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downtown disney

Disney News Roundup: A Journey into your Imagination

The LA Times has a cute interview with Iake Eissenmann and Kim Richards, the original children from Disney’s Witch Mountain films. They each have cameo roles in the current relaunch. Downtown Disney Orlando’s latest store, Tren-D, is set to open March 19th. It will feature… Read More »Disney News Roundup: A Journey into your Imagination

Bad Economy Strikes Downtown Disney Orlando

I should have left my big mouth shut, no sooner than I mention that Downtown Disney Orlando had so far escaped the recession without loosing a tenant, than Virgin Megastores announces that all their locations, including the Downtown Disney one, will be closing on May… Read More »Bad Economy Strikes Downtown Disney Orlando

Downtown Disney Retro

I’m such a dunce. This morning I wrote that Downtown Disney Orlando update and left off the best part. FoxxFur has posted a retrospective look at Walt Disney World’s Village, listing the initial shops and vendors of Disney’s outdoor shopping mall through to the ones… Read More »Downtown Disney Retro

Downtown Disney Orlando, quick update

Last week I roamed through Downtown Disney on a Thursday night and marveled at how amazingly crowded it was. What was also amazing was that despite warnings of doom and gloom last year not one vendor has closed their doors due to the economy. Yes,… Read More »Downtown Disney Orlando, quick update

Portobello at Downtown Disney Remakes its Image & Menu (plus a recipe!)

Those who were following my short tweetfest from Downtown Disney last night probably caught my mention of the new look, and lovely scent, of Portobello. The restaurant, which sits between Pleasure Island and the Downtown Disney Marketplace, has recently completed a transformation from the old stuffy ‘Yacht Club’ theme into an eatery reminiscent of the Italian countryside.

Chef Steven Richard

According to Executive Chef Steven Richard, the change is a natural one. “America has had a love affair with Italian food for decades,” Richards said. “What we’re seeing now is more and more people knowing the regional nuances of the cuisine – having more vivid notions of what Italy feels and tastes and smells like. More families have been there themselves, and the ones who haven’t, want a life-like recreation of that trip they haven’t taken.”

The space, inspired by Italy’s trattorias and hidden corners, features warm tones of red, orange and yellow, with terracotta tile and rustic irons designed to make guests feel transported to the Italian countryside. Guests can also enjoy dining outdoors with the new alfresco patio. The revamped trattoria will offer authentic regional fare and warm rustic décor with a reinvigorated wine list.

Portobello’s new menu was developed by the culinary trio comprised of James Beard award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, of Chicago’s noted Spiaggia restaurant, John Radcliff, Regional Chef of Levy Restaurants, and Steven Richard, Executive Chef of Portobello.

As it turns out Orlando Food Critic Scott Joseph recently visited Portobello and found the experience a pleasurable one (which is saying something considering what he writes about the other restaurants run by Levy in Downtown Disney). Now, I am really looking forward to my first opportunity to dine there.

Portobello is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and accepts all major credit cards. Visit to learn more.

Finally, Portobello has also been kind enough to share its recipe for Ravioli Gigante which you can find below the cut in case you want to try it at home:

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Adventurers Club reopens?

With the grand opening of the Disney Design-a-Tee store yesterday, I was wondering about what would happen with Pleasure Island, which is where the bulk of change for Downtown Disney is expected. I’ve heard they’re having problems getting new tenants to bite on the idea… Read More »Adventurers Club reopens?

Disney Design-a-Tee Grand Opening at Downtown Disney

Mickey gets ready to open the store!

On Friday the Walt Disney Company and Hanes officially opened “Disney Design-a-Tee presented by Hanes”, an innovative next-generation store for apparel souvenirs at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort.

The first-of-its-kind interactive T-shirt design and printing store enables Disney guests to enhance their magical Disney experience with a personalized custom-designed Hanes T-shirt printed while they wait that is as easy to buy as souvenir apparel off the rack. And much more fun!

Really well prepared cake made to look like a stack of t-shirts for the celebration. This was also the pin design for the grand opening event.

Guests at Disney Design-a-Tee presented by Hanes, which is located in Downtown Disney, use touch-screen kiosks for an interactive experience to design their custom shirts, selecting long-sleeve or short-sleeve T-shirts, choosing from multiple colors, picking artwork from more than 100 selections featuring Disney animation and movie characters, and crafting their own text message using a wide selection of type fonts and colors.

The design possibilities are infinite, and the shirts are printed on site while guests wait using premium environmentally friendly water-based ink. Art selections include multiple designs featuring not only famous characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Snow White and others from classic Disney films, but also characters such as Crush from Finding Nemo, Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Tow Mater from Cars.

Door prize given away to first guests to shop in the store.

“At the Design-a-Tee store, visitors can dream it, design it and watch their custom Hanes T-shirts being made,” said Sidney Falken, senior vice president of the Hanes brand. “The store combines all the magic of Disney and Hanes to create immediate one-of-a-kind keepsakes and souvenirs of their visit to Walt Disney World.”

The store is cleverly designed and features the brand of Disney Magic you expect is required to make this more than just a t-shirt store. Younger children will especially love the interactive process that’s involved with designing and then making the shirt.

decor shows guests the process for designing their own t-shirts.

So what differentiates this store from online stores like Zazzle, which has a Disney branded shop, where you can choose from many more designs and characters? Well, for one, you can actually hold and try on an exactly same sized shirt at the store. You don’t have to pay for delivery either.

The Design-A-Tee store makes your shirt the same day you order it. If you’re there early in the morning you could have it in as little as 15 minutes. For those who come when the store is busier it may take quite a bit longer. Those staying at a Disney resort should take advantage of free delivery to their room. You can also return the next day to pick it up.

sample t-shirts available to judge size and quality.

The grand opening event was attended by guests who were treated to a festive decor, confetti cannons, a giant T-shirt cake and a visit from Disney’s most famous star, Mickey Mouse.

Kevin Lansberry, vice president, Downtown Disney operations, and Falken spoke at the event and invited guests to try their hand at designing their own special T-shirts.

“We are thrilled to create another exciting new Downtown Disney venue for our guests,” Lansberry said. “The Disney Design-a-Tee store fits perfectly with our What Will You Celebrate 2009 campaign. Whether guests are celebrating an anniversary, a birthday or a special reunion, they can create a special Hanes t-shirt to show how they feel.”

Disney Design-a-Tee uses a unique application of state-of-the-art technology and printing equipment in a process designed by Hanesbrands’ research and development team. This is the first application of printing technology that allows consumers to walk up, design and print a custom message on a T-shirt of any color with screen-print quality.

Building your t-shirt on a t-shirt shaped kiosk. Clever.

T-shirts are available in a wide variety of colors and styles, including long and short sleeve versions, and come in infant, toddler, youth and adult sizes. Prices range from $18 to $31. The company expects to add additional apparel product offerings at a later date at the store.

Disney Design-a-Tee is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and is located at 1790 East Buena Vista Drive. Downtown Disney is open to the general public and resort guests and is accessible by car and by the Walt Disney World Resort guest shuttle system.

More about the Hanes and Disney relationship, photos, and a video of the opening ceremonies below the cut:

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