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jedimaster1227

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Everything posted by jedimaster1227

  1. This is both a movie I would happily pay to see and a ride I would purchase admission to experience.
  2. Universal Studios has announced the first house coming to Halloween Horror Nights 2022! https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/hhn/en/us Universal Monsters: Legends Collide If you thought one Universal Monster was scary, how about three? Better summon your scream squad, ‘cause you’re about to get caught in the middle of an epic battle between The Wolf Man, Dracula and The Mummy, together for the first time ever. Their mission: To find the amulet that will break their curse. And they’ll destroy anyone who gets in their way.
  3. Universal Studios has announced the first house coming to Halloween Horror Nights 2022! https://www.universalorlando.com/hhn/en/us?__source=ag.TWITTER&linkId=165522378 Universal Monsters: Legends Collide If you thought one Universal Monster was scary, how about three? Better summon your scream squad, ‘cause you’re about to get caught in the middle of an epic battle between The Wolf Man, Dracula and The Mummy, together for the first time ever. Their mission: To find the amulet that will break their curse. And they’ll destroy anyone who gets in their way.
  4. Tokyo Disney Resort has announced the debut of Disney Premier Access for two of its most popular attractions, available starting on May 19th, 2022! http://www.olc.co.jp/en/news/news_olc/auto_20220513546228/pdfFile.pdf Tokyo Disney Resort® announced that Disney Premier Access will become available on the official Tokyo Disney Resort® App on May 19, 2022. This new digital service provides guests with the convenience of reserving certain Park attractions by using the app while at Tokyo Disneyland® and Tokyo DisneySea® Parks. By using this new service, guests will have more flexibility, be able to customize their visit, and get the most out of their Disney day. With Disney Premier Access at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, guests will have the ability to select their preferred time and make reservations to experience attractions. This service, available for a fee, will provide options for how guests experience the Parks, offering convenience and added flexibility for those who want to personalize their experience and get the most out of their visit. For the two attractions eligible for Disney Premier Access, Standby Pass is suspended starting April 25, 2022. However, guests can still experience these attractions as usual by waiting in line. The two Parks will continue to operate with the goal of creating a seamless guest experience by reducing the daily capacity to a number lower than before the outbreak of COVID-19, and by introducing innovative services that will empower our guests to enjoy the Parks their way and continue to respond to guest needs. Disney Premier Access Experiences Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast Soaring: Fantastic Flight Price 2,000 yen per access - All prices include tax. The above information is valid as of the date of this release, and is subject to change. - Please check the Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website (https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/) for information about the available date, price, etc., and instructions on the available Disney Premier Access experiences. - Depending on the circumstances and Park operating conditions, Disney Premier Access may not be available for purchase on the day of visit. Visit https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/tdl/guide/disneypremieraccess.html for more details.
  5. After spending most of the last few years with minimal travel, the bug to get out of Orlando was itching and I set my sights on the Smoky Mountains... The last time I had been here was with TPR during the Deep South Tour in 2009. I'd kept up with the growth and development of attractions in the region during that time, especially of Dollywood which had nearly doubled in size since my prior visit, so I knew this could be an option to enjoy a long weekend. Our first day was focused on some of the nature, kitsch and touristy elements of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, saving Dollywood for our second full day. Why goats? Well Goats on the Roof was our first stop of the day... Due to a storm the night before, the alpine coaster here wasn't up and running but we'd be back later in the trip to give this one a go. On the drive to Gatlinburg from Pigeon Forge we witnessed the Shrine Fun Fest Parade under way on the main stretch. Next up was a ride to the peak of Anakeesta Mountaintop Park. This "adventure park" is not unlike a ski resort with shops, dining and activities, minus the skiing. It is a more modern buildout which definitely made it feel more comfortable/inviting and less "kitschy mountaintop attraction." They have an alpine coaster here (the region's only single rail alpine coaster) but unfortunately it was closed due to rain and fog during our visit. It is important to note that general admission to Anakeesta is required to ride the Rail Runner, plus an added cost to experience the coaster. Had this not been the case, we would have happily returned on a different day of our trip just to ride the coaster. Plenty of great views to enjoy here! They've done a really nice job dressing up the facilities to fit into the mountain setting. The path to the top of Anakeesta is certainly picturesque! Postcard worthy. AnaVista Tower is downtown Gatlinburg's highest point accessible to visitors. And the views of the Anakeesta complex it delivers are great! Tell me more. You can see Ripley's Mountain Coaster (formerly Rowdy Bear) in the distance. The Glider Coaster sits above it but is not currently operational. There are glass flooring sections at the top of the AnaVista Tower for those that like the thrill of having transparent flooring beneath them at heights. I was honestly very impressed with the design, landscaping and overall feel of Anakeesta. Time for a BearVenture! I definitely wasn't going to trip and fall on my face in an embarrassing fashion here. Definitely not. Not sure what to make of this but here it is. There are some fun treehouses for the kids to explore. No dancing on your toes here. The Treetop Skywalk ended up being our favorite activity at Anakeesta and it is included in your base admission price. You can go through it as many times as you'd like! It's like I'm in the Ewok Village on the forest moon of Endor!!! Seriously fun stuff here! In both directions you can take the "Chondola" to/from the mountaintop or you can ride the "Ridge Rambler" which is an all-terrain vehicle that takes you on a scenic road trip up/down the side of the mountain. This Rowdy Bear location recently became Ripley's Mountain Coaster. This is the shortest of the mountain coasters in the region (approximately 5 minutes long). Unfortunately the pricing options were a little unreasonable with only two rides per person for $25 or three rides per person for $29 available (no single ride options available per person). By comparison, Goats on the Roof was offering single rides for $10 and several others were between $12-$15 per ride (with coupons available to bring down that price). For this reason we passed on this experience. I was hoping to get to ride the Glider Coaster during this trip but it wasn't open and it isn't even referenced online or in the ticket office. Over in Downtown Gatlinburg I couldn't visit without experiencing Earthquake The Ride. Having grown up with the attraction at Universal Studios Florida, this piqued my curiosity. The entry to the attraction is decently themed and there are people in line already! (Spoiler: they're not real people, they're mannequins, which is a common trick at all of these knock-off attractions.) I'll give credit in that the ride entrance is cleverly themed. Sitting down in the "train" my life choices already seemed questionable. Also these seats tilt in all kinds of wonky directions as you move (back and forth) through the experience. The ride starts with another train coming at you from the subway... Which makes sense. The ceiling collapses from the earthquake, which also makes sense... But random other things like an attacking gator start to happen around you which... Makes less sense. Don't mind the angry gorilla trying to escape his crate in the subway station during the earthquake. It all makes sense. There's a couch (with a man sleeping on it) and a locker room in the subway station because that is exactly how subway stations are in San Francisco. It makes sense. Angry gorillas often break out of their cages that they were being transported in on the San Francisco metro... Authentic and makes sense. A flood of rats pour from the fallen ceiling... Totally logical and a great way to end our authentic, realistic, true-to-nature journey on Earthquake The Ride. We rewarded ourselves for surviving that realistic catastrophe with edible cookie dough. Also wine. The Moonshine Mountain Coaster ended up being our first alpine coaster of the trip. No photos allowed while riding but this one has a fun layout and solid speed (if you don't brake). The icing on the cake is that Mario Kart music starts to play right as you exit the lift hill to start down the track! We ended up riding this one twice during our weekend. We decided to visit the DreamMore Resort at Dollywood to explore the grounds and grab some lunch. The property is well designed with some solid resort amenities. Definitely going for a moderate-to-deluxe style feel when compared to the higher end properties at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. Lunch was good and solid in The Lounge at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort. Dollywood's HeartSong Lodge & Resort is being constructed right by DreamMore and will open in the Fall of 2023. The Alpine Coaster Pigeon Forge was another great alpine coaster! We ended up riding this one twice as well. The layout is fantastic in that it has lots of turns, dips and helices! Plus night rides are awesome on this one! Back at Goats on the Roof... Goats on the Roof has the fastest alpine coaster in the region. I love the lift hill the brings the karts over the entrance to the parking lot. You can feet goats on the roof by pedaling food up to them on a conveyor bike. It worked. Baby goat! You can also buy goat feed from inside the shop for a more up-close goat experience. The real reason I came to Pigeon Forge. I love the trick of putting mannequins at the entrance of these knock offs to make it feel like people are going in. "Time... The ever flowing river..." The technology inside is astounding. Some of the dinos are actually pretty realistic... Others, not so much. My favorite part of the entire experience is a kid getting picked up by a Pteranodon and flown away. Meet this dino's biggest fan. I feel like I'm really there. Feaster's on Teaster's biblical dinner theater was definitely tempting... I saw it and kept moving on... Like anyone should. What happened to the other half of the ship? Could they only pick up one half from the ocean floor? I strongly debated trying Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud (I'm ashamed typing that sentence) but the ticket price and the fact that all I really cared about was the zipline coaster deterred me from biting on the rough $40 per person price of admission. We ended our night at the Mountain Mile... Unfortunately all three of the thrill complex's attractions were closed. There's a drop tower... There's also a slingshot on this side and a more traditional skycoaster style experience (though seated instead of face down) that swings from the arch opposite side. Given that I couldn't experience any of these thrills for the evening, we pivoted to moonshine tastings at the Junction 35 Distillery in the same complex.
