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Walt Disney World Resort Non-Park Discussion Thread

P. 57 - Raglan Road 15th Anniversary!

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TPR was invited out to Amway Center for the Grand Opening announcement of the NBA Experience as well as hear more about the new offering at Disney Springs!

 

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Press Release:

-NBA Experience, the brand-new destination coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, officially opens Aug. 12, 2019. The NBA Experience will give guests the chance to feel like a basketball superstar.

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"When we were young, we played basketball in our driveways or in the park, creating those

imaginary moments of making the game-winning shot for a championship," said Stan Dodd, executive producer, Walt Disney Imagineering. "We want to take that energy and help you feel what it's like to be an actual NBA or WNBA player."

 

In collaboration with the NBA, Disney is developing NBA Experience as a one-of-a-kind environment packed with 13 interactive elements and hands-on activities across 44,000 square feet and two floors. Upon entry, guests will feel as if they're walking through the players' tunnel at an NBA or WNBA arena. A ticket to NBA Experience grants access to every activity, in any order guests choose, with the ability to return to stations to improve performances or learn even mor e about the game, players and teams they love. In addition to the competitions and games, the experience will also include a retail store featuring NBA-themed merchandise.

 

Additional elements of the destination include:

• A slam dunk challenge, where guests can change the height of a standard 10-foot hoop to as low as seven feet to perform their own superstar moves - captured by burst photography.

• An activity that tests shooting skills with spots on a court that light up as guests move from one location to another attempting to sink as many shots as possible in 15 seconds.

• A way for guests to see how they stack up to some of the world's best basketball players by measuring their vertical leap, wingspan, shooting and dribbling.

• Personalization for various activities with guests' names and associating the activity with their favorite NBA or WNBA teams.

• Real-time technology to aggregate statistics of NBA and WNBA games and players for continuous updates, while leaderboards will track top NBA Experience performers throughout each day.

 

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Mickey’s here and ready for basketball!

 

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It’s game time at AmwayCenter!

 

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Was a really fun night! NBA Experience opens August 12th at Disney Springs!

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As a sports fan, I love stuff like this! I hope it does well and they leverage the partnership with player appearances, contests for tickets, etc.

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guests can change the height of a standard 10-foot hoop to as low as seven feet to perform their own superstar moves

 

I'm skeptical.

 

Disney Magic is amazing but even the best Imagineers in the world can't help me do anything with a basketball that any sane / sober person would refer to as a "superstar move".

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On Tuesday, April 23rd, acclaimed celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck, will be bringing his flagship restaurant, Spago, to Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill Disney Springs for a one night only special dinner event. Guests will be able to experience Chef Wolfgang Puck’s classic Spago dishes like the Smoked Salmon Pizza, Tuna Cones, and his Wienerschnitzel.

 

Wolfgang Puck will also be bringing some of his talented chefs from Spago Beverly Hills, CUT at the Rosewood and Wolfgang Puck American Grill, to present The Spago Experience.

 

Dinner reservations will go from 5 pm – 10 pm with a pre-fix menu of $98/per person.

 

Link to book: https://www.sevenrooms.com/reservations/wolfgangorlando?default_date=2019-04-23&default_time=5:00PM

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CUT is one of my favorite restaurants in Vegas...I am sure this will be a spectacular event!

 

Love that more high end dining is coming to Disney Springs!

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  • 4 weeks later...

There is so much that happens behind-the-scenes & "beyond the parks" at Walt Disney World which usually goes unnoticed by most guests. It's always nice when Disney gives us a little look behind the magic to really have an appreciation of what it takes to bring everything you see in the parks to life. Such was the case when we got to visit Walt Disney World's new solar farm!

 

You may remember that Walt Disney World built a solar farm in the shape of Mickey Mouse (of course they did! lol) but now, they've taken things one HUGE step forward! A 270-acre solar farm, the size of TWO Magic Kingdom's that will power two of the theme parks at Walt Disney World!

 

And we got to check it out...

 

001.thumb.JPEG.f176b1455be6cf22abf291e94c4449e1.JPEGThis morning we are heading to Walt Disney World, but for a DIFFERENT kind of fun!

 

002.jpg.e1cebbec75ce1227ad1e929d1e82ca16.jpgYou may remember the original Solar Farm that Disney build... it looked like Mickey Mouse... because... Disney!

 

003.thumb.jpg.5a61965a93913254b5d46206296aa64e.jpgWhile the new 270-acre solar farm may not represent any Disney character, it does stand for something a bit more important... generating enough renewable clean energy to operate two of Disney’s four theme parks

 

004.thumb.jpg.747533be2f26cee06f147231844eebe3.jpgAs you drive into the facility there are solar panels everywhere you look!

 

005.thumb.jpg.692d848789bd46917d7bf459c882cfc9.jpgLocated adjacent to State Road 429 on the WDW property, as you drive by, it seems like the solar panels go on for miles!

