Mar 15

New Shopping Locations Open at Downtown Disney as Progress Continues on Disney Springs

The Art of Shaving Downtown Disney Springs

Trendy new retail shops are just the beginning of an entirely re-imagined Downtown Disney. With everything from sun hats and stylish flip-flops to customized headphones and gluten-free cupcakes, Downtown Disney has become a shopper’s oasis for all to enjoy. The new offerings are part of an expansion that will double the number of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences available as the area transforms into Disney Springs.

New shopping at Downtown Disney includes:

The Art of Shaving Downtown Disney Springs

  • The Art of Shaving- A boutique retail offering that sells high-end shaving supplies and related grooming products for the modern man. Founded by a husband and wife in a Manhattan apartment, The Art of Shaving has grown to a worldwide organization. Guests can receive expert shaving advice on products and techniques, or make an appointment for a luxurious grooming experience at the Barber Spa.

Apex Sunglass Hut Downtown Disney Springs

  • Apex by Sunglass Hut- A first-of-its-kind sunglass store that was built with the athlete in mind. This retail location showcases the industry’s best selection of sport performance and lifestyle eyewear including Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Under Armour. In order for guests to choose a lens to best suit their needs, Apex has developed environmental simulators so guests can test out how a specific lens will perform under a variety of light conditions.

Chapel Hats Downtown Disney Springs

  • Chapel Hats – A fashion forward shop that specializes in an assortment of hats for guests of all ages.  The location carries stylish hats including fedoras, cowboy hats, floppy hats, outdoors hats, kid’s hats and more. Every Chapel Hats location is themed to a different time period and is built by using old pieces of shops, factories, schools, pubs and The Downtown Disney location is themed to the 1920s.
  • Havaianas – A Brazilian-based shoe store that offers fashionable flip flops made with the highest quality rubber — with hundreds of styles to choose from. This store will feature a large assortment of colorful Havaianas for women, men and children, plus kids’ rain boots. There’s also the “Make Your Own Havaianas” and “Embellish Your Own Havaianas,” option, where guests can customize this casual footwear.

Sanuk Downtown Disney Springs

  • Sanuk- Innovative, fun and comfortable footwear with more than 175 designs will be available at this 1,000-square-foot venue. Taking its name from the Thai word for “fun,” Sanuk strives to make more innovative products that are as much about funk as they are about function. Favorite styles including Yoga Mat Sandal Collection and its patented “Not-A-Shoe” Sidewalk Surfers will be showcased.
  • Sound Lion – A new retail concept that offers the latest technology in headphones, docking stations, wireless music players and other products. Before purchasing a product, guests can hang out at their Listening Bar and find which product works best for them.
  • Erin Mckenna Bakery NYC – A unique bakery with savory offerings and an all-vegan and gluten-free menu. Look for a full selection of award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, bagels with vegan butter, and other delicious items daily. Some of their fan-favorite cupcakes from their flagship bakery in New York and sister bakery in Los Angeles include vanilla cupcakes with zesty lemon frosting, red velvet cupcakes with creamy vanilla frosting and brownie cupcakes with rich chocolate frosting.

Feb 15

2015 St. Patrick’s Day Event Schedule for Raglan Road at Downtown Disney

St. Patrick's Day at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney

Award-winning Irish and American bands and quick-stepping Irish dancers will showcase their Irish roots during the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Downtown Disney March 13-17. The most authentic St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Central Florida also will feature inventive cuisine by Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, host of the TASTE Award-winning PBS and Create TV cooking show, “Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food.”

Raglan Road guests ready to “get their green on” can participate in festivities that run from 4 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. March 13 and from noon until 1:30 a.m. March 14-17, including complimentary face painting for guests, and live music. The diverse band lineup headed by Scythian — playing gypsy-infused American Celtic tunes — offers something for everyone:

  • Reel Ó Gránde, the newest Raglan Road house band playing traditional Irish ballads, jigs and reels and modern Irish and country music.
  • The West Coast Trio from Connemara, playing traditional and contemporary Irish songs on accordion, flute and guitar with plenty of reels and jigs.
  • 3 Dollar Band, three extraordinary musicians inspired by Irish and Appalachian music.
  • The Brayzen Heads, a popular duo on guitar and banjo playing Raglan Road regularly.
  • Drops of Green, an exciting new ballad group from the heart of Ireland.
    The Raglan Road Dancers, seven full-time champion dancers, performing daily

Jan 15

Why the B Resort and Spa Orlando is the Perfect Hotel for Your Next runDisney Half Marathon

B Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World

runDisney Racecations can be both exilerating and exhausting. Earlier this month I participated in the runDisney Dopey Challenge. Four races (5K, 10K, Half Marathon & Full Marathon) run over four consecutive days with four consecutive 3:30 am wake-up calls. These events don’t leave much time for park touring. I knew that I would need a comfortable place to sleep and I wasn’t too concerned with staying in a Disney owned and operated hotel that came with extra magic hour perks since I really wasn’t going to be partaking in extra park time. I was there to run. The fun would come after I crossed the finish line of my fourth and final race.

I had also had the bright idea of volunteering at the runDisney race expo the Thursday before all of this running was about to take place. Sometimes my bright ideas get dimmer as D Day approaches. Standing on my feet for a seven hour volunteer shift might not have been the best idea before running 48.6 miles, but hey…I was giving back to this community I so adore.

B Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World

So for the first two nights of my Dopey Challenge racecation I stayed at the all new B Resort and Spa Lake Buena Vista.

The resort is located on Hotel Plaza Boulevard adjacent to Downtown Disney and inside the gates of Walt Disney World Resort.

B Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World

These mattresses were seriously in my top five of “comfortable beds” at a resort. No lie. The resort has it’s own signature bedding called Blissful Bed. This is the number one thing that mattered to me during my racecation. I needed what little sleep I was going to get to be restful sleep. It’s hard to get good sleep when you’re away from home. This bed was as close to my plush, comfy king mattress at home as you could get.

Also…how can you not love Jelly Bellys on your pillow at night?

B Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World

The room had a 47″ flat screen TV, clock radio with bluetooth capabilities, mini-fridge, safe, and a B Treated Box full of goodies all at $5 each.

B Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World

The bathroom was amazing! My room had a hairdryer and was fully stocked with AVEDA products.

B Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World

B Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World

That little stuffed frog is placed in every room and is available for purchase. It’s the resort mascot and a percentage of the proceeds from all sales go to the Florida Wildlife Foundation. Rooms are also stocked with recycle bins and the bathrooms are outfitted with water conserving toilets and showers.

This plush velvet couch converted into a bed so you could comfortably sleep five adults in a room.

B Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World

…and check out the view. I could see Downtown Disney and was able to watch Wishes Fireworks over the Magic Kingdom after I returned from my volunteer shift at the race expo.

B Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World

If you chose to book your next runDisney Racecation at B Resort & Spa you can enjoy:

  • Complementary shuttles to Walt Disney World theme parks
  • Zero entry heated pool
  • Tennis Courts
  • Free in-room WiFi
  • Courtesy loaner iPads
  • Valet and self-parking options
  • B Active Fitness Center
  • B Indulged AVEDA full service spa (See a review here)
  • Executive Business Center
  • Within walking distance to Downtown Disney Marketplace

I was also really impressed with the Monscierge digital touch screen concierge and destination guides that were located in the hotel lobby. You could send a postcard back home and even check in to your return flight via the touch screens. Your boarding pass would print out right at the hotel front desk for easy pickup.

B Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World

The resort’s restaurant is called American Q and I was so bummed not to have been able to try their BBQ while staying there. How cool is that cherry red 1951 Ford F1 flatbed pickup truck? It houses the all-you-can-eat buffet. When you’re run’gry the buffet is the way to go!

B Resort and Spa is approximately 17 miles from Orlando International Airport. A taxi will run you around $46 each way or you can take a shuttle for $34 round trip. Rates start at around $104 a night.

Seen enough and ready to book? Here are the hotel details.

B Resort & Spa
1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd.
lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

I was hosted as a guest of the B Resort for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Dec 14

New Steakhouse Coming to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando

STK Orlando Walt Disney World

STK is coming to Walt Disney World!

The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc., known for developing upscale, high-energy restaurants, recently announced plans to open a STK in Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort. STK Orlando is expected to open within the waterfront setting of The Landing at Disney Springs in 2015, with the full completion of Disney Springs expected in 2016.

STK’s unique ambiance blends the elements of a modern steakhouse with a sleek lounge, including a DJ, emphasizing a social, fun environment.  At approximately 14,000 square feet, the Orlando outpost will be one of the largest STK locations. STK Orlando will have two dining floors—including a main level and the only rooftop dining venue in Disney Springs.

Nov 14

Concept Art for a New Waterfront Restaurant at the Walt Disney World Resort

the boathouse restaurant downtown disney

Opening Spring 2015 as one of the new venues in The Landing at Disney Springs – a re-imagined and exciting district of entertainment, dining and shopping –The BOATHOUSE will be an upscale, waterfront dining experience featuring spectacular floating artwork: dream boats from the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s. Guests will enjoy a gourmet menu served daily until 2 a.m. featuring steaks, chops, fresh seafood and a raw bar. (Concept renderings courtesy of Schussler Creative)