  6. Drayton Manor has unveiled their new brand identity to reflect the resort's future plans and family focus. https://www.draytonmanor.co.uk/news-detail/drayton-manor-unveils-new-brand-identity With new Managing Director, Victoria Lynn, at the helm, Drayton Manor Resort has unveiled a new look for its much-loved brand, with a vibrant transformation that reflects ambitious future plans and a new era for the family destination. Bringing together its shared vision to be the place for fun and excitement through immersive experiences that can be enjoyed by all, the resort has revealed a brand-new logo alongside reimagined values that demonstrate the evolution of the resort and its offering. The new logo mirrors the resort’s commitment to bring everyone together for unforgettable experiences that start and end with fun, while remaining true to the company’s original colours, but at the same time adding the extra ingredient of being ‘perfectly imperfect’ to convey movement and motion. Its reimagined values demonstrate the culture and redefined purpose of the brand, and include the importance of being warm-hearted, inclusive, and authentic in approach, while ensuring a vibrant and energetic environment where everyone can connect and thrive. Sustainability and conservation efforts are also intrinsic to the values, and the resort has pledged to respect the natural environment, consciously working towards reducing waste, increasing energy efficiency, protecting green spaces, and promoting animal conservation. The resort, which attracts 1 million visitors each year and is home to over 100 rides and attractions, Europe’s only Thomas Land, a 15-acre conservation zoo and four-star hotel, is fast-expanding its offering with the opening of its highly anticipated Vikings-themed area set for this Spring. With new rides and attractions that will appeal to family thrill seekers of all ages, alongside themed rooms at the Drayton Manor Hotel, Vikings has sent the UK into a flurry of excitement since its announcement and follows the success of the nautical-themed zone, Adventure Cove, which opened last summer. The new logo and brand values signal a marked change in direction for the future of the resort, as it continues to expand its offering to cater to the family thrill market and provide unforgettable immersive experiences for guests of all ages. The resort was formerly family-run and managed over a 70-year period until it was purchased by the Looping Group in 2020, a European company operating 16 leisure parks across the UK, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and Portugal. New Managing Director, Victoria Lynn, who joined the team in April with over 22 years’ industry experience spanning world class attractions within the UAE, will be instrumental in delivering Looping Group’s vision for the future of the resort, as it continues to reinvest in improving its offering, affirming its position as one of the leading leisure destinations in the UK. Victoria said: “The future of Drayton Manor Resort is certainly bright, and I am delighted to be joining such an incredibly talented team at a pivotal time of growth and positive change for the brand, while ensuring they continue to feel inspired and motivated to deliver the best possible experiences for guests. “The relaunch of the brand has been in the works for a long time, and so much thought, care and meticulous planning has gone into creating our new logo and values, which really bring to life who we are and why we exist, alongside solidifying our core principles and attitudes towards the care of our guests, and the sustainability of our business operations. “It also frames the future direction of the resort perfectly, with a shift in focus over the coming years to capture a more diverse family thrill audience, with new rides, attractions and immersive experiences that cater to guests of all ages. “I look forward to working closely with the team to continue driving growth and development of an already exceptional family destination, with a shared vision of creating unforgettable memories to be shared and relived.”
  7. The Disneyland Resort has shared a ton of news regarding the resort hotels and Downtown Disney including a reimagined Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, new resort benefits and new venues coming to Downtown Disney! https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2022/04/news-from-the-disneyland-resort-upcoming-pixar-plans-big-foodie-news-and-more/ Yesterday, Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock met with community leaders about upcoming plans for magical new experiences coming to the Disneyland Resort, and we wanted to bring you in on the fun! Here’s a peek behind the curtain of what’s on the horizon for our guests, starting with some news from the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort! Hotels of the Disneyland Resort News Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will soon begin a transformation, with an all-new theme! The reimagining of the hotel will weave the artistry of Pixar into its comfortable, contemporary setting. Guests will gain a new perspective on some of their favorite Pixar worlds and characters through carefully curated artwork, and décor that reveals the creative journey of the artists who helped bring these stories to life. Guests will be welcomed into whimsical character moments, like the iconic, playful Pixar Lamp balancing atop its ball in the lobby (as pictured in this artist concept rendering). Stay tuned, as we will share much more about this project soon! Not only do we have new and reimagined experiences coming for hotel guests, but more benefits as well! Beginning later this summer, guests staying at one of the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort will be able to enjoy several new and returning uniquely Disney benefits to staying with us on property. As you may know, our guests already enjoy access to Disney California Adventure park directly through Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa entrance, and convenient Monorail access for Disneyland Hotel guests. Today, we’re excited to share that a walkway is currently under construction which will soon give Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel guests a convenient entrance to Disney California Adventure park! Guests can also look forward to “Hey Disney!” – a new kind of voice assistant which works alongside Alexa on Amazon Echo devices in Disneyland Resort hotel rooms that can make your stay more convenient, engaging, and enjoyable – later this year. Later this summer, guests of the Disneyland Resort hotels can look forward to the ability to send select theme park purchases back to their resort hotel. Last but certainly not least, we’re getting ready to offer early entry access, where guests staying at one of our Disneyland Resort hotels can be among the first to enter and begin enjoying select theme park attractions and experiences beginning later this summer. Downtown Disney District News We also are happy to share another new look at the exciting shopping and dining coming to the west side of the Downtown Disney District. While the evolution of Downtown Disney began in 2018, we recently began work on the latest transformation to introduce more innovative shopping, dining and entertainment experiences. Drawing inspiration from Southern California mid-century modern architecture, the west-end area will be a beautiful blend of vibrant color palettes, design elements and patterns influenced by the region, and will include an open lawn for relaxation and future events, and an even broader and diverse collection of dining and shopping. We are investing significantly in Downtown Disney District to continue growing a dynamic, exciting destination with something for everyone. We also are intentionally diversifying our offerings to meet the needs of today’s guests, and have an exciting example of that to share with you today. The world-renowned restaurant Din Tai Fung will join the district to offer guests their soup dumplings hand crafted right on site! This family-run restaurant will bring flavorful Chinese cuisine to Downtown Disney, where guests can enjoy dishes served family style in a creative space near our new lawn pavilion. Michelin-starred Chef Carlos Gaytan will bring his inclusive vision of Mexican cuisine to Paseo and Centrico in the locations currently occupied by Catal & Uva Bar, brought to life by Patina Restaurant Group. The restaurant and central courtyard bar and dining area will offer guests a multi-sensory journey to the heart of Chef Gaytan’s homeland. We are also working with Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen to finalize an evolution that incorporates vibrant California energy and a fresh approach to the menu, while staying true to the heart of New Orleans for this guest-favorite location. Even more exciting news – fan favorite Earl of Sandwich will also pop into the district in a special sandwich walk-up location, offering guests the classics they know and love for a limited time beginning later this year. Mickey’s Toontown News As we shared previously, Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland park is undergoing a reimagining of its own, and will debut with new experiences and more play for guests, with a focus on families and young children, in early 2023. Today we are sharing a photo of our teams breaking ground on the land, coming together to celebrate this milestone and the work underway to bring this transformation to life. We can’t wait to debut all of these offerings – and more – coming to the Disneyland Resort!
