Our Thoughts on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

A few of us had the opportunity to stay at Walt Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort, which opens today. We were able to stay in one of the Nemo Family Suites, explore the resort, take advantage of the Pool and Play areas, tour the soon to open Cars Family Suites, shop for resort specific merchandise, and eat at Landscape of Flavors. It was an amazing stay!!!

What was your favorite detail at the Art of Animation Resort?

The Big Blue Pool at Art of Animation was one of our favorite places!!!
Shelley: My absolute favorite detail of the Art of Animation Resort was how the trees around The Big Blue Pool were grown to have curvy trunks as if they were waving under the sea.
Aurora: The fact that in The Finding Nemo area that everything looked like it was under water. The way that the plants were placed and the way the trees were angled and the vibrant colors. The fish on the sides of the buildings with the colors being gradual blues made you feel like you were under water!
Betsy: There are so many to choose from, but I think one of my favorites has to be the diving mask by the Big Blue Pool that belongs to P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. I missed it the first time I walked by the pool, but loved it as soon as I noticed it.
Megan: I loved the large icons. My favorite has to be Crush outside of the EAC building.

What is your biggest tip for people staying at the Art of Animation Resort?

Squirt at the Righteous Reef Playground at night is alive with color!
Aurora: Take advantage of everything to see! Take a tour of the property. Take pictures. Make sure that you look for the small details. The kids will LOVE finding their favorite characters in hidden spots all over the resort. This place is a feast for the eyes.
Betsy: Take time to enjoy this resort! It is amazingly themed and detailed and I hope that people will take the time to appreciate the effort that the imagineers put into constructing a resort that is so immersive. I want to go back just to hang out by the pool, enjoy the atmosphere and the great food!
Megan:Take time to look at the sketches in the lobby. Try to find the piece of artwork in the chandelier in the Lobby signed by John Lasseter.
Shelley: Make sure that you take time to enjoy the resort during the day and at night, because there are so many creative uses of lighting that make all the difference and bring out details that aren’t as easily noticed in the daytime!

What should people know about staying at the Art of Animation Resort?

A view of the jogging trail from the Finding Nemo Family Suites.
Betsy: There is a great walking/jogging path along Hourglass Lake that is beautiful at night. We were only able to experience part of it due to construction, but by the time the resort is completely open in the middle of September this will be a great place to exercise or just to take a nice stroll along the lake with your family.
Megan: Make sure to schedule time to spend hanging out at the pool or to go for a run around hourglass lake
Shelley: In the far corner of the check-in area of Animation Hall, there is a children’s play/screening area with a twist! Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm artists will be on hand showing kids of all ages how to draw their favorite characters and holding “Animation Classes”.
Aurora: That this is not your typical value resort. They have raised the bar. The pool is AMAZING! The Scenery is Beautiful. The Themeing kicks all the other resorts butts. This place is not your typical small room resort!

 

What are you looking forward to experiencing again?

The amazing attention to detail can be found everywhere in the Finding Nemo Family Suites!
Megan: The rooms. I loved how spacious they were. The details in them made me feel like I was in the movie.
Shelley: I am really looking forward to bringing Zoe to the Resort to experience the pool, water play areas, and playgrounds! I think she will absolutely love all that there is to offer!!!
Aurora: I can not wait to stay in the Little Mermaid section! But I honestly can not wait to get in that Big Blue Pool again and float around listening to Mr. Ray Jabber under the water!
Betsy:  I think the Big Blue Pool is the thing I’m most looking forward to since I forgot my bathing suit this last trip. I want to hear the underwater speakers, play games by the pool, enjoy adult beverages at The Drop Off pool bar and just relax and soak it all in.

What would you eat again at the Art of Animation Resort?

Shelley's amazing macaroon cupcake! It is hard to believe that this is came from a food court of a Value Hotel!
Shelley: Absolutely!!! With soooo many vegetarian options with a world twist and a beautiful setting I have a feeling I won’t get tired of eating at Landscape of Flavors any time soon!
Aurora: I LOVED My Meatball Sub. I will get it with the home made potato chips this time however. I also loved my yogurt and would get that again for a breakfast option. I want to try the Make Your Own Salad with Chicken, Also the Make your Own Pasta. I was VERY Jealous of Shelley’s cupcake with the macaroons on top so I may have to get one of those!!!!
Betsy: I loved the mini buckwheat waffles that I had for breakfast. My mom used to make buckwheat pancakes when I was little and I haven’t had them in years. This most definitely satisfied that craving. Plus, they were super cute and had Dory on them. 🙂
Megan: Definitely! The food was well above the normal value resort food quality.
What is one thing that you wish the Art of Animation Resort had?

