New Quick Service Breakfast Opens at Sanaa

Disney has just opened a new quick service breakfast option at Sanaa, which is a much needed addition to Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The one negative with Kidani Village is the 10-15 minute walk you must make to get to Jambo House to have a quick service meal. Disney has at least fixed the problem at breakfast by offering this new option at Kidani Village.

Once guests arrive at Sanaa they will order at a register before proceeding to a table inside the restaurant. They will also give you a decorative “animal” which will guide the cast member delivering your food to your table. The headliner menu item is the “Boere Breakfast”, which comes with two eggs any style, tomato chutney, Tanzanian hash browns, bacon, Boerewors sausage, and a Johnny Cake. Their is also the “Safari Waffle” which has berries and whipped cream on top. They also have a vegan option on the menu, the “Fruit Sosatie”, which comes with a quinoa and dried fruit salad. There are a few other items on the menu as well as some kids options.

In addition to the menu items there is also a grab and go section for items such as Yogurt Parfait, fruit plate, Boerewors sausage and egg bobotie pie, banana bread with house made African chocolate-hazelnut spread, African breakfast cereal, assorted pastries, and fruit.

River’s of Light Open for Cast Member Previews

Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom at NightThe opening Rivers of Light appears as though it may actually happen in the not so distant future. This past weekend Disney World previewed the show to their own cast members, which is most typically the first step in the opening of a new attraction or show. No further information is known at this time, but everything points to the opening of Rivers of Light happening pretty quickly. Let us know your thoughts below!

Pandora – The World of Avatar Confirmed Opening in Summer 2017

avatar-landDisney World has just announced something we have all been waiting for, Pandora – The World of Avatar will open sometime in the summer of 2017. Of course that could me May or it could mean August, but at least we have a target time of year as we eagerly await this new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Disney announced this during a recent D23 event and even said the scaffolding has been removed from the bridge that connects Pandora to Discovering Island and the rest of the Animal Kingdom Park.

Disney also announced some of the details on the story behind this land:

According to the storyline developed by Walt Disney Imagineering and Lightstorm Entertainment, this bridge was built during a time when a destructive company called the RDA came to Pandora. Now that they’re long gone, nature is breaking down evidence of their presence. This bridge will soon serve as an entry into the base camp of Alpha Centauri Expeditions, the eco-tour group that is preparing Pandora for future explorers and adventure seekers.

The entire Pandora – The World of Avatar land is set to open in 2017, and will transport guests to a visually stunning world complete with floating mountains and bioluminescent plants. Here, guests will be able to experience two excursions that will truly push adventure to the next level. First, the family friendly Na’vi River Journey will send guests down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest. Their journey will end in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. And second, the Avatar Flight of Passage excursion will offer the jaw-dropping experience of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora.

Let us know your thoughts below on the opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Shorten Hours of Operation

Rivers of Light Concept ArtAfter adding a large amount of new, nighttime entertainment in the past year, Animal Kingdom now appears to be moving their closing time from 11 PM as it has been the past few months to 9 PM or earlier. A statement from Disney reads:

We will continue to offer new nighttime experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including Kilimanjaro Safaris, the awakening of the Tree of Life, Tiffins restaurant and more. We will continue to adjust our hours and will remain open after sunset to deliver those experiences for our guests. As sunset gets earlier, we will be able to offer these experiences earlier than we have in the summer.

It appears this is just a temporary change as most of the parks shorten their hours in the winter months as the sun sets earlier. Of course the bigger take away from this may be that Rivers of Light is no closer to opening than it has been. Rivers of Light was supposed to open in the early summer months, but has yet to open. Disney even unveiled a temporary show for the summer, Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, which will be closing September 5. It remains to be seen when that show will begin and the early hours may be around for a while, at least until Avatarland opens.

 

Tiffins at Animal Kingdom Now Offering New Lunch Dining Package

Tiffins Concept ArtThe new signature restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, Tiffins, has just started offering a new lunch dining package called “Taste of Tiffins”. This new lunch menu is meant to offer guests smaller portion sizes of some of the most popular items on the menu. The lunch is being offered from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM each day and comes at a cost of $28 per person. For the price of the package guests get to choose two entrees off of the list and will also receive Jada Rice on the side. The list of offerings is below:

