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This February, Treat Your Love to Something New at Disney Springs

posted on February 2nd, 2016 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


Valentine’s Day is February 14th, but why limit date night to just one Sunday? I’ve always considered Disney Springs one of the very best spots for a fun night out, whether you’re looking for a treat yo’ self-splurge or something more casual and carefree.

This year, there’s even more to love at Disney Springs, with plenty of new options for romance. Read on for a few of my favorite ideas for couples:

  1. Love is an adventure—especially at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar: with themed cocktails and inventive small plates, I suggest starting with drinks and splitting an appetizer before moving on to dinner. (This is also a favorite watering hole for late night escapades!)

  1. Do a classic date night better, with dinner at one of our new (or newly expanded!) hot spots: by now, you’ve heard the buzz about Morimoto Asia – it’s in the spotlight for a reason. The exquisitely prepared Pan Asian cuisine pairs perfectly with the upscale ambience of the dining room. I also love their curated beverage menu … the sake sangria is perfect for sharing. On Valentine’s Weekend, make a reservation to enjoy a special prix fixe dinner: $85 per person gets you four courses and features the impressive Morimoto Peking Duck dish. If you prefer the flavors of the Americas, visit Paradiso 37. Here, a new expansion added nearly 500 additional seats, many with waterfront views. The updated wine bar is another nice enhancement. Of course, their menu continues to impress and on Valentine’s Day, couples can enjoy a five-course meal (Grilled Filet Oscar or Seared Black Grouper, anyone?) at $39.99 per person.

  1. Be sweet at The Ganachery: An intimate space showcasing sophisticated ganache made in-house, it’s no surprise that this Disney owned and operated chocolate boutique often has a line to get in. Choose your own favorites among 16 flavors, or pick up a pre-selected assortment of treats hand-picked to create the ultimate Valentine’s gift.

  1. Toast to your better half with a Wine Tasting Cruise at The BOATHOUSE: The newest experience at The Landing ships off Valentine’s Day Weekend. February 12-14, you can enjoy an intimate cruise about The Venezia, a breathtaking 40-ft water taxi. Reservations are required and are limited to 10 guests (groups are welcome!); the cost is $150 per person for the one-hour wine-and-hors d’oeuvers-included voyage, departing at 4:30pm. Call 407-939-2628 to book.

  1. Fall in love with “La Nouba” all over again, thanks to brand-new acts: The breakdancing b-boys will get your heart pumping while a you-need-to-see-it-to-believe-it aerial bamboo act brings pure romance. Though the show is dark on Valentine’s Day, there is plenty of opportunity to catch this classic Cirque du Soleil spectacle with the one you love. Visit the “La Nouba” website or call (407) 939-7600 to purchase tickets.

Which date idea sounds most fun to you? (Though really, why pick just one … February has just begun, so if you plan things just right, you may be able to do all of the above this month—that’s definitely something to love!)

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See ‘The Willis Clan’ Perform at Raglan Road During a Limited Engagement at Disney Springs

posted on January 12th, 2016 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


With the holidays behind us and Valentine’s Day still a month away, you may think that January is a quiet month for revelry and entertainment. Not so at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant where The Willis Clan, famous for their appearances on “America’s Got Talent” and their reality TV series on TLC, will be taking the stage January 19-22, 2016.

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Featured in People magazine in 2015, The Willis Clan is a family band like no other. They write and record their own music, staying true to their Irish traditions while infusing originality from multiple musical influences. With all 12 Willis children taking on a musical role alongside their mom, Brenda, and behind-the-scenes dad, Toby, it’s no wonder that NBC named the group the “Today Show’s Sound of Music Family” in 2012. Since that time, they’ve played sold-out crowds in Ireland and have opened for Brad Paisley and The Band Perry in Dublin, Ireland, while their latest studio album, “Heaven,” recently reached #6 on the iTunes pop charts.

