Cars Land Trivia Contest

DISDad James Goodman returned from his Cars Land junket with an extra cache of cool swag, and he suggested that a trivia contest might be a fun way to give away this collection of Cars Land Media Preview and Opening Day memorabilia.

Included in the package are:

  1. Commemorative Buena Vista Street Grand Opening mock newspaper
  2. Limited Edition Radiator Springs pin
  3. Limited Edition Cars Land Opening Vinylmation
  4. California Adventure sunscreen
  5. Cars Land orange cone
  6. Flo’s Diner silverware (two sets)
  7. Set of Commemorative park maps, including special TripTik-style map

So, what do you need to do to win this package? Just answer a few trivia questions. Email your answers to the questions below to podcast@disdads.com. DO NOT post answers in the Comments section. I will collect responses until midnight on Friday, July 6, 2012. The responder who answers the most questions correctly wins the prize package. In the case of a tie, where two or more responders have the highest number of correct answers, the winner will be selected by random drawing facilitated by random.org. No purchase necessary to enter – just an Email. The winner will be notified by Email on Friday, July 6. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, the prize will be re-awarded as if the winner had never submitted a response.

Trivia Questions
1. In what year did Disney California Adventure originally open?
2. What are the three new rides that opened with Cars Land?
3. What are the names of the individual “Cones” that make up the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land?
4. How tall is the Ornament Valley Mountain Range in Cars Land, at its tallest point?
5. How many neon signs are there in Cars Land?
6. Which is the tallest neon sign in Cars Land?
7. What are the numbers on the two Red Car Trolley cars?
8. What is the year listed on the entrance plaque at Disney California Adventure?
9. Name one of the two new musical shows that take place on Buena Vista Street.
10. What is the name of the dance party event at Disney California Adventure that has replaced ElecTRONica?

Via Napoli – Best Pizza in Walt Disney World

by Brady Aymond
Where can I get good pizza in Disney World? If you’ve been to Disney World often, or you’re someone who helps family members and friends plan trips to the place where dreams come true, you’ve probably heard that question. Or possibly even muttered it at some point. And for a while, it was a trick question, because the answer was “Nowhere.” Truth be told, pizza at Disney is pretty generic. At least until Via Napoli came along. Boasting authentic Neopolitan wood-fire pizzas, Via Napoli definitely raised the standard of Disney pizzas. My family and I recently had a chance to see what the fuss was all about first-hand, as we dined at the eatery in the Italian Pavilion in Epcot. And today, I’ll offer a review of our experience:

Atmosphere

Located in the back of the Italy pavilion, the building is richly decorated and inviting. The lobby area features a beautiful chandelier decorated with colorful clusters of ceramic grape. From the lobby, you can see the main dining room, as well as the three brick ovens – named after three volcanoes in Italy (Strumboli, Vesuvia and Etna).

The main dining room is huge and offers a picturesque mural wrapping the entire dining area. We were seated in the main dining room, but I accidentally went into the secondary dining area when I was looking for the restrooms. The secondary dining area appears to be formerly an outdoor dining area that has been enclosed in a sunroom. The décor there is a deep orange color. The layout of the main dining area is a little confusing, with a huge main table in the middle surrounded by smaller tables. Other than that, the area is warm and festive.

Service

Upon being seated, we were greeted by our waitress, who I could barely understand because of her broken English. Very nice girl, though, and was always attentive. The one interesting thing I noticed (and maybe this is Italian custom) but every waitress had a male server assisting her. She’d take the order, but the male server would bring it. My oldest asked her for a refill and tried to hand her the drink, but she said ‘I’ll get Marco’ and left. Marco came right over and got the refill for my son. As far as I remember, she never actually handled any of our plates. Marco was the one that brought us our drinks/food/etc. It may have just been our table, but it was unique.

