on sale. For tickets to the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Opening Night Event at Walt Disney World Resort, visit amctheatres.com/starwarswdw to purchase.

For more information read the FAQ on the event!

October 9, 2015

Florida Memories Inspire New Southern Cuisine In Disney Springs Restaurant with Celebrity Chef Art Smith

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2015) – Celebrity Chef Art Smith is bringing a taste of real Florida to a new restaurant opening in summer 2016 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine will showcase the cuisine of Chef Smith, who was born and reared in the town of Jasper, Fla., on the Florida-Georgia border. After 25 years of preparing award-winning meals for celebrities and heads of state and appearing on television, he is making Florida his home once again.

With farm-to-fork cuisine that showcases the bounty of Florida, and design inspired by turn-of-the century Florida architecture of the late 1800s, Homecoming will feature traditional Southern favorites with sophisticated, chef-inspired creations. The 6,000-square-foot, 200-seat restaurant “is where Florida heritage meets New Southern cuisine,” explains Smith.

“I couldn’t be happier about coming back to Florida and Walt Disney World Resort,” he continues. “To be able to prepare the food I love in the place where I have so many special memories is a dream come true.” Smith is a sixth generation Floridian, and his family still raises cattle, pecans and heirloom vegetables on their ancestral farm.

Smith says he is especially pleased with the restaurant’s Disney Springs connection, as he recalls summertime gatherings at the springs in the Northern part of Florida, casual get-togethers known as “homecomings” when family and friends gathered to share Southern specialties, enjoy homemade desserts and maybe sip a hand-crafted cocktail under the shade of live oak trees.

“Once we heard the story of his passion for Florida and his vision for the restaurant, we knew that it was a perfect match” said George Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “We’re thrilled to welcome Chef Art back to the state and share his spirit of Homecoming with our guests from around the world.”

Homecoming Cuisine

“The menu is a big part of my ongoing homage to Florida’s bygone era,” explains Smith. “We will proudly and prominently support the Fresh from Florida campaign and the vast majority of our seafood, produce, poultry and beef will be from local farms, ranches or fisheries.”

The “rustic-chic” restaurant has a glass-walled show kitchen and the Southern Shinebar that celebrates an era where characters might have created some homegrown spirits on their homesteads just beyond the springs. The bar will feature whimsical cocktails, punches and coolers, including some made with now-legal variations of moonshine.

Smith’s expertise is all over the menu from Southern favorites like homemade pimento cheese, Church Lady deviled eggs, low country shrimp and grits, kale salad with Sweet Grass Dairy cheese and spiced pecans and a grilled Blackstrap pork chop with sawmill gravy. “Each dish has a little Florida twist and makes guests feel like they’re on the back porch with me for every meal,” says Smith.

Desserts will be a specialty, with cakes, pies and delectable sweets made daily and shipped from a bakery in Hamilton County, including the restaurant’s signature Mockingbird Cake. “Southern women, using delicious ingredients and love, are the world’s best bakers,” explains Art.

Disney Springs is a one-of-a-kind Disney experience, treating guests by day and night to great dining, shopping and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm. With an air of sophisticated grace and design that harkens to Florida’s waterfront towns at the turn-of-the-century, Disney Springs is home to four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods opening in phases: The Landing, Town Center, Marketplace and West Side. When fully completed in 2016, Disney Springs will double the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues – from the current 70 to approximately 150.

September 30, 2015

Downtown Disney Officially Becomes Disney Springs with Enticing New Dining and Exciting Retail Experiences

VIDEO: Downtown Disney Renaming Ceremony (9/29/15)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Sept. 29, 2015) – Walt Disney World Resort today officially changed the name of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, an important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the shopping, dining and entertainment district at the world’s No. 1 family vacation destination.

Drawing inspiration from Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs treats guests to a one-of-a-kind Disney experience amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm.

Disney Springs will include four interconnected neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center. When Disney Springs is fully completed in 2016, the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues will increase from the current 75 to more than 150.

New to Disney Springs is The Landing, home to unique shopping locations and memorable dining experiences, including the recently opened Morimoto Asia and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.

Coming soon to Disney Springs, Town Center will be a diverse mix of retailers – including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options – and unique restaurants.

With more exciting venues to come, new dining and shopping open now at Disney Springs includes:

-- Morimoto Asia – Morimoto Asia is a one-of-a-kind dining experience from Chef Masaharu Morimoto. This Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian restaurant provides flavors from across Asia with unique exhibition kitchens showcasing the continent’s traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving and dim sum. Designed by STUDIO V Architecture and located at The Landing, Morimoto Asia’s extraordinary, 36-foot tall, two-story layout includes open terraces, grand halls, private rooms, a cocktail lounge, waterside seating and more.

-- Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – An aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at The Landing at Disney Springs is tucked between Paradiso 37 and The BOATHOUSE restaurant, this new venue features unique cocktails and small plates. Ardent fans of the “Indiana Jones” films may recognize Jock Lindsey as Indy’s frequent pilot. In the main room, guests will discover an expansive bar, aviation decor filling the room, vintage travel posters covering the walls and correspondence between Jock, Indy and their fellow adventurers on display.

-- The BOATHOUSE – An incredible culinary experience is showcased in the expansive restaurant with nautical-themed rooms, two private dining rooms for special events, and three distinctive bars. Guests will enjoy a gourmet menu with steaks, chops, seafood and a raw bar, served until 2 a.m. daily. This upscale, waterfront-dining experience immerses guests both on land and on water. There’s live music, plus guided tours aboard a 40-foot Italian Water Taxi and Amiphicar rides that launch from land, enter the water and take guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs.

-- Paradiso 37: Paradiso 37 recently expanded its outdoor dining to take advantage of its beautiful waterfront setting. As part of its renovation, the restaurant is doubling its seating, adding more terrace dining and building a new outdoor performance stage.

-- Apex by Sunglass Hut- A first-of-its-kind sunglass store that was built with the athlete in mind. This retail location showcases the industry’s best selection of sport performance and lifestyle eyewear including Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Under Armour. In order for guests to choose a lens to best suit their needs, Apex has developed environmental simulators so guests can test out how a specific lens will perform under a variety of light conditions.

-- The Art of Shaving– A boutique retail offering that sells high-end shaving supplies and related grooming products for the modern man. Founded by a husband and wife in a Manhattan apartment, The Art of Shaving has grown to a worldwide organization that is still nurtured by the founders’ talents and passion. Guests can receive expert shaving advice on products and techniques, or make an appointment for a luxurious grooming experience at the Barber Spa.

-- Chapel Hats – A fashion forward shop that specializes in an assortment of hats for guests of all ages. The location carries stylish hats including fedoras, cowboy hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid’s hats and more. Every Chapel Hats location is themed to a different time period and is built by using old pieces of shops, factories, schools, pubs and churches from a bygone era.

-- Dockside Margaritas – Dockside Margaritas treats guests to thirst-quenching margaritas made with fresh, all-natural products. Using authentic Florida ingredients whenever possible, the location (at the Marketplace) features unique theming reminiscent of a 1960s Florida roadside fruit stand. In addition to margaritas, the menu includes select frozen beverages, wine, bottled and draft beer. There is ample seating for guests and a built-in entertainment area.

-- Erin McKenna Bakery NYC – A unique bakery with savory offerings and an all-vegan and gluten-free menu. Look for a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels with vegan butter, and other delicious items daily. Some of their fan-favorite cupcakes from their flagship bakery in New York and sister bakery in Los Angeles include vanilla cupcakes with zesty lemon frosting, red velvet cupcakes with creamy vanilla frosting and brownie cupcakes with rich chocolate frosting.

-- Erwin Pearl – Specializing in fashion jewelry and accessories, Erwin Pearl features hand-painted French enamels, 22k gold plating, sterling silver and freshwater pearls. The New York City-based company manufactures more than 80 percent of their products in U.S. factories, including earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins, watches and scarves. Erwin Pearl began his career as a diamond cutter and is recognized as one of the country’s foremost fine jewelry designers.

-- Havaianas – A Brazilian-based shoe store that offers fashionable flip flops made with the highest quality rubber — with hundreds of styles to choose from. This store features a large assortment of colorful Havaianas for women, men and children, plus kids’ rain boots. There’s also the “Make Your Own Havaianas” and “Embellish Your Own Havaianas,” option, where guests can customize this casual footwear.

-- Sanuk – Innovative, fun and comfortable footwear with more than 175 designs is available at this 1,000-square-foot venue. Taking its name from the Thai word for “fun,” Sanuk strives to make more innovative products that are as much about funk as they are about function. Favorite styles including Yoga Mat Sandal Collection and its patented “Not-A-Shoe” Sidewalk Surfers will be showcased.

-- Sound Lion – A new retail concept that offers the latest technology in headphones, docking stations, wireless music players and other products. Before purchasing a product, guests can hang out at their Listening Barand find which product works best for them.

-- Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s — Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s specializes in premium loose-leaf teas (hot, iced, blended) featuring customs blends, accessories and packaged teas from all over the globe; created to go or for a tea experience in the café.

-- Vivoli Gelateria – A family-run gelato shop, Vivoli Gelateria serves up gelato that is made with fresh, top-quality ingredients using the exact same recipes from the original shop in Italy. (The storefront at Disney Springs is the second for Vivoli, the first outside of Italy.) The artisans use local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy. In addition to their signature gelato, Vivioli Gelateria also serves traditional Italian panini, biscotti, espresso and tarts.