 

006.thumb.jpg.25d5759f0780d441591d74adea7de024.jpgAnd I present to you... Disney's solar farm!!!

 

007.thumb.jpg.665ae9e7bdf01b3e18d48f412739ce6b.jpgNot only can the over half-a-million solar panels generate 50 megawatts of power...

 

008.thumb.jpg.b697d0917551c9be22b5934260efd48a.jpgThey also have the ability to move and track the sun throughout the day! (They are probably smarter than most of us!)

 

009.thumb.jpg.8cfcc3c0112c346670645ce4113475ef.jpgThat's a lot of wires! Not even my computer desk is that well organized!

 

010.thumb.jpg.2b012442542c6ace62d6cb9ba82f7423.jpgFun Fact! The facility is also pollinator friendly! With the goal of creating a nurturing and welcoming habitat for butterflies, bees and other insects!

 

011.thumb.JPG.a473a121e4be7c0d4268283baae08e6b.JPGYes, these creatures are welcome neighbors to the solar farm and are also helping the environment!

 

012.thumb.jpg.469e6b05e44f42f4834ffe8471e11c45.jpgYay! We got to sign one of the solar panels!

 

013.thumb.jpg.196834b12047ca642df449c9e173eef5.jpgNow Theme Park Review will live on in solar power history!

 

VOLUME UP! Listen to Angie speak about the solar farm and some of the interesting facts and info about it!

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Thanks for reading everyone! Now...

 

POST YOUR COMMENTS!!!

Conveluted.nltrack

Edited by robbalvey
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I followed along with y'all on twitter when you were there. . and saw a story about this running on our local Spectrum News (looked for you in the background with no luck, but immediately recognized Angie in her green shirt when I saw the story come on)

 

it's so cool that Disney is so forward thinking, and able to power TWO of the parks via solar.

 

it's great that they are finding alternative energy uses!

 

great report, and so neat to go behind the scenes.

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I'm a Universal type of guy but it looks like I need to make a trip to Disney Springs for some great food! All of it looks good, it would be hard just picking one place to eat! Do most serve tapas style dishes?

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^ The first time I went to Disney Springs I didn't get it at all and brushed it off as a glorified shopping mall that was only busy because they slapped the Disney name on it but ever since the place has won us over to the point where we end up there almost nightly during our Orlando vacations. It's a REALLY cool place.

 

They keep building awesome new restaurants, the whole complex is incredible looking and they've managed to keep the stereotypical tourist trap staples from totally taking over the place (which has sort of happened with Citywalk). Sure they have a few (cough, Rainforest cafe) but they're few and far between.

 

I never go to Citywalk unless I'm at the Universal parks. It's too much of a pain in the ass with the parking garage, endless airport style walkways and TSA style security check and Disney Springs is better anyway.

 

Once you come over to the dark side you'll be hooked.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tonight Theme Park Review was hosted by Maria & Enzo's for a special Pasta Palooza dinner as the restaurant select summer pasta dishes over the next three months. All of these dishes are featured year round at the restaurant, but by shining a spotlight on these wonderful menu items, we were able to learn about their preparation before indulging in their tastes, with a few other samplers along the way.

 

Tonight's pasta of note was the house Lasagna Verde, a spinach lasagna that was rich, indulgent and more than filling. Along the way we also tried several appetizers, prosecco and an out of this world dessert.

 

There's no shortage of dining options at Disney Springs, but Maria & Enzo's has managed to more than hold its own despite the surrounding variety. Top notch Italian food from the same chefs that have made Via Napoli in Epcot so great makes this restaurant a winner. If you're a lover of pasta, cheese or Italian food (or any combination of the above), Maria & Enzo's will meet that need and then some!

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You start with the sauce...

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Chef Charlie Restivo will be demonstrating how to make Chef John Miele’s Lasagna Verde!

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I was surprised to see that Maria & Enzo's, Enzo's Hideaway Bar and Pizza Ponte all have themed merchandise available to purchase now.

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Hand kneaded dough becomes pasta sheets...

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Tonight we visited Maria And Enzos for a special Pasta Palooza dinner! Each month from May through July the restaurant will highlight a summer pasta dish for guests to enjoy--all of these dishes are available year round!

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Pasta, meat ragù, bećhamel and lots of cheese! Layer and repeat! This Lasagna Verde was sure to be delicious!

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We watched lasagna sheets being made fresh by hand at Maria & Enzos and it was wonderful!

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The interior of Maria & Enzo's is grand with high ceilings and a low volume of tables for the amount of space. It really is a visual experience to dine here, just as it is a culinary one!

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Some very delectable shrimp!

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No visit to Maria & Enzos is complete without Salumi e Formaggi!

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The Lasagna Verde (the headliner of the evening) was absolutely fantastic!

