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Live Entertainment Takes the Stage at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 30th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


As Downtown Disney continues to transform into Disney Springs, shopping, dining and entertainment are still at the forefront of all we do here. Lately, the latter is stealing the spotlight in a big way!

In a typical week, up to twenty different acts take the stage, performing roughly 300 sets. Whether you fancy freestyle rap, delight to the notes of the didgeridoo, or prefer to sway to the sounds of a sultry saxophone, chances are, you can find it at Downtown Disney.

I spend most of my time here during the daylight hours, and although I know we have an incredibly full talent lineup, even I was surprised by how much live music I encountered throughout the West Side during my latest nighttime visit to the property. On most evenings, the West Side comes alive with musical flair by 6:30 p.m.

Visiting earlier? At the Marketplace, performances start at 12:30 p.m. daily near Dockside Margaritas. I recently saw one of my favorites, Pat Frost, a master who mixes steel drums, the ukulele and conch shells (yes, conch shells!) to create a unique sound that you won’t find anywhere else at Walt Disney World Resort.

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If carefree island music isn’t for you, fear not … at this locale, you can also hear everything from pop hits to new age world music. Entertainment Manager Jenni Kloote Quick shared, “we look for musicians with a fun, laid back vibe. We want them to have an inviting attitude and welcome guests to stay and enjoy the great combination of world-class music and gorgeous water views.”

No matter what your style – classical, Latin rock, or Top 40 tunes – it’s here!

Who’s your favorite act at Downtown Disney? Share in the comments below … I’d love to know!

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Sneak Peek: ABC’s ‘Extreme Weight Loss’ to Feature ‘La Nouba’ by Cirque du Soleil July 28

posted on July 21st, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


If you’ve seen “La Nouba” by Cirque du Soleil at Downtown Disney (the only place in the world to experience this mesmerizing show!), you’ve probably dreamed about gracefully flying through the air on red silks, or at least meeting a performer who does. In an upcoming episode of “Extreme Weight Loss”, Tiffany “Pearls” Humpert gets to do both! Check out this sneak peek:

Tune in to “Extreme Weight Loss” tonight, July 21st 9|8c on ABC to see Pearls’ story.

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Celebrate Sunday with Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Brunch at House of Blues Orlando

posted on July 14th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Joyful, uplifting, and enthusiastic … that’s how I’d describe my first experience at Kirk Franklin’s Gospel Brunch at House of Blues Orlando. Whether you’re a fan of gospel or not, a regular churchgoer or an occasional attendee, everyone is welcome here! With gospel songs personally selected by legendary producer and artist Kirk Franklin, and an amazing all-you-can-eat buffet featuring breakfast favorites, southern specialties including my favorite: chicken and waffles, and desserts, it’s impossible to choose what I enjoyed most.

Check out the video below to learn more about this spectacular Sunday offering.

Ready to book? Choose your showtime – 10:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. – then call 407-934-2583 or book online.

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New Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s Opens at Downtown Disney in Florida

posted on July 7th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


As a southerner who was born and raised outside of Atlanta, GA, there’s nothing I love more than a perfectly brewed glass of iced tea—sweet, of course! Soon, I’ll be expanding my tea palate and exploring a variety of loose leaf teas from The Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s, a brand-new tea café joining other new venues in The Landing, the first of four planned neighborhoods coming to Downtown Disney as it transitions into Disney Springs.

Whether you enjoy your tea stepped hot, iced, blended, spirited or even edible (yes, they’ll be serving delicious tea-based cookies and treats), there’s a tea for you.

Enjoy Tea from The Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s Coming to The Landing at Walt Disney World Resort Enjoy Tea from The Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s Coming to The Landing at Walt Disney World Resort

If you’re like me and have a lot to learn about tea, be sure to engage with the onsite Tea Smith who hand-blends loose leaf and herbal teas and can discuss tea selections if you’re unsure what to order.