  8. The Oriental Land Co. officially announced a major update to Space Mountain and that attraction's side of Tomorrowland at Tokyo Disneyland. The original attraction will close in 2024 before being totally rebuilt as a new iteration of Space Mountain which will open in 2027. http://www.olc.co.jp/en/news/news_olc/auto_20220427529850/pdfFile.pdf Oriental Land Co., Ltd. announced today that Space Mountain and its surrounding area in Tomorrowland at Tokyo Disneyland® Park will undergo a major renovation. This newly developed plaza will create a reimagined area of Tomorrowland and is expected to open in 2027. Space Mountain, an exhilarating, indoor roller coaster that takes guests on a high-speed joy ride through space, has been a favorite of guests since the Grand Opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983. This entirely new attraction will maintain its original concept as an indoor roller coaster, but will have enhanced performance and immersive special effects that will give guests even more thrills on this exciting rocket ride. The new Tomorrowland plaza will express the connection between Earth and the universe, representing an image of a future where humans are in harmony with nature. Guests will be able to enjoy moments of rest and relaxation in this plaza where various icons and other design elements create a sense of hope for the future. After dark, the area will draw guests into a spectacular world of light and soundscapes. Guests can look forward to the excitement at the new Space Mountain and the plaza at Tomorrowland. Notes: - In conjunction with this project, the current Space Mountain attraction will close in 2024. - Space Mountain is presented by Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Ltd. Notes: With this project, the current "Space Mountain" will be closed in 2024. "Space Mountain" is provided by Coca-Cola Japan Co., Ltd. Attraction Overview Opening Date: 2027 Investment Amount: About 56 billion JPY (projected), including cost of new facilities in the surrounding area
  9. ^Signs out front of the Cheetah Hunt area entrance advise of a Summer 2022 reopening.
  10. Disneyland Paris has announced that the Disney Village will undergo a multi-year transformation that will enhance the space with new dining options as well as updated shopping and entertainment experiences. https://disneylandparis-news.com/en/disneyland-paris-announces-a-multi-year-transformation-plan-for-disney-village/ In the midst of the 30th Anniversary at Disneyland Paris, the resort-wide transformation continues! Along with the Walt Disney Studios Park expansion plan and the Disneyland Hotel royal transformation, Disney Village will see its own transformation over several years including new dining options and refreshed shopping and entertainment offerings. Disneyland Paris is sharing a first look at what to expect in the future for this 428,000-square-foot complex. A multi-year transformation plan for an enhanced Disney Village experience Located at the heart of Disneyland Paris, Disney Village is the retail, dining and entertainment complex between the theme parks and Disney hotels. The district, which celebrates 30 years in 2022, has more than doubled in size since its opening, constantly adding new options to reinvent the guest experience. By the end of the year, a phased transformation of the entire area will begin to give the district a brand-new visual identity and introduce exciting new offerings into the mix. By combining the best Disney know-how with select complementary brand concepts, the reimagined Disney Village will celebrate timeless, family-friendly environments that are uniquely Disney. By day, stylish boutiques and innovative restaurants will draw guests in, and by night, thousands of lights will transform the area into a bustling wonderland. When the transformation is complete, Disney Village will feature a relaxing lakeside park and boardwalk, enhanced pedestrian walkways, brand-new facades, relaxing terraces and patios, and lush landscaping. Its diverse eateries and collection of shops will expand dining and retail options for guests with innovative concepts from some of the world’s most exciting brands for a completely enhanced experience complementing the theme parks. “Our plan to transform Disney Village is yet another example of how we continue to reimagine Disneyland Paris at the resort level, notably with our major expansion plan in progress at Walt Disney Studios Park,” said Natacha Rafalski, Présidente of Disneyland Paris. “We’re very excited to bring new iconic and timeless concepts to the district that will appeal to a new generation of guests, whether they visit from our nearby resort hotels or from the local area. We can’t wait for our guests to be surprised and delighted by what we have in store.” Rosalie, a new lakeside French brasserie to open in 2023 The first step in the transformation plan will be a contemporary French brasserie in place of the current Café Mickey restaurant. Groupe Bertrand, with its portfolio of renowned Parisian brasseries, has been chosen to take over the location and bring in a fresh new concept that will both elevate the culinary experience and expand dining options for guests looking for French flavors in Disney Village.  Rosalie, the new two-floor restaurant will feature 500 seats in contemporary interiors. Inspired by Parisian brasseries, it will celebrate renowned French “Art de Vivre” and classic cuisine in a modern yet elegant setting, with expanded terraces looking over Lake Disney. Honoring both regional diversity and product seasonality, the restaurant will cater to all cravings. In addition to table service, a counter will offer French bakery-inspired options for take away like viennoiseries, pastries, sandwiches and salads, as well as a selection of products satisfying every taste and level of service. Seasonally, an outdoor terrace will welcome guests on the lake’s edge. “As we continue to collaborate with exceptional brands that we share strong values with, we are delighted to welcome a new restaurant managed by Groupe Bertrand as a first step in our Disney Village transformation plan,” said Laure Albouy, Vice President Business Strategy & Integration, Disneyland Paris. “We believe this unique, family-friendly restaurant will elevate the guest experience at our resort by offering famous French specialties in a unique setting, and we can’t wait to make this new partnership a reality.” Stay tuned for future updates about this highly-anticipated restaurant opening and other construction milestones coming to Disney Village.