While Disney Springs continues to grow at Walt Disney World Resort in the space once occupied by Downtown Disney, Disneyland still remains home to a vibrant and popular Downtown Disney in California.

September 2, 2015

Morimoto Asia Announces September 30 Opening Date as Downtown Disney Nears its Transition to Disney Springs

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Chef Morimoto’s first pan-Asian restaurant will sit in the heart of the new Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

(NEW YORK) Sept. 2, 2015 – Morimoto Asia, a highly anticipated collaboration between Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group, is pleased to announce a scheduled opening date of September 30, 2015 as Downtown Disney nears its transition to Disney Springs. The Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience will showcase flavors from across the Asian continent, all with Morimoto’s creative touch.

Morimoto Asia’s eye-catching, 36-foot tall, two-story layout has been designed by STUDIO V Architecture. It includes lounges, dining spaces, and an exhibition kitchen that allows guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the culinary action. The second-level sushi bar and lounge have a separate entrance. Morimoto Asia will debut as part of The Landing, one of four neighborhoods in the new Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

“This has been a project of passion for our team and Chef Morimoto. We can’t wait to open our doors to everyone visiting Disney Springs this fall and beyond,” said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.

Morimoto Asia will offer an entirely new experience for the diner, due to the creativity of Chef Morimoto, already one of the most inventive forces in Asian cuisine. The menu is Chef Morimoto’s eclectic take on his favorite Asian flavors including moo shu pork, Peking duck, lobster chow fun, sweet and sour crispy whole fish, and kung pao chicken. Dim sum will be served during weekend brunch service, and will include a variety of dumplings, shumai, bao, spare ribs and more. Being a true family-friendly destination, kids will have a variety of Asian-infused dishes including chicken ramen, kakuni pork bao, and karaage fried chicken.

The sushi bar will be a culinary experience unto itself. The intimate, 14-seat counter will offer pristine sushi and sashimi options from around the world. Items include toro, kanpachi, Japanese red snapper, uni, sea eel, hamachi, fluke, and salmon, as well as more ocean delicacies. A variety of specialty sushi rolls and selections from the raw bar will also be offered. While traditional sushi service will be limited to the guests seated at the sushi bar, a selection of specialty rolls and sushi platters will be available to the main restaurant’s diners.

Not to be outdone, the beverages at Morimoto Asia will also be destination-worthy. The beers will feature mostly Asian varieties in both bottle and on draft, including the Morimoto signature beer by Rogue Ales.

In addition to the collector’s edition Imperial Pilsner and Morimoto Soba Ale and the highly coveted Black Obi Soba will also be available by the bottle. The restaurant will also offer an assortment of sake, including the Morimoto signature line, plus a wine list showcasing wines of the world, signature cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.

“I am excited to create a menu that allows so many of my favorite Asian flavors to come alive all in one place,” said Chef Masaharu Morimoto. “I hope the guests at Morimoto Asia have as much fun eating this food as I have creating it.”

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Morimoto Asia will be a visually stunning addition to Disney Springs. The restaurant’s main entrance features a three-story glass corner, revealing the dramatic interior design including a multi-level bar and spiraling chandelier made of illuminated glass bottles. The sculptural bar at over 270 feet in length is one of the largest in the world, as it leaps through the soaring 36-foot tall space to connect the grand dining room on the ground floor with the upper level, wrapping around the grand stairway. Custom glass beaded chandeliers evoke the ocean delicacies of Chef Morimoto’s cuisine, and are reflected in antique mirrors, interspersed with glass mosaic artworks based on ancient Japanese prints. Chef Morimoto’s exclusive sushi bar is sculpted from hundreds of pieces of hand-selected ash wood, backed with a wall of hammered copper. Morimoto Asia’s two-story outdoor terrace provides patio seating with sweeping views of Disney Springs.

Morimoto Asia will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with dim sum. www.morimotoasia.com

June 9, 2015

The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort Coming to Disney Springs

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New Destination Featuring Immersive Sports Experiences to Open at Disney Springs

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 3, 2015) – The Walt Disney Company and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that they have begun developing "The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort" at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

This expansive, one-of-a-kind destination will feature hands-on activities that put families and guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. Guests will enjoy immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store.

“We’re thrilled to work with the NBA to take our guests inside the world of professional basketball with an extraordinary entertainment experience,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We’ve had a long and successful partnership with the NBA through ESPN, and we will continue to build on that foundation as we bring the Disney and NBA brands together for the first time in this exciting and innovative way.”

“We look forward to uniting the passionate, global fan bases of the NBA and our longtime partner, Disney,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Working with the world’s top creator and operator of themed entertainment attractions, we can’t wait to bring the magic of Disney and the excitement of the NBA to guests from around the world.”