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The perfect end to a phenomenal Pasta Palooza dinner Maria & Enzos! House made cannolis for dessert!

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There are so many great options to enjoy at Maria & Enzo's at Disney Springs... Lasagna Verde and amazing cannolis are just two reasons to dine here during your next visit--we highly recommend giving this place a try during your next stroll through Disney Springs!

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Maria & Enzo's slammin’. I haven’t tried the cannolis but I’ll be sure to change that soon.

It's become more than just our "new favorite" restaurant at Walt Disney World. As a fan of Italian food, it's a "staple" for us now. Between this restaurant, their Via Napoli restaurant at Epcot, and even the Pizza Ponte quick-service pizza location at Springs, I seriously don't really need to eat many other places at WDW!

 

EDIT: And I should mention I cannot wait to get back to their Naples restaurant at Disneyland in California at the end of the month!

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The Edison has sent us a press release announcing the launch of Havana Nights, a special event that will bring a Latin flavor to the complex on select nights through October!

 

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Havana Nights at The Edison

 

The Edison at Disney Springs is bringing a Latin flair to its industrial gothic themed venue with "Havana Nights" starting on May 15th. Every other Wednesday night from May 15th – October 16th beginning at 7:30 p.m. for no additional charge, guests are invited to spend the evening twirling around the dance floor and swaying to the rhythm of the vibrant live music. The five piece band will entertain visitors along with a DJ, each of which will play a variety of Latin renditions of musical styles ranging from instrumentals to pop. Complimentary salsa lessons will be available for both novices and pros to practice signature moves and learn more about the passionate emotions expressed in every step of this dynamic dance. Craft cocktail specials will further set the stage for a sizzling atmosphere that taps into the rich musical heritage of Cuba and transports guests to steamy “Havana Nights.”

 

Event Dates Include: May 15, May 29, June 12, June 26, July 10, July 24, August 7, August 21, September 4, September 18, October 2, and October 16.

 

What Guests Can Expect During Havana Nights:

 

  • Live music from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • DJ from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Salsa lessons from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Havana-inspired specialty craft cocktails available to order all night long

 

“Havana Nights are our most recent addition to the lineup of live entertainment offered at The Edison that combines Latin music, salsa dancing, and specialty craft cocktails to provide the ultimate guest experience.” - Kyle Collins, Marketing Director of Patina Restaurant Group

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  • 1 month later...

Pizza Ponte has sent us a little bit of info on a delicious offering they serve called the Big Roman... The largest slice of pizza that you can find at Disney Springs!

 

For only 5.95 a slice, guests can feast on the cheesy goodness of the Big Roman at Pizza Ponte. The largest slice of pizza available at Disney Springs measures 12-inches-long and is baked to absolute perfection. The Big Roman is a classic Margherita style pizza made with tomato, mozzarella, and arugula on roman pizza bread. Share a slice with a friend or hoard it all to yourself (we won’t judge) for an authentic taste of southern Italy brought to you by the same team behind Epcot’s beloved Via Napoli located in the Italy Pavilion.

 

“The flour and process of making the dough are the make or break components of perfect pizza. We use Caputo “00” flour imported from Italy, which means it’s the best selected wheat and is milled twice. This makes pizza dough flavor very intense. The process is comprised of a three day proofing made with a mother’s yeast at 80 percent hydration. We use water that mirrors the chemical composition of the water found in Naples to help create the consistency of our dough, which contributes to our pizza’s chewy texture,” says Executive Chef and Master Pizzaiolo Charlie Restivo.

 

“At Pizza Ponte, we’re dedicated to using fresh ingredients and signature cooking methods that deliver results that are on par with the traditional characteristics found in the style of pies served on the streets of Naples,” says Patina Restaurant Group Marketing Director Kyle Collins.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We recently got to check out the new Gran Destino Tower as part of the Coronado Resort at Walt Disney World. First of all, I just have to say this new addition is absoultely BEAUTIFUL! Everything about it from the exterior of the resort, the interior lobby areas, the rooms, the views, etc... It's just FANTASTIC! And best of all? It's still considered a "Moderate" in terms of pricing when it comes to Disney World resorts.

 

I was honestly blown away by the level of quality and when you walk in, the place feels more like a "Four Seasons" which speaks volumes for the expectations raised in a moderate resort. This resort also kicks off some new expansions when it comes to hotel properties at Walt Disney World. Not only do we have this tower opening, but also the DVC tower coming soon to Caribbean Beach, and then of course the new "Star Wars" Hotel which is currently in development.

 

Coronado Springs has always been one of the "convention" resorts at Disney World so not only does it focus on family vacations to the parks, but also the businesses that hold their meetings and events on property. This new tower and the newer facilities that have been upgraded and added most certainly fit both types of travelers to Walt Disney World.

 

Anyway, enough text.... let's get onto some photos & video!

