By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.





Category — w. Most Recent Stuff

A Friday Visit with Jim Korkis: “Creating Tradition” in the American Adventure Gallery

Welcome back to Fridays with Jim Korkis! Jim, the dean of Disney historians, writes about Walt Disney World history every Friday on yourfirstvisit.net.

CREATING TRADITION; INNOVATION AND CHANGE IN AMERICAN INDIAN ART

By Jim Korkis

Is it ever correct these days to use the term “American Indian” instead of “Native American?” That was the question faced by Disney when it was preparing the newest exhibition to be showcased in the American Heritage Gallery in Epcot’s World Showcase, “Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art.”

(C) Disney

One of Disney’s partners in putting together the exhibition was the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. That organization determined that the term “American Indian” was appropriate for this particular exhibit in order to be consistent with what was being displayed.

The other partner collaborating for “Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art” was the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and they also agreed on the terminology. Actually both terms are acceptable in the academic world, although it is considered better to use the name of the specific tribal nation.

On July 27, 2018, the all-new exhibition opened featuring artifacts from American Indian communities, with a special dedication from the Florida Seminole Tribe. This exhibition highlights the importance of traditional Native culture in contemporary American Indian art.

“Creating Tradition” showcases authentic, historical Native artifacts alongside contemporary works of American Indian art, demonstrating examples of cultural traditions which have been handed down through the generations.

Why did the former exhibit, the “Kinsey Collection” go away? As is often the case, the items featured in the exhibit were on loan for a specific amount of time.

After a five-year agreement with the Kinsey Family, the American Heritage Gallery inside the American Adventure pavilion was updated with a new display, as always planned. In general all the galleries at Epcot rotate out their exhibits every three to five years.

The 89 pieces on display at Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art represent 40 different American Indian tribes from seven geographic regions across the United States.

“At Epcot, guests are invited to celebrate the limitless possibilities of human imagination and innovation.” said Melissa Valiquette, vice president of Epcot. “By showcasing artwork from so many diverse American Indian tribes, ‘Creating Tradition’ is a wonderful way to share a vital part of the United States’ culture with all those who visit The American Adventure.”

Collection highlights include:

  • Fashion designer Loren Aragon (Acoma Pueblo) used the patterns on a jar made in the 1900s by an Acoma Pueblo potter as inspiration for his “Ancient Resonance” dress.
  • A Pokagon Potawatomi black ash hamper basket, made in the early 1900s, is paired with modern baskets, exemplifying how this technique is maintained over centuries. For example, on display is “Mother’s Womb,” a basket made by Cherish Nebeshanze Parrish (Potawatomi/Odawa) in 2011.
  • A Chilkat blanket from Alaska dating to the 1890s complements “Raven and the Box of Daylight,” a 2017 glass sculpture by Preston Singletary (Tlingit). This piece shows how Singletary experiments with designs from his Tlingit heritage in mediums beyond traditional Native materials.

Among the other featured artists with works on display are noted doll maker Glenda McKay (Ingalik-Athabascan), and Juanita Growing Thunder (Assiniboine Sioux) from the Growing Thunder family of Montana.

“Creating Tradition” also offers three interactive video exhibits where contemporary American Indian artists share perspectives on their work and culture. When guests wave their hands in front of a display resembling a campfire, the “flames” transform into a video presentation. Music playing in the gallery, performed by Native musicians, supports the objects and regions represented throughout the exhibition.

“I am delighted to recognize this association with Disney as their leadership shares the vision and creativity of contemporary American Indian artists with international visitors,” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the National Museum of the American Indian. “We hope Epcot visitors will see the American experience begins with the American Indians who have always been here.”

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Thanks, Jim! And come back next Friday for more from Jim Korkis!

In the meantime, check out his books, including his latest,  The Vault of Walt Volume 7: Christmas Edition, and his Secret Stories of Walt Disney World: Things You Never You Never Knew, which reprints much material first written for this site, all published by Theme Park Press.