“Basketball fans of all ages will be able to experience the game in a whole new way when they visit ‘The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort,’” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We’re excited to join the NBA in offering this unique form of family entertainment. It will be a terrific addition to the world-class lineup of shops and restaurants coming to Disney Springs.”

May 16, 2015

Leading Retailers Join Stellar Line-up as Downtown Disney Transforms into Disney Springs

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 15, 2015) - Exciting new high-profile tenants, including fashion retailers Zara, Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, UNIQLO and PANDORA, are the latest to sign on as Downtown Disney continues its expansion into Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort.

Today, a total of 13 new tenants were announced, including eight retail shops. With new retailers already aboard and new restaurants either open or coming soon, Downtown Disney is transforming into an exciting new waterfront district for world-class shopping, unique dining, and high-quality entertainment.

By the time it's complete in 2016, Disney Springs will double the number of shops and restaurants currently found at Downtown Disney and grow to more than 1 million square feet, including 350,000 square feet of new leasable space. Disney Springs will include four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods with a high-quality, diverse mix of retailers - including premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options. Sophisticated restaurants will provide experiences for families and convention-guests alike.

"Over the past few months we have opened several new dining and retail locations, which have quickly become the top producers in their chains," said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. "This type of momentum builds on the historical strength of the Downtown Disney area and its popularity with our guests from around the world as it evolves into Disney Springs," he said.

Announced today coming to Disney Springs:

RETAIL

Zara: Owned by the Inditex Group, one of the world's largest fashion retail groups. Zara is known for its men's, women's and children's clothing and accessories, and how it expertly interprets current fashion and style trends of the season, delivering original designs to the consumer in a matter of weeks.

Tommy Bahama: Iconic island lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama embodies relaxed sophistication. The hallmarks of this casual collection include island-inspired sportswear, denim, and swimwear for men and women in luxuriously soft silks and cottons, richly woven textures and eclectic prints.

Lilly Pulitzer: The authentic American resort wear brand, Lilly Pulitzer, is landing in the heart of Disney and will be offering their clothing and accessories, optimistic outlook, and happy prints to those who've loved the brand for years and new Lilly Girls out there.

UNIQLO: Leading global retailer UNIQLO designs, manufactures, and sells casual apparel that comes from the company's Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. The simplest design hides the most thoughtful details in clothing that is constantly being innovated to bring more warmth and lightness, better design and comfort to people's lives.

PANDORA: Building on its existing relationship with Disney Parks, the popular jewelry brand offers classic yet modern charm bracelets, along with necklaces, rings and earrings, as well as a line of exclusive Disney-themed jewelry.

UGG: The UGG® brand is recognized as a premium lifestyle brand offering men's, women's and kid's footwear as well as loungewear, outerwear, home products, cold weather accessories and handbags.

L'Occitane en Provence: L'Occitane en Provence is an international skincare and beauty line celebrating the culture and beauty of Provence, France.

Edward Beiner: A leading eyewear designer, purveyor and retailer, Edward Beiner offers today's aspiring lifestyle-oriented customer the world's most original, authentic and innovative designer, fashion and high performance eyewear.

DINING

Edison: Inspired by The Edison venue in Los Angeles, this lavish "Industrial Gothic" -style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination is themed to a 1920s-period power plant, recalling an exuberant era of invention and imagination. It will feature exceptionally good classic American food, craft cocktails and live entertainment including cabaret and music.

Sprinkles: The world's first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, serves up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies. Their innovative Cupcake ATM satisfies sweet-toothed epicureans 24/7.

Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza: Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza is a modern day "pizza joint" known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s'more pies. The fast-casual restaurant features an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize their pizza, choosing from over 40 fresh, artisanal toppings - all for one price. The generously sized, 11-inch pizzas are "fast-fired" in a blazing hot open-flame oven and ready to enjoy in just 180 seconds.

Vivoli Gelateria: Vivoli Gelateria serves expertly crafted gelato made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, panini sandwiches and espresso drinks.

Tea Traders Café by Joffrey's: Tea Traders Café by Joffrey's specializes in premium loose-leaf teas (hot, iced, blended) featuring customs blends, accessories and packaged teas from all over the globe; created to go or for a tea experience in the café.

Nine venues have opened over the past few months at Disney Springs and include:

The BOATHOUSE: An upscale waterfront dining experience showcasing steaks, chops, fresh seafood and a raw bar. Built over the water, the 600-seat, nautically themed restaurant also features a display of rare dream boats from the 1930s -1950s, a beautifully crafted water taxi and a fleet of amphibious autos, called amphicars. This unique restaurant was designed by Shussler Creative, which created other restaurant / retail attractions at Walt Disney World Resort, including Rainforest Café, T-REX and Yak & Yeti Restaurant. The BOATHOUSE is managed by Gibsons Restaurant Group.

Erwin Pearl: Offering a fine selection of enamel, precious and semi-precious fashion jewelry marked by style, creativity and outstanding quality.

