Lunch at The Boathouse in Disney Springs

I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a luncheon and first look at the newest upscale waterfront dining option, The Boathouse, located at Disney Springs within Walt Disney World. The restaurant is part of a huge construction project that is transforming Downtown Disney to the new Disney Springs. The Landing was the first phase to open this past spring.

My lunch at the Boathouse included sampling their steak, chicken, and seafood plates complimented by roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus spears. The flavors are unique to the restaurant and atmosphere in that I have not tasted anything quite like this before. S’mores Baked Alaska for desert complimented this feast nicely. A combination of chocolate ice cream, marshmallows, and rich chocolate syrup secured my day-long smile. Reserve some time on your next Disney vacation to dine at the Boathouse.

There’s a lot more to experience than the exceptional food and upscale nautical atmosphere. Take an after-dinner ride on one of the featured vintage amphicars and tour the surrounding landmarks from the lake. Enjoy a stroll on the dock space at the attached marina that stretches out over 300 feet. The Boathouse hosts an ultra-rare display of classic wooden boats that are priceless wonders not found in a collection together anywhere else in the World.

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- Ride Amphicars at The Boathouse, Disney Springs.  Tour surrounding landmarks before dinner. -

 

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- Rare Classic Boats on Display at The Boathouse, Disney Springs. -

 

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- Alter Ego Classic Race Boat on Display at The Boathouse, Disney Springs. -

 

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- What You've Been Waiting For.  The S'mores Baked Alaska at The Boathouse, Disney Springs. -

Disney Springs is Quickly Becoming Reality

Progress is being made as Downtown Disney transforms into Disney Springs. Hints of this re-imagined destination can already be seen throughout. This transformation will significantly increase the entertainment options as well as the dining and shopping of Downtown Disney. Visitors can already notice the change in the wording of the guide maps and the appeal of the shops and other buildings.

The first phase of the massive project is near completion. The Landing within Disney Springs opened this past spring. It’s the area that surrounds the Paradiso 37 restaurant and also hosts the popular Raglan Road Irish Pub. Pleasure Island used to be located here. New shops and restaurants have already opened and you can get a taste of what Disney Springs will resemble. The Boathouse, which opened in the spring, has a nautical theme and three great bars within. You’ll want to take a ride on an amphicar, modeled after a classic car that will also ride out onto the lake beside The Boathouse.

One of two planned parking garages has already opened. The Orange garage features multiple levels of smart, automated parking. Before you pull into a row to search for a parking spot, you will be notified if a spot is available in that particular row by digital displays. Sensors signal how many spots are open before you turn into a row. This is a great feature that saves time and frustration during the peak tourist seasons. More conveniences are the charging stations for electric cars.

Major restaurants at Disney Springs are expected to open in the fall, including an upscale pan-Asian restaurant and the highly-anticipated Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. The Hangar is a throwback to the Indiana Jones adventure series, as Jock Lindsey was Indiana’s pilot and traveling companion on certain missions. Watch for updates regarding this impressive aviation- themed restaurant.

Completion for all of Disney Springs will be in early, 2016. You don’t have to wait until then to experience the transformation. Sections of Disney Springs are being opened ever-so-frequently, and it’s exciting to see it change to an Old Florida waterfront village.

The Escape Game Orlando

Exciting new adventures are popping up each season in Orlando! Our guests come to town primarily for Walt Disney World and other theme parks, but there are many other experiences that are available close to your vacation rental accommodations. The new Escape Game Orlando is a challenging attraction that is fun for your entire vacationing group.

Escape room games have been a growing trend world-wide within the last few years. Recently opened in April, 2015, Escape Game Orlando has brought this experience to the Disney area! Participants are locked in a themed room and are provided with clues and challenging puzzles to solve in order to successfully escape the room. Guests will have only an hour to crack the mystery. The key to escaping requires great team coordination. Choose between three unique escape rooms upon making your reservation.

