Beginning Nov. 10, the “bah-humbug” hassle of holiday shopping becomes a joyful family celebration at Disney Springs. Like nowhere else, the holidays come to life at this one-of-a-kind retail, dining and entertainment complex complete with sparkling holiday décor, unique gift-giving (and gift-getting) ideas, tantalizing treats, special entertainment and more.
Only at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort can the entire family join together in the holiday shopping experience while also creating new family traditions and memories. There are more than 150 locations to explore. And around every corner, Disney Springs is wrapped and ready for the season with strolling carolers, living statues, themed stilt walkers and live music adding to the festive atmosphere.
Here’s a sampling of what’s new this holiday season:
An Even Bigger Christmas Tree Trail – To capture the spirit of the season, guests can stroll among an even bigger Christmas Tree Trail. Twenty-five custom decorated holiday trees, each dedicated to a popular Disney theme, will be on display including 10 new trees inspired by Disney classics like Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Snow White and Dumbo.
Santa’s Chalet – Santa Claus is accepting Christmas wish lists and welcoming guests to his chalet newly located by the Christmas Tree Trail Nov. 10 through 24.
Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt – Stitch returns to Disney Springs with an expanded scavenger hunt now featuring 16 stops, including a special stop at the even-bigger Christmas Tree Trail.
Meet & Greet with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear – This huggable eight-foot tall brand ambassador is available for holiday photos on the second floor of The Coca-Cola Store.
La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil: This gravity-defying, jaw-dropping show takes its final bow on Dec. 31. Limited tickets are available at CirqueduSoleil.com/la-nouba. Since its premiere, La Nouba has entertained more than 11 million guests and performed more than 8,600 shows.
One-stop holiday shopping
From top-name brands and one-of-a-kind retailers to Disney-inspired merchandise, there’s something for everyone – and every stocking – at Disney Springs.
Trendsetters will find unique apparel and gift items at UNIQLO, Under Armour Brand House, Marketplace Co-Op, PANDORA, Sephora and Sugarboo & Co. Disney fans can select from a cornucopia of choices at The LEGO Store, Star Wars Galactic Outpost and World of Disney, the world’s largest Disney merchandise store featuring more than 50,000 different items.
For Star Wars fans on the list, tickets are now on sale for the highly anticipated hyper-reality experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, debuting at Disney Springs on Dec. 16.
For up-to-date information on Black Friday specials and other offers throughout the holiday season, visit disneysprings.com.
Indulgent treats and family feasts
Holidays are all about gathering around a table with family and friends. Kids of all ages will love indulging their sweet tooth at Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. Busy shoppers can take a break and enjoy a satisfying meal at Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza or D-Luxe Burger.
For those large gatherings when no one wants to cook, families and friends can treat each other to a night out at one of Disney Springs’ signature restaurants. Menus feature everything from steak and seafood to home-style favorites, many created by celebrity and award-winning chefs. New offerings since last holiday season include Paddlefish, Planet Hollywood Observatory and Polite Pig. Call (407) WDW-DINE for dining information and reservations.
Complimentary self-parking is available at all Disney Springs garages and surface lots. Walt Disney World Resort guests enjoy complimentary transportation between their Disney Resort hotels and Disney Springs.
Nick Valenti, CEO of Patina Restaurant Group (PRG), confirmed plans to open three new modern Italian restaurant and bar concepts at Disney Springs this winter. The restaurants, all new concepts created by PRG, each with unique menus, will form an expansive dining complex showcasing authentic Italian food and entertainment. They will be adjacent to The Edison, the lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style destination also being developed by PRG.
“I’m delighted to announce that we will be opening a trattoria named Maria & Enzo’s, as well as Enzo’s Hideaway, a separate restaurant in what were said to be rum-running tunnels, which is destined to become a local favorite,” said Valenti. “They are inspired by the cuisines of Sicily and Rome, the Italian family, and the best of Italian modern cooking.”
