Hollywood Studios, News, Quick Service, Walt Disney World

Baseline Tap House Opening in New “Grand Avenue” Area at Hollywood Studios

If you’re anything like us here at Word Of Mouse, visits to Disney’s Hollywood Studios typically do not include a whole lot of time spent eating. Although there are some popular table service restaurants, such as 50s Prime Time Cafe, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante (try the flatbread!), and The Hollywood Brown Derby, there are very few choices to grab a quick bite and get back on your way.

That may be about to change. Opening this fall will be a re-imagined area at Hollywood Studios known as Grand Avenue. Grand Avenue will showcase modern-day Los Angeles and will include vintage office buildings and warehouses representing different cultures from around the city.

Opening up in this area (in the building which used to be Writer’s Stop) will be Baseline Tap House. It will specialize in food and drinks from California, including craft ales, lagers, and cider. California wine and specialty cocktails will also be available. There will also be non-alcoholic choices to round out the drink selections.

 

Baseline Taphouse
(C) Disney

If you are coming in hungry then you will not be disappointed. Baseline Tap House will be serving small plates including Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese fondue, and spiced almonds. Also available will be a charcuterie board featuring a selection of California cheeses.

 

Baseline Tap House will open daily at 11 AM although no official opening date has been set.

 

History, News

Today in Disney History: Treasure Island

 

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Treasure Island Poster

On July 19, 1950, Walt Disney Productions released Treasure Island, the studio’s first completely live-action film. This pirate tale was based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel of the same name.

 

The film stars Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins, a young boy who is given a treasure map belonging to buccaneer Captain Flint. Jim becomes part of a crew that sets off to follow the map to find the pirate’s lost treasure. Before they can depart, Long John Silver joins the expediton as the ship’s cook and helps hire the crew.

Jim discovers that Long John Silver and the crew, who were actually Captain Flint’s former crew, plan mutiny. Jim warns the captain, who is successfully able to stop the mutiny attempt.

A series of “piratey” events ensue, leading to the revelation that the treasure has been moved to a cave. The cave is found and Long John Silver manages to row away with one of the chests of treasure.

Treasure Island was filmed in England and released in the US on July 19 and in London on July 22. A sequel, not produced by Disney, was released in 1954 and continued the pirate adventures of Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver.

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series was certainly influenced by Treasure Island. In addition to general pirate lore:

  • Barbossa naming his monkey Jack after his former captain Jack Sparrow.
  • Gibbs sings part of a song from Treasure Island.
  • Barbossa and Long John Silver are both feared as one-legged men.

Treasure Island has been released several times in different formats. Time to find a copy and watch this piece of Disney history!

D23 Expo, News

D23 2017: The Top Questions We Hope Are Answered

Ahead of the 2017 Disney D23 Expo, many rumors swirled around the internet about what will be revealed. Yesterday began with the unveiling of an amazing Star Wars Land model that shows the amazing detail planned for this new land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We also learned more about Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, and Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2. Today, we expect to get more of the big questions addressed. Here are the top questions we hope are answered this weekend.

D23 Expo

Epcot:

What changes are coming for the Epcot entrance plaza? This area has received little change since opening in 1982, and could definitely use an update. We are hearing the Leave a Legacy sculptures will be moving, which would open up the area and make room for something new and modern.

Will Journey into Imagination with Figment be overhauled with new Inside Out theming? If this one is true, we hope Figment remains in the attraction – he’s one of our favorite characters.

Is a new country being added to World Showcase, and it will be Brazil as the rumors say? The area between Italy and Germany would be the prime space for this new pavilion and Brazil would be the first South American country at Epcot.

Will Guardians of the Galaxy be replacing Ellen’s Energy Adventure? We can only hope! No offense to Ellen and Bill Nye, but this attraction is very outdated and takes up a lot of space in Future World that could be better utilized.

 

Hollywood Studios:

Is The Great Movie Ride going to be replaced with a new attraction based on Mickey Mouse? Mickey definitely deserves his own ride. After all, where would we be without him?

