MickeyBlog News Update – Edition #3
Welcome to MickeyBlog news! This is a big update, and Disney fans are going to have a lot to love. Let’s get started with the lastest Disney news!
New Character Meet and Greet!
Today’s news starts with a few items involving the parks and restaurants at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Fans of Disney’s Animal Kingdom will receive a new character meet and great on October 1st. That’s when Timon from The Lion King arrives. There’s no current word on Pumbaa joining him, which means that they’re apparently NOT attached at the hip as rumored.
The appearance of Timon does come with a bit of bad news. Disney is removing the current Tarzan meet and greet to make room for Timon. Tarzan’s last day is September 30th, so you still have plenty of time to visit if so inclined.
One of the ways that Disney strives to combat park congestion is with restaurants. When guests are sitting down to eat, they’re not milling around and blocking pathways for other Disney park visitors. In recent years, Disney has tried to expand the hours of several of its restaurants for this reason.
The most recent change is at Yak & Yeti Local Food Café, one of the most delicious eateries in all of Walt Disney World. This restaurant now serves a small breakfast menu in addition to their established lunch and dinner offerings. The breakfast bites are more conventional, with English muffins, tacos and burritos as the primary options.
If you plan to eat here, remember to join the Landry’s Select Club. You’ll earn credits toward free meals at T-Rex at Downtown Disney, Yak & Yeti, and other Landry’s properties across the country. At Disney’s Table Service restaurants, you’ll also enjoy priority seating, even when you don’t have an Advancing Dining Reservation.
Later in the day, you have a different meal option. Disney has extended the Tiana’s Riverboat Party – Ice Cream Social & Viewing Party until December 21st. For the price of $49 per person ($29 for children aged 3-9), you can enjoy a delicious ice cream social with Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. You’ll also receive VIP seating for the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade. The event takes place on Liberty Square Riverboat and has proven extremely popular thus far, even as folks complain that it’s kind of pricey.
The Food of Tomorrow…Today! (Well, Tonight)
Finally, people who stay at the park until the end of the evening have new food choices as well…as long as they’re at Disneyland. Galactic Grill aka Tomorrowland Terrace has added a late night snack menu with smaller but thematic bites like the Lunar Space-adilla, a flavorful quesadilla, or Sweet and Spicy Cluster Bites, a waffle bowl filled with chicken bites. The menu here has a target audience of guests who don’t want a full meal but would like something heftier than a snack. You can read all the dining options here.
Iron Chef Morimoto: Up All Night!
Guests at Disney Springs are left out of the late night dining options. Several restaurants have expanded their hours to satisfy the late night munchies. The latest one is Morimoto Asia, which is now open until midnight. The legendary Iron Chef’s late night menu includes Kushiyaki “Grilled on a Stick”, Menchi Katsu Sliders, and Blistered Shishito Peppers. So, it’s for more adventurous diners than me. If you try it, let me know if you think Morimoto’s cuisine still reigns supreme.
New Table Service at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
I recently recounted the Best Table Service options at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Right on cue, Disney made the list outdated by adding a new one! Coming this Fall is Baseline Tap House, which Disney is positioning as a corner pub. Even though it’s located at Walt Disney World, this establishment will serve the finest in Californian craft lagers and ales, fitting the park’s theme of Hollywood albeit a bit nebulously.
Disney has huge plans for the area where Baseline Tap House will reside. It’s a themed land called Grand Avenue, and if rumors are true, it’s…the worst themed land in Disney history. To some, it’ll also represent one of the best. How is this possible?
About Grand Avenue…
Disney’s apparently constructed Grand Avenue simply as a holding area for guests waiting to enter Star Wars Land: Galaxy’s Edge. Yes, park planners expect such massive crowds for the Hollywood Studios expansion that they’re building an entire section for visitors to hang out while waiting for their turn.
Disney’s actually really smart to do this, and visitors will feel a sense of excitement when they enter Grand Avenue. It means they’re almost ready to enter Galaxy’s Edge. If they don’t like the Baseline Tap House, however, Grand Avenue is going to be extremely boring. And if guests enjoy Baseline Tap House too much, they’re not going to remember much of Galaxy’s Edge.
From the Fall of 2017 until the opening of the new Star Wars Land, this restaurant is also going to feel a bit alienated from the rest of Hollywood Studios. These are the odd choices Disney is forced to make due to the overwhelming anticipation for Galaxy’s Edge. But…totally worth it for Star Wars Land, right?!
Cheaper Food Or Faster Food
While we’re on the subject of food, you may save on your meals from now until the end of September. Disney has prioritized annual pass holders and Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members the last couple of years. The latest example is a meal discount they’re offering to guests who can prove that they’re in one of those two clubs.
The current deal is a fairly massive 30 percent discount on Table Services at several high profile Walt Disney World restaurants. The offer has a lot of stipulations, though. The discount is only available for dinner. Even then, it’s only for service prior to 6:30 p.m. or after 8:30 p.m. Also note that the 30 percent deal doesn’t stack with the standard annual pass and DVC restaurant discounts.
Assuming none of that is a deterrent, you may enjoy cheaper meals than usual at the following Table Service restaurants:
- Artist Point
- Boatwright’s Dining Hall
- Captain’s Grille
- Flying Fish
- Grand Floridian Cafe
- Jiko – The Cooking Place
- Olivia’s Café
- The Turf Club Bar and Grill
- The Wave… of American Flavors
You have until September 30th to enjoy this offer, which is one of the best Disney dining deals in a long time. Guests who have thought about buying an annual pass might have incentive to do so, presuming you’ll visit Walt Disney World over the next six weeks. The meal savings could mitigate the cost of an annual pass.
More Mobile Order Options
Finally, I mentioned in the first edition of MickeyBlog News that Mobile Order was expanding into Magic Kingdom, the second Walt Disney World gate to gain the service. In only 10 days, Disney has since rolled out Mobile Order in both Hollywood Studios and Epcot! It’s now available at restaurants in all four of Disney’s Orlando theme parks.
The latest eateries to offer Mobile Order are Electric Umbrella in Future World and Liberty Inn at The American Adventure. And as of today, Hollywood studios now has ABC Commissary (the best Quick Service restaurant in the park) and PizzeRizzo participating.
If you want to grab some food without waiting in line, you now have options in every Walt Disney World theme park! Note that Disney still isn’t accepting discounts or dining plans via Mobile Order, though. Presumably, these features aren’t far away, but it’s a deal-breaker for some.
Summarizing, the recent Disney changes allow you to eat earlier, eat later, eat faster, and eat cheaper. MickeyBlog apologizes for making you hungry.