Monday, July 30, 2012

Re-theming of California Grill Coming?

It has been stated on websites and other media outlets that the California Grill will be closing on January 6, 2013. This closure has been stated to be an "extensive rehab" and will reopen in the late summer of 2013. This long closure has many Disney fans wondering and worrying about the fate of the well-known Signature Dining location. There have been rumors that it will be completely re-themed, and the cuisine would go through complete menu change.

According to Chef Brian Piasecki, the menu will have some changes but what has made the California Grill what it is will remain. (Thanks to for the info) It also sounds as though there will be an upgrade to the interactive kitchen, though the kitchen staff and floor-plan of the restaurant have been said to remain.

Alas, there are many that are worried of the closing, as six to eight months is a long time for a restaurant to be closed, there is a sentiment that more is on the horizon. Maybe the restaurant is going back to its roots as the Top of the World Club, or maybe it is going to cease as a restaurant altogether. Personally I would think that Disney will keep this Signature Dining venue around and similar to what it is today, as it remains to be one of the most popular places on property. Coupled with excellent food and an amazing view of Cinderella Castle and the Wishes Nighttime Fireworks, this venue will return with a fresh upgrade, even better food and a new experience that will once again beckoning people back for more.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cutting Back of Extra Magic Hours?

It appears that we might see a cutback in the times of night Extra Magic Hours throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. As it stands now, the parks are open, on select nights, an extra three hours to guests staying in a Disney World Resort. The change that seems to be on deck is to cut those three hour nights back to two hours. This change appears to be going into effect in January of 2013.

For those of us who have survived an all-night Magic Kingdom EMH will attest that toward the end of the night the parks become extremely scarce. I personally remember once being in Magic Kingdom at 3:30am. This also proved to be an extremely quiet time. Is it possible that Disney is seeing that the extra hour is not worth the cost of keeping it open. I mean we all know that if EMH ends at 2am the park does not empty out until almost 3. They do not close the rides at the time of park closing, they simply stop letting more people enter. This could cause attractions like Soarin' and Space Mountain to have twenty minute lines within.

The question is this: How do people feel about this concept and change. It is not set in stone yet as it is simply a rumor as of today, but the fact is it appears that it is on the horizon. Any thoughts?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Goodbye to Characters in Flight...?

It appears that the Downtown Disney attraction Characters in Flight will be closed now through November. This is in response to an apparent accident because of the material that the balloon is made of. A similar balloon made by the company Aerophile supplied this balloon as well as the one that fell from approximately 20 meters (50 feet to us used to the English system of measuring) at Ocean Park in Hong Kong.

The attraction was already scheduled for a refurbishment and balloon replacement for this November so it appears that this is the plan, but one cannot help but speculate that this might be the last that we see of this attraction. Keep a few things in mind:

1. Does Disney want an attraction that has a history, even though it did not happen on a Disney owned resort?
2. Was this attraction popular enough to sustain the loss of guests who may not trust it anymore?
3. Will Disney allow it to return to the air, keeping the safety of the tests in mind?

Personally I think we may have seen the last of this, as I think Disney will close it for refurbishment and then slowly and quietly dismantle the entire setup alla 20,000 Leagues. It is safe to say we will find out soon enough, but if we do not it may be because the attraction has gone by the wayside