Aurora: I would LOVE to see a Toy Story Section added on somewhere down the line. That is one of my personal favorite movies and I think the Theming is ENDLESS!

Betsy: I know value resorts don’t have them, but I would love it if there was a hot tub. This resort is so different from all the other value resorts, and dare I say, several steps above the rest, that I wouldn’t think it would be out of place at all.
Megan: A slide. The pool would be over the top if it had a slide.
Shelley: I wish that the resort had a tour with insight into the design and a look at the Imagineers designed the resort.

 

We hope that these tips and thoughts help you as you plan a stay at Walt Disney World’s Art of Animation Resort!!!

 

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Orlando Solar Bears Home Opener!!

The Orlando Solar Bears announced today that their Season Home Opener will be at the Amway Center on October 20, 2012 against the Florida Everblades!!!!! This will be a great game! The ECHL ( East Coast Hockey League) announced today their entire 25th Season schedule as well!

I can NOT wait to bring my friends and family to some of their first hockey games!!!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Hockey and I am SO SO Excited!

This was sent from the Desk of the ECHL:
ECHL RELEASES 2012-13 SCHEDULE
ECHL
PRESS RELEASES

May 30, 2012
PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Wednesday that its 25th season will begin on Friday, Oct. 12 with seven games being played in six states from New Jersey to California and continues on Saturday, Oct. 13 with 11 more games in nine states. Opening Weekend concludes on Sunday, Oct. 14 with one game.

Three of the ECHL’s four new members open their home schedules on the first weekend of the season. On Oct. 12, the Fort Wayne Komets host the Kalamazoo Wings at Memorial Coliseum while the San Francisco Bulls host the Bakersfield Condors in the first professional hockey game at the Cow Palace since 1996. The Evansville IceMen play their first ECHL game on Saturday, Oct. 13, hosting Fort Wayne at the Ford Center.

The Orlando Solar Bears open their home schedule at Amway Center on Saturday, Oct. 20 against Florida.

Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league that will have 23 teams in 16 states playing 828 games from Oct. 12, 2012 to March 30, 2013.

Wheeling celebrates its 21st season in 2012-13 while South Carolina plays its 20th season. Toledo returns for its 19th season, Florida celebrates its 15th year, Trenton its 14th season and Reading its 12th season in the ECHL. Alaska, Bakersfield, Gwinnett, Idaho and Las Vegas each celebrate their 10th ECHL season in 2012-13.

The third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the ECHL averaged 4,281 fans per game in 2011-112 which is the eighth consecutive season and the 20th time in the last 22 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.

The Florida Everblades will raise their first-ever Kelly Cup championship banner at Germain Arena on Saturday, Oct. 13 as they host Orlando in the Solar Bears’ first-ever ECHL game.

The Elmira Jackals will celebrate their Atlantic Division title when they open at First Arena against Reading on Friday, Oct. 12, while Ontario, which has led the ECHL in attendance each of the last three seasons, will raise its Pacific Division championship banner on Oct. 13 against Stockton.

Kalamazoo, which has won the North Division title each of its three seasons in the ECHL, opens its home schedule on Friday, Oct. 19 against Fort Wayne. The Gwinnett Gladiators will celebrate their South Division title the same night against Ontario.

Las Vegas will raise its Western Conference championship banner on Friday, Oct. 19 when they host Stockton. The Alaska Aces will raise their sixth division title banner the same night against Utah.

The Trenton Titans, who led the ECHL with a 26.1 percent increase in attendance in 2011-12, opens at home on Friday, Oct. 12 against Greenville. Colorado, which has sold out all 350 regular season and playoff games in team history, hosts Alaska at the Budweiser Events Center on Opening Night, while Idaho hosts Utah and Stockton entertains Ontario in their clubs’ home openers.

