Disney Springs Big Projects Update and Donut Breaded Chicken Nuggets – October 2017

Larger: Here.

We’ll stop by Disney Springs on the afternoon of Tuesday October 24th to catch up on some major projects. There’s still no word on what production will replace La Nouba in the Cirque Du Soleil theater after the show concludes on December 31st of this year. Perhaps a show called “Le Dazney Bloggeur” would shock and entertain. But mostly disgust.

DisneyQuest’s demolition has finally begun posthaste. Since these pictures were taken about 48 hours ago, about half of the building has been completely torn down. I don’t think Disney has dismantled anything so quickly since they last entered contract negotiations with Local 362 over cast member wage increases.

Like just about every Springs project, The NBA Experience has been delayed.

The vast, windowless concrete building that housed DisneyQuest doesn’t offer a tremendous amount of curb appeal, so the NBA wanted to build something new. Disney would have preferred the NBA to use current infrastructure. I’m sort of surprised that the NBA didn’t buy the Space Needle, promise to keep it in Seattle, move it to Disney Springs, then demolish it and rebuild the DisneyQuest building.

Arriving in Summer 2019(?), the new building looks like your typical arena.

Maybe the Seattle SuperSonics can play their home games here.

You can actually pick up a free jersey at the Amway Center downtown where the Orlando Magic play if you purchase or renew a Walt Disney World Annual Pass at the arena’s ticket center. A lot more details on that offer are available here. I might pick up a Terrence Ross.

Jaleo is “Coming in 2018.”

Personally, I can’t wait to give Chef José Andrés some of my precious blogger bucks as his World Central Kitchen organization has served over 1.5 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

More information on that effort is available here as well as all over the internet.

Disney likes when you sign on to reuse old infrastructure, even after encountering significant delays at projects like The Edison for doing exactly that.

But it looks like things are finally coming together.

Originally slated for a 2016 opening, signage still says Late 2017. Maybe if it was called The Nikola.

Another Italian restaurant is slated to open in the same building. Called “Maria & Enzo’s,” it’s expected to be operated by Patina, the company that operates Via Napoli, Tutto Italia, Morimoto Asia, as well as The Edison, assuming the lights ever come on.

Terralina Crafted Italian Restaurant still says its opening in “Fall 2017,” but the opening has reportedly been pushed back to the middle of next year.

If for some reason you find yourself waiting outside for a restaurant to open for an unspecified number of months, you can at least pick up a hammock from this nearby kiosk and relax.

Wine Bar George has two more months to make its “Opening 2017” promise.

Just about everything in life takes longer than you expect, but it seems unusual that “literally” every single Disney Springs project has been delayed.

Disney Springs was announced over four-and-a-half years ago, in March 2013, and we still have no visible progress on the new Wolfgang Puck restaurant.

Meanwhile, we’re already seeing retailers switch out.

Coach is going in next to MAC.

D-Living is closed again, perhaps for a more major overhaul with the expectation that it will reopen sometime in November, which means we might see the doors open again in 2024.

The VOID is bringing its Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire “Hyper-reality experience” to Disney Springs beginning on December 16th. Tickets are available here for dates through February 14th. It looks like the first week is largely sold out, but some times are available. I have a feeling that the opening will be a complete clustercuss unless they really undersold tickets. It wouldn’t surprise me if the group that booked the first time slot is actively competing for the “Most Awkward Group Activity” in this year’s Guinness Book of World Records. Imagine me hooked up to a virtual reality headset trying to battle Darth Vader. Then feel better about what you find yourself doing on the morning of December 16th.

As part of the Marketplace Co-Op, the Dress Shop on Cherry Tree Lane will offer this dress based on the Parasol Tightrope Girl from Haunted Mansion.

After seeing this print as an apron, it’s hard for me to see anything else when I look at this dress that will be offered for the holidays.

Christmas is otherwise out in force and has been for a couple of weeks.

I like this blown glass monorail ornament. It’s probably just as fragile as the actual fleet.



These stockings should prove popular.

Speaking of Haunted Mansion, that chair on the left is four thousand dollars. (Seriously.)

Retro t-shirts:






Finally a hat I’m comfortable wearing.

Frontera Cocina is offering some October specials that I would think would continue for the foreseeable future. You can pull up a current list of events and discounts here, many of which don’t seem to be actively promoted. For example, the Tuesday special is a platter that includes “one each of our Cochinita Pibil, Barbacoa, and Mushroom tacos served on warm, handmade corn tortillas with a side of black beans for only $10. Pair it with a cold Corona Light draft for $5.” That’s less than fast food tacos cost at Epcot.

I stopped by on Monday for a (couple of) $5 Classic Margarita(s) and was impressed by the quality for the price. When we arrived around 3:30pm, there was nobody else at the bar, but it did become a bit more crowded come 4:30pm. Otherwise, you can pick up four Classic Margaritas and a Chips and Salsa for $24 and they took a Tables in Wonderland discount on top of it, which basically took care of the tip. A really good deal for a relaxing drink.