 

Here's a video showing off a look at the rooms and some of the new features of the hotel:

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And of course... PHOTOS!

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So many families and business travelers will start their vacation at Walt Disney World right here! And I can't think of a better place to be!

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The new Gran Destino Tower is beautiful! I love the design of the tower....

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...and WOW! The lobby ares are just amazing! This is considered a "moderate" resort, but it looks like a high-end place to me!

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It is of course, Disney, so they never forget one thing....

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Seriously, though, this lobby and lounge area is awesome!

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This is the "Barcelona Lounge" (and yes, in case you didn't know, Coronado Springs has a Spanish theme and vibe to it!)

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Menu, please?

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I love the idea of building your own drink!

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The new smart elevator system has made its way to Walt Disney World! When you arrive at the elevators, instead of pressing an "up or down" button, you press what floor you need to go to.

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The screen directs you to what elevator will take you to your destination.

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You head to that elevator and off you go!

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There are no buttons inside so you just have to trust Willy Wonka to take you to the floor of your dreams! :)

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Here's a look at one of the King rooms. I love the modern, slightly more "classy" look of the place.

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There's plenty of desk space in case you need to "work" during your vacation... or if you just have lots of bags of Minnie Ears and you need a place to put them!

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Speaking of storage space, one of the nice things about these rooms has taken a page from the Disney Cruise Line staterooms...

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...elevated beds so you can unpack, and the store your empty luggage under the bed! We do this all the time on the Cruise Ships, and it's a great idea for the resort hotels also! Especially when you're staying on property a week or longer!

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Oh yeah, lots of USB and traditional power outlets in the rooms as well!

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Here's a look at one of the living room areas of the larger suites. Love the decor in here!

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It would not be a Disney resort without some "Hidden Mickey's." Do you see it? Need some help finding him?

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THERE he is!!! :)

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Oh, don't forget about the amazing views! No matter what side of the tower you are on, you either have an amazing view of the lagoon or the theme parks! And you can see in the center of the lagoon is the new "Three Bridges Bar & Grill" which opened earlier this year.

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This new area is wonderful! I love the seating right on the water.

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It's open air and even in the warmer summer nights it is cooled by larger fans and is just a great place to "hang out" at the hotel.

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The food and drinks are fantastic here as well! Plenty of "snacks" and "small plates" while you hang out.

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These Chicken Sliders were fantastic!

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And these churros actually had a bit of a "kick" to them!

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The new bar is a great place to down several pitchers of Sangria and raise a glass to the new Gran Destino Tower!

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Speaking of back at the tower, here's a look at the Concierge Lounge. And while I didn't get too many photos in here, let me direct you to the most important item....

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...Mickey Mouse shaped sugar cubes for your coffee!!!! (what can I say, I'm EASILY amused!) :)

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Speaking of more "Mickey's" even the hallways include some subtle little touches...

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See him?

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Fun Fact! The Grand Destino is actually based on an animated short film from Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí!

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It's kind of weird, but most certainly worth checking out!

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The meeting and event spaces were also VERY impressive! This is not your typical "business meeting!" Leave it to Disney to make meetings and conventions FUN and relaxing!

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The top floor of the tower features quite possibly the most exciting feature about it!

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Two dining venues are on the top floor, the first being the Dahlia Lounge.

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This is a fantastic bar to come hang out in and unwind after a day at the parks!

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The park views from up here are also FANTASTIC! Great area to view fireworks from!

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And then the star attraction of the top floor is the Toledo Restaurant!

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Again, just like the rest of the hotel, it looks AMAZING!!!

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And the food? OMG! That right there is different ages of Montego Cheese on one plate! 3, 6, 9, and 12 months!

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If you like steak...they have it! And it was delicious!

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Scallops? You bet!

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This might be a little too much Squidward for me, but I know some people who would LOVE this!

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The desserts here were also just fantastic!

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That is a brownie where every bite is a different flavor! Cheesecake, Dark Chocolate, Raspberry, and more! CRAZY!

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I love the smashed bottle plates that the tapas comes on! Just a great idea!

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Of course the hotel also looks just GORGEOUS at night!

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And finally... it wouldn't be a grand opening without Mickey Mouse doing the honors!

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I had a fantastic time staying the new Gran Destino hotel! Was fun hanging out with friends. And a HUGE THANK YOU to Walt Disney World for inviting us out and hosting us during our stay! THANK YOU!

Edited by robbalvey
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That's ridiculously nice for a 'moderate'. I love the new elevators but I don't know if they can work with the general public...especially the general public on vacation! I know Royal Caribbean tested them and it didn't go over so well. I really worry they will only work in office buildings.

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If we can pry ourselves away from Disney Springs I could totally us hanging out at Three Bridges Bar & Grill after park close one night. It looks like my kind of thing. I'm loving the midnight closings.

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