The new concepts tie into the Disney Springs storyline of a restored Florida waterfront town. “Our inspiration is to bring unforgettable food and wine from Italy to Florida, with the stunning scenery you only find at Disney,” said Valenti.
Maria & Enzo’s – an Italian trattoria set in the town’s storied abandoned airline terminal from the 1930s, now transformed into a restaurant. The dining room is open and airy, featuring 50-foot ceilings with views of Lake Buena Vista. The restaurant interiors showcase artifacts that reference air travel of the time, with maps and historic flight paths. The menu is inspired by Sicily, with a range of family-friendly dishes – Arancini di Carne (rice balls stuffed with meat), Melanzane Parmigiana (eggplant Parmesan) – and handmade pastas – Busiate con Granchio (spiral pasta with crab), ‘Ncasciata al Forno(Sicilian baked pasta) – served tableside. Other highlights include fresh fish, richly flavored steaks and chops.
Enzo’s Hideaway – a speakeasy inspired by Roman aperitivo bars, located in the storied rum-runner tunnels that adjoin Maria & Enzo’s. Inspired by Florida’s true history of rum running, Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and serve a casual menu of hearty Roman dishes, such as the city’s legendary Bucatini alla Carbonara (hollow spaghetti with creamy egg and pancetta sauce) and Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe (square-cut spaghetti with pecorino and black pepper).
Pizza Ponte – a fast-casual concept and the perfect place for a quick bite serving pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches, and espresso. Pastry specialties include Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) Sfoglia di Riso (pastry with rice cream) and Tiramisu. Savory items include signature Triangolo (stuffed pizza bread) sandwiches, Porchetta (roast pork) and Pizza al Taglio, Sicilian-style pizza by the slice.
Maria & Enzo’s, Enzo’s Hideaway and Pizza Ponte are slated to open during this winter. For more information on Patina Restaurant Group visit www.patinagroup.com.
About Patina Restaurant Group
Patina Restaurant Group (www.patinagroup.com) is a bicoastal boutique company and leader in the premium segment of the restaurant industry. In New York, its portfolio features Lincoln Ristorante, STATE Grill and Bar at the Empire State Building, Stella 34 Trattoria at Macy’s Herald Square, The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center, Brasserie 8 ½, The Grand Tier Restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera, La Fonda del Sol at Grand Central, Yellow Magnolia Café at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Other East Coast properties include Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli at the Epcot World Showcase in Lake Buena Vista, Fla, and Morimoto Asia Orlando at Disney Springs.
On the West Coast its portfolio includes the renowned Los Angeles Times’ four-starred and Michelin-starred Patina Restaurant in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Café Pinot, Ray’s & Stark Bar, Catal, Tortilla Jo’s and Naples in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District, Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, and catering and food service in museums and cultural centers throughout California.
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.
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.
It’s an exciting spring season at Walt Disney World Resort, one filled with new fun that spans all four theme parks, Disney’s Water Parks and Disney Springs.
From the unveiling of a whole new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to an awe-inspiring fireworks show at Magic Kingdom Park to more retail and restaurant openings at Disney Springs, there more to see and do at Walt Disney World Resort than ever before. Here’s a closer look at what is in store:
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Opening May 27, Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will transport guests to a mystical world of bioluminescent rainforests, floating mountains and soaring Banshees. In collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s epic film AVATAR.
Guests will discover two main adventures in this breathtaking new land. Avatar Flight of Passage, sending guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee. Na’vi River Journey is a family-friendly boat ride that sails down a sacred river hidden within a glowing rainforest for an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman.
Hungry adventurers can recharge at Satu’li Canteen, the main dining location, or Pongu Pongu, a drink kiosk with a design as eclectic as its expat owner. Shoppers can stock up on Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders.
Also coming soon to Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Rivers of Light. Debuting Feb. 17, this new nighttime show will take guests on a magnificent journey with a mix of water, fire, nature and light choreographed to an original musical score. Continuing the park’s transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience, the amazing after-dark experience on the banks of Discovery River celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world.