Will Hollywood Studios be getting a new name soon?  This park began a MGM Studios, and got its first name change in 2008. In 2015, CEO Bob Iger confirmed that a name change was in the near future due to all the changes coming to the park. A rumored candidate for the new name is Disney’s Movie Adventure.

 

What Else?

We are sure to hear updates for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, and beyond the parks. What updates are you looking forward to hearing out of The D23 Expo this year? Follow along with us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for the latest news.

 

Magic Kingdom, News

Disney World 4th of July Fireworks Live Stream

Disney World will live stream its 4th of July fireworks, “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky,” from Magic Kingdom tonight at 8:55. Head on over to the Disney Parks Blog (look for their most recent post) to watch the show if you can’t be there in person. Fireworks will begin at 9:00.
Enjoy!

Disney Springs, News

Farewell to DisneyQuest

Walt Disney was a man who believed in innovating and always moving forward, so it should come as no surprise that changes are always being made around the Walt Disney World Resort. Today, a big and emotional change is happening as we say farewell to DisneyQuest.

DisneyQuest

DQ Animation Academy Donald
Animation Academy Donald Duck

DisneyQuest opened on June 19, 1998 as a part of a large expansion to Downtown Disney West Side. When it opened, DisneyQuest was ahead of its time. Spawning over 100,000 square feet and five floors of electronic games and virtual attractions, there was something for everyone. Guests could paddle down the river on a virtual Jungle Cruise, score big points on the life size pinball game Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam, jump behind the wheel on one of eight linked Daytona USA racing consoles, and learn to draw popular Disney characters at Animation Academy. Guests could even design and experience their very own roller coasters on Cyberspace Mountain, or practice their aim on Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlasters.

 

AstroBlasters

DQ AstroBlasters Area
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters

Few Disney attractions hold as many positive memories for my family as Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlasters. Best described as a cross between bumper cars and dodge ball, players would board their enclosed vehicle, collect asteroids (AKA foam balls), and fire them at other vehicles to disable them. This attraction wasn’t one we would typically put on our list, but all of that changed after our first time playing. AstroBlasters became one of our favorite attractions in all of WDW.

Personally, I love this ride because my daughter loved it and it was something that we could do together, as a team. I was the pilot and she was the very hungry gunner. We didn’t just play, but we were students of the game. We studied the best way to maneuver around the arena, most efficiently fire our asteroids, and even pick out newbies to shoot at. We loved the disappointment on their faces as their vehicle would light up and spin out of control. Occasionally this would result in retaliation, but that was the price of playing. We would spend hours and hours in those ride vehicles, stopping only for the occasional mango-strawberry smoothie, or to take a picture picking Buzz Lightyear’s nose on the rules sign in front of the game.

DQ AstroBlasters Buzz Nose 2
Picking Buzz Lightyear’s Nose

Future

All of these times are just memories now as we are forced to say “so long” to this once iconic place. Unfortunately, years of falling into disrepair, and more technologically advanced attractions going in elsewhere around property, have driven attendance numbers down and have forced DisneyQuest to close its doors for the final time. However, in true Walt Disney fashion, a new attraction is planned for this space on the Disney Springs West Side. Work will begin on a multi-year transformation from DisneyQuest to the NBA Experience. According to the Disney Parks blog, the NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort will be, “a one-of-a-kind basketball-themed experience featuring hands-on activities that put guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. There will be immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store.” On the heels of news that Walt Disney World will be the jersey sponsor of the Orlando Magic, this attraction appears to be a perfect fit and will appeal to basketball fans young and old.

News

BREAKING: Memory Maker Price Increase

 

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We love using Memory Maker on our WDW trips!

Beginning today, June 7, the price of the very popular Memory Maker is increasing by $20.

Memory Maker allows Walt Disney World guests to purchase all of the photos taken during their vacation.

Purchasing memory maker on property will now cost $199 (up from $179) while buying it at least three days prior to your trip will now cost $169 (up from $149).

Memory Maker can be purchased prior or during your trip on the Walt Disney World website or in your “My Disney Experience” app.

This price increase does not impact annual pass holders who have selected Memory Maker as a perk of their annual pass.

