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.