Raglan Road continues changing its lunch and dinner menus, perhaps due to increased competition. You’ll still find an expanded brunch menu on weekends, but lunch also includes several breakfast-y items available through 3pm and fewer appetizers and entrees.

Here’s dinner, which looks a lot like the lunch menu of the Downtown Disney days.

I wrote an all-encompassing review of D-Luxe Burger, including a review of every item on the menu, in this post from last month. The main takeaway was that D-Luxe has the potential to be a real bargain if you stick to the Duo options. You can get two of Disney’s best quick service burgers, enough fries to share, and two fountain beverages for “just” $25, which is less than two burgers would cost at something like Cosmic Ray’s before adding drinks. And they’re also taking 20% off for Annual Passholders, which makes the price even more compelling at two full meals for 20 bucks. Since that update, Disney switched out the Seasonal Bacon and Bleu Burger for the first time. It’s now a $12 “Pork Belly Burger – Pork Belly and Andouille Sausage Burger Topped With Cheddar, Red Onions, Lettuce, Tomato, Spicy Pepper Relish, and Remoulade Sauce.” On the Kids’ Menu, the $8 Donut Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets are also a new addition.

There’s also a Seasonal Pumpkin Pie Shake.

$7.50 seems a little pricey for a relatively small shake – here in the Pumpkin Pie flavor that tasted exactly like a colder version of the ubiquitous Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix. The pumpkin flavor was so strong and so intense that I wasn’t really interested in the cup being larger, like I was with the vanilla, chocolate, and other flavors. But if you’re looking to get a Thanksgiving fix or just miss Aunt Janette’s pumpkin pie, this is slightly more refreshing than a piece of pie for not much more money than a slice would cost.

I was impressed by the $8 Donut Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, which arrive with 10 or 12 pieces including those hiding underneath the large portion of fries. The donut gives the chicken a slightly sweet flavor at the front of each bite. But these were a lot more breading-heavy than your typical Disney chicken nugget, which is crispier with thinner breading and a lot more chicken in each bite. I’m not sure how much kids will be into the flavor profile and the fact that each nugget is 70% breading. But it did make for a filling meal for a 32 year old Disney blogger with the accompanying kids’ soda cup that can be refilled at the beverage station like any other.

The Patty on the Pork Belly Burger is softer and more slippery than the beef burgers and reminded me a lot of the El Diablo Burger, which mixes chorizo and beef. But I appreciated the freshness of the toppings and the legitimate, flavorful spice of the pepper relish along with the creamy coolness of the remoulade.

Disney Springs remains a great spot to relax during the day with some of Walt Disney World’s best restaurants and bars. As always, I recommend visiting during the day with plans to enjoy a theme park’s nighttime festivities. Everyone else is going to go to the Park during the day and try to head over here for dinner on Saturday night.

Comments

  1. Heather says

    We really enjoyed Disney Quest back in 2005. With a relatively high cost around $35 each, families still couldn’t get enough.

    Returning 10 years later and seeing no upgrades gave it a cheesy museum vibe. Guess it’s just too costly to stay ahead of the curve in that industry, which is disappointing because it definitely had some potential.

    RIP Disney Quest

  2. Mike says

    Soft and Slipery are Not typical adjectives one would use to describe a Burger Patty in a positive fashion. Is it your true intent to infer that it is gross?

  3. RebeccaMcK says

    I wonder what became of the Pirates “game” stuff from DQ……my hubby and kiddo only got to go to DQ the one time, last December, and they would have loved to buy the remains of that ride (but just one boat) and set it up in our basement. Loads of fun.

  4. Jean says

    My husband and I were at Disney Springs at precisely the same time as you, stuffing ourselves with lobster guac at Paddlefish and buying Star Wars toys. Too bad I missed an opportunity to spot a Disney blogger in the wild!

  5. Jeff says

    It’s kinda bizarre how the Disney Springs restaurant projects ALL get delayed.

    As a former Seattle resident (actually born in Bellevue to be exact), I always appreciate your comments/complaints about the local sports scene there.

  6. Dennis says

    What with the Braves leaving Disney – perhaps the Orlando Magic will be moving to a “new arena” at Disney Springs and be renamed … wait for it … the Disney Magic! (Or is that name already taken?)

  7. Jordan says

    Josh,

    Is there a direct contact option I’m missing here or on Facebook? We have an extra seat at our Candlelight Processional lunch ADR in December and wanted to offer it to you if Rose and Crown is blogable enough. I promise you’ll get advanced notice of any matching tshirts.

  8. Kathy says

    Thank you, Josh, for your shout out to Jose Andres’ charity doing great work in Puerto Rico. My in-laws in Ponce are still struggling. :(

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