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Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2017

Below are the latest updates we have for the 2017 book:

If you pre-ordered

Please read this article about the first printed copies of the Unofficial Guide. Any questions should go to the publisher of the Unofficial Guides through their contact page. TouringPlans has no additional information about the new copies.

Part 2 - Making the Most of Your Time and Money

P. 66 In the Tickets, Biometrics, Wristbands and RFID section, add the following information:

Beginning in the summer of 2016, Disney began asking for biometric finger scans for children ages 3-9, as well as for adults and children ages 10+. Younger kids may have a parent or other adult provide their scans, or Disney may ask to photograph the child for admission verification purposes.

Part 4 - Dining in and Around Walt Disney World

P. 341 The Disney Springs restaurants Frontera Cocina and Chef Art Smith's Homecoming (a name change since the previously announced Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine) are both now open. Replace the current entries with the following:

Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming

Reservations: Recommended. When to Go: Lunch or dinner. Cost range: $16-$41 (child $9-$12). Service: Too new to rate.Friendliness: Too new to rate. Parking: Disney Springs garage. Bar: Full service. Wine selection: modest. Dress: Casual. Disabled access: Yes. Customers: Disney guests; locals. Lunch and dinner: Sun-Thurs 11:00 a.m – midnight, Fri-Sat 11:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m. Location: Disney Springs. Phone: 407-560-0100.

Setting and atmosphere: Florida farm-style décor with a reclaimed wood and mason jar vibe. Dining rooms chairs are covered in faux burlap sacks. Florida born and raised, Art Smith is Oprah Winfrey’s former private chef and is well known for his appearances on Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America.

House specialties: The 200-seat Homecoming focuses on Smith’s takes on traditional Southern cooking, highlighting Florida’s produce and seafood bounty with dishes he’s known for: pimento cheese, deviled eggs, Lowcountry shrimp and grits, biscuits and sawmill gravy, and chicken and dumplings. Sweets from his bakery will be shipped in daily. Cocktails feature artisanal moonshine.

Other recommendations: Our kryptonite is the “Fried Chicken and Doughnuts” (yes, you read that right), a platter of fried chicken served with house-made sugar doughnuts and KC Greens.

Summary and comments: There’s some menu overlap with the nearby House of Blues restaurant. We’d eat here for the calmer atmosphere and fresher food.

Frontera Cocina

Reservations: Recommended. When to Go: Lunch or dinner. Cost range: $14-34 (children $9). Service: Too new to rate. Friendliness: Too new to rate. Parking: Disney Springs garage. Bar: Full service. Wine selection: modest. Dress: Casual. Disabled access: Yes. Customers: Disney guests; locals. Lunch and dinner: Sun-Wed 11:00 a.m –10:00 p.m., Thurs-Sat t 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Location: Disney Springs. Phone: 407-560-9197.

Setting and atmosphere: Though the exterior presents with muted beige walls and white accents in meant to evoke classic Florida waterfront architecture, bright pops of color from the centerpiece chandelier and bar accents highlight the sleek and modern eatery’s interior, made casual by exposed duct work and cozy dark wood furnishings. The open show kitchen and "Wall of Fame" shelves packed with specialty liquors and wines are bathed in natural sunlight from the large windows on nearly every wall, showcasing the springs and outdoor patio from the back dining room of the restaurant.

House specialties: Traditional Yucatecan sikil pak pumpkin seed dip, familiar build-your-own Carne Asada tacos, Cocina ancho-marinated half chicken served with highly-lauded queso añejo mashed potatoes, Frontera margarita and specialty agave flights, as well as the pecan pie bar (a family recipe from Chef Rick Bayless’ grandmother).

Other recommendations: House-made-to-order guacamole, Shrimp and bay scallop Coctel verde, mushroom torta with chipotle-garlic mojo, carnitas, red chile chicken enchiladas, Mexican “Cola” (Avión blanco tequila, tamarind, Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, with a black ant salt rim), and coconut lime quatro leches cake. The dessert menu is small; kids may be happier with a dessert from the nearby Sprinkles cupcake shop.

Summary and comments: If you want Frontera Cocina food on the go, there’s a take-away window offering chips and guac, two kinds of tacos, soft drinks, beer, and margaritas.

Part 9 - The Magic Kingdom

P. 527 In the Live Entertainment section, Castle Fourcourt Stage subsection, add a new entertainment offering: The Royal Welcome of Princess Elena of Avalor.

The Royal Welcome of Princess Elena of Avalor. *** [three stars]. This quick six-minute show is performed several times per day on the Castle Forecourt stage. Cinderella and Prince Charming introduce Crown Princess Elena of Avalor to the Magic Kingdom. Elena, the star of the Disney Channel series “Elena of Avalor,” is Disney’s first Latina princess. During this performance, Elena chats with Cindy and Charming, using both English and Spanish, and sings her signature song, “My Time.” If your kids are fans of the Elena TV show, then it may be worth stopping to watch, otherwise it’s an easy thing to skip. Check the daily Times Guide for show times.

Last updated by Laurel Stewart on October 20, 2016