Toledo, which has surpassed 6,000 fans per game in two of its three seasons at Huntington Center, hosts Kalamazoo on Saturday, Oct. 13. Cincinnati, which has increased its attendance for each of the last five seasons, opens on Saturday against Wheeling.

It will be a Kelly Cup Playoffs rematch at the North Charleston Coliseum as the South Carolina Stingrays open their home schedule on Oct. 13 against Gwinnett. Also on Saturday, Reading opens its home schedule against Trenton while Utah hosts Idaho in the back end of an opening weekend home-and-home series.

The Bakersfield Condors wrap up Opening Weekend on Sunday, hosting the Las Vegas Wranglers at Rabobank Arena on Sunday, Oct. 14.

The Greenville Road Warriors open play at the BI-LO Center against their in-state rivals, the South Carolina Stingrays, on Friday, Oct. 19. Wheeling is the final team to host its home opener on Friday, Oct. 26 against Reading.

After no games between out-of-conference opponents during the 2011-12 regular season, the 2012-13 schedule sees 24 games between Eastern and Western Conference foes. Ontario travels to Gwinnett on Oct. 19 and South Carolina on Oct. 20 and 21. Bakersfield visits Wheeling on Jan. 25, Toledo on Jan. 26 and Kalamazoo on Jan. 27 while Idaho is at South Carolina on Jan. 25 and Gwinnett on Jan. 26 and 27. Las Vegas heads to Trenton on Jan. 25 and is at Reading on Jan. 26 and 27.

Florida and Fort Wayne will each play a three-game series at Colorado. The Everblades visit on Nov. 21, 23 and 24, while the Komets are at Budweiser Events Center on Feb. 6, 8 and 9. Orlando visits Las Vegas on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and is at Ontario on Dec. 2 while Gwinnett travels to Utah on March 6 and to Idaho on March 8 and 9.

Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Watch games live on America One, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.
• The ECHL celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2012-13 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
• ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 23 teams in 16 states in 2012-13.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 490 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 23 in 2010-11.
• 23 ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2011-12: former Toledo Walleye, Gwinnett Gladiators and Colorado Eagles right wing Akim Aliu (Calgary on April 5), former Florida Everblades center Mike Angelidis (Tampa Bay on Jan. 24), former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Jordie Benn (Dallas on Jan. 3), former Bakersfield Condors and Elmira Jackals defenseman Stu Bickel (New York Rangers on Dec. 20), former Greenville Road Warriors defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon (Philadelphia on Nov. 21), former South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Joe Finley (Buffalo on Dec. 2), Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Brian Foster (Florida on Feb. 4), former Victoria Salmon Kings defenseman Kris Fredheim (Minnesota on Nov. 17), former Gwinnett Gladiators center Ryan Garbutt (Dallas on Feb. 18), former Elmira Jackals center Mike Hoffman (Ottawa on Dec. 23), former Victoria Salmon Kings goaltender Leland Irving (Calgary on Dec. 16), former Toledo Storm and Reading Royals center Bracken Kearns (Florida on Oct. 20), Stockton Thunder center Milan Kytnar (Edmonton on Jan. 11), former Bakersfield Condors center Maxime Macenauer (Anaheim on Oct. 7), former Ontario Reign center Jordan Nolan (Los Angeles on Feb. 11), former Idaho Steelheads center and two-time ECHL All-Star Greg Rallo (Florida on Dec. 18), former Cincinnati Cyclones center Ryan Russell (Columbus on Jan. 7), former Reading Royals goaltender Jussi Rynnas (Toronto on March 27), former Reading Royals goaltender Ben Scrivens (Toronto on Nov. 3), former Cincinnati Cyclones defenseman Frederic St. Denis (Montreal on Nov. 16), former Ontario Reign defenseman Colten Teubert (Edmonton on Nov. 3), former Wheeling Nailers goaltender Brad Thiessen (Pittsburgh on Feb. 26) and former Las Vegas Wranglers right wing Matt Watkins (Phoenix on Feb. 21).
• Six players played in the ECHL and NHL in 2011-12: Akim Aliu with Colorado and Calgary, Brian Foster with Cincinnati and Florida, Milan Kytnar with Stockton and Edmonton, Peter Mannino with Chicago and Winnipeg, Jussi Rynnas with Reading and Toronto and Allen York with Chicago and Columbus.
• The ECHL has had 298 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years.
• 234 ECHL players have played their first game in the last seven seasons for an average of more than 33 per year.
• ECHL had a record 81 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2011-12, surpassing the 79 from 2010-11 and marking the ninth year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• ECHL had affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2011-12, marking the 15th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 31 coaches with an ECHL background worked behind the benches of teams in the NHL in 2011-12 including Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and 2011 Jack Adams Award winner Dan Bylsma, New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano, Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan, Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel. It is the seventh consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award.
• 24 former ECHL officials worked as part of the NHL officiating team in 2011-12 with referees David Banfield, Darcy Burchell, Francis Charron, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Mark Lemelin, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre, Graham Skilliter and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Matt MacPherson, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the 11th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion in 2011 with Boston Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward, players Rich Peverley, Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas, radio broadcaster Dave Goucher and scout Tom McVie. Thomas is the first former ECHL player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were 34 former players and 19 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the sixth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the eighth consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• Former ECHL and current Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was the recipient of the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the NHL in 2010-11, marking the second time he has won the award in the past three seasons. Thomas set a single-season NHL record with a .938 save percentage.
• Former ECHL player and current Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was the recipient of the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s Coach of the Year in 2010-11.
• ECHL was represented in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game by Dan Girardi of the New York Rangers, Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Tom Callahan of the Nashville Predators, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• Ryan Stanzel and Jeremy Zager, who were both recipients of the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year award, are working in the communications department for the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. Former ECHL assistant director of communications Joe Siville and Kelly Murray are now with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, respectively, while former ECHL director of communications Jason Rothwell is the creative director for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• ECHL has affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the American Hockey League in 2011-12 and for the past 22 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.
• In the last seven seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 3,500 call-ups involving more than 1,800 players and in 2011-12 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,281 fans per game in 2011-12, marking the eighth consecutive season and the 20th time in the last 22 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.
• Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

