Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway concept art

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Get hungry with tons of Lion King-themed food at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • Prepare for brunch at the Pixar-themed restaurant in Anaheim.
  • We might know the month when Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens.
  • And more!

When I write up each edition of Theme Park Bits, I’ll be honest: I get struck with just a wee bit of FOMO. Though I’ve visited the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts a number of times, I’m not an annual passholder or frequent enough visitor that I don’t get jealous at those of you who get to travel there much more often. Today, though, while I have FOMO, it’s FOMO for Tokyo. Specifically, based on this video of the queue for Soarin’ at Tokyo DisneySea. Soarin’s a great attraction. And the queue in Anaheim fits with an aviation theme. But look at that video and tell me you don’t wish you could experience that right now. Sometimes, I cover the news here. And sometimes, I just wish I was in a theme park. This is one of those times.

Shaking off the FOMO, let’s get into some actual news. Food-related news, at least. And sticking in Disney California Adventure (the Anaheim park with Soarin’), it’s time to get your brunch on. The Lamplight Lounge is now offering brunch to guests. The brunch service began on May 25 for the new restaurant, and reservations are now available. Brunch is a natural fit, since the Lamplight Lounge is tied to a pretty well-liked bar, and what is brunch without a mimosa or five?

Speaking of food, let’s talk about the food at Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Specifically, Be Our Guest is getting some new breakfast and lunch items to add to its very popular menu. Though there’s a lot of exciting new options to the restaurant, I’m leaning towards the Chocolate-Hazelnut Crepes with fresh berry compote as my favorite even though it’s inexplicably just part of the kids’ menu. (We can all act like kids once in a while.) There’s plenty of delicious-sounding new salads with shrimp and chicken, as well as a Sweet Corn Bisque and Coque au Vin. Be Our Guest is already massively popular, and these new items will likely keep the momentum going.

Simba’s Sunset Dole Whip from Tamu Tamu at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

And regarding the momentum and keeping it going, let’s keep talking about food! My goal is to make all of us hungry by the end of this column, and Disney is helping me a great deal. With the 25th anniversary of The Lion King coming up, as well as the computer-animated remake, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be going all out with some special movie-themed food items. Lots of delectable items here, but the most appealing ones all start with a Dole Whip, like the Simba’s Sunset Dole Whip above, with a syrup made of watermelon and coconut. Some tasty pastries and desserts are in the article above, plus tips on special film merchandise you can get. But really, Disney had me at Simba’s Sunset Dole Whip.

OK, while we’re staying in Orlando for our last story, we’ll get off the food kick. Right now, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is in a period of rebuilding and refurbishment – Toy Story Land is open, but their version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge doesn’t open until August. And there’s a new attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, not scheduled to open until spring of next year. But this report suggests it might be even before spring, but in February of 2020. This attraction is also eventually heading to Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland, but we’ll have a couple years to see what the railway is like in Orlando first. February’s still a long way from now, but it’s a good way to kinda/sorta kick a new year off right.

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