APEX by Sunglass Hut: Offering the latest in sports and activewear sunglasses. Guests can try on frames and use a lens simulator to test how their lens would perform in a variety of outdoor environments and weather conditions.

Chapel Hats: Specializing in fashion hats and headwear for all ages. The store carries a variety of hats including fedoras, floppy hats, fascinators and more.

Art of Shaving: Premium shaving shop offering men's grooming essentials.

Sanuk: The Sanuk® brand is known for its street-style casual footwear inspired by a Southern California heritage and a "never uncomfortable" attitude.

Sound Lion: Offering the latest technology in headphones, ear buds, speakers, wireless music players and other digital sound and music products.

havaianas: Specializing in a wide array of fun footwear and accessories, including a station where guests can create their own flip-flops.

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC: Offering a full selection of gluten-free, vegan baked goods such as award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels (with vegan butter) and savory items.

Recently announced and opening in Fall 2015:

Morimoto Asia: World-renowned chef Masaharu Morimoto and the Patina Restaurant Group will open Morimoto Asia, Morimoto's first Pan-Asian restaurant at Disney Springs. Morimoto Asia's culinary elements will provide flavors from across Asia, while exhibition kitchens will showcase the continent's traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving, and dim sum.

STK Orlando: STK Orlando will offer a modern twist on the traditional American steakhouse featuring an innovative menu mixed with a high-energy atmosphere, complete with a sleek lounge with a DJ and rooftop dining. At approximately 14,000 square feet, the Orlando outpost will be one of the largest STK locations.

Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar: With a storyline centered on the pilot from the "Indiana Jones" films, this aviation- themed lounge will feature unique drinks and small plates. Themed décor like propeller-based ceiling fans, vintage travel posters and correspondence between Jock and Indy will immerse guests in a world of adventure.

Existing Downtown Disney properties making significant investments include:

Paradiso 37: Undergoing an expansion, Paradiso 37 is capitalizing on its beautiful waterfront setting. As part of its renovation, the restaurant is doubling its seating, adding more terrace dining and building a new outdoor performance stage.

Planet Hollywood: Transforming its flagship venue, Planet Hollywood will become a star-themed Planet Hollywood Observatory to match the look and feel of Disney Springs. As part of the makeover, the venue will add a new outdoor terrace and bar space called Stargazers and feature live entertainment.

March 17, 2015

Downtown Disney Disney Springs Transformation Update

The changes to Downtown Disney/Disney Springs continue to evolve.

Here are some recent announcements from the DisneyParksBlog:

Paradiso 37

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Paradiso 37's expansion capitalizes on its beautiful waterfront setting. "We're nearly doubling the seating, adding more terrace dining, a new outdoor performance stage and expanding to add a greater presence on the new Disney Springs promenade," said Rashid Choufani, chief executive officer of Paradiso 37.

The menu, a "Taste of the Americas," will continue to offer a culinary tour of North, Central and South America, with popular dishes including ceviche, jalapeño burgers, Argentinian skirt steak, whole crispy chicken and Chilean-style salmon. Beverages include wine, beer, and specialty rum and tequila cocktails inspired by the cuisine. (The restaurant takes its name from the 37 countries in the Americas.)

Paradiso 37 will remain open while undergoing renovations.

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Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood gets a complete makeover - you may not recognize the place as it's transformed into a four-story stargazing observatory to match the design aesthetic of Disney Springs. While the exterior is turn-of-the-century, the interior will feature spherical, planet-shaped lighting fixtures and stylish finishing to create a welcoming atmosphere for fans to celebrate a new generation of superstar entertainers. And the memorabilia from movies stays, a perfect fit to "Dine Amongst the Stars."

A new outdoor terrace and outdoor bar space called Stargazers will feature live entertainment while music in the main dining room will include a DJ. Favorites remain on the menu, but look for new tastes too, and a trendy beverage menu - everything from milkshakes and smoothies to wines, bottled and draft beers and cocktails.

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New Retail Locations

Several new retail locations have opened in area to be known as The Landing. Once complete, The Landing will be home to memorable dining such as STK, Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE and unique boutique shopping. Here is a brief look at these newest additions.

The Art of Shaving - offers premium grooming essentials for the modern man. The location also has a team of shaving specialists who offer advice to guests on proper grooming techniques. Appointments for a haircut or shave are suggested.

Apex by Sunglass Hut - designed with the athlete, sports and outdoor enthusiast in mind, this shop utilizes innovative technology, such as the Apex Smart Mirror, to help guests find the best choice in sport sunglasses.

Chapel Hats - specializes in fashionable hats and headwear for guests of all ages. The location carries just about any style of hat including fedoras, sun hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid's hats and more.

Sanuk - creatively inspired footwear designed with non-traditional materials like yoga-mats.