  • Sustainable Seasonal Fish Crudo, Roasted Corn Salsa, Finger Lime, Smoked Sea Salt
  • Crispy Yellowtail Snapper, Som Tam, Black Bean Sauce
  • Marinated Grilled Octopus, Artichoke Barigoule, Saffron Aioli, Lemon-Caper Olive Oil
  • 72-Hour Beef Short Rib, Carrots, Chimichurri
  • Market Vegetable Curry, Coconut-Red Curry, Poppadum, Lime Chutney
  • Black-Eyed Pea Fritters, Zhough Yogurt, Peppadew Puree
  • Masa and Pulled Pork Tamale, Hominy Succotash, Red Mole Sauce
  • Salad of Roasted Baby Beets, Goat Cheese Crema, Walnut Granola, Sun-dried Cherry Vinaigrett
  • Flash Fried Icy Blue Mussels, Za’atar Butter, Confit Tomato, Persian Cucumber
  • Chermoula Rubbed Chicken, Dried Fruits, Olives, Couscous, Harissa Yogurt

Have you tried lunch or dinner at the new Tiffins? Let us know your thoughts below.

Top Five Quick Service Food Items at Animal Kingdom – Episode 9

In this week’s episode, for June 20, 2016 we will be continuing our series on top quick service menu items in the parks as we visit Animal Kingdom.

Please send any questions about the show to host@mousedreamsblog.com and visit our website, www.MouseDreamsBlog.com for more information. Also, like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/MouseDreamsblog and follow us on Twitter @MouseDreamsBlog.

Finally, thanks to our sponsors and friends at Big Dreams Travel, an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. Visit them at www.bigdreamstravelusa.com to help with your next vacation.

You can submit Disney trip planning questions for us to answer on the show by e-mailing us at podcast@MouseDreamsBlog.com, by tweeting your question to @MouseDreamsBlog on Twitter, or by visiting the listener questions page on our website at www.MouseDreamsBlog.com/podcastquestions. We would love to answer your questions on travel including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line. Have a great week everyone and thanks for listening!

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What’s Coming to Disney Parks in 2016 – Episode 2

cropped-NEW-Icon-Edit-A.jpgEpisode #2: Week of February 1, 2016
Host: Jon Arthur
Co-Host: Lysa Thornton

In this week’s episode Jon and Lysa will be discussing news and current events at Disney Destinations around the world, discussing a preview of what’s to come for Disney Parks in 2016, and taking your listener questions on Disney travel.

Please send any questions about the show to host@mousedreamsblog.com and visit our website, www.MouseDreamsBlog.com for more information. Also, like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/MouseDreamsblog and follow us on Twitter @MouseDreamsBlog.

Finally, thanks to our sponsors and friends at Big Dreams Travel, an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. Visit them at www.bigdreamstravelusa.com to help with your next vacation.

You can submit Disney trip planning questions for us to answer on the show by e-mailing us at podcast@MouseDreamsBlog.com, by tweeting your question to @MouseDreamsBlog on Twitter, or by visiting the listener questions page on our website at www.MouseDreamsBlog.com/podcastquestions. We would love to answer your questions on travel including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line. Have a great week everyone and thanks for listening!


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Animal Kingdom Families with Children Morning Plan Review

AnimalKingdomEntranceFor this weekends edition of the trip review article I’m going to go through a morning visit we had on our last trip to Animal Kingdom. This is not going to be a step by step touring plan for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but it will give you a good idea of what to expect and one specific way to tour this park with the use of Fastpass+. For clarification we are a family of two adults and one child who is too young to ride Expedition Everest and this trip took place in June, so summer crowds were in effect. (Picture to the Left Credited To: CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia)

We arrived at the park via our resort bus at 8:25 AM before a 9:00 AM opening.

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The park opened at 8:47 AM, but keep in mind Disney had been changing things up with Animal Kingdom’s opening procedures, so it may very well be slightly different from this. After walking to the back of the park we ended up arriving at Kilimanjaro Safari just before 9:00 AM and had to wait a couple of minutes for the ride to open. They opened right at 9:00 AM and we were soon boarding a safari vehicle. Here are a few pictures of our safari, which was good as it usually is in the morning.

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We were off the ride just before 9:30 and were well ahead of schedule. We had actually planned on visiting the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and we would have had about 25 minutes to do so, but we decided we would rather spend the time grabbing some breakfast at Kusafiri Bakery. Our plan was to attend the 10:00 AM Festival of the Lion King Show as we knew it would be not very crowded and we could show up very close to showtime. We arrived at 9:55 AM and walked right into about a half full theatre and enjoyed a great show!

