When we dropped by Disney's newest resort, the Art of Animation, we encountered some new and unique, themed merchandise for sale! Naturally, we were thrilled because we're always on the hunt for creative and stylish Disney souvenirs.
Finding Nemo is one of Pixar's most popular films; and the Art of Animation resort features a Finding Nemo themed wing, so there was some Finding Nemo products available for guests to purhcase. One of our favorites from what was available was this particular t-shirt!
We hadn't seen this t-shirt anywhere at WDW until we visited the Art of Animation's gift shop, and we thought our readers would enjoy it! It's an amusing quote from Marlin to Dory reading, "It's because I like you that I don't want to be with you. It's a complicated emotion..."
Fortunately, this wasn't the only amusing Finding Nemo shirt for sale at the Art of Animation, and we hope there will be more to come!
So be sure to check out this souvenir when you visit this new resort; and hopefully for all you Finding Nemo fans, Disney will keep them coming!
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This week's color is Teal, so we chose one of our favorite stairwells at Disney's new resort, the Art of Animation!
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This week's theme is the letter "B." So we chose a pic of the newly opened Barnstormer attraction at the Magic Kingdom's Storybook Circus!
One of the highlights of The Disney's Art of Animation is the life-size Cars characters!
They are located all throughout the wing of Disney's newest resort, just as they would in Pixar's Cars. They truly transport you into the film, as well as make great photo-ops! Check them out!
Doc Hudson! He keeps an eye on things near the entrance to this wing of the resort.
Mater! Definitely one of the most popular characters in this area. He is situated near his own sign too.
Sarge! He's always on alert. Be sure to salute too!
Lightning McQueen! You can find him near the back of the wing with Sally. Notice the detailed stickers and, my favorite, the tires!
Luigi and Guido, in front of the Casa Della Tires!
Ramone! Did you notice his tires too?
Fillmore! Isn't the detailed sign great?
We don't know about you, but when it comes to Epcot's Future World, we usually ride our favorite attractions and then spend the bulk of our time at World Showcase. this means that we barely take notice of Innoventions. However, on one rare occasion, we dropped by and were pleasantly surprised to find a new attraction, Vision House.
Vision House is a model of a working home has had been built and furnished to be environmentally friendly.
At this attraction, you are given a guided tour through this house to see how the how the design, furnishings, and appliances are meant to help the environment. Fortunately, there are no restrictions or barriers, and you are free to move about as you would in any normal house.
Unlike other displays of green technology, some of the things used in this house are affordable and will actually save occupants money! Also, even if you aren't interested in "going green," Vision House offers a lot of ideas for those wanting to update or even build their own homes!
When our guide ushered us into the house, we found ourselves in an open living space featuring an open kitchen, dining room, and living room. Our guide then told us the story behind the family who had undertaken the Vision House project, as what would see is a replica of their actual home.
Our guide then showed us some of the furnishings and appliances used in the home, such as the recycled table and chairs, the sink which helps conserve water, and a really great dishwasher which also conserves water and has an awesome feature!
In the living room, you will find a cut-out in the wall exposing the home's unique insulation: it's made out of old blue jeans! It's less irritating and more efficient.
In the next part of the house, you get to see the bathroom, laundry room, and the bedrooms. Of all the rooms, we found the bathroom to be the most interesting and amusing! The shower can actually have a limit you can set to put an end to your kids' endless showers; but the high-tech toliet takes the cake! It is self-cleaning and features lights, music, heat, and more!
One of our personal favorite features is that each room has its own temperature setting, bringing an end to the fights over the thermostat at your house! What a great idea!
The final section shows the garage and a work area, as well as a portion of the backyard. While our guide showed us dozens of things in each room and section,I found the concrete roof of the house to be especially fascinating as it's cheap, efficient, and won't have to be replaced like the typical roofs you see.
Vision House was crammed full of innovative ideas, new technology, and environmentally friendly additions. Our guide showed us dozens of things in each section, much more than I explained in this post, and there were even more things to see; but there wasn't nearly enough time for it all in one tour.
We also have to point out that our guide was excellent. You could really sense his passion and interest in the project; and what was even more helpful was that he had taken some of the elments of Vision House and incorporated them into his own house! It was great to hear from someone who had firsthand experience with what we were seeing.
We really enjoyed our tour through Vision House; and again, whether or not you are into helping the environment, you will definitely get some great ideas for your own home, as well as a glimpse at the new methods and technology being developed. We definitely recommend you drop by Vision House at Epcot's Innoventions to check it out for yourself!
Epcot's The Land pavilion is home to a table service restaurant with a unique twist, it rotates! The Garden Grill is situated next to The Living with Land atraction. So as you dine, your dining area rotates past specific scenes from the ride, such as the rainforest, the desert, and the farmhouse scene.
Now you're probably thinking that movement and a restaurant do not go together; but don't be concerned. The dining area rotates so slowly that you can hardly tell. Also, there are other elements to this restaurant, that set it apart, such as the all-you-can-eat family platter and visits from Chip, Dale, Pluto, and Mickey Mouse himself in his gardening garb!
