It's time for the Frog Family's weekly roundup of Disney and Orlando theme park tidbits from the interwebs.
This week’s highlights:
- This was a big week for Walt Disney World-loving foodies! First, it was revealed that the ongoing refurbishment of Epcot’s Bistro de Paris is to make way for a less stuffy, but still French restaurant in the same location, with a new name, new menu and new decor. But still French! The beloved Boulangerie Patisserie is not going away (and neither is Les Chefs de France), but it is moving near the exit of the Impressions de France theatre, and its old location will turn into an ice cream parlor.
- The next day, reservations for Epcot Food & Wine Festival events on September 28-November 12 opened to much salivation. Theme Park Foodie, who guest blogged last week about the best budget eats in the Magic Kingdom, has the menus of this year’s world marketplace booths. You can buy tickets by calling (407) WDW-FEST; some events can be booked online.
- Finally, the news Mommy Frog has been anxiously awaiting all summer arrived! Advance dining reservations for Be Our Guest, the Beauty and the Beast-themed restaurant in Fantasyland, will open August 20 at noon Eastern. You better get your frog fingers ready to dial, because online reservations won’t be available until August 22.
- In “awww” news, SeaWorld brought together more than 85 leaders and workers from 35 Florida animal rescue organizations for its “Happy Tails” shelter summit to share best practices and insights.
- LEGOLAND Florida water park trucked in more than 4,000 pounds of ice and invited guests to cool off during this long and hot summer.
- Starting September 1, augmented reality is coming to Downtown Disney with “Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality.” Visitors can interact virtually with Phineas, Ferb, Dr. Doof and Agent P.
- Kathy Mangum, the creative executive who has presided over the massively popular Cars Land in Disneyland, is headed to Walt Disney World to oversee all attraction and resort design.
- Orlando Informer's Marc N. Kleinhenz delves into the history of the “dark ride” and makes his case for why it’s still relevant.
- The Disney-produced “Odd Life of Timothy Green” opened Wednesday to decidedly mixed reviews. While Lily has generally loved all of the Disney movies, we're still deciding whether this is a “go see” or “wait until the DVD.”
- For the overachievers, Disney has unveiled the medal design for next year’s 20th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon. It is quite spectacular, and almost the motivation I need to get hopping on my marathon training again.
That’s all for this week. Until next week, happy planning!