Kick Off The Olympics at Walt Disney World Resort

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Lake Buena Vista is offering a unique way to get in the Olympic spirit.  On July 27th from 6 to 9pm, the hotel will be showing the broadcast of the Summer Games Opening Ceremonies iin London on several large screen televisions throughout the lobby.

Complimentary food and beverages, including “gold medal” cookies will be served and guests will get the opportunity to meet and interact with multiple past summer games medalists.  They will be on hand to chat and sign autographs.

The opening ceremony broadcast begins at 7:30, and hotels guests and tthe general public.

For more information, click here.

California Grill Gets a Makeover

Disney announced last week that they will be shutting down one of my all-time favorite restaurants in order to revamp it. The California Grill located on the top floor of the Contemporary Hotel at Walt Disney World Resort is going to be closed starting Januray 6, 2013 and will reopen late Summer 2013.

Everything is undergoing an overhaul including the “on stage kitchen” and a few tweaks will be made to the menu as well.   The restaurant will be keeping its 2 private dining rooms which is important as the Contemporary Hotel is also one of Disney’s largest convention hotels.  Although I am sad to take a hiatus from this great dining spot, I will be excited to see all the new dishes and decor.

So if you’re local, like we are, you should make a reservation to get in before the renovations start. I know that we will be popping over there form Celebration really soon!

Reality TV Stars Hit Celebration

Celebration’s annual Sidewalk Sale will be riddled with stars from shows like “Survivor”, “Big Brother”, and “The Amazing Race”. The Sidewalk Sale, which is held in beautiful downtown Celebration, FL will take place July 27-29th.

It all kicks off with a Survivor Treasure Hunt Challenge on Friday. Visit the restaurants to get a “treasure map” and use the clues to navigate through Celebration Town Center to uncover the answers. The “Sole Survivor” will win $500 worth of cash and prizes. On Saturday, there will be a special autograph signing at the Celebration Bohemian Hotel from 3-6pm. A “Survivor Party” will be held that evening at the Celebration Town Tavern with all proceeds from the party and autograph signing going to Give Kids The World Village. On Sunday, the Sidewalk Sale will continue and it will be the last day to hand in your treasure maps to be eligible to win.

Fore more information of the schedule of events, click here.

Work Continues on New SunRail

The SunRail project is forging ahead at a pretty good clip. The latest construction update shows that crews began work at Egrets Landing in Lake Mary and the Florida Commuter Rail Corridor tracks this week (July 9-13). Crews will be temporarily relocating train signal equipment amongst other construction. Similar work will also be taking place at Palmetto Street in Lake Mary. All roads will be open to traffic as usual.

For information on the progress of this project, click here.

New Beauty and Beast Venues Coming to Walt Disney World Resort

As Beauty says, “Something there that wasn’t there before” is coming late this year to the Magic Kingdom Park. This new area will be home to several new eateries, shops, and attractions that will all be rooted in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

The Beast’s castle will be situated amongst snow-capped mountains and feature the Be Our Guest Restaurant experiences. There will be Disney’s “great food fast” option for a more casual lunch, and then there will also be a formal table-service dinner option. The restaurants’ main dining room aims to recapture the famous castle ballroom in the film. One of the many intricate details imagineers thought to use to draw the diner into the fantasy is to have “snow” falling outside the ballroom windows.  Also be sure to notice the intricate chandelier with the rose pattern.

There will also be an interactive storytelling experience called “Enchanted Tales with Belle” where guests will be welcomed into Maurice’s cottage and pass through a magic mirror. Then they will meet several of our their favorite characters, like Lumiere.

Gaston’s Tavern will be much like it was in the movie, but with family-freindly snacks and beverages. You’ll see Gaston’s large chair just like in the movies and outside you will see a statue of Gaston himself and his friend, Lefou.

Kids and adults alike will enjoy stepping into the Beauty’s and Beasts’ little French village. Check back for the exact opening date.