DVC Neighborhood News: Excitement Bubbles Up with Disney Springs

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Greetings Disney Vacation Club Members!
In case you missed the big news from Disney this month, I want to let you in on the fun. And I do mean fun – ABSOLUTELY HUGE FUN – for you and everyone in the family.

The Walt Disney Company announced the planned multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney® area into Disney Springs, which will bring an incredible array of new shopping, dining and entertainment options to guests of Walt Disney World® Resort, area tourists and central Florida residents.

Even more notable is that this unique family destination, which ultimately will include more than 150 shops, restaurants and other venues, sits directly across a shimmering lake from one of our most charming DisneyVacation Club Resorts, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. That means Members vacationing at the Resort will be perfectly positioned to enjoy the magic of Disney Springs, literally just steps away. In fact, a pedestrian bridge will be added between the Resort and Disney Springs to create an easier and more convenient way for Members and Guests to travel back and forth (in addition to the boat shuttles operating on the lake). Of course, Disney Springs will be a welcome respite for all of our Members visiting the Walt DisneyWorld Resort.

I am especially proud to have been intimately involved in the strategic planning for Disney Springs while leading the team at Downtown Disney. Throughout the process, it was clear to me that Disney Springs would be enormously appealing to Members of Disney Vacation Club and that we had a fantastic opportunity to connect our Members to this great new experience in unique and innovative ways.

Disney Springs

Look for more information about Disney Springs inthe summer edition of Disney Files Magazine, scheduled to begin mailing in May, and watch future editions of the magazine, as well as the Disney Vacation Club Facebook page, for updates as new details become available during the multi-year development process. In the meantime, I encourage you to learn more about the plans for this project by clicking here.
I couldn’t be more excited about Disney Springs and how it will make your vacations with us even more memorable. By the way, construction is scheduled to begin next month with new areas opening in phases. The entire Disney Springs project is expected to be completed in 2016.

That’s the big news for now. On behalf of everyone at Disney Vacation Club, thank you for your Membership. We look forward to welcoming you home very soon!

Sincerely,

Ken Potrock
Senior Vice President and General Manager
Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney

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Thanksgiving Dining at Walt Disney World

Mickey and the gang celebrating Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving image copyright Disney

If you are like me, and you are finding yourself at Walt Disney World over Thanksgiving and don’t have set plans yet, don’t fret. There are great dining options across property in both the parks and resorts. Some are even still available for dinner reservations at this point in time (11pm Wednesday, 11/14) (subject to change of course). Even if you don’t want to make a reservation for some of the restaurants for a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner, there are counter service locations that can still fill your craving for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

 

Character Thanksgiving Meals

Some of the character meals across the parks and resorts are getting special treatment just for Thanksgiving. They offer holiday menus with many having traditional meals, with others focusing more on their own twist on the holiday fare. At the Contemporary Resort, Chef Mickey’s buffet is offering a Thanksgiving dinner. Across Bay Lake at Fort Wilderness, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ becomes Mickey’s Backyard Thanksgiving feast featuring turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and many of your favorites. In the parks, Tusker House, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is having Donald’s Dining Safari Thanksgiving Lunch and then a non-character Thanksgiving meal for dinner. Walt Disney World Swan’s Garden Grove is having a character buffet dinner as well.

 

Table Service Thanksgiving Meals

Many of the restaurants in the parks are also providing meal options for the holiday. In the Magic Kingdom, Liberty Tree Tavern has both family style lunch and dinners. Also, the Diamond Horseshoe is hosting a table service dinner. At Epcot, the Biergarten in Germany has both Thanksgiving lunch and dinner options. Hollywood Studios has their buffet open for lunch and dinner as well as the Fantasmic dinner package. And, as already mentioned, in the Animal Kingdom, Tusker House is offering their dinner buffet.

At the resorts is where you will find most of the special holiday menus being offered. Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge has a special prix fixe menu. Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club has a dinner buffet and the Captain’s Grille at the Yacht Club is serving both lunch and dinner buffets. At the Grand Floridian, Citrico’s has a prix fixe dinner menu. Also with a prix fixe menu is Flying Fish Cafe at the Boardwalk. For some a la carte menu options you could try lunch or dinner at the Grand Floridian Cafe. Still at that resort for dinner you can have a Thanksgiving dinner at Narcoossee’s. Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness is having a lunch and dinner buffet. At the Polynesian you have lunch or dinner at Kona Cafe, Olivia’s at Old Key West is also serving both meals, as are Sanaa at Kidani Village, the Wave at the Contemporary and the Turf Club at Saratoga Springs. For more family style meals, check out either Whispering Canyon Cafe at the Wilderness Lodge for lunch or dinner, or dinner at the Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club.

Are you staying at the Walt Disney World Swan or Dolphin? If so, don’t worry, they have great options too! Fresh Mediterranean Market at the Dolphin is having a lunch buffet. The Swan’s Il Mulino is serving Thanksgiving dinner a la carte as is the Dolphin’s Todd English’s bluezoo. Downtown Disney even has some options for you at the House of Blues for dinner and Planet Hollywood for both lunch and dinner.

 

Counter Service Thanksgiving Meals

So, what if you, like me, have waited til the last minute and maybe there aren’t reservations available for your party of five? Don’t worry, Disney has that covered too. In Epcot, Sunshine Seasons, one of my favorite counter service options already, is supposed to be offering a special holiday menu too. Don’t want to go to a park, there’s a resort that has your name written all over it. At Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, the End Zone Food Court is even getting into the holiday meal spirit with a Thanksgiving dinner from noon until 10pm with turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams, vegetables, cranberry sauce, rolls and your choice of either apple or pumpkin pie for only $10.99 for guests 10 and up and $5.99 for children 3 to 9 (prices, times and menu items subject to change without notice).

 

All in all, it looks like Walt Disney World has some pretty great options of many varieties of cuisine and location for just about any appetite. Many of these options are on the Disney Dining Plan and as I mentioned, a few are even still available at this time. If you find yourself at WDW over the holiday, have a Happy Thanksgiving and happy eating!

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