As someone who loves a good live show, I can’t wait to see them perform on the Raglan Road Patio Stage later this month. If you’re expecting a hefty admission fee, you’ll be excited to learn that there is no cover charge at the pub. As always, the restaurant will feature their authentically Irish dinner and bar menus, seasonal local dishes, craft beer flights and a robust array of specialty cocktails.

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Though I haven’t yet met her in person, I was thrilled to find that Brenda Willis and I have one thing in common – we both believe that “Raglan Road is one of our favorite pubs in the world!” If you agree, don’t miss your chance to see The Willis Clan live on stage from 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Jan. 19 and 20, and from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Jan. 21 and 22, 2016.

In the meantime, click here to learn more about The Willis Clan and follow @RaglanRoadPub on Twitter for the latest Willis Clan performance updates. For general Disney Springs news and happenings, follow @DisneySprings on Twitter and Instagram.

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New Acts Bring Fresh Energy to ‘La Nouba’ by Cirque du Soleil

posted on January 11th, 2016 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


About a year and a half ago, “La Nouba,” the resident Cirque du Soleil show at Disney Springs (back then it was still Downtown Disney) introduced a duo of new clowns. It was a nice refresh to an already fantastic experience. The team at “La Nouba” is at it again, this time bringing in two brand-new acts: a high-energy trio of breakdancing b-boys that will make your head spin and a mesmerizing aerial bamboo act that will leave you breathless.

I recently had to a chance to see the revamped show and it blew me away. While the experience is constantly being tweaked with subtle updates, these additions make the opening sequence and the acts that follow feel entirely new and fresh.

If you’re a fan of shows like “You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Best Dance Crew” then the b-boys may very well become your favorite act. The performers, all well-known solo artists, go by stage names Bebo, Incredible Josh and Flying-buddha. They mix hip-hop and breakdance moves in dizzying combinations; with choreography that merges from freestyle solo moments to precision-timed moves in unison, I can only imagine how much time the boys spent in rehearsal before hitting the stage.

I wasn’t the only one who was impressed. A quick glance around the theatre confirmed that the b-boys had everyone under their spell; the kids in the audience were especially entranced, most wearing a “how did they do that?” look of awe.

With a rare mix of rhythm, strength and straight-from-the-streets confidence, this threesome has added a bold hint of urban flair to “La Nouba” that can’t be adequately described in mere words. Truly, the best advice I can suggest is that you see the updated show for yourself!

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In the coming weeks, I’ll be doing a follow-up story about the new aerial bamboo act here on the Disney Parks Blog. In the meantime, visit the “La Nouba” website or call (407) 939-7600 to learn more about the show and purchase tickets.

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Kick Off 2016 with a Healthy Day at Disney Springs

posted on January 5th, 2016 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


I know, I know … when you think about your dream day at Disney Springs, you probably envision eating an indulgent meal at one of the new restaurants at The Landing, sitting for an evening show at Exposition Park and sampling hand-crafted sweets or drinks (maybe both?) to cap off your visit. While I’m certainly a fan of treating yourself every now and then, I also know that during the start of a new year, many of us recommit to getting healthier. Believe it or not, Disney Springs is the perfect place to do just that!

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Take a look at some of my favorite ways to stay motivated and healthy during your next Disney Springs outing:

  • Get Your Steps In: When you walk from the West Side to the Marketplace, you’ll be clocking in a distance of roughly one mile. Make it a round trip journey and add in stops at your favorite stores (including the newly-expanded World of Disney) and you should easily hit three miles.
  • Find Fitness Gear: Want to track your daily activity, including the aforementioned walking? Many of the latest fitness trackers and GPS monitors are available at Fit2Run, alongside shoes, apparel and accessories all designed to help you become the best version of yourself. And if you’re not sure what gear is right for you, just ask – their staff is trained to help you find the perfect fit.
  • Have a Healthy Meal: Healthy options abound – as long as you make smart choices. A few of my favorite menu items include a the Citrus Salmon Salad at Raglan Road and the Baby Kale Quinoa Salad from Wolfgang Puck Express (both are incredible!); the Alberto Roll at Splitsville Luxury Lanes; and the grilled fish tacos at Paradiso 37, Fulton’s Crab House or The BOATHOUSE – seriously, the dish is excellent at all three locations. If you don’t know what to order, your server should be able to make some good-for-you recommendations.
  • Dance It Out: With free live entertainment nightly, there’s always a chance to dance. The family-friendly DJ Dance Party at the Marketplace is a sure bet and you’ll likely find a beat you can groove to at Waterview Park, near Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, as well.