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Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Landscape of Flavors Menus and More Food Pics

While we briefly gave an overview of the meals we sampled the other day for breakfast and dinner, I thought we should take a closer look at what I’m sure will become one of my favorite counter service locations on property: Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. There are so many amazing things to share about this great food court. It is like no other value resort in its attention to detail and theming that are prevalent throughout the resort common areas and suites.

One of my favorite details I wanted to share was all of the incredible artwork in the different dining areas themed after the resorts areas of The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid. I wish I could take some of this artwork home to decorate my house! It feels like you are immersed in a very cool art gallery while enjoying some truly incredible food. I was trying to describe the menu to a friend the other day and think Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Kidani Village is the closest as far as the world flavors influence, but with some Riverside Mill from Port Orleans Riverside thrown in with the create your own pasta and salad options. Having said that, this food court really doesn’t feel like any other. The ambiance is very relaxed and welcoming. I cannot wait to go back and try some of the incredible offerings that this restaurant has!

Also check out our post from the other day with pictures of what we ordered for dinner and breakfast here.

 

Landcape of Flavors general pictures and artwork

 

Breakfast pictures and menus

 

Snacks and drinks

 

Dinner pictures and menus

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When The Sun Goes Down, The Fun Heats Up At Adventure Island During Island Nights

Adventure Island heats up this summer with a family-friendly sunset celebration during Island Nights. From June 14 to Aug. 11, Busch Gardens’ water park transforms into an island of fun in the sun with live music, eclectic entertainment, tropical wildlife and island-inspired cuisine.

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 5 to 9 p.m., DJs rev up the energy with music, dancing and games on the beach. Street performers, larger-than-life stiltwalkers and a steel drum band keep the celebration going until 9 p.m. each event night.

Magicians, jugglers and skilled fire performers captivate guests as they enjoy a vacation from the everyday. Guests can also sample the tastes of the islands with unique offerings added to the daily menu, including island shrimp, empanadas, black beans and rice, sangria and frozen drinks.

Open Late ALL Summer Long

Returning in 2012, Adventure Island will be open late every night this summer! From June 14 to Aug. 12, hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The best way to escape to Adventure Island every night this summer is with an Adventure Island Weekday Pass. Pay for a day and come back any WEEKDAY – that includes any Thursday or Friday of Island Nights – all season long.

Island Nights is the perfect nighttime escape for all ages, and admission is included with any daily park admission or Adventure Island Pass. Visit AdventureIsland.com for more information.

