Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting news surrounding Disney and the Orlando theme parks.
This week’s highlights:
Big news for you fans of Club Cool in Epcot! This sometimes-overlooked spot inside Tad’s favorite theme park has debuted seven new flavors for you to sample free of charge! Only one of the previous flavors — Beverly from Italy — will remain. What’s your favorite Club Cool flavor? Not surprisingly, Tad has plans to sample every single one next time we visit.
One of the very best restaurants in all of the Walt Disney World Resort — the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — debuted a new outdoor patio lounge just in time for the cooler Florida weather. And by cooler, I mean highs in the high 70s and low 80s, pretty much perfect weather for sitting under one of the big umbrellas and sipping a fancy drink … wish I was there now!
- Leap was especially excited to see this vintage picture of the Haunted Mansion under construction in 1971 on the Disney Parks Blog, especially after we included it in our list of the top 5 spookiest attractions in Orlando.
- Now, “Hocus Pocus” isn’t that old, but it’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since the Disney film debuted. The cast came together this past weekend to celebrate the anniversary with fans. For me, it just wouldn’t be Halloween without watching it at least once.
- It was a good quarter for Universal Orlando, thanks to TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, which debuted in June and helped boost ticket sales over the summer months.
- Oh, and speaking of Universal, the Hogwarts Express train that will link the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the now-under construction Diagon Alley has hit the tracks!
- We’ve quickly become big fans of Fox’s new “Sleepy Hollow” TV series, especially Tad, so we were pretty excited to read about the Headless Horseman’s evolution beyond Disney.
One of my very favorite ooh-la-la moments this week happened when I stumbled upon the gorgeous Disney princess-inspired designer dresses being auctioned off for charity. While they were certainly all gorgeous, I was most taken with the feather and beaded-suede Roberto Coin confection inspired by Pocahontas. Online bidding began Oct. 18 in advance of a live auction Nov. 13.
The pieces are coming together — literally — for Falcon’s Fury, a 335-foot drop tower, which is arriving in sections at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay after a months-long trans-Atlantic trip from Spain. The attraction is expected to open in spring 2014.
I leave with you a few tidbits related to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The Waldorf Astoria and the Hilton Bonnet Creek are hosting their own Food and Wine Weekends through Nov. 9, which sound like a foodie’s paradise and the perfect accompaniment to the official festival.
Finally, I would like to close with the reminder that no matter when you visit the Walt Disney World Resort, it’s always a good idea to slow down and savor the experience. If you do, you’re likely to learn something new as the folks over at Attractions Magazine did when they visited the cranberry bog.
That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend!
If you’re thinking about a trip to Disney World, make sure to check out the other news, tips and information we post to the blog throughout the week. If you’re ready to plan your trip, we recommend you start with our planning pages.
— Mommy Frog