It's time for the Frog Family's weekly roundup of Disney and Orlando theme park tidbits from the interwebs.
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This week’s highlights:
Foodies -- like my dear wife, Mommy Frog -- will want to mark their calendars next week for Aug. 26. That's the first day you can make reservations for the re-imagined California Grill, which re-opens Sept. 9. The whole restaurant, which sits atop Disney's Contemporary Resort, has been undergoing a makeover, including the menu, which looks quite delicious. Perhaps more importantly, though, there will now be two outdoor areas for viewing the fireworks at Magic Kingdom as well as two communal tables inside that will offer prime viewing of Wishes. All in all, we think this is going to be one spectacular experience for guest. Will you be making reservations? Let us know if you get through!
- Yesterday, we spent some time exploring many of the delicious treats at the Walt Disney World Resort, so it was rather fitting that we stumbled upon this post looking at the eye-candy that is Main Street Confectionery. Even if you don't pick up a sweet treat, it's fun to watch cast members create their masterpieces in the show kitchen.
Last bit of foodie news, I swear, but the signage is now up for Starbucks at Epcot, which is scheduled to open Sept. 4.
- Annie Leibovitz continues her Disney Dream Portrait series, this time with Jennifer Hudson as Tiana. Not surprisingly, Lily is quite smitten with the new Tiana, and of course, she loves "The Princess and the Frog."
- Disney will be unleashing the villains for one night only at Hollywood Studios on Sept. the 13th -- that's Friday the 13th, in case you were wondering. Maleficent, Capt. Hook and your other favorite Disney villains will be greeting guests and playing host to a villainous dance party. Park-goers can party until the 13th hour and take in the "Villainy in the Sky" fireworks show.
- Universal Orlando is steadily revealing all of the houses for this year's Halloween Horror Nights, and "An American Werewolf in London" is the latest reveal. Writer and director John Landis talks about the meticulous detail Universal has taken to bring the film classic to life.
Over at Universal Studios Hollywood, the Boogeyman will be haunting guests during its own Horror Nights, with actor Danny Trejo narrating the experience.
- Nineteen growing alligators are back at Gatorland after being on loan at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. It seems the American gators, which are 6 to 8 feet in length, had outgrown their space. Let's hope they enjoy the new digs!
- Last but not least, I leave you with the Orlando Sentinel, which has given us a perspective of Magic Kingdom that we don't often see: Main Street U.S.A. from 12 feet in the air. Using a GoPro mounted on a monopod, the newspaper photographers captured a number of amazing views inside the iconic park. Yes, Tad is already thinking of trying it next time we are in the park!
That’s all for this week. Until next week, happy planning!