About Adventure Island

Located right across the street fromBuschGardensTampaBay,AdventureIslandis 30 acres of water-drenched fun in the sun featuring the ultimate combination of high-speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages.

Thrilling slides and tube rides include Riptide, Wahoo Run, Key West Rapids, Runaway Rapids, Everglides, Calypso Coaster, Aruba Tuba, Caribbean Corkscrew, Water Moccasin and Gulf Scream. Guests can also stretch out on the beach or in the 17,000-square-foot wave pool, play on professional sand volleyball courts, breeze through tropical gift shops or let the current sweep them through a half-mile of lush landscapes and tropical waterfalls on the Rambling Bayou.

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Summer Nights Bring Nightly Fireworks to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens’ Summer Nights amps up the excitement year after year, and 2012 promises to offer even more after-dark entertainment and fun for the whole family with a new Latin-infused show at the Desert Grill and—for the first time ever—an amazing fireworks finale every night of the event.

From June 9 through Aug. 12, guests will experience extended park hours, special entertainment, high-energy DJs, and the thrill of riding world-class coasters in the dark, including Busch Gardens’ new triple-launch coaster, Cheetah Hunt.

The award-winning Kinetix show returns to Summer Nights with nightly performances of its rock-fueled blast of music and acrobatics. Kinetix’s energizing performances include live musicians, singers, dancers and artists from around the world. Their thrilling performance – along with modern music and pyrotechnic effects – will pump up the crowd every night in Gwazi Park at 9 p.m. Gates open at 8 p.m., so arrive early to ensure a good spot and enjoy the Party Starters’ pre-show interactive games and dancing.

NEW Fireworks Light Up the Sky Every Night

Celebrate the perfect end to the evening with an amazing fireworks finale. Busch Gardens lights up the sky every night of the event with an incredible aerial display set to popular music. The best views are in Gwazi Park, right after the nightly Kinetix show, but the fireworks are visible from all over the park.

 

 

NEW “Let’s Get Loud” Takes the Stage in the Desert Grill

Singers, dancers and musicians heat up Summer Nights with popular contemporary music and dance, incorporating the Latin flair of Miami’s South Beach. “Let’s Get Loud,” a Miami Dance Party, opens June 9 and will feature music and dance infused with Hispanic heat from well-known artists like Gloria Estefan, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin.

 

On Fridays and Saturdays, the Party Starters will host dance challenges all day throughout the park and pick the most outgoing guests to compete in the Dance-Off competition that evening. The Dance-Off will be a three-round competition starting at 7 p.m. in the Desert Grill. The audience picks the winner with “the best moves” by applause, and first prize is four tickets to come back to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Don’t forget that Busch Gardens is the place to be this summer ­– both day AND night – with brand-new attractions that offer exciting entertainment for everyone. Busch Gardens just opened its biggest ice show ever, Iceploration, bringing to life an all-new adventure filled with world-class skaters, original costumes, amazing aerial performances, master puppetry and live animal stars. The park’s new Animal Care Center welcomes guests to closely observe and even take part in the animal care experience in this new state-of-the-art facility. And the park’s newest mega-attraction and Florida’s first triple-launch coaster, Cheetah Hunt, launches riders from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds. If going from zero to cheetah is not your speed, guests can watch as Busch Gardens’ cheetahs sprint several times a day in Cheetah Run.

Park hours for Summer Nights are extended until 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Summer Nights is included with a day’s paid admission or any annual pass.

For more information on Summer Nights and Busch Gardens, visit BuschGardens.com or call
1-888-800-5447.

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Islands Of Adventure Internet Cafe

While my Husband James and I were visiting Universal Orlando Resort a few weeks ago, we noticed a hidden gem over at Islands of Adventure.

Now a days, EVERYONE has a smart phone. They use it for keeping in touch with the world via Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or to stay in contact with work and with family. It is unheard of to walk through a Central Florida theme park and NOT see someone in a family, if not everyone with a phone or camera in their hand. But what happens when that phone dies? Or you have used up all your space on your memory card or you need to send an important email while you are in the parks?

Well, Islands of Adventure has taken care of that with their own Internet Cafe called…

Wossamotta U.

