Friday Five: Random References & Reflections

1. I’m hearing great things about the restaurant renovations in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. @ScarlettAshley posted a detailed review of both the Tutto Italia redo and the new Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar on the TouringPlans.com blog. Executive summary: Food and service at Tutto Italia were excellent, but children’s menu choices were sparse and expensive. Tutto Gusto is beautiful, has a HUGE wine list, and allows you to order from the Tutto Italia menu as well as it’s own selection of small plate items and desserts. Sounds like either space would make a great date-night getaway.

2. Speaking of restaurants, @DisneyFoodBlog is reporting that a couple of Epcot-area WDW restaurants will be closed for renovations starting in July. First up will be Bistro de Paris in Epcot, which will close on July 1, 2012 and won’t be reopening until the end of September. Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club Resort, with its character breakfast and all-you-can-eat seafood buffet is up next, closing from July 9, 2012 through August 4, 2012. The article also mentions unconfirmed rumors that Hoop De Doo Review will be closing for refurb this Fall, and a possible major renovation at California Grill in early 2013. In the comments to the posting, AJ also notes that Yachtsman Steakhouse may close for a few weeks, from mid-August through the end of September.

3. Thank you to participating DISDads Dave Compton, Jason Knox, and Nathan Trent. Nate’s been working on a great concept for a special series of podcasts that will be airing this summer – they’re going to be a lot of fun (more on this below)!

4. The DISDads Discussion Boards continue to grow – have you check them out yet? The conversation is lively and fun. We’d love to have you join in. The boards have also become the place to talk about the DISDads Convention, being held January 10-14 at Walt Disney World. Are you making your plans to join us yet? So far, we have 16 people/families planning on joining us, but there’s always room for one more! Information on early booking is available here – we’ve got rooms set aside for us at special rates at the Wilderness Lodge, Port Orleans-Riverside, and All-Star Movies. Once our room block is booked, we’re unlikely to be able to add to it, because our Convention weekend is also Marathon Weekend.

5. OK – so back to that special podcast project that Nate’s been working on. You may have noticed a series of thread in the Podcast forum on the boards, titled My , where Nate asked posters to share the 10 or so experiences that they immediately think of when they think of that Theme Park. Well, now we can share why Nate started those threads in the Podcast forum. He’s used the information you all shared to created a 64-experience, seeded bracket. And during the months of June and July (and maybe into August, depending on how long it ends up taking) we’ll be recording and releasing podcasts based on those brackets called “My Walt Disney World”. Why this unusual advance-notice of podcast topics? Because we’ll need your help. Especially for this series, we’ll be recording and releasing podcasts once/week, rather than every other week. We’re going to need volunteers to record with us – our goal is to have three panelists on each show, in addition to Nate and me. If you’re interested, please let us know in the thread I posted for this purpose on the boards.

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