  11. We started our next day at Disney California Adventure, with a focus on revisiting old favorites and experiencing more of the new and seasonal offerings in the park. We weren't the only ones with this idea. I love Buena Vista Street and seeing it for the holidays was no less special. Cars Land during the holidays is even more charming. I love this so much! Don't mind if I do! A personal favorite landmark of mine in Cars Land. This attraction will never cease to amaze me. I've only been able to experience Ramone's side of Radiator Springs Racers a few times. "...And quattro to go!" We didn't win this time. I marvel at the fact that this was built stateside. My second ride for the morning yielded a pit stop at Luigi's. We won this time! The entrance to Avengers Campus from Cars Land is neat in that it features a more antiquated space from the form SSR base on the grounds. Looking forward to the attraction announced at the D23 Expo a few years ago opening here in the future. The Kirby Krackle is real! I'll never turn down a chance to experience Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout! I love this preshow (and attraction) so much! Shawarma Palace for breakfast! Ant-Man was among the many heroes we saw in Avengers Campus on this day. I met Phastos from The Eternals! Very cool. The world is upside down. I really like what was done to the tunnels when California Screamin' was transformed into the Incredicoaster. We always try our hand at the Games of the Boardwalk at Pixar Pier. This time, the tokens were familiar because they were from the former Mad T Party that used to be hosted in Hollywoodland. This photo does a good job of giving the impression that I actually nailed this shot. I'll let you decide if I did. Captain America (Steve Rogers), Taskmaster and Black Widow battling atop the Avengers headquarters... Time for lunch at Pym's Test Kitchen! I love this tap handles! To give you idea of the different presentations of food here... I was so ridiculously excited to try Pingo Doce and I was by no means disappointed. I wasn't going to pass up a chance to try this Buffalo Chicken Loaded Pretzel! I knew I had to try the Celestial-sized Candy Bar, Choco-Smash. This thing is intense and contains Dark Chocolate, Peanuts, Caramel, Nougat and Chocolate Brownie. I struggled to finish it but it was so good! I love the holiday cavalcades they had running through the park during the day for the Festival of the Holidays. So glad I finally had a chance to experience Cars Land for the holidays! The seasonal overlays for Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters were both great! The Wasp was at Avengers Campus too! Roz was in the holiday spirit. The Super Store Featuring Avengers Campus was a fun extra option for Marvel-inspired merchandise. Hi Elissa! Still one of my favorite spaces in any Disney park stateside. Grizzly Peak is always fun to walk around, but it is especially plussed for the holidays. One of my favorite views in the entire resort. I love that the Country Bears still have a presence at the Disneyland Resort despite the show being closed decades ago. Nick and Judy from Zootopia! We really enjoyed the performance by "Mostly Kosher" at the Sonoma Terrace. It was especially fun for us to hear traditional Jewish tunes (presented in a far more modern, accessible format) for the holidays. We both wished we had found them earlier in the trip so we could have come back for a second performance! Quite a delicious Gingerbread Mickey Mouse Cookie to be had. It didn't make it home to Orlando. Evening begins to fall on Avengers Campus... Cool! As the sun began to set, even more Marvel characters began to arrive at Avengers Campus...
  12. Europa Park has released a ton of new details about their upcoming season as well as changes across the resort, including most notably, the addition of a brand new roller coaster in a new Croatia-themed area of the park! You can learn more about this new coaster by viewing a new documentary here: https://www.veejoy.de/en https://corporate.europapark.com/en/presse/nachricht/datum/2022/03/18/grenzenloser-spass-in-deutschlands-groesstem-freizeitpark/ In Europa-Park, visitors travel through 15 European themed areas in just one day, experiencing traditional architecture and cuisine. At over 100 attractions, holidaymakers of all ages can feel the wind on their faces and simply recharge their batteries. In the 2022 season, there are plenty of new highlights to discover at Germany's largest theme park, especially in the Austrian themed area. In Rust, it’s also possible to get out of the southern Baden sun and into a Nordic themed world. Located in the immediate vicinity of Europa-Park, the whole family can look forward to swimming and sliding fun at the Rulantica water world. Young visitors in particular will be excited, as this season there are some new surprises to discover. Those who love travelling can not only experience adventures in Rulantica, they also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in virtual worlds at the virtual reality sensation YULLBE. Imperial fun The Austrian themed area is changing in the new season, as the empire makes its entrance. During a ride on the lake, guests can marvel at the beauties of Austria and magnificent garden art. The conversion of the Jungle Rafts ride with the new theme of ‘Josefina's Magical Imperial Journey’ will take place in several stages until 2023. From the start of the 2022 season, the romantic boat ride will be open to the whole family, with new innovations to be discovered. Over several phases, the train station and the boats are being reworked to shine with a new majestic splendour. In ‘Josefina's Magical Imperial Journey’, guests enjoy a themed ride across an idyllic lake and through a magnificent palace garden. Accompanied by beautiful waltz music composed by T-Rex Classics, the route leads past impressive water features and a secret garden, as well as through a romantic rose arch. Visitors pass through different stages of Empress Josefina's life: from the wild, nature-loving childhood to her life as Empress - princesses and princes of all sizes will not be disappointed. A visual highlight is the fountain show 'Vienna Water Waltz', where visitors can experience an exciting interplay of water, light and music. 54 fountains up to 40 metres high make for a gigantic show. The ‘Danube Steamer' attraction will also shine with a brand new look in the 2022 season. Since last summer, the lovable grandma of dinosaurs Madame Freudenreich has also inspired visitors. Alongside her friendly dinosaurs, visitors can experience a fast-paced soapbox race over hill and dale in 'Madame Freudenreich Dino Race VR’ - the VR experience on the 'Alpenexpress Coastiality'. In the 2022 season, visitors can also experience the action-packed story to the new YULLBE PRO Experience ‘Amber Blake: Operation Dragonfly’ in ‘Amber Blake - The Chase’ on the ‘Alpenexpress Coastiality’. Starting this summer, they will be able to immerse themselves in a 30-minute interactive spy film at the independent VR attraction YULLBE, located between hotel ‘Krønasår’ and the Rulantica water world. From spring, visitors will also have the opportunity to experience the detailed landscape of Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg with the YULLBE PRO adventure 'Miniatur Wunderland - The Crazy Shrink Tour' or the YULLBE GO experience 'Miniatur Wunderland - Walking in Wonderland'. There are plenty of other highlights for all ages to discover in the 15 European themed areas of Europa-Park. In Holland, visitors can follow in the footsteps of pirates and privateers on a boat ride with the brave 'Pirates in Batavia'. At the new 'granini Saft Butikk' in the Scandinavian themed area, juices, cool spritzers or delicious cocktails provide fruity refreshment. In addition, 13 rollercoasters guarantee thrilling speeds through the rugged rocky landscapes of Iceland or the world of the Greek god of water, Poseidon. In the Magic Cinema 4D, guests can watch the Wünschmann family's next adventure on a new screen using the latest projector technology with the short film 'Happy Family Next Level 4D'. Right next to the cinema, the bistro La Cigale was renamed Bistro Tomi Ungerer last year in memory of the great Alsatian artist. The hearts of SC Freiburg fans are sure to beat faster at the newly decorated 'Arena of Football' - where a small VIP box, props from SC Freiburg, a photo point and exciting insights into the Europa-Park Stadium await the guests. Stylish sportswear can be found in the 'TOGETHER.FASTER. Sports Store' with new cooperation partner PUMA, where they even have their own Europa-Park collection. Summery shows Visitors to Germany's largest theme park can look forward to numerous event highlights with artists, dancers, musicians and singers again this year. Europa-Park offers the highest level of live entertainment for a total of 23 hours a day. During the daily 'Ed's Adventure Parade', a new pirate fortress makes its way through the park as visitors find themselves captivated by the gripping music and spectacular costumes. In the Spanish Arena, visitors of all ages can expect breathtaking horse acrobatics with the show 'The Return of the Sultan', presented by the stunt troupe of the famous horse trainer Mario Luraschi. Pure joie de vivre can be found at 'The Show must go on' in the Europa-Park Teatro, celebrated with world-class acrobatics. Magic lovers will find what they are looking for in the English themed area, where Timothy Trust & Diamond create illusions with 'Abraka...Shakespeare! RELOADED'. In the Greek themed area, Europa-Park’s star figure skaters celebrate the birth of the legendary Adventure Club of Europe in a fast-paced show with magical effects, glamorous costumes and gripping music at 'ACE - The adventure begins!'