Wossamotta U is the perfect place to charge your phone, add some pictures to your blog while at the park, email the boss an important email, or even let grandma skype with you after you ride Dudley Do-Right and all of you are soaking wet!

Lets take a look around the store!

They offer computers with timed visits for the Internet use, but you can leave your phone or camera in there to charge as long as you need it with no charge. We saw a family who had brought their own power strip and had been sitting in the park on a bench, plugged into an outlet charging 7 different things and they were missing out on all the fun things to do! If you drop them off here, then you can go enjoy a few rides, come back in an hour, and you will have fully charged up devices! We have all been there, dead phone, dead camera batteries, and dead video camera. This is such a wonderful addition to the park! Drop off your devices, get a ticket, ride a few rides in the area, have some lunch, come back, and you are ready to enjoy the rest of your day!

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Patriotism in the Parks – V is for Victory

Today, as a way to reflect on Memorial Day and to honor those who gave their lives for our country and also those living who served, I thought I’d do a post focusing on patriotism in the theme parks. While discussing what we were thinking about doing for Memorial Day the other day Shelley suggested that we do a post for with a tribute to the Victory Gardens. If you are not familiar with the area, it is tucked away in a corner of the Sunset Market Ranch at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The garden is situated behind Fairfax Fare and to the right of Rosie’s All American Cafe and Catalina Eddie’s. Not having visited this area specifically for at least a couple years, I thought I’d take a little time to rediscover it. Victory Gardens were started during World War I and World War II for people to grow their own fruits and vegetables in order to decrease demand on suppliers and grocers. You can read more about the history of Victory Gardens here.

 

Victory Gardens 8/30/08
Victory Gardens 8/30/08
Victory Gardens 8/30/08
Victory Gardens 8/30/08
Victory Gardens 8/30/08
Victory Gardens 8/30/08
Victory Gardens 5/25/12
Victory Gardens 5/25/12
Victory Gardens 5/25/12
Victory Gardens 5/25/12
Victory Gardens 5/25/12
Victory Gardens 5/25/12

While I was aware of the Victory Garden, Shelley brought to my attention something new to me: the toy soldiers in the middle of one of the condiment stations at Rosie’s All American Cafe. I had never noticed these were even there, so I got the best pictures I could given the sunlight and the awkward position I had to get in to reach these. There are counters and slots for napkins and utensils between the toy soldiers and you if you want to get pictures, so good luck.

The entire area of Sunset Market Ranch is loaded with lots of patriotic memorabilia from mostly the WWII era of American history. After I finished photographing the toy soldiers, I noticed signs on the walls of Rosie’s and Catalina Eddie’s, as well as tons more inside these counter service locations. I took this opportunity to take pictures of the awesome things spread out between these two restaurants. I especially loved the Disney characters used for war propaganda.

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to all those who have served!

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Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Preview – Sketch Wall in Lobby

One of my favorite elements of the lobby at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the sketch wall in the lobby that runs opposite the front desk in Animation Hall. The sketches are from the four featured themes of the resort: Cars, Finding Nemo, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. From right to left with your back to the front desk, the sketches progress from very rough black and white sketches to more finished drafts, and then eventually on to full color sketches of the characters we know and love from these great Disney and Disney-Pixar films. Some of the drawings depict the characters as we are familiar with them from the movies while others are concept sketches of earlier incarnations. Enjoy this slide show showing the progression of the beautiful artistry from the animators and imagineers.

 

httpv://youtu.be/1eQwHryk0i8

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Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Preview – Landscape of Flavors

Last night a few friends and I were able to experience dinner at the new food court, Landscape of Flavors, at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. We sampled several different menu items from the restaurant and were very pleasantly surprised by both the level of service, quality of food and presentation for a value resort. First off, the food is served on real plates and bowls and with real silverware, as opposed to the paper plates and plastic utensils one finds at other counter service restaurants. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures from our dinner as well as breakfast this morning! We cannot wait to go back and try some more of the items we didn’t get to this visit. I have a feeling this will quickly become one of my go to counter service restaurants.

