Disney’s Animal Kingdom gets set for new Harambe Nights – Orlando Sentinel
Thats quite an understatement, Disney experts say. Whenever Disney introduces a new character into orlando vacation the parks and particularly a new princess it instantly becomes the most popular character around, said Ricky Brigante, owner of InsideTheMagic.Net , a website that has covered Disney and other theme parks for nine years. But the popularity of Anna and Elsa has gone above and beyond the character meet-and-greets that Ive ever seen. Its definitely a phenomenon. Right now, especially for families with little girls, Frozen is really the No. 1 requested thing, said Susan Kelly of Travel Magic , a Disney vacation planning specialist for over 15 years. Ive even had clients say, If we dont get FastPasses for the Anna and Elsa character experience, Im going to want to cancel our trip or change dates. The only way to guarantee a meeting with Anna and Elsa at Disney World is to book a character experience through FastPass+, the attraction-reservation system that recently replaced Disneys old paper FastPass system. Guests staying at an official Disney resort can book the new, electronic FastPasses 60 days in advance through the My Disney Experience website or smartphone app. Park visitors who arent staying at a Disney resort can reserve a meeting time 30 days in advance.
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“The emotional journey that the film takes us and the world that film takes us into is the world that we literally re-create in the theater,” Jackson-Randolph said. “We re-create that world through special effects.” Food will be a major component of the event from beginning to end, even during the “Concert in the Wild,” said Robert Gilbert, executive chef of catering operations for Walt Disney World. People entering the theater will receive a new concoction: “lion chow” consisting of candy pecans, sea salt-toasted chips, candied ginger, golden raisins and dried cherries, served in a bamboo sleeve. “As the guests are enjoying the show, they won’t have the rustling of paper that you would otherwise get with a bag of chips or something like that,” Gilbert said. For the outdoor dinner portion that follows the show, expect items such as watermelon goat cheese salad, butter chicken with basmati rice, golden pineapple with toasted coconut and naan bread, which will be grilled on stage. The food will be spread over multiple stations. About three-quarters of the menu items have been served or are being served at Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants, Gilbert says. “We wanted to stay in character as much as possible in staying true to the event itself. But at the same time, we wanted our guests to take a step out and try something new,” Gilbert said.
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