Of course, my list is just a sampling. I asked a few fellow cast members for additional suggestions … they ranged from “buy a cute Disney character-inspired hand sanitizer from World of Disney” to “hydrate” to “just get outside and enjoy the fresh air.” Notice a trend? These are all things that guests can enjoy at Disney Springs every single day, all year long. And that’s exactly what I plan to do!

If you have any other tips, please share them in the comments below – I’d love to know. In the meantime, here’s to a happy and healthy new year.

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From Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, Holiday Music is Still a Seasonal Staple

posted on December 15th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


This holiday season, our first as “Disney Springs,” it’s been fun to see all that’s new on property during this most festive time of year.

It’s also been nice to take a walk down memory lane and reminisce about some of my favorite long-time offerings.

At the top of list? The Christmas music that fills the promenade through December.

One of our performers, Pat Frost, has been making musical magic for years. With his Santa hat and conch shells, his rendition of familiar holiday tunes is unique, to say the least!

I loved taking a look back at this 2012 video from Christmas past when we were still “Downtown Disney” and the West Side hadn’t yet begun to make way for new locations like Starbucks and United World Soccer.

If you want to see Pat perform this year, stop by Dockside Margaritas — he’s frequently spotted there. And if you miss him, pick up a Times Guide to check out other entertainment options including Including meet and greets with Santa, live musical performances, stilt walkers and more! ’Tis the season.

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The ‘Disney and Vans’ Collection is Available Now at Curl by Sammy Duvall at Disney Springs

posted on December 1st, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


What do you get when you mix one of the coolest shoe brands on the planet with some of the most iconic Disney characters and films ever created? You get the Disney and Vans Collection, featuring designs showcasing “Alice in Wonderland,” Mickey Mouse, “The Little Mermaid,” Donald Duck, “101 Dalmatians,” “Jungle Book,” and Disney Princesses, to name a few.

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If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the trendy Disney fan on your holiday list, you can find it a Curl by Sammy Duvall, located at Disney Springs West Side. Here, they carry shoes from the first two Disney Vans releases in slip-on, lace-up and high-top styles.

I spoke to George Davis, General Manager, and he told me that the collection has been extremely popular with guests. “They make a great souvenir that’s not available just anywhere. We’ve sold from infant sizes to adult size 13 – all ages of Disney fans love these shoes!” Indeed, the only place to find Disney Vans at Walt Disney World Resort is at Curl. And while I want to buy a pair for myself (okay, I want all the pairs for myself!), I have a feeling that my one-year old nephew may end up with a Mickey Mouse pair in his stocking this year.

I’m still having a hard time deciding which design is my favorite. Take a look at the gallery below then let me know which you like best.

Want more gift ideas? Follow @DisneySprings on Twitter – each day leading up to Christmas we’ll be sharing a new suggestion using hashtag “#25daysofDS”

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‘The Good Dinosaur Weekend’ Celebrated Pixar’s Newest Film

posted on November 25th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


Last weekend we celebrated the newest Disney•Pixar release, “The Good Dinosaur,” on both coasts — at Disney Springs in Florida and the Downtown Disney District in California. With a DJ dance party, chalk art, activities, giveaways and more, it was a party filled with dino-sized fun for the whole family! Couldn’t make it in person? Check out the video recap below, then make plans to see the film which makes it official debut today, November 25, 2015.

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Second Pedestrian Bridge is Now Open at Disney Springs

posted on November 17th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


Earlier this fall, our first pedestrian bridge opened near Team Disney. Yesterday, we celebrated the official debut of the second bridge, linking Hotel Plaza Boulevard to Disney Springs Marketplace more safely and efficiently than ever before.