 

 

Tandori Shrimp with Naan bread with choice of 2 sides (Cauliflower and Paneer shown)
Tandori Acorn Squash & Basmati Rice with Naan bread with choice of 2 sides (Cauliflower shown)
Create Your Own Pasta Bowl with Ciabatta Toast . Choice of Pasta, Meat, Sauce and Toppings. ( Bowtie Pasta, Pesto, Cheese and Chicken shown)
Create Your Own Burger with 2 sides. Choice of Toppings and Cheese on a multi grain roll. ( Cheddar and Bacon with Double Fries shown)
Create Your Own Salad with choice of Meat, Dressing and Toppings. ( Shown with Shrimp, Ranch, Tomatoes, Roasted Beans, Cheese, Corn, Chick Peas, Roasted Red Peppers)
Meatball Sandwich on Ciabatta with a Side Caesar Salad

Mickey Mouse Oreo Vanilla Cupcake. Yellow Cake, Butter Cream icing, White Chocolate Mickey Face and Oreo Cookie Mickey Ears. Also Pictured is the Chocolate Croissant
Macaroon Cupcake , Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream. Candy Pearls around the sides and 3 Macaroons on top

Mini Buckwheat Character Shaped Waffles with Side of Bacon ( not shown side of apples)
American Breakfast Platter. Scrambled Eggs, Breakfast Potatoes, Turkey Bacon, Chicken Sausage and Biscuit.
Create-Your-Own Yogurt Parfait. Vanilla Greek yogurt with choice of toppings. ( Shown are Strawberries, Brown Sugar, Granola, Pistachios, Dried Apricots and Craisins)
Steak and Egg Breakfast Burger topped with a fried Mickey Egg, Pepper jack cheese and Bacon served with Breakfast Potatoes
Create-Your-Own Omelet With your choice of ingredients and served with Breakfast Potatoes ( shown here with Spinach, Feta Cheese, Tomato, Cheddar Cheese and Onions)
Breakfast Chicken Burger topped with Pepper Jack cheese and a green chili omelet served with Breakfast Potatoes

 

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Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Preview – Cars Family Suites

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Walt Disney World’s newest value resort, will be opening in just a few short days on May 31, 2012. Here are some pictures of the Cars Family Suites, of which there will be 480, that open on June 18th. I am so excited to be able to experience these highly themed suites in person this summer!

These family suites are approximately the size of two standard rooms at the other value resorts at a little over 500 square feet. The suites are comprised of a queen size bed in the bedroom, a pull out double sofa in the living room and a double murphy bed that comes down over the dining table. There is a full bath off of the living room and it is important to note that the master bathroom does not have a bathtub. Also in the living room is the kitchenette area that includes a compact refrigerator, small microwave, coffeemaker and a bar sink.

The detail of the rooms is nothing short of amazing, but I think I was even more impressed by the exteriors of the buildings. Imagineers have taken an incredible amount of effort in recreating the feel of Radiator Springs. This section of the resort is created to the scale as if the guests were the size of the Cars we all know and love from the Disney-Pixar films. One of my favorite things was on Fillmore, the classic VW van, who is a hippie in the Cars movie. He can be seen just outside the Wheel Well and at first glance only has a few bumper stickers on his side window. However, if you walk all the way around Fillmore, you are able to see the entire back of the van is covered. There are some great inside jokes that the Imagineers threw in there.

All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I fell in love with the Cars area of the resort in just the short time I was there. The rooms and colors in the Finding Nemo section are more my personal style, but I think I was even more blown away by how amazing Radiator Springs looks! There is so much to see and explore, I can’t wait to see the finished product so I can discover even more.

 

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCXupke6p4Q&feature=g-upl

 

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Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Preview – Pool And Play Areas

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is full of sooo many pool and play areas!!! The amount of recreation options at this resort is truly amazing!!!

The Big Blue Pool

The Big Blue Pool is located just outside of the Animation Hall, and is the single largest pool on property which has a really neat twist! While the pool is beautiful above the water with spraying jellyfish and coral, the true gem is when you are swimming under water you get to hear music…which sometimes features characters from Finding Nemo chiming in. My personal favorite was when Mr. Ray started to sing along and commentate with Jimmy Buffett’s “Fins”!!! Another fun touch is the landscaping around the pool, because you will find that all of the palm trees aren’t straight, and look like they are swaying with the current of the Big Blue Sea.

If you have someone in your traveling party with disabilities, it is important to note that there is a special lift chair available to help them into the pool. Also life vests are available for swimmers who could use a little help.

