This is a “frozen beer” that’s available from the Kabuki Cafe and Tokyo Dining Restaurant in the Japan Pavilion. The beer is Kirin Ichiban and the “frozen” aspect comes from a sort of whipped beer topping that tastes like beer. It’s really pretty gross. So much so, that I opted for a straw to bypass the foam. Yes, you can take away my alcoholic blogger card. Since it costs the same $8 as a regular Kirin Ichiban, you might as well try it if you’re going to buy one anyway. The topping is supposed to keep the beer colder for a longer period of time. Disney Parks Blog gushed:
“The guests were apprehensive, but very curious,” says Miller. “But once they try it, they often come back for another and bring their friends – it definitely makes the beer colder and keeps it colder longer, which is a good thing in the Florida sunshine.”
Yeah, I’m guessing they often don’t do that also.
Liberty Inn has been serving a new 6oz New York Strip Steak for the past month or so. Because I don’t value my health, I sampled one.
Unlike the Pecos Bill Pork Glop Platter, this “steak” at least appears to be the right kind of meat. We’re at least not talking about old ground beef again!
And that’s a pretty substantial hunk of meat. It’s advertised at six ounces, but looks to be more.
And I’m not sure how, but this was actually pretty good. It’s (hopefully) not going to be the best steak you’ve ever had, obviously, but for $11 it was surprisingly tasty. It was extremely tender and easy to cut with the plastic fork and knife. The butter, despite being a sort of off-putting color, tasted heavenly. And it’s grilled to order, though no one asked me how I wanted it prepared. I’m thinking you can specify whether you want it well-done, but it came out a very nice medium. The potatoes had obviously been plated long before the steak and were cold by the time the steak was ready. The potatoes don’t have a ton of flavor, but they’re a little different than your usual Disney fries. The broccoli was also warm, at best, by meal consumption time.
With the addition of the Grilled Chicken Flatbread…
And Chipotle Bean Burger, there are several nice choices at Liberty Inn these days.
And you can always go for that Smokehouse Burger, topped with pulled pork, cheese, and onion rings.
The VERSE OF ENERG. Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports5/energverse.jpg.
Epcot is pretty this time of year.
And if you don’t agree, just keep drinking.
Character Spot Proper is closed for refurbishment through February 2013. The main entrance remains intact and will route you around to where the characters currently greet guests.
Alternatively, you can enter through the door here behind Club Cool.
Inside, the queue winds around inside this building.
Inside, the backdrop is actually pretty cool, but you’ll only have an opportunity to meet Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto. Goofy has moved to the front of the Park alongside Daisy and Donald only meets in Mexico.
When Character Spot reopens sometime in early 2013, only Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto will greet guests. My assumption is that they’re constructing multiple rooms for each character to help ease waits. Once Test Track reopens, I think you can put Character Spot off until after one (if not both) of those attractions. Wait times have been in the 20 to 30 minute range since the refurbishment began late last month. That’s about half of what they were before. Obviously, the problem with Character Spot is that you can’t (currently) FASTPASS it, whereas FASTPASSes for Soarin’ and Test Track are available at least into the early afternoon.
We’ll pop into Bay Lake Tower and head up to the Top of the World Lounge. George was nice enough to invite me up. At the moment, any DVC member staying at a Disney-owned-and-operated resort can access the Top of the World Lounge. That’s expected to continue at least through December 29th. Here’s the full release if you’re interested.
It’s a very nice space, though it seems a lot smaller now that they’re letting in any old riff-raff. I had been up here before and it was completely dead, which is the reason why Disney opened up availability to all “owners.” You used to have to own at Bay Lake Tower and be staying there on points to gain access.
Even now, it’s busy for the hour or so before Wishes, but shouldn’t be most any other time. There’s just one television in the corner. At the time, it was showing the Alabama/LSU game.
And should you opt to sit in the corner, you can even draw the blinds for some additional privacy.
BUT WAIT A SECOND! WOULD YOU COUNT THE NUMBER OF LIGHTS BURNED OUT? I MIGHT JUST CANCEL MY VACATION CLUB MEMBERSHIP! YOU CAN SHOVE YOUR STINKIN’ POINTS!
Like the Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian, Top of the World offers a few reasonably priced food items.
As well as some specialty drinks.