 

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January 18, 2019   No Comments

Amenities and Dining at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Disney Springs Resort Area

You enter the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Disney Springs Resort Area–an entirely different hotel than the nearby similarly named Hilton Buena Vista Palace–at its front, where you can either valet your car or, if self-parking, leave it until you have completed check in.

All amenities except the pool are just inside on the first floor, including the check-in area.

Dining and other amenities are mostly along the long corridors on either side of the lobby.

On one side you’ll find a Disney gift shop.

More from inside the Disney shop.

Next to it is a more traditional resort-wear shop.

On the other side of the check-in desk is yet a third shop–shopping is better at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista than any other Disney Springs Resort area hotel–that focus on coffee, pastries, other snacks, cold drinks, and grab and go items.

More from this shop.

Further down the lobby hall you’ll find this business center–note the Fedex services in the back…

…both nicely convenient to a nearby bar.

There’s two sets of elevators in the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista. Beyond one set you’ll find this gym…

…and beyond the other is the stop for theme park buses (and for Disney Springs in the late afternoon and evening).

While none of the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels does a bad job communicating about its buses, the Hilton does the best.

The Hilton is distinct among the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels in having three table service restaurants.

Covington Mill is the most family-friendly, and the only one open for breakfast and lunch.

The Covington Mills lunch and dinner menu.

Character breakfasts occur here on Sundays.

The breakfast menu.

Andiamo is a bit more upscale.

The Andiamo menu.

Benihana rounds out the table service options.

The Benihana menu.

Including its pool complex, the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Disney Springs Resort Area has as complete and extensive a set of amenities as any other Disney Springs Resort Area hotel. For adults, who will perhaps appreciate the most offerings such as Benihana and the traditional resort gift shop– it probably has the best amenities.

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January 17, 2019   No Comments

Amenities and Dining at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando, Disney Springs Resort Area

You enter the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando in the Disney Springs Resort Area through its port cochere, where you can park for check-in or turn your car over to the valet.

Also near here is the stop for theme park buses (and for Disney Springs in the late afternoon and evening).

Most other amenities other than the pool are just inside.  Here you will find check-in and bell services…

…a rental car desk…

…and a Disney gift shop.

More from the Disney shop.

Another shop focuses more on snacks and drinks.

Not large, it is quite stuffed with stuff.

Outside by the pool you’ll find this gym…

…and also a barbecue grill (in the back center).

Your other dining option at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando is the Evergreen Cafe, off the lobby. (A bar at the pool may serve food, but it was closed when I stayed here.)

A bar is also here.

The Evergreen Cafe menu. I did not have a chance to eat here on my visit, so can’t comment other than liking the menu.

That said, dinner in Disney Springs is always going to be the better choice. The Doubletree is tied with the Best Western among the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels for being most distant from Disney Springs, but buses are available running from late afternoon into the evening

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January 17, 2019   No Comments

Amenities, Dining, and the Pool at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista, Disney Springs Resort Area

The Best Western Lake Buena Vista in the Disney Springs Resort Area has been acquired by Drury, and construction is ongoing here.

A new room tower is expected–connecting at each floor to the current tower–and I would hope that more is added to the currently weak pool set-up. During my visit in November, all I saw was site prep…

…but in January work had extended to the front parking lot. Expect more significant construction and daytime noise later.

You enter at the port cochere,but check-in parking may vary depending on what is closed for construction. Just grab a nearby spot.

Before construction, the stop for theme park buses (and for Disney Springs in the late afternoon and evening)  was in front of the port cochere…

…but on my latest visit the bus stop had been moved a bit to the former check-in parking area.

Inside, most amenities are dead ahead on the first floor.

Here you will find the check in area…

…guest services…

…a business center…

…and a small Disney gift shop.

More from the gift shop.

Beyond this area, on the way to the pool, is a small gym.

DINING AT THE BEST WESTERN LAKE BUENA VISTA

Just off the lobby is an area that serves as an additional gift shop centered on snacks, and also for grab and go food.