Enjoy Tea from The Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s Coming to The Landing at Walt Disney World Resort Enjoy Tea from The Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s Coming to The Landing at Walt Disney World Resort

Modeled after a 1940s warehouse setting, this modern-meets-Old World tea café will feature teas from the finest tea gardens around the globe. Joffrey’s CEO Ted Abrams promises “complex flavor profiles” and hopes to “introduce guests to the vast world of tea that cannot be found in local grocers.” Based on all I’ve heard, I’m ready for my introduction!

The Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s is now open in the heart of Downtown Disney. For the latest real-time updates on openings and new offerings, follow Downtown Disney on Twitter at @WDWDowntown.

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Take a Fast-Paced Tour of Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort in a New Hyperlapse Video

posted on June 16th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


I’m not sure about you, but I could easily spend a full day at Downtown Disney. That’s why I recently fell in love with this hyperlapse video developed by the Digital Marketing team for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts – it takes you through some of my favorite Downtown Disney shopping, dining, and entertainment highlights, from day to night, in just a minute and a half! Haven’t seen it yet? Do yourself a favor and spend the next 90 seconds enjoying this fast-paced virtual tour of one of my favorite playgrounds, then let me know what you love most about the video in the comments below!

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COMING SOON: New Details Emerge About ‘The Edison’ and ‘STK Orlando’ at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 10th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


A few weeks ago, several new retail and dining experiences were announced for Disney Springs. Among them: The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination that will feature exceptional classic American food, artisanal craft cocktails and unparalleled live entertainment.

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Similar to its sister location on the west coast, The Edison at Disney Springs will be dedicated to a resurgence of old-world style, sophistication and romance. Themed to a 1920s-period electric company, the space will recall an exuberant era of invention and imagination. With 35-foot ceilings and a range of themed areas to explore, The Edison will feature nightly entertainment including contortionists, palm readers, DJs and more.

Today, I’ve also got more details on STK Orlando – a new rendering and another fun bit of info: this location will be the only spot that offers rooftop dining, in a gorgeous lounge setting, at Disney Springs.

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Progress also continues on Morimoto Asia, the first pan-Asian restaurant from celebrity Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

STK Orlando and Morimoto Asia will debut later this year. The Edison will open in 2016.

Which new restaurant are you most excited for? Tell me in the comments below – I’d love to know!

For more about Disney Springs, visit the stories below:

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Vivoli Gelateria to Open Soon at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 2nd, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


If you’ve ever had the good fortune to travel to Florence, Italy, chances are you’re familiar with Vivoli Gelateria. I’ve never been myself, but when I searched “Florence Must-Dos” online, Vivoli appeared on every list; wedged between art galleries and chapels, it was the only food venue mentioned in National Geographic’s City Guide to Florence, so you know it must be pretty spectacular!

No immediate plans to visit Italy? No worries. The family-run gelato shop will open its second storefront – and the first outside of Italy – later this month at The Landing, the newest neighborhood to debut as part of the future Disney Springs.

I recently had the chance to connect with Silvana Vivoli, the granddaughter of Raphael Vivoli, one of the company’s founders, to learn more about the gelateria. Founded in 1932 by Raphael and his two brothers, Vivoli Gelateria started out as a dairy – at that time, it was not easy to find raw materials such as milk, eggs and sugar and there were no gelato machines and freezers. After World War II, technology enabled the brothers to follow their passion and produce gelato every day – a far cry from the early recipes that relied on barrels filled with ice and snow from the nearby mountains to keep their concoctions frozen.

Silvana’s father, Piero, learned to make gelato from his father. Silvana learned the craft from him, “keeping the same old tradition,” she shared.

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When I asked Silvana why they decided to open a location at Downtown Disney, the answer flowed freely, “Good gelato. In a fantastic place. With fun and family and a sunny destination? It’s a nice combination. Like vanilla and chocolate!”

According to Silvana, the gelato at Vivoli is made with fresh, top-quality ingredients using the exact same recipes from the original shop. The artisans plan to use local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy. “There are ingredients not easy to buy,” muses Silvana, “these are love and passion … when you fall in love with your job, you have these for free – they’re the final ingredients that make everything so special.”

For a special gelato experience that will give you the “feeling of being in Italy for ten minutes,” make plans to try Vivoli Gelateria during your next visit to Downtown Disney. Not sure which flavor to order? I asked Silvana one final question: which is her favorite? “It depends on how I get up in the morning! But really, I cannot do without rice pudding gelato.”