The Escape Game Orlando is conveniently located along International Drive. After your fully-interactive escape room experience, visit another thrilling attraction or grab a bite to eat at one of the great local restaurants within walking distance. Save time in your schedule for a full afternoon of fun on I-Drive.

 

The Escape Game Orlando | 8145 International Drive, Orlando, Florida  32819

Spend A Day In Downtown Orlando

Downtown Orlando is the perfect destination to check out while on your next Disney vacation. It compliments days spent at the local theme parks and adds something special for the whole family. The downtown area is a short drive from any of our Kissimmee vacation rentals. Experience local entertainment, specialty shops, and otherwise- hidden dining options.

Fun before the Evening Excitement

Downtown Orlando has plentiful green space. Lake Eola Park provides a beautiful setting for an afternoon picnic within the city. With this spot being the most central and iconic point downtown, festivals and live entertainment can often be found here. The Orlando Farmers Market is hosted at Lake Eola every Sunday afternoon. Shop fresh fruits and vegetables, home-made breads and local cuisine, artwork and crafts, and watch live entertainment.

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 - Shopping at the Orlando Farmers Market, in Downtown Orlando, Florida -

Many of the restaurants around Lake Eola are frequented by the locals. It’s hard to pick a bad place to eat. Discover a new, unique spot to dine at and stick around Lake Eola, Thornton Park, and Church Street in Downtown Orlando. A few of my favorites include SOCO (Southern Contemporary Cuisine), which offers an unique twist to classic American dishes and an awesome Brunch menu; Anthony’s, an excellent pick for Italian favorites and to-die-for pizza; and the Kres Chophouse for steak and a perfect intimate atmosphere.

To the Show

The new Dr. Phillips Center is the perfect performing arts venue to catch Broadway level musicals and other theatrical productions. Its size encompasses over two city blocks and includes five different venues within. Big name musicians and professional sporting events frequent the Amway Center nearby. Both destinations are easily reached from the main highway slicing through Downtown Orlando, Interstate 4.

You clearly cannot go wrong with a visit to Downtown Orlando. There is so much to do and see. It makes for the perfect day off from all the Disney excitement on vacation. Make sure this is a stop on your next visit to the Orlando area.

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 - A view from Lake Eola Park during the Orlando Farmers Market, in Downtown Orlando, Florida -

 

Lake Eola Park | 512 East Washington Street - Orlando, Florida  32801

SOCO | 629 East Central Boulevard - Orlando, Florida  32801

Anthony's | 100 North Summerlin Avenue - Orlando, Florida  32801

Kres Chophouse | 17 West Church Street - Orlando, Florida  32801

Dr. Phillips Center | 445 South Magnolia Avenue - Orlando, Florida  32801

The Amway Center | 400 West Church Street - Orlando, Florida  32801

Festival of Fantasy at Magic Kingdom

There is always a celebration at the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World. No wonder it’s the happiest place to vacation in the world! The imagination runs wild here. Daily parades throughout the theme park bring this Magic alive every day.

The Festival of Fantasy parade is my favorite and has been a stand out through the past year. This parade features a huge mechanical fire- breathing dragon and a gorgeous float of a hot air balloon carrying Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Floats for this parade pay homage to Disney movie history and the colorful characters that starred in those movies. Acrobatic performers who swing and dance to the festive music are an added bonus to the excitement.

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Festival of Fantasy winds through Adventureland, Liberty Square, and Main Street U.S.A. each afternoon. Lasting only about 15 minutes, it provides for a nice break from the high-speed rush of the Magic Kingdom attractions. Plan ahead to grab a spot along the parade route early, before the show begins. Parade times are posted on Disney’s website and mobile apps used on smart phones and other portable electronic devices.

Upcoming Orlando Events- Summer, 2015

Summer is sizzling right now in Orlando! From unique experiences at Walt Disney World, to high energy concerts at the Amway Center in Downtown Orlando, these events provide that extra spark to your summertime vacation. Use this schedule to plan your upcoming vacation celebration at Magical Memories.

