Stop Calling Them “Marketplaces”!

Uh, yeah.  The title of this post is directed at me.

Not to be confused with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival’s “marketplaces”, Disney has taken to billing Epcot’s Flower & Garden food kiosks as “Outdoor Kitchens”.

Maybe that’s not a new thing?  Maybe I just missed the reference last year?  Nonetheless, I like it!  It’s kind of “catchy”.  Outdoor Kitchens.

If you check out Disney’s web site, you’ll see that they’ve “spruced up” this year’s roster of Outdoor Kitchens.

For example, the last time I touched on “Food” & Garden, the U.K. pavilion’s entry to this year’s festival was tagged with the name – United Kingdom Outdoor Kitchen.

I should have known, at the time, that this was only a temporary name.  It has now been “re-introduced” as Buttercup Cottage.  Hmm.  Alrighty, then.

Can you tell me just one thing, Buttercup?  Are you serving this in 2014?  It was (is?) fabulous!

Brie

2013’s Baked Goat’s Brie with Kumquat Chutney. Phenomenal!

I also reported that there was “one more [kitchen] yet to be revealed.”  Well, it has been.  Named Urban Farm Eats, it will, reportedly, “Honor the earth and all it grows with a refreshing selection [that has] … been cultivated entirely from the soil!”  Vegetarian?  Vegan?  We’ll see.

All of this to lead me back to the same question I asked back on January 20th.  “What IS on the menu?!”  Come on, Disney!  Let’s go!  We’re HUNGRY!

Have a great day, my friends!

The All in WDW Readers’ Top 10 Disney’s Animal Kingdom Attractions!

Hello, from the Great Atlanta “Snow-mageddon” event of 2014!  These are the days where I’m glad I live so close to the office.  Er, I live across the street from the office!

Do you know what I forgot to tell you the other day?  No?

When I announced the winner of this year’s Favorite Animal Kingdom Attraction poll, I should have reminded you that the competition’s Final Four will return in April.

Everest

Yes, they will come back to challenge for the title of All in WDW Readers’ Favorite WDW Attraction!  Check back around the time of the NCAA’s March Madness Final Four!

In the meantime, we still have Epcot and Disney’s Magic Kingdom to tackle!  Catch those tourneys in February and March!  Hey, have you seen All in WDW’s poll “schedule” for 2014?  If not, here it is!  Download it if you like!

2014 Readers’ Favorites Calendar

One of my favorite outcomes from this year’s polls is our Top 10 lists.  They come in handy as I often get asked things like, “What resorts do you recommend?” Or, “What attractions should I go on?”

We’ve only completed a few Top 10’s, but I pass them out to a lot of WDW “newbies”.  It gives them a place to start.  I can’t wait for us to build a collection of them.

Having said that, I present the All in WDW Readers’ Disney’s Animal Kingdom Top 10 Favorite Attractions!  As always, the Top 4 come straight out of the results of our finale.  The remaining attractions are recorded in order of their cumulative vote totals for the entire “competition”.

Enjoy!  Hey!  Comments, thoughts, or opinions are appreciated!

  1. Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
  2. Kilimanjaro Safaris®
  3. Finding Nemo – The Musical
  4. DINOSAUR
  5. It’s Tough to be a Bug!®
  6. Tree of Life®
  7. Kali River Rapids®
  8. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade
  9. Pangani Forest Exploration Trail®
  10. Maharajah Jungle Trek®

Did you miss our other Top 10’s?  Check ’em out!

Top 10 Disney’s Hollywood Studios Attractions

Top 10 Deluxe Resorts

Top 5 Moderate Resorts

The Mountain on Top of the Mountain!

Let’s see a show of hands.  How many of you stop back time and time again on “finale day” to see what attraction, restaurant, or resort is in the lead of that week’s particular poll?

If you raised your “paw”, then accept my thanks!  Wasn’t yesterday a wild ride befitting a wild animal kingdom?

If you’re one of the family that doesn’t check out our progress throughout the last day of voting, try it next time.  Yesterday was a one-on-one war for survival with multiple lead changes and, for the second straight year, a very slim margin of victory.

