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Walt Disney World July 2016 Trip Report
DisneyDan  Tuesday, November 29, 2016 10:47:42 AM
Hello everyone,

I realise that this is a little late, but better late than never, right?

Back in July we made one of our several trips for this year to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. As always, we had an agenda for visiting at the time that we did, and filled our short trip with everything that was wondrous and new!

Let's start with our hotel, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House. We have previously stayed at Kidani Village several times, and of course have visited Jambo House (but up until this trip never stayed there), and while we have enjoyed our stays at Kidani Village, Jambo House is clearly the better of the two.

Our room at the Jambo House, including the view:

Around the Jambo House:

Breakfast one morning at The Mara:

Moving on, we managed to take a quick side trip to Disney Springs to check out what was new and cool.

The Lego mural with the sign depicting all the Disney resorts worldwide - including Shanghai - is really neat.

We checked out the merchandise at Twenty Eight and Main, which actually has some cool stuff.

Then we got lunch at B. B. Wolf's Sausage Company, which has a great vegetarian sausage. A word of warning: we wanted to get poutine at the new Daily Poutine place, but none of them are vegetarian friendly - even the one that looks and sounds like it is vegetarian is made from beef stock!

We had decided before our trip that it was high time we gave Chef Mickey's another try at the Contemporary. We hadn't eaten there in a very long time, and honestly, we weren't that impressed on that occasion. Years later though, it was time to give it another chance. I did enjoy it, but I still attest that it isn't the best character dining experience at Walt Disney World. The restaurant itself just looks terrible, and the food isn't as good as some other places. I also feel that the chef outfits that the characters wear have seen better days, and need to be updated.

At Animal Kingdom, for the sake of someone who hadn't yet seen it, we once again decided to torture ourselves with the tragic mess that was formerly known as The Jungle Book Alive with Magic. I didn't take any photos of the show, but I do have some of around the park for the short time we spent there.

Next up we have Disney's Hollywood Studios. We made sure to visit the characters in their new locations, even though they had lost their special Hollywood outfits. We also met Princess Sofia, because she's always fun to meet!

Being the summer it meant that Minnie's Seasonal Dine at Hollywood and Vine was now in summer mode, with brand new costumes for Minnie and her friends. This made for the fourth version of the new rotating dining at Hollywood and vine (starting last Christmas with festive attire, it was promptly followed by Hollywood outfits, spring costumes and now these summer ones). As always, we had a great time. Hollywood and Dine is by far the best character dining experience at Walt Disney World currently. The only problem for us is that there seems to be a lack of decent vegetarian options. There are things we can eat, we just wish there was more variety.

Finally for Hollywood Studios, we saw the new Star Wars fireworks, which are really awesome! The lasers and projections are super cool, and the soundtrack is well composed with some real good high points and a great finale.

At Epcot we met Pluto, Daisy Duck and Donald Duck, as well as some Vikings who were roaming Norway. Donald Duck really loved our Three Caballeros plushes that we had with us!

While in Norway, we of course rode the new Frozen Ever After attraction for the first time. It's nice, but I wouldn't wait in the ridiculously long line that it commands. It would be worth me getting another FastPass sometime, just to do it again, but I am not going to go out of my way for it. Also in Norway we met Anna and Elsa at the their new Royal Sommerhus location, which actually is very well done inside.

At the time of our visit the new DVC Member Lounge at the Imagination Pavilion had just opened, too, so of course we had to try it! While I admit that it is a fun location, it really is sad that they destroyed everything that was up there, including the rainbow tunnel, to put in a lounge that only those who pay a high premium can access. At very least, they should have kept the tunnel. Nonetheless, it was cool to be able to say we went up there after all these years of it being closed to the public.

Prior to our visit, the Shanghai Disney Resort exhibit had opened at the China Pavilion, too. Of course, now we have already visited Shanghai for real, but it was fun to see the exhibit just five weeks before our adventures to the brand new park in person.

Before we move onto the Magic Kingdom, here are some additional shots I took around Epcot during our visit:

Now, finally, we come to the Magic Kingdom. Here we took time to meet Rapunzel, Tiana, Cinderella and Princess Aurora, as well as Chip 'n' Dale, Mabel Mae Benaught, Hildegard Olivia Harding and Scoop Sanderson.

We took time to enjoy a great sweet treat from Sleepy Hollow. Yes, all those calories, but it was worth it!

Last but not least, we of course took the time to watch the brand new Castle show, Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire. I admit that I realise Dream Along with Mickey was there for a very long time, and that new things must come - I am no stranger to complaining about how stagnant things can be at the parks! - but, DAWM was a firm favourite and had so many memories attached to it, for me, that it was hard to see it go. The new show isn't bad, and it is cute, however, it will take a few more viewings to place it firmly on my list of must-see things at WDW for every trip.

That's it for our July trip! I hope to get fully caught up with trip reports in the coming days, so expect more from our summer and autumn adventures around the world, here on the blog very soon!

Have a great day everyone,

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