Generally speaking, the wines in the $40 – $50 range have less of a markup than those in the $30 – $40 range. For example, the Newton Red would run around $25 in stores ($45 here), compared to the Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc, which is a $10 bottle of wine sold here for $35. On the other hand, the white Conundrum runs around $20 in stores, compared to $57 at the restaurant, so pricing can be all over the place too.
The Bay Lake Sunset accompanied by a DISNEY PARKS NAPKIN! Oh, the lap of luxury. Actually, most lounges still stock the Disney Parks napkins. It may be worth a $10 drink in order to steal 7,000 of them to put in your kids’ lunches. Or heck, don’t even buy anything! Just go in and take them. They’re “free” after all.
Along with the Rye Manhattan – Bulleit Rye Small Batch American whiskey, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth and angostura bitters, garnished with Luxardo gourmet maraschino cherries. Like the Tambu Lounge Strawberry Julep, this one was very strong, as it’s basically all alcohol. It’s nice to see Disney using Bulleit Rye, which is one of the better “mass produced” rye whiskeys. It’s not Mastersons 10 year, but you probably don’t want to pay $40/drink. Anyway, if you like drinks that strongly taste of rye whiskey, you’ll like their Manhattan, but it’s another very strong tasting drink.
The $7.99 pretzel bread was very good – fresh, fluffy, with a chewy exterior. The real gem was the spicy-sweet cream cheese, seen here in the tub on the right. Otherwise, the soft pretzels themselves are reminiscent of others on property found at restaurants like Biergarten and Le Cellier. At $7.99, the portion wasn’t gigantic, but it was a reasonable value. The only other thing I’d note is that unlike the pretzel bread found elsewhere, these are very well salted. Obviously it’s easy enough to brush it off, but you’re going to get a mouthful of salt if you eat them as prepared.
One of the main draws of the Top of the World is the Fireworks viewing. They pipe in the soundtrack and you can opt to head outside to watch from the large balcony or stay inside, where they dim the lights. I’m not a big fan of seeing the show from the Contemporary because you can really see how many of the fireworks are shot from behind Space Mountain.
And the whole parking lot thing. But the view is a lot of fun:
Should you have an opportunity to head up there, it’s about a ten minute walk from Magic Kingdom’s entrance to Bay Lake Tower. You check in just inside Bay Lake’s entrance and then proceed to the designated elevator where a cast member will scan a card and send you up. So you’re theoretically only 15 or so minutes away from the Lounge should you be standing inside the Magic Kingdom. It’s certainly one of the easiest and most convenient ways to see the show sans crowds. To get a spot at the railing, I’d head outside about ten minutes before the show begins. Once they dim the lights right before the Fireworks, most everyone heads outside.
Service was pretty slow both here and the Tambu Lounge. It seems like the lounges are understaffed.
I ventured over to Animal Kingdom on the afternoon of October 23rd because it was the first day the zebras were out at Kilimanjaro Safaris. Unfortunately, they had been moved backstage around 1:30pm and I didn’t have an opportunity to see them.
Most of the Discovery Island trails have reopened since a piece of the Tree of Life fell back in April.
The netting that covers up the walk to It’s Tough to be a Bug now winds its way around the Tree.
It doesn’t bother me much at all, but I’m just another hog trough sucking Disney blogger, so my opinions are bought and paid for.
Nature is terrifying.
I’ve been somewhat bemused by all the “Avatar is dead on arrival” chatter since it was announced over a year ago back in September 2011. I wouldn’t expect to see additional announcements until at least the middle of next year, if not all the way into 2014.
I do have some confidential artwork to share with you though.
Unless you’re a vacationing American, in which case it’s just fine. Because the birds are very hungry and french fries are part of their natural diet.
Not sure when Festival of the Lion King is going to end up closing. It’s expected that it will close and a new theater will be built back here behind Tusker House Restaurant. Why they haven’t begun construction so the show doesn’t have to go down for an appreciable amount of time is a question only the bean counters can answer.
Otherwise Animal Kingdom is in really deplorable condition – this makes the Hollywood Tower Hotel look like five-star accommodations. I can’t believe Disney is risking lives here by refusing to make basic repairs to their Parks. How many South American tourists have to die before Disney opens its eyes to the very real problem of basic maintenance being neglected? Is this not obvious to anyone else?
Assuming you don’t fall to your death on the way over, Harambe is still here.
