Change in Hours: As you can see below, as the days get shorter and the crowds get thinner, Disney is cutting back the hours at the park slightly. Starting on Monday October 2nd, the park will start closing at 8:30 instead of 9 pm.
New Maps: Disney released new guide maps for the park late last week. It contains the updated information on mobile ordering as well as the removal of the breakfast option for the Sa'tuli Canteen on an every day basis. Also, the map adds the Rainforest Cafe Safari Bar onto the map. Our friends over at the Orlando Park News have photos of the map here.
Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday September 28 9 am - 9 pm
Friday September 29 9 am - 9 pm
Saturday September 30 9 am- 9 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday October 1 9 am- 9 pm
Monday October 2 9 am- 8:30 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Minor Rivers of Light Changes: These changes are just for the pre-show. The "acolytes" who can be seen during the show on the boats, now walk among the crowd just before the show begins. I suppose this is an effort to create excitement. They'd probably be better off having Timon and Baloo doing this but so be it.
Pandora does not equal more people: Rumors are circling that Disney may soon announce some layoffs. According to some sources, Disney has not experienced any type of attendance bump from the opening of Pandora. While the land itself is obviously crowded, not many if any guests have taken a trip because of the new land. That is, Disney is cannibalizing its own attendance instead of having additional guests. This is nothing new. The same sort of issue occurred when the park opened in 1998. For that reason, as well as poor numbers from ESPN, insiders are expecting some cuts soon.
Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday September 21 9 am - 9 pm
Friday September 22 9 am - 9 pm
Saturday September 23 9 am- 9 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday September 24 9 am- 9 pm
Monday September 25 9 am- 9 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sa'tuli changes: I have heard that breakfast is particularly good at the Pandora eatery. Now, apparently, breakfast is being significantly changed. Starting on 9/17, breakfast will only be offered during "peak" times. Lunch will begin at 10 am during the non-peak times.
More Starlight: Starting on November 5, the starlight safari will be offered twice every day at the Animal Kingdom lodge. Guests board a safari truck to visit the animals throughout the lodge's savannas. Tour times are at 8:30 pm and 10 pm. The tour is an hour and is available only to guests 8 and older.
Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday September 14 9 am - 9 pm
Friday September 15 9 am - 9 pm
Saturday September 16 9 am- 9 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday September 17 9 am- 9 pm
Monday September 18 9 am- 9 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Safari Mike has returned from his first exploration of Pandora and it is time for hosts to compare their thoughts on the new area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You will be shocked at who take which side of this debate! They also get you up to date the latest news from the park.
We also would like to apologize for the audio quality here. We had a microphone meltdown but felt the conversation was good enough to keep. If you have any questions or comments about the show, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Moonlight Magic: This DVC event is returning to the park on September 6th and 13th. The event which is full, begins at 9:30 pm and runs until 1 am. Basically, all of the attractions are running until 1 am except the safari which shuts down almost immediately at 10 pm. There will be a ton of meet and greets plus, 2 showings of Rivers of Light with Tree of Life Awakenings going until midnight. The only place to get actual food is the Sa'tuli Canteen but many of the bars including Nomad and Dawa are open. Complimentary hot dogs and soda are available at several sites.
Ultimate Nights of Adventure: Scared of hours long waits at Flight of Passage? Have a thousand bucks lying around? Well, Disney is here to help with the new Ultimate Nights of Adventure tour. It will start on October 1 and will be available only on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays for a 4 to 4.5 hour tour. For a mere $265.19 per person (that was sarcastic), you get front of the line passes as a tour for the Avatar rides, Everest, Dinosaur and the Safari plus seats at Rivers of Light. Other than some food and drink at Sa'tuli Canteen there does not appear to be anything else as part of this tour. There are discounts available for DVC members, annual passholders and Disney Visa card holders.
Thursday September 7 9 am - 9 pm
Friday September 8 9 am - 9 pm
Saturday September 9 9 am- 9 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday September 10 9 am- 9 pm
Monday September 11 9 am- 9 pm Extra Magic Hour in the morning
I just got back from 8 days at the parks. And a great 8 days it was. Part of the reason for that is the Nomad Lounge, my favorite bar/lounge in the parks.
For starters, there is the atmosphere. A way station for nomads traveling the world. With its dark interior, gorgeous deck along the discovery river and beautifully made banners hanging from the ceiling, the place oozes relaxation: a rarity for sure in a theme park, especially with the mad crazy Avatarland just across the bridge.
But we have discussed this bar many times and how much we love it. I wanted to touch a little bit on the menu. Both drinks and food.
The cocktail list is different from anywhere else in the "World." That by itself would make this a must stop since many other lounges have the standard Disney bar menu. Some of my absolute favorites are the Annapurna Zing (gin, passion fruit puree, mint and ginger beer) and the Hightower Rocks (tequila, watermelon, sweet-n-sour and lime juice). Hightower is an homage to Joe Rohde as that is the name of his fictional S.E.A. character at the Tokyo DisneySea version of the Tower of the Terror.
And then there is the Mustang Coffee. Its a delightful mixture of coffee, Crown Royal, brown sugar and melted butter. It may sound a bit strange but if you like coffee this is amazing.
Now for the food. Chefs at the Nomad Lounge and the adjoining Tiffins have recently begun experimenting with new items. The original menu will see lots of changes in the upcoming weeks and months. One addition that I tried on its first day was the posole soup. Made from wagyu beef, hominy and chili, it was delicious and the accompanying jalapeno cornbread was a nice side.
On another day, I had the cheese plate which is always a great choice. I also was able to try another brand new item, the vegetable pad thai, which replaced the spring rolls. I loved the spring rolls, but this was just as good.
And finally, there are the churros. Easily, the best churros on property. Hands down, no question about it. They are fresh, warm and soft unlike the ones you get at carts throughout the park. Hand made right there they are accompanied by 2 dipping sauces, vanilla cream and strawberry-chili. A waitress there told us they are best when mixed. She wasn't wrong.
I'm sure everyone who reads this blog or listens to Radio Harambe is well aware of the Nomad Lounge. But next time you are there, try some of the food, you will not be disappointed. At least get the churros.