Havaianas - offering "Make Your Own Havaianas" and "Embellish Your Own Havaianas," this store features a large assortment of Havaianas sandals for women, men and children, plus kids' rain boots.

Sound Lion - the latest technology in headphones, earbuds, speakers, and other digital sound and music products can be found in this shop. They also provide education in digital music applications that improve the listening lifestyle.

Erin Mckenna's Bakery NYC - this location will offer the same unsurpassed core vegan, gluten-free menu as its flagship bakery in New York City, and its sister bakery in Los Angeles. Look for a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels (with vegan butter!), and other savory items daily.

February 18, 2015

Village Causeway and New Shops Open at Downtown Disney Marketplace

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The conversion from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs continues with the opening of the Village Causeway, linking the Marketplace from the Rainforest Cafe to the Lego Store.

New kiosks are open.....

Flour & Sugar - This kiosk offeres freshly baked cookies with Florida flavors like coconut, key lime and strawberry. You can buy them individually or in easy-to-transport canisters of six.

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Florida Bath Co. - This kiosk offers products made with home grown ingredients like organic vegetable juices and essential citrus oils. Florida Bath Co. is owned by the same folks as Basin.

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Icon Jewellery by Bico - Concepts like Love and Friendship, Protection, Strength and Luck are represented in pieces crafted from hand-polished fine grade pewter and enhanced with fine materials like Swarovski Crystals, New Guinea Rosewood and genuine leather.

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Kate & Leo - Creativity and imagination toys and games for kids including travel games, magnetic story boards, beautiful art supplies and more, no batteries required.

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December 17, 2014

Steakhouse STK Orlando to Open at Disney Springs in 2015

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NEW YORK, NY - Dec. 17, 2014 - The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. ("The ONE Group") (OTCQB:STKS), known for developing upscale, high-energy restaurants, today announced plans to open a STK in Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. STK Orlando is expected to open in The Landing at Disney Springs in 2015, with the full completion of Disney Springs expected in 2016.

The new STK will be located within the waterfront setting of The Landing at Disney Springs, a completely re-imagined shopping, dining and entertainment complex that will double the number of shops and restaurants currently found at Downtown Disney. The Landing is the first phase of Disney Springs and will be home to unique and memorable dining experiences such as STK, Morimoto Asia and The BOATHOUSE, plus a number of still-to-be-announced innovative restaurants and boutique shops.

STK's unique ambiance blends the elements of a modern steakhouse with a sleek lounge, including a DJ, emphasizing a social, fun environment. At approximately 14,000 square feet, the Orlando outpost will be one of the largest STK locations. STK Orlando will have two dining floors -- including a main level and the only rooftop dining venue in Disney Springs.

"We are thrilled to join the Disney Springs family with the launch of STK Orlando," said Jonathan Segal, CEO of The ONE Group. "The combination of an innovative menu and high-energy atmosphere has driven the success of STK, and we believe it will be an ideal addition to Disney Springs, and will help further cement its status as a place for friends and family to gather for fine dining and entertainment."

Segal added, "Our entrance into the Orlando market represents another example of our continued growth strategy. We remain on track with our expansion plans for 2015 and hope to continue to partner with exciting world-class brands like Walt Disney Parks and Resorts moving forward."

"STK Orlando is a welcome new addition to Disney Springs. With its innovative, high-energy atmosphere, STK is the perfect complement to our growing array of dining, entertainment and shopping offerings," said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.

About The ONE Group

The ONE Group is a global hospitality company that develops and operates upscale, high-energy restaurants and lounges and provides hospitality management services for hotels, casinos and other high-end venues both nationally and internationally. The ONE Group's primary restaurant brand is STK ®, a modern twist on the American steakhouse concept with locations in major metropolitan cities throughout the U.S. and in London. STK Rebel SM, a more accessibly priced STK ® with a broader menu, is an extension of the STK ® brand. The ONE Group's food and beverage hospitality services business, ONE Hospitality SM, provides the development, management and operations for premier restaurants and turn-key food and beverage services within high-end hotels and casinos. Additional information about The ONE Group can be found at www.togrp.com.

About Disney Springs

Representing the largest expansion in Downtown Disney history, Disney Springs will be a one-of-a-kind Disney experience, treating guests by day and night to great dining, shopping and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs and waterfront charm. With an air of sophisticated grace and design that harkens to Florida's waterfront towns at the turn-of-the-century, Disney Springs will be home to four distinct, outdoor neighborhoods opening in phases: The Landing, Town Center, Marketplace and West Side. The Landing, as the first of the four neighborhoods and home to unique and memorable dining, is scheduled to open in spring 2015. When fully completed in 2016, Disney Springs will double the number of shopping, dining and entertainment venues - from the current 70 to approximately 150.

