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Yesterday we were invited to check out the new Starbucks location that opened at Downtown Disney in the old Häagen-Dazs/Wetzels Pretzels location near Splitsville. The building has been going through quite a transformation over the past few months and it looks NOTHING like it did before! Here's a look in and around the Starbucks and some of the key points that wanted us to make sure we passed along to all of you!


The exterior of the new Starbucks is just fantastic looking! I know there was a goal to bring "interesting" looking buildings to Downtown Disney as part of the Disney Springs project, and this does not disappoint! I love the “living roof” which is fed by recycled coffee grounds in the store.


Another angle of the front of the store.


(Oh, and don't worry! Häagen-Dazs and Wetzels are still at Downtown Disney, just relocated around the corner from DisneyQuest!)


The inside of the store is very unique looking and we were told was inspired by local Floridian themes.


These sand-looking sculptures were inspired by Florida's beaches and we think they look great!


The counter area features custom artwork reflecting what they call the "coffee journey."


The inside seating area has lots of different tables, chairs, sofas, and is a great place to relax and take a break of the craziness than can be a vacation at Disney!


Another unique feature is this location is one of the "Starbucks Reserve" shops.


Meet Wendy, she's the store manager and she walked us through what Starbucks Reserve is. There are only two of them in the Central Florida Orlando area!


And what is Starbucks Reserve? This will give you an idea!


Jack and I trying it out! I have to be honest, I'm not a "dark coffee" person, but I can certainly see why this will be attractive to a lot of coffee aficionados! It's awesome to have this option at Downtown Disney!


Then something in the seating area caught our eye...


This interactive chalkboard takes videos of what you are currently doing, allows you to draw on it, have some fun, and...


...on the bottom of the screen there is a link to the Starbucks at Downtown Disney in California! You can wave hello to people on the other Disney coast!!!


Freeze frame your picture, and draw on it! What a great "Selfie" opportunity!


Let's take another look at the outside area. The building was designed to have seating and features all around the building. The front area features this wood seating where the materials came from an Alabama cotton mill that dates back to the 1800s!


The back patio was beautiful! Plenty of seating....


And this really interesting fireplace/living moss wall with the Starbucks logo. Seriously, I've been all around the world, and as a Starbucks fan I've been to a LOT of stores, and this was probably the most impressive Starbucks I've ever seen!


The construction is also "Leed Certified" and this is very important to Starbucks as they have now built 500 stores with this certification. "LEED" is intended to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.


And while all these cool features make this Starbucks a flagship location for the company, let's not forget what it's all about...


...THE COFFEE!!! And it's awesome! (Yes, like I said, I admit that I am a Starbucks addict!) I fully support the Disney/Starbucks relationship and I feel it's one of the best corporate branding partnerships to happen in just about the history of EVER!!! =)


While we are here, let's take a quick look around Downtown Disney. Car Masters Weekend is coming up!


The new World Cup store is here!


These interesting looking "Elevated Train" platforms are starting to get installed as part of the new look for Disney Springs.


Some of the final remaining pieces of Pleasure Island. I have to be honest, I was never a Pleasure Island fan. I simply never "got" it and I didn't feel that it fit in with Disney. And with all the changes that happened over the years for Pleasure Island to try to find it's audience, it's clear it never really "worked." Other than a place for Cast Members to go, it never really seemed to connect with guests, and as much as Cast Members might want a cool place to hang out, that's not what it's all about. I think I did the clubs once or twice (my favorite was the short-lived roller skating rink) Pleasure Island was never a place I frequented, so I fully welcome all these new changes.


The construction of Disney Springs is pretty massive right now...


There are walls and barriers up everywhere!


Kind of reminded me what DCA looked like for the years it was in re-development.


Poor Mannequins! It was a near dance club with your rotating floors, etc, but I have a feeling whatever this building will become will be something I'll probably frequent more often than a dance club!


Some of the signage for Disney Springs is quietly starting to appear. Like the base of this lamp post, for example...




I think what I'm most looking forward to about Disney Springs is that it will be the first time the entire property will have one consistent theme throughout everything.


Before it was just Marketplace, PI, and West Side all kind of shoved together and nothing ever felt really cohesive. I'm hoping the new Disney Springs will really change all that.


Here is a look at the other Starbucks location over at World of Disney in the marketplace.


The way this new building fits in to the existing World of Disney, it feels like it was there all along! Really nicely done!


The Co-Op store will be the next shop to open. (Scroll up to a previous post for more details on this)


Some of the logos and Disney brands that will be featured in this store.


And a few more. Should have a lot of cool variety! I hope it opens soon!


And one final look at the new Starbucks since that's what this report is all about. I will most certainly be frequenting this location on every visit to DTD!

Edited by robbalvey
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I've visited Blizzard Beach about 2 weeks ago and noticed some land clearing around the area. Does anyone know what this is for?


Also, I went to Typhoon Lagoon today and noticed that there is as well land clearing but it is more outside of the park near the road. It goes almost to where Crush N Gusher is though. I'm assuming this construction by Typhoon is for Disney Springs but what for? Are they moving the road?