. A special highlight awaits viewers of the popular show ‘Immer wieder sonntags’, as this TV show will soon have a new arena right next to Rulantica, from where the programs will be broadcast live to viewers' living rooms from 12th June 2022. The ultimate water fun for the whole family During a short holiday in the warmest region of Germany, a visit to the Rulantica water world is a must. Since last season, swimming and bathing fans can look forward to the Nordic Outdoor World of Slides. From May to September, ten slides – including a wave slide and a funnel slide – await brave explorers in 'Svalgurok'. A stay in the water world is also a great experience for families with small children, as right next to ‘Svalgurok’, the littlest of guests can also cool off and have fun during the warm season while their parents relax comfortably on one of the over 1000 loungers in the outdoor area. This year, 'Snorri Strand' offers even more water fun, as three new child-friendly slides promise additional action for the little ones at 'Snorri's Rutscheplads. At 'Snorri's Spelaborg' a fortress made of crates and all kinds of flotsam will get imaginations flaring. After splashing around, visitors of all ages can enjoy a break from the swimming at 'Snorri's Piknikbud' with delicious sandwiches, fruit cups and refreshing drinks. From spring, it will also be possible to enjoy that holiday feeling at the Nordic sandy beach 'Dynstrønd', the new location for summer fun and relaxing sunbathing. Numerous sun loungers, six beach chairs, stylish hanging baskets, a sand playground for children and a beach volleyball court leave absolutely nothing to be desired. From time to time, musical and artistic surprises also await guests on the open-air stage. A variety of slides can also be found in the indoor area: The 'Isbrekker' jump slide first goes down a steep drop, leading into a free fall from a height of 1.30 metres that plunges into the water pool. In the 'Vinter Rytt’, the steep slide wall rises up almost vertically, and the 'Svalgur Rytt' rafting slide features plenty of curves, where up to four people aged 10 and over can slide together in one tyre. At 'Snorri Snorkling VR', visitors put on VR diving goggles and embark on a fantastic adventure deep under the sea surface with the lively Sixtopus Snorri. This virtual underwater tour is unique worldwide and was specially developed by MackNeXT and VR Coaster. Adults can then relax in the exclusive Hyggedal relaxation and sauna area. The wellness oasis has a Nordic ambience and is located above the 'Lumålunda' restaurant, offering a fantastic view of the entire water world. On 1,000m², comfortable loungers, three nude wooden saunas and a large outdoor terrace await guests aged 18 and over. Last winter, the new 'KOTA Sauna Chalet' also made its appearance. There, guests can enjoy a proper sauna surrounded by rustic tables and seating, as well as a sauna oven, while enjoying a delicious wheat beer - with or without alcohol. Both 'Snorri Snorkling VR' and 'Hyggedal' are additional offers that can be booked online in addition to the day ticket. Heavenly nights at the Europa-Park Resort If your feet are tired from a day of exploring the Resort, the six Europa-Park hotels and the rustic Camp Resort offer ideal relaxation. Whether it’s the lonely fjords in the far north or a dream of Mediterranean nights for you, the park's own 4* and 4* superior themed hotels enchant guests with their lovingly-designed theming and an excellent authentic cuisine. Generous wellness and spa areas provide the perfect way to round off your stay. From the summer, guests of Hotel Krønasår can book one of 11 suites, each with a steam bath or sauna. The new 160 m² infinity pool will also ensure a relaxing time together with loved ones. Days at Europa-Park and Rulantica are guaranteed to be a unique short holiday for the whole family.
  13. Alright… Now that the rumor has been debunked, let’s move away from talking about rumor sites and keep the conversations on this thread focused on Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and all things related.
  14. ^I think it depends on what you’re looking for… Are you looking for rumors that may or may not be true or are you looking to only see the real stuff when it is confirmed. If it is the latter, you could just keep coming here where we post legitimate news as it is released.
  15. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay isn't the only park in Central Florida with new steel! I had a chance to hop over to SeaWorld Orlando to experience the Seven Seas Food Festival, spot some construction progress for an upcoming project (rumored to be a new coaster) and of course, to ride Ice Breaker for the first time! Ice Breaker is a new shuttle-launch coaster with a "beyond vertical" spike. This coaster packs a surprising punch between its speed and really solid airtime. The coaster operates with two trains, each with eighteen riders. It isn't super high capacity for this reason but the ops team seems to be doing a pretty solid job of moving trains to the launch track as the other train hits the brake run. I enjoyed this one far more than I expected--my only gripes are the capacity and the unnecessary comfort collars. I'll say it because it needs to be said. This coaster doesn't go upside down. It doesn't need comfort collars or over the shoulder restraints. Iron Gwazi (and plenty of other comparable Premier Launchers) operates with just a lap bar and there's no reason this coaster couldn't either. In case you haven't already seen it, here is the new entrance sign for SeaWorld. Construction walls near the park's festival area now extend to the old tram path outside of the park limits. Inside of the park the new "beer garden" between Sesame Street Land and Wild Arctic has been unveiled. I didn't expect it to be a literal garden with beer, but here we are. Lots of tasty food options to be had at the Seven Seas Food Festival. Buying a lanyard is still the best deal if you know you're going to buy five or more items during your visit. Reuben egg rolls and shepherd's pie from Ireland. Both delicious. Skirt steak and a frozen caipirinha. The drink is highly recommended especially on a hot day! Giant meatballs and mozzarella at the Italy booth. The shrimp roll and clam chowder were both really generous portions for a festival event! Why I'm really here. The coaster is tucked into a very small plot of land and guests can get very close. Lots of themed merch available for purchase. I really do love that SeaWorld parks have embraced the fun of producing CoasterDynamix Nanocoasters. A neat model. As the sun began to set, I took some time to photograph the coaster in motion. This is a neat element. At this point the coaster flys through the layout at a surprising speed. And this is a neat vantage point. Yes, the height requirement was raised before the ride's grand opening... This is neat to watch up close. I won't complain about more opportunities for airtime in Central Florida. I wish these trains were more comfortable and easier to get in and out of. The comfort collars are difficult to navigate and don't feel necessary in the slightest. I got lucky with a really pretty sunset. The money shot. They have other coasters here too. Still water beneath a gorgeous sky. Just taking it all in. I love SeaWorld's Waterfront views. Looking towards the festival area beside Bayside Stadium, we can see some of the area amenities being cleared. Looks like what is coming will reshape this corner of the park. Construction flags! Looking forward to seeing this space transformed! Even the exit for Ice Breaker is a narrow path. Everything about this coaster fits into a narrow space. Since we were here, I finally had a chance to experience the newer Orca Encounter show. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the new show balanced education and more "show" elements. My son was loving every second of seeing these orcas in action. The audience around us certainly wasn't bored. This will never not amaze me. I haven't taken a cheesy photo in a while so here's me getting back to quota. I love that SeaWorld is playing into the nostalgia of its classic characters. Merchandise to play into these "classics" has been ramping up over the last few months and I think it is brilliant. This is the "Sea World" I grew up with and it is fun to see these characters revived. I hope walk-around versions are next! Love. It. Care to join?