Disney Springs is part of the Walt Disney World Resort, the number one family vacation destination in the world, located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

November 18, 2014

Disney Springs Update

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The transformation of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs continues.

Above the future location of Morimoto Asia, the Springs Bottling Co sign has been installed. The sign is part of the story that goes back to Florida's waterfront towns at the turn of the century. The interior of Morimoto Asia will also showcase the theme and pay tribute to that period in history.

The Waterview Stage is now open and offering nightly entertainment. Check the times guides for specifics.

Later this month the Food Trucks Exposition Park located on the West Side will open! The Food Trucks will serve a variety of items from chicken waffles to tandoori spice shrimp. Look for additional seating in that area as well.

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The Pedestrian Walkway is scheduled to be completed later this month connecting to the West Side.

The West Garage (first of two) will open in phases for guests beginning November 20th.

October 27, 2014

Schussler Creative Announces The BOATHOUSE: New Concept to Join the Mix at Disney Springs

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., October 27, 2014 - Schussler Creative, specialists in the creation and consultation of attractions, restaurants, retail stores and entertainment venues worldwide, today announced their latest project: The BOATHOUSE: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats - located at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Schussler Creative also is the creator of other restaurant/retail attractions at Walt Disney World Resort including Rainforest Cafe and T-REX™ Cafe (located at Downtown Disney®), and Rainforest Cafe and Yak & Yeti™ (located at Disney's Animal Kingdom® theme park).

Opening Spring 2015 as one of the new venues in The Landing at Disney Springs - a re-imagined and exciting district of entertainment, dining and shopping - The BOATHOUSE will be an upscale, waterfront dining experience featuring spectacular floating artwork: dream boats from the 30's, 40's & 50's.

The incredible culinary experience of The BOATHOUSE will be showcased in an expansive restaurant with three distinctive bars including The Captain's Raw Bar, The Admiral's Club Bar and The Dock Bar, which is built over the water. Other spectacular nautically-themed rooms include The Runabout, Twin Transoms, and The Lake House. There will also be two private dining rooms for special events, conventions and presentations: The Regatta and The Trophy Room. The BOATHOUSE restaurant will be managed by internationally renowned and award-winning Gibsons Restaurant Group, celebrated for exceptional food and extraordinary service (recently named Best Steak House in Chicago). Guests will enjoy a gourmet menu served daily until 2 a.m. featuring steaks, chops, fresh seafood and a raw bar.

The BOATHOUSE restaurant will immerse guests both on land and on water with live music and romantic Captain's guided tours aboard The Venezia, a beautifully crafted 40-foot wooden Italian Water Taxi featuring champagne toasts and chocolate-covered strawberries. There also will be the exhilaration of guided Amphicar rides that launch from land, entering the water with a splash, taking guests on a 20-minute tour of the landmarks of Disney Springs.

The Harbor Master will orchestrate daily flag ceremonies, accompanied by a lively musical performance of beloved bugle songs, performed aboard a classic 1800's antique steam boat.

Authentic nautical items, custom engraved paddles, distinctive lake-themed merchandise, and other unique items "Made on Earth™" will be available at The Ship's Store, adjacent to The BOATHOUSE restaurant.

"Combining dining with interactive entertainment, The BOATHOUSE helps bring to life our vision of Disney Springs as a welcoming place for guests of all ages to enjoy with their friends and family amid the charm of a waterfront town center," said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.

"We are very excited that The BOATHOUSE is joining the Walt Disney World family at Disney Springs," said creator Steven Schussler. "We are proud to bring the culinary expertise and impeccable service of Gibsons Restaurant Group to The BOATHOUSE. The outstanding cuisine, the excitement of Amphicars, the Italian Water Taxi, and live music will make The BOATHOUSE a must-see destination for Walt Disney World guests from all around the world. Walt Disney Imagineering has created a wonderful, interactive, culinary and entertainment experience at Disney Springs. We are proud to be part of this magical experience."

For dining reservations and more information about The BOATHOUSE, guests will be able to visit Disneyworld.com in the future.

New Morimoto Asia Restaurant to Open at Disney Springs

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NEW YORK: October 27, 2014 - Chef Masaharu Morimoto is teaming up with Patina Restaurant Group to open Morimoto Asia as Walt Disney World Resort brings to life Disney Springs, an entertainment-dining-retail district re-imagined from Downtown Disney. To open in summer 2015 at The Landing, in the heart of Disney Springs, Morimoto Asia is the Japanese master chef's first pan-Asian dining experience.

Morimoto Asia's extraordinary, 36-foot tall, two-story layout includes a vast range of areas to explore including open terraces, grand hall, private rooms, long bar, cocktail lounge, waterside seating and more. The restaurant is being designed by STUDIO V Architecture.

"We are delighted to work with Morimoto to create this one of a kind restaurant, which will be a spectacular dining destination at the new Disney Springs," said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.

