View Full Version : Raglan Road (and Expedition Everest)
11-11-2005, 12:00 PM
Hi there folks. We've just paid our first visit(s) to the new Raglan Road Irish pub, which is right by the entrance to Pleasure island at DD, and quite an eye-opening experience it was, too. Having been in plenty of derivative "Irish" themed pubs in America, many of which think nailing an Irish tricolour to the bar and serving Guinness is all it takes, this is a real breath of fresh air. It is also HUGE, with four distinct bar areas, a central room with live music, two outdoor terraces (with their own bar) and an adjoining fish-and-chippie (operated by Cooke's of Dublin). Much of the interior has been salvaged from old pubs throughout Ireland (the wood panelling, bar tops, pillars and artwork) and the decor has been put together quite superbly, with much to see and admire. There is a choice of 11 draft beers (including Murphy's as well as Guinness) and authentic live music every night (from 9pm) except Sundays (for the moment). The pub is the brainchild of Dublin pub/restaurateurs John Cooke and Paul Nolan, who really know their subject, and they have obviously lavished a small fortune on the place. The menu has been put together by top Irish chef Kevin Dundon and features some really imaginative twists on typical dishes like Shepherd's Pie, Fish and Chips, Oven-Roasted Bacon (the signature dish) and 'It's Not Bleedin' Chowder' (!!). Kevin's version of bread pudding is simply one of the best desserts we have tried anywhere in town and is an absolute MUST try, even if you have nothing else! The down side? We found it a bit chilly (not something you'd normally associate with a pub) and cavernous in the Grand Room (where the live music is), while the prices are more Disney than Dublin ($6.50 a pint and $9 for a Bailey's with ice!!). There is also, of course, no smoking inside. A 3-course meal for two will run at least $60 (without drinks), and even the Shepherd's Pie is not a cheap option at $14.95. But the quality IS first-class and it was certainly busy enough on a Tuesday evening to make it thoroughly enjoyable. There is no charge (as with the clubs of PI), and you can decide whether to seat yourself in the pub or ask for a table. The separate fish-and-chippie came as a real surprise and is much better value at $10 for a very generous portion of freshly-cooked cod and chips, which you can then eat indoors, at a separate outdoor terrace or just take away with you.
On a separate note, the new Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom is now in full test mode (although not yet with guest passengers, sadly) and you can see the trains whizzing around outside what is now a magnificent recreation of the 'Himalayas' (the clever perspective make the mountainous landscape look much taller than its actual 199ft). The queuing area is open to outside view and also looks stunning, with an absolute wealth of detail. The overall effect is quite mouth-watering from a ride-lover's point of view and anyone going from April 2006 onwards can look forward to something really special.
11-11-2005, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the information Simon :)
It's got me all excited thinking about our next trip now :bounce:
11-11-2005, 12:09 PM
As I'm leaving tomorrow (did I mention this somewhere before lol) I'll keep an eye out for everest and the pub, sounds good :Pinkbounc
11-11-2005, 12:17 PM
Sounds great, shame I am not going till next August.
11-11-2005, 12:40 PM
Great news Simon :)
11-11-2005, 01:14 PM
Thanks Simon - that sounds brill!
11-11-2005, 01:15 PM
hope it go`s well for them as when we stayed in Aug we were at SSR and while i was in the pool with my Guinnes hat on a lady asked me what part of Ireland i was from told here that i was`nt the hat a gift form inlaws who run a st patricks working mens club.She told me her husband was building an irish pub in florida the one at DD it was due to open that week but due to the storms in june no one could work that month as it was all gound work in the open and risk of lightning.She asked me about the fish and chip shop at the rose and crown as we had visited there that day told her that i was disapointed with it soggy chips she told me about the outside chippy they were planing on also they where going to build at california first but disney in florida offered them the place at DD so they built it there insted
Thanks for the latest info
11-11-2005, 01:57 PM
thanks everyone. So glad we are staying at SSR so we can stagger "home"
11-11-2005, 04:56 PM
Hi there folks. We've just paid our first visit(s) to the newRoom (where the live music is), while the prices are more Disney than Dublin ($6.50 a pint and $9 for a Bailey's with ice!!).
Nice review :earsboy:
BTW those prices sound exactly the same as Dublin, it's dead expensive over here for drinks!
Myself and the family visited in late october-the irish bar is good but i cant help feeling it would do a roaring trade if they had a promotion for the european guests!
Im a family man -but a family man who likes a few beers-i dont think this is catered for in the kissimmee area?.
All the same i gotta admit it was very impressive.
11-11-2005, 06:11 PM
sounds like fun...are kids welcome ?? If yes up till what time?
11-11-2005, 08:33 PM
Must admit that Expedition Everest (Not the Glazing Company I might add...Fit the Best n all that) looked rather impressive, i managed to avoid taking a pic of it as I did with most of the tree of life D'oh!. $10 for a decent meal (in this case Fish n Chips) always sounds reasonable whilst abroad but yesterday I was moaning at paying £2 for my Fave Jumbo Sausage Chips Peas and Gravy. :rolleyes1
11-11-2005, 09:11 PM
Yes, it is a family environment and children are still welcome, as they are in any pub/restaurant, although this is primarily still a drinking establishment, so it is up to parents to work out what is appropriate in each case. There is a full children's menu, too.
11-12-2005, 12:55 PM
Does the Guiness taste the same ?????
:rotfl2: ;) :rotfl2:
11-13-2005, 01:30 PM
Thanx Simon for the latest info :)
11-13-2005, 03:09 PM
Does anyone know when everest "official" opens? implanning on going at some point next year and can be flexible with my dates - id really like it to be open!