  16. Yesterday Theme Park Review was invited to Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant for a preview of this year's Raglan Road Mighty St. Patrick's Festival! During this experience we had a chance to take in the tastes, sights and sounds of Raglan Road's special offerings for this event as well as some unique new offerings that could be coming to their menu later this year. The Might Festival runs from Friday, March 11th through Thursday, March 17th and some of the items we experienced will be offered at Raglan Road in the weeks to follow. It is no secret that Raglan Road is one of my favorite places in all of Disney Springs. Inside of Raglan Road you can experience performances by authentic Irish and Celtic bands. You also can experience authentic Irish step-dancing up close while dining. There is no bad location within the restaurant as the performers move throughout the restaurant during the day to entertain each of the rooms. And there is entertainment for the outdoor seating areas as well! We had a chance to hear from one of the two owners of Raglan Road, who introduced a special Strawberry & Lime Seltzer called So Berry Les, a tribute to his father who is pictured on the bottle and in photos throughout the restaurant. Raglan Road is a fantastic place to enjoy drinks of all types. In addition to the So Berry Les seltzer which was delicious, we tried the new "Paddy's Mighty" composed of Dingle Gin, muddled cucumber, basil simple, lemon juice & egg white. It was smooth and super refreshing! This drink will be offered during The Mighty Festival but could become a longterm addition to the menu if it proves popular with guests. The "Now You're Talkin' Chicken Sandwich" has been on the Raglan menu for a few weeks. While ours was a sampler size, the flavors were fantastic and we all were left craving seconds. The sandwich includes a fried buttermilk chicken breast, hot sauce, scallions, shredded pickle slaw, truffle aioli and grated parmesan. My personal favorite of the flavors we sampled from The Mighty Festival menu, this Smoked Pulled Brisket was insanely good. Served atop Irish buttermilk and Dubliner cheddar cheese bread with caramelized onion puree and charred sweetcorn salsa, this bite melted in our mouths. And we were lucky enough to each get a second bite which was equally as incredible. "The Salmon Who Salsas" is a Roasted Atlantic Salmon filet on boxty potato & celery root puree served with a smoked salmon, apple, grape, caper & almond salsa. Salmon lovers will be pleased. The celery root puree made the bite for me. A recent addition to the year-round Raglan menu is "This Shepherd Went Vegan" which is the vegan version of their classic Shepherd's Pie. I'm a huge fan of the meat-filled version and I will say that this version stands on its own as hearty and flavorful. Vegans and those in the mood for a veggie-heavy dish will be happy all the same. While Magners is accessible in many restaurants, its Pear Cider is not commonly found on tap--but at Raglan Road it is! We were surprised with a savory donut featuring brisket and a parmesan icing. It was unreal. And while we were confident that that last bite would have been the best of the evening, we were spoiled with a second savory donut, this one with chicken, bacon and cheese with a Guinness glaze. The Raglan Road step-dancers move throughout the restaurant to make sure everyone gets a chance to enjoy their unique style of dance up close. But back on the main hall is definitely where the experience is best enjoyed! Raglan Road dancers certainly know how to get some air! I love the main hall of Raglan Road! If you're not able to dine in Raglan Road Pub & Restaurant but you still want some delicious Irish fare, you can stop by Cookes of Dublin (sporting a great new sign out front). We had a fantastic taste of this year's Raglan Road Mighty Festival and you can too between now and March 17th! And if you can't make it out for the Festival, the regular Raglan Road experience is no less Mighty, and is well worth your visit!
  17. Over the last few weeks I've had a chance to experience several of Central Florida's newest coasters while also taking in some artsy experiences along the way. The first of these three was a visit to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for a passholder preview of Iron Gwazi, the park's RMC conversion of the former Gwazi dueling wooden coaster. Let's start by stating the obvious... This is a much better experience than the previous version of Gwazi in every sense. Iron Gwazi is smooth, fast, intense experience. Gwazi, especially in its latter years was rough, aggressive and meandering at times. The new coaster leverages approximately a third of the former coasters' wooden structure and while the geek in me wishes we could have gotten an updated dueling or moebius style coaster (akin to Twisted Colossus), I'm grateful for what we got. The only other Rocky Mountain Construction coaster I've experienced to date is Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point, so I expected to really like this one purely for its similar style. I wouldn't consider this better than Steel Vengeance, considering the Cedar Point attraction has a longer ride time, more airtime, more inversions--there's just more to it. But I do find there to be some elements that are better on Iron Gwazi, such as the transitions between elements. There are some really jarring transitions on the Ohio-based coaster where Iron Gwazi really flows smoothly (with no abrupt changes) from maneuver to maneuver. There's much to love about each coaster, but having Iron Gwazi so much closer to home makes my sense of urgency to return to Sandusky that much less. Almost all of the former Gwazi queue is intact and in use for Iron Gwazi. One side of the queue, dedicated formerly to one side of the coaster is now used exclusively as the Quick Queue/Platinum Pass re-ride line where the other serves as the standby queue. Once in the main station building, it is hard not to recognize the former second track's loading section and dispatch opening from the building (if you know what you're looking for), both covered up but noticeable. It should be noted that from the front side of Iron Gwazi as well as inside of the queue and station, there are few good vantage points to see the majority of the coaster's biggest maneuvers. Your best views when not on the coaster will be from when Gwazi Park is open for special events or from the Sky Ride when it reopens later this year. Gwazi was themed to a mythical creature with the head of a tiger and the body of a lion--each of the two coaster tracks was themed to one of the two actual creatures. The color scheme of light blues, yellows, oranges, purples and greens has been replaced with a more streamlined (and pronounced) purple and green to match the new alligator-themed Iron Gwazi. Since my visit Montu has reopened with a bright new color scheme. Iron Gwazi has definitely changed the park's skyline. As I'd imagine will be the case once the ride officially opens, the line for the passholder previews ran down near the park entrance. The ride was still testing as of park opening. This was my first time seeing the overbanked curve behind the entrance. The station has been repainted with bold colors that really pop against the replenished thatch roofing. This will look familiar for those that previous experienced Gwazi. One section of the queue takes place in the lower pit area where the two Gwazi tracks would cross before heading towards their respective lift hills. Now guests pass directly underneath the track as it turns towards a dip that leads to the coaster's lift hill. It was neat walking in this space without any wooden track around it. Iron Gwazi facts. Picturesque. More Iron Gwazi facts. They aren't kidding with "The Death Roll." It is definitely the wildest element of the coaster besides the initial drop. One of the few areas where you can see track semi-clearly from the queue. The majority of coaster is hidden behind the queue and station. Wooden structure from the former Gwazi coasters is bolstered by new steel supports in high-stress sections of the new coaster. Peaking through the supports you can see a portion of The Death Roll. Going down! The coaster zips through this portion of the layout. Like most new coasters at SeaWorld and Busch parks, there is a monitor in the station showing which seats are locked in and how long the train has been parked in the station. Iron Gwazi operates with two trains and due to its quick layout, it works out pretty well that a train is dispatched right around the time the other train hits the block section. The former spot where one of two Gwazi tracks would exit the station. Notice the lighter-colored flooring on the left... That is the filled in portion of the station where the load section used to be for one of the two Gwazi tracks. A neat pattern found when you look up in the station... With a fun nod to the old coasters found by the loading side of the last row. In the block section/transfer track you will find the former lead car decorations from the Gwazi Lion and Gwazi Tiger trains hung on the wall. I couldn't get a picture since my phone was secured for the ride. The front of the train looks great! And the side panel detailing is neat too. There is a Ride Photo location at the exit and it is powered by the park's PhotoKey service. Definitely a different view compared to a few years ago. Such a fun element! Zooming past the ride photo location. The ride's gift shop is currently selling a series of classic Gwazi-inspired merchandise. These neon shirts were available to purchase in years surrounding the original coasters' debut. Pin collectors will be happy with these new options. And of course there is Iron Gwazi merchandise. I love that they have CoasterDynamix Nanocoasters for both Iron Gwazi and Gwazi. The Gwazi model is super detailed and I was very tempted to buy it on the spot if not for the $50 price tag. There's less metal to the Iron Gwazi model and the price is $40. I love the side by side comparison of the stats... I definitely didn't realize that despite two coasters becoming one, Iron Gwazi manages to have more track than its predecessors combined. Commemorate concept art prints are available in a limited edition size of 2022. I wish there was a better angle to watch the drop... The Death Roll is experienced with such speed, I was flying out of my seat, held in only by the snug lapbars of the train. And yet, this was exceptionally comfortable with no collars or over the shoulder restraints. Flying through a mess of track. Fly by! I love this element! It was neat to see that the park has defined two walking trail layouts that can be experienced while in the park. Cheetah Hunt has a new neighbor on the horizon. Over in the Serengeti Overlook (the former Crown Colony House) the Giraffe Bar opened to offers guests drinks with a view. A new restaurant, Treetop Kitchen will open on the third floor in the place of the former Crown Colony House Restaurant. Cheetah Hunt also reopened recently after receiving a fresh coat of paint. The Skyride is set to reopen this summer. Can't get over The Death Roll. Another fun maneuver! Sorry but I can't help but admire. I'll be back to ride this again soon! A fun momento guests received for attending Iron Gwazi's passholder previews...