In 2013, Everest bested Kilimanjaro by a single, solitary vote.  It prompted me to say, “Epic!  What a battle!  Thrill ride versus an attraction that might just as well be the signature of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I love to streak backwards, in the dark, through mountain passages, while chased by a big, furry beast.  Several times, in fact.  What a rush!

But, like I said after last year’s tournament, “[f]or me, Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition was the choice.  I love Everest, but, Safaris is the attraction that tells me I’m in the Animal Kingdom.”

From rhinos to lions, elephants to hippos, and my beloved zebras and giraffes, you just don’t know you’re in the Animal Kingdom until you get bounced across the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.

Congratulations, Yeti!  By a margin of merely four votes, you have done it again!  You are still the All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Disney’s Animal Kingdom Attraction!

Yeti

The Final Four “Animals” Fight for Glory!

If you tie together my last two posts, as well as yesterday’s results, you’ll stumble upon the message for today.

What’s missing?  Well, if you read Friday’s “ramble”, you should know that already.  But, here it is cast in the context of this little World of All in WDW polling exercise …

2013’s Final Four?

  • Finding Nemo
  • Expedition Everest
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

This year’s “cream of the crop”?

  • Finding Nemo
  • Expedition Everest
  • DINOSAUR
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

You certainly can’t dispute our consistency.

Reminiscing back to yesterday, however, won’t it be really interesting to see how the arrival of AVATAR’s Pandora will further shake up our Top 4 attractions?  I’m anxious to see the impact of Disney’s $400 million (plus?) investment.  Sadly, we’ll have to wait until 2017 to see the results.

OK.  For now, this is it, my friends.  Which will it be?

A dash through a land of prehistoric beasts? A swim with a tiny fish? A confrontation with an enraged and mythical “monster”? Or, a savanna filled with stunning wildlife?

Tree of Life

VOTE!  Tell your friends!  Pass the word!  Tomorrow, well have an All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Disney’s Animal Kingdom Attraction!

Where art thou, “Avatar Land”? Vote!

I keep thinking about how our Animal Kingdom Favorites “tournaments” will be different once “Avatar Land” is complete.

Reportedly, it is “… expected to span several acres and … feature multiple rides and attractions, entertainment, audio-animatronics, 3-D holograms as well as retail, food and beverage outlets.”

Back in October of 2013, “[a]t the first-ever D23 Expo in Japan, [Disney] shared an early glimpse of the plans for AVATAR …”

Reporting on Disney Parks Blog, they advised that “… in the world of AVATAR, guests will encounter awe-inspiring floating mountains and wander through a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants that are alive with light and sound.

Guests will also discover what it feels like to soar into the sky riding a Banshee.”  Now, that will be an attraction to experience.  In fact, Wikipedia reports it as “… [a] flying E-ticket simulator attraction where guests will learn to fly with a mountain Banshee.”

Also, Wikipedia adds that we will be able to enjoy “… [a] Jungle Cruise-like water attraction showcasing the native fauna and flora of Pandora.”  We will see, I guess.  Have you seen this attraction reported elsewhere?

Back to the Disney Parks Blog report, however, we learn that Disney will add “… a new nighttime spectacular where live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery all combine to bring a show to Discovery River that will delight … guests and truly cap off their day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.”  Will this be a new and fantastic fireworks show?  I hope!

In addition, we will see “… a new nighttime version of the Kilimanjaro Safaris.”  Wow!  The daytime version is already super-popular.  I can’t wait to experience the journey through Harambe in the dark.

Hey!  With this, and the potential for a new fireworks spectacular, I can’t wait to have a reason to be at Animal Kingdom at night!

Expected to open by early 2017, it’ll be 2018 before AVATAR hits All in WDW’s polls, I’ll bet, but bring it on WDW!  We’re ready!

AVATAR Ground-Break

In the meantime, we have an ‘elite eight’ attractions left in our mix to become the 2014 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Disney’s Animal Kingdom Attraction.

Before you head out on your Saturday errands, make your selections!  Which four deserve to be in tomorrow’s finale?  Two groups with the Top 2 moving on … VOTE!