Along I4, there is also some land clearing near the various exits and into nearby resorts. Some of them seem to pretty large in clearing space. I am assuming for hotels? They will look to be pretty big hotels then...

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I've always heard Blizzard Beach could get another slide or attraction, that would be great!


As for any of the construction near Typhoon Lagoon, the buildings alongside I-4, and DTD area, I would assume it is all for Disney Springs. In addition to the projects happening at DTD, they are also widening the road, adding a new exit over time, and more.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Walt Disney World’s plans for turning Downtown Disney into Disney Springs are grand, and more details of the transformation are taking shape.


I went on a tour June 12 with the Urban Land Institute that went behind the scenes of Disney Springs. The tour included speaking with Jeff Abraham, Disney Springs’ creative director with Disney Imagineering.


On the tour, although I was not allowed to photograph new renderings, more details on the project emerged.


For example, Disney Springs will have re-purposed elevated platforms, and new renderings included a tall glass tower leading to the platform that has umbrella tables for guests.


In addition, Abraham said the area will boast new international restaurant and retail options that do not have any presence anywhere else in the U.S., but he would not share any other details.


Abraham also detailed the story behind the Disney Springs development. That story revolves around a small Florida city’s multi-era transformation from a small town dependent on a river to years after railroad transportation is no longer the primary means of travel, and the city finds new ways to reuse the old railway tracks and stations.


Abraham described the renovation as filled with old warehouses, brick buildings and re-purposed boat houses as the city evolved with the times.


Currently, a multi-level parking garage is being built on site. Disney Springs is set to be complete in 2016.


Check back later for more details.

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As for any of the construction near Typhoon Lagoon, the buildings alongside I-4, and DTD area, I would assume it is all for Disney Springs. In addition to the projects happening at DTD, they are also widening the road, adding a new exit over time, and more.


The land area near the front of the park (along Lake Buena Vista drive) seems to be where they're staging all of the construction "stuff." Trailers, vehicles, materials, etc. The stuff between the Team Disney building and Typhoon will be for the new entry ramp from I-4. Will definitely be an interesting thing to see when all of the garages, buildings and work is done. Hopefully it will alleviate the traffic right around 535 on I-4 Westbound since that exit on the weekends is just... terrible...

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  • 1 month later...



If you’ve visited Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort lately, you’ve most likely noticed the many changes underway as the area transforms into Disney Springs – it’s the largest expansion in Downtown Disney history and, when completed, will double the area’s number of dining and retail options. Through this expansion, guests can continue to enjoy more than 70 themed and immersive shopping, dining and entertainment venues day and night. One of my personal favorites is the new Marketplace Co-Op, which has unique Disney boutique shops and has been featured several times here on the Disney Parks Blog.


The surrounding roadways and parking areas at Downtown Disney are growing too and will eventually offer easier access to the area. Today we have two new renderings to share with you that showcase the work that is already underway, which includes widening Lake Buena Vista Drive from seven to 10 lanes and constructing two multilevel garages (the first of which, pictured above, is set to open by late 2014 to offer 4,000 parking spaces). Two pedestrian bridges are also planned that will help lead guests into Disney Springs near the current Marketplace side, while the other will offer access in through the West Side.


As you can see above, the changes will also include a new I-4 interchange that will offer guests direct access to Disney Springs.


All of this work is part of the area’s transformation into Disney Springs, which will be continue into 2016. The first phase of the expansion, an area called The Landing, will open in 2015 to offer lakefront shopping and dining. In the meantime, if you are planning to visit Downtown Disney for activities with set times, such as Cirque du Soleil performances, concerts or movies, early arrival is suggested.


Be sure to stay tuned to the Disney Parks Blog for future updates.



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  • 1 month later...

Tonight TPR was invited out to the 40th Anniversary showing of the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney World!


For those of you who may not be familiar with the show, it's a "dinner show", which is described at "2 hours of rousing Wild West dancing, singing and zany vaudeville comedy!" And that's makes for one great evening with the family! It's considered one of the longest running musical performances of all time.


The food was fantastic, and there was a LOT of it. If you like "down home" backyard cookin', you'll love this! Cornbread on the tables when you sit down, shortly after the show begins, buckets of meat (literally) start to arrive on your table! Drinks are also included (I was given a pitcher of beer!) So come hungry and thirsty and be prepared to have a good time!


Here's some photos and video from our night!



Hoop-Dee-Doo is located at the Fort Wilderness campground at Walt Disney World. It's one of my favorite resort properties at WDW as I think it's often forgotten about because it's a "campground", but it offers some of the most amazing hidden gems on Disney property like the Trail's End restaurant, Chip & Dale's Campfire Sing-a-Long, and of course Hoop Dee Doo!


To kick off the event, we were brought over to the Circle D ranch for some drinks and hanging out before the show began.


Things are a little rustic here at Fort Wilderness, so if you're willing to drink a margarita from a mason jar, you're in for a good time!


This moonshine was delicious and they were even happy to share the recipe with us!


My partners in crime for tonight's fun would be Banks & Elisa from Attractions Magazine! (Check out Attractions Magazine on the socials!)