  18. Such a great compilation of POVs! Thanks for sharing Robb!
  19. Stepping back a little to the tail end of our afternoon in the parks (before visiting the Grand Californian), we were able to spend some time in the new Avengers Campus. While we had experienced Marvel characters and Marvel shows in Shanghai, Paris and California before, this was the first time seeing a fully dedicated Marvel-themed land. Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout! has been a favorite of ours for years and the hype train for the land had been built up thanks to us seeing all of the newest MCU characters finding their way into the land as new movies and shows would be released. A very different look at feel compared to the previous "a bug's land" that was here. The land's main merchandise location. The story of Web Slingers continues throughout the land where Spider-Bots are strung up in webs. And of course you can bring your own, customizable Spider-Bot home for more fun. I love this. You have no idea how excited I was to try Pingo Doce while I was here. Over at the main Avengers Campus building you can see different MCU characters roaming around and sometimes engaging in fights against villainous foes. In this moment we say Sam Wilson's Captain America interacting with Black Panther. I intentionally avoided all spoilers before experiencing this one. I love that they got Tom Holland to reprise his role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man for the ride. Marvel fans will notice some neat easter eggs like Lucky Dog's Pizza. That suit looks kind of familiar... If you've been on other attractions where your hands are the virtual controllers, I will say that this feels more advanced and intuitive. You're not just whipping your arms wildly to "shoot" but you're pulling and pushing to trigger different behaviors. It definitely made the experience feel more interactive and less "not knowing if you're actually doing anything." I love that the current Avengers Campus was a former SSR base. The queue leads to a neat station. The vehicles are pretty large and feature seating forwards and backwards. Obviously not super clear but it gives you an idea of kind of what you're seeing and experiencing as you move through Web Slingers. I also liked the variety of different types of Spider-Bots having different powers/reactions to being attacked. Having the individual Spider-Bots tracked along with the total score made this feel even more repeatable. During the day the ancient sanctum can be used for a variety of experiences... A familiar face out and about. Iron Man would be the last character we would see before we had to rush over to the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa... Months earlier I had put us on a waitlist for the Chef's Counter at Napa Rose, my favorite restaurant/dining experience on property at the Disneyland Resort. At the time it was already fully booked during our stay... But as it was clearly meant to be, we got the call, rushed back to our hotel to get cleaned up and then sped over to the Grand Californian for our culinary journey to begin. The Chef's Counter at Napa Rose is a super exclusive experience with approximately eight seats (four on either side of the main expediting counter). There is a dessert counter experience (seen in the top left of this photo) as well, but if you're here, going for the full deal is the best way to go. You get to watch the team behind this prestigious restaurant at work, all while being treated to a personalized menu prepared just for you based on your likes/dislikes as well as the freshest and most unique ingredients the kitchen has on hand. Chef Andrew Sutton, seen at left presides over the restaurant and if you're lucky like we've been both times we've been at the Chef's Counter, he gets to have a hand in designing and preparing portions of your menu, plus getting a chance to speak with you during the meal. I won't post every food photo I took from the meal... Just the highlights of highlights. Our meal started out with a Parsnip Espuma and Lace Tuile, mine topped with Golden Osetra Caviar and my wife's topped with Crimson Beets since caviar is not her thing. Neither of us could believe just how good this tasted. The Chef's Counter offers a wine pairing option but as I did during my last visit, I opted for cocktail pairings to come out with every few courses. The first was this unreal Provence Sour made with Hayman's Old Tom Gin, Rose Wine, Lemon Juice and Egg Whites. It was like drinking a cloud from heaven. My wife was surprised with these amazing Artichoke Parmesan Fritters. My next dish was a plate of House Cured Ahi Tuna with Braised Lentils, Lobster Tian and Lemon Gelees. My wife's favorite dish of the night was this Holiday Goose served with a Butternut Squash Ravioli and Cranberry Relish. This was the holidays on a plate and it was bliss. This unreal Diver Scallop was perfectly cooked and paired brilliantly with the Braised Kobe Beef Cheek, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Pumpkin Seeds. My next drink was the Summer Kiss, a combination of Hendricks Gin, Combier, Lemon Juice, St. Germain and an Absinthe Rinse. SMOOTH. This Smoked Pork Loin with a Butternut Mole and Red Rice was this bacon-lover's unkosher dream! An absolute standout of the evening, and a surprising favorite of my wife's, the Wild Boar Meatloaf with Pickled Persimmons. This felt homey but also super elevated. My next course was a Stuffed Lam Saddle with a Chestnut Puree and Autumn Greens. That puree was the star of the dish. Tender Braised Beef Pot Roast with Green Garlic, Portobello Mushrooms, Romanesco and Cheddar Whipped Potatoes was tear-inducing perfection. There wasn't a drop left on the plate when we were done. The Main Course, a drink composed of Fernet Branca, Campari, Bulleit Rys Whiskey, Falernum Syrup and Mole Bitters. We were in a GOOD place by this point. It isn't often that you get a cheese course that is served warm (our sous chef for the night shared this as she brought out this bowl of joy). This Baked Robiola Bosina Cheese with Carmelized Onions and a Quince Relish was unreal. I could've eaten a full entree serving. Probably the most "simple" thing we tasted and yet still it was several cuts above, was this Eclair with a Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Mousse. My dessert for the evening was Napa Rose's Signature Hot Chocolate with a chewy ginger cookie, a brown butter toffee cookie, a sugar crisp, and a marshmallow creme. My wife received the Harvest Pear Turnover with a Holiday Egg Nog Ice Cream Float. I still dream of this dessert. I was surprised with an extra surprise dessert, a Peppermint White Chocolate Creme Brulee. I nearly fell out of my chair after one bite. One more amazing bite to round out our amazing meal--Salted Caramel Peppermint Truffles! After our incredible meal we pushed ourselves back into the parks to enjoy the evening lights. This was a sight to behold. It was a bummer that we didn't get to experience the attraction this trip, but seeing the lighting was still a treat. I couldn't help but marvel at it all. I love this so much. A late night run on the Jungle Cruise is always worth it! We made it back to Main Street in time to catch the holiday fireworks! I love how the Main Street projections are used in the show. SNOW!!! The Magic Eye Theater isn't in use right now, so the sign has been replaced with a wonderfully retro piece of Mary Blair art. I love Tomorrowland at night. The Matterhorn at night will forever be one of my favorite experiences at the Disneyland Resort.