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After the show our plan was to use our first Fastpass+ of the day. Now, for our family we have a hard time deciding what to use our third Fastpass+ on. We usually use one on Everest and Dinosaur, but our son is not quite into Kali River Rapids yet and my wife and I don’t care to ride it without him like we do Expedition Everest. The attraction we settled on to use our Fastpass+ for is the Mickey and Minnie Meet at Adventurers Outpost.

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We have done this meet before and it is a really unique meet and greet as you actually get both characters at the same time, which is not the case at most meets. We arrived at 10:40 and were meeting Mickey and Minnie by 10:45 which bypassed about a 20 minutes standby line. Not a huge jump, but Character meet and greet lines are notoriously boring and some of the least fun ones to wait in. After a great meet it was about 10:55 and our next plan was to head for some lunch. We enjoy having lunch at Restaurantosaurus or Flame Tree BBQ in this park. Flame Tree certainly has better food, but it was very hot and we decided on Restaurantosaurus as the seating area is air conditioned. I’m not going to do a full dining review here, but I will include a picture of my entree, the Mac ‘n Cheese Dog. We enjoy the food here, although it is nothing special, but the air conditioned seating area is a big positive.

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The next step on our agenda was that we stopped at about 11:30 for a ride on Triceratop Spin and had to wait about 10 minutes. Next we were heading to the 12:00 PM performance of Finding Nemo: The Musical. We arrived about 11:50 and got a seat on the first row of the top section and it was perfect.

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The show was over by 12:40 and we headed at this point to use our next Fastpass+ at Expedition Everest. Of course one of us has to stay with our son so it took us about 25 minutes to both get our ride in. After riding Everest we headed back to Dinoland to use our final Fastpass+ at Dinosaur.

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We arrived at 1:20 and I was able to ride walk right into the pre-show. While one of us rides the other likes to take our son and ride Triceratop Spin as the line is usually about the perfect length to take up the time the other person is at Dinosaur. When I got off at about 1:40 my wife had decided she didn’t want to ride so we were ready to head out of the park. Here is what we accomplished in about 4 and a half hours at Animal Kingdom in the summer.

  • Kilimanjaro Safari (Standby)
  • Breakfast at Kusafiri Bakery (Would have had time for Pangani Trail)
  • Festival of the Lion King Show (Standby)
  • Meet Disney Pals Mickey & Minnie at Adventurers Outpost (Fastpass+)
  • Lunch at Restaurantosaurus
  • Triceratop Spin (Standby)
  • Finding Nemo: The Musical (Standby)
  • Expedition Everest (Fastpass+, 2 Times due to Young Child)
  • Dinosaur (Fastpass+, Other adult and young child did Triceratop Spin)

We were very pleased with our day, especially considering we were able to see both Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo, which is kind of a difficult task in just a half day of touring. We hope this plan helps you in planning your morning at Animal Kingdom. Thanks for reading and happy trip planning!

Riverside Depot Opens at Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s main shopping location on Discovery Island has been expanded in the form of a new section that has opened, Riverside Depot. The expansion adds about 5,000 square feet of shopping space to the park. Riverside Depot, and the store it is connected to Disney Outfitters, will now serve as the main gift shop location in Animal Kingdom. The stores together will host a variety of merchandise that is found in other locations around Animal Kingdom as well as a large collection of Animal Kingdom Park merchandise. Now that this store is open Disney Outfitters is expected close for refurbishment until spring 2016.

New Details on Rivers Of Light at Animal Kingdom

A few days ago Disney revealed some new details about the “Rivers of Light” nighttime spectacular, which is coming to Animal Kingdom in 2016. Disney writes:

Rivers of Light Concept ArtIn “Rivers of Light,” a pair of mystical hosts come to the river bearing gifts of light. During the show, the hosts set out from the shore on elaborate lantern vessels for a dramatic dance of water and light to summon animal spirits. With the storytellers as your guides, the wonders of “Rivers of Light” builds to a stunning crescendo.

In addition to the show, you’ll also notice the park’s iconic Tree of Life will undergo an amazing awakening as the animal spirits of the tree are brought to “light” by magical fireflies, revealing moments of wonder and enchantment.

To create “Rivers of Light,” Imagineers and Creative Entertainment partnered with the talents of master puppet designer Michael Curry, composer Mark Mancina and the filmmakers at Disneynature.

According to Imagineer Joe Rohde, the addition of “Rivers of Light” to the park’s offerings will serve as that huge “wow” moment that ends a guest’s visit to the park.

Disney also released a video showcasing imagineer Joe Rhode speaking on the topic.