Guest experiences at the Garden Grill tend to vary. So we decided to drop by this Epcot restaurant to test it for ourselves and to share with you our experience.
First of all, we discovered that the restaurant has two levels with the upper closest to the kitchen, and the lower closest to the view. Unfortunately, we were seated at the highest level with a railing, and several tables, blocking the better part of our view of the scenery.
We should also point out that many of the tables were unique in that they are semi-circle booths, making it easier for characters to drop by and providing guests a view of the attraction's scenery.
After meeting our waiter and ordering our drinks, we were brought out a basket of rolls with special Maple Butter. The rolls were pretty good; but we expected a little more out of the butter.
Most of the characters dropped by one right after another, which we really enjoyed because later they were able to drop by a second time! All of the characters were excellent in their antics. Mickey and Chip even started poking fun at each other!
At the Garden Grill, you don't choose an entree for yourself off of a menu. Instead, after our salads, our waiter brought out a platter of turkey, fish, and beef with mashed potatoes and cornbread stuffing. As soon as you finish off this platter, or you want more of something, just ask and you will be brought out more because it's all-you-can-eat!
However, while the food wasn't bad, only the mashed potatoes and beef were particularly spectacular; and if you like options, you probably won't enjoy this set-up.
There are only a few restaurants where you can meet Mickey Mouse himself, so this is a big plus for those visiting The Garden Grill. Isn't his overalls adorable?
After we had eaten our fill, our waiter brought out a berry cobbler topped with vanilla bean cream for us to enjoy; and we have to say, it was yummy!
It was about this time that the restaurant had finished its full rotation, we had seen all the characters, and we had reached our own conclusion; and unfortunately, the Garden Grill fell short of our expectations.
This was confirmed when we faced with the steep bill soon after. Since The Garden Grill does offer all-you-can-eat and great characters, it's only expected that a hefty price tag will be attached; but the other elements, such as the scenery, food, and rotatating feature isn't quite as impressive as we had expected. Also, with the exception of the scenes, the restaurant itself lacks space and atmosphere.
So if you are looking for a meal with Mickey, and still want to give this place a try, we recommend you use the Disney Dining Plan instead of dealing with the bill yourself. Also, do keep in mind that Future World closes earlier than World Showcase, so plan your dinner reservations accordingly!
So was the Garden Grill a horrible experience? Not at all. But was it worth the bill and equal to other Disney restaurants? In our opinion, no. But as always, we want to hear from you! Tell us your experiences with The Garden Grill. Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment with your opinion!
Sunshine Seasons, the counter service restaurant found inside of Epcot's The Land pavilion, is one of our favorite restaurants in all of Walt Disney World due to its unique, delicious, and healthy variety!
This restaurant has different stations offering different menus; and today, we are focusing on one of their new and unique dessert options from their bakery: Banana Cake!
We have been long-time fans of Sunshine Seasons' Creme Brulee and Strawberry Shortcake; but when we saw these individual banana cakes, we had to give one a try!
Fortunately, we found these cakes to be delicious! Even though they had been sitting under glass, they were moist and packed full of yummy banana flavor. We would liken it to a blend between banana bread and white cake, but with more of a banana taste than a nutty taste.
As you can see, the cake is topped with icing, which was just the right balance of sweetness, and which was topped with a pecan!
The serving itself was generous and just enough, unless you're really really hungry that is! Needless to say, we found another great reason to rave about Sunshine Season, and we recommend that you give this dessert a try the next time you drop by!
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This week's theme is white, so we chose this white sand sculpture of Pixar's Brave which you can find at Epcot! Be sure to notice the date, as Brave opens tomorrow! Who's going?
When strolling down Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios, we are sure you have seen the shop whose marquee reads, "Once Upon a Time."
The marquee tends to generate a lot of attention; but the real gem, the building itself, is often ignored.
This shop actually represents an important part of Disney history, and it now has a twin at another Disney park, Disney's California Adventure!
This shop is a replica of the Carthay Circle Theater in old Hollywood, the home for many premieres and an icon of that glamorous golden age of the cinema. Even more importantly, the Carthay Circle Theater housed the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney's first animated feature length film which, next to Mickey Mouse, helped started it all!
When you pass by this shop at the park, Disney has hinted towards this piece of their history with the vintage posters of Snow White in the window displays.
Therefore, due to its history and role in the breakthrough of Disney animation, this theater replica definitely deserves a spot in Disney's Hollywood Studios, a park which celebrates the magic of Hollywood. But now, at Disney's California Adventure, they now have their own replica of the Carthay Circle Theater too!
In California, their replica of the Carthay Circle Theater houses a lounge, an exclusive club, and restaurant, and it's all brand new! So now when you visit Disney's California Adventure, you can step back in time to experience what it was like in old Hollywood when Walt first arrived.
So regardless of what coast you're visiting, be sure to notice these replicas of the Carthay Circle Theater at the Disney parks and remember the history that's behind them!
Poster in the Carthay Circle Theater