Swan & Dolphin Resort starts room renovation

Renovated Guest Room - swan-dolphin-med

I have two large complaints about The Swan and Dolphin Hotel at Walt Disney World. First, they charge a lot of money for parking, which makes it difficult to just drop by and enjoy some of their fabulous restaurants. Second, they were built just a tad too close to EPCOT, so they tend to loom in the background of photos. On the other hand, that also means they’re perfectly situated between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Making them a popular resort destination since they opened 25 years ago.

I’m also a fan of the architecture style brought by architect Michael Graves. Did you know that the Dolphin hotel actually represents a volcano that rose out of the ocean and that the Swan hotel was splashed with the water from the rising volcano. Check it out next time you visit. You’ll see that the causeway between the two hotels represents the water.

It was just announced that the Swan and Dolphin Hotel will be getting the largest makeover in its history. The hotel has launched a multi-phase, multi-year, $125 million redesign project that will transform every guest room in the 758-room Swan Hotel and the 1,509-room Dolphin Hotel.

“As we celebrate the hotel’s 25th anniversary, it is appropriate that we mark the occasion with a renaissance of our room product,” said General Manager Fred Sawyers. “Our guests will continue to receive the level of service and hospitality that comes with a quarter century of experience while enjoying a modern new guest room.”

The transformation, it is promised, will occur without disruption to the guest experience as the majority of guest rooms will be available throughout the process. The hotel’s public spaces, restaurants, meeting rooms, shops, pools and recreational areas will not be impacted and remain fully operational throughout the renovation. Continue reading

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Posted in Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Into the Woods – First Featurette “The Story”

IntoTheWoods-depp-wolfw

Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, and Emily Blunt are all featured in the first featurette for Disney’s musical feature “Into the Woods.” I am so excited to see this on the big screen for the first time. Yes, I know it will be Disney-fied a bit. But all musicals undergo a transition from stage to screen. Plus I think it will expose a slightly younger audience to the great Stephen Sondheim’s work. What could be wrong with that.

Here’s the first featurette and it’s all about “The Story”:

“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), all tied together by an original story involving a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the Witch (Meryl Streep), who has put a curse on them.

Rob Marshall, the acclaimed filmmaker behind the Academy Award-winning musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” directs the film, which is based on the Tony-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics.

“Into the Woods” will be released in theaters December 25, 2014.

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Posted in Film | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bake at home: Disneyland Pumpkin Twists treat

pumpkin-twists

If you have visited Disneyland this fall, I hope you had the chance to try the excellent Pumpkin Twist treat available at Troubadour Tavern and Maurice’s Treats at Disneyland park, and Cozy Cone Motel at Disney California Adventure park. Turns out they’re relatively simple to make at home by using some off the shelf frozen puff pastry and common pantry ingredients.

Here’s Chef Christina Orejel from Disneyland giving the basics.

The full recipe is below:

Continue reading

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Posted in Food and Drink | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Disney Dance & Costume Party by cover band The Little Mermen

Hocus-Pocus-poster

If you’re in the New York City area and looking for some 18+ Disney fun this Halloween, have I found the perfect event for you. On October 31st, you’re invited to rock out with New York’s premiere Disney cover band, The Little Mermen. They’re throwing a wind and nostalgic costume party at the Slake! Dressing as your favorite Disney character is obviously encouraged, but the only requirement is to be ready to “Let it Go!”

This party will have you singing along all night, with themed drink specials, a Halloween movie screening, a costume contest pre-party, and a late night DJ. Influenced by styles from ’80s pop to dive bar thrash to jazz, The Little Mermen power up some of the most famous musical numbers ever written, including The Little Mermaid‘s “Kiss The Girl,” Pocahontas’ “Colors of the Wind,” and the Lion King’s “Circle of Life.” So throw back a shot or two and have a Halloween night worthy of a #FBF right back to your childhood. You ain’t never had friends like The Little Mermen.

Sound intriguing? Tickets are on sale here.

Previously: Discovering The Little Mermen charity concert.

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Posted in Holiday | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What about Disney’s Animated Feature Zootopia?

Zootopia-concept

If you haven’t heard the news, Moana’s release date has been moved up two years! Now coming to us late 2016 as the second film from the Walt Disney Animation Studios. That’s right the second one. The first is Zootopia, in what can most easily be called Fugitive acted out through animals.

The film will follow a fox, who may or not be the most upstanding citizen, and is framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Forcing him on the run from the rabbit who is the top-cop in the city. The plot thickens when they both become the target of conspiracy that puts them both in danger.

With nothing but the synopsis revealed character and casting details are still nothing more than rumors. Nonetheless, set to come out early 2016 I think we can expect a fun film that will twist and turn to keep us guessing who the real villain is.

Any ideas why we haven’t heard much about Zootopia from Burbank?

Previously: Wired magazine profiles latest Disney Animation Revival. If you look on the wall in the back, you’ll see shadows of the main characters from Zootopia.

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Posted in Animation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment