When can I book my Star Wars vacation? That’s the big question on the lips of every Disney fan.
Let’s start with what we do know and move on from there.
When can I book my Star Wars vacation? That’s the big question on the lips of every Disney fan.
Let’s start with what we do know and move on from there.
A long time ago in theme park really, really close…
… Disney CEO Bob Iger unveiled a new ‘Star Wars Land’ for Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In this post, I’ll dive into everything we know about this new Disney ‘Land’ here in California, including a few educated guesses on how it might look.
The world of Star Wars is heading to Disneyland, starting next year.
Let’s take a look at it’s likely location and what will need to go in order for us to visit a galaxy far, far away.
Disney has already announced the removal or relocation of several developed areas. The following locations will definitely be going away: Keep on reading!
Disneyland fans may be alarmed to hear that on Monday, June 15th, the entire park will be closed. The rumor is that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have rented out the entire park for the day to celebrate their daughter North West’s second birthday.
Let me put your fears at rest. I can report, as confirmed by Disney, that these rumors are false. Disneyland will be open during regular park hours to all ticket guests and Annual Passholders. Keep on reading!
The Sailing Ship Columbia had been a Disneyland staple since it first opened in 1958. For this Memorial Day, I’ll look a little deeper into the history of the real ship this classic attraction is based on and give you some food for thought on your next voyage around the Rivers of America. Keep on reading!
The last new land unique to Shanghai Disneyland (SDL) is Adventure Isle. Combined with the pirate-themed area of Treasure Cove, it’s like a ‘plussed up’ version of the Adventureland we’re all used to with a few, somewhat different ride offerings.
Adventure Isle is located in the far West corner of SDL, immediately to the right of Mickey Avenue, the space usually occupied by Tomorrowland in every other Disneyland-style theme park. It will be a jungle themed area, contrasting with the seaside coves and villages of Treasure Cove next door and you can see from the image above that these two areas will take up a sizable part of the park.
Two major attractions will anchor Adventure Isle: Roaring Rapids and Soarin’ Over The Horizon.
Originally called ‘Lost World Roaring Rapids,’ this massive water ride will take guests on a rafting trip through a gigantic show-building, reportedly populated by animatronic dinosaurs. The ‘Lost World’ portion of the original title might refer to the book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, where an expedition finds a section a plateau in the Amazon populated by Dinosaurs and other extinct creatures.
I hope Imagineers will craft a story heavily influenced by this great book. Imagine that you’re a part of the expedition itself and you just happen to float through this prehistoric land when something goes terribly wrong and you have to escape back to civilization, barely escaping a deadly fate.
If the Roaring Rapids ride concept sounds familiar, that’s because it’s been used and recycled through many Disney rides and movies we all know and love. The ‘Lost World’ concept directly relates to the Disney/Pixar movie ‘UP’ where two unwitting characters happen upon an ancient South American mesa, populated by dangerous and never before seen creatures.
Though Roaring Rapids is constructed on a grander scale, Imagineers have already built several rafting rides at Disney resorts with a moderate amount of detail. At Disney California Adventure we have Grizzly River Run, the longest, tallest, and fastest river rapids ride in the world, but with little extra Disney theming (though there are rumors this will change soon).
The Animal Kingdom is home to Kali River Rapids, which is also a great ride but weak in the theme department. Will Roaring Rapids do a better job of fascinating and immersing guests in a story line as well as getting them soaking wet?
If dinosaurs are to play a part in this new ride, I’d expect the animatronics to be similar if not identical to those in the Dinosaur attraction, also at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In fact, some of the first rumors about Roaring Rapids had a Carnotaurus chasing guests through the jungle, which is exactly story of the ride in Florida. Also, let’s not forget about the original Disney dinosaur attraction, the Primeval World diorama from Disneyland.
Speaking of being identical, you might be asking yourself, “isn’t there already a dinosaur-themed river rapids ride somewhere already?” Yes there is, but it’s at Universal Studios in Hollywood. Called Jurassic Park©- The Ride, this water attraction is essentially everything I described above, but with the more technology run amok theme of the Jurassic Park books than a hopeful, promise of the future, Vernian theme of ‘The Lost World.’
Roaring Rapids will also be the only (or first) Disney ‘mountain’ in Shanghai Disneyland. As you may recall, when the original Disneyland was built, there weren’t any mountain themed attractions.
The birth of the Disney mountain range began in 1959 with the construction of the Matterhorn and continued with Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Splash Mountain, as well as other ‘mountains’ in other resorts across the globe. Can we expect similar attraction ‘tectonic activity’ at the Shanghai Disney Resort?
As I said above, the second major ride in Adventure Isle will be Soarin’ Over The Horizon. Guests will ride in suspended rack of seats, flying a hang glider over the Earth.
A direct reboot of the original attraction Soarin’ Over California in Disney California Adventure, the Shanghai version will use the same ride system with different movie scenes from across the planet. It’s exciting and relieving that Disney is finally upgrading the Soarin’ ride. I love the original, but it’s been running the same footage at DCA since 2001 and in its EPCOT clone since 2005.
I don’t think the Soarin’ ride in California will change to the world footage, because it’s showcasing the theme of the entire park, but rumor has it that EPCOT get an upgrade. A flight specifically over the Golden State has always been out-of-place there and a more all-encompassing and all-embracing journey around the globe is a better fit for the nearby lands of the EPCOT World Showcase.
Like everything else in SDL, it looks like Adventure Isle will be dwarfed by the Enchanted Storybook Castle. Roaring Rapids in particular, though, looks like it might be large enough to stand on its own.
If the entire area is immersed in a jungle atmosphere, with thick trees and other foliage, that combined with the Rapids structure might be enough to cover up the castle and leave the rugged adventure theming intact.
While not an entirely new creation, Adventure Isle is different enough to remain mysterious but familiar enough to be comfortable for the seasoned guest. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finished!
What do you think about this ‘new’ land in Shanghai? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and we’ll see ya’ real soon!
The Ham & Cheese Quiche is a savory favorite that makes for a great lunch or a light dinner. Enjoy the quaint atmosphere of Main Street, USA while you dig in to this Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe treat!
The Ham and Cheese Quiche tastes exactly as its described. You bite in and your mouth fills with the salty, savory taste of ham. The eggs are moist and fluffy, and the cheese has that nice cheddar tang to it.
The pastry is absolutely delicious. Living up to their name, the Jolly Holiday Bakery does not disappoint. I’m not usually big on the pastry part of a quiche or pot pie, but in this case I think it’s the best part of the dish. It is light, flaky, and delightfully buttery.
In my opinion this is a fork and knife dish, but, if you have the skills, you might be able to walk while taking bites. I’d save yourself the effort and enjoy a nice sit down. We had the same wax paper problem here as with the Harbour Galley baked potatoes and Breakfast Burritos from Tomorrowland Terrace, so I recommend removing the paper and eating off the plate to save yourself from the chunks of paper that may end up in your forkfuls.
The Ham & Cheese Quiche does break down into nicely bite-able chunks, so it’s a quick easy meal. Along with the side salad, you can get by forking away, or picking up little pieces with your fingers, but keep some napkins handy.
If you have your little one seated securely, the Ham & Cheese Quiche can be a very good option for mealtime. The ingredients are a hit, with the always popular egg and pastry crust. The cheese and ham are also usually well received so all-in-all we’ve got a winner.
Breaking the quiche down into bite-able chunks is easy to do with a fork and then you can spoon-feed or offer bits to your toddler, or let them feed themselves without too much mess. There will be more crumbling so keep that in mind, but in general this messiness quotient is controllable.
The appeal of the salad will depend on your little one’s tastes. If they like cranberries, there are some on the top, and the cherry tomatoes are actually quite sweet, if your kid goes for veggies.
Like the Caprese on Focaccia Bread, the quiche perfectly fits the theme of both Main Street USA and the world of Mary Poppins around the Jolly Holiday. You can see the Banks family politely consuming this savory dish and making indifferent, disinterested conversation.
The value of this dish is great too. Compared to the Jolly Holiday Combo, another simple meal served at the same restaurant, the quiche is almost two dollars cheaper for almost the same amount of food! If you’re looking to fill up on warm, savory comfort food, this is the perfect entree.
The Ham & Cheese Quiche is a light, enjoyable meal, served in an ideal location to enjoy a pleasant moment of rest while you can still feel connected to the hum and buzz of the park.
Have you tried the Ham & Cheese Quiche at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe? Let me know what you think in the comments below and sign up for our free weekly newsletter so you won’t miss future Food Friday posts (or any of our other great content). See ya’ real soon!
Shanghai Disneyland is adding a few new lands to the Disney map, including Mickey Avenue and Adventure Isle. Today we’ll look at another new area, the first truly pirate-themed land on planet Disney, Treasure Cove.
While the middle section of Shanghai Disneyland (SDL), from the entrance through the Garden of the Twelve Friends to Fantasyland, will have a whimsical feel, the entire West side of Shanghai Disneyland seems to be built with a more extreme theme in mind.
Treasure Cove and Adventure Isle will be more like big-boy lands, encompassing the rugged promises of Adventureland other Disney parks don’t really deliver (for better or worse). It’s as if Imagineers are capitalizing on this opportunity to remake their theme park reputation in a land that doesn’t have the ‘polite-thrill’ image of Disney rides ingrained in its culture yet.
Like the everything else in the park, the Enchanted Storybook Castle will dwarf everything in Treasure Cove. I wonder how they’ll work this fairy tale monument into the grittier pirate atmosphere.
Treasure Cove will be home to several new pirate attractions. The first, Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure, is a new spin on the POTC we all know and love from other Disneyland-style parks. Expect a lot more Captain Jack Sparrow and a lot less 60’s magic on this one.
Another confirmed addition is a Pirate-themed Stunt Show Spectacular. Other than the fact that it will exist, almost nothing else is known about this show right now.