  20. Makes sense. The timing won’t be ideal from a park experience standpoint so I’d absolutely recommend buying Quick Queue or Quick Queue Unlimited (which includes one-time Quick Queue access for Iron Gwazi) that way you aren’t as pressed for time to experience the park’s other coasters. Go straight to Iron Gwazi once the park opens and ride as much in standby as you can before it gets too busy. Then you’ve got your Quick Queue options to plan the rest of your day. https://buschgardens.com/tampa/upgrades/quick-queue/
  21. Unnecessarily long lines for the same experience as you could have a week later for a fraction of the wait time. Plus the rest of the park will be equally swamped with the people who didn’t realize the Iron Gwazi line would be so bad. If you truly “must be first” you’ll need to plan to get to the parking lot early (several hours before park opening) and be prepared to wait in your car until the toll plazas open. There may be some gratification that comes from riding on opening day or being among the first, but ask yourself how much that is worth. The ride operated previously for employees in 2020 and has been doing passholder previews for weeks. You’ll be far from the first to ride. What can you expect from attending on opening day? A less enjoyable version of an enjoyable day at Busch Gardens a week to two weeks later.
  22. It has been announced that Mickey's Toontown in Disneyland will close on March 9th, 2022 to undergo its transformation before opening in early 2023. This announcement includes confirmation that Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Mickey's House and Minnie's House will all return with the land along with reimagined experiences coming to Gadget's Go Coaster, Goofy's House and Donald's Boat. https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2022/02/the-transformation-of-mickeys-toontown-at-disneyland-park-begins-soon/ As we previously shared, Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland park will soon begin its transformation into a vibrant symphony of sights, sounds, and sensations with some all-new experiences, more play and interactivity for our guests, with a focus on families and young children. To begin this work, Mickey’s Toontown will be closed beginning March 9, 2022, and will reopen in early 2023, alongside the new attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. If you want to see Mickey’s Toontown one more time before the reimagining begins, be sure to visit between now and March 8! As a reminder, both a theme park ticket and park reservation for the same park and the same date are required for park entry. But don’t worry if you can’t make it before then — when Mickey’s Toontown reopens in 2023, it will still be home to favorite attractions such as Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, Mickey’s House and Minnie’s House! Plus, other attractions will be reimagined in new and exciting ways, including Gadget’s Go Coaster, Goofy’s House and Donald’s Boat. We look forward to sharing many more details about the reimagining of Mickey’s Toontown in the future!
  23. Today the Disneyland Resort shared more details about the return of nighttime spectaculars at both parks, including some exciting news about the Main Street Electrical Parade! https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2022/02/disneyland-resort-unveils-return-dates-for-nighttime-spectaculars-and-new-finale-coming-to-the-main-street-electrical-parade/ As announced in November during Destination D23, the Disneyland Resort is thrilled to bring back its nighttime spectaculars this spring. So many fan-favorite entertainment offerings have continued to return – from Jambalaya Jazz in New Orleans Square at Disneyland park to “Disney Junior Dance Party!” in Disney California Adventure park. Plus, we’ve recently introduced experiences like encountering Raya in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail to the Celebrate Soulfully entertainment throughout the month of February. Each of these offerings highlights the incredible momentum at the Disneyland Resort as part of our phased reopening. Today, we’re excited to share even more on the entertainment front, with additional details around the return of our nighttime spectaculars! On April 22, 2022, the “Main Street Electrical Parade” and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular will return to Disneyland park, and “World of Color” will return to Disney California Adventure park. “Fantasmic!” is preparing for its return to Disneyland park on May 28, 2022. But that’s not all the exciting news we have to share with you today! Upon its return to Disneyland park, the “Main Street Electrical Parade” will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, the Disney Live Entertainment team will introduce exciting new elements to the “Main Street Electrical Parade” that will continue to evolve this beloved spectacular. Over the past five decades, the “Main Street Electrical Parade” has brought families together to delight in its many whimsical stories and featured characters. And soon, that will continue for a whole new generation of dreamers. In honor of the parade’s 50th anniversary, this nighttime spectacular will return with an all-new, enchanted grand finale that celebrates the theme of togetherness. This universal theme is reflected in the creative concept of the grand finale sequence. Inspired by both the original design of classic “Main Street Electrical Parade” floats and Disney Legend Mary Blair’s iconic art style on “it’s a small world,” the new grand finale brings to life more than a dozen Disney Animation and Pixar stories. These stories will be interpreted in thousands of sparkling lights and electro-synthe-magnetic musical sound, with unique representations of beloved characters as animated dolls. As the new grand finale passes by, guests along each side of the parade route will see a different set of stylized scenes from classic and contemporary favorite stories such as “Encanto,” “The Jungle Book,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Aladdin,” “Coco,” “Mulan,” “Brave,” “The Princess and the Frog” and more. Check out one of the early pieces of concept art, featuring Mirabel and Antonio from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-nominated film, “Encanto.” From the Blue Fairy to a colorful, unique representation of Sleeping Beauty Castle, the grand finale of the “Main Street Electrical Parade” comprises seven segments stretching 118 feet in length, making it one of the longest and grandest units in the parade’s 50-year history. “Main Street Electrical Parade” and “Disneyland Forever” will be available for a limited time at Disneyland park. When “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular comes back on April 22, it will run weekends only (Friday through Sunday). “Mickey’s Mix Magic” will present its high-energy, projections-only show during the week (Monday through Thursday) until late spring. At that time, “Disneyland Forever” fireworks will then run nightly in the summer. “World of Color” and “Fantasmic!” will return to their regular schedule upon reopening. We cannot wait to “ignite the night” once again! With the return of fan-favorite offerings, and new experiences on the way, the Disneyland Resort is buzzing with energy and excitement. It’s a great time to plan a visit, and we’re so excited to continue welcoming back our guests! We look forward to sharing more details about our entertainment offerings as the return of the “Main Street Electrical Parade,” “World of Color,” “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular and “Fantasmic!” draw nearer in the coming weeks. As always, stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog! Check the latest entertainment details and schedules at Disneyland.com or the Disneyland mobile app. Entertainment, experiences, and offerings may be modified, limited in availability or unavailable, and are subject to restrictions, and change or cancellation without notice. Theme Park reservations and valid admission for the same Park on the same day are required for Park entry. Park reservations are limited, subject to availability and not guaranteed. Park admission and offerings are not guaranteed. Visit Disneyland.com/Updates for important information to know before your visit, including the latest information on required face coverings.
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