In addition to their signature gelato, Vivioli Gelateria will also serve traditional Italian panini, biscotti, espresso and tarts. For a mouth-watering look at what you can expect, check out the gallery below.

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Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar to Open this Fall at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 12th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Tucked in between the soon-to-be-expanded Paradiso 37 and recently opened BOATHOUSE restaurant, a new Disney owned and operated Food & Beverage offering has been taking shape. Today, I’m thrilled to share more details on this aviation-themed lounge, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.

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With a prime location along Lake Buena Vista and seating for 150, the venue will feature unique cocktails – such as the “Hovito Mojito” with Barsol Quebranta Pisco, fresh lime juice and simple syrup – and small plates such as “Air Pirates Everything Pretzels” with house-made mustard and beer cheese fondue.

The design team has gone to great lengths to ensure that every element – from the propeller-based ceiling fans and diving bell “booth” to the “Rolling Boulder Meatballs” on the menu – fits within the storyline.

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And just what is that story? Ardent fans of the “Indiana Jones” films may recognize Jock Lindsey as Indy’s frequent pilot; he’s also the owner of a pet snake named Reggie – an important detail, trust me on this! In the main room, guests will discover an expansive bar, aviation decor filling the room, vintage travel posters covering the walls and correspondence between Jock, Indy and their fellow adventurers on display. Guests can eat, drink and be merry outside as well, in Jocks’ old steamboat, now in permanent dry dock and aptly named “Reggie;” and in nearby seating on the adjacent deck.

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar is set to open this fall at Downtown Disney. If you’re as excited about this next adventure as I am, let me know in the comments below!

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New Garage Walkways Now Open at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on May 6th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


Everywhere you look at Downtown Disney, signs of the future are popping up as the area transforms into Disney Springs. The latest can be seen in the parking garage.

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As the first of two planned parking garages for Downtown Disney, the Orange Garage at West Side opened late last year and continues to introduce enhancements to surprise and delight guests.

My favorite addition thus far? The smart technology that clearly shows how many spaces are available at each level and even identifies open spaces with an easily recognizable green light above the spots. If you’ve parked in the garage recently, you know how awesome those little lights are.

This week, we’re celebrating another milestone – the opening of two new walkways that give guests a direct connection to the West Side promenade in two locations: adjacent to Splitsville Luxury Lanes and near Planet Hollywood. These new bridges to the property are accessible via the second level of the garage and give guests the option to use stairs, elevators or escalators (my go-to mode of arrival). With lush landscaping and new hardscape finishing out the space, the walkways are a beautiful new addition to what will eventually be Disney Springs.

To experience these enhancements for yourself, park in the Orange Garage during your next outing to the Downtown Disney Area and make your way to level two – with so much new to explore, hopefully your next visit is just around the corner.

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A Focus on Fascinators from Chapel Hats at Downtown Disney in Florida

posted on May 4th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Marketing Manager, Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced the name of their baby daughter today – Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. With all eyes on England, it’s the perfect time to celebrate one of Great Britain’s most time-honored fashion statements – the fascinator.

A Focus on Fascinators from Chapel Hats at Downtown Disney in Florida

A Focus on Fascinators from Chapel Hats at Downtown Disney in Florida A Focus on Fascinators from Chapel Hats at Downtown Disney in Florida A Focus on Fascinators from Chapel Hats at Downtown Disney in Florida

Sometimes referred to as a “cocktail hat,” the modern-day fascinator can be worn in place of a traditional hat at formal occasions such as weddings. They are also popular at horse-racing events, like the recent Kentucky Derby. (I love any excuse to wear a fascinator – it always makes me feel fancy and frilly in the best possible way!)

Interested in finding a favorite fascinator for yourself? Look no further than Chapel Hats, one of the new retails locations in the heart of Downtown Disney. If you’re not sure which headpiece fits you best, their friendly staff will help you decide. Trying on is encouraged, and with plenty of mirrors in the store, you’re sure to find something that suits you!

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