Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Things To Do

Disney: Still buzzing over Fantasyland

By SHARON KENNEDY WYNNE

Times Staff Writer

Walt Disney World's theme parks in Orlando are not offering much new this summer besides some interactive games, but they don't have to. Magic Kingdom is still enjoying the buzz created from the first wave of attractions in its 21-acre Fantasyland expansion.

The first Fantasyland additions opened last summer and fall, including a hugely popular Beauty and the Beast-themed restaurant, Be Our Guest.

The restaurant — designed after Beast's castle and the first Magic Kingdom restaurant to offer beer and wine — is so popular that dinner reservations are recommended 180 days in advance of your visit. You can visit for lunch without a reservation, and visitors are seen lining up at 10:30 a.m., well before the restaurant opens.

In the new Fantasyland, Dumbo's ride has been expanded and Snow White and Cinderella are now pairing up with the next generation of Disney princesses, where visitors can have their picture taken with Ariel of The Little Mermaid and Belle of Beauty and the Beast. Enchanted Tales With Belle has some stunning special effects (you won't believe your eyes with Lumiere). The next big ride, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a steel family coaster, doesn't open until 2014.

Some of the other new features you will see at Disney parks this summer:

• Animal Kingdom has added Adventurers Outpost, a character meet and greet spot with Mickey and Minnie.

• A game called Wilderness Explorer at Animal Kingdom is based on the movie Up and challenges visitors to wander the park armed with field guides that describe challenges they can complete to earn sticker badges along the way. There will be about 30 different badges available.

• A pirate-themed game is coming to Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom this summer. Guests will go on pirate treasure raids with a magic talisman and treasure map and interact with Adventureland's scenery such as shooting a cannon or opening a large oyster that holds a pearl. The goal is to follow the map's clues and uncover the treasure.

• The Kinsey Collection, art and artifacts documenting African-American history, opened in the American Adventure building at Epcot this year. Check out the Imagineered lanterns, designed to decorate and inform (and showcase stars such as Whoopi Goldberg). Whenever you touch the lanterns, it gives you a little bit more in-depth story. You'll see flickering photos inside, sort of a cross between a flame and a tiny movie.

The Magic Kingdom will stay open from 6 a.m. this Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday. It's part of the hoopla surrounding the June 21 release of Disney Pixar's Monsters University. During the "all-nighter,'' movie characters Mike and Sulley will be the grand marshals of the "Celebrate a Dream Come True'' day parade and make appearances in Tomorrowland. Characters will dress in their PJs, and the Cinderella Castle will host late-night dance parties. Park tickets are $89, but go to disneyworld.com for ticket deals and info on all of the parks.

Comments
Well, it’s different: Porn stars are doing stand up comedy this weekend in St. Pete

Well, it’s different: Porn stars are doing stand up comedy this weekend in St. Pete

IF YOU SAY SO: PORN STARS ARE COMEDIANSWell, it’s different. Porn Stars Are Comedians extends the concept of the podcast Porn Stars Are People ("the only podcast with porn stars where we don’t discuss porn or the business of porn"), hosted by Dan Fri...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lee Roy Selmon’s original Tampa restaurant is closing, marking the end of an era

Lee Roy Selmon’s original Tampa restaurant is closing, marking the end of an era

Lee Roy Selmon’s, the restaurant that paid homage to the community icon who rose to fame as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer and grew to become a popular civic leader, will shutter the doors of its original location on Tampa’s Boy Scout Boulevard in June.Employ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What’s in theaters this week: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

SHORTS: Art and Short Film Mini-FestA fundraiser for the [email protected] brings an Art and Short Film Mini-Fest to the studio tonight. There will be four short films, an exhibit of artwork by Corinne Leavengood and photography by Diana Lucas Leavengood. P...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Artist and activist Benny Andrews at the MFA, 50 years of prints at the Tampa Museum and dresses inspire art

Artist and activist Benny Andrews at the MFA, 50 years of prints at the Tampa Museum and dresses inspire art

MIX MASTER: BENNY ANDREWS AT THE MFABenny Andrews was an award-winning artist known for his innovative use of collage in his paintings and works on paper, starting in the late 1950s. He was also an activist and advocate for African-American artists, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure

Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure

LIME TIME: Tampa Bay Margarita FestivalThis year, there are twice the bartenders and a new RFID wristband system for less waiting at the two-day Tampa Bay Margarita Festival with a margarita flavor for every taste. Music headliners are the Wallflower...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF’s US Festival tribute

A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF’s US Festival tribute

THE BEATS GO ON: Sunset Music FestivalAt last year’s Sunset Music Festival, the focus was all on crowd safety. After two fans died from drug overdoses at Tampa’s largest annual rave in 2016, organizers heightened security across the board, yielding a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

OPEN NOW: BAHAMA BUCK’SFeel a shiver? Just in time for Florida’s sultry summer, Bahama Buck’s opened this week in Trinity with an avalanche of sno. The 2,346-square-foot island-inspired shop opened at 8815 Mitchell Blvd. with more than 91 flavors of ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Waiting for ‘Godot’ to end: Half-okay performances mar an already irritating classic at Hat Trick

Waiting for ‘Godot’ to end: Half-okay performances mar an already irritating classic at Hat Trick

CLEARWATER — Hat Trick Theatre, the resident company of Ruth Eckerd Hall, closes out its season with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. I must say it’s a stark choice, mainly because I can’t get two sentences into this without using the word "stark....
Updated: 3 hours ago
5 things to do under $5: Sand mandala construction, Blast Friday, get outdoors at Bass Pros Shops

5 things to do under $5: Sand mandala construction, Blast Friday, get outdoors at Bass Pros Shops

As part of a Sacred Art Tour, eight Dalai Lama-sanctioned monks from India will be at the Florida CraftArt Galleries for a week.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Philip Roth, towering novelist who explored lust, Jewish life and America, dies at 85

Philip Roth, towering novelist who explored lust, Jewish life and America, dies at 85

Philip Roth, whose sexually scandalous comic novel "Portnoy’s Complaint" brought him literary celebrity after its publication in 1969 and who was eventually hailed as one of America’s greatest living authors for the blunt force and controlled fury of...
Updated: 4 hours ago