11-13-2005, 04:57 PM
Hi there Laura. There is no official date yet for EE; Disney have refused to put an official opening date on their big E-ticket rides for a few years now since they had to postpone Test Track a number of times. They will probably make it official sometime in the New Year, but our best guess is they would like to have the official opening on April 22, which would be the Animal Kingdom's 8th birthday. There is some (well-informed) speculation that the ride itself will be in soft opening as early as February.
11-13-2005, 06:28 PM
Does the Guiness taste the same ?????
:rotfl2: ;) :rotfl2:
The answer to that is do they import the Irish water ?
11-13-2005, 07:33 PM
Thanks SimonV-- I'm sold, we're going to visit in December. I'll be bringing my Dad, a Brit... will he be pleased?
11-17-2005, 01:12 AM
i received this in my email the other day from the Disney Insider website:
<B>Behind the Construction Walls at Expedition Everest</B>
<I>The latest attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom is nearing completion, and we've got the scoop</I>
Imagineer Joe Rohde has been a very busy guy; we caught up with him when he had just returned from China, was about to fly to Tibet, and in between he's been frantically working on the finishing touches to the biggest thing to hit Disney's Animal Kingdom since the addition of the Asia land back in 1999. It's a towering achievement guaranteed to leave Guests cold - yet breathless with excitement. It's Expedition Everest, Florida's newest mountain.
Joe gave us an inside peek at what to expect next spring, when the first brave Guests set out on an expedition into the heart of the Himalayas, and embark on a collision course with the legendary yeti itself.
The first thing Guests should know is that Expedition Everest is going to be one wild ride. "Expedition Everest is definitely a thrill ride. It does have good speeds and forces, comparable to Rock ‘n' Roller Coaster," Joe explains.
Detailed stories and immersive experiences are a hallmark of Disney theme park attractions, and Expedition Everest will not disappoint. Joe gave us the full scoop.
"The premise is that we, the Guests, are Expedition Everest. We've arrived on this particular day in this little Tibetan town in the foothills of the Himalayas. And the little trekking company that we've engaged is going to get us on this train, which they've just refurbished. It used to be the train that served the tea plantations in the Himalayan foothills - they've refurbished it to get us to Everest really, really fast. But to do that, we have to go through the realm of the yeti. And traditional Tibetan thought holds the yeti to be the protector of the hidden and forbidden reaches of the Himalayas. So the yeti is doing his job as defender of the mountains when we encounter him on our train journey, attempting to get to Everest. And it ends up being that we now have to escape from the wrath of the yeti and make our way back to town in this high-speed escape adventure."
The thrills will be there in plenty, but Joe is proudest of the incredible detail that is going into creating the world of Expedition Everest for Guests to explore. "It feels like you are in the Himalayas," he promises. And having just returned from those peaks himself, Joe should know. Many of the painstaking details of Nepalese and Tibetan culture that appear in the attraction's environment are modeled on what he and his colleagues have encountered on the Mission Himalayas expeditions, as well as years of other research.
"This region we were just in has a very powerful living oral tradition of the yeti as the protector of the forest. So we adopted a lot of that attitude to put our ride together," says Joe. "And many of the details we saw there can be seen all across the Himalayas, so we picked them up from other places. There's some architectural color, some props, and there's a little area in the standby queue where we're going to talk about the actual expedition - what we discovered, where we went, that kind of thing."
Expedition Everest will be unique among Disney Park attractions in that Guests choosing the Fast Pass or standby queues will pass through very different areas and have different experiences.
"The standby queue for this ride is a spectacular environment. It takes you around a pagoda temple that was actually designed and produced for us by Nepalese wood carvers. It's completely covered with various images of the yeti, and I believe it's the only structure of its kind in North America," Joe explains. "It's very impressive, and there's scene after scene that takes you through the experience as if you were booking a trip, then traveling through this little town on your way to the train in the Himalayas.
"The Fast Pass people are treated a little differently, even within the story, in that they're assumed to have already done most of that, so they're on a ‘fast track.' They get their permits stamped in the permit office, and then they kind of blow through a little mountaineering equipment place, and then they're on the train. So depending on which line you choose, you're enveloped in the story in different ways."
In keeping with the best Imagineering tradition, Joe won't divulge whether there are any Hidden Mickeys along the way - but he did give us a few tips for details to watch out for. "There are many many portrayals of the yeti spread through this village, reflecting this idea of the yeti as a kind of protector of the environment. Just looking for those alone, you could spend an hour."
Although Expedition Everest looks tantalizingly complete to passersby, there's plenty to finish before it opens to Guests. "We're installing props in the buildings, doing little finishing paint touches in the buildings. We're installing the yeti into the great cavern where the yeti lives, and we're running the ride around the track and testing it to see how it works and testing the special effects to see how they work," Joe says.
So far the only ones lucky enough to ride Expedition Everest are specially shaped water buckets designed to simulate the attraction's effects on people of different sizes - "sort of like a jerry can with a waist," as Joe describes them. "You seatbelt them in and fill them with water to represent the weight of different humans, and then they get to ride over and over and over. I'm sure they're very happy, thrilled little water buckets!"
Come spring, Guests will get a chance to encounter the yeti for themselves - and see if "happy" and "thrilled" are the order of the day.
11-17-2005, 01:29 PM
Be interesting to see when exactly this is open "soft" or otherwise. When we there earlier in the year I was talking to a CM somewhere (can't remember which park), and he was telling me that he had heard Disney were trying for as early as January to catch the end of the Xmas trade.
Sounds doubtful from what people are saying, but keeping my fingers crossed nonetheless!
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