"I'm very excited to bring this new concept to Disney, something I've always dreamed of," said Chef Morimoto. "It's a wonderful chance to share some of my favorite foods from across the Asian continent."

Morimoto Asia's culinary elements will provide flavors from across Asia, while exhibition kitchens will showcase the continent's traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving and dim sum. Morimoto's inspiration and perspective will create an unmatched dining experience in this richly layered setting.

"We're thrilled to bring Chef Morimoto's renowned culinary style to Disney Springs as we expand the range of dining experiences for our resort guests as well as local Florida residents," said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.

For dining reservations and more information about Morimoto Asia, guests will be able to visit Disneyworld.com in the future.

May 6, 2014

New Shopping, Dining for Summer 2014 at Downtown Disney As Progress Continues on Disney Springs

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As work continues on the re-imagining of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, a multi-year transformation into a high-energy destination that will double the retail and offer innovative new dining options, Walt Disney World guests continue to enjoy more than 70 themed and immersive shopping, dining and entertainment venues day and night.

For summer 2014, immersive outdoor entertainment will bring Downtown Disney to life, with nine different acts scheduled nightly -- more than 30 live performances daily, a free highlight of the Downtown Disney experience.

And special events like Car Masters Weekend (June 14-15) puts the spotlight on classic and exotic cars for Father's Day weekend, and includes character experiences featuring favorite Disney-Pixar "Cars" characters.

New this summer for Downtown Disney:

Two new Starbucks locations -- a storefront at Downtown Disney West Side and a kiosk near World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace. Look for the familiar green roof at the West Side flagship Starbucks, part of the company's commitment to be environmentally conscious. The design includes a covered patio overlooking the waterfront and a fireplace, as well as the new Clover Bar, featuring special reserve coffees brewed to order. A high-tech screen behind the Clover Bar will show images from coffee regions around the globe, and a new Human Connection Wall will include large touch-screen monitors that allow guests to use their finger to draw images.

Marketplace Co-Op will serve as a testing space for new Disney retail concepts, shops and products with six boutiques under one roof:

Beautifully Disney -- A beauty destination for women featuring make-up, fragrance and beauty accessories;

Cherry Tree Lane -- Accessories for the sophisticated woman with a passion for scarves, shoes, bags and jewelry;

D-Tech on Demand -- A place to personalize and customize your own electronic accessories;

The Trophy Room -- Vintage-inspired, lifestyle sports apparel and collectibles;

Disney Centerpiece -- Home products offering a splash of Disney in room furnishings, textiles and everyday ware;

Zoey and Pickles -- A girls' destination with the latest trends.

Just in time for World Cup, United World of Soccer opens in Late May at Downtown Disney West Side. The shop offers favorite team jerseys, sports gear, cleats, World Cup apparel and accessories.

The Happy Hound at Downtown Disney Marketplace offers custom accessories and dog tags, toys and more for four-legged friends.

Food Truck Park, opening later this summer, will serve as a permanent home to the four Disney Food Trucks and will be situated between Bongos Cuban Café and the new Starbucks at Downtown Disney West Side.

Even with expansion work underway, guests still can stroll from Downtown Disney West Side to The Marketplace. While shopping, playing and dining this summer, they will see signs of exciting things to come captured in colorful, mural-sized artistic renderings of the new Disney Springs destination throughout the expansion site.

Disney Springs -- What's Next

The largest expansion in Downtown Disney history, Disney Springs will provide even more opportunities for guests to relax and enjoy themselves.

When completed in 2016, Disney Springs will double the shopping, dining and entertainment experiences, with an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands. From boutique shops to unique flagship anchor stores, guests will be able to explore and discover options unlike any other currently available in Central Florida.

Drawing inspiration from Florida's waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four interconnected neighborhoods:

The Landing (opening in early 2015) set along the waterfront and featuring nationally known restaurateurs.

The family-friendly Marketplace will continue to delight guests of all ages by combining new experiences, such as an over-the-water pedestrian causeway, along with classic Disney favorites, including an expanded World of Disney store.

West Side will be enhanced with a series of new elevated spaces that provide both shade and an overlook to the activity below.

The Town Center, opening in 2016, with a sophisticated mix of shopping and more dining.

The first phase of roadwork construction has begun, with lane closures scheduled as much as possible for off-peak hours to minimize impacts to the guest experience. Buena Vista Drive will expand from seven to 10 lanes, with a dedicated bus lane. Two parking garages and two pedestrian bridges also will be added, as well as an I-4 Interchange that will offer direct access to and from Downtown Disney/Disney Springs.

Disney Springs is expected to create an estimated 1,200 construction jobs and nearly 4,000 operational roles, providing new business opportunities and generating significant tax revenue for Central Florida.

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About Disney Springs

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in the Disney Springs category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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