30 September 2012

Disney This Week - 30 September 2012

EPCOT Center’s WorldKey is given the spotlight treatment by Imaginerding and George Taylor.

AJ Wolfe looks at the newest fare of the Food and Wine Festival at The Disney Food Blog.

The Sights and Sounds of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is explored by Melissa Loflin and Makin’ Memories.

Imagineering Disney continues its look at Walt Disney World in1971.
The winner of the Food and Wine Festival so far? According to Sarah Holodick at Eating WDW it is China’s Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun with Mango Tapioca Pudding.

Estelle Hallick digs into the stirring finale to IllumiNations – Reflections of Earth, We Go On, at This Happy Place.

The Grand Marnier Flight is a favorite of Jeremy Morrison and Spins The World, and now on my must do list.

28 September 2012

When it comes to safaris, we go wild

While on safari in the Harambe Wildlife Reserve as a part of Kilimanjaro Safaris, most guests are looking to the horizon for the breathtaking views while craning their necks to see what will be the next magnificent creature to share the road with the attraction’s jeeps. Me, I look down for rocks.

The Harambe Wildlife Reserve is a living, breathing part of our world and it is treated as such. Roads crisscross over one another, there are sunken in tire tracks, and evidence of elephant herds and indigenous people. An element of Kilimanjaro Safaris that is often overlooked by guests are the giant rocks that have been implanted into the ground at crossroads as directional markers. They can guide you to new natural features, such as lakes or maras (spotted savannas) or towards places to bed down for the night. Swahili is the most commonly utilized language in the reserve, so here are a few of my favorite stone signs and what they mean.

Kujikwaa Tembo Lodge - Stumbling Elephant Lodge
Tumbili Tented CampTented Monkey Camp
Lake NusuruLake Help
Ng’ombe Mara CampCattle Mara Camp

I left the word ‘Mara’ untranslated as it comes from the Maa word for spotted, which is the word they use to describe the sparsely vegetated plains. And, let’s be honest, Cattle Plain Spotted With Brush and Trees Camp just doesn’t have the same ring to it!

These aren’t the only stone markers along the road of Kilimanjaro Safaris, so the next time you are on safari, keep a watchful eye out for animals and other hints of the world your jeep has rolled into!

27 September 2012

Soon you will be airborne

In early July the tethered balloon known as Characters in Flight was grounded amid safety concerns stemming from an incident that occurred with another Aerophile, that company behind Characters in Flight, balloon in Hong Kong. Not only was the character clad balloon grounded, but it was also removed for an inspection. It was then announced that the balloon was due for replacement later this year and, even if the original balloon passed inspection, the Downtown Disney attraction would remain shuttered until the new balloon could be installed. Walt Disney World removed all mentions of the experience on its website immediately, leaving many to wonder if Characters in Flight would return at all.

I am happy to announce that a new balloon has been spotted at the Downtown Disney location this week! While there has been no official word on Characters in Flight, particularly relating to when testing will occur or when guests will once again be able to take to the skies over Walt Disney World, this is indeed wonderful news.

I won’t rehash all of my previous thoughts on the advantages and perceived disadvantages of Characters in Flight. However, if you’d like to read the original story, which includes my thoughts on Characters in flight as a whole, I direct you over to You could fly to a plaza.

26 September 2012

Rich and sweet

I’ve come to expect cupcakes from Starring Rolls that are monuments to Hollywood, that is big, flashy, and full of style! Starring Rolls has become my go to spot for top tier cupcakes, so when I saw that they were offering a new cupcake when I was there a couple of weeks ago, I was ready to jump in!

When you hear the words ‘carrot cake’ and ‘Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ you automatically think of the Carrot Cake Cookie from Writer’s Stop, but Starring Rolls is now offering up its own version with the Carrot Cupcake. I was a bit taken aback by the Mickey confetti sprinkles, but the candied pecans were more than enough to help me overcome my trepidation.

The pecans add the perfect amount of chewy and crunchy texture and bittersweet to the Carrot Cupcake. The frosting that holds the pecans on is two-toned, white and orange, cream cheese frosting. It is rich and creamy, though not as smooth as I would have liked. The sprinkles are fine, but I could most certainly do without them. My only assumption is that the sprinkles are utilized so that the Cast Members can tell the Carrot Cupcake apart from other cupcakes that are similar in appearance.

The carrot cake base of the Carrot Cupcake is dry and uninspired. I can tell all of the classic elements of carrot cake are present, but it just doesn’t seem to have anything that calls your attention to it and leaves a lasting impression. Starring Rolls’ Carrot Cupcake could do with the recipe for the Carrot Cake Cookies, using their cake as the basis for the cupcake.

I hope everyone taking part in the Cupcake Crawl being put on by The Disney Food Blog has a great time this weekend. However, when you get to Starring Rolls, may I recommend a cupcake other than the Carrot Cupcake? Say, perhaps, a Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcake!

25 September 2012

It's a sponge cake

The 15th anniversary of Walt Disney World, most commonly known by the name of its special stage show, 15 Years of Magic, had plenty of unique displays, parades, shows, and giveaways. Events were held throughout 1986 and 1987. Earlier in 1986, EPCOT Cetner welcomed its first guests to the amazing underwater world and exhibits of The Living Seas. A joint celebration that could embrace the new and revel in the resort’s past was inevitable.
While no candles, or flares, were lit in the watery habitats, there was a giant cake placed for all the guests and fish to see! Aesthetically pleasing to guests, I was one of the many children who thought the faux cake looked delicious and wished I could have a piece, this cake was truly for the fishes. If asked, Cast Members informed guests that this special treat was, in fact, a sponge cake. While groan-worthy, it is these little jokes for a celebration that takes place property-wide that I miss!