Magic Kingdom Park
Starting May 12, Magic Kingdom Park guests will be treated to the most spectacular fireworks display in the park’s history with a brand new show called “Happily Ever After.”
Featuring more lasers, lights and projections than any Magic Kingdom Park show before it, “Happily Ever After” will take guests on an inspiring journey filled with heart and humor. Cinderella Castle itself will become part of the story, with dazzling projections bringing more than 25 heartfelt Disney stories to life on and around the iconic castle.
The 18-minute spectacle will feature moments from beloved Disney films such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” as well as modern blockbusters “Moana” and “Zootopia.”
“Happily Ever After” will be presented nightly. Show times vary based on park hours.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Several new Star Wars additions have recently taken center stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, starting with new displays inside Star Wars Launch Bay that feature authentic replicas from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” The new AWR Troopers from “Rogue One” are also now appearing in the daytime stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.”
For the ultimate Star Wars fan comes the ultimate experience: the all-new Star Wars Guided Tour. Guests are treated to a seven-hour immersion with character greetings, themed dining, attraction experiences, insider’s tours, a dessert party and VIP viewing of Star Wars: a Galactic Spectacular. Offered for an additional fee, the tour is available Mondays and Saturdays and can be booked at DisneyWorld.com.
And coming later this year, Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests will be immersed in new scenes from “Star Wars: Episode VIII” while onboard the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction.
Epcot celebrates 24 years of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this spring, kicking off March 1 and running through May 29. Guests can sip and savor their way around Epcot enjoying new Outdoor Kitchens while taking in the sights of phenomenal topiaries designed after Disney characters.
Anna and Elsa topiaries will enchant the landscape at the Norway Pavilion in celebration of the new Frozen Ever After attraction, while colorful gardens will line the path to The Land Pavilion where guests can discover Soarin’ Around the World. The favorite attraction now takes guests to new heights with scenes from Sydney, Australia, the Great Wall of China and other destinations around the globe.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Miss Adventure Falls, the newest family attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, splashes onto the scene this spring. Aboard this family-style raft adventure, guests will be immersed in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer. Legend holds that this treasure hunter roamed the seven seas in search of undersea artifacts – until a rogue storm marooned her at Typhoon Lagoon.
Guests gently ascend to the top of the attraction in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they will encounter some of Mary’s deep-sea treasures.
When it opens, Miss Adventure Falls will be one of the longest attractions (2 minutes) at Disney’s Water Parks.
Board an iconic paddleboat at Paddlefish, which offers guests a delectable menu of fresh seafood, steaks and chops for lunch, dinner and a Sunday brunch. A new rooftop lounge serves up a late-night menu as well as fantastic views of the water and Disney Springs.
Or, dine amongst the stars at Planet Hollywood Observatory, the newly reimagined restaurant serves up a new menu that includes amazing burgers and sandwiches created by celebrity Chef Guy Fieri, and craft cocktails whose names are inspired by the planets and space travel. Movie memorabilia, video screens, contemporary music and themed merchandise complete the scene.
Downtown Disney is no longer! Instead the popular shopping, dining and entertainment area is now called “Disney Springs.”
The new Disney Springs will double the number of shops and restaurants found at Downtown Disney. Some of the of new shops calling Disney Springs home include jeweler, Edwin Pearl and Sanuk where you can buy shoes made from yoga mats.
At the “Art of Shaving” they offer the ultimate experience for men. “Our signature service is the royal shave. It takes about 45 minutes and you’re going to wake up feeling like you got the royal treatment,” said employee Buck Dutton.
Maribeth Bisienere is the Senior Vice President of the area and says great things are ahead for the new Disney Springs: “We are going to double the size of what we have today and have a premiere retail, dining and entertainment experience,” said Bisienere.SOURCE: http://www.fox35orlando.com/home/26141243-story