The Grub
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Be Our Guest Restaurant – Menu Released, Opening Date Still Fuzzy

Image from The Disney Blog
The Disney Parks Blog released information today about the menu for the Be Our Guest Restaurant, coming to the Fantasyland Expansion sometime this Fall (the announcement still says vaguely that they will begin taking ADRs in late August for a “holiday season” opening). The restaurant will be the first hybrid restaurant at Walt Disney World – Quick Service at lunch, and Table Service for dinner. But even the Quick Service lunch will be a cut above. Guests will order either from an electronic ordering kiosk or the ordering window, and then find a seat. Meals will be delivered to guests at their tables, on real plates to be eaten with real silverware – no paper goods. We already know that the restaurant will be beautiful. The Parks Blog has posted concept art, photographs, and even a short video of the inside of the restaurant, but now we have an idea of what in store food-wise. The menu has a distinctly French flair, as expected.

Lunch offerings include:
Tuna Niçoise salad
Croque Monsieur sandwich with carved ham, Gruyere cheese, béchamel and pommes frites (French fries)
Carved turkey on a warm baguette with Dijon mayonnaise
Grilled steak sandwich with garlic butter spread
Braised pork
Vegetable quiche
Quinoa, shallot and chive salad.

Children’s Lunch Menu
Carved turkey sandwich
Roasted pulled pork
Mickey meatloaf
Seared mahi mahi
Whole-grain macaroni topped with marinara and mozzarella

At dinner, the menu will feature:
Appetizers
Charcuterie plate with cured meats and sausages, mussels steamed in white wine
French onion soup
Potato leek soup
Salad with champagne vinaigrette
Salad trio with three mini tastes of roasted beet, raisins and orange; green beans, tomatoes and roasted shallots; and watermelon, radish and mint.

Entrées
Thyme-scented pork rack chop with au gratin pasta
Rotisserie rock hen with roasted fingerling potatoes
Pan-seared salmon in leek fondue
Grilled strip steak with pommes frites
Sautéed shrimp and scallops with veggies in puff pastry with creamy lobster sauce
Oven-baked ratatouille

Dessert
Strawberry cream cheese cupcake
Triple chocolate cupcake
Chocolate cream puff
Passion fruit cream puff

Children’s Dinner Menu
Grilled steak
Grilled fish of the day
Whole-grain macaroni

What do you think of the menu? Will Be Our Guest Restaurant be on your family’s must-do list?

Top 5 Meltdown Avoidance Tips

by David Juart

I was pumped, possibly too much. Gigi was all gung ho about pretty much anything and everything I threw at her. There were the obvious ones, Small World and the Tea Cups were favorites from when she was three. But to my surprise, she was ready to rock with Haunted Mansion, Pirates (even though it had scared her the previous year), Buzz, Toy Story and even Splash and Big Thunder Mountain. We had conversations about the rides, what they were – even watched YouTube videos (some, like Splash, to tiring lengths). I was beyond stoked to share my love for all thing “thrill” at WDW with my 44″ tall, brazen, four year old Princess.

I blame it all on Peter Pan and his 40 year old adventure. There I stood in front of a moving walk way, coaxing an all of the sudden apprehensive four year old onto a ride that I hadn’t stepped on since Y2K was the Next Big Thing. Frankly, I forgot how dark, high, and jerky the ride was. All I remembered through my rose colored glasses was sharing a seat with my Mother and seeing the scale model of London below us (which until this moment in time I was unsure of which of these “kiddie ride” Big Ben was in). It was dark, and Gigi knew it. Four year olds can see the future, dontchaknow? And you know what, I should have known. The year before she couldn’t hide far enough behind me while riding Pirates. We made it through Peter Pan, but a half an hour later I found myself looking as if I was stealing my own child as she tried to bolt out of the queue at PotC. It was meltdown moment number one of the day with another to come at Splash, as a tired little girl buried her head into my shoulder as we made our way back out of the queue. And this was just Day 1.

For the rest of trip, Gigi was timid of pretty much every attraction, even shows such as Muppetvision 3D and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Shows that shouldn’t elicit such a reaction. Some she fought through, others she avoided. Though we had a great vacation, it was marked with a lot of “coulda’s” and “shoulda’s”, to the point that one week after returning home, Dear Daughter was talking about riding Pirates “next time”. In an effort to not have this happen to you, I give you my Top 5 Meltdown Avoidance Tips.