As we made our way to the theater, the director of the show gave us a bit of history and information about the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue! 40 years and still going strong!


Here we are ready for some good food and fun!


This is the quietest the theater is gonna be all night!


I walk in and they gave me a pitcher of beer! What's not to like? =)


Our piano & banjo player for the night!


The cast of Hoop Dee Doo start-a-singing!


Make-shift instruments are all part of the show!


You'll clap along and stomp your feet the whole show!


Next up... BUCKETS OF MEAT!!!


"They've given me buckets of meat and a pitcher of beer! How have I never been to this show before?!?!?"


And yes, that godly looking substance was amazing mac & cheese!


They are back on stage and we're getting ready to have a stompin' good time!


Banjo Vs Ukulele - Who do you think will win?


Yes, there is a lot of dancing that happens on that stage!


Dolly Drew tore it up! She had some awesome gags towards the audience! (loved her!)


And yes, did I say audience? The performers spent a good amount of time down on the floor with the rest of us!


In sort of cruise ship fashion there was some napkin twirling!


The cast seemed to be having just as much fun as we were!


These two really stole the show! (Did I mention that Dolly Drew was awesome?)


And quite possibly my favorite food moment was when dessert was served! All of the table servers got into the act and they made quite the production out of bringing out the strawberry shortcake!


And it was worth every bit of that production!


Hmm...gotta keep working on that beer! ;)


The finale of the show was sort of a tribute to Dave Crockett...using members of the audience as characters!


And look who got pulled up to be a Can Can Dancer! Elisa totally worked it!


Banks on the other hand...um....also totally worked it? ;)


The whole cast was amazing! (including the audience participation!)


And yes, all the boys bang things!


The Pioneer Hall Players take their final bow! GREAT SHOW!!!


I have to admit, I think it was the first time I've ever played a washboard! lol


We got to do an extra long meet & greet with the cast after wards! (Suzy Ditty would be so proud!)


I asked Dolly out, but she turned me down. *sigh* Maybe next time! =)


Again, GREAT SHOW!!! Happy 40th!

Edited by robbalvey
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Hooray for the strawberry shortcake!!!


Wow, I remember us going to see the show and dinner,

back in 1987! And everything looks as wonderful as it

did back then.


Thanks for sharing your dinner and show, Robb!


And Happy 40th, Hoop-Dee-Doo!

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Every time we go to Disney World we always make sure we go to the Hoop-Dee-Do! It's always funny and just a bit different every time. Sixpence had us rolling on the floor when he did his Frozen bit. Just about the funniest thing I experienced on our last trip to WDW. I do have to say though I'm not really a fan of the new opening song. I understand they changed it due to copyright reasons, but I would always have the Hoop-Dee-Do Polka song stuck in my head for days after we saw the show.


All in all, it's a wonderful production that I hope is still around when I have kids of my own and they are able to experience the show just like I have!

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Wow Rob, I’ve followed Theme Park Review for many years now and would NEVER had dreamed you never went to the Hoop-Dee-Doo. My family started going to WDW in 1971, but stayed at Fort Wilderness for the first time in 1978. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they did splurge on going to the Hoop-Dee-Doo every visit as our “Night Out” dinner and we’ve done it every time. We’ve seen the cast members come and go and have loved EVERY one of them. A few even remembered us over the time of our visits from year to year. My dad has been picked to be Davy’s guardian angel four times!


My most favorite part of the show is when they bring the food out!!! We’ve taken many a friend with us and they’ve all jumped…I’m not going to spoil the surprise!


I miss the original opening polka version of Hoop-Dee-Doo, but I’m glad they did what needed to be done to keep the show. Anyhow... I hope the show continues to have a long endless run so my children can take their children to see the best dinner show ever.

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I've never been over to Fort Wilderness to see it, but Hoop-Dee-Doo has from photos looked to me like a dressed up Golden Horseshoe Revue with food. How close would that description be?

I think "dressed up" would probably not be correct. Maybe extended or expanded? Hoop-Dee-Doo is about 2 hours including dinner and the show. Last time I remembered the Golden Horseshoe it was about a 25-30 minute show?

Edited by robbalvey
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On our last trip to Disney last summer, we had to compete with a lot of popup storms that kinda made our plans a bit messy (including a walk in the pouring rain to make a character breakfast at epcot). I changed up one of our reservations to a reservation for the Hoop-Dee-Do Revue. Even though I knew it would use two of our dining credits, I have heard enough about the show to know it was worth it, and boy was it! Even the area around the theater is nice to hang out. The kids especially like the playground that was nearby as we waited to enter. I tell anyone whos staying multiple days at Disney to check out this show, its not to be missed!

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Who here has experienced Albert and Victoria's? I was considering it but realized its not one of those walk up and get a table venues. I see they have 3 levels of dining, would be nice to get some feedback for all three.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Did anybody see this, i'm guessing by the description its to be put to use in the disney wedding halls.


Check out this beautiful projected princess wedding cake! Shown at Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings' Wedding Expo! Every princess deserves a fairytale wedding cake



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