Jul 14

Walt Disney World Announces Kouzzina Restaurant Replacement on the Boardwalk

Trattoria al Forno at the Disney Boardwalk

When it was announced earlier this year that Kouzzina would be closing it’s doors in September I literally shed a tear.

Kouzzina has been the breakfast standard when it comes to my post-runDisney races for some time now. I regularly request this eatery when I have friends in from out-of-town and you just can’t beat this spot for the ability to grab a “walk-in” reservation.  Dinners aren’t too shabby either.

Well, Disney has just announced the replacement for Cat Cora’s famed restaurant and it looks like Italy has beat out Greece. Not my first choice in cuisine, but I digress.

Here’s the press release for Trattoria al Forno:

Trattoria al Forno, a new restaurant featuring Italian cuisine with authentic ingredients and recipes from Italy’s various regions, is set to open at Disney’s BoardWalk in December 2014. The new spot will showcase Old World techniques, including handcrafted mozzarella made daily, a variety of Neopolitan-style pizzas baked in wood-burning ovens, and other classic Italian favorites such as risotto, baked lasagna, chicken alla Parmigiana with tagliatelle pasta and more. Trattoria al Forno will boast an extensive wine menu with more than 60 offerings by the bottle and more than 25 wines by the glass, including Chiantis, Super Tuscans and fine Italian white wines such as Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and Moscato. Desserts such as tiramisù, gelatos, and the signature bomboloni (Italian donut holes) with dark chocolate and vanilla gelato round out the menu. Disney’s BoardWalk is located on Crescent Lake near Epcot in the heart of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

R.I.P. My beloved Frappes and Turkey-Sweet Potato Hash.

Jul 14

Win 1 of 5 Copies of “The Complete Walt Disney World 2015: The Definitive Disney Handbook”

The Complete Walt Disney World 2015: The Definitive Disney Handbook Giveaway

The Complete Walt Disney World 2015
by Julie and Mike Neal

The Definitive Disney Handbook

The new edition of the award-winning guidebook with over 500 color photographs is finally here. Long awaited The Complete Walt Disney World 2015 features candid reviews of every ride, show, restaurant, and resort hotel; more than 400 insider tips and thousands of details.

Though Disney itself has named the book an Outstanding Family Product, the St. LouisPost-Dispatch says it is ‘refreshing in its honest opinions.’ The guide has won 23 national and international book awards, including 11 Travel Guide of the Year honors. Parents willenjoy looking through it with their children, as the abundance of images makes it easy forlittle ones to decide ‘Let’s do that!’

About the authors: A former Walt Disney World concierge supervisor, Julie Neal has spent more than 1,500 days at Walt Disney World, not counting her time working there. Her husband Mike Neal is an award-winning graphic designer and photographer. Julie and Mike live in Winter Garden, Florida.

The Complete Walt Disney World 2015 should leave fans of Mickey smiling from ear to ear!

Want to win this book? I’m giving away five copies. A $24.95 value. Easy entry below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 14

runDisney Adds Castaway Cay Challenge to the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

runDisney Adds Castaway Cay Challenge to the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Looks like the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge may be added to all of the 2015 runDisney Race Weekends.

Registration for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend opens tomorrow and a quick look at the runDisney website shows that runners will have the chance to add two more medals (Castaway Cay 5K Medal and Challenge Medal) to their cache if they complete the Castaway Cay 5K on Disney’s Castaway Cay during the February 19 – 22 sailing on the Disney DREAM immediately following the Princess Half Marathon Weekend.

Runners are instructed to go to Disneycruise.com to book their February 23rd, 2015 cruise aboard the Disney Dream, then register for the Castaway Cay Challenge on Active.com using the promotional code RUN at the time of booking and enter their Cruise reservation number when registering for the race.

Good luck to all the runners trying to register tomorrow. See you on the course!

Jul 14

First Ever ‘Villains Unleashed’ Event Will Take Place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Villains Unleashed Coming to Disneys Hollywood Studios

On August 23rd, 2014, more than 50 Disney villains will invade Disney’s Hollywood Studios during a new separate ticket event, “Villains Unleashed.”

The one-night-only event party will feature up-close encounters with some of the most popular Disney villains and will include:

- Hades Hangout & Dance Party

Dance the night away with the Hades and his band of underworld party animals.

Groove to the devilish ditties of house band Bernie Briquette and Brimstone, along with the twisted turntables of DJ Igg Nite and the Underworld Dancers. Get ready for a night full of hot tracks, because nobody turns up the heat better than Hades!

- Oogie Boogie’s Variety Show

- Star Wars Villain Zone

- NEW “Villainy In The Skies” Fireworks Spectacular

As the clock strikes the witching hour, the famous fiends unite at Hades’ Hangout for a fireworks spectacular!

Feel the evil energy swell as the collected villains combine their powers and assemble on Hades’ Hangout. With an eruption of evil energy, the night sky is set ablaze with dazzling colors in the Villainy in the Skies fireworks spectacular. Even a villain can have a happy ending, after all.

- A Villain-inspired Pre-show to “Fantasmic!”

- Indulge Your Inner Villain

With devilish culinary delights, malevolent makeovers and more, it’s the perfect night to spoil yourself rotten!

Silence that ghoulish growl in your stomach with treacherous treats concocted in tribute to Disney’s vilest villains..

Come dressed as your favorite Disney villain*, or show your nefarious colors with an “Ex-Scream” Makeover and get your face painted to look just like one of the Disney Villains!

And before you leave these troubled grounds, grab some villain-themed merchandise as trophies for your own lair.

Guests may purchase tickets at DisneyVillainsParty.com or call 407-939-1933.

Jul 14

Florida Resident Rates Released for the Four Seasons Resort at Walt Disney World

Four Seasons Resort Orlando Walt Disney World King room

Florida residents receive special introductory pricing to experience a “staycation” at Orlando’s newest resort.

Disney’s newest luxury resort hasn’t even opened it’s doors yet (That will happen on August 3rd) and already it is offering Florida Residents a chance to book specially priced accommodations. As a Florida resident and frequent “staycationer” this makes me very happy.

Situated in a breathtaking location at the Walt Disney World Resort, Four Seasons is located in a lushly landscaped area with many mature trees, lakes and wetlands.

For the introductory period of August 17th, 2014 through October 9th, 2014, the Florida resident rate is USD $279.00 for a Golden Oak View Room, and includes valet parking for one car. A Golden Oak View room can sleep three adults, or two adults and two children. At 500 square-feet plus a spacious furnished balcony, the guestrooms include a king bed plus a queen-size sofa sleeper, and a 5-piece marble bath complete with in-mirror television and Bose surround-sound.

Guests of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort will have complimentary transportation to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios .

In addition to enjoying all the nearby Disney attractions, a highlight of Four Seasons Resort Orlando is the five-acre “Explorer Island” water park, including a winding lazy river complete with a rapids section, two water slides, an interactive splash zone with water cannons, and much more.

Disney Four Seasons Resort Walt Disney World Explorer Island

The Kids For All Seasons program offers organized activities for children ages 4-12, and is complimentary. Adults will enjoy the adult-only pool, 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed Tranquilo Golf Club, and The Spa at Four Seasons.

The Florida resident offer is available exclusively by telephone reservation: 1-800-267-3046. A valid Florida state identification will be required at the time of check-in.

I will be attending a special media preview of the resort later this month where I will be sharing pictures via Instagram and Twitter. Until then check out more details of the rooms at the Four Seasons in this post: Sneak Peek Inside the Guest Rooms at the All New Walt Disney World Four Seasons Resort