Schoolyard Sprayground is located just past The Big Blue Pool, and is a fun water play area for younger members of the family which is full of fun water sprays and fountains. Nemo and Marlin are in the middle of the Sprayground with the sea anemones, with Nemo’s friends all around them. If you have diaper-age children, swim diapers and rubber pants are required when they are using the pool or water play areas.

Kids can play, slide, and hide in small tunnels at the Righteous Reef Playground. Squirt swims along the coral creating a fun place for everyone to explore! The playground is located next to the Schoolyard Sprayground.

If you want to make sure that you are ready for the next RunDisney event or if you are feeling guilty about all the gelato you ate at the Landscapes of Flavor food court, there’s a 1.38 mile jogging trail that goes around the resort. It is a great way to explore the Art of Animation Resort, and at night the trail is extremely well lit and the view of Pop Century from the trail is beautiful!!!

The Pixel Play Arcade

Pixel Play Arcade is 4500 square feet of fun for the whole family! The arcade features ticket games, the latest in video games (I loved playing the supersized Fruit Ninja game), and classic games like air hockey. Instead of using cash in the arcade, you purchase a card with credits to spend there during your stay.

If you think that the activities stop there, you are really mistaken. Recreation Cast Members work overtime to make sure that there are plenty of great things going on in the afternoon and early evenings at The Big Blue Pool. There is The Big Blue Beach Party, the Righteous Dance Party Extravaganza, Arts & Crafts, Games, and Movies Under the Stars just to name a few. All of these activities are free, and are subject to change. In the event of inclement weather, activities may be moved to the kid’s playroom next to the Front Desk.

While the resort is a great value as far as space is concerned, when you add in the extra value of all of the water and play areas, amenities, and Recreation offerings you really can’t go wrong with a stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

Make sure you check out our Facebook Page to find more pictures of the Finding Nemo Pool and Play areas at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!

 

 

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Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Preview – Nemo Family Suites

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Walt Disney World’s newest value resort, will be opening in just a few short days on May 31, 2012. Here are some pictures of the Nemo Family Suites, which will open in the first phase with 320 rooms.

These family suites are approximately the size of two standard rooms at the other value resorts at a little over 500 square feet. The suites are comprised of a queen size bed in the bedroom, a pull out double sofa in the living room and a double murphy bed that comes down over the dining table. There is a full bath off of the living room and it is important to note that the master bathroom does not have a bathtub. Also in the living room is the kitchenette area that includes a compact refrigerator, small microwave, coffeemaker and a bar sink.

The Nemo Family Suites are the two buildings, four and five on the resort map, that flank The Big Blue Pool as you exit the Animation Hall. As you exit the Hall, you find yourself shrunk down to Nemo’s size to experience his world with his friends. Mr. Ray greets you at the door of building four, which is on your right as you face the pool, and you see the shadows of Bruce and friends who remind you that “Fish are friends, not food” as fish adorn the walls and landscape around the entrance. Across the pool, Crush and his friends are coasting along in the EAC. The plants around the building reflect those that you would find in the Big Blue, and there are fish friends mixed in among them.

As soon as you walk into the hallways, which is one of my favorite parts of this resort, there is no doubt that you are in the world of Finding Nemo! The carpets have seaweed and bubbles, watch out for a Hidden Mickey, the walls are painted a soothing blue, and huge paintings of the characters adorn the walls.

Each room is dripping with detail! The carpets are decorated with colorful seaweed, schools of fish have created pictures, and in the bathroom you find that your vanity is made from reclaimed boat parts. But my absolute favorite detail, is that when you pull down the Murphey Bed there is a picture of Nemo and Marlin waiting for you. Plus, every cabinet and dresser drawer front is beautifully decorated with images from Finding Nemo.

I am absolutely in LOVE with these rooms, and I cannot wait to bring my family here to stay!!!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0I2fNUfXFk&feature=relmfu

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Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Preview – Resort Merchandise

Located inside the Animation Hall at the Art of Animation Resort you can find the Ink and Paint Shop where you can find both resort specific and merchandise that ties into the characters featured at the Art of Animation Resort.

The shop is decorated with large paint bottles, and is really vibrant.

Also this is where package pick-up is located for guests who chose to have their purchases shipped to the resort.

 

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