Offerings on the hot side include pizza and wings.

Between it and the pool area is the Best Western Lake Buena Vista’s table service offering, the Trader’s Grill.

Trader’s Grill is open for a breakfast buffet ($15.99) and also dinner.

The dinner menu.

When I had dinner here, I was greeted by this kinda illiterate sign. I usually test a restaurant such as this with a steak–popular, and easy to source and prepare well, so getting a poor one can be indicative, but “steam broccoli” scared me off a bit, so I went with fajitas–also easy to do well.

My fajitas were terrific, as was the service.  That said, while the Best Western is tied with the Doubletree Suites as the furthest of the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels from Disney Springs, dinner time buses make dinner in Disney Springs easy to manage, and much the better choice.

You’ll find a bar between the restaurant and the pool.

THE POOL AT THE BEST WESTERN LAKE BUENA VISTA

Go past the bar and you’ll find the pool. The bar has an outdoor seating area that’s very convenient to the pool.

There’s not much to the pool–a small swimming area…

…and a good-sized hot tub.

The pool at night.

This pool is adequate, but you will find better options at any other Disney Springs Resort Area hotel, except perhaps the Doubletree Suites, which while better, is not much better.

With the so-so location, dining, and pool, and the prospect for construction noise, I would hold off on booking the Best Western Lake Buena Vista in the Disney Springs Resort Area unless you can find a real deal, at least until the construction here is complete.  And I hope that a part of the construction will include an expanded pool set up with more amenities.

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January 17, 2019   No Comments

Next Week (January 19 through January 27, 2019) at Walt Disney World

DISNEY WORLD NEXT WEEK: JANUARY 19 TO JANUARY 27, 2019

The material below details next week’s Disney World operating hours, Extra Magic Hours, parades, and fireworks.

For more on more on January 2019 at Disney World, see this.

OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 1/19-1/27/19

The Magic Kingdom will be open from 9a-11p 1/19, 9a-10p 1/20, 9a-9p 1/21, 9a-8p 1/22 through 1/24, 9a-9p 1/25, 9a-11p 1/26, and 9a-8p 1/27

Epcot will be open from 9a-9p every day

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open from 9a-8p every day

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open from 9a-8p every day

EXTRA MAGIC HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 1/19-1/27/19

Saturday 1/19 Morning: Animal Kingdom Evening: none

Sunday 1/20  Morning:  Hollywood Studios Evening: none

Monday 1/21  Morning: Animal Kingdom Evening: none

Tuesday 1/22 Morning: none Evening: Epcot

Wednesday 1/23 Morning:  none Evening: Magic Kingdom

Thursday 1/24 Morning: Epcot Evening: none

Friday 1/25 Morning:  Magic Kingdom Evening: none

Saturday 1/26 Morning: Animal Kingdom  Evening: none

Sunday 1/27 Morning:  Magic Kingdom  Evening:

PARADES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 1/19-1/27/19

The Magic Kingdom: Afternoon parade: 3p every day

FIREWORKS AND EVENING SHOWS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD 1/19-1/27/19

Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom 8p every night

IllumiNations at Epcot: 9p every night

Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 8p every night

Star Wars Show and Fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 8.30p every night

Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 6.30 and 7.45p 1/19; 6.45 and 8p 1/20 through 1/27

SHOW SCHEDULES FOR WALT DISNEY WORLD 1/19/-1/27/19

See Steve Soares’ site here. Click the park names at its top for show schedules.

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January 17, 2019   No Comments

Disney World Crowds in 2020

2020 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The chart lower on the page shows my draft forecasts for 2020 crowds by week at Walt Disney World.

I will update this forecast at least once, in the summer of 2019, and may update it again after that.

2020 will be an interesting year at Disney World, with crowds from the new land Galaxy’s Edge dominating the news early in the year, but after that other new rides opening and Disney World beginning its 50th anniversary celebration later in the year.

More on 2020 at Walt Disney World is here. For 2019 Disney World crowd forecasts, see this.
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January 13, 2019   2 Comments