Burudika continues to rock out at the Harambe Street Party. They typically begin playing in the afternoon at 2pm or 3pm and play 30 minute sets on the hour. They’re a lot of fun. Over in Asia, the Street Party there continues as well. And Divine is around if you can spot her too. She’s actually somewhere in this picture.
Just kidding. She’s not. Kilimanjaro had a 30 minute wait, but I figured it would be shorter here at 5:32pm.
But it actually ended up being just about 30 minutes due to animals being in the path of the trucks.
After about 20 minutes of standing in place, I think just about everyone was ready to go out and push the animal to the side of the road.
Assuming it was a gazelle or something.
There was almost someone in line for TriceraTop Spin.
Dinner is at Restaurantosaurus.
You may remember Restaurantosaurus had the most menu changes back in August, where the entire menu was virtually switched out. Only the burger, nuggets, and subosaurus remain.
What’s going on here?
I opted for the Chicken BLT Salad, after sampling the Grilled Chicken Sandwich last time.
This was pretty good, but it’s typical of most every chicken salad on property. It has whole cherry tomatoes, bacon, large chicken chunks, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and croutons along with what I would describe as a light ranch dressing. My assumption is that the bacon they use here is that precooked stuff that can just sit on a shelf. It’s not particularly flavorful. The salad is nothing special, but it’s not a bad choice either should the family wish to dine here.
I prefer the $8.99 Chicken and Pasta Salad over at Pizzafari, which is a little more interesting with the pasta adding a lot of heft to the meal.
Otherwise, Restaurantosaurus is one of the best themed quick services on property (that doesn’t also double as a sit-down restaurant):
I’m trying to convince myself I don’t need a 14mm lens.
It’s a lot of fun to take a walk around Animal Kingdom under the cover of darkness:
With it getting dark at 5:30pm these days, there are going to plenty of opportunities to visit at night over the coming months, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays.
Expedition Everest is a lot of fun in the dark in particular.
And with an 8pm close, you should be able to ride more or less nonstop after 7pm outside of Thanksgiving or Christmas Weeks.
The downside is that not a whole lot is open that late.
Africa basically closes at dusk, save for Tusker House Restaurant and the stores back there.
Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia also closes.
But Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, DINOSAUR, TriceraTop Spin, Primeval Whirl, The Boneyard, and It’s Tough to be a Bug continue running. And there’s usually a Nemo show at 6pm and a Lion King show at 6:30pm when Animal Kingdom is open until 7pm or 8pm. It’s a nice opportunity to see either show.
And the Camp Minnie-Mickey characters should continue greeting as well.
And of course, the bathrooms are fully operational!
The Camp Minnie-Mickey characters will begin greeting in their winter finest this Friday, November 9th.
Santa Goofy isn’t expected to make appearances at Camp Minnie-Mickey this year.
But he will have a dedicated Meet and Greet at Hollywood Studios across from Studio Catering Company where the Christmas manger used to sit.
Disney will add a few wreaths and call Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade on the same day.
The Osborne Lights also begin November 9th. There is apparently a new song in addition to Goofy.
And the first night of the Castle Dreamlights is tomorrow, November 6th.
The Dreamlights are turned on nightly at 6:15pm.
A short stage show, called Cinderella’s Holiday Wish, precedes it.
Mickey and Gang star along with the Fairy Godmother.
It’s not something you generally need to arrive early for. If you arrive at the Castle Forecourt Stage (in front of the Castle) at 6pm, you should have prime spots. The show is only a few minutes long.
The new Castle projection show that replaces The Magic, The Memories, and You begins November 12th. On Mickey’s Party nights, it’s only scheduled during the Christmas Party.
Titled “Celebrate the Magic,” you can tell Disney has really been putting time into thinking up creative names for their new offerings.
Not as ridiculous as “Limited Time Magic” though. As if “52 Weeks of Magic” was already taken.
Even though it’s an impossibility, it would be fun to see Disney offer a scary Halloween event at Animal Kingdom.
Or Hollywood Studios for that matter.
There’s something creepy about the Parks when no one but Tom is lurking in the shadows. Then again, that may be precisely why it’s so creepy.
And I realize these are the “good bugs,” but does there really need to be so many of them?
DISGUSTING. Call pest control or something.
But the next seven weeks are among the most magical at Walt Disney World, especially once the resorts are decked out for the holidays.
And there’s tons and tons of Christmas merchandise.
They should just tear down the Streets of America.
And put the Osborne Lights on the Tree of Life. Who’s with me!