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series at Epcot World Showcase (through July 25, 2015). Rock and dance to live tributes of your favorite classic rock bands. The concerts take place at the America Gardens Theatre and feature 3 different performances late into the afternoon after you have ridden most of the rides and experienced several shows. Even better, Epcot has included this special bonus in your paid admission to the park!

Summer Nights at SeaWorld (through August 9, 2015). Visit SeaWorld for an entire day and stay late into the evening. The excitement gets turned up a notch when the sun sets. Experience weekend concerts, a special Shamu celebration with spectacular visual effects, and ride your favorite roller coasters under the night sky! It’s well worth skipping your bed time.

Night of Joy at Magic Kingdom (September 11- September 12, 2015). Popular Christian music bands and musicians converge on the Magic Kingdom for two rockin’ nights of music and fellowship. From soul and inspirational singers to hard-rocking bands, there is live excitement for every taste in music. The entertainment kicks off at 7:30pm and continues until 1:00am. Shift your vacation into overdrive, and be prepared to rock ‘n roll the nights away this September at the Magical Kingdom.

Rock the Universe at Universal Studios Orlando (September 11 - September 12, 2015). An impressive line-up of popular Christian bands rock together during this popular Christian music festival at Universal Studios. Surrounding the excitement are heart-pounding rides and attractions. After partying with new friends, visit both theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, for an unforgettable experience.

The Amway Center in downtown Orlando is hosting two huge concerts in September! Ed Sheeran will be performing on September 8, 2015, and Janet Jackson is bringing her high energy show to us on September 23, 2015. Buy tickets now to add that extra spark to your summer vacation. Both of these concerts are happening mid-week, so make your stay last a whole week to take advantage of everything the Orlando area has to offer!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (September 25 - November 16, 2015). You'll want to be at Epcot this fall to enjoy their food and wine festival. Billed as a "food and wine lover's paradise," this event will feature cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, mixology classes, and live musical performances! Sample some of the best international food and amazing wines.

Summer Fun at Orlando Water Parks

The summer season in Orlando is off to a steaming start! Temperatures have been trending in the upper 90’s since the beginning of June. We have yet to reach our hottest month. How do we keep our cool in the hot summer sun? For starters, we are the best destination for water park excitement.

Walt Disney World features two great water parks to cool down at this summer. Both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are wonderful family attractions that rest on Disney property close to their other theme parks. Typhoon Lagoon is reminiscent of a tropical paradise and features a wave pool favored by surfers and an exciting shark reef. Blizzard Beach is unique in that it is themed after a winter blizzard wonderland giving way to some great thrill rides.

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The fun and excitement of the Universal Studios theme parks flows over to their Wet ‘n Wild water park, which is located along International Drive in Orlando. Their thrilling water slides have been a favorite amongst vacationing families since the 1970’s. Wet ‘n Wild, by far, has the most thrilling and high-action slides out of the water parks we list here. Families can still enjoy several rides together throughout the park, with numerous tube rides available. Save some time afterwards to enjoy shopping at the popular stores nearby along International Drive.

Aquatica is the water park attraction from SeaWorld. It’s unique in that guests experience sea life while riding some of the water slides. Get up close and personal to Commerson’s Dolphins, African Spurred Tortoises, and many different species of tropical fish! The rides mix with nature seamlessly to make this an enjoyable day on the water.

Make sure you save room during your Disney vacation this summer to visit one of these thrilling water parks. Don’t forget comfortable sandals and suntan lotion. We’ll see you soon out on the water! Stay tuned to our blog for more vacation tips and updates throughout the year.

 

Orlando Water Parks Information

Typhoon Lagoon | 1145 East Buena Vista Boulevard- Orlando, Florida 32830

Blizzard Beach | 1534 Blizzard Beach Drive- Orlando, Florida 32830

Wet 'n Wild | 6200 International Drive- Orlando, Florida  32819

Aquatica | 5800 Water Play Way- Orlando, Florida  32821

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