Along with several fellow cast members, one of our Walt Disney World Resort ambassadors, a handful of Disney executives, and partners from Reedy Creek and Hotel Plaza Boulevard, I had the chance to witness the ribbon-cutting moment that marked yet another milestone in the evolution of Disney Springs.

With a giant pair of golden scissors, confetti streamers, musical fanfare and celebratory cupcakes, we debuted the bridge in true Disney Springs style!

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Whether you’re staying at one of the Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels located on Hotel Plaza Boulevard or simply parking in the lots near Team Disney for a few hours, I’d encourage you to take a walk across one of these bridges. (It’s surprisingly cool and calm up there, and the views are fantastic!)

With expansion efforts continuing through summer 2016, there’s still more change on the horizon. Now, thanks to our pedestrian bridges, that horizon looks markedly different – literally!

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For the latest Disney Springs news, follow @DisneySprings on Twitter and our recently-launched Instagram account. We’d love to see a photo of you enjoying our property; use hashtag “#DisneySprings” for your chance to be featured!

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Santa Claus Has Come to Town at Disney Springs Marketplace

posted on November 13th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


Although today’s high was 86 degrees in Central Florida, this morning when I arrived to work at Disney Springs, it was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Holiday music filtered through the speakers, trees and ornaments had been installed overnight and I caught my first glimpse of Santa’s Chalet, recently relocated to a new location across from Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. A few hours later, I was among the first to meet Old St. Nick, who’s as jolly as ever!

Like last year, guests will check in at the podium to join a virtual queue, which means less time waiting in line. Planning to visit? Upon arrival, you’ll receive a pager from one of Santa’s Helpers; when it’s time to take your place in line, you’ll be notified. Simply return to the podium within 10 minutes. In the meantime, you can shop, dine and enjoy holiday décor and festivities throughout Disney Springs!

Santa will be greeting guests daily through December 24, 12pm – 10pm. (Santa Goofy takes over December 25-29 during the same hours.) If you have Disney’s Memory Maker Package, your PhotoPass Photos with Santa are included. Of course, Santa’s always willing to smile for a selfie, too!

To see the latest Disney Springs holiday happenings, follow @DisneySprings on Twitter and our brand-new Instagram account—be sure to use hashtag “#DisneySprings” for your chance to be featured. Happy holidays, indeed!

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Celebrate ‘The Good Dinosaur’ November 21 and 22 at Disney Springs and the Downtown Disney District

posted on November 11th, 2015 by Darcy Clark, Disney Springs Marketing Manager


In my family, the weekend after Thanksgiving always means leftover turkey sandwiches and at least one family outing to the latest big-screen flick. I’m already looking forward to the newest Disney•Pixar release: “The Good Dinosaur” which debuts in 3D nationwide on November 25th. And this year, the movie excitement actually starts the weekend before the film hits theatres, with “The Good Dinosaur Weekend” taking place at Disney Springs Marketplace in Florida and at the Downtown Disney District in California, across from Downtown Disney AMC 12.

On November 21 and 22, both locations will host a celebration with a live DJ and a Dinosaur Dance Party from 11am to 11pm. As the sun sets, meteor shower lighting effects will light up the night. Special décor, photo opportunities and giveaways will amp up the party. T-REX and Rainforest Café will also join in the dinosaur-themed fun – so I’d suggest fueling up at one of these restaurants before making your way to the family-friendly festivities.

“The Good Dinosaur Weekend” is part of Dino Week, happening November 14 – November 22 throughout the Walt Disney Company; be among the first to find out more about Dino Week when it kicks off this Saturday on The Good Dinosaur Facebook page and get to know the film’s lead character, Arlo the Apatosaurus, his unlikely human friend Spot, and all of the T-Rexes, Raptors, and Pterodactyls they meet along the way.

Stay tuned to The Disney Parks Blog for more information about “The Good Dinosaur Weekend” including details on signing events, special event merchandise and more!

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