Disney Springs, News

Preferred Parking at Disney Springs 

Preferred parking has been in place at Walt Disney World parks for several months, but beginning on June 1, 2017 preferred parking is an option for guests visiting Disney Springs as well.

disney-springs-preferred-parking

Preferred parking is available in two different lots, the Lemon lot (located near the World of Disney store on the Marketplace side) and the Grapefruit lot (located near the West Side). The cost for preferred parking at Disney Springs is $10.

Guests who are looking for complimentary  parking are in luck! Free parking is still available in both the Orange and Lime garages, as well as the Strawberry and Watermelon parking lots.

Would you pay for preferred parking at Disney Springs?

Magic Kingdom, News

From Wishes to Happily Ever After – Walt Disney World Replacing its Nighttime Show at Magic Kingdom

Wishes
Faith steps in and sees you through.

On May 11, 2017, Disney’s nighttime fireworks show at Magic Kingdom, Wishes, will have its final show. Happily Ever After, the new show, will debut May 12. Reactions from Disney fans range from devastated to hopeful.

Over the past 14 years, Wishes has been a favorite of visitors to Walt Disney World. The story of believing in your wishes and dreams, and being careful what you wish for, has tugged at the heartstrings of the young and old. So the new show has a lot to live up to.

We first saw Wishes in 2005 on our honeymoon, so it has special meaning to us. We make a point to see it multiple times every trip, even getting park hopper passes just so we can return to Magic Kingdom after spending the day at another park. We’ve even watched Wishes from the Polynesian beach on a trip to Orlando when we didn’t have any park tickets. When we heard that Wishes would be ending, we were not happy at all! So, you can say it’s going to take a lot for this new show to impress us.

That being said, I’ve learned to never judge something from Disney before you have experienced it yourself. This past week, the Disney Parks Blog released a preview of Happily Ever After and I have to admit the music was promising. Disney’s castle projections have always been impressive and who doesn’t like lasers, but I hope the story makes it a show that goes beyond just visually appealing.

In just a few days (hopefully sometime this summer for us) people will get to experience it for themselves. I predict that some will hate it, some will love it, and others will be somewhere in the middle. Or maybe it will be so amazing that we all develop a new love. Only time will tell.

News

Word of Mouse

Welcome to Word of Mouse!

If you found this blog, you must be a Disney fan, and we are too! Though neither of started out that way growing up. In this post we want to share who we are, how we developed our passion for all things Disney, and what to expect from Word of Mouse.

Who We Are

Sassagoula Boat Ride
Sassagoula River Cruise – Port Orleans French Quarter

My name is Jennifer and my first trip to Walt Disney World was in 2001 when I was 19 years old. It was exciting to finally be visiting The Most Magical Place on Earth! I didn’t know much about the parks, but the thought of seeing Cinderella Castle in person made me smile. Spoiler alert – when I rounded the corner on Main Street and saw the castle for the first time, I cried.

I have my husband Chad – the other author of this blog – to thank. It was his family that I went with on this magical first trip. Chad’s first trip to Walt Disney World was when he was five years old, but he didn’t go again until our trip with his family in 2001. We stayed offsite at what was then called the Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels. Though we now prefer to stay onsite, we are glad to have the offsite experience.

One Little Spark

Something about that trip stuck with us, and in 2005 we honeymooned at Walt Disney  World. It was this trip that sparked our love. Maybe it was Port Orleans French Quarter (still our favorite resort today), maybe it was the food (but definitely not Spoodles – more about that in a future post), or maybe it was Disney magic. Whatever the reason, we have vacationed in Walt Disney World nearly every year since. In that time, we have grown to love the parks, the planning, the food, and Walt Disney himself.

Why We Are Writing

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Partners Statue – Magic Kingdom

Our goal with this blog is to share our love for all things Disney – from our experiences in the parks and resorts to Disney news. We’ll talk about our favorite things (and least favorite), planning tips, mistakes we’ve made and learned from, with a little history thrown in. In the end we hope to never lose sight of one thing, it was all started by Walt Disney and a mouse.