The last rumored Treasure Cove attraction is tentatively called ‘Explorer Canoes,’ which might be a Caribbean copy of Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes already found at several Disney parks. If this ride is eventually constructed, it might be in the large, now empty area near the Garden of the Twelve Friends.
At the back of Treasure Cove there’s a large water pond. It’s not yet clear what this could be for, but I suspect its a storage basin for the park dark water system. Like it’s counterpart at the original Disneyland, I think the pond will be the recycling point for water between all the lakes and water attractions in SDL. I’ve included a picture of the Anaheim Disneyland dark water system for reference.
Treasure Cove looks like it’ll be a great place to soak in some Imagineering pirate-theming and a few great new attractions. Along with the Tron lightcycle roller coaster in Tomorrowland, this area will definitely be on my shortlist when I visit Shanghai Disneyland someday.
What do you think about Disney’s new land? What’s the new Pirates of the Caribbean going to look like? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and we’ll see ya’ real soon!
Enjoy the humming activity of Main Street USA while you savor the fresh flavors and tasty pastries of the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. On this Food Friday, we’ll take a closer look at their Caprese on Focaccia Bread, made up of sliced yellow tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and lettuce. The sandwich is seasoned with a creamy citrus aioli dressing, basil vinaigrette and balsamic glaze, and served with homemade potato chips.
The inside of this sandwich is very tasty. There are generous portions of fresh mozzarella, all springy and savory. The slices of yellow tomato are juicy and the fresh basil is woodsy and complimentary. Having pesto in the aioli is a nice addition, as it really brings out the flavors of the cheese and tomatoes.
Delicious balsamic dressing and vinaigrette round out the palate, completing a great caprese salad inside two pieces of overly large, dry, crumbly focaccia. The bread is the only disappointing part and aside from trying to fit the whole sandwich into my mouth a couple of times, I had to give up on the bread completely and just enjoy the contents.
The chips don’t have a huge amount of flavor, but are crunchy and very potato-y, which is just how a chip should be. They aren’t too greasy or soft and they don’t have the ‘fryer-smell’ so typical of homemade chips.
The Caprese on Focaccia Bread sandwich is huge! It’s too tall and not very mouth-size appropriate. At first I tried to cut it into pieces, but the bread just crumbled apart. I then tried squashing the bread so that it would fit into my mouth better, but it was too springy.
I’m not sure if this is how anyone else feels, but this is a recurring problem I have with focaccia. It’s not personal, it’s just too much bread for me. Focaccia looks really fancy, but it makes for a very messy sandwich.
During my first bite, the mozzarella squeezed out and the creamy dressing dripped all over my hands. It was way easier just to deconstruct the sandwich and eat the middle bits.
Be careful with the wax paper when you ‘fork and knife’ the contents though, because is shreds just like with the baked potato at the Harbor Galley. It’s better just to take the paper off your plate before you get started.
Unlike the ‘wicker’ plastic bowls that you get with the baked potato, the Jolly Holiday has nice solid plates like the ones you get at the Plaza Inn. You can even ask for a plastic lid if you wanted to take your plate to-go.
The sandwich as a whole is not appealing for a kid, mainly due to the size. However, I have given it a higher rating due to the contents. Once you tear it into bite size pieces, you’ve got bread that you can give your toddler to munch on, though you might need to cut off the parts that have dressing on them.
The inside of the sandwich has cheese, always a kid favorite, and for your more veggie friendly tots, the yellow tomato slices are mild and tasty. My son Jack really liked the chips. The simple salty potato flavor had him hooked and he happily chomped away with his new little teeth.
You can eat the chips on the go, but given the messiness quotient of this sandwich, and the effort that it requires to deconstruct it, I would recommend that you grab a table and secure your little one in a high chair before you get started. They could probably manage the pieces that you cut up for them on their own without too much of a disaster, but I wouldn’t recommend letting them go at it on their own.
Let’s be honest: the Caprese on Focaccia Bread is overpriced. Some cheese and lettuce on bread with a slice of tomato isn’t worth $9.29. A simple assembly of pre-made ingredients is the only effort required to produce this item. Also, considering that the focaccia bread makes the sandwich as a whole inedible, the value of this dish lowers even further.
I kind of felt taken for a ride after eating this sandwich. If it were served as a generous caprese salad with a side piece of bread, things might be different. That would also be a cooler and more refreshing way to serve the dish on hot summer afternoons.
The sandwich ranks a little better on theme though, because it kind of reminds me of a Mary Poppins type of dish. Though she didn’t cook in the film, it feels like something the cook would have cut up and served as finger food on little trays to Jane and Michael in the nursery (which is another idea for Disney to ‘plus’ this offering).
Once you take away the focaccia, the rest of the sandwich is refreshing and delightful. A cool, savory meal on a warm day, or a light, health-conscious choice to ease your conscious on an indulgent holiday. However…is a sandwich still a sandwich if there is no bread? You tell me! 🙂
Have you tried the Caprese on Focaccia Bread at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe? Let me know what you think in the comments below and sign up for our free weekly newsletter so you won’t miss future Food Friday posts (or any of our other great content). See ya’ real soon!