5. YouTube – I’m pretty sure it’s in the DISDad bylaws that we’re required to watch a certain number of ride-throughs on YouTube. Watch them with your kids. Give them a feel for what they’re about to experience. Hopefully, alleviating some of the unknown will be the first step of getting the wee ones onto Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. (Ed. Note: If you have a Netflix subscription, there are several Disney Parks videos available that include both on-ride video and behind the scenes looks that can also be helpful in addressing the fear of the unknown issues).

4. Talk – Simple enough, right? The seasoned WDW goers among us have stories to tell of their first ride on the Teacups and how they were scared of the drop at the Tower of Terror. Share your stories of apprehension and overcoming those fears.

3. Pace Yourself – This is where I dropped the ball. I don’t know if I was caught up in the excitement of the first day, or if I was still delirious from 17 hours of driving the previous one. But we tried to tackle too much too quickly. I have a sneaking suspicion that if we would have slowed the tempo down and allowed my daughter’s curiosity for each ride to grow, it would have been a different outcome.

2. Enlist the help of other kids – Even if you don’t do this directly, pointing out that other children are riding the attraction can help coax apprehensive riders past their initial fears. Now, I’m not saying to call your son a wimp because “those kids are going on it and you aren’t.” Showing that other people are getting on and actually coming off in one piece (and even smiling and laughing) can help alleviate fears.

1. Know your kid – Again, no brainer. So I thought, anyway. I was way off. Even though Gigi was brazen while watching YouTube videos and talking about rides, in the heat of the moment she froze up and scared herself. Had I realized this, I could have approached things a bit differently, or not approached them at all.

So that’s what I have. What suggestions have you? Post them in the comments below or tweet us @DisDadsPodcast, or give me much-needed advice directly @dpjuart.

Poll: My Walt Disney World – Round 1 – Pluto Group

For several weeks, Nathan Trent collected data from DISDads on the message boards about what came to mind when they thought about each of the Walt Disney World theme parks. He took that data and created a 64-experience seeded bracket that we are using at the basis for a special series of “My Walt Disney World” podcasts that we’ll be releasing on a weekly basis this summer. The first of those podcasts posted on Sunday, and featured a panel declaring the winners of the first round matchups in tournament’s Mickey Group. The poll below covers the first round of the Pluto Group, the podcast for which will be posted this coming Sunday.

The goal here is to identify those experiences that make Walt Disney World what it is for DISDads and our families. It’s a little more complicated than just choosing our favorite ride or restaurant. You’ll hear how the panel decided on Sunday, but here’s your chance to cast your vote (which you can compare to the panel’s choices after the podcast is released). Which of these matchups made it hardest for you to choose a winner? How did you pick your winners? Tell us about it in the comments. (Please ignore the extra check-boxes – that was the only way to put a space between each matchup. Please cast one vote for each matchup).

Which are your picks for the first round of the Pluto Division?

  • (4) Toy Story Midway Mania (11%, 30 Votes)
  • (3) Spaceship Earth (11%, 29 Votes)
  • (2) Haunted Mansion (11%, 29 Votes)
  • (5) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (11%, 28 Votes)
  • (8) Living with the Land (10%, 27 Votes)
  • (1) Killimanjaro Safari (10%, 26 Votes)
  • (7) Fantasmic! (9%, 23 Votes)
  • (6) Animal Kingdom Trails (Pangani & Maharajah) (8%, 20 Votes)
  • (11) Akershus Storybook Princess Dining (4%, 11 Votes)
  • (10) The Osborne Family Lights (3%, 9 Votes)
  • (12) it's a small world (3%, 8 Votes)
  • (15) Main Street Electrical Parade (3%, 7 Votes)
  • (16) Epcot Festivals (F&W and F&G) (2%, 6 Votes)
  • (9) Boulangerie Patisserie (2%, 6 Votes)
  • (14) Tom Sawyer Island (2%, 4 Votes)
  • (13) MouseGear (1%, 2 Votes)
  • (0%, 0 Votes)
  • (0%, 0 Votes)
  • (0%, 0 Votes)
  • (0%, 0 Votes)
  • (0%, 0 Votes)
  • (0%, 0 Votes)
  • (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 35

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